tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC February 24, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
favorite congressional staffer e-mail of all time, of course homeland security is right, they're always right, aren't they? wake up people, our boy has the scoop. that's our guy, totally in the know except for being wrong. he's lent his vote of confidence to donald trump. he said we need a leader, i'm in and i've been in. oh, yeah. any other republicans wanting to hop on board the trump band wagon, the line starts right behind the isis at the boarder guy. it seems perfect somehow. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> back in new york, right. there's been too much flying around here. >> thank you. >> the stop trump movement had a
rough night last night in nevada, but they are not giving up. >> we had a very exciting evening last night. >> trump! trump! >> when asked why they're voting for him, americans said we're used to doing things in nevada that we'll regret tomorrow. >> we won with highly educated. we won with poorly educated. i love the poorly educated. >> is donald trump going to steal texas away from ted cruz. >> we can't be fooled by pt barnum. the time for the clowns and the dancing bears has passed. >> for marco rubio there's not a single state where he leads in the polls. >> if they keep battling they're going to lose. >> can any gop candidate stop donald trump. >> you need somebody like me.
after his big win in nevada last night donald trump stayed focussed today on trying to crush last night's third place finisher, ted cruz. >> things were said that were lies frankly. they were lies and i won't mention them because i won't mention them in pat's presence. i have to be a good person today, at least for the next hour. i'm sorry. there have been many untruths told and just knowing -- i mean i think what happened to ben carson was terrible when they said he left the race, here come on over, vote for me, that effected me too because i think i would have won iowa. >> pat robertson was with him and donald trump new found rev rans for his sensibilities doesn't inhibit on twitter where he said this about ted cruz today. why would texans vote for liar ted cruz when he was born in canada, lived there four years and remained a citizen until recently. and when ted cruz quits the
race, then the field begins to clear, i will get most of his votes, no problem. the secretary place finisher in nevada last night finally seems to be realizing that he can't win without taking on donald trump. >> the vast and overwhelming majority of republicans do not want donald trump to be our nominee. that's evidenced by the poll last week showed if it came down to me and donald trump i would beat him by almost 16 points. we have a dynamic where as long as there's four people running you're going to get results like last night. >> the most recent person said this today. >> donald trump has the clearest path to become the republican nominee. i think for the other people still in the race, their path is becoming a slimmer and slimmer opening. >> joining us now, michael steel
and stuart stevens. charlie, also with us. stuart stevens there's your former candidate there saying that he sees this path getting narrower. he's been on that path. he knows what it feels like. how narrow is it at this point? >> well, in a delegate sense only about 5% of the delegates have been chosen and you go this thing is still wide open. you have to look at the dynamic and the question that people keep asking is where is somebody going to beat donald trump and that ultimately is what this whole process is about. you have to win states. now you can lose a couple of states, pick up delegates and still do well, but you can't just keep coming in second and win through some sort of voting group. and i personally -- i've said
this before -- believe that these candidates need to engage donald trump. i think that's the only way donald trump will be beaten. it's the only way that the obama campaign beat hillary clinton. i mean, let's remember in south carolina bill clinton in 0 '8 was reduced to saying he was not a racist. campaigns are tough and i think they need to get about contrasting. >> let's listen to the guy who came in second last night trying to draw that contrast today in houston. >> the front-runner in this race, donald trump is actually eluded to the fact that he thinks parts of obamacare are pretty good. i can tell you everybody running for president tells you i want to get rid of obamacare. i'm the only one that has ever done anything about it. there is no honeymoon period in foreign policy. you can't say when i get there i'll higher people to tell me
what to do. >> marco rubio finally doing what stuart stevens has been urging them do for quite a while is this good luck with that. >> a little late, you think? >> a little late. jeb bush long ago opened up the pathway and the opportunity to begin to take trump down in bite size inkrements over the course of the six or seven debates prior to south carolina. the rest of the candidates, including marco rubio, passed. jeb took the brunt of that, he's out. so now you have this situation where the forward momentum of his campaign is probably to stuart's point too big to overcome. yes, this is a number game and at the end of the day you're looking next week at about half the delegates having been collected up. he could have about 700 of those delegates. so where is your strategy now?
so if you're taking him on now, you have an emboldened front running candidate who fears no one and is prepared to take it all the way to the mat. the question for rubio especially is are you prepared for the sting that comes. if you are, get in that race now because that window is closing quickly. >> charlie, what donald trump needed was a very large field of candidates splitting up the vote in order for him to find a way in here and he also needed those candidates to be terrible, just terrible presidential candidates. it seems he got both of those wishes. >> yeah, i would like to say i too am quite fond of the poorlily educated. that's going to go down as -- i guarantee you someone will write the back about the campaign and that will be title because that's the punch line for every event we've seen so far. the mood of the country, the gathering insanity of the
republican party over the last three decades and this field of candidates have all come together and every bit of it has been to his advantage. >> let's listen to what mitt romney said today about donald trump's taxes. >> frankly i think we have good reason to believe that there's a bombshell in donald trump's taxes. >> kwha do you mean? >> i think there's something there. either he's not as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes that we would expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or disabled like he says he's been doing. >> the last times i remember people suspecting a bombshell in tax returns it was mitt romney's tax returns. what is he up to here. >> i think it's a good point. donald trump is someone more than any other candidate who has ever run for president that the entire premise of his candidacy
is built upon his wealth. it's odd that he hasn't released his tax returns. you would think if everything was in great shape he would be reading them at rallies the way that he reads polls. he's had this ability to say i'm going do these things and he doesn't do them. we still don't know what happened to the vast majority of the money that he raised supposedly at this veteran fundraiser. he's sort of skating above this, but mitt romney released his previous year tax return in january of 2012. i think the governor's right here. he needs -- trump needs to release his tax returns so republicans can see it to make sure they don't up with a nominee that has a bombshell there. he should be able to clean this up. >> donald trump replied to this via twitter, of course, and as
usual it was nonresponsive. he said mitt romney who blew an election that should have been won and his tax returns made him look like a fool is playing tough guy. i didn't read in that tweet any promise of when he was going to release his tax returns. >> right now there's no interest in that. people know he's wealthy. they know he's had bankruptcy and they don't seem to care which is fascinating and i'm sure everyone on the panel sit here and scratch our head and go this is not the way this is supposed to go. people should be concerned about these questions and they should ask these questions, but right now people ire with the establishment of the gop and the political process is so great and he manifests so well that frustration and arctticulates i for them that those things don't seem to matter which is how he pulls evangelicals when he goes
out and says planned parenthood is okay. he talks about we'll see what we can do about obamacare, i don't know we have to get rid of it. these aspects on policy that go counter to everything that we've come to expect in republican politics, especially that donald trump has turned on its head and people don't seem to care. >> let's remember what he got people really angry about at the start of this thing which is his political career and that is president obama. he very specifically directed very clear hatred towards president obama demanding to his see birth certificate and charlie we have the polls showing that 66% of donald trump supporters believe president obama is a muslim, 60% of them believe president obama is not a citizen of the united states and so there's an awful lot of talk about all this anger that they
have toward washington and while everyone wants to ignore this is very -- a lot of it, very targeted, very personal hatred towards the president of the united states, a hate campaign led for years by trump. >> i agree. i think any argument based on the concept of voter anger that doesn't contain the word race, that zdoesn't contain the word hate and enemies is missing half of donald trump's appeal. >> the exit polls are not trump voters or any of those voters how many believe the president is not a citizen. >> his rallies while while attended are ugly on the fringes. they're getting rougher all the time as we discovered with katie's experience the other night. since there's nobody in the republican party that's able to reign this guy in, there's no reason for him to stop. i would tell you that --
>> go ahead quickly. >> i would tell you that any fantasy or any hypothetical about a broker convention, if he's got the most delegates and he didn't get the nomination, the republicans are looking at their own 1968 s. >> we're going to have to take a break here. thank you for joining us tonight. coming up marco rubio, ted cruz, both trying to convince voters still trying to convince them that they can beat donald trump and do republicans really want president donald trump choosing the next supreme court justice? later, a rewrite about the oscars, they should change the titles of the awards they are giving. this explains a lot about why the oscars are going to be all white this year. shouldn't sweat the small stuff. but when you're building a mercedes-benz, there really is no small stuff. every decision... every component...
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jeb bush and members of his finance team apologized to some of his biggest donors today. jeb bush said i'm sorry that it didn't turn out the way i intended. jeb bush also reportedly complained that the media focussed on political battles instead of policy. apparently jeb bush made the mistake of hoping that this would be the first time in history that the political media focussed on policy during a presidential campaign. coming up, when will donald trump finally be in a one-on-one race for the presidency? (man) hmm. what do you think?
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i'm asking my fellow texans to join any in supporting a true fighter for liberty, a proven conservative who will keep america the greatest and freest nation in the history of the entire world, join me in voting for ted cruz for president of the united states of america. >> senator ted cruz was in houston today. senator cruz was asked at a press conference what his path to victory is after his third place finish in the nevada caucuses last night. he said this. >> i would note i'm curious how many reporters asked marco rubio after losing four states in a
row so when do you drop out when you haven't won a state? to win you have got to win states, you have to win delegates. this is is a battle at the end of the day for delegates. we're now teed up for super tuesday. do you want a proven conservative or do you want a washington deal maker? it's striking this is now effectively a three person race and two of the candidates are washington deal makers. >> joining us now is jonathan elm and stuart stevens and charlie pierce. jonathan, it's a three-way race and two of them are washington deal makers, so he's counting -- donald trump just became a washington deal maker? >> he's building a hotel in washington, if that's what you count as a washington deal maker. i disagree with ted cruz. right now it's a one-man race and unless the other two guys can figure out together or
separately how to get in there and disrupt donald trump it's going to be a one-man race for the next several months. >> it may be ted cruz doesn't have long for this race. a new poll out today from texas of likely texas gop primary voters, ted cruz at 29, donald trump at 28, marco rubio at 25. those top three are all basically tied within the margin of era of that poll, that could not be worse news for ted cruz in a poll right now. >> i think it's probably why he rode out the governor. i think if you don't win your home state your out of the race. you got to win. he's got to win texas just as marco rubio has to win florida, just as john kasich has to win ohio. it's just a threshold level of being seen as a creditable candidate. i don't buy this whole theory that we're going to wait until we get someone one-on-one and that person is going to beat
donald trump. it makes no sense to me why donald trump has a ceiling and i am not a trump guy to say the least, but why wasn't his ceiling at 10%? that's where he was a few months ago. i think the candidates are defined by the race that they're involved in and you see this over and over again. and when you win, you become a different candidate and when you lose you become a different candidate. so when you look at these hypothetical matchups, they won't be as the candidates exist when you get to those match ups if you ever got to one-on-one. i think it's critical they get in these debates and say why they should be president and the other person shouldn't be. it's only half the argument that they're making and they have to get in there and get engaged. >> we have three major candidates left in this race who are -- two of them are going at
some point relatively soon face the decision about dropping out. john kasich, marco rubio, ted cruz. ben carson if he has enough money can stay in this as long as he wants, but those guys all have to contemplate their political futures when they think about how long they stay in this race and why they stay in this race. how are their calculations different from cruz to rubio to kasich? cruz and rubio certainly don't think this is their last presidential campaign. >> well, i'm not sure -- i mean, i think it may be cruz's because nobody likes him but his mother. he has no allies. rubio has a bit more of a future, but there's no republican power infrastructure to get these guys in a room to say this is what has to happen. i think cruz's departure is more immediate. he has to win texas or he's
gone. there's no reason for rubio to drop out before florida and there's no reason for kasich to drop out before they get to michigan, pennsylvania and ohio. in the meantime donald trump will sail away. >> if you're marco rubio and you are thinking about your future, do you want to go into florida and get humiliated, maybe have your future just erased in politics if you lose big time in your own state? >> it's a huge risk for both of these candidates. ted cruz is already locked in this texas primary. i would make sure i was spending all my energy and money to win in texas because he has a 2018 senate raet comice coming up an loses i think there's going to be republicans looking at him and saying maybe he's more vulnerable than we thought he
was before. rubio is so far down in florida it might be hard for him to win. i'm not sure what his immediate future is if he doesn't win this nomination, which it looks like he's in the tough spot to try to do or doesn't end up on a ticket, it's not clear what the next step is for him. maybe running for governor of florida and you would think that would be a contested primary if he loses to donald trump in the presidential primary in florida. >> let's listen to what ted cruz said about donald trump tonight on fox news. i guess we don't have it. he said that in head-to-head polls donald trump consistently loses to hillary, he then said that he's the best one to send into the general election. stuart stevens that sounds to me like the weakest argument you would make. >> it's an awful argument. it's an argument that you ought to have somebody on your staff do in the spin room or over beers. if you're running for president of the united states you should not be talking about your
hypothetical match up. you should be talking about how you're going to make somebody's life better and the other person is going to make their life worse. i heard some of that and i just couldn't believe that they're not up there saying, look, this is what you get with donald trump. you get a guy who has this incredibly confused plan, you're going to have a trump tax that you're going to have to pay. let's talk about how much that trump tax is going to be. this is what you get with me, someone who is going to passionately lead the country in a different direction than president obama. we've had someone consumed with himself as president as a lot of republicans see the president. donald trump is consumed with himself even more so. it's a very easy match up to make. donald trump is not a particularly strong candidate. he's just got a field for reasons that escapes me. they don't seem to want to point out his vulnerabilities. >> thank you for joining us tonight. really appreciate it.
up next, a republican senator finally agrees to at least meet with president obama to discuss the president's supreme court nomination. i guess that's progress. out on the town or in for the night, at&t helps keep everyone connected. right now at at&t, buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones. no matter how you hang out, share every minute of it. buy one get one free on our most popular smartphones. and right now, get up to $650 in credits per line to help you switch to at&t. incredible bladder prthat lets from always diyou move like you mean it now comes with an incredible promise. the always discreet double your money back guarantee.
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meet with president obama to discuss the supreme court vacancy. this comes hours after the president responded to the threats to not meet with anyone the president would nominate to fill that vacancy on the speert. >> i recognize the politics are hard for them because the easier thing to do is to give in to the most extreme voices within their party and stand pat and do nothing, but that's not our job. our job is to fulfill our constitutional duties. i think it will be very difficult for mr. mcconnell to explain how if the public concludes this person is very well qualified, that the senate should stand in the way simply for political reasons.
we'll see what happens. >> unnamed white house sources have let the media know today that the republican governor of nevada is being vetted for possible nomination to the supreme court. the governor was appointed to the u.s. district court as a federal judge by george w. bush in 2005. he was confirmed by the senate 89-0. joining us now msnbc national are correspondent and jonathan allen. would the governor manage to get that kind of vote this he was nominated for this vacancy? >> i think this leak is more from nevada sources, white house sources i talked to today said they would not be leaking this information because they didn't think it would be fair to the nominee, but he would perfect a perfect person to put in front of republicans. he's hispanic, popular, he was confirmed to the federal
judiciary with zero votes against him and he's popular. on the other hand, he's liberal for a republican on issues like marriage equality and abortion, but it will be very difficult to make the case against at least giving him a hearing. he's not somebody that's a complete unknown. this is somebody who is in politics. he could be out there publicly on tv going around his state and around the country saying here i am. >> asking they would be asking him in that scenario to humiliate his own party. >> humiliate his own party and of course if president obama nominated him and he was separated by the senate, if they decided that it actually flipped them and put him on the supreme court i think there would be a lot of democrats upset that he ended with the supreme court seat. he's not the kind of justice
that i think democratic and liberty activists are looking for. it's an interesting thing here that's going to put some pressure on the republicans just to leak that, certainly a wedge that can be driven through their party at a time where you've got some anti-immigration fefror that often is anti-hispanic. i wonder why the president doesn't toss out donald trump's sister's name as a nominee just to mess with the republican party a little bit. >> the president is taking it very seriously. . let's listen to what senator member of the judiciary committee and also everyone anticipates will be the next democratic lead of the senate after harry reid retires. >> leader mcconnell in a judiciary committee which is full of members from deeply red states said they weren't even going to meet with a nominee or hold hearings.
but that kind of obstruction won't last. it will widther in the face of outrage from the american public who simply want the senate to do its job. this obstruction is untenable, it's unconsciousable, it will not last. >> right about now is when senator schumer regrets saying what he said in 2007 about the supreme court. let's listen to that. >> we should not confirm any bush nominee to the supreme court except in extraordinary circumstances. they must prove -- [ applause ] >> they must prove by actions not words they are in the main stream. >> to be fair he was going through a multi year thought exercise where the senate previously the position was you
simply vote on qualifications, that's why scalia was confirmed unanimously and they were slowly coming around to the view of maybe we should actually vote on what we think they will be as justices and if we don't like the way they would rule we should vote against them, but when he never said is you don't meet with them, don't have hearings, don't have votes. he was talking about voting. >> yeah, i mean the advising function of the united states senate doesn't mean they have to confirm anyone put before them. this goes back to the nomination in 1987 when ronald reagan put someone up who was eyed logical and i think these debates are now about abortion. that's what it was about in '92 and in '97. it's all about the holding the line on the issue of abortion, but the reality is that whether the white house chooses to go with loretta lynch or somebody
else, republicans are in a very awkward spot here because they -- because they have 24 members up for reelection, man-to-m many of them in swing states, it's going to be hard for mitch mcconnell to remain in his seat. quick break here. jonathan allen, thank you for joining us tonight. coming up the big somehow down for the democrats is saturday night in south carolina. hillary clinton versus bernie sanders, that's next. its intelligent drive is msystems...ng. paradigm-shifting.
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states holding elections. in some of those states i expect we're going do well and win and in some states we're going to lose. we're in this race to win it and i think we are going to pull off one of the great political upsets. >> joy, refreshing frankness about that to hear one of the candidates in either party say there are going to be nights where we win and times when we lose and he calls it losing. he doesn't call it winning by coming in second or anything like that. how important is saturday? >> reporter: it's important i think psyche logically for the clinton campaign because this was the water loo for her campaign in 2008. she wants to have a big margin to try to put some distance between her and bernie sanders in terms of the delegate hunt. bernie sanders has actually closed the gap a lot and they've actually come a long way from having been at about 2% in the
polls to about 38%. they have a lot of hustle on the grouped here. i was able to see their operation. it's aggressive. in the end i think that hillary clinton is so much more popular with african-american voters, over 50 in particular, and that's who votes. this is a church community, religious community and military. that's another factor people haven't talked about in south carolina. that weighs in hillary clinton's favor. >> hillary clinton was talking about the president's nomination to the supreme court today. i believe we have some video of that. >> when i think about the progress that we have made under president obama, i am determined and committed to preserve and protect that progress. i believe -- >> well, it's not in that clip, but bernie sanders and hillary clinton have been talking about this and in bernie's case
including the sense that there is something racial involved in what's happening in the united states senate blocking this nominee. >> well, i mean if you just look at the sort of optics of it, you have the senate judiciary committee heavily southern from alabama, and south carolina, but it's a white male body on the republican side saying we won't talk to the president's nominee, it feeds into the sense that the president is disrespected and i think both hillary clinton and bernie sanders are using the fact that most african-americans already think that to continue to make their case that they are in afinty with african-american voters. that's what they need to do. bernie sanders is beating hillary clinton among white voters and independents. hillary clinton is winning because she's maintained this commanding lead with african-americans and hispanics and that trust gap between hillary clinton and bernie sanders is what he has to close.
he's going to flint, michigan on thursday to try to talk to a town hall there. he's tried to go to african-american black colleges here in south carolina and making the case, but at the end of the day i think that the clinton sort of long relationship with african-americans is really what is winning out for her. >> joy in south carolina right there in the center of the political action. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> reporter: thank you. coming up, in tonight's rewrite, how the oscars got so white this year.
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everybody has their own value in a different way and i don't like to think who is the best at this. what's the point of it? >> it's important to remember they're not picking the best. when they open the envelope, they should stop saying the oscar for best picture goes to, they should rewrite that to say the oscar for best picture we have seen goes to. oscar voters don't see all the movies and they never have. one academy voter speaking to the hollywood reporter today said i haven't seen mad max. i just didn't get to it. mad max is nominated for best picture and that guy's voting for best picture without having seen that movie, without having seen all the nominees. the voters don't have to leave their sofas to see the movies. here's how it works.
they get every movie sent to them on dvd. big stacks of movies arriving in the mail during christmas season. the movies come every day for weeks. you usually can't tell what movie is in each envelope so you have to open them all and right there in that moment when they open the envelope at home, they're deciding who's going to be there on the big night when they open the envelope on tv. it's the first and maybe the biggest decision in the series of decisions that leads to oscar nominations and oscar winners. they open the envelope at home, they see a picture of a giant movie star on the dvd, an actor who does very good work and they put top of the pile. they open the next envelope and
they see this. they don't see the picture of anybody they know, none of their friends are talking about this movie, they've never been to compton. it gets thrown over there somewhere in that big pile of movies that many awards voters never watch. they open up another envelope and this pops out. they see a title that sounds terribly grim, beasts of no nation, they have no idea that it's based on a brilliant book by the same title. they throw it over there in the pile of movies they're never going to see. another anonymous voter said a lot of people didn't see this movie and thought it was a tv thing. by a tv thing, he meant the fact that the movie was made and released by netflix online at the same time that it opened in theaters and everyone you talked
to in the business said that that unorthodox release strategy hurt beasts of no nations prospects for oscar nominations, but why sloo it? the award says best picture, it doesn't say best picture with a traditional release strategy. here is what so many oscar voters missed. >> we have been defending yourself against the killings of our own people from the nrf, but it has awakened a sleeping beast. it has awakened a giant. it has put the weapons of this war back in the hands of you, the young and therefore the powerful. young men, we will not wait to inherent anywhere. we will not wait for them to come and give it to us. >> no, sir. >> we are going to take it. >> yes, sir. >> we're going to take it from
them. >> yes, sir. >> seize it. >> yes, sir. >> all of you that have never been listened to before and have seen your family killed, you now have some something that stands for you. you now have something that stands for you. that is your defense. >> yes, sir. >> that is your family's blood. >> yes, sir. >> victory. >> yes, sir. >> victory. >> victory. >> for me there was no more powerful movie made this year than beast of no nation. there were a lot of great performances this year, but no actor gave a better performance than in beast of no nation. maybe there were some performances as good, but not better and no actor in the best actor category gave a better performance than ab ra ham in
his first performance. he was found by a casting director while he was playing soccer on a field. this is not some stunt performance by a child actor. this is child through the art of acting that tells us the horrible real story after a happy 13-year-old boy watching his family gets murdered becomes over time a trained murderer himself. this is not the story of something in our past, this is a story that is happening today with exploiters of children, but among oscar voting -- but among obama voting oscar voters, it's an ignorable story. why is that? racism? you've heard much about the all-white oscars this year and there have been many things said about how that happens, from the kinds of parts written to black act actors to the casting process,
but perhaps the biggest problem when it comes to the awards and the business is that moment when the awards voters open their envelopes at home, when they open the envelope and find brookl brooklyn, they put it in the must see pile. brooklyn is now a nominee for best picture. a lot of academy voters are from brooklyn. plenty of them have ancestors from ireland and then they open the envelope with beast of no nation and for a second while they hold this stunning work of art in their hands, most of them saw nothing familiar and nothing speaks to them and they throw it in a pile of movies they'll never watch. is that racist?
most of the people have never been to ghana most don't have ancestors from ghana. they probably hold it in their hands eager to open tonight on "all in." >> we won with poorly educated. i love the poorly educated. >> a political earthquake in nevada. >> i think we're really doing well. looks like we're on a great trend. >> donald trump may not be on the glide path to the nomination. tonight, how did it happen? who's to blame? and can he be stopped?