tv Meet the Press MSNBC September 25, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
this sunday, it's game one. one day away from perhaps the most watched debate in american history. >> i'm going to be very respectful of her. >> you have to be prepared for wacky stuff that comes at you. >> will this be the moment that determines who become the next president? donald trump adviser general mike flynn and the hillary clinton chairman john podesta both join me live. plus debate prep school. one moment can change everything. >> i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> how the presidential candidates plan to knock their opponents off stride. i will talk to two former campaign managers who have been inside the war room before. also, how does a man who says this about donald trump -- >> this man is a pathological liar.
he's a bully. a narcissist at a level this country has never seen. >> what's behind his change of heart? >> two police shootings this week. >> don't shoot him. he has no weapon. >> peaceful protests are growing around the country as we grapple with the question, what can be done to keep this from happening? joining me for insight and analysis are doris kearns good win, host on the salem radio network hugh hewitt, glenn isle co-anchor of the pbs "newshour" and republican strategist mike murphy. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press" request chuck todd. good sunday morning. it's an nfl sunday. really, this feels like a pregame show. the big game is tomorrow night at hoff straust university on new york's long island. with a super bowl size audience expected. usually the first debate is the
most important campaign moment until the next debate. probably not this time. hillary clinton comes in with nervous democrats feeling a little bit better about things. four national polls showed clinton up in a four-way race. three of the polls she's up by six points. in today's washington post/abc poll she's up by two. some battleground state polls show donald trump better and having a legitimate path to 270. trump has never been more competitive than he is now. there's a sense if clinton doesn't knock him out tomorrow, she may never be able to before november. both sides are engaging in psychological gamesmanship. the clinton campaign has placed mark cuban, a huge trump critic, up front in the audience as a way to rattle trump. in response, as hard as this is to believe, trump has invited gennifer flowers to sit in the front row, not making this up, that gennifer flowers who, of course had an extramarital affair with bill clinton sometime in the '80s.
gamesmanship aside, one thing we know for sure, the two the candidates are taking very different approaches getting ready for tomorrow night's big debate. >> while trump huddles at trump tower, clinton is hunkering down in and around her chappaqua hope, both preparing for the host important presidential debate in decades. >> you are going to hear donald trump doing a lot of trash talking. >> clinton is trying to steer the conversation to temperament. >> she's a slob. she ate like a pig. >> on stage, clinton will try to get under trump's skin. >> excuse me. i have given my answer, lying ted. >> the challenge for clinton, predicting which trump will show up. >> people ask me that question, are you going to go out there and do this and that? i don't know that. >> will trump lose his cool, be impatient, be too subdued or be crass. >> he referred to my hands. if they're small, something else must be small. i guarantee you, there's no problem. i guarantee. >> or will trump be able to rise
above the temperament questions and throw clinton off her game? >> he needs to worry about first of all, not taking the bait from the her and following her attacks. second of all, trump needs to make sure he is ready to talk about policy in a way that matches her. >> trump is watching videos to spot clinton's vulnerability. but doing no formal mock debates. >> mr. trump, how is debate prep going right now? >> i'm here. >> his campaign trying to turn his restlessness with preparation into an asset. >> i don't think he is locked up in a cabin for two weeks like other people have been or currently are. cramming their heads with microchips and binders. >> trump can't afford to stumble on substance and he has to avoid looking like a bully. as for clinton, she's not afraid of going negative. >> your profusion of comments about your feelings toward president obama are a little strange given what you said about him in 2011. >> and she's had her best
performances when opponents came off as snarky. >> i don't think i'm that bad. >> you are likeable enough. >> thank you so much. >> or rude. >> we will shake on this. >> i want your signature. >> the challenge for clinton, she can sometimes become defensive, particularly on questions of character. >> i communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system. >> she can get tangled up with her lawyerly explanations. >> for hillary clinton, sometimes for that -- that wall seems like it's 25 feet wide for people. the more she lets people through the doors, the better off she's going to be. >> as both candidates prepare for the most consequential day of this campaign. >> while you can't win an election in a debate, you can certainly lose one. >> joining me is the chairman of the clinton campaign, john podesta. welcome back to "meet the press"."
>> good to be with you. >> hillary clinton has prepped for 38 debates since she ran for office in 2000. how is the preparation for this one different? >> look, she takes the debate preparation very seriously. she respects the american public. she wants to tell them what she wants to do for them. i think for her, it's really about laying down the policies that she thinks will improve the economy. make it an economy working for everyone and not just for people at the top. she has a challenge, because donald trump says things that aren't true. he comes in and politifact rated him liar of the year last year. just this week, "the new york times" did a graph ache of the 12 whoppers of the week. she's got to be able to both make that positive case but also not let donald trump get away with what he is likely to do, which is to make stuff up. >> it's clear that temperament, you believe, is his achilles heel. i want to play for you ads a
montage of ads that you guys are running. 14 ads you have unveiled, 13 of them have to do with trump's temperament. here's a little sample. >> donald trump doesn't see people like me. he just sees disability. >> how would you answer that? what sacrifice have you made? >> i think i've made a lot of sacrifices. built great structures. i have had tremendous success. >> he's a race bait agxenophobic religious bigot. >> all it takes is one wrong move. >> i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> just one. sflooug john podesta, what if the donald trump you're portraying into these tv ads is not the donald trump that shows up on stage monday night? >> there's only one donald trump. i think he has run the race in a way that those ads i think fairly show. but i think again, you showed an ad about disability. what hillary wants to do is what she did this week, tell that positive case about how we build an inclusive economy, make
space for everyone. donald trump will have to think about what he said in the past. his disparagement of that reporter that you saw in the screen with disabilities. going to have to think about the naups he's called to gold star families, to mexicans, to muslims. you know, he may try to -- he is a good television performer. he may try to adjust for that in the debate. the reality is, he has run his whole campaign that way. >> is your goal of this debate is to get under his skin? is that why you gave mark cuban a ticket in the front row? >> no. i think mark cuban is one of the business leaders who was never involved in partisan politician who has endorsed hillary because he thinks she'll do better for the economy. i think that you know, you saw his reaction which is to do his favorite sport, which is to dive in the sewer and go for a swim. but i think that we're looking forward to him. he has been a very strong surrogate for her from the time
he went to his hometown of pittsburgh and gave her a full throated endorsement that she would be best for the economy. >> you referred to diving into the sewer. you believe that inviting gennifer flowers is diving into the sewer? >> you know, i will leave it to mr. trump to decide what he will do. but i think that -- what he will do tomorrow night. but i think that he is kind of predictable. when you poke him a little bit, he comes back and attacks whoever is doing it. that's why he got in so much trouble when he attacked the gold star family, the khan family right after our convention. that's what he does. that's who he is. that's why he's dangerous and unpredictable. >> one of the things that hillary clinton has to do is restore this issue of trust with the voters. i want to play a debate clip from earlier this week. it was a congressional debate that featured charlie crist, the former republican governor, turned democrat now in florida.
he was asked about supporting hillary clinton. here is his answer and the reaction to his answer. >> the thing i like most about her is i believe she's steady. i believe ta she is strong. i believe that she is honest. and i look forward to voting for her. it was when he said the word "honest," the crowd groend. you hear laughter. this issue of honest and trustworthiness, how much progress can she make monday night on restoring some trust and how does she do it? >> look, i think she has to talk directly to the american people about what she wants to do. i think when you think about what's honest about her, it's that from the day she got -- left law school, she has been a champion for women, for children, for families. she's done it all her life. she's gotten real results for people. in contrast, donald trump's been all about himself. but she's got to tell people what she wants to does for them. i think she can look directly at
them and talk about a future that is going to be brighter, more optimistic and improving their lives. >> very quickly, today's "new york times" has an extensive report on the ties of hillary clinton to goldman sachs. it talks about various ways they have been very close, whether it's the paid speeches, whether it was supporting a fal lan floppic operation that goldman sachs did while she was at the state department. does this undermine secretary clinton's credibility that she can be tough on wall street, that she has so many close ties to one of wall street's biggest brands? >> no, i thought that story was -- again, it was kinds of false equivalency. what it said was she supported a philanthropic program that gave 10,000 women prush entrepreneurs around the world a chance to get started. what she has done is put forward what everyone agreed, including "the new york times" itself, that is the most comprehensive program to regulate wall street. in contrast, donald trump wants
to wipe away dodd-frank, everything that has been done to make sure that wall street doesn't wreck main street again. what she wants to do is make sure that there is no institution too big to fail and no individual too big to jail. i think she has pursued a very aggressive path on wall street. >> john podesta, campaign chair of the clinton campaign, thanks for your time this morning. >> thanks. joining me now is retired general michael flynn, former director of the defense intelligence agency and a top adviser to donald trump. he has been in the room for some debate prep sessions. general flynn, welcome back to the show, sir. >> thanks for having me. >> let me start with this -- the public perception is that donald trump isn't doing the same type of preparation for this debate that hillary clinton is. kellyanne conway, the campaign manager, said he's not been
locked up in a cabin for two weeks. his son has suggested he doesn't need to be rehearsing flash cards. are you concerned though that the preparation is enough? >> so a couple things. the very last thing that john podesta just said is no individual too big to jail. that should include people like hillary clinton. five people around her have had -- have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. when you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime. i don't know how he can sit there and say something like that with all the things that have been going around just swirling around hillary clinton with her e-mails. in terms of preparation, to answer your question, donald trump has been preparing. you know, it's like where is hillary clinton this week? donald trump has been in pennsylvania. he has been in florida. he has been in ohio. i was with him last night in virginia. he is out speaking to the american public, large groups, small groups. that's how he is bringing his message to the american public. that's why you are seeing the
huge shift in the polls, this huge momentum shift. one of the things i think that you ought to do is not only talk about where the polls are today but where they were a week ago or two weeks ago. huge, huge shifts. the way we feel, the way i feel is that there's a huge shift in momentum. the american public are starting to wake up. >> you are confident that he is going to be able to pass the commander in chief test? as you know, so many of your colleagues in the national security world, whether it's been former pentagon staffers, former bush administration appointees, former foreign service, let after letter just hundreds of former national security professionals who say they cannot endorse donald trump. how does he convince a public that he is up to the job when so many folks who have worked closely with you, closely with others, believe he is unfit for the job? >> there are hundreds -- there are hundreds of people that have said just the opposite thing about donald trump's ability to be commander in chief, ability
to be the president of the united states and kind of move this country forward in the right direction. a lot of those names on those lists -- i look very closely at these things. and some of the things that they say. they offer no solutions. these are people that represent the past. they represent so many of the failed policies and really the stupid decisions that were made that have kept us in this perpetual conflict that we are in in the middle east and places like afghanistan. god, we have to cherish our military and our veterans. but i'm going to tell you the decisions that put us there, many of those people that are on those lists are the ones that actually put us there. >> i have to ask you. you're a general. does he know more than you? he said he knew more than the generals when it comes to isis. >> let me tell you, i have been advising donald trump for over a year now. he is a great listener. one of the things he has -- what we have in this country is we have a deficit of leadership. donald trump brings a strategic
leadership -- a sense of who we are as america and how do we make america first. how do we bring america forward? how do we improve our economy, hugh do we improve our military. there's so many things that we have to get fixed in our country right now. just look at what's going on in the current situation. >> general, i want to follow up and stay on the debate here. in response to the invitation that hillary clinton made to mark cuban, donald trump tweeted yesterday that he has invite the gennifer flowerss to attend the debate. she has accepted is the invitation. what can you tell about that invite? should we expect to see her monday night in the front row there? >> here's what i'll tell you about the debate. >> it will probably be the most watched show in the history of tv. donald trump has been out speaking to the american public and they have been listening and they have been hearing. you said it up front when you talked about the shift in the polls. the momentum is on donald trump's side. thank god for that. we need a new direction in this country. >> what about this -- can you
confirm this gennifer flowers talk? that's what the question was. has she been invited to do this? do you feel it's appropriate? >> i would just go with what you have seen. we will wait to see what happens tomorrow night. >> do you think it's appropriate? >> i'm sorry? >> do you think it's appropriate to invite gennifer flowers to the debate? >> was it appropriate to invite mark cuban? i just heard what john podesta said about mark cuban. i mean, he's not a legitimate person. why is he invited? again, i would leave this tit for tat. this is about the big issues that this country is worried about. i'm worried about, that's the reason why i'm sitting here this morning with you. our country needs to go in a completely different direction. it is failing right now in many ways in many places. we're struggling. the difference between the bubble of washington, d.c. and the rest of america is such a vast -- there's such a gap right
now, chuck. people in this country want to see big leadership. that's what donald trump provides. >> we will be watching tomorrow night. general flynn, thanks for coming on. appreciate you sharing your views. >> thanks a lot. later in the broadcast, we will go inside the debate prep war rooms. >> i'll talk to two campaign manager who have prepped candidates on how to get under the other candidates' skin. but when we come back -- >> this man is a pathological liar, a narcissist at a level i don't think this country has ever seen. >> what's really behind ted cruz's decision to endorse donald trump after all? to get you all psyched up for tomorrow night's debate, we will show you highlights from donald trump and hillary clinton. debate moments they have participated in, beginning withing this scene from one of clinton's 2008 debates with then senator barack obama. >> what can you say to the voters of new hampshire on this stage tonight who see a resume and like it but are hesitating on the likability issue where they seem to like barack obama? >> well, that hurts my feelings.
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host on the say salem radio network. there's one topic -- i want to spend a couple minutes on the ted cruz news. as you know, this is what ted cruz said about -- said about donald trump, fiery donald trump about three days before he dropped out. here's a montage of it. >> donald, are you i sniffling quourd. leave heidi alone. this man is a pathological liar. a bully. a narcissist at a level i don't think this country has ever seen. >> mike murphy, he is now an endorser of ted cruz. >> i think the editors of believe and absolutely nothing magazine have a new cover. he made the big move of the convention some people thought it was almost to the point of rudeness. but he clearly distanced from trump. he claimed conservative principles. i think there's a case to be made there. and now threatened with a primary in texas, a 180. it looks very cynical.
>> how does he -- can he recover from this? is he a portrait, hugh, of transactional politician? because his chief super pac donors became trump's super pac dorners. the mercer family. kellyanne conway worked with the mercer family wen ted cruz. now she is with trump. you have a congressman thinking about challenging, rick perry. this feels like it was a move of political force. >> i have to disagree. i talked to the senator monday. i talked to his people yesterday. i disagree he is in trouble in texas. i think he got what he needed from trump. and the big change, what wasn't a race is now a race. in august, when you oppose donald trump at the convention, no one thinks he is within ten points of secretary clinton. now the supreme court is genuinely in the balance. if you look at the list that mr. trump released to add to the names, you will see a very interesting name, margaret ryan. of the court of appeals for military armed services. she is a luddig clerk and a thomas clerk and a marine corps
command dant aide. she's a terrific judge as were the other ones. ted cruz is playing with the supreme court. i admire him for it. >> it wasn't enough for him six weeks ago and it is now? >> the problem is, beware of ambition. teddy roosevelt did almost the same thing. in 1884. james blaine, and the continental liar from the state of maine was the candidate and many good republicans decided we can't go with him. they turned democrat. he promised to do it and then at the last minute, he said i've got to go with my party. he later said i betrayed myself. il never do it again. he betrayed the never trump people. they were with him. they were with his principals. i wonder how he will feel about himself. >> i have to put -- there's a meme going around. ted cruz's favorite movie is "princess bride." he can quote from it. look here. i won't do the accent. my name is rafael eduardo cruz. >> you know, i understand the supreme court thing. if that were true -- i
understand the set of principles that he laid out. except they were not long ago. it wasn't that donald trump is more likely to be president than he was when he was more likely to be nominee. ted cruz is playing a game for ted cruz which obviously -- maybe there's a "dancing with the stars" slot. we hess rick perry. maybe it's time for ted cruz, texas poltations on dancing. this wasn't even a dance. this was a capitulation. i guess we will see clearly why. but i don't know it changes votes. >> you are a never trumper. you are in that world. did you feel betrayed? >> no. i have always thought cruz is a cynic. but i think politically, this is worse for him than it would be for a normal politician because cruz has always presented himself as the one guy who is uncompromised by the ways of washington, the one man against the machine, the creature of principle. now, he seems like just another politician. that's kryptonite for him. i agree the best argument is the supreme court. but where i as a conservative fall part on the supreme court
with trump is it requires trusting trump with the supreme court. that's the bridge i can't cross. >> to do it before the debate. i have to say, hugh, that's -- what if everything that cruz said about trump in may comes true tomorrow night? >> i just have to disagree with everyone. the difference is that trump was not viable in july. he is not only viable, he is ahead now. >> you are making the political argument? you are saying ted cruz -- >> i can now save the supreme court. because a justice appointed by secretary clinton will change the court in ways profound that will last for 40 years. ted cruz is a constitutional scholar. he's a luddig clerk. he is a genuine originalist. he knows that that list and the original list are good lifts. >> do you agree that this is not about whether the supreme court so much as to whether ted cruz can survive? we're sitting here talking about him sunday morning. that wasn't going to happen. >> he will win a primary in texas easily. i would bet everything. i will defer to mike on that. i think he would crush mike mccaul if mike mccaul runs against him. >> just being back in the air again. if you are a politician and you haven't been listened to for a
while howe how fun to be back on the air. it's almost -- >> okay. i don't know. >> watch that primary. i'm not sure. there's the potential for a great primary. we'll see. >> i'm going to pause the conversation here. we have more to go both on debate and the other big story of the week. later we will talk about the police shooting in north carolina. >> don't shoot him. he has no weapon. he has no weapon. >> plus, the shooting in tulsa, oklahoma, and the question everyone is asking, what can we do to stop this from happening? did you competent kaye but when we come back, what really goes on inside the war room. what goes on in the debate prep sessions? will talk to two insiders who have been in the sessions and have prepped presidential candidates. and as we go to break, here is a memorable donald trump debate moment from earlier this primary season. >> let's see. i'm at 42. you are at 3. so far i'm doing better. >> doesn't matter. >> so far i'm doing better. you started off over here, you are moving over further and further. pretty soon you're going to be
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someone we haven't heard from. female teacher: anyone else? through internet essentials, comcast has connected more than 3 million people in need to low-cost, high speed internet at home, helping to make sure that every hand in the classroom goes up. male teacher: okay, veronica. amphibian. male teacher: excellent. welcome to a brighter future. comcast. welcome back. everyone has been speculating about whether donald trump can be "presidential tomorrow," or whether hillary clinton can be more likable and avoid being too lawyerly. joining me now are two people who have been in those debate war rooms before and have faced what donald rumsfeld might have called the known knowns, the
known-unknowns and the unknown-unknowns. steve schmidt was a major player in president bush's election in 2004 and a senior advisor for john mccain in 2008. stephanie was the deputy campaign manager for president obama's re-election in 2012 and was part of the debate preparation process for john kerry in 2004. welcome to you both. stephanie, let me start with you and the idea of gamesmanship. which is the clinton campaign deciding to put mark cuban in the front row. obviously, the donald trump campaign may or may not be following through with trump's pledge to bring gennifer flowers. there's some question here. my guess is, others are trying to talk him out of it. but you guys did this in in '04. give us an example of gamesmanship that you did. >> i seem to recall that we had some 9/11 widows in the audience in 2004, just to make the point that we had a lot of work to do to get back on track in afghanistan and iraq took us off course. iraq took us off course because
of bush not telling the truth about weapons of mass destruction. what clinton and trump are doing are trying to throw each other off their game. the difference is, hillary clinton is doing it with a legitimate businessman, also a celebrity. as john podesta put it earlier on your show, trump is just jumping right down in the sewer and swimming by inviting gennifer flowers. i think part of what you want do in putting somebody in the audience is reinforce a positive about your campaign or make a legitimate point about your opponents. what he is doing is not going to help him. >> it would have made more sense had trump responded with bringing a grieving mother of one of the benghazi family members. that seems to be would have been the counter that would have made policy sense. >> well, you just saw the effectiveness of the tactic. it was clearly designed to provoke donald trump and it provoked donald trump and it
provoked donald trump into going down the gennifer flowers rabbit hole as opposed to doing what you're suggesting, chuck. tomorrow, one of the big tests that donald trump has on this debate stage, can he comport himself like an american president should comport himself? is he going to be able to be seen by the american people as a plausible commander in chief, somebody who could address the nation in a crisis? i think she's going to try to push his buttons all through this debate and get a volcanic eruption like you saw throughout the primary debates. >> i want to talk about the importance of mock debates. steve schmidt, i'll start with you. you used rob portman in 2008 as -- for john mccain to stand in there for president obama. how important did you find the mock debate for john mccain? i think if i remember, there was some concern that president bush didn't do enough preparation before the first debate in '04. >> look, i think that if you look at incumbent presidents
of the united states, you saw this with president bush in a poor debate performances in 2004. you saw it in president obama with a poor debate performance in 2012. it's hard to tell the incumbent president, time to practice. they pay for it when they don't. rob portman was spectacular in these debate preps. it was a real live fire scenario for the candidates. he was exquisitely prepared. he was tough. and he gave a very accurate and precise preview what was coming at john mccain. there's no question that john mccain's performances were better because of the preparation he went through with rob portman. >> stephanie, i know you used john kerry as the stand-in for mitt romney. i guess we now know it's felipe ryans. many reporters know a long-time sort of personal spokesperson for hillary clinton. he is playing donald trump. it's interesting that i guess the idea was to find somebody that could be snarky enough and feel comfortable going after hillary clinton in a small room. >> well, that's certainly
felipe. he will know how to push her buttons. i think it was a brilliant choice. what you want to do in these prep sessions is role play every potential scenario so that you have a good understanding of how your candidate is going to react. whether they can keep their cool when they have the right judgement to go on attack or they are keeping in mind their larger vision that they need to communicate to the american people. i think felipe testing secretary clinton's limits is very important. because we don't know -- no one has ever debated somebody like donald trump on a presidential debate stage. we don't know exactly who is showing up. >> final question for both of you. part of the debate prep process isn't just prepping the candidate but it's also you have to prep for the post spin game. every cycle it gets faster and faster. the way the debate gets perceived suddenly goes faster and faster. stephanie cutter, what did you
learn right and wrong from 2012 about the necessity of being prepared for that? >> well, we were prepared but we were prepared as if we were in a 2008 campaign instead of 2012. what we hadn't realized is what a powerful tool twitter was going to be in defining the narrative of that. we could see the narrative being set in the first 15 minutes of that debate. now, who knows what's going to happen this year in 2016. >> because every year, it's a different format, it's a different technology. but you have to understand how people communicate and how quickly narratives can get set. by the time you get in the spin room, it's done. >> steve smifd, what's harder these days, preparing for the debate or preparing for the post debate fallout? >> when you go into the spin rooms after, i think they're a quaint tradition of days past. the verdict of what happened in this debate will be rendered by the middle of the debate. certainly, by the end, by social media. the ability of the campaign teams to come out to be able to tell the american people, here is what really happened when 80
million-plus people just saw it, just those days are gone. what the campaigns need to do here is to communicate clearly, what's their objective? what are they trying to accomplish? managing expectations on the front side of it is much more important. >> steve, stephanie, all right, we're beginning the longest pregame i guess you could have for a debate and we're doing it the day before anyway. thank you both. we'll be back in a moment with one group donald trump needs help with. it's not the voting groups you might think. >> i'm not asking you to admire it. i'm asking you to sign it. >> well, i would be happy to, when you give me the signed letters -- >> right here. sign it right now. >> we will shake on this. >> i want your signature. i think everybody wants to see you signing something that you said you were for. you're not taking these. hey, hey, hey! you're not taking those. woah, woah! you're not taking that. come with me. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. mom, i'm taking the subaru.
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win the presidency? hillary clinton has substantial leads among african-americans and hispanics. this is all from our latest msnbc/"wall street journal" poll. so trump needs to run up the score with white voters. let's look at some of the key demographic breakdowns within the white vote. among whites without a college education, trump's biggest strength, he is up 26 points. that's not bad. except romney won that group by a similar margin. in 2012. it may not be enough. here's why. trump's bigger challenge is among college educated white voters. clinton is up eight points among white women who went to college. romney won this group four years ago. here's what's really striking in our new poll. clinton is up one point among college educated white men. this is a group that mitt romney won by a whopping 21 points four years ago. all told, clinton leads him among college educated white voters by five points, a group mitt romney won by 14 points. so overall, trump is only
leading clinton by 11 points among all white voters. this pose a major challenge for donald trump. mitt romney won these white voters by a 20-point margin four years ago. remember, whites are still the biggest part of the electorate. that nine point difference is enormous. this is the problem for trump. he has to do better than mitt romney somewhere to win because romney lost in 2012. it's not going to happen with african-americans. we know it's not going to happen with latinos. if it's not going to happen with young voters, it has to happen some place. the one place it has to happen for him is the white folk. romney won the biggest share of the white vote since 1988 and still lost. clinton has her own struggles. it's hard to see a path to the presidency for trump if he doesn't improve somewhere, particularly amid college educated whites. coming up, some debate moments we remember that i'm sure the candidates would like to forget. >> let's see. i can't. the third one, i can't. sorry. oops. ♪
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all started with colin kaepernick in august with a singular protest when it comes to racial justice, injustice. now athletes from across the nfl have joined him, to the wnba where there have been protests for some time now. they have all joined kaepernick in protesting during the national anthem. look at this on friday night at an smu football game, marching band members knelt while playing the national anthem. a high school football team in oakland laid on their backs with their hands up. by the way, colin kaepernick himself taking a knee beside that team. all against the backdrop of the grand opening of the new smithsonian museum dedicated to african-american history and culture here in washington where president obama referenced the tumult of the last few years. >> men can proudly win the gold for their country but still insys on raising a black gloved fist.
>> how we can wear an "i can't breathe" t-shirt and still grieve for fallen police officers. >> it has been tough. it will probably be part of the debate. wasn't to read something that charles ramsey wrote today. police officers carry a lot of baggage. they have not always been on the right side of justice as we define justice today. in some cases they were enforcing unjust laws. when i went into the chicago police department, it wasn't the most popular thing a young black kid could do. there are consequences to that difficult history that will take time to repair. but this challenging moment is also a tremendous opportunity to make real improvements. i hope none of us squander it. >> i read this had this morning and almost felt like he was throwing up his hands in frustration because it doesn't seem like a solution is in sigh sight. >> it's not despair as this is
dichotomy of this week. we had the president -- if you go inside, they have three athletes in the olympics who raised their fist during the anthem. yesterday, the national anthem was played at the beginning of the ceremony and the black national anthem was played at the end. at the beginning, the emotion of the people in the audience, mostly blacks singing full throatedly reminded me of one of the things that are true in this country which is that we want to, we aspire to, we hope to make it a better union. and yet, we see the clash, the hopefulness of that beautiful museum put up against what we see happen in the streets. the conflict of what happened in tulsa, which was mostly peaceful and how it was handled in charlotte where there was not a peaceful response having to doing with transparency in both cases. >> it is. it does -- i feel like you watch even hillary clinton and donald trump, they had -- i don't want to say uneven reactions. but it was almost like they don't know how to respond anymore because the solution, we all kind of know what it is but it's not happening yet or
doesn't feel like it's happening. >> things are happening. it seems when donald trump said to the african-american communities you are living in the worst times ever, ever, it has never been that bad, that's what the museum shows is not true. the bottom of the museum shows blacks in the slave pens. it shows them under jim crow. it shows them making uplift. we've made enormous progress. even in the police situation, there are best practices in some of the cities. in tulsa, they did a better part because they had a riot in the 1921. they learned from the mistakes. i think we can't have a sense of despair. for many people in the inner city, it doesn't seem like much has changed. but it certainly has compared to where we were 120, 130, 140 years ago. >> this transparency issue, hugh, it's what you can see the charlotte police chief has been grappling with this. on one hand, the investigation but they didn't release the full video. it didn't erase the skepticism. >> it won't be gone for a long time. i think it's unfortunate that we're not spending more time on the first lady embracing the former president yesterday and we aren't spending more time on
transparency as we have to. i think that for many in the country, that's all one event, charlotte, tulsa and the presidential race and the national anthem are one event. for a lot of the country, the national anthem is a different event. a lot of people are feeling suffocated by the cultural left. they don't associate it with race. they associate it with being overwhelmed by change. i think it's the most important column that's been written. >> i saw that picture. >> i want to put it up. >> let me just say, i watched it. she and george w. bush get along really well. you have seen this at other events where they are holding hands and ignoring their spouses. that wasn't a moment of racial reconciliation. that was two people who like each other. >> you know what was? the fact president bush signed this legislation that senator brownback worked on to create the museum. that's the kind of thing we should be celebrating. this is a great moment. >> this is political leaders doing what they are supposed to do. >> we're unused to that.
>> i'm in the position of being a republican who can't support the nominee of my party is he has been in the code language business for a long time. sometimes even pretty explicitly bringing those tensions forward under the guise of what was politically incorrect. it's a politically correct way to say things in our dialogue that maybe don't belong there. so i think this is -- imitation of this sort of thing can do a lot. >> that photo, it struck me. and i've been thinking about this. a president trump, what happens at the unveiling of president obama's photo? what happens -- there are moments where you have to work with ex-presidents. i just -- that's a hard thing -- >> i spent a lot of time trying to imagine different people, not just donald trump, but hillary clinton in that position. i couldn't quite do it. your numbers, the numbers you showed in the data download about who he needs to win over to me explain a lot of what we've seen with donald trump in the last couple of weeks going
to black churches but speaking to white audiences literally in the room but also more broadly. and his people have come to realize the way you get those voters he is not doing as well with as romney did is you show sense of tolerance and that's who he is really speaking to. when people say he is speaking to black voters, that's not who he is speaking to. >> that's clear. let me pause that. we'll be back in 45 seconds and have a little fun here. those unfortunate debate moments that just make you do this. we'll be right back. >> coming up, "meet the press" end game, brought to you by boeing, building the future one century at a time. hard it's go. (engine revs) the things it does to your parade. we've got a saying about rain, too: when it rains... it roars. the all-wheel-drive charger. domestic. not domesticated.
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have said gennifer flowers is not coming to the debate. mike murphy, this seems to be a classic protect trump from trump moment. >> the problem is trump breaks out of the cage. three hours from now, what will he tweet? we'll see what happens. there's not a traditional trump campaign. there are people floating around donald trump. the bottom line of the debate will be he will start out sedated maybe for real. the real trump like the tweet i think will break out. >> doris, do you think that hillary clinton has made this race too much about donald trump? try too hard to make it about donald trump? i sit there and say, what if donald trump is not the caricature? >> the most important thing is to not necessarily deal with trump. unless she has to as a counter attack? >> you would avoid it? >> i think what she needs to do is -- it's interesting to go back to the likability thing. likability shouldn't be what we are voting on. and yet, it matters. it's a reservoir of good feeling. that's why the phrase was i like ike because ike is easy to like. if she can own the e-mail
scandal and talk about how she wishes she could turn the clock back, not simply on the e-mail thing but in the future if she makes mistakes, all presidents will, all possibilities will, i will then own it right away. i will be more transparent. i will be more forthright. if she could do that like she answered that likability thing, it hurts my feelings, show it's affected her emotionally, then i think that's what she's going to be relaxed, she is going to know more than he does. >> her body language shouldn't let him get under her skin. >> by the way, we have you on because you have made both a james blaine reference and have the campaign song and ike. this is why -- >> she sang. and i did the accent. >> that's right. of course, hugh hewitt, it's all -- is this going to be where issues are secondary in this debate? >> oh, i think so. >> they disagree on a lot. >> i don't think issues matter. there are two arc types on the stage. there's the smartest, toughest teacher in the high school, hillary clinton. maybe she spends too much time writing recommendations for the smartest kids.
there's the football coach who wins, wins, wins and steps on people's toes. never the two shall cross in the hallway or like each other. i think -- professor kearns worked for johnson. at the age of 24. i worked for nixon at the age of 24. i think hillary clinton has a nixon problem. i think she is unlikable over a generation for some people. >> good news for her, nixon won twice. by the way, i hear you. >> that's the answer. >> the story of the debate from hillary's point of view is less dealing with trump's antics but that will be very important but can she fix hillary. she is under performing the vote she ought to have. she has to connect to people. she will have the audience in the moment to do it. trump, an important sideshow is the sideshow, it's about her. >> i have not wanted to mention the m word on this broadcast, which is moderator. >> gwenn, you have done it. have you done it here. it's amazing how hard they are working the refs.
some of it has been -- some has been destructive. >> it has been. they worked me when i moderated. you remember this. but here is the thing. people need to understand the difference between general election debates. moderators don't matter that much except the candidates try to get in your head. if you're a pro, lester is a pro, not going to happen. here's the real key. hillary clinton is the only one that has done one-on-one debates. hillary clinton has done it for running for senate. she's been the stage alone with someone else. donald trump when he did his calling people names, there were ten other people on the stage. 15 other people on the stage. it's a different thing. there won't be cheering, the commission doesn't approve of cheering at a general election debate like there are primary debates. i think we may have our popcorn and we may be watching very closely. but i don't think it's going to be the debate people will come to expect. >> speaking of popcorn, and a little bit of candy, here is a little candy for everybody. a little reminder that one reason these debates are so very
big is because they can go so very wrong. watch. >> who am i? why am i here? >> commerce, education and the -- what's the third one there? >> the vice-president doesn't believe in expiration. >> there is no soviet domination of eastern europe and there never will be under a ford administration. >> commerce, education and the -- >> let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that barack obama doesn't know what he is doing. he knows exactly what he is doing. i would add this. lets dispel with this nakz barack obama doesn't know what he's doing. he knows exactly what he's doing. let's dispel -- this notion that barack obama doesn't know what he is doing is just not true. >> there it is. the memorized 25-second speech. there it is, everybody. >> i have had a record of appointing judges in the state of texas. that's what a governor gets to do. >> commerce. and let's see. i can't. the third one, i can't. sorry. >> there's differences.
>> oops. >> very funny. >> look at there. you guys have like lost it. when i got doris kearns goodwin, i was going to go to you and you can't talk. >> i'm finished. >> you are out. >> that's how you end up on "dancing with the stars." >> the sigh thing is a reminder, none of us picked up on the sighs in the room. a lot of people thought gore trounced bush in that debate. it turned out the audience was offended by gore. >> i sat on the stage when sarah palin said, can i call you joe. i never heard her say it. when you're the moderator, you're in your head and you didn't know it. that's what started that whole debate. >> a quick programming note. in case you missed the point, there's a debate tomorrow night. nbc news will provide full coverage beginning at 9:00 eastern. other networks claim they are airing it. i know we are. that i promise you. >> we're airing it on pbs. >> that's all for today. we will be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." back next wee because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
a very good day to you. i'm ari melber coming to you live right here at hofstra university on new york's long island. this is the final countdown. you can see everybody gathering. just 24 hours away from the first face-off between clinton and donald trump. of course, this presidential debate the first one of 2016 and one of the most highly anticipated in american history. the candidates spending it the last few hours getting ready as new polling showing tomorrow night could be do or die for either candidate. some 100 million people may weigh in. making mistakes especially high. kasie hunt has been here at hofstra with the latest on all the preparation. what have