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tv   With All Due Respect  MSNBC  September 1, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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a group of slaves were sold to save itself from bankruptcy. the descendents of those as well as any slaves who helped build georgetown will get the same admissions edge as children of alumni, part of georgetown's efforts to recognize the historic ties to slavery. "with all due respect" starts right now. he's gone back and forth, back and forth between softening and not softening. >> what they perceive as trump softening -- >> now he's being bashed for not softening up. >> a softening, scrub that. there was no softening. >> there is to be no pivot, no softening. no softening. no softening.
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on this semi-soft news day, donald j. trump billionaire and his team are still rifling through the reviews of his hyped-up immigration speech last night in arizona. for days, trump himself and his campaign have been hinting that he was on the precipice of moderating his stance on immigration to make it more congenial to a general election audience but trump's speech yesterday was immoderate in both tone and substance. there was no softening. there was no pivoting. there was just vintage donald trump. his lengthy stem winder reached its end and trump was in basically the same place on immigration as he has been all along. it turns out that some of trump's own hispanic advisory councils thought that, too, and weren't too happy about it. here's one of them. alphonso aguilar on cnn explaining why he's one of at least three hispanic advisors now saying adios to the donald. >> he gave the impression, the
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campaign gave the impression until yesterday morning that he was going to deal with the undocumented in a compassionate way and in that speech, he's basically saying we deport you or self-deport you. it's even worse than what he initially proposed. so today i'm saying not only i'm considering withdrawing my support, i'm telling you today i'm withdrawing my support from donald trump and it's not only me. many like me think the same way. >> undeterred by criticism of that kind, donald trump was back on the campaign trail this morning, the rally in wilmington, ohio, where he framed his immigration posture as he always does as a matter of putting america first. >> we're going to build a wall, next mexico's going to pay for the wall. we will treat everyone with dignity, respect and compassion but our greatest compassion will be for the american citizen.
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it will be from now on america first. >> so my friend, nicolle wallace, in here to guest host with me again today, after everything, and trump's big immigration speech last night, when it comes to that particular area, immigration, that is, is trump better or worse off politically today than he was before? >> i think he's the exact same guy that he's been since he started this madcap adventure. i think he ended up in the exact same place he's always been on immigration which is to the hard right of his party, and i think that it reflects how he sort of processes choices. obviously there was a discussion in his campaign about whether he should go to mexico, whether that might benefit him a little bit to be seen with another country's leader. he said yeah, i'll do that. but he also chose something else on the menu, to double down in
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the state of arizona on the toughest, harshest rhetoric on his immigration policy. so he chose all of the above. i think worse than a muddled message, it was almost a taunt, a taunt that will set him back and perhaps the party back even further than they were at the end of the republican primary. >> yeah. i think, i actually think he's worse off today than he was before in this sense. having raised all these expectations that he was going to in some way become as his hispanic advisory council former member mr. aguilar said, he was going to move in a more humane place. he then went in the opposite direction. i think the hispanic vote now is gone to a large extent for donald trump and for a lot of those -- the people we keep talking about. college educated suburban republican women look at this and say man, not only is he harsh and inhumane but he's also inconsistent and has been all over the place and then ends up here. it's just not a good look. >> no. unfortunately, for the trump campaign, it underscores this
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temperament argument that hillary clinton is making about him. it's not about what it's about with trump. the argument they are trying to make is that he can't, it's a leadership argument, that you can't trust someone with the gravest, most consequential sdisdig decisions of the presidency if he doesn't know his own mind. he gave them exhibit 33 yesterday. >> low number. >> one thing that is clear about trump's immigration speech is he seems to be giving up on the idea of broadening his base. instead, trump appears to be tripling down on the notion that white voters are his only ticket to the oval office and all he needs. that path runs right through the heart of the economically anxious folks living in the rust belt and industrial midwest. that's exactly where trump was this morning as we mentioned. he was in ohio today giving a speech to the american legion in cincinnati followed by that rally in wilmington. just 200 miles north, the clinton campaign dispatched vice president joe biden, who i think is going to be her secret weapon, to the buckeye state to play a little donald defense. listen to this. >> we all come from the same
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neighborhood, the folks in here. whether it's youngstown, scranton, toledo, pittsburgh. and this other guy, he simply, he's not a bad guy, he does not -- he doesn't understand this any more than you understand what it's like to live in a 30,000 square foot penthouse 80 floors up in new york. you don't understand that. i don't. he doesn't have any idea what it's like to sit at my dad's kitchen table and hear my mom say honey, we need new tires on the car and her say honey, you got to get 10,000 more miles, we just don't have it right now. >> he's good. trump is putting all his chips on turning ot some magical number of white voters. can trump win with this strategy and why would he want to? >> well, i cite the famed
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republican chairman reince priebus who in his autopsy back in 2012 pointed out correctly that mitt romney had lost to a large extent because he had done so poorly with non-white voters and that republicans if they were ever going to win the presidency again needed to do better with non-white voters. donald trump is doomed to do worse and i occasionally go to the roulette table and put all my chips on red or black. he put all his chips on white now. the only way it could work is if he was the overwhelming favorite of well educated whites. there aren't enough blue collar whites for him to win the presidency. there just aren't. he's getting crushed in white collar whites by hillary clinton. >> this is disastrous for the republican party. george w. bush won 44% of the hispanic vote. he's basically talking about winning with none. zero. i don't know how you start the rebuilding when you literally dropped 44% in support. terrible. >> it's going to have a long-term effect on the party for sure.
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i just think if you start, there was a time when you could have imagined trump putting together a different kind of map, maybe being able to compete not just in the industrial midwest but maybe even as far as places like minnesota, illinois, wisconsin. but right now, hemorrhaging all over as i said, the college educated white voters, there's not a map that works right now for donald trump unless something changes in a serious way, there's just not enough of the kind of white voters that like donald trump to put him in the white house. >> i think we agree on that. again, as a republican, why would we want our national victories to be made up of just white people? it's the grimmest outlook ever for labor day eve. >> you can't win that way and why would you want to. over the past 36 hours, we have seen two very, very different donald trumps. there was the more measured semi-statesmanlike, some would say sedated donald trump in mexico city yesterday. then in phoenix just a few hours
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later, dr. jekyll replaced with mr. hyde. both times, trump was scripted which suggests that there is some internal unrest within the trump campaign just as there has been before despite that big staff shakeup a couple weeks ago. so you have been inside presidential campaigns, some functional, some somewhat less functional. what do the last few days with all this shilly-shallying over immigration tell us about what's going on in trump world? >> my biggest window into trump world is kellyanne conway's new role probably because she serves as spokeswoman in addition to campaign manager. watch what she's had to say about immigration since she took control of that campaign. we don't have any. you know, she started on a sunday show with dana bash saying the actual policy was still to be determined but that she assured viewers he was softening the edges. her expertise is taking some of sort of the most polarizing figures on the right and making
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them more palatable to female voters. i think she made her case and it's apparent that he was listening to her but as with his vp selection process, he sort of deliberated in public, he did that bizarre interview with anderson cooper where he said anderson, you keep calling it a softening. it's actually a hardening. he had been the one that introduced the concept of the softening. to watch him sort of take advice from different members of his inner circle in public, grapple with it in public, then he came down hardcore on the breitbart right yesterday with that speech. so it's obvious who has sort of won and lost. the people who thought he needed to look presidential won the fight about whether or not he went to mexico and the ones who thought he needed to look bad about rounding people up and sending them home won on that. it underscores hillary clinton's more fundamental case about how he manages things and his selling point is he's a rich guy who manages a successful business. he doesn't look like a very good manager. >> i saw someone tweeted
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yesterday i thought brilliantly that daytime donald trump, for the daytime donald trump, kellyanne conway is in control. the nighttime donald trump however is under the control of steve bannon. that certainly was what it looked like yesterday. we also saw reporting in the "new york times" and elsewhere about the role of chris christie, rudy giuliani, jared kushner having a role. none of that is news but at this key moment in the campaign, to have that much chaos and conflicting advice, not people singing out of the same songbook, again, there are a lot of campaigns that are chaotic but this one is on version four of chaos and it's not getting better. >> i think the candidates have to be able to take a lot of information from a lot of different people. the problem is as we watch him process it, he comes out on both sides of the two-sided debate. all right. when we come back, we take a spin through battleground states. a flu shot? when it helps give a lifesaving vaccine to a child in need.
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fox news has a new national poll out which shows the presidential race tightening up a bit. in a two-way contest hillary clinton is beating donald trump by six points, 48% to 42%. but that's down from her ten-point post-convention lead one month ago. in a four-way race, the two candidates are essentially tied with hillary clinton at 41%, donald trump at 39% and libertarian candidate gary johnson getting 9% of the vote. green party's jill stein coming in at 4%. larry sabato is director of the center for politics at the university of virginia and is tracking polls and joins us now from uva to make us smarter and talk about the state of the battleground states. so what should we be paying more attention to, these two-way numbers that seem to be everywhere, or what people actually see when they go to vote, the four-way polls? >> the two-way is much more indicative of how the race will probably turn out and the six points difference there in the two-way is actually pretty close
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to the polling average of about five points for hillary clinton. there is some research indicating that, i think it's very good research, that the four-way race just by introducing the names of the third party candidates, you increase their support, especially in a race like this. their numbers are going to go down between now and november. >> so larry, i want to talk to you about battleground states here. i know you say that colorado, minnesota, wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania, virginia all likely democrat but there are a bunch of other blue states or traditionally blue states that are closer than expected. nevada, iowa, ohio, north carolina, florida. you got those just as leaning democrat. among those states that like barack obama won last two cycles, where is hillary clinton most vulnerable right now? >> well, she's vulnerable in iowa because almost half of the population of iowa is white non-college. that of course is trump's bailiwick. nevada, she's somewhat
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vulnerable because they have been through a terrible recession, much longer and deeper than the rest of the country. we all know that north carolina is incredibly close, it always is. i tend to think it has a little bit of a blue tint this year. florida and ohio, it's obvious to everybody, they are highly competitive but i still give clinton the edge. >> larry, what do you think, what do you attribute the tightening to? hillary clinton's numbers now look a lot like what they looked like after the comey press conference. it seems when she goes through a scandal there's a tightening. when she gets a couple good weeks behind her, she widens the spread. do you think this is sort of a pattern we can expect? if the contours of the race stay basically the same? >> no. i think it's simply the gradual evaporation of the convention bounce. donald trump had a very brief convention bounce. it wasn't very impressive because to be blunt, his convention wasn't very impressive. the democratic convention was excellent from a number much
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different perspectives. hillary clinton got a big bounce out of it. but just on schedule, the convention bounce has declined as we approach labor day and we are back to a lead that makes sense. now, remember how polarized we are. i think it's very unlikely that hillary clinton is going to do much worse than barack obama did in 2012. he won by four points. or much better than barack obama did in 2008 when everything was going the democrats' way. he won by seven points. >> so let's get back to the map again and look at some of the states that are traditionally red states that people are now talking about the possibility that the clinton campaign can put in play. they said today they are going on the air, for example, in arizona. there's five other kind of normally republican states that could be in play, georgia, arizona and to some extent, maybe, maybe utah, kansas, missouri, south carolina. which one of those normally red states is the place where trump might be vulnerable, most vulnerable?
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>> well, there are only two, arizona and georgia. the other ones are fun to talk about but in the end, they will go for trump. though i tell you, the margins for him as the republican nominee will be considerably lower than for other republican nominees, the popular vote, but doesn't matter as long as he gets one more vote than clinton in those states. but arizona and georgia are ripe for the picking and yet, you know, we are so polarized on my map, i still kept them light red simply because in the end, i tend to think the partisans will come home. but if i'm wrong, it will be about arizona and georgia. >> so finally, let's shift to the state of the senate races. you say democrats are now the slight favorite to win back the chamber. walk us through that path to victory, if you will. >> sure. of course, the senate is 54 seats republican, 46 democrats. democrats have to win four,
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assuming that tim kaine becomes vice president and breaks the tie. there are two seats that just about everybody concedes to the democrats, republican incumbents in illinois and wisconsin are likely to lose. so then the question becomes where do the other two seats come from. the most likely third seat is indiana, where senator evan bayh is trying to reclaim his old seat. then pennsylvania and new hampshire are both leaning to democrats with republican incumbents. democrats only have to worry about nevada. >> i'm happy to hear rob portman isn't on the list of people you are worried about. thank you so much for bringing us a look into your crystal ball. when we come back, we talk about the man behind trump's campaign finances. soon, she'll . soon, she'll . now she writes mostly in emoji. soon, she'll type the best essays in the entire 8th grade. today, the only spanish words he knows are burrito and enchilada. soon, he'll take notes en espanol.
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that interrupt the things you love. because if you're using artificial tears often and still have symptoms, it could be chronic dry eye. go to myeyelove.com and feel the love. it's a fairy tale about a wealthy businessman with no political experience who went from making deals in new york to working on a national presidential campaign. no, we are not talking about donald trump. we are talking about donald trump's national finance chair, who is the subject of a new bloomberg business week story. that piece is called "trump's top fund-raiser eyes the deal of a lifetime." joining us is one of the reporters behind the story. max, thank you for coming on the show. tell us about him. who is this guy? >> that was the question my co-writer and i had. no one really in this world had quite known about him. in fact, the jobs that he had over his life are things that trump fans are not crazy about.
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he was in skull and bones at yale where we found out he drove a porsche. he went to work for goldman sachs, where he became a partner. he ran hedge fund money for george soros, he bought a bank. he was giving money to democrats including hillary clinton and barack obama. so people were surprised when he got this job. >> and his role, as i understand it, is much broader than just dialing for dollars. talk about his role in trump's sphere of influence, how often he talks to him, who are his allies, is he close to the family? tell us more about his orbit. >> that's right. it's not like he is now just raising money for trump which would be an important enough job. national -- >> finance director. >> absolutely. but he is on the economic advisory council where the other members of the council, by the way, there are like 17 steves. there are a lot of guys named steve on the economic advisory council, like five of them. the other guys told us that they see him as a guy with donald trump's ear. he has been spending a lot of
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time doing things that campaign finance guys don't normally do. he traveled with him to scotland, where my colleague points out there aren't a lot of american citizens who are allowed to donate. clearly, i think it's fair to say he is part of the inner circle. >> so max, what's his game here? he's not been traditionally a big player in politics or political money. what's his end game? what's he hoping to get out of this gig? >> that's the number one question we had. when we talked to people who have known him for a really long time, what the theory in new york and l.a. is, this guy can spot opportunity and has seen a trade. there is definitely a down side. there are people in wall street, people think of wall street as conservative. they are pretty liberal. a lot of people are suspicious about his ties to trump. but if he has to put up a little tongue clucking for a couple months and it's going to be hard work for a few months, the bright side, if donald trump wins, if his man gets in, he could become treasury secretary of the united states. it would be quite a payoff.
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>> that seems like his thinking. it's not clear to me just how successful, finance chair is usually in charge of the bundling process, the big dollars. it seems to me trump is doing a little better with the small donations, the kind of people that come to his rallies. how sfubuccessful has he been a his actual job? >> one of the things about writing the story is we found the operation that mnuchin is in charge of, instead of looking at mitt romney's operation or hillary clinton's, these are machines, these guys spent years working on, in hillary clinton's case decades building up these networks. what trump has essentially looks like a classic donald trump business. when he has colognes like success which i have at my desk. >> seriously? does it smell good? are you wearing it? >> no, i'm not wearing it right now. when he has these, they're made by other people. these are businesses where trump
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licenses his name to other people's operations. >> branding guy. >> that's what's happening with the fund-raising operation. rnc is doing a lot of the work. mind you, donald trump did not have networks of these people and didn't have these ways of making money. neither did steve mnuchin. >> i want you to give us a picture of what's this guy like? first of all, i can't smell you even from here in los angeles. i'm sure you smell really good. what's the dude like? is he charming, is he scheming, is he tough? just give us a personality sketch. >> well, i will say it was a little intimidating to write about him because he comes across as a little bit bland. he's not a guy who is super into donald trump. it seems like he's kind of a businessman who is on the verge of a business deal, one that he doesn't really want to get into. for example, we would say why are you doing this. he would say it's a unique opportunity at a very unique time. he repeated the word unique four times in one paragraph when we
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were talking to him. he's very goldman sachs. you can tell that he really grew up around goldman sachs partners. in fact, lou eisenberg was his dad's partner. he knew steven mnuchin when he was 10 years old and told us he was a very cute 10-year-old. >> max, i imagine you were a really cute 10-year-old, too. >> that's right. i smelled like success. >> the piece is great. it's in the new business week. thank you for doing the show. coming up, wall to wall coverage of the trump wall. we will talk immigration bigly after this. it's a very specific moment, the launch window. we have to be very precise. if we're not ready when the planets are perfectly aligned, that's it. we need really tight temperature controls. engineering, aerodynamics- a split second too long could mean scrapping it all and starting over. propulsion, structural analysis- maple bourbon caramel. that's what we're working on right now. from design through production, siemens technology helps manufacturers meet critical deadlines.
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joining us now to talk more about donald trump's immigration speech, we have frank sherry, executive director of america's voice and john feehery, from the center for immigration studies both coming to us from washington, d.c.
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also on set we are joined by bloomberg politics sahill kapur. john will chime in in a second from l.a. i want to start hearing from all of you on just a policy level. plenty of time to get into the politics but can you both tell me your take on the substance of what he proposed in his policy address last night? let's start with you. >> yeah. the media has been demanding a lot of detail for the past couple of weeks and they got it. this was a very long speech with a variety of provisions in it that if enforced would actually have an effect of reducing our problem of illegal immigration and open borders. and it's quite different from what we have been told -- sold by politicians on both sides of the debate for the past few years. the idea is that we can only have some sort of massive comprehensive bill that few people will read and that enforcement will come later. but trump flipped the script on
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that. his proposal basically is we are going to put all the enforcement measures in place first, get ahold of our immigration system, then deal with those who are here after all of that. i think that does get us closer to an actual fix on the illegal immigration problem. >> okay. frank, i would like you to weigh in here. i know you have a very different view on the actual policy. let me hear from you what you think of the policy proposals themselves. >> sure. this is one of the most hard line proposals we have ever seen from a nominee in modern political history. all the steps add up to a mass deportation strategy that would drive millions of undocumented immigrants, most of whom have lived in the country for more than ten years, out of the country either through government deportation or to be picked up by agents or local police and detained and deported or they would be forced out
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because life is so miserable they couldn't work, they couldn't survive. this was a real far right hard line proposal aimed at driving 11 million people out of the country. >> do you think we at least now, obviously we are going to get into the politics in a second, but we at least have clarity, at least we know what's in his mind and where he comes down on immigration once and for all? you think that was achieved yesterday? >> i don't think he could have been clearer. over the last ten days or so he had been raising a lot of questions and making his policy hazy and his rhetoric softer. now we know this is the donald trump we knew in the primaries. this is the revert to form. all the things he campaigned on that worked so well with republican voters. deportation's on the table for everybody. he will prioritize the criminals. legal status and citizenship are completely off the table. he's going to do an entry/exit tracking system and he's going to be e-verify to make it very hard for people who are here to stick around and find jobs. this is the donald trump of anti-immigration vision that took hold in the republican primary not only with donald trump but with the runner-up ted
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cruz. this is something the party has to deal with. a lot of republican strategists are extremely nervous to the point of terrified about what this means for the future of their party. yes, we have clarity. i think our guests will agree one candidate on the democratic side is running on the most pro-immigration platform we have seen in modern times. this is a very stark choice. >>-frank, let me ask you this question. last night, when he first gave the speech there was cosome confusion about whether or not he had moderated at all. in terms of substance because of the fact he did not call for the immediate mass deportation of 11 million undocumented workers in the united states, did trump soften at all from his posture in the nomination fight or is this just as hard as ever or maybe even harder? >> in terms of policy, he didn't soften at all. i think he got a few sound bites from kellyanne conway about
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let's not call it mass deportation. let's just say we will enforce the law aggressively. let's not call it a deportation force. let's say we will triple the number of i.c.e. agents. so i do think that it was an attempt to try to sound a bit more reasonable but quite frankly, i expected that it would have more rhetorical flourishes. i never expected he would pivot away from his hard line policy. but i think it ended up being much more of a steve bannon speech than kellyanne conway speech. >> jon, same question. is it your view that trump is now, is this a tougher set of proposals that he offered during the nomination fight, or basically about the same or in some ways, would you see any sign that he's moderated at all? >> in many ways, it's a clarification of what has been on his website for months now. what he did make clear last night is that the interests of the american worker are going to come first.
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right now here in washington, the people driving the debate on immigration are primarily cheap labor lobbyists who want more immigration at all costs. by the way, i wouldn't call this anti-immigration as i heard a moment ago. this is anti-illegal immigration. we have a country, people who are very generous. we have the most permanent residency of any other country by a long shot. at the same time, doesn't mean we have to tolerate illegal immigration. on the other hand, i do say, i would agree with you that it is a stark choice because i don't know where hillary clinton stands on any of these issues. does she think the border in its current state is fine? i don't know. does she think e-verify should be mandated like trump proposed? i don't know. under her plans i guess we would have mass legalization the first 100 days, then more illegal immigration. that's not fixing the problem. >> can i just add -- this is about illegal, this was not an anti-immigration, you mentioned it was just about illegal
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immigration. sure, there are illegal immigration components in there but this is absolutely about legal immigration, too. the blueprint on the website you just referred to calls for a big crackdown on h1-b visas, raises the standard to the green card standard which is absolutely a matter of restricting legal immigration, too. this is an attack on immigration from all angles, not just illegal immigration. >> i will agree with you one of the main points that we have -- welcome a greater conversation of is the legal immigration angle. the main thrust in d.c. isn't so much on amnesty. all these comprehensive bills had massive increases in legal immigration. there was a gallop poll that just came out last week, nobody, not liberals, not conservatives, not hispanics, only 15% of mexican immigrants born in mexico want increases in immigration. i think people are starting to realize that there are a lot of people unemployed at all skill levels and the idea of just dramatically increasing legal immigration because some lobbyist demanded it is not
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going to fly. >> frank, i know you are probably about to come out of your chair so i will give you the last word and let you respond. >> look, hillary clinton is in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. the poll came out just the other day, a fox news poll came out and said 77% of the american people think the 11 million undocumented immigrants should be given a chance to get legal rather than round up as many as we can. only 19% say let's get rid of the undocumented population. so donald trump is speaking to that 19% but he's not speaking to the broad majority of americans who say can't we figure out how to be a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws? can't we figure out how to have legal channels and enforcement that works so we can actually make sure that people here assimilate but at the same time make sure people who come in the future legally? there's broad support for that. unfortunately, the far right in the republican party is the tail wagging the dog right now. >> if it were popular it would have happened under president bush. if it were popular, the bill would have passed under
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president obama. it doesn't because the american people are saying no. >> guest host prerogative here. i'm going to get the last word on all of you guys because fox news has a poll out that says 77% of registered voters are in favor of setting up a system to legalize immigrants who are here in the united states legally. presidents of both parties tried comprehensive immigration reform, as you said. they have fallen short but the popular support is behind setting up some system for dealing with people who are already here. all right. thank you all for being with us. i'm sure this debate will continue for many more days. when we come back, we check in with our friends on the campaign trail. this car is traveling over 200 miles per hour. to win, every millisecond matters. both on the track and thousands of miles away. with the help of at&t, red bull racing can share critical information about every
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even well fitting dentures let in food particles. just a few dabs of super poligrip free is clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident whilyou eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. try super poligrip free. our next guest tonight is one of our favorites. "the washington post" political correspondent anne gearan who covers hillary clinton. great to see you. we have been talking a lot about donald trump today. it is now time to talk about hillary clinton. i have noticed it seemed to me ever since the events yesterday in mexico city that the clinton campaign seems to be taunting donald trump. have you noticed that? what is that all about? >> yeah. well, i think it is not by coincidence. for sure, they are taunting him, they are kind of trying to poke a little fun certainly at what
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they see as a debacle for him going to mexico to begin with and then having two different messages in the same day. but what i thought was most interesting was john podesta issuing not one, but two quite troll-like taunts yesterday to trump that used kind of wall street negotiator language to say that trump was a poor negotiator, that he didn't close the deal in the room. he got beat in the room. doesn't that sound like wolf of wall street or something? >> well, i would say they called him a choker which is like one of trump's most favorite -- one of trump's favorite adjectives. he always called people a choker or choke artist. they called him that. i think they trying to get in his head there. >> yeah, get under his skin a
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little bit. the clinton campaign has long seen as their best weapon against trump, trump himself and his thin skin or what they see as his thin skin. lot of people think hillary clinton has a thin skin, too, but so far in this campaign, the clinton campaign and she herself have done a better job of getting under his skin than he has getting under hers. >> anne, they had vice president biden out today and he was certainly in his element on the trail. do they view him as sort of a secret weapon in some of the states where she's surprisingly close to trump, states like iowa, wisconsin? do you hear their plans to use biden in places where she could use some shoring up among those kinds of voters that he speaks directly to? >> yeah. i think biden is a not so secret weapon, really. his chief utility will be
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two-fold, going straight at trump and in very strong language, he's more comfortable even than obama or clinton sometimes at letting the other side have it. and also talking to white working class traditional democrats, many of whom have been disaffected and for whom trump holds some appeal. that so far has been the main way they have tried to use biden and i expect they will continue to do so. >> his story today about sitting around the table and having to break it down that we don't have enough money to buy the new tires we need, i can't think of anybody else on the democratic bench or for that matter, in the democratic convention all-star lineup that could deliver that message with the kind of credibility that joe biden can. he seems to be sort of in a league of his own, if you will, as a surrogate who can speak to the kind of voters that hillary clinton is the weakest with. >> yeah. the sort of i'm with you, i'm
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trying to help rebuild the middle class, give everybody a path into the middle class and sort of renew the promises of what the middle class meant, that's a foundational argument for hillary clinton's campaign and it's one she tries to apply her own family experience to. but as you just pointed out, there's a greater sense of authenticity and personal stake, personal experience when you hear it come from joe biden. >> anne gearan, one of our favorites, always happy to have ou the show. see you next time. we'll be right back. rfect. no tickets, no accidents... that is until one of you clips a food truck ruining your perfect record. yeah. now you would think your insurance company would cut you some slack, right? no, your insurance rates go through the roof. your perfect record doesn't get you anything. anything.
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a little earlier this summer i had a chance to sit down with katherine osmond for a wide-ranging discussion about two topics that people typically avoid, religion and politics.
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i started out by asking about exactly what compelled her to write the book. >> i started this book when my son asked what are we. i had been raised presbyterian. my husband had been raised jewish. we both left our faiths. i had no answer. so i said we're nothing. i immediately regretted saying that. i felt terrible. i spent the past three years -- >> not great for the self-esteem. >> i spent three years going around the country interviewing people about what they are doing to fill the vacuum that's often left when they leave their religious traditions behind. >> so what are they doing? >> they are doing all kinds of things. they are seeking community and seeking ritual and seeking ways to get out and do good works in their wider, you know, neighborhoods, and they are basically creating a diy experience to replace religion because they got tired of the institutions.
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tin the institutions were no longer serving them. so they are taking back into their own control the things they missed about it. >> one of the most interesting things in our politics that so much of what we talk about in the public sphere is framed around the assumption that people are godly one way or the other and that there's not really a discussion, the one thing no presidential candidate if you think about all the possible taboos, presidential candidate who said i'm an atheist would essentially be politically dead. given that is true, that that continues to be the case, it is the case it's a growing phenomenon. we have more people without faith than there used to be. do you have a sense of why that is? what's driving the growth of this phenomenon? >> definitely. for decades, as long as people studied this religious affiliation, the number of americans who said they were nothing was 7%. starting in the 1990s it started to go up. it's now nearly 25%. one of the primary theories about that is the counterculture of the '60s created a boomerang
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effect, the moral majority which hardened into the religious right. once that happened, politics started coming into religion and it infected it in such a way that people say if christianity is about gay rights and if it's about a woman's right to choose, that's not me, i'm out of here. i'm going to do something on my own because i can't identify with that. >> you think in some ways the fact that politics has become, has coopted religion to some extent and vice versa, is part of the reason that people, there's a drift away from organized religion towards the status of being not affiliated, if not non-believers, unaffiliated with organized religion and organized churches? >> exactly. most of the disaffiliated still believe in god. what they're leaving is not god. they are leaving the institution. i met a woman in oakland, california in her 60s, and she was raised catholic and treasured those memories of being in the catholic church with her family. she said once the priest started talking about these issues,
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these social issues instead of charity, good works, how we can help others, she felt lost and disillusioned and left. >> recently we saw donald trump attack hillary clinton, saying she has no religion, we have no idea, anything about her, kind of making like a negative attack on her for not having any clear religious affiliation. of course, she has been a methodist all her life. there's no mystery about that whatsoever. what do the unaffiliated when they hear these kind of attacks, how do they react? >> the religiously unaffiliated would prefer not to know about hillary clinton's religion. they do primarily vote democratic. >> yes. interestingly, i went back and we talked to our pollster before we sat down for this interview. she pointed out in the last bloomberg national poll, 18% of all likely 2016 voters were the unaffiliated or no religious affiliation or religion. among them, 64% in this last poll were in favor of clinton or
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lean toward her and 20% were for trump or leaning towards trump. which is interesting because again, if you take your thesis, it's clear that the place where religion and politics most intersect is on the right rather than the left so it kind of makes sense that would be the case. >> exactly. i would say this election is one in which religion is not as relevant. when you have donald trump trying to align with the evangelicals, most of us know they are not connecting over matters of faith. they are connect over the sense of nationalism, other things that they connect on and agree on. bernie sanders, the first major presidential candidate who is not very religious, the way he describes himself, he sounds like a secular humanist to me. then hillary clinton is really the one who is the most religious and she doesn't wear that on her sleeve. i think in this particular election, religion is not as important. >> so if you were going, if you were asked to advise a
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presidential candidate, democrat or republican, how to talk about faith in the context of the phenomenon you wrote about in the book, how would you advise them, don't talk about it at all or in a particular way that would allow them to appeal to both people who are affiliated and unaffiliated? >> you know, president obama did something really interesting in his first state of the union address. he was the first president to welcome non-believers when he says we welcome jews and catholics and people who have faith and people of no faith. to bring the unaffiliated to the table and to acknowledge their growing presence is really important. i think people increasingly want to know that they are being heard and respected and just because they are not in the church or synagogue or mosque doesn't mean their vote doesn't matter. >> earlier i asserted something which i believe to be true in our current society which is it would be very hard to run for president or in a lot of cases, certain parts of the country, largely speaking, to be unaffiliated or to be actively
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atheist would be politically, huge political liability. do you think that will be the case 20 years from now, if you think about the trends you are observing with the unaffiliated? do you think that is a taboo that eventually gradually will start to go away? >> it's happening so quickly, the changes. when i started this book 20% of people were unaffiliated in just three years, that's almost 25%. it's just happening so fast and these groups are becoming more vocal and becoming more accepted and people sort of like with the gay community, people are starting to say oh, hey, i have a friend who's an atheist and they are not so bad. >> speaking as one, we are not that bad. you are great. thank you for doing this. >> thanks for having me. >> the book is called "grace without god, the search for meaning, purpose and belonging in a secular age." we'll be right back. it's scary when the lights go out. people get anxious and my office gets flooded with calls.
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politics.com right now for a look at florida's fight against zika. til tomorrow, sayonara. >> don't say sayonara yet. >> no? did i screw up? >> you got to let me say thank you for guest hosting the show for the last couple days. great to have you. now we say -- sayonara. "hardball with chris matthews" is next. meet the new trump, same as the old trump. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm ari melber. after talk of potentially softening on immigration, donald trump last night as well as today doubling down on the hard line approach that helped him win the republican primaries, particularly when it comes to his trademark proposal. here's trump at a rally today.

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