tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 18, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PST
[ applause ] all right, come on inside. good morning, everybody, it's thursday, february 18, we are live in beautiful, charleston, south carolina, where it's now just two days to go until voters go to the polls to pick their choice for the republican nominee for president. with us we have msnbc contributor and legendary columnist in mike barnicle. managing editor of bloomberg politics mark halperin. in washington, we have senior political editor and white house correspondent for the huffington post, sam stein. good to have you all. >> well, you know, this is -- i just -- being here really tests
your grit. >> it does. >> and your resolve to do what you were called to do. >> it was hard. >> it is not easy being out on the campaign trail. you know, it reminds me of the old chicago song "wishing you were here." but i've got a job to do and i do it well. it's really tough being in charleston! [ applause ] >> in this beautiful hotel. lovely people. >> what an amazing place. >> yeah. absolutely gorgeous, historic. >> every time we come back here. >> and we've got a big story to cover and we'll be doing that through the weekend. special editions of "morning joe" saturday and sunday. new polls out of south carolina show donald trump with big leads across the board ahead of saturday's primary. a new monmouth university poll has him ahead of cruz by 16 points. a bloomberg politics poll has him ahead by 19 points. a new poll from the south carolina house republican caucus also has him ahead by 19. >> let's stop quickly. we'll dig deeper in a minute if you can go back and show us that. mark halperin, look at the big
board where you have trump at 35 in monmouth 36%, bloomberg 35%. those are pretty consistent and what i found in new hampshire, what we all found in new hampshire, is that the voting for that primary ended up remarkably similar to the polls that preceded it. it's hard to see a lot of movement there. what do the numbers show you? >> i'm no math genius but on my abacus this morning i figured trump has about a third of a vote and no one is in a position to stop him. the strongest candidate beside him according to the polls is ted cruz and yet senator cruz is not engaged in a full all out effort to finish first so donald trump will finish first by a big margin two contests in a row puts him in a commanding position in the next state where he has a big lead. >> let's talk about marco rubio. rubio is in third place.
>> got the endorsement of nikki haley. >> got the endorsement of the governor. he also fared well on cnn last night from everything that i read and understood. trump, we, of course, had a town hall meeting with trump. back and forth. but trump seemed to be in pretty good position there as well. >> you guys were very spirited with him, you asked him a lot of hard questions face to face and he is on his game. he's not tired and distracted. he's a little annoyed with other candidates but he's focused on his message that is disciplined. he's a first time candidate performing remarkably well. marco rubio as should grit and determination. a couple weeks ago in new hampshire, the horrible debate, disappointing showing and he's fought back to a point where i think people can say don't underestimate his resilience and ability. necessary a position to be a finalist. if he finishes third or second, he's in a position to be a finalist. >> let's dig deeper into the numbers from bloomberg.
south carolina voters say trump is the most likely candidate to bring about needed change, be the strongest leader, win the general election and take on the washington establishment. however, south carolina voters say ben carson and ted cruz are the two most likely candidates to be leaders guided by faith and share the religious values of south carolinians. trump falls fifth on those metrics. and in keeping with the state's, voters say they haven't made up their minds or could be persuaded to vote for someone other than their first choice. however a majority of trump supporters and cruz supporters say they are locked in. >> mike barnicle, you go back to who's best in economy, best in foreign policy, dealing with terrorists, we've been seeing this for six months, trump seems to win all of those categories. it's hard to see how somebody overtakes him when he is so dominant once you go deeper
inside those numbers. 43% brings about change to cruz's 15%. 43% can win the general election. the strongest leader 41% to 17% and taking on the washington establishment 51% to 20%. nobody else is close. >> those last two indexes are carrying him. one of the more interesting aspects of last night's interview was, as mark pointed out, this guy is a first time candidate, first time entrant into the big theater of politics. the level of certainty he provides in every answer, no matter how many times he's interrupted by either one of you probing with another question, the level of certainty he brings to his campaign is to me astonishing given where he came from. >> it was interesting. we keep peppering him with questions. there are haters that will never be happy unless we get a knife and stab him in the side of the neck and watch him bleed out while shouting profanities at him. >> it's unbelievable. >> good luck finding another
interview where he was interrupted as much as he was last night. >> talk about biassed? >> there's a lot of bias, a lot of jealous people out there. that's their problem not ours, i'd rather be on this side of it. but we asked him questions and we were specifically peppering him. i had one person on the internet, a verified person on the internet who one minute was attacking me for being too easy and the next minute attack megafor interrupting him too much. but we did that on purpose. we decided we were going to interrupt him, pepper him. >> sit close to him. >> when he started doing his talking points we were going to say -- well, of course, the follow-up answer to his general answer is general but that's trump. unless you want to stay there for one hour on one issue you're just not going to get to the bottom of that general pit of generalities. at the same time, we noticed he still stayed on his game, even being peppered and interrupted
in a way that i don't think he's been. >> you had good follow-ups but he's a confident guy who understand what is he needs to stay to get through an interview, what he needs to stay to get through a debate and his performance, we keep coming back to the same words, strength. those traits, he's runningahead of his horse race number. half the people say he's the best to take on washington. he doesn't even have half the vote stos peop votes. generalities work if you're confident and people like what you're saying. >> sam stein, you look through the bottom of these polls, we've got marco in third, jeb usually in fourth or fifth. the question a lot of people are asking not only around here but also in washington is can marco and jeb survive if they end up behind the other? this does seem to a degree a bit of a death match between bush and rubio. who finishes ahead of the other gets to punch their ticket out. who finishes behind the other.
really has no reason to continue campaigning. jeb, for reasons of pride, marco because he just went have the money to continue. >> yeah, and this is probably the last grasp the establishment lane has here. at some point they'll consolidate, it will become a three-person race with ted cruz, whoever the establishment candidate is and donald trump and at that point neighbor's a chance that a third of the vote will be trump's peak and that will be it. but the statistical evidence is not that compelling at this point. obviously there was an nbc/"wall street journal" poll the other day that had the national race with trump below cruz but if you look at the upcoming primary states, as you pointed out, they all look really, really fortuitous for donald trump and at some point marco rubio's got to win a state. this is a delegate contest and it's -- until the field thins out a little bit, it's tough to see him winning a state. so, you know, it's a wait-and-see thing right now. it's very dramatic.
so let's look at the two new national polls. you mentioned one, sam, the republican field that produced two very different results. in our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll conducted after saturday's debate, after the debate, senator ted cruz has pulled ahead of donald trump 28% to 26%. that's a 15-point swing in cruz's favor since january. a possible explanation for trump's decline is an increase in very conservative republican voters from january's sample. now, if the current poll is reweighted to reflect the ideological composition from last month, trurch mp is ahead point. the poll also shows a drop for donald trump in the percentage of republican voters who can see themselves supporting him. marco rubio does best in this category at 70% followed by cruz at 65% and ben carson at 62%. but that survey comes as a new national poll from "usa today" and suffolk university conducted last thursday through this
monday shows trump with a healthy 15-point lead over cruz. yesterday both trump and cruz weighed in on the nbc poll that shows them in a virtual tie nationally for first. >> i have never done well in the "wall street journal" poll. i think somebody at "wall street journal" doesn't like me. but i bother with well with the "wall street journal" poll so i don't know, they do these small samples and i don't know what it represent represents. >> nbc and the "wall street journal" announced a new national poll and for the first time in many months there's a new national front-runner on the republican side. nationally we're in first place with 28%. [ cheers and applause ] in second place is donald trump with 26%. [ boos ] and the next closest candidate is way down at 17%.
so the sound you're hearing is the sound of screams coming from washington, d.c. [ laughter ] >> after the sounds that, mark halperin, i'm hearing, the sounds of a thousand pollsters scratching their heads simultaneously. [ laughter ] you have a quinnipiac poll that came out yesterday showing trump ahead by over 20 points. you have a reuters poll that i think has trump up by 25 points. we just showed you the "usa today" poll that has trump up by 15, 16, 17 points. to say this nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is an outlier is a very, very liberal use of the term outlier. let me ask you this question. do you know anybody that actually believe this is poll? >> the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is a very poll, it's very methodologically sound. even the best pollster, something goes wrong with the
methodology but you get a bad sample so i don't think anybody thinks donald trump is tied with ted cruz nationally but it's the case that ted cruz has picked up strength and i think national media understates the extent to which ted cruz is communicating people around the regular media. think about who's left the race, scott walker, bobby jindal, rick perry, mike huckabee, rick santorum, rand paul. those guys all out of the race. a lot of that vote will go to ted cruz so he has moved up nationally but he's not ahead or even with donald trump nationally, i don't think there's any question about that. >> mike barnicle, it looks as if either the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll or quinnipiac/"usa today" and these other -- and reuters who have him up by 20, 25 points, it looks like they're all competing to be the gallup of the 2016 cycle. that had mitt romney up by 11 points to the very end. somebody is drastically wrong. there's no explaining this away a month from now. >> we all know polls are a
snapshot of a moment in time. the rest of the polls other than the nbc/"wall street journal" polls are landscape portraits of what's going on on the republican side, keeping trump up there. the most interesting aspect of these polls, at least to me, is that all of them when they rank the candidates portend in the future -- i don't know whether it's the immediate future or four or five years down the road -- the breakup of a political party. you can see the establishment wing of the republican party sliding away from large elements of the rest of the party. >> the populists have taken over the party. no doubt about it. >> well, after being threatened with a lawsuit by donald trump, ted cruz has a singular message -- bring it on. during a news conference yesterday, cruz read from a southeast and desist letter his campaign received from a lawyer from trump. they're demanding the cruz campaign stop playing the ad that you see right here. it shows part of a 1999 "meet the press" interview where trump
said at the time he was very pro-choice. cruz insists he'll keep playing it on tv and dared trump to bring on the suit. >> to mr. trump you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits this takes the cake. so donald, i would encourage you, if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad, claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit. >> trump later responded saying "cruz is a liar and these ads and statements made by cruz are clearly desperate moves by a guy who is tanking in the polls. if i want to bring on a lawsuit it would be legitimate. like wise, if i want to bring the lawsuit regarding senator cruz being a and a half a born canadi canadian, i will do so. time will tell, teddy."
he also talked about his conversion on abortion issues in our exclusive town hall last night. >> i've had great success in business, i've had great success with lawsuits. i've had great success in things i do and i don't know that we'll have a lawsuit but we want to keep somebody honest and when he make statements about like as an example i'm pro-life and he says i'm not pro-life, he can't say that. >> but your opponents would say you haven't always been pro life. >> that's true. and ronald reagan like wise. >> so what happened? when did that change come? >> it changed years ago and what happened is i saw things with people and people that i know and people that i respect that made me change. ronald reagan changed. he said he evolved, he used that expression. ronald reagan actually used to be a fairly liberal democrat and he became a fairly conservative conservative. i mean, fairly. >> but ted cruz says we can't count on donald trump in the future, especially in picking supreme court justices if he's
changed in the past. >> i'm the only one -- >> how do you convince a republican like me that if you were nominated you're not going to nominate the type of supreme court justice that always seems to flip. so if you look at me as a conservative, okay? and i'm not sure's necessarily the most important word, but i'm a common sense conservative. >> okay. what did you make of his answers? you were going right after him, boom, boom, boom. >> i thought that he was -- as mark said, he was speaking in generalities even in the follow-up questions but he was confident, he was in control and the people that are voting for him, they are not saying donald trump, we want to see your 12 position packages, we don't want to see who will be in the white house. they trust him because he has strength, they think he will be a strong leader and they think a
lot of them say he'll put good people in charge. so did he drill down as far as other candidates? no. but he drilled down more last night than he usually does. >> he did disclose that next week he'll reveal his foreign policy team. that should be fascinating and give a window into his outlook in terms of how to approach the world stage. >> so, sam stein, obviously ted cruz and donald trump's bromance ended many weeks ago but it's getting ugly enough to suggest these two understand that at the end this will be a death match between cruz and trump for the republican nomination. at least they certainly seem to think so. >> yeah, and it's kind of tiptoeing that way already, right? the threat of suits and countersuits, that stuff. i happen to believe in this situation ted cruz is kind of right, right? donald trump did say those things in his past. i think it's fair ga imto point
out ideological inconsistencies. he's literal he replaying past statements from donald trump so i don't think ted cruz is out of bounds. trump might think it's unfair but this is politics and certainly in south carolina this seems above ground so we'll see. ted cruz had a strategy, he would hug donald trump as long as possible until donald trump fell out and ted cruz would inherent donald trump supporters and become the nominee. clearly he missquall collated. donald trump never fell and support continued to grow now ted cruz has had to readjust so that means it will get bitter. >> those are the two at the top fighting right now. when it comes to bush and rubio set that up for us, do you agree that whoever finishes behind the other will go home? >> i think so and i normally don't like to force anybody out of the race but bush will have no political rational for going on if he finishes behind nooub
th -- rubio in this state. we have five guys competing for the nomination. i think after saturday we'll have four. john kasich will go on and he has to play in the northeastern states, midwestern states but trump is not fading away, trump is a finalist, cruz is a finalist. we're looking to see now if we have two more people going on or just one after saturday. >> and the problem for certainly is establishment lane with bush and rubio, they go to the deep south next. they go super tuesday states where as you say donald trump, if you look at the polls is in a position where right now if he comes out of south carolina and naff naff strong he will be the prohibitive favorites in every one of those super tuesday states. >> and maybe getting more like 40% or 50% of the votes 23450 s.
if he's getting a third of the vote, you can imagine that he's getting a third, but if he's in the 50s, people can speculate all they want about when trump will fall, he may be winning states so big the next month that nobody stops him. we haven't even got on the the democrats. real quick, we have to go to break. >> the human element comes into play, one of the most interesting aspects of politics with rubio and bush, after this which one wants to go back to their home state and lose in their home state? >> well, rubio needs to go home at some point. >> well, the difference between rubio and bush is that jeb bush politically is at the end of the line. there's a lot of things he can do and will do. regardless of what happens he emerges from this race.
the brightest rising star in the republican party, that's something he has to way that jeb bush doesn't have to weigh. rubio can't afford to lose to donald trump by 15 points. a lot of people in his home state of florida are wanting them to get back to the senate to fight the scalia fight. >> and maybe show up far vote. it was unfortunate when he said "if i were still in a senate." you are and your checks suggest you are. i hope he said that as i read that on twitter. >> one thing real quick. we could see bush or rubio endorsing the other one and pushing his financial backers to the other one by sunday. >> okay. still ahead on "morning joe," more from our exclusive prime time town hall with donald trump. plus ted cruz admits what we've known for months, he's been drafting off the front-runner waiting for his time to break away. >> last turn, careful. >> he's going to try to
slingshot past you. >> don't worry, i know him, he always goes to the outside. this one's for you, harry. he's going high. he's going low! >> i'm sorry, you have a chance to show a "talladega nights" shot of shake and bake and you go with that? >> alex is tired. >> come on! >> nbc's hallie jackson and politico's jim and have high joins us for that as ted cruz looks for his opening to pull out in front. and governor john kasich joins us in our 8:00 hour. you're watching "morning joe." we're live from charleston, south carolina. [ applause ] you're an at&t small business expert? sure am. my staff could use your help staying in touch with customers. at&t can help you stay connected. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier for your staff to send
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be a great day in america. help me welcome the next president of the united states, let's go to the polls on saturday and move that down the way, marco rubio. [ cheers and applause ] >> i'm disappointed. she's a very good governor a and -- trust me, she's a great person, i'm disappointed she didn't endorse me. >> yesterday, south carolina governor nikki haley endorsed marco rubio. >> i have to say, that's a tale of two responses, jeb bush when i asked about the endorsement, mike barnicle, he said "i'm really disappointed. it's kind of soul crushing, i'm disappointed." and donald trump said "she's a loser, she's weak on illegal immigration." [ laughter ] it's amazinamazing, again. it's the strong and wrong. jeb showed his humanity, i personally liked it.
trump just went in like fists flying. >> well, you what you see is a reflection of both their personalities in their reactions to things. trump, whatever he says, she's a loser. jeb bush, humane, hurt, crushed because of the work the bush family put into it, at least keeping the governor neutral, never mind getting her endorsement. >> let's talk about that. she had two presidents calling her up just asking her to stay neutral. >> one met with her face to face 4, 3 saying look, the establishment wants somebody to stop trump and nikki haley is not just a state figure, she's national and her endorse element reverberate in this state and reverberate nationally. if marco rubio finishes ahead of jeb bush here, there's going to be a rush to him, money people, politicians and others who say he's the hope for the future of the party and in the short term the hope to stop donald trump and ted cruz which the establishment still desperately
wants. >> joining us from columbia, south carolina, nbc news correspondent hallie jackson and in new york, president and ceo of politico, jim vandehei. jim, we'll start with you and this rubio endorsement was really a dagger for the bush campaign, wasn't it? >> i mean, read his lips and read his body language from yesterday. i think he knows he desperately needed that endorsement, or at least desperately needed it not go to marco rubio. he does his own event yesterday and gets pelted with his supporters saying "you're running a bad campaign, you're low energy." all the things donald trump has said. i think it was a huge day for marco rubio. i think you're right coming out of south carolina it will be a three person race but i think the odds are stacked very much in marco rubio's favor. if you look at the polls you dissected in the first 20 minutes of the show, he's running a solid third and he showed the skeptics that showed that people said he's a paper tiger, he has bounce, the campaign performance has been
better, sharper, he gets a very important endorsement, i think mark is right, this is a national figure, somebody who has huge clout in this state, it could move the needle in the margins in south carolina and yesterday might be the official beginning of a quick end for bush because of all this. >> and hallie, you spoke to senator ted cruz yesterday. tell us about that conversation. >> a couple of things stand out as we talk about marco rubio and his position in south carolina. someo one is that cruz acknowledgeds that three-man race. for weeks he's been trying to frame this as a two-person race, but now you're seeing cruz forced to acknowledge rubio is a player. we talked about the new poll that came out, our nbc news "wall street journal" poll showing cruz topping trump nationally and one of the most interesting things to me, we talked about donald trump because what we saw at the news
concer conference was him taking a torch and lighting it down. he had promise, audio-visual aids, this was a well-produced news conference that ted cruz intentionally took it to trump and i asked him about this. i said for months you embraced the guy. what's the deal? here's that exchange. for months you didn't say a bad word about donald trump, you hugged him for months and months and months and there are those who say that you and your support of donald trump at that time allowed him to be where he is today and to be in a position to talk about this stuff. >> listen, hallie, as i said at the time there is a time and season in a campaign for policy differentiations. >> so you always knew this moment was going to come? >> of course. but at the beginning we needed to consolidate conservatives first. >> so cruz says the intention was always to consolidate conservative conservatives then go back to trump, but in september the two were holding rallies on capitol hill where cruz had the nicest
things to say about donald trump even when pressed about his policy differences with him. >> thank you so much, hallie. jim vandehei, let me ask you about the spate of polls that have come out over the past couple days. the south carolina polls show donald trump up 20 points in most of the polls. if trump does get out of here with a lead as strong as he had in new hampshire and what he has in the polls right now, what does that mean moving forward to the southern states and super tuesday? >> i would argue against something mark said earlier, that you can see donald trump going into other states and wracking up 40% to 50%. i'm skeptical because i think the party is divided into three camps, the establishment, the working class group that loves trump and evangelical christians and i think something important happened at that last debate that you're seeing in these poll which is is you had this phenomenon going into the last debate where you had people in the establishment basically rationalizing donald trump saying "maybe he's not that bad.
particularly compared with ted cruz." because of that sharp attack he had on president bush and the war and lying about weapons of mass destruction you have a lot of people at least willing to entertain the idea of going with trump very, very skeptical of him and i don't think they'll back him because of that the question, so do they think cruz -- who they don't really like -- could they see themselves backing him or does everyone rally behind rubio? which i think breaks out going out of south carolfin soua long three-person race and kasich sticks in there so it will be four person but likely a three-person race for probably months to come. >> wow, jim vandehei. >> this reminds me, jim vandehei, is all values aside reminds me of the time university of alabama had a coach that was accused of sexual harassment and the board of trustees decided they were going to get rid of him but decided at the last second to give him one
more chance and they asked a trustee, "how close was he to getting fired?" and the trustee said "pretty close but all i can tell you is he better win 11 games next year." and i sat there reading it going what does one have to do with the other? well, in washington, unfortunately they think the same way. you have a guy that wins new hampshire by 20 points and you've got a guy that wins south carolina by 20 points -- >> if he does -- >> and you've got a guy that goes into the s.e.c. primary states 20u7 poi up 20 points, tt to be on the side of the winner. >> so jim vandehei, thank you very much. coming up, donald trump's reaction when we show him how he's just like bernie sanders. many more
from our exclusive town hall next on "morning joe." [ applause ]
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watching tvs get sharper, you've had it tough. bigger, smugger. and you? rubbery buttons. enter the x1 voice remote. now when someone says... show me funny movies. watch discovery. record this. voila. remotes, come out from the cushions, you are back. the x1 voice remote is here. >> i wanted to describe a candidate to you. the candidate is described as a political outsider tapping into the anger of the voters, delivers a populist message, he believes everyone in the country should have health care, he advocates for hedge fund managers to pay higher taxes, he's drawing thousands of people at his rallies and bringing in a lot of new voters to the political process and he's not beholden to any super pac.
who am i describing? >> or any special interest or any donors. you're describing donald trump. >> actually, i was describing bernie sanders. [ laughter ] >> well, that's good. >> there are some similarities. >> there's one thing we're very similar on, he knows that our country's being ripped off big league, big league, on trade. the problem is, he can't do anything about it. he's not going to be able to do -- >> why not? >> he doesn't it. he doesn't understand what's happening. but he knows china and other countries are ripping us off. [ applause ] >> he never saw that coming. >> i was surprised. in our exclusive town hall yesterday with donald trump we asked him about how he would pay for his top campaign promises. specifically where he would cut and why he refuses to raise the retirement age. take a look. >> $19 trillion national debt. that's something that -- that's a top issue for me. >> top. >> but if i listen to the people i've been listening to for years on this issues, they tell me your policies would add another
$10 trillion, $11 trillion to the national debt. >> they're wrong. >> how are they wrong? >> all they're saying my policy is i'm going to reduce taxes and the, as will bring jobs back and we'll bring jobs back into the country big league and have a dynamic economy again. do you know last quarter we had no growth. >> are you going to cut spending? >> i'm going to cut spending big league. >> where? >> where is that? >> department of education, we're going to cut department of education, we spend more money per pupil than any country in the world by far and we're ranked number 30. >> that won't balance the budget. >> where else? >> you've got to look at entitlements, though, too, do you not? >> what we're going to do more than anything else, we're going to cut tremendous amounts of money. let me give you an example. drug companies, the largest drug buyer in the world, we don't negotiate. you pay practically the same for the country as if you go into the drugstore and buy the drugs. if we negotiated the price of drugs, we'd save $300 billion a
year. now, these candidates, i self-fund, i'm going to do it. these candidates are all controlled by the drug companies, the lumber companies, the -- they're never going to do that. >> entitlement reform. social security, medicare, and medicaid combined are going to consume every dime that goes to washington, d.c. >> waste, fraud, and abuse. >> that's not going to take care of it by itself. >> it's a huge number. waste, fraud -- >> what about raising the retirement age? >> i'm not doing that. >> people are living older than they ever have. >> waste, fraud, and abuse is massive in social security, medicare and medicaid. >> so why wouldn't you raise the retirement age if americans are getting older and living longer and longer. >> i'm not doing it. i don't want to do it. two reasons, number one, i don't want to do it and number two the democrats won't do it. the republicans have to get elected and if you watch bernie and hillary, they don't want to only not cut, they want to increase social security. now i'm not doing it for that reason i'm saying this, we don't have to do it. we'll make our economy strong
and rich. i want to build our military so strong, so powerful that nobody will mess with us. >> is that more money, too? >> it's more money but it's cheap compared to what we're doing right now. nobody respects us right now. they don't respect us -- >> but are you talking about bigger defense budgets? right now we're spending -- >> i'm talking about negotiated defense budgets. we're buying equipment that the generals and the colonels and the people in the field don't want because these companies have political contacts. so much of it has to do with the fact that i'm self-funding my campaign i can do whatever i want. we're buying quipped that we don't even want because certain companies have better political skills and you see it all the time, they're getting a plane, they don't want it, they could have gotten it cheaper but they'll get this one because we are going to have a better, stronger military and we'll watch it so much. we'll save so much money. joe, there's so much corruption, there's so much waste and abuse in the military and elsewhere but we'll build our military strong. it's the cheapest thing we can. >> do you said you're going to
build a beautiful wall and mexico is going to pay for it but you never say how. >> it's so easy. >> you say believe me they are. that's not an answer. >> believe me -- [ laughter ] >> tell me. >> you have to stop and i'll tell you. we'll have a trade deficit this year, $58 billion. the wall will cost a fraction of that, maybe $10 million or $12 million and it will be a real wall, a high wall, beautiful, a wall that works. >> how do you get mexico to pay for it? >> very simple. you have five different ways. number one -- here's the key, they are making, if you look at it as a company, $58 billion. a year. we have a trade deficit with mexico of $58 billion all i have to do is play with that trade deficit and believe me they'll pay for the wall. >> are you talking about starting a trade war? >> we have all the cards. i see massive ships coming in with cars in los angeles, we have all the cards, we don't have the politicians that know
how to play them. >> mark halperin, what did you think? >> you guys came with research and hard questions, asked him, listened to his answers, followed up, he's tough to pin down and as we said before his supporters don't care about specifics. but you guys put him through his paces and he is -- he just stands there and responds the way he wants to respond. no matter what -- no matter how hard the questions or what you ask, you can't make him say certain things. be that gives people a sense of where he is and a lot of people like where he is. >> there is so much going on in that clip we just showed and almost everything that we showed gets right to the heart of trump's strength across the board. he talks -- he uses the words "waste, fraud, corruption, loser," they all resonate with the american public. the other aspect of that clip we just showed, the crowd shots. you saw men and women roughly some of them in between the ages of 48 and 55. that means 20 years ago nafta may have taken their jobs.
>> right. >> and now they're looking at another trade agreement on the horizon that might take more jobs. all of these things, the cross currents just beneath the economic surface of this country are amazing to watch play out in this campaign. >> the thing that i thought was so interesting, mika, and i thought -- i'll throw it to you, mark, i haven't seen a trump interview yet this cycle where he was interrupted as much, where he was pushed as much as he was, where we intentionally kept it pretty tight and pretty close. >> we only had an hour, which we're not used to. >> only had an hour and to go over the state of the race, the first block, defense the second, economics the third and then a wrap with questions, the fourth block. but as quickly as we went and he moved, he was good at coming back at it, but unless you're going to spend a full hour on one question, it's hard to nail him down. that said, again, mark, if you've seen -- i mean, i saw anderson cooper's town hall
meeting with him. it was very casual compared to. that i've seen other people interview him. i haven't seen that back and forth. i haven't seen him push and i say that not to talk about us just to talk about how he does under that setting where we wanted to get in his face, see if he lost his cool, see if he was able to come back and very quick in that setting." the demeanor in that setting and the press conference monday contrasts with the debate where some people thought he was too angry and too hot. he never lost his cool despite the hard questions and he's very good at talking what about the problem is. one of the audience members asked a question about college affordability and he talked about how president obama hasn't solved the problem. not specifics about what he would do. same with the question about small businesses. >> it's a huge issue, too. >> he'll talk about the problems but people are receptive to that. they believe he understand what is's wrong and they trust him to solve it. >> so it's very interesting. on education, you know what?
he got it right as far as the problem. you're exactly right. what's the problem? right now we have a student loan program that allows colleges to put their price up at an outrageous number and you get the federal government that's going to loan the money to the students and they're -- you know, that's how they're allowed to continue to push it up. he gets the problem. he doesn't give the specific solution but his supporters think -- >> sometimes it's just "believe me." [ laughter ] >> but that does tell you he understands the problem. one other thing really quickly, i know we have to go. >> we do. >> it's very interesting on these possible trade wars. how do you build the wall? possible trade war with mexico. how do you take on china? possible trade war. every time you push him on that, he goes, politely "no, not really a trade war. the threat of a trade war." still ahead, there's a lot happening on the democrats' race as well. we'll get to the latest between hillary clinton and bernie
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>> my opponent has been quite critical of the president. he's called him weak, he's called him disappointing. he even tried to advocate for somebody who run against him when he ran for reelection in 2012. well, i've got to tell you, anybody who understands how hard it is to make progress, anybody who understands what what this president accomplished from getting the economy back on track, getting the affordable care act past which covers 18 million people, i don't know that's pretty impressive to me. and i am unapologetic. i will build on the progress that president obama has made. >> so with concerns from donors
about her strategy in nevada, is it possible bernie sanders could have another better-than-expected showing in a state that was expected to go easily to hillary clinton? >> i mean, that is right now the buzz inside the clinton campaign, a lot of people are very, very concerned, they were concerned coming out of new hampshire, she lost big there, then they leave new hampshire and they're blind sided with news that nevada, the next important contest, is much, much closer than they ever expected. >> we'll be joined by clinton advocate david brock in our next hour. you're watching "morning joe" live from charleston, south carolina. think of it as a seven seat theater... for an action packed thriller. i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count.
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>> you have all of these countries whether it's -- >> bless you. >> oh, she sneezed. >> it wasn't a protest ere. >> you're so used to protesters. >> i immediately thought the camera is going to go over there and show what a big crowd it is. that was a healthy sneeze, she's a healthy person. a fun moment with donald trump last night. we'll get the latest poll numbers, though, they're nothing to sneeze at. more from our exclusive town hall and whether the race is shifting or not. plus, senior white house correspondent chris jansing joins us as well as "time" magazine's joe klein. we're back in just a moment live from charleston, south carolina. [ applause ] environment,
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>> i will have more crossover votes if i get the nomination. i will have more crossover votes than anybody that's ever run for office. i will have democrat votes. i will have independent votes. i will do tremendously with crossover. one other thing, i will have states that nobody ever thought of getting in terms of a republican. >> name one. >> new york. i think i have a great chance of. michigan. states that are not in your six states that we always talk about with the ohio that sort of you can get. i'll definitely get pennsylvania, i'll get ohio, i think i'll win florida. you see how i'm doing there
florida. i'll get states like a michigan and new york. >> but "usa today," the headline was 38% of americans are scared of you getting the presidency. of course, something like 34% were scared of hillary so the numbers are up there. that's a lot of people. >> all of the top candidates had the highest numbers. >> how do you bring that number down? >> you saw me bring it down. remember how high that number was six or seven months ago and everybody was amazed how i brought it back down? that just comes down. [ applause ] welcome back to "morning joe" live from the market pavilion hotel in charleston, south carolina. with us, mike barnicle, nbc news senior white house correspondent chris jansing and the huffington post's sam stein in washington. that was an interesting exchange. >> interesting back and forth. we didn't have time for political analysis last night, but what donald trump was saying i got a sense was more of a gut answer to that. actually went along with somewhat somebody wrote in the
"new york times" yesterday about how trump is tapping into this jacksonian democracy. jacksonian resentment of people throughout appalachia. it's funny, appalachia meeting the rust belt, there's no doubt that will be his strength if he makes it to a general election where you have places like west virginia and you move on up into pennsylvania and then go -- he was talking about the rust belt going over to pennsylvania, ohio, michigan. if a republican is a conservative and a populist, that is where they win. >> you don't have to be a pollster or be in this business of looking at these things each and everyday to figure out where donald trump's strength is coming from. go to walmart. go to home depot. stand in line at a cvs or a walgreens as people wait to pay for their prescriptions and are astounding at the cost of their prescriptions. that's -- you can see anecdotally, you can see part of the basis of his support among the white working class. >> well, new polls out of south carolina show donald trump with
big leads across the board ahead of saturday's primary. a new monmouth university poll has him ahead of cruz by 16 points. a new bloomberg politics poll haas him ahead by 19 points and a new poll from the south carolina house republican caucus also has him ahead by 19. >> let's stop right there. sam stein, looks like right now pretty consistent polls that came out yesterday, all of them have trump in the mid-30s and have cruz anywhere from 16% to 19% here. cruz and the rest of the pack will have to do something over the next few days to close this gap, aren't they? >> yeah, and you get a sense that cruz realizes that with that press conference he held yesterday. i want to piggyback just a tiny bit on that clip you played of trump and what mike said in the last hour. there was a fairly significant story that broke last week. the company carrier announced -- and this was caught on video -- that it was laying off about 1,400 workers at a plant,
shipping those jobs to mexico. it was a devastating thing for the plant. the workers, as caught on video, were distraught by it, some visibly angry by the announcement. and then in the debate that happened subsequently among the republicans, there was only one candidate who actually mentioned that news and that was donald trump. and i think that really gets at what he's doing here. he's bea billionaire, he has a n of money but he's making overt appeals to people who have been left behind in this economy and that translates into the polls in very non-ideological ways. so when he says he can get votes from other people and other parties, he's right. and the one last thing i want to note is that in your interview one of the few things that he harped on in terms of deficit reduction was a very democratic idea which is taking government authority and using medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. that's something you hear from
democrats. that's not a republican platform. so he is sort of weirdly unideological and that's what explains why his appeal is fairly consistent. >> let's talk about the two states, you know very well that the two states back to back, new hampshire, you go into new hampshire, you can drive past the factories that have been abandoned as you drive all through that state. there's no doubt the economy has left people m people in new hampshire behind even though they've got some good unemployment numbers and a lot of factories over 30 years shut down, moved overseas. south carolina, a state i know pretty darn well, textile mills have been absolutely hammered in part by trade agreements and globalization that everybody in new york on wall street said this will be great for america and carrier leaving, i can go back to the early 1970s and remember my parents talking about factories moving out of
upstate new york going to japan, factories moving out of upstate new york going to europe. when we lived in upstate new york. this has been the story of working class americans since 1973. i say '73 because average wages in america have dropped for working class people since 1973. >> joe, the key there is the passage of time. you have the majority of the candidates running for president or running for any elective office, united states senate over the past five or six years talking in a five or six-year time frame of what's happened to our economy. it's longer than that. it's two to three decades. i mean, the textile mills that moved from new hampshire, initially they came here to the carolinas. they are now largely gone from the carolinas. so you have people throughout who have been suffering in one way or another economically for a couple of different decades. >> and, by the way, they want to know why they're losing their jobs to countries that give preferential treatment to the textile mills. >> the bottom line here is the
damage done by nafta is still out there as we negotiate a potentially new wide-ranging trade deal with the pacific rim nations. but any time you here in t're i middle of an economy in a country as rich and diverse as vast and this where the biggest pay raise people have enjoyed over the past two or three years is the reduction in gas prices, that's a recipe for real trouble. >> well, you also have donald trump talking about trade in a way that a lot of republicans aren't happy with, right? and i think his strategic -- his intrinsically strategic read of a room, he talks about in his book, he did it in business, he was able to look at people and know where to go, right? that's what his success in business is about and he has translated that so seamlessly to the political world that he really understands more than any of us did, more than any other candidate did, more than people -- yesterday on the ground i'm talking to people who
are in this political world in south carolina, life long, and they're saying to me what is going on in my state? they're asking me. they don't understand. but it's donald trump reading a room. >> the republicans in new hampshire that have been involved in politics in new hampshire a week later are still shaking the cobwebs,ened i'm not being funny. they're still trying to figure out what happened in their state. he broke all the rules, he'd fly in on a 757, give a speech, fly back home. he flew down to south carolina while everybody else was flying down -- going to town hall meetings there. why? because there was a crowd that we had here of 10,000 in south carolina. and the rules don't apply. and it's -- what sam stein said about negotiating with big pharma companies, that's not republican, same thing on trade deals. >> that's bernie sanders' line. >> that's not traditionally republican. these republicans here have never heard a republican
candidate espouse such views and live to tell it. >> i think it's more basic in some ways, too, he's just aspirational. name one candidate on both sides of the aisle that you want to be like. >> the aspirational society. that aspect of -- >> i don't, but i'm talking about trump's -- >> there are a lot of people that i admire. >> that's fine, you can admire. i admire every candidate running for president for what they're doing. >> you said aspirational, marco rubio -- i think marco rubio has one of the great aspirational stories. >> that's not it. you can have an aspirational story but you do not have an aspirational vibe and aura and also a company called trump: people are -- the trump supporters believe that they can actually maybe be like him: your cab driver! come on, you know what i'm talking about. >> this is an interesting story. phil griffin came and told me a story yesterday about a guy that was driving him around that was talking about trump and he was a recent immigrant to the country.
he goes, i don't get it, immigrants driving me around are excited about trump. when i first came to new york in 2003, i was being driven around by a cab driver and i said "how are you doing?" we were talking back and forth. he said "i'm doing fine, i'm driving a cab now, but i'm going to work around the clock, i'm going to buy a car and i'm going to start my own business then i'm going to buy two cars, then i'm going to buy 10 cars and then i'm going to be like trump." and i just kind of laughed. >> no one is saying "i'm going to be like rubio." [ laughter ] >> but they were there because their family was like rubio's family and came to this country but they -- they look at -- for a long time have looked at trump as being inspirational. whether people love him or hate him, i'm sorry, that's the reality. >> part of the appeal, you've seen it, you stand in the crowd at a trump rally, and i've been to six of them now. stand in the crowd and look
around and you see people looking at him and listening to him and they know a couple of things anecdotally about him. he came into their state, new hampshire or here in south carolina on a big plate with his name emblazoned. he's got a beautiful wife standing next to him. he talks about the billions he's made and they look at him the same way they look at the powerball ticket they buy on saturday. [ laughter ] >> you got it. >> he is their ticket to a larger, better life. >> but i think to mika's point, the one poll we haven't talked about that maybe explains donald trump better than anything happened a couple years ago and it was the first time since we did not earn polling that the american people didn't believe that their children would be better off -- >> exactly. >> -- than they were. >> exactly. >> it's very interesting. at the trump rally we went to in new hampshire i saw something i haven't seen in political rallies, either. trump was talking but all mika and i were doing --
>> i was transfixed by the audience. >> at the verizon center and i saw something that reminded me -- i hate to go back to these memories, reminded me of when i was very young in meridien, mississippi, we lived way out in the country. we would play basketball, you eel make fun of me for the rest of my life but on packed dirt ground. these packed dirt, put two goals up and it was really rural and there was a kid in the middle of the day, middle of our game that said he had to go. he ran home, real working class, rural mississippi person, they didn't have a lot of money and i saw him five minutes later come out of his trailer and he had a code on. didn't fit him, it was a shabby coat, i said "what's going on?" he said "my momma said harry truman just died. mama says we have to remember harry truman." and i always thought that was something from a bygone era when we were looking up in the stands
in new hampshire i saw a lot of working class guys that had just gotten off of work and you could tell, they put on ill-fitting jackets they probably hadn't worn in 20 years, since their wedding and they were sitting up there in those stands and i think they were waiting it because, like you said it was aspirational. >> take me with you. >> so in our town hall, an audience member asked mr. trump about his attacks on other candidates and we followed up with a question about his temperame temperament. >> as i politician i had a rule, you couldn't be at war with more than one person at a time. your rule seems to be you have to be at war with at least a dozen people at a time. what happens if you're president of the united states and you look at barack obama, one of his problems, higest problems, people on the hill, democrats and republicans will say, is that he doesn't have friends on the hill. >> he doesn't have friends. >> are you going to have friends on the hill?
>> i started out, i was one of 17 people, we're not including the democrats, it was coming at me from every which way. i was very strong and very gold and i hit a lot of people, i knocked out lindsey graham, i knocked out perry, i knocked out a lot of people, walker. >> you're still hammering people. >> i still have to because i still have six left. [ laughter ] >> but if you knock everybody else out and you're president of the united states then you have to deal with 535 people that will be hammering you everyday. >> do you have the temperament? >> i have a great temperament. i think my biggest strength is temperament. >> jeb bush would disagree. lindsey graham would disagree. >> jeb is a sad case, stock? [ laughter ] >> there you go again! there you go again. >> our country doesn't win anymore. you're so worried about being nice and politically correct. would you ruther have me being nice to everybody and instead of all those people they're still hammering me? >> it's not what i want, it's not what she wants. the question is do you have the temperament to deal day in and
day out -- >> finger on the button. >> finger on the button, okay. >> during the debate i was thinking this guy has his finger on the button. >> during the debate i was being hit by the announcers, john dickerson. everybody was really being sort of called to go after trump. >> but you'll be getting world leaders. >> i was being hit by everybody, finger on the button, i'm the only one that said don't go into iraq. so don't tell me about finger on the button. . okay, what did you make of that? >> donald trump keeps telling us when he gets elected his temperament is going to change. i am reminded of a cartoon they showed the morning after newt gingrich gave his first speech as speaker of the house and it was a unifying let's all come together speech where he talked about extendsing his arms to the democrats and the cartoonist for the "washington post" showed
gingrich making his speech up on top of the speaker's lectern and a pile of bones leading down to the floor that he had crawled up to get there. and the point was you can't now call for unity when you have savaged so many people getting to your position so when i hear he can savage people throughout an entire campaign and then bring americans together after he's elected president, call me skeptical, it didn't work for newt gingrich. how you get elected shapes how you govern. >> so, by the way, just out this morning, a new cbs news poll shows trump at 35% nationally. >> oh, wow. >> that puts him 17 points up over ted cruz. rubio and kasich are neck in neck. rubio at 12% and kasich at 11%. >> so chris jansing, nbc, "wall street journal," our employers, they write our checks. >> so i'm not going to say anything bad about it.
>> i will say the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll has always been the gold standard in the national polls but they are standing alone here. every other poll shows donald trump with a massive lead. >> if you want to look at what it feels like out there i don't think anybody who has been on the campaign trail all year would doubt donald trump is in the lead and i would say when you talk about a change in his temperament, i'm not convinced from the many dozens of supporters of his that i've talked to that they want him to change his temperament. they're happy with the way he is but back to your point about the polls. everything about being inside one of these campaigns, nothing feels like being in a donald trump event. the other thick that surprised me yesterday, i stood outside after you interviewed him and i asked people two questions, one about trump but i asked them about nikki haley's endorsement and no one would say that nikki haley was going to sway them any more than any said to me that
george w. bush was going to sway them for jeb bush. i think that's because this year you have a person who is such a strong personality and whose very brand is built on being i'm not not taking anybody's money, i'm my own man, not beholden to anybody if you're a candidate depending on a nikki haley or george w. bush to get your numbers up, this is not the year for it. >> i've got to get to the democrats. >> a real outlier. it seems like the nbc poll is an outlier. cbs, monmouth, quinnipiac have trump up by 10, 15, 20 points. >> map is shot, month in time. i don't know whether they go in the field today and come back with a different result but the consensus view is -- listen, eyesight can tell you more than some polls do. you stand in the verizon center and you looked at the crowd that you looked at, you're right, they were there for two reasons. the show, he has the best show, trump has the best show, and the aspirational aspect. on the democratic side,
let's go there and look at this new "usa today" suffolk university poll of democratic voters nationwide showing hillary clinton ahead of bernie sanders by ten points, 50% to 40%. that's a 17-point swing for senator sanders' favor since december. the poll shows sanders outperforming clinton in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. sanders does better against donald trump, ted cruz, marco rubio, and john kasich. >> look at this, though. in these matchups, trump batess clinton, cruz bets clinton, rubio beats clinton and kasich beats clinton by 11 points. john kasich matches up in the general election far better than anybody else. kasich beats clinton by 11 points. >> john kasich will join us in an hour so we'll talk to him about that. a day after we showed you a poll in nevada that has bernie
sanders and hillary clinton virtually tied in that state, the clinton camp announced an event in houston, texas, the night of the caucuses. the campaign says -- >> that's not good. >> that's not good at all. they're leaving nevada before the votes are counted? >> they say they'll get the results before she leaves. >> hmm. >> wow. i don't know what's in texas but it must be a lot of money because it's not good announcing you're leaving a state before the caucus ends. >> they must be reading the tea level there is. >> isn't that shocking? >> she canceled a trip and stayed in nevada and did three appearances when she was going to be going to florida three days ago but they have known, they have had the feeling on the ground what we're seeing in these polls in nevada. >> we justifiably focus our attention on the republican race
but this is a huge store rimplgts -- story. >> hillary clinton went into new hampshire and fought into new hampshire when people said she should have gone straight to south carolina and nevada. she ends up losing massively in new hampshire after campaigning there. the second she gets out of that she finds out she's fighting for her life in nevada so she races across the country and goes to nevada and now it looks like they're pulling up stakes the night of the caucus, something that always suggests things are not going your way, what's happening in this campaign, pam? >> there's a technical thing, victim wrong here, but i believe the nevada caucuses happen during the day not at night so that might explain why she is bolting and going to texas in the evening. the broader point is still there which is her campaign has consistently underestimated how hard this election was going to be against bernie sanders and
they've consistently failed to find a way to chip at bernie sanders' appeal. first they were attacking him from the left on certainish schuz made no sense because he's a self-described democratic socialist so there's not much room to maneuver there. now they're settling on the idea which that he is a one trick pony which may work but it's a pretty late message to sell on. the biggest problem they face is this. she has to go to places like new york and chicago on a routine basis to do these fund-raisers because she needs money to keep going. bernie sanders in his new hampshire victory speech paused, said "i'd like to do a fund-raiser right now." and asked for $27 donations from everyone tuning in. in the 24 hours after he won he raised something like $6 million which is an insane amount. if he can continue doing that, he can continue going through maybe even to the convention. >> and bernie sanders is a one-trick pony. all he does is overperform and
outraise hillary clinton. secretariat was a one trick pony, too. in this case, though, mika, what really has the clinton campaign disturbed is the fact they'll find themselves in a position they have never been in. they're going to be running against somebody is that is going to have more money than them as they get past. >> and the only way they can raise it is to get off the fund terrible optics, bernie sanders could prey upon her. >> and you can't afford time off the trail. every time you go to california and new york to fund raise -- >> they have such a massive operation. >> and you get hammered. is like when she went to the investment banker firm, you feed into your opponent's narrative about you. the proponent is raising money on their cell phones. >> and the larger underlying story here, which is why it's so huge and will play out
enormously is the potential double death of two dynasties, two political dynasties, two families that have been on the american political scene for 30, 40 years, the bushes and the clintons. >> and alex pointing out to sam's point, the nevada caucus, the polls open -- the doors open at 11:00 a.m. so -- a.m. pacific time which means they could have the results fairly early in the day i guess. >> we shall see. still ahead on "morning joe," meet the south carolina republican party of 2016. a hispanic candidate gets the endorsement of the state's indian american governor and african-american senator. welcome, my friends, to the new south with the backing of nikki haley and tim scott, will that help marco rubio and his outlook rise after a disappointing finish in new hampshire? >> we'll have state party
chairman matt mohr joining us along with "time" magazine's joe klein when we continue from charleston, south carolina. we'll be right, back. if your family outing is magical for all the wrong reasons. you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin®. because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. try zyrtec®. muddle no more®.
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♪ fake me the wrong way [ applause ] welcome back. in our town hall last night donald trump showed a more cautious side when asked by an audience member how he would approach a subject where nearly every modern president has failed -- brokering a peace agreement between israelis and palestinians in the middle east. >> i think it's probably the toughest agreement of any kind to make. it has been going on for many years. many friends of mine have been involved, very good businessmen, very good negotiators. people say an agreement can't be made which is okay, sometimes agreements can't be made. i was with a very prominent israeli the other day, he said "it's impossible because the
other side has been trained from the time they're children to hate jewish people." but i will give it one hell of a shot. but i've always said if you can do that deal you can do any deal but that's probably the toughest to make and it's possible it's not makable, don't forget, it has to last. it's wonder to feel make it and it doesn't work, but it has to last. to make lasting peace there, probably the toughest deal of all but i'll give it a shot. >> with us now is joe klein and in the state capital of columbia, the chairman of south carolina republican party, matt mohr who's not in the state capital of columbia but actually in the state capital of south carolina which is columbia. all right, so joe klein, now that we have that straightened out. >> what was that? >> i asked trump after that and i thought it was the news of the night, i said what do you assign blame for in the stalemate in the middle east?
the israelis or the palestinians. i have yet to meet a republican, including myself, who wouldn't immediately say palestinians, donald trump, the deal maker says you know what? i'm not going to a side today because that would stop me from being able to broker a peace. maybe so, but that's almost heresy in the republican party. >> yeah, but the thing is the reason why he's not going to pick a side and the reason why he doesn't get specific on a lot of stuff is that he doesn't know anything. i mean, i know you guys really pushed him last night on a number of issues -- >> well, first of all. >> hold on a second, joe, before that you didn't hear what he was saying, he was talking about how his israeli friends constantly say -- >> it was bologna. >> it is what israelis tell you. >> of course it is, then it's not bologna, joe, be fact based here. you have heard from israelis time and time again, as have i,
that the main complaint is how do we negotiate with a people who teach their children to hate us from the time they start talking? >> some israelis say that. other israel i do not. the fact is that he had a conversation with an israeli. does that constitute knowledge? it doesn't. and issue after issue after issue he doesn't know anything last night i can give you six different issues where he said things that based anything norns not in ideology. for example, he was talking about the transpacific trade treaty. >> right. >> and he said he was against it because of currency manipulation. well, the chinese are manipulating their currency, but the transpacific trade deal has nothing to do with the chinese, it has to do with all the other countries in that area building them up so they'll be a counter force to the chinese. he doesn't understand that. he said people would be dying -- people won't be dying in the
streets when we repeal obamacare. that's true because we have medicaid which deals with indigent poor. he doesn't seem to know that. on issue after issue and i thought the most interesting question of the night was the one that mika asked object -- where she listed the characteristics of a certain candidate and anybody who w a double-digit political iq understood she was talking about howard dean, but donald trump thought -- >> what? >> bernie sanders. >> you don't know anything, joe. [ laughter ] you don't know anything. >> that's bologna! >> you're stupid! we're going to put that floo n a loop and everybody will talk about how you don't know anything. >> i know. >> so take a step back -- >> but let me just finish that. donald trump talks about being this great deal maker i think it's bologna, to be a great deal maker you need to read the person on the other side of the table and he only sees himself.
>> joe, come on, man, you think a guy that has made the money that he has made in real estate in new york city having to deal with every mayor from john lindsay through abe beam through -- you can go through the whole list. through ed koch, through david dinkins. you name it. >> i was there. >> but you weren't making the deals. he was. >> and who was he? he's hired some very good people and he made some pretty -- >> that's what we want in leaders. >> his first deal for the hyatt hotel was a terrible deal but the fact is he has -- >> come on, joe. >> he's done it -- >> the problem with most of this is people are going to suggest we're doing donald trump's bidding, all we are doing is what we've been doing for six to nine months and telling people don't make the same mistake with donald trump you made with ronald reagan. you underestimate him at your own experience.
>> reagan knew stuff. >> oh, my god! go back and read what people like you were writing about ronald reagan in 1979 and 1980. the right reagan won abc was going what the hell. >> reagan had been a governor of california for eight years. >> and you were still calling him a b-list actor who was the fastest gun in the west. >> you have my transcripts? >> no, i'm talking about the media that was writing about reagan. don't deny it, just don't deny it. >> you're making the argument that the media is often wrong about this stuff, glory hallelujah, you're right. >> and i'm making the point they've been dead wrong about trump for six to nine months and right now we're getting the slings and arrows not because we support donald trump, as i said, anybody that knows me and my family, they know who i'm voting for, it's not donald trump: but at the same time we have been skewered because we have simply said he's not an idiot that is
going to lose this race. >> he has a very, very highly developed lizard brain. [ laughter ] >> that's your answer? that is your answer? so we have moved from bush derangement syndrome to obama derangement syndrome? is there a doctor in the house? we have the first recorded instance of trump derain. syndrome. >> he has a feral intelligence. he reminds me of the emperor caligula who got his greatest pleasure from destroying his opponents and humiliating them and he is brilliant at that. but he doesn't know anything about policy, joe. >> he knows so little he is about to win south carolina by 20 points. mark halperin, we'd like -- >> he's afraid to get into this. >> we would like you to dissect
my dear friend -- and he is a dear friend -- joe klein's politics. >> joe likes candidates steeped in policy, he liked barack obama and other republicans that know policy. >> jeb bush, john kasich. >> that is -- >> i like john kasich and and jeb bush, too. >> we're talking about the presidency of the united states. >> but what has created this situation? please don't say the media. >> well i think we have a role in it, but i think we -- >> we do? >> for 40 years i've been covering this story ever since the steel mills started closing on the south side of chicago. it's the globalization of the economy that has that has created a lot of problems for the working class in this country. used to be you could graduate from high school and find a good-paying job -- >> we get this, why does donald trump speak to those people? >> he exploits those people.
>> he exploits those people? >> yes, he says things that will never happen. has he ever been -- >> joe klein, "time" magazine, do you think the people in new hampshire that voted for him are that stupid? do you think the people in south carolina that are giving him a 15-point lead are that stupid? >> i this i think that ear voting on something else? >> their stupidity or what? something else their stupidity? >> their lizard brains. >> do they have lizard brains, too? >> i think what they're doing is they're thumbing their nose at the establish. >> do you think bernie sanders voters have lizard brains? >> i didn't say that trump voters had lizard brains. >> you actually did. >> i said that trump had a feral intelligence that doesn't come from the frontal cortex. [ laughter ] >> so what happened the people voting for him? are they stupid or just duped? what's their malady, joe klein, with "time" magazine? i think that we have the citizenship deficit in this country where people don't look at the issues.
they do not study them at all and i think that they are more -- the american people are more comfortable with reality tv than with reality. [ applause ] >> you sound like land owners from virginia -- >> that got applause, nice. >> -- who said that about andrew jackson. >> he wasn't much of a bargain. >> matt mohr, we've been talking about lizard brains here in charleston. >> maybe we could go to lizard's thicket. >> we'll go the lizard's thicket. >> let's raise the level of political discourse and talk about a pretty darn big event that happened yesterday for the republican party in the deep south where you had an indian american governor endorsing a cuban-american senator for president alongside an african-american senator. >> yeah, it's pretty amazing that last night here in columbia
that happened. we're very proud of our governor in south carolina the way she so graciously led this state over the past year and she has set forth a new path for the party, obviously, in her response to the state of the union address. i agree with her path forward. you have to be an inclusive big tent policy and put forth policies. i know joe is an ideas man. put forth policies that attract people instead of driving them away. >> joe's an idea's man unless you're too conservativconservat. i'm not saying donald trump is too conservative. you get too conservative and the lizard brain comes into effect there. >> you talking about me? >> yes, i'm talking about you, joe klein. >> donald trump's not a conservative. >> i didn't say he was. >> so, matt, tell me what you think this means. will it have an impact on the race? it seems line trump and cruz are fighting for first and second place. do you think nikki haley has the support across the state with
republicans to move marco rubio into second place or even could he possibly win. >> i think the big point about trump is this. people don't care what he is saying, they care how he is saying itened there's a trust level there, people are bothered by the broken political class in washington, donors, consultants and lobbyists controlling things, there's truth to that i think here saturday trump has set high expectations, i wouldn't be surprised if he gets 40%, a very high bar to cross. i think governor haley's endorsement matters to rubio. this is a long battle. this may be a three to four month battle with multiple candidates. south carolina is just one front in that battle. >> one of them is a dinosaur so -- >> i've heard marco rubio could possibly get in with nikki haley, a lot of people around him are saying this could push him into a strong second-place
finish. what do you think? >> i think that's very possible. i've been saying for a number of days there are only a few tickets out of south carolina. this race will winnow considerably after next week in nevada. it's a multiple-state battle heading into march. you have to have resources and campaign assets to compete in multiple states, i think only a few campaigns have that so i think it will be a multistate fight going forward. >> all right. >> rubio had a great day yesterday. certainly looks good for him. >> and joe klein, i wish you didn't have to go. >> we're going to start calling you the lizard king, sort of a jim morrison type forward. >> it's basic brain physiology. >> is that it? >> it's the way the brain developed. >> that's why they have webmd. [ laughter ] >> john kasich is ahead on "morning joe" live. we'll be right back. [ applause ] diabetes, steady is exciting.
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can [ applause ] as with the debate last night, you only have so much time but i will say an official from south carolina who used to be one of the top officials for commerce here texted me and said joe klein is dead wrong on tpp, it's not with china but it's all about china transshipment, currency, etc., he doesn't know -- and i can't say the last word. >> bologna. >> but this is -- and i said this to joe's face but this trump der rangement syndrome. >> tpp all revolves around china. this is trying to touch down the threat that china poses to the rest of the world in terms of trade >> joining us from new york, founder of media matters -- >> i think he will agree with joe klein. >> we'll have such a nice time together here as well as the
democratic super pac correct the record david brock. >> mark halperin is here and would like to ask the first question. >> david, good morning, secretary clinton and her allies are talking a lot about bernie sanders' past statements and poxpox -- positions about barack obama. can you explain what the point is? >> i think the point is that president obama and president obama's programs and achievements are overwhelmingly popular with democrats and there's quite a treasure trove of statements by senator bernie sanders that indicate he's had serious issues, serious reservations about president obama, wanted to, in fact suggested primary challenging him in 2012, so just like it seems to be very effective to make the case that, you know, we don't want to dismantle obamacare because that's popular with democrats, i think that's part of the same argument. >> but what's the point? what do you want voters in saying that to think about bernie sanders? that he's not going to -- that
he's going to change the direction of the country? >> that he's not capable of cementing and building on president obama's legacy. >> right. you say that bernie sanders, quote, purity bubble has to be burst. >> right. >> what do you mean by that? >> well, what i mean is that i think that senator sanders has portrayed himself as being above politics and the reality is he isn't. this is politics as usual in a lot of ways he is a typical politician, and i think he's gotten a pass being able to present himself as something other than that. and so i think he needs to be brought back down to earth and looked at more objectively. >> okay. so i just -- why don't we ask you on a positive level what is hillary clinton's message? and -- >> sure. >> give me about 20 seconds.
>> okay. so i think the main issue is the economy, i think her message is that we need to have faster economic growth, that we need shared prosperity for all, particularly for middle class families, and she is the one to do that. she is the heir to first president clinton's prosperity from the 1990s and to all the achievements on the economy that president obama has made that he often doesn't get credit for, and i think the contrast is with senator sanders who really has some very old ideas about the economy. it's redistributionist commission, even left liberal economists who look at his plans, his tax plans and healthcare plans say they are a fantasy and they are insane. so i think her message is she's the one to -- and this applies to millennials, too, and i concede she's got a problem there connecting to millennials, but faster economic growth, the incentives she has for small business, the infrastructure bank, the pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class. that's all growth.
you've got no growth on senator sanders' side, you just have one idea, that wall street is evil, which i also think is wrong. >> mike barnicle. >> david, you've indicated, clearly you know that you have a problem with millennials -- millennials and others. >> yeah. >> the secretary has a distinguished career, there is no doubt about that, everyone knows her, but a lot of people wonder, especially younger people, wonder why given their wealth, given their access to wealth and given her indication that she would run for president of the united states why did hillary clinton keep going back to goldman sachs for more than half a million dollars a in speaking fees. >> and should she release those transcripts? >> look, i think that, you know, she made that decision to give these speeches, i think there's ample precedent for t it's fair to raise the question but there is ample precedent for it. you look at the money that, for example, rudy guiliani made on the year on the speaking tour before he ran for president. you know, she got fair market value for her speeches, she made
that decision. as far as the transcripts go, that's obviously up to secretary clinton and the campaign, i think there's nothing to hide but i think that could be a slippery slope and we could end up asking for all kind of transcripts. >> what's your recommendation on the transcripts? >> it's not for me to say. >> okay. david brock, thank you so much. we appreciate it. and it's fascinating. this race on both sides is fascinating. i wish we would have actually talked to joe kline about the democratic side as well because -- boy, he has been following the clintons for a very long time. >> ahead in our next hour ohio governor john kasich joins the conversation. we're live in charleston, south carolina. ( melodic, calm music )
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welcome back to "morning joe." great to have you guys with us. mike barnicle, some breaking news out of massachusetts. >> ppp poll, bernie sanders is up over hillary clinton by 7 points. >> 7 points. all right. >> still ahead, much more from our exclusive town hall with donald trump. will trump -- and will trump coast here in south carolina on saturday? that's the big question. there's only two days left. new polls show him in control. plus ted cruz isn't backing down after threats of a lawsuit. how trump reacts to cruz's message of bring it on.
and a reminder we're live at the market pavilion hotel in charleston tomorrow as well and through the weekend. if you are in the area come by early to watch the show live. "morning joe" will be right back. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ you're an at&t small business expert? sure am. my staff could use your help staying in touch with customers. at&t can help you stay connected. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier for your staff to send appointment reminders to your customers... ...and share promotions on social media?
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to the capital one venture card. with venture, you'll earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. and when you're ready to travel, just book the flight you want, on any airline and use your miles to cover the cost. now that's more like it. what's in your wallet? it's thursday, february 18th. we are live from the market pavilion hotel in beautiful charleston, south carolina, where it's now just two days, two days to go until voters go to the polls to pick their choice for the republican nominee for president. with us we have msnbc
contributor and legendary columnist mike barnicle. managing editor of bloomberg politics, mark halperin. in washington we have exhaust correspondent for the huffington post, sam stein. >> i just -- being here really tests your grit. >> it does. because this is -- >> and your resolve to do what you were called to do. >> it is hard. >> it is not easy, being out on the campaign trail. it reminds of the old chicago song "wishing you were here" but i've got to job to do and being it well. it's really tough to be in charleston. >> in this beautiful hotel and lovely people. >> an amazing place. every time we come back here, it's crazy. >> and we have a big story to cover so we will be doing that right through the weekend, special editions of "morning joe" on saturday and sunday. new polls out of south carolina show donald trump with big leads across the board ahead of saturday's primary. a new monmouth university poll
has him ahead of cruz by 16 points. a new bloomberg politics poll has him ahead by 19 polls. a new poll from the south carolina house republican caucus has him ahead by 19. >> let's stop here quickly. mark halperin look at the big board, you have trump at 35, monday mouth 36 and block berg 35 and the republican caucuses, those are pretty consistent. what i found in new hampshire, what we all found in new hampshire, is that the voting for that primary ended up remarkably similar to the polls that all preceded it. it's hard to see with a couple of days a lot of movement there. what do those numbers show you? >> i'm no matt genius but on my an can you say in the hotel room i figured trump has a third of the vote or a little more and no one is in a position to stop him. the strongest candidate in the state besides him according to everything and these polls is ted cruz and yet senator cruz is
not engaged in a full all out effort to try to finish first. so donald trump will finish first by a big margin, two contests in a row puts him in a commanding position heading into the next state where he has a big lead. >> let's talk about marco rubio. rubio is in third place. >> got the endorsement of nikki haley. >> not the endorsement of the governor and also he fared well on cnn last night from everything that i read and understood. trump we of course had a town hall meeting with trump, a lot of back and forth, but trump seemed to be in pretty good position there as well. >> he is not -- you know, you guys were very spirited with him, you asked him a lot of hard questions face-to-face and he is on his game now. he is not tired, he is not distracted, he is a little annoyed with some of the other candidates, but he is focused on his message in a way that is disciplined, he is a first-time candidate who is performing remarkably well. you talk about marco rubio. he has showed grit and determination. a couple weeks ago in new hampshire that horrible debate, disappointing showing and he has
fought back to a point where i think people can say don't underestimate his resilience and ability chblt he is now in a position to be a finalist. if he finishes third or second he is in the position to be a finalist in this race and start raising money again. >> let's dig deeper into the numbers. south carolina voters say trump is the most likely to bring about change, take on the washington establishment, however, south carolina voters say ben carson and ted cruz are the two most likely candidates to be leaders guided by faith and share the religious values of south carolinians. trump falls to fifth on those metrics. in keeping with the state's late breaking tradition 43% of south carolina voters say they either haven't made up their minds or could still be persuaded to support someone other than their first choice, however, a majority of trump supporters and cruz supporters say they are locked in. >> mike barnicle, you go back to the individual issues, whether you're talking about the strength or who is best with the economy or who is best in
foreign policy, you're dealing with terrorists, we have been seeing this for six months trump always seems to win all of those categories. it's hard to see how somebody overtakes him when he is so dominant once you go deeper inside those numbers. i mean, 43% brings about change to cruz's 15, 43% can win the general election to cruz's 17, the strongest leader 41 to 17 and taking on the washington establishment, 51 to 20. nobody else is close. >> those last two indexes are what are carrying him. one of the more interesting aspects of last night's interview that you had with him was his mark pointed out this guy is a first-time candidate, first-time entrant into the big theater of politics. the level of certainty that he provides in every answer, no matter how many times he is interrupted by either one of you probing with another question, the level of certainty that he brings to his campaign is to me astonishing given where he came
from. >> it was interesting. we kept peppering him with questions, there are haters out there that will never be happy unless we get a knife and stab him in the side of the neck and watch him bleed out. >> you're right. >> while shouting profanities at him. good luck finding another interview where he was interrupted with questions like he was last night. there is a lot of bias out there, a lot of jealous people out there and that's fortunately their problem and not ours. i'd rather be on this side of it. you know, we asked him questions and we specifically were peppering him and just constantly -- i had one person on the internet, a verified person on the internet who one minute was attacking me for being too easy on him and next minute was attacking me for interrupting him too much. we did that on purpose. we decided going in we were going to interrupt him, pepper him. >> sat really close to him. >> when he started doing his talking points -- of course, the answer to the follow up answer to his general answer is general, but that's trump. unless you want to stay there for one hour on one issue,
you're just not going -- you know, you're just not going to get to the bottom of that general -- pit of generalities. but at the same time we noticed he still stayed on his game, even being peppered and interrupted in a way that i don't think he's used to being interrupted. >> you guys came with research and good questions and good follow-ups, but he is a confident guy who understands what he needs to say to get through an interview, what he needs to say to get through a debate and his performance, we keep coming back to the same word, strength. those traits, he is running ahead of his horse race number, half people say he is best to take on washington. he doesn't have half the votes. even people voting for other candidates think he is best to take on washington. generalities can work if you are confident and people like what you're saying and so far it's working. >> sam stein, as you look at the bottom of these polls, you have marco -- marco is in third, jeb usual a in fourth or fifth, they're fighting each other. the question a lot of people are asking not only around here but also in washington is can marco
and jeb survive if they end up behind the other? this does seem to a degree a bit of a death match between bush and rubio, who finishes ahead of the other gets to punch their ticket out, who finishes behind the other really has no reason to continue campaigning. jeb for reasons of pride, marco because he just won't have the money to continue. >> yeah, i mean, this is probably the last grasp of the establishment lane has here, at some point they are consolidate, it will become a three-person race with ted cruz, whoever the establishment candidate is and donald trump and at that point maybe there's a chance that a third of the vote will be trump's peak and that will be it, but, you know, the statistical evidence is not that compelling at this point. obviously there was an nbc "wall street journal" poll the other day that had the national race with trump below cruz, but if you look at the upcoming primary states as you pointed out they all look really, really
fortuitous for donald trump and at some point marco rubio has got to win a state. this is a delegate contest and it's -- you know, until the field thins out a little bit it's tough to see him winning a state. so, you know, it's a wait and see thing right now, it's very dramatic. >> all right. let's look at the two new national polls. you mentioned one, sam, the republican field that produced two very different results. in our new nbc news "wall street journal" poll conducted after saturday's debate, after the debate, senator ted cruz has polled ahead of donald trump 28 to 26. that's a 15-point swing in cruz's favor since january. a possible explanation for donald trump's design in the new poll is an increase in very conservative republican voters from january's sample. now, if the current poll is reweighted to reflect the ideological composition from last month trump is ahead by a point. meanwhile, the poll also shows a drop for trump in the percentage of republican voters who can see
themselves supporting him. marco rubio does best in this category at 70% followed by cruz at 65 and ben carson at 62. but that survey comes as a new national poll from "usa today" and suffolk university conducted thursday through monday shows trump with a 15-point lead over cruz. yesterday trump and cruz weighed in on the nbc poll that shows them in a virtual tie nationally for first. >> i have never done well in the "wall street journal" poll, i think somebody at the "wall street journal" doesn't like me, but i never do well with the wall street journal polls. they do these small samples and i don't know exactly what it represents. >> nbc and the wall street journal announced a new national poll and for the first time in many months there's a new national front runner on the republican side. nationally we're in first place with 28%.
in second place is donald trump with 26%. and then the next closest candidate is way down at 17%. so the sound you're hearing is the sound of screams coming from washington, d.c. >> actually the sounds that mark halperin, i'm hearing, the sounds of a thousand pollsters scratching their heads simultaneously. you have a quinnipiac poll that came out yesterday showing trump ahead by over 20 points, you have a reuters poll that i think has trump up by 25 points. we just showed you the "usa today" poll that has trump up by 15, 16, 17 points. to say this nbc news wall street journal poll is an outlier is a very, very liberal use of the term outlier. let me ask you this question: do you know anybody that actually
believes this poll? >> let's talk about polling for a second. the nbc "wall street journal" is a good poll, even the best pollsters every so often there is a poll, just something goes wrong with the methodology, but you get a bad sample. so i don't think anybody thinks that donald trump is tied or behind ted cruz nationally, but it is the case that ted cruz has picked up strength and i think the national media understates the extent to which ted cruz is communicating with people a little bit around the regular media. you think about who has left the race, scott walker, bobby jindal, rick perry, mike huckabee, rick santorum, rand paul. a lot of that vote will go to ted cruz. he has moved up nationally but he is not ahead or even with donald trump nationally. i don't think there is any question about that. >> mike barnicle, it looks as if either the nbc "wall street journal" poll or quinnipiac, "usa today" and these other -- and reuters who have him up by 20, 25 points, it looks like they are all competing to be the
gallop of the 2016 cycle. that had mitt romney up by 11 points until the very end. somebody is drastically wrong. there is no explaining this away a month from now. >> no. listen, we all know polls are a snapshot at a moment in time. the rest of the polls other than nbc "wall street journal" polls are landscape portraits of what's going on on the republican side, keeping trump up there. the most interesting aspect of these polls at least to me is that all of them, when they rank the candidates, portend in the future -- i don't know whether it's the immediate future or four or five years down the road -- the break up of a political party. you can see the establishment wing of the republican party sort of sliding away from a large elements of the rest of the party. >> the populists have taken over the party. >> yeah. >> no doubt about it. >> after being threatened with a lawsuit by donald trump, ted cruz has a singular message,
bring it on. during a news conference yesterday cruz read from a cease and desist letter his campaign received from a lawyer for trump. they are demanding that the cruz campaign stop playing the ad that you see right here, it shows part of a 1999 "meet the press" interview where trump said at the time he was very pro choice. cruz insists he will keep playing it on tv and dared trump to bring on the suit. >> to mr. trump, you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits this takes the cake. so, donald, i would encourage you if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad, claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit. >> trump responded in a statement saying cruz is a liar and these ads and statements made by cruz are desperate moves
by a guy who was tanking in the polls. if i want to bring on a lawsuit it would be lenlt the mat. if i want to bring the lawsuit regarding ted cruz being a natural born canadian i will do so. time will tell, teddy. trump discussed cruz's challenge and talked about his conversion on abortion issues in our exclusive town hall last night. >> i have had great success in business, i have had great success with lawsuits, i've had great success in things i do and i don't know that we are going to have a lawsuit but we certainly want to keep somebody honest. where he makes statements about, as an example, i'm pro life and he says he is a he not pro life. you can't say that. >> but your opponents would say, though, you haven't always been pro life. >> that's true. ronald reagan likewise. >> when did that change come? >> it changed years ago and what happened is i saw things with people and people that i know and people that i respect that made me change. ronald reagan changed, if you look at -- >> right. >> he said he evolved, he used
that expression. >> right. >> ronald reagan actually used to be a fairly liberal democrat and he became a fairly conservative conservative. i mean, fairly. >> but ted cruz says we can't count on donald trump in the future, especially in picking supreme court justices if he's changed in the past. how do you convince a republican like me that if you were nominated you are not going to nominate the type of supreme court justice that always seems to flip. >> okay. so if you look at me as a conservative, okay, and i'm not sure that that's necessarily the most important word, but i say i'm a common sense conservative -- >> okay. what did you make of his answers? you were going right after him, boom, boom, boom. >> i thought he -- i thought that he was -- as mark said, speaking in generalities, even in all the follow-up questions, but he was confident, he was in control and the people that are
voting for him they are not saying, donald trump, we want to see your 12 position papers, we want to know exactly who is going to be in the white house. they trust him because he has strength, they think he is going to be a strong leader and they think -- a lot of them say, well, he's going to put good people in charge. did he drill down as far as other candidates, no, but did he drill down more last night than he usually does, why he. >> a little bit. he did disclose next week he will be revealing his foreign policy team. that should be fascinating and give a window into his outlook in terms of how to approach the world stage. >> sam stein, obviously ted cruz's and donald trump's bromance ended many weeks ago but it's getting ugly enough to suggest that these two understand that at the end this is going to be a death match between cruz and trump for the republican nomination. at least they certainly seem tongs. >> yeah. and it's kind of tiptoeing that
way already, right? the threat of suits, the threat of counter suits all that stuff. i happen to believe that in this situation, you know, ted cruz is kind of right, right? i mean, donald trump did say those things in his past, i think it's totally fair game to point out ideological inconsistencies that a candidate has had. he is literally replaying past statements from donald trump so i don't think that ted cruz is at all out of bounds. now, trump might think it's unfair, but this is politics and certainly in south carolina this seems aboveground. we'll see. it's going to get nasty, obviously, and ted cruz had a strategy which was he was going to hug donald trump as long as possible until donald trump fell out and then ted cruz would inherit all of donald trump's supporters and become the nominee. clearly he miscalculated, right? donald trump never fell out, in fact, the support continued to grow, now ted cruz has had to readjust and that means it's going to get pretty bitter. still ahead on "morning joe," marco rubio pulls off a key endorsement and sends the bush campaign into despair. plus the feud between donald
trump and ted cruz gets turned up to 11 and ted cruz opens up about his plans to consolidate power among conservatives. then slingshot out front. and in just a bit governor john kasich of ohio is our guest. we'll ask him if he's giving up on south carolina with reports he will be in massachusetts instead on primary night. but first bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> joe and mika, the big thaw is under way. record ties in texas all because of our big storm in the west. still a little snow if you're traveling the mountain passes of the central sierra. the warm air being pumped up from mexico into the central u.s. with the gusty winds, dry conditions, highs in the 80s we will see red flag warnings that have been issued. there's dangerous fire weather, we could get some of those brush fires that form and spread rapidly today in the central plains. how arm? 86 amarillo, oklahoma city 78 to 80 degrees for three state days.
this warmth will spread warmth. not 80s but minneapolis in the middle of winter 51 degrees on friday. that's near record highs, too. so this is a lot different than last week with that cold air mass. st. louis because it's 72 and then finally by saturday the warmth makes it all the way to the east. d.c. should be 63, new york into the 50s. even vermont into the 40s isn't bad for this time of year. for anyone traveling today there's not a lot of travel issues, east coast is chilly, but it is crystal clear and a great day for anything flying, driving or taking the train. leaving you a shot of new york city. it's a cold day in the big apple but with crystal clear blue skies that's a nice february day. more "morning joe" when we come right back. covering
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great day in south carolina. ladies and gentlemen, if we elect marco rubio, every day will be a great day in america. help me welcome the next president of the united states, let's go to the polls on saturday and move that down the way. marco rubio. >> i'm disappointed. she's a very good governor and to win the nomination they will do well for her. she's a great person. >> she's a great person. i'm disappointed she didn't endorse me. >> yesterday south carolina governor nikki haley endorsed marco rubio. >> i have to say that's a tale of two responses. jeb bush when asked about the endorsement, mike barnicle said i'm really disappointed, really disappointed. just kind of soul crushing, i'm disappointed and donald trump said, she's a loser, she's weak
on illegal immigration. >> i know. >> it's amazing. again, it's the strong and wrong. jeb showed his humanity, i personally liked it. trump just went -- went in like fists flying. >> well, what you see is a reflection of both their personalities in their reactions to things. trump, you know, whatever he says, she's a loser, jeb bush humane, hurt, crushed because of all the work that the bush family put into at least keeping the governor neutral, never mind getting her endorsement. >> let's talk about that. she had two presidents calling her up just asking her to stay neutral. >> one met with her face-to-face, 43 when he was here met with her. the establishment wants someone to stop trump and nikki haley is not just a state figure, she is a national figure in the party and her endorsement will reverberate in this state and also reverberate nationally. if marco rubio finishes ahead of jeb bush here there is going to be a rush to him. money, people, politicians and
others who say he is the hope for the future of the party and in the short term he is the short term to stop trump and ted cruz which the establishment still desperately wants. >> joining us from columbia, south carolina, nbc news correspondent hallie jackson, and in new york president and ceo of "politico" jim vandafi. the rubio endorsement was a dagger for the bush campaign. >> read his lips and body language from yesterday. he knows he desperately needed that endorsement or at least desperately need it had not to go to marco rubio. he does his own event yesterday and gets belted with his supporters saying you are running a bad campaign, you are low energy, all the things that donald trump has said. it was a huge day for marco rubio. coming out of south carolina it will be basically a three-person race but i think the odds are stacked very much in marco rubio's favor. if you look at all the polls, you dissected in the first 20 minutes of the show, he is running a solid third and basically showed everybody, especially the skeptics who said after that clumsy debate
performance that he is a paper tiger he has shown he does have some spark, he does have some bounce and his campaign performances have been better, they've been sharper, he gets a very important endorsement, i think mark is right, this is a national figure, somebody who has huge clout inside this state, it could move the needle a little on the margins for his numbers in south carolina. yesterday might be the official beginning of a very quickened for bush because of all this. >> hallie, you spoke to senator cruz yesterday. tell us about that conversation. >> a couple of things stand out as we talk about marco rubio and his position here in south carolina. one is that cruz acknowledged that this is now potentially a three-man race. for weeks he's been trying to frame this as a two-person race because the campaign feels that benefits them if it's donald trump versus ted cruz but now you're seeing cruz forced to acknowledge that rubio is a player. we talked about that new poll that came out our nbc news "wall street journal" national poll showing cruz topping trump nationally although he trails in
south carolina. one of the most interesting things to me, we talked about donald trump because what we saw from that news conference at ted cruz yesterday was him basically taking a torch and lighting the place down, donald trump and marco rubio, hitting them both, he had props, audiovisual aids, this was a well produced news conference that ted cruz very intentionally took it to trump and i asked him about this, i said, for months you embraced the guy. what's the deal? so here is a little bit of that exchange. >> for months, for seven months, you sat there and you didn't say a bad word about donald trump, you hugged him for months and months. and there are those who say that you and your support of donald trump at that time has allowed him to be where he is today and to be in the position to talk about this stuff. >> listen, hallie, as i said at the time there is a time and season in a campaign for policy differentiation. >> you always knew this moment was going to come. >> of course. at the beginning we knew to consolidate conservatives first. >> so cruz says the intention was always to consolidate conservatives and then sort of go after trump, but that's a lot
different than what we heard from ted cruz back in september when the two were holding rallies together on capitol hill, cruz had only the nicest things to say about donald trump, even when pressed about his policy differences with him. >> thank you so much, hallie. coming up on "morning joe," more moments from our town hall with donald trump from here in south carolina. we pressed him about his explanation for the september 11th attacks and posture he has taken on how to handle radical islam in the middle east. that's next when "morning joe" continues live from charleston. constipated?
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in last weekend's debate donald trump grabbed what was thought to be a third rail in republican politics, criticizing george w. bush for the 9/11 terror attacks. we spoke with him about it last night along with other issues of national security as the u.s. faces new terror threats. >> you started talking about faulty intelligence and 9/11 and then the war in iraq and i thought, my god, he's speaking to me. i don't disagree with this. >> that's not a good thing in a republican primary. that's a bad thing in the republican primary. >> i'm speaking to the american people. jeb brought his brother in to help him, he brought his mom in and his brother in. i don't know who else he will bring in, but he needs help. when jeb they reagan knew is seem came out and said my brother protected us, he meant he protected us after the world
trade center came down. they forgot one thing, what about during when the world trade center came down? >> this is the republican in me, but how can you blame george w. bush for the 9/11 attacks? >> i'm not blaming anybody, but if you go back and you will see the cia and the nsa and all of the other groups say we are not getting together, joe, they were not doing well, they hated each other, they weren't talking, they had a lot of intelligence, they knew something bad was going to happen. i'm not blaming anybody. >> right. >> you were the one who pointed out two years before the world trade center came out i in my book was talking about osama bin laden and i'm not a politician, i wasn't a politician. if i know about osama bin laden why didn't the government know about it? >> in 2000 you also said that you thought saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction what happened between -- >> we were told he had weapons of mass destruction but he didn't. the only question is did the government know he didn't. why did they go in -- look, iraq did not knock down -- the iraqis did not knock down the world
trade center, okay? so we attacked iraq but they didn't knock down the world trade center. >> did you believe in 2003 in march when we went to war that saddam hussein had weapons of mast destruction. >> i don't know. if you would have watched you would have probably thought they did but i don't know but the government should have known. we destabilized the entire middle east. >> help us sort through this. you said that there are comments you have made before we went to war, nobody can find those. i've seen two comments right after we went to war, though. >> joe, i have a real estate person, i'm a businessperson. nobody cared about my comments. in 2003 you saw comments, i was against the war. >> but hold on. this is what i want to talk about. 2003 you said two things, i believe a couple of days after you were quoted saying it was going to be a disaster, but you also said in another quote right after we went in that it would be great for the stock market. >> well, i'm not saying great
for the stock market doesn't mean do it. look, i said the war is a disaster because you are going to destabilize the middle east. i said it long before 2003. i'm not a politician. now i say things as -- i guess i'm a politician i hate to say. >> what does that mean going forward? >> it means the following, somebody had vision. i'm the only one who said don't go in, i said it 2003, i said it 2004. a couple of people in your world said, do you know what, we don't have any evidence and he said it before which i did but i said it to people that doesn't mean they are going to put it in the newspapers as a businessperson, but they said he really said it right after the war started that -- and there's plenty of proof that, there's headlines and magazines, don't go into the war, you will destabilize the middle east, i said iran will take over, iran will get the oil. i said all of these things, nobody knew about isis but on top of it i said the worst meanest group of people and the people that hate us the most they are going to do the best that turns out to be isis. i also said -- >> where did you say this? >> i said it all over the place,
it's written all over the place, 2003, 2004, headlines and articles. look, nobody is questioning about my being against the war, what they are saying is he was a little bit after the war. a couple people in your world said that's okay because he was early on -- very early on before everybody else. >> can you share with us three people who you would consult with or want to hear from on foreign policy? >> i would say that i h'd rathe not because i am going to be announcing a team in about a week that is really a good team and a team that was recommended highly to me and a team that i've seen both and read about both in papers and seen on your show and other people, but we're announcing a team in about a week and i'm going to keep it a little secret. >> nobody around our table understood this morning why apple would not help the government in cracking into the phone, the iphone, of one of the two terrorists in san bernardino. first of all, do you think apple is in the wrong?
>> yes. >> and secondly if you are president donald trump what do you do as far as changing laws to make technology -- >> or to deal with this. >> -- tech companies comply with the needs of the government. >> i think it's the greatest wrong that apple is not helping on this. i think security first. apple should absolutely -- we should force them to do it, we should do whatever we have to do. i guess he wants to be a good liberal and doesn't want to give the information, but, you know, on that -- as an example, those two people killed 14 people. there were other people that saw the bombs laying all over the floor, this wasn't like a normal apartment, you had bombs laying all over the floor, all sorts of ammunition and everything in that apartment. people knew that is correct i'd like to know who else knew that because they are maybe just as guilty. i think you have to be able to crack that and i think apple is absolutely in the wrong. we will be right back with governor john kasich when "morning joe" continues live from charleston. the future belongs to the fast.
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td ameritrade®. all right. welcome back. it is 43 past the hour. let's check in with cnbc's sara eisen. >> sara, i will tell you what, this apple story we started talking about yesterday has really exploded. it is the lead, a big lead, front page "new york times" today. >> and the post. >> man, war for your phone. i mean, new york post. >> yeah. >> it's a huge story, huh? >> it's a huge story and both sides are digging in. clearly this has moved to the court of public opinion. i can tell you silicon valley heavy weights have come out in support of apple, for instance, google or now as it's called alphabet writing it's not so much the dangerous precedent of working with legal authorities,
he supports that. what is at issue here and this is in his words, what's wholly different is that they are requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices and data. in other words, the issue here is that apple doesn't have this capability, it would be forced by the fbi and law enforcement to create this back door and while the government says it would only be a one-time case here with this san bernardino terrorist, it would open a whole can of worms, take technology down a slippery slope, enable it to be accessed by hackers and also, by the way, according to technology leaders government could ask again. that's the defense of silicon valley, but clearly washington is out on the other side. what's interesting, guys, as i know you talked about this with donald trump last night sths not a partisan issue. both sides on washington really coming out against apple on this one. >> unequivocally. >> thank you so much, sara eisen. the thing is dianne feinstein went to silicon valley after
paris asking for help and they basically stiff armed her, which i was just absolutely stunned. mike, you go back to world war ii and you look at how the allies spent so much time dealing with encryption with the german code and we're -- are we actually going to have to have our federal government trying to spend billions of dollars to do what american companies should do on their own to keep americans safe? >> one of the mystifying elements of this story is why apple and the justice department couldn't figure out how to behind the scenes just crack the code of the password for the phone. that's what this is all about. this is clearly a big public relations bo nan za for apple in terms of customers. >> if i'm a terrorist and i want to blow up buildings and kill a lot of americans, i'm getting an iphone. >> all right. >> no, i'm serious. they're disgusting. what privacy --
>> customers are concerned about privacy. >> oh, really? >> yeah, so are terrorists. >> we will be right back. i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪
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>> what was that? >> she noticed on the joe that joe klein said donald trump had a lizard brain and she came up to me and said could i please have some context on joe klein's comments especially pertaining to ronald reagan. >> she's making that up. >> georgia, joe is going to answer your question. >> so my argument has long been the same thing a lot of people are saying about donald trump they said about ronald reagan. joe klein decide that. well, the internet, it's a wonderful thing. in february of 1980 exactly the time in the 1980 presidential cycle a young contributing writer to new york magazine by the name of joe klein wrote this about -- wait, wait. >> this is what you've been waiting for. >> ronald reagan. he says, he delivers the homi homilies well, the speech works but it also works against him, emphasizing the prepackaged torpid nature of his candidacy
and his modest intellectual capacity. >> is that a lizard brain. >> one would even say a lizard brain. his extremism was simple minded rather than mean spirited. >> only one explanation. >> once again, this is the second person that he has called dumb. >> different joe klein, got to be. >> it's got to be a different joe klein. let's go to somebody who who no one has accused of being simple minded. the republican governor of ohio, we have our good friend, john kasich. john kasich, you have got a lot, i mean a lot of fans down here in charleston, man. when they heard you were going to be on the show there was just an eruption. very excited to have you here. of course, john, you picked up the endorsement of a major newspaper in the state of south carolina called the state. john also a cbs poll came out
this morning that has you basically locked in a virtual tie for third place. this after of course you were sitting at 1% or 2% last week. a lot of things seem to be going your way, talk about it. >> well, joe, our strategy -- by the way, i want to say one thing about ronald reagan, joe, that i think you will love this as much as what you were having fun there with joe klein. you know, the establishment never liked ronald reagan, they always were afraid of him. the establishment never liked newt gingrich and guess what, the establishment is afraid of me because i don't take orders from anybody over there. you know, it's not k street telling me what to do. we make these people nervous, joe, you make them nervous because you were never establishment. we aren't anti-establishment but at the same time we don't like the status quo and we really believe in change. now, what's been happening with me is this new hampshire thing got me recognition, now people are hearing more of what i want
to do, but, joe, i will tell you something that's interesting, you know, these conservative things, you know, balancing budgets, cutting taxes, fixing regulations, those really matter, but there's something else in there, joe, that i've been talking about lately and that is when we shift power back to people where they live, then you have to do something with it to heal your community. nobody is going to come riding in on a white stallion to solve all of the problems in our community, whether it's education, whether it's drugs, whether it's the fact that we feel divided. so i think there's a couple things going on here that are very interesting. one is the issues that are related to the head and then there's an issue related to the heart and i think both of them have to come together and if you take a look at the really good reformers, they combine both the head and the heart whenever they come out with their talks and their public policy and i think it's just connecting. and i'm happy because i want people to believe that the country is capable of working again like we want it. the young people that are probably with you this morning, you know, they feel ripped off, they've got a college education,
they have massive debt. we're going to have to deal with all these things. the fact that wages aren't rising, we can fix that, but we have also a deep issue in the heart and soul of all of us who don't feel the connection we used to feel in america. >> mark halperin. >> governor, you did well in new hampshire, you didn't finish first, i don't think you even think you will finish first either here or in nevada on saturday. >> no. >> just tell your supporters and your skeptics, people who are skeptical, tell them about your path to the nomination, how will you get a majority of the delegates? >> well, look, we are aer doing as well as we can here. we came here, you know, in a short period of time. nevada still yet to be decided as to what we do, but we will be going on saturday to vermont, to massachusetts. we are doing well in virginia, as you know, mark, we're running second or third, i've even barrel been there. we're building a team in tennessee, we will complete in all those states. we go to the deep south, as you know, in mississippi we have trent lott and really the whole
establishment pretty much locked down in mississippi, we're moving over in alabama with the support of the governor. at some point, you know, we will get up to illinois, we will go to michigan where i've spent a lot of time, winner take all in ohio, pennsylvania, just for everybody that has some hope that i can win, just keep your seat belt fastened, there is a long, long way to go and we are very hopeful. as you can see us moving up just everybody keep the faith, you know, they doubted my -- they always doubt me, it's always great to be underestimated. >> yes, it is. mike barnicle. >> governor, let's top into the way back machine with an old pal of yours and talk about connections. you are in the house, you are a young guy, a guy by the name of tip o'neal liked you, he was on the other side of the aisle. how do you restore those kinds of connections in our politics, in our congress that have been missing for so long? >> well, first of all, i think i'm going to get you off of "morning joe" and i'm going to take you down as an aid to the president to work those dems. that's what i've got to get
barnicle. you laugh. you laugh but it's absolutely true. it's about personal connections. you know, i saw a democrat down here, i don't want to embarrass him and mention who it was, i said to him, look, if i win this thing we're going to have to fix social security, we're going to have to fix the border, we're going to have to move to some fiscal sanity and you are going to have to help me recruit some democrats. when reagan came in he had the bulls beefls, i had the blue dog democrats, i'm going to have to recruit somebody like you, a hard-nosed rugged old dog democrat that can get those people by the scruff of the neck and say, hey, he is the president, help him. >> all right. john kasich, good friend, thank you so much for being with us. >> love you guys. love to be on. it's always -- it's always -- it's always fun. thank you. i will come on when i'm president, too. count on it. >> all right. >> okay. >> i like that. >> we love having you on, john. good luck over the next couple
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