tv MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall MSNBC February 22, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
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 is because he's a world class
liar. and evangelicals don't like liars. trump also retweeted floridians are upset because rubio did not do what he promised once he was elected. vote trump. trump, rubio, cruz, and yes, ben carson will all be crisscrossing nevada today, holding a total of a dozen events. that would trump the odds on favorite to maintain his momentum out of south carolina after the big win here. now, the latest poll, let me show you right now, shows trump with a 26-point lead in nevada, with rubio and cruz in a fight for second place. all of this while the only other republican still in the race, john kasich, campaigns today in virginia. it's one of 12 states holding super tuesday contests a week from tomorrow. 595 republican delegates. look at that screen, will be up for grabs. they call it super tuesday for a reason, and that's nearly a quarter of all the gop
delegates. nbc's kerry sanders joins us now from phone. he's in elko, nevada, where marco rubio and ted cruz will be campaigning, and also there's confusion whether donald trump is to hold an event there as well. what's the latest? >> the plan from what we understand was that there was going to actually be an appearance here today by donald trump. now, some of the residents we're talking to who also thought that indeed donald trump would be coming here are wondering why he's not coming here. in part, they saw look how beautiful the area is, when they say of course donald trump should be coming here. they felt donald trump should come here because as you know, it's nevada, and they feel that if they get the attention, it will be important. now, we were told via an event notification that donald trump was coming here. then, we were notified that donald trump by the campaign, is not coming here. in fact, i had to reach out to the spokesperson for the donald trump campaign. she says that the information
about donald trump's initial visit here wasn't from the campaign. she says mr. trump will be hosting a rally in las vegas today. as was always planned. at the end of the day, donald trump is not coming to elko today. there is disappointment among voters who hoped to see him, and of course, it comes at a time where there's a lot of attention on this race, and marco rubio and ted cruz are coming here. and sometimes, and it's hard to say, sometimes voters just feel special if the candidate shows up to where they are. and elko is sort of off the beaten path, a tough place to get to. >> and kerry, let's talk about also this issue with workers at trump's hotel in las vegas. they are planning to show up potentially outside of at least one or two of his rallies there before the vote. what's going on there? >> it's got a lot to do with union representation and how things are going to get sorted out. it may actually be determined that this is all solved prior to his arrival, but nonetheless, there's a real question here.
as you know, donald trump has worked with unions in new york, but there are also representativeoffs the unions who feel in the past that he has not been welcoming to the unions. and so it's a tough go for him. remember, generally, not always, but generally, union representation falls into the democratic side of this equation. but nonetheless, there are those who vote and those who are republicans who are union members. so it's certainly a block that he has to pay attention to. >> all right, kerry, thank you very much. let me bring in our panel, msnbc political analyst and former rnc chairman, michael steele with us, and pollster in washington, kristen soltis-anderson, thank you for joining us. we hope to get jon ralston out of nevada live as well. michael, let me start with you here. just looking at some of the numbers, and i don't want to hopscotch to super tuesday, but when you look at the map and look at the delegates available, and the conversation seems to be that nevada belongs to trump at this point, the big headline
this morning is, is trump st stoppab stoppable? >> the short answer is no. i think he's got the momentum having won two out of the first three primary states, a strong second in iowa. so he has built into his operations the kind of momentum that is out in front of him, quite frankly. people are anticipating donald trump coming to their state and being a part of that experience. so when you've got that kind of energy, when you're going, you're not even here today, you're in virginia, you're in louisiana, you're in texas, you're not in the state that's on the deck right now, and still 6,000, 8,000 people are showing up, it gives you a sense, tamron, of the kind of forward energy that the trump campaign has. there's a lot of wishful thinking still going on here in washington about stopping donald trump. and i still pose two questions.
who does it and when do they do it? this race is on its path to being over, which is a little bit of an irony, bought we thought that would be the situation for the democrats at this point, but donald trump seems to be well on his way to making it happen on the gop side as well. >> we have jon ralston with us. jon, let me bring you in to talk a bit more about nevada, as michael steele pointed out, you have these huge crowds showing up for donald trump. he has the momentum. he spent far less money than any of his rivals, and listen, it doesn't hurt when your name is plastered on a tall casino in the heart of las vegas. not everyone from nevada hits up the slots, but certainly people visit from time to time, and that brand from it being splattered on the side of that huge airplane that he owns to the casino right not far from where you are, those things matter. and they count as money. they count as media exposure. i think people aren't talking about that enough. >> yeah, listen. trump's name here is not as well known among the electorate,
right? that tower, though, it's interesting, tamron, because the culinary union, which is trying to organize there at trump tower, is having a big event here to try to get trump to negotiate with them. there's a labor dispute, and they're trying to exploit that. what i think that might do is help trump in the republican battle. the unions are out to get me. the republican electorate will like that. i don't even think he needs that, tamron. when you have the cruz and rubio campaigns here essentially saying privately, listen, this is a battle for second place. this looks a lot like south carolina. we're going to try to finish second to get momentum that way. no matter what they're saying publicly, their internal polling such as it is for a crazy caucus state like nevada, is showing that trump has a big lead. >> yeah, and kristen, let me bring you in. to jon ralston's point, when does the battle for second place resonate as donald trump might call it loser talk? we have new sound in from senator marco rubio, the target
of his anger not donald trump this morning. it's senator ted cruz. let me play what he just said. >> who's going to be held accountable for making up this video? who was held accountable for lying about ben carson? woo who was held account frbl the robocalls and who was held accountable for the commercials on television they had to pull down? again, i think it's a very disturbing pattern of deceptive campaigns and flat out just lying to voters. >> so kristen, you're looking at marco rubio not taking on the front-runner, taking on ted cruz who was beat handily in the state where am i now with the base of evangelical voters. one could say is senator rubio looking for the vp slot if you're not going to take on the front-runner. >> look at the race and every time a candidate has sort of tried to go toe-to-toe with donald trump. first it was rick perry and then it was bobby jindal. you had a moment when ben carson was the subject of trump's fury. you had jeb bush there for a
long time. all of these folks have sort of walked into the buzz saw that is donald trump, and none have lived to tell about it. and ted cruz is sort of the next on the chopping block. so while for those who say, look, senator rubio, second place is not going to get you the nomination, the counterargument is everyone who has tried to take on donald trump thus far has failed and in spectacular fashion. you kind of can't blame him too much for thinking maybe i just wait. i keep trying to duck. i keep trying to sort of hide from this conflict. i let ted cruz take most of the brunt of the fire. and i let donald trump and ted cruz sort of destroy each other, and i take on whoever emerges from the ashes. i think it's a very dangerous strategy because i think you see donald trump doing so well in so many states headed into march 1st and beyond, that at this point, if someone doesn't take him out now, it's hard to see how he doesn't win the nomination, but i certainly think that's part of why you see marco rubio deploying this strategy that he is.
no one yet has taken on trump successfully, and i'm sure that he views it as a big risk to be the one who now changes and tries to do it himself. >> well, let me bring in michael steele back to the conversation. the associated press has this article today, donald trump rivals face dwindling time to stop him, and rich beeson is quoting as saying there are going to be a lot of circumstances where we can declare some victories. at least get this to march 15th. once we get to march 15th, if the die has not been cast by then, it's a different game. when you look at the strategy with marco rubio today focusing in on ted cruz while, you know, the media has said that donald trump is teflon and a lot of these battles have not stuck to him, let's be honest. we live in a 24-hour news cycle. we know every little ebb and flow, but the planned parenthood opening that donald trump has provided his rivals, his proposal of health care, his views as far as entitlements,
these are opening that maybe have not set in yet, so why not seize the moment, why not be competitive? >> because in large measure, his voters don't care about those things. donald trump has a message that resonates with his base voters and is beginning to resonate with a lot of voters beyond the base. he's bringing new voters to the table, to the conversation. those who have been disaffected from the party for some time, those who have felt they have been on the outside now find a pathway back in. so you have this dynamic in which, yeah, you could go and start talking about what he just said on health care or on how he sort of said something nice ibt planned parenthood. this is not that race. this is not that fight for a lot of voters. this is not idealogical. this is not theoretical. this is not policy. this is about how people feel. and until they're able to come up with a message to counter donald trump's message, this is all just soup. i mean, it's not going to go anywhere. >> michael, if i'm ted cruz or
marco rubio, and i'm listening to you right now, i'm packing my bags and going back home. >> you should. >> maybe cruz doesn't want to get back to texas because he's not ooven confident he's going to win in texas. >> you had nine months. it's been almost ten months since this has begun. you're going to tell me, oh, you have a magic bullet in the last three weeks before march 15th? no. come on. it's not credible. >> let me tell you what the magic bullet might be. what the candidates need to do if they're going to take on trump, and time is of the essence, one, recognize trump's appeal is not idealogical, as michael was saying, saying trump's not a conservative, he's not a conservative, i get why folks are doing it, they're trying to stake out a marker and saying this is what conservatism is, but his voters don't care. talking about working class economic issues is really the thing people need to do. that in addition to pointing out that trump's maybe not the winner that he always says he
is. his message is, i'm strong and i'm a winner. poke holes in that. not his ideology. >> and that's a great point, and jon ralston, let me bring you to follow up on that. marco rube yae was believed to have a good chance in nevada. some of the associations he has in the past with the mormon church, for example, made him look like an appealing candidate out of nevada. if it's not an idealogical battle, can rubio come in and say i can beat hillary clinton? it's shaping up to be for the democrats, hillary clinton being the nominee, if things continue the way it is. i can beat her, and trump can't. >> yeah, i think that could play with some people, but as kristen and michael were saying, tamron, the point, there's two kinds of trump voters it seems to me from polling and what i observed. there are relatively smart people who are sick of the whole system with congress is doing, what obama has done on the republican side, i'm talking about, so they say, maybe we'll give this guy a chance. but the other ones and they're the majority of them, are
impenetrable. they're not going to listen to any message, he's not conservative. look, he fought with the pope, look what he said about the bush family and 9/11. they don't care about that. so that's what rubio and cruz are up against. and let's not forget that with kasich and carson, still getting a little bit of the vote there, as long as there are multiple candidates in the field, you're not going to get that contrast that a lot of the republican establishment hopes will come. that's true here, too. that's why rubio and cruz believe they're fighting for second place. as we both know, they can make second or third place sound like a victory. >> yeah, and just real quick, michael, why do you believe, for example, ben carson is still in the race at this point? >> i think ben carson still has -- he's got a certain segment of the voting population that's with him, that stuck with him, that's been in the fight with him from the beginning. i talked to him a little bit about it when we were together. and it really is this sense of loyalty to them. and this sense that they still
encourage him to fight, and he'll do that. he has the cash, still raising money, and as long as those two things go together, that support for him and the money coming in, he's going to be in this thing. >> all right, thank you all for joining me. greatly appreciated, john, kristen, and michael. coming up, is donald trump calling ted cruz a liar hurting cruz's standing with evangelical voters? has that label now stuck to ted cruz so much so that he may not win his home state of texas? i'll talk live with cruz's communications director, as the republican contest appears to be narrowing in some states to a three-person race, and now developing, the michigan uber driver arrested for shooting people at random and killing six of them, is due in court today. this tragedy comes as hillary clinton is set to focus on bernie sanders' record on gun control just before the south carolina primary. we'll be right back live from charleston, south carolina at the city market. this is lloyd.
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democratic primary may be a few days away, but bernie sanders is already looking ahead to super tuesday. that's not to say that he's not focused on this state. senator sanders is moving on from that disappointing loss in nevada with a campaign stop at a college in massachusetts, that's tonight. hillary clinton, meanwhile, is on the west coast today. she's taking a break from the campaign trail to raise money for her campaign. she's in the los angeles area, and her husband, bill clinton, will be holding rallies on her behalf in the delegate rich state of texas. also a super tuesday state. back here, though, in south carolina, clinton continues to hold a big lead over senator sanders. he
she's actually leading him by nearly 30 points in our most recent nbc/"wall street journal"/marist poll. joining me, kasie hunt, she's in columbia, south carolina. i know you're traveling with the sanders campaign to get more information on their strategy. but look. he may not win the african-american vote here in south carolina, but he can nuance and learn, i guess, how to focus his strategy, when you're looking at states like mississippi, louisiana, and texas, who have a high african-american electorate. >> that's right, tamarin. forgive our running around here. we're on a van on the tarmac on the way to the sanders charter plane. intense, weather, lightning, so we got rushed out to the ramp. that's right, senator sanders is leaving south carolina today to go to massachusetts where that's one of the states they think he could potentially win on march 1e 1est. the challenge is racking up enough delegates to stay competitive with secretary
clinton, especially in the states in the south with huge african-american populations. that of course being the challenge for him in south carolina. that will also be the challenge for him looking forward into georgia and texas, alabama, other states across the south. the sanders campaign hopes they can put together a strategy that includes massachusetts where he goes today, virginia, sorry about that. that's a door slamming here. we have a lot of movement going on. virginia, where he's going to head on tuesday, and then potentially colorado and minnesota. now, the challenge, of course, being even if he runs the table in all of those states, it's still possible hillary clinton will rack up such a delegate lead that it will be impossible for sanders to catch up. that, of course, was the position hillary clinton found herself in back in 2008, when barack obama was able to rack up wins and essentially make it impossible for her to catch up in that delegate race, tamron. >> all right, thank you very much, kasie. rough and tumble campaign trail, but you got it covered for us. thank you so much. so, this afternoon, ted cruz will kick off the first of what
will be five rallies throughout nevada today, ahead of tomorrow's caucuses. the latest reliable polling out of the state puts him in third place behind trump and cruz. he's coming off a close third place finish in south carolina. and while he is spending the day making his pitch to nevada voters, his campaign is heavily focused on the super tuesday states. we can't say that enough, because when you look at the math, this is a huge day for the republicans. now, politico notes, as march 1st nears and a dozen states, many of them southern, heavily evangelical, and similar to south carolina, vote in primaries where strong organization moves the dial less than in caucus states. the cruz campaign has set expectations high for that day. and joining me now is rick tyler, national spokesman for ted cruz's campaign. thank you so much, rick, for joining us. >> glad to be here. good morning. >> let's talk about the math here and going back to senator
cruz. i'm sure you have heard now over and over, his reply to chuck todd's question whether or not he will win texas, and he didn't seem very confident. as a fellow texan, that was a shocker for many reasons, because every texan has a little swagger in that state, and he's not confident about his own home state. what does that tell you? >> oh, i heard that, too, and i don't think it was expressing confidence. i think it was expressing humility. senator cruz doesn't run around saying we're going to win, we're going to win everything. so it's an expectations game. i think we'll do well in all of the march 1st states because they're southern states. they share the same values as senator cruz. people are getting hammered economically and they're looking for someone who is going to rein in the federal government, cut taxes, get the government off people's backs, create jobs and get back to work. that's what senator cruz has been campaigning on. that's what we're fighting for. >> okay, rick, i'll take you at your word that that was
humility. you can speak in a different way than he can, will ted cruz win texas? >> look, we have 27,000 volunteers in texas. it is his home state. we're not taking it for granted. we're working hard. i have given up predicting anything in this race. it's been different every single day. we have done very well. we won iowa. these southern states have an evangelical base like iowa does. when we worked really hard in iowa, we turned them out. we have been working hard in the march 1st states, particularly in the south. we'll turn them out. you have oklahoma, tennessee, arkansas, alabama, georgia. these are all good states for ted cruz. we hope to do well that day. i notice marco rubio says he doesn't plan to win until march 15th. unfortunately with that plan, 45% of the delegates will be allocat allocated. if you include march 15th, 61% of the delegates will be allocated. we have a lot we can work for and win.
rubio, who does sound like he's running for vice president because he won't take on the front-runner, we have taken on the front-runner and beaten the front-runner. cruz is the only person who can beat donald trump. the conservatives are coalescing behind him and we're excited to go forward. >> you hade the point and said the word evangelical three times in that answer, but the evangelical vote went to donald trump in the state where i am right now, south carolina, where you campaigned hard for them. has this label of liar and dirty politics now stuck to ted cruz? >> well, what i like to see is the media push back on donald trump, when he says ted cruz is lying, or for that matter, when marco rubio said that ted cruz is lying, what is he lying about? is he lying about his past support for partial birth abortion in trump's case? no, he had support. he has recently supported planned parenthood. we're not lying about that either. he said he would support planned parenthood on the debate stage. he sported t.a.r.p., he supported bailouts, eminent
domain for private gain. all these things are true. he can call people liars, he can run away from his record. marco rubio does similar. >> you believe that you guys -- >> that's his record. if he wants to refute his record, refute his record. he's pro-amnesty. refute your record but don't run around calling people liars. i think people can see through it. it's not a good sign. >> but it appears if people can see through it, why didn't they see through it here in south carolina? i know it's one thing to push back on the media and say, we're not asking that question, and we are, and we have. and your candidate, senator cruz, heltd a huge news conference challenging donald trump in front of a crowd of people in south carolina. with all of those things said, why did he lose the evangelical vote? is this no longer an idealogical race? >> well, first of all, senator cruz's appeal is broader than the evangelical base, but he's done well in the evangelical base. we lost it narrowly to donald
trump, but the evangelical base is not a monolith. they care more about -- they care about the social issues, abortion, life, marriage, but they also care about jobs and economy. and so we've been talking about jobs and economy because our flat tax plan, 10%, grows the economy, creates 5 million new jobs, has the lowest deficit spending than all of the plans. donald trump's blows the deficit out of the water. marco rubio's plan is more of the same. you have someone who wants to make deals, someone who is already making deals and someone like ted cruz has stood up to the washington establishment and won't make deals. that's the clear choice. there's one conservative left in the race, someone to create jobs under the pro-growth plans and that's senator ted cruz. nobody else is like it. >> i get that, but i know -- and i'm not quite clear on your answer because obviously, in iowa, ted cruz focused heavily on the evangelical vote. he did the same thing here in south carolina. they're not a monolith, to your
point, but it is the base of his support. at least what he was banking on. looking ahead to super tuesday, if donald trump beats ted cruz with evangelical voters and most of those big states where you have a huge number of delegates, is it over for him, if you can't win your base, if your team leaves you for a guy who does not align with their values, is it over for you? >> well, look, we're going to work hard to continue to win the evangelical base, not only on the life issue against planned parenthood, for pro-marriage, we have done all those things. we'll continue to communicate that to the evangelical community, and we'll also continue to talk about pro-jobs. they are an important base. we're going to work hard to win them over and show that ted cruz has the fruits. he has the deeds. donald trump doesn't. so we're going to make that comparison. >> all right, rick, thank you so much for joining me. greatly appreciate it, and we wish your campaign the best.
we'll see what happens next. coming up, bill clinton campaigning for hillary clinton today across the super tuesday voting state of texas. a lot of texas talk this hour. we're in south carolina. we're going to check in with our reporter covering the campaign. stay with us. we're live at city market where there's really nice people helping me with my cold. gave me a little blanket. so sweet of y'all in south carolina. we'll be right back. if you havee rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions,
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welcome back. we're live in charleston, south carolina. the democratic primary here is just a few days away. hillary clinton holds on to a sizable lead in the polls. here to dig into the campaign strategy is alex seitz-wald. so alex, yes, hillary clinton has a big lead here. she's very much fueled pie the african-american electorate in the state. but bernie sanders has not given up. which is exactly why hillary clinton is spending today fund-raising. >> that's right, tamron. and south carolina is going to be all about the margin for democrats. we know pretty confidently and the sanders campaign will acknowledge this privately, that clinton is probably going to win. it's about how close sanders can get to her. theyed with love to get to a number that starts with a four or at least a number that starts with a three, but is high up in
the threes there. delegates are awarded proportionately here, so even if sanders loses, he can still pick up a couple delegates. he's looking to tell a story that he can win over african-american voters. he's going to do as well as he can to tee himself up for super tuesday when you have a lot more states in the south with larger african-american voting populations. >> we know bernie sanders has gone after hillary clinton donees, big money going into her campaign. his donations are smaller, more grassroots. when he's still on the campaign trail and she's out fro fund-raising, that's the imaging he's trying to presbyterian to the electorate throughout the super tuesday states, especially in states that have been hit, to your point, hard with this economy. >> absolutely. and just moments ago, the clinton campaign sent out a fund-raising e-mail from hillary clinton announcing they had gotten 800,000 donors. that's a large number for them. sanders has 4 million individual
contributions. the clinton campaign is aware this is a vulnerability for them. they don't want to be seen leaving the campaign trail to raise money, but they have to do it to continue to fund their operations. sanders is going to continue to hit her on it. he has the huge benefit of being able to talk to voters, go out in the states, while raising all of his money online. but there is some risk there for him that, you know, you lose a state like nevada, potentially lose in south carolina, and there's a chance that the donations dry up. spent a lot of money last month, so money is going to be critical for both campaigns going forward. >> alex, thank you very much. joining me now is the chair of the south carolina dmentdic party, jamime harrison. thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me, tamron. >> you know, we had some video of senator sanders yesterday in brooklyn baptist church. we know the obamas have visited that church in the past. hillary clinton will be there this week. the reception, while polite to senator sanders, was not warm.
we did not see a lot of interaction, to be honest with you. from the reporting, has this attack from hillary clinton that bernie sanders does not stand with president obama, does not stand with former president bill clinton, is that something that's sticking with south carolina voters, particularly african-american? >> tamron, i'm not sure about the attacks that are going back and forth. but this was always a challenge that senator sanders had coming into a state like south carolina. one, it's about lack of name identification. most african-americans in this state prior to this election had no idea who senator bernie sanders is from the great state of vermont. so the first challenge was he had to increase his name i.d. with the basic mom, pop, african-americans in the state. then the second challenge is about then convincing those folks that he is the champion for them.
he's a person that can carry the water better than secretary clinton. that's very, very tough. i think part of that reception you saw was part of that challenge, part of the hill that he has to climb here in south carolina. >> and while he didn't get necessarily re-sounding reception at that church, we have seen him pack in 10,000 people at some of his rallies. other than donald trump, he has some of the largest rallies. when you look at the enthusiasm of your party, which is so interesting. your front-runner is not the person who is packing in people and you're not seeing some of that passion when you look at more than 735,000 people cast their ballots over the weekend, and the gop saw a record turnout, you're not expecting a record turnout this weekend. the democratic party. how do you align this, the guy who is likely going to come into second is the person who has the enthusiasm? >> well, i think there are different dynamics going in play between the democratic primary
and the republican primary. one, they started off with, what, 20, 15 people running for the presidency. that means all of these people are going into these very small states and there's a lot of activity. on the democratic side, we had a much smaller field. three people really contesting for that nomination. so you had three people spread out amongst four early states. it's just different and sort of comparing apples to oranges. really, where everything is going to really come into play is when we get into this general election. once we have a nominee from the democratic party and a nominee from the republican party, that's when we can really start to gauge where the energy is. >> all right, thank you so much for your time and insight. we had such a great time in your state. we're going to hang as long as you let us. we'll see you soon. >> yes. thank you. of course, and i have developing news to report to you. the eight member supreme court back in session this morning for the first time since the death
of justice antonin scalia. up next, new developments in the cases where scalia could have delivered decisive rulings. we'll be right back live from charleston, south carolina, at city market. ♪ i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
introducing rhinocort® allergy spray from the makers of zyrtec®. powerful relief from nasal allergy symptoms, all day and all night. try new rhinocort® allergy spray. muddle no more® we're live at city market where i'm chatting with great people in charleston, south carolina. i wasn't expecting to wear a puffer coat here. i thought it was going to be a little warmer. i may have to borrow one from this nice lady. they're from the mountains, they're telling me. we had a great time here so far. thank you for coming by to say hello. thank you. welcome to charleston, she said. now back to the news we're following today. developing news, the supreme court is back in session for the first time since the passing of justice antonin scalia. joining me now, nbc justice correspondent pete williams. what has the day been like for the justices.
i have been watching your reports and capturing the extraordinary nature of what we're seeing playing out this morning. >> this is an old ritual at the court but one that is very seldom seen. it's been probably 50 years or so since it's happened since a sitting justice died in the middle of a term. black drapes are held on the justs' chair, and the chief justice came out and made some remarks. he talked about justice scalia's life, noted he met his wife in law school. mentioned by their full names all nine scalia children. said that antonin scalia argued one case before the supreme court as a lawyer in 1976. the chief said he prevailed, establishing a perfect record before this court, to laughter in the courtroom. he also said that justice scalia, noting the statistics, was the 103rd justice, that he wrote 292 majority opinions and he paused and said he was also known to write some dissents. he called justice scalia our man for all seasons and said we'll miss him very much.
now, you're looking at pictures of the justices on friday when the justice scalia's body lay in state in the great hall of the supreme court. that's clarence thomas there, who spoke at his funeral on saturday, read a reading from scripture. so it was a very somber day for the justices. normally, when they take the bench, they smile at people they recognize in the courtroom, but not today. today got off to that start. but then it was down to business, tamron, and the supreme court will hear two cases today. and again tomorrow, and again wednesday, and again they'll hear cases next week. the court will continue to do its business, so we'll have to wait and see how many times the rest of this term having only eight justices means they can't reach a decision. >> all right, pete williams live for us from washington, d.c. pete, thank you very much. and coming up, president obama, as we mentioned, speaking live to the nation's governors. he's weighing in on the latest mass shooting here in michigan.
we'll have the latest. excuse me, this coming as hillary clinton's campaign is set to intensify their main line of attack against bernie sanders. his past record on gun control. still ahead, i'll talk live with a survivor of the virginia tech shooting. are the democrats talking enough about gun reform in this election cycle? we'll find out what he thinks next. ♪ ♪ (cell phone rings) where are you? well the squirrels are back in the attic. mom? your dad won't call an exterminator... can i call you back, mom? he says it's personal this time... if you're a mom, you call at the worst time. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there. are you taking a zumba class?
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we need to do more if we're going to keep innocent americans safe. i'm sure you're all tired as i am of seeing this stuff happening in your states. we need to think of what we can do in a common sense way and bipartisan way without some of the idea logical rhetoric that so often surrounds that issue. >> that was president obama just moments ago at the white house
addressing the nation's governors speaking out about the latest mass shooting in this country which left six people dead in michigan this weekend and the issue of gun safety has become a big part of the presidential campaign. hilly clinton going after bernie sander's record on guns this week with south carolina's primary just five days away and joining me now is collin. collin was shot several times in the mass shooting at virginia tech in 2007. he's now the senior policy advocate for the group every town for gun safety. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> i know that every town you've not endorsed anyone. you're hoping to hear from all the candidates and hear where they stand. right now, you have a race that's not close here in south carolina but anything can happen. so much so that the clinton surrogates held a new press call criticizing bernie sanders and
his gun record here. what are you hoping to hear from senator sanders? do you need to hear more of an explanation in his past? >> we had gun advocates across the country that wants to know what their plan is to reduce gun violence in america. 88 americans are shot and killed every single day and yet there has been no big national call to action and actual progress. a lot of things happening on the state level but not so much congress. we are still eight months out for the election. i would put this in context we couldn't get the candidates to say the word gun and talk about the issue at all. we now have them realizing a bigger base and this shows the issue played out. >> i know you said you wanted to talk to candidates, all candidates. for example, this morning the g.o.p. ted cruz going after donald trump. he said we're one justice away from losing the second
amendment. if you vote for donald trump we'll see the second amendment voted out of the constitution. one liberal justice will do that. what do you want them to ask or pose to the g.o.p. candidates and draw a deep line as it relates to their interpretation of the second amendment? >> think all need to answer a simple question should we check people before they buy guns in every case? we only do it in some cases. should we do it in all cases. the average american voter says yes, we need to check people every time they buy a gun. these are questions not of a big ideology but of a simple value and sense of responsibility and kind of a common sense idea that we should check people before they buy guns. these are questions i hope to but up in the soon debates. >> i know it shouldn't be an idea logical battle but certainly when you talk to ted
cruz and donald trump support s supporters, that's what they see it as. that's why they changed the president's executive actions and why they're professing to their supporters. there will be no movement as lawmakers and liberals coming after their guns. >> it's not really a conversation on what to do. we want to see an actual plan from every candidate. we know this is not a bipartisan or partisan issue. there are republicans and democrats coming together in mul mul multiple states to reveal the gun safety laws we already have. these are bigger shifts. they are small incites into how this issue of gun violence is changing now in america in this cycle and we see more elected officials and candidates embracing the platform.
>> are you of the mind set of with the passing of justice scalia perhaps the conversation of guns and ownership will be discussed in the debates we see coming up on both sides more? >> like i said, 88 of us are shot and killed every single day. i want to have this conversation every single day. >> thank you so much for your time. we greatly appreciate you joining us today. >> thanks for having me. >> i want to thank all the nice people who showed up here at city mini market. we'll be back here tomorrow. thank you to the wrap as i battle this cold that won't win. if anything can warm my heart, it's charleston, south carolina. up next, andrea mitchell reports.
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marco rubio and ted cruz fight over who could be the challenger to the front runner. >> we won with everything. we won with women. we won with men. evangelica evangelicals, the military. tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people, just won. >> seizing the lead hillary clinton regains front runner status in nevada. >> some may have doubted us but we never doubted each other. >> how does sanders catch up on the delegate