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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  March 16, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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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 professional life.
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>> the senate will continue to observe the biden rule. action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. >> our msnbc team is covering the nomination. and reaction from the nation's capital and beyond. let's start with our justice correspondent pete williams there in d.c. pete, garland had been -- has been to this dance before, he's been on the supreme court short list for a number of years. why now? >> i think the answer is that the white house hopes that he's more of a consensus nominee and that he's both well liked and respected and has a moderate judicial record and that that would make it harder for republicans to oppose him or harder for republicans not even to give him any consideration. a big emotional day for him and here is a little more of what he said. >> this is the greatest honor of my life, other than lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years
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ago. it's also the greatest gift i've ever received, except and there's another caveat, the birth of our daughters, jessie and becky. >> analysis of his record, his nearly 20 years on the court of appeals doesn't show someone who is a particularly liberal judge, more of a centrist, often voting with conservatives on criminal cases so he is not someone who is strongly ideological, this has to some extent disappointed some of the white house advocacy groups that have stood up for the president before, but again the president has noted that when garland was confirmed to the court of appeals he got unanimous support from the senate, including well over 30 republicans, many of whom who continued to say supportive things about him over the years. the president is basically saying to senate republicans, you supported him in the past, you should do so again. >> i found it interesting, pete, that here is a guy who in addition to being the chief judge there finds time
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apparently to tutor kids at an elementary school there in northeast d.c. what else do we know about him? >> well, quite a bit. he grew up in chicago. his father, his parents were immigrants. his father was a small businessman, had an ad agency in the basement of the house, but he was a bright student. he went to harvard on a scholarship. graduated with honors from harvard and harvard law school. worked in the justice department and private practice, was one of the top prosecutors in the oklahoma city bombing trial of timothy mcvay and worked on the yun bomber case which ended up in a guilty plea from ted kaczynski, he is a prosecutor here in washington, d.c. a top job at the justice department and then this long service on the court of appeals. he is a white man and that's been a departure from president obama nominees of women in the past, elena kagan and sonya society major.
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he is also 63. one of the older justices to be nominated to the supreme court. you have to go back to lewis powell to find someone who was older at age 64. >> ron allen is at us at the white house. the president will head to the hill tomorrow to start meetings with senators. what's the white house strategy to get him confirmed? >> reporter: craig, we just got off a conference call who tried to walk us a bit through the president's thinking and the process that he went through over the past number of weeks. and they have emphasized that there was a lot of what they call outreach and engagement. they emphasized that the president contacted the office of every member of the senate, every member of the senate judiciary committee will consider this nomination if it gets that far, there has been extensive outreaches to groups, veteran groups, unions, civil right groups, youth groups, former republican officials you name it. again, trying to make the point that this candidate, this nominee, is a consensus. it's someone who, as they put
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it, the president is playing this straight down the middle. here is a bit more of what the president had to say this afternoon. >> at a time when our politics are so polarized, a time when norms and customs of political rhetoric and courtesy and comedy are so often treated like they're disposable, this is precisely the time when we should play it straight and treat the process of appointing a supreme court justice with the seriousness and care it deserves. >> reporter: that doesn't seem to be the reaction so far, craig. the reaction from the hill, from the republicans is basically we're still not going to meet with this nominee, we're not going to hold a hearing at all. the white house says there are some republicans who have offered to or who will meet with the nominee. they won't disclose those names. we know that the nominee goes to the hill tomorrow. we know the congress begins a two-week recess tomorrow. so, the process begins the
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stalemate seems to be enduring and we'll have to see what the white house can do to push this forward, if anything. craig? >> mark kirk, republican from illinois indicated a short time ago that he will be one of the senators that takes the meeting. ron, thank you so much. luke is on capitol hill for us. luke, you tweeted last night and abraham said, my son, god will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering, i believe that's from genesis. is that how he is being viewed on the hill right now, as a sacrificial lamb? >> craig, well, let me commend you for also being a sunday school graduate like myself. that's what i was getting there at that tweet is that this is a sacrificial lamb because there is no clear path forward for judge garland to not only get a hearing in the senate judiciary committee but also a vote on the senate floor. republicans knew this was going to come soon enough. they were ready. they have two main talking points. number one, it's not the person,
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it's the principle. meaning it doesn't matter who the president was going to give us, they were going to go down. we believe the next president should make this decision. the president has a right to nominate, we have a right to have a hearing or a vote. listen to what mitch mcconnell said directly after president obama nominated judge garland in the rose garden. >> president obama and his allies may now try to pretend this disagreement is about a person. but as i just noted, his own vice president made it clear it's not. the biden rule reminds us that the decision the senate announced weeks ago remains about a principle and not a person. >> it should be noted, though, craig, that if judge garland was not even given a hearing in the senate judiciary committee, that is unprecedented in recent memory, members from both sides acknowledging that fact. it will also be interesting to see whether or not judge -- or chairman grassley, the judiciary
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committee will have a meeting with him and whether mcconnell will have a meeting with him. you mentioned he'll have republicans -- i suspect those will probably be from blue states who are up for re-election who will want that photo op, hey, at least we're willing to meet with the nominee. craig? >> luke rhussert on capitol hill. thank you. let's bring in bill nelson of florida along with joey reid who is here with me in cleveland. senator, let's start with you. this republican strategy, not to even take up the president's nominee. how does that work? would you have a chief judge show up at a senator's office and the senator essentially say i don't have time for you? >> well, the judge ought to show up because the senate ought to do its job and the constitution says the president nominates and the senate then advises and consents. and so, if we're doing our
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constitutional duty we certainly ought to receive the judge and have a hearing for him and bring him up for a vote. by the way, this seems to be a judge with an outstanding pedigree and on top of that in these fractious times, he is a moderate and a consensus builder. that's exactly what we need. >> donald trump, senator, the republican front-runner, he laid out his position on all of this a little earlier on "good morning america." take a listen to what he said. >> i think they should do what they're doing. i think the republicans should do exactly what they're doing. i think they should wait until the next president and let the next president pick. >> how is this nomination fight going to shape the elections, sir? >> well, i think it's going to give another reason of why the republicans have been obstructionists. i think that's very unfortunate. i think it's going to make it
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very uncomfortable for some republican senators that are up for re-election that their folks in their states want them to just do their job. do their constitutional duty. if you want to vote no, then stand up and have the courage to say no. but at least stand up so your people know where you are. >> senator nelson, bill nelson, florida senator, thank you so much for your time. >> joy, andrea mitchell spent time talking to patrick leahy, ranking member of the senate ju dish committee. this is a snippet of what he said. >> 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 heard from them for all these years. the president really wasn't born in hawaii. come on, stop the nonsense, stop the games.
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let's start following the constitution. >> you spent a lot of time on the road covering politics in this country. what do you make of that assessment? >> i think that is an actual assessment and it's what the democratic senatorial campaign committee will be arguing as they go around the country, really going after the eight or nine really vulnerability republican united states senators up for re-election. the problem is and what the white house has done is they've given the base that they're counting on that actually believes that, the that the president has been treated as an other, they need to fight for his nominees and fight for his programs, they don't give him much to work with. this is not only a white male nominee, he is also not very liberal, at least from what we've seen on the surface. the president led with oklahoma city, so i'm not sure that the white house, if they're calculation was to create an argument for their base -- >> this isn't the guy to fire up the base. >> not really, no. >> who would have been a candidate? who would have been a nominee that would have gotten that base more fired up?
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>> i think people were expecting sri srinivasan. he is a person of color, brown would have been the ideal. if you want to do a base nomination, african-american woman, already confirmed i believe unanimously to a judgeship before. somebody that at least would sort of give a wink and a nod to the base that elected barak obama. that was one way to go. the other way to go is this, which is to say, if you won't seat this guy, you are advocating your responsibilities. one interesting thing, mark kerr, the most vulnerability senator, said he will look at judge garland. >> we cobbled together the senators who voted to confirm him in '97. merrick garland nominated '95, confirmed in '9 7. here is a look at the current republican senators who voted to confirm him back then, of course, john mccain, senator collins as well, senator orin hatch.
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it will be interesting to see over the next few weeks and months how they justify not even giving the guy a fair hearing this time around. >> mccain has a re-elect. look at the senators who are up for re-electiore-election, mcca johnson, so there are some really vulnerable people. mitch mcconnell has to make a decision, does he want to hold on the the senate or make the senate in play as part of the presidential race? that is what the white house hopes is that they can make the senate part of the presidential race. >> joy reid. we always learn something when you're on television. thank you. coming up next half hour, we'll hear from republican from wyoming. you can weigh in on today's microsoft pulse question. here it is. should the senate approve president obama's supreme court nominee? you can weigh in at
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pulse.msnbc.com. another super tuesday, another night of donald domination. the stop trump movement is in total disarray this afternoon with marco rubio out of the race, it is now a three-man fight and what's left of the establishment is vowing for a convention fight not far from where i sit here in cleveland. on the democratic side, it's a clean clinton sweep, but with bernie sanders vowing to stay in, how does she battle on two fronts at once? much, much more ahead here on msnbc from cleveland, hohio, ths is the place for politics. and surprise! those seats sometimes cost a ridiculous number of miles, making it really hard to book the flight you want. luckily, there's a better way... with the capital one venture card. with venture, you'll earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. and when you're ready to travel, just book the flight you want, on any airline, then use your miles to cover the cost.
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who are you consulting with consistently so that you're ready on day one? >> i'm speaking with myself, number one, because i have a
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very good brain and i've said a lot of things. i know what i'm doing and i listen to a lot of people, i talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time i'll tell you who the people are. i speak to a lot of people. but my primary consultant is myself and i have a good instinct for this stuff. >> donald trump there on "morning joe" talking about his most trusted adviser, himself. trump and hillary clinton had big nights last night. trump the winner or apparent winner in four of the five major contests. clinton, meanwhile, appears to be on the verge of a clean sweep once missouri numbers are officially confirmed. trump even got to claim another republican scalp last night, marco rubio bowing out of the race after losing by a wopping 19 points to trump in his home state of florida. rubio had previously said the winner of florida would be the eventual nominee, a fact that trump rather gleefully pointed out via twitter this morning. but as trump celebrates, some
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republicans are floating the possibility once again of a brokered convention to nominate someone other than the front-runner. trump, however, has a message for anyone who tries that. >> we're way ahead of everybody. i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think it would be -- i think you would have rye yoiotriots. i think you would have riots. >> we have reporters in three states covering the remaining republican candidates. let's start with katy tur who is in miami covering the trump beat for us. lots of folks talk about this debate that was supposed to happen next week out west. word that trump himself may not be there. what's the latest on that? >> he said he is not going to be there. this is what we've been expecting from him all along, as soon as he won either florida or ohio, we were not expecting him to do anymore debates because frankly the campaign is feeling confident enough not to have to do these debates. they're moving forward. they're looking ahead. they're trying to focus on
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hillary clinton, at least in some ways. take a look at this new instagram video they just released about her. ♪ [ barking ] [ laughter ]. >> reporter: tough stuff there, but very much in line with how the trump campaign has been releasing those sorts of ads. now, let's talk about what he said earlier that there could be riots if this convention takes a nomination away from him, that his supporters are so passionate for him and so dedicated to him that they would revolt. i think that being on the campaign trail with him and talking to his supporters they do -- they are that passionate and there is the potential for them to revolt, but what you're seeing with donald trump right now is he is laying the foundation for it. he is whipping them up into enough of a frenzy early on to
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warn against something like that, warn the establishment that you could have blood on your hands, essentially, if you take this away from me. also quick note, governor out of florida just endorsed donald trump and asking the gop to coalesce around him. of course this is the governor of florida and is endorsing him a little bit of a day late, but it is after he won the state ahead of marco rubio and even jeb bush. >> katy tur there in miami. again, you know, we were here together in youngstown, ohio, talking to trump supporters. they echoed that sentiment. if he doesn't win this thing out right in cleveland, there will be in their words hell to pay. katy, thank you. let's turn to john kasich. according to kasich's chief strategist, donald trump doesn't show up for the next event as he said he will not, neither will the ohio governor. kasich hoping to build the momentum from his first primary win last night here in ohio. here he was at a post victory town hall in villanova,
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pennsylvania, where he delivered on a promise he made yesterday taking subtle aim at the gop front-runner. >> we need harmony in this country and we need to remember we're americans before we're anything else. and finally, i want you all to know that as i continue to pursue this campaign, i am not going to take the low road to the highest office in the country. [ applause ]. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell at that event joins me now. john kasich continues to be very proud of being a really nice guy, kelly. >> reporter: very much so, craig. he is enjoying this. not always do we see candidates have fun at their events. it is a grind, it is hard work. coming off of his ohio victory, he seems to be having a terrific time today taking questions. we know the math. it really is a hard path. john kasich would need there to
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be an open fight in cleveland for the gop convention in order to get the nomination just by available delegates left. but he's still in this. that quote you played is becoming almost his bumper sticker of not taking the low road to the highest office. and talking about trying to inspire people and to be more of a sunny character in a presidential season that has had lots of elbows being thrown and verbal sparring as well. now, john kasich, the governor of ohio, said he loves protests, loves them, so long as they aren't violent. he is giving a nod to the fact there's some anger in the electorate but he is also trying to get people to look at him. so if he misses this debate opportunity, as we expect he may, that's really kind of a disappointment for him because it would be a chance to be seen with just three men on the stage coming off a big week. aids tell me he is still going to utah debate or not. craig? >> kelly o'donnell there as that
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john kasich event goes on just a few feet away behind her. kelly, thank you. ted cruz mean while may be second overall in the delegate count, but his path to victory became a bit more uncertain last night after leaving the second super tuesday with no wins. here to talk about the uphill climb that he faces nbc's hallie jackson, who is in houston, home of cruz campaign headquarters. as you know, ted cruz said previously he could win this race without a convention fight. what are they saying this morning? >> reporter: they still believe that could be the case, craig. obviously it is a blow to them that john kasich did not drop out. the modelling, the predictions are based on a two-man race between donald trump and ted cruz. kasich in there as a campaign aid acknowledged is a spoiler. it's not an ideal situation for ted cruz. that said, the campaign still feels like it's in a strong position for three reasons. one, because of the closed primaries coming up in which only registered republicans can vote. cruz has done well in those. donald trump has done better in open primaries.
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two, it's because how cruz and trump match up head-to-head. the campaign believes they can make the case in a general election. of course the biggish shoo u wi issue is that cruz is not in a head-to-head race with donald trump. they're looking to utah and wisconsin as places where they can pick up delegates. they're also looking to places like ted cruz may not be seen as a natural fit, new jersey is a key state, places like california june 7th where the campaign believes it could pick up potentially two thirds of the delegates. that said, that is a big uphill climb and it doesn't necessarily match the math that we've seen so far from ted cruz. he will have to accelerate his pags of pickup for delegates in order to make that happen. craig? >> nbc's hallie jackson in houston, texas, this afternoon. thank you. when we come back here in cleveland, is the presidential race careening towards its first brokered convention in more than half a century? what happens to marco rubio's delegates? we'll talk all things 2016 with
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some breaking news right now overseas. four people arrested today in paris, accused of planning future terror attacks there, according to french officials, the three men and one woman all identify themselves as radical islamists. nbc's kelly cove ya is following the story from our london office. >> we're getting information that in fact these arrests did happen today. three men, one woman. not giving many more details in terms of what went down, but we do understand from french media, any way, reports in france that they were arrested in a dawn raid in st. dennis. it's that same neighborhood, just days after the attacks in paris. this northern paris suburb.
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now, reports are that these three were planning an attack in central paris no, word on how involved this plot was or how imminent it was and the rest of the reporting still unconfirmed at this point, craig. what we do know for a fact is that these four people were arrested. they're being questioned for the next 96 hours at which point prosecutors office will decide whether or not to charge them. >> thank you, kelly. to those who supported marco, who worked so hard, we welcome you with open arms. >> the politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they're going to leave us a fractured nation. they're going to leave us as a nation where people literally hate each other. >> that's ted cruz and marco rubio there after last night's losses. rubio, of course, bowing out.
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ted cruz there making an appeal for rubio's delegates. politico reporting that several big name movement conservatives are meeting tomorrow, hoping to find some person, any person, to stop donald trump. however, just a short time ago, the governor of florida where trump had a huge night, huge said this on facebook. with his victories yesterday, i believe it is now time for republicans to accept and respect the will of the voters and coalesce behind donald trump. rick tyler, former ted cruz communications director is with me here in cleveland. he is also msnbc political analyst. you heard cruz there trying to pick up rubio's voters. even if he got rubio voters, at this point does ted cruz have legitimate path to the nomination that does not include a fight here in cleveland? >> it's probably narrow but, yes, he does. there's still enough delegates
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for him to win. he would have to win 80% of them, seems outside of the mathematical possibility. marco rubio did the right thing last night in dropping out. john kasich ironically won here in ohio and picked up 66 delegates, but he is now mathematically eliminated. so by staying in the race, he is saying that i want to go to the convention and somehow win over a brokered convention. cruz is staying in. he has a way to mathematically get to the convention, but the problem for cruz is now kasich. there are ten winner take all states from now until cleveland and if john kasich is in the race, it almost ensures that donald trump will pick up all those winner take all and cruz needs those winner take alls to accumulate enough delegates. >> we have a winner take all tuesday in arizona. >> that's right. >> kasich doesn't appear to be competing there instead turning his attention to pennsylvania. at a brokered convention, a lot of folks still getting their heads around the rules at these conventions. one of the rules seems to be you have to have won eight states
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to -- >> that's right rule 40. >> that's what? >> rule 40. they can change that rule now. >> why would a cruz delegate or a trump delegate vote to change that rule? >> it depends on -- the candidates only pick a certain number of the delegates. that's what they're working on right now. i know the cruz campaign and the trump campaign are working very, very hard the delegates show up here in cleveland in july will actually vote for their candidate. so that's going to be very important. remember, the people who come to the conventions are really the people who always go to the conventions. they're basically the establishment, right? and so but there will be a lot of new people in the convention because trump will have new people in there, so it depends on who is there. now, it's really not a brokered convention. it will be -- they'll have a first vote and if nobody gets the requisite number which we will know that going into the convention whether trump has 1237. >> or cruz has them, more likely trump whether he has them or not, then if no one gets the
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majority on the first ballot, it becomes an open convention. >> while you were speaking, breaking news, we can now confirm the gop presidential debate that was supposed to happen tuesday in utah is not going to happen. donald trump saying he wasn't going to be there, john kasich saying he wasn't going to be there so i guess they figure there's no sense in having ted cruz sit there for an hour and a half taking questions from folks. your reaction to that? smart move. >> probably. donald trump doesn't do well in debates. they diminish him. ted cruz has done consistently well in the debates. you could argue that ted cruz made his candidacy based in large part by his performance in the debates. >> rick tyler, always good to see you my friend. thanks very being with me. coming up, hillary clinton close to clean super tuesday sweep, but bernie sanders not ready to give up the fight it appears. how does clinton battle on two fwronts at once?
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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. >> so that was republican senator orin hatch from utah back in 1997 talking about the man at the center of our breaking news this afternoon, merrick garland, nominated by president obama to the supreme court moments ago. senator orin hatch said this -- >> the senate has never, never confirmed a nominee to the supreme court vacancy then that
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opened up this late in a term limited president's term in office. this is only the third vacancy in nearly a century to occur after the american people had already started voting in a presidential election. >> msnbc chief legal correspondent joins me live now. let's talk about white house strategy here. when you've got a party that has said, you know what, we're not taking the meeting, we don't even want to consider this guy, how does the white house go about changing the mind of republicans? >> well, i think you put your finger on the question. i spoke to white house officials this weekend and again this morning. their view is they do this, craig, piece by piece and that something is harder to argue against than nothing. basically everything said prior to today was a hypothetical, now they have this man as you just showed been praised by republicans and conservatives and many others. take a look at this, we are tracking this today, brand new,
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these are now senators who are saying they will meet with judge garland as of today now that it's been announced, kelly ayotte, kelly collins, jeff blake, mark kirk, rob portman. what you're looking at is a picture of a growing chor us of republicans who at least want to meet with him. then the hope is to build on something the president talked about today. take a listen. >> tomorrow judge garland will travel to the hill to begin meeting with senators one on one. i simply ask republicans in the senate to give him a fair hearing. and then an up or down vote. if you don't, then it will not be an abdoe indication, it will indication a process for
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nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair. >> translation, craig, they're making a process play at the white house. the meeting they say is only fair. the hearing is only what everyone has gotten even when rejected. from there, the hope is that through that process the hearing reflects this man who is widely respected as the chief judge, been on there 19 years and can't really lay a political glove on him, that's why he has such wide-spread praise. maybe he does get a floor vote, that is the incremental white house strategy, craig. >> chief legal correspondent, ari melber. you can weigh in on today's pulse question, should the senate approve president obama's supreme court nominee. there's the question. take a look at the results. so far an overwhelming number of you say, yes, you can continue to vote go to pulse.msnbc.com. you both have a perfect driving record.
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♪ wow. i'll tell you, this is another super tuesday for our campaign. [ cheers and applause ]. >> because of all of you and our supporters across the country, our campaign has earned more votes than any other candidate, democrat or republican. we are moving closer to securing the democratic party nomination and winning this election in november! >> hillary clinton there last night after sweeping all five primaries. she won by double digit margins in florida, north carolina and ohio. she pulled out a victory in her home state of illinois and is also the apparent winner in missouri by roughly 1,500 votes. clinton claimed 363 delegates, separating herself from bernie sanders by 707 total delegates
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now. the delegate math beginning to look bleaker for sanders. clinton at this point needs to win roughly 41% of the remaining delegates. sanders needs an eye popping 76%. none the less, the sanders campaign issued a statement saying in part, quote, we remain confident that our campaign is on a path to win the nomination. meanwhile, clinton appeared to pivot during that victory speech last night to a potential general election showdown with donald trump. >> our commander in chief has to be able to defend our country not embarrass it. when we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up 12 million immigrants, banning all muslims from entering the united states -- [ crowd boos ] >> when he embraces torture,
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that doesn't make him strong, it makes him wrong. >> democratic congressman tim ryan of ohio is on capitol hill for us this afternoon. congressman, i want to let your viewers know bottom of the screen there, white house briefing room, we are expecting that briefing to start any moment. if it does, i may have to interrupt you. let's start with the news of the day, president obama announcing the nomination of merrick garland to fill the vacant supreme court seat. this is what majority leader mitch mcconnell said on the senate floor a short time ago -- >> our view is this -- give the people a voice in filling this vacancy. action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. let's let the american people decide. >> your reaction, congressman to his insistence that the senate
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wait. >> i think it's ridiculous. the president got elected for a four-year term. do they want him to stop enforcing the law in other areas? do they want him to stop being the commander in chief? where does this end? he's been elected for a four-year term. he has earned this right. he's been duly elected in the united states of america. there's nothing in the constitution. he made a very moderate appointment here. there's no reason they can't do their job. he continues to show why the american people are disgruntled with washington, d.c. and how politicized everything has become. here is a bipartisan appointment and the extremists in the republican party continue to control the government and this is one more example about that. >> let's turn back to the race for the white house here for a second. donald trump posted this instagram video a short time ago, targeting hillary clinton. i want you to take a look and take a listen and get your reaction on the other side. here it is.
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♪ [ barking ] [ laughter ]. >> congressman, first of all, i don't know why the secretary was ever barking in public. that would seem to be a bad idea. but your thoughts on the ad, your thoughts about running a general election campaign against donald trump, a guy who seems to play by a different set of rules when it comes to campaigning. >> well, i couldn't see the video, so it's hard to comment on it, but i will say that i think trump's got a lot of headaches moving into the general election. he's not even been touched basically by the democrats. you know, we've got a whole -- lot of material about him. he supports right to work, which means that he wants to get into the pockets of labor members, union members in places like
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ohio. he says that they should not have the right to collectively bargain. in this day and age with all this income inequality -- >> congressman? >> he says people are making too much money. these have to face in the general. >> i'm sorry, i have to cut you off here. the white house briefing has started. josh earnest talking about the nomination of merrick garland. >> to consult about potential nominees. the president had multiple conversations with democrats and republicans on the senate judiciary committee. about this decision. and it's only recently that the president made a final decision on this. but it certainly reflected a lot of work and extensive call consultation among legal experts and members of the senate on both sides of the aisle. as it relates to chief judge garland, i'm not aware of any reticence on his part to accept this significant responsibility. it certainly -- i don't think
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anybody detected any reticence about that based on the public comments he delivered this morning in the rose garden. >> are you seeing any sign of a breakthrough with the republicans that they'll at least consider a confirmation hearing? is there a plan b? >> i think there's a constitutional responsibility that members of the united states senate have to consider the president's nominee to fill a vacancy on the supreme court. it's as simple as that. this is a case that we have been making for weeks now. and i think the case that we have, that the senate should fulfill their constitutional responsibility is only strengthened now that it's clear how seriously the president considered his constitutional responsibility. he considered a wide range of candidates, and he chose the person that he believes is the best person in america to fill the vacancy on the supreme court. there's a reason that the last time that chief judge garland faced a confirmation vote in the
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united states senate, that he got the support of a majority of democrats and a majority of republicans in that vote. that was 19 years ago. but in that 19 years, he has laid -- blazed a trail of a judge who understands that his chief responsibility is to interpret the law, not advance a political agenda. and that's why we believe the senate should fulfill their responsibilities. and it certainly is not appropriate for anybody in the united states senate to suggest that they're going to use politics as an excuse to not do their job. >> some groups on the left have said they're not enchanted with the president's choice. they say it was designed to apiece republicans in the senate rather than fire up the base. can you respond to their concern? >> the president's choice was
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designed to find the very best person for the job. and the president feels confident that that's what he's done. when you take a look at chief judge garland's credentials, you see they are unquestioned in terms of his legal ability. he's somebody with a demonstrated commitment to public service. the president discussed in the rose garden how early in his career chief judge garland willingly took a pay cut so he could work as a federal prosecutor. and he did work here in the district of columbia making neighborhoods in the city safer. and he certainly demonstrated a commitment to using his extensive legal training and his god-given ability to promote justice. and that was true when he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of the oklahoma city bombing. i think he's justifiably proud
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of that service to the country. the president certainly is proud of that service. and i think it's that commitment to public service and that commitment to not using his seat on the bench to advance a political agenda but rather merely to interpret the law in pursuit of justice that has earned him bipartisan support in the past, and it is certainly why we believe he deserved bipartisan support today. >> there you have it, josh earnest, white house spokesman, white house briefing there this afternoon, talking about president obama's nomination of merrick garland to the high court. let's come back here to cleveland, ohio. and talk about what went down in the buckeye state last night. governor john kasich pulling out a win, now preparing for a full-on trench warfare. ohio attorney general mike dewine joins me now. a noted kasich supporter, we should point that out for the purposes of this conversation. first of all, congratulations on last night. but let's talk about moving
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forward. again, mathematically, it's not possible for kasich to pull this thing out without a full fight in cleveland. if that happens, does he have a built-in advantage because it's in ohio? >> well, i don't kneif he has a built-in advantage, but the advantage he has, i think, is now the spotlight is turning to him. you can just look at the coverage in the last 24 hours. he's getting a lot more attention. i think voters who will be voting in primaries going forward will see the real john kasich. and when they compare the background, the experience, not just what they have said but what they have done, john kasich stands out. he clearly is the strongest candidate to beat hillary clinton in the fall. so i think what you're going to see is kasich winning some of these states. i think he's going to do very well. and i think you're going to see a momentum switch. it looks like we're going to go into the convention with no one having enough votes to win on the first ballot.
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but what i think people are going to look at and what's going to matter is who has momentum. i think john kasich will have the momentum. >> i want to talk to you about this contested convention. the idea of that happening here in cleveland. this is what donald trump said about that prospect earlier today. >> we're way ahead of everybody. i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think it would be -- i think you would have riots. i think you would have riots. >> i have talked to a lot of voters in ohio over the past three weeks since i have been here. that's the sentiment i've gotten from a lot of folks. there will be chaos in cleveland if trump doesn't get this thing in july. what say you to that? >> i think he has to earn it. and he has to continue to win states. so if he does that and goes into the convention with enough votes, he certainly will be the nominee. but we have a long way to go. we have over 1,000 delegates to be selected.
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i think you're going to see people really looking at john kasich as the really the mature person in this race, frankly. the person who has the experience and the person who is closer to what people believe a president should be, quite frankly. >> mike dewine, thank you so much. our time was cut short by the breaking news, but we'll be in ohio a lot over the next few months, my friend. i'll talk to you then. that's going to wrap up this hour of coverage live from the urban farmer restaurant. this is cleveland's steakhouse. i can attest to the fact they have a fantastic steak here. i'm craig melvin. i'll see you back here soon. thomas roberts picks up the coverage next live from miami, florida, after the break. 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.
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