tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC April 6, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
whatever your definition of success is, helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a. good afternoon. i'm steve kornacki, and for months now, our msnbc reporters and correspondents have been fanned out all across the country. nevada, new hampshire, across the south, in the midwest, on the west coast, following every development in the presidential race, on both sides, but now, after all of that, the candidates are coming to us, to our backyard. we broadcast here in new york, and the action in both parties is in new york, for the next two weeks. the empire state big contests on both sides, big gobs of delegates up for grabs, as the democrats and for the
republicans, this could be the primary that decides everything. brooklyn's own bernie sanders winning impressively in wisconsin last night. a 14-point win over hillary clinton. but what did that get him when it came to the all-important delegate battle? well, sanders only picked up ten delegates on hillary clinton with that win. he's going to need a lot more than that if he's going to catch her. he's going to need to win here in new york, maybe even win by a solid margin to keep his chances alive of doing that. meanwhile, new york's own billionaire donald trump, he's come back to his home state, to an impressive lead in the polls here. a new one from monmouth out just hours ago has him as 52% in new york. if donald trump can crack more than 50% in every congressional district in the state, he would sweep all 95 delegates. that would more than negate what ted cruz gained in delegates last night, in wisconsin. now, for his part, ted cruz,
fresh off that big win in wisconsin's primary last night, he's spending his first few hours here in the big apple, explaining a comment he made months ago, about so-called new york values. >> it's the values of the liberal democratic politicians, that have been hammering the people of new york for a long time. they have been suffering -- >> why call them new york values, not values? >> the people of new york know exactly what those values are. they're the values of liberal democratic politicians. >> but we begin this hour with donald trump. he's got a rally scheduled out on long island later on. nbc's jacob rascon joins me now. i can see the crowds start to gather. this is a homecoming for donald trump. the new york primary could not come at a better time for him after that loss in wisconsin yesterday. >> yeah, after that poll, you know he's going to be hitting that hard, now we have people already shouting, doing the
regular chant, "build the wall," this is the crowd of a few hundred people who are waiting to get on the buses. they're getting on now. and the buses take them just a quarter mile down to where the rally is. and then they have set up right here, an area for protesters and vendors. and so far, you're going to see, we only have a dozen or so scattered protesters. the groups on line and those that we've talked to say they're not planning on coming to protest for another hour or so. and then there are hundreds of themes, and from various groups say they're coming, i spoke to the police commissioner. he said that they've been preparing for a week now. they've shut down this road here. only police cars, of course, put up the gates. and he's been preparing for all of that time, expecting, he says, more than a thousand protesters, but he's ready in case things get out of hand. here's what he said. >> as long as everybody obeys the law and appreciates there are two different positions here, those that support trump
and those that are protesting trump's message. we're going to protect both of those groups of people and we're going to make sure that everybody is afforded their first amendment rights. but what we will not tolerate here in nassau county is any acts of violence. >> reporter: so you have more than 12,000 people expected inside the rally, more than a thousand protesters, police standing by and so will we. steve? >> all right, jacob rascon, quite a scene already there on long island. going to get a lot more intense, i think, as we get closer to that rally. thanks for that report. new york, of course, donald trump's home turf. but senator ted cruz may be on shaky ground as he takes his republican campaign to the empire state. not only is he far behind trump in the polls here, but part of his campaign strategy, at least in earlier states, specifically iowa, was to go after trump for what cruz called new york values. nbc's hallie jackson is in the bronx. ted cruz just had an event there. so, hallie jackson, how did the locals treat ted cruz?
the guy who said new york values, coming to new york. what was the reaction? >> reporter: well, you know, initially, when you walked in, you saw him immediately heckled by a couple of protesters. a couple of guys came in, i think we have the video, and were yelling at cruz, calling him racist, saying, you don't belong here, taking him at his immigration policies. they were escorted out. it all went down peacefully, obviously. they were taken out without incident. but it's a sign of what cruz may be up against in places like the bronx. that said, the "new york values" line is potentially not a bad sale in a place like iowa. in new york, it may get harder. which is why went cruz was asked about it by us here at his media availability earlier, he talked about liberal democratic values, in his words. and he specifically said, hey, if you're in western new york, you understand. you know what these values are, you get it. that is a bit of a sign to me, of where cruz plans to compete in this state, given that it is donald trump's home turf. i want to play you a little bit of that exchange to elaborate more on what cruz talked about
when he talked about those new york values. listen. >> the people of new york know exactly what those values are. they're the values of liberal democratic politicians, like andrew cuomo, like anthony weiner, like eliot spitzer, like charlie rangel. all of whom donald trump has supported, given tens of thousands of dollars throughout the years. if you want to know what liberal democratic values, follow donald trump's checkbook. >> reporter: so cruz is trying to draw a line between some of the democratic politicians that he named and donald trump. that will be part of his strategy moving forward, here in new york. he is hoping, his campaign is hoping that over the next two weeks, they will see momentum build, coming off of that win in wisconsin. watch for cruz to repeat the following phrase, repeatedly. turning point. you heard it from cruz during his victory speech. you heard it from governor scott walker, who was there acting as a surrogate for cruz last night. you heard it from lindsey graham
on twitter. this is the messaging point the campaign is really focusing on. the idea that now the race moves into a different stage as it moves east. a stage where cruz can, he hopes, make the argument that he's the one who can bring together people from across the conservative spectrum in order to stop donald trump from getting the number he needs, 1,237, to lock up the republican nomination. for cruz, though, if you look at where polling is in new york, you know, the monmouth poll showing trump above 50% now, kasich and cruz dead last in the state. so he has ground to make up, if he plans the try to take it to donald trump here. i'm not sure that is his campaign strategy. the campaign has acknowledged least to me it's going to be pretty bumpy for cruz in this state, but he will look to peel off delegates for trump, in some of these more conservative districts, and especially places like upstate new york, where he's headed tomorrow morning. >> and hallie, do we have a sense from the campaign, how much time he's going to spend? we've got two weeks before the next primary. how much of that time cruz will actually spend in new york, or is he going to split it with other states coming later?
>> i think you'll see him here. i think you're already seeing him here. the fact we came from wisconsin to new york is significant. that he chose the bronx as his first stop is an interesting decision. you will also see him, i believe, in places that he talked about even today. when we talk about new york values, he mentioned new york, but he also mentioned another state, pennsylvania. i think you'll see cruz try to push there, places like indiana, places where he believes he can try and peel off these delegates and lock down some of that conservative vote to take it away from donald trump. the campaign has said, steve, frankly, not conceding new york to donald trump. but again, an uphill climb. >> certainly is. those polls, donald trump has not broken 50% in a single state yet. he's got his best shot so far in new york. hallie jackson in the bronx. thanks for that. joined now by tim miller, a senior adviser to the anti-trump, our principles pac. he was with jeb bush's campaign before that. so there's that term, a turning point. cruz said it was a turning point last night in wisconsin, but i'm
looking ahead to new york and there's a chance based on those poll numbers, donald trump goes 95 for 95 for the delegates in new york, and what comes after that? the northeast, maryland, connecticut, rhode island, pennsylvania, tell me if i'm wrong. we get to the end of this month and we say, what turning point? donald trump just swept the rest of april? >> you guys always need different turning points and different inflection points to talk about on cable news. so we'll see what happens. but here's what was a turning point last night. is after donald trump getting whooped in wisconsin, it is very, very tough for him to get to the 1,237 delegates he needs to become the nominee. and basically, what wisconsin did was guarantee this is good news for you guys, that this thing is going all the way to california on june 7th. there's no way he can lock it down before then. in that sense, wisconsin was a big deal in the fight for groups like ourself and other conservatives around the country, who want to stop donald trump from being the nominee. >> i guess that's the part i'm having trouble with. i think it makes -- when i look
at the math, my read on the math is, it makes it more likely, what you said, having this open convention. but if he gets a big win in new york, if he gets 55% or takes most of those 95 delegates, if he sweeps the northeast, if he does what the polls say out in california, if he's up 10 points or so right now, i could still put the numbers together and get him to 1,237. when you say "turning point," i'm looking ahead to the map and say, where is he going to start losing where he wasn't supposed to lose before last night. >> look, i think new york is not that place. it's baked in the cake, and our analysis, when we looked at delegates, we're basically giving the delegates from new york to donald trump, it's his home state. john kasich won ohio. ted cruz won texas. so that's not surprising. you get forward after that, pennsylvania, the vote doesn't really matter that much. the beauty contest votes only half the delegates. the other half is a district-by-district delegate battle, where i think cruz will do well. then the next week, you have indiana, which has a lot of similarities to wisconsin. and i think that's a state that
donald trump was favored in before last night, so if you're saying is, well, where's the next state that he was supposed to win that he might not win? indiana, first week of may might be to place to look for that. he looks really weak right now, particularly with the very conservative voters, who have almost completely abandon him and women, particularly married women, with kids. and so, if you look at a state like pennsylvania or maryland, the baltimore, d.c. suburbs, you could see his numbers start to erode there. >> if the republican party is going to nominate somebody besides donald trump this year, does it have to be ted cruz at this point? >> i think ted cruz is the most likely person. as you know, steve, once you get into a convention scenario, anything can happen, but i think ted cruz is by far the most likely person. if you look at a general election matchup in a state like wisconsin, ted cruz and hillary clinton were tied in the polls that were taken before the race on tuesday. and donald trump was getting crushed. >> all right. tim miller with an anti-trump super pac, thanks for the time. we appreciate it. >> thanks, steve.
>> going to turn now to nationally syndicated talk show host hugh hewitt from "the hugh hewitt show." thanks for taking a few minutes. i think you heard from tim there. he's with the stop-trump forces. he says by the way he looks at it, this is going to an open convention no matter what. what do you say to that? >> i think tim miller is exactly right, donald trump would neat 70% of the remaining delegates in order to get to 1,237. i'll concede the 95 districts in new york to him. even though the rules are so funny there. as you well know, steve, it's a 50% take-all by congressional district and statewide for 14. but if you don't get the 50% in any congressional district, you divide it up two and one, it's really a weird of set of things. you've got the 21st century district, a moderate new republican young woman, peter king in the new york second congressional district, one of the old anti-terror warriors out there. i don't know how their districts are going to vote. and it's a closed primary.
he may not get 95. but let's give him 95. when you come to california, where i am right now, the california republican assembly, which is one of the most conservative activist grassroots organizations in the state, of any state, and it's got a lot of deep roots, in places like maxine waters' districts, the cia delivers to ted cruz a huge organizational punch. so i don't know who's going to be ahead. ted cruz could actually be ahead by july 18th in cleveland, though i think the odds favor donald trump being ahead. but no one's going to be at 1,237. which is why i'm watching paul mannerford very closely today. he was hired by donald trump to be his delegate wrangler. there are reports of tension within team trump. cory lewandowski is very competent, but he also likes to be in control of what is going on inside of that organization, so there are reports of friction. we've got to watch that today. but i think open convention is -- i've been predicting it since 2014, may, actually, in the "weekly standard," because
of the rules set and it's coming to pass. >> you have. i remember we had you on probably about a year ago. and you were saying that. there weren't many voices back then saying it. there are a lot more now. let me ask you, along those lines, then, in this exit poll, this one jumped out at me in wisconsin, and trump loses wisconsin last night, and the question was asked in the exit poll, if there's an open convention, if nobody has a majority, should the delegates either honor the candidate who comes in with the most delegates, even if it's a plurality, or have an open convention where the delegates make up their own mind there. in more than 50% of the republicans, 55% said, the candidate who comes in with the most votes should be the nominee. is that going to be a tough hurdle for republicans who want to stop trump to overcome, even if they hold in short of 1,237, the perception that, hey, he's still got the most, therefore he should be the nominee. >> well, donald's a dealmaker, but here's the american tradition, steve, which you know, as well as your audience does. in 1787, that's the first convention we have in philadelphia, the delegates come from the 13 states and they're
supposed to amend the articles of confederation. instead, they throw them out the window and come up with the united states constitution. so the only tradition or the oldest tradition we have in the united states is of conventions developing their own mind, their own will, and independent action, with as they are representative bodies, not direct democracies. so the idea that a plurality is a majority is just laughable. and i think ted cruz know his constitutional history better than any other candidate ever. he knows the 1860 example. abraham lincoln arrived in chicago or his delegates did in fourth place. two and a half ballots later, he was the nominee. 1940, 1948, strange stuff happens at open conventions. we just haven't had one since 1948. and i'll say this as well, looking ahead to the general election, you've got this very, very weak hillary clinton. she's getting crashed everywhere. republicans will want to nominate a winner to take advantage of her weakness. >> i guess the question is, though, mechanically, they could
do it. the stop-trump forces, everything you outline at the convention, they certainly have the tools to do it. but when you look at the consequences of doing that, would you lose all those people out there voting for donald trump right now, would they say, this was stolen from us? we're voting for someone else? what about the risk of that? >> you lose some, but gain others. there's always a trade-off. it's a political decision. i'm so glad reince priebus scheduled this for july, because it gives everyone august to go to the beach and cool down and calm down after they have whatever -- because a lot of people will leave cleveland unhappy except the indians fans, the cavs fans and the browns fan. everybody else is going home at least a little unhappy. >> hugh hewitt, getting the cleveland sports references in, appreciate it. up next, poolside meetings and a bulletproof vest. just a little bit of a glimpse inside the donald trump campaign. after the break, we're going to be joined by a guest who takes us way behind the scenes with a candidate who calls himself his own chief strategist. ♪ ♪
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well, nationally, donald trump is picking up the pieces today, after his 13-point defeat in wisconsin, to ted cruz last night, but still, when you look at the all-important delegate battle, trump is in front there, and more importantly for him, some potentially friendly states, some potentially very friendly states coming up next, including the next one on the calendar, trump's home state of new york, he holds a commanding lead in all of the recent polls in the state, over 50% in all of them. his latest article for "new york" magazine, national affairs editor, gabriel sherman, gives us a revealing look inside what he calls one of the most
unorthodox campaigns in history. and gabe sherman joins me now. gabe, unorthodox is one word for this week. think of these presidential campaigns, these massive bureaucracies they build. and this is like a mom and pop shop. >> i think that's even being generous. it's really a one-man shop. it's donald trump's show. and i wanted to really explore how this rag-tag team of outsiders has upended the political system. whether or not donald trump ever goes on to win the nomination, even this cinderella run he's had so far is a remarkable story. >> what is the key to it? how does it work behind the scenes? donald trump makes all the decisions and a few people carry them out? is he taking advice from anyone? >> what trump told me in one of our interviews is that he is is strategist and the writer. the tweets, the statements, all the kind of communications that come out of the campaign are really coming out of his head. he doesn't test anything, i think, sometimes that's self-evident with the heidi cruz tweet, he gets into trouble that way. but he's really making these
decisions. he doesn't go through layers of bureaucracy and he can respond faster than a traditional campaign could. >> tell us about the tweets. i think everyone follows his social media accounts, and sometimes you're stunned looking at it say, saying, this is a president -- is he sitting there doing this on his iphone? >> he has a samsung phone and he will tweet himself, or if he's busy, he has someone on his staff, who he'll dictate and take the tweets for him. these are really coming from him. he doesn't have a team of writers. the aipac speech is important to point out the other day, was the first time that he used a teleprompter, and even then he consulted his son-in-law and the editor of the "new york observe observer", to help draft the speech. it wasn't like he turned to a team of professional speechwriters. >> does anybody have his ear? the toughest thing for me to figure out with trump is, who his real close friends are, if he has them, if he has people he's leaning on for advice? >> there are a couple of power centers in the campaign. his children, ivanka trump, and his sons are powerful voices.
senator jeff sessions is an outside voice that really can get through to trump, because the sessions endorsement was so crucial to the trump campaign, especially because cruz coveted it so bad. so when sessions calls, as a source told me, trump does listen. but that's really it. you can try to get through, but the people around him, cory lewandowski, hope hicks, and others, are really executing on what trump wants. >> there's this other interesting thing, we have so many stories and speculations about trump and fox news. megyn kelly has been pretty critical of him, or featured a lot of critical voices of him on her show, other people at fox very friendly towards him. do you think there might be something about a past negotiation that trump was involved in. explain that to us. >> so this was a bit of a coincidence that surfaced in my reporting that i learned that trump was involved in one of the messiest, most secretive negotiations that fox news founder in chief roger ailes had conducted. this was several years ago, i published a biography of ailes. and shortly before the book came out, he fired his longtime pr
hand, who he accused of being a source. so basically negotiations broke down. the pr hand was threatening to go public as a whistle-blower and leak the most devastating revelations about ailes, so ailes wanted to bring him to the table. so he turned on trump, who was a friend of lewis' lawyers to try to get everyone in a room. trump sat in a room, conducted these negotiations out of trump tower. and all of these sordid details were aired. and basically, he was acting as ailes' friend. and fast forward two years, all of a sudden he's on the opposite side of ailes and he was involved in the most sensitive, close-knit negotiation. i just find that kind of transactional nature of trump, the way he's able to be your friend one day and deploy that information or potentially deploy that information -- >> he understands that he's benefiting, somehow, maybe in the future in some way. >> look at what he did -- and i've been saying this lots of time. look at what he did with the clintons. he paid them, as he said, to go to his wedding, and then he's on the debate stage and uses that against hillary as a talking point. with trump, you never know if he's doing you a favor, if it's
truly going to help you -- >> everything is a chip to be plaid later. gabe sherman, a fascinating story. thanks for the time. all right, he's a brooklyn native, she's a new york transplant. so who gets the home-field advantage on the democratic side here in new york? up next, we'll try to answer that with a deep dive into the empire state's electorate. stay tuned. jack be nimble, jack be quick, jack knocked over a candlestick onto the shag carpeting... ...and his pants ignited into flames, causing him to stop, drop and roll. luckily jack recently had geico help him with renters insurance. because all his belongings went up in flames. jack got full replacement and now has new pants he ordered from banana republic. visit geico.com and see how affordable renters insurance can be.
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very quickly. we've been talking about it all hour. what is next on the republican side? it's the state of new york, and look at that, 95 delegates up for grabs here. for every congressional district that trump can break 50% in, he would get all of the delegates. and right now he's running at over 50% in the polls. it's possible, possible, that donald trump walks away with 95 delegates out of new york. so that would bump him right away to 851. if he swept new york in two weeks, 851, what would come after new york? the rest of the northeast. and these have looked like really ripe targets for donald trump all along, i should say. rhode island, similar to massachusetts, a state he did well in, connecticut, pennsylvania. he can only get 17 delegates. it's a complicated technical thing. 54 of those delegates will be free agents at the republican convention. delaware a winner-take-all state, maryland's a state you can rack up a lot of delegates. it's possible. at the end of this month, donald trump could be sitting on 950 delegates, coming out of the northeast. and where would the race go
after that? quickly, these are the rest of the states that are up there. if he comes out of the month with 950, he could win new jersey. that's a winner-take-all state, he could do well out here on the west coast, in california. he could do well in new mexico, west virginia looks like a good state. there are targets out here. maybe even indiana. that looks like a battleground. there are targets on here, where if donald trump hits good numbers, he can still get to 1,237. so the loss in wisconsin complicated things for him. could keep him from getting to 1,237. but you could also look at the map and paint a scenario where he does get there. and as we say, new york, the next big test. it's set for april 19th. that's basically two weeks there now. going to be pivotal for both parties. as we just said, 95 delegates at stake on the republican side. if you can win 50% or more in every congressional district, you can win all of the delegates statewide. for the democrats, nearly 300 up for grabs. they're all proportional there. so unless you can win the state big for either one of those candidates, it could be a fairly even split there.
donald trump and hillary clinton are both battling for their home turf against their competition. for a closer look at what we can expect here in new york, msnbc senior editor, beth fouhy joins me now. so beth, new york primary, let's start on the republican side. donald trump here coming off the tough loss in wisconsin. this is an opportunity for him to say in two weeks, that meant nothing, that was a blip, look at this landslide, i've hit 50%. how likely do you think it is he'll be able to bounce back like that. >> polling shows him very strong, over 50%. however, he did come out of a bad loss. definitely the momentum issue is working against him. two weeks is a long time. look, let's face it. he's running against ted cruz, who is not a good fit for new york. he's far too conservative, even for a state that has many congressional districts upstate. the vast majority of the states will find a ted cruz kind of conservatism too conservative. and even though john kasich is supposed to play better in moderate areas hasn't been a factor in this race, he's a been
a big dud. it's trump versus cruz and cruz is not going to make a lot of headway, so it's primp trump's race. >> and these rules each state has for giving out the delegates. in new york, you have a couple of congressional districts that republicans represent. this is a big, blue state. there are some of the most democratic districts in the country in this state. like charlie rangel in harlem, where you're hard-pressed to find any republican voters. those districts are just as valuable in this race in terms of delegates as these big republican districts. you have these districts where there's hundreds, thousands of republicans voting and they're giving out three delegates at the convention. >> but trump has traditionally done very well in blue districts that have a lot of minority voters. there is yet another sign that trump is poised to do very well in those types of district you're talking about. >> what about on the democratic side? bernie sanders says he has momentum. we have seen the polls in this state closing a bit, still about a 10 to 12-point lead for hillary clinton. can bernie sanders close that further? >> i think it's going to be really tough.
hillary clinton was a senator from new york for eight years. she was generally considered a very good senator, a very devoted senator. she traveled to all 62 counties in new york. she was right there for the firefighters and the first responders, after 9/11. very well-liked. and she's got a lot of deep roots here, even though it was her adopted state. she's also got a lot of friends in high places, steve. her husband's hud secretary, andrew cuomo, is the governor of new york. the city's mayor, bill depl bl o blasio, was hillary clinton's campaign manager in that senate race. she has a lot of people who knows how to move the levers of power. there are a lot of lefty sort of democrats in new york, a lot of college students. he's going to do well in those traditionally strong places for him, but he's starting at a really big deficit. the big question is whether he's going to reach into his pockets and pull out all that money he's been raising so effectively to pay for advertising in new york, which is the most expensive in the country. >> and i guess, look, this really does feel like the ultimate test for the sanders' campaign, we've had this moment where they say, look, we've got the momentum, so these states we
weren't supposed to win are going to start winning. we've heard that from them before. it's got to start happening now in a big way or it's not going to happen. >> even though there are a number of other states to come in the primary calendar, this is a really big state. if he can't make a sizable chunk of making it up in new york, i don't see how he catches up in all the rest of the states. >> beth fouhy, msnbc senior editor, and a longtime new york politics reporter. >> love politics. >> we'll be talking to you a lot over the next two weeks. up next, bernie sanders riding a wave of momentum thanks to wins from hillary clinton in seven of the last eight contests. but will that mean anything in new york? a newspaper is taking him to task for siding with gunmakers instead of violence victims.
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well, as we've been talking about, it was a big night last night for senator bernie sanders, he got a key win and a big win, a double-digit win in the state of wisconsin, and sanders is now claiming that momentum is on his side. he got 57% of the vote there in wisconsin, but it is a long climb for bernie sanders if he's going to catch her in the delegate count. what you're seeing there is the total that includes all of the super delegates. the sanders' campaign has been saying only focus on the pledge delegates, he would need to beat her by more than 200 pledged delegates to get the lead there. the campaign says if they do that, the super delegates will all change their mind. still to overcome a 200 pledged delegate gap at this point, that would be a very tall order for the sanders' campaign. sanders pressing on. wyoming holds its caucuses on saturday. then on april 19th, voters head to the polls here in new york. 247 delegates going to be up for grabs in that primary, on that day. a week later, pennsylvania and a couple of other northeastern states will hold their
primaries. so the action is in the northeast for the next three weeks. we'll turn now to msnbc political reporter, alex seitzwald. he's covering both of democratic campaigns for us. let's start with a bit of a back and forth here between clinton and sanders over some comments sanders made to the "new york daily news" editorial board. what can you tell us about that? >> this interview was published two days ago, and it's still dominating headlines, absolutely driving this race right now. the clinton campaign has launched a series of attacks on bernie sanders on multiple fronts. let's go through them, one at a time. number one, they basically said that he hadn't done his homework on the biggest issue of his campaign. the sanders' campaign today putting out a statement, putting some flesh on the bone, pointing to section 201 of the dodd/frank act, within a year the sanders' administration said they would use to break up the big banks. and number two, guns. you've within showing that "new york daily news" front page. we can take another look at it. this has been a weakness for bernie sanders throughout this campaign. it's an issue that hillary
clinton really wanted to talk about heading into new york, even before this interview. but since he made these comments, and in the interview, he said he does not support the effort by victims of sandy town massacre to sue gun manufacturers. the clinton campaign has been all over that. they held a conference call today with surrogates and take a look what clinton said this morning on "morning joe". >> the front page of the news, which is one of my biggest contrasts with senator sanders, that he would place gun manufacturers' rights and immunity from liability against the parents of the children killed at sandy hook is just unimaginable to me. >> so, this is an issue that let's hillary clinton to move to the left of bernie sanders, and it also calls into question authenticity, or at least as the clinton campaign would like to say, since they are arguing that he took this vote in 2005 to shield gunmakers from lawsuits, in order to support the, you know, the politics in vermont. in other words, undercutting his whole image of being a truth
speaker, who says exactly what he wants, steve. >> so, alex, what do you get from the sanders' campaign in response to this? how are they countering this? >> so tad devine appeared on andrea mitchell earlier today, took a couple of shots at clinton on guns, basically saying, one, sanders lost his first congressional bid thanks in large part of the nra. and he fired back at clinton. sanders' aides have noted that an nra lobbyist has supported clinton. and take a look at what he said on "andrea," steve. >> i would also say on the gun issue, look back at 2008, when hillary clinton said, when he was running for president, that what works in new york city doesn't necessarily work in montana. her position on this issue has evolved since then. so i asked them to take a hard look at someone who's represented a rural state. and on issue after issue, when it comes to gun violence, has been correct. and sometimes he has in the past has voted for that legislation. and currently, he feels in light of circumstances, that he would
support it and indeed has signed on to the legislation currently in congress. >> steve, this is definitely not an issue that the sanders' campaign would like to discuss. they've tried to move away from it in the past, but they're going to have a hard time doing it now. >> all right. alex seitz-wald, following the increasing intensity of that democratic race. thanks for the time, alex. appreciate it. and he still has an uphill climb when it comes to securing the republican nomination, but for ted cruz the chances of a contested convention this summer are looking better after last night. >> tonight is a turning point. it is a rallying cry. it is a call from the hard-working men and women of wisconsin to the people of america. we have a choice. a real choice. man: dear mr. danoff, my wife and i are now participating in your mutual fund. we invested in your fund to help us pay for a college education for our son. we've enclosed a picture of our son so that you can get a sense there are real people out here
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an open convention or a contested convention, whatever you want to call it, it seems more likely after that result in wisconsin last night. because of that, donald trump and ted cruz are preparing for what one of our next guests call a delegate withdrawal. what is their strategy moving forward? i want to bring in shane go goldmatcher from politico and robert traynham. robert, you are covering something really closely that people don't normally see or pay attention. and this is the one time in our lifetime it matters. and that is how these delegates
are being selected in places like fargo, north dakota. how the north dakota convention delegation is coming together. it sounds like something nobody should care about, yet it could be the difference between donald trump being the nominee and not. can you explain what's going on there? >> absolutely. so there are two campaigns going on in the republican presidential race right now. number one is things like last night in wisconsin, where the voters are voting. and then, usually weeks later, sometimes months later, there's an entire process of selecting the actual individual people, the delegates who will represent those voters and go to the convention in cleveland. now, ted cruz is trying to out-maneuver donald trump in state after state to get allies of his to go to the convention. so should this not be decided on the first ballot, should donald trump not get that magic number you keep hearing, 1,237, that in fact, there'll be cruz loils, sleeper cells within the donald trump delegations, that actually support ted cruz. >> is the idea here, within these primaries, donald trump is winning delegates.
he's winning people who will be forced, even if they don't actually like him, to vote for him on that first ballot. but cruz is putting people in there who if they get past that first ballot, they can abandon him and they can also abandon him on any votes at the convention, on rules or procedures, any roadblocks they could come up with that would block him. >> and this is an insider's game. and donald trump is running the ultimate outsider's campaign. and he's been at a disadvantage. in states like north dakota and colorado this coming weekend, it's even more important. because the delegates are actually free from the very first ballot to vote for whomever they want. so in north dakota, ted cruz and donald trump both had staff on the ground, trying to woo these individual people, who didn't even necessarily pledge their public allegiances, but try to place their loyal allies inside these delegations. and this is happening all over the country, almost every state has some different process to pick these delegates. and at the end of the day, it's those delegates who are going to pick the next republican president, especially if there's a contested convention. >> so, robert traynham, it's so
fascinating to listen to this, what shane's outlying there is sort of the mechanics of how this would work. the stop-trump crowd, they need their own loyalists at the convention this summer. and he's basically saying trump could come in with the most delegates, doesn't mean he's going to leave with the nomination. so technically, mechanically, shane's showing us how that's possible. but in terms of keeping the republican party together and not having a full-scale revolt on their hands, could they get away with doing that this summer if donald trump comes away from the convention with the most votes from the primaries? >> i think so, steve. and i think shane's articulation of how the primary process most likely will play out is pretty accurate. at the end of the day, as long as donald trump gets a square up and down vote, or a fair vote, on the first ballot, most delegates will say, listen, he had his shot at it and obviously he got voted down. i think the reality will be something like this. donald trump probably has one shot at the nomination on the first ballot. and then ted cruz has a second
and third shot for the nomination on the second and third ballot, because shane mentioned a few moments ago, donald trump may have the momentum going into the convention, but that doesn't mean he's going to come out of the convention with the nomination. and then if ted cruz doesn't win on the second and third vote, then you have the fourth ballot. that's when the outside candidate that a lot of conservatives are comfortable with is paul ryan. i'm not exactly sure he's going to get the nomination, because of the establishment kind of going around him, tif you will. but ted cruz is running the ultimate insider's game here, and shane is absolutely right. he's working at a grassroots level. at the end of the day, it's about the delegates on the second and third ballot, where they can really vote their conscience here. >> so that raises another question, these sleeper cells, these delegates, the delegates who are being pledged to trump who may not actually support trump. do we have a sense, are they
cruz supporters? are are they more just people who want to stop trump, and could even defect and turn on cruz eventually? >> well, we're really still at the beginning of the process. so some of the first states that voted, iowa, south carolina, you heard a lot about them then. they're still just in the process of selecting the actual delegates who go. and so this is what's happening. this is sort of the subtrainian campaign that's happening right now. cruz trying to place loyalists to him there. now, there is a problem, though, right? he still needs to stop donald trump short of 1,237 delegates. so he needs to prevent him from winning states. and so in two weeks, new york looms really large. for trump, he really needs to win that state handedly and get most of the 95 delegates to stay in anyway to get a majority. the pressure is on donald trump in two weeks in new york for the primary ballot. >> steve, very quickly, i'll remind you and everyone else. donald trump is not the establishment's candidate, and a lot of the establishment also
doesn't like ted cruz here. so, you know, it's either bad or worse. and i think a lot of people out there are saying the worst scenario is donald trump. because remember, at the top of the ticket, there's a lot of worry that he, in fact, puts the senate in jeopardy and definitely -- i'm sorry, the house in jeopardy and definitely the senate in jeopardy. but ted cruz would not be that same type of a candidate. what do you want? your poison or shot with a gun? you know, to use lindsey graham's analogy there. >> you're putting out there, too, the paul ryan scenario. mechanically, i get how what you're describing could happen, but would that be viewed as legitimate as people, who if paul ryan who didn't enter a single primary, didn't get a single vote in the primaries becomes the nominee? >> do you mean the delegates or the general public? >> the general population, millions of republican voters, the party would need to turn out this fall. would they accept that? >> i think it's a tough pill to swallow, no doubt about it. but instantly coming out of the convention, assuming paul ryan is the nominee, when you see a head-to-head between a potential
paul ryan and hillary clinton, and the american people, particularly republicans see, that it's a winnable ticket, i think very quickly, people may change their mind and say, you know what, he wasn't my guy at first, quite frankly, because he wasn't a candidate for president, but now that i see that he can conceivably beat hillary clinton, he's my guy. >> thank you both for the time. here's hampton pearson with the cnbc market wrap. >> we had a good day on wall street with markets jumping higher. the dow jumping by 112 points, the s&p up by 21, nasdaq jumping 6 points. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me reach for more. doctors have been prescribing humira for more than ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of
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judge merrick garland, president barack obama's choice to fill the vacate seat on the supreme court, is back on capitol hill this afternoon, where he's meeting with senators. right now, garland is sitting down with rhode island's sheldon whitehouse. he's a democrat. he's also met with senators dianne feinstein and dick durbin today, also democrats. including today's sessio, garland will have met with 14 democratic senators and with 3 republicans. and nbc news congressional correspondent, luke russert, is on capitol hill. so luke, he's the -- the meetings are continuing, but they're with democrats. it's not democrats he needs. he needs republicans. any progress on that front for garland? >> reporter: well, he had a very productive meeting yesterday with susan collins of maine, steve. and you know as well as i do, she's a moderate, so she doesn't necessarily speak for the base of the republican party, but she was very glowing and even gushing about judge garland.
take a listen to what she had to say about her meeting with him. >> on this issue, the next step in my view should be public hearings before the judiciary committee. i am not optimistic that i will be changing minds on this issue. but i think if more of my colleagues sit down with judge garland, that her going to be impressed with him. >> reporter: and steve, tomorrow, garland will be sitting down with four more democratic senators. however, next week, he has some big meetings on his schedule. he's going to meet with kelly ayotte of new hampshire, rob portman of ohio. those are two republicans that represent the bluish states who are up for re-election in a presidential year, so they'll want to at least appear to be bipartisan. and then he has a breakfast meeting with chuck grassley, of course, who's the chairman of the judiciary committee, the committee he would love to have that hearing in front of. grassley has so far held the line that mitch mcconnell said
just a few hours after antonin scalia died in february, which is no hearing, no vote. but grassley's come under a lot of pressure back home for that stand and is taking a lot of heat from some folks in iowa. so we'll see whether or not he relents. but i can tell you from people i've spoken to, that mcconnell still views any backlash from the conservative base is much worse than anything that could come about from democrats, independents, or the media. so they're going the hold firm, but you get the ayottes or portmans. it becomes more difficult if people think, hey, this guy just might be qualified, at least give him a hearing on everyone who's been through this process, steve, since 1875, has gotten a hearing through the judiciary committee. >> and luke, only about 15 seconds here, but any news from the white house? do you think they're making progress here? >> they do in the sense they had a very positive meeting with collins, but they realize that mcconnell so far has really dug
in. if anything, they feel that the political wins are on their side. whether or not that means there's any actual movement remains to be seen. >> luke russert on capitol hill, thank you for that. >> reporter: thank you. >> that's going to do it for us this hour. i'm steve kornacki. see you right back here tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern time and "mtp daily" starts right now. if it's wednesday, all five presidential prospects should remind themselves of these words by the late great merle haggard. "the good times ain't over for good." this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. well, good evening. happy hump day. i'm chuck todd in washington. welcome to "mtp daily." well, as predicted, the front-runners fell in wisconsin and the circus is