if it's monday, it's presidents' day. and jeb bush found onemps for t fist time in a decade, but can the family brand help jeb bounce back in south carolina? and how hard will the bush brothers try to beat back relentless attacks from donald donald starts right now. and good evening and welcome to "mtp daily." i'm steve kornacki in for chuck todd. we're here at the liberty taproom and grill in columbia,
south carolina. the state capital. and as you have no doubt seen the feuds brewing on the campaign trail, boiling over big-time at saturday's republican debate here in the palmetto state, and then today, well, they outright exploded. in just under an hour from now, former president george w. bush is due to hit the presidential campaign trail, for the first time in over a decade. a rally with his brother, jeb. remember, george w. bush wasn't a presence, physically, at least, on the trail when mitt romney and john mccain were running. as bush 43 hopes to stump for the man he hopes will be bush 54, donald trump is lashing out yet again at the former president and his record. >> if the ex-president is campaigning for his brother, i think he's probably open to great scrutiny. maybe things that haven't been thought of in the past. the whole thing starts with the war in iraq. if the president went to the beach, we would have been better off, believe me.
>> and that is just a small taste of the tough talk today. more to come later on in the show, as we preview george w. bush's big return to the campaign trail. again, less than an hour from now. but, we start tonight first with the entire political world reeling from the sudden and unexpected death of supreme court justice antonin scalia. on saturday morning, the 79-year-old conservative justice was found dead in his room at a hunting resort in remote west texas. officials say scalia died of natural causes. you're looking now at pictures of scalia's body arriving back in virginia late last night. the tragedy has quickly given way to chaos, confusion, and anger, both in washington and on the campaign trail over the question of what exactly happens next. simply put, we are now in uncharted territory in election year politics. especially in an election like this one. here's where we stand at this hour. as both sides sound their battle cries on an issue that, quite
frankly, no one expected to ignite a firestorm quite like this. we have heard from president obama, the president says he fully intends to nominate a successor. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so, and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. >> and we've heard from republicans. they're promising a war if he goes through with that promise. >> i think it's up to mitch mcconnell and everybody else to stop it. it's called delay, delay, delay. [ applause ] >> there is no way the senate should confirm anyone that barack obama tries to appoint in his last year in office to a lifetime appointment. >> they're not going to confirm anybody. unless they -- unless they pick somebody who's so beloved that everybody goes, that's great,
okay? i don't think that's going to happen. >> and today, here in south carolina, ted cruz escalated this fight, describing it as a doomsday scenario for conservatives. >> we are one justice away from losing our fundamental rights in this country. we're one justice away from a radical five-justice liberal majority, that would effectively write the second amendment out of the constitution. we are one justice away from a radical five-justice liberal majority that would mandate unlimited abortion on demand, including partial birth, with government funding and no restrictions, whatsoever. >> and for his part, donald trump telling reporters today in south carolina that republicans should reject any nominee obama puts forward. they are all following the leader of the republican senate. mitch mcconnell, who says there will be no action in the senate on any obama nominee. and that has spurred a furious
reaction from democrats on the campaign trail as well. >> it appears that some of my republican colleagues in the senate have a very interesting view of the constitution of the united states. >> barack obama is president of the united states until january 20th, 2017. that is a fact, my friends, whether the republicans like it or not. >> and the top democrat on the senate judiciary committee is calling it the height of irresponsibility if republicans try to run out the clock on president obama. >> it would be the height of the irresponsibility for the republican leadership not to have a vote on a nominee from the president. this country has not gone with a year-long vacancy on the supreme
court since the civil war. yet we've had numerous vacancies filled in the final year of the president's term. >> right now the ball is in president obama's court. he will try to set the tone for this battle. and we now know that the president will have a press conference on tuesday afternoon. you can expect this topic to be central to that. but exactly who is on his short list? well, dozens of names is have already been floated, but this hour, one of those names does stand out. the publisher of the highly regarded scotusblog, which monitors the court, writes that, quote, at this point, i think that attorney general loretta lynch is the most likely candidate. tom goldstein from scotusblog also notes that lynch has already been vetted very recently. and as a woman of color, she would represent two key democratic voting blocs. here to help us sort through this tangled web of law and politics and passion, i'm joined by nbc news justice
correspondent, pete williams. so, pete, this is an interesting one, because the democrats can argue, the white house can certainly argue, look, the president has the constitutional obligation to put forward nominees and the republicans can argue, it's not etched in stone anywhere that the senate has to do anything. >> they're both right. there is -- the white house says this afternoon that there is ample precedent, is the way, i think, they put it, or clear precedence for supreme court nominees being confirmed in presidential election years and that's true. but there's a lot of way to slice these numbers. if you look at, for example, nominees in the middle of a president's term, fdr, eisenhow eisenhower, woodrow wilson, that leads you in one direction. if you look at nominations by presidents who were, in essence, in their final year in office and knew it, in other words, with didn't run for re-election and lose, it's a smaller number, but it certainly has happened. the white house says that the administration is reaching out to people on both sides of the aisle in the senate. we know that to be true, that
white house officials have called folks on the senate judiciary committee, that are both republicans and democrats to say, how can we get this done? >> pete williams, stay with us for a minute. we're going to bring in some experts here. i want you to help me out with that. we'll bring in two veteran legal minds on this. they disagree on who should be filling this vacancy. john yoo was a top official in george w. bush's department of justice. he teaches at berkeley and thinks barack obama should not make an appointment. and harvard law professor charles ogletree was one of the president's teachers at harvard and says there should be an appointment this year. let me ask you both to defend this. john, let me start with you. here's the basic argument, i'm sure you've heard it. what is your argument against this idea? the president was re-elected to a four-year term, 48 months in four years. there are still 11 months left on his term, that is not an inconsequential number. why shouldn't the dually elected president with a year left on his term get to pick a court nominee? >> well, president obama can nominate someone, but the
constitution vests the power to complete it to appoint the officer in both the president and the senate. the senate has its right to give its advice and consent. the constitution doesn't say anywhere that the senate has to give it. and i think, in fact, if you look at the federalist papers about the people who designed the appointment process, they expected the senate to use its power to fight and struggle with the president. so i disagree -- i don't think the president is prohibited from nominating someone. in fact, i fully expect him to and it is his constitutional responsibility to. but the senate that has no duty at all to confirm, vote up, vote down or confirm anybody. in fact, the framers wanted the senate, if they disagreed with the president's constitutional views on many matters, as the majority does on things like immigration and so on, it actually should vote not to confirm anybody, until the next election, which is just in a few months. >> and karlis, i would like you to respond to the argument that john just made, keeping this in mind. so john is saying, look, the
president can appoint -- can nominate somebody. the senate has no obligation to act on that. keeping in mind that ten years ago, when president george w. bush nominated samuel alito to the supreme court, then senator barack obama participated in a filibuster, attempting to even keep a vote from happening on sam alito's nomination. so if as a senator, the president didn't think a vote should be happening on sam alito, why is it so outrageous from republicans now in the senate say, we're not going to have a vote on his nominee? >> let me say a little word about john yoo. i respect his point of view and i think he's put a very clear point on it. but the reality is, i had the pleasure and the honor of having barack obama as a student. he's an independent person. he's going to nominate the best person that he thinks can take the job and do the job. and i think that's going to be great. i think loretta lynch is a talented person and he should be considering her. i'm thinking the people on the court now, i'm thinking of people like kamala harris in
california, i'm thinking of people like robert wilkins on the d.c. circuit. there is a slew of people -- i want to say that, you know, we have to do that. but i want to also give condolences to former supreme court justice, how much he meant to us. he came to harvard many times, he's a graduate of harvard. there's a series in his honor. and i think the reality is, nobody will be able to take the office if they don't have, in a sense, some of the values that justice scalia made clear. and i think that -- >> can i just ask you, though, in terms of this political battle we're seeing play out, the republicans are saying the white house has no business in obstructing a nominee that the president puts forward, but i'm asking if the president, as a senator, participating in a filibuster against a dually
elected president's nominee to the supreme court, did the president not help lay the groundwork for the republicans obstructing him on this? >> he might have. but the constitution is the controlling document. and everybody has to follow the constitution. whether you're a republican or democrat or independent, it doesn't matter. the constitution has the rules. we follow it, everybody should have the constitution. it's available -- people can read it. i think that the president has the right to do what the constitution says he has a right to do. and i think that we'll see a nominee come out pretty soon. and i think the senate will have to pass that nominee, and if they don't, then we'll just go to the next battle. >> yeah, pete williams, you're still standing by. i know you want to get in. go ahead. >> i was just going to say, the practical consequences of this are, obviously, that the supreme court will not be at the full strength of nine justices for the rest of this term, even if everybody agrees that this nomination and confirmation process should happen in the
best of times, it would take longer than that. but if there's no nominee confirmed this year, then that means the court would not only finish this term, it would also start next term, and probably get most of the way through next term before there is a full complement of nine. now, that doesn't bring the supreme court to a halt. it can do most of its business with eight justices, but it's hard to answer the really difficult questions that divide the court 5-4. and that's the practical side of this. >> and john, following up on that, in terms of the practical implications of what you're arguing, if we now have an election, if this vacancy is not filled this year and this becomes a central issue in the campaign, who gets to appoint the next supreme court justice, and your party does not win this election, if, say, hillary clinton is elected as the next president, are you prepared to live with the consequences that then she may feel emboldened as a new president to say, hey, i ran on getting a liberal supreme court nominee through and put through a nominee who might be
more liberal than everybody president obama would put forward now? >> that's a good point. first let me say that when senator mcconnell and chairman grassley in the senate are saying the republicans won't confirm anyone this year, they're taking a gamble, because they could try to reach a deal with president obama now. in fact, i think the incentive to do that is greater and greater, the more likely it looks like hillary clinton, or in their view, god for bid bernie sanders were to win, they would get a nominee that was probably far more liberal than they would get with president obama. but i don't think it's a big harm to the court for there to be only eight justices. justices often recuse themselves from cases. the number of justices is not constitutionally set. there were only six at the beginning of the country. it has fluctuated off and on. most of the cases, as pete said, will just get returned to the lower court, and the lower court opinions would stand. i, for one, don't want the supreme court rushing in to always decide the latest controversial issues. it's not going to be the end of the world if immigration, abortion, affirmative action waits a year or two to get
decided. i would like the supreme court be much more modest in their eagerness to decide all of these questions and take them out of the political process. let the court sit around for a year and be more of a minimalist body for a little while until there's a ninth justice. but they're taking historically low rates of cases as it is. so i don't think we should be -- i don't think we should be distracted by claims that the workload of the court will be too hard or it can't function with only eight justices. >> charles ogletree, what do you say to that? the idea, let the court slow down for a year if that's what it means? >> you know, i think john woo has some good points, but he's wrong about this. the reality is, the court has to function and i think they'll have to confirm a nominee. i think president obama has to appoint a nominee. and i think that we as people in the senate had to -- and people of congress, people of community, have to read what it means to be a supreme court justice and how we have the right to understand the constitution and how it has to be applied.
i think it's very important that we have this debate and this discussion, but i think the reality is that now is the time and now is the opportunity to appoint somebody to fill the vacancy of justice scalia, a great man. i'm sorry that we lost him. who authored many opinions and he was a leader of the republican party. but i think that when you think about it, we need to have nine justices on the supreme court, as we now require, and i think that filling that position will be the right thing to do. >> all right. pete williams, quickly, last word to you. >> just to say that no matter what should happen, we know what will happen. the supreme court will begin the busiest part of its terms with only eight justices. the first time it's faced that in 50 years. >> all right. so much in the supreme court and law, i guess, is about precedent. but for the politics of this, there is no precedent. we're about to have a modern campaign that is defined largely by a supreme court nomination.
anyone, pete williams, john yoo, appreciate it. and coming up, donald trump continues to hammer almost everyone after saturday's explosive debate. so why does he spend so much time trashing the bush ifs he doesn't think jeb is a threat. and hillary clinton goes for gold in the silver state. she's live right now at the university of nevada reno, home of the wolf pack. we'll see how she's stepping up her campaign in nevada ahead of this weekend's democratic caucuses. what happens when lobster gets grilled, baked, and paired with even more lobster? you get hungry. and you count the seconds until red lobster's lobsterfest is back with the largest variety of lobster dishes of the year. like new dueling lobster tails with one tail stuffed with crab, and the other with langostino lobster mac-and-cheese, it's a party on a plate! and you know every bite of 'lobster lover's dream' lives up to its name. hey, eating is believing. so stop dreaming and start eating.
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right now, a crowd in north charleston, south carolina, is gearing up for one of the most anticipated campaign events of this election season. former president george w. bush will be taking to the stage there less than an hour from now, making his case for his brother, jeb's white house bid. keep it here for more "mtp daily" live from south carolina. with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind.
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welcome back to "mtp daily." we are live in columbia, south carolina. we gave you a small preview of donald trump's fiery remarks about former president george w. bush from just a short while ago. trump trashed bush's national security record at saturday's debate and then today, he doubled down. >> when he started talking about the great safety we had, i said, i'm sorry. at some point, we have to bring it up. and the other day i brought it up. i said, the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. the exclamation point didn't work, so now he's using bush. but i think he should have used his name. i think it shows that he wasn't proud of the family. >> the former president will join his brother on the stump tonight for the first time this campaign, but trump's harsh words loom over his return to the campaign trail. trump says bush doesn't have a chance of becoming president, and he says ted cruz doesn't have the right to become president. trump erupting today over
comments from cruz about supreme court justice nominations. >> he just gets up and says, if donald trump gets in, he's going to appoint liberal judges. that's the opposite. he's a liar. he'll go up and absolutely lie. he'll apologize, but i don't want an apology after the election, i want the apology before. and if he doesn't, i'm going to bring a lawsuit, because in my opinion, based on what i've learn offered the last two or three days from very top lawyers, he doesn't even have the right to serve as president or even run as president. he was born in canada. >> and congressman mark meadows of north carolina is a ted cruz supporter and joins me now. thank you for taking the time. >> great to be with you. >> so we hear candidates call their opponents liars all the time. but when donald trump makes that charge, he keeps bringing up iowa, ben carson, the communications from the cruz campaign telling people maybe carson's getting out of this race. do you think that, what happened in iowa, is making that attack
from donald trump more impactful here in south carolina? >> well, that's not what i'm hearing here in south carolina. i just came from akin, on my way to florence, south carolina, to meet with grassroots activists. and really, what happens is, when someone doesn't have a record to run on, they don't have policy to support, they holler, liar, liar, liar. what the south carolinanessians americans across the country want is a real plan on how it affects them on main street. moms and dads. you know, what's going to happen with our national security. and so, you know, when we hear that kind of campaign rhetoric, and that's what it is. it's campaign rhetoric. i think the american people want a real plan. >> so what happened to -- for months in this campaign, the story was, donald trump is attacking everybody, except for ted cruz. >> yep. >> and ted cruz is not attacking donald trump. what happened? >> well, i don't think he saw ted cruz as a threat. and as the polls get closer, obviously, the focus now has become on senator ted cruz. but it's been all over, from
carly's face now to ted's position on immigration. it's interesting to see that one thing has been consistent. is donald continues to attack. you know, we want a commander in chief, not an insulter in chief. and what we're finding here is that this same pattern of lashing out is not going to be rewarded by the people here in south carolina. >> do you think so, though? because he's been doing this for a while now. he won new hampshire big. didn't win iowa, but he came close. i heard people saying, you can't campaign for president this way and win. he's gotten a lot farther than we thought he would. >> he certainly has. but when you blame the twin towers coming down on george w. bush, instead of the rightful people, islamic extremists, i mean, you're going too far. and i think the donald has gone too far on that particular one. obviously, it wasn't our president's fault. it was him who, you know, he stepped in to make sure we're all safe and secure and i think that's what the next commander in chief needs to do. i believe ted cruz are do that. >> final question for you,
quick. is south carolina must-win for ted cruz? >> it's not a must-win, but certainly we would like to win it. the trending right now is looking very favorable for us. so i think saturday will be a good day for the senator. >> congressman mark meadows, thank you for joining us. appreciate it. now let's turn to the trump campaign and katrina pearson, the national spokesperson for the trump campaign joins us now from dallas. so katrina, i don't know if you just heard the conversation i was having with congressman meadows here, a supporter of ted cruz, but he's saying, look, you can't say the kinds of things that donald trump is saying about the iraq war, about george w. bush and expect to win a republican primary, especially in a state like south carolina. did your candidate hurt himself at all with the things he's been saying since saturday? >> no, not at all. and i'm a big fan of congressman meado meadows. and i'll say this. there's two things i thought should be addressed. number one, mr. trump doesn't have a record. he hasn't written on east side writing a supreme court justice. how is he out there painting donald trump's record if it
doesn't exist? number one. number two, donald trump didn't say that the twin towers coming down was george bush's fault. he said george bush didn't keep us safe, and there are thousands of families that would agree with that. but i will have to define safe for you. donald trump's measure of safety is very different than the bush's. donald trump wants a border wall. he wants to stop illegal immigration. he wants to deport illegal le aliens. there are a number of things that donald trump would determine tor safe that the bushes just didn't quite agree at that time. >> can i press you on that? >> sure. >> you say he's not blaming george w. bush, but he is saying that george w. bush didn't keep us safe. so it sounds like he is saying, there are things that george w. bush could and should have done would have prevented the twin towers from falling. >> well, we don't know for sure if it could have been prevented, but what we do know is that the hijackers did come into this country on visas from hostile territories. we know that one was here on an expired visa and we know they trained in florida under jeb
bush's watch to take down those towers. we were not tracking those people and that's a problem. that's one of the reasons donald trump got into this race, protecting our sovereignty from radical islamic extremists. so to donald trump's point of safety, he's absolutely right. >> katrina pearson with the trump campaign, appreciate you taking some time with us. and after donald trump's attacks on george w. bush, marco rubio came to the former president's defense at saturday's debate. >> i just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, i thank god all the time that it was george w. bush in the white house on 9/11 and not al gore. >> and jason row, senior adviser to the marco rubio campaign joins me now. jason, thanks for taking a few minutes. we've been talking about this a lot today. donald trump is opening up an debate here we haven't heard on the republican side since the iraq war, since the bush presidency.
i'm curious, how much of a market do you think there is for somebody like donald trump, basically saying, this is a war republicans should never have supported in the first place. >> well, i don't really think there's a market for donald trump, but i do think there's a market for marco rubio, because of all the candidates running. i think he's the best prepared to deal with the issues that we're now talking about, because of trump popping off on this issue. he's been on the senate intelligence committee and the senate foreign relations committee now for five years. and i think he's firsthand dealt with and seen the threats to the united states and what we've got to deal with at the federal level to keep america safe. and if you take all the other candidates, put together, day donate have as much foreign policy experience as marco rubio does. so i think it's a real opportunity for marco to demonstrate how prepared he is to lead the country as commander in chief. >> but are you concerned and is there a risk that he sort of gets lost in the shuffle here? donald trump makes the comments about iraq, about george w. bush, and who's in town today? it's george w. bush. it almost becomes a fight between two different visions, the donald trump vision, and the
george w. bush vision. it's hard to break through that, isn't it? >> while these guys are throwing sticks and tostones at each oth, we'll go through a day or two of looking at what's happening today, between the theatrics of trump and bush coming to stump for his brother. as voters have talked about these issues and thinking about these threats, who of this crowd is best prepared to lead us as commander in chief. and when we start to listen to the particular issues and the preparedness of the candidates that will be on the ballot on saturday, i think marco rubio will stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. >> big picture here, what is the strategy for rubio? he's not come in, in the top two. where is the breakthrough? is is south carolina the breakthrough state for marco rubio? >> i don't know if i would call it the breakthrough state. right now only 2% of the delegates have even cast votes or been awarded. when south carolina is done, it will only be 4% of those. i think we expect to do well and
i believe he'll be in the top tier. i think it's a real opportunity to show. i think really the person who has the most at stake is jeb bush. south carolina has been very good to bush 41 and bush 43. the bush campaigns have a lot at stake here. and i think if he doesn't perform well, it's going to throw a real wrench into the -- >> do you think he's out of the race if he's not top two? >> i think it's very difficult to make the case he can continue if he can't win in a family has historically done well and a state where he's bringing the former president in to stump for him. with all that going, if he doesn't do very well, i think it will be very difficult. >> jason row with the rubio campaign, thanks for joining us. >> and we're just over 30 minutes away now from the start of that big rally. both of the bush brothers, the former president, the former florida governor, the current presidential candidates. we'll go there live in a few minutes to hear from a senior bush campaign adviser who knows exactly how things work, for better or for worse, here in south carolina. and coming up, bernie sanders and hillary clinton have something new to agree on. they both say president obama should nominate a new supreme
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we are following all the campaign action live from south carolina. right now, hillary clinton is headed to her third event of the day across the country in reno, nevada. we're going to check in with the clinton and sanders' campaigns ahead. and just about 30 minutes from now, jeb bush will be campaigning with his brother. the former president, george w. bush, in north charleston, south carolina. msnbc will have full coverage of that event at 6:00 p.m. eastern. stay tuned. welcome to opportunity's knocking, where self-proclaimed financial superstars pitch you investment opportunities. i've got a fantastic deal for you- gold! with the right pool of investors, there's a lot of money to be made.
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i am absolutely adamant that the president, under our constitution, has a duty to send forth a name, to be considered by the senate. and the senate has a duty to consider that. >> to my colleagues in the united states senate. you talk about the constitution a whole lot. well, how about owbeying the constitution and start holding hearings when president obama nominates the next supreme court justice? >> both hillary clinton and bernie sanders on the campaign trail today, standing firmly behind president obama on the question of his ability to nominate a new justice to the supreme court this year. former president bill clinton, yes, that makes two former
presidents on the trail today. bill clinton also sounding off on the supreme court seat, while stumping in florida earlier this afternoon. >> this is an important election. so important as we saw yesterday with the untimely passing of justice scalia, it wasn't 30 seconds before the senate republican leader said, president obama can forget about getting a replacement. we're not going to do it. >> and hillary clinton just finished a woman's health event at the university of nevada reno. this her second of three stops in nevada today. as she tries to wrap up the state head of the caucuses there, just five days from now. and joining me now is clinton supporter and former south carolina governor, jim hodges. governor, we switched places, i guess, you're in new york and i'm down in your place. not sure how that happened. let me ask you this, secretary
clinton has made a lot of news in the last few days starting at that last debate where she called bernie sanders a single-issue candidate. here's what i'm curious to get your take on as a hillary clinton supporter. you look at the enthusiasm behind bernie sanders' campaign. look at the support from young voters. the people he's got energized by his message. even if hillary clinton does defeat him and does win the democratic nomination. does she risk right now with these attacks on bernie sanders, does she risk turning off those voters who she'll need to rally around her in the fall? >> steve, i don't think. i think that those voters will embrace the hillary clinton message and campaign, because the alternative is someone like ted cruz or donald trump, and i think either of those candidates would be pretty darned unattractive, particularly when you look at what is attracting them to bernie sanders. she's going to be able to consolidate that support and do very well with those voters. >> has it surprised you? i mean, i guess if we'd been having this conversation a year ago and i had told you, iowa is practically a tie. see ekes out a win. new hampshire, the state she won
in 2008, new hampshire is a 21-point loss for her. and we're now staring at nevada and we don't know what's going to happen there. what would you have said a year ago, if i told you that would be the state of her campaign right now? >> well, politics has been turned upside down this year, both on the democratic and republican side. soy suppose nothing surprises me. but the truth -- i think that the truth will be told here in the next month. you've got both the south carolina and nevada primaries and then during march, you have states, i think, that are much more demographically representative, not only of the democratic party, but of the country. and i think hillary will do very well in those places. let's talk at the end of march and see where we are. i think you'll see that she will enjoy a comfortable lead and will be in the position to get the nomination. >> well, obviously, you know your state well, you know it a little better than i do, just getting here today. but we've seen the polls that show hillary clinton with a really strong advantage here in south carolina, particularly among black voters. her campaign, as soon as that result became clear in new hampshire, her campaign was out with this long memo saying, basically, we are much better
set up in south carolina. how firm is her grip on democrats in south carolina right now? >> very firm. there was a poll out the other day that had her up by nearly 40 points. i think all the polls have shown her very strong. and i doubt she's going to be able to win by that number. but the demographics really favor her in our state. you have an older electorate. you also have a large african-american population, and you have a lot of moderate voters. and all of those things, i think, favor hillary clinton. but most importantly, she has a message that resonates. and that is building upon the success of president obama and trying to build upon that and make sure that the country maintains a democratic presidency. i think that's a very compelling message for voter who is love barack obama in our state, and those that understand what it's like to have one party rule. in our state, you have republican control and we've had restrictions on voting rights. we have no medicaid expansion. you know, our voters aren't going to throw their vote away. they're going to make sure they
placed it with a candidate they think can actually win in the fall. >> jim hodges, former governor of south carolina, thanks for taking a few minutes. >> thanks, steve. and i would like to bring in state representative terry alexander joins me in columbia. you just heard the former governor. he said hillary clinton's grip on your state is very firm. we've seen her ahead in these polls 25, 30, 35 points. what do you say to that? >> well, when i joined the bernie sanders campaign, he was at 9% in the state of south carolina. and that was in october. now we're somewhere near 40%. and we must remember that senator sanders don't neat 60% of the african-american voter to win. possibly hillary clinton needs 60%, at least -- >> what does he need? >> probably about 30 to 35% of the african-american. >> what do you think he's at right now? >> 20 to 25 and closing that gap real, real -- >> where is that gain coming from? is there a generational divide. we saw this in iowa and new hampshire -- >> i think it's both. i think so it's a generational divide and also the message that
senator sanders is presenting as well. there is a generational gap. folks want a change. how we're doing business in this country just not working for the millennial and those who have been a part of it. we're trying to move away from this traditional way of doing business. and bernie sanders presents that in terms of, from a revolutionary standpoint. and everybody wants change, but nobody wants to change. but i think you see the young folks and millennials and some elderly folks as well that are jumping on the bandwagon and they're burning down that firewall here in south carolina. >> so tell me what happened. because, again, i'm coming from outside the state. but i remember 2008. i remember hillary clinton versus barack obama, and i remember how the black community rallied around barack obama in the state. that was part of it. the other part of it was, we were told at the end of that 2008 campaign that bill clinton in particular had permanently alienated himself with the black community in south carolina, with the way he campaigned against barack obama. and by extension, that went to hillary clinton as well. and yet, here we are in 2016. and you guys with the sanders' campaign are facing what is
still a pretty formidable lead for the clintons among black voters. where did that -- how did they recover? >> it's interesting. i was a hillary clinton supporter. i was one of three black elected officials, house members, who supported hillary against obama. i saw how this whole thing transformed. i think what senator clinton has going for her is her name, not necessarily her policies. not necessarily what she stands for, but the bill clinton name is what's running this state. not hillary -- >> wasn't that tarnished with black voters in 2008? >> well, black folks are some forgiving history. when you look at the history of us in this country. we are forgiving folk. we're forgiving. but i can tell you this, with a nine-point margin, a plus or minus, that's almost a tie here in the state of -- who would have thought about that three, four months ago. that bernie sanders would have been this close, and it's not over yet, either. >> all right, terry alexander with the sanders' campaign, appreciate that. and stay tuned to msnbc tonight at 7:00 p.m., hillary clinton joins my colleague, chris matthews, for a one-on-one interview. you're not going to want to miss
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>> that's an open question. on the one hand he's very popular in south carolina. on the other hand, jeb bush has been trying to escape his family, and i think in the debate, when you saw him talking about his mother, his father, his brother, jeb has been saying, you know, he's his own man. it doesn't necessarily help him to constantly be talking about his family members. but i do have to say, i think donald trump's remarks about george w. bush is an indication of george w. bush in the way that he did, definitely hurt donald trump. for all the posits he's been able to utter, i think this one actually hurt him. >> if it hurts him, is there a clear beneficiary there, or cruz gets some, rubio gets some, bush gets some? >> i'm not sure that jeb is necessarily the beneficiary of that. my guess is that it probably resounds to rubio, bush, cruz, yeah, i'm not quite sure about that. >> hogan, there's the attacks on george w. bush in the iraq war from trump. but also, there was a moment in
the debate where jeb is talking about, i love my father, my mother, and trump got a little line, and he said, maybe she should be running. trump has been effective at this idea of chipping away at the thing that jeb bush is planting this. >> absolutely. in south carolina, george w. bush is extremely popular. that's no secret. we all like him here. part of the reason why is we helped make him. he lost in new hampshire. he came to south carolina and we help him on to victory. does that mean the love of george w. bush helps and impacts jeb? does he get those votes? at the very least, it's net neutral. but i think it is a net positive. we remember him very fondly here. george bush's spending is one of the reasons we have the tea party today, why we rejected him toward the end of his candidacy. >> this reputation of south carolina as the place that rescued bob dole, rescued george bush, and mccain, 2012 it went
for newt gingrich. >> the rnc and dnc either chose to ignore or just completely missed the fact that the people are so very angry. they want nothing to do with anything, any person that has to do with washington, d.c. and you see that in the rise of someone like bernie sanders, you see that with the outsiders on the republican side, like donald trump. a complete whiff on the party establishment folks, not understanding how angry people are. and they're angry at washington because of money. the two messages from donald trump and bernie sanders diametrically opposed, they're saying one think, washington is basically a strip club, whoever the donors give the money to, that's who does the dance. if you're in office, you're doing whatever they want you to do. that's why nothing changes. both of them are saying it. they don't have to do what the donor wants them to do so the
little people get a say. that's somebody the rnc and dnc completely missed on. >> donald trump, i'm still hearing this, talking to a lot of representatives for the other campaigns today. the kasich campaign is, they want to do well, look i ahead to michigan. maybe there's this battle between bush and rubio, whoever does better here can move on. there's these long-term games being played. if donald trump who just won new hampshire in a landslide, if he comes into south carolina and wins big, does that effectively end the race? >> i don't think so. it's important to know, yes, republicans are looking for an outsider. but donald trump has 30% of the voters. the most republican voters say they could never support him. also, republicans say the same thing about jeb bush. there are a host of other candidates garnering a lot of support in the state right now, ted cruz, marco rubio, john kasich.
it's -- if they do well here, and ted cruz and rubio and jeb are all doing well, donald trump -- >> but do you see -- that's what benefits trump ultimately. if they all do well, and none of them jump out of the pack and catch trump, trump is the main beneficiary. >> ultimately i think trump is going to come up against a wall of opposition. there are just too many republicans who will never get behind him. >> do you see that happening? >> not necessarily. look, here's the deal. if trump has 30%, you're right, 70% of the people reject trump. but that means 80% of the people reject cruz and 90% of the people reject everybody else. i think those votes disperse and i think a lot of people will gravitate to donald trump, because the momentum would be huge for him to -- to use a trump phrase, to come off of how well he did in iowa, and to do well in new hampshire, with a large evangelical population, he would be difficult to stop moving through the south. >> we're up against a hard
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for live coverage of the rally. and reaction following it. good evening. i'm chris jan sing in columbia, south carolina. what a president's day it's been, for the men and woman who want to be president. let's start with what's happening right now at the north charleston coliseum. the struggling campaign of jeb bush is hoping for a lifeline from his brother, former president george w. bush. an estimated 2,500 people waiting for all of this to get going any minute now. this is the first time 43 has been on the 2016 campaign trail. and it couldn't come at a more critical time. jeb bush is tied for last place in a six-man race in the latest cnn poll. in spite of his low poll