Biden on Trump TRANSCRIPT: 3/4/20, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell

Guests:
Steve Hildebrand, Jamil Smith, Amy Klobuchar, Eric Swalwell, Ezra Klein
Transcript:

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.

 

Simply the best interview with Bernie Sanders that I have ever seen, and I

just want to get your proposal to Joe Biden clear. You`re saying you are

willing to travel to Vermont to interview Joe Biden?

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I will go to Vermont. I will go to Delaware. I

will go to American Samoa. I will do where I will – I will meet him where

he needs to be met.

 

O`DONNELL: Rachel and Joe in America Samoa, we`ve got the episode ready to

go. Thank you, Rachel, very much.

 

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL: Well, we have a special guest joining us tonight in a new role.

She has appeared on this program many times. But this will be her first

appearance this year, not as a presidential candidate.

 

Senator Amy Klobuchar will join us tonight. She`ll be here in the role she

has always had as United States senator, of course, but this will be her

first appearance as a supporter of the campaign of Joe Biden for president.

 

We have a new frontrunner and it`s the old front-runner, Joe Biden started

off the presidential campaign last year as a strong front-runner. But shaky

debate performances seemed to shake voter confidence in Joe Biden and his

poll numbers fell. And then the falling poll numbers created their downward

momentum as more voters seemed to lose confidence in Joe Biden`s ability to

win.

 

All the while, Bernie Sanders performance in the campaign remained

relentlessly consistent. After his heart attack when the Sanders campaign

was alt its low point, Congresswoman Alexander Ocasio Cortez stepped in

with an endorsement that revived the Sanders campaign, which achieved

essentially a tie for first place in Iowa followed by big wins in New

Hampshire and Nevada while Joe Biden was losing and losing badly in all of

those states.

 

Then came out to be the most important endorsement in the campaign.

Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina who took Joe Biden from three-

time loser in this presidential campaign to huge winner in South Carolina.

The South Carolina win super charged the Biden campaign so that just three

days later, last night, Joe Biden decisively won 10 of the 14 states voting

on Super Tuesday.

 

NBC News has not yet called the race in California as Rachel just

mentioned. Bernie Sanders is currently in the lead with 56 percent of the

vote counted.

 

In two out of the three states that Joe Biden clearly last night, Mike

Bloomberg made the difference. If Bloomberg had dropped of the race before

Super Tuesday and all of his votes went to Joe Biden, that would have

produced what looks like a tie in Colorado.

 

And in Utah, the Bloomberg vote would have delivered the win clearly to Joe

Biden.

 

And then today, the day after Mike Bloomberg appeared to block Joe Biden

and Joe Biden victories in those states, this happened.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MIKE BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve always believed that

defeating Donald Trump starts by leaning behind the candidate with the best

shot to do it. And after yesterday`s vote, it is clear that candidate is my

friend and great American, Joe Biden.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNEL: Mike Bloomberg is out of the race, but his billions of dollars

will remain in the fight to defeat Donald Trump in November. Donald Trump

got impeached trying to prevent what Joe Biden did last night.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Do you think the president is rooting

for Sanders?

 

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I think the one thing the

president doesn`t want to do from the very beginning is face me, because I

will beat him, period. Period. He has done everything in his power. He even

risked his presidency because he doesn`t want to face me.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: That is Joe Biden speaking with NBC`s Savannah Guthrie. You can

see much more of that interview tomorrow morning on the “Today” show.

 

The next debate is scheduled for March 15th. It will be a two man vote if

Senator Elizabeth Warren drops out of that race before that debate. Today,

her campaign manager in an email to staff said, last night, we fell well

short of viability goals and projections. And we are disappointed in the

results. We`re still waiting for more results to come in to get a better

sense of the final delegate math.

 

We are going to announce shortly that Elizabeth is taking – is talking to

the team to assess the path forward.

 

Today, in a press conference, Senator Sanders said he does not want the

campaign to degenerate into personal attacks.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So the American people

have got to understand that this is a conflict about ideas, about a record,

about a vision for where we go forward. And I like Joe. Joe is a decent

guy. I do not want this campaign to degenerate into a Trump-type epic where

we`re attacking each other, where it`s personal attacks. That is the last

thing this country wants.

 

Joe has his ideas, his record, his vision for the future. I have mine. And

I look forward to a serious debate on the serious issues facing this

country.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, Steve Hildebrand, former

deputy national campaign manager for Obama`s 2008 presidential campaign,

Jamil Smith, senior writer for “Rolling Stone”, and Ambassador Wendy

Sherman, a former undersecretary of state in the Obama administration. She

is an MSNBC global affairs contributor.

 

I want to listen to what Joe Biden said today to echo what we just heard

from Bernie Sanders about trying to make sure that this campaign does not

become about personal attacks. Let`s listen to that.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BIDEN: What we can`t do is let this turn into a campaign of negative

attacks. The only thing that I can do is help Donald Trump and it doesn`t

do anything to help any one in the candidates who are left on the campaign.

So, we have to keep our eye on the ball, and the eye on the ball is to

reclaim the soul of this country.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Wendy Sherman, to give Bernie Sanders credit, he was able to

maintain a campaign last time with Hillary Clinton where there were no

personal attacks. He was invited at certain points to launch personal

attacks even invited in debates to do that, especially about the Hillary

Clinton e-mails. He just refused to do it.

 

WENDY SHERMAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that both Senator Sanders

and Vice President Biden have the right idea which is the American public

is exhausted by Donald Trump, the world is exhausted by Donald Trump. And

they really want to hear some conversation about the issues that people

care about over their kitchen tables and they don`t want personal attacks.

They want to solve problems that we`re all facing here in the United

States.

 

And I think and I would suspect that you would agree, Lawrence, that the

coronavirus is creating a dynamic in this race where people are looking for

comfort and information and truth and decency and a way forward in such

uncertainty that no one can quite explain to them.

 

And so, I think it`s more incumbent upon our candidates than ever to have

that more than civil conversation to really go forward and to say to their

supporters as Rachel asked of Senator Sanders this evening, make sure your

supporters don`t put vitriol on social media, vitriol out in the public,

don`t have protesters take down meetings and rallies. Let`s have that

conversation that the American public is absolutely desperate for. They

want decency in the wake of a president who is anything but that.

 

O`DONNELL: Steve, in this modern age of campaigning with social media, the

way it is, is there any way for the campaign to control their millions of

supporters and how emotional they might get on Twitter?

 

STEVE HILDEBRAND, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER, 2008 OBAMA

CAMPAIGN: Well, I think a lot of us will take cues from the candidates. If

the candidates provide a civil discourse and as Wendy said, you know,

talking more about the future than about the past, then I think a lot of

people, a lot of their supporters are going to follow that.

 

You`re not going to control everybody. But I do think that what`s most

important is what we hear from the candidates. If either of these

candidates want to do the greatest service to themselves, they`re going to

talk about the future more than they`re going to talk about the past. The

negative attacks are going to be mostly about the past.

 

So, let`s talk about the future. Let`s have a great primary. Lawrence, this

is far from over. You know that. There`s, what, 38 contests left to go? And

we`re basically tied.

 

There`s – you know, can you call Joe Biden a front-runner because he

propelled last night in a pretty serious way. But last night, he really got

to even. We`re waiting on the delegate count. But if he`s ahead, he`s not

ahead by much.

 

This is really where Obama and Clinton were back in 2008 after Super

Tuesday.

 

O`DONNELL: And, Steve, staying with that, what do you see going forward?

Let`s assume it comes out? They`re projecting that Joe Biden will come up

with more delegates at the end of this. But as you say, it`s going to be

really close. What do you see happening from here to the end of the primary

season with these two?

 

HILDEBRAND: You know, we don`t know the dynamics. None of us could have

predicted what happened yesterday and really what happened in South

Carolina. Going forward, this could be bouncing back and forth. That`s what

happened in 2008. You know, Hillary would win one, Barack would win one, we

go back and forth.

 

The path looked good for Obama. But that was a more predictable path. This

is not predictable at all. Nobody could have predicted last night that Joe

Biden was going to win Massachusetts or Minnesota or some of more

progressive states. They couldn`t have predicted he was going to win Texas.

And even the Texas victory, while it`s a great symbolic victory, he barely

gets more delegates coming out of Texas.

 

You know, he got a lot more delegates coming out of North Carolina, Georgia

not – Georgia, Virginia, places like that than he did a big state like

Texas. So, you got to watch these smaller states. That`s how Obama made it

beyond Hillary was by really paying attention to the small states and

adding up delegate victories.

 

O`DONNELL: Jamil, hour, Rachel asked Bernie Sanders about segments of

support that he was counting on, and intending to build this time, build

over 2016. And that hasn`t happened.

 

Let`s listen to their exchange, part of their exchange about the black

vote.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW: Let`s talk about black voters specifically because it has been a

persistent problem. You know it was a problem in 2016. It might have cost

you the nomination then. It hasn`t gotten better.

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, both. We`re

running against somebody who has touted his relationship with Barack Obama

for eight years. Obama is enormously popular in this country in general,

and the African-American community. Running against Hillary Clinton, Bill

Clinton was enormously popular.

 

I don`t think if you look at the national polls, in fact, there were some

polls recently that we were running ahead of Biden in the African-American

community. So, it`s not that I`m not popular. Biden is running, you know,

with his – with his ties to Obama. And that`s working well.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Your reaction to that?

 

JAMIL SMITH, ROLLING STONE SENIOR WRITER: well, he is dating himself a

little bit. I mean, there were a few states he got boat raced. I mean,

Texas, 58 percent black vote went to Biden. Virginia, 60 percent. North

Carolina, 62 percent. Alabama, 72 percent.

 

And Alabama is a state that, you know, there was anniversary of Bloody

Sunday on March 1st. Instead of being – he is the only presidential

conditioned date that didn`t go. There were candidates that left the race

that were there. And he didn`t go and instead he staged a public enemy

concert in Los Angeles, you know, in a state that he was already doing

strongly in.

 

And so, frankly, I think his campaign really has to recalibrate the

approach to black voters. And instead of targeting maybe just younger black

voters where they`re already strong, they really have to start talking

about how they talk to older black voters who, yes, maybe they`re into

Obama, yes. But, you know, they also have to figure out a way to be into

Bernie Sanders.

 

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Joe Biden said today in defending against

the Bernie Sanders charge that what is happening for Joe Biden is he`s just

getting supported by the Democratic establishment as Bernie Sanders calls

it.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GUTHRIE: He said that your victory is essentially the corporate

establishment coming together. What do you think about that argument?

 

BIDEN: It`s ridiculous. It`s ridiculous. Bernie, you got beaten by

overwhelming support I have in the African-American community, Bernie. You

got beaten because of suburban women, Bernie. You got beaten because of

middle class, hard-working class folks out there, Bernie.

 

I hope we can have a campaign on the issues, but if Bernie wants to say all

this, it`s great by me. I let the facts speak for themselves.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Wendy Sherman, speaking as a member of that establishment, I`m

sorry, but I think a former undersecretary of state in a Democratic

administration, you don`t get more establishment than that. What`s your

reaction to all of this establishment talk?

 

SHERMAN: Well, it`s interesting. I think we got a clue in Rachel`s victory

with Senator Sanders when he said he didn`t ask Congressman Clyburn for his

endorsement because frankly Congressman Clyburn and he don`t agree on the

issues. And I think that`s very telling.

 

It is that the African-American community doesn`t want quite the revolution

that Senator Sanders has in mind. And unless he`s going to listen to them

and hear what they want and what they`re looking for and what I thought is

one of the interesting things about South Carolina is there really wasn`t a

generational divide between young African-Americans and older African

Americans.

 

And just as Joe Biden has to reach more into the Latino community, there is

no doubt that Bernie Sanders has to do work in the African-American

community but I`m not sure he`s going to.

 

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Bernie Sanders` answer about that question of

the Clyburn endorsement.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SANDERS: I know Jim Clyburn very well, and actually Jim and I work

together, working with Obama to put $11 billion into community health

centers which is one of the very important parts of the Obamacare, the

Affordable Care Act. So, I know Jim, I work with him.

 

Look, it is no secret, Jim is a very nice guy. I like him and I respect

him. His politics are not my politics. And I respect him.

 

But there was no way – no way in God`s earth that he`s going to be

endorsing me.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Jamil, I have to say, the idea that his politics are not my

politics and you`re under the same party heading – I mean, Beto O`Rourke`s

politics are not Biden`s politics on all sorts of issues.

 

SMITH: Right.

 

O`DONNELL: You still make the phone call.

 

SMITH: Right. I mean, at the end of the day, is he going to vote for Joe

Biden at the end of the day, because – I mean, are Joe Biden`s politics

his politics? I mean, that`s the question I have to ask because, you know,

what kind of example is he setting for the people who are following his

lead?

 

I mean, if the people`s – if this person`s politics are not your politics,

you just give up? You just don`t have that conversation? You don`t ask for

that person that person`s endorsement? You don`t have that dialogue?

 

That to me is not how you do politics in the 21st century. That`s not how

you do politics at all. You actually have the conversation. You actually –

you know, you say, hmm, I`m interested in having this conversation. If you

don`t give me your endorsement, that`s fine. But to rule it out

categorically, that seems to be a losing proposition.

 

O`DONNELL: Steve Hildebrand, it also gives you the air of a campaign and a

campaigner who is basically running on his own, and in that sense doesn`t

think it takes a political village to get this nomination. You can just run

from this strong base that fully believes in you and try to expand the

numbers of people who fully believe in you.

 

Is that a formula for getting this nomination?

 

HILDEBRAND: You know, there is millions of Americans who would love to be

invited into Bernie Sanders camp. But that camp is a little bit closed, as

you`re saying. And that`s a recipe for disaster.

 

You need every person, every vote, every volunteer, every contributor you

can possibly get when you run for public office. You know, you look at some

of the candidates who dropped out of this race, Cory Booker, his politics

would be more aligned with Bernie Sanders probably than with Joe Biden.

He`s not endorsed Bernie Sanders.

 

Kamala Harris, same thing. Julian Castro, same thing. You know, the so-

called moderates lined up behind Joe Biden. But Bernie Sanders has not even

coalesced the candidates running for president who are more aligned with

his politics.

 

O`DONNELL: Steve Hildebrand, Jamil Smith, Wendy Sherman, thank you all for

starting us out tonight. Really appreciate it.

 

And when we come back, she has appeared on this program more than any other

presidential candidate during this campaign. Now all the candidates are

always invited. But Senator Amy Klobuchar is the one that showed up the

most. Amy Klobuchar will join us next, this time not as a presidential

candidate, but as the person who Joe Biden says won Minnesota for him.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BIDEN: I was so proud yesterday being embraced by Amy Klobuchar. We won

Minnesota because of Amy Klobuchar.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Bernie Sanders suffered a big reversal of fortune last night in

Minnesota. Four years ago, Bernie Sanders won Minnesota with 61 percent of

the vote. Last night, Bernie Sanders lost Minnesota with 30 percent of vote

to Joe Biden`s 39 percent of the vote. In the last Minnesota poll before

Super Tuesday, Joe Biden was polling at 8, yes, 8 percent.

 

And then Monday night in Texas, Amy Klobuchar stood beside Joe Biden on

that stage and endorsed him.

 

We don`t have the tape. Sorry, Senator. We had the great video of you in

that emotional and exciting and crowd recognizing endorsement Monday night.

I wanted you to relive that moment for many reasons, Senator, including it

was the happiest losing candidate I have ever seen on a stage Monday night

in Texas.

 

What – take us through that process of – first of all, that decision, you

know, after doing so well in New Hampshire, doing so well in that debate,

coming down to the point where now Super Tuesday is looming. You`re through

South Carolina. You`re staring at Super Tuesday and you make the most

difficult decision about that campaign. What was that like?

 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): It wasn`t easy, but I know I was doing the right

thing. As I said in Dallas, by the way, that was just joyful. The crowd,

Vice President Biden, it was just – you can`t think of a better way as I

said to end my campaign and joining his.

 

And for me, it really started after we saw the South Carolina results. I

started talking to my campaign manager Sunday morning in that church in

Selma. I pretty much made the decision. And then I had to talk my husband

into it who had just convinced a lobster fisherman in Maine to support me.

And I said, well. you can get him to support Biden?

 

And then from there, we – the next day, went to Dallas and got to spend

some time with the vice president and Jill with our family. And it was just

a positive thing because I decided for me that this really couldn`t just be

the personal victory of winning my state which I knew I was going to do and

then what? I couldn`t really see that path.

 

And I thought, what better way to use my power than to bring some votes to

him from our state, and I thought I could pull it off in a day, I told him

that. We did a TV ad, cut it that night, radio ad and then I did a bunch of

interviews. I asked the people in my state who were going to vote for me

and I said, vote for Joe. And we were able to decisively win the state.

 

O`DONNELL: And, Senator, you won a lot of stages with Joe Biden over the

last several months, a lot of stages. And every time you were on a stage

with him you were with him as an opponent. What was it like to be on that

stage cheering for this guy?

 

KLOBUCHAR: You know, I had no problem at all. First of all, he and I didn`t

really get into – into it much in the debate stage because we agree on so

many issues. Secondly, my whole message, Lawrence, was about building this

big coalition with fired up Democratic base which he has shown that he can

fire up as well as independents, moderate Republicans, and then bringing

dignity and decency to the White House.

 

And from the very beginning, when I announced in the middle of that

blizzard, I talked about the need to cross the divides in our politics. And

it just felt so natural to say this is a guy that can do it, this is

someone that people trust, that can literally put himself in the shoes of

so many Americans out there, has the empathy for the people in this

country, something that is completely lacking in the White House right now.

 

As for me, it was an easy transition. I will say our last debate had a

moment when I was standing between him and Tom Steyer. If you remember,

they were kind of going at it. And I was grabbing on to the podium because

I was afraid I might get duped off my little platform that I stand on so

that people can see me. And I thought to myself, well, at least Tom Steyer

has deep pockets if I go down.

 

But it was – for me, it was just no problem, because I had gotten along

with the vice president in every debate.

 

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something that Bernie Sanders said in the

last hour discussing this with Rachel, kind of lamenting the now lack of

diversity on what will be the next debate stage which might or might not

have Elizabeth Warren and how we`ve now come down to the point where the

two frontrunners are – this is Bernie Sanders` words – the old white

guys. Let`s listen to this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BIDEN: We got to continue the fight for diversity and the Democrats should

be proud that it was – it started off with a very, very diverse group of

people, candidates, compared to the Republicans in general. And second of

all, I kind of think that when we look at a candidate, you have to look at

the totality of the candidate. Yes, I think we need more women in politics.

I think we need more gay people in politics. I think we need more African-

Americans in politics. But at the end of the day, we also have to look at

what a candidate stands for.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Senator, when you started off, plenty of women on that stage,

most of you senators. Did you think it would come to this? It would be down

to at this point just one woman left standing as of tonight and maybe not

even as of tomorrow night in this campaign?

 

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I didn`t want it to happen, Lawrence. because I wanted to

be still standing, and I think everyone has that same – same goal and same

wish. And it is what it is, and you have to respect the process here.

 

You know, before, at the beginning, it was just 3 percent of people voting

in the first four states. But now, you have nearly a third of America

voting. That`s where they are. And I am so proud of the women in this race

and what we accomplished and what we will accomplish. I don`t think anyone

will count any of us out for any work that we`re doing and our jobs or

anything else question do in the future.

 

I thought it was quite a strong showing by the women candidates. It just

was what happened and where the voters were. Of course, Elizabeth is still

in the race.

 

O`DONNELL: Did you have any discussion with Joe Biden about your future in

what could be the Biden administration?

 

KLOBUCHAR: No. I really didn`t want to play that game. I wanted to just

come in and endorse him. I have known him a long time. During my time we

were actually in the Senate together before he became Vice President. I

still remember once I gave a lonely floor speech. I was the only one in the

chamber.

 

He had just gotten out of the Presidential Race with President Obama. I

walked out of there and my phone rang. I thought oh, and it was him. He

said, hey, I just watched that speech. It was really good. And I thought

only my mom was watching it. He`s just a really good guy. And I`m just

honored to support him.

 

O`DONNELL: Yes that, is the Joe Biden that everyone in the Senate knows

including Bernie Sanders who keeps saying quite honestly and I believe him,

that he likes Joe Biden and vice versa. I want to listen to part of

Rachael`s interview with Bernie Sanders where they talked about helping

elect Democrats to the Senate in this case possibly Steve Bullock. Let`s

listen to this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

RACHAEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Steve Bullock is a very important Democratic

Senate Nominee potentially in Montana. Can you help him get elected or do

you have to keep your distance? I mean how do you –?

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean he`ll make his

own decisions. But of course I think we can help him. I mean I`ve heard

this argument a whole lot of time I believe that in the General Election

the way you beat Trump is to have the largest voter turnout in the history

of the country. I believe that it will be very hard to beat him when you`re

running an old fashioned type of campaign when you`re running the same old

same old.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Senator, your reaction to that?

 

KLOBUCHAR: You know, first of all, I have appreciated all the people Bernie

has brought in and what a role he can play in this race. It`s incredible.

We`re not going to be able to win if we don`t all come together.

 

But let me give you some counter facts here. Look at Virginia where Joe

Biden won. Look at the numbers there. That was a higher voter turnout than

past primaries. When you look across a country, we actually had a lot of

people turning out and a lot of people turning out were voting for Vice

President Biden or maybe Mr. Bloomberg who is now endorsed Vice President

Biden or maybe even some residuals that were supporting Pete and me from

before we got out that already had cast their ballots or were still doing

it.

 

So I think what you saw was actually quite a surge of people voting for

other candidates that weren`t Bernie. I mean, he had I don`t want to

discount that he has a chunk of votes. That`s very important. So I think

that`s the counter evidence right there exhibit A.

 

The second thing is our base is so fired up. We`ve seen it time and time

again from the day after the inauguration when millions of people

peacefully marched across this country to thousands of women signing up to

run to 2018 when Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House because we

flipped a bunch of seats in hard, hard districts that used to be held by

Republicans in places like Iowa and Orange County.

 

It was true all over the country. So when you talk to those candidates, the

vast majority of them want someone in charge of our ticket that shares our

views, that wants to see us building on the Affordable Care Act and not

blowing it up, that wants to see us working toward more affordable college

in a smart way.

 

That doesn`t want to spend $60 trillion worth of programs which is three

times the U.S. economy which is what Senator Sanders plans amount to. And

Bernie and I are friends and we`ve had this same argument. I`m just giving

on the debate stage several times. But I think that`s why you saw this huge

voter turnout.

 

O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar, I want to thank you very much for joining

us as often as you did while you were a Presidential Candidate. I`m

thanking you on behalf of this audience who all want to know what the

Presidential Candidates are thinking what they`re proposing? What they want

to do in government? What they want to do if they become President?

 

And you`re willingness to continually describe what you`re trying to

achieve to this audience is greatly appreciated. We really appreciate you

joining us tonight and hope you will continue to.

 

KLOBUCHAR: Wow. It`s great. And it`s great to be home in Minnesota. I woke

up this morning and literally thought, asked myself, what hotel room am I

in where all this light is coming in? And I realized it was my own house.

So there you go.

 

O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you very much for joining us.

Really appreciate it.

 

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, another Former Presidential Candidate,

Congressman Eric Swalwell, he was one of the first to make that hard

decision to drop out of this race. He will join us next. We`ll see if he`s

ready to make an endorsement.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the seemingly impossible job of

keeping all Democrats in the House of Representatives happy with her

leadership including House members like Alexander Ocasio-Cortez who has

endorsed Bernie Sanders, Ayanna Pressley who has endorsed Elizabeth Warren

and Jim Clyburn who has endorsed Joe Biden.

 

With that in mind, here is what Speaker Pelosi said today when she was

asked about Joe Biden`s big wins last night.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you make of Joe Biden`s victory last night? He

did really well.

 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, I would love everyone to vote and have

their say in all this and we`ll see how it goes.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of

California. He is the member of the House Judiciary and House Intelligent

Committees. Congressman Swalwell, thank you very much for joining us

tonight and I have on my desk a breaking news button here that I can press

if you are ready to announce your endorsement in the Presidential Campaign.

We can just get that breaking news banner right across the bottom of the

screen. Have you made a decision?

 

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): I`ve did enclose Lawrence and you are frankly I

have just had an election last night where I had six opponents in

California and have been focused on that. And now I look forward to making

that decision soon. But I will say I am a single issue endorser. I just

want to beat Donald Trump.

 

And I think what Speaker Pelosi was also saying was when it comes to

November, we are for addition, and they`re for subtraction. When it comes

to healthcare, when it comes to climate, we`re for living at sea level.

They`re for living under water. When it comes to economy, we`re for all

floors benefitting they`re for only the top floor.

 

And so I think you know we`re going to support anyone who is the nominee.

And I`m looking forward to making that decision very soon.

 

O`DONNELL: So like all members of Congress in California, you`re on the

primary ballot last night. You had to get past that. Can you talk for a

moment to California voters about what happened with the kinds of delays we

saw last night in some places that we hadn`t seen before? The long lines–

 

SWALWELL: It shouldn`t be that hard, Lawrence. It shouldn`t than hard. And

first I have to say we have a Secretary of State Alex Padilla who is

dramatically expanded access to the polls. But I do think we need to look

at what we can do to invest and support counties so that we have enough

people working at the polls and also able to process absentee ballots.

 

But we don`t want to deter people in November from showing up because they

see these long lines. It shouldn`t be a long line to demonstrate, you know,

civic participation. That`s the wrong image. And so I hope we can get that

right before November.

 

O`DONNELL: And the issue with the lines is complex here in California. How

long now do you think it will take for us to have what we can call a real

and final result in the Presidential voting in California?

 

SWALWELL: Oh, I think it`s probably going to be two to three weeks. It will

be certified I think in about a movement but as you remember during the mid

terms, many of the races were not called for a couple weeks. And it looks

like it tightens more and more between Vice President Biden and Senator

Sanders.

 

You know, I think that is going to be all the more reason they`re going to

want to make sure they get it right. So many delegates are at stake. It

could be a two person race and those delegates will be critical to those

1,991 votes that you need.

 

O`DONNELL: You represent one of the states where we have now had a death

from the Coronavirus. I want to listen to what Bernie Sanders said about

Coronavirus to Rachel Maddow in the last hour.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SANDERS: You should not be having somebody like a Vice President Pence

leading the task force somebody who I think was, you know, to say - to be

gentle to him, to be kind, is not a great advocate for science in general.

I have very little confidence in the Trump Administration to do anything

that is right or decent or certainly based on science.

 

Remember these are the guys who think climate change is a hoax. Congress

has going to have to play a much more aggressive role the difficult he is

he has contempt for Congress and Congress would literally pass legislation

which he will not necessarily implement.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Congressman Swalwell, what is your view of how the

administration is handling this?

 

SWALWELL: We want them to succeed. Their success is all of our success.

Today we were briefed by Vice President Pence. Speaker Pelosi invited him

in. And I thought it was a pretty spirited exchange of our members asking

pointed questions.

 

I`ll tell you, we have the team that President has chosen. In Congress we

can fund this crisis but the President has picked his team. I think we`re

all committed to trying to work with the Vice President.

 

And Lawrence, I`ll just say, frankly, as the Vice President laid out what

we have to do, put his politics aside it was refreshing to see somebody

from the White House actually understand how government works? I mean, he`s

talking about different agencies working with Governors working with the

Counties. And I just could never imagine closing my eyes and seeing Donald

Trump do it.

 

So yes, I think there are more qualified people than Vice President Pence.

But thank God Donald Trump is nowhere near this crisis.

 

O`DONNELL: Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you very much for joining us

tonight, we really appreciate it.

 

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

 

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, we`re going have more of my interview

with Joe Biden. This was a part we couldn`t use the other night. We didn`t

have time for it. This is the part of the interview where he discusses

running against Bernie Sanders. That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: I interviewed Joe Biden the day before his big Super Tuesday

victory. Here is part of that interview that we didn`t have time to show on

Monday night. Joe Biden drawing contrasts with Bernie Sanders.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: President Trump tweeted “This is the real beginning of the

Democrats taking Bernie out of play.” The President seems very protective

of Bernie Sanders in a way I don`t think we should take seriously. But is

this the President`s suggesting that now you, Pete Buttigieg are somehow

part of a movement that is simply about stopping Bernie?

 

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m in part of movement elect Biden.

That`s the movement I`m invested in not take out Bernie. And there`s going

to be, as I said Lawrence, a clear choice people are going to have to make

in the Democratic Party. You looking for a revolution for somebody who has

not gotten a whole lot done, he`s a good guy but hadn`t gotten a whole lot

done in the United States Congress.

 

Look, you got - the next President of the United States, he or she is going

to inherit a world of disarray and a country that is divided. They`re going

to have to not only be able to beat Trump they`re going to have to be able

to win back the Senate and keep the House of Representatives.

 

There`s been a plethora of endorsements I haven`t even asked for. Scores

and scores of national endorsements are coming forward. Congress persons -

and by the way all the people that are coming forward most rapidly are

people who in states and districts that are purple and are worried they`re

going to lose if Bernie`s at top of the ticket that`s not me. That`s them.

 

So the question is who is best positioned, number one, to win - help win

back the Senate and keep the House of Representatives because - that`s

number one. Number two, who is going to be in the best position once

elected to be able to actually get things done in the United States Senate

and the House of Representatives?

 

And I`m going to say something presumptuous. Even back in the days of Pat

Moynihan I had a pretty darn good record of getting things done bipartisan.

Getting things done. I know I`m told by the opponents and the good folks

running for the nomination, say well, you know, Joe used to be able to do

that, he got a lot done, he got did the - he got the votes for the Recovery

Act, which is $900 billion, he ran that, but that`s the past, he doesn`t

know this new Republican Party.

 

Lawrence, I know them better than anybody. I`ve been the object of their

affection for a while now. And I know how to beat them.

 

O`DONNELL: Former Vice President Joe Biden, thank you very much for joining

us. We really appreciate it.

 

BIDEN: I hope you have me back. Thank you, Lawrence. I appreciate it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Up next, the always thoughtful and insightful Ezra Klein will

join us. He wrote a piece today about the difference between the Sanders

Campaign strategy and the Biden Campaign strategy and why one now seems to

be working better than the other? Ezra Klein is next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Here is Bernie Sanders giving the short outline of his campaign

strategy tonight with Rachel.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SANDERS: The challenge is how do you expand the base? And if anybody thinks

you can do it through the same old same old type of politics, I would

respectfully disagree. You need energy. You`re going to need excitement.

And I think that is the campaign that we have.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Ezra Klein, Editor At-Large and Co-Founder of

Vox Media. He is the Host of the Podcast “The Ezra Klein Show.” He`s also

the Author of the new book “Why We`re Polarized.” Ezra, you wrote today

about the Sanders Campaign strategy versus the Biden Campaign strategy.

What are the essentials of each one?

 

EZRA KLEIN, CO-FOUNDER, VOX MEDIA: So there`s a key difference between

them, which is simply that Bernie Sanders has been running to lead a

political revolution, a revolution that changes the nature of politics and

in particular changes the nature of the Democratic Party itself. He runs

against the Democratic Party establishment towards a new more social

Democratic Party, socialist Democratic Party.

 

Joe Biden wants to lead the Democratic Party as it exists right now. And

that has turned at this point into an advantage for him. One of the really

key things that happened over the past week or two in the primary, after

Iowa and New Hampshire Sanders really was in the lead. You looked at the

polling, looked at the betting markets.

 

But it was really interesting what didn`t happen. There were no big

endorsements. You didn`t see establishment figures, even liberal ones like

Sherrod Brown or Tammy Baldwin coming around his campaign.

 

And then after South Carolina when Biden got that big Jim Clyburn

endorsement that helped catapult him to a huge win there and then he got

the Amy Klobuchar endorsement, Pete Buttigieg, Harry Reid, Beto O`Rourke,

he began seeing that party decides dynamic, and that really comes from Joe

Biden doing that inside work, inside the Democratic Party to try to lead it

and sort of tell the other players within it that he`s going to be somebody

they can count on.

 

And as Democrats who are the ones who primarily vote in Democratic

Primaries looked at the people they trusted that signal ended up being

really important to them. So the argument I make in this piece is if Bernie

Sanders wants to become the leader of the Democratic Party he`s got to try

harder to lead the Democratic Party, not just take it over.

 

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to more of Bernie Sanders talking about him

taking on not just the corporate establishment but the political

establishment. Let`s listen to this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SANDERS: You`re talking to a candidate uniquely who`s taken on the entire

corporate establishment. You`re talking to a candidate who`s taking on the

political establishment. Mr. Bloomberg comes on board Biden other

candidates. And he will solidify his support with the political leadership.

We`re taking that on. We`re running a grassroots campaign.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: So Ezra, that taking on the political establishment comes on the

same day that the campaign releases an ad that is all about Barack Obama

and the positive things he has said about Bernie Sanders over the years.

 

KLEIN: That was really striking. That was I thought the kind of ad that the

Bernie Sanders Campaign should have been making before and the kind of work

they should have been putting in before, not that they`re going to get

Barack Obama`s endorsement before they wrap up the nomination, but to show

that they actually are players in the Democratic Party.

 

Look, one of the funny things about Bernie Sanders and one of the tensions

in his campaign and his career more broadly is that he`s both inside and

outside the system. On the one hand he`s a Democratic Socialist, an

Independent Democratic Socialist from Vermont. He was not officially a

Democrat until a few years ago. He has run against the Democratic

establishment.

 

He`s often been very cutting against them. In an interview he did with me a

couple years ago he talked about how yes, Democrats are better than

Republicans, 10, 25, 100 times better he said but are they the party of

working people? No, he said they`re not really the party of working people

and he wanted to make them that way.

 

On the other hand he`s actually has been a pretty reliable Democratic vote

he`s there when the Democrats need him but he`s not really been playing

into that part of his own history in the campaign. I think that`s

ultimately began to hurt him because he does need to win over actual rank-

and-file Democrats.

 

O`DONNELL: Yes, he does have a very practical record in governing which he

does not discuss in this campaign. Erza Klein, thank you very much for

joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.

 

KLEIN: Thank you.

 

O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams

starts now.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.                                                                                                    

END

 

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