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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  June 29, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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tomorrow people will be demming -- demonstrating against the trump's plan of taking kids away from their parents. the biggest rally is expected to be in d.c. i want to tell you that msnbc will be live all day tomorrow with coverage not just from what's expected to be the big rally in washington but from rallies all around the country so if you won't be there you are not looking out your window and may see it right here. that does it for us. time for "the last word." steve kornacki in for lawrence. >> i'm steve kornacki in for lawrence o'donnell and tonight we begin with the battle in congress over president trump's next supreme court nominee.
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the president announcing today that he will name his nominee to replace justice anthony kennedy on monday, july 9. the president saying he will interview six or seven candidates including two women, that he may meet with them in bedminster, new jersey the president saying it's inappropriate to ask candidate what is they think about roe v. wade. here's what he had to say about the subject earlier today. >> are you going to ask your nominees beforehand how they might vote on roe v. wade? >> that's a big one. they're all saying don't do, that you shouldn't do that. but i'm putting conservative people on and i'm very proud of neil gorsuch. he's been outstanding. his opinions are so well written, so brilliant. and i'm going to try and do something like that. >> republicans in congress are
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worried the supreme court battle may have ramifications for the midterm elections. according to politico, senior level house republicans believe donors will redirect large contributions toward elections for senate republicans, dealing a severe blow to house republicans' efforts to remain in control of that chamber. even if the president realizes this is a matter of extreme importance. >> justice kennedy's retirement makes the issue of senate control one of the vital issues of our time. >> reporter: in the decision to confirm a nominee to the supreme court, republicans at least on paper have the votes. 51-49 thanks to the elimination of the 60-vote threshold for judicial appointments. the filibuster, they did away with it on supreme court picks last year. nothing, though, is a given in washington, especially where republicans only have a two vote
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majorit majority. president trump huddling with senators who could impact the supreme court decisions including chuck grassley, susan collins, lisa murkowski as well as democrats joe manchin, joe donnelly, heidi heitkamp so what does the path and the math look like? democratic activists are up in arms, they want to fight this. they want to stop this. republicans, at least their leaders, they say they want to get this through before the midterm election. what does the math look like? on paper 51-49 for the republicans. it may be less, john mccain has been sidelines so if john mccain were to remain sidelined as this process plays out, that's 50 republican votes. that's the bare minimum. that's no margin for error. that's if you lose one as a republican. you lose this battle on a partisan vote. let's say there are 50 votes for
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republicans, what do they have to worry about when it comes to potential for defection? these are five republicans to watch. jeff flake is retiring. he's been blocking some judicial picks. he seemed to throw cold water on the idea he would do that with a court pick. the two who folks are talking about is collins, murkowski, susan collins, lisa murkowski, both pro-choice, both sending signals that this may be different than last year's battle over neil gorsuch where they voted to confirm gorsuch. indicating maybe the issue of roe v. wade could be preeminent in their considerations on this. it's a big if. would they go to the lengths of voting no, joining with democrats trying to stop a trump pick? . they've sent signals that have people talking about it. if you start at 50 for republicans and lose collins and murkowski, that's an ugly four
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but you're down to 48 for the republicans and then you would be short. remember, we're talking about democrats here, too. a lot of democrats running for reelection this year in states donald trump carried in 2016, some by giant margins. so manchin, west virginia. up for reelection, trump won by 42. heitkamp in north dakota, trump took it by 36. donnelly in indiana, trump took it by 20. donnelly, heitkamp, manchin, they voted for neil gorsuch last year, they're vasing voters in these states so if you had 48 and you got these three, that puts you at 51. we mentioned by the way he's not up but doug jones in alabama. he's up in 2020. again, there will be a lot of pressure on him so there are a lot of democrats in theory who could be in play here to vote for this nominee for some very
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self-serving political reasons. they want to get reelected. that's balanced with the potential threat from collins and murkowski. joining us to talk more about this, norm ornstein co-author of the book "one nation after trump." and the author of gop gps and marah gaye, a member of the "new york times" editorial board. on the signals being sent by collins, murkowski, folks trying to decode that, i was looking back at the history of supreme court nominations from republican presidents over the last generation or so and not a lot of break imagine the the republican party on these things. what do you make of the signals? . what we've heard from susan collins is she said that she is not going to let individual policy positions get in the way and we know frankly that as long as there are qualifications
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there, we know any of these nominees will avoid saying things like i would not vote to keep roe v. wade. they're going to punt and evade and dissemble as much as possible and under those circumstances i find it unlikely that collins will vote against a particular nomineeme mennominee. joe manchin has said what would trip him up is if somebody wasn't going to support the affordable care act and one of the main nominees or potential nominees, a woman amy barrett from indiana, notre dame lawsuit, took a very strong position against the supreme court's decisions upholding the constitutionality of the aca so that might create an interesting possibility where the pressure could be on those two republican women and it would be intense i think from within maine and even in alaska.
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>> and norm points to something interesting there. the way these confirmation battles the, there's almost a science to them at this point in terms of the precision of how the nominees are picked. the considerations about age, longevity but it's that lack of a paper trail that will cause problems. robert bourque a generation ago he'd written all these inflammatory things. it sunk him. now you have these folks who are groomed for years. if the nominee is presented who folks suspect is conservative, folks suspect is the kind democrats want to sink but on paper you don't have that record, does it make it harder for democrats like manchin to make a move? >> it does. what will be interesting is to watch whether collins and murkowski are able to have a moderating influence on the president's pick. you have these two republican
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women that puts them in the position of actually elevating them in a good way. we might see a moderating effect in that sense but the other things democrats need to do is provide as much cover as possible for the democrats who are actually -- who you pointed out, who are fighting for their seats and they need to give cover to these folks and put the pressure on the republican side and that's something that protests can do. that's something that democrats need to get better around because republicans have been motivated around this issue for a long time. >> the "new york times" has this story today, we can put a clip up on the screen about the long-term campaign from this administration from republicans to jar this seat loose. they said subtle and no so subtle way the white house waged a campaign to ensure mr. trump had a second opportunity in his
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first 18 months no-to-fu s nto f his most important campaign followers, that he would change the direction of the supreme court. it's fascinating but it points to what marah is saying that among issues for key blocks in the republican party, court pick is first among equals. >> there are plenty of republicans who didn't like donald trump and thought about not voting for him and sitting out the 2016 election but they said the supreme court is too important and when you hear there were people on the democratic side saying there was no difference between hillary and trump, this is the exact rebut toole thr rebuttal to that. we're talking about roe v. wade and whether or not it should be overturned and there are a lot of republicans like focus on the family who are salivating at the prospect. but at the same time, it would be a strategic error for republicans to have roe v. wade overturn overturned. of women 44 and under, 74% of them believe it should stay. the majority of the country, over two-thirds, believes.
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73% of independents and 43% of republicans, which is a very high number for republicans overall, it would be a gift to democrats. >> when you look at that list, trump makes reference to the 25 that have been out there for a couple years, these are folks that have the good housekeeping seal of approval from leading conservative groups. you never know how they will vote when the case comes before them but it looks like the direction is to go for a pick who is likely to have some skepticism on roe. >> roe is one of the many issues but the president said he won't ask about roe and he doesn't need to. he needs to ask about stare decisis. will the judge or potential justice honor that. if the justice says no, they're open to reinterpreting the law, that's a signal and you'll see that play out heavily every democrat on the senate judiciary committee will ask about their position on stare decisis and you'll have joe manchin, heidi
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heitkamp and joe donnelly put between a rock and hard place because politically they have to appeal to trump voters that they need in their states or b appeal to the liberal base. >> and that story, the idea of this behind-the-scenes campaign the administration waged. they looked at kennedy, 80 years old and said if we could entice him to retire, here's another golden opportunity to get another 40 years, are democrats looking saying geez, why wasn't the last administration doing this with ruth bader ginsburg? >> there are a lot of lessons there. democrats should learn how to be like republicans. it was very lyndon johnson-esque which was what some of us were talking about. the democrats have been outmaneuvered but they've been outorganized by republicans who have spent 40 years in the wilderness getting themselves
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together and their voters are motivated. roe v. wade, not that i would accuse the republicans of cynicism but roe v. wade is the a very powerful motivation and so in some ways you don't want to overturn it you just want to keep it motivating voters, there are a host of other issues that a conservative court would bring you. they could rule on affirmative action, on campaign finance laws, issues with corporations, on unions. all the things we've seen this week so it is a wish list that is payday. >> and the white house strategy, it test first time the "new york times" has accused the white house of being competent and if president trump were to take that be nice to other people he'd get more done. >> norm, you've written about congress -- i want to ask you this quickly because it occurs there's a longer term question where you have democrats up in
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arms. they already think the gorsuch seat was stolen. let's say republicans get the votes, 51, 52, whatever it takes, they get the appointment and democrats get the senate this november, what would they do with that power? >> well, what -- it will be a difficult thing for them. if there's still a republican president there isn't a lot they can do. the real trouble will come or the real challenge will come when there's a democratic president and a democratic senate and we've seen trump fill one-eighth of all the appeals court seats in the country. all of these judges by the way, steve, including the ones on the list for supreme court have been vetted through the federalist society. they don't need to ask questions, the president doesn't need to ask questions, they know just where they're coming from and the question for democrats will be after trump and mitch mcconnell have packed the court what is do they do? do they enlarge the supreme court? do they add seats to appeals courts believing this has been
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done illegitimately? and this was a point that was made earlier, what mcconnell has done more than anything is to put some of these democrats from seats trump took in a difficult position. vote against a court nominee and it motivates republicans in rhett states to turn out against them. vote in favor and you'll lose that intense support from democrats who are very much a activated because this is a huge issue not just on choice. voting rights, campaign finance reform, gay rights and areas where people have been vetted by the federalist society and we'll know how they'll vote. >> mara, last word. >> i want to say that what democrats need to do and liberals and people who care about democracy is they need to vote. that's the big advantage that democrats have and that means
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pulling the levers of this demographic change. that's where the power is. >> republicans say this will be done before the midterm and in the midterm we'll see how voters react. evan, mara, norm, thanks to you. coming up, important breaking news on the immigration crisis at the border. the "washington post" with news just in tonight about what will happen to families detained together. that's next and if you want to know where the president has gotten some of his policy ideas, you may want to look back to the 19950s. that's coming up as well. a tri. and at expedia, we don't think you should be rushed into booking one. that's why we created expedia's add-on advantage. now after booking your flight, you unlock discounts on select hotels right until the day you leave. ♪ add-on advantage. discounted hotel rates when you add on to your trip. only when you book with expedia.
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there is breaking news from the "washington post" about the turmoil at the mexican border. the headline reads trump administration plans to detain migrant families for months. the report sr. that justice department lawyers wrote in a notice to a federal zwlauj, quote, the government will not separate families but detain families together during the pendency of immigration proceedings. detaining children for the pendency of immigration proceedings means they will likely be detained longer than the 20-day limit set by the flores case as the trump administration tries to navigate dueling court orders that families need to be held together while in detention. as far as we know tonight, over 2,000 immigrant children are separated from their parents in government-run centers around the country as the agencies responsible for the detained immigrants are taking hits from their own watchdogs as well as
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members of congress. the inspector general for the department of homeland security released a report that is highly critical of i.c.e. it says i.c.e.'s inspections of its detention centers quote do not ensured a "oversight or systemic improvements in detention conditions with some deficiencies remaining unaddressed for years. joining us now, cal perry and maria teresa cue mokumar of vot latino. the trump administration was originally saying they want this zero-tolerance policy at the border and because of this flores consent decree that said you can't keep kids for more than 20 days therefore they had to separate them. now they're saying because of this new ruling they'll still do zero tolerance but they keep the kids with the parents for as long as that takes, presumably much longer than 20 days so sounds like they are setting up for a challenge of son-in-law
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sort with this consent decree, is that right? >> 100% and the trump administration is about to drop a political bomb depending on how the judge reacts to this judicial note. the key phrase in this -- and i'm not a lawyer -- is "throughout the pendency." that means throughout the process the court will take in dealing with these families. in speaking to immigration lawyers in the country, and nbc news has done so since this report comes out, it means the united states could be indefinitely detaining families, there is such a strenuous backlog of immigration cases in this country and when you factor in what has happened over the last couple weeks it's likely we could be indefinitely detaining these families. the sect point is that it's likely a judge will respond to this and say you need to release them and they will come back for their court date, that's something we have been doing in this country for years if not a
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decade. the final point int to make and this is the political point, if the judge says you have to put ankle bracelets on these people and let them go the trump administration is going to say the u.s. courts, the judges, are allowing these illegal immigrants to come into this country, to invade this country, they will use that political language and they will do so at a time in which this country is searching for its next supreme court justice. add to that where are we going to put these families, thousands of families, we know the department of defense is getting involved, we know they're scouting these military locations but imagine indefinite detention of families that tried to enter this country on a military base while this administration is trying to nominate a new supreme court justice will be a heck of a summ summer. >> we saw countless polls that this family separation policy, the idea of holding the adults and moving kids separately, that was overwhelmingly unpopular in
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the polls there have been several polls that say if you won't have a family separation policy, what should you do in the case of a family caught crossing the border illegally. what cal is describing, actually, holding the family together in detention as opposed to releasing back into the united states pending a future court date, that option of holding the family together in detention significantly more popular across both parties. >> part of it is because most americans don't know how it was done before. let's be clear. the crisis at the border was not a crisis at the border until president trump put his finger in it and decided that he wanted to sensationalize this idea of families traversing three or four countries to save their children because they are seeking asylum. the president decided this is better optics for him. what was happening before under previous administrations, not just under president obama but also president bush, when families would come to the border seeking asylum they would do just that -- they would go
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before a court, receive an ankle bracelet and they would be asked to come back later. not only did that save families but it saved billions of dollars to the taxpayer. close to 99% of the families that received the bracelets showed up for a court date so they were responsible, they recognized the process, they were informed of the process and they were able to go ahead and live their life without adding unnecessary tax burdens to the american people. >> there's an nbc news report today, too, about this family separation, we thought this was a policy -- we know it's a policy they announced in april but there was a pilot program they were running a few months before it turns out. >> yes, so just before the trump administration came into power there was a pilot program being run in the el paso area testing this out as a measure of deterrence, separating these kids out the problem is we don't
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know how it increased or have a good grasp on why it is there are still 2,047 children in government detention not being returned to their families if there already had been a pilot program in place if they were running a pilot program without keeping track of these children, why was that happening? >> cal perry, maria teresa kumar, thank you for joining us. coming up, a rare story about donald trump, a story about him -- get this -- apologizing to someone. and what that has to do with his big upset victory over hillary clinton. you want to stay tuned for this one. ill going for my best even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both.
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>> he announced his presidential candidacy by attacking the globalist in office. he railed against bureaucrats in brussels who were pursuing a european superstate that threatened america's national identity. he told his audience his presidency would be built on a new nationalism focusing on the forgotten americans. he wanted a wall across the entire southern border and he was denounced as a bigot -- by donald trump. pat buchanan was his name. they called him pitchfork pat and if you really want to understand the moment we're living in, go back to its roots. back to the 1990s. back when everything seemed to be humming in america. there was low unemployment, the stock market was surging, peace and prosperity for everyone to enj enjoy but that was the surface. beneath the surface there was sweeping transformation, economic, technological,
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demographic and with all of that there were rising tensions and then from the right a cable television pundit who saw a chance to take advantage of it with a new kind of populism. pat buchanan went from cnn to the presidential campaign trail in 1992 challenging george h.w. bush. he won the golf war in 1991 but buchanan said it was a waste bush wanted nafta, but buchanan said that was a sellout of workers, a sellout of america's sovereignty, america first was his slogan. a few years before ronald reagan had granted nasa ee ee eed amno came to the united states illegally but then buchanan said enough was enough. if you wanted to stop illegal immigration, he said, you needed a great big wall along the mexican border america's demographics were changing and
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buchanan declared that nothing less than the country's identity was at stake. >> we must not trade in our sovereignty for a cushion seat at the head table of anybody's new world order. we call for new patriotism where americans put the needs of americans first. for a new nationalism wherein every negotiation, be it arms control or trade, the american side seeks advantage and victory for the united states. >> republican leaders stay aid way from pat buchanan, no governors endorsing him, no senators, no members of congress. what he represents, they said, that's not our party. but then came new hampshire running against a sitting president in 1992, buchanan got almost 40% of the vote and some say bush never recovered. buchanan couldn't win the nomination but he got more than three million votes in '92 and bush ended up a one-termer.
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globalization continued to speed up. the face of america continued to change. four years later in 1996, buchanan went for it again. this time bob dole was the heavy favorite but in iowa buchanan nearly knocked him off and then eight days later in new hampshire this unthinkable. pitchfork pat finished first. >> the establishment is coming together. you can hear them right now. the fax machines and phones are buzzing in washington, d.c. somebody's got to get out and take on this guy. we have to have one guy take him on. they'll come after this campaign with everything they got. do not wait for orders from headquarters. mount up, everybody and ride to the sound of the guns. >> and in that moment it seemed like pat buchanan might run away with the republican nomination. democrats were almost giddy. he was so extreme, they figured, he'd be easy to beat if he got that nomination. republicans were terrified. they were stunned to learn that so many of their own voters
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didn't mind pitchfork pat's rhetor rhetoric. were they losing control of their own party? it turned out they weren't, at least not yet. in '96 dole went on to win the nomination, did go on to lose in november and buchanan was getting tired of the gop. in 1999 he accused primary leaders of rigging the primary race on behalf of george w. bush. buchanan decided to bolt the party. he would run for the nomination of the reform party started a few years before by ross perot and that is when pat buchanan got competition for the reform party nomination, surprise competition from a celebrity billionaire named donald trump. trump joined the reform party in 1999. he said he was looking at running for president and a lot of it was like today. he disparaged enemies with schoolyard taunts, he talked about making oprah his running
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mate, he claimed to be doing great in the polls when he wasn't. he became a one man content machine for cable news channels. so much so similar but with one very big difference between the donald trump of 1999 and the one we know today. that pat buchanan platform, the donald trump of 1999 wanted no part of it. critics accused buchanan of flirting with racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia and worse and trump said he agreed. he called buchanan a hitler lover, an anti-semite. he said buchanan was drawing support from a staunch right whacko vote. trump wrote an op-ed attacking buchanan. on slow days, trump wrote, he attacks gays, immigrants, welfare recipients, even zulus. when cornered he says he's misunderstood. the tone was the same but the content of donald trump's message in 1999 could not be more different than what we've come to know. >> >> tomorrow pat buchanan is
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announcing he will be a candidate for presidency on the reform party. >> i think it's ridiculous. >> why? >> look, he's a hitler lover. i guess he's an anti-semite. he doesn't like the blacks. he doesn't like the guys. it's just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy. >> now in the end, trump backed out of that race and critics said, hey, that was proof he'd never been serious in the first place. it was just one big publicity stunt and pat buchanan got 1% of the vote as the reform candidate. that's a tiny total but it nonetheless changed history when a poorly designed ballot in palm beach county, florida, led many al gore supporters to accidentally check off buchanan's name. even buchanan said the votes were not intended for him but they were counted for him. in a state that delivered the presidency to george w. bush by a grand total after 537 votes. and the bush presidency gave us
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the iraq war, gave us afghanistan, it ended with the financial crisis, economic meltdown. and it was some time around then in post-bush america that donald trump did something very untrump like. according to reporting from tim alberta in politico, trump picked up the phone, called pat buchanan and apologized for all the hurtful things he said. he made amends bay buchanan pat's sister and former campaign manager said of trump. long before he got into the presidential race he reached out to pat and apologized for what he'd done, realizing it had been wrong. and then in the america forever altered by war and economic catastrophe, donald trump set out to run for 2015 in president for real, this time on pat buchanan's platform. and here we are in 2018, in donald trump's america which was made in some ways by pat buchanan's campaign in the '90s. if you would like to know more about how we got here, here's the shameless plug part of it. read my new book "the read and
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event. politico was one of the few news agencies with a reporter inside and according to politico, obama told the crowd "don't wait for the perfect message, don't wait to feel a ting until your spine because you're expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow i'll get off my couch and spend the 15 and 20 minutes it takes for me to vote. because that's part of what happened in the last election. i heard that too much. if we don't vote, this democracy doesn't work." mr. obama said democrats would be foolish to think they could beat trump just because they're doing well in recent elections. and jon stewart took over the "late show" with stephen colbert that he aimed directly to donald trump and the country. >> i want to say if there's one hallmark to your presidency that i think we're finding the most difficult is that no matter what you do it always comes with an extra layer of gleeful cruelty
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and dickishness. [ cheers and applause ] it's not just that you don't want people taking a knee, it's that their sons of bitches if they do. it's not just denying women who accuse you of sexual assault, it's saying they were too ugly anyway. you can't be against the media, they're enemies of the people. it's not even partisan. anyone in the republican party speak against you, they must be humiliated, even if they have a terminal disease. which brings us to immigration. boy you [ bleep ]ed that up. donald you could have made a more stringent border policy that would have made your point about enforcement but it would haven't felt right without a dickensian level of villainy. you separated people seeking asylum from their children, from babies. what lincoln said in his cooper union speech was to point out
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the one thing southern slave holders wanted from the free states. this and only this, cease to call slavery wrong and join them in calling it right. it was on this point that lincoln said the union could not bend and what donald trump wants is for us to stop calling his cruelty and fear and divisiveness wrong but to join him in calling it right and this we cannot do. [ cheers and applause ] after the break, zerlina maxwell, evan siegfried, maria teresa kumar are going to join me in the latest resistance movement against the president. and i treat my mbc with new everyday verzenio- the only one of its kind that can be taken every day. in fact, verzenio is a cdk4 & 6 inhibitor for postmenopausal women with hr+, her2- mbc, approved, with hormonal therapy, as an everyday treatment
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>> everything's off its axis. apparently putin and kruim jongn are noble intelligent role models and canada are giant [ bleep ]s. that's hard to get used to. you're redoing the post-war alliances only this time we're with the axis powers. >> joining us now, zerlina maxwell, an msnbc political analyst. maria teresa kumar is back with us. we have the quotes from polit o politico, former president obama talking to a group of democrats l.a. night. he was describing himself, he was describing how democrats reacted to him when he rose to the presidency and he was saying don't be looking for that, don't be waiting for that. but did democrats need that?
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>> i think people are waiting far but barack obama was once in a lifetime not just as a historical figure but as someone who has the policy chops and charisma. that's a unicorn. but democrats need to focus on turnout. that will win the election in 2018 and 2020. you saw in 2016 that turnout was down on many of the most important groups in the democratic base. black turnout was down, latino turnout was down so you have to ensure our voters get to the polls and cast their ballot. there's no other way to change the country. >> the flip side we look at a motivated democratic base, at least in 2018 in the midterm, the number that strikes me on the republican side is president trump's support from republican voters, sitting at 90%. if you look at modern presidents within their own parties, his as s as high as it gets which is striking because his overall number isn't that great. what is it that drives that? this is a guy that got less than
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half the vote among republicans in 2016 in their primaries and yet now this is like w after 9/11. >> you're forgetting one thing. the republican party has been shrinking and the people who support him are the ones staying. so of course you'll have closer to 100% than zero percent. 23% of republicans aged 18 to 29 left the party compared to 8% of democrats. we have a massive demographic crisis in this party and we can only really field an electorate to help sustain us for maybe two, three more cycles unless we start appealing to other groups and that includes african-americans, hispanic americans, gays, and even urban american which is republicans don't even compete in any more. there are tumbleweeds running for office that do better than republican candidates and it's disappointing. >> there was a study this week that came out that was a study of millennials that i found interesting that showed the number who identified as democrats in the last couple years dropped by a fairly significant number. i think it was about a nine-point drop and it was attributed most directly to
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white male millennials and the suggestion was the way our politics are all playing out right now, everything in politics and in life there's a reaction, right? and in democrats we've seen can historic levels. is there a possibility there that, you know, there's sort of a subsequent defection of males to the republican party? is that -- >> i wouldn't say it's a defection of males to the republican party. nbc news and jenford did an amazing survey in january which found that 66% of millennials want a third party. they look at government and see something that's broken. they think they can impact change for effectively from a nonprofit than they can by actually voting. the key is rebuilding trust in government, and you have to actually accomplish things as a government. that means doing things in a bipartisan manner and right now that's not happening. so we have to vote for candidates who are willing to reach across the aisle and say we may not agree 100%, but let's do something for the country. >> maria teresa kumar, we played
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jon stewart, that soliloquy on colbert's show last night. that speaks directly to democratic voters out there, folks who are offended by the president. but i do wonder, that level of activation, does that trigger a backlash among republican voters at all that binds them to trump in response, where maybe we don't like trump on this. maybe we don't like him on that. but, hey, he's under such attack, we better stick with him because we don't want to be with the other side? >> well, i think what you speak to, steve, is that we actually have to create a space where people can admit they voted for the wrong candidate. and by constantly attacking and trying to label all republicans with a broad brush saying they are bigoted or racist doesn't improve or advance a political agenda. it doesn't heal wounds. it doesn't allow people to come forward and say, you know what, i thought i was going to get something else. but in reality, this man is a c con man. in the next three years, woo ger to have a generation of z voters. we're expecting 12 million
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voters who are becoming eligible, two-thirds of them young people of color. disproportionately there are going to be 12 million more voters than baby boomers. then you have the 93 million americans who decided they were going to sit it out. i think not only are a majority of americans identifying with independent, they also want people to feel they're providing them with actual solutions. when you look at what happened in virginia, it was down ballot candidates that were speaking to issues that people cared about, bread and butter issues, how to fix community, how to talk to each other, be civil, providing solutions. that is at the end of the day what american people want to talk about. they're tired of pendulum elections but also tired of the stress level they're feeling every single time the president tweets. they want to tone it down, get back to basics and know tomorrow there is going to be a new america. the majority of americans are hopeful, and the president is providing very little hope but a lot of chaos. >> zerlina, that generational shift, i think this week we got an example of that. new york, john crowley, one of
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the top democrats in d.c., he's toppled by a 28-year-old latina. i wonder when we look ahead to 2020, if you take a poll right now, to the extent these things mean anything, the front runners on the democratic side are joe biden, who i think will be 78 at the end of 2020. bernie sanders, well into his 70s, elizabeth warren, who will be into her 70s. is that generational shift going to mean trouble for candidates who right now enter this thing -- >> i think it will be a problem if they can appeal to that young demographic of voters. i think we definitely do have a structural problem in terms of the pipeline of candidates that can rise and become presidential contenders in the democratic party. that's absolutely true. that's why you don't have the age diversity in terms of the 2020 prospects. but i do think that there are a number of candidates that you mentioned, i think elizabeth warren absolutely can appeal to that millennial demographic that evan was speaking to because they are a lot more progressive than the baby boomer generation. they are for marriage equality. they are for choice.
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so with those issues becoming, i think, front and center as we go into the midterm elections with a supreme court vacancy now going to be at the center of the fight, i do think that's going to encourage the republican base to turn out. but the flip side of that is there are a lot of millennials who have no capacity to imagine a world where there is no access to birth control, where there is no access to legal and safe abortion. they have -- that's not happened in my lifetime. that's not happened in a millennial's lifetime. so i think that this is going to be an election that is really for the fight of the soul of the country and the moral center, but that is all about this millennial generation being more progressive than our mothers and our grandmothers. >> evan, listening to you diagnose the republican predicament as you see it and saying they need to change on all of these things, are you one of those republicans sort of like george will who wants them to lose this november, to precipitate that change? >> it's not necessarily that i want them to lose. i want them to wake up and recognize that there is the sky
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falling. >> do they need to lose to recognize that? >> i think they need to listen to smart people. to be honest with you, i think democrats can actually blow it in 2020. if you nominate somebody who is too far and outside of the mainstream and more beholden to the bernie base than to the more moderate and the independent voters, you're not going to win. that's why i actually believe the smartest ticket democrats could run would be joe biden and seth moulton, no drama and returning to decency. >> thank you for that. tonight's last word is next. it came from the toaster. now you can quit cable. switch to directv and now get a $100 reward card. more for your quitting cable thing. that's our thing. call 1 800 directv.
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time for tonight's last word. >> we got more money. we got more brains. we got better houses, apartments. we got nicer boats. we're smarter than they are. and they say the elite. we're the elite. and i thought that was so brilliant. i said, oh, i am so smart. i'm the smartest person. i'm smarter than anybody. a thing comes out, a big poll, a number of polls that he's the most powerful, most popular republican in the history of the party. >> oh, my god, dude, get a therapist. i know you're cheap, but get a therapist. trump is like a guy at a bar who acts as his own wingman. my buddy thinks you're cute. he's smart and handsome and popular, and he's me.
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>> that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, new reporting that rod rosenstein felt used by the trump white house in the aftermath of the comey firing. "the new york times" reporter who broke the story stands by with us with details. plus mike flynn apparently still of use to robert mueller. also new developments on paul manafort's legal case. and the president treating his upcoming court selection like a premiere, dropping hints today and revealing the date of the unveiling of his nominee. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a friday night. as we come to the end of another week, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 526 of the trump administration, and the president tonight says he will announce his choice for the supreme court next month. >> i'll be


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