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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 6, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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good day. i'm andrea mitchell in cleveland kicking up a msnbc's coverage of the first republican presidential primary debate. live from the decision 2016 set if we will be bringing you the best analysis of the big names and the biggest moments throughout the evening. we're blocks away from quicken loans arena, normally home to of course lebron james. tonight millions of americans across the country are going to be watching the donald. a surprise political power house facing a first center stage and national debate with nine opponents itching to steal his spotlight in the polls. we'll bring in our pre-debate panel, hard ball host chris matthews, lead our coverage of the debate all evening. former republican national committee chairman, michael steele. and steve schmidt, senior adviser to john mccain of course
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during his 2008 campaign. welcome all. okay. set the stage here. chris matthews what are you going to be looking for? >> well, last night i couldn't sleep all night because i had two columns i was filing from cape town and they weren't editable. they weren't working. i was thinking why couldn't i sleep? it was like you were saying a while ago, it's like the exam you have to take. >> something tells many we that donald trump was not up all night worrying about this debate. >> i tell you, i just talked to my daughter works for google, which is fascinating. for the last two months the people that they most looked up, searches on are the ten guys that they came up with on this top list. people have been fascinated. what the number one guy that's interested in every county in the united states every single county, most interested in? donald trump. and what are they most want to know about the candidates? the oldest question in the history of american politics which seems wacky by today, they want to know how tall the guy is. that goes back to that weird
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pattern where up until mcgovern lost to nixon the tallest guy always won. for some people people want to know that answer. i don't know why. that could be a reason for a big debate, why do they want to know how tall a guy is? >> steve schmidt, how did you prepare john mccain for a night like tonight? he's not the tallest guy on any stage. what would you be doing if you were advising them? >> there is no night light tonight. we're in unprecedented territory. there's never been someone like donald trump on the national debate stage for either party at this point in the process. certainly not as the front-runner. when we talk about debatsz though candidates often prepare for these as talking exercises and, in fact they are listening exercises. big moments in debates come on the counter munch. you think about ronald reagan saying to jimmy carter there you go again. you think about lloydbenson's to dan quayle. you think about george w. bush giving the nod and the smirk to al gore. all of these moments that we talk about the next day, all of
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them come on the counterpunch. tonight we're looking obviously to see which ch of these candidates will make the highlight reel tomorrow morning on the "today" show and on news shows across america. who is going to be paired up against donald trump and get their coverage that way? >> as a former party chair, michael steele what about the format? i mean, is this the place in 110 minutes divided by 10 is this the place where you're going to get, you know how to evaluate the threat of isis versus core al qaeda or whether the iran deal is the right thing or whether planned parenthood really spends any non-federal -- any federal money on abortion? >> i don't think you will. i think you're going to get the top line talking points to use, an unfortunate term. it's going to be that what they can say in the first 30 seconds and then they'll fill it out in the next 30 seconds. so the real moment can come to, to steve's point if there's a
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counterpunch from another candidate or a follow-up question from the moderators that wants to go a little bit further. well, for example, well, mr. trump, you didn't specifically answer my question. so those types of moments can be very telling, much more than the policy position actually. how that candidate handles the pressure and how they're able to convey presidential timber without, you know really getting too substantive on the details. >> and before we talk about trump and how they handle trump, chris, what about the process here? if you look at the polling, the decision between kasich and perry who dropped off at the end, it was about 50 people according to neil king and the "wall street journal." 50 people in polls. >> yeah. >> determine whether perry shows up on the main stage. >> who is president is decided by one guy. don't give me this hope. gee whiz this is terrible. as tim russert used to say, numbers, numbers, numbers. some guys win, some guys lose.
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there has to be a cutoff. i'm fascinated by the showmanship. it's like the old days of studio 54 or hard rock cafe. what's the best ad for hard rock cafe? the line outside. he's got a line outside from 6:00 to 7:00. six guys and a woman who very much want to be on that 9:00 show they're not going to get on. it's a tremendous hype. so i think it was great show business. you got to draw the line at ten, brilliant. >> by the way, we believe and we haven't actually measured them but we believe that jeb and donald trump are the tallest, if you want to go by your height meter. >> by the way, they matchup tonight. pure media chatter but i think it's going to be donald trump against meghanyn kelly. i think she's going to be tough in her questions. he's going to not like to take it from her. he'll try to stop her from score scoring any points on him and that's when he will lose. that's my prediction tonight. >> what would you ask jeb bush to do tonight, if you're him? jeb push bush has not performed up to par.
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if you look at the way hillary clinton is punching out him, they think he's going to be the front-runner eventually. what does jeb bush have to do tonight? >> i think the bush campaign makes a fundamental mistake. they think that donald trump is going to fed away and jeb bush will rise because he's jeb bush and will default into the nomination. jeb bush is in second place at best, depending on the poll, he's in third place. he wants to be president of the united states. he will have to do what he said he would do in his announcement speech. he has to earn it. he needs to stand up there and begin to articulate a vision for where he wishes to lead this country in a troubled and challenging time. and we'll start to see that tonight. hopefully some of the questions that we'll get with these ten candidates at the stage will determine who doesn't know the difference between a shia and a sunni and a kangeroo and who has the vision to move the country forward and it will begin that process tonight with many more debates to come. >> but, steve, if you're looking
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at the temper of the electorate and you look at the ted cruz voter, ben carson voter, as we were talking earlier, if you add up donald trump, ted cruz and ben carson you've got a lot of angry people who are arguably justifiable ticked off at what's happening in washington. >> 40% when you add those three together of the republican party electorate is an open rebellion. i think one of the smartest columns that anyone has written analyzing this election was by peggy noonan. when you talked about the rise of donald trump, i'm not anger, it's contempt. contempt for political establishment, contempt for what these voters view as an out of touch elite. we'll see that anger play out over the course of this entire primary season. you see that fault line. you see the trumps the cruzs, the carsons, the outsiders versus the insiders. kasich and christie at the end of the debate stage tonight clearly drawing from jeb bush. some of the there candidate, huckabee, if they were to rise
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would draw from donald trump. we see now the dillen nation of the prak gets in the republican primary beginning to take shape tonight both on this stage and the earlier stage where come of the candidates will be a factor in this before it's over as well. >> john kasich has a certain, you know grafitas being a governor here, came up with budget deals that balanced the budget. laytonry but already doing well in new hampshire. you can say one of my guests later coming on former senator john sununu helping his campaign. >> i think of everybody on the stage, aside from donald trump, the one for me to watch is kasich. i think he has -- and he's already beginning to show the enormous potential he has to rise and to rise quickly. because he touches on a lot of the same chords that trump does and he brings to the tape that grafitas of being a former member of congress very successful here in ohio, but
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alsos have the media savvy, having his own tv show for a number of years. he can work the camera. he can work the audience. he can have the conversation on his terms unlike some of the others on that stage. >> i keep thinking back chris, to the first republican debate in new hampshire last time which launched michele bachmann. you know, it was a rocket that came up and came down rather quickly. but somebody could emerge from this process and dominate the next couple of weeks. >> i want to follow up on that if you don't mind. i think kasich -- what's a president look like? we have a woman running probably going to be the front-runner. we don't know what the president looks like anymore. but kasich looks like kasich. tonight it isn't a dance learned for the occasion. all of these other guys are trying out new stuff and how should i be tough or soft. kasich is going to be kasich. that's who he is. i've known the guy for 40 years and he is the guy that would make deals after a baseball
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became the game. the reasonable guy on medicaid medicare rather and medicaid. i think he's just that guy and he's going to come across as cleveland's own. by the way, we're in ohio. if republicans lose ohio they have lost. they would save a lot of money, guys. just have the election in ohio. the rest of the country will save a lot of money. >> exactly. >> republicans can't win without ohio? >> you can't. >> and john kerry in '04 lost ohio and that was the election right there. >> it was. and -- >> those machines helped. >> yeah. >> oh, stop it. >> relitigateing that. don king with the black ministers up in this town. >> that's true. >> every little bit helps. >> is this going to be good or bad for the republican party, former party leader mr. steele? >> i think when you wash it all out this is good for the party. because you've got a stage, whether it's the happy hour
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debate or the main stage debate you've got credible competent individuals who have accomplished a lot and any one of whom could be president of the united states. now, that's something what this process is going to whittle down for us. but i think this is good for the party, to see who we are able to put on at the tanl. >> we're going to have to leave it there and leave something left for all of us to talk about tonight when chris matthews is in the chair. and don't forget to watch msnbc's live coverage right here in cleveland hosted by chris matthews starting at 7:00 eastern right here on the place for politics msnbc. and up next the insider, we'll hear from two republican power players on between their supporting in tonight's big debate and why. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" from the republican debate in cleveland only on msnbc.
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abide by reagan's xhaend commandment as best as we can and make sure we don't put up with a whole lot of mud slinging and call it out when you see it but let some jabs go by as well. >> republican chairman rerks ince priebus on "morning joe" today. joining me now are ben webber a jeb bush supporter who served as a to mitt romney in 2012. and john sununu in new hampshire as well as being a key adviser to governor kasich. thank you both so very much. >> thank you. >> first to you, jeb bush you could argue a as mark murray wrote in "first read," he is probably the most famous person with a famous name that most
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people don't really know. what does jeb bush have to do in the short amount of time that all of these individual candidates are going to have tonight to define himself? >> the reason that i decided to support governor bush early on -- i want to say with john sununu here i'm pro bush but i'm sure not anti-kasich. he's a wonderful guy in every reguard. i signed up with jeb bur because i heard a positive message about the future in the country grounded in syria policy concerns that need to reform our regulatory process, taxing system educational system. and i think that -- amidst all this talk about how angry people are, it's very important for the party to understand that the country may -- you may win a primary as an angry candidate. the country isn't going to elect an angry president. and governor bush can put forward his positive optimistic message about the future of the country which is why i think he would be the best candidate and will be the best president.
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>> what about that? what does john kasich have to offer tonight that speaks to the issue of what general election voters are going to want to hear? >> well, john kasich is the only one on stage tonight who has been both in the congress and a governor. a great success in both roles leading the effort to balance the budget in 1997 here in ohio taking an $8 billion deficit, turning that into a surplus while cutting taxes. he has gov verbed successfully. backing it up with conservative principle, showing that conservative approach kes be successful. and i think he's right, if people want to see someone with vision, with character, and with a positive vision for where the country should be headed. and that's the kind of leadership john kasich provides. >> then what about donald trump, the immigration issue? does jeb bush have to try to have a sister soldier moment maybe, you know speaking to
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donald trump about what he said about mexicans speak about bush, you know his wife and what this means to people from the immigrant family community? >> i don't -- i don't think that any of the candidates up there, including governor bush should go in with a strategy of quote, taking on donald trump. they have to define themselves. but on the specific issue of immigration, the party has to have a sister soldier moment with donald trump because what he said has damged us substantially. i know trump says he would win the latino vote but he's got a 75% disapproval rating among the hispanics. governor bush has a wonderful opportunity to build support in hispanic communities. he's not the only candidate that could do that but he may be the best. the party -- without dissing donald trump who has earned the right to be on that stage certainly, you've got to make clear that those views that he expressed that were deeply offensive to mexican-americans
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are not the republican party views. >> what do either of you do about the fact that in our nbc news/"wall street journal"le poll back in march 74% could not see themselves backing trump. now that number is so flipped that it's down to only 49% who can't see themselves supporting him? >> i think at the end of the day we're going to see a very different field than we have in front of us today in a sense that three or four candidates are really going to move to the front, make progress over the next three or four months. >> you don't think donald trump is still going to be the leader? >> he may. but at that point republican primary voters are going to look hard at the character and leadership skills and experience and success, the track record of those leading we've seen this happen in new hampshire time and time again. as vin pointed out, an angry candidate is not very likely to be successful and to be the nominee. i don't think there's ever been a case where someone who has a negative message succeeds.
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so we get back to the leadership, experience success, being able to postulate positive economic vision for the country. i've always said to you before years ago, you know a governor or former governor has the advantage in that regard because they're close to their constituents they've had to lead deal with legislatures they have that chief executive experience. and i think at the end of the day you're going to see two or three of the governors or former governors and i certainly hope john kasich is one, breaking through the pack in early november and december and going on to success in new hampshire. >> i don't think that is something you would disagree on. vin webber is supporting a sitting governor and rather a vin webber supporting a former governor and john sununu supporting a sitting governor. thank you for being with us today. coming up next the manchurian candidate conspiracy
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theories. what donald trump and bill clinton talked about weeks before trump announced his candidacy. much more on the scene here in cleveland as the anticipation builds ahead of tonight's big debate. >> how do you feel senator? >> quite good. different atmosphere than four years ago. so many candidates. >> how are you feeling? >> good. nice to see you. >> much more live from cleveland right ahead. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [music] do you like cougars? terry will you shut up! you are adorable. thank you. ladies your belts all snugged up? why do we have to buckle up? the pick up stinks with diesel. [ding] you've got to be kidding! oh please! ah! this is the end! oh my god! [brakes screech] we need resuscitation. mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. hurry up! [laughing]
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as the republicans arrive here in cleveland for tonight's big showdown they might be pondering exactly what role bill clinton may have played in the surprising donald trump candidacy. "the washington post" first broke the story that bill clinton and trump talked and trump in the past has contributed to both of hillary clinton's senate campaigns and the clinton family foundation.
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they spoke by phone in may just as trump was deciding whether to run. according to the "post" sources bill clinton encouraged trump to get more involved in republican politics. jen palmieri is with clinton's campaign. jen, great to see you. well, you know, people are talking about is this a manchurian candidate moment. did bill clinton put donald trump up to it? tell us what happened. what is from your knowledge, what did they talk about, what role, if any, did bill clinton play in donald trump's somewhat surprising decision to become a candidate this time after threatening to after so many years? >> mr. trump had reached out at some point to talk to president clinton. president clinton returned the call. they are acquaintances nape exchanged some pleasantryies. mr. trump noted he was thinking about running for president and the president wished him well but didn't give him advice.
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donald trump doesn't strike me as someone who takes a big step like this because someone wants him to. he seems to be someone who very much operates under the premise of free will and i think this is his decision. >> there's no role no behind the scenes role of the clintons encouraging -- >> no. no, i think, again, donald trump, i don't know the man but it seems to me he's quite capable of making his own decisions and doesn't strike me as someone who takes a big step because somebody else finds it to be in their interest. he seems to be pretty motivated by what's in his interest. >> starting last friday when we were all down in florida hillary clinton certainly seemed to be going after jeb bush taking him on at the urban league taking him on since, of course in response to what jeb bush said about women's health. are you assume that jeb bush will emerge as the candidate in the general election campaign, that he is most likely going to
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be your opponent if he wins the nomination? >> we don't assume that. i think we're a little bit like an undecided republican primary voter ourselves in evaluating the field. i'm interested to see how people perform tonight. we think they're all generally had the sim conservative views and honestly there are day, andrea, where i'm -- i fear that governor bush is going to be the nominee and then there are days i'm concerned he's not going to be the nominee. so it is -- we are -- our view of how to handle this big field is we look for moments where people -- where you know the republicans all have the same general views around economic issues, around social issues things like climate change immigration, and we look for moments to lift those views up to the american people understand as best as you can do in the summer of the off year that they understand that this republican -- this republican candidate rsz very much the same top down economic plans, very conservative on social issues that they understand that this
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is the same crop they've seen before in '12 and '08. we look for opportunities but we are interested to watch tonight to see how they do perform, because one day we think you know one candidate is stronger than the other and it's early. we do know whoever emerges is going to be very strong, right? it's going to be hard for them to make it through big field and in the mine field of a lot of different states participating and we're just interested to see. i'm excited to watch and see how they all perform tonight. and see how many times they mention hillary clinton. >> well, briefly, how concerned are you that the latest wmur new hampshire poll shows bernie sanders only six points behind hillary clinton. and the other poll numbers, you know obviously declining. her favorability ratings. this is the result of the e-mail controversy? is she getting as one of your close advisers said, nicked up a
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little bit. >> the clintons have been at this a long time. hillary clinton has been in public service, politics for a long time. we didn't expect that he was going to come into this race and glide to the nomination and glide to the general election. the summer we're experiencing is pretty much what we expected we were going to encounter in terms of you know we determine a lot of distractions and republicans trying to make issues out of situations that we think don't warrant that kind of attention. but you know we understand that's part of the game. they're not going to -- the republicans are not just going to walk away and let hillary clinton have a clean path during the summer while they're all fighting amongst each other. we understand what this race is going to be decided on. it's going to be decided on who people think they can count on to fight thrfor them, who have solutions, who can get the job done and we feel confident that hillary clinton is going to emerge as this person. she's done a great job this summer in laying down what her economic agenda is and i think she's doing a great job in defining what the -- and
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defining the other side. we didn't expect to necessarily have the opportunity that mr. trump has provided because he has gotten so much attention and i think that that has been damaging to the republican brand overall. and we're trying to make the most of the summer. we are always going to have to fight through diss tractions. it comes with the territory. it's what we expected. we feel prepared to do it. >> jen palmieri thanks so much. they're going to be watching closely tonight. before our prime time kickoff tonight here in cleveland, reverend al sharpton is going to speak with hillary clinton on "politics nation" about today's 50th anniversary of the voting rights act. watch that right here on msnbc. the front page of the hometown paper says it best it's showtime. there's even a happy hour before the main event which takes place right behind us. the debate is only two blocks away at the q. that's how locals refer to the quicken loans arena. home of the nba's cleveland
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what's in your wallet? i like to be mentally focused but relaxed, so i play solitary. >> i tackke my new phone, thanks to the donald i listen to motown to mellow me out. >> i go out for a run. you're not taking phone calls, not taking e-mails, running clears your mind. >> before debate i normally call my mom to get advice. mom -- i can't say that on television television. >> i have very trusted political advisers. >> what is meghan going to ask at the fox debate? >> let me check on that. >> buzzy take on the pre-game rituals before tonight's republican debate. 17 candidates all vying to make
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a good first impression on the audience that matters most, the voter, remember? the voters. joining me now from washington, chris cillizza founder of "the washington post" fix blog and msnbc contributor and with me in cleveland, correspondent for the "washington post" and nbc colleague kasie hunt and steve kornacki, host of "up." steve, the review has captured the moment of how candidates could even begin to prepare for tonight. >> it's interesting, too, trying to think back of a primary debate. there's always a lot of anticipation in october when you have the general election debates. but i can't think of a primary debate that's had the anticipation as this one. obviously you haven't had a field this size a character like donald trump before. so many stories that i'm looking forward to tonight. the big one is donald trump and the thing that interests me is not so much how the other candidates interact with him is how the moderators interact with him because i think this is the first time people in the news media are really going to be on pretty much an equal plain with
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donald trump during this campaign. a chance to cut aim huff with a buzzer, ask aggressive thoughts. i am interested to see how that dynamic plays out. >> you caught up with rick santorum not happy about being on the undercard. let's play a little bit of what happened when you saw him earlier today about donald trump. >> do you think that donald trump could win iowa? >> if you go by the press in the four years ago people soaring high in the polls in august didn't end up with any delegates in january. in this case february. so you know, summertime romances can be a fleeting thing. >> so, kasie, you know he's obviously going to try to have an impact in that earlier debate. carly fiorina, the only woman. what about the fact that you're going to see a row of men in the prime time debate? >> that's really a challenge in many ways for the republican party, i think. and especially as you know all of the focus or a lot of focus from these candidates are going -- is going to be on hillary clinton. and to have no female voice
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doing that i mean carly fiorina has been pretty effective in criticizing hillary clinton and i think in part it helps that she doesn't have that same gender hurdle to get over. >> what about the gender gap here? it's pretty wide but hillary clinton in our recent polling is losing support among women in her base partly because of the e-mail controversies now per "the washington post" reporting first to report the fbi has gotten into it which is an understandable predictable but important follow-up to the fact that there was a referral from the inspectors general. >> that's why i think tonight the questions that center on the whole planned parenthood controversy are going to be really important in that regard too. because not -- this isn't just about this two hours here. it's about how the two hours get cut up into little clips and splice and diced an talked about over the next few days. >> and chris cillizza one of the issues is going to be
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whether there's doing to be any fact checking by the moderateormoderators. certainly we can all do it later after the fact. but the planned parenthood debate has not been very fact based because of the or riffhorrific videos,ed it dead videos. it's been a misstep by the people involved. they were caught in a very unflattering way. but the fact of the case is that it went into all fact checking planned parenthood does not spend any government money and only 3% of their budget is on anything related to abortions. but that said this is a real cutting-edge issue now. >> well, in live fact checking is very very difficult, andrea. particularly in a format like this. i don't fault fox for the format. when you have ten candidates in two hours there's only so many 230r78 mat you can do. most of these guys just get going at about 50 seconds, right? i think it's fog to be difficult because you're going to see a lot of violating of the rules and it's going to be on the moderators. i think the most -- aside from
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donald trump, i'm with steve. the most important people aside tr donald trump in this debate are the three moderators because how they handle him and how they handle the rules and how they handle fact checking how they allow back and forths who can respond to who because everyone is going to be responding to each other. i don't envy the task but i think it's critically important to see when we say who won and who lost the moderator is going to have a big say in that. >> reaction shots are going to be important. we don't know yet how fox is going to handle that. we all remember al gore loseing a debate because he sighed. >> the other al gore moment that i remember too, is another debate with george w. bush. he tried to encroach on george w. bush's personal space. i think at that moment he was trying to show he was sort of the tough guy or he could be the tough guy. it backfired. bush shot him this quizzical look and gore looked sheepish. i think of that dynamic now with the candidates having to go toe to toe with trump tonight. if you go after trump or try to attack him or call him out on something there's that risk he's
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going to talk over you, talk you down. if you don't have the response you look like you're retreating one of the risks in dealing with trump. >> you're giving him more time straight up. if you go after hip directly by name, that allows him the opportunity to respond. and to a certain extent the battle here is strictly for time to talk that doesn't help anyone who is trying to take the spotlight off of trump. >> we'll have to leave it there. of course, the worse case ever was rick lazio over to hillary clinton. to be continued. thank you so much, kasie hunt steve kornacki. don't forget to join steve live from cleveland today at 4:00 eastern. be there. i'll be there. not everyone is excited for the cleveland show. up next a critic who says the debate format is not fair to early voting states. we'll go to new hampshire next. this is msnbc.
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we're back live from east 4th street in the heart of downtown cleveland. 20 yards behind me the republican candidates who did not make the main stage are going to be hanging out tonight in the house of blues watching the others. the seven republicans who didn't make the first cut are not the only critics of the fox news republican party format tonight. eerily voting states like iowa and new hampshire are not happy at all that the cleveland debate could end up with it whittling the field before they claim their role. join meg now is joe maccay, publish of "the union leader" who sponsored the first republican forum earlier this week up in new hampshire. attended by 1 of the4 of the candidates. thank you, joe, for being with us. tell me, how damaging do you think this event tonight is to new hampshire and iowa's, you know traditional roles?
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>> it's hard to tell. it's all about money this time and the ones who don't make the top ten tonight don't get in front of lot of eyeballs and it might make it tougher for them to get the money that you need to sustain yourself through iowa and getting to new hampshire. even without fox, there's not the likelihood that everybody would make it anyways, but i think more would make it further if it was a better mix. i don't fault fox for the problem that they have but i think the suggestion that new hampshire and south carolina and iowa republicans ss had for them is much better than what they're doing and that is to flip some coins and mix and match and put all the candidates on two back-to-back debates based not on their polling numbers but mix them in. i think they would have had a
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hell of an audience for that whether it was over one night or two nights. >> the argument is that national polls are meaningless at this stable. so for national polls averages to be the determine nabtant was the point you made. what do you make of donald trump this year and the support he's had? look at new hampshire voters. new hampshire republicans at least. >> what do i make of donald trump. he's visited me a number of times and has called me a number of times. and i may be responsible for his performance tonight because i told him about a month ago that he shouldn't try to cram for this because that's just not his style. so if he listens to that i think trump is going to be trump. that is a has attracted a lot of people to him because a lot of people are really fed up with the washington crowd in both
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parties and that's what he is voicing. now, whether those people come election day want to pull a lever in his favor, i think is another question entirely but for the moment he is -- he is entertaining and it's the media, you, me everyone are reporting on him and, therefore, helping his numbers. so what do i make of trump? the donald is the donald. he's -- he asks for my endorsement, then he told me that he was a smart businessman and knew he wasn't going to get our endorsement and, therefore, he wasn't coming to our event and then the last i heard from him he was still interested in our endorsement. >> well, could you imagine endorsing him? is he a credible republican nominee for the presidency of the united states? >> i don't think so no no. no. he might make a good secretary of the treasury with some work but i don't think he has the
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command and has not been in the kind of position that you need to be to be an effective president of the united states. >> joe mcquaid thank you so much. great to see you. after this we're back live from cleveland, ohio with a fond farewell with someone who has had a lasting impact on american politics.
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we're back live in cleveland, only hours before the first presidential debate of 2016. it's big political event. so many of us have been waiting for it but it is not the only landmark political events happening tonight. tonight the man who arguably had the biggest influence on the political sensibilities of an entire generation of voters is signing off for the last time.
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fans started lining up at 2:00 this morning for the chance to see jon stewart's last show which took off in decision 2,000 during bush v. gore, the recount, and has never looked back. here's some of our look back at jon stewart's greatest hits on what we can call "the daily show" moment of zen. >> welcome. welcome, welcome to "the daily show." craig kill born is ons a tsunamiment p. >> this is the craziest election. calling this whole thing indecision 2,000 was a light hearted jab, we had a no idea that people were going to run with that. at which point 49% of the country also solemnly swore. >> we have done things that some folks don't even know about. >> what have you done that we don't know about? >> well. >> are you -- are you planning a surprise party for us?
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filled with jobs and health care. nice nominee you've got there there. i have one character that i do. when i look at your deep dish [ bleep ] pizza i don't know whether to eat it or throw a coin in it and make a wish. and if i made a wish it would be that i wish for some real [ bleep ] pizza. this is our first show since the tragedy in new york city. there's no other way really to start the show but to ask you at home the question that we asked the audience here tonight and that we've asked everybody that we know here in new york since september 11th, that is are you okay? please, sir, to you. to your health sir. >> thank you very much. >> we do appreciate it. is it good? >> good. >> where is osama bin laden?
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>> i don't know. do you know? do you know where he is? you lead on. we'll follow you. >> i tell him how important education is and that i even want education for your children as well. and i'll tell him that's what i want to tell you. now do what you want. >> i know your father is backstage and he's very proud of you. but would he be mad if i adopted you? we're going to do a challenge. i'm going to try. and download every movie ever made and you're going to try to sign up for obamacare and we'll see which happens first. >> okay. okay. >> i know you've been a hillary clinton supporter for president for quite some time. does donald trump's entry into the race in any way complicate
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that or -- >> well, you know that's a hard question, but i -- i want to just remind you that as you pointed out with that unbelievable opening, you got five weeks to go and i'm still the spouse of a presidential candidate. >> i don't have any specific plans. got a lot of ideas. i got a lot of things in my head. i'm going to have dinner on a school night with my family who i have heard from multiple sources are lovely people. you get in this business with the idea that maybe you have a point of view and something to express and to receive feedback from that is the greatest feeling i can ask for. i thank you. >> and, boy, has he made a difference. jon, we are going to miss you. and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports."
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the kickoff debate, i'll be here live in cleveland for msnbc's prime time coverage anchored by chris matthews starting at 7:00 eastern and remember follow the show online on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports. my colleague thomas roberts joins with what's coming up next on "msnbc live." >> great work from cleveland. coming up the political fight night, five things to watch in tonight's record-setting republican debate. how will the other candidates trump trump and who is not ready for prime time? and who could stage a sneak attack from behind? we're looking at all the angles with an all-star slate of guests and reporters coming up. plus what's the deal with the phone conversation between bill clinton and donald trump? it's all straight ahead on "msnbc live."
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electricity? hi, everybody, i'm thomas roberts. right now on "msnbc live" cleveland rocks are republicans. we're just hours away from a reality tv show like none other. the first republican presidential debate at 9:00 p.m. eastern for the two-hour main event. but, are they already for prime time? each candidate with something to prove with most likely eyeing the big dog in the room. we're talking about the front-runner, donald trump. so is he feeling performance pressure? will anyone go after him? if so who is it going to be? according to kentucky senator rand paul this morning, it could be him. >> well, you know i like to mix it up so my staff is all saying oh, no we need to be cautious. i'm like i like to mix it up. i plan on getting into it with the other candidates. i don't think we should just sort of succumb to oh, well, you can just say

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