tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC February 15, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
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 numbers, bush has been in donald
trump's sights, and so have his brother, who trump says didn't keep america safe. >> 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. you know, when jeb used his name in the reagan debate, i left it alone. but when he kept using it, i said, i have to bring it up. when he talked 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 bush campaign thinks the criticism is a repeat strategy for trump, and they stand by their decision. >> this will be the first time that he's gotten involved. and i respect the fact that he has been out of the political fray. that's a good tradition. but like president clinton, i guess, supporting his spouse, and, you know, he wants to help
his brother. i don't have a problem with that at all. i'm proud of his service, i'm proud of my family's service. >> this has been a con flex issue for jeb bush throughout the campaign. publicly wrestling with his brother's legacy. >> just for the record, one more time, i love my brother. i love my dad. but i'm my own man. >> knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion? >> i would have. so would have hillary clinton. of course, you know, given the power of looking back, and having that, of course, anybody would have made different decisions. >> donald trump was building a reality tv show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. and i'm proud of what he did. >> now, it's important to note that in south carolina, george w. bush's very popular. in one recent poll, he has a 77% approval rating among republicans. but the bushes have some competition.
three other candidates are on stage this hour. donald trump is in the wings getting ready for his own event at 7:00 eastern time. worth noting, trump had a press conference earlier today where he may have set some kind of record for calling an opponent a liar. and bernie sanders got more than 9,000 people at a rally in michigan. some people waited five hours in the cold to get into that one. but we start with nbc's peter alexander who is in north charleston, south carolina, at a bush rally. >> reporter: they've already filled this room up. more than 2,000 people here. they think the number will rise tonight. they hope the secret weapon as he's described by young aides on the staff, george w. bush can help reinvigorate the stalled campaign of his younger brother, jeb bush, 43 in effect trying to help his younger brother 45 in
the white house going forward. what's notable about tonight is the challenges that the campaign has had getting to this point. certainly they didn't hope they would rely on this as the last item in their back pocket, so to speak, but they're also relying on george w. bush's popularity in this state. 68% of the republicans nationwide have a favorable view of george w. bush. and this state, the former commander in chief is even more popular, given the large military community that exists here. the military responsible for creating 150,000 jobs in this state, adding $20 billion nearly to the state's budget. what struck me as i talked to the people in the crowd here, many of them wearing a jeb sticker tonight. a woman said, i wore a trump sticker and kasich sticker a few days ago. people undecided. it has nothing to do with george w. bush, it has to do with which of the current candidates they believe can beat hillary clinton. earlier today, on the campaign
trail, there was a private endorsement going on behind the scenes with w. soliciting nikki haley, the governor of the state. the two of them meeting privately. jeb bush has met with the governor many times in recent days. they hope a haley endorsement could be beneficial to this campaign. the governor leading between marco rubio or jeb bush right now. chris? >> really, that's interesting. because a lot of people that have spoken about this have also said she knows john kasich, likes john kasich very well. they all know each other as governors. what's the sense you're hearing, peter, how significant could a nikki haley endorsement be? >> reporter: i think it could be greatly significant here. the lieutenant governor standing beside donald trump in the press conference he held earlier on this day. a haley endorsement would be a major headline in the days leading up to the primary that will take place here on this
saturday. but what's noticeable about this state is the number of republicans here that are frustrated with losing campaigns. they're focused, as i said before, on somebody they think can be a winner. donald trump has hit w. for basically leading the u.s. into a war that he believes was a failure. and umt matly created the problems that exist throughout the middle east at this time. many of the individuals we've also spoken to tonight say they give w. a pass on what happened there. they say that's not jeb bush's problem. they want to hear a plan, though, for not just from jeb bush, but how all the candidates hope to address that. we'll hear from george w. bush about five minutes from now. 15 minutes later, his brother jeb bush expected to take the stage as well. this is obviously been scheduled for maximum impact, coinciding with the network evening newscast at 6:30 tonight. >> peter alexander, timing it down to the minute. thank you so much. i want to bring in ann gearen, a
political correspondent for the "washington post." susan page is the washington bureau chief for u.s. "today." as we're looking at this big crowd, ann, how important do you think the rally is? >> it's very important. as he said, there are 2,000 people there. there's a lot riding on it. there's a lot of spotlight. this is the first time his brother, with whom he has had a publicly conflicted relationship over his brother's legacy, will come out for him. it was sort of left that his mother very popular figure who has been popular ever since her husband, his father, was in office 20 years ago, 25 years ago, had campaigned for him in new hampshire, to have george w., whose history is more recent and controversies are more recent, come out for him, it is a big moment for him.
>> so susan, he has had stronger debates. he's had more people at his events. some of the events that i've been to, there's been more energy at those events, after new hampshire, but what can, what should his procedubrother there are people who could help his brother seal the deal? >> i think there are real limits to what your brother can do for you when you're running for president. even if he was an enormously popular figure. he's more popular in south carolina than other places. but this is a, i think a double-edged sword for jeb bush. just as bill clinton, there are limits he can do for his wife in delivering votes to her. i think there are real limits for what george w. bush can do. and the down side is, he's reminding everybody that he's part of this political family that's been in power for a long time. this is an outsider kind of year. it's not a year in which dynasties have been getting
rewarded. he can give some energy to it. and probably a good thing rather than a bad thing. but definitely kind of a mixed blessing it seems to me. >> what do you make of, anne, the attack by donald trump, and the suggestion that while all places to start going after george w. bush, south carolina isn't very smart. he just doubled down on it today. i actually talked to a former governor here who said he didn't think it was necessarily such a bad idea to remind people of some things. but i wonder, does it hurt or help both jeb bush and donald trump, these attacks? >> in the moment, it appeared to hurt -- certainly hurt donald trump. there's a lot of booing when he made his very critical remarks about jeb bush in the room at the debate the other night. and that's sort of a question of did he know his audience, as we've talked about here, george bush remains a very popular figure in south carolina. largely because of the military -- heavy military
presence in the state. but also, just -- you know, republicans are conservative there. and there remains a disconnect between people who think that george bush was a good president who kept america safe, and people who no longer support the war, no longer believe the rationale under which george bush led the country to war. people can believe those things simultaneously, and trump attacked both things. and he got the biggest boos for the part that appeared to impugn george bush's character. >> and there you see the picture that's going to appear on the nightly newscast tonight. the one that i think a lot of us wondered if it would happen during this campaign and if so, when it would happen. and that is jeb bush, standing side by side with his brother. a lot of analysts thought it would be too politically fraught. but the decision obviously was made that not only would he do it, but that this was the time to do it with his polls, just
6%. laura by his side. and a little earlier today, we saw george w. bush at an event for veterans. we also have seen in this picture, lindsay graham, someone obviously running for president, and who has stepped aside to campaign for jeb bush, who has been one of his staunchest supporters throughout all this. susan, let me ask you as we hear the introductions from lindsay graham in the background, what peter mentioned at the end, and that is what a lot of people have been hoping for, for themselves, and that is an endorsement by the governor, the current governor, nikki haley. what's your sense? do you think there's a chance she will endorse? she's been hesitant up to this point. >> you know, nikki haley has been a reasonably cautious political figure. and that's served her well in
tough election fights that she's won in south carolina. i think an endorsement from nikki haley would mean a lot. it would be a boost to a candidate to be kind of the alternative to trump. we assume she wouldn't endorse donald trump in the response she gave recently, you know, the speech she gave recently. she seemed to be very critical to trump's approach, although not critical of him by name. that would be a boost for bush, or to kasich or rubio or whoever she gave it to. she's also mentioned as a potential member of the ticket, vice presidential candidate, when the republicans convene in july. she's definitely a rising figure in this party. >> yeah. there's no doubt about that. and you may wonder if she wants to just step back, hedge her bets and wait to see how this goes. i am told that linds sa graham came up to the podium and said this is bush country and got a rousing ovation for that. he does know how to rile up a crowd and get things going.
let me ask you, anne, as we wait for the former president to take to the podium, what do you think we're going to hear tonight from jeb bush? will he go off of his stump speech? is he going to be a little different than we've seen before? is he going to have a different message than he's had before, besides thank you to my family? >> well, i think you will see a more personal candidate. he's really tried to keep his entire family, not only the bush legacy part of his family, but his nuclear family separate from most of his campaign events. and i think you'll see him endorse more of both parts of his family. he'll talk about his father, his brother, and his wife and children in perhaps a more personal and direct way than he usually does. and i mean, this is sort of a hail mary for him no matter what, right? he's been polling in single
digits for months. this is the state in which he's most likely to do best. and to have a chance to break out of that middle lane that he's occupying. and certainly a haley endorsement would help. but clearly, his campaign has made a calculation that his brother could help as well. >> and susan, a hail mary is a good way to put it, i think. of course, if you talk to his campaign, they say, we have the money, we have the organization on the ground, no matter what happens in south carolina, we're going to go on. but as a practical matter, and i think anne has it right, this is a state where if there was going to be some movement, he was going to see it. obviously it's a state where he's decided to pull out his family. is this it for him for all intents and purposes? >> i think that's right. he's had a lot of money from the start. it hasn't done him much good. if he doesn't finish in the top three in south carolina, a state that's really teed up to be one
of his best possible states, i don't see how he goes on. it would surprise me if he continues to go on to the florida primary where he would stand to be humiliated. he needs a head of steam coming out of south carolina. or it seems to me there will be a lot of pressure and expectations from people who were backing him, to get out of the way for whoever it is who emerges as the stronger alternative to donald trump. >> there's a limit, isn't there, anne, to how long you can play the expectations game. if we do better than what people thought we would in new hampshire, when i had a conversation with the governor, we joked, but not really a joke, that it would be a win because everybody was already writing his obituaries. you say a top three finish? >> this is a bit of put up or shut up, i think, in south carolina, for him. but as susan mentioned, he has had this enormous advantage,
outside advantage really compared to his -- most of his competitors of early money. it sustained him, it's kept him going, against all odds, through the low polling period here. if he doesn't bump that up a little bit, if he doesn't have a breakout performance and look the part, i think that's when the money will start to have second thoughts. some of it's already had second thoughts, but more so. and tell him that he really can't go on to florida, which had been sort of his imaginary line a couple of months back. >> i think in this campaign, that we're, frankly, all that we know about politics, and everything that's going to be talked about politics, will be rewritten to some extent, susan. i think money is at the center of, certainly the republican side of this. because when you look at the amount of money that he has thrown, and his pac has thrown at advertising, the amount of money that he was able to raise going into this, and to see where he's been polling, it
throws -- it turns everything we thought we knew about the importance of money on its head. >> that's right. money hasn't mattered, and not mattered very much. and insulting people in ways that would have been disqualifying in previous election cycles, also hasn't mattered. that's what we look at when we see these comments made by donald trump. >> okay. >> different kind of year. >> without a doubt. and here he is with his first campaign appearance of 2016, the brother of the candidate, george w. bush. >> laura and i are thrilled to be here. i want to thank senator graham for his friendship, for his leadership. lindsay loves south carolina. and he loves our country. and he's fortunate that you sent him up to the united states senate. [ cheers and applause ]
i want to thank the singing commission. that guy's got a heck of a voice. if they ever have a contest who sings the best among the ag commissioners across america, you win. mark sanford's here. i appreciate mark coming. thank you very much for being here. [ cheers and applause ] there's a lot of famous people here. i've got to bring up my friend, david wilkins. david is former speaker of the house and dear friend of laura and mine. thank you, david, for coming down to be with us. [ cheers and applause ] there are people from the house and the senate, state government here. thank you all for coming. we appreciate you helping a brother. i want to thank all the grass roots activists who have come. thank you for taking time out of
your day. thank you for your interest in the political process. thank you for your hard work for jeb. thank you for what you're going to do, which is to vote for him on saturday here in the great state of south carolina. [ cheers and applause ] i'm really happy to be back in this state. i've got a lot of fond memories. i walked into the oak ridge drug in irmo. i was pleased they didn't make me dress as an oprah star. i fondly remember going to the 437th and 415th air wings. [ cheers and applause ] my most interesting memory came in greenville before the 2000 primary. david and susan and i and laura and i went to the country ham house. and we were eating breakfast.
as a matter of fact, i was eating some bacon. when i looked out the window, and a pita protester dressed as a pig pulled up in a dump truck. he unloaded a huge load of manure in the parking lot to try to prevent me from leaving. it was kind of a sign of things to come. [ laughter ] but let me tell you something about the ham house. even a steamy pile of manure can't ruin their good bacon. [ cheers and applause ] i love the people of south carolina. i'm particularly touched by the way the community banded together to comfort the victims of last year's shooting at mother emanuel church. [ cheers and applause ]
and then protest against racism and hate. [ cheers and applause ] it's a strong symbol of america. [ cheers and applause ] the governor's response to that tragedy, and i applaud you for putting her in office. [ cheers and applause ] laura and i spent time with governor haley and her family at the american legion post in columbia this afternoon. thank goodness our country welcomed her parents when they emigrated here in 1969. [ cheers and applause ] you know, since we left the white house, i've been kind of quiet in the public square. eight years in the limelight was plenty. and laura and i are really happy in what she's described as the after-life.
we spend a lot of time on our ranch where we've become tree farmers. it gives me time to practice my stump speech. i've written two books, which surprised a lot of people. particularly those who didn't think i could read, much less write. i've been one to defy expectations. i've been misunderestimated most of my life. [ laughter ] it's a real shock to people, i've become an oil painter. [ cheers and applause ] let mow assure you, i know that the signature's worth more than the painting. i want to give thanks for my brother to give us something important to do today. i'm proud of his candidacy and i'm really proud to be beside him. i came here for two reasons.
one, because i care deeply about jeb. and two, because i care deeply about our country. [ cheers and applause ] i thought it was appropriate to discuss a subject i know a lot about -- what it's like to be president. being your president was a high privilege, and the honor of a lifetime. by the way, if serving as president of the united states makes a part of the so-called establishment, i proudly carry that label. [ cheers and applause ] there seems to be a lot of name-calling going on, but i want to remind you what our good dad told me one time. labels are for soup cans. [ cheers and applause ] the presidency is a serious job.
that requires sound judgment and good ideas, and there's no doubt in my mind that jeb bush has the experience and the character to be a great president. [ cheers and applause ] here are some things i think people ought to look for in the next president. for start e i think you ought to look at someone who's had executive experience. someone who knows how to run a large, complex organization, to lead people, and to make sound, crisp decisions. for example, someone who served two terms in a large southern state as governor. [ cheers and applause ] i think you ought to look for somebody who can handle intense pressure, and won't wither during crises. i believe that strength can come from faith.
it can come from the comfort of a higher power. and the humility that comes in realizing the almighty's gift of grace. [ cheers and applause ] jeb's humility is important for politicians to remember, when they talk about their faith. one of my favorite bible verses for those in the political arena is from the book of matthew. to paraphrase, how can you say let me get that speck out of your eye when i've got a log in my own. [ cheers and applause ] jeb's a man of humble, deep and genuine faith. faith that reveals itself through good works, not loud words. [ cheers and applause ] i think you should look for someone whose humility helps him understand what he doesn't know.
and surrounds himself with people who do know what he doesn't know. [ cheers and applause ] jeb's plenty smart. phi beta kappa from the great university of texas. i know, it's not south carolina. [ laughter [ snmplt [ snmplt . >> okay, clemson. [ cheers and applause ] let me tell you something. he's going to settle with a great team of people with whom he'll listen. he'll create a culture in which they can deliver not just the good news, but the bad. he'll listen carefully to their advice, and then he's got the backbone necessary to make the tough decisions on behalf of the american people. [ cheers and applause ]
the presidency is often defined by the unexpected. there's going to be crises. it's important to have a president who can handle them with calm resolve. when americans woke up on september 11th, we did not know that the world would forever change that day. i was sitting in a classroom in florida, listening to a child read. my chief of staff, south carolina graduate andy card, whispered in my ear a second plane has hit the second tower, america is under attack. my first reaction was i was hot. we're going to deal with these people. my second reaction when i was staring at this young child is that my job became crystal clear. and that is to protect her, her community, and her country. [ cheers and applause ]
on the way on air force one from that school, condi called me and said a plane hit the pentagon. i thought the first one was an attack, and the third one was a declaration of war. i made a lot of tough calls. every one of them, that child's image in my mind, to protect her, and the country she's fortunate enough to call home. [ cheers and applause ] i've seen jeb in action. he'll be a strong and steady hand when confronted with the unexpected. multiple hurricanes hit florida when i was president and he was governor.
he led a robust, well-organized response that showed the compassion -- his compassion for those who hurt. he did it as governor of florida, and he will do this as president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] select a candidate who is thoughtful and trustworthy. someone who says what he means, and does what he says. when the american president speaks, the world listens. you can trust jeb bush to be measured and thoughtful on the world stage. our enemies and allies will know that when president jeb bush speaks, he will follow through on his words. [ cheers and applause ] i think you ought to look for a leader who's optimistic. with a vision for a brighter future. a person who can see beyond the
horizon. when jeb looks beyond the horizon, he sees a better tomorrow. he believes, and i believe that america's best days are ahead of us. and we're on the verge of the greatest time to be alive in human history. and with the right policies, and with a strong leader like jeb bush, we can get there. [ cheers and applause ] making sure our economy grows, so people can find good work. we need a president who will make the private sector, not public sector, a priority. jeb has laid out an attainable goal, a clear and easy-to-understand goal, which is what a leader must do. and that is to have 4% economic growth a year. cornerstone of his policies is to empower entrepreneurs and
small business owners, the dreamers and doers who drive the american economy. [ cheers and applause ] well thought-out plan, a measured plan, that he will put into action, when you send him to the white house. jeb understands that the most solemn job as president is to protect us. so your most solemn job as voters is to elect a president who understands the reality of the threats we face. and who knows how to deal with them. i've studied jeb's plan to defeat isis. he relies upon a military, and our intelligence community. he will take their sound advice. and he will implement that plan. the types of isis have been defeated in the past and they can be defeated in the future. but we need a leader who knows how to do it. [ cheers and applause ]
jeb understands this. and it's important for the people of south carolina to understand this. that america must lead, and that when america does not lead, chaos will reign. laura and i loved our eight years in washington. but we really don't miss it too much. [ laughter ] oh, we miss our friends, but we don't miss power and fame. but here's really what i do miss. [ cheers and applause ] thank you, but let me tell you what i miss. you know, it's an amazing country. i made it pretty clear that we're going to defend ourselves after 9/11, and millions volunteered.
and to be able to salute the brave men and women who wear our uniform was the honor of a lifetime. the highest honor of being president is to be the commander in chief of the greatest force for freedom ever. so i would look for a candidate who has genuine respect for the united states military. who will support them on the battlefield -- [ cheers and applause ] >> who will support them on the battlefield, and when they return home. [ cheers and applause ] jeb has pledged to rebuild our armed forces. and overhaul the va. and i believe him when he says it, and i know he'll do it when he's the commander of chief for the united states. [ cheers and applause ] one of the most comforting aspects of the presidency was my
family. starting with my lovely wife, laura. [ cheers and applause ] living in the white house can be like living in a museum. i remember the time i went to visit mother and dad when they were there, and mother said, get your feet off the jeffersonian table. but laura made the white house a home. she was the greatest first lady ever. [ cheers and applause ] my little sister's here. and she talks to mom nearly every day, so don't tell her i said that. jeb adores the love of his life. calumba. i'll never forget when we were both younger living in houston, texas, and we would go to the astro games.
and we set out in the bleachers. i'd watch the game, and jeb would write love letters to his future wife and our next first lady. [ cheers and applause ] they have wonderful children. george p., noel, and jeb jr. and like me, laura -- like laura and me, jeb is known as gampi, i'm known as hefi. those of you who are not bilingual, that means the boss. [ cheers and applause ] speaking of family, i think the voters should vote for the candidate who's got the most opinionated mother. [ cheers and applause ] i've always wondered where our mother learned to be
opinionated, it was at ashley haul right here in charleston. [ cheers and applause ] finally, we need to nominate somebody who can win in november. [ cheers and applause ] all of the slogans and talk don't matter if we don't win. we need someone who can take a positive message across the entire country, someone who can inspire, and appeal to people from all walks of life. not just one party, or one class of people. jeb will listen to the voices of the disenfranchised. he will rise above the petty name calling. and once elected, he will not someone who will be told what to do. he will stand on principles. he will not waiver in the wind. he will always do what's right for american people.
[ cheers and applause ] now, i know it's taxing, but they should be. because the job of president is much harder than a campaign. these are tough times. and i understand that americans are angry and frustrated. but we do not need someone in the oval office who mirrors and inflames our anger in frustration. [ cheers and applause ] we need someone who can fix the problems that cause the anger and frustration, and that's jeb bush. [ cheers and applause ] it seems like americans are yearning for a strong leader. i'd like to remind you, and the voters what true strength means.
strength means facing challenges, and prevailing. it means sacrificing and enduring. and emerging a better and bigger person. it means having a set of core principles, beliefs that are true on the campaign trail, and will be still true in office. strength is not empty rhetoric. it is not bluster. it is not theatrics. real strength, strength with purpose, comes from integrity and character. and in my experience, the strongest person usually isn't the loudest one in the room. [ cheers and applause ] i've seen in my brother a quiet conviction, and a core of conscience that cannot be
shaken. and my hope is that the people of south carolina will see this as well. [ cheers and applause ] this is a serious election for a serious job. so please welcome a serious and thoughtful candidate, a good man, a man i am proud to call my big little brother, jeb bush! [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you all very much! thank you. thank you, mr. president. laura, such a joy to have you here. thank you all for coming. it's such a joy to have you all here. [ cheers and applause ] lindsay graham, thank you for
your friendship, your advice and your support. i'm going to be here for six days, and we're going to spend as much money as we can, meet as many people as we can. saturday's going to be a surprise, because you all are going to go out and get ten other people to do the same thing to vote for jeb bush for president. [ cheers and applause ] i'm so honored that my brother's here. because this is a dangerous time. the world has been turned asunder. the day that barack obama was inaugurated, we were safer, we were stronger, we were freer. today, for all sorts of reasons, that's not the case. this election is, who's going to be the steady hand to keep us safe. who's going to deal with the national security challenges that we face. who's going to focus on the economic security challenges that the majority of americans now feel. we're living in difficult times. and this election is really important. and i look back during my brother's time, he didn't know
that 9/11 was going to happen. but he rolled up his sleeves and he inspired us, and he kept us safe. and i'm proud that he did it. [ cheers and applause ] i don't know if y'all watched the debate on saturday. did you have a chance to see it? [ cheers and applause ] it was kind of weird, parts of it. i never thought in a republican debate we would be talking about impeaching a republican, two-term president who was extraordinarily popular for good reasons amongst republicans. i thought that was a little weird. i thought it was a little strange that a front-running candidate would attack the president of the united states who did keep us safe. while he was building a reality tv show. i'm sure it was a fantastic one, i've never seen it. i'm sure it was great. george bush brought together a team to build the security
apparatus that to this day is one of the reasons why we haven't been attacked more often than we have. i'm proud of him. [ cheers and applause ] some of the dialogue back and forth made me wonder, i closed my eyes, i thought it was michael moore on the stage. [ laughter ] in any case, this is not about the front-running candidate, this is how we can restore our country's greatness and restore the national security. and why i am the candidate for president. [ cheers and applause ] here's the reality. we need a president that will respect the armed forces. a month and a half ago, two months ago, i had a chance to speak at the citadel. what an extraordinary place. [ cheers and applause ] before i did it, i had a little pt work.
sorry. 25 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, calisthenics. i think they were taking the old guy to see how long he would last. i thought we were finished and then we ran three miles. then we finally finished and we circled around and they started asking me questions. will you have our back? will you be a commander in chief that respects the military? will you impose conditions on the military to make it harder for them to do their jobs? are you going to eliminate the sequester? these were all really good questions. and here's the answer. i will have the back of the military. i will be a commander in chief that respects the armed forces. we will eliminate the sequester, rebuild our military and make sure -- [ cheers and applause ] and build again a bipartisan consensus that peace and restraint is the foreign policy for this country. when we're weak, it creates voids, and those voids are
filled by asymmetric terror. we have to rebuild the military. it is the first priority. there are candidates on our side that don't believe it's important. i do. [ cheers and applause ] and we need a plan to deal with the threat of our time. in august, i went to the reagan library to talk about how we needed to engage with isis, how we needed to destroy -- >> in charleston, north carolina. jeb bush before the biggest crowd we have seen of this campaign. according to the campaign, about 3,000 people. a lot of energy coming off of his brother. first time i've seen him in a long time not wearing his glasses. but ruminations from bush 43, a rare appearance. we haven't seen him much since he left the presidency. he promised he was going to be scarce and he kept that promise. coming out for his brother in a state that is going to be critical for him, if he is going
to continue his campaign for president. he talked about faith. he talked about family. he talked about love of country. and he reminded people, supporters and detractors alike, i think, of his abilities on the stump that won him the presidency twice. he defended himself very clearly against donald trump, defended his brother against donald trump. we heard jeb bush doing that as well. he talked about the military, very important here in south carolina. and managed to drop the name of governor nikki haley, who would be a critical endorsement if she would come out for jeb bush. so back with me now, anne gearen and susan page. and listening to some of these lines from george w. bush, taking a shot at people who disparaged things, like the establishment, susan. i'm wondering if he was giving a master class on a political endorsement, or was it more something of an era past? >> chris, i thought that was a
very effective rejoinder to donald trump and his comments, criticizing george w. bush in the 9/11 attacks. i think that george w. bush has managed to create some big problems for donald trump. we have predicted over and over again, that donald trump went too far with this comment or that comment. in this case, i think we may finally be right, for donald trump to make these comments, criticisms of george w. bush, and his handling of the 9/11 attacks, especially in a state like south carolina, with a lot of military folks, just may be something that i think george w. bush has managed to counter that in a really effective way. i don't know how much good he does for jeb bush. maybe he does him a lot of good. he certainly has created i think some big problems for donald trump going forward. >> he talked about, anne, the kids that he was talking to in that classroom when he got the call about what had happened on 9/11, and said that going forward, his job was to protect her and our community and our
country, and has this very presidential bearing. a contrast, really, to what we have seen from donald trump in his tone, and his temperament. what do you think about this as, first of all, a defense of what he did as president, and on 9/11 in particular, and did he help his brother tonight? >> people forget, i think, that george bush is a very effective politician. and a very, very good one, who knows his audience. and is a very effective advocate for himself. i thought he also, you know, did a whole lot of perhaps proactive good for his brother in being an advocate for him. but i heard a lot of defense of his own presidency against certainly the donald trump allegations from the other night. but also, against the historical evaluations of him, most particularly on iraq. he talked a lot about 9/11.
he talked very movingly and effectively as you mentioned about that moment, when he was in a school, and looking a child in the eyes and was told that the country was under attack. he didn't go on and talk about his reaction to that, which was to take the country into a war that became wildly unpopular. cost billions. and thousands of american lives. that is now what donald trump is making a political issue of. and i didn't hear either of them really talk about that. >> this may not be a speech that helps him in a general election. should this be some sort of major turn-around for this campaign, and help him. but we did see the george w. bush we don't see very often, and funny, too. he always had that quality about him. anne gearan, susan page, thank you for being with us. as we look at the big picture of this campaign, look what's going on with the fight to replace
justice scalia on the supreme court. it has become the issue over the last 48 hours or so on the campaign trail. of course, here in south carolina, republicans have been vowing to block any attempt by president obama to fill that seat. adding a new layer to the 2016 race. >> question need a conservative person. >> there is a long tradition you don't do this in an election year. >> i don't trust barack obama on the supreme court justices. >> an obama justice should not be appointed in an election year. >> the senate needs to stand strong. >> i understand the president has prerogative here. i understand that. the senate has prerogative, too. >> you and i both know in the rile world, they're not going to confirm anybody. >> let's bring in jeffrey rosen, president and ceo of the national constitution center, and law professor at george washington university. good to see you. good afternoon. >> good to be here. >> so, in your new piece for the
atlantic, you write justice scalia was so successful, because of his willingness to fight for a strict understanding of the constitution. but i wonder, what do you think he would think about the fight to replace him now? because you've really got both sides claiming support from the constitution. >> that's an excellent question. justice scalia always insisted on separating politics and constitutional law. i think he would have been dispressed to see the court as a political football, a notion that only republicans should vote for republicans and democrats for democrats. on the other hand, he was a realist. and he would have insisted on historical precedence. in that sense, we're kind of in an uncharted territory. it's not true as some of the candidates have suggested that people have never been confirmed in election years. lewis brandice, one of the greatest justices of the 20th century, was nominated in 1916, confirmed 125 days later on june 1st. but on the other hand, generally, when presidents have faced republican snats with
democratic nominees, they've had much harder going. not since 1895, has one gotten through under those circumstances. basically we're in for a political battle royale. >> i think we're in this epic battle now, and we've heard what the republicans had to say. and the democrats obviously with a very different interpretation of this. i talked a few hours ago with a democratic senator tim cain. i asked him about his view of the senate's responsibility here. here's what he told me. >> i don't think that the majority is going to be able to look at the american public and say for a year we're going to keep the court deadlocked at 4-4 and not fill a nomination -- we're not going to fill a position just because we don't like president obama. that's ultimately what this is about. senators who are cashing their paychecks have to do their jobs. having hearings and voting on presidential nominations is one of the jobs. >> yet obviously this is happening, professor, at a time when we see what has been a very
ineffective congress, so divided. plus in the middle of an incredibly divisive political campaign for president. where does this go now? >> the bottom line is, if the senate decides not to hold hearings, or a vote, it can do that. and from all indications, it sounds like that's what they're going to do. one thing that this will do is focus the election squarely on the supreme court. we'll see a series of decisions, some will be 4-4 splits, affirming lower court decisions, so people will realize it really is important to choose a president who can appoint justices to conform to their constitutional views. president obama has to make a choice, does he want to appoint a moderate he thinks might get through, or fire-breathing liberal visionary. he's a savvy constitutional law professor himself and student of history. i would imagine given the strong indication that the senate isn't going to hold hearings, he will choose somebody he thinks would be a great justice. >> professor jeff rosen, thanks
so much for being with us. >> thanks. great to be here. we're going to turn next to the democratic race. hillary clinton hitting bernie sanders, but sanders has drawn another huge crowd to a rally. stay with us. (crowd cheering) abdominal pain. urgent diarrhea. you never know when ibs-d will show up. now there's prescription xifaxan. xifaxan is a new ibs-d treatment that helps relieve your diarrhea and abdominal pain symptoms. do not use xifaxan if you have a history of sensitivity to rifaximin, rifamycin antibiotic agents, or any components of xifaxan. tell your doctor right away if your diarrhea worsens while taking xifaxan, as this may be a sign of a serious or even fatal condition. tell your doctor if you have liver disease or are taking other medications, because these may increase the amount of xifaxan in your body.
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bernie sanders' campaign said 9,400 people came out to see him in michigan. mostly college kids. the campaign believes it points to the youthful excitement his campaign is generating. hillary clinton tried to highlight the differences with her opponent at her own event in elko, nevada. she is stumping hard with three stops there, ahead of the nevada caucus on saturday. >> i am not a single-issue candidate, because this is not a single-issue country. we have so much work to do. and i know that we can do better. >> the point is, that people
want you to think small. think small. i think it is time for us to think big. [ cheers and applause ] all right. you can think hugely! >> joining me now, jackie, senior politics editor for "the daily beast." getting a little rowdy at the bernie sanders rally. you have 9,400 people in michigan. on the other hand, hillary clinton who did three events today in nevada, was supposed to go to florida, changed her schedule, maybe feeling some of the pressure there out west. what are these events, if you look at just today, what does it tell you about the state of play on the democratic side of the campaign? >> you know, bernie sanders, if he's a one-issue candidate, he's talking about an issue that a lot of people care about. the economy is the number one issue, why people go out and vote.
he's really creating an excitement with younger people, a lot of them who feel left behind, saddled with debt. i was out in new hampshire talking to a lot of people college age, and that's what you hear. they believe bernie sanders. it is a bit of a hard thing for hillary to turn, right? because his brand of being a democrat is talking about big things, is talking about things that get people to the polls. where pragmatism doesn't rel really light anyone on fire. she is having trouble sort of squaring that with some of those younger folks she's trying to attract. >> you're an hour away from flint, michigan, which has become so much a part of the conversation on the democratic side. we know for example bernie sanders met with families impacted by the flint water crisis. we saw the endorsement of ministers there for hillary clinton. and now she's put out this ad on the web that addresses all of this. let me play for you this new
hillary clinton ad. >> we need to continue to have the spotlight shine on this story. because we need some long-term solutions. >> i cry like right now talking to you, i'm ready to cry but i'm holding it in. they need to fix flint. >> we need action now. this is the most important work we are ever called to do. to reach out in every way we can to lend that helping hand. >> bernie sanders already had an office there. hillary clinton announcing this afternoon that she's going to open an office in flipt. i'm wondering sort of why this is resonating so much. and is this going to continue to be an issue that helps people connect to this campaign on the democratic side? >> you have to imagine, i mean, part of this is because south carolina is right around the corner. and both berpy sanders and hillary clinton are trying to court the african-american vote. now, that said, you know, that doesn't mean they don't care about what's happening in flint, that's not what i'm saying at
all, but this issue of the government not helping out these people who clearly needed it, is going to resonate with the democrats, absolutely. >> jackie kucinich, thanks so much for joining me. good to see you. >> thank you. >> that will wrap up this hour of msnbc, live from columbia, south carolina. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. his special guest, hillary clinton. hillary attacks republican obstructionists. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. it didn't take long for the political battle to start over filling justice scalia's seat. what is less than zero? the chances of obama successfully appointing a supreme court justice to replace scalia, within minutes of the justice's death.