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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 3, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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>> that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow for debate night here at the university of new hampshire. now it's time for the last word. >> this week is going to be maybe the cheapest week in the campaign. new hampshire is so small they can walk from one event to the other in new hampshire. it doesn't cost them much to stay alive in new hampshire. >> snow tires, but other than that you're right. tonight, we will award the last word medal of honor for political bravery in iowa. take your time and think about it, i don't care how long you think about it you will not guess who is getting that award
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>> the latest as proof that donald trump is far too emotionally unstable to be commander in chief. >> we need a commander in chief, not a twitterer in chief. we need someone with judgment and the temperament to keep this country safe. i don't know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who his finger on the button. donald if he were president would have nuked denmark. that's not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe. >> joining us is michael steel, chairman and political analyst, wendy davis, member of the texas state senate. michael steele, can donald trump
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crybaby his way to the nomination in your party? >> no. short and sweet, the reality hit donald trump that a lot of people play for keeps in this sport and losing a a big part of it. polls are showing he is losing ground in new hampshire and rubio and cruz are tightening the noose. whether or not this was a summer fling that turned into a fall fancy and something that ended in winter. >> given that you have been watching ted cruz longer than any of us have, how shocked are
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you that the campaign sent out a lie during the caucuses and urged people within the caucuses who would be carson supporters to switch over to cruz. >> not shocked at all. this is the character of ted cruz. they are trying to suppress votes and tactics that keep people at home. clearly here in iowa, what he was doing was trying to make sure that he forces many people out as possible, that mailer that he sent out misrepresented himself and it looked like something from the government that called people's attention to a possible voter violation and used intimidation to try to get people to show up. i'm sure he in his vast
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modelling understood that they were likely his voters if he could get them to come. he is a very sly politician. he is going to use every trick in the bag to be able to win this election. the mistake donald trump made was to play right into his hand. instead of letting third parties play out the violations and the possible voter fraud, he took it upon himself to complain. it allowed ted to do exactly what he is doing which is to call into question donald trump's temperament and ability to serve as president. >> ted cruise is the only one. is the mailer that seemed to be threatening. lying that he was dropping out of the race. sometimes crybabies are right.
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sometimes the things they are crying about are right, but when it's your top two candidates in a presidential race within a party, is it possible that people hearing about what the crybaby is talking about think cruz was a bad guy for doing that and they don't like cruz. then they don't like the crybaby. are both of those results possible? >> yeah, which would respect marco rubio. that's why i think the odds have gone back to where we were a couple of months ago where rubio is the favorite for a nomination. he can see the path between the two vipers. there were a lot more reasonable republican who is think that both trump and cruz have disqualified themselves from the presidency and they are moving to rubio. you can sense that happening. before we get there, donald trump will not go down without a fight and next saturday night is
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going to be great television on wmur. their debate in new hampshire. trump now has a blood feud with cruz. he feels that cruz did him dirty and he will spend even though trump is a cheep skate, he will spend a lot of money to do everything he can to destroy ted cruz. it's not like him having low energy or something. this is something where -- also he is going to cold caulk rubio on immigration because he is not the gang of eight. that's where he is vulnerable from trump. >> i was going to say, the other thing to what jonathan is saying is not just what he said. that's what i suspect they see.
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in order to disrupt this strategy coming in third in new hampshire and third in iowa and second in new hampshire and second in south carolina, they need to block him. you will see a lot of back and forth in this debate unlike anything we have seen before. it will be a test to see how -- >> i think that's true. >> how they hold their temperament and expand on the noise. >> that's true and it's fascinating to watch who the victim of the week is going to be in this primary. clearly i think we are going to see real fireworks between cruz and trump and we are going to see the other candidates jumping on board in a strong way trying to suppress what they see as marco rubio's rise and the potential that he is going to be the nominee in the last ditch effort for those to try to quash his popularity and move themselves forward in some way. >> michael, it may be this week,
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a bunch of these candidates don find himself and based on what he said about the nominee. >> that are depends on how far donald trump goes. i don't think christie cares one i think you're making a good point, but they're not thinking about that right now. this is the blood and guts of getting to that spot where you grab momentum. remember, none of these folks have had any momentum for the last nine months except for rubio in the last couple of weeks. so this is a chance for them to
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really grab a spotlight that has eluded them up to this point. right now rubio is one lane and ted cruz is in the other. donald trump has always been in the way and they haven't figured that one out. they'll deal with that later if he's still there, but right now these two obstacles have to be dealt with. >> it amazes me this is the 11th commandment -- >> oh, please. >> it's roller derby now. it is rough. we've never seen anything quite this right in presidential politics. >> that's true. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. coming up, the illinois board of elections has just ruled on ted cruz's eligibility for their presidential primary ballot. harvard law professor will join us. less than 24 hours away from the democratic debate.
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coming up i'll have the questions you'll want bernie sanders and hillary clinton to answer, the questions that you've sent us today. maybe we can get them in the debate tomorrow night. and the best political speech today did not happen on the presidential campaign trail. senator elizabeth warren takes on america's two legal systems. want to get their hands on. if they could ever catch you. i tabut with my back paines, i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus
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elections rules on ted cruz's eligibility to be on the ballot. the professor who taught law to ted cruz will join us next. i'm billy, and i quit smoking with chantix. i decided to take chantix to shut everybody else up about me quitting smoking. i was going to give it a try, but i didn't really think it was going to really happen. after one week of chantix, i knew i could quit. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix definitely helped reduce my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. some had seizures while taking chantix. if you have any of these,
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stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse or of seizures. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you have these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have heart or blood vessel problems, or develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. most common side-affect is nausea. being a non-smoker feels great. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. the illinois board of elections has rejected a challenge to ted cruz's eligibility to be on the state's presidential primary ballot. that challenge came from illinois lawyer on the grounds that ted cruz is not a natural born citizen as the constitution requires to be president of the united states. the illinois board of elections says the candidate is a natural
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born citizen by virtue of being born in canada to a mother who was a united states citizen at the time of his birth. the illinois board of elections decided that ted cruz fit the definition of a natural born citizen because he did not have to go through a naturalization process at some point after birth. in january the new hampshire ballot commission rejected a similar challenge to ted cruz's eligibility, but recognized that the definition of natural born citizen is not settled law and said that the courts should settle the matter so that, quote, all election officials and the american people know once and for all the definition of natural born citizen. joining us now is lawrence tribe, professor of constitution al law. i feel i have to give you a warning that anything you say can and will be used by any
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presidential candidate out there in the field. >> do i get a lawyer too? >> i think you can go pro se and you'll do just fine. your reaction to the decision in illinois? >> i think the illinois board of elections doesn't know what it's talking about. i've read their opinion. they say for a century this issue has been settled, there's no problem, not even worth discussing. obviously that's wrong. law professors all over the country are discussing and more and more are concluding he's not a natural born citizen. i think the new hampshire guys were right that a court really needs to settle it, but when the illinois board of elections just kicks this can of worms down the road and ducks so that nobody can hold it to account the way it could if they had ruled the other way, it's not showing much courage or much wisdom and certainly no legal
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understanding. >> what options did they have, do you think? >> i think they could have set up a test case by saying we will not allow him to be on the ballot, at least provisionally, then ted cruz would have had to come out of hiding and sue them to get on the ballot and that would have set up a test case or if they were going to rule the way they did they could have been honest and said this is a serious, but we're doing the best we can in resolving it this way, but basically, you know, telling an untruth, saying it's clear, no problem, just move along, that really was not worthy of a state election commission. >> so in your view the new hampshire board handled it in a better way saying we're going to allow him on the ballot, but this is unsettled. we need guidance on this, we need the court basically to give us guidance on this?
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>> that's right. at least that was honest that some official at some point in this process may well say that he doesn't belong on the ballot, either during one of the primaries or if he were to become the nominee in the general election and at that point clearly or the republican party would have to take that public official to court around it would end up in the supreme court of the united states where it could go either way. this is not an open and shut question. that's the one thing that's clear about it that it's completely unclear. many law professors have said we've studied and the irony is if you are a strict reader of the constitution you probably go against cruz. so if you are a reader of the constitution who views it really narrowly the way cruz says he does, then he's not eligible. if you read it more generously
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then you might well rule for him. so he is basically stuck in a catch 22. if his theory of the constitution is wrong when it comes to basic human rights, gay rights, if his theory is wrong then maybe he does belong on the ballot. he can take his pick. >> thank you once again for giving us your guidance on this matter. appreciate it. >> my pleasure. coming up next, on the eve of the democratic debate your questions for hillary clinton and bernie sanders. ♪ ♪ sfx: car driving. ♪ sfx: engine revving.
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you mentioned the word debate. people need to be debating the issues. are you going to be participating in the debate with hillary clinton tomorrow night? >> the answer is yes and you know that i have always wanted more debates and secretary clinton in the beginning was not so interested in more debates. >> and so it's on. at this hour tomorrow night the democrats will be debating in new hampshire right here in msnbc.
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hillary clinton and bernie sanders will be facing questions from rachel maddow and chuck todd from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. eastern. back with us for a debate preview. now, we asked for questions on twitter today and got some good ones. i want to give you examples of what i like in debate questions and what i don't like. we have a question. how will you unit the nation if you become president? that is exactly the kind of question i would never ask because it invites a sermon and you're giving away the time. here is one that i really like. this one is, ask hillary if it were politically feasible would you prefer single payer health care to obamacare. would she prefer bernie's idea
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since she's always said going back 20 years she does think that's the best way to do it, it's just politically impossible to do it. >> if you look back at what they call hillary care in 1994 it more resembled a single payer system. she'll have a good answer to that and it will relate to the fact that there's not an appetite there on the part of the american people to move to this and too many people would be thrown off the health insurance that they like. millions and millions of people would lose their insurance and would go to government insurance. they don't want to do that. it's not politically. that's the candidate of what's possible, not a good idea. this is a theory of change discussion that sanders and clinton are having and she has a more pragmatic theory of change and i think she would go to that to answer that question.
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>> what are you hoping to see in the debate tomorrow? >> this is an important moment in this contest. bernie sanders is clearly up in new hampshire, but it's the only state left that he's up in. he's up in basically two states, vermont and new hampshire. i think what jonathan said is important i think the key question here is not the heart and soul of the democratic party, but it's about the obama legacy. do you think the obama presidency was transformational and has moved this country and that's the choice. do they think they need to lock down this obama legacy, the obamacare and a number of other things and maybe tweak them a little bit here and there, that's the hillary argument, or do they need to make another big leap more to of the left and push a little bit more. i think that's the context of this contest right now and i think that's what we're going do see on the stage tomorrow night.
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>> what's odd about this whole thing as highlighted by one of the tweet questions we got today, tony tweeted given obama's difficulties with the gop what makes bernie feel he can do differently. you can substitute the word hillary there, because i haven't heard either candidate say a single thing that paul ryan's house of representatives will have a hearing on or a vote on. >> before you get to the republicans, bernie sanders isn't a democrat. it's really hard to be an effective president if you don't have your own party. >> how do we not talk about a republican congress when we talk about a democratic president? >> well, hillary is in a position where she can use some of her skills and her relationships to build bridges across the aisle. sanders did that on veterans, but in most cases he wouldn't. so he's talking about a 10 or 15
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year project to change the whole context of american politics before anything would happen in a sanders administration. so it is a little bit of a -- your heart versus your head confess, but the challenge for hillary is what are her big ideas? people don't vote on experience. they don't vote on i'll bring you some increment al fixes. they want to know where you're going to take the county and she's still too focussed on the past. this is a 21 century campaign. >> congress is all about compromise. go ahead james. >> i hear something different. i don't hear this -- i agree with jonathan that i don't hear her or you talked about how they're going to compromise with republicans. i think the argument right now from hillary is i will fight with republicans. bernie sanders is giving an argument that is not even an argument.
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it's not a way to fight with republicans. you hear her use the word fighter so often here in new hampshire and obviously you heard it in iowa. she has a credibility that you may not like me, that her poll numbers show that you may not trust me, but the one thing you do know about me is that i will fight tooth and nail with republicans and the same republicans who fought with president obama. >> if republicans continue to control the legislative process in either body, when she fights with republicans -- >> they're going to have the house. >> let's agree they're going to have the house. what is paul ryan going to surrender to hillary clinton on? >> well, if you actually look at what's happened, especially in lame duck sessions, but often at the end of the year, the democrats and republicans have gotten a series of things done together as recently as a month ago. >> it's basic government maintenance.
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it's not anything more than that. >> you could envision them getting something done on infrastructure, on certain kinds of public investments. i don't think it's impossible to get anything done in eight years, but what we have to look at is who can begin to move the ball down the field? i think that's where clinton has an advantage. sanders said you can't both be a moderate and a progressive. almost every president has been both a moderate and a progressive. for him to say they are mutually exclusive that you can't be both moderate and progressive, i don't think that's going to sit well with democrats. >> we have to break this there for tonight. thanks for joining us tonight. >> good. >> thank you.
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>> see you then. coming up president obama visited an american mosque today, first time during his presidency. and the house of representatives began its investigation of the crisis in flint, michigan. want to get their hands on. if they could ever catch you. this is a body of proof. proof of less joint pain. and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis with humira.
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donald trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. >> perhaps in response to that today president obama gave a speech at the islamic society of baltimore. it was his first visit to a mosque in the united states during his presidency. >> if we're serious about freedom of religion and i'm speaking to my fellow christians who remain the majority in this country, we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths.
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and when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up. and we have to reject a poll ticks that seeks to manipulate prejudice or. >> the president had this message for young people. >> i want to speak directly to the young people who may be listening. in our lives we all have many identities. we are sons and daughters and brothers and sisters. we're classmates, we're cub scout, troop members. we're followers of our faith. we're citizens of our country. and today there are voices in this world, particularly over the internet who are constantly claiming that you have to choose between your identities as a
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muslim for example or an american. do not believe them. if you're wondering if you fit in here, let me say as president of the united states, you fit in right here. you're right where you belong. you're part of america too. you're not muslim or american, your muslim and american. >> joining us now co founder of the muslim reform movement and the author of standing alone, an american woman's struggle. >> i didn't watch the president's speech as it was happening because i was standing outside on johnny cake road by the police security barriers protesting president obama's presence at that mosque. while his words are wonderful in theory, what he doesn't seem to understand is that many of us as muslim women try to go into
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these mosques where we believe we belong and we are told to go through back doors and back stairwells, into basements and i'm not speaking only hypothetically because on sunday i went to that islamic society of baltimore, i walked through the front door, asked to go to the prayer hall, i was led to the third floor where there's this darkened space. it looks over the beautiful space that you can see president obama speaking in. all of those people who are there, are allowed entry on this special inner faith day and women are barred in two out of three mosques in america when conditions are separate and unequal. that sunday what i witnessed standing at the doors in the main prayer in which president obama stood there today and spoke i watched a woman tell the girls to go pray in the gym and
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the boys got to go pray in that beautiful space in which president obama stood. so i think while his words are wonderful in principal, what they don't reflect the struggle that we are having within our own faith and unfortunately president obama has taken sides with the hyper conservatives that targets women in our own faith. >> with all due respect to my colleague, i strongly disagree to what you said as it applies to the president's visit. i'm jewish and orthodox jews have that same kind of separation in their synagogues. it's horrible. i think it's a mark against my faith that they do. that's not what the president's appearance was about.
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>> i understand what you're saying. >> he spoke very well to something that was important for non-muslims to understand. it was a message to non-muslims. he wasn't trying to settle disputes within islam. he was trying to talk about what it means to be an american and this is something we need to hear now very much. i think we're going to miss this man. >> you may need to hear this -- >> not me. other americans need to hear it. >> i am an american and i didn't need to hear that message because i feel very comfortable in this country. i feel very safe. but where i do not feel safe is going into my mosques. we are afraid when we go into our mosques. we are afraid of walking into the shadows of men who are going to scold us? if there was a church that said that blacks had to pray in a balcony and there was a president that went to that church and said it was an issue
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that we need to discuss that is of greater importance, we would all be disgusted. you called it a blight. for anybody to endorse a space that we have such strong words as that i think it's a tragedy. >> he wasn't endorsing that gender segregation. >> i can tell you those of us standing outside including my 83-year-old father who has fought for the right of woman to have presence in those sprass, it was a great insult. to throw women under the bus like that is a real contributory negligence when the president is pushing for equal pay and greater benefits for women in the military, this is the tragedy for all times for women. we are always thrown under the bus. we were the last to get the right to vote in america and
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today i'm so sad to be hearing from you as a colleague the same kind of evaluation that ends up saying your values, you're needs are not as important as these greater needs. >> can i ask you quickly -- we're running out of time. could the white house have chosen a better location for a speech like this? >> unfortunately like i said two out of three mosques in this country have these kind of conditions as jonathan just put forward. we have some that are more liberal and more main stream. it would have been very difficult, but i think he could have found a better choice. why not just have a lovely potluck dinner anyway? why do you have go to a mosque. >> he's done the potluck dinners in the past. >> do it again. >> it was an important message to send given the attacks by the republicans. donald trump said obama felt
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comfortable at the mosque. that's the level of attacks and i think he's trying to say to them -- he's trying to push back and say to all of them to the entire republican party and the american people muslims are americans too. >> we know that we are americans. >> you might know it, but they don't. donald trump doesn't know it. >> we do not need to speak to trump in order to find our agenda and i find it unfortunate that we end up having to make political calculations, especially when islam is on a political battle. this was another political agenda and what what becomes the issue at cost then, all of the noble efforts for reform that many of us are fighting to do. so tonight just hours after coming back, rain drenched from that street, what happened on twitter now i'm being attacked
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as the islamafhobe and what we have to do is come back to a place where we support reformers that want to pursue aggressive values in america. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, the best presidential candidate the democrats have who is not running for president. then you'll know how uncomfortable it can be. but did you know that the lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath? well, there is biotene, specially formulated with moisturizers and lubricants. biotene can provide soothing relief and it helps keep your mouth healthy too. biotene, for people who suffer from a dry mouth.
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the most powerful political speech given today wasn't investigate in new hampshire or anywhere on the presidential campaign trail. it was given by the most prominent senator who chose not to run for president this year. >> we have one set of law on the books, but there are really two legal systems.
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one legal systems is for big corporations, for the wealthy and the powerful. the second system is for everyone else. in this second system, whoever breaks the law can be held accountable. government enforcement isn't timid here. it's aggressive. just ask the families of sandra bland, freddie gray and michael brown about how aggressive they are. >> senator elizabeth warren spoke this morning about a new report issued by her office about lax law enforcement of corporate crime and she strongly objected to attempts by her colleagues to sabotage criminal justice reform for non-violent offenders. >> but now all of a sudden some republicans are threatened to block a reform unless congress includes a so called amendment to make it much harder for the government to prosecute hundreds
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of corporate crimes, crimes from everything from wire fraud to mislabeling prescription drugs. in other words, for these republicans, the price of helping out people unjustly locked up in jail for years will be to make it even harder to lock up a white collar criminal for even a single day. that is shameful. shameful. the american people expect better from us. they expect us to straighten out our criminal justice system and reform drug enforcement practices that do nothing but destroy lives and communities. they expect us to stand up against unjustified violence, but they also expect us to protect the financial system and to hold wall street executives accountable when they break the law. they expect us to hold big companies accountable when they steal billions of dollars from
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taxpayers when they rip off students or veterans or retirees or single mom's or when they cover up health or safety problems and people get sick or people get hurt or people die because of it. the american people know that we have two legal systems, but they expect us to fix it. they expect us to stand for justice. they expect us to once again honor the simple notion that in america nobody is above the law. . seems like everyone drives. and those who do should switch to geico because you could save hundreds on car insurance. ah, perfect. valet parking. evening, sir. hello! here's the keys. and, uh, go easy on my ride, mate. hm, wouldn't mind some of that beef wellington... to see how much you could save on car insurance, go to geico.com.
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think of it as a seven seat for an action packed thriller. house democrats today objected that michigan's governor rick snyder was not invited to the first hearing on the flint crisis. >> i don't care whether it's epa, whether it's local, whether it's state, i want everybody who is responsible for this tragedy to be held accountable. i'm not protecting anybody because that's not our job. we are the last line of defense and if we don't do it, nobody's going to do it. >> joining us now, mayor of lansing michigan. he ran against governor snyder in 2010.
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republicans control the witnesses at those hearings and the invitations to those hearings. the republicans didn't want to hear from the republican governor. >> i tell you, elijah cummings outrage did my heart good. the public confidence has been breached to such an extent that we're here from the government and we're here to help, nobody believes that in flint. they can't trust state officials or federal officials. the governor said he takes responsibility. if that's the case let him go before congress and explain exactly what happened. i think he owes that to the nation and the citizens of michigan. there's a crisis in confidence in michigan. the one thing about that hearing, i don't about you, but i felt finally that there was some by partisanship. at least we can agree that people deserve clean water that
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people shouldn't be poisoned by the government in terms of water. >> and their job is to try to get at the lines of responsibility including federal and what they got was finger pointing of one group to another. >> right. i mean the state, but clearly the state has primary responsibility and again there's a little bit of finger pointing, but it's clear the state was running the city through this incredible emergency manager law in michigan that gives powers to the governor. the governor, through his appointee runs that city, just like he was running the city of detroit. the responsibility for the clean water act and the led regulations is with the state department of
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win here, or die. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews, up in new hampshire right now. tomorrow night, hillary clinton and bernie sanders will meet in their one and only debate before the new hampshire primary on tuesday. clinton and sanders come here out of her narrow win to take the debate stage one-on-one at the university of new hampshire in durham. you'll see it here on msnbc, and i'll have pregame coverage starting with a special edition at 7:00 eastern, moderated by chuck today and rachel maddow. tonight, the candidates are flooding the zone here in the live free or die state. hillary clinton is about to appear at a get out the vote in manchester. bernie sanders wrapped up a

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