tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 25, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
trump, trump struck back, romney struck back again and so far, as elton john would say, he is still standing. >> i would like to say two winners. romney, but also donald trump who dominated the purple strategies poll. check out bloomberg politics.com for the debate coverage. >> see you tomorrow, sayonara. tonight on all in. >> i could win texas. >> the last best chance to stop donald trump. but will his competition cut and run. >> i'm not in this race to attack any republican. >> will preview the final debate before super tuesday. plus the establishment strikes back. day two of romney versus trump gets uglier. >> frankly, i think we have good reason to believe that there is a bombshell in donald trump's taxes. >> why actual voters don't care if donald trump is an actual conservative. >> what people are eventually going to vote for is a proven
conservative leader. >> bernie sanders with a new stinging attack on hillary clinton and welfare reform, as a protester steals the spotlight in south carolina. when all in starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes, and tonight in houston, the most pivotal showdown will take place. from a delegate perspective, ben carson likes to say, we're still in the first inning, but we're nearing the end of the game, and it looks like trump is about to go up big. tonight's debate is the final republican faceoff before super tuesday. this is it. the field has been kdwindled to fie five candidates and it arrives as donald trump holding a commanding lead. although he is only 82 of the 1,236 delegates needed to win
nomination, that's far ahead of his rivals. four contests, trump has finished second, first, first and first. rubio has finished third, fifth, second, second. cruz, third, third, third and third. the trend is obvious. with just a few days until 595 delegates, nearly half needed are decided in the republican column on super tuesday, trump has the lead in nearly every state where there has been polling. the real clear politics polling average, trump is up by 16 in georgia, 10 in virginia, cruz leads in his home state of texas, which may be his last stand. in the just released bloomberg politics poll of the southern states, among super tuesday's states, trump leads. in other candidate, head to head match ups, trump still wins, beats cruz 49-44. rubio by less, 48-44%. that means if something unlikely
were to happen tomorrow, and they drop out, trump would still be leading. remarkably, unnow, candidate by candidate, he has systematically destroyed everyone he faced. while being confronted with precious few real attacks, actually beating him, cruz and rubio, may continue to focus their fire on each other. their hope is to turn this into a two man race with trump. many in the gop wondering what say you, marco, clearly seems reluctant to go on the attack. >> i'm not in this race to attack any republican. i'm more than happy to show differences, but i didn't run for office to tear up other republicans. i'm going to tell people who i am and why i'm running and give them a choice. >> later that same day, rubio did go after trump by name, which made some headlines, including this one. >> the front-runner from this race, donald trump, is actually alluded to the fact that he thinks parts of obama care are
pretty good. and again, the front-runner in this case, donald trump said he is not going to take sides on israel versus palestinian, because he wants to be an honest broker. when i am president, we are going to take sides, we're going to be on israel's side. >> policy distinctions, the kind of thing rubio said he'll stick to, hardly took the bark off of trump. shift to another palliative candidate, this race has been remarkably stable ever since donald trump got on the elevator and rode it down in trump tower. the final chance to alter a fundamental dynamic in which trump is winning on the road to the gop nomination. so what will his rivals do. joining me now, marin cogan, political reporter and political analyst and host political correspondent, steve kornacki. robert, let me start with you, because you're there at the site of tonight's debate. what is your sense from the
people you're reporting and talking to your sources of what the game plan is for the anti-trump forces in tonight's debate? >> speaking of allies and advisors to both rubio and cruz, i've gotten a sense from my reporters that trump is the target. they may have played down expectations ahead of tonight, but they know this is an urgent moment just days before super tuesday. if they can't take him out or gain ground, it's hard to see where they're going in the coming weeks. >> advisors have woken up to what is the obvious and obvious to everyone else. stewart stevens, who is campaign manager for mitt romney, this framework of lanes has led people as stray, go after the person most popular. what do you think, are there lines of attack that have yet to be trotted out that you think could possibly work with the gop electorate? >> look, i think if they had a strategy to take out trump, we would have seen it by now,
right? you've seen the debates, you don't need me to tell you he is good at responding to attacks on him. it's good to see they've work en up but it doesn't seem like it's going to be too little too late. >> steve, but put this in perspective. at one level, you don't want to, you know, so little of the delegates have actually been given out, you don't want to rush to any conclusions, another, tonight seems like a pivotal moment, given the fact, over 1,000 delegates up for grabs in the next two weeks. >> yeah, and that's sort of the fall back line when you're running from behind in one of these races, oh, only 6% of the delegates offer whatever it is, but to put it into perspective, if marco rubio were to somehow win the nomination, he will have pulled off something that has never been pulled off in the modern era of republican presidential politics, and that is to not put a win on the board in either iowa or new hampshire,
and then could you add south carolina, it's equally true if you add south carolina and to not put a win on the board in one of the early states and win the republican nomination. it hasn't happened before. there are some people that look back at the history, 1976, reagan, ford, reagan lost a bunch of contests, and heated up. the big difference then, a clear, clear divide that put the republican party down the middle of the republican party. basically had to wait a while to get to reagan states in 1976. the problem here for rubio or anybody trying to take trump out, trump is drawing support across the board in the republican party. he is not a factional candidate. >> two things, one, i don't think until too late, they recognize what the phenomenon was, which is that they were out of touch with their own base. and the things that they thought their base were really into,
their base didn't actually care about, like capitol gains taxes and the sort of collective action problem, you've got the prisoner's dilemmdilemma, and n is holding firm. >> it will continue to confound them. all the attacks for not booinei pure, and they don't. there are people mad at the party. people mad at both parties. continuing to attack him on things like eminent domain will eat away at his lead, and yet they keep trying these attacks against him. >> that's what struck me with the rubio line. wa wait, we found something about donald trump, good things about obama care and honest broker between israel and palestine. as if that's the -- they discovered the magic bullet, like this is going to be twhat
does him in. around cruz and around rubio and around the establishment still don't get what they're up against. >> privately, though, chris, they do acknowledge, they have and immense hill to climb tonight. and when they run through the list of issues, they acknowledge that many of these issues don't stick to trump. what they're really looking for in tonight's debate is a break through. trump has dominated the national narrative of this race, the story, the headlines, and they want to find a way to be seen as his chief rival. not knocking him off on a single point. being seen as equal to him in the race. >> steve, and part of what i think has been misguided in the attacks on trump, aside from sort of identifying these ideological inconsistencies, the fact that i talked to trump voters for about an hour in nevada, and everyone led with his personal qualities. basically every single person. they were not citing chapter and verse on isis.
the guy is strong, good negotiator, business person. if you're going to take him down, you must attack him personally. that has been evident from the beginning. the idea that you're going to make a policy case against this individual is -- they have to come after him personally. >> the most powerful thing in a political campaign is people like you and if people see you as a leader. and so often, when we look at political campaigns and how is somebody going to win, what are the issues the voters care about, right on this issue, right on that issue, the reality with so many voters, across the board, the reality, if people like the candidate, respect the candidate, they work backwards and justify it. okay, would he'll go along on that issue, i'm here on that issue. i think that's what is happening with trump. they have to go after him personally, i'm not even sure that will work. they like trump on the republican side so much. >> you're exactly right.
that's why the entrance and exit polling about qualities people are looking for are so sort of laughable, right. it's 78% people are looking for people that rhymes with trump. they're telling you another way that they are interested in donald trump. and marin, the problem to me also, all of the sort of vectors of trust have broken down so thoroughly, that any signals anyone wants to send to these people aren't getting to them, right. it's the same sort of maddening experience that liberals have had on climate change, where you can tell someone a million times, scientists tell you this. i don't trust them. the anti-trump, they don't trust you're telling the truth when you tell them x, y. >> reporter: abo-- z. >> taking down trump. they have their own flaws. ben carson and john kasich seem
almost constitutionally inn capable of attacking him, right. rubio has the robotic thing that can be exploited easily as we saw with chris christie. ted cruz has this issue of integrity and honesty with his campaign and trump can say liar, liar, liar. and it's very hard to counteract that. so in their own ways, they're acknowledge the flaws that they face as sort of vehicles for the argument against trump. >> and robert, that's why i think tonight is so important and so pivotal. do you expect we will see something, some new kinds of lines of attack? >> yes, actually, i this you're going to see a lot of talk about trump's business, his employees, different kinds of immigrant employees, he has had over the years, production of materials abroad. that's the kind of thing i've seen forecasted tonight in conversations. >> that gets to something more than policy positions, "the new york times" story tonight about the hundreds of americans who
applied for job who were turned away in favor of guest workers from roam manmania. donald trump saying you can't find good help in season. thank you all for being with me. still to come, mitt romney leading attack on donald trump, pushing for the front-runner to release his taxing. trump exposing the real value of conservatives, it turns out they aren't exactly what lots of conservatives say they are. bernie sanders latest attack on hillary clinton, past support of welfare reform to increased levels of poverty. those stories and more, ahead.
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but -- >> that was donald trump four years ago, in las vegas, february of 2012, officially endorsing mitt romney for president. the endorsement romney campaign was so eager to roll, romney for president event, tbd location, las vegas, nevada. the endorsement from the birther in chief, at that point, national punch line, who had already sent investigators to hawaii, was actually highly sought in the 2012 primary, as candidates, including romney made pilgrim ages to kiss the ring. photo op of them together, waive at the press, while romney entered through the side door. they wanted his stamp of approval, but not to be seen with him. trump's backing at that event that lasted just under six minutes.
>> there are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. being in donald trump's magnificent hotel is a delight. thank you to donald trump for his endorsement. it means a great deal to have the endorsement of mr. trump and people across this country, who care about the future of america. >> ben smith tweeted during the events, this feels leak a hostage tape. up next, why mitt romney is not returning the favor, instead, taking a page out of harry reid's playbook to attack trump. stick around. le flu. and it needs a big solution: an antiviral. so when the flu hits, call your doctor right away and up the ante with antiviral tamiflu. prescription tamiflu is an antiviral that attacks the flu virus at its source and helps stop it from spreading in the body. tamiflu is fda approved to treat the flu in people two weeks of age and older
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his tax returns as we know. if a person coming before this body wanted to be a cabinet officer, he couldn't be if he had the -- he did the same refuse al mitt romney does about tax returns. so the word is out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't. >> that was one my sof the char made by harry reid in the thick of 2012 campaign. he speculated mitt romney hasn't paid taxes for a decade, he says based on a conversation he said he had with an unnamed capital investor. the issue hounded the republican nominee for weeks, and when he finally released his 2011, he was chastised for having paid an effective tax rate of less than 15%. well, it seems like mitt romney learned a thing or two about the entire incident. he has cast himself to play the
role of harry reid. he phoned into fox news yesterday to, you know, raise a few questions. >> frankly, i think we have good reason to believe that there a bombshell in donald trump's taxes. >> what do you mean? >> well, i think there is something there. not nearly as wealthy as he says he is, or hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled, like he has been telling he has been doing. >> speculation, kicked off a trump tweet storm. thin-skinned republican front-runner succession of replies. mitt romney totally blew an election made him look like a fool playing tough guy. dumbest and worst candidates in the history of politics, pushing me on tax returns. dope. romney responded with a tweet of his own, me thinks the donald doth protest too much.
show voters your back taxes. #what is he heightiiding. gop establishment, as for the man, establish the is turning to this election cycle to save the day from trump scenario, trump tweeted, why doesn't he endorse rubio already. he should have done it before nevada. joining me now, charlie pierce, writer for esquire, latest piece called republican bigwigs panicking about the trumpster monster. >> fascinating mitt romney, in trump's response, right. people wanted him to come out and endorse marco rubio, and people realize, that would be a disaster for rubio. it would be the end of his campaign. >> yeah, i don't know who it was that thought it was a good idea to light up the mitt signal, but
mitt romney has less influence in the republican party now, than he did when he ran for president. he didn't have a lot then. i don't know. he has got, you know, he has enough money, so doesn't have to care. so he could be the point person on this. but he is not going to change a single vote. and he is certainly not going to turn off anybody voting for donald trump. >> that may be true, although there is something to, i mean, what has never happened, and what people have been waiting for for months and months and months, a full spectrum attack, surrogates running, you know, out there everyday from across the spectrum of the republican party. huge ad buys, and none of it has happened. i can't conclude if these people are fectless, or if they don't care if he is the nominee. >> yeah, well, you've also got, and i think marin made this
point in the previous segment. there is no way for ted cruz to launch a character or a personality attack on anyone. i mean, ted cruz would lose contest contest a wolverine. a personal attack is all anybody has got left. the only one i can see who is both experienced enough and politician enough to do it, and is reasonably likeable on his own is john kasich, and nobody is listening to him any way. >> this is a great example to me of the kind of tambivalent of te republican establishment as the b barbarian has taken over. asking would be signers to back his push to rally the
establishment around either the florida or texas senator in an effort to defeat donald trump. it turns out trying to rally people to the cause of one of the two, maybe dropping out. >> yeah, well, this is not unprecedented either. remember, n nebraska showed up,d he was the antisurrogate. he was performing on the rest of the field. your basic point is well taken. no republican establishment any more. there is no emptier suit right now. reports coming out that marco rubio is already planning his strategy for a brokered convention. and believe me, nobody wants to see a brokered convention where donald trump comes in with the most delegates and doesn't win the nomination. >> i had a realization today that no tmatter what happens, whether donald trump runs away, brokered convention, what would be historically unprecedented move, one of the other nominees
gets another delegates, the cleveland convention rnc is going to be such an insane spectacle, because the amount of -- i mean, just think about all of the plot lines going into that place. >> i know, and of course, you know, the presiding officer of the convention will be paul ryan, who a lot of people think is going to be the guy who is left standing after, you know, the republicans experience their own chicago in 1968. >> yeah, hopefully they'll be less billyclubs. >> the whole world is watching and laughing is what it's doing. >> the whole world will be watching, hopefully peacefully. always a pleasure. >> thanks, chris. >> coming up, ted cruz makes his last stand in the state of texas. still a win for trump. i'll explain next. et allocation. sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? i would.
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one week from today, will be the most important night of this campaign. one week from today, is super tuesday. i cannot wait to get home to the great state of texas. >> most of the polling on super tuesday states show the same polls. donald trump is winning. one big notable exception, the biggest jewel in the crown. texas, where more delegates up
for grabs than any other state, a new poll shows ted cruz is leading trump 38 to 23%, his home state. pretty sizable. other polls have shown a tighter race, but most have cruz in the lead. this should be very good news for the anti-trump forces, but exactly the opposite. here is why. the gop establishment has decided to rally around marco rubio, who has long hhpe today get into a two-man race with trump. if he wins texas, he won't drop out of the race, he and the establishment so dep operately want. of course, rubio could drop out after super tuesday, except that's almost certainly not going to happen either. because rubio has made clear, he expects to start winning, start winning on march 15th, two weeks later, when voters in his home state of florida go to the polls. here is the problem with rubio's strategy. a new florida poll shows trump
crushing rubio 44-28%. further complicating it, it's encouraging john kasich to stay in. cast kasich as the only hope to stop trump. >> of course, i'm staying in the race. of course, i am. why would i drop out when i have the best chance to be the nominee outside of trump. i'll tell you something, if i get out, with which i'm not going to do, end of story, trump will be the nominee. >> so many aspects, the new poll plays in the hand who wants it to stay crowded for as long as possible. donald trump is not a conservative are being shrugged off, that's next. that's the job. and
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look at donald trump's record, which he himself self-identifies more as a democrat than as a conservative, or a republican, and say that's our guy. >> here's the deal. donald trump is not a conservative. >> i don't think he is a conservative at all. >> we are a conservative party, aren't we, what people are very eventually going to vote for is a proven conservative leader. >> a state your full naunch con >> if you believe he is something like a conservative, you are literally insane. >> over and over against donald trump, he is not a true conservative, and should not get the conservative votes. you can see how well the attack has worked. the most republican votes cast so far, self-identified conservatives favor trump over every other candidate, according to the exit polls. it turns out that conservative
voters don't actually care about who is quote, conservative in the minds or in the ideological vision of con certificate testify elites. people like the editors like the national review, insufficiently conservative trump appears to have roughly zero impact. while trump, the candidate, has towed the republican line on a huge host of issues, non-climate change, over the course of his public life, everything from taxes, deficit, deregulation, health care, abortion, gun control, the size of government, the voters don't seem to care. it's a situation that was summed upper if he canni up perfectly, who told "the new york times" that the nationalism is the new thing, man. i want to watch the establishment burn he added. what's the point of being conservative any more. it's a failing ideology. joining me now, rick pearlsteen,
the modern conservative movement. rick, as someone who has spent over a decade of writing a series of histories from gold water through nixon and reagan, what do you think about the idea that trump is not a conservative? >> a really rich window into the complexities of this thing, conservati conservativism. i've been watching the same sound bites, i'm the real conservative, and thinking what does this word conservative mean to the candidate, what does it mean to the voters. and you know, it means a lot of things, like any political symbol, to the conservative elites, conservative means the whole package. but you know, you and i, we know the polls that if you look at the electorate, even people calling themselves republicans, a lot of things called conservative is not popular. it's not popular to oppose taxes for rich people. a lot of the politics just
aren't that pol lapopular. in the past, the word conservative has served almost as a dog whistle in itself. i'm going to protect from the dark scary hoards. we are living in a post dog whistle republican party. it just does not signify the same way. >> well, but, to push back on this idea, right, i mean, i think republicans like marco rubio would say hey, we're a party that wants to be diverse, he stood up on the stage with nikki haley and tim scott, and said i am a true conservative. in fact, one of the things the conservatives, the folks at national review say is we hate the fact that there are white sup supremes, because we believe in racial equality. >> that's the complexity i'm getting at. this whole complex of conservati
conservativism, it's been a kind of contraption over the years. it's undeniable ever since gary goldwater, and social conservatives, but if you look at kind of back to the '70s, you saw a lot of the kind of new right pioneers, the howard phillips saying well, what we really care about is this economic stuff, we're going to use the social conservatism of the electorate as a way to kind of get our candidates in office. and then we'll be able to get what we want. you know, you look at people like, you know, george w. bush, not mentioning social security on the campaign trail and the day after the election saying i have a mandate, right. once you kind of hive off that stuff, which is what trump is doing, tariffs, slapping
companies that are moving jobs over seas, you suddenly kind of give yourself an enormous advantage. you don't have to throw nikki haley on stage any more. you know, it's kind of, it's kind of white nationalism, red and tooth and claw. when you have an ee lk tore rate in south carolina -- >> without -- >> the trump supporters, you know want slavery to still exist -- >> also, without, you get rid of all these pretenses on things like the capital gains tax which people do not care about. >> they do not care about the capital gains tax. people do not care about, you know, take something like eminent domain. i wrote this article called donald trump in the f word. i was googling my own article. i looked it up and i didn't get my article first. got a national review article in 2011, ranting about donald trump and eminent domain and he
couldn't be a conservative, and they hate him. eminent domain is not the kind of thing that moves masses of voters, but talking about, you know, worst than water boarding, which gets the biggest cheers apparently does. >> i think this experiment that has been run back in 2010, with the tea party, the conservatives saying these people are fed up with a deficit too big. >> throw all these kind of issues into the volcano, but they weren't interested into inn issues. they were interested in effect. the issue now being immigration. >> right. >> and eric cantor came to find he was the one who ultimately kind tossed into the volcano, and now the rest of the republican party is being -- >> along with him, that's right. >> rick, all right. >> it's happened. >> thanks for speaking to me tonight. i really appreciate it. still to come, a black lives matter protester, and clinton's
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time for an update president obama versus republicans on the supreme court. a few hours ago, mitch mcconnell and chairman of the judiciary committee, senator chuck grassley kicked it up a notch, saying we'll meet with the president at the white house. we look forward to reiterating to him directly that the american people will be heard, and the next supreme court justice will be determined once the elections are complete and the next president sworn into office. senate democrats also like the president elected by those american people in question, gathered at the supreme court behind a podium saying do your job, which started as a hashtag. organizing for action. timely vote by the senat senate, #doyourjob. nevada governor, brian sandoval, released a statement earlier
today, saying i do not wish to be considered it. still ahead, how protester forced hillary clinton to address something she said almost 20 years ago. stay with us. let me introduce you to our broker. how much does he charge? i don't know. okay. uh, do you get your fees back if you're not happy? (dad laughs) wow, you're laughing. that's not the way the world works. well, the world's changing. are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed? wealth management, at charles schwab.
we need to take these people on, they are often connected to big drug cartells, they are a not just kids any more. they're called super predators, no conscience, we can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heal. >> defend that clip from 1996 on or show. clinton seemed to be touting her husband's crime bill, which wrote in 1995, the democratic bulge will unleash an army of young male predatory veet criminals. clinton had not spoke about it until yesterday. ashley williams brought the issue front and center.
>> we got somebody saying here we have to bring them -- >> are you going to apologize. >> okay, we'll talk about it. >> i'm not a super predator. >> okay, fine, we'll talk about it. >> can you apologize? >> can you talk, and maybe you'll listen to what i say. >> explain it to us. >> excuse us. >> that's inappropriate statement. >> give me a chance to talk, i'm -- >> you know what, nobody has ever asked me before. you're the first person to ask me and apri'm happy to address . okay, back to the issues. >> clinton responded in a statement to the "washington post" that reads in part, i was talking about the impact violence crimes was having on communities. i shouldn't have used those words. i wouldn't use them today. like the entirety of the democratic party, has changed in 20 years. she now embraces the language of reform, but the legacy of bill clinton's policies continue to
be debated throughout the campaign. press conference in south carolina yesterday, senator bernie sanders appeared to attack hillary clinton for another controversial piece of her husband's presidency, welfare reform bill. >> what welfare reform did in my view was to go after some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in this country. and during that period, i spoke out against so-called welfare reform. secretary clinton at that time had a very different position on welfare reform strongly supported it. and worked hard to roundup votes for its passage. >> coming up, we'll talk to a former member of the clinton administration about bill clinton's legacy and the problems it created in the 2016 race. (patrick 1) what's it like to be the boss of you?
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would you trust me as your financial advisor? i would. i would indeed. well, let's be clear here. i'm actually a dj. [ dance music plays ] [laughs] no way! i have no financial experience at all. that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro, you just don't know. find a certified financial planner professional who's thoroughly vetted at letsmakeaplan.org. cfp -- work with the highest standard. we have a history opportunity to make welfare what it used to be, a second chance, not way of life. even though the bill has serious flaws unrelated to welfare we form, i believe we have a duty to seize the opportunity to end welfare as we know it. >> president bill clinton signed the welfare we form bill in 1996. it was hailed a huge success.
welfare reform dramatically reduced number of people on the program. in 1996, 68% of poor families received welfare. in 2013 it was just 26%. while the law was signed amidst the economic boom. by 2011, the number of families living in extreme poverty doubled with nearly three million children living in the extremely poor households. joining me now is joy reid. joy, you and i have talked through this campaign about how to think about the legacy of the clinton administration, bill clinton's administration. how much she should own that. the protester was citing something she said. what is your take away when you look at the trajectory from the party from then to now. >> it's pretty breathtaking. one of the iron laws of politics
is if you want to defeat your opponent, take away their best asset. anybody looking at this from space would said hillary clinton's best asset is bill clinton. the clinton years are essentially off the table for use by hillary clinton because much of what happened in the clinton year whether it's don't ask, don't tell, welfare we form or the crime bill have been reputuated in the obama era. she cannot run on it. the clinton years are more dangerous than 2008 when she ran that harsh primary against barack obama which logic would have suggested would have been the problem. i think the big irony is bernie sanders represents the wing of liberalism, because he's not a democrat, that bill clinton came to washington in '92 to vanqu h vanquish. they are back. he is set aside. so much irony. >> that was sell said.
that's the politics of that day. bernie sanders voted against welfare reform and one of the people in the party who said they couldn't abide this. object, this was the clinton campaign's response on bernie sanders attacks on welfare reform saying under mr. clinton's administration, the black child poverty rate fell 25% and the median income of african-american families increased, all of which is true. >> it's true. as joy said there was a great economic boom in part because allen greenspan did not raise interest rates. putting aside that economic boom, the question is what is the legacy with regard to african-americans from the bill clinton years. it is a double edged sword. it's very hard for hillary clinton to both be part of an administration in many respects
very successful and i'm proud to be part of it but also to distance herself from the parts of that administration whose legacy is far less successful. >> the way i've thought about this when you compare to clinton presidency and obama presidency is bill clinton's biggest failures of president endured. things like don't ask, don't tell and doma and the crime bill. his biggest successes which was the tremendous full employment went away. barack obama is sort of the opposite. his big signature achievements, which is finally marriage equality and equality in the military, affordable care act, dodd-frank that endure the biggest failures have been the recovery. the austerity that was imposed that may or may not be here tomorrow. that's one of the strange thing whence you're look at these two eras in the context of this decision about who comes next. >> yeah. it's all so kind of incredible. bill clinton, his presidency was
a reset of the democratic party. that, too, has crumbled. the notion the democratic party should mirror the republicans in terms of crime. when the crime bill passed, there are no clean hands on it. half the congressional black caucus voted for the crime bill. bernie sanders voted for the crime bill. you had pastors and black mayors begging for the officers and investment because the crack epidemic was peaking and about to end. the reorientation of the party has crumbled. it's reemerging. barack obama looks for like fdr and bill clinton who saw himself as the fdr in the modern era starts to crumble away as an esteemed figure in the democratic party. it's really incredible. >> robert, annie wrote this amazing piece because you can
debate about the clinton administration because it was a different time. it was under a few conditions and different political moment. the question is what you're going to do now. obviously, both hillary clinton and bernie sanders have criminal justice policies that are quite more reformist and progressive than what we saw in the '90s. let's talk about welfare. a battle between the fiercely progressive presidential candidate and only slightly less fiercely progressive presidential candidate has managed to overlook the ragged hole at the very bottom of their safety net. it's a policy outrage and a moral blight. is it time to reconsider welfare reform? >> i think is it. part of that reconsideration is face the fact we have a large and growing population. people who are called working poor. they are poor and think are working full-time. that was not the case in the early 1990s.
we absolutely have to rethink the notion of welfare and welfare reform when we have so many people who are playing by the rules. it has put a lot of substantive things on the table. when you have the dualing policy proposals and fights about who will be more progressive on these various policy items, that has been a product of this primary. >> absolutely. and a product of the obama era. both agree there should be a $15 an hour minimum wage. it's something they agree on and bickering on whether the union that supported the fight is more on her side or more on bernie side. they argue over degrees of
change. it's a different party. >> all right. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> that's "all in" for this evening. tomorrow night we head to south carolina, and we'll be back at our normal time 8:00 p.m. eastern. a special hardball college tour with bernie sanders starts right now. coming up, a full hour with u.s. senator bernie sanders. let's play "hardball." we're live from chicago institute of colleges. good evening. i'm chris matthews. welcome to the hardball college tour. our special guest, united states senator bernie sanders.