tv Meet the Press NBC May 8, 2016 10:30am-11:31am EDT
. this sunday, the republican party coming apart. >> it really looks like a mass ifrn victory. >> donald trump effectively tells gop leaders it's my party and you can cry if you want to. >> our theme is very simple, it's make america great again. >> my interview with the republican party's presumptive nominee, donald trump. divided parties lose elections, republican voters embrace trump enthe leadership says no way. >> i'm not ready to do that at this point. >> can donald trump become the first candidate in more than half a century too win an election without a united party behind him? don't look now, the general
election has already begun. >> crooked hillary. >> doesn't think much of equal pay for women because he didn't think much of women. >> even snl is looking towards november. >> we look at the godless liberal democrat and hillary clinton. >> joining me for insight even analysis this sunday morning are u gene robinson, "washington post." and andrea mitchell of nbc news. matt bai, correspondent for yahoo! news. and republican strategist and pollster, kellyanne conway. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> good sunday morning. happy mother's day to all of the moms watching. this may well be this generation's defining moment in american politics, particularly for republicans. republican party splitting apart as it turns its back on its new
prom presumptive nominee, donald trum. . this is nothing short of tissue rejecti rejection. republicans are having their own i told you so moment. trump said he was opposed to raising minimum wage now says he's open to raising it. during the primaries he put out a plan lowering taxes on everybody, including the wealthy and now says he's open to raising taxes for the wealthiest americans. and in the primaries said he would self-fund the campaign and now says he's building a world class finance organization aimed at raising money for his campaign. a parade of prominent republicans to say they can't either can't support trump or they have to think it over. one thing is clear, he begins this campaign as the presumptive nominee ever a party whose leadership a, didn't want him and b, deeply reluctant to rally
around him. is the republican party wigging out? >> i'm not there right now. i hope to though. i want to but i think what is required is that we unify this party. >> donald trump is facing a rejection from republican party leaders that is unprecedented in modern politics. >> i think donald trump is a con man, i'm not going to support somebody i don't believe is a reliable republican conservative. >> a third party candidate is the only solution, quote, this is america, if both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. the only two living republican presidents both bushes, are also nos, refusing to endorse trump and skipping the republican convention after a campaign of insults to jeb. >> low energy, for sure. >> the 2012 nominee also a know being courted to run as a independent. so far mitt romney is not interested. the 2008 nominee with a primary in august is a reluctant yes but
also staying away from cleveland in july. >> donald trump on top of the tic ticket, i have no doubt this may be a race of my life. >> signaling it's okay to stay on the bench. >> the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee. >> i didn't get paul ryan. i don't know what happened. all of a sudden he wants to be cute, but you know, we'll see. >> with the meeting planned in washington next week, the chill could thaw and some skeptics are coming around, including rick perry who said this just months ago. >> donald trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism. >> trump begins the general election as a scarred scanned da candidate. >> he doesn't think much of equal pay for women because he didn't think much of women it turns out. >> for trump, the attacks are
going to be personal. >> and she was a total enabler, would go after these women and destroy their lives. i mean, have you ever read what hillary clinton did to the women that bill clinton had affairs with? as they are going after me with women, give me a break, folks. >> yesterday i spoke with mr. trump and began by asking if i was surprised to have already wrapped up the republican nomination. >> well, i thought i would do it, i didn't know i would do it this early. i assumed hillary would be watching me as opposed to me watching hillary. that's good. and it's going to be an interesting thing because bernie sanders is not being treated fairly. not being treated fairly. it's a rigged system against him also. i'm no bernie fan but it is a rigged system. >> do you believe the system is -- the republican system was pretty rigged too even though you're winning it? >> yeah, totally rigged. i was winning in landslides
every week, if i weren't, i wouldn't have been able to do it. i'm happy with it. you have to knock out the opponent, we won the last seven or eight that there was nothing much they could do about it but it's not a good system. >> you campaigned about the system a lot. i'm curious, are you more open to same day voter registration, allowing independents to vote in any primary they want? are you going to be somebody to advocate for those positions to make it easier to vote since your voters had a hard time? >> you can't expand the party that way. we've done it both way. i've done better when independents could cross over and frankly when democrats could cross over. in new york when we were doing voting, a lot of people interviewed the people at the voting booths -- >> they -- >> never seen anything like that. >> in new york had there been same day registration those people could have voted. >> they've never seen so many democrats wanting to vote for trump, by the thousands. i will say this, on election day
we'll do very well in new york. people were saying o the press they've never seen anything like it. >> but i'm just curious. >> do you want to see the voting laws change to make it easier to vote? >> i want to see voting laws so that people that are citizens can vote, not so people that can walk off the street and can vote or that illegal immigrants -- >> i want to make the voting laws so that people that that -- it doesn't make any difference how they do it but i don't think they should sneak in through the cracks. whether that's an i.d. or however, you have to be a citizen to vote. >> that is the law as it stands already. >> no, it's not. you have places where people just walk in and vote. >> we don't have a lot of time. let's move on here and talk about the paul ryan situation. you seem pretty annoyed by this. are you? >> no. it's just the way it is. i don't think it hurts me at all. i would like to have his support
but if he doesn't want to support them, that's fine. millions of votes more than the republicans would have gotten. if you look at the numbers, i think right now this week or next week in the history of the republican party, nobody has ever gotten so many votes as i have. i have beaten eisenhower and nixon and reagan and everybody. i have a lot of states left. if you look at the percentages, i have 62% in new york and massive numbers all over and three candidates, i was having to beat three candidates, nobody mentions that. you get 62% but not against just one person but against in this case three. >> your case to paul ryan is the voters have decided, get on board. >> well, i would say that's true. to be honest, like paul ryan. he's a very good guy. he called me three weeks ago and so supportive, it was amazing. i never thought -- >> you're stunned? you feel blind sided? >> no i would say stunned is a
little bit -- it's politics, i'm never stunned by anything that happens in politics so i'm not -- i was blind sided a little bit because he spoke to me three weeks ago and it was a nice call. he called me i think to congratulate me about new york because i would be by massive numbers, and then the next week i won the five states in a row by all landslide numbers. he called me to congratulate me. i don't know him well, met him one time but have a nice relationship with him and gets on and does this number. i'm not exactly sure what he has in mind. >> if he can't endorse you, do you think he should be chair of the convention? >> i don't want to mention now, i'll see after. i will give you a very solid answer if that happens about one minute after that happens, okay. >> fair enough. >> no reason to give it right now. >> it sounds like i know what the answer is but you don't want to say it yet -- >> it's inappropriate. we'll see. >> you're not going to issue --
>> i don't think that's going to happen. the party has come together. i have tremendous numbers of endorsements, i'll never get romney's endorsement, he choked and blew the last election. i'm never going to get bush's election. he thought i was too rough on him. he doesn't say he spend $10 million on negative ads and he was trying to be tough onmy but not a very tough guy. i was very tough on him. but he spent 10 million or $12 million on negative ads. why shouldn't i be -- by the way, chuck, very important, he signed a pledge. he pledged that he would support the nominee and so did this lightweight lindsey graham. >> you threatened to back away from that pledge a lot for various reasons. >> no, i didn't back away. one of the reasons i didn't back away is that i happen to be despite what a few people think, i happen to be a very honorable guy. i signed a pledge. that's a binding pledge. i heard it's not blinding.
the lawyers say it's an absolutely binding pledge. >> it was very binding for south carolina, only way toe get on the ballot. >> chuck, remember this, jeb bush signed a pledge, a binding pledge. lindsey graham signed aid binding pledge. that's what it says. now they are breaking that. that's a question of honor. they are not honorable people going against the pledge. >> there's chatter that romney is being recruited to run as independent. i know you say you don't care if you have a support. but if you could have a sitdown with mitt romney, he came to you as a pennant man and came to you wanting your endorsement. have you thought of traveling to him and seeing if you can sort of calm the waters with him at all, if you did, what would you say to him? >> well, here's the story, i helped mitt a lot and raised a lot of money for him. i ruined the carpet in my apartments i had so many people come. we had to have two fundraisers
because there was so many people for his wife, a fantastic woman by the way. they called me for help, i did robo calls and speeches and everything during the primary season. during the election season, they should have used me in florida. he would have won florida. but he had this campaign manager, stewart, whatever, would didn't like donald trump, thought he was too controversial, don't use him. when it came down to the convention, i wasn't a part of the convention and that was okay. what happened is i was rough on mitt because i didn't think they treated me properly. i helped him, gave him a lot of money and helped him with robo calls every single call i made he won the state. and in terms of the primaries, when it came time to the general election, i didn't care, if they don't want to call me, that's okay. i'm a busy man. you saw what i did in florida,
won in a landslide, i would have helped him. i certainly could have gotten him over the ledge. if mitt romney did that, i would be happy to talk to him. >> he owes you a thank you. you want him to thank you first for 2012 before you reach out to him? >> i helped mitt romney a lot. >> and feel he was ungrateful. >> i believe i helped him win five states he was going to lose -- >> you think he was ungrateful? >> it was ungrateful, which is okay, a lot of people are ungrateful but he was ungrateful. they did not respond accordingly and that's okay but -- >> let's move on to some issue things. there's a few things that some people think are contradictions so i want to see if i can pin you down here. the issue of taxes, your tax plan is one where the biggest beneficiaries are the .1% when it comes to raw dollars that will be saved among taxes.
in an interview this week, my tax plan, it's not set in stone and maybe i'll raise taxes, maybe i'll actually raise taxes on the rich. so i guess which is it? are you willing to raise taxes on the -- >> let me explain how the world works. nobody knows more about taxes than i do. and income than i do. but i'll explain how it all works. i don't come up -- i come up with the biggest tax cut by far of any candidate and put it in. but that doesn't mean that's what we're going to get. we have to negotiate. the thing i'm going to do is make sure the middle class gets good tax breaks because they have been absolutely shuned. the other thing, i'm going to fight very hard for business, for the wealthy, i think frankly it's going to go up. you know what, it really should go up. >> the wealthy need to pay more taxes. what do you define as wealthy? >> let me explain, somebody like me. let me explain something. i'm putting in a plan, chuck. i have to negotiate now with senators and congressmen and
lots of other. fact i put in a plan, it really is a floor. that is what it is, whether we like it or not. i put in my plan, it's quite simple to see. a sim application, we lower the number of wrakts and lower on middle class and business and lower taxes on everybody very substantially. but i have no illusions, i don't think that's going to be the final plan. they are going to come to me, including the democrats and everybody else, come to me and want to negotiate. but that's a floor. that's where we're starting. when it comes time to negotiate, i feel less concerned with the rich than i do with the middle class -- i feel very concerned -- >> go ahead. >> should we assume most of your plans then we shouldn't take you at your word, that they are floors. it's my opening statement -- >> excuse me. excuse me. it's called life, chuck, it's not my word.
i put in a proposal. it's really a tax proposal. after i put it in and you know the senate and congress, as much as anybody, they start working with you and they start fighting and let's see what happens. but i put in a proposal, it's the biggest tax cut by far of any candidate by far. but i'm under -- i'm not under the illusion that that's going to pass. they are going to come to me and want to raise it for the rich. frankly they will want to raise it for the rich more than anyone else. the rich is probably going to have end up paying more and business might have to pay more but we're giving a massive business tax cut. we're the highest taxed nation in the world -- >> wait a minute, let me stop you there. you said businesses might pay a little bit more. you said business might pay more but we'll get them a massive tax cut. you said it within ten words. >> i said they might have to pay a little bit more than my proposal. >> okay, just wanted to get that clear. >> than my proposal, not more
than they are paying now. our businesses pay more taxes than any businesses in the world. that's why companies are leaving. they may have to pay more than my proposal is what i mean. >> no, i just wanted to clear that up. minimum wage, at a debate you know you remember what you said. you thought you didn't want to touch it. now you're open to it. what changed? >> let me just tell you, i've been traveling the country for many months, since june 16th. today i'm in the state of washington the arena behind me you probably hear is packed with thousands and thousands of people. i'm doing that after i finish you. i have seen what's going on. and i don't know people make it on $7.25 an hour. with that being said, i would like to see an increase of some magnitude but rather leave it to the states. let the states decide. don't forget, the states have to compete with each other -- >> should the federal government set a floor and then you let the states?
>> no, i would rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. the states compete with each other, not only other countries but compete with each other. i like the idea of let the states decide. but i think people should get more. i think they are out there and working. it is a very low number. with what's happened to the economy with what's happened to the cost, i don't know you live on $7.25 an hour. i would say let the states decide. >> another contradiction has been on your feeling towards hillary clinton. in 2012 as she was leaving secretary of state, you praised her and thought she did a good job and said she's not pushing her agenda, she had to carry on someone else's agenda. before that you didn't familiari falter on the iraq war vote, because you said she got the intelligence like the other people did -- >> i didn't get bad intelligence. >> you kind of forgave her on that early on. now you call her -- she's been
crooked from the start. i guess this goes back to which donald trump do we believe on your feelings towards hillary clinton 2012 or now? >> okay. so recently a magazine said donald trump is a world claz businessman and i am, i built the greatest assets in the world, great stuff. all over the world. i go all over the world. i'm in europe, asia, all over the world. i'm not looking to get in fights with politicians. i'm not looking to get in fights with the secretary of state when i do something in a country wherever it may be and dubai where i'm doing big jobs and china where i'm getting ready to sign big jobs. i want to get along with politicians. when somebody says what do you think of hillary clinton, number one i'm not looking at it that closely because i'm in business -- but when somebody says three or four or five years ago let's look at hillary clinton. what do you think? she's doing great. i say everybody is doing great. the fact is she has not done a good job when i look at what
happened with libya and benghazi and migration and all of the things, but i'm not looking to criticize. you can look at many politicians that haven't done a good job. how are they doing? they are doing just fine. i'm not looking to get into words with politicians because i need politicians. >> why not release the tax returns that aren't involved in the audit? >> because it's a link. i have very big tax returns. i'm sure you've seen the picture where the returns are literally from the floor up to here. extremely complex. i get audited -- >> before the election though? >> i hope so. i like to. i have no problem -- >> do you pledge to do that before the election? >> sure, if the audit is finish, i'll do it as fast as the audit is finished. i've give my financials and i'm worth more than $10 billion by any stretch of the imagination, has tremendous cash flow. you don't learn much from tax returns but i would love to get them but i can't do it until i'm finished with the audit.
>> donald trump, the crowd is fired up, big washington state stars up there. thanks for coming on, sir. >> great people. thank you. >> within minutes of finishing the interview with me, donald trump said something that is going to raise some eyebrows. this is what he said about women at that rally in spokane. >> all of the men were petrified to speak to women anymore, you know what, the women get it better than we do, folks. >> we'll discuss that after the break and throughout the morning we want to show you moments from commencement addresses. we'll start with president obama at howard university. >> given the current state of our political rhetoric and debate, let me say something that may be controversial and that is this, america is a better place today than it was when i graduated from college. i.
born with a hunger to fly and a passion to build something better. and what an amazing time it's been, decade after decade of innovation, inspiration and wonder. so, we say thank you america for a century of trust, for the privilege of flying higher and higher, together. ♪ your body was made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz is a small pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz can reduce joint pain and swelling in as little as two weeks, and help stop further joint damage. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines,
low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common, and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate, and is now available in a once-daily pill. ask about xeljanz xr. welcome back. our panel is here. matt bai, columnist for yahoo news, kellyanne conway, fresh off cruz's super pac. andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent, and eugene robinson. i teased everybody with that quote that trump said at this rally. let me play it again for anybody who forgot about it. let's take a listen. >> i mean, all of the men, we're
petrified to speak to women anymore. we may raise our voice. you know what. the women get it better than we do, folks. >> kellyanne, your thoughts. >> that's his whole riff on political correctness. he's not talking about what i think the hillary people will say he met, which is pay equity and equal rights. he's talking about political correctness. this is a man over the course of the year as the front-runner and now the presumptive nominee has been able to cash in with voters with the us versus them. the them changes all the time, the rigged system, political correctness, people who take money. >> always a them. >> always a them, and this was part of it. >> andrea. >> he's tapping into the anger, when talking about a rigged system, he's also embracing bernie sanders because he's trying to recruit the anti-hillary clinton, bernie sanders supporters. tap into all that. they're all against the establishment. hillary clinton is the establishment.
he doesn't answer questions or he changes his positions at will. and he's still managing to get away with it because he is talking above the level of people questioning him. >> i was just thinking, imagine if mitt romney had said that quote. >> yeah. >> four years ago. he got punished for what todd akin said four years ago. >> wasn't the finest moment. >> but this is something you think -- >> well, same reason, the reason he can -- we call it a flip-flop when somebody says one thing and does another. in politics, you can't get away with it. it's a sign of inauthenticity. one thing we learned in the primary process and we need to heed it carefully, he's not judged by the standards of a politician. he's judged by the standards of entertainers. they're constantly changing who they are, what they say. the question that remains over the general election is, in a general election, with a different, broader electorate,
is he judged as a politician or the way you judge an entertainer. >> you're absolutely right. that's what we saw throughout the interview. when you started asking him about his contradictions and the issues, what do you think about the minimum wage? well, yes and no. he's going to go either way, both ways. the same on every issue you tried to pin him down on. so i think it makes the general election campaign totally unpredictable, except in its unpredi unpredictability, except in the fact trump will run to the left of clinton on issues, to the right on other issues. >> aren't conservatives going, see, we told you he would do this? >> some are, chuck, and they're welcome to their opinions. however, you can't leave on the field the 10 million plus voters who supported this man in the primaries. it's historically high figure. i have to push back a little bit. i don't think it's fair to say he's judged as an entertainer.
what he's judged as is a non-politician. politicians are held to account now for their positions. nonpoliticians will be held some time in the future for their positions. i'm not sure the election this fall will be a referendum on donald trump. it could be a referendum on hillary clinton. it's easy for him to say you have been in public life for 30 years. if you want to improve the lot of women, where have you been? >> let's go to the ryan rift a little bit. donors, it was funny, is a donor generated or a message to donors, message to incumbents who are afraid of running with donald trump? >> what paul ryan is saying is he has to protect the house majority. he has to protect incumbent congress members who are concerned about the donald trump effect. so he's basically going to worry about the swing districts, which is his majority, and those in safe districts can go with trump or do whatever they have to do.
look, the fact that he changes positions on minimum wage and on the tax, his tax proposal in one interview with you, and has also said, you know, importantly, he said in the last 48 hours on cnbc that he would let the u.s. default. he would let the u.s. become greece. when he's saying i'm not going to pay 100% on treasury bonds, he's saying something to republican donors, to the business community, that is so shocking that it is widely -- >> right, but doesn't hurt him politically? or does it? >> no. >> look -- >> i think it does. if it is properly explained. >> if i'm donald trump and there are a few people i would less likely be, but if i were donald trump, i would go right into the teeth of that. it would be a terrible mistake to be the republican standard bearer. he has to run against the entire system. this is an opening to do that. >> he walks a line. she says these outrageous things
that are crazy, perhaps, that we think are crazy. but somehow, he never goes too far for his base. there are things he could say that would go too far for his base. >> what? >> we don't know yet. >> we don't know what they are yet. we think we did. we're going to talk more about all of the we thinks and we thoughts and what happens later. when we come back, though, how long has it been since a candidate has been this far behind at the start of the general election campaign? that's where trump is right now. what are the chances trump can make up the difference? we'll show you what history says. and we continue hearing from commencement speakers from the weekend of the political ilk. here's mitt romney. >> we live in tumultuous times. demagogues on the right and left draw upon our darker angels. scapegoating immigrants and scapegoating immigrants and real is touching a ray. amazing is moving like one.
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♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ welcome back. data download time. you probably know by now that donald trump is behind hillary clinton in the polls. but did you know that the last time a candidate was this far behind at this stage has been more than a generation ago? let's dive in. in the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, we had donald trump trailing hillary clinton nationally by 11 points.
it's actually particularly an unprecedented number. for instance, when mitt romney clinched the nomination in april of 2012, he trailed aboma by six. senator john mccain started two points behind senator obama in march 2008 when he became the presumptive nominee. he lost by seven. john kerry was behind incumbent george w. bush at two points in march of '04, the month he became the presumptive nominee. the race essentially stayed in the same place. kerry lost by three. in 2000, march when both gore and bush became presumptive nominees of their respective parties. that first matchup had bush up 41/44. and of course, bush won. you have to go back to 1996 to find a presumptive nominee in worse shape than trump is right now. and that was bob dole. he trailed bill clinton by 17
points at the start of the general election campaign in may of '96. dole did make up ground, but he eventually lost in an electoral landslide by eight points. what does this all mean? donald trump was never an underdog in the gop primary. he led in nearly every poll after he entered the race. many folks thought we should ignore the polls, that they were wrong. polls were right, but the same polls have had trump losing to clinton and in many cases losing b badly. can trump make up the ground? history, as we just showed you, says no, but then again, he's already defied history once. when we come back, an example of what trump is up against. a republican senator who is not ready to endorse him, but he's ready to endorse him, but he's not safety doesn't come in a box. it's not a banner that goes on a wall. it's not something you do now and then.
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welcome back. as we said earlier, divided parties lose elections. a simple proposition. in '68, the democrats were split. their establish vice president hubert humfry, they were led by eugene mccarthy, that led out on the streets of chicago and helped nixon take the white house. '76, gerald ford was challenged on the right to the convention by ronald reagan. the fight, arguably, some could say, helped put carter into the white house that fall. 1980, it was carter's turn. a bitter challenge from the left by senator ted kennedy. certainly helped reagaeagan win
states and the presidency. 1992, george h.w. bush was president. he had the challenger in pat buchanan, and that helped make bush a one-term president. joining me now is a man whose emblematic of the split in the republican party. republican senator jeff flake of arizona who said he's not ready to support trump, but he hasn't ruled it out. senator flake, welcome back to the show. >> thanks for having me on. >> you said he's got to earn your support. he's got to change his tone, particularly the issue on the temporary ban on muslims seems to be among the things you find most difficult to support because it doesn't pass constitutional muster. if he doesn't retract that, can you support him? >> i can't see that. he's got to soften his position there. a total and complete ban on muslims, that is a religious test that is certainly against the constitution and it is the last thing we should do if we
want to win a war on terrorism. it's constitutionally wrong, and also strategically, it's just not a smart thing to do. >> so what should the party do, though? what do you want, do you want to see mitt romney run? if trump is not going to back away from these things and you can't support him, what do you do? how do you help your friend john mccain win re-election in arizona? >> obviously, donald trump was not my first choice or 17th choice to put it mildly. however, he is the nominee, the presumptive nominee. i don't see a third-party challenger come along. i would rather, as paul ryan has said, rather mr. trump simply change some of his positions and modify what he has said. now, i think he's going to need to. we're well behind in the polls right now. and in order to win this election, if republicans want to win, and we do, then we've got to change the approach. because we're not going to win taking these positions. >> some trump supporters would say modifying has been the problem with republican nominees in the past.
modifying not saying what you believe, not speaking truth to power or however you want to characterize what trump is doing, and say, hey, the voters have spoken. senator, you need to get onboard with him. why should he be obligated to get on board with where the republican party is? >> republican voters have spoken in a primary. we found in the past that's a big difference from voters speaking in a general election. we're now moving to a general election. and it's a different ball game completely. we found in the past, and we have done an autopsy every time we come out of one of these elections that we, for example, needed better position on immigration. simply saying we're going to deport 11 million people, that's not a position you can take in a general election. it's not a rational approach. so a general election is far different from a primary election. >> do you accept this idea, though, that if a significant chunk of party leadership like yourself, speaker ryan, doesn't end up rallying around trump, it
probably is the death warrant for his candidacy in the fall. are you comfortable with that? >> i don't think that's the death warrant for his candidacy. i think supporting a religious test for people who come here, saying you're going to change libel laws to make it easier to sue those who you don't agree with, saying we're going to good fault on the debt, taking positions like that are what is going to impede your campaign, not the fact that some republican leaders disagree with you. >> is there anything from trump's success that in these primaries that made you think, you know what, maybe i ought to rethink my position on x? >> like i said, it's one thing to win a primary. we all know that it's easier to win a primary taking certain positions. sometimes hard-core positions. but we all always know that those positions may not work in a general either. so it's one thing to win a primary. it's a complete other ball game to win a general election. we're out to win a general election as republicans.
we don't want another eight years or another four years of a democrat in the white house. so we've got to take a different position than we have taken in the primary. >> you recently met, you're one of the few republicans who met with the president's supreme court nominee, merrick garland. you called him a man of accomplishment and somebody with, quote, a keen intellect, but you want to wait for the election. you think the voters should have a say in this, dealing with the supreme court vac nlsy. now that donald trump is the presumptive nominee, have you changed your mind on that blej? >> i think republicans are more than identified in waiting. that is following both principle and precedent. but the principle is to have the most conservative qualified jurist that we can have on the supreme court. not that the people ought to decide before the next election. i have never held that position. if we come to a point, i have said all along, where we're going to lose the election or we lose the election in november, then we ought to approve him
quickly. because i'm certain that he'll be more conservative than a hillary clinton nomination come january. >> all right. jeff flake, republican senator from arizona. i'm going to leave it there. thanks for getting up early and coming on. >> glad to do it. >> we'll be back in a moment. but first, dana carvey's church lady made a comeback last night on "snl." take a look. >> now we've landed on the exciting matchup between a before i had the shooting, burning of diabetic nerve pain, these feet learned the horn from my dad and played gigs from new york to miami. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica.
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i want to put up what bill bennett said. you have jeff flake, paul ryan in one place. bill bennett said this. it's not the time to be out there demanding all these things, trying to get trump to become reagan. it's time to surround him with good people and work with him during the convention. you said something interesting. this is generational. >> some of this, john mccain saying he'll vote for donald trump. >> bob dole. >> bob dole, newt gingrich. it is somewhat generational for them. they recognize it's healthy for a party going through some growing pains to actually shed some of its skin. i also want to get back to senator flake's interview. i thought it was astonishing for this reason. donald trump just won 48% of the vote in the republican primary. every single delegate in flake's home state of arizona. he got 250,000 voters. and you just can't ignore that. his policies on immigration began in jan brewer's arizona. so i think there's a zeitgeist
out there that some of the establishment of the republican party are still ignoring. when i think of senator flake, who i respect enormously, i think of the class of 2010 up for re-election in the senate in 2016 this year. they rode the tea party wave and now they have switched to decafsomehow. your votes are so moderate. if you look back -- >> they got into government. >> they got into government. go back a year ago and look at their approval ratings and re-elect numbers a year ago. they weren't doing so well. laying it just at the feet of donald trump is naive and inaccurate. >> to your point about the generational divide, the idea that a bunch of senior figures are going to sit down donald trump down in a room and coach him up, this is insane. it's not going to happen. more to that point, trump knows it's not going to happen. trump is behaving as if this is his party now. that's what they'rep u against. >> when paul ryan was saying, you know, i want to hear a
different tone, he does not want to hear what donald trump then went right out and did, which is to talk about hillary clinton, the philandering of bill clinton, how she was an enabler. he talked about murderers involved in white water. he was going in every direction paul ryan didn't want to hear. he wants to see if donald trump can speak differently. he's not going to. he can say one thing in front of a teleprompter, another when he's out in front of a crowd. gingrich, you can put gingrich on a ticket, put a running mate on who can help work with congress. that's not going to change donald trump. >> as a republican strategist, i have to say, paul ryan who have have great admiration and affection for, he was on the ticket last time. the romney ticket lost eight of the nine swing states. >> i don't think you can blame the running mate for what happened at the top of the ticket. >> that's fine, but you had your
chance last time. they got 5% of the african-american vote in wisconsin. is trump going to do worse than that? >> kellyanne makes -- meaning to, it's an interesting point, which is about, you kne, for years, for cycles and cycles, republican establishment has basically said to the base of the republican party, you lost. swallow it. get in line. >> and we have. >> now they're asked to get in line, and suddenly it's not your party. >> you inherited, and trump rightfully said, inherited it? ion w it. >> i did not inherit the party, i won it. and he's right. he beat them. he beat them badly. >> look where hillary clinton is going to be tomorrow. louden county. >> today. i think they start today. >> that's tomorrow, monday afternoon. louden county, virginia, to go for republican and swing voters for women. married women, older women because she's not gotten the
millennials. that's where she's trying to fight the general election strategy. >> i want you to have the last word on women. you have spent a lot of time polling women for the republican party, trying to help them with their problems with the gender gap. how does donald trump fix this gender gap issue? >> he has to go on the issues. so far, i think if hillary clinton runs an idealogical and strict politics campaign, she could lose. she also has a problem with men. part of what donald trump says on the trump is machismo because hillary clinton has the reverse gender gap. and he has to fight her on the issues because the one thing that's not going to change between now and november is who is the outsider and who is the insider. and this does seem to be an outsi outsider's election. >> if he has to fight her on the elections, i don't know. >> where has she been for 30 year snz. >> we'll going to do a quick
pause and then end game coming up. >> first, here's bill clinton speaking to a class of 2016 as well. take a listen. >> last few years have seen an amazing explosion of economic, social, and political empowerment. they have also laid bare the power of persistent inequalities, political and social instability, and identity politics based on the simple proposition that our differences are all that matter. coming up, "meet the press" end game, brought to you by boeing, building the future one century at a time.
- it only takes one genius to change a light bulb--you! led bulbs use 85% less energy and last a long time, saving you up to $100 over each bulb's lifetime. so change yours today. end game time. i always feel bad when we have a great conversation and the 45 second break and i'm like, i want to re-create that. quickly, bill clinton, you had an interesting reaction. you guys just now to his comemance address. >> these years have been difficult for him. he's struggling with this legacy of the '90s that he's so proud of that has gotten pilloried in
both parties. he's trying to make the case that, you know, the progress is real. and that the rest of it isn't his fault. i think that he's always haunted by that. >> but also, that bill clinton's democratic party is gone. they have purged their p pro-lifer, no blue dog democrats. >> this own wife has left him o that. she's moved so far towards bernie sanders, and she can't move back again. >>inating. he could have done 20 minutes on what he meant by that. he seems fearful of the change. >> fearful of the change. he doesn't like the fact that identity politics and microtargeting and all of that, that's not bill clinton, not his stife. >> let's move to the media. jim is the media writer for the "new york times." he wrote this. every election cycle brings questionable news coverage, but this season has been truly spectacular in its failings.
it's dewy defeats truman. the mistakes piled up, the bad predictions, the slight development of the horse race, the overtreatment of what turned out to be the most serious candidacy in the republican field. the lessons learned did not. i'm amused by this coming from the "new york times." not to pile on one newspaper, but if you compare the "new york times" and "washington post," the post took trump more seriously quicker than the times did. >> the key to cover the campaign was to cover the campaign as it was, not as you thought it should be or wished it was or whatever. observer bias crept into a lot of coverage. people took more seriously the data points that confirmed their view than the points that refuted their view. so while donald trump was winning, he was way ahead in the polls. you know, and so people would write that, well, 56% of republicans voted for somebody other than donald trump. yeah, but, you know, 85% voted for somebody other than jeb bush or marco rubio or whatever. >> i don't think you can escape
the fact that he got enormous amounts of free media, and it was all focused on live carrying of his rallies and reporting every tweet, and there was less policy discussion, less policy coverage. not just about donald trump but all of the candidates. it was more horse race, more social media driven than in any previous candidate. >> the dandwcandidate was more driven. from what -- here's another thing i'm wondering. if you're ted cruz or any candidate in the future, message discipline is a negative. >> it's actually a negative. that's right. >> by the way, apparently because it's boring. >> it's boring, and look, it's not just the coverage. to gene's point, there were conclusions in search of evidence the entire time the race was covered and it's been very humbling for some folks. also, i don't think donald trump could have run as effectively four or eight years ago. he's got this multi-level media platform now. if he's not tweeting, he's
rallying. if he's not rallyingering he's giving interviews to folks like you, chuck. it's also, he's much more fun to cover than hillary clinton. and that's going to matter this fall. >> much more accessible. >> correct. >> i think there's a little bit of a false dichotomy. i agree with andrea and i agree with the role of the media, but i think jim, who is a fantastic writer sets up a false dichotomy who said he was treated too much as an entertainer and not a politician. there is no line between politics and entertainment in this. and that's where we have ended up. >> what a segue. speaking of no line. here's snl last night. >> there are those who say you're not qualified, and that's not true. i remember a celebrity apprentice ebsode where gary busey didn't sell enough pancakes and you just said, you're fired. i thought right then and there,
give this man the nuclear code. >> lot of people are saying that. >> it is the culture that has changed the political coverage as well. >> and the technology. >> yes. >> trump has seen it. obama was the guy that saw it in '08. trump saw it now. >> and the clinton people think that obama is going to be this, you know, political nuclear weapon to go out on the trail. and could be. to rally his coalition behind, you know, her, even though people in his coalition are still lukewarm about her. but boy. >> there's a history, you guys can keep talking. i'm going to turn the cameras off. you have been terrific. that's all for today. happy mother's day. cvs is still open if you have forgotten. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
"nbc10 @issue" starts now. new laws legalizing medical marijuana have some local entrepreneurs seeing green, as in money. some say a career in cannabis can rake if six figures. how do you get started without your investment going up in smoke? today we'll discuss the pros and cons with industry experts. plus a local mom who regrets having certificaher son circumc. and if you've ever sat in heavy traffic, looking longingly at the center lane, wondering, should i? we'll tell you if you can. good mo