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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 25, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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the night before. let's play "hard ball." good evening. i am chris matthews. coming to you live from the campus of hofstra university in new york. the site of tomorrow night's big showdown between hillary clinton and donald trump. tonight is a mix of --
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[ chanting ] >> tonight is a mix of christmas eve and halloween. the true believers are both excited, as you have seen, at the prospect of victory and uneasy at the specter of the unexpected. the big story of tomorrow night is what the 95% of the party that doesn't tune in to politics every night sees in those 90 minutes of donald trump and hillary clinton. will that 95% see the cartoon of donald trump, the picture he, in concert with his critics have concocted or will they see a lone outsider taking on a country's direction that two-thirds of us are not happy with? will they see something they like? what will the 95% see in hillary clinton? will they see the dead-serious policy wonk concerned with her privacy or the patriotic public servant who has committed her life and career to the country she loves? will they see the confident leader they can trust to do the job? the big question for the candidates is whether to double down on htheir strengths.
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for trump the change agent, for hillary, the safist. for trump to emphasize calm and thoughtful detachment, for hillary to work for charm and transparency. america will be watching and for the first time doing it all together. as we begin tonight, there have been some bizarre occurrences recently in the last few hours. usually a campaign tries to low-ball its candidate's performance. that wasn't the case today with trump's campaign manager kellyanne conway. watch this. >> i can understand why the clinton camp is very nervous because donald trump's got great presence, stature. he is a brilliant debater. newt gingrich put it best recently saying donald trump is the best debater he has ever seen. he is like the babe ruth of debating. shows up and swings and does a great job. >> the babe ruth of debating. that's not underselling your candidate. meanwhile the pre-game taunting has begun. mark cuban tweeted he would be
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in the front row tomorrow night at the invitation of the clinton camp. trump countered by saying he would bring in gennifer flowers to lighten thing up. today kellyanne conway and mike pence both said flowers had not been invited. in all fairness to both sides the main attraction tomorrow is donald trump and the question of how he behaves. even the clinton camp is saying they don't know which trump shows up. the subdued trump, focused on the issues or the donald trump we saw in the republican debates within in the last year. let's watch some of that action. >> i never attacked him on his look. believe me, there is plenty of subject matter right there. >> donald is great at the one-liners. but he is a chaos candidate. he would be a chaos produceside. this is a tough business to run for president. >> you're a tough guy, jeb. you're tough. you're real tough.
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i am at 42 and you're at 3. so far i am doing better. >> doesn't matter. >> i won the lottery when i was born 63 years ago, looked up and saw my mom. my mom is the strongest woman i know. >> she should be running. >> this little guy has lied so much. >> here we go. >> about my record. >> here we go. the personal insults. >> lied so much about my record. >> i have a policy question for you sir. >> let's see if he answers it. >> i will. don't worry about it, marco. don't worry about it, little marco. i will. >> why do you lie? >> don't interrupt. >> why do you lie? >> you pushed him. >> donald, adults learn not to interrupt. >> i know you're an adult. this is robin hood over here. he talks about corruption on his financial disclosure form he didn't even put that he has borrowed money from citibank and goldman sachs. >> release the thing. >> excuse me. i have given my answer, lyin' ted. i have given my answer. >> you are all talk and no action. what i have seen up here --
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first of all this guy is choke artist and this guy is a liar. >> well, nbc's hallie jackson along with the former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele and eugene robinson. msnbc political analysts. starting with hallie. >> where to begin. >> i'll ask you as a reporter, will trump be trump tomorrow night or surprise us? will he do what he always does like that and come out sniping at hillary, knocking her, trying to get her off her game or come out and be a statesman? >> i think you'll see less of the montage you just played and more of donald trump trying to get at what has been the biggest negative in his campaign so far, his temperament. his advisors know that is a vulnerability for him. if he can come out and look presidential he can clear the bar that's been set. >> can he do that and sell to the 95% tomorrow night who normally don't watch shows like
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ours on television. will he be able to sell them his message and also be calm about it? can he do both? he has to reach the 95% out there. >> the 95% are tuning in to see a show. they're there to watch the show. i think you will see donald trump try to present what -- several strategists have said needs to be an optimistic and not scary point of view. he has to attack hillary clinton but in a way that doesn't make him seem like a demeaning bully. >> can he do it? >> if he puts his mind to it, he is a candidate who can for sustained periods of time, we have seen it for sustained periods of time follow the advice of kellyanne conway. >> for him to come out and ignore her, ignore her for an hour and a half, that would put her whole game plan to rest. would he have the guts to do it? ignore her. >> smart thing to do. but the problem is donald trump
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cannot ignore an opening. if she creates one he is going to take it. if she gets under his fingernails enough, he'll respond. that's the advantage she has going into this. you are right. if he can take the space -- >> vietcong? under your fingernails. >> under your fingernails, baby. that's where you feel the pain under the fingernails. she can do that. >> have you ever seen her show the ability to get to him? >> to get to him? >> yeah. >> women have in the past. >> carly fiorina, yeah. absolutely. >> i think that's the mine field. the principal minefield he has to walk. he will be debating a woman. he is 6'3", debating a woman who is 5'4", the body language, the sexism that we know is in there, right, is going to come out at some point. it's a mine field. >> let me show an example without getting into a big judgment here. one of trump's worst moments in
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the primary debates had to do with comments he made about carly fiorina's appearance, looks, if you will, in the september 2015 debate carly fiorina responded. watch. >> in an interview last week donald trump said the following about you. quote. look at that face. who anyone vote for that. can you imagine that the face of our next president. mr. trump later said he was talking about your persona not your appearance. >> it's interesting to me. mr. trump said he heard mr. bush very clearly and what mr. bush said. i think women all over this country heard very clearly what mr. trump said. >> i think she has got a beautiful face, and i think she sa beautiful woman. >> you know, i thought, just trying to judge the debates, that was one of the most successful sunday punches i had seen in all the debates. >> from carly fiorina. >> yes. >> absolutely. she delivered it in a way that was a little bit of a mike job.
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she didn't belabor her point. >> that's part of the tomorrow night for donald trump that could be treacherous. if he affords hillary clinton that kind of moment. >> let's talk about what he can do to go on offense. again, the strategy which i think is the most effective in all the debates, whether it's the there you go again or it's your' no jack he kennedy. the attack from a defensive position. one of trump's strongest debate moments was in january of this year when he responded to an attack by ted cruz on something cruz called new york values. let's watch that one. >> he insulted a lot of people. i have had more calls on that statement that ted made that new york is a great place. it's not great, loving people, wonderful people. when the world trade center came down, i saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than new york. the people in new york fought and fought and fought.
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and we saw more death and even the smell of death, nobody understood it. it was with us for months. the smell, the air. and we rebuilt downtown manhattan. and everybody in the world watched, and everybody in the that ted made. >> okay. gene, suppose tomorrow night, with a hundred million people maybe watching he says, we've lost on trade, immigration is out of control. we've fought stupid wars. that's what i call deplorable. suppose he takes her word "deplorable" and throws it right back. >> look. she had better plan for that. plan for him to attack ton the deplorables. she apologized for it but it's still out there. he'll come after her on that. she'll be looking for her openings too. it's not as if trump hasn't left a rich sort of array of targets for her to go after.
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>> if he clams up on some of the worst stuff he said, can she use the -- the other day you called me crooked hillary. are you going to say that again tonight, donald? >> absolutely. >> you know what he says in that moment, if she does that, well, you are crooked. where would she go there? >> i don't think that manner of behavior will work. >> they would be shocked if the words crooked hillary passed his lips tomorrow night. he and his team are aware of what it could do in front of the hundred million people. deplorables. i agree. his supporters, out on the road they love deplorebles a. they're making signs and hand-made t-shirt saying i am a deplorable. >> throughout the primary debates trump made a point of attacking the moderators of the debate format. watch him do that. >> honestly, meghan, i have been
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very nice to you. i could be nice to you the way you've treated me. the folks had it down to three, three and a half hours. everybody said it was going to be three and a half. in two minutes i renegotiated down to two hours. >> for the record the debate was always going to be two hours. >> i thought it was very unfair that virtually the entire early portion of the debate was trump this, trump that. in order to get ratings i guess. >> mr. trump -- are you going to -- >> you told me. >> are you going to ask anybody else a question? >> amen. >> every single question comes to me? >> i know it's the ratings but it's a little bit ridiculous. >> let me ask you. riding the ref. we know what it means. guys pay for sideline seats at the basketball games so they can yell at the refs. lester holt is one of the least
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political people in our business. i have no idea what his politics is. he is a reporter and an anchor. >> trump does that to establish himself as the alpha dog. i am running the show. this is my show. i am the big man. you may be the moderator. you're supposed to be in charge but i'm in charge, right. it will be interesting to see, though, on the stage who has that air of authority. is it trump or is it, in fact, hillary clinton who is pretty good at this. >> well, roger ailes, who has some role in this somewhere -- more on that later in the program -- as a corner man for trump. he says you have to do exactly that. he talks about his interviewing with tom snyder and charles manson and how to get the killer to learn who the boss is in the interview. >> i think he'll try to be the alpha but he is aware it holds a lot of risks if he tries to out-alpha hillary clinton.
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he could come out looking like a bully. the big difference for tomorrow night. there won't be 15 other people on the stage that trump can throw elbows at. he's never been in that position before. >> can he do 45 minutes of talking. >> on policy, on specifics and on personality. he has never done 45 minutes of that half a debate by himself with no breaks, huddling with advisors. >> if he falls back and repeats the same thing again and again. make america great. i'm going to build a beautiful wall. if he doesn't have something new to say he could come off looking pretty bad. >> i think that's been part of the prep to the extent that there has been prep has been to try to push the envelope to get him to do the 45 minutes so he doesn't fall into that trap. >> there are areas we all know from watching the debates he doesn't think much about. if one of those areas are gone into -- i don't know what
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lester's approach will be. more. take more time on that. i'll give you more time on that. let's see what you think. >> i get the sense he is being prepped for that. if they ask you a question that you're not comfortable with. talk about what you want to talk about. >> hillary is a wonk. she studies. she knows the issues. even foreign policy. she pretty much knows the world. she knows all the world capitals. she has been to them all. will she try to expose his ignorance. >> i think she will subtly. maybe a reference back to something he said that was wrong or incorrect. >> who is the president of mexico? who s would she try something like that? >> she doesn't need to be that direct. don't look at it in one direction. everyone knows she has the gravitas in terms of policy. if she tries to show it off too much she may come off more like a bully. >> do we think trump knows who
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the prime minister of great britain is right now. >> i think he would. >> 50-50. >> i think so. >> maybe that's the kind of question that could cause history. hallie jackson. michael steele, eugene robinson. all staying with us. coming up what can we expect tomorrow night from hillary clinton? she has the lead right now. it's not a big lead. some of her best debate moments. what can she tell us about what she might do on the stage a tomorrow night. hillary will probably not be as wide ranging. there is only one hillary. trump has one of the sharpest minds in republican politics in his corner tomorrow night. roger ailes. what he did for ronald reagan and for george h.w. bush. and the round-table here at hofstra with three things about the debate we may not know. coming up this wednesday night the return of the hardball
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college tour. we're going up to the university of new hampshire with presidential candidate gary johnson and his running mate bill weld, the former mayor of massachusetts. at the college of hofstra. this is "hardball." live from hofstra. on the eve of the first presidential debate. have conquered highways, mountains, and racetracks. and now much of that same advanced technology is found in the audi a4. with one notable difference... ♪ the highly advanced audi a4, with available traffic jam assist. ♪ get between you and life's dobeautiful moments.llergens flonase gives you more complete allergy relief.
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when you are attacked, you have to deck your opponent. and that is what i believe in. >> you have to deck your opponent. well, that is something most americans can get used to and like. that was hillary clinton in 2007, about nine years ago, saying she believes that when you are attacked you deck your opponent.
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is that what she plans to do in her first face-to-face match with trump tomorrow night? she has been debating for decades. she even took on her husband's opponents in the middle of press conferences where she debates him on the spot. watch this. >> he has consistently avoided a debate. >> one person didn't show up in spring vail. ga it's ironic that before you were a candidate many of the reports you issued not only praised the governor on his environmental record, but his education record and his economic record. you now turn around and, as a candidate, have a very short memory. >> since 2000, the year 2000 when she herself became a candidate for office hillary clinton has participated in nearly 40 debates since then. as a candidate for the senate or for the democratic presidential nominee. here is a look at her past performances. hillary clinton. >> what can you say to the voters of new hampshire on this stage tonight who see your resume and like it but are
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hesitating on the likability issue, where they seem to like barack obama more? >> well, that hurts my feelings. he is very likeable. i -- i agree with that. i don't think i'm that bad. >> you're likeable enough, hillary. >> thank you. >> i just want to add, i did not say that it should be done, but i certainly recognize why governor spitzer is trying to do it. we have failed. >> no, no, no. you said yes, you thought it made sense to do. >> no, i didn't chris. the point is what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants. >> is it healthy for a democracy to have a two-family political dynasty. >> i thought bill was a pretty good president. you talked about ronald reagan being a transformative political leader. i did not mention his name. >> your husband it. >> i am here. he is not. >> i can't tell who i am running against. >> well, i think that, if your candidacy is going to be about
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words, then they should be your own words. that's i think a very simple proposition. and, you know, lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in. it's change you can xerox. i am just reacting to the fact, yes, they did have ideas and they were bad ideas. bad for america, and i was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, resco, in his slum landlord business in inner city, chicago. >> the guest who laid out the scenario for me with that proposed solution was william jefferson clinton, last year. so he disagrees with you. >> he is not standing here right now. [ applause ] >> so there is a disagreement. >> well, i'll talk to him later. >> credibility is an issue. out there with the world.
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we have repair work to be done. i think we need someone who has the best in ethical standards as our next president. that's how i feel. >> secretary clinton, do you want to respond? >> no. [ applause ] >> governor o'malley. >> is bernie sanders tough enough on guns. >> no. we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. this has gone on too long. it's time the entire country stood up against the nra. >> well, sometimes secretary clinton came out on top by what some perceived as the errors of her rivals. watch this. >> i'm not asking you to admire it. i am asking you to sign it. >> i would be happy to when you give me the signed letters. >> right here. sign is right now. >> we'll shake on this, rick. >> i'll accept your signature. everybody wants to see you signing something you said you were for. >> i think the secretary is right. that is, that the american people are sick and tired of
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hearing about your damn e-mails. >> thank you. me too. >> enough of the e-mails. let's talk about the real issues facing america. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, bernie. >> isn't it wonderful when people throw in the towel before the election is held? bernie. everybody loved bernie, but he threw it away right then. everybody realized it's not really a contest for bernie. it's about principle. back with hallie jackson, michael steele and eugene robinson. let me ask you, the only woman here so we ask you. >> okay. >> the rules of the game used to be you better be careful if you're debating a woman and you are a male. i watched how george herbert walker said i kicked a little butt. he was condescending to geraldine ferraro. this stuff. does hillary clinton benefit from it, take advantage of it? how does it work. trump can't take shots at her
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she can take shots at him? >> i think anybody on this panel could answer that question, not just a woman. i don't know that there is a double standard necessarily. i do think that she is making history as the first woman to appear on that stage as a major party presidential nominee in a with one on one debate like this. there will be eyes on how the gender factor plays out. >> the rough stuff. crooked hillary. if he says crooked hillary or she reminds the audience that's brand-new. and she says you have called me crooked hillary. at what point does the audience say, he did? he called you a professional woman, a lawyer, secretary of state, crooked hillary? >> if she is going to introduce that, she does have to find exactly the right opening, i think, for her to introduce the fact that he did that. otherwise, as michael suggested earlier, he just says, yeah, you are crooked and takes it in a
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different direction. i think she doesn't get enough credit for her debate performances, for her range. which goes all the way from, you know, declamatory sentences and finger pointing to "that hurt my feelings." that moment in the new hampshire debate was absolutely perfect. maybe it had been scripted to the nines but it came across as spontaneous and genuine and as a window onto the person. and she won. >> i think she'll need all of that range tomorrow night. because i think what we saw in those clips was hillary clinton in a conventional, traditional debate setting. where her opponent stepped back when she got the zinger. >> what i am saying is don't assume that because it's going to be unconventional warfare from the trump side that she is not prepared for that. >> i think she'll have to be prepared to engage in it more than we saw. that was one moment out of an
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hour and a half. it could be 45 or 50 minutes. >> in sports terms she has to be like a really good shortstop. catch the ball no matter where it goes. >> the clinton campaign is complaining that if you're going with the sports metaphor. if she has to be the shortstop and play offense and defense all donald trump has to do is not drop the bat at the plate. they're arguing that that's the double standard for him in the game. >> what do you mean drop the bat? >> the clinton campaign is saying the bar is so low for trump that if he gets up to the debate and doesn't collapse -- >> do you believe that? >> most people will be watching him for the first time. >> certain things are baked in for him, chris. when you get to the crooked hillary part, if there is one people know about donald trump is that he insults people. >> let's talk about secretary clinton and what she needs to do. an hour and a half. i have looked at the format. there is a lot of time to just give a little talk. use the moment.
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is there a hillary message that she hasn't gotten across that this is the time for? >> yes. here is how i am going to make your life better. here is how i am going to make things better for you and for all americans and for your family, for your children. here is what i am going to do. >> i am a change agent. >> specific terms. i am not a defender of the status quo. >> mm-hmm. >> i am not a defender of the status quo. i am a stealth change candidate. i am going to change. this is what i'm going to do. >> in addition to that, gene, she has to let people know in the words of her husband, i feel your pain. a significant number of americans out there still hurt in this economy. it's bifurcated that way. >> if two-thirds want change and are not satisfied with the direction of the country, you don't want to be the champion of the one-third that is satisfied. >> donald trump has been tapping it out the entire campaign. people who are hurting. he'll go after her as being not a change agent. stealth or not she'll have to
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aggressively put on her own affirmative case. >> i have a sense that -- i guess because we have watched a lot of her debates and she hasn't really lost one. she is obviously a great lawyer. she knows how to argue against the facts thrown at her. do you think she is better at the prep? i am a big believer in prep. kennedy prepped. nixon didn't. reagan prepped well. some people don't really prep. looks like she'll be ready. >> she has prepped. i wonder and worry a little bit -- not that i worry about how she performs tomorrow. she may be a little over-prepped. when i read stories about them bringing in psychiatrists and psychologists to break down the donald trump thing, you know what, if you're in that space you'll be in a world of hurt tomorrow night because you don't know which donald trump will show up. you go in and you prepare your game plan to be president. that's what it is. it's exactly what you said, gene, before about -- >> i don't think it's possible
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for her to over-prep because i think that's who she is. she is prepped to the max. that's when she is comfortable. >> here is the problem. how we see it. commander in chief debate is a classic example of being able to take a question she has been asked a thousand times and not answering it in simple strokes. she got lawyerly and defensive. that's over prep. if she can dial it back -- we'll talk about this guy, roger ailes who we know is to some extent prepping donald trump. he has written a master's book at one point. i've been reading it all day getting ready for what ailes will recommend trump do. you don't want to miss the debate tomorrow night. we'll bring you that live for the pre-game coverage starting at 7:00 eastern tomorrow night. our colleague lester holt moderates the debate at 9:00 eastern. this is "hard ball," live from
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welcome back to "hard ball" at hofstra. the "new york times" and other outlets have reported that former fox news chairman roger ailes is preparing donald trump for his debates against hillary clinton. considered a master of political stage craft, ailes has a long history of advising presidential candidates. starting as richard nixon's media consultant in '68. he produced carefully choreographed live performances to show his command of the issues. the studio audience which was stacked with loyal supporters
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was ready to applaud his every word. the result was gimmicky but tgae the right image to voters. he came to the rescue of ronald reagan after the president's first debate performance raised questions about his age and fitness for office. facing walter mon dale for the first time reagan had appeared to lose his train of thought on numerous occasions. >> the system is still where it was with regard to, um, the, uh -- trying to -- with regard to the progressivity, as i said. >> everyone knew reagan bombed in the first debate but ailes pushed him to put an end to the age issue at the next debate. here he goes. >> you already are the oldest president in history, and some of your staff say you are tired after your most recent encounter with mr. mondale. >> mr. truitt. i want you to know that i also -- i will not make age an issue of this campaign.
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i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [ laughter ] >> look at mondale. he is laughing even though he knows he is crushed. four years later he coached george herbert walker bush for his explosive confrontation as he was being called a wimp. he had the chance to prove he had a combative side. let's watch the exchange with dan rather. >> i want to talk about why i want to be president, why the 41% of the people are supporting me. these questions cover career -- it's not fair to judge my career by a iran. how would you like if if i judged your career about the seven minutes when you walked off the set. would you like that?
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>> brilliant writing. roger ailes was standing behind dan rather in the exchange cueing him with the line tennis court. i'm joined by robert costa of the "washington post" and attorney ben ginsberg, former counsel of the rnc. i have been reading ailes' book about tv values and first impressions. the first seven seconds. i expect, based on this, that trump will try to establish something important about his image right off the bat. >> we read the book, you are the message. it's not just about winning on points. it's about the production and the image. sitting with trump on his plane last week i said what is ailes' actual role? what's he doing? >> trump says he is telling me the history. trump is not a political junkie. he is not coming out of a political junkie's mindset. ailes is walking him through nixon and bush 41. >> basic history. >> not basic history. trump needs depth to understand how this went in the past so he
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has some kind of basis. >> it sounds like "dave" the movie where the guy has all the pictures of the cabinet members around for the guy to pretend he is president. >> he is such an outsider. >> what roger ailes did with three really different personalities. he got to the essence that each one needed to project. he'll do that with trump also. that's going to be so interesting. >> offense or defense with trump? i would argue offense. trump should recognize that 90% of the audience tomorrow night hasn't been watching "hardball" for "meet the press" or anything else. for the first time. sell those people. ignore hillary. sell those people on the need for change, that we're not going in the right direction. what would you do? >> exactly the same thing. these debates are the chance for the candidates to present themselves unvarnished. no ads, no reporters, no nothing. it's them. so it is exactly what you want to project to people that roger ailes will tell him to do. >> the night of the debate with
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carter and reagan. reagan said, are you better off than you were four years ago? that was a great line. i said he's been saying that for months. my dad hadn't heard it. so tomorrow night is a different audience than the usually cable audience. >> he is not an idealogical candidate. can he be the agent of change. i am talking to people who have been in the room with trump at trump tower. they say he won't be changed. he'll be trump. >> will he throw the word word "deplorables" back at hillary? >> it's part of his prep. they want to cast hillary clinton as someone who is part of the establishment financially and politically. >> after fueling the birther conspiracy for years trump tried to end the issue this month by finally acknowledging that the president of the united states was born in this country. here is what he said last wednesday when asked by a local reporter why he changed his
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mind. >> after all the years where you expressed some doubt, what changed? >> i just want to get on with -- we want to get on with the campaign. >> what did he say? >> trump? >> i want to get on with the campaign. that was his reason for after five years of butchering this guy as an alien who snuck in the country? i just decided to drop that number? >> there is an answer to that that they'll have practiced for him to unfurl tomorrow night. roger ailes is sure they have zingers and pivots. a pivot is when you get a question, you don't like the question, you pivot to another topic you want to talk about. >> you catch the person pivoting and nail them, you go back and say, you didn't answer that question. >> with a good zinger. >> part of that will be lester's job. you didn't answer the question, answer the question! >> thank you, robert costa. ben ginsberg.
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excellent attorney. next up. their predictions. they'll tell us what's going to tomorrow tomorrow night, tonight. don't miss it from the university of new hampshire, the libertarian ticket, gary johnson, the wild bill weld. you're watching "hard ball," the place for politics from hofstra university, the location of the first presidential debate. it's scary when the lights go out. people get anxious and my office gets flooded with calls. so many things can go wrong. it's my worst nightmare. every second that power is out, my city's at risk. siemens digital grid manages and reroutes power, so service can be restored within seconds. priority number one is keeping those lights on. it takes ingenuity to defeat the monsters that live in the dark. maybe... the skate park today? you can make it gr-r-reat!
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welcome back to "hard ball," live from hofstra university. [ cheers and applause ] >> here we are. anyway, the "new york times" is predicting that tomorrow night's debate could draw up to a hundred million viewers, a potentially record audience for any presidential debate, with the race in a virtual dead heat. it's very close. hillary is up two to three points.
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secretary clinton. there is no bigger opportunity for the candidates to deliver a game changing moment that could dramatically alter the trajectory of the campaign. here with debate predictions are deputy editor of "time" magazine and jeremy peters. if you were lester holt tomorrow night, what would you ask? >> i would ask donald trump substantive questions. this debate is about donald trump. as you were saying earlier tonight. because this is donald trump's chance to remake himself or make himself before those tens of millions of people who only know him vaguely by reputation. so he has got the chance to get over the thing that's holding him back and putting him behind hillary clinton, which is his reputation for delibierate prid in his own ignorance and deliberate recklessness if that's not an oxymoron. if he's going to get over it,
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this is his one chance to do is. bigger stakes for him i believe than for hillary clinton. >> would you ask, how should united states exploit brexit, the breakup of europe. what would we do as a result of the uk coming out of the neuron? -- european union. >> i wouldn't ask brexit. i would ask him about the middle east. i would ask him to name some people. i would ask him -- >> like who is the president of mexico? >> would you dare do that? that's risky. he might know it. >> no. i wouldn't ask it that way. i would say, tell us in detail with the names of people -- you tell us you are a deal maker. you know how to look people in the eye. tell us the people you'll look in the eye and how you'll reshape a region that you said we never should have been involved in to begin with. >> what would you ask?
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>> i would ask him about north korea, to add to that list. >> what do we do when they reach us with their range, with their nuclear missiles? >> where does your negotiation take us when that happens. yes. to me, i think the onus is on lester holt to be fair and to treat those candidates equally. but i think that the way that hillary clinton comes out ahead with that kind of questioning is just to be utterly consistent and unflabable, whi -- unflappah is something she can do. >> what if he says i never said obama wasn't born in america. >> you call it out. >> the moderators in the fox news debates did a pretty good job of saying candidate x you said this and it wasn't true. >> anderson cooper actually did a very good job in his debate. >> candy crowley did a good job of it too. where is she right now?
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i'm just asking. she was attacked by the republicans by simply saying, governor, he is right. he did say terrorism. >> all hell broke loose when that happened. fire rained down on her like nothing i had ever seen happening to a political moderator before. steering trump towards specifics will be the moderator's job. pin him down on syria. he's still not explained whether or not he would allocate ground troops to solve the problems in syria. he has danced around this. he said, we'll bomb the hell out of them but he's never explained how he would effect change in syria. the more you can drill into him on the specifics and not let him get away with the general swooping statements the better off the moderators will be. >> the people in his corner are perfectly aware that that will be the main thrust here, to try to show whether donald trump will bother to study his own brief. >> yeah. >> whether he'll bother with it. and what they'll be doing is looking for clever ways to avoid
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and cover up the fact that he has not studied the brief on the things and he is not going to do it. that's not donald trump. donald trump thinks he can override that with rhetoric. it will be up to lester holt and hillary clinton united states 10 minutes to decide on reacting to a warning. 10 minutes, a nuclear warning. is it fair to ask him, what would you do in that 10 minutes? what would you ask the general in charge? >> i think it's not only fair, it's required to ask these two candidates what will you do in a situation that is realistically presidential? where you have to make a split-second decision? and i think the people you keep referring to in this hour, the people who haven't been watching -- >> yes. >> the people among those expected hundred million who really don't know trump as a presidential candidate, even though we feel like we've lived with it for 100 years, you know, they want to see someone who can answer that question in a presidential way. >> it seems to me the one topic that's going to come up is police. >> police.
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>> but -- >> law and order. >> it's got to come up. >> yeah. >> how do we reduce what seems to be the situation of police firing on african-americans? and the situation with -- >> can i just say that donald trump set that term for the debate, himself, by making his convention speech. essentially a law and order speech. >> yeah. >> he talked over and over again about law and order, how specifically, and -- >> do you ask questions like stop and frisk, do you ask a president of the united states, will you stand on stop and frisk? >> right. >> something -- a police procedure question. >> you might want to ask them something that can show whether he knows the difference between federal law enforcement and local and state law enforcement, too. >> anyway, i think it's great to ask information questions, but it puts the moderator in a tricky situation because if he does snapbacks and knows it, you look like you lost the exchange because he knew what you were asking act and you were obviously trying to catch him off guard. right? >> i think she should be prepared to have trump come up
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with clever one-liners. it can't be an entire debate of one-liners from trump, but i'm hearing he is pretty well prepped and he's going to -- he's going to outperform the expectations. >> you know, it will be pretty style debating whether you outclever each other. anyway, we'll be right back with the roundtable. next, these three will tell me something i don't know. they've been doing that already. this is "hardball" the place for politics with just one day to go, this is the eve of the great debate. somewhere between christmas eve, there's the debate -- they're cleaning it up. look, they're already vacuuming. what has happened, you have to vacuum already? you vacuum after the debate. anyway, just before the first debate. yelove is finding a different angle. my eyelove is season 1, episode 1. my eyelove is making a story come alive. eyelove is all the things we love to do with our eyes. but it's also having a chat with your eye doctor about dry eyes that interrupt the things you love. because if your eyes feel dry, itchy, gritty, or you have occasional blurry vision,
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[ cheers and applause ] you know, i have to tell -- you know these people out here, they're all students at hofstra. i just want to do one thing. how many of you are registered to vote? [ cheers and applause ] how many of you are going to vote? [ cheers and applause ] howard, tell me something i don't know. >> chris, everybody is talking about the size of the television audience. this is the first time that social media is going to play a big role both not just in clips you see afterwards -- >> okay. >> -- but in live viewing. >> 15 seconds. >> so, the debate audience is something that trump i don't think is ready for. he got where he was in the primaries because the debate audiences were so revved up. they were partisan. >> yes. >> they were told to stand up and applaud and to shout. that's not the case in there. it's like a law library in there. >> the loser tomorrow night will
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be the nfl, monday night football ratings are already down. >> i never thought of that one. howard fineman, and jeremy peters of "the new york times." that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. join us tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern for complete coverage of the first presidential debate. most allergy pills only control one inflammatory substance. flonase controls 6. and six is greater than one. flonase changes everything. ♪
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> gang members disrupt the housing unit. >> they all feed off each other. one kicks in the door and they all join in and start screaming. >> when inmates fled their cells, the sert team takes action. >> you must comply. >> and they place one in special restraints. >> [ bleep ] drop you first [ bleep ].


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