tv Meet the Press MSNBC March 7, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
candidate to go head-to-head with hillary clinton. >> meanwhile, whateverappened to marco rubio? three thirds and a fourth on a rough night. also, bernie sanders scores wins in kansas and nebraska, but hillary clinton takes louisiana and the most delegates for the day. >> you just want to pull your hair out when you see that insult fest at goes on among the republicans. plus, the republican dump trump movement. >> he's playing the memberings of the american public for suckers. he has neither the. >> mitt romney is in, but supporters push back. >> if mitt romney thinks that about mr. trump, he must think about that of every one of us that support mr. trump. and you think the republican race is nasty? >> i have had to fight for everything my entire life. >> president frank underwood, or should i say kevin spacey? one of them will be with me this
morning. and joining me for insight and analysis are, david brooks of the "new york times," kelly o'donnell of nbc news, republican strategist mary matalin, and stephen henderson of the detroit free press. welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. if the dump trump movement needs a candidate to rally around, his name just might be ted cruz. cruz and donald trump each won two contests yesterday, but it was ted cruz who emerged with the most delegates and perhaps some renewed momentum. cruz easily won the kansas caucuses beating trump by a better than two to one margin. cruz also took the main caucuses with 46% of the vote. 13 points ahead of trump, another double-digit win there for cruz. but trump also took two states last night winning the only primary in louisiana, but he won that by a much smaller margin
than polls had indicated. and trump won the newly created kentucky caucuses, but again, it was by just a four-point margin over cruz. smaller than what many had predicted. overall cruz won 70 degals last night to trump's 61. so cruz won the night on delegates. although overall trump still holds the leads in the delegate count. but as important as delegates are, cruz won some momentum and hope last night. >> maybe right now you're supporting marco rubio or john kasich. what is becoming more and more clear is if you want to beat tru donald trump, we have to stand united as one. >> i want to congratulate ted on maine and kansas, he should do well in maine because it's very close to canada, let's face it. i mean. >> on the democratic side by the way bernie sanders won two out of three states, but hillary clinton won the most delegates. let me walk you through it. sanders beat clinton by better than two to one in the kansas
kau s caucuses. sanders also won the nebraska caucuses but by a smaller margin, 56-44, the clintons spent a little time in nebraska, they didn't campaign much in kansas. but despite the sanders kansas, nebraska, see what we did for the history teachers, clinton won the primary by a huge marge 71-23, and that gave clinton the majority of delegates overnight. so overall with her support from superdelegates, clinton's lead in the delegate count has expanded to over 600 now over sanders. but as we said the big news was on the republican side. and even as ted cruz's wins gave hope to this growing never trump movement, donald trump had a message for republican leaders who think cruz has slowed his momentum. >> i would love to take on ted one-on-one. that would be so much fun. because ted can't win new york, he can't win new jersey, he can't win pennsylvania, he can't win california. >> republicans desperate to sink trump's presidential bid for months are finally speaking out.
on thursday the party's last nominee denounced its current front-runner as a phony and a fraud. >> think of donald trump's personal qualities. the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the absurd third grade theatrics. >> and yet his speech only seemed to cement trump's support. >> if mitt romney thinks that about mr. trump, then he must think that about every one of us supporters of mr. trump. we are not phonies and frauds. >> i think what's damaging the republican brand is trashing front-runner at this stage. >> and trump crudely reminded voters that four years ago romney accepted his endorsement. >> i could have said, mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees. he was begging. >> romney has joined what is now a growing republican never trump caucus. >> he's attacking all of the core tenants of the republican party's platform. >> i reject trump and i'm encouraging other republicans to
do the same. >> i will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the kkk -- >> these were donald trump's -- >> and donors are pouring millions into a last-ditch effort to defeat him. >> donald trump made millions while hard working americans got scammed. >> republican leaders aren't just worried that trump would lose to clinton, they worry that trump at the top of the ticket would put the senate and even the house in jeopardy. according to the "new york times," the senate gop heeder has assured republicans up for re-election that they can run ads against trump if needed, quote, we'll drop them like a hot rock. >> i don't remember saying anything like that to all of you. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't remember saying anything like that to all of you. >> some republicans are so desperate to stop trump they're ready to bury old rivalries and unite behind whoever is best positioned. >> if you nominate trump and cruz, i think you get the same
outcome. you know, whether it's death by being shot or poisoning, does it really matter. we may be in a position where we have to rally around ted cruz is the only way to stop donald trump. >> reporter: but trump's republican rivals. >> i will go anywhere to speak to anyone before i let a con artist get ahold of the republican party. >> reporter: even one who calls him a con artist undermine the idea that trump is unacceptable. >> i'll support the republican nominee. >> yes, because i gave my word i would. >> i'll support whoever is the republican nominee for president. >> so in the end it may be that trump's real opponent isn't named ted cruz or marco rubio or john kasich, but perhaps it's mitt romney. some heard governor romney's speech on thursday and thought, hey, maybe he's interested in the nomination. well, governor romney joins me now this morning. governor, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> thank you, chuck. od to be with you. >> well, let me start with the results from last night, a better than expected night for ted cruz, not as go of a night donald trump thought he was going to have, do you think you had aimpact? >> i think i had a big impact.
i think a lotd of people were surprised by how well ted cruz d. he got more delegates than donald trump last night. he was aenthusiastic, donald trump was uncharacteristically low energy last night. i think he was really surprised. i think this is a campaign that doesn't begin to be over. i have a feeling it's groek e going it break a few more rules before we finish. >> ted cruz, do you believe he's emerged as the chief anti-trump candidate and are you ready to back him? >> well, i think he's emerging now. he had a strong night won seven states to donald's ten states and i wouldn't writeoff marco rubio or john kasich at this point. marco rubio very strong in florida. more recent polls have him within a few points of donald trump. and john kasich leading in ohio. so they may be favorite son candidates or may emerge down the road being a very strong candidate on their own. >> you had said it's a time for choosing. you seem to indicate that on march 16th it's a time for choosing. is that when you are going to endorse an alternative
officially? >> i may well at that point. it depends of course on what happens that night, but, you know, i'm leaning towards supporting someone and going out on the campaign trail and try to convince people to vote for the person who i think can help the country in a very critical time. and who also can represent conservative values and cservative ideals. a real deal republican, if you will. >> let me confirm, are you comfortable supporting john kasich, marco rubio or ted cruz? any one of those three candidates against donald trump? >> absolutely. any one of those three is a real republican. they've demonstrated over time that they share conservative values. there's some differences on policy or on tactics to implement policy, but i'd be very proud having any one of them at the top of the ticket. donald trump on the other hand is someone who represents something entirely different. and in my view is not at all the real deal. this is a guy who pretds to be one thing and is something else entirely. >> you know, i want to go to something you said about donald trump's business background in
your speech last thursday. let me play a clip. >> his bankruptcies have crushed small businesses. and the men and women who work for them. he inherited his business. he didn't create it. and whatever happened to trump airlines? how about trump university? and then there's trump magazine. and trump vodka. and trump steaks. and trump mortgage. a business genius he is not. >> however, when you accepted his endorsement four years earlier, this is what you said about his business background. >> donald trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the american people. i spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy, but successful nonetheless. >> governor, all those unsuccessful businesses that you outlined on thursday, trump airlines, trump university, trump vodka, those are all failures before 2012 as well. were you just sort of saying
something you had to say four years ago in order to accept his endorsement? >> well, donald trump has made a lot of money for himself. and there's no question that he's got a lot of money in his pockets and has been successful on that score. but if you look at his record overall and there are other, by the way, failures, you say, okay, he made a lot of money for himself. inherited a lot of money from his dad, but this is not a guy who's a self-made man. and this is a guy who's crushed a lot of people along the way. >> why did you say nice things about him four years ago? why did you say so many nice things about his business career when clearly you're not impressed? >> you know, he's made a lot of money for himself and i'm gracious enough in a setting where someone's endorsed me to point out that he's been successful, made a lot of money, has a lot of hotels and so forth, but you can't ignore the fact he's had a lot of failures. he tries to sell himself in this campaign as nhing but succe successful. he's not a loser. he's lost time and time again and crushed a lot of people in the process. and the thing that i find most unusual, and perhaps outrageous, is that even though he says he's worth $10 billion, he finds it
in his interest to go out and bilk people of $10,000 here, $15,000 there for trump university. these people have really been scammed. i want to make sure the american people are not subject to the same kind of scam as we nominate a president. >> i understand that. but i want to go -- you did, you laid out a whole bunch of things you thought disqualified trump, not just his business background. you thought his support for terrorists could lead to a trade war, you were pretty critical of the vulgar language he uses, the insulting of muslims. he was pretty insulting of muslims four years ago. he was the face of the birther movement, which has been totally discredited. and i got to play you something here, in 2011, listen to this vulgarity he used. >>ed the messenger is important. i could have one man say, we're going to tax you 25%. and i can say another, listen to me, [ bleep ], we're going to tax you 25%. >> governor, it's sunday morning so we had to beep that out, but
it was this horrible frankly f-bomb tirade he went on. it's been making the rounds on youtube. again, in 2011. so i go back, do you believe you mainstreamed trump, made him acceptable? and do you regret it? >> chuck, there are a lot of people who supported me who i'm sure used the f-bomb and other words, i had 61 million people vote for me in the general election. and i'm not endorsing all 61 million people for president. and i'm happy to accept the endorsement of a lot of people who i disagree with on some issues, and some people who i wouldn't want to be associated with the things they say. but i at this stage am at a point where looking at donald trump and the future of the country. and we say to ourselves is someone with his record and someone who believes the things he believes which in my view would lead to a recession and to a trade war and lead to a world being less safe, do we want that person to be president of the united states? do we want that clip you just saw being on tv for our kids to see time and time again? even the debate, the
presidential debate last week donald trump is saying something i don't want my grandkids to watch. so this guy, look, he may be colorful, he may have made a lot of money for himself, he is not the person who should be president of the united states. >> but in hindsight i take it you're embarrassed that you stood next to donald trump four years ago? >> you know, some of the things he said more recently would have made it difficult particularly with regards to the clue cluku klan, things about muslims in particular, i would have had a difficult time standing next to him four years ago. >> you made that compelling speech, some called it the clearest indictment of trump yet that anybody had done. and hours later the three candidates running against donald trump sat on a debate stage and all pledged to support him if he's the nominee. did that disappoint you? >> i think it was expected. they had been asked that from the very beginning of the campaign. and they've pledged to support whoever the nominee was and they had to stand by their pledge. but you saw with few exceptions they hesitated when it came time to answer that question.
it was a difficult one for them to swallow. you know, i respect the fact that they honored their word as ted cruz said, but donald trump is a more and more difficult person to support in part because he says, look, he's going to become presidential, he'll act presidential and even on that debate stage and in his reaction to my speech, he's anything but presidential. >> you have said you will not support either donald trump or hillary clinton for president. you would look for another way, maybe you skip the vote, maybe you vote for a third party candidate, is donald trump becoming president worse in your mind than hillary clinton becoming president? >> both of them are pretty darn bad. as lindsey graham said, a poison or a bullet. and i'm going to be voting, but i'll vote for someone who's on the ballot that i think is a real conservative and who would make us proud. and i may write in a name if i can't find such a person. >> do you believe there should be, if trump's going to be on a glide path to the nomination, do you think there should be a concerted third party effort by republicans, maybe it's the constitution party, maybe it's something else? >> i'm not going to encourage at
this stage the creation of a new party. but i think it would be very difficult for donald trump in the final analysis to get the nomination. i think we're going to nominate someone who really represents our party. and i believe that will happen in the process leading up to the convention. but if the convention has no one person getting a majority of the delegates, then we'll have the 2,000-plus delegates there and they'll have to make an asaysment. they were elected by their people in their respective states make the judgment as to who should be our nominee. >> you told my colleague on friday you would not be a candidate for president. but let me ask you the way general sherman was once asked. if nominated, will you accept the nomination, if your name is placed in the nomination and was elected at this cleveland convention, would you accept it? >> you know, i can't imagine anything like that happening. and i don't think anyone in our party should say, oh, no, even if the people of the party wanted me to be the president, i would say no to it. no one's going to say that. but i can tell you this, i'm not a candidate, i'm not going to be a candidate. i'm going to be endorsing one of
the people who's running for president. and one of the people -- i can guarantee you this. one of the people running for president, one of the four, is going to be the republican party nominee. three of the four are people i would endorse. but i'm not running and i'm not going to be running. >> all right. governor mitt romney, i will have to leave i there. governor, thanks for coming on. good to see you. >> thanks, chuck. good to be with you. >> you got it. when we come back, if trump can't be stopped, could we be witnessing the breakup of the republican party as we know right now at papa john's, get one of our best deals ever.... ....for just $9.99 you can get any large pizza with up to five toppings pile on your favorites with up to five toppings for just $9.99 better ingredients. better pizza. papajohns.com take care of whatealthy makes you...you. aveeno® daily moisturizing body wash and lotion with active naturals® oat. used together, they provide 2x the nourishment for beautiful healthier looking skin. aveeno® naturally beautiful results®
welcome back. there are six more contests by the way coming up in just the next few days. today, democrats hold their caucuses in maine. and then puerto rico holds its republican primary today. then on tuesday republicans have caucuses in hawaii and a primary in idaho, and both parties have primaries in mississippi and michigan. michigan perhaps is the big prize, and so we have a brand new nbc news/"the wall street journal"/marist poll to show you this morning, it has donald trump way out in front at 41%. ted cruz and marco rubio sitting much farther behind. and john kasich, who is hoping for a big boost from michigan, we have him languishing in last place. we know there are other polls that indicate he's stronger. we'll find out on tuesday. and on the democratic side let me show you numbers, hillary clinton with a comfortable 17-point lead over bernie sanders, but both campaigns have indicated to me they believe this race is much close r than what our polie in polling indic.
. we bring in our panel. stephen henderson, editorial page editor for the big newspaper that will be covering the bigamimy primary the detroit free press. stephen, welcome to you. let me just start with mitt romney. i feel like there's two different reactions here between david and mary. david, what was your sense of romney on the trump endorsement and romney leaving that door open about running? >> first on the romney on what happened thursday, finally. finally somebody's beginning a sustained attack on donald trump. and to me every republican office holder if they want to save their party has to continue that attack. and it's not an attack on things people like about him that he's politically incorrect and a bully, that's what voters like. it's attack that he betrays people, he's a betrayer and narcissist, thinks only about himself. i think everyone's got to hit this note. they've got credited examples of people scammed by trump university, trump mortgage, all the other stuff. and keep this going day after day. >> mary, did you think it was
effective? you weren't so sure the romney speech was effective. >> i think it was the wrong messenger and wrong timing although david's right about the substance of it. because when you attack trump the person, you're trumping the people who support him. when you show that his business record isn't good and all that other stuff, then you make people think this is evidenced in the late vote went to cruz in louisiana and -- >> well, actually, let me show you since you brought it up, let me show you the louisiana numbers. this is from our friends at 538 they were able to compare. this is what according to the early vote totals, donald trump, look at that, 24-point lead. election day itself, louisiana has some early voting, election day itself was a total tie. that says a lot. clearly late breakers for cruz. >> i will add to that cruz won the delegate. we pick our delegates by caucus, so he won those two. but i think rubio hurt trump
more than romney hurt trump. but rubio hurt himself in doing it. but what mitt did say, which is important, the time for choosing is now. and if the party wants to stop trump, they have to stop kasich. and they have to stop rubio. and they have to stop them right now, saving rubio the embarrassment of losing his home state. if trump goes through florida and ohio, it's over. when you reallocated your michigan vote, all the carson votes went to anybody but trump. >> right. >> and most of them went to cruz. he's a real deal conservative. i don't know what's the problem -- >> kelly, we know the problem on capitol hill, right? >> absolutely. he does not have many friends there. but one of the problems is the party starting to say stop trump does not offer the voters one choice and so reluctant to do it in your interview with mitt romney not willing to choose someone else right now. so those against trump who say he's not truly a republican, not really a conservative, but then you have, you know, this never trump crowd. and then you have the voters who
say, well, no forever trump. if you tell me never, i say forever. >> right. they get back in. >> there's also a substantive credibility, you have republicans saying trump is not one of us and yet a lot of things he's saying are said in coded language by other republicans. i wrote a column last week about paul ryan for instance saying this is not a party that preys on people's prejudices and yet you think of lots of examples of republicans doing exactly that going back to ronald reagan giving a states rights speech in 1980 in mississippi. this goes on all the time in coded ways. trump is saying these things more explicitly and it makes things uncomfortable and i know it does too. >> no, it doesn't make me uncomfortable it makes me want to choke you because it's ridiculous and it's the creation of trump. conservatives do not consider themselves bigots or homophobes. he is x paend expanding the electorate bringing in like-minded libertarians, young people. trump is expanding the
electorate by getting people who are sick of being called bigots because they want to secure the border, that's not -- this is not a race race, okay, let's not go there. >> i think it is. i mean, i think there's no question what he's doing is appealing to race and republicans have done that for a long time. >> by the way, there was something else donald trump did yesterday and grabbed my eye, and, dave, i have to show it to you and get you to react to it as well. here it is. >> i've never done this before. can i have a pledge, a swearing? raise your right hand. i do solemnly swear that i no matter how i feel, no matter what the conditions if there's hurricanes or whatever, that's good enough will vote on or before the 12th for donald j.
trump for president! thank you. >> david, the visual, the hands go up, trump asks for a pledge. >> wow. i was flabbergasted. the number one trait that associates or correlates with trump's support is authoritarianism. we live in a democracy where we recognize other people and we make messy deals. and we're always sort of disappointed. that's what politics is. there's two ways to run a country like that. you can either run it with democracy and compromise or through authoritarianism. for some reason there's something in the electorate right now people feel they're losing out on things, that they want a strong leader who will show me the way. and that's what -- >> but they want a strong leader who's consistent. you can't be flexible on or sketchy on rules of engagement, flexible on the border or compromising on scotus, on the supreme court, you can't do that. >> how is donald trump anything but flexible? i mean, he switches position on
torture and everything this week. >> that undermines the message. if the messenger is the message that undermines his credibility as an authority figure. >> was that a sign of weakness? a, he didn't anticipate the visual of how that would stand over time but also signaling to voters i'm worried you'll not show up? >> it's a fair point. as you point out he also had the date wrong. >> early voting is one -- >> when early voting shuts down but probably confusing to some people. we're going to take a pause. back in a little bit. senator lindsey graham will be here. and he has said this. >> my party has gone bat [ bleep ] crazy. >> all of the words we used today on "meet the press" are something else. anyway, he now says it may be time to back ted cruz to defeat donald trump. and then later -- >> you're right. i am still white trash. i just happen to be white trash that lives in the white house. >> is art imitating life or the
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winner take all states florida and ohio. let me break down a few scenarios to explain why time is so short. here's the delegate count as of this sunday morning. so so far here as you can see trump has won 45% of all delegates awarded so far. that's majority. that's pretty important. let's assume he wins that same 45% for all of the remaining contests through march 15 besides florida and ohio. we're going to do some estimates here. if trump wins both florida and ohio on march 15th, here's what happens. he would end up with a nearly 300-delegate lead, huge gap here as you can see. and of course his chances, marco rubio, john kasich both probably drop out if they lose their home states, so trump would need to just win 51% of all remaining delegates in a one-on-one versus ted cruz. that's probably very doable when you think of places like new york, california, et cetera. but what happens if trump only wins one of the two big states? well, we did that math too. if he wins florida but kasich wins ohio, polls seem to indicate, our projections look
something like this. and that respect trump then would need to win 57% of all remaining delegates. that's tougher, but actually still somewhat doable. and if trump wins ohio but rubio wins florida, by the way, it's kind of a similar story. but here's where there's trouble for trump. and it comes if rubio and kasich both win their home states. then trump would need 67% of all remaining delegates in order to avoid a contested convention. guess what, it's an extremely heavy lift especially because rubio and kasich, you think they're dropping out if they win their home states? no way. all four stay in, the likelihood of the contested convention nears 100%. and, oh my, would cleveland rock then. in any other year with any other candidate we'd say this nomination was locked up, but that conventional wisdom totally out the door. conventional wisdom has been proven wrong over and over this cycle so we'll see when and how it gets proven wrong again. when we come back, senator lindsey graham joins us on the
senator graham joins me now. senator, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, i'll try not to cuss. >> well, sadly you wouldn't be the first one on air today to do it. >> okay. >> let me start with something you said tuesday night that got the cruz campaign happy and raised a lot of eyebrows in washington. and considering what happened saturday, are you getting more comfortable rallying around ted cruz as the stop trump candidate? >> i would support cruz over trump. i'd prefer rubio over kasich. rubio and kasich over cruz, but if ted's the alternative to trump, he's at least a republican conservative. and here's my message to the republican party then conservative movement. i'd rather risk losing without donald trump than try to win with him because it will do more damage over time. >> you know, it's interesting you say that. i want to play i think it's been amazing the rhetoric many republicans have used against donald trump. let me play a collection for it and ask you about something on the other side. >> donald trump has written checks to hillary clinton not once, not twice, not three times, ten times.
>> i think it is important that we stop mr. trump. >> we have a con artist as the front-runner in the republican party. >> if a person wants to be the nominee of the republican party, there can be no evasion and no games. they must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. this party does not prey on people's prejudices. >> marco rubio added one more criticism of trump. i want to play that, too. >> i don't want us to have a president that we constantly have to be explaining to our kids, look, i know that's what the president did, but you shouldn't do that. i don't want that. we actually had a president like that not long ago. it was real bad. >> but senator graham, all four of those individuals, you know what they've also pledged to do, support the nominee. >> support him, yeah, really. >> was that a mistake? >> i don't know. i'm going -- ask me if i'll support the nominee after the convention. they're in a spot where they have to be loyal to the party. >> do you?
>> call me after the convention. i'm not going to say anything about our nominees supporting that person until after the convention. if donald trump's the nominee, the republican party will get killed, will get creamed, we'll deserve it. call me after the convention. >> i want to bring in audiotape k -- a couple other people, kelly o'donnell who you see a lot. >> senator, good to see you. you know ted cruz better than most people do from working with him. is there anything you think he could do as the nominee of the party to convince people he would be willing to work with others and to expand his sort of ability to cross the aisle? anything at all that suggests he could do that? >> yeah, i think so. he called me just a couple days ago when i suggested i would support him over trump. at the end of the day i know what i'm getting with ted cruz. he would repeal obamacare and replace it with something better. he's not going to order our troops to commit war crimes. he would defund planned parenthood. we have a lot in common, tactically i disagree with ted about shutting down the government to repeal obamacare.
thought it was a bad idea, but yeah, if i can work with ted cruz, i think that shows there is hope. >> david. >> david brooks, "new york times," senator. i want to ask you about ted cruz as a senator. aside from the government shutdown, what has he accomplished in the senate? >> well, he's basically made most people in the party believe that the reason we don't repeal obamacare is because of me and mitch mcconnell. it's not like i prefer ted cruz. here's what happened. when we wanted to shut down the government to repeal obamacare, i thought that was never going to happen. it's going to be hard to repeal a law named after a president while they're still president. and when ted said that me opening up the government made me for obamacare, that kind of stung. but ted is a conservative. he's more ideological than i am, but he is a republican conservative. and donald trump is not. i hope rubio wins florida. i hope kasich wins ohio. but if i had to support ted cruz over donald trump, i would
because i think he is a republican conservative and he might could beat hillary clinton. >> stephen. >> senator, stephen henderson of the detroit free press. four years ago your party talked about the need to sort of expand the tent, get more of these new voters to support your party. >> yeah. >> what are the prospects for that with either a donald trump or a ted cruz as the nominee? >> some hope with ted, no hope with the donald. we're in a demographic death spiral. what did we learn in 2012? hispanics don't like our message on immigration of self-deportation.8h;pw i don't think they're going to like forced deportation better. at the end of the day, donald trump has taken every problem we've had with hispanics and young women and made them worse. in that regard ted cruz would be much more acceptable. i cannot tell you the damage that donald trump would do to the republican party if he carried our banner because he has ran a campaign on race baiting and religious bigotry, that cannot be republican
conservatism. >> mary. >> senator, you said if -- you want rubio to win florida, kasich to win ohio. if you're ready to take your poison, you have to take it now because if that transpires then trump will be our nominee. and we're not going to have a contested conventio it will bechaos. and you left out one thing on cruz's conservative -- consistent conservative record. scotus, supreme court. >> yes. good point. >> all things hinge on supreme court. you take your poison now? >> i think rubio and kasich have got to decide among themselves can they be an alternative to trump over time. to me it's clear that ted has made the best case thus far that he can be the alternative to trump. the best thing i think could happen is for the party to unite before ohio and florida and make sure that we not only beat him, trump in ohio and florida, that we have a candidate that can beat him thereafter. and right now it seems that ted cruz has the best case to be made.
>> that's very interesting there. quickly, senator graham, on the supreme court nomination, should -- you've confirmed two of president obama's justices. what's wrong with having confirmation hearings? >> right. i don't think it helps. i think we should let the next president decide. the person i admire the most is me. and if you nominated me, i wouldn't vote for me this year. >> if you nominated you, you wouldn't vote for you? >> there you go. >> that's a new -- >> we'll let the next president see what happens. >> that's a new thing. we'll call it lindseyesque. if nominated, i will not vote for myself. senator, we have to leave it there. we made it through without any beeping. no seven-second delay. thank you, sir. >> we're headed in the right direction. thank you. >> all right. later in the broadcast, the democrats, bernie sanders won two of three contests yesterday and yet things actually may have gotten tougher for him. i'll explain the stubborn nature of delegate math. but first, kevin spacey also known as president frank
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what they're trying to do is divide us. what they really want to succeed in doing is make sure you don't vote for me today. they've gone to a whole lot of trouble to make me look pretty bad -- >> well, that was president frank underwood on the defensive on the campaign trail in south carolina in the new season of "house of cards," which many of you may have already binged
watched on netflix this weekend. i'm joined now by the show's star, kevin spacey, as many are asking is truth becoming stranger than fiction. mr. spacey, welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you for having me. >> we don't want to do spoilers here, but let's see, this season, a supreme court vacancy, kkk scandal, isis inspired group, a battle with the nra. are you doing a documentary? it's amazing here -- and you filmed this before this campaign started. >> yes. this has happened every sason that we have shot "house of cards." we have decide ds on a story line, we have written it, we have shot it and then just before the series gets dropped something very close to what we have decided to develop happens in real life. and i know people think that we've ripped it from the headlines, but it's actually the other way around. we think somehow they're getting our stories. >> well, you know, maybe this is the merging of reality television and scripted television. but let me ask you this, i'll
admit it's maybe just a criticism from me, but "house of cards," some of the other politically themed dramas, they paint politicians as pretty nasty individuals. are you at all worried that it does contribute to this assumption and maybe it's contributing to the real life feeling people seem to have about politicians today? >> look, i believe in public service. and i've always believed in public service. i've been sort of involved in politics my whole life. i have great admiration for people who decide that they can do something that they can try to gather people together to help make this country a better place. so i'm remarkably hopeful. and i'm an optimist in that way. i think, look, we are an entertainment program. we are a fictional show. although there are times when, you know, we'll shoot some sequence and i'll get back to the hotel after and i'll think, gosh, did we push it too far? did we cross the rubicon. and then i turn on the news and
go actually we probably haven't gone far enough. >> that's what i mean, which is pushing the other. >> i think there's just the right amount of wrong going on that it's a very interesting campaign. >> all right. ask the inevitable question, what would frank underwood make of donald trump? >> i was asked this question recently if donald trump and frank underwood were in a debate, who would win the debate, and i thought about this for quite some time. and then i said as long as we understand that there's a distinction that one of these figures is a fictional character and the other is a fictional character. i think as long as you understand that distinction. >> it's good we have a little audience -- >> like a drum roll just happened. >> you just did it. it's sunday morning. takes people a little while longer. i think it's interesting that you have -- it one thing and i've seen this with actors they play a politician and then move onto other projects. you do seem to have embraced this a little bit. you're in the documentaries. you're now making a movie about you're going to play nixon. >> i did play nixon.
>> with an elvis themed movie with nixon, which sounds fun. >> it's a true story. >> oh, i know. >> they actually met in 1970. >> and is it just made this more interesting to you? do you find yourself now gravitating more to politics just as a civilian? >> no, i think it's just the happenstance of things. elvis nixon film was offered to me a number of years ago, but it didn't work out. it's remarkable. we are tag lined as the really good one on decemr 20th, 1970, two of america's greatest recording artists met for the first time. and it's this crazy story where elvis came to washington and wanted to be made an undercover federal agent at large and wanted nixon to give him a badge. so just this sort of side of -- it's a farce obviously. we play very seriously. but, no, i've always been fascinated with politics. at the moment i'm having such an extraordinary time playing frank underwood, a remarkable
character really put on the map. it's such a pleasure to play. >> how many more seasons? >> don't know yet. >> will you do another one? >> oh, definitely, if they want. >> all right. that means i haven't seen it all the way, we're not going to give any alerts. >> you start your binge tonight. >> i will start tonight and we shall see. kevin spacey u , a pleasure sir >> thank you very much. back with our end game segment where hillary cl now ... a breakthrough from aveeno® absolutely ageless® night cream with active naturals® blackberry complex ... ... a whole new way to keep skin looking younger longer ... ... starting tonight. part of the new absolutely ageless collection from aveeno®
we haven't talked much about the democratic race. stephen, i want to start with you. michigan, you know, we show a pretty substantial lead for hillary clinton, but sanders, you know, this is a state that has done quirky things in the past. jerry brown won this primary in 1980, jesse jackson won. it's had some stranger than fiction type of results in michigan. can bernie sanders pull the upset? >> i don't think he will. i think he will do better than some of the polls are suggesting, but the institutional support for clinton in michigan is really remarkable. former governor, former senator carl levin, current senators, they are such strong clinton advocates and worked really hard to make sure she does well on tuesday. i think that will carry her over the finish line. >> mary, you're one of the people thought the debate on thursday night was so bad for the party itself that it was helpful to democrats? >> i did not. i don't think anything's been helpful to the democrats. i'm going to agree with stephen that michigan on both sides is
institutional. i was exiled there for losing iowa. my punishment was -- we had a rump convention but in the end it is institutionalized and i think she'll win. i think fmrs. clinton her problm is not going to be that she's not going to be the nominee, it's the lack of intensity in these primaries they have lost millions of voters. and we have gained millions of voters. >> by the way, the quick turnout, we've done just some quick envelope here but kansas republican caucus nearly double the turnout for republicans. the kentucky republican caucus got a higher turnout than the kentucky republican primary. >> yeah, i would disagree there's no correlation between primary turnout and wins in the fall. in the last 11 elections. >> enthusiasm doesn't hurt. they did set records in '08. >> this has been a great week for the democratic party. what we saw today is a lot of republicans have all theserump cocktails and it's 2:00 in the morning and ted cruz is starting to look good. and so they're thinking, oh, cruz -- >> do you think it's trump
goggles? not beer goggles but trump goggles. >> they're thinking, oh, ted cruz, but this guy, ted cruz is almost as electable as donald trump to me. he's basically in the santorum bucket there and he's still not really breaking out of that. he's the most conservative member of the united states senate. so democrats i feel you got to be thinking pretty well of yourselves. >> it is amazing what happened today on the show. mitt romney went closer and closer to saying he was almost enthusiastic -- not enthusiastic about cruz, but he was closer. and lindsey graham by the end by the time with marye seemed to agree with the premise do it before florida and ohio. >> well, winning helps. and cruz has demonstrated an ability to get voters to commit to him even if the party is so hesitant to do so. now that he's racking up some wins nd republicans looking seriously at this and worried about what could happen if trump is the nominee are seeing cruz as a disciplined reliable conservative. in this atmosphere that's something -- >> bad saturday for marco rubio turning into a disastrous
sunday. >> using an old template on this. it's not republican, democrat, independence, it's the country class versus the ruling class and ted cruz was on the trajectory to be the country class, which expands the electorate exponentially at cpac again he got the youth, the libertarians, he's a full spectrum conservative, but he's also not somebody who plays the washington game. he will expand the electorate for republicans. >> i think lindsey graham is speaking out of self-preservation here. one thing i think you can say cruz at the top of the ticket will be predictable and more comfortable for other republicans running down the ballot. they can run with him, separate where they need to but comfortable he won't embarrass him. that seems to be why they're getting more comfortable with him. >> i think that's true. i think if you look at michigan that the republican establishment they're really fearful about what trump will do to those down ballot races in november that he could wipe them out in a way that they haven't seen. we have some really good congressional races, first district u.p. northern michigan
typically a democrat seat been in republican hands for a couple cycles could flip back if you have a trump at the top of the ticket. maybe cruz helps you a little that way, but i'm sort of with david. i don't see that much of a difference between the two in terms of -- >> message discipline is a big difference though. the campaign trail is the big difference here, right? cruz would be -- would not -- >> you cannot compromise on the supreme court. you can't be flexible -- >> that mobilizes extremely conservative voters. it doesn't mobilize everybody else who want economics or vote on economics or not particularly theological -- the republicans will win several important counties in mississippi -- >> david, before i go onto something a little fun here from "snl" last night. you, the last time you were on you were saying you were not ready to give in on the idea that marco rubio is done. after hearing this morning, after seeing the results, what is marco rubio's path at this point? >> it's what you showed. i mean, listen, i'm clinging by my fingertips.
i don't see a real path, but you still dream. it's what you showed. this is why i don't understand why people want the party to unify before florida and ohio. >> you don't want them to. >> absolutely not. rubio's got to win florida, kasich's got to win ohio and then trump has that 67% rate he needs to win the delegates. that is the only hope. >> why is cruz contesting florida? doesn't that help, mary? doesn't that help donald trump? >> i hope that there's a presumption particularly with lindsey graham leading the way and giving cover that cruz is the -- what you just said, donald has embarrassed institutional down ballot races enough that there's a hope that the party will unify before florida and ohio. why not contest it? >> it will be interesting to see what kind of phone calls marco rubio's getting. before we go our friends at "snl," we thought it was an off week for them, but it wasn't. they had a little fun speculating that hillary clinton seems to be enjoying the state of the republican race. take a look. >> to all of you >> to all of you voters out there who have thought for
years, i hate hillary, i could never vote for her, to you i say, welcome. because i've got clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right and here you are stuck in the middle with me! yay! >> it does get -- >> the two most unpopular people with general election voters, the democrats for hillary clinton, for the republicans it's donald trump. i mean what happens to swing voters if that is the case? >> they have such a hard choice. and i think where trump poses a greater threat to hillary clinton is that he does pull some of those reagan-style democrats, and that could be interesting. but one of the unpredictable things about trump is can you even imagine the apparatus of a general election for him? who staffs him? where are the strategists going to come from to actually help him get down the line. >> oh, you know what? we'll hire experts for that. speaking of experts, i had four good ones here today. thank you all. that's it for today. we'll be back next week. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
it's monday, march 7th. right now on "first look," the worldwide outpouring over the passing of nancy raeagan continues as admire ires remember a devoted partner to ronald reagan. as the democrats debate in flint water crisis and the auto industry's bailout. when things got testy. >> if you are talking about the wall street bailout, where some of your friends destroyed this economy -- >> you know -- >> -- excuse me, i'm talking. >> we'll tell you how the candidates fared after weekend voting ahead to tuesday's big day. and check out the world's largest aircraft. nfl legend peyton manning prepares to call it a career later today. and much more on a busy monday, "first loo