tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 14, 2016 10:00pm-12:01am PST
let's play "hardball". >> good evening, i am chris matthews in washington. tu trump and cruz, the fight is on. the two frontrunners clashed over cruz's eligibility to run for president. and what exactly are new york values? donald trump warned if cruz was the nominee that democrats would bring a lawsuit. here we go. >> by now why are you raising
this issue now? >> now he is doing better. i didn't care before. no. it's true. he never had a chance. he is doing better. he probably has a 5% chance. >> trump, telling the truth. cruz defended his new york values attack on trump. >> most people know exactly what new york values are. >> i am from new york. >> you are from new york, so you might not. but i promise you in the state of south carolina, they do. >> we all have the highlights with us tonight. who won, who lost, who got the best shots in. with less than three weeks to go to iowa did anyone change position tonight? howard, he is a tough customer.
thank you. michael steele is the former chairman of the republican national committee. i always start with someone that is at the place. i don't know about tonight. i thought cruz was on the attack. i thought trump handled the attack pretty damn well and kept it pretty even. >> cruz was the one that started this. trump's authenticity really resonated. with what we saw for his answer and now new york was able to rebuild and how proud he was of it, truly authentic. i think that is go to resonate well with his supporters that are already out there. whether or not it will turn anybody to his side we will have to wait to see. i think what donald trump has over the rest of the field is that he is himself most of the time and he tells it how it is
in a way that the others, including ted cruz, don't have. but there has been a lot of booing for donald trump during this debate and i wonder if that will sway voters watching the debate, hearing the booing. will that change their perception of him. usually when you see donald trump it is at his giant rallies. for the most part he is getting these loud cheers. it is different to see him in a situation where people are booing him. people can be so easily swayed when others are not necessarily feeling something. i wonder if that will be something that plays into ted cruz's hands? >> the math is simple. seven candidates on the stage. six out of seven people in the audience came for the other candidates. clearly they are going to boo the guy. i don't think that is too
complicated that you are going to boo the other guy, especially if he is a frontrunner. people have to think it did not go over as well as it usually does. donald trump and ted cruz clashed over trump's claim. >> back in september my friend donald said he had his lawyers look at it from every which way. there was nothing to this. nothing to this birther issue. now, since september, the constitution hasn't changed. but the poll numbers have. the legal issue is straightforward. but the birther theories that donald has been relying on. some of the more extreme ones insist you must not only be born on u.s. soil but have two parents born on u.s. soil under
that theory. i would be disqualified. marco rubio. and donald j. trump would be disqualified. because donald's mother was born in scotland. she was naturalized. >> but i was born here. >> on the issue of citizenship, donald, i am not going to use your mother's birth against you. >> because it wouldn't work. >> you are an american as is everybody else on this stage. i would suggest we focus on who is best prepared to be commander in chief. >> this is not me saying it. i don't care. i think i will win fair and square. thank you. there is a serious question as
to whether or not ted can do this. >> you know i thought that was one of the most dishonest things i saw in politics. there are no theorists say your grandparents or parents have to be born here. nobody questioned donald trump being born here. it is a nonsense cal thing to muddy the waters and confuse everybody. what is he talking about? nobody on the planet ever said you need to have your planets born here to be american. >> i think why -- >> cruz. why is he making this stuff up, cruz? >> he is trying to use legal jargon. >> what legal jargon? >> he compared himself to if this was an ambassador's son. >> no. listen closely to what he said. howard, he said there are some people that said both your
parents have to be born here. >> some people say. who knows. there might be somebody out there. but this is ted cruz, the college debater looking to throw dust up on this issue. >> more british style debating. >> it is college debate versus heavyweight. the way that i saw the whole thing tonight is that ted cruz is the guy trying to pile up points with the jabs. but you weighed in on donald trump. any time you weigh in on him you can get clocked. >> the other big clash of the night was between the two frontrunners. over cruz's new york values number. while trump was ready to pounce there, as he should have been. let's watch him. >> everyone understands the values in new york city are socially liberal or pro abortion
or pro gay marriage focus around money and the media. not a lot of conservatives come out of manhattan. >> conservatives actually do come out of manhattan including william f. buckley and others, just so you understand. if i could -- because he insulted a lot of people. i had more calls on that statement that ted made. new york is a great place. it has great people. loving people. wonderful people. when the world trade center came down, i saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully and more humanely than new york. you had two 110-story buildings come crashing down. people in new york fought and fought and fought. we saw more death and even the
smell of death, nobody understood it. it was with us for months, this smell, the air. we rebuilt downtown manhattan. everybody in the world watched. everybody in the world loved new york and loved new yorkers. i have to tell you that was a very insulting statement that ted made. >> michael steele, what do you make of this back and forth on new york values? >> it doesn't help cruz. i think tonight showed that. i think in trying to explain it and trying to give it context it further opened up the opportunity to show cruz and quite frankly the country this personal side of trump. a connection to something that is real. i thought he hit it out of the park. i thought the moment cruz is applauding what donald trump is saying ended this conversation
or should for ted cruz. >> yeah. i think new york is an interesting place. i am lucky enough to work at this show and i know a lot of guys and directors of the show. they are all new yorkers. they are not going to fly in from iowa or montana. celebrities, johnny carsons, people like that. they are new yorkers. they have a new york accent. you might say some are loud. but their values are bad? where do you get that. brooklyn and queens are filled with churches. i don't get the new york values things. like san francisco democrats. like the democrats are all gay. >> the laundry list is not the dog whistle stuff that cruz is attempting here. he is saying that is the secular, non-faith place where
the media and the money. that is exactly what he was doing. he is playing micropolitics for evangelicals in iowa. that is all it is really about. it is not even about south carolina. trump was playing to the whole country. trump embraced the whole country and cruz made himself small in this case. >> you know in new york. i try to stop there. st. patricks at lunchtime. everybody is in there for mass. i am not saying it is the most religious city in the world. again tonight he did it. >> it was such an unforced error. ted cruz should have known that is how donald trump would answer it. he gave the answer last night and it was amazing.
>> another issue that is more pleasant because it involves nikki haley. trump was asked about the criticism that he was one of the angriest voices leading the party astray. >> she did say there was anger. i can say i am not angry. i am very angry. our country is being run horribly. i will gladly accept the mantel of anger. our military is a disaster. our health care is a horror show. obamacare, we are going to repeal it and replace it. we have no borders. our vets are being treated horribly. illegal immigration is beyond belief and our country is being run by incompetent people and yes, i am angry. >> instead of fighting with governor haley like the way he
did megyn kelly, you are right. i am angry. you nailed me. he did the same thing with cruz. you know why i am going after you, ted cruz, because your numbers are better than they were. he is totally honest about it. >> also recognize what happened today as well. nikki haley was backing off what she said about being directed at trump. the blowup inside the party was big. played out on conservative radio and in the blogs and biting into her a bit. trump saw that and took the high ground effectively and appropriately, again turning what could have been an ugly situation to a positive one for him by saying this is why i am running. i am angry about the way this country is being run. you know that draws people to
him. >> i thought so too. who has the better shot at the vice presidential nomination, nikki haley or casey? i thought openly running for a slot on the ticket with trump. michael, didn't you see him campaigning for v.p., agreeing with him on trade and everything. like biden with obama. >> only thing that was missing was the sweater with the giant o on it for ohio. richard nixon said it was all about ohio. >> i think her stock has soared this week. >> she handled that with fantastic charm tonight. thank you for joining us. we are go to check back with all
of you throughout the night. coming up, much more from the candidates, their advisors and political reporters covering the race up front. this is "hardball". the place for politics with live coverage of the republican presidential debate. >> and if for some reason he beats the rest of the field. he beats the rest of the field. see, they don't like that. they don't like that he beats the rest of the field, because they want me. seems like we've hit a road block.
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tonight. we saw the gloves come out with trump and ted cruz. everyone went after president obama and hillary clinton. the biggest blows were exchanged between donald trump and ted cruz over cruz's constitutional eligibility to be president or not. >> we are running. he does great. i win. i choose him as my vice presidential candidate and the democrats sued because we can't take him along for the ride. i don't like that. and if for some reason he beats the rest of the field. he beats the rest of the field. see, they don't like that. they don't like that he beats the rest of the field because they want me. but for some reason he beats the rest of the field i already know the democrats are going to be
bringing a suit. you have a big lawsuit over your head while you are running and if you become the nominee who the hell knows if you can even serve in office. >> i spent my entire life defending the constitution and i am not going to take legal advice from donald trump. >> you don't have to. take it from your professor. >> chances of any litigation succeeding on this are zero. >> robert, down there in that audience, it looks like the audience are packed with people that are constituents of the candidates? trump is the frontrunner.
>> that's right, chris. the tickets were allocated by the republican national committee and most of the campaigns of the rivals of trump were stacked in the audience and opposed to trump. the audience was more in favor of the mainstream candidates but i don't think that is reflective of the republican party at-large. >> let's go to the new york thing. i think people around the table think that was a big dud or worse for cruz, taking on the empire state and making fun of its values without having the guts to say what he meant. >> those are the two biggest exchanges of the night by far. cruz and trump going at each other and the story of two debates. the first hour cruz taking on trump. cruz was ready with his answers. trump bounced back talking about
new york and defending new york after 9/11. >> he skipped the main part. the new york firefighters, knowing they were facing death climbed up those stairs. 225 of these guys. >> the real new york values are with those firefighters who gave up their lives and the people that rushed in the next day and actually took on risks of their own to try to save the people they could. by in large i think it is true that cruz was blowing a loud dog whistle by talking about new york values. in the past there have been religious overtones to that. i think it will still work. but it was interest to me, you know, rubio and christie are going their own way. they were fighting each other. i think they were trying to get
into the anger lane with trump. >> he did all right in that lane. >> rubio and christie kept showing how angry they would be. i would kick the rear end of obama out of the white house. rubio looked like he had too much caffeine. >> hillary rodham clinton, they kept trashing her over and over. none of the guys have any military experience. they are all talking about how they are going to be, fury and force. they want to go to war over that? >> that is how he opened. >> how do you go to war over something like that? >> anger is what is selling. what was trump's best line? i wear the mantel of anger proudly. they see that is getting results. he is up in the latest "wall street journal" poll. they are all trying to find their own way of getting angry.
>> the establishment lane, people fighting for second place in new hampshire already. rubio and christie came to blows. here is rubio. >> governor christie has endorsed many of the ideas that barak obama supports, the donation he made to planned parent hood. >> this is the difference between being a governor and being a senator. when you are a senator you get to talk and talk and talk. you talk so much that nobody can keep up with what you are saying is accurate or not. when you are a governor you are held accountable for everything that you do. the people of new jersey have seen it. and the last piece is this. i like marco too. two years ago, he called me a conservative reformer that new jersey needed. that was before he was running against me. now that he is he changed his
tune. i will never change my tune. i like marco rubio. he is a good guy and a smart guy and he would be a heck of a lot better president than hillary would ever be. >> why does he do it that way? >> i don't know. when you talk about assassins, you always use their middle names. >> new york values on the plate now. what about new jersey values? just a river apart. does christie have too much attitude? i think his attitude is well received in the republican party. >> i mean it mirrors trumps. you see christie painted as someone that is close to president obama and throughout the night christie pushed back hard saying he would oppose secretary clinton, kick obama out of the white house.
it was tough language from the governor. this was its own debate. they are all struggling for political oxygen, trying to stay in the race and they are going at each other. >> what kind of audience is out there? diversity or all white guys? >> i think the main group most of the campaigns are targeting white working-class voters. >> were they working-class guys or money guys? >> money guys, party people. >> i thought it was a wealthy looking crowd. up next who is making the headlines? my question is whose name gets in the headline? cruz or trump. it should be trump. they might say cruz gets tough with trump but i would say that trump deserves the headline. our coverage of the republican debate continues after this. >> i am very happy to get a
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today than the day that barak obama was inaugurated president of the united states is an alternative universe. the simple fact is that the world has been torn. >> if this president could confiscate every gun in america he could. >> we have a president who acts as an apologist for radical islamist terrorist. >> he is a child and we are go to kick your rear end out of the white house this fall. >> we are going to kick your rear end out of the white house. welcome back. tonight's debate will be splashed across the headlines of the major newspapers tomorrow. jeremy, isn't it interesting how the "new york times," a columnist says something and the right wing trick is to have your
front page section reporting. everybody knows columns have opinions and the "new york times" is one of the great newspaper institutions in history but he conflated those two. it is just not true. columnists don't speak for a paper. >> every primary we go through this where the "new york times" becomes a right wing chew toy. it is part of the territory. trump made us his punching bag. trump's relationship with the media, you know, soon as you leave his rallies my phone will ring and it will be donald trump. did you enjoy the rally. can i give you a ride back to new york on my plane. i think most of his constituents who are so happy to see him tear the media apart would be shocked to know how he is with the media, so called, elite. >> heidi, are you part of the
elite? we keep calling. we do call. >> i never considered myself part of the elite coming from the middle section of the country but by virtue of being a journalist. i had a lot of people make that assumption because you are in the profession of journalism. it really has been taking on new importance over the past four months with candidates like trump and cruz taking it to new heights. >> whose name will be in the headline tomorrow that made the papers? >> trump and cruz smack down. >> what is the a section, the big headline going to look like? do you know yet? >> the story is cruz and trump. i think now it is open warfare.
>> will it say who won? >> i would encourage you to buy your "new york times" tomorrow to find out. i think it is undeniable cruz came out of this with some wind at his back with the exception of that one exchange where donald kneecaped him on 9/11 and new york values, he took away every one of his silly arguments. >> but it did go on for ten minutes. that is a lot of time talking about whether he is constitutionally legitimate or not. and what did the founders mean when they said natural born. born here. when we get to original intent and clarence thomas and the rest of the original intention people
get together seems like they would have the same interpretation. like the right to bear arms means the right to bear arms. i don't know why the right wing decides when to be literal and when not to be. >> cruz had great arguments. he went back and unearthed a donald trump quote from september saying it is not an issue. but spending so much time defending this. he was tweeting out rebuttals too. i think donald trump won the argument and we are go to continue to have this discussion. >> i would be more defending of ted cruz if he raised his voice just once when obama was accused of being a muslim kenyan and he never did. i am not going to spare the rod
in this case. howie jackson is down at the spin room. you can tell when you hang down at the spin room. the ones that lost are racing around trying to make up for what they lost during the first two hours. can you tell? >> yeah. not at this point. it is still early. you can see the media scrum. everybody waiting to get the shot and ask their questions. right now surrogates for senator christie and cruz are out here. portraying this as a good night for their guys. you have been talking about the storylines that are emerging, the idea that it was a trump/cruz battle. the establishment candidates needed a way to stand out. it is questionable whether they did enough to do that and pick up momentum heading into iowa and new hampshire. >> what did you think about the tone? kick his butt out of the white house? talking about that about the
president of the united states? you don't have to kick his butt out of the office. what is this metaphor about? >> i wonder if it is a sign of what donald trump has done to the race. >> nobody had to teach -- >> of being harsh in their language. >> nobody had to teach chris christie to talk like this. >> but somebody like marco rubio has taken more of a hard tone with the language and rhetoric in the last few weeks. >> back to you later. we will be back to the spin room. much more from charleston. up next republicans are bracing for the possibility they won't have a nominee by the time they meet in cleveland next summer. and could we see a real convention where the person that comes in has enough delegates to win. and something else happens. could they dare to do that?
this is "hardball" with live coverage. >> maria, thank you for passing on that piece on the front page of the "new york times." when you've got a house full of guests on the way and a cold with sinus pressure, you need fast relief. alka-seltzer plus severe sinus congestion and cough liquid gels rush relief to your tough symptoms. to put you back in control. [doorbell] woman: coming! alka-seltzer plus sinus. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like reunions equal blatant lying.
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katie. >> it hurts you. he has been doing better. >> congressman, thank you for joining us from your home state, south carolina, i did see a lot of well off business guys in the audience, not a lot of those white working-class people your party is trying to attract in the election. who won? >> you tell me, chris. >> trump. >> i don't think there were any knockout blows. >> i thought rubio had a great performance and cruz was in the mix. not the best night for jeb. not the best night for carson. i don't think there were any real knockout blows. trump stayed king of the hill. >> yeah. let's talk about your state.
we don't know what is going to happen. ted kennedy was go to kill jimmy carter and that never happened. but say cruz squeaks it out here in iowa and knocks off trump by a couple of points. new hampshire, maybe christie comes in second. then they go to your state and it could be the rubber match. your state could decide the pattern of where it goes from there. >> as you know historically it has. ever since there has been the nomination process, i think it is not a caucus state. it is a much bigger and diverse state than you see in new hampshire. south carolina, i think we will be so goes the nomination. but time will tell. trump has the edge and i didn't
see anything that knocked him off. >> south carolina is an interesting state. nikki haley is a conservative but not a right winger. graham, a conservative but not a right winger. they know when to do a compromise on the battle flag or immigration and i think it is a reasonable conservative state. is that a good estimate of the state? not hard right, or is it? >> that depends where you are in the state. if you go to the i-85 corridor, upstate, it is quite conservative. along the coast where i am from, it is less engaged on social issues and more engaged in financial issues. it is a mixed bag. obama won charleston county.
that would not be the case upstate. >> let me ask you about the situation in your party. i don't know if i can see a coming together of your party tonight. i see a battle of the outsiders, trump and cruz. i see a battle of the insideirs christie and rubio. i don't see them coming together into one party. i see the outside and inside guys. like two different conferences in football. but i don't see a super bowl where they come together with one candidate. i am wondering where you are going to get through a convention without a majority winner. >> i think it will continue as it has already. i think that is the track of this campaign. inside versus outside. i think the mood of the country right now heavily favor it is outside perspective in the early start of the nomination process.
i think what you have seen in the past with the republican party coming together with the nominee. we have a number of rounds before we get to the process of picking the final winner. because it sure ain't clear of tonight as to who it is. >> you could well have the first convention since 1952. a long way until there. you are right about that congressman. katie has dr. ben carson in her custody right now. >> as people actually get serious and look at this they will say wow. this is pretty good stuff. >> time is running out here before iowa. you don't have a lot of time to make a difference. if you don't win iowa what do you do? >> there is plenty of time. >> two and a half weeks? >> plenty of time. >> we are going to stick with
dr. carson. >> probably a thousand at least. i will constantly make life and death decisions and gathering information quickly and making wise decisions. actually i believe those kinds of skills are very transferrable to this kind of job and would go a lot further than just talking about stuff. i couldn't really hear that question. >> let me go to ben ginsburg. i think it is possible you can have a party situation in the next three to four months where a candidate is leading in the
delegates but not going to be on the way to winning a majority. you are the expert. >> it is possible. depends how many distinct lanes we have coming out of super tuesday. is donald trump a lane to himself. ted cruz winning the conservative lane. somewhere between rubio, christie, bush in the establishment lane. three lanes. three groups of candidates actually winning delegates and more likely to have a contested convention than if there are two. >> anybody coming into the convention be denied the nomination? >> sure. >> that will not be popular. >> it will also depend on the dynamics and on the delegates. we have some wild cards. >> yeah. i think the country is used to the fact that the person with the most delegates win. harvard law professor lawrence tribe.
professor, thank you for joining us. what is your notion of what the founding fathers meant when they said natural born american? natural born citizen? >> i have done a lot of historical research. the best evidence seems to be that what they meant in 1788 was something more than citizen from birth. they meant a citizen whose birth was natural, not in a biological sense but in connection to the land. the idea is that it is something that congress couldn't change unlike the naturalization process which congress has monkeyed around with all of the time. in 1934 they said for the first time you can be a citizen that does not need to be naturalized as long as your mom was an american citizen. that is ultimately the basis on which cruz has to rely. but the funny thing is that the
kind of guy cruz is, and he has always been this way. he has always said the constitution always means the same thing it meant when it was adopted. that is why he made the funny joke to trump saying the constitution did not change since last december. he thinks it did not change since 1788. but when it comes to his own ambition he become what is he accuses me of being, a judicial activist. that is not the guy that he is normally. he is a hypocrite and it sad because he makes light of it but it is a genuine open question and there is just no way of getting around it. if he is the nominee it wouldn't be hard to imagine a secretary of state somewhere refusing to put him on the ballot on the
grounds that the secretary of state thinks that if you were not born on the land of the united states you can't run. at that point somebody would have to sue them, whether it is ted cruz himself as the nominee if that is what we have got or the republican national committee. there is no way to avoid an issue like that going to the supreme court. the liberals on the court assuming they all voted according to principle rather than politics. it is not always that way. the liberals on the court, the activists would go with cruz and the originalists would vote against him. >> scalia looks back for dictionaries from the late 18th century to find out what words meant to the founding fathers. natural born to him would be what they meant by it and it wouldn't matter what ted cruz or someone today thought but what
they thought when they signed the document. >> it would not matter what congress said about the naturalization process in 1934 or 1940 or 1977. they believed in a natural law. it was unchanging. i think one of the things that is dangerous about someone like president cruz, kind of hurts me to say that. president cruz would believe that the supreme court does not have much to do with the meaning of the constitution. he said he does not think it is binding. it would be the constitution according to cruz. >> that's right. >> you approach it the way that you have to to make the results come out the way that you want. >> he questioned the whole notion of judicial review. back to allen grayson, he knows what he is doing. he is very liberal. he is from florida. he talked about suing. who would have standing to
challenge a presidential candidate? >> his opponent would have standing. whoever the democratic nominee is. i don't think they would want to do that because that would make them look small. i think allen grayson believes he has standing. i don't see how he is injured. but the example that i gave is a clear one. there would be no standing problem. if there is an official in any of the 50 states that says i don't think you are a natural born citizen, you have to sue me if you want to be on the ballot. then whoever is being kept off of the ballot would have standing. sometimes, you know, courts duck issues because they are political hot topics. but i can't imagine the courts ducking an issue about whether the nominee of one of our great political parties can be kept off of the ballot in a state. >> let's see what they say after
hearing you tonight and how this discussion has percolated up. thank you professor for joining us tonight. let's go right now to donald trump who is in the spin room. >> a lot of people think this is my best debate. i don't know. >> do you think he was pandering. >> i don't know if he knows what new york values are. i mentioned a couple of things. number one, fox is in new york. fox is conservative. and the great name of william f. buckley was a proud new yorker. plenty of conservatives in new york. ronald reagan was a fairly liberal person that became quite conservative. you know, people change. i thought it was inappropriate. i think a lot of people were very upset with him today when he took that stance against new york when we went through such
tragedy. >> did you mean to offer him the v.p. slot? >> no. i said it as a joke. he has a serious problem. we will find out what happens. i honestly thinks he should go. but his law professor is the one that says he has a serious problem. you had him on your shows. there are many lawyers, great constitutional lawyers saying he can't run for president. he will have to solve that problem. he hit me. i didn't hit him. i guess the bromance is over. he started to talk about new york in a negative way and i thought it was inappropriate. it is not a question of doubt or seeds. there is a doubt. if there is a 1% chance, and it is much more than that. if there is a 1% chance, he
can't run. i like him but you can't run. if there is a 1% chance, and there is a lot more than that. right now i am going to do morning joe. we are going to be on at 6:30 in the morning, heading out to iowa and doing a nice rally in iowa. then we are go to new hampshire. >> the cruz campaign say they have the winning game in iowa. >> we will have to see. let's wait to see. february 1st we will see what happens. i certainly have the most people showing up. i have by far the most spirit. everybody said i won this debate tonight. >> your campaign manager thought the audience was stacked against you. >> tonight? >> didn't sound like a pro trump crowd. >> i thought it was totally pro. i thought it was great.
audience was fantastic. south carolina i am winning the polls by a tremendous amount. i thought the audience was great tonight. especially with the new york answer. the audience gave me a standing ovation. >> why are they going to go out and caucus whether they never have before? >> we will have to see. i have been spending a lot of time in iowa. i think we are going to do very well. >> if you do not win iowa are you going to have enough momentum and stay the course? >> until the end. let's put it this way. i am leading every national poll. i am leading every state now, including iowa. the clear poll came out. i am sure if i wasn't you would tell me. i am leading every single state and i am leading every national poll. i think i am going to do very well. >> you are the frontrunner
obviously. >> you know what the key is? we are going to make america great again. that's the key. >> there he is, donald trump. did you hear that? he said he had a standing o tonight and everybody said that he won and -- >> he did. >> i thought that was dramatic. let's talk about your party again. this question of the eligibility. you are a lawyer. what does natural born mean? i know i am pushing this. but it is a simple phrase put in the constitution for a purpose. what was the purpose of putting that phrase in? if to not make sure that you had to be born here? >> to be sure that if you were born here it has been transferred over time. the larger point. >> the constitution hasn't changed. >> this statement in the constitution has never been interpreted by the u.s. supreme court. there is no definitive ruling.
>> what can it mean? >> it can mean one of two things. one, you had to be born in this country. but that is not the case. we have had other presidential candidates who haven't been born in the country. >> but there was no challenge. >> there was no challenge. but everyone unanimously agreed on it. >> unanimously? >> well, who stopped john mccain? >> he was born in u.s. territory. >> yeah. >> the canal zone. >> george romney was not. >> his family immigrated because of religious issues. so unanswered legal questions by the highest court in the land. >> things get challenged. right. political gamesmanship. thank you so much for the republican establishment. now let's bring in the governor of ohio.
you were very nice to donald trump tonight. the guy is way ahead in the polls. >> no, chris. nationally tonigh >> no, chris. i've agreed with him about trade, always felt this way. i'm a free trader. i think for too long when countries have shafted us under the guys of taking our jobs and takes us a long time to fix it, that infuriates me. i think he happens to be right on that issue. that's a different story. you must take actions when people cheat. that's what i'm trying to say. >> what do you think of tonight's macho performance tonight. everybody was going to kick butt, going to kick the president out of the white house as if obama's term wasn't going to end automatically january 20th next year. i'm going to kick him down the sta stairs. i don't know what, i guess that works somewhere in jersey or
used to. it doesn't work with me anymore. it's ridiculous. the tossing off of the insult from jeb bush to trump. there's still a little of trash talk still going on in this debate. did you notice? >> there was some heated rhetoric, chris. i was very pleased with the debate. i thought i was able to talk directly to the public worried about wages and kids getting a job, i think it's reflected in the polls. i don't know whether you know this or not, in three of the last four polls i am now running second place in new hampshire, which is where i really wanted to be to speak my message and get known. i think what i did tonight, i'm very happy with it. it's what i've been doing and we're rising in new hampshire. i think we keep going, i come out of new hampshire and i'm a big story in the mind of chris matthews and other media people, i think i'll be the nominee, i don't care what other polls say, i think i will be the nominee.
>> i was talking to km branson -- what's his name from south carolina? >> doesn't matter. >> okay. this idea it comes down to three early states now, iowa, home school, very conservative, evangelical and you have new hampshire, a little bit of anger but a different kind than in the midwest. you go to south carolina. it seems to me if you -- what happens if you do come in second to trump in- >> mine, what -- >> in new hampshire, does that put you -- in other words, you beat out rubio is the other way of saying it, does that put you in play in south carolina in a real trifecta there? >> no question. no question. the fact of the matter is we have people on the ground in south carolina. i'm on the ballot in over 30 states. we'll be in every single state. i have people on the ground in nevada. as you know, the great trent
lott is supporting me in mississippi and we feel strong in the south. you come to the midwest, illinois and michigan and ohio and pennsylvania, these are all places i can do very very well, chris. i'm very optimistic about. i if i do well here i will get the money and have the name it. i think the message works with any voter. somebody said, what lane are you in? this other reporter said to me, there's the establishment lane and the anti-establishment lane. you're in your own lane and i always have been. >> let me ask you about one last question. >> sure. >> how do you campaign in new hampshire? what's your strategy the next three or four weeks? >> basically, live there. i go to town halls. i've done over 50 of them now. i will be there tomorrow and be home for my daughter's 16th birthday on saturday and the kasich family will go to new hampshire on sunday. i'm working like crazy up there. i have a team, listen to this, chris, you'll love this. i have six or seven guys living
in one of the campaign headquarters we have, they're sleeping on mattresses and he heating their food on hot pla plates. what does that sound like? >> sounds like "the god father," we're going to the mattress, sounds like, we're going to the mattre mattresses. anyway, governor, great to have you on. i root for you with a friend and think it will be a hell of a fight with you up there. the name i forgot, how could i forget the name, mark sanford. >> and -- >> sometimes you get in the press a long time, you don't like to be there and then get forgotten and don't like that either. the first republican debate of 2016 just ended less than an hour ago. for the first time in the debate, donald trump and ted cruz went head to head and cl h clashed on a number of issues including cruz' attack on trump and embody, here was a mistake, new york values. cruz eligibility or not, let's
watch a bit of this. >> if for some reason now he beats the rest of the field, i already know the democrats are going toback bri be bringing a . you have a big lawsuit over your head while you're running. if you become the nominee, who the hell knows if you can serve in office. >> why now? why are you raising this issue now? >> now he's doing a little bit better. didn't care before. it's true. never had a chance. now, he's doing better. he's got probably a 4 or 5% chance. i'm not bringing a suit, i promise but the democrats are going to bring a lawsuit. you have to have center. you can't have a question. i can agree with you or not but you can't have a question over your head. >> senator, you want to respond. >> well, listen, i spent my entire life defending the constitution before the u.s. supreme court, i'll tell you, i'm not going to be taking legal advice from donald trump. >> you don't have to.
>> omarosa a minute ago, she joins us, there you are, thank you and howard. and msnbc political analyst, and heidi, political director. you were very helpful on the documentary on citizen trump. are you still hot on this guys chances. i think you are. go ahead. >> did you see him tonight? he was outstanding. he was dynamic. he came out punching. he was landing major major hits on his opponents. he is in it to win it. you saw that front and center in this debate tonight. >> has he got something -- i think he has something in def d defending new york about the cheap shot about new york values which reminded me of the old gene kirkpatrick attack he called the san francisco democrats, hint hint, that whole thing. the fact he was trying to portray new york as sodom and
gomorrah combined and somehow landing all that on the head of donald trucmp. see how trump came outside over this and continued to hammer cruz over his eligibility to be president. >> everyone understands the values in new york city are socially liberal, pro abortion, pro gay marriage, focus around money and the media, i guess i can frame it another way. not a lot of conservatives come out of manhattan. i'm just saying. >> conservatives actually do come out of manhattan, including william f. buckley and others, just so you understand. and just so -- if i could, because he insulted a lot of people, i've had more calls on that statement that ted made that new york is a great place, has great people, has loving people, wonderful people. when the world trade center came down, i saw something that no
place on earth could have handled more beautifully more humanely than new york. you have two 100 -- [ applause ] >> you had two 110 story buildings come crashing down. i saw them come down. people in new york fought and fought and fought. we saw more death and even the smell of death. nobody understood it. it was with us for months, the smell, the air. and we rebuilt downtown manhattan and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved new york.and loved new yorkers. i have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that ted made. >> do you think he meant by new york values, the values that led the firefighters, i think there's 227 of them to climb up the stairs when everybody else was coming down the world trade centers to save the people, do you think those were the values
or the idiot thing that new york is sodom and gomoro country, and music in iowa, we are playing to the people that are hicks. won't they say we are not hick, stop talking to us like this. >> i think it was a major mistake for ted cruz to make these comments about new york city. you think about new york city, you think about the statute of liberty and think about 9/11 and the new york trade center. >> i think of fox news channel on 6th avenue. i think of william f. buckley and the national review in new york city and new york state. >> and rudy guiliani who handled the new york crisis beautifully. to attack new york city and new york as a hole, i think was a big fumble for him. he was making such good grounds. >> heidi, the longic is we'll b
somewhere near the lead. the "new york post" will have something to say about this and the daily news. >> the overall fight will. let me make a point about cruz. what have we seen in all these debates. we've seen jeb bush try to land punches on donald trump and get totally pummeled. trump's most able adversary yet, cruz did fight back hard and made good points and turned donald trump's own words back on him. i'm not sure the audience caught it, the point about conservat e conservatives not coming out of manhattan was comments trump had made earlier about him and evangelicals not coming out of cuba. he did land some good blows, but like always, trump always has the last word. that's what we saw on the bir birther issue and new york values issue. >> the difference, chris, is ted cruz is an incredibly able collegiate debater. he knows how to win points on the flow charts of the judges in
this kind of thing. i agree with you, i think on the birther issue, i thought ted cruz fought back very abably even though he used a lot of time to do it. donald trump paints in big sw p sweeping emotional language. he knows how to connect with people in a way that cruz doesn't. cruz is microtargeting. for certain voters in iowa, i've been covering the iowa caucuses since 1984, he's trying to squeeze every evangelical vote out he can. that's the way they tend to view- - >> big cities. >> big cities. it can be des moines or- - >> i want to show you -- >> des moines or new york. >> here's a big moment that happened right at the end of the debate. between marco rubio and ted cruz on the subject of immigration, another hot issue in the country. let's watch. >> when i'm president, if we do not know who you are or why
you're coming you're not going to get into the united states of america. >> your thinking has changed? >> the issue is dramatically different than 24 months ago, 24, 36 months ago you did not have a radical group of crazies named isis burning people in cages and recruiting people to enter our country legally. >> 24 months ago we had hamas, hezbollah, iran putting operatives in south america, the reason why i stood with jeff sessions and others to stop the "gang of 8" amnesty bill. it is clear now and was clear then ted cruz is national securities. >> you used to say you support doubling green cards and now you're against its. you used to support 500% increase ingest workers, now against it. you used to support legalizing people here illegally and now you're against it. you used to say you were in
favor of birthright citizenship and now you say you're against it. by the way, it's not just on immigration. you used to supported tpa, now you say you're against it. i saw you on the senate floor flip your vote on crop insurance because they told you it would help you in iowa and we all saw you flip your vote on iowa. that is not political conservatism. that is political calculation. >> do i have a problem with r rubio. i do get the sense with rubio everything is prerecord, a part of a speech pattern, a series of items laid one on top of another one neatly like a bunch of tuna cans and always from some other stack of tuna cans. never spontaneously a reaction to what was just said. it's all prefab. maybe it's helpful and people like it, it's cute. >> in that particular exchange cruz was lucky that that happened at the very ends of the debate. >> he had that ready.
>> he had it ready but he wasn't able to use it until the very ends. that was 2 1/2 hours into that debate. i thought it was pretty effective. what it shows is, again, as you were saying, this is really a two-person race. this is basically a cruz-trump race. there are people ganging up to decides who they want to pull down. >> you're hillary tonight. pretend you're hillary. pretend you're hillary or as b rubio say, hillary rodham clinton. let me start with you omarosa, who does hilary clinton want to see as her opponent. she'll say she didn't but she'll watch all the clips and see most of it. who looked the more terrifying to her in a razzle-dazzle general election campaign? >> there's no question that donald trump is hilary clinton's worst nightmare. donald trump will say things none of these other opponents will say. donald trump will bring up things -- this is a person she
can't intimidate, this isn't a person she can buy out or undermine, donald trump will go head to head with hilary clinton. she is shaking in her boots if donald trump becomes the republican nominee these issues with bill clinton will become forefronting to ins. >> why. >> she has an issue with some of the things people have said about her enabling and people saying that have been victimized by bill clinton. these are things donald trump will bring out and beat beat hammer hammer these issues until her numbers go down and he is the victor in the fall. >> i don't know anybody ever brought up evidence hillary enabled monica lewinsky and bill clinton. >> you zeroed in with monica lewinsky tons of times with people who said bill clinton victimized them. >> i know all that. >> okay. let's address not just monica. >> i don't say it's irrelevant. i think we know it. one thing republicans agreed on
tonight, president obama wants your guns. they all agreed he's out to confiscate. let's watch. >> the first impulse of barack obama and hilary clinton is to take guns away from law abiding citizens. >> i am convinced this president if he could take away every gun in america he would and if he could get rid of the second amemd he would. >> the president wants to do things without working with congress and the legislature and the american people. the fact is that is not a democracy, a dictatorship. this guy is a petulant child. >> they seemed to have gone further saying he's not out just for gun safety and gun control but to grab the 350 million guns. >> this is the take up the guns thing. this is duck dynasty, take up the guns. again, i've been covering this stuff a long time. at the heart of the pro gun movement is this fear that the federal government's real aim and barack obama is the embodiment of it is to take up
the guns. that's the phrase. >> why do you own so many guns? because i want to be armed when they come and take my guns. >> ted cruz was bragging about the fact he was endorsed by the gun owners. >> they're really right wing. >> they make the nra look like planned parenthood. >> the argument is if you do anymore to register guns it feeds into this co-verts database the government is keeping somehow one day they will use to confiscate everybody's guns. i have to tell you if it gets to that point in this country, they don't need a database, they will just go door-to-door. it's nonsensical. >> what percentage of the liberal base would like to get rid of it? there's some? >> get rid of it. >> if you go to all the big c y cities where people live liberal, more progressive, how many people would like to get rid of them if they had their way? >> i have no answer to that question. will say this, anybody trying to get to the right of ted cruz on
guns on the republican side is going to lose. this is the guy who did a video where he wrapped bacon around the barrel of a rifle and shot it off to sizzle the bacon. okay. this is hard core. this is a guy -- this is a guy who, you know, who is comfortable with taking a loan from goldman sachs, who went to princeton and harvard and wr wrapping the bacon around the gun. >> let's go to howie who has donald trump in the spin room. >> i love south carolina. >> mr. trump, one more. >> well, we're watching him now leave the room, pausing a bit but apparently not enough for us to get him. hallie jackson is working. >> i can tell you what he said. >> go ahead. >> he said, everybody told me i did great tonight. everybody said, this was my best debate. >> i won handily.
>> i won handily. >> omarosa, you said it, too. you looked great tonight and thank you for being in my documentary on mr. crump or citizen trump. thank you, heidi and omarosa. coming up the sixth republican debate and first of 2016. we were just talking about it. this is hazards ball. >> on tuesday night i watched story-time with barack obama. i got to tell you, it sounded like everything in the world was going amazing, you know. [ applause ] get a large,1-topping pizza for only 50 cents when you order any large pizza at regular menu price. better ingredients. better pizza. better football. papajohns.com
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[ laughter ] >> i think jeb bush showed up tonight without the exclamation point. i didn't see it tonight. welcome back to "hardball." it's debate night. there were fireworks especially between ted cruz and donald trump and there were also attacks aimed at for whatever reason, hilary clinton as governor christie calls her hillary rodham clinton. >> everybody on the stage is better than hilary clinton. i think the focus yought to be sure we leave this process as wild and wooly as it will be. these attack ads are parts of life. everybody needs to get used to it and everybody's going to be scrutinized. at the end of the day we have to work to defeat hilary clinton because she is a disaster. >> joining us is april ryan and steve mcmahon and stoformer rnc chair, michael steele.
he's joining us from des moines. are they beginning to say -- certainly our polling tonight says 65% of the republican party can see backing trump for example. maybe something is coming together on the right and center right. is it? recognition you may have to settle for the wrong cup of tea you may not like? >> well, i think there are a lot of things like that going on right now. i think the establishment types have come to the mind that they're looking at a land where there's ted cruz on one side and donald trump on the other. they're going to go into the land of trump. there is this settlement beg beginning to take place. you referenced the comments about hilary clinton. she is the main objective here. a lot of folks, particularly the establishment candidates had to try to show they're bona fide, they could be as tough as someone like trump on hillary and take it to her, because, again, for the base, it's about
who's prepared to take this fight straight up the gut and make it matter. up till now they haven't been able to do that which has given trump the space he needs to gain the ground he has. >> they don't want a presidential candidate who will be like john mccain or lindsey graham, out on some congressional trip. >> no. >> matching shots with hillary in the middle of the night. they don't want friendship? >> this is full throated takedown. not about being nice and nice niceties and politeness of politics. about pure hard-nosed politics from here on outside. for a lot of folks what's at stake is the country and their kids and grandkids and they want someone who will go into that ring starting the beginning of these conventions who will be prepared to come out of those conventions ready to take on hillary in a big way. >> i was thinking, maria bart roma could have asked, how much do each of you hate hilary clinton? i hate her so much.
i hate her this much, i hate her more than anything. i didn't like that especially but i didn't like the way they treated the president. chris christie with his whatever you want to call it. >> a petulant child as well. i was like, wait a minute. as you said, kicking him out of the white house. first of all, it's not about the person, the president it. bill clinton -- i've covered three presidents. in bktill clinton's worst day w never heard that. in george w. bush's worst day -- >> i don't think we've ever seen -- >> we're seeing the old chris christie emerge. he's trying to distance himself from the picture after sandy they were hugging. >> either the old chris christie or new republican party. republicans seem to be reward disproportionately how personal -- how outrageous, how
incendiary the claims are they can make against the president of the united states. this has been true for some time now. they get rewarded for it. ben carson was created as a candidacy because he was basically rude and said outrageous things at a conservative conference about barack obama. >> in front of the president. >> in front of the president. >> this is christy's shock and awe moment. >> did you hear the undercard, carly fiorina saying, unlike the others, i like spending time with my husband. >> i've seen hillary clinton and bill together on other occasions. i believe there is some kinds of -- whatever it is, i don't know. but they are together, they are a couple. does carly fiorina know what's going on? you never know what's going on with a married couple. >> you don't know what's going
on with anybody else in life, their spirit. charles dickens just said that, i just read that. you don't know what's going on with the person next to you, you can't see in their souls. >> thank you, april ryan and to make call make -- michael steele understands we have 20 fito fin salvation in st. paul's gospel. he didn't have a gos pe-- gospe but -- much more, "hardball" returns after this with our coverage of the presidential debate the first of 2016.
welcome back to "hardball's" coverage of the first republican debate of 2016. while the focus of tonight's debate was largely on ted cruz' faceoff on donald trump, chris christie landed punches on marco rubio and what you might call the republican sidecar. let's watch. >> i stood on the stage with marco and rather indignantly told governor butch someone told you because we're running for the same office that criticizing me will get you to that office. it appears the same someone has been whispering in old marco's ear, too. do you remember that, everybody?
this is a question on entit entitleme entitlements. you already had your chance, marco and you blew it. >> let's go to hallie. >> a lot of questions about your ground game and how organized you have and how many people will find out. >> we will know by february 2nd, actually later, but know by february 2nd, but generally speaking i have had a good ground game. >> reporter: you've been out at rallies and events almost every day. >> we will be back in two weeks and filling this whole stadium, we're not doing a halfer, the whole stadium. i'm leavie ing for iowa, then n hampshire, then south carolina, then to iowa, then to florida and virginia. i'm all over the place. i'm loving it. >> you tired? >> i don't get tired. it's lucky, right, high energy,
very high energy. >> that's hallie jackson in the spin room with donald trump working it pretty late tonight. i'm joined by robert from the "washington post." robert, tonight, i wonder if the major press will make a decision about who won between cruz and trump or will they do a jumbo headline, a double barrel and make it something like, well, cruz really took on trump tonight, blah blah blah without a clear statement who won? is that what your main bar will look like in the post tomorrow? >> if we were writing just about the first hour, it would be about cruz slicing apart trump's argument about cruz's canadian birthplace. this is a multi-hour debate because trump came bouncing back talking about immigration and trade in china and really taking cruz on, on new york values. those were the two exchanges that dominated and that tension became the story.
>> why the stray reporters out there all taking cruz's side? is it just because they want a bigger number of candidates? if you look at the constitution and normal original intent of republican side, for example, if cruz were voting for who gets on the supreme court, he'd be vo voting for someone, only someone who is a literal interpreter of the constitution. what did they mean by that back in the 18th century? what did they mean when they said natural born? he wouldn't be talking about liber liberalizing it. this two-faced cruz i can be liberal on the constitution when it's convenient to me perso personally. how do they get away with that? >> reporter: we're reporters, no one's taking sides. >> yes, they are. >> reporter: let me explain what i'm saying, we're reporting on the front-runner in the republican party for the presidency taking on the guy next in line in the polls saying
he's not qualified to be on the ballot. that's a major debate unfolding and seems to be a major question in the gop, inflamed the republican debate and in fact seems to have overwhelmed the debate. you had all these other exchanges but the trump-cruz dynamic on canada, that was the story. >> what do you think was the lead story tonight and where it's going? what story has legs coming out tonight? what tonight got started as a story or billed as a story that will continue now to the next week? >> i think trump showed he's still in it. you may not like where he stands on banning muslims and everything. he didn't back the down and stood with it. i thought his answer on new york values was very strong. as someone from new york state i liked him defending new york state. you look behind what trump is doing never quite as it seems. a 9/11 group reached out to hi twice but he never respond.
>> he wasn't a candidate for president back then. hallie jackson is out there. what did ywe miss as you chased after trump to get those tidb tidbits. >> reporter: several times. he came to me, too late. we talked to him a couple times on the rope line asked him a few questions, specifically i wo wontered whether he will -- wondered whether he will continue the eligibility he came up with given tonight's debate we've been talking about. trump says he continues to be asked about it and will bring it up when he's asked about it. i pointed out he brings it up at his own rallies. he says there are questions about it and a vulnerability to ted cruz and continues to think its will raise cress to cr-- questions about cruz's vulnerability. he told me further up the rope line he thought he did well. i said other than you who did
well? he said john kasich did well, the first thing out of his mouth. he named marco rubio and chris christie and talked about ben carson. trump able to compliment a couple other candidates on stage, notice who is missing from that list. it is ted cruz and i think that will be the dominating story line as we move forward the fight came up several times each of them perceived at least ending up on one side or the other, cruz probably coming out better on the eligibility question and trump when he invoked 9/11 in response to that new york values question, it was a poignant moment. i talked to his son and eric believed that was his father's best moment. >> i think so, too. i wonder about cruz' ability to not answer the question about natural born means. he's a lawyer, constitutional student. went to a great law school, went to harvard. why can't he answer the question? why can't he answer what natural born means.
he did all this about fathers and mothers and means nothing. he said only somebody natural born can be running for president. he didn't answer the question. didn't hear it tonight. he did a lot of malarky and clever rhetorical numbers. not answering that question. your thoughts. >> reporter: my sense is because it's cruz and his campaign feel that question has already been settled. they do believe he is a natural born citizen and time to move on. what you saw cruz do, chris -- >> a natural born citizen of canada. he was born in canada. he obviously has the claim to be a natural born citizen in canada. if he's a natural born citizen in canada, how can he be a natural born citizen of the united states. it's one or the other, right? he's natural born in canada. >> reporter: yeah. i think you look at the legal documentation around this, the campaign believes because ted cruz's mother was born in the united states. >> that's staurts information, not constitution article.
those are statutes for the past that give automatic citizenship to people born to american parents. that's not natural born. that's a statutory act by congress and the congress has the right to say who a citizen is or not but don't have the right to say who is a natural born citizen. that's what professor tribe said to us on the air, they don't have authority to interpose someone as a citizen if they're not natural born and that's why the founders of the constitution wrote that particular phase. >> reporter: donald trump just invoked professor lawrence tribe's name here and pointed tribe's arguments and i pointed out cruz has painted tribe as a hillary clinton supporter. he say, who cares? i think we will see this as a line of questioning trump will bring up. >> hallie jackson out there and everyone else, thank you. much more "hardball" ahead. this is the place for live coverage tonight at the
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welcome back to "hardball." on this debate night there were some spectacular fireworks. if you haven't gotten to all of them yet, jeb bush continues to take shots to trump. this time he asked about the ban on not letting any muslims in the country. he really hit him on this. >> is there anything you've heard that makes you want to rethink this position? >> no. no. [ applause ] >> look, we have to stop with
political correctness. >> i hope you reconsider this because this policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out isis. >> he made those comments and represented him being unhinged, yet after he made them- - >> yeah, they are unhinged. >> after he made them his poll numbers went up eight points in south carolina. >> 11 points, to be exact. >> are you saying that all those people who agree with mr. trump are unhinged? >> no, not at all. we're running for presidency of the united states here. this isn't -- this isn't a different kind of job. you have to lead. you cannot make rash statements and expect the rest of the world to respond as, though, well, it's just politics. every time we send signals like this, we send a signal of weakness not strength. it was an unhinged statement,
which is why i'm asking him to consider changing his views. >> i want security for this country, okay? i want security. i'm tired of seeing what's going on between the border, where the people flow over, people come in, they live, they shoot, i want security for this country. >> joining us right now is francesca cam bers of "the daily mail" and senior reporter, perry. i had this mixed feeling when i watched jeb bush, like an older brother, the voice of experience and reasonableness and also a bit of a debbie downer. i know i should say because everything he says is reasonable and very good and christian, good values come out of jeb but they seem somehow dull. when he turns his head to that canine thing he does, turns his head to the side, now, really, donald, you can't say that, it really is pathetic. why is it pathetic when he's
saying the truth, the good stuff. >> this is something that jeb has struggled with in every debate, chris, these low energy claims donald trump is making at him. there is a reason he's saying things like that. every time jeb gets up there he comes out with sharp attacks but do come off as low energy as donald trump has said. >> perry. would a guy with a little more new york in him, sharpness be able to put down trump? >> christie would be much more effective, for example. trump is leading every poll. >> tonight, a big one. >> he's tied in iowa. so why aren't these guys atta attacking him more. he's the front-runner. cruz lightly attacked him. bush low energy flat attack. neil cavuto put bush in his place and saying you said unhinged and bush's numbers went up eight points after that.
shut-up butch before he talked. trump is winning, why aren't they taking on him? >> because of new hampshire. >> i understand that. if trump wins by 20 points in every state, second place is not that valuable. >> what did you think? it seemed like everybody held their position. cruz is number two and maybe gained a little bit. marco rubio, every time he sp k speaks, seems like a prerecorded speech, take it from somewhere else he used before. he's good at it but always seems prereco prerecorded. chris is fighting it out with rubio in that intramural match. christie sounded good. points out he's number 2 up in new hampshire. these are little intramural battles going on but the big two are front runners. >> you said it perfectly.
john kasich came out strong and faded as the debate went well. chris christie did well and came out swinging and that could help him in new hampshire. you have four candidates considered establishment. christie, kasich, you also have jeb bush there, and they're all fighting for the same position there. it's going to be very difficult for any one of them to win in new hampshire with all of them in the race still. none of them are going to get out of the race before new hampshire. that's a lot of what their problem is and how they're doing in the debates. >> unless they don't make the debate cut. it's something to see jeb bush everybody likes and knows him being pushed further and further to the edge of the room and just near the tipping point. next time he gets pushed over and won't be there anymore. francesca chambers, thank you for being there tonight. and mr. bacon. our coverage continues after this.
so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. we're back with this special debate coverage with some good report others to tell us what really happened tonight. joining me political reporter kasie hunt with me in washington and the director, howard fineman and washington bureau chief. i want to start with casey. everybody take a minute or two. give me your synopsis what happened tonight and the significance where it's taking the republican nomination for battle for president? >> so far, chris, i think there's an early story line how ted cruz handled donald trump on
this question of his citizenship. it was a clear seemed moment of strength for cruz. he was probably donald trump's most worthy adversary thus far. we have gone through a lot of debates and had the early analysis so-and-so got in a punch on donald trump and succeeded at x, y, z, every single time the person that comes out on top the end of the day whether polling or any metric you use has been donald trump. i think the question is what the numbers in iowa start to show, whether or not voters buy into this idea cruz is a potential worthy adversary, somebody who can stand up to donald trump or not. aside from that, we're looking pretty much at status quo. i think the evolving conventio conventional wisdom in the party is that trump is a pretty strong front-runner still. >> that was pretty wise. thank you. >> i agree with her analysis. first of all, this is a two
person race. the rest of the people didn't mat ear whole lot. this was not a very substantive debate in terms of policy issues. this is personal and both men, both donald trump and ted cruz are trying to make the other culturally illegitimate. donald trump is saying you can't be president because you were born in canada and ted cruz is s saying, you can't be president because you're a new yorker. >> you certainly can't be president by iowa standards. >> the other thing to note to me is that ted cruz is a master of microtarg microtargeting. he's running clever debating points for iowa, whereas donald trump is going for the emotional big sweep, those are the differences. >> david. >> i don't see any moving the needle greatly based on this performs. i think they all spoke to their audien audiences. >> trump is up 13 going into tonight. is he still up by 13? >> more-or-less by the margin of
error. he said i wear the mantle of anger proudly. cruz is going for that legendary evangelical vote in iowa. everything he did worked to that. the rest of the establishment candidates, someone said they're like crabs in a pot clawing to get out. >> and i would like to see a couple conservatives come out and might help trump. thank you. join me again tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern for more "hardball," our coverage of the first republican debate of 2016 continues after this.
tonight on all in. >> stupid mike keeping popping. >> the next big thing is here. >> well, i heard it's a big thing. >> donald trump's new attack. >> i know nothing about it, but i hear it's a very big thing. >> tonight, new polling sends chills down republicans' spines as talk of a broker convention heats up. then the republican birther fight and the democratic congressmen threatening to sue. plus the single biggest endorsement since kennedy backed obama. tonight as democrats push to pick who should win the elizabeth warren primary. and first the president challenged the nra. >> you'd think that they'd be prepared to have a debate with the president. >> today, a response. >> i'll meet you for a one-on-one, one-hour debate. >> but should the president