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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  March 20, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ good morning, everyone. i'm joy reid coming to you from the msnbc bureau in washington, d.c. another donald trump event erupted in violence at a campaign stop in arizona. trump's rally in tucson was
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interrupted several times. tensions escalated when a member of the crowd punched and kicked a protester escorted out of the event. a man was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault in the incident. the trump campaign is also responding to video that appears to show trump's campaign manager, corey lewandowski grabbing a protester by the collar. a statement from the trump campaign spokesman said video clearly showed the protester reacting to the man who pulled him, not to mr. lewandowski. the tucson event was the end of a day of protests against trump in zoarizona. earlier in the day, protesters shut down the main road leading to the rally outside of phoenix preventing hundreds of cars from passing the blockaid for more than two hours. police arrested two protesters on the highway. i want to go to tucson and jacob rascon who has been following trump in arizona this weekend. how's the trump campaign responding to yesterday's protests? >> they're really not, beyond what you said about the incident with the campaign manager.
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they're not responding to what happened physically to that man, brian sanders, who we ended up talking to. this was the most violent incident we have ever seeb, really, at a campaign rally for donald trump. this man was sucker punched. the video shows, and then he was beat on the ground, kicked and punched repeatedly. we talked to him afterward, and he said it was worth it to him, but he did fear for his life. he said he only thought about covering his head. now, this comes at the end of a weekend with more organized and bold protests than we have ever seen beyond chicago. and in fact, some of the protesters in arizona and in salt lake city friday night, mentioned chicago, that they felt inspired and emboldened by what happens there. they really thought, many of them, that they could shut down the rallies. near phoenix, as you mentioned, we had dozens of protesters who had been prepared for days, who had a very elaborate plan to stop traffic. they had three layers of cars,
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they planned on getting their cars towed. they even cabled themselves, a few people, to some of those cars. and in the end, they ended up blocking hundreds of cars, many of them trying to get to that donald trump rally. and then in tucson, the protests inside, as you saw, were angry. but then outside, you had hundreds of protesters as well, who were very angry, shouting matches between the protesters and the trump supporters. really, it's getting, as i said, more organized, more bold, than i have ever seen it. joy. >> all right, thank you very much, jacob rascon in tucson, arizona. let's bring in my guest here with me in d.c., sabrina siddiqui, political reporter for the guardian, and from new york, john carlo peressutti, and raul ray ez. and sabrina, i'm going to start with you as the journalist on the panel. have you ever in terms of covering political campaigns seen anything like this? >> no, and i think what's really problematic for the republican
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party is donald trump has now routinely not just condoned violence at his rallies. he's encouraged it. he's call prd protesters to be roughed up. he's said he missed the good old days when protesters and demonstrators were carried out on stretchers. this is something we haven't seen in recent time and it's becoming a bigger problem for the republican party, also because party leaders are not wanting to get involved. you had mitch mcconnell say i spoke to donald trump and advised him it might be a good idea to condemn this violence. it is a good idea, and more problematic for them is donald trump does what he wants. they can tell him at the end of the day that he needs to put a stop to this, but really, he's going to probably continue for the foreseeable feature to operate in this fashion. >> you had the family of barry goldwater condemn this and say barry goldwater would have been horrified by what happened. the only other time we have seen a presidential campaign devolve
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into this kind of campaign was '68. barry goldwater's protesters in new york who were roughed up and he was endorsed by the klan. your party does see an ant acedent, but it's not a positive history, right? >> this is terrible and it needs to stop. we hear on and on about how donald trump is a strong leader. he pounds his chest and talks about how he's a strong leader. this is his opportunity to lead. if he can't control his own people, if he can't control his own partisans, how is he supposed to run the country? >> how is your party going to arrive in cleveland with donald trump as the most likely nominee and rally behind this person? >> well, i think the people that will be arriving in cleveland who will be in a position to in effect choose the republican nominee for president, are obviously quite different, we would hope, than people who are causing problems at donald trump's rally. i think the convention in cleveland is an opportunity for the establishment of the republican party to take the party back and do the right thing.
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>> and raul, we have seen early on in the anti-trump movement a lot of black protesters, quite frankly, black and white, but a lot of black lives matter act e activity in these events. now you're seeing the original targets, if you don't count his birtherism toward obama, his original targets were latinos. now you're starting to see latino groups coalescing and deciding that they're going to take the physical risk and go to these rallies and protest. are we about to see a, quite frankly, openly ethnic confrontation across this country because of the candidacy of donald trump? >> it's very unfortunate, but to be honest, i wouldn't be surprised if we do see a lot more of this. as a matter of fact, one of the headlines i was reading an article in the l.a. times and one of the headlines was in arizona circus, a preview of what's in taste for california, referring to now the primaries move to california, there's going to be more protests.
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more rallies. and it's sort of ironic because this week is the actually the third anniversary of that republican autopsy, the gop autopsy, that said the republican party needed to reach out more to latinos and to other minority voters and now here we are, we have donald trump out there being introduced by jan brewer and endorsed by joe arpaio who provided security at this event. and this is something we all know resonates with the latino community. now, as the campaign moves on to the southwest, i mean, in the latino community, i believe it's about two thirds of latinos know someone who is undocumented. the debate about trump is not just an abstract. it's very real, something people are very fearful about and frankly, it's something people are very angry about. they feel threatened, in the latino community, this is seen as a threat to our families, potential human rights violations. that's why we see these types of protesters being so emboldened
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and zoarizona and california ar the centers of many of the immigrant advocacy groups. this unfortunately is a preview of what we're going to see in the weeks ahead. >> and sabrina, do you agree with that? now we go to the southwest, california is in june. we're talking about this kind of really ugly picture being replayed over and over and over again from now all the way until the summer. it's hard to believe that there is going to be any sort of counterveiling force, whether it's the ted cruz campaign, who by the way, has the same position on immigration as donald trump, essentially. has really not come out against many of his ideas. is really a dismal future that we're looking at over the next couple months. i'm wondering what we can expect. >> he mentioned the autopsy, which is an important piece of this. there really isn't a candidate left in the republican field with a viable path who has actually followed the prescriptions that were laid out in that report. like you said, ted cruz really
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embraced donald trump's immigration plan. in fact, we have seen he has moved further and further to the right in terms of reversing his previous openness to legalization for undocumented immigrants, now coming out against birth right citizenship, coming out against work permits for foreign workers. there's not a lot of distinction between thhow he views immigratn and donald trump does. the "huffington post" had a poll out that said half of americans believe donald trump has fascist undertones. that included 45% of independents. the implications of that are profound not just for the direction of the republican party but the direction of the country moving forward. forget june, well into november. >> isn't that part of the challenge for your party? if you look at the polls of all the primary and caucus states so far, 64, 65, upwards of two thirds of republicans who are polled, those exit polls, believe in banning all muslims from the united states. the anti-immigrant views of
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donald trump aren't limited just to donald trump or donald trump supporters. there isn't much difference between his views and ted cruz's views. isn't this now not a donald trump problem but a republican party rb? >> the republican party talked about being inclusive, about being a big tent, about welcoming all inside to reach common ground on the beliefs, smaller government, less taxation, less regulation. those are the cornerstones. >> but that's not what your base believes in. it's clear the base of your party doesn't care about less taxation and deregulation. the actual base of your party cares about banning muslims, about building a wall, about having zero migration. these are the things that the base of your party is crying out for, right? >> that is what they're answering in polls, but i would suggest to you that the republican party clearly has a donald trump problem. from an idealogical standpoint, i personally believe the most underreported story of this
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election cycle is the fact that not one single solitary republican incumbent on the house or senate has lost their primary so far. it doesn't look like anyone is on track to. i would caution against kind of the panic prognostications that many are making about how the republican party is at a crossroads and it's going to get decimated and we'll have this generational realignment. if we were to have all those things, i think many would have thought we would see that wave begin to crest in some of these congressional primaries. they just haven't. i would caution anyone against making statements that are too broad about the totality of the republican electorate and what they believe, et cetera. the republican party has a donald trump problem right now, but i happen to believe that potentially it starts and stops there. >> and raul, i'm going to give you the final word on this because he make as good point, that you haven't seen republicans lose primary races with a trump effect. does the fact that donald trump has no coattails, is that actually, does that mean that perhaps the problem is not as broad within the republican party as it appears? >> i believe the problem is
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broad, certainly in the perception of the party, and it's going to be more acute as we move closer to the general election. but i will say, you know, i do agree in the sense that when we look at the exit polls of the primaries that have occurred and caucuses that have taken place so far, even in the south, which is, these are solidly red states, when people are polled on their republican primary voters who turned out to vote largely for donald trump are polled on their top five issues, the issues they name are jobs and the economy, the size of government, terrorism. illegal immigration and our immigration reform situation generally comes in never higher than number five. so i think we have a situation right now where this very vocal minority is dominating the party, at least in its public face, it's very vocal at these rallies and driving a lot of potential independents and moderates away. the challenge for the republican party going forward is how to reclaim what really is their legitimate base and the broader
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tent that jian-carlo speaks of as we get closer to the election. >> let's see if they can do it. raul is going to stick around. thank you to sabrina and giancarlo. thank you both. >> stay with us, there's so much more when we come back. these little guys? they represent blood cells. and if you have afib-an irregular heartbeat that may put you at five times greater risk of stroke they can pool together in the heart, forming a clot that can break free and travel upstream to the brain, where it can block blood flow and cause a stroke. but if you have afib that's not caused by a heart valve problem, pradaxa can help stop clots from forming. pradaxa was even proven superior to warfarin at reducing the risk of stroke, in a clinical trial without the need for regular blood tests. and, in the rare event of an emergency, pradaxa is the only oral blood thinner other than warfarin with a specific reversal treatment to help your body clot normally again. pradaxa is not for people who have
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not the person, it's the principle. who ought to make this lifetime appointment? it's the next president, not this one. >> are you completely ruling out a lame duck scenario if hillary clinton wins the november election? >> yes. we're not going to be confirming a judge to the supreme court under this -- >> even if it means hillary clinton nominates somebody even more liberal than merrick garland? >> it's my hope, it would be hard to be more liberal than
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mar merrick garland. it's my hope she will not make the appointment. >> that was republican senate leader mitch mcconnell on "meet the press" this morning. the escalating supreme court battle now shifts to u.s. senators' home states where they have returned for easter recess and they will no doubt hear from their constituents. harry reid also had thoughts this morning. >> they're going to wind up as a result of this foolishness, they're going to wind up losing senate seats they shouldn't have lost. i'm kind of glad they're doing it, but it's so foolish. mcconnell is leading his senators over the cliff, and i'm telling everybody that's watching this, the senators arep going to allow that. >> joining me now are barbara, the president of the transformative justice coalition, and robert jones, the ceo of the public religion research. raul reyes, nbc news contributor. is that correct what harry reid said, that essentially mitch mcconnell is digging the political graves of swing state
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republican senators by not considering the nomination of merrick garland? >> well, what the public opinion research shows, including nbc, "wall street journal" polls, recent cnn polling, pretty much shows the same picture. that is that the public opinion is really closer to the obama administration than it is to mcconnell here. basically, the public thinks along party lines, but a majority of the public thinks obama should do the nomination, but republicans say he shouldn't. once the nomination is made, though, two thirds of the country, including two thirds of republicans say that they should at least consider the nomination. so i think the absolute stonewalling part is where it may run into trouble. we are already seeing this with some republicans breaking ranks, especially republicans facing tough re-election bids like mark kirk in illinois, for example, who told them they should man up and vote. >> he literally said that? they should man up and do a vote. let me play a bit of barack obama, his weekly address. nothing really revolutionary he's saying here, what you would expect him to say. this is what he said about the
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supreme court nomination. >> i ask republicans in the senate to give judge garland the respect he has earned. give him a hearing. give him an up or down vote. to deny it would be an abdication of the senate's constitutional duty. i fulfilled my duty. now it's sometime for senators to do theirs. >> raul, meanwhile, senator dick durbin, senator from illinois, on saturday sent out a fund-raising e-mail in which he said no senate has ever denied a hearing to a presidential nominee to fill a supreme court vacancy. the senate republican majority must do their job, give garland a timely hearing. that one-two punch, barack obama saying it and then the senator saying it essentially stoking this idea that this is disrespect for the president. does that help democrats in these swing senate states? >> yes, i believe it does. it was very smart of the obama administration to get this nomination out before this senate recess that we're entering this week.
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it was very smart of them to get this nomination out there, because we're seeing senators obviously mark kirk, kelly ayotte, other senators under increasing pressure. think about this. democrats often have trull distilling their message into a very easy to understand, you know, like a hashtag, for lack of a better word, as republicans are so successful. this time, we're using th the #dojourjob. they're well positions to make their case to the public and keep that pressure on. there's a reason when you look around the country, it's something like 55 separate editorial boards all around the country, "new york times," "washington post"," virtually every major american city, the newspapers, and some do lean conservative, some lean liberal, they're basically just saying go forward. you know, vote on the nomination, give this man a hearing. give him the respect that his credentials, his qualifications, his moderate temperament, they're all well worthy of that. and deserving. so this pressure is not going to go away.
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i'm not sure that this is an issue that excites the republican base as much as it seems to be resonating on the democratic side. >> and yet, and yet, raul, despite the fact he said it's resonating more with the democratic base, barbara, you are among some african-american women who have had a different take on this nomination. it was interesting to hear mitch mcconnell saying you can't get more liberal than merrick garland. yes, you can. barack obama, to paraphrase him from 2008, you wrote the following. as executive director of your organization, you said by selecting garland, obama does not give the respect to his most ardent supporters. the passion you saw around sotomayor, you will not see around this pick, and one more, to amplify it more, weaver, the founder of something called the exceptional leadership institute for women had more harsh words for it. she essentially said, black women might not have been inspired to lobby the senate daily to get a black female nominee. they might have been inspired to
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get a black female nominee confirmed as they did in loretta lynch's confirmation process. now, as she said, i'm not motivated to lift one finger to get this nomination through. explain. >> interestingly, independently, avis and i came up with the same quote, that i won't lift one finger to get this nomination. >> tell us why. >> because, first of all, in african-american woman should have been nominated. we talk about the qualifications, there were at least nine-plus very well qualified african-american women. including a former chief justice of the georgia supreme court. there was, you know, bernice donnell, who sits on the sixth circuit court of appeals, been on the federal bench, the bench period, for about 28 years. who is a remarkable jurist. only one year difference in her age and that of merrick garland. there's all these people, so i have this real problem with this president not putting forth a black woman for three
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nominations. >> let me ask you this, just to push back for a second. the white house would essentially say why spend that capital, that type of a nomination when the senate leader has already said they're not letting this person through? >> then don't nominate anybody. >> does it make more sense to put the strategy of putting forth somebody that proves their obstructionist. >> a black woman would prove the same. i don't buy that. people say why put a black woman through it? black women are grown. they're mature, talented, accomplished, they make their own decisions as to whether or not nay want to go through a confirmation hearing. people have gone through confirmation hearings, some have been confirmed in general and some have not. but they have gone on. because once you're nominated by the president of the united states, that says a lot about who you are, your stature, your ability, and you can come back. i think this was a real waste of a slot. let me be very clear, i also have issues with garland because of his moderate -- being a
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moderate. i have been studying the dourt, teaching the court last semester, going through his jurisprudence, four and a half decades of very conservative injurious jurisprudence on voting rights, employment discrimination over and over against women and people of color. on issues of fortunately we gault a good decision on housing last year, but we have also had very bad cases on affirmative action, on all kinds of areas where you don't need a moderate. what you need is a good liberal. >> i'm going to ask you this. in theory, right, just to sort of play devil's advocate one more time, has this set up hillary clinton or bernie sanders to say, and sanders has already said i would pick someone else. has this in a sense set up the democratic presidential candidates to say, we will deliver where barack obama did not andiga get to his left on t nomination? >> i believe in the theory it's a win-win for republicans. i think they will in fact, if they see that hillary clinton or
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bernie sanders is going to win the presidency, they're going to move garland because that's their best choice. and they're going to say, we would rather have the -- >> what jake flake has done. robby, in a sense, do we now have a nomination that in a sense could wind up being a victory for republicans despite what we were talking about that this could motivate democratic voters. does it demotivate democratic voters that it neutralizes the disadvantage to republicans in swing states running for senate re-election? >> i'm not so sure. what the white house strategy was to basically keep painting the gop as a party in disarray. tharts part of the strategy was here, because they have got orrin hatch praising this man, and in fact, he stood up in, when he was nominated in 1997, after, by the way, being denied the nomination because a republican senate sat on it for two years from 1995, but once he got renominated by clinton in
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1997, orrin hatch stands up and basically dared his republican nominees to say something negative about him. he said i dare you give me one reason why you can't nominate him for the court. >> that's why he's a good republican pick, but not for us. >> i wish we had more time. raul, thank you very much for being here. thank you, barbara, thank you, robert, and thank you raul. and congratulations to resident bald eagle couple at the d.c. arboretum named mr. president and the first lady. okay, who this morning, sometimes they throw you a curveball here at the show, and they welcomed a second eaglet into their nest. there they are on the live cam run by the american eagle foundation. congratulations to the other first family of d.c. i just said that. up next, north carolina voter law considered one of the most restrictive in the country has kicked in. it could have major consequences
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on tuesday, north carolina held its first national election since a strict voter i.d. law went into effect this year. the law, which passed in 2013, is currently being challenged in court. but on tuesday, tarhill voters were required to bring a proved government photo i.d. to polling places leaving 218,000 north carolinians who did not have acceptable i.d.s, about 5% of eligible voters, to either forego their right to vote or to cast provisional ballots. only if they could cite a reasonable impediment to obtaining an i.d. 800 voters cast early provisional ballots because they did not have the right i.d. provisional ballots can be challenged and in fact in 2014, more than half of provisional ballots were rejected. still, even with this new restriction in place, local election officials said
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tuesday's turnout was the second highest the state has seen in 28 years. but it was specifically north carolina republicans who saw the greatest uptick, with a 16% increase over 2012's turnout. tarhill democrats saw a dropoff compared to 2008. local voting rights advocates say the law disproportionately aeffected young college aged voters. commenting on the voter i.d. law's impact on the election, willier barbour, president of the naacp said, quote, we're seeing in north carolina the exact type of electoral chaos that happens when politicians manipulate the voting system for their own gain. our leaders should be in the business of making it easier to vote, not harder. if it's not overturned, this law will be in place in november when the stakes get even higher for swing states like north carolina. president obama won north carolina by a fraction of a point in the 2008 general
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election when turnout was extremely high. in 2012, he lost the state by just two points. the bottom line, every vote counts, especially in states with notoriously close margins. when access to the polls is restricted for anyone, it can have huge ramifications for our democracy. should he stay, meanwhile, or should he go? what does the math say about bernie sanders' actual chances to win the democratic nomination, and what should he do with the political capital he's already gained? that's next. ♪ ♪
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it took joel silverman years to become a master dog trainer. but only a few commands to master depositing checks at chase atms. technology designed for you. so you can easily master the way you bank. for the next two weeks, the presidential contest heads to the west. ahead of tuesday's primary, senator bernie sanders is making stops in washington state today, while hillary clinton will be in arizona tomorrow and in washington state on tuesday. right now, clinton has a strong delegate lead after her five-state sweep last tuesday. that means senator sanders will now have to win 65% of the remaining delegates in order to
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win the nomination, while hillary clinton needs just 35%. polls in the upcoming states indicate an uphill battle for the vermont senator, but if sanders has a path to victory, he must win the west. joining me now is nina turner, former ohio state senator and surrogate for bernie sanders, and howard dean, who is a hillary clinton supporter. i'm going to start with you here at the table with me, my friend nene turner. what states can bernie sanders win to put together the math to close a 300-plus delegate gap? >> the california is the big, all the way to june, but the senator certainly is going to be very competitive in arizona, utah, wisconsin. all of the states going forward. the front end of this election cycle for democrats certainly was front loaded in a way that gave the secretary of state her strength in the south. but we firmly believe that going forward in the west and in the northeast, you will see senator sanders have great gains. >> so let me get your take on that howard dean.
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so far, you need 2,383 delegates to become the democratic nomi e nominee. hillary has 1579, bernie sanders has 859. if you take away the superdelegates, the gap is 300 essentially. we can put up the next real clear politics breakdown that shows clinton with her pledged delegates has 1,119. can hillary clinton close this out before the contest gets out to california, and if her lead looks insurmountable, should bernie sanders leave the race? >> well, bernie sanders, i have known bernie sanders a very long time. he's not going to leave the race, no matter what we say here on the show. so we might as well get used to that. here's what i think -- i do think hillary will be the nominee. i think she should be the nominee. she's by far the best qualified person to be president of either parthy. bernie is going to be a big player in the fall because we need those, all those incredible young people he's motivated to stay in the race. and only bernie can get that
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done. he has said numerous times that he does not want to have anything to do with elected a right-wing president. he's an honorable guy. i have voted for him a number of times up here. he will do the right thing, but we should not try to push him out of the race, because he's not leaving. what's the point of that? >> and i want to play you, though, because there has been something bernie sanders said about how he would play the end game that i want to play for you. he had an interview with rachel maddow. the question was not just about superdelegates but pledged delegates, and a lot of supporters of the sanders campaign really get upset about the superdelegates. they don't like the idea of superdelegates. they think it's undemocratic. listen to what senator sanders told rachel maddow about what he might do at the convention. >> if you were behind in pledged delegates, you would still take the case all the way to the convention and try to convince the super? >> well, we're going to do the best we can in any and every way to win. but i think when you have states, for example, say in new
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hampshire where we won by 22 points, in other states where we have won by 25 or even 30 points, i think it is not unreasonable for the people of those states to say to their superdelegates, hey, how about representing the people of our state and the outcome of the caucus or the primary? >> and so nina, in addition to that strategy of saying, even though the base of your electorate, sanders voters say they don't like the idea of superdelegates, trying to game the system, and tad devine saying pledged delegates are on the table as well. does that fit the brand that bernie sanders has been running on? >> listen, joy. you know, as tupac said, don't hate the player, hate the game. we're going to play the game to win. governor dean is absolutely right. senator sanders is not going anywhere, so democrats better strap up because we're in this all the way to june. it is an undemocratic proposition for people to try to take choice away from the 24 states, the 20-something states
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that are left. just be realistic about the numbers. secretary clinton only won 99 more delegates if we want to be real, yes, did our campaign want to win some states? absolutely. in terms of the delegate math on this past super tuesday, she only won 99 more delegates. there are still over 2,000 g t, delegates left to gain, and we're going to gain those, and then the super delegates. we don't like the game it is, but we're going to play the game to win, and hopefully the superdelegates will see the most viable candidate in november, if we want to beat mr. donald trump or any other republican as we know senator sanders is o outpolling the secretary when it comes to head to head. >> he's not getting more votes than hillary clinton. one argument her camp is making is she's gotten a million more votes. >> of course, she's going to make that argument. if democrats want to win in november in terms of enthusiasm, getting voters out, democrats aren't coming out in the same number as our republican
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brothers and sisters. we need to wake up quickly. i believe senator bernie sanders is the candidate to awaken the sleeping giants out there. >> do you buy the argument, howard dean? you have been a nonestablishment candidate for president in the past who was galvanizing young voter s but who wasn't able to get a majority of young voters to spoerbt you. do you buy the argument you hur heard nina turner make? >> no, and ying the it's a bad argument for sanders supporters to make. you can't argue they're undemocratic and then do the stuff you're going to do to get the superdelegates on your side in order to win the primary, and the danger of that is undercutting the idealism of your base. bernie has a very idealistic young base who wants substantial changes. if he turns out looking like another politician, that's a disaster for him. i wouldn't be making the argument nina is making. by the way, i endorsed nina turner for secretary of state. i think she's a good person. i hope she runs again. a commercial for you, secretary. >> on that commercial that we
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have noted because i agree. we're going to figure out something for nina turner to run for and then we're going to get behind her. thank you very much. >> and up next, remember those ranchers who had a standoff with federal agents in nevada? one of their supporters is running for congress. think abo, what does it look like? is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders of the natural world? whatever your definition of success is, helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a. ♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox.
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the amount of xifaxan in your body. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are nursing. the most common side effects are nausea and an increase in liver enzymes. ask your doctor about xifaxan for ibs-d. how do you run for federal political office when you don't trust the federal government? you do it on what we're going to call the bundy platform. nevada assemblywoman michelle fiore is doing just that. she's running for congress on a platform of limited government, a zeal for the second amendment, and on occasion, commandeering federal property by force. fiore first gained national attention as an active supporter of cliven bundy's occupation of federal land in nevada in 2014. when his son led a takeover an a wildlife refuge preserve in or
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gone. she was called to negotiate on behalf of the bundy crew. in an interview with the las vegas sun this week, she claimed there was never really any takeover. >> they didn't take over the refuge. they were camping at the refuge. >> occupying it. >> like president obama is occupying our white house? same thing? >> uh-huh. in addition to her own campaign, she also serves as senator ted cruz's nevada leadership team. she serves on that leadership team. although cruz was supportive of the wond bundy cause in 2014, much less sympathetic to the occupation in oregon. saying we don't have a constitutional right to force violence on others. why they may not agree that bundy and company were not merely camping, they'll always have their shared love of the amendment that talks about militias. maybe without the well regulated part. and coming up, how america's favorite pastime could be improved by our renewed ties with cuba. that's next.
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an historic moment is just hours away. president obama and the first family will soon be arriving in havana for the first u.s. presidential visit to cuba since calvin coolidge 88 years ago. the visit comes day after a new work rule went into effect allowing cuban citizens to work in the u.s. and earn salaries from american companies. though the measure is not targeted to any one business sector, the new guidelines offer a seismic shift from major league baseball. making it legal for franchises to sign contracts directly with cuban players. now, in the past, players like cuban sensation jose abreu and you seal puig were forced to defect before signing a contract with a major league team. cuba is among the countries producing the highest number of foreign-born players for the major league. 18 players hailed from cuba last
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season. hundreds of cuban players across latin america have defected over the last year and are seeking mlb contracts, according to the "new york times." the ties between the u.s. and cuba through baseball will not go unnoticed during the president's trip. on tuesday, obama will attend an exhibition game in atlanta between the rays and the cuban national baseball team. however, he's not expected to throw the first pitch. joining me now is dave, sports editor at the edge of sports podcast and a good friend and so great to see you. how exciting is this, the idea you can now have cuban players go ahead and play for major league baseball without defecting? >> very exciting, and not just because of the level of talent. it's because if baseball is an american as apple pie, it's as cuban as cone leche. the first latino player ever in major league baseball was cuban. more significantly than that, this is so interesting giving the last 100 years of history, but baseball was always a symbol of unless in cuba.
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the u.s. sport was a symbol of independence, as people were pushing against the traditions of bull fighting and spanish sports. you could make it case you would not have had integration in major league baseball, 1947, jackie robinson, all that history we're so familiar with. you could make the case you don't have that history without the cuban winter leagues when white players and negro league players would go to cuba and play together, and learn that gee, maybe it's a bizarre alien thing that we have to play apart. you cannot separate cuba from the history of baseball. they are one and the same. they're baked in the same cake. so baseball, diplomacy with cuba, has a tremendous amount of power on both sides of the ocean. >> you and i are both boxing enthusiasts and we know about the ways even in the years of the early 20th century, how black and white boxers were integrated. baseball, similarly, has been a cultural connection between cuba and the united states, even in
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our political isolation, right? >> very similar, and fidel castro famously was a failed pitcher. the kennedy family, famously, and this is ted and bobby, went back to the '67 world series after their father, joe kennedy, sr., collapsed in the stands, because, hey, the red sox were in the world series. you thing about this commonality between the kennedys and the castros and those are the families so remembered as the separation and the cold war between cuba and the united states. it shows you the opportunities for what we used to call with china ping-pong diplomacy, the idea sports can be used to build bridges. what is so incredible about this is if the lanes open up to major league baseball from cuba, and i believe they will. the commissioner said he's anxious to get this done. if it starts happening and the contracts start happening and without having to defect, without all the problems, and what you see are different cities in the united states starting to thrill on the puig and jose abreus of the next five, ten years, it's going to
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be very difficult, no matter who is sin the white house, to put that particular wine back in the bottle. >> and there's also every good thing, there's a dark side. is there a potential that sort of the baseball leagues and the youth leagues that are sort of attempting to grow an american crop of incredible baseball player whose themselves get this incredible economic opportunity, because let's not forget, this is an economic opportunity that is unparalleled, right? do we wind up seeing major league baseball fishing for cheaper cuban players? >> i might come to regret this, but i'm actually very optimistic about the possibilities of the baseball relationship between the u.s. and cuba because from everything i read, they wand to model it on the relationship between the u.s. and japan, where players play a certain number of years in japan so that way the leagues are not strip mined. after they have played four or five years in japan, they're free agents and can sign for any major league team with the highest deal with a lot of the money going to the franchises in
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japan, finders and developmental fees, which is much more just than the relationship between the united states and the dominican republic where every franchise basically has their own baseball factory where they sign players for as little as $2,000, 99% don't make it and they're thrown on the scrap heap if they don't make it to the major league level. not only am i confident it's going to be more just, but that will be a model for the dominican republic and change that rim so it's more equitable. >> what about taking it to the next level? we know we already have major league baseball doing business in canada. could you ever see a team, an expansion team, in cuba? >> absolutely. you know why i can see it? because the negro leagues did it. there's actually tremendous precedent, and the trip, psychologically, it might feel like thousands and thousands of miles, but cuba to play in south florida, is far more amenable from a flight perspective than all the games on the west coast. i think absolutely it's in the
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future, but it's going to dependent, i hate to put it on this, but politicians not messing it up because baseball is beautiful. >> that's the point i wanted to land on. a lot of republicans running this year including some who have now gone away like marco rub rubio, but ted cruz is saying we'll close the door back. is it possible to close that door now that it's open? >> i don't think so. i think baseball is going to keep the door pried open. you'll have this new generation of young cuban players not decrying the castro regime, not decrying cuba but saying it's our dream to have more people come over and our dream to go back and play for cuba because nationalism has always been a part of cuban identity, whether it was bautista, castro, or whoever was in power because the movement against spain, the movement against bull fighting and in turn the movement for baseball was so strong. >> yeah, dave, it's always great to see you. two things americans love, money and baseball. you're not closing the door again, sorry, republican party. thanks for being here. thanks to you at home for
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watching, and up next, amen mym mohyeldin will pick it up live from here.
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thanks for joining us this sunday morning, the first day of spring. i'm amyman mohyeldin. we're two days from the western primary where voters will head to the polls in utah and arizona, while the candidates are taking a break from rallies and campaign events to appear on sunday morning talk shows. still plenty of talk about donald trump's rally yesterday in tucson, zoarizona. a trump supporter kicked and punched a protester as the man was led out of the arena. police arrested the supporter. >> i think knnd who is reasonable will look and say this was supported by, ginned up, and encouraged by the candidate. >> we're going to have a lot more on that chaos in just a moment. but also later this hour, we're going to go to havana where president obama will touch down hours from now, making him the fi


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