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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 25, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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>> tip your servers. it's been my pleasure. this television experiment is the best thing that's happened to me this week. >> sayonara. >> namaste. >> "hardball with chris matthews" is next. letting it rip. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. hillary clinton and donald trump escalated their attacks. the weapon of choice, race. hours ago, hillary clinton accused trump of embracing racists and white nationalists. >> he promoted the racist lie that president obama is not really an american citizen, part of a sustained effort to delegitimize america's first black president. we all remember when trump said
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a distinguished federal judge born in indiana could not be trusted to do his job because quote, he's a mexican. when asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of david duke, a former grand wizard of the ku klux klan, trump wouldn't do it. and only later again under mounting pressure did he backtrack. of course, there's always been a paranoid fringe in our politics. a lot of it arising from racial resentment but it's never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone until now. >> earlier the clinton campaign put out a video showing kkk and other white nationalist speakers praising donald trump. let's watch the ad. >> the reason a lot of klan members like donald trump, is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in.
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donald trump will be best for the job. >> for president. >> yeah. >> i'm a farmer and white nationalist. support donald trump. >> sending out all the illegals, building a wall and a moratorium on islamic immigration. that's very appealing to a lot of ordinary white people. >> running against donald trump at this point is really treason to your heritage. >> well, donald trump called hillary's ad a brazen attempt to distract from other issues. he said she was fearmongering, his campaign put out a statement from an african-american supporter, pastor mark burns, that said hillary clinton and her campaign went to a disgusting new low today as they released a video tying the trump campaign with horrific racial images. this type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting. and completely beyond the pale. meanwhile, trump used some very harsh language of hiswnt night, calling hillary clinton a bigot. let's watch. >> hillary clinton is a bigot
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who sees people of color only as votes not as human beings worthy of a better future. she's going to do nothing for african-americans. >> andrew weinstein is former deputy press secretary to speaker newt gingrich and has endorsed hillary clinton. he's come under attack from members of the fringe right wing community online. michael steele is the former chair of the republican national committee and msnbc political analyst. joan walsh is national affairs correspondent for the nation and msnbc political analyst. let me start with michael. this campaign and you and i have been covering this for a long time, has gone into a ditch. >> yep. >> who's leading the way into that ditch? trump or hillary? >> they are holding hands at this point as far as i'm concerned in many respects. this is one of my big concerns. when you start throwing around these terms and i have always
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said this, bigot, racist, all of that, it undermines the national discussion we still need to have on race. when you bring it into the politics the way it's been brought in, in such a demeaning way, in such a way that just, you know, makes your skin crawl, it's offensive. look, both of these guys need to move off of this stuff. donald trump i think learned the lesson of not repudiating those initially who have come out for him and support him who are racists and who are part of the kkk. he's paying that price. hillary clinton running campaign commercials sort of bringing all that into that space again, it's playing that race card and i think in a way that is undermining the body politic and certainly the country. >> andrew, what do you think of showing a kkk image on television, associating that with donald trump? is that fair ball? >> well, let me start by saying i think i bring a little bit of unique perspective in terms of
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this panel. >> just answer that question first. >> okay. >> is that fair to say -- >> donald trump -- >> -- to say donald trump is associated with the kkk? >> it was 100% fair to discuss the ties the trump campaign has allowed and the growth it's encouraged within the alt-right hate movement, because there have been dog whistles from day one of this campaign to those groups on issues large and small from retweeting hate sites to not disavowing david duke to explicitly not repudiating the haters when trump himself has been asked to do so. so is it an issue that should be raised in the campaign? absolutely. cohave made the issue go away if he hadn't actually drawn all these groups closer throughout the course of the campaign. >> historically began of course after the civil war and was engaged actively in lynching and killing people who are black. is that a fair connection? a murderous outfit.
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to tie trump into a murderous outfit. is that fair? it's your call. >> absolutely. the kkk has endorsed donald trump in this. you have the grand wizard of the kkk looks at donald trump and sees a sympatico character. >> who is the grand wizard? bring me up to date on this. i don't know anything about the kkk these days. who is the grand wizard today? >> i'm happy not to know his name. i know that he's been cited in news reports, as have many of the leading racist antisemetic figures. >> we will check that out. the fact you say the grand -- whatever the hell he's called is now called for donald trump to be the president. i didn't know that. i'm not sure that's true. let me turn to joan walsh. your view about this escalation and this imagery of racial hatred. >> look, chris, it's powerful imagery but i don't think we can equate what hillary clinton is doing with what donald trump has done. i mean, yes, the symbolism of the hood is kind of shocking but
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these people are. she's not making up their words. these are the people who are supporting him. they are not the only people supporting him and we are certainly not saying that all of his supporters are racist because they are not. but there is enough of a subtext to this campaign, it's not a subtext. you are one of the first people in some ways the only person to really hammer away in 2011 at the birther issue and to hear the dog whistle in the birther issue, it didn't start then. i was very impressed, i'm sure we will talk about secretary clinton's speech, i was very impressed by the speech today where she went back to the trump organization writing "c" on the applications of black residents to live in their apartment buildings and they had to pay a settlement for discrimination. these have old roots. i think that a lot of the guys that are now supporting trump like richard spencer, leading white nationalist, he dresses like a hipster. he doesn't wear the robes anymore but talks like one of them. he talks about black inferiority. >> in hillary clinton's speech today she also said trump has pushed quote, discredited
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conspiracy theories with racist undertones and tied him to a far right radio host alex jones. let's watch. >> it's also what happens when you listen to the radio host alex jones, who claims that 9/11 and the oklahoma city bombings were inside jobs. he even said and this really just is so disgusting, he even said the victims of the sandy hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. trump doesn't challenge these lies. he actually went on jones' show and said your reputation is amazing, i will not let you down. >> well, i think you're right there about this. i just heard that through my ear that if you listen to the actual tape right there, the grand
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kliegle endorses donald trump. you started the conversation by saying you haven't had experience with these alt-right people. >> i have actually had experience i never hoped to have with these groups. i helped organize a letter to the rnc last week signed by 123 republicans urging the rnc to focus on saving the house and senate rather than the presidential race. and after that letter was sent, due to my last name and the fact that it's a traditional jewish name, the flood gates of hate really opened and it started with some of the hate sites, they were posting my home address, my phone number, my social media contact information, and i started receiving tweets and images and voice mail that were both horrible and threatening, including images of me with my photo in a gas chamber and someone pushing the button to gas, including images of me or sorry, of a jewish caricature being stuffed by a boot labeled trump into an oven and with a head line on it that said get in
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that oven, andrew. another one saying i would make a good lampshade. this is -- >> who are they? help us out. people want to know. historic antisemitism has been with us for centuries if not millenia but this thing happening right now with this particularity of references the holocaust and you because of your last name, who are they? can you give us names of these organizations? is it the kkk? is it citizens council, who are these people? >> i'm not well enough informed of the shadowy networks behind them to know whether these are individual actors or whether they are part of organized groups. i do know they are motivated to action through organized websites, daily stormer and others out there that are leaders of the hate group. but to be honest, they are also actively used and supported by breitbart, which is part of the awful thing ds-- >> michael, let me go to you on
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this because this is actual politics. should trump differentiate himself from these groups? he already brought in the breitbart guy, bannon. he already has a guy from what might be called the alt-right. >> absolutely. i think even with bannon on his team, trump has to draw a very clear, bright, i mean thick bright line between his campaign and potential presidency and these groups. there is no wiggle room here. you don't get to pretend you don't know someone, you don't get to pretend to say oh, i just retweeted their tweet. you have to be very clear and emphatic. certainly when it comes to what we just heard when these groups are saying and doing the types of things where it's getting personal to people, the campaign has to be out in front of this. because if you are not, then you become part of that narrative in a way that you will not be able to extricate yourself from, period. it's that simple. >> can i jump in there one second? i'm sorry, one quick thing. i think this is a really
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important point. donald trump was actually given the opportunity by wolf blitzer to repudiate these people who are issuing these death threats against another person, against another jewish surnamed reporter, who also received just a torrent of death threats and hate mail and attacks and wolf asked him what is the message you have for your quote unquote, fans who are sending these death threats to her. and his response was almost verbatim, i have no message for my fans. so even though now he said well, i don't really like these hate speech folks, i don't want them involved in the campaign, he actually has been given the opportunity throughout this campaign to repudiate them and has turned it down. i will add, it's important to note, these hate groups, it doesn't go unnoticed. this is the daily stormer, one of the web sites, and after he announced that he was going -- after he refused to repudiate the people attacking this other reporter, the headline is, glorious leader donald trump refuses to denounce stormer
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troll army and the text says trump responded to the request with i have no message to the fans which might as well have been hail victory comrades. >> let me go to joan on this. i want to give you plenty of time on this. we don't have much time left but it's yours. i think you're right. in the beginning there was a seed of this racialism, if you will, with this birther thing. to take the first african-american president and nail him as an imposter, usurper, the whole thing is so ridiculous, snuck into the country and sort of put an asterisk next to his name. so he really isn't a president to these people. was that the beginning of this slippery slope to hell we're looking at here? >> you know, i think we probably could go back even further but that's the beginning of a real paranoid, completely devoid of fact attack on the president and you know, also remember we never saw his college transcripts, chris. no one's seen mine or yours, whatever that meant.
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we know what it meant. michael talked about trump drawing a bright line between himself and these groups. you cannot do that when you have hired steve bannon to run your campaign. he's the ceo of the campaign. he has deliberately made breitbart, he has bragged about it being a clubhouse for the so-called alt-right which is just a term that hides white nationalism and white supremacy. once you have done that, you have brought them inside. they are very comfortable there. they are speaking their minds and it's embarrassing for donald trump that hillary clinton is calling him out but she's got every right to do it. this is what his campaign is. >> whether trump was saying his transcripts showed that he didn't deserve to be admitted to harvard law school, that he wasn't deserving of being the editor of the harvard law review, which he was able to win by the way on a blind test where there's no reference to last name or ethnicity or race or anything, he won that on merit. by the way, anybody who watches this president, whether or not you like him because he's too
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far liberal for you or whatever, he's really smart. that's just undeniable. early in the afternoon, trump said clinton was trying to distract from other issues. let's watch. >> hillary clinton is going to try and accuse this campaign and all of you of being racists which we're not. it's the oldest play in the democratic playbook. when democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument. you're racist, you're racist, you're racist. they keep saying it. you're racist. it's a tired, disgusting argument. and it's so totally predictable. >> michael, respond to that. where's this taking us, this back and forth? mainly led i must say by trump.
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but this about who's the racist, the klansman. >> that goes to my first point. when you start using these terms and throwing them around, they lose their powerful meaning. look, there is in politics that space that people feel comfortable sort of characterizing someone's actions, words or personality in this vein. i think it's a real problem. you go out and run your campaign. you associate yourself with people that raises this flag, you have got to disassociate yourself. if you don't do that, guess what, these charges start to stick. on the other side of it, though, you do see and you have a history going back to bush and others, you know, when the policy argument fails, these guys' policies are racist. so there is this dynamic that there's some truth to what he says that this is part of a history that we have seen in politics. now we are in a space we have never been in before where it's
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a daily charge. i think it really does undermine our process in a big way. both sides just need to cut i out, focus on how you will solve the problems of this country, stop playing to the fringes and play to the people who are actually about moving the country forward. >> can't agree with you more. thank you, andrew weinstein, for that terrible first person account of what you have been through. >> absolutely. >> i hope everyone regales against it in their hearts. coming up, donald trump makes his pitch to minority voters but what's his goal here, to make headway among these men and women or rather, win over moderate white republicans who haven't liked trump's tone? that's next. speaking of trump, will his changing stance on immigration policy pay off? can the businessman renegotiate his policy plans with actual voters? the roundtable is going to talk about that. plus what happens in january of 2017? where's this election taking us? look at what we get done in congress, can we get something done no matter who wins? if hillary wins, how will she
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put it together? we will hear from a biographer of someone who knew how to get things done. let me finish with where the campaign's headed. i think i know. i don't like it. hey, need fast heartburn relief? try cool mint zantac.
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welcome back to "hardball." with donald trump's poll numbers among minority voters in the low single digits, he's continuing his purported outreach to those voters. it started early today, when trump headed up a roundtable with african-american and hispanic republican activists tied to the republican national
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committee. he invited all of them to trump tower to meet with him. during that event, he accused democrats of taking minority voters' support for granted. here he is. >> talking about the little work that's been done by the democrats for african-americans. they have done -- they have been very disrespectful as far as i'm concerned to the african-american population of this country. we are making it a very important part of our speeches and of our thought process and it's had a tremendous impact. >> this afternoon at a rally in new hampshire, trump continued his appeal. >> you see it all the time, the inner cities, parents walking with their beautiful child and they get shot. they're shot. their child is shot. often killed. folks, what do you have to lose? what do you have to lose?
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donald trump will fix it. we are going to make it better. >> for more i'm joined by republican strategist and former adviser to jeb bush, and adviser to the national diversity coalition for donald trump. gentlemen, i want to hear both your views on this and what you think its effectiveness will be. you first, al. >> it used to be that democrats couldn't take hispanics for granted when we were at 40%. now that trump's got us to about 15%, they might so he might be right in his statement but he probably got us way down there in the process. i wish we could play today that mitchell interview on msnbc with jeb, what he said a couple months ago. you can't build a wall and you are not going to deport all these people and they ought to read jeb's book. sounds like trump's campaign has adopted it hook, line and sinker, all the conclusions in it. we will see if he can make some progress in the last 75 days.
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>> parrish, your thoughts about the meeting today. was it fruitful? is it going to bring about a better atmosphere between the republican candidate for president and the african-american community? >> well, first off, i'm glad to be here tonight. i want to say this. what you saw today in new york with the republican leadership initiative that is going on there is a continued effort by mr. trump since he has been declared the republican nominee to actively and deliberately engage with the black community. he did do some of this outreach and engagement while running for the gop primary but now you have seen an uptick in his efforts. i think it's going to be he fegive. you saw him at 0% in one poll back before the convention, went up to 1%, now you see 3ers. i have seen reports of anywhere between 4% and 16%. i think he has nothing but opportunity to increase the percentages and go up by the
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time we get to november, heill have at least 6% if not more of the black vote. >> al, you first, what do you make of trump's language? he talks in pretty raw language about tough neighborhoods. he makes them sound pretty frightening and some are, but he uses a generalizing way of saying it. he talks about tough neighborhoods, terrible schools, trashy environment, basically, that all african-americans and hispanics dwell in. i don't know how it's coming across. >> when you go, they like to talk about the problems internally. everybody is pretty frank about the challenges you're facing. but people don't necessarily appreciate an outsider saying it, almost sounds like an insult on their way of life. it's a thin line. he can say it if he wants to. my sense is what they have been saying about each other one's a racist, the other's a crook. pretty soon it will be the first presidential election in history
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where you can't have your children watch it on tv. >> i would just say this, as somebody all due respect to al, someone who is part of the african-american community. i was director of black outreach under the bush administration for four years. when i look at my community and look at, i have lived in detroit for eight months at one point in time, i live in d.c., detroit, chicago, baltimore, milwaukee. these cities where majority of them are african-americans, we are suffering. we need blunt talk. we need to talk about them in rough terms so we can wake up this country and highlight what my community is going through under the obama, president obama's administration and under democrat rule for so many years. even decades, if you look at it. jobs, unemployment, high crime, education, things are important and are real in our community. i appreciate the fact that he's raising awareness and talking about these issues. >> keep talking. keep talking. >> his point is good. i grew up in a poor neighborhood in my community and i will tell
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you this. i got it. we talked about it in the community. my only point, paris, is that if you are going to talk about what's going on in a minority community, you have got to have some credentials to talk about it. i was questioning whether mr. trump did but you are absolutely right. it's a matter that need to be brought up. >> i don't know that hillary clinton or bill clinton have credentials to talk -- >> i don't disagree with you there. i don't disagree with you there. i don't disagree with you. >> let's give it a chance, what do you have to lose, yeah, when you look at the fact that, you look at chicago and the crime, that's president obama, secretary clinton, that's arne duncan, former chief of staff rahm emanuel, their hometown. the presidential library is going there and they are on par, there are about 30 people short of hitting the crime rate or shooting rate that they had last year. violence is out of control in that city. d.c., why wasn't that eleanor holmes norton and president obama were against the d.c. opportunity scholarship program supported by the democrat mayor
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of the town. >> can i point out something to you? >> yes, you can. >> paris, i'm with you on the opportunity scholarships. i have been so for years now. totally with you on that one. you need opportunities and choices for kids coming up in tough neighborhoods in washington. thank you so much. coming up, will this trump changing immigration stance help him with voters? or will they reject what looks like a flip-flop? every day starts better with a healthy smile. start yours with philips sonicare, the no.1 choice of dentists. compared to oral-b 7000, philips sonicare flexcare platinum removes significantly more plaque. this is the sound of sonic technology cleaning deep between teeth. hear the difference? get healthier gums in just 2 weeks vs a manual toothbrush and experience an amazing feel of clean. innovation and you. philips sonicare. save now when you buy philips sonicare.
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remember what i say. mexico will pay for the wall. believe me. i will never apologize for making it my priority on immigration to protect american citizens above every other single consideration. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was donald trump this afternoon in manchester, new hampshire talking about mexico paying for that wall to keep out illegal immigrants from this country. but in a fox news town hall last night, trump seemingly shifted his stance on one aspect of immigration policy. those deportations. >> they'll pay back taxes. they have to pay taxes. there's no amnesty as such. there's no amnesty. >> right. >> but we had very strong people come up to me, really great,
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great people come up to me and they have said mr. trump, i love you but to take a person that's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and the family out, it's so tough, mr. trump. who wants to -- by the way, no amnesty, no citizenship, et cetera. who doesn't want them thrown out? who does not want them thrown out? >> stand up. >> but that softer line he suggested there is new. take a look back at trump's candidacy. >> are you going to have a massive deportation force? >> we are going to have a deportation force and you are going to do it humanely. >> if you are president what will you do for members that are the fabric of our country that have been here for 25 years undocumented? >> they are going to go and we are going to create a path where we can get them into this country legally. okay? but it has to be done legally.
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>> you will deport them first, correct? >> they are going to be and they are going to come back and they are going to come back legally. >> you will split up families, key port children? >> no, no, we will keep the families together. we have to keep the families together. >> you will throw them out? >> they have to go. >> what if they have no place to go? >> we will work with them. they have to go. >> we either have a country or we don't have a country. we are a country of laws. going to have to go out. they will come back but they'll have to go out and hopefully they get back. >> very strong on illegal immigration. we have to be. we have no choice. >> can donald trump held on to the right wing in this issue as he moves to the center? joining me is the roundtable, margaret carlson, paul singer, and susan milligan. let me start with margaret. everyone else jump in here. it seems to me he's softening his position. he's not talking about mass deportation or a deportation strike first, whatever it is. he's talking about case by case,
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talking with throwing out or deporting people who are criminals, felons but on the rest of it, it begins to sound like the later versions of jeb bush. >> jeb bush was ridiculed for calling his immigration policy, he talked about immigrants coming to this country to help his family as an act of love. trump used the word nice multiple times last night. i want to be nice to these people, let's treat them nicely. when he was talking to chuck todd he was biasically saying i want to keep families together, i'm moving them all out of the country together. trump just walked down fifth avenue and shot himself. you can't, you know, you can't make this radical a departure and lose rush limbaugh, who called what he was saying amnesty no matter what trump calls it. rush limbaugh is calling it amnesty. >> amnesty means turning, taking a person who came here without paper, illegally, if you will, and making them a citizen. i don't think he's going that far. by the way, a little object
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lesson about the difference between what i do, what limbaugh does for radio and has a huge audience, your audience is one-sixth on a good day what you need to be elected president. so don't take your political advice from rush limbaugh if you are a republican. paul, jump in here. i went over the numbers. it takes over 60 million votes to win a presidential election. limbaugh is lucky if he gets one-sixth of that on a good day. you cannot listen to rush limbaugh if you want to win. here it is. i want to give this to you. limbaugh started off his show laughing supposedly uncontrollably at trump's shifting position on deportation. let's take a listen. >> first they tried marco rubio. then he tried the gang of eight. they tried jeb bush. they tried any number of people to convince -- they tried me. they sent emissaries to the southern command. they tried everybody they can think of to try to convince the republican base to support some
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form of amnesty for illegal immigrants. i'm sorry. who knew -- i know it frustrates you to hear me. i'm sorry. regain my composure. who knew that it would be donald trump to come on and convert the gop base to supporting amnesty. >> well, there's an attractive performance. paul singer, who is the "they" he's talking about? they went to jeb bush, they went to this candidate, they got to -- who are the "they" he's talking about? this conspiratorial posse of people, who are they? >> we can't focus all our time talking about donald trump's changing of policy issues because remember, donald trump is running as a brand. he's running as a passionate speaker of the truth who says i can fix it, i'm the strong guy,
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i can fix it. he doesn't worry much about the details of the policy. hasn't all along. and it hasn't bothered his base. now, what limbaugh is arguing is that the sort of republican establishment has been trying to make this case all along to a more, you know, friendly approach to hispanics and let's talk about amnesty and limbaugh is suggesting that well, the establishment has somehow gotten donald trump to toe their line. i also believe donald trump, it's still donald trump. we are not sure exactly where he stands on policy. we are not sure exactly what he's proposing. i'm not sure he really cares. he's still i'm donald trump and that's what you are veoting for. >> that's what jeb said today. he basically does what he thinks will work that day. >> i think this underscores one of trump's major problems as a candidate. he's approaching this campaign as though it's a business deal and he's a ceo, not a candidate. he thinks he can come in at this point, change the terms of the contract, i will throw in another $100,000 and give you two months free aren't and get
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voters to vote for him. it's not going to work. you cannot vote back some of the personal insults he's made. it's worse than ryan lochte's apology. >> he threw that up to the crowd today and thought they would give, they would support his softer line. it sounded like they didn't like his softer line. they were still red-hot against anybody coming in this country and staying if they don't come in with paper. the roundtable is staying with us. when they come back, they will tell me something i don't know. we'll be right back.
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we're back with the roundtable. margaret, tell me something i don't know. >> so we know that trump is a during on many down ballot races but i have a state where actually, he's dragging down -- he's dragging down an incumbent. that's governor mccrory in north carolina where trump is running way ahead of him. he's the one who famously passed the bathroom law which is, you
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know, for lgbt, you have to have your birth certificate with the right gender in order to go into a bathroom. he's fallen 15% because bruce springsteen, the nba, paypal have all fled north carolina. it's cost a lot of money. now he's running behind donald trump, down about nine points. >> there are modern elements in north carolina. paul? >> something you might know if you read "usa today" . yesterday, in the hillary clinton donors from the hillary pac in 2014 we gownfound a guy turks are now hunting, claiming he was the on on the ground organizer of the coup attempt in july. once upon a time he was a hillary clinton donor with a bunch of other turkish money we think may be suspect. >> who is this guy? turkish american? what's his connection to our country? >> he's turkish. it looks like he's lived in the united states at one point and had a company here. not clear the company did anything.
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we can't quite figure out whether he in fact is an american citizen or the contribution was even legal. we are trying to figure it out. >> great story. thank you. susan? >> if this election is close and i don't think it will be, the issue that will decide it will be the puerto rican debt crisis, not because the candidates are paying attention to it because tragically, they're not. but because puerto ricans are fleeing the island to move to the i-4 corridor in florida. all they have to do is change their address. while they like clinton they will drag their grandmothers off life support in the hospital to vote against donald trump. >> i'm not surprised. thank you all. up next, what could happen in washington come next january? january 2017? after continue auguthe inaugura new president. do we have any guide for governing ourselves? your car insurance policy is 22 pages long. did you read every word? no, only lawyers do that. so when you got rear-ended and needed a tow, your insurance company told you to look at page five on your policy.
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new numbers from the industrial midwest. a new poll out of michigan, let's check it out. let's check out the scoreboard. hillary clinton has a seven point lead among likely voters in michigan. that's a seven point lead. she's at 44%.
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♪ mapping the oceans. where we explore. protecting biodiversity. everywhere we work. defeating malaria. improving energy efficiency. developing more clean burning natural gas. my job? my job at exxonmobil? turning algae into biofuels. reducing energy poverty in the developing world. making cars go further with less. fueling the global economy. and you thought we just made the gas. ♪ energy lives here. our opponents tried to enact the largest education cuts in
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american history and to end direct student loans for college. you cannot improve schools by attacking teachers, but that is the unacceptable and unworthy tactic of dole, kemp and gingrich. >> that was the lion of the senate, one of the most gifted lawmakers to serve in the senate. you hear that from both sides. kennedy's former long time staffer nick littlefield and david mexson have written "lion of the senate, when ted kennedy rallied the democrats in a gop congress." it's a portrait of kennedy's resistance to the gingrich revolution of the mid 1990s. the book started from all the notes littlefield took during all of kennedy's key meetings in those days with president clinton and others. he was stricken with a degenerative neurological disease during the writing of the book at which point his colleague took over and completed the project. he joins us now. thank you so much.
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we have four or five minutes. i want you to use this time to tell us about why ted kennedy, who i always looked up to, was a great legislator. he knew how to get looked up tot legislator, knew how to deal with people who disagreed with you, and how that might be relevant today. let's assume hillary win, how does it get done? how does the rules of ted kennedy serve as a model? >> ted kennedy, as you said, chris, he was the greatest legislator of his generation, probably of all time. he could be highly partisan, and reach across the aisle and be breathtakingly idealistic, but also very pragmatic. in the period he talked about in the book, it's very much like the current day. what kennedy was really two great accomplishments. he rallied the democrats who were very demoralized, very inclined to concede, to stand up against the newt gingrich,
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right-wing revolution. the second thing he did, when the congress was highly polarized, just as it is today, very highly partisan, he was able to pass really important progressive social legislation, an increase in minimum wage, the health reform bill and the bill covering eight million children. hillary clinton was a key part of that last achievement. but the things that he did are terribly relevant today, because we have republicans in congress, if you look at the ryan budget, it's exactly the same agenda what newt gingrich was trying to put forward. and it's an agenda that is really against everything the democrats stand for. and it's the same agenda. if anything, it's more extreme. >> on the other hand, people look in the congress and say it's grid locked, how are we going to get anything done, ted kennedy showed how it could be
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done. >> let's speculate the following. say hillary clinton wins this election by 5 to 10 points, a decent, if not strong victory. and say the senate turns slightly democrat, 52-48, very close advantage for the democra democrats, the senate. but the house stays republican because of all kinds of reapportionment, gerrymandering and the way liberal democrats tend to bunch in the big cities. i know what goes on. how do you govern like that? democratic president, democratic senate, but not enough to break a filibuster. who takes the lead? how would ten kennedy as a senator or chuck schumer, his modern equivalent, how do you get something done against those forces? >> let me talk about what ted kennedy did, for example, in passing the child bill, when we didn't have any house or senate. we were the minority. kennedy, whenever he was trying to pass legislation, he knew it was best if you could start in a bipartisan way.
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he established personal relationships with practically every member of the senate, so he started out with a base of good will. once he's done that, he looked for a counterpart that shares the same view. they both agreed to help children get health care. they were great friends, but on opposite sides of the political fence. senator kennedy used to joke that if he and oren were on the same bill, it meant that one of them hadn't read it. >> he was a conservative mormon senator from utah, and ted kennedy's a liberal democrat from massachusetts, pretty different. >> so he talked to a number of people to find a partner. senator hatch said he was interested, but they had very different views how to approach it, given their different background. they went through an intensive, two-week process of
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negotiations, three weeks. staff worked very hard. members met. finally we get down to the last issue that we need to resolve. we have a meeting in the senator's office. and he would always go to senator hatch's office. he'd never ask senator hatch to come to him. and senator hatch, similarly, would show his affection for senator kennedy. senator hatch, as you probably know, his afication is writing songs -- >> we have to go, but i get the picture. it's about courtesy, college yalet, respect and finding common ground. the mormon community is very much big on, as you know, on welfare society, looking out for people in the community. they're very good at that. thank you, dave. this belongs on your shelf. one of the ones you keep on your
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shelf. get "lion of the senate," the book. when we return, where the campaign of 2016 is headed. you're watching "hardball." what are we gonna do? how about we pump more into promotions? ♪ nah. what else? what if we hire more sales reps? ♪ nah. what else? what if we digitize the whole supply chain? so people can customize their bike before they buy it. that worked better than expected. i'll dial it back. yeah, dial it back. just a little. live business, powered by sap. when you run live, you run simple. a car, and i feel good, confident, because i'm at a truecar certified dealership. i already connected with a dealer
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let me finish tonight with where this campaign's headed. so one candidate calls the other a biggot and chuckles as his fans yell "lock her up." and the other candidate compares her rival to men in sheets,
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members of the ku klux klan. this is still august. we haven't even gotten to labor day, and this is what the combat has descended to. i hold trump responsible. this is his m.o., making up nicknames, trashing the person of his rivals is how he got this far, little marco, low energy bush, lying ted, now crooked hillary. that said, the democratic presidential candidate holds not just a great record of public service. looking at the number, she has a chance to come into the american presidency with positive support to put the wind at her back when she starts to govern, to move the congress in a progressive, positive direction. accusing donald trump of ties to the klan will not do justice to this. i liked her speech today, but not the online video with pictures of men in white sheets with hood. that represents lynching,
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murder, an historic american horror. the best way for hillary to win this election is to make sure the people see the difference between her and him, not her ability to match him in nastiness. that's "hardball." "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. >> the paranoid fringe now calls itself alt-right, but the hate burns just as bright. >> the alt-right speech. >> and now trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. but don't be fooled. >> hillary clinton's methodical case that donald trump is main streaming hate and racism. >> through it all, he's continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones. >> tonight the democratic nominee's unprecedented warning to america and the republican response. then -- >> can we be -- and you'll ask the audience. >> the man whose harsh position on immigration got him the


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