UP, Transcript 1/30/2016
Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: January 30, 2016
Guest: Kathie Obradovich, Jeanne Zaino, Gian-Carlo Peressutti, Corey
Hebert, Janelle Smithson, Brianna Steirer, Melissa Mays
RICHARD LUI, MSNBC HOST: Counting down to Iowa.
And good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this morning. I`m Richard
Lui on this Saturday. We are just two days away from the Iowa caucuses.
All eyes are on Donald Trump. Will the unlikely Republican front-runner
win the first contest of 2016? When he entered the race this summer,
everyone believed it would be sooner rather than later that the bombastic
billionaire would fade into also rand. Instead, with voting set to begin
on Monday, he enters Iowa from the front of the pack. Our most recent Iowa
polling shows that Trump leading his closest competitor Senator Ted Cruz by
seven percentage points.
Meanwhile on the democratic side, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are
neck and neck in the Hawkeye states. Clinton holding three events today
aimed at getting Iowans out to vote. Former President Bill Clinton and
their daughter Chelsea set to join her later today. This as Senator
Sanders tries to pull off and win here, trying to mobilize an army of
first-time caucus goers with a rally and concert today in Iowa City. This
morning we start in Iowa`s capital city of Des Moines, where our team is on
the ground following the candidates as they crisscross the state today.
Let`s go first to Hillary Clinton who is starting her day in Ames, Iowa on
the campus of Iowa State University, and then head west to Carroll and end
her day at a high school in Cedar Rapids. This as we learn new details
about the State Department`s decision to withhold 22 of Hillary Clinton`s
e-mails. State Department officials now say the e-mails contain top secret
For the latest, we turn to NBC`s Kristen Welker. Kristen?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Richard, good morning to you.
People are buzzing about Hillary Clinton`s e-mail issue here in Iowa this
morning. Not exactly the headline the Clinton campaign wants to see with
just two days before the all-important Iowa caucuses but her top rival
Bernie Sanders isn`t making an issue of it. Instead, both candidates are
focused on the finish line.
BILL CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You can make her the next
president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
WELKER (voice-over): Hillary and Bill Clinton back together again Friday
night, trying to seal the deal here in Iowa.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Davenport!
WELKER: This comes as the State Department released more than 1600 pages
of e-mails from Clinton`s private server when she was secretary of state.
But for the first time withheld 22 documents labeling them top secret, the
highest level of classifications. State Department officials weighed in
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: None of this traffic was marked
classified at the time it was spent.
WELKER: The Clinton campaign is now calling on the State Department to
make the e-mails public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an example of over classification run amok.
WELKER: NBC`s Lester Holt interviewed Secretary Clinton shortly before the
LESTER HOLT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: Why shouldn`t people, as they weigh
the electability question, worry about this hanging over your head?
CLINTON: There was never any information sent or received that was marked
classified to me.
WELKER: Despite Bernie Sanders` refusal to make an issue of the e-mails –
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people are sick
and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.
WELKER: The Clinton campaign has been unable to escape the controversy.
And the timing could threaten her chances heading into Monday`s critical
CLINTON: Make it happen starting Monday night.
WELKER: She`s running neck and neck with Sanders in Iowa who Friday night
stayed focus on rallying his supporters.
SANDERS: I believe that it is our campaign that is generating the
excitement and the interest for a large voter turnout.
WELKER: At the Drake Diner in Des Moines, Iowans served up plenty of
(on camera): Does the Hillary Clinton e-mail issue matter to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
WELKER: How so?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like it`s a skeleton in the closet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think this is something that is going to have
that big –
WELKER: In a statement late last night, Sanders reiterated he`s not
interested in Hillary Clinton`s e-mails. He`s interested in the issues.
Both candidates will crisscross the state today with eight events between
them at one Secretary Clinton will be joined by Gabby Giffords who will
argue she is the best candidate to take on the NRA. Richard, back to you.
LUI: NBC`s Kristen Welker. Kristen, thank you so much for that report.
And joining us now from Iowa`s political columnist for “The Des Moines
Register” Kathie Obradovich. Kathie, a little bit of action happening in
your state today. And let`s start with what Kristen was talking about and
those e-mails. Are they resonating? You saw her sit down with some of
your fellow Iowans there.
KATHIE OBRADOVICH, DES MOINES REGISTER: This whole e-mail issue has really
not been what Democrats are talking about. We have polled – the Des
Moines Register has polled on this a couple of times. We have found that
Democrats by and large are not interested in this. So does the latest
news, you know, add concern for people because they`re now really focused
in on the election? At this point I don`t think so. Just for the simple
reason that Bernie Sanders is choosing not to make it an issue. Of course
the media is going to keep talking about it, it is going to be part of the
conversation. But it`s been part of the conversation the entire campaign.
So, I`ll be surprised if this is the issue that pushes people over the top.
LUI: So the two ways of looking at that, Bernie Sanders and the Democrats
specifically. This as he gets out as all the candidates are today and
tomorrow as well to try to get those last votes out. Hitting county by
county here. It`s been said that this is Bernie Sanders country. But as
he gets out to other counties, there are counties where it may not be
because it`s not going to constitute shall we say, the young vote or the
OBRADOVICH: Yes. So it`s very important in the democratic caucuses that a
candidate has support statewide. Why? Because what`s counted is not
necessarily the popular vote. What is counted is delegates. And so you
need to get delegate share in every one of 1681 precincts in order to win
the caucuses. And if all of your support is concentrated in college towns,
you know, you can kill it in the college towns and still lose the caucuses
if you don`t have people in you know, all over the state.
LUI: So, some great reporting coming out of Des Moines Register.
OBRADOVICH: Thank you.
LUI: One of my favorites are those 15 or 18 photos or photos over the last
bunch of hours. And you take that over a span of time. If you could make
a comparison or contrast here between the candidates and what you`ve seen
in those collections of photos of the different candidates.
OBRADOVICH: Oh, well, so, I mean, it is a really fascinating to watch
this. I mean, just the crowds, the energy. You know, that the way that
the candidates gesture and their expressions. You know, I just think
people will enjoy looking at those themselves and making their own
conclusions about how things are going.
LUI: Yes. And for those of you just go straight to the website, and I`m
pitching for you here, Kathie, because it is good stuff. I want to bring
in our panel as well to talk about what is happening today on the ground in
We have MSNBC contributor, professor at the University of Texas Victoria
DeFrancesco. Political scientist and professor of politics at Iona
College, Jeanne Zaino. And former aide to Karl Rove and former spokesman
for President George H.W. Bush Gian-Carlo Peressutti. Thanks all for being
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you.
GIAN-CARLO PERESSUTTI, FORMER AIDE TO KARL ROVE: Good morning.
LUI: And so we`ve got a lot to talk about right here. Specifically I want
to move into the issues of the on the ground game today and who is
resonating the most. And this issue of getting out to all the counties
and, hey, one fact that we all four understand, all five, is that the
majority of Iowans have not made a decision as of yet. Gian-Carlo?
PERESSUTTI: Absolutely right. And I think that`s a huge reason why
organizing very early, earlier before many people are paying attention,
even before the media are paying attention, is super important because it`s
difficult to get someone whose mind isn`t made up to come out, especially
if the weather isn`t great on a Monday night. That`s why you have to start
organizing super early, and the candidates that have done that are going to
be the ones that –
LUI: OK. On the right, who is the one we`re watching right now? At least
the polls say Trump is. He`s just going to move through Iowa, at least.
Because we have that plus seven or the difference of seven percentage
points at the moment. So, we`re looking at down ballot a little here and
we`re looking at Cruz and Rubio. Who?
DEFRANCESCO: Rubio. That is the person who I am looking at because we
know that there`s going to be a strong finish with Trump, whether first or
second. Same thing with Cruz. But I think over the last ten days, Marco
Rubio has done a really good job of changing his message, making it a bit
more positive, reaching out to those folks on the ground in Iowa. So, I
would not be surprised if he finishes second. I`m not saying he will.
DEFRANCESCO: But I wouldn`t be surprised.
LUI: Those are the headlines.
DEFRANCESCO: And if he finishes third, but a strong third, so, you know,
Ted Cruz, Trump going to do well, but Marco Rubio for me is going to keep
my eye on.
JEANNE ZAINO, IONA COLLEGE: And I would also say, I agree. I think that
Cruz, Rubio match-up has been really fascinating in Iowa. But I would also
say, we have to watch careful because the big question throughout this has
been is Donald Trump just like with the question of Bernie Sanders, going
to be able to bring out people to caucuses who do not like – who have
never, in many cases, gone to caucuses. Caucuses are not just about going
into polling booth and pulling a lever, you know, choosing your candidate.
You have to actually sit and dialogue with your neighbors. You have to try
to convince them to your side. It`s a three-hour commitment. So, he may
well be organized enough to bring these people out. But I`m going to be
fascinated Monday night to see how many of them actually go. Remember in
the last few years you get, what, a couple hundred thousand people out.
DEFRANCESCO: Sixteen percent of the eligible voters turned out in 2008.
ZAINO: And that was a big, big election.
LUI: Quickly, Gian-Carlo –
PERESSUTTI: As I was saying, this is an extremely important point. We
know the model for a Ted Cruz candidacy and evangelical conservative. That
will turn out caucus goers. The Rubio model, the Trump model remains to be
LUI: Yes. If you`re a Republican, get ready for a long caucus come
Monday. No doubt. Last one here, Kathie. Did Cruz, did he peak too
OBRADOVICH: Well, you know, Ted Cruz possibly did peak too early. We`ll
see what happens on caucus night because his people are the type of people
are historically most likely to caucus, the evangelicals, conservatives,
people who are very, very conservative. And Donald Trump`s folk, again,
new. We don`t know for sure.
OBRADOVICH: I do want to put in a plug to Des Moines Register Iowa poll,
the globe standard in polling comes out tonight at 5:45 p.m.
LUI: All right. I was going to bring it up. But you brought it up for
OBRADOVICH: Yes. I just want you to tune in at 5:45.
LUI: OK. We will do that. Love talking with you. Kathie Obradovich, for
getting up with us this morning on MSNBC from THE Des Moines Register. You
have a good one.
And I`ll speak to the panel again throughout the next two hours. They`re
not going anywhere. Bernie Sanders will be kicking off his weekend of
campaigning in Iowa less than three hours from now. Manchester. Will he
break one of his campaign pledges in order to win that state in Iowa?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORNEL WEST, AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR: How sweet it is! Define joy and
struggle that once again moves the focus away from the elites and
highlights working people, poor people, old folk who actually constitute
the foundation of this nation. And we will not be led astray by our
dearest sister Hillary Clinton. We know – we know the difference between
a genuine democrat, small d, and a Wall Street Democrat, capital D. We
know the difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Cornel West there, possibly President Obama`s biggest critic from the
Left, campaigning for Bernie Sanders in Davenport, Iowa, last night.
Senator Sanders has sharpened his apparent attacks against Hillary Clinton
in recent days. Meanwhile, Sanders new TV ad, it`s his toughest one yet.
Even if it does not mention Hillary Clinton by name, it does mention the
trading firm from which Clinton has taken speaking fees. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the Wall Street banks that triggered the
financial meltdown, Goldman Sachs, just settled with authorities for their
part in the crisis that put seven million out of work and millions out of
their homes. How does Wall Street get away with it? Millions in campaign
contributions and speaking fees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Joining me now from Des Moines, Iowa, MSNBC political reporter Alex
Seitz-Wald. There are a lot to talk about here, Alex. Let`s begin with
the ad itself. And it has been said over the months, you know, Bernie
Sanders has the pledge not going negative. In this case he has said
publicly this is me not going negative. We`re not discussing going
negative. If you want to find out about it, talk to me. But you see this.
ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: Right, Richard. I mean, you
know, he has pledged not the go negative. It`s a core part of his
political brand but he`s really walking right up to the line if not
stepping a toe slightly over. Certainly the Clinton campaign is claiming
that he has crossed that line. And on the stump he`s been drawing much
starker contrast than Hillary Clinton. His message lately has been that
it`s easy to be a progressive when the polls are with you but he was on the
right side of DOMA, on trade policy, on health care, and a whole host of
issues when the polls were against him.
Suggesting that Clinton is essentially going with the – putting her finger
on the win and going whatever direction the polls tell her. Well, he`s
doing the opposite. Now, the Clinton campaign is taking major umbrage at
this. Yesterday, Joel Benenson, their top strategist said Bernie Sanders
is running the most negative campaign any democratic presidential candidate
has ever run which I think that raised a lot of people`s eyebrows. But,
you know, without a doubt he said he`s trying to fire up his supporters
here, he`s trying to get them to caucus on Monday. And I think he thinks
he can do that by sharpening his contrast with Clinton.
LUI: But you know, Alex, as you know so well, the data here implies, that
at least for Bernie Sanders, much of his support comes from white Liberals,
yet we see Cornel West out in Iowa making a point here to rally if you will
the non-white Liberal vote. However, who is in the crowd and who
resonating with what Cornel West had to say?
SEITZ-WALD: Right. Not an obvious surrogate for Iowa which is one of the
whitest states in the country but it speaks to how few surrogates Bernie
Sanders has. Cornel West has been very critical of Barack Obama. Barack
Obama of course got his start here in Iowa when he beat Hillary Clinton in
2008. Obama has something like a 90 percent approval rating depending on
the poll you checked among Democrats. But West is also a celebrity on the
far left which Bernie Sanders is certainly appealing to and that 10 percent
of Democrats who don`t like President Obama who are disappointed in
President Obama, Cornel West is speaking to them. And those are the Bernie
Sanders voters, those are the hard core people. Voters that I`ve talked to
so far not really concerned about what Cornel West is saying but, you know,
again speaking to the base that he needs to get out on Monday.
LUI: Yes. Really, perhaps singling to outside of Iowa, outside of New
Hampshire, outside of those two first voting states. I want to go to
something that`s been happening with “The Washington Post,” Bernie Sanders.
Their editorial in “The Washington Post,” their board coming out with
comments. They`ve been having a dual basically in the past few days about
what was said in this “Post” editorial saying, in short, Bernie Sanders
fiction-filled campaign. That was the title. Bernie Sanders responded
with an attack on the “Post.” Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: People are telling us whether it`s “The Washington Post”
editorial board or anybody else, our ideas are too ambitious, can`t happen.
Too bold. Really? Well, here`s something that is very, very bold. In the
last 30 years there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle
class and working families in this country. We`ve got to create an economy
that works in the middle class. And whether “The Washington Post” likes it
or not, that`s what I intend to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Fiction-filled campaign. And perhaps too far or not? That`s what
he`s saying. They`ve gone too far in their commentary.
SEITZ-WALD: Well, Sanders, as the insurgent, has a very convenient
response to anyone who attacks him, which is that, you know, he`s the
antiestablishment and they are the part of the establishment. He is
dreaming big. They are naysayers. So, anyone who comes after him
automatically gets lumped into the establishment. And that`s exactly what
he`s doing with “The Washington Post” editorial board here. He`s talking
about it on the stump, he`s talking at it when he`s asked. He`s always
been a critic of the corporate media as he calls it. And, you know, while
he ticks off other news outlet, suddenly “The Washington Post” has been
added to his column on the no list. I don`t know if that really turns off
any voters. I think again it fires up his base. And in these final days,
it`s really what it`s all about for him. He`s not trying to persuade
voters. He`s trying to get his core people to the polls.
LUI: Good point made there. Thank you so much, MSNBC Alex Seitz-Wald, I
appreciate your reporting.
SEITZ-WALD: Thank you.
LUI: Now, Ted Cruz, he will be kicking off in his day of campaigning in
Hubbard, Iowa, just a few hours from now. And now it appears Donald Trump
may not be his only formidable opponent in the Hawkeye State. More on that
right after this in a live shot as we go to break from Des Moines, Iowa.
LUI: Republicans candidates rather are making their way across Iowa today.
Front-runner Donald Trump making three stops working his way south from
Dubuque to Davenport. And Ted Cruz tries to regain some momentum in the
state as well. He has five events, he`ll move west throughout the day
traveling from Hubbard to Sioux City.
For the latest on the GOP and the gift they feel that they have been given
with Hillary Clinton`s State Department e-mails, we spoke a short time ago
to NBC`s Hallie Jackson.
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Richard. And
this morning the Republican candidates are getting ready for dozens of
campaign events today. Most of them crisscrossing the state in this final
countdown to the caucuses. But they`re not just taking aim at each other.
Many are looking across the aisle now to hit Hillary Clinton.
JACKSON (voice-over): The Republican`s favorite target on the campaign
trail now facing new fire from her GOP rivals.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton is
disqualified. Disqualified from being commander-in-chief.
JACKSON: Marco Rubio calling the latest news about Hillary Clinton`s e-
mail release unacceptable.
RUBIO: Maybe she thinks she`s above the law. Or maybe she just wanted to
convenience of being able to read this stuff on her Blackberry.
JACKSON: Ted Cruz also taking Clinton to task.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton on her e-
mail server had 22 top secrets e-mails. Well that actually is an accurate
statement. This is getting more and more serious.
JACKSON: Clinton`s campaign spokesperson on defense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that these e-mails that they were not marked
classified at the time that they were sent or received.
JACKSON: Republicans quick to pounce. Donald Trump tweeting, the e-mail
release is a disaster and slamming what he calls Clinton`s bad judgment.
But saving his hardest hit for a Republican rival.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted Cruz may not be a U.S.
citizen. Right? But he`s an anchor baby. No, he`s an anchor baby. Ted
Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada.
JACKSON: Cruz laughing it off in Iowa.
(on camera): Donald Trump called you an anchor baby today. Any response
JACKSON: Just laughter, is that what you take away from it?
CRUZ: I like Donald. And he`s welcome to say whatever he likes. I like
him and respect him. That`s all I`ve good to say. And right now it`s up
to the voters to decide.
JACKSON (voice-over): The two Iowa front-runners –
TRUMP: I think we`re going to do really well in Iowa.
JACKSON: Just a weekend away from the caucuses.
CRUZ: I am having a fantastic time. We have 77 hours to go.
JACKSON: The final push to the finish line.
JACKSON: Cruz over the last 24 hours taking a little bit of a different
tone on a campaign trail. Backing off some of those unprompted attack
against Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio will also be out in this
state holding events today hoping for a strong third place finish, Richard.
And hoping to pick up some momentum heading into Monday after the GOP
debate earlier this week.
LUI: Hallie, thank you so much. NBC`s Hallie Jackson with that report on
Now, the last debate before the Iowa caucuses proved to be a rough one for
Ted Cruz. But Donald Trump ducking that debate as you remember, Cruz was
the night`s number one target there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: The truth is, Ted, throughout this campaign you`ve been willing to
say or do anything in order to get votes. Ted, you worked for George W.
Bush`s campaign. You helped design George W. Bush`s – you helped design
George W. Bush`s immigration policy. Now, you want to trump Trump on
immigration. But you can`t, we`re not going to beat Hillary Clinton with
someone who is willing to say or do anything to win an election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Cruz also drew boos when he tried to interrupt FOX News moderator
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Chris, Chris, I was mentioned in that question –
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: No. I don`t think your name was
mentioned, Ted. Sir, sir –
CRUZ: The question said you –
WALLACE: I think what the question was about – it`s not my question that
you got a chance to respond to. It`s his answer. You don`t get 30 seconds
to respond to me.
CRUZ: Your question was you have disagree –
WALLACE: You don`t get 30 second to respond to me, sir. I know you like
to argue about the rules but we`re going to conduct the debate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Joining us now NBC campaign Vaughn Hillyard in Hubbard, Iowa as well
as Mark Murray in Des Moines.
Mark, let`s start with you on this. As you now look at the debate and what
had happened a couple days ago, who did it hurt most? You know, the
headlines have been that Cruz really struggled there and therefore it
helped perhaps Donald Trump in the end.
MARK MURRAY, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know,
there`s no doubt that Ted Cruz didn`t have a good moment at the debate and
part of it was that he was the person with the target on his back. Part of
it also just epitomized the last two or three weeks on the campaign trail,
particularly in Iowa where his poll numbers have calmed down. He goes from
being number one in Iowa, now to number two in the NBC/”Wall Street
Journal” Marist poll. But Richard, I would also argue that Marco Rubio had
kind of a tough performance as well.
First hour Marco Rubio really stood out but that second hour when the
conversation turned to the debate over immigration, he had his struggles as
well. So when you talk about both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio taking some –
in the last debate, who does that benefit? Donald Trump who ended up
basically saying he wasn`t going – he skipped it. I would say though,
however, given the furious campaign activity that we`ve seen, the debate on
Thursday night seems like such a long time ago. This contest is all going
to come out to organization and who ends up turning out.
LUI: Turning out. Vaughn, the latest NBC News poll shows that Ted Cruz is
losing ground and Marco Rubio gaining a couple of points there. When we
hear what Mark is just saying, is let`s look forward to the next two days.
What are you seeing in terms of the candidates and how well and what they
are doing in order to fire up their own base perhaps sway some votes here?
VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CAMPAIGN: Sure. And I think the problem for Ted
Cruz is that he and his campaign have been characterizing this in the last
two weeks as a two-man race. They were running the attack against Donald
Trump but then just two days ago, they released their first anti-Rubio ad
here for this final swing. And they have got more coming out over the
weekend. And it was interesting yesterday coming off the debate for the
first time Ted Cruz changes tenor over the last three weeks. He`s been
kind of going after 17 different policy attacks that he`s had on Donald
Trump. But what we saw yesterday was sort of the October, the November,
the December Ted Cruz where he was talking about his message of hope and
optimism. Focusing on his own policies. And really whether that goes
through the weekend, the campaign said, yes, it will. It`s driving home
the message of Ted Cruz. That`s how we got in the top of the polls in the
first place before he started attacking Donald.
LUI: Uhm. The Monmouth University poll shows here Mark that majority of
those who are expected to be caucusing haven`t made their decision as of
yet. And this is consistent, right, with history, Mark, and as a two
candidates hit the streets today, get out there and start to press the
flesh and get some final votes in, Cruz has for instance five events, Rubio
has four, at least from what we understand, where is it going to pay off
the most based on where we know they are going? Is this – are they making
the right choices right now in the final hours?
MURRAY: Yes. And again, the final choices are all just trying to hit as
many spots as possible as Vaughn has chronicled over the last several
months. Ted Cruz has had a strategy where he`s gone to all parts of Iowa,
gone to all places to be able to get votes out in the biggest populated
areas to the small ones as well. Marco Rubio has really picked things up
in the past month or so where he is now hitting four or five campaign stops
a day. This is really the crunch time. And as I mentioned to you earlier,
this really does come out, the turnout, particularly when it comes to Ted
Cruz. You know, our own NBC/”Wall Street Journal”/Marist poll showed that
Donald Trump had a seven-point lead over Ted Cruz but that leads only four
points against folks who had caucused in the past. So, if it`s a
traditional type of electorate, that benefits Ted Cruz. But if all of a
sudden, we start seeing new people in the process, that they are able to
get that that benefits Donald Trump.
LUI: Vaughn, do you hear on this as the trains move by and try to get up
all of those voters in Iowa, to remind them to listen to the two of you,
what are you saying? Is that consistent, those new voters that Mark Murray
is talking about, when you have spoken to those on the ground, are there a
lot of new voters that have not participated before? Young and old?
HILLYARD: If you go to – we`re talking about – if you go to Donald Trump
rally, absolutely yes. And I think that there`s no reason to suggest that
they will not show up. And it`s – coming out across these towns, you
know, it`s hard not to contrast when Donald Trump has an event in a place
like Spencer, Iowa, where he polls out 1500 and in two weeks ago, Ted Cruz
has one and pulls out 200. So, if you`re looking at pure numbers, and to
suggest, it`s going to be, it looks like a warm evening Monday night.
People have been out in below freezing are ready for Donald Trump out here.
So, really it`s a matter of how many of those people can they get to turn
out and whether it is able to rival Ted Cruz because really if they have
the chance to, Donald Trump for Iowa purposes, to really crack the Ted Cruz
mojo, at his rallies, you know, it`s hard church service, comedy show, it`s
LUI: It`s everything.
HILLYARD: It`s a boisterous event.
HILLYARD: So, if you can crack in here, Iowa, a place where this is his
territory, then it sends I guess Donald Trump to New Hampshire pretty,
feeling pretty good.
LUI: All right. Vaughn Hillyard, Mark Murray, thank you both so much
there in Des Moines. I appreciate it.
Donald Trump`s busy day will begin this afternoon in Dubuque, Iowa, as one
of the first controversial comments he made as a candidate. Is that now
coming back to haunt him with just days to go?
LUI: A key factor in winning in Iowa and elsewhere, is getting a new
voters to turn out to the polls. Just ask Barack Obama. But the key for
any candidate is making sure those voters are voting for you. Donald Trump
now inspiring immigration activists and Latino voters to register new
voters in order to vote against him. This week, 50 young Latinos marched
silently outside of a Trump event in Marshalltown in Iowa. Down the street
advocates held a drive to register voters. And in pivotal swing states
like Nevada, Florida and Colorado, activists are also pushing
naturalization and voter registration efforts trying to harness growing
Mi Familia Vota executive director Ben Monterroso telling BuzzFeed, quote,
“We`ve seen more people this year that want to become citizens and
specifically because they want to vote against Trump.” According to NBC
News polling 69 percent of Latinos have a negative view of Donald Trump.
And nationwide, there are more eligible Latino voters this year than ever
before. And in fact according to a recent study, 27.3 million Latino-
Americans will be eligible to vote this year. And this is a 17 percent
increase since the last cycle of 2012.
Joining us right now in Davenport, Iowa, is NBC campaign embed Ali Vitali.
So, Ali, you looked at this, and you`re with Trump, is this actually the
situation where you are seeing Latino-American communities bringing energy
together just because Trump is out there with these intimations, these
themes that are seen widely aimed directly at the Latino-American
ALI VITALI, NBC CAMPAIGN EMBED: Well, Richard, you`re right that there`s
definitely sentiment among minorities that Donald Trump is necessarily not
saying things that they want to hear. But if you look at – let`s chart
the path of his entire candidacy. He started giving us an idea of what his
immigration platform would be when he announced back in June. And at his
rallies he says that that`s something he took a lot of, quote, “incoming
for.” And that`s something he had a lot of backlash for in the press. But
then he comes out and says that a few weeks later people are onboard with
his plan and you did see that initial backlash. You did see that he was
facing consequences in the press.
But that backlash did seem to largely go away in terms of the fact that
people accepted this as a tenant of his immigration plan. He later
released more plans about his plan to build a wall, have Mexico pay for it,
to deport 11 million immigrants that are already here. And so, those are
the kinds of plans that he`s laid out on the table. And as much as there
are immigration groups coalescing against him, there are as many people at
his rallies that are really there for him and that support this plan. In
fact, when I`m at a lot of these rallies, I ask Trump supporters, what`s is
the thing that makes you want to vote for Donald Trump, many of them say, I
love the idea that we`re going to build a wall and that we`re going to have
And that`s something that he`s talked about time and time again. Now, if
you remember after 2012 the Mitt Romney election, there was a really big
effort on the part of the Republican Party to broaden their base to say, we
want to be a party with a platform. That is definitely more intrigues and
more open to minorities, especially Latinos, given the fact that they are a
growing voting block in this country. And I think some of the concern with
Donald Trump is the fact that his plan does nothing to match those initial
plans after 2012 and that`s something that you`re going to want to look
There are protesters at a lot of his events. We`ve seen not just
immigration protesters, Black Lives Matter protesters, it`s become a pretty
much apart at the standard fair at the Trump event. With that said and
he`ll point this out himself, there`s a lot of love in the room at these
Trump events. There`s a lot of people, thousands on the regular, that show
up for him that support him and the immigration plan is just one of the
things that`s getting them out there and energizing them not just the
caucus for him here in Iowa but across the country to get out and vote in
primaries and tell their neighbors to do the same – Richard.
LUI: NBC`s Ali Vitali in Dubuque, Iowa. Thank you so much Ali for your
reporting. Back to our panel here on this topic. So, one of the
statistics after 50,000 receiving direct mailings. Twenty five thousand
are receiving robo and live calls, this related to the Latino-American
citizens efforts here because they`re trying to energize, as was mentioned
earlier, against Trump because some of his statements in the past. Will
this activate the Latino-American voting base?
PERESSUTTI: This is a huge problem for the GOP, Richard. And you heard a
lot about this early on when Trump first caught fire. The rhetoric, the
mentions have kind of died down a bit and now we`re seeing it returned.
And if Republicans think that this is an issue that`s going to go away,
they`re whistling past the graveyard.
DEFRANCESCO: And we`ve seen it work before. So, 1994, California Governor
Pete Wilson did a Trump. He said, you know what, we`ve got to get rid of
all the Latinos, we`ve got to send them back, let`s build walls. And then
the Latino population in California started naturalizing, registering to
vote, and they voted out Republicans in California. So, we do have an
example of what happens when the Latino population gets fired up, gets
ticked off at a candidate and they can mobilize against them. So, if Trump
continues at the national level, I think we can see a 1994 California
LUI: All right. I`m sorry. I got to cut short there. We`re short on
time. But we`ll get back to you guys in a little bit on more of these
topics. I apologize. We`ll have much more from Iowa in just a few minutes
as I was saying. But next, the latest on a potentially devastating virus
that health officials warn is spreading explosively.
LUI: We`ll be getting back to Iowa very shortly but this morning is also
something we need to watch. Scientists around the world are working around
the clock to try to find a way to prevent the spread of Zika virus. The
mosquito transmitted illness is believed to be linked to Brazil`s alarming
rise in microcephaly, a severe birth defect that causes infants to be born
with abnormally small heads. So far 31 cases have been reported in the
U.S. All are in people who traveled to highly affected areas outside the
country. The World Health Organization calling the spread of this alarming
and explosive. And they will convene an emergency meeting on Monday to
decide the next steps in trying to contain the virus.
NBC`s Rehema Ellis is in Brazil where the virus has hit hardest.
REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Here in Brazil, authorities are
working hard to stop the spread of the Zika virus, going door to door to
help educate people on how to protect themselves. But months ago many
expectant mothers had no idea of the potential threat to their unborn
ELLIS (voice-over): When Filipe Zarika (ph) was born two months ago, his
family immediately knew something was different. The youngest of three
children, Filipe was diagnosed with microcephaly. He is one of more than
4,000 babies born with the disease in Brazil since October. The children
have an abnormally small head. The disease affects every aspect of the
child`s physical and mental development and possibly their lifespan.
(on camera): What do the doctors tell you about his development?
(voice-over): His mother Fernandez says, she doesn`t know if Filipe will
ever walk or talk. For babies with microcephaly there is no treatment or
cure. Fernandez says, their family takes it one day at a time. His father
Julia and Fernandez says, she had Zika virus symptoms in her third month of
pregnancy. Researchers believe mosquitos are spreading the virus that may
be linked to it with microcephaly. Now scientists are racing to create a
vaccine. The virus is now present in at least 24 countries and
territories. Brazil is the hardest hit. The CDC is keeping a close watch
on the presence of the virus in the U.S.
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: We`ve not seen viruses like Zika spread
widely here. Simply because people have screens in their houses, they have
air conditioning. We don`t have the level of crowd that you have in the
places where Zika is spreading widely.
ELLIS: Filipe`s struggles are hard on the whole family. Including his
grandfather Fernando. Fernando tells us that while his grandson`s future
is uncertain, one thing is for sure, he will always be loved.
ELLIS: Public health authorities say, it`s very unlikely that a Zika
outbreak would occur in the continental United States, similar to what`s
happening here in Brazil. Still, CDC officials say they are keeping a
close watch on it and working very closely with World Health Authorities.
Richard, back to you.
LUI: Rehema, thank you so much. NBC`s Rehema Ellis there in Brazil with
that report for us.
For more on this, we`re joined now by Dr. Corey Hebert, professor at the
LSU Health Sciences Center. Doctor, how concerned are you about the Zika
DR. COREY HEBERT, LSU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER: I`m very concerned. This is
something that is not new to the medical community. We`ve known about this
for decades. But when you start having these huge numbers of cases of
microcephaly like Miss Ellis mentioned in Brazil where they had 50 cases
last year and over 4,000 cases this year, it`s something to be concerned
about. We know that our warm climates on the Gulf Coast and the eastern
seaboard are prime breeding ground for mosquitos, especially this
particular mosquito that we`ve had in this United States for a long time.
So, we have to have huge surveillance to make sure that we are going to be
protected and the really not much you can do except control mosquitos and
that`s something that`s very difficult to do, especially down here in New
LUI: In New Orleans, four million the WHO is estimating potentially in
this year and as we`ve seen with other viruses, other concerns, SARS for
instance, is one that is been talked about in the last couple of decades.
Do you feel comfortable about what we can do in the United States to
prevent Zika virus from entering the continental U.S.? Although Rehema was
reporting, there`s not a huge concern of it at the moment?
HEBERT: Yes, I mean, we can`t control people coming in and out of our
borders. We`ve seen that many, many times in the last few years with, like
you said, SARS as well as Ebola. But what we can do is try to educate the
population on trying to decrease the amount of Mosquito bite and also
mosquito infestation around their homes and around their cities. I mean,
we have a virus in the United States called cytomegalovirus, I`m sure you
heard of it, CMV, that causes this same thing. So, it`s not something that
we`re not used to. It causes microcephaly in children.
But the issue becomes, what can we do to prevent the spread of this between
human beings? We know that there are a couple of cases in the United
States where this has been questionably spread by sexual activity. So,
there`s real, no real test you can do commercially. You have to do the
test at the CDC or very few amounts of states, organizations that are doing
LUI: Doctor –
LUI: Dr. Hebert, repeat for us the symptoms and talk about the children
and what it means for them and their futures.
HEBERT: OK. So, the symptoms of this infection really are for the mother,
fever, pinkeye, which is conjunctivitis, joint pain, some gastrointestinal
symptoms, that`s it. For the baby, when you get a Zika virus and you have
microcephaly, then what`s going to happen is that you`re not going to have
– you`re going to have incomplete brain development which can be
devastating to cognitive development and motor development throughout your
life. So, you will never reach your full potential more than likely. And
that`s the part that`s going to really destroy.
LUI: Dr. Corey Hebert, thank you so much from the LSU Health Sciences
Center for joining us this morning. I appreciate it.
HERBERT: Thank you.
LUI: Next, we`ll turn back to Iowa where Hillary Clinton`s first campaign
event of the day is now about three hours away there in Ames at Iowa State
Up next, a look at the Clinton campaign`s exhaustive get out the vote
operation to make sure supporters actually caucus for her Monday night.
LUI: Hillary and former President Bill Clinton will both crisscross Iowa
today urging supporters to caucus for her Monday night. But behind the
scenes, Clinton campaign staffers have spent this past week working around
the clock to ensure a good turnout.
MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff is live in Des Moines, Iowa, for us. Hey, Jacob?
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hey, what`s going on, Richard? So,
look, you`re looking at front page of Des Moines Register today. One day,
nine campaigns. The Republican side. It is all out battle here. Not just
hear the messages from the candidate in fact to think most people here at
Sandabar (ph) Coffee or elsewhere in Iowa would tell you they have heard
the message ad nauseam on television and probably in person. It`s about
the volunteer effort right now, is to get out the caucus effort because
caucus is a unique process. You come in at 7:00, you got to stay there for
an extended amount of time particularly on the democratic side. So,
really, it comes down to knocking on doors, making telephone calls. I went
behind the scenes the other day at the Hillary Clinton campaign to find out
exactly the secret to what they`re doing to get the voters out. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOBOROFF: It is crunch time in Iowa. We`re days away from the Iowa
caucus. This is the Hillary Clinton campaign field office, one of many of
them in Des Moines. And everybody is making phone calls trying to get out
Hi. What`s your name?
CHARLES ABERNATHY, CLINTON STAFFER CAMPAIGN: My name is Charles Abernathy.
Hi, my name is Charles. I`m with the Hillary Clinton campaign. How are
you doing? Great, great. I`m glad to hear that. I just wanted to invite
you to get out the caucus event. Very own Hillary Clinton this Friday.
Can we count on you to join us?
SOBOROFF: What is the big secret to getting people to come out and support
ABERNATHY: The secret is just build those relationships. And really meet
people where they`re at, the issues that they care about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s really great to be around so many other
people that are supporting Hillary, just every day continues to amp up that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you this evening?
SOBOROFF: It`s close quarters, you guys are all here –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SOBOROFF: It`s like get this media guy out of here. I`m trying to get
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you`re like listening to his whole conversation he
said something really great. Wow, I`m going to use that in my next call.
Take exactly what he said. Use it in yours.
RACHEL NEINERSKI, CLINTON CAMPAIGN STAFFER: OK. I just wanted to let you
know that Hillary is actually going to be in town on Friday. And we would
love you to join us at her rally at Grand View University.
SOBOROFF: Hi, what`s up? I`m Jacob.
NEINERSKI: Hi, I`m Rachel.
SOBOROFF: Nice to meet you, Rachel.
NEINERSKI: Nice to meet you.
SOBOROFF: Where are you from?
NEINERSKI: I`m from Michigan.
SOBOROFF: How many phone calls do you think you`ve made?
NEINERSKI: Oh, gosh! Thousands.
SOBOROFF: Thousands of phone calls?
NEINERSKI: Sure. I couldn`t put a number on it.
SOBOROFF: All right. Check this out. So there`s a sign here in Hillary
Clinton office with – in the Bernie Sanders campaign that says, what this
campaign is about and I`m seeing it every day is an excitement and energy
that does not exist and will not exist in the Clinton campaign. Bernie
Sanders, just couple days ago. Is that true?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. We have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. We have
a field office on a Wednesday evening, I think we have the energy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOBOROFF: Thousands of voter, thousands of calls, and just a handful of
campaigns, Richard, left in this contest. We`re going to go out later
today with the Bernie Sanders campaign as they canvas, knock door to door,
try to find every last caucus goer. Back to you.
LUI: Thank you so much. MSNBC Jacob Soboroff there in Des Moines. I
About an hour from now candidates will begin campaigning in Iowa with
events across the Hawkeye State. We`ll check in with reporting following
candidates from both parties as the countdown to the Iowa caucuses
continue. Stay with us.
LUI: Two days until the voting begins.
LUI: Hi. I`m Richard Lui. Thanks for staying with us this Saturday
Only two days from the Iowa caucuses and getting some concrete results in
the race for the White House. Our first chance to find out whether the
outside candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are for real, or
will the establishment candidate be the one to emerge after Monday?
The final weekend of the Iowa campaign starting with this for Hillary
Clinton. The State Department saying late yesterday, 22 e-mails from her
private server were top secret. None of them have that classification at
the time. They were sent, but it is the first batch of e-mails now
confirmed to contain material now deemed top secret.
The race in Iowa deadlocked this morning. Clinton holding a slim three-
point lead within the margin of error. She has three campaign stops in the
Hawkeye State today, ending with a joint appearance with Bill Clinton
tonight. Bernie Sanders meanwhile, trying for a repeat of Barack Obama`s
2008 upset win is crisscrossing Iowa with five campaign stops.
And on the Republican side, seven-month saga of Donald Trump`s unlikely
political rise that started in New York City will face his first test at
the ballot box. Trump has pulled away from Ted Cruz in the latest Iowa
poll, up 7 percentage points.
We have reporters spread out across the state. Let`s start with Katy Tur
And, Katy, how confident is the Trump campaign their supporters will come
out, that these poll numbers will turn into votes here?
KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): I was driving on my way
to Dubuque, Iowa. Donald Trump has three events today, in Dubuque, in
Clinton, in Davenport. That`s all of eastern Iowa. He`s going to be in
western Iowa tomorrow, Des Moines on Monday, and what they`re trying to do
is blanket the state using his more unique ability to get to places more
easily with his private plane.
And they are just trying to get him out in the headlines, trying to get him
out in front of voters as well and trying to get them excited to go to the
caucus. They`ve had this Facebook video up for some time now that their
Iowa co-chair has been encouraging people to go caucus with, saying how
easy it is.
But there are some questions as to how much follow-up the campaign has
actually done with their get out the vote effort. They`ve taken voter
registration cards at a number of their events, but there`s recording that
they haven`t actually called many people to tell them how they can go
caucus and encourage them more. They have been saying that they are
winning at all the polls and the polls suggest that there is a high voter
turnout than Donald Trump is going to be able to take away this state, run
away with it over Ted Cruz, who is pulling neck and neck with right now.
But the question is, is that really going to happen? Right now, there`s
low registration at the moment for the Republican caucuses. So, are these
people showing up and at times waiting for hours on end in negative
temperatures to see him out in Iowa, are they excited enough to figure out
where they`re going to go caucus and to do that tomorrow – excuse me,
Monday night and figure out the semi-complicated process of doing this?
That`s the big question. That`s what we`re all waiting to see.
There`s a big question mark over Donald Trump. If anybody else is polling
this way, I think we would say that they run away with it. But because no
one quite understands this election cycle, it`s been so tumultuous, it`s
been so unprecedented that the predictions are all being held, at least,
until we actually see what happens Monday night.
LUI: All right. NBC`s Katy Tur there on the road. Thank you so much in
Iowa. Appreciate it.
Let me take you to the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton is on her way to
Ames, Iowa, and so is our NBC`s Kristen Welker joining us by phone as well.
Kristen, big news breaking yesterday. We were mentioning this earlier –
22 Clinton e-mails classified as top secret. The question is, what that
might mean for the race there?
WELKER (via telephone): That is the big question, Richard. Good morning
to you. This is a tight race here in Iowa so the headlines couldn`t come
at a worst time for the Clinton campaign.
Still, what`s interesting is that her top rival Bernie Sanders isn`t really
making an issue of it. Instead, both candidates really looking to Monday`s
big finish line, and Friday night, Hillary and Bill Clinton were back
together again. They have an event in Davenport. They tried to shore up
support to rally her supporters and lock it up here in Iowa.
But overshadowing that event, Richard, is what you mentioned. The State
Department released more than 1,600 pages of e-mails from Clinton`s private
server when he was secretary of state Friday night, but for the first time
they withheld 22 of those documents. They labeled them top secret. That`s
the highest classification.
State Department spokesman said the e-mails were not marked as top secret
when they were sent. The Clinton campaign also stresses that Clinton never
sent or received e-mails marked classified at the time and her campaign
this morning is calling on the state department to release all of those e-
But that takes us back to your original question, Richard, will this
ultimately matter to the voters? We`ll have to wait and see. Ultimately,
it`s going to depend on turnout, what happens on Monday. And Monmouth
University conducted an interesting poll which gives us a prediction of
what happens based on various different turnout numbers.
Take a look. If 100,000 people turned out at the caucus on Monday,
according to Monmouth University, Clinton gets 47 percent of the vote while
Sanders gets 42 percent.
Look what happens with 150,000.
WELKER: Clinton gets 46 percent and Sanders gets 43 percent. It gets even
narrower if 200,000 turn out, Clinton gets 45 percent, Sanders gets 44
percent. So, they`re just separated by one point.
Bottom line, Richard, the more people who turn out the more that Sanders
could ultimately benefit and run away with this race here in Iowa. They
will both be crisscrossing the state today, looking for those final votes -
LUI: NBC`s White House correspondent Kristen Welker on the road – great
to have you there. Thanks so much, Kristen.
I want to bring back our panel. Our panel: MSNBC contributor and professor
at the University of Texas, Victoria DeFrancesco, thanks for joining us.
Political scientist and professor of politics at Iona College, Jeanne
Zaino. Thank you as well.
And former aide to Karl Rove and former spokesman to George H.W. Bush,
So, interesting numbers there. Right? Hillary Clinton hoping for a lot of
cold weather. So folks will not go caucus, right? Because evidently,
there`s some advantage, according to the Monmouth University poll numbers,
ZAINO: Yes, that`s what we found is that with the establishment folks,
lower turnout helps them enormously. And with the, quote/unquote,
“outsiders” on both sides, whether it`s Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump,
they are going to be helped if they can get the voters out, and so
increased turnout is going to help the outsiders. The big question is are
they going to be able to get them out there.
DEFRANCESCO: Besides it`s a numbers game, it`s also where are they turning
out. Because if we have all the Bernie Sanders supporters coming out in
the college towns, well, then, that`s distribution is not going to help
them in the alternate count of the caucus. So, it`s not just numbers. You
want numbers if you`re Bernie Sanders but you want those numbers
distributed across the state.
LUI: Because there are some counties that have low turnout, a couple of
votes will swing that county and you will get the total votes.
PERESSUTTI: I think this is the last election we will finally put a
question to bed. In 2008, will voters really turn out for Barack Obama?
Will they really vote for the first African-American? Now, we`re debating,
will Trump`s voters turn out? Will actually, well, if they do do it, I
don`t think we will be asking the same questions again for the next
presidential because we will have determined the answer to the great
LUI: And the great question also, the e-mails and how it`s not being
brought up on the left. Bernie Sanders, in a normal, if you will, or
typical race here that might be a big, big point being brought up by the
DEFRANCESCO: That`s genius by Bernie Sanders because he can hold the moral
high ground. Saying, I`m not going to get my hands dirty with these e-
mails. The press is covering the e-mails enough. So, folks, are going to
make up their mind one way or the other and he`s pushing message of
positivity while having ads highlighting Goldman Sachs and Hillary Clinton.
LUI: Do you think he should be using that though? Do you think he should
be going after the e-mails?
LUI: No. You say no.
ZAINO: He would be using them if it worked but we know the e-mail scandal
has never resonated on the left. So they will not use them unless they
work. If they worked, Bernie Sanders would say, this is fact, not a
negative attack and I`ll use it.
PERESSUTTI: On the left being the operative word, but in the general
election issue. This is not a Democratic primary.
LUI: Yes, not in the primary. So when you look at – making this point
earlier here, Giancarlo, and that is the Trump vote. Is it real?
LUI: What might tell you it might not be real?
PERESSUTTI: Well, the day after the Iowa caucus.
LUI: That`s easy for you to say. I`m saying like right now.
PERESSUTTI: That`s when we will know. We were talking about this during
the break. What I wonder is the Trump voters clearly love to come out to
the rallies. They love to be surrounded by their ilk. My question is, is
the typical Trump voters want to walk into the gymnasium and have to defend
their man when they know that there are others within their same party who
are going to be –
DEFRANCESCO: But we vote yes. I do think we`re going to see an expansion
of the electorate with the Trump voters. Maybe not the 30,000 that we see
at a Trump rally, but I do think we`re going to see a chunk of those folks
come out. They`re fired up, he`s charismatic and fun. They want to
continue the fun.
LUI: All right. Thank you, panel. Great conversation there as we look to
see how real these votes are and the issues that some resonating, some not
evidently and not being used by the candidates.
The candidates will hit the campaign trail less than an hour from now. Jeb
Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz holding events across Iowa. While retail
politics may be key to winning in the Hawkeye State, the question that is
being asked: will candidates` digital strategies be key to winning their
LUI: In 2008, it was not just then-Senator Barack Obama`s ability to draw
stadiums full of supporters that helped him win the White House. It was
his campaign`s ability to get the e-mail addresses and other information
out of nearly every single person who turned out and then utilized that
data that proved to be the game changer that cycle. It`s a strategy that
every campaign since has tried to duplicate.
But eight years later, there are concerns that voters` personal information
could be at risk. A recent “L.A. Times” article revealed many of the
privacy guidelines apply to other industries that do not apply to
candidates. In the wake of security breaches at major retailers, along
with last month`s security breach of Democratic National Committee`s voters
database, there are concerns that new normal of digital campaigning might
be an open invitation to hackers.
Here to give us some better sense of 2016`s digital ground game is MSNBC
manager of social media, Nisha Chittal.
Good to see you.
NISHA CHITTAL, MSNBC MANAGER OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Thanks for having me.
LUI: So, let`s talk about this. The campaigns are concerned about
privacy. Where do you want to start?
CHITTAL: Well, you know, we wanted to talk about how they`re using data
and how they`re microtargeting. There`s not really a lot of restrictions
in the field in terms of how candidates and campaigns can use this kind of
CHITTAL: It`s a free for all. And from the campaign, from their
perspective, it`s really advantage to them to get more data. Do they want
to be able to deliver the most personalized microtargeted messages they can
deliver to every voter on every platform?
It`s not just e-mail anymore, either. It`s not e-mail and direct mail.
Now, it`s how we deliver very, very personalized Facebook ads, Google ads.
How do we track their search history data to give them ads as they visit
different Web sites.
And there`s not a lot of restrictions on this and how they use this data.
It`s kind of a new area that I think we need to look into more.
LUI: Every cycle has been new. Our panel loves to talk about. One more
question to you on this. What are you watching this cycle that`s new, that
is interesting when this space, microtargeting?
CHITTAL: Yes, in particular, I`m really interested in how people are using
Snapchat and how the candidates are using Snapchat. That`s the tool that
wasn`t there in the past few election cycles. It`s brand new in this
election cycle. They can microtarget on Snapchat, too.
Many of the campaigns are experimenting with sort of geo-targeted
advertising and filters. Bernie Sanders has been using targeted filters in
Iowa this week.
LUI: Snapchat, right?
CHITTAL: On Snapchat, yes.
LUI: It`s a nine-day campaign or something like that?
CHITTAL: Yes, it`s a nine-day campaign.
LUI: Look at that.
CHITTAL: Reaching millennials in the last few days in Iowa. Ted Cruz used
filters the other day around the GOP debate that Donald Trump is not at.
So, he was sort of targeting people to make fun of Donald Trump not being
there and sort of playing the negative game on Snapchat.
So, I think it`s really interesting how campaigns are use that platform and
they can microtarget and deliver very niche ads on that platform as well.
LUI: So, our panel has not only talked classes on this but have been part
of campaigns that started this all. Karl Rove, Vicki, you were saying it
started with Karl Rove in terms of this idea of microtargeting, because the
digital stuff came around, right?
DEFRANCESCO: He is the father of microtargeting.
All of these candidates need to send a thank you note to Karl Rove for
helping them get into the microtargeting.
LUI: Giancarlo will take it.
LUI: He used to work with him.
DEFRANCESCO: But he was the one that came up with the idea of saying this
is a big nation. We need to start carving it up and not just Latino vote,
black vote, white vote. We need to get down into who shops at Home Depot
and who shops at Lowe`s. Who shops at Sears, who shops at JCPenney, and he
is the one who started it.
Ten, 15 years later, we see Snapchat, we see Facebook, we see Vine. So, we
have seen this proliferation that started in 2000.
LUI: And the proliferation to give you a data point here taken from the
“Wall Street Journal,” the Cruz campaign developed, they report, 178
different consumer data segments, 178. This is based on interest, this is
based on what they read, this is based on where they might go to Snapchat,
this is based on how the social media, et cetera.
ZAINO: What is so fascinating about that, though, and the Karl Rove point
is that as you mentioned this is the Wild West, a completely unregulated
front. And yet you have Karl Rove, you have Ted Cruz and other people who
claim to be libertarians. They don`t want big government if their lives
yet they`re fine with the campaign knowing what we ate for breakfast, what
we drive to school.
So, it is – it`s fascinating the almost hi hypocrisy that you see on the
campaign trails when you contrast it with their stated political views.
PERESSUTTI: Couple of points here. First, glad to see my former boss
PERESSUTTI: But to Jeanne`s point, there`s kind of a history here of that,
PERESSUTTI: You have that whole do not call legislation, except in most
states politicians get a carve-out for that, right? Politics, political
ZAINO: Hypocrisy there.
PERESSUTTI: Exactly, to circumvent things.
The last point is, historically, politics and politicians have been able to
cherry pick the best practices of the private sector. You think back to
olden days and kind of the rise of people who came along and marketers were
poached to make these wonderful television ads that raise the profile of a
candidate and now we`re seeing the same thing in digital.
LUI: But, Giancarlo, I think people will say, if you go to Silicon Valley,
they`ll go, what they did in `08 digitally is something nobody had done in
business, nobody had done in Silicon Valley yet and this was something new.
It`s interesting that the table is saying this is all new, this is a new
frontier. It`s been said now for the last two or three cycles, hasn`t it?
CHITTAL: Yes. It`s been going on for, yes, since the 2008 cycle really.
But it`s evolved so much, too. In 2008, it was enough to just have a
website and it was a big improvement to even have a Facebook page at that
time was innovative. Now, things have really come a long way and now the
candidates have to not just have a presence on all of these platforms, but
they have to have a whole production team creating original content.
LUI: Well, and when they do that, the issue is now that you understand
these micro-segments, OK, what`s the message? Because you can imagine with
the campaign, oh, my God, we have 178 different messages now to put
DEFRANCESCO: You don`t want the blowback. Let me give you one example.
In Spanish language in 2008, we saw Hillary Clinton giving one message that
she was very warm and fuzzy. And if you remember in 2008, for the
mainstream media, she wanted to be tough, tough on foreign policy, not be
seen as girly, as motherly.
So, that was a problem when the folks were seeing both the Spanish language
and English language. Now, if you have 178 microtargeted groups, you have
a lot of potential for blowback.
LUI: And a lot of content to put out. That`s always a tough. We`ve got
to go there. I`m sorry. Great conversation. I could talk about it all
morning with all four of you.
Nisha, thank you so much.
CHITTAL: Thank you.
LUI: Manager of MSNBC`s social media. There`s a lot of great stuff there.
Appreciate your time.
Up next, the factor no candidate can control and that couldn`t decide who
wins in Iowa Monday.
LUI: The biggest factor in who wins Monday night just might be – well,
it`s weather. Iowa`s notorious for brutal winters and bad winter storm
could keep potential caucus-goers at home.
For a look at what the weather will look like on the Hawkeye state on
Monday – you know, we`ve been going to several reporters, Bonnie
Schneider, and we can see their breath in the air.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: Oh, well, it is cold but what`s
really interesting, Richard, is that the caucus may dodge a major snowstorm
by just 12 hours. You can see off to the West, snow and ice in Kansas and
Colorado Monday late afternoon.
Temperatures still OK in the mid 30s, around 6:00 p.m. But watch what
happens around 10:00. With the caucus beginning at 7:00. People might be
traveling at 10:00 and we could see some light snow developing south of Des
Moines and to Council Bluffs, also just on the border I would say to the
But then by the time we get to midnight, some of that snow will start to
accumulate. And as we advance towards early in the morning on Tuesday,
even more so. We`ll be seeing the snow kind of build up as well as the
temperatures drop down, 29 degrees in Ames, Ft. Dodge at 7:00 in the
morning on Tuesday, definitely looking cold.
And then some of the heavier snow, the bulk of it coming in on Tuesday.
And this is really important because a lot of people are traveling to Iowa.
The problem is getting back on Tuesday. If it does turn out to be a really
substantial significant snowstorm, we`re likely to see a lot of people
stuck there Tuesday afternoon still snowing.
Temperatures teetering right around the freezing mark so you might get a
little bit of a wintry mix building in. Very cold and very windy. The
winds can be gusting up to 40 miles per hour, Richard. So, very
interesting forecast, one to watch, because we`re talking about six to 12
hours in major difference.
LUI: Well, you know, Bonnie, with the number of candidates we`re talking
about, they may need two days to caucus and the snow might help them along
MSNBC meteorologist Bonnie Schneider, thank you so much.
Today, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders will all
be campaigning on college campuses or in college towns in Iowa. What
impact the college vote might play Monday night?
LUI: Ted Cruz will hit the campaign trail in less than an hour from now,
with a stop in Hubbard, Iowa, traveling to Ames, home of Iowa State
University a few hours later. That`s where NBC`s Hallie Jackson is joining
us now on the phone.
JACKSON (via telephone): Hey, Richard, in route to Ames. We did a quick
pit stop or there for Ted Cruz`s event.
LUI: Fantastic. Tell us, what is the mood right now on the campaign
JACKSON: You know, I think for team Cruz, Richard, they are feeling
confident, they`re feeling optimistic about their chances. We`ve seen some
of these polls coming out over the last few weeks that show Cruz slipping a
bit to Donald Trump. And the campaign, that`s a way to reset expectations
a little bit, given this earlier in January the sense that Cruz can win by
So, the idea that it`s going to be close with him and Trump would
potentially benefit Cruz if he is able to pull out a win, might be seen as
sort of beating expectation or out-perform where people think they`re going
to be. For Cruz, it`s such an important state as you know because, hey,
guess where he`s added after. He`s going to New Hampshire, he`s going to
South Carolina. He`s got to be carrying momentum from Iowa into the later
LUI: Hey, Hallie, as we were looking at the latest NBC News/”Wall Street
Journal”/Marist polling, the trending. If you`re just looking at numbers
and in the Ted Cruz camp, you`re trending down while Trump continues to be
surging. Is there any sense of nervousness or concern about peaking too
JACKSON: I – the campaign will tell you that they`re not concerned about
peaking too early, that they feel as though they`ve made a real investment
in Iowa. But that has been the question for Ted Cruz over the last maybe
three or so weeks here. Iowa as you know is such a state where, you know,
whoever gets hot at the end tends to do well.
You look at past caucus cycles, and we`ve seen almost surprises. People
who have been low in the polls surging to kind of come back in those last
few days right before the caucuses, sort of the time period we`re in now.
So, it`s early to tell what`s going to happen Monday.
A lot of folks are looking ahead to the release of the “Des Moines
Register” poll out later tonight that`s going to give an indication of just
where this race stands right now.
LUI: A fun 48 hours ahead, on the road there. Hallie Jackson, thank you
so much. Headed to Ames, home of Iowa State University. Thank you so
We`re going to take a short quick and then we`ll get right back to Iowa.
Stay with us.
LUI: We`re a little more than two hours away from Bernie Sanders` first
campaign event of the day in Iowa. It will be in Manchester. That`s where
MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt is heading right now and she joins
So, Kasie, as I was just saying to Hallie Jackson, the energy as we look at
the polls tonight come out in Iowa. Of course, we have all of these last-
minute events that are being undertaken by the candidates themselves. What
are you seeing on the trail there in Manchester?
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Richard, we are in Dubuque
where Sanders campaign last night shortly boarding the Sanders` bus to head
to Manchester for his first event of what`s going to be a long campaign day
for Bernie Sanders that`s going to conclude with a rally in Iowa City that
will feature the band Vampire Weekend among other performers.
And I have to say, the energy with the Sanders` campaign is very clear on
the trail. Hillary Clinton also campaigned in Dubuque last night. Her
rally had a little over 500 people, according to reports from embed, Monica
Alba. The Sanders` event held here, estimates between 1,100 and 1,300
people in the same city for people waiting to see Bernie Sanders.
He, yesterday, backed off of his criticism a little bit of Hillary Clinton.
He wasn`t as aggressive in going after her. Instead, reserving his fire
for big companies like Walmart, like GE, companies that he believes are
essentially bilking American workers especially when it comes to minimum
wage, issues along those lines.
But this really at this point is the final sprint, of course, for Sanders.
The question, whether or not he can ultimately pull it out? Both sides
privately say that while there might be enthusiasm on Sanders` side,
they`re seeing a little bit of an edge in their internal polling for
So, it would at this point still be surprise should Sanders pull this out
on caucus night. Of course, it all depends, as he says, on whether or not
they get the size of the turnout that they would need.
So far, the weather is clear but there`s been a lot of focus on the local
news this morning about whether or not this snowstorm is supposed to blow
through Iowa Monday night into Tuesday. We`ll keep it clear for the caucus
or come a little early and maybe diminish those numbers a little bit,
LUI: MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt there in Dubuque, thank you so much, Kasie.
And earlier this week talking about the importance of the college vote, as
has been said about Bernie Sanders, it`s also Donald Trump receiving an
unusual endorsement. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Where is my football team?
Get over here, football team. What a team. What a team.
And they were so nice. They endorsed Trump. They like Trump. And I like
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: The front-runner announcing his endorsement from the University of
Iowa football team this week at an event on the school`s campus.
Now, the team members gave the candidate his own jersey during a meeting
backstage as Trump tries to solidify his support among young voters. Now,
new polling this week shows Trump leading this week among first time
caucus-goers in Iowa.
And on the Democratic side, 72 percent of first time caucus-goers say they
support Bernie Sanders. But their opinions will not count unless they
actually get to the polls. Historically, young people are much harder to
actually get out to vote, and in this case, caucus on caucus night. This
year in Iowa, there`s an added challenge.
For the first time since 2004, the caucuses will take place when students
are on campus instead of at home on their winter breaks. So, even if
students do turn out, their votes will be concentrated to just a few caucus
sites near campuses when they vote at home, their votes are scattered
So, the Sanders` campaign is encouraging students to return home to caucus,
even helping to arrange travel in some cases to help boost Bernie support
in smaller precincts.
Joining me to discuss this is chair of the University of Iowa College
Republicans, Janelle Smithson, and Brianna Steirer of the Drake University
Thank you both for joining us.
So, exciting times here.
Janelle, we`ll start with you. Who are you supporting on Monday and where
do you plan on caucusing?
JANELLE SMITHSON, UNIV. OF IOWA COLLEGE REPUBLICANS: Sure. So
individually outside of college Republicans I`m supporting Marco Rubio.
College Republicans does not endorse anyone but individually, I`ll be with
Marco Rubio and I will be caucusing at the Iowa Memorial Union and the
LUI: Janelle, why Marco Rubio?
SMITHSON: Marco Rubio really speaks to me with foreign policy and economic
policy and I really feel inspired by his words and when he speaks, I really
enjoy listening to him and hearing his plan for our future.
LUI: And you were mentioning to me where you will be caucusing. Is that
location on campus or close to campus or close to home?
SMITHSON: That is on campus.
LUI: That is on campus.
Same question to you here, Brianna. Who are you going to be caucusing for
and where will you be voting, close to home or close to campus?
BRIANNA STEIRER, DRAKE UNIV. COLLEGE DEMOCRATS: Yes, I am actually
originally from Wisconsin. so I will be voting in Iowa, in Drake area.
I`ve been a Bernie supporter for a long time now, so I will be caucusing
for Bernie Sanders. But my caucus location is actually at Monroe
Elementary School, which is off campus. We do have a couple of on-campus,
LUI: So, you`re going to be close to campus, off campus?
STEIRER: Close to campus but off of it, yes.
LUI: Great, great.
And so, why Bernie Sanders?
STEIRER: Well, for me, I just – I think my peers and I noticed that
Bernie Sanders speaks to the economic situation that our generation has
been born in to. I mean, we all feel the effects of it, inability to move
forward. And so it`s very frustrating for young voters and I think that he
recognizes us as one of his main issues. I think that`s why he`s
resonating a lot with young people, especially me.
LUI: So, Brianna, as much has been said today about him making the pledge
of not going negative. How has that worked for you in your support for him
versus Hillary Clinton and O`Malley?
STEIRER: Right, right. I think a lot of people in my generation are very
inspired by this.
We do see a lot of negatives of the political side. I mean, people
sparring at each other. We`ve had debates on campus at Drake. And they`ve
been very respectful.
So, I think there`s kind of like this spark of inspiration from Bernie
Sanders not going negative that my generation really respects.
LUI: Janelle, Marco Rubio many folks are saying including the panel here
this morning, he`s the surprise to look out for. Do you see him making a
move in the polls? Do you see him making a move actually on Monday as you
go out to caucus in a way that might surprise people?
And if so, what is it about this candidate that you are going to be
caucusing for that allows him or will enable him to do that?
SMITHSON: Sure. I do see a really big surprise coming from Marco Rubio.
The students for Rubio group at the University of Iowa is huge. They are
working really hard to get the word out, get everyone out to caucus,
especially the students and letting them know their location, letting them
know how it works, especially first time goers.
I think he`s just a fresh new face people can relate to and finds some hope
in. I really think that Marco Rubio has a lot of that going for him.
LUI: As you look at this, you as a caucus-goer, you may have to make
another choice and if you do have to make another choice, will it be Donald
Trump, will it be Ted Cruz?
SMITHSON: Sure. I mean, there are other choices out there and that`s why
it`s so good that we live in this nation. You have a bunch of options for
who you`re able to caucus for. But I sincerely think students can find
their best interest in Senator Marco Rubio.
LUI: Yes, but I`m asking your number two though. Who is your number two
going to be?
SMITHSON: Oh, my number two? I don`t know that I have a number two,
especially not in Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz.
LUI: You`re just going to stand out of the caucusing is what you`re saying
if you don`t get your candidate?
STEIRER: Well, the Republican and Democratic caucuses are differently.
SMITHSON: Sure. Ours is about both so we don`t go to either side of the
room and work through that. We go just based on vote.
LUI: Based on vote.
And to you, Brianna, who is your number two vote?
STEIRER: My number two choice? My number two choice would probably be
LUI: All right. Thank you both.
Again, the college vote, the youth vote we talked about it so much, so
important. At least to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Certainly to all the
other candidates we`ve been watching it so closely.
Janelle Smithson, thank you so much. Brianna Steirer, thank you both.
Have fun as you go and caucus on Monday.
Now, we are now taking some live pictures at a Jeb Bush town hall. This in
Iowa. It`s one of several events to begin just minutes from now. What we
can expect on a busy day in the Hawkeye State.
Plus, there are new water test results coming out of Flint. We`re watching
that story, too, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: This is at the heart of what went wrong and
frankly what still is wrong. The reason I`m using a clock to hold this is
because this is led. This is lead pipe from Flint. A lot of people in
Flint have lead pipe like this going from the water main that ones down the
street into their homes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it creates a hardship on people because bottled
water doesn`t have any pressure. So you can`t bathe in bottled water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: That was from the town hall that our own Rachel Maddow held Wednesday
night in Flint, Michigan.
Now, new water test results are showing lead concentration levels still at
sky high levels, way more than filters now in place can handle. Water that
is traveling into homes by corrupted lead pipes.
Michigan`s two Democratic senators as well as Congressman Dan Kildee
putting a price tag of more than $787 million on getting all of those pipes
And there are new questions about exactly when Governor Rick Snyder`s
administration first knew there was a problem with lead contamination in
the city`s water supply. “The Detroit Free Press” reporting state workers
in Flint were providing with state drinking water at the office even as
state officials continued to reassure Flint residents their tap water was
fine to drink. Amid calls for resignation, Governor Snyder this week
extended a state of emergency for Flint to mid-April. And he signed over
an additional $28 million in assistant add that replacing the damaged pipes
is not his short-term plan.
Joining us now is Melissa Mays, a mother of three, and one of the nearly
100,000 people in Flint who are still living with toxic water and
Melissa, thank you for joining us today.
Just a little bit about your experience to date. You first noticed
something was wrong. You had yellow water, right? Running through your
MELISSA MAYS, FLINT, MICHIGAN RESIDENT: Yellow water, yes.
LUI: Two months after the switch had been made and you said it smelled, it
made your hair fall out as well?
MAYS: And painful rashes to where you couldn`t even put lotion on it. I
tried with my kids. Put eczema cream on it and they cried because it
burned whenever lotion touched their skin. So, I realized this is chemical
burns. They`re not just rashes.
LUI: Now, you had this experience though after they said it was OK to
continue using tap water. And a little bit more about this, about your
experience. In the winter of 2014, just going back a couple of years here,
your son Christian, he was 11 years old, fell from his bike, shattered his
wrist, according to what you were telling us, because they had become
MAYS: Yes. Their pediatrician couldn`t understand why a healthy 11-year-
old would just, his bones would just give out like that. He just fell
over. And the kid is tall and skinny. So, it`s not even like it was a ton
of weight or pressure on it. And they could not understand why his bones
were so brittle. And he hadn`t had any issues prior to this.
LUI: So as you take us through the years that you`ve gone through this
today, as we are now here on January 2016, give us a better sense of what
that arc of your experience has been. We`ve touched on a couple of your
experiences so far.
MAYS: Well, my kids are all anemic. Exhausted. Christian especially, his
bones hurt constantly. There`s nothing you can do or give him to take away
the bone pain.
My oldest, he`s having problems with his teeth crumbling. And he`s 17. He
has holes forming in the smooth sides of his teeth. The dentist says it`s
from the lead, crumbling his teeth.
And then my youngest, his immune system is so compromised right now we
can`t get his white blood cell account above four and so, he`s sick almost
on a daily basis. Random fevers and fighting off everything. And then,
with myself, I`ve developed seizure, tremors, osteoarthritis, autoimmune
disorder, diverticulosis, and now issues with my liver.
So, it`s one thing after another with us. And every time you turn around
we`re going to another doctor`s appointment, there`s something else
happening with us.
And, you know, I have a neurologist, gastroenterologist, rheumatologist,
environmental physician and a regular doctor trying to help us out with
this. But they`re not ready for this. This is something they don`t see in
a first world country, so their guess is as good as ours at this point.
LUI: Where are going for help?
MAYS: We`re paying for everything out of our pocket. There`s nothing in
place right now to help us.
LUI: Nothing else in place to help you. The lead pipe, when you saw
Rachel Maddow hold that up, that`s the problem. The governor is saying
that`s not in his plan to replace, to repair, despite that being the
problem right now.
What`s your view of what the governor has done, the new report the governor
was shipping bottled water to state employees in January of 2015. What`s
your thought on that?
MAYS: Well, with the day-to-day we`re shipping water to the state offices,
we were outside protesting, because we didn`t understand why we had to get
a letter that said consult your physician before drinking your water.
Nobody would give us answers. But yet they are secretly shipping water.
And honestly, at this point, none of that surprises me, because he has been
so anemic in his efforts. He has not done really anything. At first, he
sent us Michigan national guardsmen to actually deliver the water we had
been collecting as citizens from kind people across the country. And he
hadn`t even donated any water at that point in time.
And the filters, of course, we`re finding out they may not be helpful.
There was a home where they found over 4,000 parts per billion. No filter
is going to help you with that.
And we haven`t even tested every home. We don`t know how high these levels
are. And his lack of care and concern, the words depraved indifference
definitely count, because the fact that he`s just like I don`t want to
write a check, I`m not going to fix these, there are other things that need
to be fixed, it`s horrifying, because that means my tub is going to turn
blue every morning now with the copper and we are never going to be safe
until they`re out of the ground.
And this has been said by experts, civil engineers, doctors, and the fact
he is ignoring every single one of them because he doesn`t want to spend
any of that surplus money on us, even though Lansing had their
infrastructure replaced over the past 10 years, it`s a slap in the face.
And it`s basically like, here is your poison, deal with it.
LUI: What do you need now?
MAYS: We need pipes. We need – we filed a lawsuit to demand they replace
the infrastructure. And after these – I mean, you know, after these
newest test results that the water is still not safe for so many people, it
needs to be done, get started now.
We`re thinking about starting up a fund raising event to pay plumbers
ourselves. If he`s not going to do it, we`ll find a way to do it, because
that`s the way we have been doing this.
We have done the testing ourselves before the experts came in. We did the
informational educational seminars and going door to door. We`re still
going door to door, because nothing has been sent out to the residents
saying don`t drink the water and don`t boil the water. Nothing has gone
out in Arabic or Spanish.
So, our group, some working with Nayyirah Shariff from Democracy Defense
League, and our groups have joined together and we`re going door to door,
because they haven`t.
LUI: Melissa Mays, thank you for taking the time.
MAYS: Thank you.
LUI: And, of course, our hearts and minds with you as you go through this.
Good luck to you and your family. Appreciate the time.
MAYS: Thank you.
LUI: We now return back to the campaign trail from the story there in
Flint, Michigan, to Iowa. And the Jeb Bush town hall event is set to begin
less than ten minutes from now. Marco Rubio will be kicking off his day at
the top of the hour, as well.
We`ll be covering the events for you across the Hawkeye State throughout
the day here on MSNBC. And the question right here for our panel is what
can voters expect to hear from candidates in the final stretch. And who
needs to make the most of the next 48 hours.
Back with our panel as we finish out the hour here.
What`s going to be crucial that you`re watching for in the next 48 hours?
They`re out there working it.
PERESSUTTI: Turnout, turnout and turnout. This is not the time for
candidates to be giving any new message to their supporters. This is a
time for the candidates to be fortifying the message that they have been
disseminating all campaign long. And they just have to focus like a laser
on making sure that their supporters and even those on the fence but could
potentially be supporters get to that caucus.
ZAINO: And they have to work with the caucus delegates and surrogates that
are in those caucuses to get them, particularly on the Democratic side.
But even on the Republican side, to really pull the support once they get
locked in that room at 7:00.
And I think that`s really where the efforts are, as many of the candidates
we see out on the campaign trail, no new messages, it`s all about turnout
and making sure the votes go to them.
DEFRANCESCO: It`s going to be about energy, but also will location,
location, location. So, these folks who are getting out, we need to see
support across Iowa. If you have concentrated pockets, that is going to be
the death knell especially for the Democratic candidate, say a Bernie
Sanders. So, be strategic.
LUI: Two minutes. The issues you think will resonate now with caucus-
goers. It`s going to be different on both sides.
DEFRANCESCO: I still think immigration is the driving force.
LUI: In Iowa?
DEFRANCESCO: In Iowa. You know, Iowa has a very small Latino population,
but it`s rapidly growing, and I think that change can be jarring to a lot
of Republicans in Iowa. So, I think immigration is going to help with the
rhetoric there. And then on the Democrat side, that`s a big point for
contrasting with the GOP, especially Hillary Clinton.
LUI: It`s hard for Democrats, right?
ZAINO: It`s an issue of who is best capable of getting the job, and
represents what we as progressive Democrats feel we want going forward.
And it`s a big tug and a big pull for many Democrats who, you know, really
do have a kindness in their heart for Hillary Clinton, but don`t really
necessarily trust her and really like where Bernie Sanders stands on the
LUI: And Republicans, is it who is most angry?
PERESSUTTI: Well, that`s certainly been driving a lot of the rhetoric.
That`s not going to work for candidates like John Kasich or Jeb Bush, who
are hoping that the experience, their temperament, their personality, what
they have done, what they brought to the table will prevail. We`ll see.
ZAINO: And Giancarlo is not angry at all.
LUI: No, he`s not –
PERESSUTTI: This morning, I`m not.
How can I be angry with these two?
ZAINO: That`s right.
DEFRANCESCO: We brought donuts.
LUI: She did. All of you ate donuts.
Where will you be on caucus night, by the way? Very interesting. And how
will you be watching it?
DEFRANCESCO: I`m probably going to be watching it laptop, TV and phone,
which is what I usually do.
LUI: Oh, you`re so 2016.
ZAINO: I`ll be covering it, and I`m going to be running some data too.
LUI: What kind of data?
ZAINO: I`ll be running some of the polling data.
PERESSUTTI: It will be a multimedia extravaganza for me, as well.
LUI: Is there a data point you`re watching?
PERESSUTTI: Weather. Absolutely. I think that that – those of us on the
East Coast knew that storm turned at the last minute, and if the same thing
happens in Iowa, it`s going to be very different.
LUI: For me, it will be gender as well as age group. Just to be old
fashioned about it in terms of demographics come caucus night.
ZAINO: And new voters, I think, is going to be fascinating.
LUI: It`s been fun this morning. I want to thank our panel again. Thank
you so much. I appreciate it. Vicki, thank you so much. Jeanne and
PERESSUTTI: Thank you.
LUI: You guys have a good caucus night as you were watching it in the ways
you are describing.
And thank you all for being with us today here on MSNBC. Join us tomorrow,
Sunday morning at 9:00, when we will have a lot for you.
But before that, you`re going to want to watch “MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY”.
That`s coming up next.
Have a great Saturday.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning, my question. Will Iowa
be a game-changer?
Plus, the ultimate beef in the Republican Party.
And getting to the root of the Flint water crisis.
But first, they don`t want you to caucus.
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