tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 10, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST
this crucial vote on tuesday, you know, but, hey, if he does, couldn't hurt. or actually in this race maybe it could hurt. feel free to look that gift horse in the mouth, you guys. miami without the heat. this is "hardball." i'm chris matthews los angeles tonight, the republicans met for their final scheduled debate tonight in miami, and there was an unusual atmosphere to the encounter. civility gone with the slings that little marco and lying ted gone were the insults trump about spray tans and large ears and little hands. it was a subdued performance by donald trump and the rest of the men on the stages and even trump seemed like he couldn't quite believe it.
>> if you have a candidate who has been funding liberal democrats and funding the washington establish many, it's very hard to imagine how suddenly this candidate is going to take on washington. >> first of all, ted was in favor of amnesty. so there's no question about that. i would say this, we're all in this together. we're going to come up with solutions. we're going to find the answers to things, and so far i cannot believe how civil it's been up here. >> we're out here covering all aspects of tonight's debate. who came out the winner, if anyone? will it make a difference next week. i'm joined by nbc's spin room katy tur. "the washington post" robert costa joins us. howard fineman and curtis lee who is with me right now. let me go to howie jackson on -- howie jackson, sure. what do you think about tonight's debate? what explains the behavior. i guess cruz was
the most consistent taking shot after shot at barack obama irrespective of the topic going for the pro-israel crowd which makes sense. i guess most of what he did was going after the tea party people. he was working their hard right rail of the race like he's always done. i don't know what the strategy is. is there enough of the hard right rail for him -- delegate votes for him to win the nomination way out on the hard right? >> well, that's the bet he's making, chris, that by moving to the right of donald trump he can pick up that conservative support and try to bring together the so-called anti-trump folks within the republican party. what was most striking about this, i mean, i think he nailed it when he talked about it was serious, it was substantive for the most part. even donald trump himself acknowledged how civil the evening was. you didn't see at all what you saw last week, which were insults right off the bat. for the first 90 minutes, it was very focused on policy, education, trade, climate change, for example. cruz was the one who did draw those policy contrasts with
donald trump who kept hitting democrats. you heard him say that phrase over the last seven years he's trying to make the case now that he is the best one to take on potentially hillary clinton or the democratic nominee in a general election. the question is, whether that case will stick against somebody like donald trump, who is the clear front-runner in this race. the other part, chris, both of those candidates framing this as a two-person race and you heard trump talk about that explicitly and cruz, as well. marco rubio continuing to sort of insert himself into the conversation looking strong on that cuban answer in his hometown of miami, south florida. a good moment for him. as for the kasich campaign, i spoke with a campaign aide a couple of minutes ago who believes that nothing that happened tonight changed the trajectory of this race. remember, we're just five days out from that crucial florida primary. >> yeah. >> we'll see what happens. >> let's go over to katy, katy tur.
katy, i understand why he wants it to be a two-person race. why does trump want it a two-person race? he agreed with that. >> i think donald trump wants it to get -- the field whittled down as much as it can because i believe he believes he can beat ted cruz when it comes to a number of demographics including evangelicals and beat them on a number of occasion, somewhat conservative voters and moderate voters and he does believe if john kasich and if marco rubio drop out, that a good number of those supporters will, in fact, go to him. so, that's the thinking when it comes to donald trump. he also believes he's going to be able to get more delegates if those two drop out and it'll be faster to get to the 1,237 number, so it would behoove him to have a two-man race but ted cruz is much -- has more depth on policy, and if it was a two-man race on a debate stage, it would be an interesting site to see him try to debate ted cruz on policy. so far he hasn't done particularly a good job of knowing a lot of details when it comes to policy. he's just said over and over
again that he's going to make deals when he's pressed on that stuff. but for the most part i think he does believe that he has a really good shot to take cruz out more quickly if it is a smaller race. >> okay, let's talk about some of the sharper points of the debate over foreign policy. let's start with that especially the deals with cuba opening up relations with cuba setting up embassies in both countries and iran, of course, the nuclear deal with them. let's watch the fight begin here. >> what i want is i want a much better deal to be made. i do agree that something should be -- should take place. after 50 years it's enough time, folks. but we have to make a good deal. we have to make a good deal. >> senator rubio, i know you want to get in. but just to be clear, mr. trump, are you saying that if you were president, you would continue the diplomatic relations or would you reverse them? >> i would want to make a good deal. i would want to make a strong, solid good deal. >> there is an embassy that you would have to decide whether it would be open or whether you would close it. which would it be? havana. >> i would probably have the embassy closed until such time as a really good deal was made
and struck. >> this exchange actually highlights a real choice for republican primary voters. when it comes to foreign policy, do you want to continue on the same basic trajectory as the last seven years of the obama foreign policy? when it comes to these deals, cuba and iran, they were negotiated by hillary clinton and john kerry. what he said right now is that he agrees in principle with what they're doing. >> if ted was listening he would have heard me say something very similar. i said we would not do the deal unless it was going to be a very good deal for us. >> his answer to everything is if only someone smarter were in government, things would be better. no, we don't just need smarter government in people, we need leaders protecting american interests. >> robert costa, you've been exposed to this more than i can. so, i sympathize with you. i find cruz very hard to listen to. he's relentless, and he whines. he's got this same angry edge to
his voice all the time. it's always to the hard right. it's always the cheap shot at president obama, always, always, always playing to the tea party. there's no -- there's no lift in it. there's no hope in it. it's just this grinding negativity towards anyone he's competing with. please tell me what i'm missing. >> he's making an ideological case. he believes there's a path ahead in this race by viewing to the right, by appealing to those movement conservative activists who may still have suspicions about trump. i think, chris, no heat tonight in miami was right but it was certainly an informative night on foreign policy those clips you just played show there is a rupture in the republican consensus on foreign policy. the hawkish consensus is fading at least among trump supporters on domestic policy. trump isn't following the motto on social security. >> well, let's talk about that. the two communities people seem to be pandering to tonight are working to everyone, people concerned about israel and south florida. we all understand that. and that's a very legitimate
pitch and of course, cuban-americans, another equally, you know, appropriate thing to do in politics. what did you make of the rejectionist thing on cuba which i understand it. we know the history of fidel castro, he's a bad guy. and he put missiles in his country aimed at new york, not just trying to defend his country but aiming at us and joining the cold world against us threatening us back in '62, we know that mystery. what is the game for being -- do you think trump sees room there for negotiation? is that what he sees and to take somewhere, a middle position between obama's administration and the hard right position perhaps of the older cuban community here? >> i've spoken to trump about this on numerous occasions, and trump not only sees an opportunity for a deal when it comes to cuba but he departs from the traditional republican view that no kind of deal or no kind of agreements can be cut with the cuban government. i think he's looking toward the general election when he makes this kind of case. he sees the public opinion polls
and he see the opinion changing and rubio coming out of south florida. cuban heritage. he's more of that traditional republican mold from the cold war. >> and what was rubio -- i mean cruz's position? i couldn't figure that. what is cruz's position on cuba? >> cruz is more on the conservative side. the emphasis on human rights when it comes to cuba. we also see cruz in recent days talking about his biography, his father's journey. i think cruz tonight was trying to reach out not only to cuban-americans but working class conservatives and trying to cut into trump's coalition. >> okay the right position is pro-israel. i thought interesting that donald trump tonight -- howard, let me talk about the general politics. the whole night. you're good at the whole field. i want to talk about a couple of things, first of all, trump seemed to act like a republican tonight. he was really trying to say we're all in this together and even used that old line of the democrat party, not as an adjective but using the noun so he's acting like a
clubhouse republican. i thought that was interesting. across the board he seemed to be playing the old dean smith four corner offense. let's slow the game down, freeze the ball. >> yes. >> i don't want anybody to score any points tonight. that seemed to be his approach. your thoughts. >> a few. first of all, yes, this was donald trump imagining what acting presidential would look like, okay. and acting like the leader of the republican party, which he's now asserting that he is. and as a general matter on substance, except for cuba, except for attacks about israel and iran and so forth, on the big picture, they were playing on donald trump's turf. as donald trump has defined it throughout this republican primary season. on trade, on radical islam, on jobs, on anger in the electorate. on all those big picture things, they're all playing in donald trump's turf, which is why he looked the way he did. they did score points on him, on israel, on iran, on cuba.
by the way, i thought marco rubio, where was that marco -- the marco rubio we saw tonight is the marco rubio that the wise guys in washington thought could sell to the country. that was by far his best performance. when you look at donald trump, you have to understand that he doesn't think long term. he thinks of the immediate objective, and he thinks of business. the immediate objective in terms of the primary strategy is that -- is that he is trying to avoid a situation where marco rubio wins the florida primary. and i think he was glad to engage with ted cruz as much as he did, and the reason why donald trump said that it's a two-man race with ted cruz is because donald trump wants to marginalize marco rubio because he wants to beat rubio in florida and as far as cuba -- >> every vote for cruz,
excuse me, howard, every vote for cruz in florida is a vote against rubio. >> it's a vote against rubio and a vote for trump winner the winner take all primary. that's why he was -- >> i see. >> -- saying it's a two-man race with cruz. trump only thinks of the immediate objective ahead. and as far as relations with cuba, the reason he wants to deal with cuba is he thinks like a hotel guy. all the guys in florida are saying let us in there, we'll build hotels in havana. that's what is motivating donald trump on cuba. >> wow. let me bring in curtis here. you know, because i was looking at some of the language tonight, like i talked about how trump is now saying democrat party but he's just -- he's not running as a maverick, he's running as a republican. he's a party guy. the other line was and this is really marco rubio working for i guess the jewish community in southern florida when he says, judea samaria, well, if you're talking about the west bank -- these are languages -- i guess everybody is right in this regard. if you're talking about judea samaria, you're not talking two-state
solution but israel continuing to occupy or hold those disputed territories. right? judea samaria is likud language and very legitimate but it sends a very hawkish statement. forget about a two-state. we ain't going to give it up because it's part of greater israel. that's of historic fact. >> with a lot of those comments, a lot were saying rubio was pandering to sheldon adelson -- >> he's been pandering to that guy for six months. anyway, trump, there's the hot stuff. there was some hot stuff because of whats's been going on. donald trump standing by his anti-muslim comments which basically muslims, per se, are haters of america and the west. let's watch that. >> i meet a lot of them. [ applause ] >> do you want to clarify the comment at all? >> well, i've been watching the debate and talking about radical islamic terrorism or radical islam, but i will tell you
there's something going on that maybe you don't know about and maybe a lot of other people don't know about but there's tremendous hatred. >> i know a lot of people find appeal in the things donald says because he says what people wish they could say. the problem is presidents can't say anything they want. it has consequences here and around the world. >> marco talks about consequence. we've had a lot of consequences including airplanes flying into the world trade center, pentagon and could have been the white house. there have been a lot of problems. now, you can say what you want and you can be politically correct if you want. i don't want to be so politically correct. i like to solve problems. we have a serious, serious problem of hate. [ applause ] there is tremendous hate. there is tremendous hate where large portions of a group of people, islam, large portions want to use very, very harsh means. >> katy tur, what is the constituency for the moderate voice of marco rubio? we heard tonight on the issue of islam and dangers of terrorism as a distinctive question and not to lump all islamic people or muslims into that category of
enemy. what does he win on that? because he must believe he's going to win on it. >> i'm sorry. b ask me that one more time because i was talking. >> trump takes the extreme -- trump takes the ludicrous position because muslims are born in the islamic faith is that they're haters. we know that's not true, 1.5 trillion, whatever, people, a billion people rather and, of course, but marco rubio takes the much more nuanced position which is, of course, there's some -- a real problem in that community, that world community, but there are a lot of people on our side and so did cruz take that position. what's the gain in moderation in a party that seems to be very polarized on that issue? >> it doesn't look like there is a gain right now. when it comes -- the gain is is if they do get the nomination, they'll be able to work with foreign leaders essentially and they're coming off more presidential. they're trying to remain the adults in the room, but donald
trump has repeatedly, quote/unquote telling it like it is and the fact of the matter is, the majority of voters out there that have voted so far for donald trump have also agreed with this idea of a muslim ban, this idea that they're dangerous and they're coming into the united states potentially to hurt us and hear that at the rallies as well. so donald trump is telling it like it is rhetoric on that subject and what republican voters are feeling and the majority of americans said that they believe something along those lines in earlier polling so he's right on the nose with that. the issue is not necessarily getting or winning the primary with that sort of rhetoric, but it's winning the general election and then if you get into the white house, having to work with foreign powers. it's that sort of stuff that follows you around and unclear how donald trump is going to be able to shake that off if he gets the general and then needs to essentially try to work with people from around the world and work with democrats and those who don't necessarily agree with him. but right now this is what he
needs to say to win the republican primary and howard was completely right about that. he sees the next obstacle and in front of him and the next fight in front of him and that's the one he's trying to win and will deal with the rest when he needs to. >> well, that was the old general grant strategy, be a battle winner and rubio is right in terms of consequences like this fellow could go punch somebody at a rally because they thought they were acting on the impulses of donald trump or the theme of donald trump, you look around the world and the islamic world, especially look at the knifings going on in israel today because people believe that the government of israel will grab go up there and take the temple mount up there on top there. and just a rumor like that gets people killed so consequences are real. we'll get back to that. anyway, howie jackson and katy tur will be checking back with the spin room and back to us when we come back. howard, robert and curtis are staying with us, and we'll have much more to come on tonight's republican debate.
and on monday, join me for an exclusive "hardball" town hall in springfield, illinois, where lincoln is from coming up this monday at 7:00 eastern on "hardball" on the big night of primaries next tuesday, a town hall with hillary clinton monday night right here at our usual time, 7:00 p.m. eastern on "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." and our coverage of the republican debate tonight at the university of miami was a lot calmer than many of the past debates we've seen, but with just five days until the primaries on march 15th, that's next tuesday, it has the potential to sway voters in florida and ohio, the two big ones next tuesday. back with robert costa of "the washington post" and howard fineman of "the washington post" and curtis lee of the "l.a. times." robert, i thought we would get news tonight. you had the break on that story,
the scoop that dr. carson -- what's he going to do, tomorrow endorse trump? >> tomorrow, mar-a-lago. >> why did he not bring it up tonight? scooped it already? did he mention it tonight? >> he did mention it tonight. we scooped it, and then he mentioned it. they were trying to have a surprise press conference on saturday -- friday at mar-a-lago and all came together this morning. carson, remember, has been fuming about senator cruz ever since iowa, feels like he was wronged. the campaign mishandled it and trump has been building a rapport with carson behind the scenes, phone call after phone call, that's the trump way and finally met today in mar-a-lago. in palm beach. carson has his own home in west palm beach and quietly met for over an hour and i heard from people very familiar with the situation and carson said i'm with you, let's have an outsider be the nominee. >> wow, moments ago donald trump came through the spin room and stopped in katy tur's camera. let's listen.
>> how did you do tonight? >> i think it was a great debate. i'm very happy with it. >> talk to me, why is ben carson's endorsement so important? >> great guy. respected by everybody. liked by everybody. it was just a wonderful thing to have it and we'll do something tomorrow in palm beach with ben. >> mr. trump, what role would dr. carson have first in your campaign and potentially in your administration? >> well, he is an amazing guy, loved by everybody, respected by everybody and we'll talk about it tomorrow 9:00 at mar-a-lago. >> did you seem to go out of your way to be more presidential, change the tone a bit? >> i thought the tone was very well. i give everybody credit. i thought the tone was really good. it wasn't provocative and i think it was a great debate. >> can i ask you something that didn't come up on the debate stage. ted cruz really went after your voters in an interview and said they are not well informed. what do you think of that criticism of your supporters? >> i actually saw that but actually if you look at the exit
polls my voters, i won in virtually every place where i won for the most part with every place, but my voters are both at the highest level and also middle, but, you know, he was really wrong about it because i also have the most educated voter. i think you saw that in the various polls, so we have a great -- we have pretty much, hey, i won with women, i won with men. i won with highly educated. i won with less than highly educated. i won with just about every group. i won with evangelicals which is a very big thing. >> let's talk about the fund-raising. you remarked you're not sure if you'll take the rnc money -- >> something i haven't thought about. i may very well do that >> do you lose that ground -- >> no, i don't think. it's much different because it's a general election and have the party doing things but it's just something i haven't thought about. i may do that but for the primaries, i'm doing it 100% and putting up a lot of money and i hope it's respected by the voters because i'm putting up a tremendous amount of money
whereas the politicians are getting all this money from special interests, so i hope it's respected. >> thank you. >> howard, let me ask you about the strategy of trump, to slow the ball down to even freeze the ball tonight in basketball terms. that would be based upon his belief that the polls are really good in florida. there's a 23-point spread in one but a seven-point spread in another. that's pretty close to play with just to sit on the ball. what do you think his strategy is talking about florida, florida, florida, florida. >> florida is specific. i think his strategy was to engage with ted cruz when ted cruz engaged him but to do it in a, quote, presidential way. and to agree with ted cruz that it was a two-man race. thus, editing rubio out of the scene and trying to take momentum away from rubio because as we were saying before, any vote for cruz in florida helps donald trump because cruz is not going to win florida. there's no way cruz can win florida. all he can do is slow down marco rubio, and i think trump's strategy was to do it that way,
rather than to directly attack marco rubio and make marco rubio the central focus. that was the narrow strategy for florida tonight. >> okay, we have to go right now to howie jackson with governor john kasich in the spin room. >> chris, and i'll be honest with you, given our performance at the last debates governor kasich has asked me to give him the earpiece because he know that you will ask a couple questions. donald trump and ted cruz framing this as a two-man race. purposefully leaving you and marco rubio out of the equation. is that a fair assessment of where this race is right now? >> no, but we have half the delegates to go. it's not a fair assessment, but that's what you want to do. remember, it was somebody else saying it's a two-man race the other way. these things are changing all the time and, you know, i'm going to be fortunate enough to win ohio, and it's going to be a whole new ball game, but, you know, everybody is trying to shrink it even smaller and but i think it's a silly argument.
>> it seems as though tonight we saw a more civil debate than what we saw last week. >> i guess it's what i've been calling more. >> i want to ask. do you think that is resonating with your rivals? >> well, i think that people do -- i don't think they want all the name-calling. i think, you know, talking about record is fair game but they want to hear -- they want the race to be elevated, and i think most people are going to like the fact that it was a much more of a policy discussion and very little back and forth in terms of the personal stuff. there wasn't any tonight >> really. >> but did you feel you had enough of an opportunity to explain where you differ on policy from donald trump, from ted cruz? >> well, i mean, look, the biggest thing for me i've already achieved these things. people are talking in theory about what they might do. look, the strongest card for me is experience, record and vision. and that's what's i talk about and shifting power to people and letting them work where they are and to solve the problems in washington. that's what i want to say and, look, i'm getting good crowds, we're raising lots of money.
we're going to win ohio and we're rising everywhere. there's no question that been on a significant upswing. >> on foreign policy did you feel there was a divide on that stage between where the republican party and where it is going? >> no, i think i represented a pretty traditional approach to foreign policy, but that's based on experience. i didn't feel that at all. i mean, again, it's a matter of experience. it's a matter what you've seen in your lifetime and how you conduct u.s. foreign policy. i didn't -- i mean i don't know. i don't even think about it that way. >> on two topics that came up fairly frequently, israel and cuba, where do you think you were the strongest when it comes to those topics? >> well, i think i was strong on virtually all the foreign position issues, whether it was china, whether it was ukraine, russia, israel, isis, i mean, i don't think i picked one over the other. >> you seemed fired up when it came to the tiananmen square.
>> yeah, i mean, we had a tank that was moving and a young student got in front of it. it was a picture seen around the world so many times, and the chinese, they butchered their own people. an unbelievably terrible situation. >> so donald trump was wrong. >> i'm saying what i say. you play the sound bite. make sure you put me up there. >> chris wants a question for you, governor. go ahead, chris. >> let me ask about you've learned through experience. in foreign policy do you think that the bush, the w. bush strategy of going into iraq was smart in terms of what we should do in the future or did we learn a lesson there? >> on foreign policy chris is asking if the george w. bush policy of going into iraq was what we should be doing, where we should be going? >> well -- >> and, chris, i'm paraphrasing. obviously. >> no, i mean, look, if there weren't weapons of mass destruction, we shouldn't have gone. we went the first time to push saddam out of kuwait.
we had a great coalition of people and it worked, but i've never believed in getting in the middle of civil wars. we went into iraq because they said we had the intelligence that saddam had a weapon of mass destruction, but i'm not a civil war getting in the middle of civil wars. i'm not for getting in the middle of a civil war in syria directly or in favor of the syria war, getting in a civil war in lebanon where i voted actually against all the republicans on that one, but i think the first gulf war was right. the second one, it was bad intelligence. if there hadn't been that kind of intelligence, there's no way i would have been in favor of going and, frankly, we need to start thinking seriously about what we're going to do in afghanistan over time now. we got to get serious about that. >> governor, thanks so much. now i got to let you go. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. thanks for stopping by. so, chris, governor kasich there talking about policy, talking about where he sees his path to a nomination. he's been clear it would potentially have to go to a contested convention.
if he stays in the race, ohio so key and five days away. talk about florida where we are now but for kasich, he's got to do well in his home state and believes that he will. the campaign feels confident in where their numbers are, but there's a question mark about donald trump's strength in ohio, whether donald trump can beat john kasich and if he does that's enough. >> thank you so much. howie jackson -- let me go to howard first. howard and then robert quickly. a couple minutes each. tell me how you look at it now, let's talk about the score card, you have to have a score card. if trump wins florida, if he wins ohio next week, he wins both, the daily double and gets them both, does that mean we're looked toward a guy that could get the requisite number of delegates? >> yes, if he wins both because get the requisite number of delegates? >> yes, if he wins both becauned get the requisite number of delegates? >> yes, if he wins both becauge could get the requisite number of delegates? >> yes, if he wins both becaud d
get the requisite number of delegates? >> yes, if he wins both becau t get the requisite number of delegates? >> yes, if he wins both because they're winner take all primaries, that's a lot of delegates, all he has to do is win by one vote in each state and gets them all and give him a substantial lead and i think it puts him on a path to where he'll have to get, i think, still have to get about half of all the rest of the delegates to get the 1,237, but i'm not convinced that he's going to do it. i think at this point i think he'll probably get close. and i'm not sure that he's going to have the requisite number. i think he understands, he's beginning to understand that if he's going to wrap it up via the primary system, a whole lot of diplomacy is going to have to happen before the convention. he can't afford to let it go to cleveland unresolved. so, if he gets close to the 1,237, which i think he'll have a chance to do if he wins ohio and florida, he has to do a lot more deal-making, and one thing you saw tonight is a certain amount of care and caution on people's parts not to burn whatever rickety bridges are left among these people because there's going to be because there's going to be some deal-making to be done down the road. >> let me go to robert costa on that. do you see him dealing with another candidate? i mean he's brought in the losers on his side like chris christie and ben carson. can he bring in someone who's won some delegates to help meet the quota, to meet the majority?
>> he talks about cutting deals all the time. the thing to understand about the trump campaign is that he's not running as an ideological candidate, as a movement candidate. so when it comes to his politics he's malleable, and i think he could build a coalition. i spoke to roger stone, his longtime associate that said he's getting ready for a cleveland floor fight. stone is already getting ready. because they believe that trump needs to be organized, you know, in a real way should this become some kind of contested convention and for trump right now, he has friendly relations with carson as we know and with christie but he's also pretty cordial with john kasich and spoke highly of john kasich in the past and so we'll have to see how trump tries to reach out. >> is roger still part of his operation -- is roger stone part of his operation right now, robert? >> he's not -- >> he's part of his orbit. >> yeah, part of the orbit. >> not of the official campaign. >> he's not part of the organization right now. as a matter of fact, there's concern among the friends of donald trump that he isn't preparing because he does take one battle at a time, that they
don't have any concept of what tracking delegates, what knowing delegates, what wooing delegates, wgat care and feeding of delegates not to mention floor tactics are all about. what trump is best at is those phone calls we're talking about among the candidates, and i think robert makes a really good point. i can't remember very many times at all where trump has directly taken on john kasich. >> can you? i can't. >> i can't. >> and i think that's interesting the. >> i think that's a deal to be made, a positive deal to be made with no scar tissue in the way but i want to bring in curtis lee. who won tonight? >> i don't know. >> come on. >> it was a good debate for marco rubio. >> rubio, it was good for him so was that a mistake in trump being so careful tonight? did he leave the door open for somebody else to give the bugle boy positive speech that trump -- that rubio -- >> we saw trump focused on the general. he mentioned democrats a lot, hillary clinton and he's kind of trying to stay above the fray it
seemed like tonight and really focus on capturing the nomination. i mean, rubio had a good debate performance but is it too little too late after last week's performance? >> i just wonder who will get the headlines tomorrow. i'll be asking that throughout the night. thanks, curtis and robert costa back there and howard fineman. i'll check back with you later on the show. much more ahead on tonight's gop fight in miami. this is a special of "hardball" live for tonight's republican debate. stay with us. (announcer) need to hire fast? go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over 100 of the web's leading job boards with a single click. then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. you put up one post and the next day you have all these candidates. makes my job a lot easier. (announcer) over 400,000 businesses have already used ziprecruiter. and now you can use ziprecruiter for free. go to ziprecruiter.com/offer99
who is with donald trump. katy, take over. >> 78 years old and i just got to see a little clip. he threw a punch. i don't know if he hit, but he was -- he's a passionate person, and i guess he didn't like what he was seeing, and it was one of those things but certainly we don't condone it. we don't like it. we don't like seeing it. >> what will you do to make sure that doesn't happen again at within of your rallies? >> you know, katy, we have by far the biggest -- even you would say -- >> the biggest. >> we have the biggest and things can happen, but we really want to be gentle and we want to be nice. every once in a while you someone go while and every once in a while someone is out of order but we have not had a problem until this one and looked to me like nobody was hurt. that's the good news. nobody was hurt. >> is there something you will
do at your rallies from now on to make sure this stuff doesn't happen again? >> we'll be very vigilant and have to be and have such a massive number of people all the time. 25,000, 30,000 people routinely and for the most part the police are there. the police do an incredible job and it's not my security people, it's the police from whatever city it is or town it is and they've really done a great job. in this case it was the police also. >> one last question, on the story of your campaign manager corey and michelle fields, i know you heard what tom llamas said. she may have made it up. "the washington post" reporter reported it and saw it. do you think he's making it up as well? >> i don't know anything about it. i heard about it a little while ago for the first time. i can tell you corey is an incredible guy. i don't think he would ever do a thing like that, and we were surrounded because i believe i was in the middle of a lot of secret agents and they all said they never saw anything and these are very honorable guys, they're fantastic people and there were a lot of them and nobody saw anything and to the best of my knowledge there's no pictures and you had your cameras there. there were hundreds and hundreds of cameras there because it was a major press announcement over my victories that night, so they had a lot of cameras there.
i mean, if somebody went down there would be pictures. everybody has pictures. >> breitbart is asking for an apology. you have had a very good relationship with that media company. have you spoken to them. has corey spoken to them? >> i like breitbart but you can never apologize unless you're wrong. if i found out to the other degree, i would certainly apologize, but people tell me, i've spoken to secret service agents, and they said nothing happened. >> she posted a photo of bruises on her arm. >> i don't know. how did they get there? huh? do you know how they got there? >> i'm saying what's being reported and what's being alleged. >> you tell me how they got there. i have secret service agents all over and cameras all over. nobody saw it happen. nobody complained. and i know this guy and he's a fantastic guy. >> if it comes to light that something did happen, are you going to do something about it? will there be some sort of punishment? >> supposing it comes to light that nothing happened, are you going to apologize to him for what you're doing? >> i'm not reporting anything that i saw personally. i'm reporting what michelle fields is reporting. >> with i will you apologize
to him if it turns out nothing happened? >> i won't apologize but i'll report nothing happened. >> mr. trump, what do you say -- >> robert costa, i'm just watching donald trump leaving katy tur behind and heading to robert costa, but i'm not sure we have a mike there. that's donald trump, of course, dismissing basically this issue until he gets more information and he said, anyway, last night an african-american man at a trump rally was sucker pumped by an attendee in north carolina. you can actually see it on the picture. according to the sheriff, it's quite a dramatic picture. according to the sheriff's department he was being escorted from the event, the vic of that punch because of a disruption when it occurred. another video shows the victim was pushed to the ground by deputies soon after being punched. police say they did not see the ingsz depth take place and arrested john franklin mcgraw, the guy that threw the punch and charged him with assault. apparently a 78-year-old man and you can put that into your thinking
joining me is omarosa manigault and francesca chambers of "the daily mail." what do you make of the tone of these rallies? we can show all the clips of trump hyping up the audience. in the old days i wish we could still punch the guy, you know, don't let them wear their coats. let them freeze outside. there is an awful lot of taunting in the crowd and leading the crowd in taunting. how many people -- say 5,000 are at an event. how many of that 5,000 do you expect would get it that it's rhetoric we're talking about here, it's not an urge to physical violence is this good, tough, maybe over the top political rhetoric, rhetoric. you don't punch somebody but 1 in 5,000 as is often the case often gets another message and have different brain soup and having a bad night. they may have had all different attitudes coming in the room but triggered one could argue by what they heard at the event and punch the guy. what do you make of it? you can't control 5,000. >> you can't control them but it's interesting that no one is
covering the protesters at hillary's rallies or kasich's rallies. >> have any of them been slugged? >> absolutely. have you seen the coverage. black lives matter and this guy i believe says he's a part of black lives matter and they're prepared for any kind of environment they go into to make their point. >> someone getting slugged, sucker punched in the face? >> i think that there were some very hostile moments at the au center in atlanta when hillary clinton was there speaks, there was a large group of black live matter protesters who were jostled around, pushed around by security, who were handled and i don't think that was covered. >> did any of the hillary people do that kind of thing? >> donald can't be responsible for every single person that comes to his rally. >> let's get back to that. let's get back to that. >> but we also have to cover the fact this is not the only candidate that has protesters at their rallies. >> it's not about protesters. it's what is being done to protesters. >> what do you mean what's being done to protesters? this is a country where you have the right to assemble and free speech. you also have the -- >> do you have the right to slug a guy --
>> listen, you have a right to go into a closed, private event and you get what is coming to you. i do not condone violence. >> what's coming to you? >> if you go into an environment where you're interrupting 13, 14 times, do you expect a hug or "kumbaya," chris? listen, these protesters know what they're getting at this point and seen how protesters are not given a pass and allowed to take over these events. if you go to a donald trump rally, here's a news flash -- >> this is trump minutes ago. you judge this. show the tapes, they're are great. >> we're not allowed to punch back anymore. i love the old days. you know what they used to do. they would be carried out on a stretcher, folks. [ cheers and applause ] i would like to punch him in the face, i'll tell you. [ cheers and applause ] >> what do you make of that? >> he's a new yorker. what do you want him to say? >> did you see the guy behind him on the left? >> do you think he's from kansas.
he's from new york. >> did you see the guys -- >> he's not going to be pushed around, chris. >> do you think it's all right to incite that behavior? >> he's not inciting -- >> explain where you are on this. you say you can't control the crowd. >> you can't. it's impossible. there's 30,000 people in that room. >> you're close to him. why doesn't he go and say to a crowd, as he -- >> everybody hold hands and sing "kumbaya". >> i've seen civil rights protesters that the leaders know they can't make them get violent and say to them don't make us look bad and leaders, marshals say, let's keep it good today. >> did it happen in ferguson? did it happen in baltimore? >> why doesn't trump say to the crowd, now, don't do something that will make us look bad? why doesn't he say that? >> he's going to say to 30,000 people, everybody behave, hold hands and "kumbaya." if you come into my church and you interrupt my sermon, there are deacons that will take you down and handle you much more rough than this 78-year-old man. >> so, you don't have a problem with what this guy did? >> no, what i have a problem
with is this lopsided coverage of protesters at donald trump's events as opposed to hillary, kasich, rubio, cruz, they're all there. >> your point is, omarosa -- i want to finish on this point. >> please. >> that everybody is behaving pretty much the same way. >> if you come and interrupt chris matthews on "hardball" these security guys will drag you out of the studio. >> who will slug you? >> that guy behind the camera might slug you. i've known him. >> let me go to francesca, please. francesca, give me a sense of this as a reporter. what do we make of this because, you know, i don't believe in direct causality, but certainly when somebody has given speeches saying i wish you could still slug guys like this and someone does, 1 of 5,000 that heard it wrong but reacted. your thoughts? >> well, that's exactly, chris, what trump's critics are arguing. you played a lot of clips there where he was clearly suggesting that he didn't have a problem with what was taking place in
the audience. now, on the other hand, if you listen to what he just told katy tur, he seemed regretful about what had happened and clearly trying to correct that behavior. but to speak to omarosa's point about what happens at hillary clinton rallies, bernie sanders' rallies, i typically cover the democrats, and i have seen that kind of behavior go down out of a hillary clinton rally or a bernie sanders rally. sure, it gets fiery especially at the sanders rallies. a lot of booing for hillary clinton quite often but, however, no one's ever when i've been at those rallies been punched. >> okay. thank you, francesca, for that insight, but let me just break this down for you. >> no, it's called reporting. >> there's big tension and high tension right now in this race. and everyone wants donald trump to be this kinder, gentler guy. he's from brooklyn. he's not from kansas, and so you're going to get a different personality than you will get from a kasich. but i will tell you, he is a tough leader with a
vision for this country, and he will be the republican nominee because he's not afraid to state what most people have been looking for in this country. >> do you expect more of this behavior? >> i expect that there are going to be 1 out of 30,000 people who may not behave properly but donald trump is not responsible for the behavior of 30,000 people. this was 1 guy out of 30,000, chris. >> hey, you're his spokesperson, i mean, you're his surrogatement i accept your words as a value in themselves. >> i really talk about his policy position than one guy at a rally. out of fairness. >> there's a lot of talk tonight about trade and immigration policy. >> but we're talking about one guy. >> and we watched two hours of it. you come on. we're going to talk about this because he was asked about it, as well. thank you, omarosa. >> thank you, chris. >> someday you can ask yourself questions and a lot easier for you. terrible for me. francesca chambers, thanks for that reporting. coming up, we'll hear from ted cruz from the spin room. he's still there and this is a special edition of "hardball" live for tonight's republican debate in miami.
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welcome back. this special edition of "hardball." howie jackson caught up with ted cruz in the spin room just moments ago. let's listen. >> both you and donald trump frame this as a two-man race. explain why you think it is a two-man race when there's two other people on that stage that are nighting just as hard as you are to win delegates. >> it's simple math. to be the republican nominee you got to get to 1,237. there's only two with any mathematical path to get there. i have 360 delegates. donald has roughly 100 more. no one else is remotely close and it's why in state after
state, we are seeing republicans unifying behind our campaign. people who have been previously supporting marco rubio or john kasich or ben carson or carly fiorina or rand paul or other people are unify iing behind our campaign because if you want to beat donald trump, the only campaign that can do so and has done so eight different times is our campaign. >> you talk about donald trump. there was a moment when he was asked about some of the incidents at his events inclu including one that happened at last night, someone arrested after sucker pumping a protester. you were asked about this and it seemed as though you pivoted. it's unclear what your answer is so i'll ask again. what's your take on the tone and from what we're seeing from rallies like donald trump and incidents we're seeing happen? >> my answer was, what i am troubled with, it should be about the people. it's not about us or the
candidates, and with obama it's always about him. it's not about the people. >> that's why i'm confused. are you blaming the president for this violent tone? >> no, i'm saying that donald trump is very much like president obama in that it's all about him. you know, the example i pointed to is his having thousands of people at rallies raise their hands and pledge their support of donald trump. listen, in america we don't pledge our support to men. we pledge allegiance to the flag. we pledge our support of the constitution, but we don't pledge our allegiance to men, and it's backwards. this is a job interview. i am pledging my support to you and to the american people and donald's approach, it is very much like barack obama's. it is the approach, frankly, of a king or queen to his subjects, pledge your support to me. that's not how the american republic works so that's the answer i gave and that's why we're getting so much support behind our campaign. >> ted cruz with howie jackson in this the spin room. don't go anywhere.
tonight on "all in." violence at trump rallies getting worse. >> next time we might have to kill him. tonight an arrest is made and the men assaulted at a trump campaign event is speaking out. as a female reporter says she was roughed up by trump's campaign manager. >> obviously no one wants to be touched and violated like that. >> plus, ahead of tonight's debate, why ted cruz is evolving his convention talk. >> a contested convention is a different thing. >> a revealing new twist in the democratic primary. >> i do not have the same policy as the current administration does. >> and president obama responds to the question are you