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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 25, 2016 10:00pm-12:01am PST

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the contenders fight back. let's play hardball.ç good evening. i'm chris matthews. you've been watching senator bernie sanders at the university of chicago and tonight in houston the five remaining republican candidates faced off in their final debate before super tuesday. for marco rubio and ted cruz it was their last chance to stop donald trump and they were on the attack against the front-runner the whole night. here is rubio challenging trump
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health care plan. watch how he turned trump's attack two weeks ago back on to trump. >> this is important. this is an important thing. what is your plan? i understand the lines around the state, whatever that means. this is not a game. >> you don't know what it means. that's the problem. >> what is your plan on health care? you don't have a plan. >> the biggest problem he has is he doesn't know. i watched him meltdown two weeks ago with chris christie. the biggest problem he has is hç doesn't know about the lines. >> that's the only part of the plan, the lines. >> you have many different plans. you'll have competition. you'll have so many different plans. >> now he's repeating himself. >> no i'm not repeating. talking about repeating, i watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago. >> i saw you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago. >> i watched him -- i watched
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him meltdown on the stage like i've never seen anybody. i thought he came from the swimming pool. >> let's talk about your plans. >> he says five things every night. everyone's dumb, he's going to make america great again, he's going to win, win, win, he's winning in the polls. every night, same thing. >> rubio said trump hires illegal workers rather than americans. >> you're the only person on this stage be fined for hiring illegal workers. >> i'm the only one on this stage that have hired people. you haven't hired anybody. by the way, i've hired tens of thousands of people. you have hired nobody. you have nothing but problems with your credit cards, et cetera. >> this is important. >> you haven't hired one person. >> he hired workers from poland and he had to pay a million dollars. >> wrong. wrong. >> people can look it up.
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i'm certain people are googling it right now. you'll see a million dollars for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. he did. that happened. >> i've hired tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. tens of thousands. >> many from other countries. >> be quiet. let me talk. i've hired tens of thousands of people. he brings up something from 30 years ago. it worked out very well. everybody was happy. the laws were totally different. that was a whole different world. >> if you've been reading the newspapers the last few days you've heard people on the rubio site encouraging him to go after trump and he did that tonight. ted cruz hit trump saying the billionaire won't be able to stand up to hillary clinton in the general election. >> roughly 65% of republicans think donald is not the right candidate to go against hillary clinton. now part of the reason -- >> 85%. >> the polls on clear politics
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it's lost to hillary on eight of them. in the last ten polls he either tied or beat hillary. this is an example. here he goes. >> you're really getten beaten badly.
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i know your embarrassed. swing for the fences. keep fighting. >> with me from houston right now is the managing of the bloomberg and from washington former rnc michael steel. he's up late tonight and "the washington post" opinion writer. we have a great team here to analyze this. i want to start with katie who has been covering trump since he became a presidential candidate. do you think he weathered the storm tonight. >> i think that marco rubio came out the winner of this debate. he was attacking him and i think from his university, his fake university he called it, his suites and ties being made in mexico, his health care he came out firing. his campaign pushes out trump watches, if you donate you don't get a watch, you get rubio
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instead. the trump campaign doesn't feel happy about marco rubio, but what they have in their pocket is the fact that he is winning by double digits over him in florida so the trump campaign is going to continue on with that. whether this diminishes him in the polls, we're going to have wait and see. i think he had a much better debate than ted cruz, but donald trump has proven so far that these debates don't matter too much, even if he has a not so good performance. he didn't have a good one back in south carolina and he's continued winning in that state and in nevada and so far it looks like he's going to come out strong on super tuesday, if this debate didn't change things and i don't believe it did
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especially since his supporters said they decided months ago. >> it seems that katie is right in terms of punches landed and the usual way you score a match, but the punches were landed because rubio always prepares his punch very exactly. he gets the wording right and he puts the punch right in there, however how many times have we come out of a debate saying punches were landed, but the referee out there, meaning the trump people, didn't spot it and didn't score it? >> punches were landed for elites in the media and i think marco rubio came with an aggressive attitude. i think he showed he can stand up to trump and not wilt. there wasn't a single moment where trump vested him, but in terms of super tuesday coming off this debate will have a super super tuesday. rubio now in this contest who is the trump potential trump alternative, i think his
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performance tonight does a fair amount to get him there, but he still has to win a state. did this make up a big gap in florida, i don't think so, but it encourages his donors and it will get him the best press tomorrow of any of the candidates on that stage. >> i want to show you in a moment, but you said something what is fading with regard to cruz? is it personality? his edge? is it the talk of his bad dirty politics along the campaign trail? what's causing him to begin to fade here and have rubio go past him? what's going on? mark? >> i'm sorry. i thought you said were going to play tapes. >> no, you. >> i'm not sure he's faded. i know that's unconventional wisdom, but for the three guys trying to challenge trump the first thing you have do is win your state and cruz has a better chance of winning texas than rubio has of winning florida.
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the liar stuff has maybe not stuck, but the charges of being a liar coming up until tonight from both rubio and trump i think has gummed up the works for him. he's not been able to get out his positive message. we've seen a lot of polling today of the southern super tuesday states, trump is doing very well with a lot of what cruz needs as his core voters and rubio is doing decent with that group too. cruz does not have a lock on the evangelicals that he thought he would have and he needs to do win some of these states. >> let's look at rubio's attacks against trump. here it comes. >> if he builds the wall the way he built trump towers, he'll be using illegal labor to do it. >> such a cute sound bite. >> it's not a sound bite. it's a fact. go online and google it. the second thing about the trade
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war, your clothes and the ties were made in mexico. you're going to be starting a war against your ties and suites. >> you devalue their currencies. china, mexico, japan, with the cars. they devalue their currencies to such an extent that we cannot compete with it, but you wouldn't know anything about it. >> i don't know anything about ç bankrupting four companies. no anything about -- >> you know -- >> one at a time. >> first of all -- >> one at a time. >> there are people who borrow $36,000 to go to trump university and they're suing him now. that's a fake school. >> by the way -- >> they got to take a picture on a cardboard cut out of trump.
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>> whoever won that, i get the feeling whenever he speaks they have a audience. people don't naturally squeal with delight at every comment made about something as obscure they were talking about. this is choreographed audience reaction. >> actually, it was annoying. it was annoying as it could get. >> you heard it too.5 a lot of people may say rubio won the night because he punched up, but i'm stepping back and asked who really won this? i think the american people looking at this really have to be concerned about what we're prepared as a party to put forward as an argument to them about which one of these
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individuals should be president of the united states and i think that becomes a more and more important question coming up against what the democrats are prepared to do this fall. so you can put the squealers in the audience, you can have the canned laughter and the noise making, but the reality is you have to make the argument to the american people this is not about one-liners and trying to punch drunk the other opponent, but making the case for why you should be president and that unfortunately for me got lost tonight. >> let me go to amanda. what do you think of this thing? i know that he landed punches. the question is did they resound to his effect? did he look like a president up there, rubio or just an alternative if you're really desperate, you say let's give this rubio a chance because i'm scared of trump? i wonder if that's what it's about. >> it helped raise more questions about trump. i think for so long even right
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up until now people haven't been talking donald trump that seriously. none of the campaigns really compiled detailed research books on trump and dug into him and now tonight you're seeing some of that come out, what he used to do in the past with undocumented workers, trump university. this is stuff that has not come up about donald trump more. so donald trump is going to be facing more heat and i think he's going to be tested more. >> here is donald trump in the spin room. >> i have friends that are very rich and they're never audited every single year. >> you know your taxes look different and you know it's not necessarily fraud that people look for -- >> no it's not even that. >> reporter: why wouldn't you want to give your chartable contributions out there. >> i've given a lot of money to chart over the years. that i could probably do. in fact i'll make up a list of
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money i gave to chart, that i like. when you're under audit which i am every single year, some people are audited unfairly, but i have been audited many years in a row. it's getting to a point that is unfair. i have many rich friends that are not audited. >> reporter: are there years that you're not audited. >> very few. >> reporter: is it possible get to a general election to a gop nominee and see them. >> i can't give them. nobody would let you give them when you're under audit. this is an audit like everybody gets audited and i doubt there will be any adjustments. as you know, i've given my officials and the officials are phenomenal. >> reporter: you were pressed on your plan to have mexico pay for the wall and health care. >> on health care it's simple. you can have many plans done by many companies once you get rid
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of the lies because you have companies come in and bid. so you can have many plans come in and many companies come in, but right now the companies are making a fortunate because they have almost a mon oppositely in the individual states. i loved the debate. i thought it was terrific. >> reporter: so he turned up a bunch of comments you made previously before you were a politician. you ranked women on a scale of one to ten. do you worry about how that would look. >> howard is a friend of mine. we have a lot of fun on the show. it's all kidding. it's very clean. it's none of the disgusting
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stuff. >> reporter: do you worry that hillary clinton would use that against you? she doesn't have to worry about me. >> you're getting stuck in a long discussion which is boring about being audited and that he's paid enough taxes. i guess most people would assume when you hold something back for whatever reason the real reason is you're holding it back. it's like hillary having to deal with the transcripts of her paid speeches. >> i don't think trump is right that he can't release anything while he's been audited. attacks on donald trump is too extreme so what they're trying to do is can you trust donald trump. these are issues of character and i think those may be more effective than saying maybe you don't like him. >> let me go to jonathan. just step back and take a whole picture look at this evening. i've seen most of it. i missed a little bit because i was doing the town meeting, but i saw it all. i'm listening to a lot of it on the radio and watched almost all of it and my feeling it was too
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much all over the place to say somebody is a hero coming out of it and looks really good because they took a lot punches at a guy. i didn't see -- i didn't see a knock out or a knock down. >> here is the way i saw it. the only approximate person on that stage who looked presidential, seemed and sounded and talked like a president was the guy who is single digits in the polls, governor kasich. everybody else was part of that squatter -- that sort of scattered investigation that you're talking about. ben carson to the point where he actually said something i'm still trying to wrap my head around and that was the fruit salad comment or please i wish someone would attack me. as you can see i'm still trying to process this. >> i think the free salad is a sidebar issue. here is trump. >> i think i had a great debate tonight according to every
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online poll i won that debate easily. >> you saw marco rubio and ted cruz attacking you on a number of different topics. >> they're losing badly and you saw the new poll coming out. >> senator cruz is winning is texas. >> he's not winning in texas. we're tied in texas according to the last poll and i'm beating in him every other state. so you're a politicians, you're doing badly. they're losing -- if you look at south carolina cruz was supposed to win that. i won it in a land slide. they have go and do their thing. i thought it was a great debate. i liked the process. >> reporter: this campaign is already blasting out that you have your health care plan, mr. trump, they say you have no other -- >> we'll probably get a little more as the evening goes on. texas governor is there in the spin room.
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he's the host of that state and he's a ted cruz supporter. i know you're with cruz, but give me the color of the game tonight sir. >> overly there was some enter at the same time, but also i saw out of ted cruz exactly what americans want to see and that is a man of conviction. he showed conviction on replacing scalia on the united states supreme court. ted cruz showed conviction on the immigration issue which is para mount on the texas boarder. he shows conviction on the national security. >> i love conviction and loyalty, who doesn't. but how do you use conviction to get a supreme court nominee through when you need 60 votes which means you have to get to the middle somehow unless you have 60 conservatives in the senate and it's unlikely. how do you get a hard core conservative through the senate
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assuming ted cruz is the next president. let's assume that. >> we all remember what happened with regard to bork. i think ted cruz has -- ted cruz has the stiff spine to put up someone who is a true constitutionist, who will not rewrite the constitution. >> how does he get 60 votes? >> he will control the senate -- >> give me one example of where ted cruz has been able to assemble any kind of coalition in the senate? >> very easy. i will tell you exactly what ted cruz has done to assemble people across the country -- >> the senate. >> he led nation-wide coalitions in support of the individual right to keep and bare arms. he's done that on first and second and tenth amendment issues. when he's fighting on his principals assemble nationwide coalitions. he's proven he can do it in the past. >> what was the bill that got 60 votes in the senate? >> this was when -- this was when he got the nationwide
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coalition to support the second amendment right in the heller. >> that was a supreme court court decision. >> a that's right. >> you're telling me how ted cruz is going to be a great guy in getting great justices named to the supreme court. that takes 60 votes. where has he shown the leadership to do that? >> let's look at the converse of this also. what americans also saw tonight is that those who are running against cruz do not have the courage of conviction to stand by the constitution and appoint a true constitutionist to the united states supreme court. >> how do you get him confirmed? >> we do not want someone as president who will not appoint conservatives to the united states supreme court. >> what you need is a man of conviction and leadership. governor, thank you. please come back on the show. it's great to have you tonight.
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this is the last big debate, in fact it's the last debate really that's going to matter because super tuesday is coming on strong. much more ahead on tonight's debate which was pretty hot. this is a hardball. >> here's a guy that buys a house for 179 thousands, he legislation is passed, you tell me about this guy. >> this is a guy who inherited ç $200 million, if he hadn't inherited $200 million do you know where he would be right now?
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>> i want to make record settinç numbers. new people are coming into the republican party. we are building a new republican party. a lot of people are coming in. >> let's go back to the hardball crowd we have tonight and our coverage of tonight's republican debate down in houston which is where we're going to be next tuesday night on super tuesday night. michael, i want to start with you on this. i thought the funniest line tonight was when rubio was doing his upper cuts and -- i'm trying to remember my boxing terms. he was -- he said you hired illegal immigrants, people without documentation and trump says you've never hired anybody. i'm sorry that still is trump's trump card and it is that he's built and these other guys are junior debaters, they've done nothing in their lives except learn how to debate on
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television basically, he debates on television sometimes better and he's had a career building stuff. i'm sorry it's the trump card that they can't match because i keep asking them have you guys ever -- i was with bernieú sanders tonight, did you ever pass anything with 60 votes, did you ever do anything like you're promising to do ever in your life, can you get one vote, these guys -- all cruz has ever done is try to shut the government down and say no. he's never produced a majority for anything. he's the guy the governor couldn't name anything. i think it's a problem. when he ran for governor and his campaign slogan was before somebody tells you what they're going do, first ask them what they've done and i still think that's the best question in politics. >> i think you laid it out well. that is the reality right now and one of those aces in the hole that trump has.
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he has done stuff. he may criticize the bankruptsies and the university, but he has been in the economy and he has been in this country trying to build the economy and that for people who are still struggling and trying to deal with -- dealing with banks and dealing with irs, this is a guy who can relate to that struggle
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on a committee debating policy ç can't and i think you put your finger on what makes trump work. >> isn't that the foundation of
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rubio and ted cruz had a mission tonight to show that they were not afraid to take the battle to donald trump. sure it brought the debate down into the gutter, if you will, but they had to show america and the base and the audience that they weren't afraid of this guy who has been beating the hell out of them since he got into the race on june 16th. i think the difference though is that marco rubio was likeable when he did it, ted cruz i think just sort of added to sort of the unpopularity that sort of trails him. i don't think it's going to work. >> while you're at it, where has cruz shown his popularity, his charm? can you give me an example? >> where has he? >> i'm teasing. amanda, last thought about tonight as a spectacle, but i think -- quickly if you show those pictures, one time he's spinning off two people at the same time. here is john kasich, governor of ohio with hayly.
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>> reporter: how do you think tonight went for you? >> i think it went great because i think cutting taxes, growing jobs, dealing with health care in a sophisticated way and on foreign policy i was able to go around the world, north korea, syria, whether it's the issue in libya dealing with isis, i feel really good about -- i think i stand out on immigration too. i'm not in favor of deporting everybody, which we're never going to do, so i thought it was a very good performance. we're getting great comments and i think each one of these as the field get narrower and i don't have to fight for time, it allows me to be in my comfort zone better and to demonstrate that we're going to have to have a president that can fix things. >> reporter: do you think your tone can be effective in a race where we're seeing the three
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competitors? it seemed as though you were sidelined. >> we're fine. what people say is thank goodness you're the adult in the room and you're being positive and i don't think i'm -- i had the third most amount of time tonight. i was able to get it by being constructive, not by being in war. >> reporter: today we saw marco rubio trailing trump and your campaign blasted that out. >> we'll see what happens there, but the people that -- >> reporter: do you want him to drop out? >> i'd love them oul to drop out and let me go head-to-head with donald because i beat him by 18 points. >> reporter: what about the rest of this country? >> when this goes north and people begin to realize what this guy has done, what i can do, what i've done both domestically and foreign policy we're going do well because you never thought i would be here.
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you thought i would run out of money. we're doing really well. we're picking up momentum. the people who were yelling for me to get out none of them called me and they were a bunch of washington insiders who i beat 25 years ago who i'm going to beat again. >> chris matthews has a question for you. >> hi, governor. i never said you shouldn't be a hero. i think you're doing great and i thought you would be a significant -- let me ask you a question has anybody come to you to get out of the race that represents rubio? that represents the senator from florida to try to get you out or have they been general lobbyists. >> reporter: has anybody from rubio's team come to you to ask you to get out of this race? >> no, not me.ç >> reporter: have they come to campaign? >> i don't think so. i don't think they would have
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the gull do that. i'm doing well in my home state. i haven't heard from anybody at all. that's propaganda that must be put out by the other side. >> reporter: do you expect them to? >> no, not now. now that the whole story has changed, it's like kasich's the only guy that can maybe beat trump in ohio. if he gets out trump is going to be the nominee. i'm not worried about that. we're doing fine. we have a lot of people who are big fundraisers who have come our way, i'm happy with where we are. i'm going to the nominee. you wait and see. >> reporter: are you expecting any more endorsements? >> we'll have some coming, yes. >> reporter: you heard it directly from the governor himself. >> i do think there must be -- i'd love to know the names of the lobbyists who are saying get out of the race and give your 8% to rubio. he hasn't told anybody who they
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are. >> reporter: yeah. it's one of those things where you can tell that it is frustrating for him to hear these questions and you saw that play out today especially when he's campaign started hitting hard this idea that if marco rubio can't win in his home state governor kasich can win in his home state and people should be calling for kasich to stay in the race and for the establishment to have support him. senator cruz, how do you think you did tonight? do you think your tactics against donald trump were effective? we're going to try to swing down. see if you can grab him guys. >> this is what reporters have to do is chase after people to get them to turn their heads around. if you turn your head the other way, you don't have to answer
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it. that was cruz heading into the door there. "the washington post" political reporter is with me. he wrote the lead today. the main bar, i love it robert.ç we have cruz now. hold on for a second. let's go back with senator cruz. >> reporter: thank you. senator i know i totally bugged you. i want to get your sense of how you think you did tonight against donald trump. it seemed like a slug fest. >> i thought it was a terrific night. i thought it present the voters with a clear contrast and it under scores the issues that donald trump has with hillary clinton. we have got to win the general election. 65% of the voters recognize that donald trump is not the best candidate against hillary. we saw tonight issue after issue whether it is agreeing with hillary on obamacare and expanding it to socialized medicine or agreeing with hillary on the wall street bail
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out, donald's views have been on the left or whether it's on foreign policy where donald trump supported hillary's intervention in libya and supported john kerry and agrees with hillary clinton that america should be neutral with the -- when it came to impeaching george w. bush donald's views are more liberal than hillary's. i think americans are looking for a consistent conservative. it is astonishing that donald refuses to turn off his tax returns. he says i'm being audited so i can't make them public. if his audits reveal he committed tax fraud, the voters need to know that now and not in the primary election. maybe there's not. >> reporter: you want to abol issue the irs. >> i do, but that doesn't mean anyone can commit fraud and defraud the irs. i've released tax returns. i get that donald is really rich, but he hasn't released a single year's tax return. it's setting us up to lose to
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hillary clinton and like wise listen one of the big issues in the general election is going to be the corruption of the clinton foundation, which appears to be a pattern of pay to play while she was secretary of state. donald trump is incapable of making that case against hillary clinton and hillary will laugh clinton and hillou gave $100,000 dollars to the foundation. what do you think is wrong with it? we need a candidate who will beat hillary and take on the establishment. donald made clear tonight he's been a member of the establishment almost his entire life. he'll cut deals. he promised that on religious liberty in the supreme court he said he would cut deals.
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if you want someone to cut a deal with harry reid on the next supreme court justice or on the second amendment or planned parenthood, if you want that donald trump is that guy. >> are you accusing trump of tax fraud. >> of course not. i'm accusing him of hiding his tax returns. if these audits reveal something problematic we deserve to know it now rather than in october where the media would have a hay day with his tax returns three weeks before the general election. we're not going to let that happen because the stakes are too high. >> reporter: thank you senator. i appreciate you taking the time. >> you just saw a classic move by ted cruz dropping out there that the trump -- whatever he knows -- he doesn't say he knows anything, he's guilty of an ethics violation. it's a political problem.
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then he put out the suggestion he's guilty of tax fraud a couple of times there. tax fraud without evidence apparently. i think somebody should ask the senator there when you throw out these accusations like chuck hagle took $200,000 we saw cruz engage in it.
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[ engine starting ] [ tire screech ] [ car engines roar ] [ pit crew audio ] when you're a fan it's never just one thing, it's everything. introducing nascar on xfinity x1, get live race stats right on your tv. change the way you experience nascar with xfinity x1. i find it amazing that donald believes he discovered the issue of illegal immigration. when i ran for the governor of texas i lead the fight for amnesty and the fight to build the wall and when i was leading
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the fight against the amnesty bill, where was donald? he was firing dennis rodman on celebrity apprentice. one individual on this stage broke his promise to the men and women who elected him and wrote the amnesty bill, but donald funded the gang of eight. he gave over $50,000 to three democrats and two republicans. >> we're back with more with tonight's republican squatter brained event. i have great faith in your ability to give us the big picture. what changed tonight in terms of the national polling the way you've seen cause and effect over the last couple of debates. anything? >> it was an urgent moment in the republican race, a moment just days before super tuesday
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where you're senator cruz or rubio something had to happen. a break through. in a sense rubio was a feisty fighter. he had a few moments on stage, whether it's a break through remains an open question. we wrote tomorrow's post and our take is this race is still trump's to be won on super tuesday. he was hit, but he wasn't knocked out. this is someone who is still dominating the race, but he's under more assault as the race unfolds. >> how do we see the casualties mounting up? i'm not going to let cruz spin the line if he wins texas he's won, but how do you knock these guys out? do you have to beat them at home? is that the only way to clean the field out? >> if you're trump beating rubio in florida on march 15th and beating cruz that's your way to end this race. if not and all the campaigns i've spoken to this say it could be a brokered convention and it's the march up to the
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convention in cleveland. >> do you hear any talk among governors, senators, that they would be willing to deny the person who comes into the convention in cleveland this summer, comes in first, the nomination? if they don't get majority numbers, but they are the lead, would they deny that person and give it to someone who is below them in electal success? >> i think if that person has not clinched the 1,200 plus you need to win the republican nomination, there are discussions right now about having some kind of strategy for the second ballot in cleveland. if trump comes in and this race is still trump's
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this is no longer fantasy baseball. this is active discussions in private. >> how are the american people, including the republican party, and the trump people react if they're nominated, the person won the most delegates goes to the convention and denied the nomination and they give it to trump. trump would never support that nominee, i can bet that now. >> one of the scenarios if trump doesn't have enough delegates someone like a mitt romney or paul ryan emerges. these are all things that are all in the future. at this point it's all about amassing the delegates. if the party turns away from trump in a chaotic fashion, you could see this party divided in
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ways we've never seen before because trump supporters, many of them are new people. people not part of the rank and file in the gop and they've been turned off by the process for years and may be turned off again. >> i have to tell you, trump has brought in new people into this political process on the republican side. you'd seen nit the caucuses and the primaries so far. on the democratic side, bernie sanders, i was arguing tonight about that. it hasn't been happening. it's very hard to beat. that's his explanation. thank you for joining us. >> bobby jindal ran for the republican nomination. he's now a rubio supporter. he's with us from the spin room. governor, thank you for joining us. why do you think rubio beat trump between now and cleveland? what do you see happening? it hasn't happened yet like him
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winning a primary or caucus. when can you predict he will win one on his way to greatness? >> chris, two things. i think he had a great night tonight. i think he got under donald trump's skin. he showed donald trump has no depth. it was embarrassing to watch donald trump repeat himself again and again on health care policy. he had nothing else to say about bringing down costs, covering pre-existing conditions. i think marco will have a lot more momentum after tonight. this election will not be over soon. i don't care what the pundits say. >> i'm asking you to pick the state that rubio will win. will we win florida in. >> i think he will do well in several states. he did well in nevada, south carolina. he does well across the country. >> i think you're great. i'm so glad you're coming on.
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the rubio strategy, you know better than i was three, two, one. it's three, five, two, two. he isn't following the predicted ppttern. you won't name a state he'll win. this is a problem. next week there's 11 states stake. he can't name one. i love your word, he'll do well. this is a battle between him and trump. when is he going to beat trump? give me a date. >> the longer the more candidates, i think it's better for trump. i think over time, rubio is getting more and more voters, more and more support. i think tonight will help that cause. i don't think it's over the week after that in ohio and florida. i think as rubio continues to do well, i'm not saying any
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candidate should drop out. it's not for me to say that. voters that may be supporting the other candidates will come to rubio. this is a very important election. you heard the debate about the next supreme court justice. there's been a lot of voters frustrated saying we're going to vote for donald trump because we're mad at d.c. and want to send a message. they are dead locked on religious liberty and obama care and epa, on protecting the sanctity of human life. it will be a criminal appointment to the supreme court. this is an incredibly important election. is he going to appoint judge judy. you know marco will appoint a conservative. i think marco will do well. he will continue to gain momentum. this is a marathon, not a sprint. >> i think rubio has the most honest immigratiní policy of any of the candidates of either party. consistent supporter of a comprehensive bill which is really comprehensive. it's a perfect bill.
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i wish he had the political party to run in where he could advocate that openly. what do you think? >> i think he is advocating what he believes. you look at his other policies. he's very strong on immigration and securing the border and other policies. unlike donald and some of the other candidates, he says he'll replace obama care with tax credits and with reforms and encouraging employees. in addition to that he has specific plans on making higher education more affordable. breaking up the monopoly to bring down the cost of higher education. he's got specific plans on the tax code. reducing the rates but getting rid of a lot of deductions by special interests. on foreign policy, he has more foreign policy experience. he's been consistently bold about the need to stand. donald trump is going in there
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like he's going to negotiate a real estate deal. he's got a lot of details policies. >> thank you very much. he's very strong for rubio. i saw what is the offensive tactic of ted cruz. he's done this before with people like hagel. he knew out the charge because trump hasn't threw out his tax returns. he said he was going. he then says tax fraud a couple of times. how you throw that stuff out. >> what we have seen with ted cruz is that lying has become a tactic. it's not just something that you get caught at or you make a mistake or get your facts wrong. he knows he can say these things and get away with them because people are not paying close enough attention. he talks about fighting the immigration bill. he wrote amendments to the immigration bill that were to get 11 million people out of the shadows. now he acts like he was the leader trying to stop it. chris, i think i've made it clear myself that i have a very difficult time viewing this guy's candidacy as legitimate. this is the ultimate act of vanity. this is about ted cruz. it's not about america. it's not about the border. it's not about the economy. >> they talk about how they will do things. i know this sounds inside the beltway but it's fact that the day after the next inauguration, january 21st, you need 60 votes. there's no other way around it. this is how the constitution works. get it straight. it's how it works. when is ted cruz shown the ability into a posse. he's got two. >> you noticed tonight when asked about who in the senate has endorsed him, he pivoted away from that. he completely ignored the korea they joined us.ç
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cruz is that lying has become a tactic. it's not just something that you get caught at or you make a mistake or get your facts wrong. he knows he can say these things and get away with them because people are not paying close enough attention. he talks about fighting the immigration bill. he wrote amendments to the immigration bill that were to get 11 million people out of the shadows. now he acts like he was the leader trying to stop it. chris, i think i've made it clear myself that i have a very difficult time viewing this guy's candidacy as legitimate. this is the ultimate act of vanity. this is about ted cruz. it's not about america. it's not about the border. it's not about the economy. >> they talk about how they will
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do things. i know this sounds inside the beltway but it's fact that the day after the next inauguration, january 21st, you need 60 votes. there's no other way around it. this is how the constitution works. get it straight. it's how it works. when is ted cruz shown the ability into a posse. he's got two. >> you noticed tonight when asked about who in the senate has endorsed him, he pivoted away from that. he completely ignored the
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gquestion about who had endorsed him. the thing with cruz is, as you suggest, he's not a guy to create compromises. he's not a guy to draw together thoughts and find a middle ground where we can work things out. n obstructionist. he's critical. he destroys. he does not build. how are you going to do anything that accomplishes as you suggested earlier in this program, finding a supreme court justice that works for everybody if you're standing there saying whoever you send to me is bad. it's wrong. this is what he's done. this is what they built their entire approach on. this debate looked like a bunch of third graders arguing over the monkey bars on the playground. it was ridiculous. >> it was. i agree. thank you. >> sure. >> much more ahead on tonight's debate. the candidates, the best line, the top analysis and our all star panel. you're watching hardball, the
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starting at $38,950. my son and i used to watch the red carpet shows on tv now, i'm walking them. life is unpredictable one thing i need to be predictable is to be flake free. because i have used head and shoulders for 20 years. used regularly, it removes up to 100% of flakes keeping you protected every week, every month, every year you ready ma? always life is unpredictable, so embrace it! head and shoulders. live flake free for life welcome back. i'm chris matthews this chicago. it was a wild night in houston. scattered brain night many ways where the five remaining republican contenders met for their final debate before super tuesday. the last important debate.
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for some on the stage it was one last chance to stand up to the man who is running away with this race. donald trump. he's winning everything since the first caucus he lost in iowa. he's won everything since. cruz and especially marco rubio repeatedly attacked trump. senator rubio unloaded on trump himself. here he go. everybody said he should do it. tonight he did it. >> you've hired a thousands people. >> you've had nothing but problems with your credit cards. >> let me finish the statement. this is important. he hired workers from poland and had to pay a million dollars or so on a judgment. >> that's wrong. >> i'm sure people are googling you right now. trump polish workers. you'll see a fine for hiring ç workers on one of his projects. that happened. if he builds the wall, the way he built trump towers he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to
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do it. he hired $200 million. if he didn't inherit it, you know where he would be right now? selling watches in manhattan. you lied about the polish workers. >> 38 years ago. i guess it was a statue on limitations on lies. everyone is dumb. he's going to make america great. win, win, win. he's winning in the polls. >> all true. >> every night. same thing. >> the interesting thing there, it wasn't what they were saying back and forth. that's embarrassing. it was that squealer out there that they hired, a couple of them. squealing at top of their lungs every single time that rubio said anything. i hope people know this is all part of a p.r. operation. watch this best part here.ç at times it looked like it was a two on one. both gentlemen on sides going at
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him at once. >> i believe you know politicians much better than i do because for 40 years you've been funding liberal democratic politicians. >> i funded you. >> you're welcome to have the check back. >> you gave him a check. >> you never funded me. >> let's be clear. donald claims. >> mr. trump you're doing a great job. i have his book. thank you for the book. >> donald, you can get back. >> i'm having a lot of fun up here tonight. >> thank you for the book. >> relax. >> i'm relaxed. you're the basket case. don't get nervous. >> trump went on the take. here he is going back at the contenders.
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>> we've got to win this election, and we can't do it ç with candidate who agrees with hillary clinton and can't take it to her and beat her on the debate stage and the polls. >> talk about the polls, i'm beating him awfully badly. >> you're not beating hillary. >> if i can't beat her, you're really going to get killed, aren't you? >> super tuesday is five days away and 11 states will vote on tuesday. tonight, did anything change the fact and what will happen in the voting next tuesday. joining us from the washington area is former republican national committee chair michael steele. you're at place we always meet, the huffington post. with us now from the spin room is dr. ben carson. dr. carson, thank you. i wonder, every time you talk about medicine, i know what
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you're talking about. i go of all the people on the stage, there's one person with some faculty for talking about expenses. you talked about our health system is so much more expensivç in the world. why is it so much more per quality service than the rest of the world. in that's an intelligent question. i haven't had many of those tonight. because we have an incredible amount of bureaucracy, waste and fraud in the system. that's why i proposed the system of health care empowerment accounts. the action is between the patient and the health care provider with no middleman. it vastly increases the efficiency of the system and let's the dollar go up a whole lot further. >> every doctor i deal with they complain their family, friends in many cases. they can only get 15 minutes.
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that's why some doctors will not take medicare patients because they want to spend a little more time with patient than 15, 20 minutes. is that a fact? >> absolutely. >> is that reality?ç >> that's a very big reality. many doctors are very, very unhappy. people ask me all the time, do you miss medicine? i always say i miss the way it used to be. i don't miss what it was becoming. even for the indigent. we have taken care of that problem very effectively. >> let me ask you about your philosophy. bernie sanders said health care
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is a right. it comes from being a member of society. people must treat you for your medical needs. the money must come from society as a whole. tonight you drew a distinction with that. you said it's not a right but a responsibility. what's the difference between you and a man like bernie sanders and what you're$h offering here. i have never been able to see anything in any of our documents or the bible or any place else that says that you have the obligation to do that. it is a responsibility as was demonstrated by the story of the good samaritan in the bible. there were people who passed him by but there was one person who absolutely stop and rendered
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aid. we have the ability to take care of our people. we spend enough money to do it. we need to reform the system so it works. >> will you be with this race all the way to cleveland? >> i assess that on a daily basis. obviously, it will really depend on how many delegates we're collecting and how much enthusiasm we have.ç the last 24 hours we've had our biggest fund raising period since the campaign started. there's a lot of people who are very enthusiastic who are saying please don't drop out. we assess things on day by day basis. >> thanks so much for sticking with us tonight. let's bring in michael steele now. i want to start with michael. as we sum up the evening, we have a bit of time here, but take your time now. where's this race look like it's
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headed based upon this the gymboree of insults. all these people tieing him down and trying to humiliate him. >> i don't think very much changed. i think some people on the sidelines looked at this and went he handled what was coming from his right and left fairly well. this guy is strong.ç i think a lot of this is too late. it's a door that jeb opened at the beginning of the process that none of those individuals on the stage, especially the two who were engaged tonight wanted to engage in. they avoided the fight until now. a week out from super tuesday after getting their clocks cleaned for the last three outings.
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i think it says, right now for trump supporters, at least, that all they need to do is hold the ground they have and then prepare to take the next. that's what each one of those states lined up for them to do next week. rubio still has a firewall called florida and cruz has the firewall called texas. >> i think trump is in much stronger position than hillary is right now. i think she's the front-runner, but looks like trump, you know, i think, it just looks like he's unstoppable.ç the rubio person won't give me the name where rubio will beat trump. that won't make him the
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front-runner. >> look, rubio had a good night tonight. i don't think that's going to really hurt trump for super tuesday. a lot of this is coming too late. why weren't republicans doing this earlier. they were too busy trying to fight for second and third place and donald trump continued to coast to first. donald trump said he's interested in building a new type of republican party. what is that going to look like? i think that scares some of the establishment who will try to get that word out more that this is not the party that we want. it's not a party that looks like the changing face of america. they need to do a better job because they're starting so late. >> he wants to change the party's automatic support for ç trade policy. he's running against our trade deals like tpp. he wants the party to be less hawkish. that's pretty clear. are those two much, are they too
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serious as infractions against the republican orthodox that it would be a problem with the leader? >> some of his positions fit really well with the tea party, which for a while we didn't hear about quite as much. some of these populist issues are the ones drawn to trump. you're not hearing about them very much. he is reflecting something that is in the republican party that hasn't been reflected as much recently. >> let me go right now. did you write tonight. did you file? >> one of the things that struck me is why rubio's effects is his attacks on trump were so effective. he beat trump at his own game.ç
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he was mocking trump. that's what trump does. >> you think it worked? >> i think it worked. i don't know if it shook any donald trump supporters. this is a guy that defies political gravity every turn. it's probably not going to peel too many of his supporters away. it did help bolster marco rubio. he had one goal and that was to show republicans that he could hit donald trump and win in the debate. he did that. does that mean he can suddenly win florida and become the nominee? i don't think so. which state can they point to that he will win. i don't know and i think they don't know. i know they know he has to win florida or it's over. >> he's running for v.p. the other he's running to be
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number two. they can put together a coalition on this second ballot. which do you think he's following now? >> i think that he has -- he would have an interest this being the number two but that's not why he's running. i've asked him about it several times. i've asked him people about it. i don't think he started this process thinking if it doesn't work out, i can be vice president. he's told people, i wasn't afraid of -- he's told people he was afraid of waiting too long to run. he didn't want to repeat chris christie's mistake, so he jumped in. it may have been too early. what he saw in himself was
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somebody who had the best chance of beating hillary clinton. somebody who was young. somebody who was a minority. he does, i still believe, think he can pull this off with a rabbit out of hat. >> still hoping for the big one. during the debate tonight, donald trump was asked when he would release his tax returns. here's his answer. >> i was the first one to file a financial disclosure form. almost 100 pages. you don't learn anything about somebody's wealth with a tax return. mitt romney looked like a fool when he delayed and delayed and harry reid baited him so beautifully. i will give my return, but i'm being audited now for two or three years, so i can't do it until the audit is finished, obviously. >> i don't think anyone believes or accepts that excuse. mitt romney tweeted no legit reason he can't release returns
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while being audited. if scared, released earlier returns no longer under audit. what does he mean by this? it seems to me his defense is i'm not going to do it. i just wonder, everybody knows the guy is rich and except for that ludicrous below the belt shot that he's guilty of tax fraud, it seems well into the jump in any story so far. >> it is so funny that mitt romney is the one out there attacking donald trump on this. it's so rich. >> why do you think he's doing it? you opened the can of worms. these guys all have something to gain. jindal has something to gain. everybody who jumps into this craziness knows there's a risk in going it into but they're get ing something out of it. a cabinet appointment. they want the favor of whoever wins. why else would they go in? mitt romney wants something, a
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restoration of dignity. >> he wants to remain relevant. people haven't been talking about him quite as much. he doesn't like donald trump. he wants to stick at him and have to answer for this, which he did tonight. i think mitt romney is enjoying that and his increased visibility. >> he tried to put his toe in the water and pulled it right out. for all the money about his money and charm and perfect family, nobody wanted him to run. >> i don't think voters would want mitt romney this time >> that's crazy. >> everyone knows he's rich. this could raise character issues. what is he hiding? how did he make his money? it's the same thing with hiring undocumented workers. i don't know how much that will hurt him among his supporters.
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>> i think both parties have a habit of shooting their wounded. nobody wants to see you come back again. i think the last time with nixon. that's the end of that. nobody wants -- nobody gives you a second chance in this business. >> they don't. in this case in answer to your question, what is mitt romney want. i don't know so much he wants anything other than to be a player in this process. i think part of it is the establishment came to him and said your safety net for us to" go out here and open this question, to raise this question. he played the role he was asked to play. who was talking about tax returns. who has even raised the question in the media, anywhere. out of nowhere comes this little bob, plop. tonight you saw rubio and cruz, more rubio kind of play off of
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that. this is part of -- i've seen this up close and personal, trust me. this is part of stair step approach that the establishment types want to create a new narrative that distracts the opponent in a way that they're going to be focused. what's happening tonight? donald trump standing in front of folks talks about having to send out his tax returns and creating the perception there's something there. there's a bomb there. that's part of the game to take him down. >> it's like using sanford last week to accuse trump of being a truther. they have plenty of people out there. there are people so desperate to get in the game they will do the dirty work for somebody else. >> it's all so late. >> there are ready hands out there. thank you.
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we have much more ahead here this hour. the night's key moments, plus highlights. this is hardball, the place for politics. >> marco rubio's camp guarantee they will win florida. what's your response? >> only a fool guarantees. only a fool.
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welcome back. i sat down with bernie sanders at the university of chicago institute of politics. it was quite an hour with him. i pressed him about how he intends to get his proposals through the congress especially the u.s. senate where you need 60 votes to get anything
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through. here is part of our exchange. >> you and i look at the world differently. you look at it inside the beltway. i'm not an inside the beltway guy. i'm an outside the beltway guy. >> the people that vote on taxes are inside the beltway. >> they will vote the right way when millions of people demand they vote the right way. i'm not just trying to pass legislation. i'm trying to change the face of american politics getting working people to stand up and fight for their rights. >> i joined my ron reagan and joy reid. ron, i miss you. did you watch this thing before you comment on it? you have to watch it first. >> i did. i watched it very much. i have to say that the contrast between your substantive adult conversation and the food fight that we saw later with the republicans is enough to give you whiplash. >> thank you. i thought he was charming and smart. i do think his call for a
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revolution is grand except the day after he's inaugurated should he win the whole thing, he's still confronted with a rigid system. if you win an election, so do all these republican senators. they get in there and it takes 60 votes to get anything through. i've asked if he had any experience getting anymore one vote for anything. i didn't mean to be debby downer, but this is a challenge. your thoughts about the debate, not the debate. >> first of all, echo ron reagan's compliments to you. i thought it was very substantive conversation. he said he's thinking as outside the beltway. he's been inside the beltway in congress for 26 years. i don't believe he's ever seen demonstrated to him that some kind of outside force can swell up and force congress to do what it doesn't want to do.
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that's whether the people are democrats or republicans. for the president to get through the affordable care act, even with democrats there in the majority, they had to use all sorts of parliamentary maneuvers just to get it through the senate. you can't even guarantee if he got 60 democrat, all 60 them, if some are from red states or the rough belt will want to pass taç increases. it's very difficult. he should know that. >> i think -- i really do think we have learned some things from your dad's administration and so many of these administrations. for the president to get anything through, he must get it down in the first six to nine months, whatever it is. then you have to be almost lbj to get anything through. johnson got through.
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that gave him a tremendous moral strength. i look at sanders and obama. let's talk about obama. he killed himself to get a stimulus bill. think widdled him down. then ted kennedy, we lost that great man. he had a deal through the reconciliation process to save the health care bill, obama care. it's really hard to get 60 votes. back to you ron.ç the first year and after that, you sit there and preside over what you did accomplish or didn't accomplish. >> i think you identified a problem that's not just a sanders problem. in hillary clinton gets elected and have to deal with a republican senate or shy of 60 votes among democrats, she's going to run into the same obstructionism that barack obama
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did. this is not a problem that's unique to bernie sanders. it's a problem of our system of government here. one thing that my father knew and that bernie sanders seem to be eluded to is you don't stop being a salesman for your policies when you become president. you continue using the bully pulpit to try to motivate the public to lean on their elected representatives to go your way. i think that's the point sanders was trying to make. >> i think he was saying if you have a million faces looking in the window of the white house, first of all, you can't get anywhere near the white house. a million faces looking into thç window of congress, people like mitch mcconnell sent their life looking at those faces saying screw you. thought that bernie sanders can
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wave his finger and say i'm going to take away your senate seat is just fantasy. >> who doesn't believe that somebody should try? do we think the money in politics, for instance, is a good idea. they aren't going to vote to give it up. it's a good idea to get rid of it. somebody's got to try. >> how does he get to square one? he's a good guy. i believe in what he's doing. you have to tell people what's going to happen. i'm starting to use my gestures like him. how do you get the first supreme court justice through the office if he's the one that has to do it, if obama can't do it? how does he get the first guy oç woman, 60 votes. if you can't get 60 votes and right now there's 45 democratic senators. 45 senators, you need 60.
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how will he get that if he gets all the democrats and independents? how you going to do it? that's a great question. >> i think it's the fundamental question. it's a version of what you heard from barack obama when he was elected. remember organizing for america was supposed to be a similar idea that you would this constant public pressure that would force congress to do the right thing. we had more than half a million people showing up. i think it's important to use public platforms for their policy. the white house is about to do that. they better take a vote on the president's supreme court nominee. i think that bernie sanders is correct about that. i think you did get to a fundamental point. the idea there will be a cop substantiate revolution of people lining up outside the ç white house on an iraq war protest scale to force all these
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changes through. we haven't seen that demonstrated. i think he needs to demonstrate that these people are out there and willing to do that kind of scened public campaign. i've not seen that demonstration. >> you have to win a big victory. it's mandate for change. >> obama did. obama had one. >> he got some stuff done. >> he did. >> the turn out on the democratic side has not gone up. the republican numbers are going up. >> they have. they've been record. >> that's where all the heat's been on the republican side and donald trump. >> it's hard to miss. >> if you're declaring a
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revolution there should be people. >> i hear you, joy. it's true.ç >> i think it was crazy tonight. i didn't see somebody holding his glove up in the air, rubio the next champion. great to have you back. i miss you. up next, what will the newspapers say about tonight's debate? i'll ask two top reporters. >> every time anyone points at donald's actual record, what he said on national television, donald yells liar.
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the former president of mexico, said today, i'm quoting him. he said i'm not going to pay for that quote, f'ing wall. how are you going to make them pay for the wall? >> i will and the wall just got ten feet taller, believe me. just got ten feet taller. >> david, let's go to you first.
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what is the main story coming out of tonight's republican debate? what's the lead? >> that rubio and cruz piled on donald trump in the most contentious debate we've had. the question is is it too little, too late. >> is it too late? i guess that's the question. >> marco rubio had to make ç something happen in this debate. he's under a lot of pressure in this campaign. he hasn't won a single race yet. he had to go after donald trump. he tried to mix it up tonight. will it make a difference as david said in. >> is it makes a difference or not or can we tell covering a debate? every time we watch and think somebody besides trump as won, trump ends up winning the
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voters. david, why is that happened every time? >> well, it's happened in south carolina. that was a contentious debate. a lot of people thought he suffered an he didn't. people voted for trump say they decided early and stuck with him. he was able to build a strong base early. these people have come out to vote for him. i think that's been the source of a lot of his success. >> do you think it's become like a sports vent. you pick sides day or two before. you're not going to be part of that verdict, alex. you're going to root for your team and say we won. it's sports. >> this is the problem that ç marco rubio confronts. did he move any donald trump supporters toward him? they have heard all kind of things about trump. it's unclear if rubio did anything that will move them. tonight we saw rubio go after trump.
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it could have been some sort of desperation. we hasn't won state. it's unclear if rubio did anything that will move them. tonight we saw rubio go after trump. it could have been some sort of desperation. we hasn't won state. >> i think david maybe the idea he's running for vice president. once you start attacking the other guy, although candidates still pick johnson after johnson still pick johnson after johnson said kennedy was dying.ç >> he got his arm twisted. >> they do end up changing it. he suggested he's guilty of tax fraud.
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tax fraud. these charges that rubio -- that cruz makes are outlandishly negative. your thoughts. >> it turned personal between cruz and a lot of people. he's not the most popular guy on capitol hill. that's transferred to the campaign trail. >> just throwing this stuff out there. your thoughts. >> well, part of this has to do with the fact of the state of the race. you have donald trump who is running ahead with this campaign. it's up to his rivals to get really negative, really fast. they had to do something to alter the state of things. this is probably the most negative debate we have seen so far. >> on television it's going be dizzying.
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he's pointing back with the weird gestures he does. he does this jesus like gesture where he points his finger up in the air. i'm amazed. on the democratic side, senator sanders is always got it. it's always these pictures. when it gets to be a three-way, i wonder how you score it. dtqi u$eater. thank you for sharing your main stories tonight. much more on the republican debate. 11 states next week. it's going to be called an airport campaign because you're be flying candidates from one airport to another. no time for retail and not much time for meetings or town halls. just face in, face out. we'll be right back. you're watching hardball, the place for politics. >> you're going to claim it. you're the only one that lifted this into the campaign. you're the only person on this stage that's been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally. >> on the only one on the stage that's hired people. you haven't hired people. i've hired tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. in all fairness marco is not a negotiator. i watched him do down. question but it fascinates me. the screaming female voice, three or four of them yelling >> it's the 25th of february. it's the 25th of february. march 15th is that florida? >> yeah, 15th. >> 17 days from now he'll win one, his home state. that's going to keep him on this roller coaster for now. >> tonight ask donald trump about it. what's your response >> let me go to robert on this one. it's a jump ball this terms of anybody knowing. does anybody think that donald trump, if he wins the most delegates going into the republican convention, that he will then allow the republicans to take the nomination away from him? give it to someone else and expect him to keep his division of supporters across the country. he would leave in a minute. why would he let the republicans
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take the nomination away from him and still support the party? >> having reported on trump, i would agree with you. he would not just let that happen.ç
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in all fairness marco is not a negotiator. i watched him do down. >> he think the palestinians are a real estate deal. they're not a real estate deal. >> a deal is deal. >> a deal is not a deal when you're dealing with terrorists. >> you're not a negotiator. >> the live coverage of ç tonight's republican debate. the last debate before super tuesday. he covers the rubio campaign. give us a thought. we haven't heard from you tonight. rubio, i know this seems like a side bar question but it fascinates me. the screaming female voice,
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three or four of them yelling like mad every time rubio said anything. is this todd harris' brilliant media consulting at work, just asking? >> hey there. if it is, he won't admit it. a lot of people have been talking about that here in the spin room but the rubio campaign won't say it's a plant. what they will say is they are guaranteeing that marco rubio will win florida. they're saying he will win florida. >> they have to say that. there's no risk in that because if he loses, he's gone any way. you might as well brag it out up front, right? >> earlier you were talking to ç bobby jindal and he was hesitant to say. all he would say is they will do well. they're saying they will do well. what they have been -- what they're up against is very tough
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mountain to climb. >> it's the 25th of february. it's the 25th of february. march 15th is that florida? >> yeah, 15th. >> 17 days from now he'll win one, his home state. that's going to keep him on this roller coaster for now. >> tonight ask donald trump about it. what's your response to this guarantee of winning florida. he was very succinct this his answer, only a fool guarantees. >> let me go to robert on this one. it's a jump ball this terms of anybody knowing. does anybody think that donald trump, if he wins the most delegates going into the ç republican convention, that he will then allow the republicans
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to take the nomination away from him? give it to someone else and expect him to keep his division of supporters across the country. he would leave in a minute. why would he let the republicans take the nomination away from him and still support the party? >> having reported on trump, i would agree with you. he would not just let that happen. at this point, talking to trump a few minutes ago he said he's confident he's going to all but sweep on super tuesday. this is a confident campaign, the trump campaign. they feel like they have the populist behind them. that's what trump tried to underscore tonight on stage. he's not running a campaign for the hawks. that was major contrast. he's running for the war weary conservatives who haven't been happy about the direction of their party. >> why does he stick with the defense of planned parenthood as an organization even if he doesn't believe in funding at this point? >> that's who trump is. every since the budgetary fight over planned parenthood became a
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big national issue, trump has ç stood by his beliefs. he think republicans have gone too hard line regarding women's issues. >> if he's on the wrong side -- >> you know him well. that's our area. if you want to win in the philly suburbs, we know he's strong in there. you have to win the whole state. >> gabe, back to rubio. i've been trying to figure out, he's a young, senator guy with a lot of gips. he's had some falls but made up for them. is he running to be number two into the convention or running mate for trump? is he running to be the guy next time who comes in second? a fall and crash from trump. he wants to be the guy they go
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to in 2020.ç what is his game? >> it's very interesting. he's campaigning to be everyone's second choice. they keep saying when the field widdles down we'll see everyone behind rubio. we haven't seen that. he has a long political career ahead of him if he doesn't do well. >> he's gone. he's given up the senate seat. >> you know who knows, chris. he's a very ambitious guy. his whole career he had succeeded in spite of not having much experience whether it with in the florida legislature or running for the senate. nobody expected him to do well against charlie crist. he succeeded against all odds when it comes to his experience. he succeeded because of pure ambition. right now his campaign is trying to make this argument he's everyone's second choice but by being that second choice he can become the anti-trump.
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once the choice is made clear he'll be able to get the what is his game? >> it's very interesting. he's campaigning to be everyone's second choice. they keep saying when the field widdles down we'll see everyone behind rubio. we haven't seen that.ç he has a long political career ahead of him if he doesn't do well. >> he's gone. he's given up the senate seat. >> you know who knows, chris. he's a very ambitious guy. his whole career he had succeeded in spite of not having much experience whether it with in the florida legislature or running for the senate. nobody expected him to do well against charlie crist. he succeeded against all odds when it comes to his experience. he succeeded because of pure ambition. right now his campaign is trying to make this argument he's everyone's second choice but by being that second choice he can become the anti-trump. once the choice is made clear
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he'll be able to get the nomination. >> thanks so much. i listen to every word you say and write. thank you for coming on and sticking around late today. back with more in the moment. we're getting near the end here. this is hardball, the place for politics.
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when you're on hold, your business is on hold. that's why comcast business doesn't leave you there. when you call, a small business expert will answer you in about 30 seconds. no annoying hold music. just a real person, real fast. whenever you need them. so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. that does it for me and hardball tonight. see you back friday night. that's tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m.ç our coverage continues here on msnbc. have a good night.
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tonight our special guest united states senator bernie sanders.


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