UP, Transcript 1/31/2016

Karen Tumulty, Phillip Stutts, Lauren Victoria Burke, Bernard Whitman, Jeff Weaver, Penny Nance, Nina Turner, Andy McGuire

Date: January 31, 2016
Guest: Karen Tumulty, Phillip Stutts, Lauren Victoria Burke, Bernard
Whitman, Jeff Weaver, Penny Nance, Nina Turner, Andy McGuire

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC HOST: Good morning, everyone. Thank you so much for
getting UP early with us. I`m Tamron Hall. This morning we are just one
day away from the Iowa caucuses. And as Iowa voters ponder their final
decisions in the race for President, they are waking up to some brand new
poll numbers. Let`s look at them.


Des Moines Register`s front page highlighting close races in both parties
this morning. On the Republican side, Donald Trump leads Senator Ted Cruz
by five points, but there`s a four-point margin of error that we are
looking at. So it seems that this race is still anyone`s game. And on the
Democratic side, it`s even closer, Hillary Clinton leading Senator Bernie
Sanders by just three points.


And Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will begin his day in Council
Bluffs, Iowa. NBCs Kerry Sanders is live for us there. And, Kerry, we
seem to learn so much about Donald Trump`s campaign from his Twitter feed.
He`s already saying that he and his wife Melania plan to head to church and
he has a couple of events after that.

KERRY SANDERS, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: You know, he`s barnstorming the
state, he`s doing what politicians do. He calls this now crunch time and,
as you said, he will be going to church and then he`ll be coming here to
Council Bluffs to the middle school here, where he will be meeting with,
once again, he hopes, a large crowd on a Sunday. There may be people who
choose to go to church rather than come here. We`ll wait to see, but
really at this point it`s now down to those final hours where, where those
who are going to participate in the caucus have to make their decision.


NEIL GROSS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We`re tired of being pushed around. We want
to regain our standing in the, in the world. And you know, let`s be
realistic about where we`re headed in the future. Are we`re going to like
Greece, Europe? Is that where we want to be? Do I plan on caucusing for
him? I don`t know yet. He`s a little bombastic, a little over the top
sometimes. But is that necessarily a bad thing? I don`t know. It feels,
it feels kind of like a concert, like a rock concert. I think it`s kind of
cool, I like it. And I think he`s going to – he builds up a lot of
excitement, and he gets people, you know, excited about what could happen.
So I think that`s a good thing. We need that.


SANDERS: The most critical vote in Iowa is the evangelical vote. In 2012,
57 percent of those who participated in the caucuses self-identified as


It may be why Donald Trump was shown holding his family Bible, a Bible that
he says that his mother gave him, a visual to go to that audience that may
or may not choose to support him come caucus night. Tamron.


HALL: Kerry, Donald Trump actually posted a video on Facebook a short time
ago, holding that Bible. He`s been carrying it around Iowa. But let`s
face it, it`s not the
Bible, it`s the ground game that he has to focus on to get people out,
evangelical or otherwise. And we keep hearing over and over about his
supporters being first-time caucus-goers.


What are you seeing on the ground as far as his effort to educate those
people? I saw one report that some of his team members who are training,
who are planning to help first-time caucus-goers are first-time caucus-
goers themselves, if any of this makes any sense at this point.


SANDERS: Yes, you know it`s the ground game is one that looks like we`re
going to have to see if it really comes together. Because a lot of this
ground game has been on the Internet, people connecting through Facebook
and other social media and getting information on where to go, but not
quite understanding maybe how the caucus process works. But there`s one
sort of caveat in all of this. Back in the last caucus four years ago, 40
percent of the people who participated in caucuses were the first time that
they had ever done it. So, while there may be a whole new group of people
showing up to participate in the caucus, it`s not unusual for there to be
people who`ve never done it before. And of course on the Republican side
it`s a lot easier. They go to a room and then they write down their ballot
after they discuss a little bit. The Democratic side is far more
complicated and difficult.

HALL: All right, Kerry. Thank you very much.

Joining us now from Des Moines, Iowa, is someone who`s looking certainly to
make his mark in tomorrow night`s caucuses, Republican presidential
candidate, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Welcome, Senator. Thank you so
much for waking up with us this morning.


HALL: let`s talk about your ground game. I`ve read some interesting
comments from you. I know that right now you are in fifth place, 23 points
behind Donald Trump. But you have about 1,000 precinct captains there for
you, trying to rally your ground game. Why are you confident at this hour?

PAUL: Well, you know, if you come to our headquarters in Des Moines you`ll
see over 100 young men and women making phone calls. They`ve made a
million phone calls in Iowa, they`ve been out knocking on doors. A
thousand precinct chairs is pretty formidable. I don`t know that any other
campaign has announced that many precinct chairs. So we think we do have a
great ground game. We also think that the youth vote is underrepresented
in polling. Often if you look at these polls, there`s nobody under 30,
even in the poll, period, because all the young people are on cell phones.
I haven`t met a college kid who`s ever had a presidential poll. So we
think we`re going to do very well with the youth vote because of my
opposition to the government collecting our phone
Records, because of my support for privacy, and because of my support for
letting people be left alone.

HALL: It`s an interesting point you make about the polls, considering your
frontrunner is poll-obsessed, and it appears that this campaign this
season, more than any other, has been a poll-driven, poll-obsessed
dialogue. So it sounds as if your confidence right now does not lie in the
numbers that we are looking at that puts you at 5 percent.

PAUL: Yeah, and another thing that the polls aren`t picking up, is they
ask in the most recent Des Moines poll, they said who did you vote for in
2012? And my dad`s percentages aren`t much ahead of mine, and yet he got
percent. So we think there`s a lot of what we call the liberty vote that`s
not being counted yet in the polling, either.

HALL: But even still, if these polls are faulty or not, when you look at
the average, all of them show Donald Trump in the lead, the frontrunner.
And he has been since the summer. I`m curious on your thoughts why Donald
Trump is resonating. You may have heard the sound from the man this
morning, our colleague interviewed who said, you know, he really is about
strength. I heard someone yesterday, a voter in Iowa, say he`s a small
business owner, like Donald Trump is a small business owner. I`m not sure
how he processed that, but it, it`s almost as if there`s a Jedi mind trick
going on that these people believe they can relate to Donald Trump.

PAUL: Well, you know, I`m a small business owner. I was a small town
physician, but I never went bankrupt, and so I do have some differences
with Donald Trump. I do think, though, that when you look at the
differences between Trump and myself, Trump says he`s smart and he`s rich,
give him power and he`ll fix everything. I say that power corrupts, and
that I don`t want a great deal of power in the presidency, Republican or
Democrat. I believe in limiting the power, having checks and balances.
And I`m very suspicious of too much power in a central government. And so,
I`m kind of the opposite of Donald Trump in the sense that I`m not
presumptuous enough to know that I have all the answers. I want to leave
that power, much off that power to the states and to the people

HALL: But you`ve also presented yourself as the opposite as well to Ted
Cruz, the person who is second or even tied, depending on the polls, with
Donald Trump. You attacked him heavily during the debate on amnesty, and
how he projects, I guess his standing when you look at the other
candidates. With that said, this is your one
In two. Two people, as you said, you could not be further away from,
philosophy, policy-wise, but they are battling it out for the one and two
spots. Why?

PAUL: Well, you know, we`ll see. I think we don`t know until people vote.
And so I think we need to give more credence to actually what happens in
the election. You know, in Kentucky, just a couple of months ago, every
poll said that the Democrat would win by five points, and the Republican
ended up winning by nine. They were off 14 points in the last week, in a
two-person race. I have a feeling we could be off five or 10 points with
any of these candidates. Even the polls themselves are plus or minus five
margin of error. So I think really we`re going to find that there could be
some surprises. Plus, it will be much more exciting news if we don`t know
the election beforehand.

HALL: Well, that would be exciting News certainly, considering again that
we`ve been poll-obsessed. But, quickly, I`ve got to ask you, Senator Cruz
said if Donald Trump wins Iowa, he runs away with the whole thing. Do you
believe that to be the

PAUL: No, I think the election will go on for a while because I think
there are a lot of us who are alarmed by having Donald Trump as the
nominee. I`ve been one who says we have to have a bigger, better, bolder
party, and that means a more diverse party. And I think Donald Trump will
make us the sort of the lily-white party, which is not going to win any
elections, frankly. And I, I worry about him scaring people away based on
sort of ethnic generalities which I don`t think are good for our party, or
good for the country.

HALL: Well, I know you`ve spoken a lot about Ferguson, the criminal
justice system, things that you hope resonate, if not in Iowa, further down
the road. Senator Paul, thank you so much for your time. I greatly
appreciate it.

PAUL: Thank you.

HALL: Absolutely. And for the latest on the Democratic race, we turn now
to NBC`s Kristen Welker.


She`s live for us, in Iowa`s capital of Des Moines. Kristen, good morning
to you.


The last chance, of course, for the candidates to sway undecided voters,
and we know that Hillary Clinton`s team is focused on the pushback
regarding new details about her e-mails and what was in them.

the final hours here in Iowa, Tamron. Look, this race here on the
Democratic side is still anyone`s to win. Secretary Clinton has a slim
lead over Bernie Sanders, but she`s not taking anything for granted, and
Sanders isn`t letting up.


The Democratic candidates crisscrossing Iowa late into the night Saturday,
with just hours to go. For Hillary Clinton, it was all hands on deck.


change maker I have ever known.

WELKER: Husband Bill and daughter Chelsea helping deliver the final pitch.


WELKER: Clinton is entering the home stretch with a boost. Saturday`s
“Des Moines Register” Bloomberg poll shows her with a slim lead over rival
Bernie Sanders, 45 to 42 percent, and “The New York Times” endorsed her,
calling her one of the most
broadly, and deeply qualified, presidential candidates in modern history.

H. CLINTON: I hope that we`ll be able to persuade you to join us to make
progress for our country.

WELKER: Earlier in the day Clinton tried to turn the page after the State
Department determined 22 e-mails from the former Secretary of State`s
private server were top secret, Clinton telling NBC News she didn`t
generate them.

H. CLINTON: This is an inner agency dispute and it`s playing out in
public, and I want it resolved.

WELKER: Senator Sanders is still riding a wave of insurgent excitement,
buoyed by young voters who overwhelmingly support him.

said it was a fringe campaign. Doesn`t look like a fringe campaign

WELKER: And now the battle being waged in campaign war rooms. Clinton and
Sanders have both built up armies of volunteers, ready to fight, determined
to win.

for so long, there`s got to be something about this crazy, old old guy,

LIZ MUELLER, HILLARY CLINTON FOR AMERCA: We are here to help Democrats and
to hopefully get Hillary Clinton elected President.


WELKER: Now, Tamron, if those young voters turn out in force, it could
hand a victory to Bernie Sanders. That`s what happened back in 2008, when
then-Senator Barack Obama – young voters by a margin of about four to one.
Both Sanders and Clinton have another relentless campaign schedule today
that will last late into the night. Tamron.

HALL: We`ll be following right along with you, Kristen. Thank you so
much. And stay with MSNBC as we count down to the Iowa caucuses.


Don`t miss our special prime-time coverage with Brian Williams, Rachel
Maddow, and Chris Matthews. That`s tonight starting at 8:00 Eastern. And
up next, how a mere 70,000 people could decide the fate of the Republican
candidates. We`ll dig into those numbers right after a quick break.




DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They just came out with a “Des
Moines Register” Bloomberg poll, and the numbers were so good for me, which
I`m happy about. It all doesn`t matter if you don`t caucus on Monday. It
all doesn`t matter. Just we`re all – the polls don`t matter, nothing

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Where we are right now, this
race is a dead heat. It is neck and neck. Now it is effectively a two-man

many people to caucus for me as possible. I don`t, I don`t know what that
leads to other than success. And I feel good about it, I really do.


HALL: The top three Republicans in Iowa, they`re all trying to fire up
their supporters before Monday night. Joining me now to talk more about
it, “Washington Post” National Political Correspondent, Karen Tumulty.
Karen, thanks so much for joining. And our panel here with us.

Merry Christmas Eve – I mean merry caucus eve here.

HALL: OK, it`s Festivus for the rest of us. Our panel is here, Phillip
Stutts, former campaign manager for Bobby Jindal, and the Director of
George Bush`s 2004 Get out the Vote drive; Bernard Whitman, former pollster
to President Bill Clinton; and Lauren Victoria Burke, Managing Editor for
Politics365. Thank you all for joining us. Karen, let`s start off with
you first. By the numbers in the ground game, you heard Donald Trump say
the very same thing that we`re hearing on both sides, with Democrats as
well,it means nothing if we cannot get these supporters out. It`s
interesting with Donald Trump. His supporters have all lined up behind
him. They are convincing their guy, except for the fact that they are
about 46 percent of the voters in Iowa who have not decided who they want
to support. By the numbers how does this play out as you see it?

TUMULTY: Well, I think the poll, the “Des Moines Register” poll that we
were all waiting for last night is a pretty good indicator of where things
stand at this moment. But what it does suggest is that, particularly I
think on the Democratic side, it`s, you know, it`s anyone`s ball game right
now between Bernie Sanders
and Hillary Clinton. This is a very, very close race. And, you know, the
Trump`s model has – he`s right. I mean who would have ever thought we`d
have heard Donald Trump saying the polls don`t matter. But, he`s right in
that his whole path to victory is premised on all kinds of people showing
up to these caucuses who never have done it before.

HALL: So, Phillip, when we look at it, if there`s a high turnout, does
that show that it would help Sanders and Trump? I keep hearing people say,
well, these are first-time caucus-goers. They were first-time caucus-goers
who supported a man named Barack Obama and stunned the world.


HALL: So are we overplaying that line, because this election has upended
everything that`s been conventional wisdom, so you go to the memorization
things like first-time caucus-goers?

STUTTS: Well, yes. I would say this, it`s a good line to go to because if
you get you know, right and four years ago there was about 121,000 people
caucused on the Republican side. And if it goes over 150,000 this time
around, I think it`s will – I think it`s Trump`s win. Under 150,000, I
think Cruz takes it. So, there`s got to be a lot of new voters. What the
voter registration rolls they told us in Iowa, is that there haven`t been
really an alignment like there was with Barack Obama where there`s this
influx of new
registered voters.

HALL: When you look at, Lauren, 45 percent could still be persuaded.


HALL: Another number I`m always fascinated by, when you think about, when
you hear from Iowa voters who say they cannot take another ad. If they
hear or see another ad their televisions will explode and the family dog
will run out.

BURKE: Right.

HALL: So who are these undecideds at this point?

BURKE: I think the undecideds are just like everybody else in the country,
thinking hey, can we vote for this person, Donald Trump? They`re thinking
the same thing that everybody else has been thinking the entire year. Can
this person win? Is this the person? And there`s just something in me
that feels like we`ll see someone else winning tomorrow. Cruz, Rubio,
obviously there`s a big rumor of a Rubio surge. I`m not sure that I
completely believe that, but, there is something about that big undecided
that would indicate that they haven`t decided on Trump.

HALL: Yes. But I, but I know you`re saying that, like the rest of the
voters out there, they`re saying can – if you`re a Republican, can you
vote for Donald Trump? But, Bernard, Iowans have been up close to the

BURKE: That`s right.

HALL: I mean, they see the Trump force one roll into town and they`ve seen
him more intimately. And they`ve also been inundated with ads who have
pointed out that some evangelicals believe he`s a phony when it comes to
his faith, that he has not provided any specifics other than to make
America great again.

support among white evangelicals is very, very high. I think you`re going
to see a very tight race on both sides. Ultimately I think that Trump will
narrowly edge Cruz. I think that Hillary Clinton will narrowly edge Bernie
Sanders. If you look at the internals on the, on the race between Clinton
and Sanders that`s where you have a lot of advantages for Hillary. Why?
Because these first-time caucus-goers actually are much less likely to
vote. The best predictor of whether you`re going to show up is if you`ve
shown up before. She`s got a huge advantage among these (groups). If
you`re over 65 you`re much more likely to vote. She has a huge advantage
in this group. And you talk about the people whose minds still could be
changed, Hillary Clinton supporters, about four in five of them say she is
my candidate I am not going to change my mind. Bernie Sanders, only two
in three. Now we have to remember in the Iowa caucuses you have to go
there, you have to discuss, you have to debate. She`s got an edge in those
caucus rooms because I think her supporters are more committed to her and
believe in her electability over Bernie Sanders.

HALL: And, Karen, that`s a great point that was made. You know, when you
see the split screen of their final rallies yesterday, you`ve got Bernie
Sanders, with, you know, the young crowd, and it`s very vibrant, and then
there was a split screen of an event with Hillary Clinton yesterday and
people described them as less enthusiastic, and old, but those are the
people precisely that will show up for her. I saw two different interviews
with young college students. One said he had class, and the other said i`m
going to try to make it. That has to sink Bernie Sanders` heart when you
hear a supporter say I love him, I`m enthusiastic, oh, i`ll try to make it.

TUMULTY: Yes, and you know, again, this is the question, this is the big
question. I remember, though, when the “Des Moines Register” poll came out
in 2008, I was on the Hillary Clinton bus and, you know, Mark Penn put out
a memo that day, her pollster, saying look, you know, this, these are,
these are people who aren`t going to show up. So, again, we`ll see when we
see. But the, you know, kind of wonderful thing about Iowa is like it
seems like every four years they just delight in proving the
punditocracy wrong.

HALL: Yes, that`s true, but don`t they want to pick a President? I mean
they have had Mike Huckabee, Santorum, and I`m sure that they`re very proud
of those votes at the time, but does Iowa want to pick a President?

TUMULTY: You know, there is just not a lot of evidence that that is the
thing that drives Iowa voters, and I don`t know that.

HALL: On the Republican side?

TUMULTY: It`s especially
on the Republican side. And, again, I just don`t see all that much
evidence in the polling or in the crowds that that has changed.

HALL: All right, Karen, thank you. Thank you to our panel. I`ve met all
of you for the first time. I normally sleep in on Sunday.

TUMULTY: You`re not the only one. This has been an exciting Sunday.

HALL: Thank you so much. And we`ll be back with our panel later in the


Up next, though, “The New York Times” endorses Hillary Clinton late
yesterday in the race for the Democratic nomination, I`m sure you heard the
news, calling Bernie Sanders` plans to achieve his goals unrealistic.
Well, we`ll talk with Senator Sanders` campaign manager to get the reaction
to that endorsement, as well as the new information from the State
Department on Hillary Clinton`s e-mails. He joins us next.




CLINTON: We have been fighting as Democrats to get to universal to
coverage since Harry Truman and we finally have the base to build on.
Senator Sanders wants to start all over again with a, what will be, very
contentious national debate. Nancy Pelosi just said the other day, we`re
not doing that again.

SANDERS: I think we cannot continue our dependence on fossil fuel.
Secretary Clinton eventually came around, and opposed the Keystone


HALL: That was Hillary Clinton, of course Bernie Sanders, making their
closing arguments to voters yesterday in Iowa. The candidates have seven
events across the state later today. And joining me now from Des Moines,
Sanders` Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver. Jeff, good to see you. Thanks for
joining me this morning.


HALL: I`m well.

Let`s talk about the new poll out. It shows this race belongs to anyone.
Will senator Sanders pull out a victory Monday night?

WEAVER: Well, look, we`re working very, very hard here. The truth is, is
that both candidates have enough voters supporting them to win here. It`s
going to all be a question of turnout, who comes out. If we get our people
out we can win here, we will win.

HALL: Your turnout depends heavily on college voters. I said before the
break I saw two interviews with very enthusiastic college supporters, young
people who are all about feeling the Bern, as one said. But one said he had
class, the other person said I would try to make it there. How do you get
those young people who are showing up for the rallies to get there tomorrow


WEAVER: Right. Well, we`re reaching out to them quite aggressively on
social media, through their social networks, and I think we`re going to
have a lot of success getting them out. I mean this was a similar
criticism, I think it was just pointed out, about the Obama campaign in
2008 and, obviously, they all came out for Senator Obama. So, we`re
hopeful. We see a lot of energy out there, and I got to tell you, you
know, we are very, very popular with college students and young people, but
we`ve been to small towns all around Iowa and there`s a lot of enthusiasm
among working-class people, and middle-income people who want to deal with
this rigged economy.


HALL: Let`s talk about the State Department`s latest revelation that 22 e-
mails from Hillary Clinton`s home server were deemed top secret. Her
campaign makes the point that it was after the fact. Everyone, when this
news broke, it seems, on cable news anyway, went back to that moment when
Senator Sanders on the debate said – on the debate stage said he did not
care about the e-mail scandal, essentially. What`s the reaction now to
this news? Does this hurt Hillary Clinton?

WEAVER: Well, I think what he said at the time was I`m sick of hearing
about your damn e-mails.

HALL: Right.

WEAVER: .is what he said. You know, I`ll repeat now what he told Chris
Cuomo after the debate, which was, there is an investigation going on,
there`s a legal process going on. We should let that process go forward.
Let`s not politicize it, and it will come out how it comes out. But in the
meantime, let us talk about the real issues facing the American people, our
rigged economy, held up by a corrupt system of campaign finance, the need
for healthcare reform, the need to protect the environment. These are the
issues that people want to hear about. How are you going to send your kids
to college? That`s what the Senator is focusing on here in Iowa.

HALL: Jeff, is it politicizing for the campaign for Senator Sanders to say
or to express concern of what this could mean if Hillary Clinton gets the
nomination, that this is not just a cloud that hovers over her head. It`s
an investigation that could ultimately impact her if she gets the
nomination, just as you`ve made the point and the campaign has made the
point about her taking money for speeches in the hundreds of thousands. Is
that politicizing or is that pointing out something that Senator Sanders
believes is a distinction?

WEAVER: Well, in this case there is a legal process going on right ow, by
the Obama administration, to look into this and we should just let that
process go forward. That`s what we should do.

HALL: All right. Jeff Weaver, thank you so much for joining us and we`ll
see how it all shakes out on Monday.

WEAVER: Happy to be here.

HALL: Thank you.

WEAVER: Yes, thanks. Take care.

HALL: And, Donald Trump may be leading in most Iowa polls, but one
Conservative coalition is urging Iowans to choose anyone but Trump.


We`ll talk with one of the leaders of that effort right after this.


HALL: Welcome back. The leaders of an anti-abortion group united – unite
behind a common cause this week. They say it`s anyone but Trump. In an
open letter to Iowa voters released Tuesday the heads of Iowa and national
group said we quote.


“We urge Iowa caucus-goers and voters to support anyone but Trump on the
issue of defending unborn children and protecting women from the violence
of abortion. Mr. Trump cannot be trusted.”


And joining me now one of the authors of that letter Penny Nance. She`s
the President of the Concerned Women for America. Penny, thanks so much
for joining us.


HALL: So Donald Trump has said over and over, and he actually wrote, let
me be clear, I am pro-life. I did not always hold this position, but I had
a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life
into perspective for me. Do you believe Donald Trump`s statement?


NANCE: Well, the devil is in the details, isn`t it? What does pro-life
mean to him? As you mentioned I was joined by 10 pro-life women leaders
from Iowa, national leaders from around the country, who are very concerned
about his position on life, and protecting the least of these. And so we
have urged Iowa voters to consider very seriously this choice. The other
issue that you didn`t bring up that we mentioned in the letter is our
concern of his treatment of women. He is the only person in this race who
has certainly profited from the exploitation of women. His, his casino in
Atlantic City hosted a strip club and so we thought that was very important
for Iowa voters to know, on top of all the things he said, and the other
issues around him, that character is important.


Character counts. And so, we believe, as you know, 60 percent of the
voters, the evangelical Christians, this would be important information for

HALL: And you said 10 others signed that letter with you but, when you
look at some of the numbers, right now the “Des Moines Register,” Iowa
evangelical caucus-goers, 33 percent right now, support Senator Cruz. 19
percent support Trump. But he`s had a sizable number of evangelical
leaders, including Jerry Falwell, Jr., to come out and support him. A
number of other women Conservatives, Sarah Palin, endorsing him. Why are
you right about Donald Trump, and they are wrong?

NANCE: You know, I respect Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Sarah Palin. These are
people that I, I care about and, you know, I respect their opinions.

HALL: But why are they wrong?

NANCE: We had, we had to tell the truth about what we see as the issues
here. Donald Trump, although he says he`s pro-life, has only pointed out
one person – by the way, you know this Tamron, that the key on this issue
is going to be Supreme Court Justices. Up to four Supreme Court Justices
could be appointed in this next administration. It could be as high as
that many. So Roe vs. Wade could be changed greatly by who we choose as
President. And the only person who Donald Trump has mentioned as the kind
of Justice he would choose is his sister, Maryanne Trump, who struck down
the partial birth abortion ban act in New Jersey. She`s very much to the
left of Iowa voters on the issue of life. And there`s other – other
details I could point out. But I was saying the key point here, I think,
for Iowa voters, is character. There are – there are several great
choices in that race for them to choose from, men and women of character,
who have a record, a proven record, on the issue of life and marriage, and
other social issues. We think of the other 10, eight, nine women who join
me that there are better choices than Donald Trump in this election, in
this particular race.

HALL: But would your message be more effective if you endorsed someone,
rather than saying anyone but Trump? You see the polling there. So that
he`s neck and neck with Ted Cruz, for example. Why not then lend your
voices to supporting Ted Cruz and perhaps helping him pull out a victory in

NANCE: Because there were – everyone on that letter probably had a
different candidate that they supported, and maybe that`s the case that`s
going on in Iowa right now. I would suggest that that probably is the
case. The evangelical vote, the pro-life vote is split. But we all came
together in agreement, and actually I think that is really important, that
we all came around the idea that Donald Trump`s credentials on the issue of
life are not clear. And.

HALL: But it sounds like your organization reflects what`s happening in
Iowa. If, if you, the 10 of you could not come to a consensus of
supporting one person, you would split all your votes, and that`s why
Donald Trump may win on Monday night.

NANCE: That might be the case, but let me just say something, though.
Iowa is a great group of people. We have – Concerned Women for America
has a great number of members in that state. But, it`s only the first
state. and they`ve only chosen the same – the Republican nominee since
1980 twice. So we`ll see what happens.

HALL: All right, Penny Nance, thank you so much for your time. We greatly
appreciate it.

NANCE: Thank you.


HALL: Up next the voting bloc Bernie Sanders is now appealing to that
could be – the word we like to use so much for the description – game
changer in the race for the Democratic nomination. We`ll dig into some
numbers you`ll be thinking about for the next 24 hours. We`ll be right




CORNELL WEST, PRESIDENT, NAACP: And he builds on the best of America. I`m
talking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. I`m talking about the
legacy of Dorothy Day, the legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the
legacy of those who believe that everyday people have a dignity and a
sanctity and they ought to be at the center of public policy. That`s
brother Bernie Sanders.


HALL: And that was Princeton professor and activist Cornell West hitting
the campaign trail this week for Senator Bernie Sanders. I`m joined now by
former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who recently announced her
endorsement for Senator Sanders. Thanks so much for joining me.

FMR. SEN. NINA TURNER, (D) OHIO: Thanks, Tamron.

HALL: I have to tell you, I tweeted out that Rand Paul would be joining
us, and I tweeted out that you would be joining and we got more retweets
and comments, both positive and, I`ll be honest with you, negative about
your decision. So explain to the people out there who may have been
surprised given that you were very, very loyal to Barack Obama, that you
have decided to support Bernie Sanders.

TURNER: Well, I think Senator Sanders is the best candidate to continue
the legacy of President Barack Obama. And you know in this nation it is
really about choice. So people have a choice. So the haters should not be
hating. I am supporting Senator Bernie Sanders because I believe that he
has heart-soul agreement. And when it comes to the African-American
community in particular, what Senator Sanders has advanced in a $15
increase in the – or raising the minimum wage to $15 would instantly give
folks in the African-American community 50 percent of them a raise.


When he talks about universal health care as a right, Tamron, I can tell
you as having my mother die at the age of 42 year olds with an aneurysm
burst in her brain, being the oldest of seven children and a first
generation college graduate, when I juxtapositioned Senator Sanders` vision
for this country with my life story, there was no doubt who I should be
supporting, and that is Senator Bernie Sanders.

HALL: Well, obviously Clinton supporters, Hillary Clinton supporters will
say that she was on the front line of health care as a First Lady.


She was the person who got wounded before Barack Obama was wounded in that
battle and ultimately was victorious. And she paved the way on health care

TURNER: Well, all good Democrats should be fighting for universal health
care. It is unfortunate that the Secretary has a different vision in 2016
than she had then when she was fighting for universal health care. And, as
you may remember, she chastised Senator Barack Obama for coming against her
in 2008, saying that Democrats should not fight each other over this
fundamental value that we have. So again, Senator Sanders.


You know in the Christian tradition it says that you will know a tree by
the fruit that it bears, and Senator Sanders has been in the vineyard
laboring for justice all of his life, and so I`m supporting him.


HALL: Let`s talk about the fact – you just saw Cornel West, your support,
you had also early on rapper-activist Killer Mike, and a number of other
people who have come out from the African-American community – not a
monolithic community, I have to remind people of that –

TURNER: Yes, thank you.

HALL: Who have come out and support Bernie Sanders. But you and I know
that at the black church at, the beauty salon, the barber shop, all these
stereotypical places that people think we hang out, that there is a
conversation that there`s a belief that blacks should fall in line behind
the Clintons, or fall in line as voters of the Democratic Party. I saw you
already are ready to respond to that.

TURNER: Tamron, I`m having a moment here. Nobody owns the black vote. The
black vote should be earned, and it is curious to me that our folks are the
only voting bloc where people assume which direction we are going to go in.
My message to the black community this morning, and to all communities, is
that no one should allow themselves to be taken for granted. And,
unfortunately, lots of times the Democratic Party itself as a whole has
taken the African-American community for granted. So nobody owns our vote,
they have to earn our vote. And we don`t owe anything to elected
officials. It is the other way around. And so, while Senator Sanders
certainly has not been a national figure, he is running for the presidency
of these United States of America, but he is running with heart-soul
agreement. So I would ask my sisters and brothers of the African-American
community to do a deep dive and make a choice based on heart-soul
agreement, and not where folks think we
should be or trying to force us to be.

HALL: But when you look at South Carolina right now, polling shows
Hillary Clinton with a 37-point margin in that state alone. We know the
African-American votes there are very important, and that may be, as they
describe, it her firewall. But you talk about Bernie Sanders and his
relationship and support of the black community, some people say, were he
not – the stage not stormed by Black Lives Matter supporters in that
incredibly awkward moment, that Senator Sanders may not have really sat
down and had this dialogue with young, black voters. You know his comments
lately on reparations and some other issues that in a sense – I guess I`m
asking you was Bernie Sanders hand really forced into the conversation with
black voters because of the storming of the stage by Black Lives Matters,
or do you see this as an authentic recognition of the power of the black

TURNER: It is authentic, Tamron. I mean, let`s be clear here. Senator
Sanders is a senator from Vermont. Ninety-five percent of their population
– he cannot control the demographics, so he`s served honorably in that
state – 95 percent of that population is white. But let me just say this.
See I was at Netroots Nation, and at least Senator Bernie Sanders and
Governor O`Malley had the heart to come to Netroots Nation. I saw the
mamas take over the room. And so it is a learned experience, but they were
absolutely in the fight. Senator Sanders understands that he has to earn
the African-American vote, and that is exactly what he`s doing. And his
position on reparations is not that much different from President Obama`s.
So to lay reparations at his feet is unfair. They, we should be asking
every candidate how they feel about reparations. But Senator Sanders has
the strongest racial justice program and platform of any candidate running
for President, Democrat or Republican. So I want to go back to the urban
pop – urban poet, Tupac, when he says we got money for wars but we can`t
feed the poor. When people say we should not be dreaming big, we cannot go
from, yes, we can, to no, we can`t. And, Tamron, Senator Bernie Sanders is
the symbol for all that is right in this country and he will continue to
stand up and fight against the status quo, and that is why African-
Americans should vote for him. `Cause we have been victims of the status
quo for generations.

HALL: Nina Turner, thank you so much for your time. We greatly appreciate
it, and I`ll be talking with you hopefully after Monday. Bye-bye.

TURNER: I`m looking forward to it, Tamron.

HALL: Thank you so much.

TURNER: Thank you.

HALL: And we should remind you of course, as you heard there, she supports
Bernie Sanders. I don`t know why I had to tell you that again.


And let`s look at Des Moines, Iowa, on the morning before the Iowa
caucuses. Next, we`re going to be joined by the Chair of the Iowa
Democratic Party with her thoughts on tomorrow night`s contest. Stick
around, we`ll be right back.



HALL: On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, the new and final “Des Moines
Register” poll has Hillary Clinton three points ahead of Bernie Sanders.
As we have discussed this hour, that is within the margin of error, the
Democratic race going down to the wire. We`re joined by the chair of the
Iowa Democratic Party. Thank you so much for joining us. We`re tight on
time, so I want to get straight to it. What do you believe will be the
headline Tuesday morning, late Monday night?

had a great caucus, great turnout, and a great winner.

HALL: Well, that`s great, but we know that we will have a winner and a
loser here. You`re within the margin of error. What voting bloc do you
believe then will make the decision here?

McGUIRE: Well, I think a lot of people have talked about turnout as being
very important, and certainly to the Democratic Party, turnout is important
to us because caucuses are about party building. We want to have turnout
as much as we can. We had three great campaigns, very organized, all over
the state. And I think they will really turn out their people. So I think
the campaign that can turn out their people the best may be the winner.

HALL: I still have our panel with us, Philip, Bernard, and Lauren. So
let`s just go down the line. What do you believe, Lauren, will be the

BURKE: Headline will be record turnout for this particular.

HALL: Record turnout.

BURKE: Yes, sort of exciting cycle.

HALL: More than 2008?

BURKE: Yes, I think more than two thousand – well, actually, I shouldn`t
say that. Obama, Obama was a phenomenon, so no. I think Bernie will pull
it off and I think Hillary will barely pull.

WHITMAN: I think it`s gonna be, I think it`s going to be Trump and Hillary
barely win. Rubio comes in a distant third.

STUTTS: I say who exceeds expectations. Trump needs to double up Cruz.
Cruz needs to beat Trump, and Rubio could beat Cruze. If that happens,
this race, it`s on.

HALL: It is, it is, and Dr. McGuire, before we leave here, we know there
may be more debates added in. Do you believe that the lack of debates on
the Democratic side or the fewer made a difference here in here in why the
race is so tight right now?

McGUIRE: Well, I think they get their message out well anyhow. I`m, I`m
for more debates always, but I`m also for talking one-on-one like they have
in Iowa. And we`ve had several forums here. So I do think the candidates,
all three of them, are getting their message out. So I always welcome more
of that, but I think they`re doing a very good job.

HALL: And the significance that Iowa plays here, we hear so much about
obviously, the population compared to cities that – certainly like New
York – who believe they matter more than anything else, and that there may
be an argument in some ways for that, but the significance of Iowa and the
role that state plays, how do you explain that to people who still question

McGUIRE: You know, we take this process very seriously. But Iowa, Iowans
really, it`s a good state geographically. You can get all around it. And
this day of Citizens United, you can`t buy Iowa. If you don`t have name
ID, if you don`t have money, you can still come to Iowa. You can talk to
Iowans all over the state, and you can actually become President. We like
that that`s the way this works and we`re very proud of that and we take it
very seriously.

HALL: OK. I turn out I have one more minute for our panel here, so get
in. You can`t buy Iowa.

BURKE: No, you can`t. I – what do you think about Trump? I mean can he
win this without a ground game?

WHITMAN: I think that Trump will actually win, and when I look at the
race, in 2008, Obama beat Hillary Clinton and ultimately carried the
Democrats to the White House on hope and change. The Republicans are
operating this year on fear and change, and so far, it`s working very, very
well for them, particularly for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The challenge is
going to be America`s a forward looking country, we`re an optimistic
country, we believe in the future. And I think, at the end of the day in
general election, that is going to work against them. And there here`s a
huge enthusiasm gap on the Republican side we don`t see on the Democratic
side. So I think whatever happens tonight, it bodes well for the Democrats

HALL: And we`re out of time, but thank you so much for joining me. If I
come in on a Sunday again, I will bring a pastry, but I`m fasting right
now. I couldn`t take it.

Dr. Andy McGuire, thank you so much for joining us. And thank you to all
of our guests today for this hour. Thanks for waking up with me on this
Sunday. I will see you tomorrow, of course 11:00 Eastern time, I`ll be

And stay with MSNBC as we count down the Iowa caucuses. Don`t miss the
primetime coverage with Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews
tonight at 8:00 Eastern. Melissa Harris-Perry is up next, and Melissa will
be joined by Ari Melber, who is live from Des Moines – Melissa is – with
a look at the last-minute effort to get out the vote. Have a good one.


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