tv MSNBC Live With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC February 22, 2016 6:00am-8:01am PST
>> i don't know anything anymore. >> look it up on wikipedia. >> i'm going to put an end to this. steve kornacki picks up our coverage live in las vegas right now. have a great day, everybody. >> have a great day. and good morning. i'm steve kornacki live in las vegas. 24 hours away now from the big republican caucuses here in the silver state, in nevada, as well as the next contest for the democrats, that's coming up toward the end of the week -- at the end of the week, in fact, saturday south carolina democratic primary now on the republican side we are down to just a five-way race. if you are donald trump's decisive victory in south carolina on saturday night republicans are shifting their focus on tomorrow's show down in nevada and then to the big prize next week. super actuals, more than 600 delegates up for grabs in a
dozen states in a single day. and the big question now can anyone stop donald trump. >> i will tell you what we are just going one after another. are we going to win georgia? we're going to. i see t i feel it. >> donald trump has demonstrated that he has a relatively high floor of support but he's also got, i think, a ceiling. >> of the people left in this race no one can unite this movement or this party faster than i can and we have to unite. if we're still fighting with each other in september and october we're going to lose. >> and on the campaign trail today republicans fanning out all across nevada, at least ten events scheduled throughout this very large state today, john kasich already looking beyond nevada, he has three campaign events in the delegate rich state of virginia including a town hall set for fairfax in this hour. meanwhile, after her win in the
democratic caucuses here in in state in nevada hillary clinton is taking a break from the campaign trail today, she will be attending fundraisers in the los angeles area. her husband bill the former president filling in on the trail in her place. he's holding rallies in the super tuesday state of texas today. that's the biggest single prize up for grabs on march 1st. bernie sanders, clinton's opponent, is in the bay state, he is up in massachusetts, that's also a super tuesday state. polls show him running neck and neck with hillary clinton there. joining me here in las vegas this morning our nbc reporters who have been following the republicans, nbc's hallie jackson has been following the cruz campaign and alley vitally has been covering donald trump. alley, you're covering the front runner now. nevada is a tough state to read, the polls look encouraging from him, the results from south carolina look encouraging from him. what is the campaign saying? >> i think what you hear trump say on the trail is it's always about polls for him.
they do treat them as a rule of law. after iowa you saw him shy away from that the caucus states are not always predictable. he sees large margins here. whenever we come to las vegas or reno which are the two places he holds these events you see people who don't only support him but they want to go out and bring people in to come in and say this is trump, this is your candidate, this is the guy that i think should win not only nevada but also the presidency. >> hallie, what about ted cruz. south carolina was in the big picture to important for him. he won eye warnings all the evangelicals in south carolina. what does he need to do out here to retain viability? >> nevada for him is actually not as important of a state or contest as the super tuesday ones. you are seeing his campaign looking ahead to those march 1st states, places they believe they will do well, those southern sec primary states, but his performance in south carolina does put more pressure on him. he showed that trump won with vooenls in south carolina. trump won with some of those
groups that cruz is trying to go after. it's a concern for him as he moves forward. here is what his argument is and what his campaign is saying. when you ask them is trump unstoppable, how do you stop him? their argument is he's got a ceiling, 30, 35% ceiling but that ignores the fact that he be with you win your ceiling goes up. so trump's ceiling so actually continue to increase. the other argument that they're making that ted cruz is the only one who has fueledly beaten trump in a contest. he won in iowa, he showed that he can actually take it to trump and win in a state, something that marco rubio hasn't shown. we will see how effective that argument is for voters, particularly here in nevada. you talk about the polling. we'll see, it's notoriously unreliable here. >> the evangelical vote in south carolina, i think this caught a lot of people by surprise but donald trump almost three-quarters of the voters in south carolina were evangelicals, donald trump 34% with evangelicals, a solid victory over ted cruz. that speaks to your point the ted cruz campaign has been banking on evangelicals, that
was the strategy in iowa. >> not just evangelicals. i will say in nevada that libertarian vote is a place they can see -- >> the ron paul vote from four years ago. >> their gee was they wanted to bring together the evangelicals, tea partiers, the libertarians. there is a question of whether that conservative base is coalescing around ted cruz or if there is an appeal for trump when he taps into this idea of the outsider anger. that in south carolina is where he did well. >> ali, your sense looking at trump and the campaign right now, are they feeling emboldened? what happened last week in south carolina was the comments about george w. bush, the comments on the eve -- we've been saying this for six months, he's finally gone too far, this will watch up with him. but really the last week seemed like the ultimate test of can donald trump go too far. >> you look at who he was fugd with, the pope, george w. bush. >> i forgot about the pope. >> steve. >> you know it was a big week.
when you look at all of those fights it was a rough week for donald trump and to still pull out the margin that he pulled out in south carolina is really a testament to the loyalty of his support, something that you hear him talk about frequently. something else that he did is he shifted the attack on ted cruz, obviously he has the ineligibility argument that he has been pushing but then he also kept saying he lies so much and calls himself an evangelical. he's questioning faith, a little there, exactly what he yelled at the pope for doing but he's also saying, look, ted cruz is a liar and as much as exit polling showed that people thought donald trump ran an unfair campaign, a little negative i have people telling me that ted cruz people thought he did just the same. so it's rubbing off. those trump attacks, consistent banding, he's good at this, he did it to jeb bush, he's done it to ted cruz. >> may be turning it on marco rubio. >> i was going to say i want to bring in marco rubio here because we heard kevin mccarthy talk about how he believes it's a two way race between trump and rubio, but this idea that trump
and rubio really haven't gotten into it yet. we saw before christmas the water bottles and rubio is sweaty, but we didn't see trump do what he has done with ted cruz which is turn his guns on marco rubio. the question given rubio's performance in south carolina, what he could do in nevada does trump feel threatened and will we start to see him really go after marco rubio. almost the bigger question, steve, will rubio go after trump harder than he has. yesterday you saw rubio -- i don't think he mentioned donald trump at all. he talked about hillary clinton and the general election. >> are rubio and cruz going to stay bogged down in this fight with each other. the longer they do that the more it benefits donald trump. >> at what point do they go from fighting each other in this fight for second to take it to trump. yes, ted cruz won iowa but it's this idea that it doesn't matter almost if you're fighting for second if donald trump keeps reporting in first. >> when donald trump did start attacking marco rubio a few months ago you saw immigration, immigration. >> we know what the line of attack will be. ali vitally, hallie jackson
thanks for joining us early in las vegas. i want to bring in two nevada experts this morning as we look ahead to those big republican caucuses out here here tomorrow. instead of telling you why you should trust my next guest let me show you. take a look at a prediction i got, this was last tuesday, five days before the nevada democratic caucuses this is what john ralston said on our air. >> john ralston, i have to ask this question, we're talking about nevada after all. if you were making the odds in las vegas for saturday who do you install as the favorite in this democratic race and by how many points? >> i cannot believe you're putting me in this position, steve. but i will say right now on tuesday morning at 0 dark 30 out here in nevada i would set the opening line hillary minus 5. >> in gambling speak that means hillary clinton favored by 5 points. look at the final spread.
basically all the votes counted a 5.3% victory for hillary clinton out here. john ralston, i was scared you put you on the spot, i made you look like a genius. >> i feel like i should do a mike drop and just leave. >> instead we will put you on the stop again. john ralston, seth richardson as well. so give us the basic -- the expectation of the national press looking at this race right now is donald trump is way ahead here in nevada. now, it's a caucus state, there are wild cards here. is that an accurate assessment? >> i think it is. what makes it even more accurate i think, steve, is that the campaigns of rubio and cruz talk about second place, they don't talk about beating trump, they think trump is way ahead that shows what's what their spernls show. polling is all about modeling, when you have have 35,000, 40,000 voters, 7, 8, 10% of republican voters show up on caucuses on saturday night, who knows what the turn out is going
to be. but who are the most committed voters, those trump voters. >> seth, what are you seeing in terms of organization because caucus states, with he saw this in iowa, cruz seemed to have the best organization out there. it looks like it made a difference. he overperformed the polls. what do you see in terms of organization on the ground here? >> that's the thing, rubio and cruz seem to have good o organizations but you can never discount donald trump, it's like john said, his supporters are very fervent and they will go out there, they showed they would do that in iowa. he didn't win but he did have a pretty good turn out there. from talking with people in the state he seems to be way ahead here. >> we were talking about this just a minute ago. i heard marco rubio say this a million times yesterday, donald trump has gotten 30% in all these states, that means 70% aren't there. this idea of a trump ceiling. we're looking at polling in nevada that says the ceiling is not 30% for donald trump here. >> trump is -- talk about a ceiling. women like to talk about a glass ceiling. for trump there is no ceiling. he bursts through every ceiling. the polling i've seen shows him in the mid 40s. who knows what's going to
happen, again, with the turn out. seth is right that rubio and cruz both have very, very good organizations. you have adam lacks at the up and coming conservative rising star has been all over rural nevada, he was in southern nevada with cruz and glenn beck at a rally. you have marco rubio who has reached out to the mormon community here, has maybe the most prominent office holder lieutenant governor mark hutch son in the mormon community, mormons were 25% of the caucus turn out -- >> that was big for mitt romney. >> and of course mitt romney is a mormon. rubio was a mormon when he was here as a kid so those connections i think do help, but, yeah, you mentioned you said the right term, there is a lot of wild cards out here, there always are in nevada, right, but i still think trump is a heavy winner to win. >> seth, give us a sense, the other story coming out of south carolina the rubio campaign wants it to be nationally all the republican office holders finally coalescing around marco rubio. dean heller the string of
endorsements he was able to put out yesterday. >> you can see a slight bump from jeb bush dropping out of the race but is it enough to take over donald trump? i don't know honestly. it doesn't seem like it based on the numbers and talking with some gop insiders and all that, seems like he is way ahead. he may be able to boost himself into a second place about you how good is second place after second place in state after state after state. >> we saw this in south carolina, the one endorsement that donald trump had was the lieutenant governor, but the governor, u.s. senator, the congressman, trey gowdy, everybody with marco rubio. donald trump has succeeded now in winning two of the first three states and maybe three of four if he can pull it off here with basically no support from elected officials. we used to be told it's impossible to win a nomination doing that. >> endorsements used to matter but a lot of things used to matter. trump has changed all the rules we thought existed in politics. seth is right, you have dean hell, the rush to rubio from all
the bush people but there's only three days in between south carolina. it's tough to get anything moving in that time. i think heller is the best known name and he might have some influence maybe in rural nevada. there's 15 rural nevada counties as opposed to the two urban areas, those can be very important in a republican caucus and adam ax at has been out for ted cruz and rubio has been fighting. donald trump i noticed and correct me if i'm wrong, seth, is having a rally in elko, i think he's sending his son there. that shows that trump -- someone is explaining to him the dynamics of this state to have a rally in elko, the biggest city in rural nevada that's a smart move by trump. >> i remember watching this from afar four years ago it felt to me like it took an eternity to get results, it felt like a disaster trying to get the results in four years ago. are we expecting the same thing or has that been fixed? >> that seems to be the common theme is that it's going to take a while to count these results. i believe they will be taking pictures of the ballots and sending them in by phone, kind of a -- i have never heard of
doing it that way before. they are not going to have the microsoft software in here. we could be in for kind of a long haul waiting for those counts. >> going to be a long night maybe. seth richardson, john hall ston, appreciate you both joining us. much more ahead live from las vegas. after the break we will turn to the democrats, their push for votes in south carolina ahead of that big primary this saturday. neither one of those candidates actually in the palmetto state today. hillary clinton raising money out in california, bernie sanders in my home state up in massachusetts but he's taking aim last night at donald trump. >> if you look at national polls and you want a candidate who is going to defeat donald trump, you're looking at that candidate. >> and there would be nothing that would give me greater pleasure than, in fact, beating donald trump and beating him badly. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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i think we have a good shot in colorado, a good shot in minnesota, a good shot in massachusetts. i think we are looking pretty good in oklahoma. last poll i saw my own state of vermont had us at 80% so i think we've got a shot to win there and i think we will surprise people in some other states as well. >> there is an underlying we that maybe is really in the back of people's minds and that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself. i think that's a question that people are trying to sort through and i'm going to demonstrate that i've always been the same person fighting for the same values, fighting to make a real difference in people's lives. and hillary clinton and bernie sanders now setting their sights on south carolina where the former secretary of state
hopes to build on that big win she had here in nevada over the weekend. turning to our reporters on the democratic beat we have nbc's kristen welker, she is following the clinton campaign she joins us from los angeles and kasie hunt is live from columbia, south carolina. kristen, a day of fundraising not stumping on the trail for hillary clinton today, but some good news obviously for her this weekend. what's the latest from her campaign? >> there is no doubt about that, steve, her campaign is breathing a huge sigh of relief, one aid said saturday's victory in nevada was the best day of the campaign. she is hoping that that big win will energize her supporters and donors. she has three fundraising events in l.a. before she heads to south carolina tomorrow. what the campaign is particularly excited about the fact that she won so big among african-americans, 76 to 22%. this is an indication that moving forward to those super tuesday states where you also have a large portion of the
electorate african-american that that bodes well for her. the strategy moving forward, she's going to continue this aggressive outreach to african-americans, in fact, we just learned that she is going to hold a number of campaign events with the mothers of african-american men who lost their lives to either gun violence or in interactions with police. she is going to have her first one starting tomorrow. meanwhile she's also spending out her top sur fwats on to the trail, her daughter chelsea and her husband former president bill clinton. he was out in colorado last night taking aim at the gop front runner. take a listen to what he had to say. >> we don't need to make america great again. america never stopped being great. but -- but -- but we do -- we do need to make america whole again. we do need to make america -- we need an america where we all grow together in the future.
>> the win in nevada is significant for secretary clinton, it's helped her to regain the momentum she lost in new hampshire. it also raises serious questions about senator sanders' ability to be competitive in these larger more diverse states, the rnc jumping on the fact she has this new momentum they are looking forward to the general election. take a look at this attack ad they
are releasing today. >> when we arrived in south carolina yesterday this was the state newspaper. clinton camp hits obama, attacks painful for black voters, many in state offended by criticism of obama and remarks about martin luther king. >> so, steve, a preview of what we can expect to see in the coming weeks and months. secretary clinton here if you know raidsing hoping to match the millions of dollars that senator sanders simply raises online. important to point out, though, she has about twice as much cash on hand right now. steve, back to you. >> all right.
chris, i was wondering when that stuff from the 2008 campaign would rear it's head. kasie hunt following bernie sanders. what kristen was saying there, it's not just the fact that bernie sanders lost in nevada on saturday, it's when you looked at the black vote here in nevada he lost it by 55 points. what is the plan for the sanders campaign going forward to actually win this thing now? >> reporter: he did, steve, that's right, and he's been having a stuff time here in okay is. he went to the brookline baptist church nearby here in columbia, that's a pretty well known parish, president obama has kind there and
he was trying to talk to people who were having their sunday dinner after church and he didn't have a ton of luck. he had a little bit, you could really see from the video some of the challenges i think we're showing it there that sanders has in this community. he stopped by a prayer breakfast this morning as he is on his way up to boston to try and do some of the same, but its reality is it's a very uphill battle for them here, they know that.
i wouldn't go so far as to say they've written it off but it's not very far away from that. i think you are going to see him spending most of this week trying to show that he has a campaign that can last longer. so that's going to be march 1st states, that's going to be maybe some march 15th voting states even, but, steve, if you step back and i know you obviously spend a lot of time looking at these things on your board that you're so frequently up to, but the map is just so difficult for him. even if they run the table in the states where they think they can do well, that's massachusetts where he's going to be later today, that's colorado, minnesota, maybe even they think oklahoma, even if they win all of those states and win by a comfortable margin, they're still going to have a struggle to catch up to her likely wins and delegate leads in texas, alabama, georgia, these southern states with huge delegate totals. so i think the challenge for them is going to be to prove that, you know, they do have a path to the nomination still in front of them. i think we're starting to hear some signs that this is going
back more to what it started as, this idea that it's a movement that he's in this race to try and focus the campaign on the issues that he really cares about, that potentially they want something in the platform at the convention, he wants a speaking role, something along those lines because what we haven't seen from the sanders campaign are really aggressive attack ads against hillary clinton, him going after her in ways that, you know, frankly they kochlt there is a lot to work with in the clinton record, but it doesn't seem like the sanders campaign has the stomach for it. so it's just tough to see how this goes back to being, you know, with the loss of momentum in nevada being a serious nomination challenge, steve. >> yeah, no, kasie, you're right. to actually win the nomination he has to make incursions on to her territory. you look ahead to super tuesday he does not seem positioned for that right now at least. we will see what happens over the next week. kasie hunt, kristen welker thank you four joining us. heading into this weekend south carolina primary the
democratic candidates will be making a big push to win over black voters in okay is. they made up 55% of the total vote in the 2008 primary there, that was hillary clinton versus barack obama. over the weekend the clinton campaign releasing a new ad in south carolina narrated by the
actor morgan freeman. >> she says their names. >> trayvon martin. >> shot to death. >> dan tray hamilton. >> unarmed. >> sandra bland and makes their mothers fight for justice her own. she speaks for a city poisoned by indifference and stands with the president against those who would undo his achievements. just like she's always stood with us. >> and, jamie harrison is the chairman of the south carolina democratic party and he joins us now. across the country from columbia let me put the latest numbers up on the screen, the nbc "wall street journal" marist poll, the
democratic race in hillary clinton, hillary clinton 60, bernie sanders 32, basically a two to one lead. what happened over the weekend? bernie sanders falling short in nevada. what does that do to the race in south carolina? does that solidify hillary clinton's goal in the state? >> listen, it becomes a tougher challenge i think for senator sanders. not impossible, but tough. as i've been saying for months now he has to do what i call the carolina two-step which is increase his name id high enough so that the african-american voters get an opportunity to understand who he is and what his background is and then -- >> jamie -- >> yes. >> we're having a little problem with your mike. i think we are going to try to fix it. we will take a quick break while we address the technical issue in columbia. we will come back and talk to jamie harrison from the south carolina democratic party. our medicare part d prescriptions, walgreens says, carpe med diem. seize the day to get more out of life and medicare part d.
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easy. i have a big advantage, but a long way from being won. >> and that was donald trump yesterday on "meet the press" following his big saturday night victory in south carolina. while he still says there is a long way to go before the nomination is wrapped up, it does look like he's going to be hard to stop. a poll from last week showing him with a 26 point lead here in nevada where that next contest is going to be held tomorrow. so the race for second place may be on and after marco rubio beat him for the runner up spot in south carolina, ted cruz has gone on the attack. >> he was asked what state can you win? you weren't able to win in eye warnings you weren't able to win in new hampshire, you weren't able to win in south carolina. when can you win a state? and the answer he gave is he said, well, i think we could win florida on march 15th. now, that's a fairly amazing admission that they don't believe they're going to win here in nevada. apparently they don't believe
they are going to win any states on super tuesday. >> and let's bring in david fromm, a former george w. bush speech writer and alexis levinson who is with me in vegas. a quick note to viewers, we had that interview with jamie harrison, we are still working on the technical issues in columbia, we're working to get him to you, but we will talk republicans, talk this republican race in the meantime. david fromm, we heard this a million times it seemed yesterday from marco rubio, from people supporting marco rubio, this idea that donald trump still has a hard ceiling. sure, he won new hampshire, he won south carolina, but 70% of the party will not vote for him. what do you make of that? >> well, as a matter of blackboard arithmetic it sounds true, it's true until it's not true anymore as a lot of things in this race have ceased being true. here is a question for marco rubio, though, it's and not just the question that ted cruz raised about when he won -- when
he will win. marco rubio is in a very specific and immediate problem, he has very little money. at the end of january he had $5 million cash on hand, less than either trump or ted cruz. marco rubio is running an expensive kind of campaign. ted cruz gets his organization for free from local evangelical churches and donald trump gets all of this massive free publicity. marco rubio is running a jeb bush style campaign it consumes a lot of resources. where will that money come from? the assumption is he will now be able to raise all that jeb bush money, but this morning on cnn reported that the director of the right to rise super pac mike murphy is believed by people at the super pac to have billed personally $14 million out of the money raised by the super pac. there is going to be as there was after 2012 with the revelations about the various republican super pacs that year, i think a lot of donor dismay, suspicion, anger, resentment and fatigue and what all of that is going to mean is that if you
need to raise a lot of money in the next ten days these are going to be a challenging ten days in which to raise that money. >> alexis i guess the other question about money is donald trump has not spent that much, not spent the kind of money we are used to seeing in these races, ted cruz hasn't recently spent that much and donald trump won two of the first three and ted cruz won the other one. even if marco rubio gets a huge infusion of cash is it going to happen? >> we have seen a race that has rewritten the rules of campaigning, it has not been throw a lot of money and organization at it. donald trump as far as everyone i've talked to has said does not by any stretch have the bess organization here and they still expect him to win. >> what are you seeing in terms of the rubio campaign wants the story out of south carolina to be this is it now, a one on one race, it's marco rubio versus donald trump. hard to say that when you're tied with ted cruz for second. but in ternls of this rush of
endorsements they're expecting here, do you see that taking shape and do you see it have been an impact? >> you do see it taking shape. i was a marco rubio rally last night. he had dean heller who was a jeb bush supporter until yesterday morning, he had mark amadays who was a jeb bush support, congressman hardy, rick harrison from pawn stars, donny walberg. >> he got the donny walberg endorseme endorsement. >> it was big. it was this whole array of people that were coming out to say, okay, this is our guy, we are -- you know, we are the political class and this is our guy. but, you know, does it matter? it's hard to say. he and cruz here, you know, watch -- i went to an event with each of them yesterday and they are very much competing for different voters it seems like, cruz was out in parump a libertarian strong hold, talked about libertarians, the second amendment rights, trying to woo those rand paul voters chblt rubio was talking about i lived
the american dream, nevada s you know -- he was talking about diversity, talking about the american dream bringing people up with him. it's a very different message. >> david fromm, we're hearing from the rubio people there's a theory of the race here that maybe it happened, i know rules are made to the broken in politics that they finally get this thing winnowed down, get a shot at trump, but at this point marco rubio would be doing something that's never been done before. he finished third in iowa, fifth in new hampshire, finished barely second in south carolina. no one has ever jump started a campaign after not winning one of those first three and gotten the nomination. >> well, especially with this message. rubio has two core messages, message one, hey, republicans, i know you hate your party leadership, look, here they are, they are all standing on the stage with me. hey, republicans, look, i know you're angry at the gang of eight deal, i'm the romney of obamacare. i am so immigration what romney was to healthcare.
i am the guy who wrote the deal you hate. so it's going to take a lot of money to get that message -- to sell that message and maybe there isn't that much money on earth to sell that message. >> inc. baing on endorsements in this climate i guess that is a shaky strategy. we will see what happens. david frum, alexis levinson thanks for joining us. we do want to go back to south carolina. vaem harrison, i think we got the microphone situation set up there. jamie, thanks for taking a few minutes. i will start with the question i asked you a couple minutes ago, but basically the poll we saw last week in your state, hillary clinton ahead by a two to one margin over bernie sanders. with that win she got in nevada over the weekend as the chairman of the party do you think that solidifies her hold on south carolina? >> you know, listen, steve, senator sanders has a challenge here, it's a challenge that i've been talking about for months now and i call it the carolina two-step for. him he has to increase his name id enough so african-americans who have no sense of who he was
and who he is and his background so that they know who this guy is who is vying for the presidency. then the second step which is also a very important step is he then has to convince those voters that he is the best person to carry the water on their behalf and that's a sizable challenge. not impossible but a sizable challenge. i think you saw some of those challenges in terms of the african-american community in nevada. he has a good ground game here in south carolina. a lot of activists and all, but it is going to be a steep hill for him to climb in order to win here in south carolina. >> jamie, we showed a little bit of this with kristen welker our reporter a few minutes ago but some of the memories of the 2008 campaign, hillary clinton versus obama, where it turned pretty ugly in south carolina, some of those sort of resurfacing right now. is there any lingering penalty for hillary clinton for the clintons with the black community after 2008 in south
carolina? >> steve, i don't think so, and this was something that i think very early on in the campaign i think the clinton folks were concerned about. i think two things happened that i really believe helped to kind of smooth things over. one when she joined president obama's cabinet as secretary of state, but i really think -- i think where the tensions were with bill clinton. in 2012 when he gave that convention speech in charlotte and when he became the quote/unquote explainer in chief i think that helped tremendously in terms of smoothing things over with a lot of the voters here in south carolina. >> that's a great point. that 2012 convention speech. i've been trying to figure out how he could get from the end of '08 campaign and the conventional wisdom that the clintons had severed their relationship with the black community to the point in 2016 where black voters are the key for hillary clinton. we certainly saw that in nevada
we say see that again in south carolina. jamie harrison chairman of the south carolina democratic party. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, steve. take care. all right. next hour the supreme court is going to be meeting for the first time since the death of justice antonin scalia. they will hear arguments in two different cases today but the fight over who will fill scalia's seat is also getting started in congress. president obama hasn't even put up a nominee yet. we will have much more on the latest after a quick break. "beth" by kiss ♪ beth, i hear you calling.♪. ♪ but i can't come home right now... ♪ ♪ me and the boys are playing.♪. ♪ ... all nig♪t text beth, what can i do... [siri:] message. pick up milk. oh, right. milk. introducing the newly redesigned passat. from volkswagen.
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in our washington, d.c. bureau and luke russert is at the capital with me. pete, first day back for the justices, it's a mysterious world from the outside, the inner workings for the supreme court but i imagine this will be a tough day for them. >> reporter: it's been 28 years since the supreme court has been in this predicament facing a long period of time without all nine justices. today there will be an empty seat where justice antonin scalia would have sat, that will remain for 30 days and then there will be an empty spot at the end of the supreme court bench until that ninth justice is named. that will be the spot where the ninth justice will sit when that person is nominated and confirmed. the court will be on about its business today, hearing argument as scheduled and of course it can do its business with only eight justices. most of the supreme court cases probably 85% of them are not closely divided 5-4 rulings where justice scalia's vote would have made a difference, but there will be close cases coming, just next week we will hear the challenge to the tough
new texas abortion restrictions that could be a close one and then of course later this term cases on immigration and other decisions yet to come on affirmative action. so it is a time of uncertainty for the supreme court. that's right. >> pete williams outside the supreme court. luke russert on capitol hill. let me ask you about the politics of this. the republican posture when the vacancy occurred is there's going to be no action, no vote this year. before over a week. there any sign there is any give in that posture? >> reporter: here is the very, steve. there is an idea they have to figure out and that is whether or not they're going to allow for a nominee even to get a hearing within the senate judiciary committee or they are going to say absolutely no how no way you are not even going to get a hearing in that committee, you are not going to get to move forward in in a procedure way. that's the question they are going to answer this week. mitch mcconnell is expected to talk about this on the floor today, harry reid will give a democratic rebuttal.
tomorrow mcconnell will have a meeting with the chairman of the judiciary committee chuck grassley and they will essentially figure out whether or not it's good politics to at least allow president obama supreme court nominee to get a hearing in the committee. the problem for mcconnell, though, steve, is the optics of that. because if the president sends somebody as expected that has already been passed by republicans before who is popular in the republican ranks and they get a committee hearing, that's broadcast live and they do very well, it's very difficult for republicans to say, oh, but we can't pick this person even though they are qualified. that's what mcconnell has to figure out. all that being said i've talked to sources on the republican side. no chance they will get a nominee seated on the court. mccome views this as make or break for the senate republican majority and he believes he has to keep the conservatives at bay that are in line with the party and it's better to be that route than throw some cover for those folks in swing states running in
new hampshire, illinois, et cetera, steve. >> all right. luke russert on capitol hill with a story we will be hearing a lot about this year. thanks for that. and donald trump could be in for a big night in nevada tomorrow. we've been talking about this this morning and earlier this morning trump tweeted, i am in las vegas at the best hotel by far. trump international. i will be working with my wonderful teams and volunteers to win nevada. but trump is not necessarily winning over the workers at trump international. msnbc's jacob soboroff stayed overnight there to figure out what's going on. he has his report for us next.
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with more on that. >> this is a wild situation, steve. political observers in nevada say donald trump looks to be a great position to win the caucu to lose another battle here in nevada, one with the worthers at his own las vegas hotel who voted to unionize in december of last year, joining workers at 98% of other hotels on the strip, and trump's hotel is fighting back. i spent the night in the hotel to find out a little more. good morning. welcome to the penthouse at the trump international hotel las vegas. pretty nice living room, right? a great night last night. what a view. check out the stratosphere out there, and also, an amazing kitchen where i had my coffee this morning, and this bedroom, i think i had one of the best night's sleep, and here's the bathroom. i don't think i have ever been in a more amazing bathroom especially because you can watch msnbc in the mirror. a nice hotel, no doubt about it.
donald trump has generated an enormous amount of enthusiasm for his campaign in nevada, but the workers at his own hotel are want as thrilled with him. i'm going to talk to them. you work at the trump hotel? >> yes. >> what do you do over there? >> house keeping. >> you workers in the hotel made a vote to unionize with the workers. how come? >> they make lie $17, and we make $14.40. and it's a big difference. >> per hour? >> per hour. >> the management at the hotel, they pushed back. they didn't want it to happen. how did it make you feel? >> it scared me. >> mr. trump is coming to town for the election. what do you say to him? >> hi, mr. trump. you're a great businessman. you say i want to make america great. please, you do the same. >> he's saying make america
great again, but first, make the hotel great again? >> we need the contract for the hotel. >> so there's a little late breaking news in the situation because the culinary union announced yesterday that the national labor relations board has recommended trump's appeal of the vote, which is not just about salary but things like pensions and the uniforms they wear in the hotel to be thrown out and for the workers' vote to stand. the trump hotel can appeal again, but they're asking him to begin negotiations. they're going to show up at one of his events tonight. they sent the following response to us, the hearing officer's recommendation erroneously disregarded the severe misconduct that impacted a close election. we'll continue our fight to insure a fair election for our valued associated, many of whom oppose union representation. this is not something that's going to affect trump's republican caucus support, but the fight with one of vegas'
most powerful unions is an unwanted distraction. >> i could see republicans liking this. that was scott walker's thing in wisconsin, right? go to war with the unions and look like a hero to the base. >> he could make it a big advantage for him with the republican base. >> next time i can do a story that's going to require the company to put me in a suite? >> too much anchoring. come out with me. >> i had a nice double bed in my economy room. jacob, thank you for joining us. >> going to take you to fairfax, virginia. a couple thousand miles from here where john kasich is about to hold a town hall. the first of several stops for kasich in virginia today. that state one of the dozen that are going to be voting on march 1st, super tuesday, eight days from today. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid,
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and for the ones they love, they'd do anything. sears optical has glasses made for doing. right now, buy one pair and get another free. quality eyewear for doers. sears optical. good morning. i'm chris jansing in las vegas. this is the site of the next republican contest in the race for president. and boy, it's coming up fast. tomorrow. donald trump owns a hotel just about three miles from where we are, just down the road a ways. after trouncing everyone over the weekend in south carolina, he's bringing his victory to work here, just a couple hours from now. >> we won with everything. we won with women. i love the women. we won with women. we won with men. meh. i would rather win with women, to be honest, but that's all
right. we won with evangelicals. like unbelievable. unbelievable. we won with the military. we won -- oh, oh, oh. the only category i do badly in is my personality. and that's okay. who cares? and you know what? you want to know something, i'm a better person than the people i'm running against. i see it. let me tell you. >> let me tell you. things are heating up here. the top three republicans will hold nearly a dozen events across the state today. john kasich already has his cites set on super tuesday. he's in virginia today. ted cruz and marco rubio hoping to stop trump's momentum before a dozen states and territories have their say next tuesday. history is not on their side. no republican has ever won new hampshire and south carolina and gone on to lose the nomination. here with me now, in las vegas,
nbc news correspondent hallie jackson, and nbc news campaign alley vitale. good to see both of you. let me say that again. no republican has ever won new hampshire and south carolina and gone on to lose the nomination. trump leads in every super tuesday poll. what does marco rubio and ted cruz do to stop the momentum? >> i think super tuesday is critical for this. you have nevada where donald trump has a strong lead, at least in the polling you're looking at. i think rubio's team feels they could possibly come in second if the turnout is high. ted cruz's team holooking to do okay and really turning to the s.e.c. primary states. by the way, they want to get down to a two-man race. cruz is saying i'm the only guy who has actually beaten trump. i have proven i can take him down. rubio is saying i'm the 1 who can win in a general election. that's why you should pick me. the question is, though, will the establishment coalesce around rubio and will the conservatives, the more
conservative wing of the party come together around cruz? his campaign thought that might have happened in south carolina. you heard trump say, he won with evangelicals, won with members of the military, that outsider anger vote. we'll see. >> i was at one of his events last night. what was clear to me was the people who were there were about the constitution and the literal interpretation of the constitution. they're worried about the death of justice scalia. >> that's a major point he has been making on the trail. >> repeatedly. meanwhile, trump is playing the expectations game. he said, no, let's not go to the notion i'm unstoppable. on the other hand, he said i'm in a strong position. >> that's classic trump. a lot of bravado, a lot of things to brag about. when you're the front-runner, you're the guy to take out. he's been the guy to tack down, and nobody has been able to do that susesfully, and he'll be the first to say this, he turns his attacks against, he's brands them effectively and takes them
out. you look at jeb bush, he did a branding job on him, calling him low energy. when the election started, he's was the guy to beat. when you look at cruz and rubio making the argument it's a t two-man race, or in rubio's case, this is the top three and we're in the winnowing process, to what point is that effective? we don't know yet. in nevada when you look at nevada, trump is polling well here. when you look to the s.e.c. states, cruz is saying he's doubling down with evangelicals and conservative voters, but at the same time, trump is strong in the s.e.c. states, and the polling bears that out and the crowds bear it out even more. >> in these situations where they're trying to winnow more, am i going to rise on the basis of my own likability and something that i put out there, or is the other guy going to get hit. and one of the things that you heard both donald trump and marco rubio go after cruz on is hone honesty. as you well know, donald trump likes to call ted cruz a liar, and then a liar and a liar. he repeats it repeatedly. he had a controversy last night
with one of his senior aides had to apologize. what was that about? >> this is a video that was circulating that misquoted marco rubio talking about the bible. this was tweeted out by the cruz campaign who late last night apologized for this. he said the video was inaccurate. he should have checked it first. he issued this apology. he said he deleted the post because he wouldn't knowingly post a false story. i regret the mistake. you're already seeing this being pounced on by rubio's team. what ted cruz is doing, though, in addition to trying to attack donald trump, who as you noted is calling him a liar constantly, he's also going after marco rubio. here's what cruz had to say about rubio yesterday at a campaign event here in nevada. >> he was asked what state can you win? you weren't able to win in iowa, weren't able to win in new hampshire. weren't able to win in south carolina. when can you win a state? the answer he gave is he, well, i think we can win florida on
march 15th. now that's a fairly amazing admission that they don't believe they're going to win here in nevada. apparently, they don't believe they're going to win any states on super tuesday. >> this is sort of the crux of cruz's argument against marco rubio, that he's not a winner and cruz is. he's sort of pointing to iowa. there is pressure on cruz now given his frankly disappointing third place finish in south carolina. can he win in the south, and look to texas. that's almost a must-win for cruz. they have 27,000 volunteers out there. they have been talking about their ground game in texas. >> as we have seen, donald trump doesn't need necessarily the best ground game to win, so we shall see. ali, great to see you here. hallie, thank you so much. with me 93 from little rock is alice stewart, the senior communications adviser for ted cruz's presidential campaign. it's good to see you. so much to get to, but i want to start with this whole rick tyler kerfuffle. is he playing into a narrative about your campaign that it
plays dirty. i mean, he did apologize, but he put something out there, and you can't put the genie back into the bottle. is he affirming a narrative that the other campaigns have against ted cruz and your campaign? >> well, first off, thanks for having me on. i appreciate the opportunity. and look, rick's a fantastic person. he made a mistake. he acknowledged it. he's apologized. he's taken it down. what more can we do? we're going to focus on the issues that the people are talking about. and social media post is not something that concerns people. we have apologized and we're moving on. the people of nevada and the s.e.c. primary states, march 15th states, want to hear from ted cruz. want to hear his message to rebuild the economy and focus on our constitutional liberties, and focus on rebuilding our military. those are the kind of things we're going to focus on in nevada through tomorrow and moving on to march 1st and march 15th. >> you know, one of the things we have heard from this candidate, and i actually was at
an event last night in henderson, he has said that donald trump has a ceiling. but my question about that is, what makes you think that? for example, the demographics of south carolina seemed to strongly favor your candidate. nearly three quarters were evangelicals. but he got trounlsed by trump. >> well, i think one of the things that we have learned throughout this campaign is that defies the norms in every way, shape, and form. but what we're going to see is that as ted cruz is campaigning now in nevada and speaking to the people, the people there are extremely concerned about quite a few things. our national security, immigration, and our health care. what he is reminding them is no one has spent more time in their lifetime fighting to protect our constitution, to protect our individual liberties, than ted cruz. that's something that resonates with them. no one has fought more to repeal obamacare and stood up to marco rubio, and he and democrats
pushed for amnesty and the gang of eight bill. no one fought more aggressively against that. and just last week, ted cruz gave a phenomenal speech in charleston about the need to grow the economy, create jobs, in order to rebuild our military to get it back to the superpower that it was. look, it's one thing for donald trump to get out there and say i'm going to make america great again and print up nice baseball caps but you have to have a fundamental understanding of what made america great in the first place. cruz has a lifetime of doing that. >> do you discount, alice -- >> will recognize that. >> do you discount that there are more voters who disagree with you than agree with you? just look at the results from the early states. look at where the polling is now. look at where the polling is in the super tuesday states. how do you break out of that? how do you make this even a two-man race? >> well, it is a two-man race.
there have only been two people who have actually won the early states so far. that is donald trump and ted cruz. and no one can take on donald trump better than ted cruz. and that's what the numbers have shown. and look, the people of this country are smart. they're going to see as we're seeing now, there's a clear contrast between the candidates. we have ted cruz who is someone who is fighting against the washington cartel, fighting to repeal obamacare, fighting to help rebuild our economy. and we have donald trump, who is not a consistent conservative. he may say he's conservative and republican, but he's spent a lifetime donating to democrats. a lifetime supporting democrat candidates like hillary clinton and john kerry and others. as recently as a few weeks ago, says he supports taxpayer funding for planned parenthood and partial-birth abortion. he's in the past said he is pro-choice. he is not for traditional marriage. and has acknowledged openly that he can change his mind whenever
he pleases. the voters want someone who is consistent on the issues and they know when they vote for that person tomorrow night in nevada or march 1st in these states, who they vote for on that day and what they say will be the same person the day after and a month down the road and certainly come november. and the people are starting to recognize that. >> alice stewart, senior communications adviser for the ted cruz campaign, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, chris. so let's talk now to msnbc political correspondent steve kornacki, i also have with me here live in nevada, political guru and msnbc political analyst jon ralston. mccay is here as well, senior writer with buzzfeed news. i feel lucky. early nevada time, to have you guys here and awake and ready to talk. let's talk nevada because nobody knows it better than you do. donald trump, i think the last time we saw a poll, was 26 points ahead. is there anybody who can challenge him? can they even come out of here making a case, look, i really am
the guy who should be up against him one-on-one? >> i don't think nevada is the place where that happens. anything can happen in a caucuses, as we know, and a caucus who may have 10% turnout. the other campaigns are almost ceding this to trump. they see no way to win. they're very frustrated. one guy with one of the campaign s says we don't know how to persuade the trump voters to go with us. they're impenetrable. trump is here, as you know. he's going to do rallies to get them to turn out, it's going to be difficult. you were talking to someone from the cruz campaign. he has done a lot here to try to tap into nevada based issues including public lands, using trump's saying that the federal government should keep them. i think it's great the lands are in the hands of the federal government. that's bad in rural nevada which 15 of the 17 counties. could that help cruz? yes. enough to beat trump? i doubt it. >> it was interesting last night, i don't want to read too
much into one event in one state, but at this event in henderson, the loudiest applaus by far was when they expressed concerns about the death of justice scalia and to support the constitution, and we need someone in there that is going to name someone like him to the high court. when i went around and started doing conversation with the voters, steve, a lot of them were between cruz and trump and seemed to me at least to be looking for a winner. >> well, and that's the thing that starts happening. winning begets winning. momentum begets momentum. that's probably the biggest thing republicans trying to stop trump have to worry about. he put two wins on the board. he can put a third on the board 24 hours from now. do people look up and say this is inevitable, i'm going to join over now? the other thing the establishment of the republican party has to worry about is look at south carolina, look at the voters donald trump won. he won some of the most conservative voter in the country. rural evangelicals in the south carolina upstate.
he's winning those counties. at the same time, a poll came out last night in massachusetts. one of the most moderate republican states in the country. donald trump is up 35 points in massachusetts. >> that's incredible. >> a candidate who can put that kind of coalition together, it's hard to stop. >> a lot of articles about how he can't be stopped. i want to read from the "washington post" that says, quote, substitute any other republican in the race to trump's position. there's a 100% chance that person would be touted as the prohibited favorite or the odds-on nominee. so you're the establishment. and you don't want -- >> i'm not, actually. >> shockingly so. you don't want donald trump. and you know, whether or not you're truly in either ted cruz's or marco rubio's corner, i suppose you could say john kasich or ben carson. or you just are anybody but trump, what do you do? >> well, i was actually at marco rubio's rally in south carolina the night of the primary there. and i started getting called
literally minutes after jeb bush announced he was dropping out from party elites, party elders, leaders across the country saying there was already movement to very quickly consolidate establishment support behind rubio. we saw some of this last night at rubio's rally. a lot of prominent jeb bush endorsers shifted over to rubio. they're doing what they can to try to rally the prominent endorsements, the money, the resources to rubio. the concern is that it might just be too late for the establishment to pick a champion. right? they have obviously settled on rubio at this point, but we're already about to have our fourth primary here, and rubio, you know, he hasn't won any race yet, and it doesn't look like he's going to win this one. >> how do you coalens around -- do you get everybody in a room, do you call mitt romney and say can you have everybody out to one of your houses? seriously, what do you do? >> what mccay was talking ability, he was at the rally in
north las vegas last night that rubio did at a casino, and dean heller and a bunch of other establishment folks who had been with jeb bush went over to rubio, but chris, there's not enough time, first of all, between south carolina and nevada, which is tomorrow, for that to really move anybody. >> 4% of the delegates have been awarded at this point. is it too late? >> it's only what the media says. why are you talking about delegates? it's something that's important. >> how do you move -- you say how do you move the needle? let's go back to that, only 4% of the delegates at this point have been awarded. >> i see two things that are obstacles for the establishment. one is first of all, if there's this rush of endorsements for marco rubio and we're starting to see that, traditionally we look to that and say there's this theory, the party decides. that's what they mean. the endorsements come out and voter take their cues from the elected officials. you look at the anger that exists in the republican party toward the republican party
establishment, toward anybody with a title in the republican party establishment, that could backfire on rubio if it looks like he's trying to win this thing by lining up all of the establishment, that could fire up the same strovoter whose hav been with trump the whole time. you look at the candidates who have scared the establishment in the past. they were factional candidates like a pat buchanan. he had a very narrow but committed faction of the republican party. he could win new hampshire with 26%. the republican party got scared. the other 75% united against him. but trump is pulling voedz from moderates, from tea partiers, from evangelicals. libertarians. he's getting votes across the board. that diversity is very hard to fight. >> your point about the dangers of the establishment is so true because last night the people in the crowd who were solidly pro-cruz, they didn't say i want -- you know, it's because he is against barack obama or he is against the democrats or he is against washington. they said -- >> he's against the republican establishment. >> against the republican
establishment. steve kornacki, jon ralston, mccay, thank you guys. they'll be back later and talk about more. we have a lot more ahead. up next, a look at where the democrats are today. bernie sanders just wrapped up a rally in sumpter, south carolina. we'll talk more about that state's upcoming primary and how the democratic rivals are trying to build momentum into the critical super tuesday races. a little later on, supreme court justices back in session for the first time this morning since the death of justice antonin scalia. we'll have details of what's going on inside the court today and that escalating battle on capitol hill over a new justice. "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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now. for bernie sanders, a loss in nevada, far behind in south carolina. it all means that super tuesday looms large. a dozen states and territories will hold democratic contests, competing in all those states, of course, costs money. new numbers from last month just out show sanders raised about $6.5 million more than hillary clinton did in january. but remember what happened eight years ago? hillary clinton was tapped out and had to lend her campaign $5 million because of a tougher than expected primary fight. this headline from sunday's l.a. times says it all, quote, hillary clinton faces one problem she didn't expect, money. with me now, msnbc's alex seitz-wald who has been following the clinton campaign, and kasie hunt who is covering the sanders campaign. so alex, let me start with you. we all know how much tougher a race in 2008 hillary clinton had against barack obama. with this whole money thing, is it deja vu all over again? >> well, chris, i think they have been much smarter about how
they have spent money or made a much bigger show of being smart about spending money. they say they have invested heavily on the front end in things that will pay off on the long term, things like digital and data staffers. the kind of infrastructure you build out a campaign for. they have a whole floor of an office building in brooklyn, a whole other empty floor waiting if they make it to a general election. one thing i will point out, sander raised more in january, but he also spend more. he had a higher burn rate, how much money you spend versus what you bring in. a lot went to ads as well as field organizing. boast of these campaigns have been spending a lot of money as you would expect in january. >> the question is what can they raise going forward? kasie, as you head to get on, as i understand it, sanders' charter, clinton has maxed out about 60% of their donors, meaning that's all they can give. sanders, 2%. they must be feeling pretty good about their possibility for continued fund-raising unless they're worried about the
momentum. where are they in their head in terms of money? >> sure, chris. they know they can go back to a lot of these small donors again and again. and a lot of these donors feel very personally invested in the campaign. if you listen to how sanders talked about his campaign, he very rarely used the word "i." it's about the small donor whose make up the campaign. the question is what you just outlined. the question is whether or not the donors are going to keep giving if sanders doesn't seem to be winning. they're trying to get a sense of that right now. we're just a few days out from that nevada loss. the sort of frame for the sanders campaign, of course, is hey, help us beat back this establishment that cleary came to go to bat for hillary clinton in nevada. we need your money to do that. now, that said, the way that they outraised her in january was of course driven in large part by his win in new hampshire. you know, they brought in over
$7 million in that 24 hours after that victory speech when he made a direct plea. so i do think they believe that they will have the kind of money they need to run this race through june. there's no indication that they would get out before that at this point. i think that there's still a sense that this is in many ways a movement and even if he's not challenging her for the nomination directly, they still are going to want to make sure that his message is heard on the national platform that the convention would offer, chris. >> so hillary clinton, alex, in los angeles today. and the environs and a series of fund-raisers. i am wondering if there's any concern at this point about how much time she may have to spend off the campaign trail because one of the, i think, obviously advantages that bernie sanders has had is that he has gotten so much of his money online and not had to take that time away from meeting voters. >> absolutely, chris. it's definitely not an ideal situation you want to have.
she even canceled some fund-raisers in the lead-up to iowa and bernie sanders hit her on leaving the state for attending others. it's a theme that you're going to see him continue to exploit every time she has to leave the campaign trail to hobnob with wealthy people in l.a. or new york or san francisco. and it does take time away from when she has to meet with voters. this is how she has to fund her campaign. just because you have these elections or caucuses coming up, doesn't mean she can't take a moment off of the fund-raising trail. that said, there has been an effort in the clinton campaign to try to ramp up the small dollar donations which have not done nearly as well as bernie sanders has. they have been building out the number by trying to ask people to donate $1. you're not going to raise a lot of money that way, but you can get more names into your database and try to expand the numbers of donors. she's also been going after the low hanging fruit of the maximum $2700 donors. there's an effort to go one step
below that, people who will give $250, $500 donations. another class there that hasn't been tapped by the clinton campaign. >> alex seitz-wald, thanks to you. kasie hunt, safe travels to you. thanks to you both. up next, signs of trouble for bernie sanders in losing the black vote. why that blowout margin here in nevada, it could get worse in south carolina. we're going to talk about that coming up. first, i stopped in at ted cruz's rally last night, just about 30 minutes outside of vegas. here's why one voter is standing by his candidate, cruz over trump. >> i'm not a big trump supporter because i just -- he strikes me as the ultimate narcissist, and he's in it for him more than the country. i think mr. cruz is much more in that way. i understand he's the most hated man in washington, which to me is a very good reference. s who you're wearing... toenail fungus!? whaaat?!? fight it! with jublia. jublia is a prescription medicine...
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we're back live now in las vegas, where the republican caucus takes place tomorrow. next on the calendar for the democrats is saturday's south carolina primary. where the biggest challenge for bernie sanders may well be trying to win over minority voters, specifically african-americans. he lost them to hillary clinton wie more than 50 points here in nevada. meantime, the clinton campaign hopes their outreach paired with the former secretary of state's track record with the community keeps her ahead with this key voting block. msnbc anchor tamron hall is in charleston, south carolina, for us. tamron, the loss of the minority voters was, i think, even bigger than a lot of people expected hereby in nevada. it was devastating for bernie sanders. do we know what went wrong and what he's doing to work on it? >> well, you know, the sanders campaign, and we had symone sanders, one of his spokespersons on with us, and they felt some confidence going in. they thought they would be able to close the gap. to your point, chris, i do believe that they were quite
surprised by the enormity of it all coming into south carolina, already, bernie sanders has stopped by brooklyn baptist church in columbia. a very prominent church there. and our own kasie hunt reported that at that church, bernie sanders got a lukewarm reception. when you look at the numbers out of south carolina, more than half of the electorate here are african-americans. and he has to make some kind of inroads. you ask what can he do? the traditional thing we have seen, go to churches, try to go one-on-one with the community leaders. when you're in south carolina and you have congressman james clyburn now endorsing hillary clinton, that makes this battle all the more difficult here. clinton has accused bernie sanders of being a single-message candidate. the key here is to, if he is to go after the african-american community, with the message of income inequality, he has to make it apply to them. to the communities who feel that they have been underserved, and in some cases, chris, believe that the democratic party has not done much for them. and there's perhaps an opening,
particularly with young voters. >> tamron hall, thank you very much. she will be in south carolina for us. and watching as that next primary -- primary there takes place. up next, lots of action this morning in washington, d.c. where eight supreme court justices are now in session for the first time since the death of justice antonin scalia. members of congress are back, too, just across the street. they're ready for a fight over choosing scalia's successor. hi, this is jennifer. i will be out of the office until monday, and won't be checking voicemail during this time. i'll reply just as soon as i get back to work. sail with princess cruises, the number one cruise line in alaska. limited alaska fares from $699. call your travel consultant or visit princess.com. princess cruises. come back new.
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least 50 years. the death of a justice in the middle of a term, and the justices coming back. normally, when they enter the courtroom, they smile at people. they recognize in the courtroom, they smile at us. not today. somber faces from justice scalia's former colleagues. the chief justice said that that blake drapery signifies a period of mourning for the loss of her friend and colleague. he went through his biography. named all of his nine children, their full names, noted that he married his wife maureen when he was in law school, and then he said his love of knowledge drew him to academe yeah and the life and law, and then lighthearted comments from the chief. he noted that justice scalia argued his first and only case as a lawyer before the supreme court in 1976. the chief said he prevailed, establishing a perfect record before this court. he also had some statistics. he noted that justice scalia was sworn in as the 103rd supreme court justice in u.s. history
and he wrote 292 majority opinions. and then he added, rile wryly, he was also known on occasion to dissent. he called him our man for all seasons and said he will miss him beyond measure. an unusual thing today, very somber. that drapery on his chair will last, will continue to be there for another 30 days. and then his chair will be taken away. the drapery taken down. and the justices will then switch around in seniority. anthony kennedy will become the senior associate. on the far end of the bench will be an empty spot waiting to be filled by the next person nominated and confirmed. >> you and i, pete, went into the supreme court when the body of antonin scalia was lying in repose. i had the opportunity to talk to some of the staff members who you know well. many of them have worked there for decades, and obviously, this is a tough day for them, but work does go on. so if you could just highlight
for us sort of the key things that are on the docket as the justices get back to work. >> well, they're hearing cases today and tomorrow. and next week as well. the big case, the first big case where justice scalia's absence could make a difference is next week, when the justices will hear argument over restrictions on access to abortion clinics in texas. requiring clinics to have doctors that have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and requiring that clinics be built to the same standards as ambulatory care centers and later on, the challenge to president obama's immigration policy. we're still waiting for the decision on the question of affirmative action where his vote might have made a difference. we'll also hear the challenge to the reach of obamacare requiring religiously affiliated institutions to provide contraceptive coverage. all of that still to come. the business of the court goes on. we would have normally gotten orders, we would have normally gotten opinions tomorrow and maybe wednesday. those have all been put off a
week because of justice scalia's death. >> pete williams at the court for us. thank you very much. and of course, directly across the street from the supreme court, the senate gets back in session this afternoon. locked in a fight over how to choose justice scalia's successor or whether to do it at all right now. joining me now by phone, delaware democratic senator chris koonts who sits on the senate judiciary committee. first, our apologies for technical difficulties that don't allow us to see you. as i listen to pete williams and he talks about the cases still out there, abortion, immigration, affirmative action and even more, of course, as there always are in the future for the supreme court to decide, what do you think the chances are now, senator, that the president can get a hearing for whomever he nominates as scalia's successor? >> as we heard in the recitation of the important cases that await decision by the supreme court this term, that is a
reminder of how important the supreme court is in our country. we have had a long running series of gridlocks here in the united states between our president and our legislative branch. now that the republicans control both houses of congress, the threats that we have seen to the functioning of our government over the last seven years, the government shutdown, the obstruction of bills, the frequent filibusters, threatens to extend to the supreme court. it's my real hope, chris, that president obama will quickly nominate someone who is eminently qualifies, someone who has already been unanimously confirmed by the senate, and a potential justice who by their very distinguished record and their record of centrism, would win support from both sides. unfortunately, republican majority leader mitch mcconnell has already said that he would not accept any nominee. he wouldn't allow any hearings. i'm hopeful that senator grassley, republican of iowa,
who chairs the judiciary committee, will instead in the interest of the senate and of a functioning government, move ahead with hearings and let the american people see us doing the work that the constitution calls us to do. >> and to your point, former top aide to mitch mcconnell said this. josh holmes told politico, quote, if democrats are pushing all their chips into the middle of the table on the prospect of mcconnell caving to political pressure, they're going to leave the white house in nine months broke and confused. you're saying you're hopeful, but you also know what mitch mcconnell and the people around him have said. how do you move hopeful to something that actually works? is there a strategy to get this done among the democrats? >> well, chris, i think the average american is tired of obstruction in congress. is tire offend seeing both parties unable to reach reasonable accommodations and produce results. for the working people, for the families, for the communities
and for our whole country. a lot of what you're seeing in nevada and south carolina is that voters are coming out and saying they want change. we did not elect president obama to a three-year term in 2012. he was elect eed to a four-year term. we should be able to, assuming the president does nominate someone in the center, who is likely deserving of bipartisan support and who is highly qualified, we should be able to move next to confirmation hearings. if after those confirmation hearings we can't persuade a majority of the american people that the republican party should stop this obstruction and allow that supreme court justice to be seated, then, you know, the republicans will succeed in making their point. i don't think that will happen. i think the president will nominate someone who is eminently qualified and after confirmation hearings, they'll be confirmed by a bipart someone majority. >> senator koons, good to talk to you. thank you for your time. >> thank you, chris.
i want to bring back jon ralston and mckay. we know what's at steak with the supreme court in the cases they hear, but there's also a thing called control of the senate. there's also something else like a little presidential campaign that's going on, and i keep going back to the event last night. but it was amazing how much people were fired up by the idea of replacing justice scalia. so where does this all stay in terms of the body politic. >> well, on the republican side, you have the top three candidates all sort of pitching voters on why they should be entrusted with choosing scalia's replacement. they're all taking for granted, basically, that the senate is not going to confirm the president's nominee. that the next president is going to be in charge of that. what i think the interesting dynamic, though, is you have ted cruz, who of course, has a long history of being a supreme court litigator. basically saying, i know this stuff better than anyone. you can trust me to put a true
conservative on the court. marco rubio saying i'm the most electable. if you care about a conservative getting on the court, nominate me, and both attacking donald trump saying, first of all, he can't win, and second of all, we can't trust him to put a conservative on the court. it's really a fascinating dynamic and it's going to really continue throughout this primary season. >> you look at the primary voters and their conservative, this matters to them. on the democratic side, it's interesting to me, as i have been talking to democrats, what are you going to do about it? the president and his team seem to make it clear, they're going to go for somebody who has already had a vote by the republicans, who has probably been confirmed unanimously. a number of people sitting on appellate courts who would seem to be qualified there. so he's not doing this to make a show of it. he wants to try to get somebodies confirmed. but when i ask them how, what's your strategy, i'm not hearing a lot of conversation. you know harry reid well. what is he telling you?
what do you know about how the democrats think they might be able to get this done? >> i think your interview with senator coons is presenting an optimistic, maybe impossible scenario where they hold the hearings and someone gets confirmed. harry reid, his role in presidential campaigns is to be the chief attack dog. he's willing to say almost anything. you remember what he did with mitt romney and the tax returns. he's going to try to use this to hurt republicans. not just in the presidential race, but in the race for control of the u.s. senate, which is very important to him, as he's leaving. he's leaving his seat here. he wants to make sure that's in democratic hands. but what is the path here to get someone confirmed? no one can tell you, no one can tell me, no one can tell anybody. there's no clear path. this is base politics. you know, and both meanings of the worse base, right? going on here. and it's very difficult to get away from that in a presidential race with the overlay of the supreme court. the person i think who was using this issue most effectively
politically right now is ted cruz. and so can it help him? i think republican voters are much more in tune with the supreme court and the vacancy than democratic voters are. >> especially when you're talking about a justice who basically rewrote how laws are interpreted based on the constitution. this really was resonating last night. jon ralston, great to see you. mckai, thank you for coming over. up next, the caucus hear in nevada, why it matters and what it tells us about the race going forward. first, i spoke with some republicans planning to caucus in the show-me state. here's what's they think about the pool of candidates. >> marco rubio, young, attractive, articulate speaker, but i don't trust him on immigration as far as i can through hem. >> people are sick of being taken advantage of by the people who promise them things. >> this is a year that's engaging everyone. it's bringing out the silent majority and what we need to win. the world a president has to grapple with.
can't even imagine. that's the job. and she's the one who's proven she can get it done. ...securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons... ...standing up against the abuse of women... ...protecting social security... ...expanding benefits for the national guard... ...and winning health care for 8 million children... the presidency is the toughest job in the world and she's the one who'll make a real difference for you. i'm hillary clinton and i approved this message.
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if you want to get a sense of just how important the black vote is, just ask hillary clinton. that group of voters changed the race for her here in nevada, helping her secure a big win in a democratic caucuses over the weekend, and hillary clinton just put out a new ad in
south carolina. >> she says their names. trayvon martin. >> shot to death. >> deandre hamilton. >> unarmed. >> sandra bland did nothing wrong. >> and makes their mothers fight for justice, her own. >> demographics very big, and our next guest believes far from being insignificant, nevada is a bellwether state going forward. joining me now, university of nevada las vegas professor robert lang. he's also a senior fellow at the brookings institution. good to see you. so you say nevada matters. make your case. >> well, the numbers say nevada matters. number one, it's been a bellwether state since 1912. only one time in '76 did it vote
against the winning candidate. so that's point one. two is that its demographic mix is more reflective of the rest of the country than the other three early primary states. one, it's more urban. most people live in big cities. >> three quarters live in the las vegas area. >> las vegas is by far the first big city that votes in this election. so the biggest city before us, greenville, south carolina. so we're top 30 u.s. metro, and if you look at the way, you know, nevada has been voting in most recent times, it's been lined up with colorado and new mexico in a few elections. you put those three together, that's 20 electorate votes. if you come to the mountain west, which is a new swing region and win those three, you offset the loss of ohio. >> you did fascinating analysis on donald trump because i'm still looking for somebody in one of the other campaigns who says we're going to beat donald trump here, nobody is saying it. what are you finding? >> we look at voter eligibility and the rs versus the ds.
republicans, a high share of white non-college educated, which is the heart of trump's vote. he has the bodies out there if he can get them to the caucuses. >> there's a few names on a few of the hotels around here. >> in new york, new york, there's no dallas, dallas, or miami, miami. >> difference between the republicans and democrats in terms of it being a bellwether and what we can read? >> the democrats are better organized. harry reid can pick up a phone and do what jon ralston said he can do. dean heller can't. the tea party faction last time caused problem in counting and administering the caucus. if they do that again, it might take a while to get the results out of the state. >> if you're bernie sanders and looking at the african-american vote, what are you thinking? >> thinking you're in trouble. >> professor, good to have you here. robert lang, and we'll be right back. getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more... ...add one a day men's 50+. complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it helps support healthy blood pressure
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hour of msnbc live from las vegas. i'm chris jansing. i'll see you back here at 1:00 eastern time. tamron hall reporting from the beautiful city of charleston, south carolina, is up next. n. the decision to ride on and save money. he decided to save money by switching his motorcycle insurance to geico. there's no shame in saving money. ride on, ride proud. geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides.
good morning, everyone. i'm tamron hall coming to you live from the historic city market in charleston, south carolina. great people have already stopped by to see us. we're about two hours drive from columbia, south carolina, where we have been stationed all week long. this, of course, is ahead of the big democratic primary here in this state on saturday. but we want to begin in nevada where things are certainly heating up. the republicans hold their caucuses tomorrow. and it's where donald trump has been busy already on twitter this morning, taking aim at ted cruz and marco rubio. first, trump tweeted, quote, the reason that ted cruz lost the evangelicals in south carolina