tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 16, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT
process seriously and i did. over my seven years as president, in all my conversations with senators from both parties in which i asked their views on qualified supreme court nominees, the one name that has come up repeatedly from republicans and democrats alike is merrick garland. to suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the american people, might be treated as one republican leader stated a pinata, that can't be right. >> the nominee judge garland taken by emotion in the rose garden sar m garden ceremony. >> thank you, mr. president. this is the greatest honor in my life. a life of public service is as much a gift to the person who
serves as it is to those he is serving. >> on capitol hill, the fight has begun. mitch mcconnell vowing to fight the president's nomination, not to consider it. >> our view is this -- give the people a voice in filling this vacancy. instead of spending more time debating an issue where we can't agree, let's keep working to address the issues where we can. let's let the american people decide. good day, i'm andrea mitchell on a big day in washington following big breaking news from the white house at the rose garden, president obama saying that he will make his final major political battle with senate republicans over united states circuit court of appeals chief judge merrick garland. created by the sudden death of antonin scalia. president obama called garland one of the america's sharpest legal minds and discussed his impact in the past prosecutor in
the 1995 oklahoma city bombing investigation. >> he led the investigation and supervised the prosecution that brought timmy mcvay to justice. merrick made a concerted effort to reach out to the victims and their families, updating them frequently on the case's progress. everywhere he went, he carried with him, the program of the memorial service with each of the victim names inside. a constant reminder of why he had to succeed. >> i saw up close the devastation that can happen when someone abandons the justice system as a way of resolving grievances and takes matters in his own hands. >> joining me pete williams and tom goldsteen, and from capitol hill, ruth marcus, also a harvard lawyer. pete, first to you.
the choice of judge garland, you know him. he is probably the least controversial of any of the possible nominees, but what did you find in that extraordinary 20-minute introduction by the president that was so important, the qualities that the president described? >> well, they cut both ways, andrea. on the one hand, the reason that merrick garland hasn't been confirmed twice before is that he is a white male and now he is 63. you have to go back 20 or so nominees ago to lewis powell who was 64 to find someone in that age group nominated to the supreme court. the trend in recent years has been to nominate younger people who can be on the court longer. so his age and the fact that he doesn't touch any diversity points was against him, but i think just watching him, andrea, my sense was one of the reasons he is so surprised is that he's
been to the alter twice before, twice before the president has looked at him and then decided to nominate sonya society maya and elena kagan. that's one of the reasons he was so emotional today. this on/off switch has been turned off twice before. he was looking at his friends, family, people he served in government with and it was obviously quite emotional. >> and tom, you know the court so well. you've argued before the court. among the justices whom i know republican as well as democratic, they always speak of merrick garland with such high regard, including i should say some of the most conservative members of the court. >> oh, there's no question that they know him well, either from their earlier service in government or from his service on the court of appeals. he's an incredibly well-known figure in washington legal circles, admired from the left and the right. so if you were to ask the justices of the supreme court who they would be really pleased
to see would certainly be him at the top of the list because the justices have a real interest in trying to make the appointment process less political if at all possible and get smart, hard-working people up there. he has a lot of admirers on both sides no, question. >> ruth, when the president put out a statement at 7:00 a.m. this morning saying that he was going to nominate someone, not saying who, to me the tipoff was someone with real life experience. so let's talk about oklahoma city and his role as a prosecutor and the fact that he came from relatively humble beginnings rather than from great privilege and how that may have fit into this biography, this narrative. >> sure. a couple things. you could see, you could hear in his voice and see on his face the sering impact that doing the oklahoma city case had on merrick garland. by the way, i have to say, you mentioned that i went to law school, another indication of his very good judgment was that he interviewed me.
we first met 30 something years ago when i was a law student, he was at a law firm in town. he interviewed me for a summer job, he turned me down. it all worked out fine. i'm a huge, huge fan. but i had a different take on the emotion that he showed. first of all, he deeply, deeply loves his wife, but also he has enormous love for the law and a reverence for the court. that's the reason some of his friends said i can't believe ameri merrick is putting him through this again. it's an agonizing, personal -- you see the mountain top and you want to get to the promised land. and i think it's a measure of his love for the court that he wanted to go through this process and is willing to subject himself to what's going to be a probably unpleasant next several months with an uncertain outcome. >> and to that point, tom
goldsteen, briefly, if he does not get confirmed, he remains on the court, does this damage him professionally as it would someone with less experience and less of a reputation? >> i don't think so. i think we saw from mitch mcconnell's remarks they aren't going to go after him as a person pretty much because they know he can't or shouldn't. he will go back to the chief judge of the d.c. sir cut if he doesn't get confirmed. i don't think it will be a problem for him at all professionally. >> pete williams, tom goldsteen, ruth marcus on this very busy day. there is politics. joining me tom and chris cillizza, welcome both. first to you, how do you read mitch mcconnell, is this hard and fast no go, or if the pressure mounts they see who the nominees on the republican and democrat side, do they give him a hearing? >> this is not an appointment
that stirs the souls. anything is fungible. you never know. i think right now it's actually good for the judge that this argument is not going to be based on personality but based on process, which is good for his reputation long lasting. i think for mcconnell, the time being especially now he has to hold fast in all his guys have to hold fast and there's very little political damage that will be done on each side. he is a nice guy, well qualified. it's nice the president named someone based on qualifications. that's a point in his favor. >> i haven't drilled down in the exit polls sufficiently to know how much was marco rubio damaged by the fact he missed so many votes in florida? the one telling point here would be if the white house makes the case to the american people, you know, the do your job hashtag, that the senate should at least give this guy a meeting, a hearing? >> so nbc "wall street journal" did some polling as did new york times, i believe, this was a few
weeks back before we had the name of the nominee obviously. what's remarkable is do you think the senate should confirm someone or have a vote to confirm split, there it is, leave vacant and wait? of cour obviously vote this year is a little higher. it's not overwhelming. most people at nbc "wall street journal" two thirds or so said they should at least meet with and have hearings about. >> now we have a person. >> now we have a person and let's see where that goes. i'm skeptical. it's can mitch mcconnell keep a united front. mark kirk in illinois say, we can meet with him, kelly ayotte, vulnerable new hampshire in 2016 say i'll meet with him but i'm not comfortable with a vote. you'll see some of those folks, ron johnson of wisconsin, some of these people, rob portman who are in races in swing states -- >> ted strickland won big in ohio. rob portman has a race on his
hands. >> the real dividing line is will you see a bunch of senate republicans call for confirmation hearings or vote, i'm still skeptical. >> chuck grassley do? he is up. he has to think about a general election now. >> he does have to worry about a general election but you don't want to hurt all your base. so i think grassley will stay put. this is a base election for both sides. and i don't think garland will bring out those activists in any way, shape or form on either side. that's probably a good thing. some people care about process, not many voters. they care more about bigger issues. this is not going to be about the supreme court. this is about economics and what are you going to do for me personally and have you been a good senator. one of the thing is that hurt rubio is he spent so much time campaigning and not enough time being a senator which hurt him back in the missed state. >> i don't know about the missed votes hurt him, you're not doing the job we hired you to do, you're moving too fast in the
age of obama. if there's no barak obama, i'm not sure that story line would hurt him. republicans believe barak obama moved up the chain way too fast and that's why we got what we got. >> chris christie effect right now, not being in new jersey, he is suffering at home. want to play a little bit of orin hatch about merrick garland. this is 1997. >> i support the nomination of mr. garland and i encourage my colleagues to do the same. to my knowledge, no one, absolutely no one, disputes the following -- merrick garland is highly qualified to sit on the d.c. circuit. his intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned. >> that, of course, those kinds of things will be replayed, the biden rule brian williams was speaking of it earlier with pete williams. the biden speech which was contradicted, of course, by the
judiciary chairman at the time, strom thurman, we should be confirming and they went on to do it. >> it's nothing personal. it's just business. the business right now is they move forward and get the business done in the senate and put this aside. maybe they might get to it later, my senses is they won't. >> this is a list of the current republican senators who voted to confirm judge garland back in 1997. oh, mitch mcconnell, chuck grassley, richard shelby, there are actually seven of them. >> you'll see a lot of similarities, right? susan koncollins voted for him. there will be voices in the republican party who said he is a wonderful man, who may say i'm happy to meet with him. it's the official hearings by the judiciary committee and it's a vote. that's the thing that -- >> what about the white house theory that they could try to do this in a lame duck? >> there's a lot of things
they'll try to do in a lame duck, finish up the budget. that's a big lift. i think that talk about people riots in the streets, doing something in a lame duck this big that decides the future of the country on several issues, it's pretty dangerous. >> let me just quickly correct the record because i had the wrong list in front of me. these are the senators that voted in favor of garland, mitch mcconnell and the others were those who voted against. let's put the opponents up again, these were the supporters, seven senators and these were the senators. there we go. thank you very much. apologi apologies. little jet leg here coming back from florida. >> you saw this with the clip you played about biden and strom thurman. this is as much as president obama said, this shouldn't be a political football, this is always a political football. the side that views it in their political interest to confirm because you have a republican
president or democratic president will be in favor of it and the other side will be opposed and say it's not the right time. some things in washington do not change and this is one. >> and this might change if things deteriorate for the republicans and they think they might get someone better, might get someone worse if hillary is the president. things could change. my sense is they won't, but they could. >> that's how a lame duck works. if hillary clinton is elected with 525 electoral votes and republicans say this merrick garland is by far our best option. >> and a democratic senate. so somebody who has a lot more experience than any of us with all of this is pat lay hee, he is coming up next the former chairman of judiciary the former ranking member. we'll be right back.
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i have fulfilled my constitutional duty. now it's time for the senate to do their's. presidents do not stop working in the final year of their term. neither should a senator. i hope they're fair. that's all. >> vermont senator pat leahy is the top democrat former chairman and joins me now and of course was in the rose garden for the announcement. senator, take us behind the scenes. is this just an exercise in futility given what mitch mcconnell said on the floor moments ago that they won't grant him a hearing and that they don't think there should be an appointment this late in the president's term, according to the so-called biden rule and we know that that's not a rule, it's what they're appointing to? >> no. the rule they always followed is one that senator hatch and i
gave in a letter which the republican leader put in the congressional record saying we shall have hearings and votes on such nominees. what they're saying is the president didn't win the election last time by 5 million votes. this is the same kind of thing we've heard from them for all these years. the president really wasn't born in hawaii. come on, stop the nonsense, stop the games. let's start following the constitution. the constitution says the president shall nominate. the constitution says we shall advise and consent. we all raised our hand and said we swear unto god i will do that, let's follow our oath. we have plenty of time, the average time for these, we could have it done by memorial day. stop these games. now, we get paid every single
day, whether we do our job or not. i think the american people kind of like to see us do our job. >> but politically, what is the realistic prospect that he will get a hearing this summer and that he could be confirmed to the court? everyone agrees he is qualified, at least from everything that people know about him. >> everybody agrees he is qualified, wouldn't it be a political disaster for the country not to have a vote? if we don't start following the constitution in this country, what do we have? i'm not going to say who wins or loses on that. the country loses. this isn't one senator, whether it's mitch mcconnell or anybody else. the constitution is far greater than anyone of us. we've all taken an oath to oppose the constitution. now the american people have to ask, will you do your job? are you going to oppose the
institution? are you going to do what's right? >> senator, the politics, the raw politics of this, though the activist groups that you know, the women's groups the groups representing other minority, progressive groups, they would be fired up for someone other than a white man, a white man like merrick garland. so, are you going to see the forceful political activity to try to get him confirmed? >> this kind of -- what's political and what's not, the press explaining last year at this time that donald trump has no chance of going more than a few months. >> point taken. >> but the point is we can start talking about gaming it here and gaming it there, the constitution outgames everything. we took a solemn oath to uphold the constitution. we are all paid for our term, not just for a few weeks.
so i don't care if you have right wing groups for or against him, left wing groups for or against him. we 100 senators took a solemn oath to uphold the constitution. have the guts, the guts, to vote yes or no. what they want to do is vote maybe. that is a gutless dereliction of the constitution. >> senator pat leahy, front and center, and in the middle of a number of fights going to be going to cuba with the president as well. we'll be talking to you about that in the coming days. thanks so much. >> thank you. and coming up -- conventional wisdom trump sweeping three more states but will he win enough delegates to get the nomination in cleveland? that's next on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc, the place for politics. you do all this research on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates... maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness,
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donald trump and a crucial win for john kasich as republicans on a collision course for a contested convention in cleveland. here is the latest from our nbc news election decision desk. donald trump the projected winner in north carolina, illinois, the apparent winner in missouri and he grabbed one of the biggest prizes of the night, florida. winning the state by double digits and forcing home state senator marco rubio out of the race, suspending his presidential aspirations. with those victories, trump nearly triples his total delegate lead over ted cruz who failed to pick up a win last night. john kasich lives to fight another day with his first primary win in his home state of ohio, winner take all there. >> i'm not out to stop donald trump or stop anybody else. by winning yesterday in ohio, i dealt him a very, very big blow to being able to have the number of delegates. if you want to talk about mathematics, and you want to talk about probability, really look at it hard.
the bigger probability of either of these guys is they can't win a general election. that's the biggest probability that we have. >> john kasich with matt lauer on "today" this morning. i'm joined by ben ginsberg, you are in the cat bird seat, if you l because it's going to cleveland. there's no way mathematically the way we are figuring it or very slight chance unless something else happens that this is not going to be beyond the first ballot. >> yeah. the rate donald trump is winning delegates, he is certainly in for a longer slide than mitt romney faced four years ago, if you remember how long and painful that was. it looks like it will be decided in cleveland. >> and by that, i should say they will have to go beyond the first ballot or can't be decided on the first ballot. and then what happens. the rules committee can change the rules for the percentage that each candidate needs to have for any state. they can do whatever they want to do basically the rules
committee in the days leading up to the convention opening in cleveland. >> they can't do anything they want to do. there's a set of rules that are the rules for each convention and the 2016 convention will have to pass those rules for itself. that includes how many delegates get put in nomination, how many states it takes to put a name and nomination and the definition of majority to actually win. that's all going to be up to the rules committee. they do hold tremendous sway, but the binding of delegates that will occur on the first ballot is not subject to amendment in cleveland. >> understood. and then after that, is it you can put a nomination into anyone, including paul ryan? he shut the door just about as completely as he did when he said he wasn't going to be a candidate for speaker until things changed. >> all that will be up to the will of the delegates at the
convention. they can do lots of different things with that. it's also important to know the real importance of what happened last night in terms of a first ballot win. what is true is that donald trump may end up short, but by marco rubio suspending his campaign, his delegates will now all be unbound on the first ballot, which will give donald trump a much bigger pool of first ballot delegates to call on, if he is short of a majority going in. >> so everyone will be going after those delegates, the rubio delegates, ted cruz will be, kasich, of course, as well, but certainly donald trump. >> yes. they're all to be chosen, who the individuals are, are all to be chosen over the next couple of months state by state, sometimes county by county in state conventions and state executive committee meetings. so that will be a very intense process as well that the campaigns need to be concentrating on now. >> now, obviously john kasich is
far, far behind but having won ohio he lives to play another day. but how significant is it that he hired stu spencer and charlie black, two of the veterans from the 1976 contested convention in kansas city? >> well, it shows just how serious he is and that john kasich wants to be playing in cleveland. they bring a wealth of institutional knowledge about what did happen in 1976 and now he has to bolster his team with people who are familiar with the current state officials and even county officials who will be selecting the delegates. >> of course charlie black was in the reagan camp and stu spencer in the ford camp. >> yes. >> gerald ford won that contested ballot convention, but of course ronald reagan four years later was the nominee. well, thank you very much, ben ginsberg, we'll talk to you a lot in the coming months. >> great. >> as are all republicans and candidates.
coming up, separation tuesday with major wins last night, hillary clinton, donald trump putting more distance between themselves and their opponents. we'll hear from reporters from the trail next on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. ing. nice shorts, dad... they don't make 'em in adult sizes? this is what the pros wear. look at the lines... -uhhh... look at the other line... -mm-mhh.. that's why he starts his day with those two scoops in deliciously heart healthy kellogg's raisin bran. ready to eat my dust? too bad i already filled up on raisins. by taking steps towards a healthy heart, jay knows he'll be ready for the turns ahead. hey, don't forget to put up your kickstand. (bike bell) (sighs) kellogg's raisin bran. and try tart and sweet kellogg's raisin bran with cranberries. in new york state, we believe tomorrow starts today. all across the state, the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, the lowest taxes in decades, and new infrastructure for a new generation attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in rochester, with world-class botox.
you fight over directions. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. oh ohhhhh it's what you do. ohhhhhh! do you have to do that right in my ear? hillary clinton's campaign declaring victory today after winning all five contest,s, a clean sweep last night and holding more than 700 delegate lead over bernie sanders. we are confident that for the first time in our nation's history the democratic party will nominate a woman as their presidential nominee. joining me now is brian fallon, press secretary for the clinton campaign. first of all, congratulations. you were, in fact, according to all my reporting, you were surprised. you were surprised by ohio, you were surprised if this does become a victory in missouri and illinois. >> yes, andrea, i will admit we outperformed our own
expectations. it was a clean sweep. we now have a delegate lead of over 300 which almost doubles president obama's largest lead in 2008 over hillary clinton. i think that as the robbymook memo points out, the nomination is effectively out of reach for senator sanders. i think that as much as anything the take away from last night was the broad coalition of support we saw across the five states voting. in addition to the individual states of just winning 5 out of 5 states, if you look at who came out and supported hillary clinton, she won big with women, african-american voters, white working class voters, union households and even, andrea, with voters who said that it was a top concern these trade deals, which is the exact inverse of what you saw in michigan. i think it reflects that she is strongly positioned not just to win this nomination but in a potential general election. we have the makings of a truly
winning coalition going forward. so we were very pleased with the results last night. >> well, if you believe it is out of reach as robby mook wrote in his memo, should bernie sanders stop fighting her? >> no, that's his decision to make. by all indications he is intending to stay in the race. that's his right as hillary clinton herself said. she pointed out that in 2008 she remained in the race all the way through the end of the voting. senator bernie sanders is quite frankly going to do well. there's a bunch of caucus states out west that i know his campaign is targeting and we expect he may rack up some victories among those states, but our point is just that the delegate math is such that we're confident at the end of this process hillary clinton will be our nominee. >> she was already going after donald trump in her victory speech last night, talking about we need a commander in chief who defends the country, doesn't embarrass the country.
clearly targeting trump. you're pivoting to donald trump. he is already pivoting to you. i don't know if you've seen this instagram he put up, but let's watch. ♪ [ barking sounds ] [ laughter ]. >> so, from donald trump, we don't need a punch line. when we saw her do that in reno, i knew it would be in an ad. i didn't know it would come up this quickly. brian, your reaction to it? >> look, donald trump continues to divide americans against each other for the sake of winning votes. it's a divide and conquer strategy. that won't play well in a general election with independent voters. we still have a primary contest to win. the math is strongly in our favor, as i just said. we still have to complete our plan and actually clinch the nomination so we know that we
still have some work to do sewing up the nomination. that said, every poll suggests that donald trump would enter a general election in a very weak position. what he is selling may work to coalesce 40% of a republican primary electorate, but i think it's a major turnoff to general election voters, where as in contrast, hillary clinton showed last night she has the capability to unify voters, bring people together from all different backgrounds and ages and i think that as i said, we have a winning coalition that will serve her well, not just in this nomination contest but also in a potential general election matchup against donald trump or anyone else. >> but none of his opponents have been able to penetrate that armor. criticism seems to bounce off of him and only energize his supporters. how do you go after him? >> well, andrea, look, like i said, we're still focussed on a primary campaign against senator sanders. but i would just in answering your question point out that republicans have for too long let donald trump get away with
his strategy of trying to pit americans against each other. they very rarely seldom called him out until maybe the last two or three weeks. when they did, as senator rubio did, they tried to win a battle of slinging mud back and forth with mr. trump, engaging in a battle of personal insults. i think that that's exactly the thing that turns off americans about mr. trump. so, by contrast, what republicans have refrained from doing is engaging him on the issues and calling out his horrendous stands on the issues that are most concerned to americans, the reason that republicans couldn't do that is because his positions on the issues were very similar to his own. with hillary clinton in a general election matchup the contrast will be clear on issues of who supports a minimum wage increase, who supports pay b equity for women, who supports defending the president's executive actions on immigration and on issue after issue i think hillary clinton is where the country is and donald trump is quite frankly out of mainstream.
>> how do you repair her standing with independent voters, with young people, with those groups that she has been unable to motivate? >> well, andrea, we have conceded from several weeks now that we still for as well as we're doing we still have room to grow and there are parts of the coalition that we want to broaden out and expand to bring into the fold and add to our support base, but i think that you're seeing that we're making great progress on that front. if you look at some of the early states, senator sanders was winning among working class white voters. you look at the results yesterday in ohio in particular, hillary clinton performed quite well there. i think we're doing well all the time. with young people we'll continue to make end roads there as well. >> brian fallon, congratulations on what really was a spectacular night of victories for hillary clinton. >> thank you, andrea. >> we'll see what happens on the campaign trail. we'll be right back.
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minnesota democratic senator al franken, was in the rose garden for the announcements. senator, thank you very much. what are the prospects for getting a hearing on merrick garland given what mitch mcconnell said today on the floor? >> well, i think they're beginning to slowly back off this. this is their job to do this. i understand that chairman grassley has said that he's having -- going to have a phone call with judge garland and discuss a possible meeting. i don't think you discuss a meeting unless you have a meeting. i think they're backing off this and i look forward to a hearing so that we can -- the american people especially will get to know judge garland. >> is judge garland likely to generate the kind of excitement and passion on the democratic base that some of the other nominees could have? >> i think he will.
i think the president we were invited the judiciary democrats to the white house last week and what we learned is that the president was taking this very, very seriously. and i've heard so many great things about judge garland over the years from people who know him, from my friends, including from my friend and colleague orin hatch, who has nothing but great things to say about judge garland. so i think we're going to be -- i certainly hope we'll be having hearings and have a vote on this nominee. >> since everything is political, if i may ask you about the results of last night, because we now are looking at the likelihood of a hillary clinton nomination, certainly in terms of her delegate lead and the possibility certainly of donald trump as the leader and the nominee on the other side. what kind of campaign would that be and what could the fallout be for a supreme court confirmation process? >> well, as far as this supreme
court, i think there are a lot of people who probably don't want to see donald trump nominate the next justice of the supreme court. this is the constitution says that the president nominates and we provide the advice and consent, so it would be a travesty if we don't do this now. this is our job. this is the job. and it would set a very bad, new precedent if we didn't do it now. i mean, you know, you could say, well, 11 months. well, if that happens what's the next time it be 18 months and if someone -- one side, the majority decides to do that, why not two years. this sets a very dangerous precedent. the president spoke to that today. this president is president of the united states, scientists tell us for another ten months. this is the president who has
now nominated -- he's done his duty. it's our job to do our duty, to fulfill our obligation. and this will look badly for republicans if they don't do this, both in the presidential and the senate elections. >> and finally, given what the results were last night, is hillary clinton going to be the nominee? does she have vulnerability in terms of her ability to attract young people and independents in a general election? >> hillary will be the nominee. i think we found that out last night. certainly senator sanders should continue the race as long as he sees fit, but i'm big hillary backer. i think she is the most experienced, the toughest, the smartest, hardest working person i know and would make a great president. i think that we will come to the convention united and that
hillary will win the general election and be a great president and probably may nominate one or two supreme court justices herself. >> and you think she can campaign against donald trump given how unpredictable he is in terms of his campaign style? >> i think his unpredictability has been his strength, but i also think part of it is his weakness. i think a majority of the american people have very, very large doubts about donald trump and seeing that guy in the white house, given what he said about mexicans and muslims and his appeal, i think, that -- not appealing to the best in americans. >> al franken, thank you so much, senator. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you, andrea. coming up on the trail, the new reality today for the remaining presidential candidates. you're watching msnbc.
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today donald trump and hillary clinton are a big step closer to locking the presidential nominations for their parties. what's next for their rivals. our team is in place. katie tur in west palm beach, florida. with trump, kasie hunt in phoenix following the democratic race. what is bernie sanders doing today, kasie? >> reporter: hey, andrea. bernie sanders is actually in arizona. he has some family there. little bit of breaking news for you, he and his top advisers are huddling there this afternoon to figure out just what is the best way for him to press forward. they, of course, had a much more difficult night than they were expecting. they had set up a makeshift area for a press conference late last
night in anticipation of a surprise like what happened in michigan. it did not go that way for them. i was watching some of those returns come in with some of the top advisers and they're now talking about a delegate strategy that involves state conventions, trying to scrap a few here or there. that delegate lead just pretty overwhelming. that said, the campaign has put out a statement late last night saying that they're confident they still have a path to the nomination. so right now it rests on bernie sanders himself letting them know how he wants to move forward, andrea. >> and the question as to, of course the tone because it's been pretty tough from him up until now. kelly o'donnell with john kasich, a big day for him today. >> reporter: very much so. he seems to be really enjoying the big win in ohio. his home state, for sure and really the must-win that he had to have, but his team is pleased by the margin, winning by 11 points. he is just getting going on the town hall here. has not taken questions yet, but is enjoying this meeting. this is one event today. now, as you know and you talked
about the numbers. the math is not good for governor kasich, but he is in a sunny, warm mood, talking in many of the ways i heard him throughout this campaign season, but believing that there may be a moment here where voters who are turned off by the harsher rhetoric of trump might turn to him after getting the buzz that comes from winning, even your home state. of course ted cruz won more of these contests throughout, but kasich is hoping to sort of leverage this and make it an opportunity for voters to take a look at him. so, his rhetoric is all about trying to shine a little sunshine and saying he won't take the low road to the highest office. so far today, andrea, a lot of one liners and warmth in talking about his plans. will be interested to see what voters want to ask him when that part of this program begins. andrea? >> kelly o'connell, pennsylvania, of course, joining ohio and has a big april primary.
katy tur in florida, donald trump going on hillary clinton on instagram today. what's his plan going forward? >> reporter: well, he's extremely confident going forward. right now he's leading in the delegate math. he's got a clear path to the convention. he might not get 1237, which is that magic number, but he's already laying the ground work in case he doesn't and in case they try -- the establishment tries to take this nomination away from him. you heard him talking about potential riots. he said this to cnn if he does not get the nomination. he believes his supporters will revolt against the establishment and frankly from being on the road with him, from being on the campaign trail, i'm not going to say that that would not happen. his supporters are extraordinarily passionate and he's already whipping them up into something of a frenzy to make sure they stay with his campaign no matter what. he is not going to the debate on monday. he said he will not do that. he instead will be at apack but
that is just a big indication of just how confident the trump campaign is that they feel like they don't need to do another debate. andrea? >> and in fact, there's a report, at least on twitter from the news director of the fox affiliate in salt lake, that they have cancelled that debate as a result. we have to wait to confirm that. thanks to all of you on the road. that does it for us. this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember, follow the show online on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports. craig melvin picks up our coverage up next live from cleveland.
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left. but first, more on that major breaking news that we've been covering msnbc, we have a supreme court nominee. his name is merrick garland. president obama nominated the 63-year-old chief judge of the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit to succeed supreme court justice antonin scalia. garland is a well liked, moderate, main-stream nomination, but that likely won't matter much since senate republicans vowed not to consider the president's nominee, no matter what. >> today i am nominating chief judge merrick brian garland to join the supreme court. [ applause ]. >> i have fulfilled my constitutional duty. now it's time for the senate to do their's. >> thank you, mr. president. this is the greatest honor of my life. fidelity to the constitution and the law has been the corner stone of my