tv Meet the Press MSNBC February 14, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST
rarest of events, a vacancy on the supreme court in the middle of a presidential election. how the fight over his replacement could paralyze the senate and all of washington. we'll hear from four republican presidential candidates, donald trump, ted cruz, marco rubio and john kasich. plus, that wild republican debate last night. >> you are a principle -- >> you are the single biggest liar. >> when you point to his own record, he screams liar, liar, liar. >> i think we're fixing to lose the election to hillary clinton if we don't stop this. >> also, bernie sanders gets a taste of what he may face as he
tries to win african-american voters. >>óvç i've said black 50 times,l right. that's the 51st time. >> can hillary clinton win by making this campaign a referendum on sanders, not herself? joining me this sunday morning for inside and analysis are gwen ifil, chris, ron fournier and kathleen parker, columnist for "the washington post." welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press with chuck todd". good sunday morning. it hasn't happened since 1968. a vacancy battle on the supreme court at this stage of an election year. we learned late yesterday of the sudden and tragic death of supreme court justice antonin scalia. an intellectual and conservative thought leader, a man president obama last night called one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the
supreme court. scalia's death of course is a personal tragedy for his family and colleagues, but it is also bursting with major political implications. what will his loss due to the balance of power on the court? will the republican senate even consider someone nominated by president obama? how long will this vacancy paralyze the court, and perhaps the u.s. senate? and at last night's republican presidential debate in south carolina the candidates made clear where they stand on this issue. >> i do not believe the president should appoint someone. and it's not unprecedented. >> there's no doubt in my mind that barack obama will not have a consensus pick. >> the senate needs to stand strong and say we're not going to give up the u.s. supreme court for a generation. >> i think it's up to mitch mcconnell and everybody else to stop it. it's called delay, delay, delay. >> we're going to hear from four of the leading republican presidential candidates this morning, donald trump, ted cruz, marco rubio and john kasich. the democratic candidates meanwhile were also quick to respond to the vacancy.
>> supreme court of the united states has nine members, not eight. we need that ninth member. >> elections have consequences. the president has a responsibility to nominate a new justice. and the senate has a responsibility to vote. >> we'll also be taking a close look at the democratic race and how hillary clinton's team is working overtime to try to turn this contest from being a referendum on her to a referendum on bernie sanders. a lot to get to, but we start with the impact and the implications of scalia's death on the supreme court. nobody better to join me on this than our justice correspondent pete williams. pete, welcome back, sir. let me ask very quickly, we're in the middle of some contentious cases on the supreme court now. what happens right now? the most one with political implications is the immigration decision. >> right. when you have eight justices it creates the possibility of a 4-4
tie. when there's a tie it's as though the supreme court decision doesn't count, the lower court ruling stands and the supreme court decision has no presidential value. so for the immigration policy it would be a defeat for the administration because it would leave standing the lower court rulings that blocked it. for such abortion question which is coming, it would leave the tough texas restriction on access to abortion clinics standing. might encourage other states to try the same thing. for public sector unions though it might be a victory because they won in the lower courts, defeating an effort to try to restrict their ability to raise union dues. >> all right. we are headed for the potential of if the president wants to nominate somebody, he's made that clear. the republican controlled senate doesn't want to consider it. it's possible terms of the supreme court begin in october and end in june. >> right. >> so at this point under this scenario we might go an entire term, october of '16 through june of '17 without a supreme court justice because even if the next president appoints it takes time to get through the
process. >> two haugtthoughts, majority decisions are not close votes. the court will continue functioning and do a lot of its business. it does raise the possibility that you won't get what only the supreme court can provide, and that is the final answer. only the supreme court can resolve these things for once and forever. so a lot of these things will just have to keep coming back until the supreme court gets the right combination to make the decision. >> scalia, the way cases are heard, once they're heard, there's an immediate vote that takes place among the nine justice. >> that's right. >> does scalia's vote count posthumously? >> no, not unless the decision was handed down. the rule is votes can shift and opinions can change, you have to be present for your vote to count. >> i want you to talk about one candidate i think we may see nominated. it's a judge by the name of merrick garland. if there's a republican senate, this is a guy they think they can get through the republican senate. he's considered more moderate than other liberal justices, why? >> because of his record, experience in the justice
department, widely respected. i mean, the thing is now presidents tend to want younger nominees. if you look at the most recent trend, they're nominating people in their 50s. that's not merrick garland, but he's the right kind of ideology. >> all right. pete williams, going to be a busy 18 months for you on this confirmation process, i think. >> indeed. joining me now is the first of four republican presidential candidates who are on with us this morning. it's donald trump. mr. trump, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning. >> let me ask you first on the supreme court opening. do you have a litmus test? do you have a litmus test on row v. wade? citizens united when it comes to who you might appoint to the supreme court should you become president? >> well, i think we have some great people out there. diane sikes from wisconsin from what everybody tells me would be outstanding. we need a conservative person. i think that certainly we have some great people. we lost one of the greats. i'd like to have the person tailored to be just like justice scalia, justice scalia was truly a great judge.
and respected by all. both sides. >> that's what i mean, how will you determine that? how will you determine whether you g somebody -- >> well, i mean, look, you never know what happens, chuck. you look at where a guy like ted cruz pushed very hard for justice roberts. everyone thought that was wonderful. and justice roberts let everybody down by approving obamacare, twice. i mean, he really did let us down. that's largely cruz's fault and the bush fault because they put the wrong guy in there. that was a shocking decision. so, you know, you never really know. but at the time he looked okay. but he's -- that was a ted cruz mistake because he pushed him very hard. look, we need great intellect. we need i say absolutely conservative. but i think the real plan for it would be somebody just like justice scalia. >> all right. i want to move on to the debate last night. >> by the way which is hard to find. >> yeah, i think a lot of con terve sie servetives will agree with you.
i want to go to the debate last night. your 2008 comments about george w. bush were brought up and this idea that you were surprised at the time that then-speaker pelosi had ruled out impeachment. did you believe that -- and i just want to clarify this, did you believe that there was enough there to bring up impeachment proceedings against george w. bush in 2008 over iraq? >> no. i was in the private sector, so i didn't think about it too much. but certainly the war in iraq was a disaster. no, not to be impeached, but the war in iraq it was a mistake. he just made a mistake. we went into iraq, we lost thousands of lives -- >> but you don't believe it's an impeachable offense now? you were implying it might be in 2008. >> well, that's for other people to say. look, that is for other people to say. i can say this, it may not have been impeachable because it was a mistake. i think it was a mistake. but it was a horrible mistake. number one, there were no weapons of mass destruction. so did they know there weren't or not? that would tell you something right there. but there were no weapons of mass destruction. chuck, the war in iraq was a
disaster. we end up with absolutely nothing. iran is taking over iraq as we sit here right now. and as sure as you can be iran is doing pretty well worldwide. they take $150 billion, we get nothing. they're taking over iraq. they're getting the oil. it was a disasterous decision the war in iraq and unfortunately bush happened to be president. >> you were saying president bush lied. how do you know he lied about wmd? >> i think that people knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction. i think they wanted to go in there. i think they thought it would have been easier. they didn't prosecute the war well. it wasn't well prosecuted and they ended up getting -- i mean, leaving. now, i have to say he made a mistake getting in. and i'm the only one on the stage that said we should not go into iraq. that the war in iraq is a mistake. everyone else said, oh, you know, all the other people on stage i should get points for
vision. because everybody -- >> let me pause you there. >> chuck, it took -- >> right. let me pause you -- >> it took jeb bush five days -- wait a minute. it took jeb bush five days to say that the iraq war was a mistake. he went back and forth, back and forth. then finally his pollster told him what he had to say. but jeb bush -- then he admitted it was a mistake. i mean, look, he's got no chance anyway, but it almost cost him the election before he even started. >> well, i want to for what it's worth politifact that has never been able to find, none of us have been able to find any instance where before the invasion you came out against this war. why is that? >> well, i did it in 2003. i said it before -- don't forget, i wasn't a politician. so people didn't write everything i said. i was a business person. i was as they say world class business person. i built a great company. i employ thousands of people. so i'm not a politician, but if you look at 2003 there are articles, if you look at 2004, there are articles in fact i saw somebody commenting on it last
night that trump really was against the war. i was against it -- look, i'm the most militaristic person, i'm going to build the military bigger, better, stronger, hopefully we'll never have to use it, but nobody's going to mess with us. but i will say this, the war in iraq, it was a mistake. anybody would have realized iran a iraq they used to fight. they'd go back, forth. chuck, you destabilize the middle east, i'm the only one that called. i was the only one that called it. >> you made it clear that you wanted to remind people that 9/11 happened, i believe you used the phrase, during george bush's reign. do you believe that george bush kept america safe? >> no. because the world trade center was knocked down. look, that's another myth. i wish he did. i have nothing against him. i don't know him. i don't know that -- i don't think i ever even met him. i don't think i did meet him. i have nothing against george bush. i'm just saying when jeb bush gets up and says my brother kept us safe. how did he keep us safe when the
world trade during his time in office, i lost many, many friends -- that was the worst tragedy in the history of this country. worse than pearl harbor because they attacked civilians. they attacked people in office buildings. >> and you think george w. bush could have prevented this? >> well, according to -- if you go back, you will see the cia and other agencies had information that bad things were going to happen. and, yes, the answer is he should have known. they were not talking to each other. there was total disassociation. they didn't like each other, all of the different agencies were a mess. they were fighting with each other. absolutely they should have known. they should have known something. osama bin laden -- hey, look, i wrote about osama bin laden in 2000 in a book. i was talking about osama bin laden. if i know about osama bin laden just by seeing press and seeing, you know, what's going on, why wouldn't the president of the united states know about osama bin laden? >> well, let me ask you this. in south carolina as you know, george w. bush is popular among republicans. you are -- this is a risky
stra strategy. you called him a liar last night about wmd and you essentially said you would have been okay -- >> i didn't call him a liar. i didn't call anybody a liar. >> well, you called ted cruz a liar. >> chuck, i said maybe there were lies because, look, the weapons of mass destruction they said they existed and they didn't exist. now, it was his group that said there are weapons of mass destruction. that's why we went in. that's why so many people got hoodwinked into going into iraq. then they go in there, they searched high and dry. they looked all over. there were no weapons of mass destruction. turned out that there were absolutely not no weapons of mass destruction. now, was it a lie? i don't know. >> if you lose south carolina, do you think the game chge moment people will point to is what happened last night and what you said about george w. bush? but if you win, does this prove that the republican party is rejecting bush? >> no, i don't think so. i think they're rejecting the war in iraq. the war in iraq is a disaster.
i have a great relationship with south carolina and the people. i've known them for a long time. i've been there many times. i have great relationships there. they're very smart people. they understand that the war in iraq is a disaster and was a disaster. it totally destabilized the middle east. when you look at the migration, when you look at all of the things that are happening right now, it all started with the war in iraq. and you know what, we got nothing. we have absolutely nothing. iran is getting the whole deal. >> mr. trump, i have to leave it there. little short on time this morning. i look forward to speaking with you again soon, i hope. thanks for congresswomanming on safe on the trail. >> thank you very much. moments ago i spoke to senator ted cruz of texas. and i began asking him about how he might go about replacing justice antonin scalia on the court. let me go to litmus tests, do you have them for potential supreme court justices? >> well, my litmus test for any supreme court justice is whether he or she will faithfully apply
the constitution to the law. it's not a specific issue. it is rather a jurs prudential approach. the only way to determine that is if they have a proven record, if they have spent years demonstrating they'll be faithful to the law. that's the job of a justice. it's what liberal activists don't do. liberal activists want to instead legislate from the bench. a perfect example of that is justice scalia. justice scalia was a lion of the supreme court. he was one of the greatest supreme court justices in history. spent three decades on the court. but before he was on the court he was a law professor for many, many years. he was a court of appeals judge. he had a long proven record so you knew exactly what you were getting with justice scalia. i knew justice scalia for 20 years. >> is this the mistake you think was made with john roberts? >> of course it is. >> you were a big supporter of him, but in hindsight you're not. is that because you think that he didn't have a track record? >> he didn't have a track record. and i would not have nominated john roberts. once george bush nominated him,
i supported the nomination as a republican nominee, but i would have nominated my former boss, a court of appeals judge, justice scalia's very first law clerk and had a long proven track record. and, chuck, just as ronald reagan was to the presidency, so antonin scalia was to the supreme court. he had that big an impact. and i think his passing yesterday really underscores the stakes of this election. we are facing our fundamental rights in a balance. >> let me ask you, does the united states senate have an obligation to at least consider a nomination that president obama puts forward? i understand that you guys don't want it. and you would prefer to let the -- but doesn't the united states have an obligation to at least go through the process and have an up or down vote? >> not remotely. >> why? >> it has been 80 years since a supreme court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. there is a long tradition that you don't do this in an election
year. and what this means, chuck, is we ought to make the 2016 election a referendum on the supreme court. i cannot wait to stand on that debate stage with hillary clinton or bernie sanders and talk about what the supreme court will look like depending on who wins. if hillary clinton or bernie sanders wins, or for that matter if donald trump wins whose record is indistinguishable from them on a great many issues, then we will see the second amendment written out of the constitution. another thing we'll see, and this is very relevant, for conservatives in south carolina, if donald trump is the nominee, or if hillary clinton is the president, we will see unlimited abortion on demand throughout this country. partial birth abortion, taxpayer funding, no parental notification. and we'll also see our religious liberty torn down, basic rights. >> i want to go back to the united states senate here. so you believe the presidency is only three years long in each term? i mean, if we go down this road, we're cutting off a presidency with a year to go. and more importantly, senator
cruz, the risk here for conservatives is that if you have all these 4-4 ties in the court, then the more liberal leaning circuits will then have, you know, their rulings will take precedent. >> look, the consequence of a 4-4 tie is that the judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed by an equally divided vote. this has happened many times in history that there have been vacancies, sometimes on a closely contentious case they'll hold over for the next term when the replacement justice arrives. in an election year we have a long tradition that a lame duck president doesn't get to jam a supreme court nominee through in the very end. lbj tried that and the supreme court rejected it. and particularly when the court is 5-4 is balanced an obama liberal nominee would dramatically shift the u.s. supreme court. >> but why not go through the process? should the united states senate do its duty and go through the process, reject it, senator, but go through the process? >> by the way, the senate's duty
is to advise and consent. the senate is advising right now, we are advising that a lame duck president in an election year is not going to be able to tip the balance of the supreme court. that we're going to have an election, and if liberals are so confident that the american people want unlimited abortion on demand, want religious liberty torn down, want the second amendment taken away, want veterans memorials torn down, want the crosses and stars of david sandblasted off of the tombstones of our fallen veterans, then go and make the case to the people. i don't think the american people want that. ] case directly to hillary clinton, directly to bernie sanders. and i would note, look, how do we know donald trump's record on this is going to be bad? he has supported liberals for four decades, jimmy carter, john kerry, hillary clinton, chuck schumer, harry reid, anyone who cares about judges would not be supporting harry reid and chuck schumer and john kerry and hillary clinton. and the consequence is if either hillary or bernie or donald
trump is the president, we will see the second amendment written out of the constitution. this is a basic question who will defend our liberties. >> senator cruz, i have to leave it there this morning. a lot more to get to. i look forward to hopefully having you on perhaps next sunday and we can get to more of that. thank you, sir. >> excellent. when we come back, we're going to hear from marco rubio who hopes to put new hampshire behind him. and john kasich who hopes new hampshire is a sign of the future. >> the world trade center came if you're going to say "better ingredients. better pizza." you better deliver. which is why i'm introducing our new papa's quality guarantee: love your pizza, or get another one, absolutely free. get any large pizza up to 5-toppings for just $9.99. online only. at papajohns.com
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and we are back. earlier this morning i was joined by senator marco rubio of florida and governor john kasich of ohio. and i started with senator rubio asking him whether the senate has an obligation to give the president's supreme court nominee an up or down vote. >> we have an obligation to do it, but not now. the term of this supreme court is already -- they just started it, but it's not all yearlong. the court can function with eight justices, it does it all the time especially when justices have to recuse themselves. kagan has to recuse herself early in the term. we're going to have an election in november where this vacancy will be an item of debate and voters will get to weigh in. i don't think it's wise and it's precedent for this president nearing the last few months of his administration to put someone on the court that may be there for 30 years. >> so you don't think -- i understand that. and i understand the decision that you may not support and that the republican majority doesn't want this, but aren't they obligated to at least go
through the motions here? i mean, you're saying -- >> no. >> you're saying don't even go through the motions, why? >> correct. we will go through the motions, but not while barack obama's in the white house. it's not going to happen. >> do presidential terms end after three years? that's what i don't understand is why not go through the advice and consent. you don't have to approve it. you can reject it. that's what happened in '68. but why not go through this process? >> because there's -- actually, it's not just for the supreme court. even for appellate courts it's been both parties followed this precedent. there comes a point in the last year of the president, especially in their second term, where you stop nominating -- or you stop the advice and consent process. you basically say at this point with a few months left in your term, no accountability from the ballot box and the appointment you're going to make on a lifetime appointment. that's the important thing here. these are not laws that can be -- but these are not laws that can be reversed. in essence this is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the country at a time when the balance of the constitution and the court's interpretation of it is at stake.
mitch mcconnell has already made it clear we're not moving forward and i support 100%. bottom line i don't trust barack obama on the appointment of supreme court justice. we cannot afford to have scalia replaced by someone like nominees he's put there in the past. we're going to have an election, there's going to be a new president. i believe it's going to be me. we're going to look for someone that most resembles scalia to replace him. >> i want to move to the debate. you said in response to a heated exchange between jeb bush and donald trump on 9/11, this is what you said about 9/11. and i want to ask you about it on the other side. >> the world trade center came down because bill clinton didn't kill osama bin laden when he had the chance to kill him. >> that's a big charge. i know bill clinton has said it is one of his regrets, but he did make an attempt to go after him. but you believe that is a direct result that basically bill clinton's failure led to 9/11? >> well, i believe that if osama bin laden had been killed, al qaeda as an organization would not have grown to the point where it have conducted 9/11.
it was in response to this argument that trump was making that somehow president bush was responsible for 9/11. and my argument was, no, the responsibility of 9/11 falls on the fact that al qaeda was allowed to grow and prosper and the decision was not made to take out their leader when the chance existed to do so. not once but four times according to the 9/11 report. president clinton has acknowledged that has as a regret. so the bottom line is that al qaeda was able to carry out 9/11 because as an organization they grew and prospered in capability led by osama bin laden. had bin laden been taken out, it is doubtful that 9/11 would have happened. at least on september 11 of 2001 because al qaeda would not have been in a position to be able to carry something like that out. >> so you're not blaming 9/11 on bill clinton? >> no, he made a decision not to take out its leader which i think ended up being there, the situation that happened with 9/11. and as a response to an attack that the reason why 9/11 happened was because of george w. bush. my argument is if you're going to ascribe blame, don't blame george w. bush, blame a decision
that was made earlier not to take out bin laden when the opportunity presented itself. >> so i'm actually still not quite clear. are you putting this on -- are you putting 9/11 on bill clinton? >> no, i'm putting it on his decision not to take out bin laden, absolutely. this is what happens when you have a chance to take out the leader of a terrorist organization and you fail to do so and the results are something like 9/11. >> later this week pope francis is going to speak and certainly going to tour the border of mexico and the united states. in september in front of congress he called himself the son of immigrants. and he called on congress and americans not to, quote, turn their backs on their neighbors. you yourself got emotional listening to that speech. do you feel that the pope's message about immigrants, particularly mexican immigrants and our immigration debate here, do you agree with his take on this? >> sure. we're a country of immigrants. we continue to be a country of immigrants. let's have some perspective here. america accepts close to a million permanent residents every single year.
no other nation in the world comes close to that number. that's not the issue we're debating. the issue we're debating is not whether or not we're going to accept immigrants, because we do. we're going to continue to. the issue is is there going to be a process people have to follow to immigrate to the united states? do we as a sovereign country get to control how many people come here, when they come here and who they are? and the answer is, yes. i don't think the pope is saying open up the borders and allow anyone who wants to come in. i mean, you can't move to the vatican just because you feel like moving there. they've got laws that restrict who can live within that nation's city state. and i think the same is true for the united states. so i agree with pope francis' saying we should be compassionate towards immigrants. and we are. the united states is more than any nation on earth. but we are allowed as a sovereign nation have an obligation to have immigration laws and to enforce them. and that's what we need to be doing better than what we're doing now. >> all right. i have to leave it there. we're short on time this morning. a lot to get to, senator rubio, nice to catch up with you. stay safe on the trail, sir. >> thank you. and i'm joined now by the fourth presidential candidate we've had on the show this
morning, republican governor of ohio john kasich. welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> always, you know, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." >> i appreciate that. i've had two u.s. senators on this morning who say the u.s. senate shouldn't even bother considering a nomination that president obama puts up. does the u.s. senate have an obligation to at least consider it, hold a hearing? and if they vote it down, they vote it down, but should the u.s. senate, should mitch mcconnell at least open up that part of the process? >> well, you know, that's their decision, chuck. you know, as the governor of ohio i have to deal with legislators and their decisions. and i don't try to tell them what to do. i do think that really the president -- i understand the president has prerogative here. i got that. senate has prerogative too of course. but i just think at a time when the country is so divided it would just be great if the president didn't send somebody forward and we had an election and then everybody would be clear about what they want in
the next supreme court justice. but i guess it's not going to go that way. >> to roll the dice. >> pardon? >> governor, it's a roll of the dice, you could have a democratic senate, democratic president could come in and then have a more liberal justice than what president obama might provide. >> well, but that's life. then the people actually have had some say. it's really kind of a unique thing when you think about it, chuck. it's unique to say that the public itself is going to have sort of an indirect vote on who's going to be a supreme court justice. i think that's kind of cool. and what i don't like now is, you know, we can talk about this all day long. you and i both know in the real world they're not going to confirm anybody. unless they pick somebody who's so beloved that everybody goes that's great. okay. i don't think that's going to happen. >> yeah, you're probably right on that. let me move to the debate. and i got to play this one clip from you last night because i want to get a better explanation of what you meant. here it is. >> i got to tell you, this is just crazy, huh? this is just nuts. okay.
>> that was after jeb bush and donald trump were going at each other. what did you mean by that comment? explain. >> well, i mean, it's like all the yelling and screaming and back and forth. chuck, what i have found -- i tell you, i'm having the time of my life. people want to know what you're for. look, i've been all over. yesterday i had went to this barbecue shack. there were 500 people waiting there. i was there, you know, taking pictures, must have been another 45 minutes after i got done speaking and people are grabbing onto you saying please stay positive. please don't get into these fights. i get my energy by being four things. i don't get my energy by being against things. and i think people tend to get negative when they're not selling their own positive. look, that's where i am. if it works out for me, great. if it doesn't work out for me, i'll get to spend more time with my family. but look, i want to win. and we're doing well. really well. >> let me point to something last night you said at the debate. you said you didn't think we
should have gone into iraq if there weren't any weapons of mass destruction. >> right. >> but you also said we should not get embroiled in civil wars overseas. >> that's right. >> well, we've done it before. we did it with bosnia. >> we did it with lebanon. chuck, let me tell you -- well, libya was a terrible mistake. frankly that was -- that's something people ought to be thinking about in regard to hillary. you know, they spend -- they talk about benghazi, which is very legitimate, of course it is. but we should never have deposed gadhafi. that was a terrible mistake. the guy was working with us and now we've created chaos in that country. look, i was not in favor of u.s. troops in lebanon. and i voted against it. even when reagan wanted them there, tip o'neil wanted them there, then when they got blown up tip was out blaming reagan. i'll never forget it. civil wars -- getting in between -- you know, since the
sixth century sunni and shia have been fighting. >> so you would stay out of syria? >> i would only go to syria to destroy isis. i would not use u.s. troops to depose assad, but i would support the rebels there. it's okay to support people who share your view, but for the united states to be embroiled in a civil war in syria against assad i think is a big mistake. >> you know, you've also been critical of how the surplus that you as a republican budget leader and working with the clinton administration you guys foraged a budget that was projected surpluses throughout the first part of the 2 1st century. it was gone immediately. one way many democrats have said one of the reasons that surplus went away so quickly was due to the bush tax cuts. do you concur with that? were the bush tax cuts too big? >> no, i think it was spentding, chuck. the dirty little secret is democrats love to spend. and republicans do too, it's just that republicans feel guilty. look, if you don't have a leader that stands in the breach to
restrain the spending of government, they'll always spend. >> i'm going to leave it there. >> okay, chuck. >> i appreciate it. we'll catch up i'm sure in the next week or so. >> yeah, we will. all right. coming up, the democratic race and why it may start getting tougher from here for bernie sanders. and of course saturday night fights, in other words, last night's republican debate and what all of those nasty exchanges mean. >> you are the single
welcome back. the panel is here on a huge sunday of political news. gwen ifil fresh off moderating that democratic debate i think happened in the last few days. welcome of pbs news hour. kathleen parker, columnist from "the washington post" and ron fournier. let me start with consequences quickly on scalia and then move to the debate of the united states senate. chris, you know the politics of this. >> yeah. >> the united states senate, will it be a functioning chamber this year? or could this fight shut the
entire senate down for the year? >> okay. so i generally put myself in the 1% of most cynical people about politics. i was surprised that mitch mcconnell came out with a statement as quickly as he did saying not it's unlikely that president obama's nominee will go through, there's no point in president obama putting a nominee forward. you then saw harry reid respond. given that and given what we've heard from ted cruz, donald trump, marco rubio. i think mitch mcconnell will feel under considerable political pressure. i know he just got re-elected but considerable political pressure to shut this thing down before it ever starts. >> and, gwen, this is the base. they don't want to see even a chance that somebody could get confirmed. on the other hand there's five blue state republicans who do they want to look like obstructionist? basically he's got a tiger on one end and the cliff on the other, i think. >> it's the box that mr. mcconnell has been in and john boehner was in for a very long
time. i was not surprised that he came out that quickly. i'm not sure he had any choice but to come out and say this is the line we're going to draw and then step back and let other people fight it out. just as the leader to say this is the line i'm drawing. as we saw from the pressure coming from the presidential candidates, that wasn't a big risk for him. and for the blue state republicans, worry about them later. right now they have to worry about the base. >> i think it's even worse. within 20 minutes of the announcement that he was dead i got an e-mail from a very prominent republican consultant all of who you know saying we're not going to allow even a hearing. the man's body, a good man's body was not even dead yet and politics was already in play. the republicans are not going to let this happen. it's totally irresponsible. it's a sign again of our democracy, of our system not functioning. and i have no reason to believe that if a republican wins the white house why would the democrats nominate? >> i was going to say. i think this is heavy political risk. >> i think we could have a 3-3 for years. >> this seems like a good time to say among conservatives especially people are very, very sad today. i think we should just acknowledge that for a moment.
because justice scalia, you know, we've heard a lot about the many wonders of his personality and his brilliant mind and all that. but to your point i agree it was a little bit jarring to suddenly have everyone talking about the political implications. that's our job. >> within hours. >> within minutes. >> and i got a call from the hill just of somebody saying, okay, game over, time to get serious. everything matters now. but let me just say this, on the conservative side i think a lot of these people, a lot of republicans feel president obama does not respect the constitution and that he's gone around the legislative body to -- you can argue that he had to, but he wanted done. let's remember it's not unusual -- no, it's very unusual to nominate a supreme court justice during an election year. it's only happened once in 80 years. and kennedy's -- it was justice kennedy, it took a year. >> well, it did. i want to move to the debate very quickly. but we'll know what kind of fight president obama wants.
does he find somebody who's a little more to the right of his two previous nominations in order to find a confirmable sort of left leaning judge or not. >> there's not such a thing -- >> i don't think anymore. >> but it's clear that president obama was not going to take mitch mcconnell's advice on this. >> nor should he. but he started out on the high road yesterday with a very high road complimentary -- >> of course. >> about scalia. he should do the same thing. put up somebody who would be confirmable if things were working well and show that the republicans aren't willing to work. >> well, that is the big risk for the republicans. he's got to be thinking, oh, my gosh, ted cruz or donald trump could become president and then they're going to appoint the next justice. >> big story, chuck, this is another sign of the political dysfunction in this town that you and i have talked abtd for a long time. i think this is going to be a long time before we have nine judges on that court. a long time. >> can i say one more thing? there's also a risk for these republicans that maybe hillary clinton or bernie sanders does get elected. and by holding up the court appointment until the next president, the next president could be a democrat.
>> by the way -- all of these potential presidential candidates be careful what you wish for. if your first 100 days is dominated by a supreme court fight and this environment, you will get nothing else done. >> we've talked about this. you have basically one big swing, right. >> yes. >> for obama it was health care. you have one big thing. >> it's a scotus pick. >> well, you have to do the right thing i agree with john kasich, just let the process roll. >> let it roll. all right. we got to let it roll here. we're going to do some debate chatter later in the show, but coming up, bernie sanders came up big with white voters in iowa and new hampshire. but can he win over african-americans to defeat hillary clinton in states like south carolina? >> i've said black
after the new hampshire primary we saw a flood of press releases from the national parties and their related interest groups. and most of them had a similar theme, they did not want to talk about what's going on on their side of the aisle at all. look at this. the rnc wrote, hillary clinton's resounding loss in new hampshire is another devastating blow for her campaign. and then the house campaign republican arm said, clinton was defeated in the first in the nation primary by an elderly socialist. on the democratic side it wasn't even better. in the new hampshire snowskap where robot rubios run free and the republican debate stage
mirrors an "snl" skit donald trump has emerged as a decisive front runner. and trump has done nothing but cause anxiety and heartburn for senate incumbents and candidates since his launch. so national republicans and democrats burying their heads in the sand about what's going on there. ha ha sanders and ha ha trump, trying to avoid confronting what's going on in their own parties. anyway, we'll be right back with the latest on which allergy? eees. bees? eese. trees? eese. xerox helps hospitals use electronic health records so doctors provide more personalized care. cheese? cheese! patient care can work better. with xerox. that's it. how was your commute? good. yours? good. xerox real time analytics make transit systems run more smohly... and morning chitchat... less interesting. transportation can work better. with xerox.
welcome back. bernie sanders proved he can do very well against hillary clinton in iowa. a new poll gave hillary a 57 point lead. the morning after new hampshire sanders traveled to harlem for breakfast with my next guest, civil rights leader and msnbc host al sharpton. reverend sharpton, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. >> i want to play for you an interaction that bernie sanders had on friday with an african-american voter in minnesota and get your response on the other side. here it is. >> so the question specifically, my black son -- okay. i know you're scared to say black, scared to say reparations -- >> ma'am, ma'am, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth, especially within the african-american community. >> say black -- >> i've said black 50 times. all right. that's the 51st time. >> is that a fair criticism from the crowd of him? >> well, i think that what it is
is that people have felt in our communities ignored. and marginalized and that people have kind of like generally discussed things. and we are supposed to assume we're part of that when we have some very specific needs. and all of us don't agree nobody can deliver the black vote, but all of us agree that there are specific things that you just can't cover just talking about economic inequality without talking about racial inequality in that. you can't just talk about the problems with washington without talking about a race problem in that. so i think that some of the anger you hear is from being marginalized. and that has come from both liberals and conservatives. >> go ahead, guys. >> i think the reverend is right in that -- and i think this is the problem for bernie sanders is that bernie sanders believes at the core the fundamental inequality that explains america is economic in nature, not racial, not anything else.
the problem is he believes -- well, i've covered it. i've talked about economic equality. you've heard his response there in minnesota. that's not enough for some voters. >> go ahead. >> there was also in that same event he was asked about reparations. >> right. >> he's been through this argument already. yet somehow he went back to what we were talking about, talking in general about economic inequality. the skepticism about bernie sanders among many african-americans can be summed up in two ads he's run. one, the wonderful simon and garfunkel come to america ad where there was base #barely a face of color and then the new ad that has almost nothing but faces of color, this together ad. reminds me a lot of the will i am ad from 2008 because it was very much about how we can all be together. >> part of the problem that i think that is coming to the surface in this is that we have experienced both in the liberal north and the south hostilities. let's not forget howard beach
where bernie sanders was born in new york. howard beach was in the north. people like me emerged in the north. i never lived in the south. we are dealing with hollywood progressive hollywood with an oscar whiteout right now. so i think what a lot of people are beginning to see is wait a minute we do not want to be marginalized. and we don't want to be thrown into a situation where specific needs are not dealt with. >> what if bernie sanders talked about one of the issues where the african-american community has been marginalized and instead of talking about the number of times he said black what if he talked about the number of african-americans imprisoned under president clinton? what if he talked about the 10-1 racial despaisparity under prest clinton? what if he said i have a solution for this, i'm going to unleash the powers of presidential clemency and i'm going to free every person, many of who are african-americans in prison over sentences that have not been grandfathered? how powerful would that be?
>> whether he talked about issues people not agree specific issues. the problem is when you talk about president clinton and the crime bill, bernie sanders voted for it. so that might be one reason he doesn't bring it up. but i think that at the other side of that is mr. clinton has said he made a mistake, mr. sanders augtd to say he shouldn't have voted for it. and then we ought to talk about how we deal with mass incarceration, police reform and all of these issues. i don't think unless we press it those of us -- >> i got to wrap it up here, but reverend sharpton, are you going to endorse before south carolina? >> i don't know. we're meeting with mrs. clinton tuesday. >> okay. >> we're talking to senator sanders. we may or may not. what i don't want to get caught in is who we're going to endorse. i want to see who's going to endorse us having a fair share in this country. not whose side are we on, whose on our side. >> reverend sharpton, i will leave it there. prophetic words. when we come back, we have less
and i'm proud of what he did. [ cheers and applause ] and he's had the gall -- >> the world trade center came down during his reign. remember that. [ audience booing ] >> end game time. panel is back. we haven't discussed the debate. kathleen, jeb bush's big moment there taking on trump. >> that was a good line. you know, every time trump baits jeb bush, jeb bush responds. and it never works that well for him. i don't know why, but he just can't pull it off. and every time trump opens his mouth, i think, okay, he's really trying to get fired this time. this is the time he's going to do it. you know, it's all about style. you can say the iraq war was a mistake, but you could also say in south carolina particularly where you have a high percentage of military people and veterans, with great respect to the brave men and women who fought in iraq, i have to just say it was a mistake. and i think a lot of people agree. and let me just say this and then go on. but he attacks the family, he attacks the mother.
jeb is desperate. he brought in laura yesterday. >> if any other candidate literally in politics in america performed the way that donald trump did in that debate last night, i would have written and concluded this person is gone off the rails. he looked angry, to kathleen's point though -- >> but we know better than that now. >> you spent $36 billion and thing about new hampshire and ads and thing don't care about, but -- any seasons that begins this is going to doom donald trump because has been proven wrong so many times. what's the point? >> it's not so much about trump, it's about the people supporting him who are so angry with the establishment. why do we assume that they're going to defend the establishment? they're going to defend a bush? >> it was interesting to watch marco rubio who found a way to wait, to let the fight between trump and cruz and bush play out and he said this is what i believe and he did it in the fluid nonrepeative way. in that respect he did himself a favor. >> it was mutually destruction last night and good night for
kasi kasich. >> i think we have trump, cruz, one, two and we don't know which order one, two is going to be. third place matters. >> that's why i thought jeb was actually as good as he has been. and i thought -- >> but rubio doing well didn't help. >> rubio needed to do another last saturday debate because rubio's b-plus and better than jeb's a in debate terms. and i think rubio was better, did more good for himself. i thought to gwen's point, how does marco rubio wind up being the big figure defending the bush administration in a fight with jeb bush on the stage? >> i think overall don't you think people just felt like, okay, kids, can you just stop fighting? >> to your point about john kasich. he's clearly said there's only one place for me to go. i can't get into that fight. i'm not going to get in it. i'm going to be mr. positivity and we saw it again this morning. >> i love it. my mom will be happy about that. that's all for today. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday it's "meet the press."
out of control. >> oh. >> and reckless. >> car. is he insane? >> when under the influence, there's no limit to what can go wrong. >> my heart dropped. i don't know if he had a gun, i don't know if he had a knife. >> drunk drivers wreak havoc both on the streets -- >> he's going to crash. >> -- and off. >> i was scared to death. what happened to my legs? >> senseless, dangerous, and potentially deadly. >> i'm going to place you under