tv Democratic Candidates Debate Pre- Show MSNBC June 27, 2019 4:00pm-6:00pm PDT
with ari melber." don't go anywhere. up next, our special preelection coverage begins with brian williams, nicolle wallace, a lot of other names you know, followed of course by the big event, the second democratic primary debate to kick off this 2020 season. keep it locked right here on msnbc. health care is a right and not a privilege. >> we are going to raise that minimum wage. >> paying our teachers what they deserve. >> ending gun violence will be my top priority. >> we need a reform revolution. >> there is an asian man running for president who wants to give everyone a thousand dollars a month. >> when i am president, we will tackle climate head-on. >> we need fair districts. well need to get money out of politics. >> whomever the democratic nominee, we have to stay together and elect a democrat president of the united states of america. ♪
>> tonight once again from the beautiful performing arts center there in miami and from our nbc news headquarters in new york, our special live coverage of this first round of democratic debates for the 2020 campaign for the white house, this would be round two. so many democrats in this race and on that stage, we had to spread them out over two nights, two events. the second installment brings some heavy hitters to the stage -- biden, sander, buttigieg, harris. not going first has its advantages, including getting to see in realtime how a strong performance can jolt a campaign and how a weak performance can doom a campaign. we're less than two hours from the start now. brian williams here with you from new york. i'm joined by nicolle wallace, host of deadline white house and former communications director in the bush 43 white house. >> the one person we know we'll be watching tonight, donald trump. he couldn't resist live tweeting night one from aboard air force one. and if tonight is a repeat, consider the irony that
president trump will be watching the democratic debate while getting ready to meet with vladimir putin tomorrow at the g20. it will be their first meeting since robert mueller finished his investigation. his report, of course, found close to 150 contacts between trump associates and russians. >> how is that for a backdrop? joining us here at the table, chris hayes, host of "all in." and our contributor, claire mccaskill, former u.s. democratic senator from the great state of missouri, and eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist with "the washington post." also of course joining us throughout the evening is that man, steve kornacki, who has brought along some numbers to share with us tonight. here is the lineup night two of the democratic debates. from left to right as they will appear on stage, author and activist marianne williamson, former colorado governor john hickenlooper, entrepreneur andrew yang. mayor of south bend, indiana, pete buttigieg. former vice president joe biden. vermont senator bernie sanders.
california senator kamala harris. new york senator kirsten gillibrand. colorado senator michael bennet, and california congressman eric swalwell. we begin tonight again with our friend chris matthews, host of "hardball." he would normally be on the air at this hour. tonight again finds him in the spin room in miami. and chris, made a liar out of it last night. no mention of joe biden from the stage. that, of course, changes tonight. >> i think so. i think remember we were kids, we played king of the hill? and somebody gets up on the hill and everybody else tries to drag him down. and he tries to stay on the top of the hill. will joe biden be able to stay on top of the hill tonight? i guess he is going to get shot at, hit politically perhaps by indirect shots about the need for big change, not just beating trump, and perhaps direct shots about whatever his past is vulnerable. but i think his reaction is key. will he take the bait? will he go to war with one of
the other candidates and let them rise, or will he avoid that fight? i think that's the key thing to look for, his reaction to any shot at him. >> and chris, i have to ask about the bernie sanders factor. this is a guy who in just recent weeks felt the need to give a speech about the socialism part of his party affiliation, democratic socialist. >> well, you know, that's a big question for him. i've looked at the old tapes of his interview with phil donahue where he really does defend the notion of socialism, not just a welfare state like in scandinavia, but real socialism, no profit motive, no free markets. the government basically runs the economy. and of course a good question for him, i don't think a democrat will ask it, name a government that has run an effective economy in the history of man. governments are not good at running economies. the market tends to work. i think that will be an issue. but idealogically, i think most of the democrats are afraid to go after bernie. i think in a way he's up there.
but the age issue. i think the age issue tonight is going to be so spectacular. two guys who will be 80 years old in their first or second years as president. two people sitting next to both of them who are very much in the usual age area, or a bit before that, certainly pete buttigieg is a young man at 37, and kamala harris is a young person as well. they will be sitting right next to them. i think that matchup between the young and the older will be vivid tonight. >> all right, chris. we'll be coming back to you. and nicolle, chris just mentioned kamala harris. this is seen as a potentially giant evening for her. >> she never misses a moment to have a moment. you and i were anchoring the bar testimony, and people that know her well and have served with her were probably not at all surprised about what happened, but for those of us who had sort of watched barr with amazement as he seemed to throw mueller and the two-year investigation
under the bus and drive back and forth other it, she stopped that in its tracks with her questioning. and to see her. every time she has the stage literally and figuratively, she makes a big impression and seems to do herself a whole lot of good. >> senator bennet is arriving. this is the candidates' entrance. not quite the academy awards, yet this is the way they like it. chris hayes, your preview of tonight. >> well, i think the two people at the center of the stage are the study in contrast in certain ways, although similar in other ways, as chris mentioned. they're the two people that are at the top of just about every poll as we've been polling through. they're a study of contrasts in terms of their temperament, the ideological profile, the thing they're saying where the democratic party is, eemven diagnosing the problem. i think it's going to be interesting to see the decision bernie sanders makes about how to deal with joe biden. i think there is an impulse, and we've seen it with him, to draw
the contrast. they sort of came out of the gate and he would be a little too cute by half. are you criticizing joe biden and you think? he wouldn't actually go there. >> that was very good. >> very good. we need a few of those. >> i think right be interesting to see how they handle that. if i were advising the sanders people, i think they are introducing sanders again, reintroducing him to a big democratic party. it was 14 million people or so watched last night. more tonight i think. i think what they should have him do is play against type in terms of being a bridge maker and peacemaker. he has a distinctive brand of politics. it is a distinct name. he is a distinct person. i think the thing they need to communicate out past the 15 to 20 to 25% of people that are already with him is that he can be a sort of bigger tent part of the democratic coalition. >> but is there a single example of him ever doing that? >> i think he -- well, the senator can talk more about
that. . >> i'm just saying, i don't disagree with you on a strategic campaign objective level. that is absolutely his strategic objective. i can't think of a single example, and i really only started watching him in '16 of him ever doing that. >> well, he has worked with a ton of different people on a ton of different legislation. >> his friends? >> again, i never served with him. >> clearly. >> claire. the thought bubble. >> i'm like -- so here's the deal. >> please, be candid. >> that is flawed in your analysis is that bernie would ever listen to somebody on strategy. i mean, he is somebody who absolutely gives the back of his hand to the notion that he need to make political decisions. i respect him because he's driven by a deep passion to certain ideas. many of them i disagree with, but that's who he is. and he thinks all the falderal
is total bs. >> yes. and believes that honestly. >> and the notion that somebody would sit in a room with him and say bernie, you need to be a nicer version of yourself tonight, bernie would turn around and walk out of the room and probably give a eh, what are you talking about? i'm going to be who i am. so that authenticity is his strength. i don't think we're going to see him tread lightly. i do think joe biden has to not let his temper get him tonight, because i think he is capable of taking it personally when somebody goes after his record. and if he has the discipline, which that is the big question over joe biden is discipline to pivot and punch not other candidates in the democratic party but trump, he's got to pivot and punch trump. he will probably mention that bernie sanders voted for that crime bill. he will probably mention that the nra was a big supporter of bernie sanders. i would imagine in passing, but if he's smart, he will not take
the bait. he will not defend himself. he will say it's time to look forward. this is all about donald trump. >> you and nicolle have both done debate prep on different ends of the scale. how do you prep a candidate for a different way to say "you had to be there"? >> you know, i want to hear your thoughts first. i think there is something similar to briefing bernie than to briefing mccain. i want to hear from you first. >> i think that -- >> i mean briefing biden. >> i think that biden knows -- the clip that was played all day on this network was the most memorable debate moment of joe biden was when he gave a one-word answer. he knows that he has to like come on, don't talk so long. keep it short. talk about the future, not the past. don't brag about your record. you need to give people the perspective you've been out of washington for four years. you've been out here talking to
people and traveling the country, and you now see that washington is terribly flawed. not owning i'm the guy who can run the senate, and that's where he's got to really change his view. and i think -- i think his people have worked very hard at this, and it won't surprise me if he manages that discipline tonight. >> i agree with that. i also think, though, just in terms of preparing someone who has served in the senate, i think the whole strategic objective for a campaign is to term perceived weaknesses into assets, and to hang a lantern. he has to i think come out tonight and find out how to hang a lantern around his perceived weakness of having been around a long time, of having been there so long that some of the references that have been covered as gas, and i'm not sure voters have experienced them the same way. i think we cover biden differently than voters seem to experience biden. >> what voters experience is in between that long service in the senate and now was eight years as barack obama's vice president. and if so if i'm joe biden -- >> ding, ding, ding. >> i'm talking than a lot,
because that is still the sort of beating heart i think of the democratic party, especially for important constituencies like african american voters, latino voters, suburban women, you name it. everybody loves obama. and biden was right there. i do think he has to be sort of above it all in this debate to the extent that he can. because he's been above it all in the polls. he is the guy, and he can be sort of generous and sort of presidential. he can go after trump. if he falters, if there is some lapse there of whatever kind, people will be comparing those other candidates to him. and they'll be saying, well, what about kamala harris? what about pete buttigieg? >> can i press you on that? we were talking about this before. let's just be brutally honest. some of the people who are on the campaign trail describe what you just described, that he
sometimes falters. >> this would not be a good night to falter. this would be a good night to have a good night. there. >> is more than that. there is also a bunch of substantive questions. we saw some sharp differences last night. we saw them on two areas, criminalization of illegal entry in the united states, which is section 1235 and we saw it on medicare for all and abolishing private insurance there will be substantive moments tonight of distinction. my question for joe biden is i don't know what the priority of the biden agenda is domestically. i have a pretty good sense of some of the other candidates. i don't know what -- like what is joe biden's first bill? i don't know. i don't know the answer to that. >> answer moon shot. i think it may be close. it is one of the things that is absolutely killing our health care system, the costs associated with it. it has touched every family in america. it brings home something in his personal here is the is very real, and i think he knows a lot about it. >> but if that's the case, what he's going have to do time and time again here tonight is make the substantive case for where he is on things like
criminalization of illegal entry or medicare for all or climate carbon tax, right? he's just got to show that he's thought about this stuff and here's where he is. >> hey, chris matthews, two things. number one, mccaskill is clearly running. number two, i wanted to get you on record before we go to a break. >> absolutely not. >> well, i think the senator is fabulous. i agree with almost everything she always says, and of course i think nicolle was so right about hanging a lantern. that was bobby kennedy's phrase when he was accused of being ruthless, he would kid about it, because you to acknowledge what everybody knows about you, because you're the only one keeping the secret to yourself. everybody knows this problem about biden. he has been around an awful long time. so he has to try to advantage in that. he has to also avoid being dragged to this sweep to the left. he can't say i'm going to make illegal entry into the country legal. it doesn't make any sense. >> decriminalize. >> he also has to say i want to keep insurance companies around. people should have added insurance if they have medicare
right now. why not allow them to keep doing it in the future? it just seems to be vindictive to get rid of all insurance companies under the law, if it's even legal. i think biden has to be biden, a moderate democratic with some progressive tendencies, but he also has to admit he is joe biden. and i think claire is so right about that, and nicolle. you can't hide from being joe biden tonight. and part of being joe biden is flawed, being flawed. >> yep. >> on that note, we'll run to our first break. we'll be back right after this with what has happened to other front-runners at exactly this point way early in the race.
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shifts, and we're back here in the studio. we have steve kornacki with that question that's always kind of fun at gatherings. if you think the front-runner at this point -- >> is podia a word? >> no. >> if you think the front-runner at this point in the race has the staying power to make to it the end, people always say ask president john edwards. ask presidents jackson. i've been looking forward to this. who has been a front-runner at this point that has gone on to be successful. >> it's a fascinating question. that seems to be one of the debates we're having. joe biden is out in front. does it really mean he is strong? is he a weak front-runner, strong? we know he is going to be in the center stage position because he is in first place right now. the way we decided to look at this, we're going to look at basically from 1984 to the present. why 1984? because that's sort of the modern era when presidential primary debates began. they were nationally televised on the democratic side, at least 1980 there was a primary, but no debates. jimmy carter didn't really debate ted kennedy. we'll start in 1984.
we're going to look at this. the ultimate winner, the nominee of the party, where was the nominee heading into this night, the night of the first nationally televised debate. with that in mind, look at it this way. the most dominant nominee at this point was al gore. the fall of 1999, the 2000 cycle, he was at 53%. bill bradley was running against him, the incumbent vice president that year. the second strongest, hillary clinton, last time around. won the nomination. was sitting at 43% heading into her first debate with bernie sanders and a couple of other candidates last time around. walter mondale, former vice president, four years removed from office. 1984 sitting at 40%. went on to win the nomination. these are the three nominees in this modern era who were leading at this point. now let me hoe you the ones who weren't, and it starts with barack obama. barack obama heading into his first debate was at 27%, second place. remember, hillary clinton was the front-runner back then.
we work our way back. john kerry. first debate in 2003. he was sitting at 17%. go back, michael due contakakis was a mess. gary hart had dropped out and then joe biden dropped out. and dukakis almost an accidental front-runner at 16%. bill clinton 1992, this was december '91. remember, politics were frozen for the entire year of '91 because of the gulf war. all the big names didn't run. bill clinton was at 10%. the leader, jerry brown, 16%. that was also a mess. so that's your line right there. these were the three nominees who led now. these four were in second. so the question, where does biden fit into that? here is biden. right in between them. the three winners above, the four who were not leading below. so what do you make of that 32%? it's pretty strong. it's not dominant, but he's certainly not in that territory we've seen in the past. 32%.
>> this is why i've been looking forward to this presentation. so nicolle, how did it go for presidents gore, mondale and hillary clinton? >> all those people lost with the exception of two. >> yeah. >> i yield my time to claire mccaskill. >> i got excited because i'm going holy cow, they all lost. i don't think being dominant at this point in time is as important as keeping your eye -- and this is one of the things that i think the democrats need to remember is this all the press said today, the democrats are rushing to the left. we got to win in november, and november is not about democratic primary voters. yes we have to excite people to come out. our base has to participate. donald trump will help us there. but we have to win the hearts and minds of a whole lot of people who don't like the idea of open borders or giving up their insurance at work. >> wait a second. can i just say something about this, because i think this is important. i watched in 2012 when everyone said the republican party is rushing off a cliff, and all of this sort of wise people left
and right, some on this network, some other places said obviously they've got to do something. what they're doing with hispanic voters is suicide. in fact, the rnc commissioned a report and said you've got to get right with hispanic voters. you're out of your minds. everyone said this. this was obviously the consensus, otherwise they were going to lose. what did they do? donald trump came along and went in exactly the opposite direction. he came down an escalator and said they're sending rapists to come kill you. and what happened to donald trump who today is the president of the united states? we don't know what will work. we don't know what the voters want. >> part of that is donald trump. >> but they want to win. >> i'm sure the democrats don't want to follow the republican party to the cemetery. the republican party is dead. hillary clinton -- >> donald trump won the presidency. they have a supreme court majority of 5-4. >> well, i think if you're making an argument about what wins, i think you're making the same argument. i think maybe your disagreement is on how. >> i'm saying we don't know. we don't know. we don't know what the voters want.
we just don't know. >> i just know when i did 50 town halls in the reddest part of this country, invariably i said who likes medicare for all? and they would all raise their hands. i said now keep your hand up if it means that you have to give up your insurance at work. well, all of the sudden everybody's hands went down. what do you mean we have to give up our insurance at work. i said well, yeah, that's what it is. and i don't think -- i think there is a danger in that issue because most people when they have -- that's what i'm talking about. >> i totally agree. >> let's not go so far that we lose sight of november. >> let me just say -- >> it's mysterious, right? it's more mysterious. >> i agree. i also think -- >> arriving by the way. >> there is joe. >> there is joe biden. >> and he is in. >> inside, yes. >> i think, though, this debate is what gives republicans optimism. i think republicans think there is a civil ideological war inside the democratic party, and i think it gives me no comfort
that republicans are comforted by that. i think republicans think the democrats are locked in a duel for the soul of the democratic party between the aoc wing and between maybe the biden wing. >> right. >> that they don't even know the answer to the question should we try to get back the two-time obama voter who flipped for trump in erie, pa, in bay city, michigan. some in the media don't know the answer to or don't know if the democrats have consensus. >> there is two things here. people have substantive commitments. that's the other part of it. there are people right now who feel like we're sitting in 1940, and we have a rendezvous the with destiny and the nazis are sweeping across europe and the attack is going to come and we're going to be engaged in a generational fight with climate change. and those people, i'm one of those people, but there are many of those people, millions of those people. that's what they think the stakes are. they're not thinking about, like, what is the right way to unlock -- >> this is dire. i think there are a lot of
people who think there is a racist, misogynist in the oval office and we'd like to see democrats nominate someone who can win. >> totally. but my total point is there is not some skeleton key that is locked in a box that this is how you win. if there were, someone would have cracked it open. it doesn't exist. >> we wouldn't be here. >> exactly. if anyone knew how to do it, go ahead and put it in there. >> what happens is the electorate changes. >> yes. >> the atmosphere changes. the issues that really matter to people change, and we live in tumultuous times. donald trump is the president and that is both -- >> barack obama. >> that is both cause and symptom of what's going on. >> right. >> there are massive economic dislocations, there are the alliances that were formed after the second world war are showing their age. they are strained in ways that they weren't before. china is a factor in a very
different way in all of our lives. i remember doing a story going to a mall in des moines or something like that and just challenging people to see if every item of clothing they were wearing was made in china. how many things in their house were made. so these are times there are a lot of issues that are all in flux. and so i think what the voter wants is also seriously in flux. >> gene, as he always does, giving us the wisdom to breathe, to think, to pause, to reflect, to take a break. we'll be back. we're going check in with our journalist inside the biden campaign when we come back. ck ♪ ♪ ck this simple banana peel represents a bold idea: a way to create energy from household trash. it not only saves about 80% in carbon emissions... it helps reduce landfill waste. that's why bp is partnering with a california company:
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there is a venue. it's 7:30 eastern time. so we're an hour and a half out from the second and final evening of our two-shift democratic debate. there is the handy countdown clock in the right rear corner. i don't know what we're going to count down to after tonight, but we'll find something certainly. you know mike memoli. mike memoli is a long-time journalist with us who has covered joe biden for years and years, and he is the closest guy i know to the beating heart of the biden campaign. mike is with us from miami. and mike, i wanted just by way of transparency, i wanted to show you and everybody else
something senator mccaskill referenced earlier what can happen when a young inexperienced moderator comes in contact with the grizzled veteran joe biden at a debate. >> senator biden, words have in the past gotten you in trouble, words that were borrowed and words that some found hateful. an editorial in "the los angeles times" said in addition to his uncontrolled verbocity, biden is a gaffe machine can you assure voters in this country that you would have the discipline you need on the world stage, senator? >> yes. >> thank you, senator biden. [ laughter ] >> brilliant moment. >> memoli, the score of those keeping score at home, biden, 1.
young and inexperienced moderator, nothing. >> brian, i'm glad you brought that up because if you didn't, i would. it's very clear for team biden tonight that there is going to be a lot more pressure on him than the last time he was in a multicandidate debate. back then he was in more of a time ryan, john delaney position where you could use the few moments you got in the spotlight to nabi have a one-liner ready to have a moment in the sun, to also speak to your strength. there were a lot of questions as you'll remember back then about foreign policy. then the chairman of the foreign relations committee, biden seized all those different opportunities. tonight he is going to get tough questions from the moderators, and they're expecting tough attacks from his rivals on the stage. but there is a lot of confidence in biden land that they have prepared him well for this. he has done some marathon training session. they brought back jennifer granholm. she helped him prepare for the vice presidential debate in 2008.
it was a difficult spot for biden facing a unknown candidate in sarah palin. 2012, another debate where the stabs were especially high given how president obama faltered in that first debate. it is a different night when you know they're all coming after you. biden advisers i spoke to this afternoon said the key is for biden to be biden, that he is going to use -- if another candidate wants to use their one minute to go after him, he is going to use his 30 seconds as they say to talk about his transformational vision for the country, a country that they say is open to bipartisanship, something that really puts him at odds with some of the other candidates on the stage. it's interesting, brian. we saw last night the discussion about whether this is elizabeth warren or bernie sanders's party. the biden campaign is based on partially on a bet that for their voters care more about beating donald trump than your position on the issues. and also, frankly, that the party is not as far left as we in the media and people on twitter tend to believe. so he is going to welcome this opportunity to plant himself more in the center where they
believe most of the voters are in the democratic party. >> mike, we talked a lot last night about how donald trump's name was not invoked, but neither was president obama's. does biden view it as essential to his ability to get back that gut connection? he went through so much with the country, the loss of his son, on a political level, basically starring in a political buddy movie with one of the most popular presidents in recent history, obama, for eight years. do they view it as a ticket to reintroduce obama and obamaism tonight? >> that's right. remember, nicolle, he called himself an obama biden democrat when asked sort of where he fits into the party. if you see candidates going after his record, yes, he is going to be ready to defend his record in the senate. but he is also prepared to say if you want to criticize the obama-biden record, i welcome that. they think there is a rell reservoir of goodwill in the democratic electorate for joe biden because of that service in the obama administration. that gives him a level of
credibility to face those attacks. they think it's a real risk in biden's campaign for some of these candidates, especially the lesser known candidates to try to go after him for that very reason. he is still one of the most popular figures in the democratic party, and if your first introduction to the country, 15 million viewers last night, probably more tonight is going to be attacking one of those very popular figures, they say bring it on. do it at your own risk. >> mike memoli, our man covering the biden campaign. mike, thank you very much for coming on. we'll talk to you hopefully after the event tonight. eugene, he just invoked the name of governor granholm, which reminded me, i had governor granholm on our broadcast in the studio probably two days before the 2016 election, and i asked her as a last question, we were going to a commercial break, what should be the democrats' bumper sticker, even though we're 48 hours away. she said jobs, jobs, jobs. >> jobs, jobs, jobs. >> and there we were in the midst of four words together,
and i just remember that. i've thought of that so many times. >> she is really smart. couldn't run for president. >> born in canada. >> she would have been a great candidate, actually. interesting thing when you talk about president obama and then president trump and how can there be such a thing as an obama-trump voter. and how do you appeal to that person that you can't even imagine, but it strikes me that one thing obama and trump actually had in common was the ability to somehow transcend what we think of as a traditional left-right political spectrum, which is really showing its age. i mean, i really think it's kind of not relevant to the way people are thinking now. we think of, you know, democrats over here on the left with a set of policies over here that we identify as progressive and republicans as conservative and a set of policies over here. and i just don't think voters are thinking of themselves as fitting along that sort of one
dimensional axis anymore, if they ever did. and obama and trump in their very, very different ways sort of appealed in a different dimension. you know, the axz axis, if you will, that managed to connect people who didn't connect along the xy axis. so one of my question s s is th a candidate this year on the democratic side who is able to do that? >> have you met andrew yang? >> well. >> okay. we have one for andrew yang. another break for us. when we come back, we are going to talk about the mayor of south bend, pete buttigieg, who has had a lot of challenges on the domestic front these past few days, from a police shooting to an actual tornado touchdown. we'll talk all about that when we come back. for all out confidence...
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this is the arrival just a few moments ago while we were on a commercial break of the senator from california, kamala harris, a living at the candidates' entrance tonight at the performing arts center in miami. over this next segment, we have two topics to get to. one of them is let's not forget the pending allegation against our president, who tonight is representing our country at the g20 in osaka. the other topic, chris matthews is going to head up our discussion on another member of the democratic party on the stage tonight, and that's mayor pete. chris? >> thank you, brian. pete buttigieg, we just got to know his name and he gets into trouble, right?
that's what happens. thank you, maria teresa kumar and john allen. a newbie has a new time, a new person, because they don't have a reputation to fall back on. biden can make a mistake. i knew the guy for 40 years and know who he is. the new guy, all you know is what happened. >> that's what they said about barack obama, the new guy, and all of the sudden he was able to rise from the top and able to bring the country in a cohesive way. i think what is so interesting about mayor pete is he basically crosses a lot of generational lines, but he also feels t s fi vacuum that beto left. it will be interesting to see how he navigates it. the stop that he had to stop the campaign and go down and address the shooting of an individual by the police, that really ignited a lot of the sentiments right now that are dividing south bend. and how he has been able to heal that community while at the same time being on the stump will be interesting to see what he does. >> we keep hearing about his problem with the african american voter. >> right. >> and here we have a police
shooting of a white cop of an african american. >> to this point he has struggled mightily with it. there is nothing in his handling of that in south bend that has given ninny reassurance that he has figured out to connect. >> what about crime? >> i don't know that crying is the answer. obviously you want to show emotion. you want to have emotion, but that's not the answer. there is a connection between the inability to solve that problem at home and his connection to african american voters nationally and other voters of color nationally. that said, this is his first opportunity, real big opportunity to a national audience to solve this problem. he's still got an opportunity tonight to do something on that. you know what, chris? i don't know what our questions are going to be from our nbc hosts. i don't. but i assume he is going to have ample opportunity to discuss this. >> he is unbelievable, because when you ask him a question, we spent an hour with him in south bend, you get the sense, it's
e eer eerie. his answers are so comprehensible, so comprehensive. it's like i've been thinking about this for a long time, chris. here is my answer. >> you actually hit it on the nail on the head. when i talked to different voters and different donor, they say we thought that beto had it, but beto speaks in sound bites. pete has thought of these issues and has nuance and he connects. it's almost very personal to him. >> what happened -- we're talking about buttigieg, but what happened to beto last night? it sounded like -- newspaper critics criticize any lead that is not a lead. you're supposed to lead with a lead. it's 10:00 tonight. or some declaration of statement, but he always leads with an anecdote. that's an answer every time that. >> is a critique that you hear from folks. we actually want substance. i slightly joke that beto was the very first instagram president potential, and all of the sudden alexandria
ocasio-cortez came in. he has been able to meet that. >> but the difference between her and beto is there is substance -- whether you like her substance or not, there is substance behind. >> will buttigieg get in the race tonight? he is number five. will he get in there? >> he is going to get in the mix for sure. thank you. back to you, brian. we got the answer. he is going to be in the mix, top five. >> okay. we'll hold you all too it. chris matthews and two of our other friends. the topic we want to get to is the oh by the way in our parallel universe this week. >> so we talked about this at 4:00. senators gillibrand and harris are leading voices in the democratic party for a lot of reasons, but one of them is their defense and their role in the me too movement, and their defense of women who have accused donald trump of sexual assault. i think we're up to 15. there is today corroboration in "the new york times" from witnesses of e. jean carol's account of being raped by donald trump in a dressing room in
bergdo bergdorf. i think it's a story within a story. it's a story of a brazen sexual assault that's also corroborated by donald trump's own words about what he believes he can do to women because he is famous. when you're famous, they'll let you do anything. they'll let you grab them in the bleep. e. jean carol's two contemporaries, two other titans of new york media who talked to meghan toohey talked about getting the call from ajean after she ran out of the dressing room, one moments after him. but the story within a story is another credible and extremely violent sexual assault. the other is the way we all treated it. i read the book. i had book ejean. and the fleury of news, it became foggy what she was alleging. she as a victim has chosen not to use the word rape as part of her own strength, as part of not
seeing herself as a victim. but in terms of what donald trump did and in terms of how the u.s. criminal codes look at the act of what he did, it was a rape. we are having a democratic primary florida will result in someone who will run against the first ever candidate to be credibly accused of sexual assault as violent as the rape described by e. jean. so i think what kirsten gillibrand, what kamala harris bring tonight, whether they bring this up or not, i do not know. but i think it is a unique strength that some of these women in the field will have if they decide to make this an issue. these allegations aren't going away. there are more now than there were when donald trump ran the first time. and i think something haunting that e. jean says to megan toohey in the daily interview is the reason she didn't tell her story of being raped in bergdorf by donald trump allegedly is because she thought it would help him win in 2016. so it's really -- it's all the darkness of this moment. it's all the darkness of donald
trump, and it's frankly a bit of an indictment about how we cover these allegations, how disorienting they can be. >> senator? >> yeah. let me just say that i think if kamala called me or kirsten called me and said what would you emphasize about this, i think the smart thing to do would be to emphasize donald trump's reaction to it, because what he said was she's not my type. and that is a fingernails on a blackboard to women across this country, because what he is basically saying is i only would sexual assault women that are of a certain look and type. in other words, she's too ugly for me to rape, right? that's what he was saying. his defense was she's not good-looking enough for me. >> he said it before. >> and that is incredibly damaging to him with women. that's why the republican party
is on its way to real trouble. they are not recruiting women effectively. they do not have enough women at the table. and women are abandoning the republican party in droves, not only about him saying she wasn't my type, but also what they're doing around women's reproductive freedoms. the women in america will have a huge say in who the next president is, and donald trump is in trouble with the women of america. and kirsten and kamala and amy and elizabeth all have an advantage because a lot of those women would like to see a woman president. >> i guess the tragedy is why aren't men leaving the republican party too? because men who have daughter men who are married to women should be appalled as well that donald trump's defense to being accused of rape is she wasn't my type. joy reid, last night we brought our friend joy reid into the tragedy at the border. today we're bringing in joy in
on the equally depressing topic. you had her on your show. some of us are paying catch-up to the good work you have already done. >> thank you. i appreciate that it was lawrence o'donnell, because he had her on friday and i had her on the final day, last saturday. i have to say, you know, i don't know. i've been hiding under a rock. i did not know who e. jean carol was. i was not aware of her advice column before this all came up. but just now in talking with people, she is actually a very well-known figure. and that is the first time that donald trump has been accused by somebody well-known in that sense, or temple tagg may have been contestants. but this is somebody who is fairly prominent herself. the comments you were just talking about saying she was not attractive enough to rape, which is a shocking answering rather than i would never rape anyone. and the reality is at the time that this happened, the one photo we have where they're all together, you know, she is a beautiful blond woman. trying to attack her looks make
no sense because at the time that wasn't the issue. the issue is whether or not he cornered her in this dressing room and raped her. and it is pretty simple. i got to say what really kind of depresses me, nicolle, about this era is the idea that donald trump potentially just outright raping a woman is priced into his celebrity into his brand in a way that most media and most people shrug it off. if we get to the point that we're shrugging off the potential that the president of the united states committed this egregious of a crime plus has 20 other accusers, we're at a very low point. and by the way, sorry, 52% of white women still voted for him knowing he said this is what he does. i can do this. a lot of those women will vote for him again. i don't believe that women will abandon him in droves that voted for him before, because he is still over water with a lot of white voters you think would have abandoned him when he caged the children, when he has attacked other women verbally.
you would think all of these things would drive his support down, but it doesn't. >> joy, can you square that analysis? i agree with every word of it, with the strategic decision last night really to not invoke his name, to not begin to make the contrast that we expect joe biden may start to do tonight. >> it is sort of inexplicable. in a sense -- >> i'm glad you said that, because i felt that, but i thought maybe i missed something. >> i wonder who they're rung against. the only person who came to play last night like this is "survivor." you have to get some of these people off this island is julian castro, like i'm getting that guy beto off this island. the rest are all we're on the island and we're all friends and we basically agree. we're aggressive in our agreement. but it's all good. who are you running against? this is supposed to be politics, right? it's not a parlor. it's not a cocktail party. i was surprised not only inslil
invoked donald trump saying he is the biggest threat to the party. sorry, the base of the democratic party wants trump gone. that's it. they don't want complex things that are policy-based and jobs, jobs, jobs. they want him gone. and whoever they think can get him gone, that is who is going to get the nomination, period. someone needs to make the case how will you get rid of him? that's how you win. >> and, joy, on this day of two major supreme court decisions, won't it be interesting to see when or if the first person from that stage raises the court tonight, which has been an issue the democrats have treated so gingerly and so carefully, and there was donald trump running on the fact that he pledged to nominate the justices he nominated, and that's done and dusted. >> you know what's interesting, brian? the republican party and democratic party are so different. one is shortsightedness versus very, very farsightedness. republicans plan decades in
advance how they're going to deal with the demographic changes they know are coming at them. they understand that they're the minority party and they plan accordingly. i call the 2010 election the armageddon election. you have a midterm where you have lower voting rates among people of color combined with the census that is a recipe for disaster for democrats. if that was armageddon, this is armageddon 2.0 like the zombies are coming when it's over. if democrats don't win in 2020, you just had the john roberts supreme court say you can gerrymander as long as you call it partisan rather than racial. i think a bit of a strategic mistake by those who brought the suit, they had been winning on race. when racial gerrymandering happened in north carolina, democrats were winning those court cases going away. because if you gerrymander based on race, it's obviously unconstitutional. they were able to tuck it under partisanship. and john roberts who has never been a friend of the voting rights act since his days in the reagan administration, that was the opening to gut further.
which is how you engineer minority rule. when republicans and white americans become the minority, they can still rule this country. don't think that because there are more people of color and liberal white people that that majority will rule. we're already at minority rule. and if they're able to gerrymander ten more years of absolute power, what do democrats think they're going to do with it? mitch mcconnell has already said on this immigration bill at the border, you know what you can pass? what i tell you can pass. mitch mcconnell runs this country, and mitch mcconnell wants one thing, control of the courts. democrats, get it together. if they control the courts, they control this country, and there is nothing you can do about it. you better vote on it. >> our friend joy reid, same as the author joy reid and the host joy reid. we're happy to say joy reid is going to stick around our conversation. we, however have, to get a break in before the top of the hour, coming up on 8:00 p.m. here east coast. our live coverage, predebate coverage continues right after this. nues right after this my experience with usaa
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heels of a day that included not one, but two landmark fights for supreme court rulings. gerrymandering and the census were the topics, both with the potential to change the course of future presidential elections. >> wow. that's nothing small. >> yeah, nothing small at all. >> and that's to say nothing of the fact that in less than 24 hours, president trump meets with russian president vladimir putin at the g20 in japan. meanwhile, here at home, trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort was hauled back into court here in new york this time, shackled in blue prison scrubs as he was arraigned on three counts of mortgage fraud. >> just your average news day in the age of donald trump. obviously we're here with you from our studios in new york. chris hayes is with us, host of "all in," of course. claire mccaskill, former u.s. democratic senator from missouri, and eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning journalist for "the washington post." in miami, chris matthews, host of "hardball" is live in our spin room, and steve kornacki
will be joining us periodically from the big board with numbers when he is able to share them. robert costa is standing by, national political reporter for "the washington post." moderator of washington week on pbs. and bob, i know you're prepared to talk about mayor pete. the conversation here in the room boils down to this question. perhaps you can help us with it. is he being accused of malpractice in office in his handling of this shooting, or is he the victim along with all good people in that city of a tragic circumstance? >> it is a tragic circumstance, but he is facing institutional scrutiny as well as scrutiny of his own leadership, and he has taken ownership of his decisions at some of these town hall meetings in south bend, talking about the fact that officers didn't have their cameras turned on. that at the end of the day ends up partly the responsibility of the mayor of the city. he has to show tonight not only
does he understand the details of what happened, a white police officer killing a black man in south bend, but is he prepared to understand the necessity of responding to that tragedy with passion and with policy. >> robert costa, you are always sort of ear to the ground on what is actually making this president, this white house tick. what is your sense of the breakdown in terms of his attention to the foreign policy interactions, the u.s. national security priorities, things that will be discussed at the g20 and the televised democratic primary debates? >> his advisers are going to be closely listening tonight to how democrats talk about china. so many of them articulated the previous night that it remains one of the u.s.'s biggest threats in the world. the president right now grappling with china on trade, has some of his hawkish advisers on trade like peter navarro with him as he approaches the g20 meeting. he is also going to be listening tonight, i'm told, from white house officials about how
democrats talk about president putin of russia. he is scheduled to have that meon friday with the russian president. he wants to see our democrats actually mounting a counter to his own nationalism, his own world view. >> robert, again, the pace of news is so fast, i think we should take a minute and dwell in the pictures we saw today of the president's former campaign chairman in prison clothing, handcuffed, walking down a hallway, looking not quite like the paul manafort we saw in all those pictures coming in and out of court. on the upside, not in a wheelchair. apparently his gout is under control. his hair growing in gray, but there he was. and one wonders if the spectacle of a president's former campaign chairman just today might come up on that stick tonight. >> and so could the specter of
impeachment. how will democrats handle these questions? will they integrate reports about the mueller report into their responses tonight? will they talk about pall minneapolis/st. paul? brian, what a stunning image. i think back to the republican national convention just a few years ago, sitting with paul manafort in his hotel room, along with dan balls and my colleague phil rucker talking with him. he was in essence the king of the republican party, running the trump campaign, and now in handcuffs, walking toward prison. what an evolution for the gop. but can democrats mount an argument to say that this president, this president they're trying to run against is connected in a visceral and direct way to all these events surrounding the mueller report. >> robert costa, we've been having this conversation now over two nights about the decision last night really not to invoke donald trump's name at all. joy reid spoke passionately a few moments ago about how for the democratic base, the number one gut issue is getting rid of
donald trump and everything he hassish esched in. what do you expect tonight? first of all, were you surprised not to hear his name invoked last night is? and what do you expect tonight? do you think there will be a departure from last night? >> democrats may be woken up a bit by what happened with the supreme court today. democrats right now in their primary season are having intense debaits other health care and the economy and how far left the party should move in 2020. and that is the intensity, the center of this presidential primary debate. at the same time, the supreme court reminded democrats today president trump issues about him are not just about his conduct or his personality, it's about his power. he controls who is often in the court, who gets appointed, who gets up there for senate confirmation. gerrymandering on the partisan level now out of the realm of the federal courts because of john roberts, the chief justice's opinion that makes democrats have new urgency tonight in a new way even 24 hours ago about why they need to get president trump out to change who is going to be making these decisions. >> robert, it was interesting to
me that there has been such a discussion about impeachment, and a tactical one -- chris hayes here -- but day by day morehouse members come out for it. i do wonder tonight, and what do you anticipate about how much that will be something that candidates choose to use in talking tonight. >> when you talk to their top strategists, many of them say they want to call for impeachment hearing. many of them have publicly, but they are afraid of publicly clashing with speaker pelosi. >> right. >> they're all trying to be the standard bear other telephone democratic party. >> that's right. >> they know she really runs the democratic party. she is the democratic party. and they don't want to have too much space between them and her. >> robert costa, always a pleasure. we're always the recipients of your great reporting. call us early and often if anything comes in over transom tonight. appreciate it. eugene robinson, you've been on our show, both of our shows many times since the mueller report
came out and the nights immediately following the mueller report. i think we agreed that it suffered for lack of a writer. i think we suffered. >> that it needed a ghost writer or an editor. >> the density. >> a screenplay option. >> it's that quote from our own mike memoli, who we just talked to. no one read the book. the democrats in the house are going to see if they're willing to watch the movie. it's the movie version of the mueller report that this nadler committee has been in fits and starts trying to weave together. >> exactly. look, mueller's nine-minute presentation just tiny snippets of the report had more impact than the actual 448 report. >> as a bucket of chicken has had more impact than any other project from the nadler committee. >> it might have. the nadler committee was having a rough time of it because it looked to be just getting doors slammed in its face here and
there. and now they've come up with mueller. so this will be a very big day, because if they do it skillfully, at the very least, they will get him to narrate the report. they will get him to say in actual spoken english what happened. and that's a big deal. what happened on both fronts. the interesting question, you know, he is going to speak to both the intel committee and the judiciary committee. perhaps one will focus on part one. the russia part. one will focus on the obstruction part. i think so that was kind of unclear. but they should not give short shrift to part one, to the interactions, the 150 or whatever interactions with russians to impact of the obstruction of the investigation of the russian contacts and what -- how that was done, who did it, and what they were not able to find out about
collusion. perhaps laying a trail for congress and others to continue the investigation. >> claire mccaskill? >> can i just give claire the credit she won't give herself? claire was on here on various programs on this network saying before we listen or try to referee the debate about impeachment within the democratic party, chairman nadler hasn't been able to produce robert s. mueller. about, i don't know, 41 hours later, it was announced robert mueller will be appearing. i think you did it. >> it dropped the next day. it was clear he signaled when he stood in front of the podium, mueller did this, is my testimony. >> yep. >> i'm done. >> yep, this is it. >> well, the next day, the subpoena should have come out, because that should not have stood, not even for a 24-hour period. so the notion that we have been wooling this around for weeks. and what i worry about, let's hope these committees are smart
enough not to get him to do anything more than narrate the report. >> correct. >> because if they all think they're going have this moment where they're going to break down mueller on the witness stand and he's going to say well, yes, he did commit a crime, you know, forget about that. >> the north vietnamese tried that and unsuccessfully. >> exactly. this is going to be a very strong witness, and he will not go beyond the four square of that report. >> because he doesn't have to. >> exactly. >> on your broadcast yesterday. >> trying to grab a headline or be cute. let's just organize the committee to emphasize the various parts of the report for each witness. >> right. >> not to repeat so that it is a movie. it actually has the flow of a movie this is something that -- you talk about joe biden not having discipline. how committees and senate committees have no discipline. so the notion that they can do this is maybe far-fetched. but it would be incredible if they would get that together. and if nancy pelosi is
listening, you know, we all respect your power and your acumen. get busy on that challenge. >> i think there is also -- there is such a strange tortured relationship to the momentum of the thing from the house democrats that you can feel, right. you get a few drinks in them off the record, yeah, he committed crimes. is there a person who can read the report who can say he has upheld the laws of the office to take care the laws are faithfully executed? clearly not. but they fear the momentum. you can feel the fact they fear the momentum. and the fear the momentum transmits into this very strange self-torture kind of posture. and i find it weird. most to her credit says i don't think it's a good idea, and i'll defend that everyone else is doing this weird sort of tortured logic around it because they don't want the get crosswise of nancy pelosi. they fear the kind of inefficient shah pull. at the same time, the facts are staring them in the face.
>> robert mueller found there were 150 contacts between the campaign and russians. there is not a justifiable reason to have one. i worked on three. there is not any single reason to ever talk to anyone from russia and then lie about it or forget about it. none. i mean, these were dozens of people who had dozens of contacts, 150 with dozens of russians and then told the same lie. >> they all lied. they all lied about it. >> so i'm not sure why democrats are wrapped around the ax on this. and then donald trump committed. i mean the opposite of i can't say crimes weren't committed is crimes were committed. he committed criminal obstruction. >> i do understand why democrats are wrapped around the axle because everybody wants to make sure we don't make him a martyr. >> he already is. >> i get that. when costa was talking about the republican national convention, i was reminded of paul manafort at this convention because i distinctly remember as a prosecutor when all of the sudden the magic hand reached in and changed the language on
russia in the platform, right. i thought okay. >> where did that come from. >> that's weird. >> it's unusual for a party platform. >> this is not a republican party i know. this is not a republican party that nominated john mccain or that has hawks and defense hawks. how did this language get removed on russia? and we now know that was in fact some of the contacts. it was russia trying to get manafort to do their bidding. and the fact that donald trump was the guy who made that hiring decision, you know, how many hiring decisions has he made showing incompetence. >> there were more russians in cleveland than vladivostok. >> i was standing next to him where he brazenly lied. norah o'donnell, i was doing the nbc affiliates. and i remember standing there as he was one, blaming melania for
her speech that plagiarized michelle obama and russia. then there was evidence that that wasn't true. >> taken us all the way down memory lane. >> back to where joy was. all the democrats need to do is articulate how you beat trump. >> we're going to sneak away to a break. when we come back, we're going to talk about how much mr. biden potentially has to lose tonight on that stage. your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient
on fancy technology for help. snail mail! we were invited to a y2k party... uh, didn't that happen, like, 20 years ago? oh, look, karolyn, we've got a mathematician on our hands! check it out! now you can schedule a callback or reschedule an appointment, even on nights and weekends. today's xfinity service. simple. easy. awesome. i'd rather not. a quick look at the performing arts center in miami. we've reached that hour where the public has been allowed in, and they are filtering down the aisles. we are ready and set. 8:17 eastern time, we're under way at 9:00 p.m. but first, to steve kornacki at the big board. and steve, your theme tonight has been this guy, the front-runner. >> joe biden, the front-runner. so why is he ahead in the polls
right now? who is powering him? three main sources of power for joe biden. let me take you through them, why he is in first place. the first one, it is ideological. let's go through this. let's go from left toward the middle of the political spectrum. so on the left side, very liberal voters. biden running at 26% right now. this is the morning consult weekly poll. more liberal, up 26. now he is into the mid-40s. now there are some conservative democrats and a tick higher there. there are actually a lot of democrats who call themselves moderate. biden absolutely cleaning up there. when you get towards the left end, that's where warren, sanders, he starts to get many more trouble. more moderate, one component. another, age. we talked about this last night. let's take you through it this way. 18 to 29 voters, biden is losing there 30 to 34 years old, now he is at 30%. now he is into first place by a
small amount. 45 to 54, now he is only 40%. now he is starting to break away from the field. 55 to 64%, and the oldest group 65 plus, an outright majority in a field of 24 candidates. biden getting 51% of the oldest voters. so age, older, that's another factor. and the third, this one i think surprises people, because biden, the reputation, joe biden, scranton, the older white guy in the race. let me take you through this. i'm sorry. i meant to show you the flip side on the age is that sanders is the complete opposite of biden here. younger to older. but the third group there, age and race. look at this one for joe biden. white men, he is running at 35%. white women, 37%. black men, 44%. the strongest group for joe biden, black women, nearly 50%. so more moderate, older, and african american. those are the three strongest
sources of support for joe biden. >> from miami, steve kornacki. down to miami and chris matthews for discussion of same. chris, it occurs to me if you watch democratic politics for enough years, we've seen candidate after candidate straining to say we're not trying to take away your guns. and as years go by, i think we'll see candidates strain to say we don't want to take away your ford f-150s. because that's going to start entering the conversation too. >> last night it did. thank you so much. michael steele and andrea mitchell. first of all, the african american vote. what is biden's strength there? >> i think it's multifaceted. i think it, one, is his historic relationship with the black community is long-standing, going back to his early days in the senate, and certainly how he built his network in his home state. >> wilmington is heavily african american. >> heavily african american, and here is the thing about joe biden that translates well for him that didn't translate for
hillary clinton. he connects with them. he has connected with them in a very personal way. they know his story, they feel his story. you see that reflected, particularly among older african american women. so i think that that's really kind of stabilized his position. and tonight, if i'm joe biden and i know these numbers and understand the real relationship i have with the democratic party, not just this emerging progressive section, i'm just going to say i'm talking to them. because when i'm talking to them, i'm talking to a much broader group of americans at that point. >> my sense is that biden feels that he gets along well with african americans, and that gives him the social confidence to get along with people, you know what i mean? he is confident when he walks into a setting on a street corner, in a restaurant, a political meeting. these people trust me. let's talk. >> yes, but he comes into this debate after the stumble over the last two weeks where reverend al a week ago on in south carolina gave him every opportunity to explain himself
and not cast it in terms of i get along with people because i got along with this horrible democrat jim eastland because i had to. >> didn't he say the same thing? i read it in his book. >> yeah, teddy kennedy said the same thing. it was a different era with teddy kennedy. look, it's now with younger african americans, and many younger white voters. that was tone deaf. and it fed the narrative, the dangerous narrative is that he is the -- i'm saying it doesn't show up. but he's got prove tonight that he is future looking. you heard last night. the people who went after him last night without naming him in the spin room right here, elizabeth warren, this has to be about the future, not the past. >> when do you fold? when do you hold? he has to apologize for certain things. you get into bussing, the crime bill, there is so much history, there is anita hill. at one what point does he say i am who i am, i make mistakes? >> well, i think -- i think in a broad sense you can say that, but that's a very dangerous
slope to get on. when you start going back and second getting your own report -- >> so what's the answer? >> you're discounting time, place, circumstances. he wasn't the only democrat that voted for the crime bill. he wasn't the only democrat who investigated and questioned anita hill and accepted the way that played out. so to sit here and act as if joe biden stood out there by himself, he can't apologize for that. >> let's try to pivot. the pivot is big in politics. we all know about the pliivot. shifting topic. can he confront a kamala harris who brings up questionable issues in his past and say kamala, senator, that's a good point. let's talk about the future. can he do that? >> absolutely. he has been a skilled debater. we saw him with sarah palin. we've seen him in the past. the question is does he still have his stuff. and -- >> spontaneity. >> yeah. >> and how sharp is he. does the joe biden tonight, is he the same joe biden who could respond with one word to a
younger -- >> you're raising a question by the question. >> and say yes. and shut up and not be verbose. >> tonight we're going to look in a way that nbc set up this. the top contenders are in the middle. they've got biden next to bernie. okay, fight, guys. and right on both sides of them very young, pete buttigieg. and relatively young, certainly relatively young, kamala harris, right next to them. two younger, two olders. what's that going to do to the voters just looking at them? >> i still think -- the voters will see the future of the democratic party for sure. >> in the past. >> and the past. but here's where -- i don't think joe biden should go out and talk about the future, i'm running for the future of the party. he is running to be the transition from trump. he is running to transition the country to a different space, and then hand that over to the future that's on that stage with him. >> i'm just saying that some of these stumbles of the past couple of weeks, they may not be
showing up. they're not showing up in the polls. they were unforced errors. >> i agree. >> and tonight he can't afford unforced errors. he's got some very sharp debaters. bernie sanders is a really good debater. >> two hours tonight. lots of exposure for joe biden. back to you, brian. a lot of opportunities to blow it tonight. but also he has to show he's still got his punch. they got him here the last 35, 40 years. >> thank you, chris. please thank our friends andrea and michael. another break for us. when we come back, we'll be really close to being within a half hour. >> we're getting close. >> wow, i can tell. it is positively radiating. we'll be right back. maria ramirez? hi. maria ramirez! mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars in tuition assistance,
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>> and i think kristen welker is joining us from points abroad for the president's trip. kristen, you can't help but connect the dots from the moment donald trump said, "russia, are you listening?" to now the next presidential campaign after an established attack on our democracy from putin, and donald trump on his way to the summit said it's no one's business what he and putin talk about. what are you picking up on the ground there? >> well, nicolle and brian, you raise the key issue. and what we're going to be watching so closely for today. while you all are monitoring the debate back at home, we know president trump was yesterday as well. he tweeted it was boring, of course, from air force one. today he is going to be very busy. he's got about six different bilats and trilas together today. the biggest one with russia president vladimir putin. the question we have is where you began, nicolle. president trump going to tell putin not to meddle in the 2020 u.s. elections in our colleague
chuck todd asked him that very question, and he sort of wavered on his answer. in another instance when he was asked by another reporter, he said it's none of your business. so the question is will he be firm with president putin on that point? we know in the past president trump has said he believes president putin when he denies that he meddled in the u.s. elections. so that is a key point we'll be watching. the other big issue here looming very large, the issue of iran. what will president trump's message be to putin when it comes to iran in the wake of iran shooting down of course that unmanned u.s. drone. the u.s. slapped sanctions on iran. and the president's broader strategy here is really to try to get his allies and partner here is to turn up the heat, to bring iran back to the negotiating table when it comes to its nuclear program. and then, of course, the issue of trade looming large over all of these. talks today. president trump has already met with the prime minister of japan. he insulted the host country on his way over here when it comes
to the issue of trade. he wants to strike a trade deal with japan. not looking very likely that that's going to happen on this trip. will he be able to strike a trade deal with china, though, or at least make progress? that's another key question he'll be meeting with the president of china on saturday. so a lot of big issues looming large as the fight to unseat donald trump heats up back at home where you guys are. back to you. >> kristen welker joining us, traveling with the president in osaka, japan. we also want to bring in rick wilson, a long-time gop political consultant. the old gop. these days is known mostly as the author of "everything trump touches dies," which nicely sums up his opinion of our current chief executive. rick, because i follow you on social media, i was heartbroken to learn that you were on a plane with bad wifi during much of last night's debate. a, have you caught up with the proceedings? b, your preview of tonight. >> how could one not catch up
with the proceedings of last night's ten-way sword fight on that stage. it was quite something. look, i think tonight is a more consequential evening. last night the only real score keeping thing did elizabeth warren blow it or not. she did not. and so tonight the question is going to be does joe biden blow it or not, and does this pack of people trying to crawl up joe biden end up breaking through in any way. it's going to be a hell of a challenge, i think, for a lot of the folks there tonight that are all going to be -- they've tuned up their joe biden attack lines. they're going go after him with all barrels, because they all want to be the biden killer. i think the other thing to keep your eye on tonight is just how far bernie is willing to be the joke better in this race and burn down everything. some guys just want to watch the world burn, and bernie is probably one of those in terms of his willingness to take out joe biden as quickly as he can. he recognizes that biden's numbers are stacking up, and they're pretty imposing among
real democrats out there in the world. so i think he is going to swing pretty hard. >> what does the word "electability" mean to you? man, we're hearing it every day. it's become a dog whistle. it's become a catchphrase. it's become a tick with some people. what does it mean to you vis-a-vis this democratic field? >> well, it means the difference between being competitive nationally or losing to trump by 44 states. and there are people in this race who are so far out of the mainstream of democratic politics and who are guaranteeing that they'll pursue a set of policies and proposals that you're going to end up with the those people, those obama-trump voters in the swing states that are going to give trump another electoral college victory. it doesn't matter if that person turns up the base to record levels if they don't pull across wisconsin and ohio and pennsylvania and florida and michigan in the 2020 elections. so electability for democrats,
they'll ignore it because they'll say that policy matters po more. it's not a ming. it things. it's the only thing. i'm going ask you about donald trump as perhaps the 11th individual on the stage. >> true. >> today "the new york times" crock rated an allegation of violent sexual assault from the writer e. jean carroll. it feels like longer, but it was only a week ago before donald trump ordered a strike and called it off against iran. >> right. >> before air force one landed, he had insulted germany, india, and japan, the host country of the g20. do you think it is a strategic mistake or a strategic advantage to ignore donald trump and trumpism? >> i think they're making a terrible mistake because the democratic base in 'le 18 showes one thing. they will crawl over broken glass to support people who vote
against donald trump. 2020 is a referendum on trump. that's what this election is. it's a referendum on trump. you can either beat trump or not. if you're the guy that gets on the stage and proves the democratic base that you can kick trump's ample backside, you're going to be in a much better position than if you have a 7,000 page policy document about, you know, whatever the most woke set of proposals are. this is a race about trump. it is a referendum on trump. it is not about the democratic, you know, policy sweep. it is about whether you can beat donald trump. the person that can show that on stage i think is going to be at a serious advantage in this race. >> rick wilson, thank you for adding the words "ample backside" to our coverage. you never let us down. we can always count on you. seriously, thank you so much for coming on for that. and joining our conversation. steve kornacki has something to contribute over at the board. >> just listening to the conversation there about electability. and of course everybody can define that however they want. but i do know from the biden
campaign standpoint, they think this, what you're looking at here is the best advertisement for his electability. this is the average right now. biden versus trump. when you see all the polls, a lot of democratic candidates lead trump, but nobody leads him by the margin that biden does. so they think that is their electability argument. but what's behind that? this is the number i think to keep an eye on. if you look at the favorable/unfavorable number for biden with all voter, democrats, republicans, independents, he is clocking in at 48/37 right now. thing is a number for all candidates. biden in particular to take a look and remember, because this is what it looked like on election day 2016. donald trump, these numbers are not supposed to get you elected president. 38% favorable is supposed to be toxic. it's supposed to kill a campaign. but hillary clinton, she wasn't as low, but she was brought low enough by the end of that campaign, a 43% favorable score that donald trump could stitch together that very narrow path. so 43/55. biden or whoever, they want to
be north of that. so keep an eye ever time you see that favorable/unfavorable. how does it compare to where the last nominee ended up. >> steve kornacki, thank you. the gentlemen woman from missouri has been asked to be things that's going to be interesting tonight, he get 30 seconds response. so every time someone attacks him, he gets after what minute. that will add up quickly. >> spoken like a politician. >> seriously. these guys have to think about that, because each one of them thinks i can land something on biden, and biden is going to get 30 seconds to say, you know, riley admire you,ly let me tell you how this is going to work, how i'm going to beat trump, how i'm going to bring this country together and make us all proud. >> i get 30 seconds. >> the joke last night about the old joke, i just have to outrun -- i don't have to outrun the bear. i just have to outrun you. you don't have to take out joe biden. >> took all night to get it.
>> you have to shine. >> you don't have to take out joe biden. it's june. it's june of 2019. you have to have a good night. and what you have to do is stay in the race. you have to stay in the race. you to build support. you have to find some group of people out there, a party group of people that want to give you money, that want to tell people that they want to vote for you, that want to post on facebook and want to go talk about you at a next family barbecue. you don't have to take out joe biden. if i was tomorrow, you know what i mean? that is a different circumstance. but if you are not joe biden in this race right now tonight, you need to show up and do a good job. but the idea that, like, you're going to land some blow on joe biden in june. >> you might do what castro did too to beto. >> kneecap. >> you might say ah-ha, but i can take out this guy. >> but not biden. you're not going to that to biden. >> you're not going to take out biden. >> i also think, though, that these debates are for the voters
that do not have to make a -- >> we cover them as a horse race at our own peril. no one votes. they can change their mind 13 more times. i'm not sure that the path to the nomination is paved through taking out beto. i know we covered that as though it was a cage match. i don't think it mattered, and i don't think that the path to the nomination is paved through taking out any of them. >> but, you know, you can look at the voters in the early voting stage, right? >> correct. >> so i think in my home state of south carolina, african american vote is very important. i always recall that in 2007. >> exactly. >> the african american vote was solidly behind hillary clinton. >> solidly. >> solidly behind hillary clinton. until obama showed he could win white people's votes by winning iowa. and black voters are very pragmatic. and they said oh, oh, gee. okay. and then they became solidly behind barack obama. i mean, it was like almost overnight.
>> i remember a liberal magazine's cover in fall of 2007 that was all about why can't barack obama get it going. there was all this hope for the guy and he is still stuck in second place behind hillary clinton. >> because nobody had voted yet. that's the point that primary didn't start until iowa. >> that's right. >> that's true. >> that primary started not until the first case, i think barack obama would tell you it started many months before that. >> the first endorsement from a senator. >> ted kennedy. >> and living in iowa for a long, long, long time. >> i mean voter sentiment shift doesn't really start to move. it doesn't become really portable and transferrable until people start voting. >> a week before the caucuses. there was no consensus that obama was going to win there and everybody thought clinton was going to win. >> show me that countdown clock. 19:30. i've been told by a reputable source in our control room, this is our final break. we're going go the rest of the way when we come back from this.
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nearing the 15-minute mark in the hall. the beautiful performing arts center that they get to enjoy in the miami metropolitan area. ten podia, three moderator chairs. i'm going say that as many times as i possibly can. >> just because it's been checked by fact checkers on the internet. >> it's good to go. >> you can use podiums and podia. are you with me, claire? are we podiums? >> i think the podia thing makes you think people think you misspoke, even though you are correct. >> i had a year of high school
french. i'm hoping tonight is the night french breaks out on the stage. we don't know. >> you don't know. >> french has really come in handy. >> maybe we'll decide by this time next month that two hours is too long for our preshow. >> norwegian riff. >> oh, please. >> norwegian riff, at any time. >> i am for -- i think the perfect response to trumpism is being able to speak multiple languages. i'm for it. i like it. >> okay. >> i do think he's got going for him. >> our friend garrett is going to save it. garrett saves me lots of days at 4:00. garrett, you are on the ground. you talk in these campaigns. you talk to the candidates. what is the plan coming out of the gate tonight? >> yeah, i'm going go ahead and deliver this in english, in that's okay. >> from your podia. >> one of the things i heard from a number of the campaigns today is they were watching last night and taking notes, they were taking notes not just about how their opponents performed, but how we did.
one of the things i heard from several campaigns is one of the things they noticed -- no, no, this isn't bad. one of the things they noticed is in this case the candidates were not often asked to respond to one another on specifics. it wasn't senator klobuchar, what do you make of this comment that beto o'rourke just made. it wasn't senator warren, what do you think of this policy from congress person x. the takeaway that the campaigns had was if you want to mix it up, if you want to pick a fight, you have to throw your own punches. you won't be put into a situation and have this shaken up for you. that's what they saw bill de blasio for example make fairly effective use of this. again, the jury is out on whether the juries found him more obnoxious or more effective. but he was able to insert himself into the conversation. i would look for some of those candidates on the wings, particularly someone like eric swalwell to try to create opportunities that they create for themselves, not waiting for the moderators to make those opportunities for them. and just as a second sort of general observation, i have to tell you, the sense of anxiety that permeated this room at this
time last night is not there. i think you have a combination of the more experienced debaters by and large going tonight. and the fact that everyone saw that this is in fact a survivalable process last night. >> right. >> has brought the temperature down a little bit here in the room. i'm not sure what that will mean for the debate, but i for one am excited to find out. >> garrett, what is your sense of the sort of understanding of the candidates who are not necessarily joe biden about what their goal is tonight? particularly as it relates to the front-runner biden or other folks or getting noticed and getting attention? >> i think the outrun the bear analogy is still pretty appropriate here. most of these candidates still have to introduce themselves. i mean, if you are a andrew yang, for example, who has a huge following online, but not necessarily in the broader television electorate, your job is still to teach people who you are and what you stand for. to the degree that you might see candidates trying to score
points off one another, i'm curious to see if it's more the like versus like that you saw last night with julian castro and beto o'rourke. to take on joe biden, he is the front-runner for a reason. he is the most popular democratic politician right now, and every time you hit him, your hand is hitting something hard on the way back too. the idea that if you want to contrast yourself with someone, you might aim slightly off center in the podia, brian, could be something that we see other candidates try to replicate tonight. >> okay, garrett, i was already a fan. now i'm a fan or the life. please come back when you come across anything interesting, anything you want to share. thanks for spending some time with us. >> will do. >> we're going bring in our friend joy reid. joy, so far you and rick wilson, and i don't know if that's going to feel weird to you, have spoken most eloquently and most passionately about not just the inparrottive to invoke trump but the strategic urgency to do so.
i want to hear more from you on that. >> i just tweeted. i used to debate rick wilson on twitter. when i first got on twitter, he was one of my first twitter foes. so we used to debate each other all the time. he is 100% right. he is a republican and 100% right. >> the world is upside down, joy. >> the world has gone mad. but the reality is this is a base election coming up. every pollster i have spoken with, every demographer, everybody that thinks about these from data and statistics point of view, it's not a converging election, it's the base. what does the base want? they want trump out. so if you are trying to get the democratic nomination, remember, the democratic nomination goes through black women. people who look like me. and what they want is for you to prove to them that you're the person who can defeat him. and joe biden's big risk here is that if his strategy is to prove to white voters that he is the guy who can mollify them, if his goal is to prove that he can be bipartisan and that he can sort of bring the country together around some shared set of interests, what he is going to do is lessen the idea among
black voters that he's here to take trump down. what voters are looking for is the pugilist, the person who can get on that stage with donald trump and destroy him. i mean, i'm sorry. but in the minds of most democratic minds of most democratic voters, this is war. all of their other anxieties whether about the economy or inequality are wrapped around donald trump. if you don't frame your answers and frame your debate points in terms of how you will be in opposition to him, i think you are just going to lose. >> joy, he started in that vain. it would appear by taking a two by to the most racist moment of his presidency, charlottesville, he started with what you are describing. he has been pulled into media controversy? how do you view everything that happened since? that opening message about charlottesville? >> the message made sense. you are saying that guy is racist. i will reset this country back
to the o baca era. there is a lot of nostalgia biden is taking advantage of. mainly black voters no talgnost. barack obama. you open with charlottesville and people remember not just the guy who was obama's buddy, but the guy who destroyed rudy giuliani's campaign by talking about 9/11. you are the guy who can punch trump the way he punches other people. biden needs to get back to that. when he talked about working with segregationist, what that said to my ear is now you are pivoting and doing a message aimed at trump voters and moderates. this is about the base and firing up the base. it's about getting the fans to vote for you. here's the thing. the reality, nicole, people
don't have to vote. they don't have to vote. can you say i'm going to bring over moderate voters and leave your base at home. they say this is mildly the same in the mushy middle. i'm not going to show up. ask hillary clinton what happens when the base doesn't show up. >> the candidates are walking in the arena for the photo op that while joy was talking, you saw members of the traveling press coming in to take their places in front of the stage. as they all do. the point and wave. yang is blazing new ground here. no tie. second to the left next to hickenlooper. do we have audio from the room or is this happening in absolute silence. there we go. chris matthews, while we look at this picture, let's talk about the conversation that we just
heard with joy reed. there are two camps. beat this guy on policy. beat this guy, period. is there one candidate who can do both? >> i think joy is right about a fighter & and it would be nice. we are all so dainty. we want to see a real fight on the camera next to hour ours, face-to-face, fists flying and changes being made face-to-face. i would love to see that between berny and biden. one is a socialist and the other guy has to knockout the socialist if he wants to win the nomination. you have to show you hate trump. the first thing is to knockout the socialist if he's going to win. you have to go head to head and that will be the best possible fight for the audience tonight. biden swinging his arms against
bernie. >> nicole wallace? >> i'm watching kamala harris and i think she can swing against trump and barr and all they ushered in with lawlessness. kirstin gillibrand can make a case about donald trump, the serial sexual assaulter. a lot of people can take it to trump. the best thing the democrats can do is let a thousand flowers bloom. looking at that image and 22 years old, i was covering a race. a congresswoman trying to get elected and the primary with them. i went with her to a bingo hall and people on breathing machines can barely be bothered to give her the time of day. i thought you really have to lower yourself. it's humbling to run for office and that's the way it should be. i'm looking at john hickenlooper is a serious guy. successful businessman and two term governor of the state of colorado. a serious politician.
he's there between yang and williamson. it is a humbling enterprise to run for office. you think of it as glory and attention and people put your names. you will go around and ask people. sometimes you beg for them to pay attention to you and particularly in a field this big. it's striking to think about the amount of people with the resumes there are between the two nights that they are undertaking. >> historically governors take off. he's going who is this guy here? who is this woman? how did i get to this place? it's true. >> eugene, we are of similar age. do you look at mr. yang and say would it kill you to throw on a tie? >> got to differentiate. >> exactly. go for it. i think he should go for it. if he is differentiating himself, this is his brand. a brand without a tie.
i think about the kind of moments we could have in this debate and actually i think about kamala harris. she is such a good cross examiner. which you have seen in senate hearings and you just can imagine a moment in which she is allowed ask two or three follow-up questions and it could be devastating to somebody. >> i think about if this were a field of six, she would be at the top of the pack. she is diluted in my opinion at this early stage because of how many candidates there are. she is extremely talented. >> nicole wallace, can you give the two-minute for people who may not know who marianne williamson is in the far left. >> we will talk in the break about how i got the job. i have done my homework about this large democratic field of candidates. what i was reading about marianne williamson, for some
reason i read one of her books about spirituality and love. it says something good about the democratic party that there is an author and activist on the stage. i'm just not sure it's a good long-term plan just thinking about kamala harris, at some point it will take away from the people who are more likely to be the person that faces off against trump. >> i'm on her campaign e-mail list. >> me too! >> i was getting it about how to destress during the debate. >> i read her books and all that's real is love. i am familiar with her writings. it's an amazing thing about this party. >> they have gotten a lot of criticism with the dnc. in some ways it's an unsolvable problem. 25 people running for president. they were transparent about the benchmarks and they retained the right to change them as they go along. they announced tightening by
september and you can guarantee by december and january, there is going to be many, many fewer people. >> like five left. >> as there should be. >> the corollary to the point chris hayes was making about how humbling this business is the following truth. look at all these people on the stage and all the folks last night. the folks like steve bullock watching from montana who didn't make the stage. they all have one thing in common. they wake up, they find a way to look in the mirror and look back at themselves and say mr. or madam president. here you are looking back. >> it is the question. >> why else is john hickenlooper on that stage? >> marianne looked in the mirror. >> to chris' point, it's a brutal process that you have to think or imagine that they think it's possible. i think there are people who on a pragmatic level may be there
to elevate issues that they are passionate about. there is a lot longer history of elevating issues of priority than anyone standing on the edges becoming the nominee. it's not time wasted. >> there is also living in the era when you talk about governors, that was the litmus test. >> especially for a republican. >> now donald trump is president so who knows. >> exactly. >> everything is reset. >> democrats did discard the idea of a celebrity to their credit. >> there they all are. night two. 10 candidates. we know the moderators by now. like last night, we will have two shifts of moderateors about midway through the evening. two hours. i think ideally there is probably going to be two breaks and obviously we will be back on the air at the end with our post
debate coverage that will go two hours into the night. but for now, here you have it. night two of the first round of democratic debates from miami. they begin now. >> good evening. i'm lester holt and welcome to night two of the first democratic debate in the 2020 race for president. >> i'm savannah guthrie. we heard from 10 last night and 10 more take the stage tonight. >> we will be joined by our colleagues, josé diaz, chuck todd and rachel maddow. >> the candidates are in position so let's get started. >> tonight, round two, senator michael bennet. former vice president, joe biden. south bend indiana mayor, pete buttigieg. kirstin jill brandt. senator kamala harris,