PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 1/31/2016
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: January 31, 2016
Guest: Rick Tyler; Karen Bass; John Campbell; Rich Galen; Sabrina
Siddiqui; Abby Phillip; Bill de Blasio
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Showdown in Iowa. The last full day of campaigning
before the caucus is finally here.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Please come out and caucus!
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So important is Iowa, your
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot
fail. Let`s win on Monday.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Caucus for us. Speak for
TRUMP: The whole concept of caucus is something beautiful about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Donald Trump for real? Can Ted Cruz knock him down?
And will Hillary Clinton hold off Bernie Sanders?
It all comes down to this. From pork chops on a stick in the summer heat
to the deep freeze of an Iowa winter, the first votes of 2016 just hours
A special edition of “Politics Nation” with Al Sharpton starts right now.
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton.
This is crunch time. The last full day of campaigning before the Iowa
caucus. The candidates are exhausted. Racing from one event to another.
Looking for every vote they can get. The new Des Moines Register poll
shows Donald Trump at 28 percent. Ted Cruz at 23 percent followed by Marco
Rubio and Ben Carson. Trump, taking shots at Cruz right to the very end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Ted`s got a big problem. Other people have different problems.
Me, I have no problems. You know, Ted Cruz may not be a U.S. citizen. But
– but he is an anchor baby. No, he`s an anchor baby. Ted Cruz is an
anchor baby in Canada.
CRUZ: I like Donald. And he`s welcome to say whatever he likes. I like
and respect him. That`s all I`ve got to say. And right now it`s up to the
voters to decide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This will be the first real test for Trump. We know he can hog
the microphone. But can he get people out to caucus for him on a cold,
winter night? Turnout is the key on the democratic side, too. Bernie
Sanders can draw a crowd. But will they vote?
The “Des Moines Register” poll shows Clinton with a slim lead over Sanders.
As they draw differences on everything from wall street to guns to health
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We now have 90 percent coverage. I don`t want it repealed. And
I don`t agree with senator Sanders that we start all over again.
SANDERS: I am disappointed by the tone of her campaign. It is not true to
suggest that she will be the stronger candidate in November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Let`s start with NBC`s Kerry Sanders in Council Bluffs, Iowa
following the Trump campaign. Kerry, that new poll shows Trump leading in
Iowa. But will his supporters actually turn out to tomorrow night? That`s
KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It`s a really good question. And
of course, we can`t answer it until it`s actually time for folks to go
caucus. It is interesting. The five-point percentage lead in the latest
poll is really a dramatic turnaround from December, where Donald Trump was
15 points behind Ted Cruz.
So, certainly something is happening in the electorate. If those people,
as you point out, go out and vote. Now, one of the more important things
on this Sunday morning to remember is that the evangelical vote is just so
important in Iowa. In 2008, 60 percent of those who went to caucus were
believed to be evangelicals. They had self-identified as that. And in
2012, it was 57 percent evangelicals self-identified. So it`s really an
important vote here.
One of the things I think that`s perhaps most interesting is, when you ask
the question, will people go out and caucus, forget about the weather, Iowa
stands cold weather. They understand even some snow, and the blizzard
that`s coming will likely be gone after the caucus. It will just be
snowing initially. So I`m not sure weather will be such a huge factor.
But whether the people will go out and caucus, because the one thing Donald
Trump has done is he has energized people who have never participated in
politics, have been somewhat apathetic. But now they are showing up in
very large numbers. We expect that likely will happen again here today.
Interestingly, during the last caucus, four years ago, 40 percent of the
people who went to caucus had never caucused before either. So, we keep
talking about these new people participating. That`s really not a new
occurrence here in Iowa. That was, of course, for Obama. This, of course,
will be for, potentially, Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio or Chris, you
know the whole list here. There`s a lot of people running. A lot of
people with their names who potentially could come out with at least they
believe holding their hands high, saying we won in Iowa and then move on to
New Hampshire almost immediately – Al.
SHARPTON: Kerry Sanders, thank you for those details.
Now, let`s go to Rick Tyler, communications director for Ted Cruz`s
Rick, first of all, thanks for joining me.
RICK TYLER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR TED CRUZ`S CAMPAIGN: Good Sunday
morning to you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: How can Cruz catch up with Trump?
TYLER: Well, you know, we think we are even. And we have a superior
ground game here. We have got about 12,000 volunteers. We have got nearly
all of our precincts covered. Over 1500 precinct captains covering some
1600 different precincts. We also have someone speaking at almost every
caucus and we are not knocking on about 2,000 doors a day. Yesterday from
our headquarters we made over 27,000 phone calls to Iowa voters. So the
game is to turn them out.
SHARPTON: Twenty-seven thousand calls, 12,000 people on the ground. I
know the caucus – the caucus process very well. But are you hearing
anybody in your opposition having a significant ground game? Because, the
question is, with Trump ahead in the polls, does he have a ground game? By
now you would be feeling it.
TYLER: You know, I think that`s exactly right. We have been very open
about our ground game. We have press coming through our headquarters every
day so see what`s going on. They go out with us door knocking. We have
about over 100 people living in a place we call camp Cruz, which is an old
college dormitory that`s just full of people, tripled up on air mattresses.
They get up every morning and they start working, they head toward the
headquarters about 7:00 in the morning. They get their marching orders and
we just don`t see the same kind of activity in the other campaigns.
You know, back in 2008, Reverend, Barack Obama turned out a large number of
new caucus voters. But you could feel it here on the ground, you could
measure it in the voter registration. You could measure it in the data.
And we don`t see that type of activity. So we will probably get a record
caucus still. But it won`t be some of the projections that are driving
some of these polls so I`m pretty comfortable about where we are.
SHARPTON: Are you concerned that some reports say that your campaign is
about Marco Rubio?
TYLER: Well, look, Marco Rubio in the “Des Moines Register” poll placed
about third. That`s where we`ve seen him. It doesn`t look like he`s
really going to break out of that. And really, the reason is because in
the Republican Party he was a supporter, a chief sponsor of the gang of
eight bill which was a pro-amnesty bill that gave illegal aliens a pathway
to citizenship. Our party rejects that. And if our party is to nominate
someone who is pro-amnesty, I really think we will lose to Hillary Clinton
or now looks like Bernie Sanders. Bernie did very well in the poll
yesterday, as well.
SHARPTON: A little dig in there but I`ll let it go.
TYLER: Trying to be kind.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what is the real significance of a victory in
Iowa to Ted Cruz? What will it mean if you can pull it off tomorrow night
and what will it mean if you don`t pull it off?
TYLER: Well, let me sort of list the opposition. We have two former
caucus winners running against us. We have a lot of people running in our
lane, which is the evangelical lane, including at one time Rick Perry,
Bobby Jindal. Ben Carson is still running in that lane. Rick Santorum,
Mike Huckabee. We had the sitting governor call openly for our defeat. We
had the secretary of state attack us yesterday. We have had millions of
dollars spent against us. But even after all that we really think we could
It would be very significant, because about 11 states that go before March
15th have a 50 percent evangelical turnout or more. And on March 1st you
have states like Tennessee, the 70 percent or more. Texas is over 50
percent. Georgia is over 60 percent. Alabama is over 60 percent. So if
we can show that we can turn out evangelical voters here, and they kind of
say in the process we should do very well in South Carolina. And we should
do very well in the March 1st states.
But by the way, we are also doing well in New Hampshire where we have been
tied for second place. I wouldn`t have predicted that. I don`t think
anyone else would, either. So we seem to have a very broad appeal.
SHARPTON: Rick Tyler, thank you very much for your time this morning.
TYLER: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let`s turn now to the democratic nomination fight. Hillary
Clinton is leading in a new poll, but also dealing with new questions about
NBC`s Kristen Welker is in Des Moines.
Kristen, thanks for being here. What`s the mood in the Clinton campaign
one day before the voting starts?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they are feeling
confident to the extent that they do have a slim lead in this latest
Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll. She is leading Bernie Sanders 45
percent to 42 percent. It`s a slim lead, though, Reverend Al. So it`s
still really anyone`s game here.
She is not taking anything for granted. Bernie Sanders all right letting
up. They both campaigned late into the night here in Iowa crisscrossing
the state. We will see that again today.
Secretary Clinton got some other good news yesterday. She was endorsed by
“The New York Times,” and also 28 African-American ministers. She met with
them earlier in the week.
At the same time she is still dealing with new questions about her emails.
We learned on Friday that the state department decided to withhold 22 of
her emails from her private server when she was secretary of state. They
say those emails were top secret. Secretary Clinton insisting she`s never
sent or received emails that were marked classified at the time. Here`s
what she told our Monica Alba. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: This doesn`t change anything about the fundamental facts. I
never sent or received any email marked classified.
MONICA ALBA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Did you generate any of these email -
CLINTON: No, I did not.
ALBA: Are you concerned that this withholding of the emails makes it so
that people`s imaginations can run wild? What can you do to alleviate
CLINTON: I`m really not concerned. Because it`s the same story that has
been going on for months now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WELKER: And it all comes down to turnout, Reverend Al. Both campaigns
have built up armies, ground troops who are out trying to get people out to
caucus on Monday. If young voters turn out in force, Bernie Sanders could
win. He has a wide lead in that age group - Al.
SHARPTON: Kristen Welker, thanks. There`s a lot more ahead. So stay with
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll look at what could be the difference between
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
You`re watching a special edition of “Politics Nation,” one day to Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Go to the caucus Monday night because if you stand up for me
then, I will stand up and fight for you as hard as I can to make sure we go
forward together in America.
SANDERS: This is the fight that we cannot afford to lose. And together we
will not lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Just one day out from Iowa, the tone is sharpening on the
democratic side. Throughout the campaign, Hillary Clinton and Bernie
Sanders mostly held their punches. But at this late date, that may be
changing. Clinton went after Sanders this weekend over Wall Street.
Saying, he`s not telling the whole story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I have a bigger set of concerns, because, when you listen to my
friend senator Sanders, his main argument is, we have to break up the big
banks. But here`s what you`re not told, that`s in the law that was already
passed. That the president signed. The Dodd-Frank law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The Clinton campaign has also gone after Sanders over gun
control. And his comment last week that Planned Parenthood is part of the
establishment, in quotes. But Sanders is firing back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Don`t tell me that I`m defending or protecting the gun lobby.
Don`t tell me I`m attacking Planned Parenthood. Those are inaccuracies.
And we can do better than that. Secretary Clinton and I have differences
of opinions. Let`s debate those differences of opinions. But let`s not go
around distorting a record that I am very proud of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass, who is campaigning
for Hillary Clinton in Iowa.
Congresswoman, thanks for being here.
REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having me on, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what are you hearing on the ground, and what are
you feeling? You have run for office and you know the difference between
polling and the actual on-the-ground feeling. What are you hearing? What
are you feeling in terms of Mrs. Clinton`s chances to really do what some
of the polls are indicating?
BASS: Well, I think she`s going to do very well. And I`m certainly
hearing a lot of excitement, and enthusiasm from her supporters who`ve been
working for months, and I believe there`s going to be a good, strong
turnout. And we`re going to win tomorrow.
SHARPTON: What about this new email controversy that has come up. Are you
hearing anything about that? Will that impact the caucuses?
BASS: Well, you know, I really don`t think it will. I mean, we have seen
the Clintons be hit over the years on everything under the sun, and I know
certainly when you have done polling among Democrats, 76 percent are not
concerned about the emails. They`re concerned about good jobs, they`re
concerned about affordable education. They`re concerned about the
continuing health care, and expanding resources. And so I have a hard time
believing that another email controversy is going to keep people away from
caucusing tomorrow night for Secretary Clinton.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, congresswoman, what would a loss in Iowa, and in
New Hampshire, and she is way down in the polls in New Hampshire, or
considerably behind – I should say considerably behind senator Sanders,
what would a loss in both mean to the campaign, and mean to secretary
BASS: Well, I think a loss would certainly be a setback. But I also know
right after New Hampshire, South Carolina, and a number of states where
she`s running really strong. But I actually think we are going to win
tomorrow. I know New Hampshire is going to be a more difficult hill to
climb, but I am very confident about how Secretary Clinton will do,
especially in the south, and southern states.
SHARPTON: Polls indicate senator Sanders is doing very well among young
people. Are you finding that to be true on the ground? And explain why
that is the case if you agree with it.
BASS: Well, I think that senator Sanders has certainly been strong with
young people. He has had a lot of turnout, especially on college campuses.
But I also think that there`s a lot of enthusiasm for Secretary Clinton, as
well. So we`ll see tomorrow. You know, I know young folks sometimes don`t
turn out. I certainly hope that they do turn out. And I hope that they
turn out for Secretary Clinton.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman Karen Bass, always great to see you. Thank you
for being with us this morning.
BASS: Thanks for having me on, Rev.
SHARPTON: Now let`s turn to the Sanders campaign. And the fight for labor
support. The national steel workers union hasn`t made an endorsement yet.
But Sanders got a strong reception when I spoke to the local chapter this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Every person in this room, because the steelworkers are one of
the great unions in our country. You understand the history of the trade
union movement. And you are understand that change, real change, never
comes from the top on down, it always comes from the bottom on up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: John Campbell is a member of the steelworkers local 310. He
helped put that event together for Sanders, and he joins me now.
John, thank you for being here.
JOHN CAMPBELL, STEELWORKER: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what do you say to those who say that Sanders
can`t win nationally?
CAMPBELL: I would say they are wrong. That President Obama, people said
that about him. They said that about the labor movement. You know. They
said slaves would never be free. Yet I stand a free man, you know. So,
change is inevitable. It`s just which direction we want that change to go.
SHARPTON: Sanders is neck and neck with Secretary Clinton in the polls.
She is slightly ahead with the last poll this morning. How are you guys
going to make a difference, and push the voters out, and push them to
support senator Sanders and put him over the top?
CAMPBELL: Well, I`m going to work tomorrow in the factory and I`m going to
talk to every guy I talk to, in my local, about caucusing. And caucusing
about our issues. And that is, trade, good jobs, the right to organize.
And, you know, here`s the one thing that nobody is saying in this campaign
when we talk about equality, and we appeal to minority communities, where
in this country do women, blacks, and other people get the same wage?
That`s under a union contract. And that`s the uplifting factor. If you
look at the decline of the middle class, it will correlate with the decline
of organized labor in this country. So –
SHARPTON: But they – split between Clinton and Sanders. How do you make
the argument that a vote for Sanders is more to sustain unions than a vote
CAMPBELL: Well, I think it`s important to know that yes, we have that
split, yes, we have people in the hierarchies, you know, our leaders, our
national organizations may have endorsed Secretary Clinton. But, the rank
and file ultimately decide where we go. And in our union, we have had a
pretty hand on this. They have said go where your herd is. Do the work.
Come out in November, and do the right thing for the right reasons.
And so, I think right now the enthusiasm amongst labor and my local is,
that Bernie Sanders came to us. He addressed our issues. He addressed our
concerns. And he`s moving our movement forward, you know.
SHARPTON: All right.
CAMPBELL: Bottom up.
SHARPTON: Thank you, John Campbell. Thank you so much for your time this
CAMPBELL: Certainly. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still ahead, the first real test for Donald Trump.
Will his supporters turn out to caucus?
Also, a special Iowa edition of gotcha.
SHARPTON: Turnout is going to be a big factor in Iowa tomorrow night.
But, there`s a group who would be turned away if they tried to caucus. Ex-
felons, people who have served their time, and paid their debt to society,
but they are still paying a price. Thanks to Iowa`s Republican governor,
Terry Branstad. In 2014, then-attorney general Eric Holder spoke about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: In Iowa, action by the governor
in 2011, caused the state to move from automatic restoration of rights
following the completion of a criminal sentence, to a very arduous process
that requires direct intervention by the governor himself in every
individual case. That`s moving backwards. That`s not moving forward. It
is unwise. It is unjust. And it is not in keeping with our democratic
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s right. Ex-felons now have to personally apply to Iowa`s
governor to regain the vote. It`s one of the strictest policies in the
country. And, in fact, has been severe. In the half decade before the
move, roughly 115,000 people had voting rights restored. In the next three
years, just 64 regained the franchise.
Governor Branstad is denying thousands the right to vote even as he pays
lip service to democratic ideals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD, IOWA: We are very blessed to live in the United
States of America, where we have a history of government of, for, and by
the people. I think it`s a good system, and I certainly support the right
of the people to choose their own elected officials.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Yes. People should have the right to choose. And that means
Nice try. But did you really think we`d forget about those who can`t vote
tomorrow? We got you.
SHARPTON: A big question tomorrow night, can Ted Cruz recover from the
last debate? Without Donald Trump in the room, this one was Cruz`s to
lose. And if you read the headlines, he did. Still, it`s a razor thin
margin between Cruz and Trump. Less than 36 hours from the start of the
caucuses, the Des Moines Register poll was taken both before and after
Thursday night`s debate, and it shows Cruz five points behind Trump. But
nearly half the voters say they could still change their mind before
Let`s bring in our panel. Abby Phillip from “the Washington Post,” Sabrina
Siddiqui from “the Guardian” and Republican strategist Rich Galen.
Sabrina, you`ve been covering Rubio and Cruz. Is all this talk of Rubio
momentum real or not?
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Well, I think that
Marco Rubio`s campaign currently feels strong about, you know, at least
finishing in third place and that would give him some momentum going into
New Hampshire to emerge as the clear alternative to Donald Trump or Ted
Cruz. I will say he`s been drawing really large crowds here in Iowa. He
also earned the endorsement of “the Des Moines Register” as well as the
“Sioux City journal.” So he had positive news at the right time. Iowa
senator Joni Ernst also appeared with him. And although she didn`t endorse
him formally because she is staying neutral, she gave a very strong show of
support for his candidacy. So obviously, at the end of the day, a lot of
it comes out to turnout, but I think his campaign, he feels good about
where they are going into these finals days before the caucuses.
SHARPTON: Abby, how much did the debate hurt the campaign of Ted Cruz, if
ABBY PHILLIP, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, Ted Cruz
says it himself, everyone was attacking him. Everyone was going after him.
And that has really played a toll.
Here in Iowa on the airwaves, there are some really tough ads going against
him. And I think that, you know, Ted Cruz is suffering from this
competition with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is, in some ways, dealing with
it by not backing down, as he always has. And so, we will see how this
goes. I mean, the ads on the airwaves right now are attacking his
evangelical credentials. That goes to the heart of his support here in
Iowa. And you know, we will see how they respond to the barrage of
SHARPTON: Rich, will the Trump voters turn out? We have seen the big
crowd, we have heard a lot of the noise, are there real indications that
these voters that support Trump will actually turn out and caucus?
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, I think they probably will. And I
think they will also for Bernie Sanders, who is, remember, he had the first
gigantic crowds. Trump came in later and started building those sorts of
But going back to the Cruz situation, John Feinstein, sports writer
formerly with “the Washington Post,” wrote a back about professional golf.
And he said, on Sunday, golfers know it`s not how many strokes you`re
behind the leader, it`s how many guys between you and the leader. So you
can be five strokes behind, if there are four guys between you and that
leader, they`re not all going to have a bad day.
And I think what we saw at the debates is that everybody, there`s no sense
in attacking Trump, because if you attack Trump all it does is drag him
back toward groups. You need to drag Cruz back to the rest of the pack. I
think that`s what we were seeing on Thursday night.
SHARPTON: All right. Well then, let me ask you this, this question
Sabrina, how much do we – how much do you think of the fact that Ben
Carson is still polling pretty well? We thought that he kind of like, got
knocked out of this. But he is still getting double digits. How much will
that be a factor?
SIDDIQUI: It`s certainly a factor in the sense that it draws support away
from some of these candidates who are competing in a somewhat overlapping
lane. Ben Carson voters could deflect to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco
Rubio. So depending on what the margins look like at the end of the
caucuses, it really could play a factor. If Ben Carson took away support
from Ted Cruz, you know, who was obviously competing with Donald Trump and
there`s a lot of expectations in particular here riding on Cruz to win
Iowa. I think he certainly, if he doesn`t win, wants to be a very, very
And again, even with Marco Rubio he needs to be a strong third going into
New Hampshire if he were to come in fourth or be, you know, just one or two
points removed from Ben Carson. That would certainly put at odds the
narrative you asked about earlier, whether he actually has momentum or not.
So I think Ben Carson could help a spoiling effect but of course we`ll wait
and see what happens.
SHARPTON: Abby, does the people, the Cruz people, seem worried about the
rise or supposed momentum of Rubio? And should they be?
PHILLIP: Well, I think that Ted Cruz believes that he and Marco Rubio are
operating in different lanes. Marco Rubio is in that establishment lane
and Ted Cruz is in the outsider lane. He has a little bit of competition
there with Donald Trump and Ben Carson. But, they`re operating on separate
but parallel channels.
I think the rise of Marco Rubio is a concern for Ted Cruz only in so much
as what it means down the road. I don`t think here in Iowa the Cruz people
feel particularly strongly that they`re competing for the same universal
voters. Marco Rubio has other competition, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and so
on. And he needs to really consolidate the votes that are kind of milling
around at the bottom of the electorate right now. In order to push himself
higher up on that leader board.
SHARPTON: Rich, you know, if Donald Trump can win the debate without even
showing up, is there really any stopping him? If he wins Iowa tomorrow
night, if he goes on and wins New Hampshire, is he unstoppable?
GALEN: Probably. I would say that he probably is. But going back to what
we were just discussing about the division of the vote, I`m almost
positive, I`m not there, but I`m almost positive that there have been chaps
between representative Kasich, of Bush, of Fiorina, maybe even Rand Paul,
all the votes the establishment candidates to kind of work out some kind of
deal, if this happens.
If Bush ends up with two percent of the vote, there is no good case for him
going on and just keeping those. And what you do is you trade names. You
say OK we`ll give you our South Carolina support names. So I think a lot
of that is going on right now, and we`ve – the biggest surprise might be
who decides to call it quits after we get the results tomorrow night.
SHARPTON: So if, Sabrina, we see the field narrow down, does that then
change the scenario of the inevitability of Trump if they begin uniting
behind one quote “Republican establishment candidate?”
SIDDIQUI: I think a lot of that largely depends on New Hampshire. You
know, obviously what happens in Iowa will have some bearing in that primary
coming up on February 9th. But you have this five-way competition over in
New Hampshire to be an alternative between Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb
Bush, Chris Christie. So we don`t know, you know, how Iowa will affect
those results. But it could also be an entirely different situation where
John Kasich pulls off a surprise second or third or Jeb Bush, who has been
gaining slowly in New Hampshire, actually gets a little bit of life or
signs of life over there. And that could really change dramatically the
shape of the race.
I don`t think you`ll see any drastic winnowing down of the field until we
get past that competition. But again, you know, there could be this
unstoppable fact if Donald Trump wins Iowa and goes into New Hampshire
where he`s polling upward of 30 percent, and if he`s able to turn out the
vote there, too, this could be over a lot sooner than the Republican
establishment is hoping.
GALEN: That`s exactly what I was thinking.
SHARPTON: Just a minute. Stay with us. I have a lot more ahead. I`ll be
back with you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ahead, who is the real heir to the Obama legacy? How
that key question could decide the democratic winner in Iowa.
SHARPTON: The democratic race in Iowa is within the margin of error this
morning. Both campaigns bringing out the big guns last night. Hillary
Clinton and her husband and daughter. And Bernie Sanders had the rock band
Back with me is our panel Abby Phillip, Sabrina Siddiqui, and Rich Galen.
GALEN: You wonder why I`m not in the demo.
SHARPTON: Abby, you were at the Clinton event. It was a full family
affair. Is that working for her? Because I saw “New York times” story
saying that bill Clinton is losing his magic out there. Are you sensing
that? Is the family and the presence of former president Clinton working
for her or is it underwhelming?
PHILLIP: Well, I think President Clinton has a style that has really
evolved over the time. He`s a little bit more subdued. But honestly this
crowd last night really didn`t seem to mind all that much. They were
extremely enthusiastic. Cheering, chanting, screaming. It was one of her
more energetic crowds, and I think as you go in to the final weekend,
that`s extremely important.
Caucuses are, especially on the democratic side, are very much about
bringing out your universe of supporters, your most energized supporters.
You have to get them to show up. You have to get them to stand up for you
and to stick with you in that sort of back and forth that happens in the
And I think that we`re seeing now last night, the night before, and tonight
again, President Clinton is drawing a more energetic crowd, I think
Democrats in general are pretty happy to see the Clinton family. There
don`t seem to be many worries about any political dynasties here in Iowa,
at least among Democrats.
SHARPTON: Sabrina, we hear how strong, at least in the polling, that
senator Sanders is among young people. Will they show up? Is there any
way of measuring whether that youthful fervor, if you agree that it exists,
as the polls indicate, will actually deliver voters to the polls? Or to
SIDDIQUI: Traditionally, younger voters are not overwhelmingly likely to
caucus or to vote in a primary. But you know, we remember that Barack
Obama was successfully able to turn out a lot of first time caucus goers in
2008. I think Bernie Sanders is looking at a similar strategy. We don`t
know ultimately what that number is going to look like until tomorrow
itself. But I think that certainly it would be hard to imagine that the
polling would just consistently show that a lot of these likely caucus
goers who are on the younger end of the spectrum, that they wouldn`t be
going out to turn out. That it wouldn`t turn out for senator senders at
the end of the day.
But I do think that, you know, when the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll
showed us yesterday which has accurately predicted, of course, as we know
the results of these caucuses really well in the past, Hillary Clinton has
a slight up on Bernie Sanders here in Iowa. I think in New Hampshire will
be a lot more difficult for her to defeat him. And again, the younger
voter issue is something that might be a longer-term did
SHARPTON: I`m almost out of time Sabrina. Sorry to cut in. But I want to
ask Rich, as the Republican on the panel. What are you going to be looking
for tomorrow night?
GALEN: Well, as Abby`s colleague at “the Post” (INAUDIBLE), wrote right
after the midterms we`re about to find out if this is a new democratic
coalition, or an Obama coalition. Specifically what Sabrina was just
talking about, that will be partially answered tomorrow night by how many
young people come out and what the mix is on both sides. But you know,
we`ll know the answer to that 40 hours.
SHARPTON: Always great to hear Rich quoting Sabrina.
Abby Phillip, Sabrina Siddiqui, and Rich Galen, thank you for your time
GALEN: You bet, thanks.
SIDDIQUI: Thanks, Al.
SHARPTON: No question there`s a political storm brewing in Iowa tomorrow
night. But there`s also a snowstorm in the forecast. How might that
affect voter turnout? Let`s get a closer check on the timing with MSNBC
meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.
In our weather center Bonnie Schneider. Bonnie, how is it looking out
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: Reverend, it`s interesting to note
there is a blizzard watch that will go into effect as early as tomorrow
night, for areas towards the western part of the state, and then much of
Iowa. So we`re looking at the snow coming in, mainly in the overnight
hours. It looks like after the caucus, most likely it`s over. But people
that are going to be traveling into the evening hours will be impacted by
blowing and drifting snow throughout the day, especially on Tuesday.
Going back in history it could have been a lot worse. Back in 1972
temperatures dropped down from 25 in the morning to negative four at
midnight and that was in Des Moines, 60-mile-per-hour winds. They called
whiteout conditions in northern rural areas. This had a huge impact of the
Iowa caucus and that particular year. In fact, at least a quarter of the
people that were voting actually had to postpone their voting because it
was too treacherous out there and that`s the way it was impacted. So a
quarter of Iowa`s 99 counties postponed the voting. That`s not going to
happen this time because we`re not looking at the storm impacting right at
the time of the caucus. But it`s going to be very, very close. We`ll
watch it hour by hour.
SHARPTON: Thanks, Bonnie. We`ll be right back with New York mayor Bill de
Blasio, live from Iowa.
SHARPTON: Tomorrow, Iowa will start to answer a big question in the
democratic fight. Who can win the Obama coalition? Early last week, some
thought the president sounded like he was leaning toward Clinton. But
later in the week, he said he`s not putting his finger on the scale.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Bernie came in with
the luxury of being a complete long shot, right? And just letting loose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
OBAMA: I think Hillary came in with the both privilege and burden of being
perceived as the front-runner.
Everyone`s scouring my every word to find some deeper meaning to see if I`m
trying to put my finger on the scales. So let me simplify things.
Democrats will win in November and we will have a democratic president
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. He is in
Iowa campaigning for Hillary Clinton.
Mayor, thanks for being here.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: You`re welcome, Rev.
SHARPTON: You waited awhile before endorsing Clinton. What persuaded you?
DE BLASIO: She put together a platform, Rev., that really speaks to the
question of income inequality. It speaks to how we are going to save the
middle class in this country and support working people.
Look, this election more and more has been about economics. And when you
think of what`s happened over the course of the last year, more and more
focus on the need to deal with the concentration of wealth and power in
this country. More and more focus on the need to tax the wealthy in a
progressive way, to raise wages, raise benefits, do things like paid sick
leave, paid family leave. This is what this is election is becoming and
she has put together a platform that will be the most aggressive going into
the White House of any president in our memory.
I think, for me, that`s what`s energizing. And I think it`s energizing to
people here in Iowa. I have seen a real sense of urgency in the Clinton
campaign here. I`ve been knocking on doors, making phone calls. I`ve seen
an urgency amongst her supporters could turn out this vote tomorrow night.
But I think that urgency is derived by the situation in this country. By
the fact that the middle class is stuck and people are frustrated and they
need change now – and for a lot of us, we believe Hillary`s the person who
can best deliver that.
SHARPTON: Vice president Biden said she came to the issue of income
inequality late. You waited to see whether the platform that you are now
extolling would come into being. How important is it, and how are you
being received. How significant is it for a progressive New York City
mayor to stump for her? Do you have impact, you feel, with Iowa caucus
DE BLASIO: Well, I think I don`t have any assumption about what kind of
impact I have. I`m out here to knock on doors and make phone calls,
connect with people. Some of them know the work I have done. Some don`t.
But the most important thing is to have these people-to-people
conversations about why we need progressive change. Why we have to change
at what`s a very unfair economy, and why Hillary is the person who can get
it done and get it done now.
That`s my message. And I think people are listening for that message.
Some know who I am. Some don`t. But the point is they want to talk about
that. Because they feel the unfairness in this economy. Now, the very
same issues that Bernie Sanders has raised so eloquently, so powerfully,
immediately beg the question, how are we going to get it done? If we need
to tax the wealthy or paid sick leave, paid family leave. These changes we
need, higher minimum wage, how are we going to get it done? And I think
that`s where the discussion tips very favorably to Hillary because of a
whole history of actually knowing how to get something done for a
I was surprised at Biden honestly because I never questioned that she had a
rich, progressive tradition. I`m surprised he didn`t remember what she did
on health care reform in 1993 and 1994. I think this is the perfect lesson
about who she is. Remember at that time she was accused of being strident.
But she stuck with it against the health insurance companies through thick
SHARPTON: Let me ask you quickly, I had breakfast this week with one of
Michael Bloomberg`s top lieutenants. He proceed you. What do you think
about him flirting with coming in and running independent?
DE BLASIO: I have a lot of respect for Michael Bloomberg and some of what
he did as mayor was very good for New York City. Some other things as you
and I know he really missed the ball on. But here`s the bottom line. The
people of this country are not going to turn to a billionaire to fix the
problems created by billionaires. It`s just not going to happen. There`s
such frustration. You can feel it here in Iowa. You can feel it all over
the country. Such frustration about the unfairness in our economy.
They`re not going to turn to a guy who symbolizes the status quo to fix it.
SHARPTON: Well, Mayor Bill de Blasio, thank you for being on the show this
morning. And stay warm out there.
DE BLASIO: Thanks, Rev. Be well.
SHARPTON: That does it for me. Thanks for watching. Tamron Hall picks up
coverage next. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.
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