ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: That is "Tonight`s Last Word." I`m Ali Velshi. I`m going to see you back here at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. But right now "The 11th Hour" begins.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the President and the unknown, and now it`s Donald Trump versus something Americans are actually concerned about, 64 active cases now in the United States while the President keeps saying it`s 15 while blaming the trouble on the Democrats.
Plus, the plummeting stock market having lost 12 percent of its value in just a week. It has the President`s loyalist, including Cabinet members scrambling to say he`s doing all the right things.
And for the Democrats, Joe Biden now openly predicting victory in South Carolina, but how much will it interrupt the role that Bernie`s been on and with Super Tuesday now just four days away. All of it as "The 11th Hour" gets under way on this Friday night.
Well, good evening once again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York. Day 1,135 of the Trump administration. That leaves exactly 249 days to go until our 2020 presidential election.
Just for tonight, a few more important numbers here. There are currently 64 known cases of the coronavirus in the United States after two new cases were identified just tonight, California and Oregon. And still the President is talking about 15 cases. And just tonight at a rally, he went a step further and called the coronavirus a hoax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is their new hoax, but you know, we did something that`s been pretty amazing. We have 15 people in this massive country. And because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: A few more numbers. There are now more than 85,000 cases worldwide. The World Health Organization, in fact, today raised their own assessment of the global coronavirus risk from high to very high, and that`s their highest category. As their Deputy Director of Health Emergencies put it, this is really a reality -- "this is a reality check for every government on the planet. Wake up, get ready. This virus may be on its way."
Again today, indeed, the market suffered, losses for the seventh day in a row now, the Dow has lost 12 percent of its total value in one week, making it the worst loss since 2008.
Tonight NBC News has confirmed "Washington Post" reporting that the White House is looking at a tax cut and possibly interest rate cuts to help the economy.
Meanwhile, the White House has also decided to put off a major summit with Asian leaders scheduled for next month in Vegas amid concerns about coronavirus.
A whole lot of travel plans have changed. A lot of airline stocks are way down. Amazon has stopped nonessential employee travel. United Airlines reducing its service throughout Asia. While the AP is reporting school districts across this country are starting to prepare online classes and canceling trips abroad.
Despite evidence pointing to the spread of coronavirus, the President is still using his own false set of numbers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re at the same number. A lot of people are getting better, very much better. The 15 number -- the 15 people likewise, we have them down to a much lower number. They`re in good shape. Most of them are in really good shape.
One of the people as -- I wouldn`t say not doing well, but it`s very -- she`s very sick, but she`s hopefully getting better. But we`re at the same number. We`ve only saw -- essentially we`ve only had 15.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the worst week for stocks since the financial crisis. Is this more of an economic or public health crisis?
TRUMP: Well, I think it`s just people don`t know -- it`s the unknown. You know, they look at it and they say, how long will this last? I think they`re not very happy with the Democrat candidates when they see them. I think that has an impact.
And we think we`re going to win. We think we`re going to win easily, but you never know. It`s an election. I don`t think that`s helping.
I made one decision that was a very important decision. And that was to close our country to a certain area of the world that was relatively heavily infected. And because of that, we`re talking about 15 who seem to all be getting better. One is questionable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Again, 64 confirmed cases in this country. Then here`s more of what he said about the virus at his rally just tonight in North Charleston, South Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: One of my people came up to me and said, Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn`t work out too well. They couldn`t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation.
They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They`ve been doing it since you got in. It`s all turning. They lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Earlier today, his chief of staff spoke at the Conservative Political Action Committee and gave a similar perspective.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We took extraordinary steps four or five weeks ago. Why didn`t you hear about it? What was still going on four or five weeks ago? Impeachment. And that`s all the press wanted to talk about.
The reason -- you`re seeing so much attention to it today is that they think this is going to be what brings down the President. That`s what this is all about.
This is not Ebola. OK? And I`ll tell you what that means in a sense. It`s not SARS. It`s not MERS. It`s not a death sentence. It`s not the same as the Ebola crisis.
Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. Maybe you see impacts on public transportation? Sure. But we do this. We know how to handle this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: More on all of that in a bit. The President`s eldest son also weighed in today on the criticisms of the administration`s response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you surprised the way they`ve been handling the coronavirus situation? Meaning, Democrats.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: Not at all. I mean, like you said, we`ve seen this play out for four years. Anything that they can use to try to hurt Trump, they will.
The playbook is old at this point. But for them to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they could end Donald Trump`s streak of winning is a new level of sickness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: And last night in the middle of all of this, the Secretary of Health and Human Services showed that even among adults, job one in this President`s Cabinet remains praising the boss at all costs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: So just want to report to everybody that thanks to the President`s historically aggressive containment efforts. We have really been able to keep the risk to Americans low right now so that everyday Americans don`t need to be worried. But that can change and that`s what`s important for all of us to prepare.
That`s why the President is leading a whole of government effort. He`s put the Vice President in charge of our entire government, getting prepared and making sure our state, local communities also are prepared. And so the President really deserves incredible credit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Meanwhile, Trump has decided to re-up his nomination of Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas to be Director of National Intelligence.
Ratcliffe is one of the more fervent Trump supporters in Congress. His last nomination for this same job was DOA after mistruths were reported concerning his past prosecutions of terrorists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): Part of my background is that I was a terrorism prosecutor for George W. Bush.
I`m John Ratcliffe. As U.S. attorney I prosecuted terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: The point is, Ratcliffe was a U.S. attorney only on an interim basis and for less than a year.
On to the 2020 front, this is the eve, of course, of the South Carolina primary as you may have heard only the second primary. Then days later we slam into Super Tuesday when voters in 14 states and one U.S. territory go to the polls.
So it`s a lot, but we`ll get to it all.
Here for our lead-off discussion on a Friday night, Dr. Celine Gounder, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital here in New York. She also happens to co-host a new podcast about the coronavirus along with Ron Klain, who importantly ran the U.S. response during the Ebola outbreak. Susan page, Washington Bureau Chief for "USA Today," best-selling author, now a hard of work on a biography of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And John Heilemann, equally hardworking, National Affairs Analyst, co-host of "The Circus" which is back on Showtime, editor in chief of "The Recount." Thanks for being here, everybody.
And Doc., as you might have imagined, I`d like to begin with you. Walk me through the danger of the President of the United States saying there`s 15 patients, calling this a hoax, and his chief of staff saying this is not Ebola.
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE CLINICAL ASSISTANCE PROFESSOR: Let`s break that down. In terms of the number of cases, we are massively under testing in this country. We`ve performed less than 500 tests for coronavirus in the U.S. South Korea, for example, which is a much smaller nation has performed over 60, 65,000 tests. So they have a much better sense for what is circulating in the community.
You know, calling this a hoax, that`s exactly the language that was used by West African leaders and people in the community back during Ebola, and that was really an effort to politicize the problem and not really address -- not own up to the measures that were going to need to be taken.
WILLIAMS: You heard the chief of staff when he followed saying this is not Ebola, saying, well, there will be schools close, sure. Well, there will be disruptions in public transportation. How, if it all, does that differ from your projections of this as a professional?
GOUNDER: Well, I think we have entered the phase of this being a pandemic. And there`s been a lot of obsessing, you know, is this an epidemic, is this an pandemic, by definition this is a novel virus to which people do not have immunity. They have not been exposed before. It is spreading rapidly. It is spreading in communities across several continents.
So, why it matters is that actually means you need to shift your strategy. So it`s less about travel restrictions and quarantines and worrying about borders. And I know he was speaking about border walls earlier today. It`s really about, wow, we really need to ramp up our testing. We need to worry about surges and patients coming into our emergency documents.
What are going to do about workplaces and schools? And that`s why it`s important to recognize where we are with all of this so we can make preparations while we still have time.
WILLIAMS: Susan Page, throw another log on the pile of firsts, a first president using this kind of language in the face of a coming potential health crisis. First presidential cabinet with members willing to say virtually anything in public as long as it backs up and supports the boss. Remind the folks watching tonight what normal might look like.
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: Yes. You know, this is a risky strategy for the President. I mean, the hoax language tonight I thought was quite extraordinary. The argument that something is a hoax has worked pretty well for President Trump when he`s talking about the Russia investigation, the investigation into the controversial phone call with the Ukrainian President.
It is harder to convince Americans that there`s a hoax going on if their kids can`t go to school, if they have to telework. If they find their neighbors are hospitalized with this virus. People will know in their real lives, in their actual communities whether this is a hoax or not. So this could create an enormous credibility problem for the President.
And it is quite at odds with the kind of presidential leadership we saw during the Ebola crisis, for instance, where presidents try to convince people to stay calm but to get prepared for the worst in case the worst comes. We`re hearing the opposite from this President.
WILLIAMS: John, Susan just talked about what has worked for this President in the past. I always remind people he was the star of a television show out of this building for 14 seasons. He is all about branding and repetition, a perfect call, the Russia hoax, witch hunt. Is this, however, where the facts run into his oncoming game, does his game have limits?
JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Brian, I think -- I want to say I hope so, but I don`t want to say I hope so, right? You want to say at some point that President -- that this game will end and that we have predicted, all of us, for now three years that there would come a time when the President`s serial fabrications would meet a moment where because of the circumstances or because of the nature of the lie he was telling, it would be -- not only would it be revealed because it`s been revealed many times, but there would be consequences.
Now, one does not want there to be consequences of the kind that I fear we`re going to see in this case, but that is, I think, where we`re headed. This is very dangerous. And when you hear Mick Mulvaney saying this is not Ebola, this is not SARS, this is not a death sentence, it`s utterly stunning to hear someone talk about a disease from which there will be fatalities. There are going to be fatalities. There are fatalities from the flu, every flu season people die from ordinary flues and not from this virus.
And so the notion that they are attempting apparently with an eye on the stock market and with an eye towards the kind of techniques and practice, repetition of falsehoods that you pointed to before, that they`re focused more on that than they are on trying to save lives that are immediately at risk and will be at risk shortly, I think it`s stunning. And I fear -- I mean, I want to see the President have to pay a price. I don`t want him to see him pay this price, but I fear that is the price that he is going to have to pay, and it`s coming fast.
WILLIAMS: As we`ve been talking, the control room tells me two more confirmed cases both in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. That takes us in just the course of this conversation to 66 and not 15 confirmed cases in this country.
Susan, why Vice President Pence in what was just south of a heck of a job brownie event the President unrested coming back from halfway around the world, held that news conference at the White House. Vice President Pence has been handed this task now, which for him so far tonight was secondary to being in Florida for a fundraiser.
PAGE: Well, you know, it`s -- in a way it`s reassuring to have someone in a very high position of power able to command the resources of the administration to handle a crisis like this.
On the other hand, I think there is at least if -- you talked about the risks for President Trump, maybe some risks for Vice President Pence that if at the end of the day there needs to be a scapegoat, he`s going to be able to be identified as the guy who was in charge of responding.
WILLIAMS: John Heilemann, back to a point you just made, and that is the stock market. The stock market, this President has promoted it, run on it unlike any president in my memory. Larry Kudlow, again, today suggested people buy on the dips, buy on the stock price lows before perhaps this enormous event hits our economy. For a president who is, let`s agree, empathy challenged, is this his gateway to engagement on this issue?
HEILEMANN: I think it could be, Brian. All I keep thinking is that suddenly we`ve seen the President tamper -- talk about the Fed in ways that we`ve never seen a president talk about the Fed before. We see him talking about the market in ways we`ve never seen presidents talk about before, not just because they have principle objections of doing it, because it`s not politically prudent because if you stake yourself on the upswing, on the booms, you also take it on the chin when there`s a bust.
And to hear Larry Kudlow, given the job he has pretending to be like EF Hutton now and giving stock-picking advice and telling people what to do, not just talking up the market but actually telling American consumers apparently with the full faith of the United States they`re now issuing buy orders.
I think it`s a crazy place to be. But I do think that, to your point, I today was in New York City briefly. You`ll hard to believe. And I was with a very powerful group of financial executives talking about politics in front of them at a noontime briefing. They were saying in this room, very sophisticated people with a lot of money and play in the market were saying, you know, they`ve been expecting the country to be in recession at some point this year because of how fragile the fundamentals were.
They had been looking for -- they`ve been looking out for, for the past six months, a triggering event. And now they are, they said international firms who they are utterly convinced that we are now heading toward a relatively severe recession before the end of the calendar year. And you, I think the President, I think, is hearing talk like this from people like that, and that is part of what`s driving him right now, and I can`t imagine there`s anything that`s causing more panic than that both because the financial implications and the clear political implications for this President, if such a thing were to occur, a stock market plunge that goes worse than the one we`ve seen so far and the economy actually turning into recessionary territory would be very hard for him to get reelected in those circumstances.
WILLIAMS: Doctor, indeed as an economic matter, which thankfully is not your bailiwick, the disruption to worldwide supply chain is so great already, that we may be on a delayed end. It could get worse because of what`s already happened.
Also I heard a stock analyst today say his favorite stock to track is going to be Clorox. That gets your attention because we all know what that is used for in times like this.
Final question to you, doctor, if you were appointed special master of this crisis, what areas do you already see that you fear need filling in? That you fear we`re not being diligent about?
GOUNDER: I think the screening and testing right now is a real problem. I think we`re massively under testing. We had a Japanese tourist, for example, who went to Hawaii and then returned to Japan, was diagnosed with coronavirus. They have some people who are supposedly being monitored, but none of them have actually been tested. And statistically, some of them must have had symptoms, even maybe if it wasn`t from the coronavirus, symptoms that should have triggered testing.
So the fact that there hasn`t been a single test there is very alarming. The fact that the CDC has not gotten test kits out to the states and local health departments is very concerning. Today they said, well, you know, and the way the test is done, it`s actually three tests in one, two for the coronavirus, one is a control. The control wasn`t working. So, they said, oh, we`ll just do it with the other two.
Well, then if you do the test you don`t actually know if your test is working. So, you know, you have a lot of folks, including here in New York City, who are saying, well, we need to create our own tests and then run our own tests because we don`t trust what the CDC has. So I am very concerned about that because if you can`t get a handle on the problem, how are you supposed to even manage it?
WILLIAMS: Tell the good folks watching again the name of your podcast because they want to stay up on this.
WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
A short and simple name gets to the point here. Dr. Celine Gounder, Susan Page, John Heilemann, a busy night, our thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Coming up for us, a well-known Democratic activist is here to talk about the intersection of health and politics.
And we are guessing, put it this way, Michael Moore may talk up Bernie Sanders a bit.
And later, by this time tomorrow night, we should know whether Joe Biden has put a victory on the board. A viewer`s guide to South Carolina with Steve Kornacki when we continue here tonight as "The 11th Hour" is just getting started on this Friday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re prepared for the absolute worst. You have to be prepared for the worst, but hopefully it will all amount to very little.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: President Trump, South Carolina tonight as at his rally speaking about coronavirus. You heard him earlier call it a hoax.
As we have learned of new cases in California, Oregon, and two in Washington State just tonight.
On Thursday the President had this optimistic take as the virus continued to spread around the globe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s going to disappear. One day it`s like a miracle, it will disappear. And from our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better. Could maybe go away. We`ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: We are pleased to welcome a proud Michigander, move-maker, mock- wrecker (ph) also happens to be the host of "Rumble with Michael Moore" which you can find wherever you get your favorite podcast. Michael Moore is back with us in our New York studios.
And Michael, here`s the thing, WDIV T.V. Detroit, WNBC T.V. New York from Tuscaloosa to Tucson, this is about to become people`s realities on local news. And local news comes roaring back into our lives when we are concerned about our surroundings, our brothers, our sisters, our community. That`s going to become the truth for people. Talk about the danger of the President calling this a hoax.
MICHAEL MOORE, OSCAR-WINNING DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: I was in your green room just a little bit ago when I watched that, the first time I heard him say that, and I have to say it really sent a chill down by spine that the President of the United States -- there`s an obvious pandemic afoot across the globe. He understates how many people have -- that we know that have it in this country, four times as many as the number he gave.
If you have the President telling people it`s a hoax, that there`s nothing to worry about, that it will disappear, as he said yesterday, and it will be a miracle. I sat there just now thinking before I came in here, which is more dangerous, a virus or a president who says that? Because at least if we were honest and knew everything about the virus and the facts were all out there, science could start to deal with it.
Whatever inoculation needs to, whatever we need to come up with, whatever we need to invent, we can start that process. But fact that we only have a few hundred test kits in this place or that place, there`s no effort at all ongoing right now to deal with the shot or whatever we`re going to need to get the if we need to get it. To pretend that it doesn`t exist, and to tell people out in Tuscaloosa or Detroit or whatever that there`s nothing to worry about, and if he`s wrong and it is World Health Organization is saying it`s now at the highest risk level, what do you call that man who tells his people that there`s nothing to worry about? And not only that, it`s made up by the Democrats and the media.
This is, you know, I mean, I hear Bernie say this all the time, this is the most dangerous president we`ve had. And yes, and you go, you nod and we`ve all said this maybe for the three years. He`s dangerous about this or that, the EPA, climate change, this. But this, forget about politics, forget about Republicans and Democrats and who`s running, this makes -- that is the most dangerous thing I`ve ever heard a president say in my lifetime. And I just heard it seven minutes ago. And I come out here and I don`t know what to say to you other than what apparatus do we have to arrest, not arrest as in handcuffs, but to arrest the enforced ignorance that he is propagating here?
WILLIAMS: Well, as I asked of John Heilemann, let`s say this television markets I just mentioned, God forbid, are going to have a first case locally, God forbid are going to have worse and they`re going to report it to their area of dominant influence. Is that where the President runs out of game here? Does he lose that power of repetition, that power of a dueling narrative?
MOORE: I don`t what -- I don`t want his move will be then. Who`s he going to blame it on then? Is it maybe communists? Have infiltrated with a virus? I mean, we can only guess because we`ve been witness to so much madness in these three years that -- it`s not worth our air time discussing what crazy-making thing he`s going to say tomorrow or a week from now or months from now.
WILLIAMS: Do you trust the adults around him to -- at long last?
MOORE: Absolutely not. No. We saw them. We saw them in front of the camera last night. As you just pointed out, praising the boss, great job. I got a great boss. And you know, he`s done incredible job. And it`s like, wow.
Everybody`s afraid to tell the emperor that not only there are no clothes, there`s a real virus out there. And we have the ability to do what we can to contain it if there was a full-forced effort to do that, but there isn`t now.
You can see -- now he`s only worried about the markets and he`s down in -- doing a rally in South Carolina when there`s no primary for him tomorrow. He`s down there just to -- what? What?
WILLIAMS: He used the word troll tonight from the podium.
MOORE: So he even owns it.
MOORE: You know, we`d be better off maybe if you -- that`s all he was, with just a troll, but he is now a danger. He is a danger to the people of the United States of America.
And I`m not just saying that again for political reasons. And by the way, in two months from now, if we have lost hundreds, thousands of people, don`t be playing this bit of me I`m here with you tonight. You know warning, trying to warn people again of what`s going to happen, you know, that I`ve made a movie or come on this show or whatever it`s, you know, all I can do is whoever is up and listening to this tonight, is you must have your Member of Congress and your senator, they must hear from you on the weekend, tomorrow. You must say this is unacceptable, this has to be taken seriously, it`s not a hoax, people`s lives are at stake.
I was thinking on the way down here. My grandparents lost a son and a daughter to the great flu --
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: 1918.
MOORE: -- of 1918-1919. They would have been my uncle and my aunt. My grandfather was the village doctor, country doctor, one year of medical school. And he was very careful because he didn`t want to infect the family. So he went to the -- the people were sick, had a flu, he went to their homes. He slept downstairs. He wouldn`t sleep up where they slept with his family. Did everything he could.
And still his son and his daughter, an infant and a toddler, got it and died. They would have been my aunt and uncle. They were my mom`s brother and sister. And, in fact, a year after that, depressed, having lost two babies, he said to my grandmother, why don`t we have another kid. I mean, they`ve had their four kids. He was already in his 50s, let`s have another kid, and my mom became that child.
WILLIAMS: My mother was born in the middle of it in 1919 in Chicago.
MOORE: Is that right. You see -- I mean, this is --
WILLIAMS: We`re going to pause. He`s not going anywhere. We`ll be right back with more of this.
WILLIAMS: All right. Now let`s talk about that guy with this guy. Bernie Sanders with Michael Moore. And here`s devil`s advocate warning to everybody. How I want to get into Bernie question. I want to get into Bernie by asking you about Bloomberg, former mayor of this city.
Guy grows up middle class, invents a computer that is so unique, it`s still on every trading floor in the country. Gives him billions of dollars because of his unique invention. He has given $8 billion away to charity. Should there be billionaires? What should he do with the large "s" that a capitalist society pays into a guy to buy his invention?
MOORE: Sure. I agree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she says that every billionaire represents a policy failure. The policy being that with that -- nobody should have that much money to then -- he gets to decide how he wants to be charitable. We, the society, need money to do the things that we need for the society to function.
You and I were born in the `50s. Go back and look at any footage in the `50s of rich people, Beverly Hills, you know, suburban New York, whatever. They`ve got swimming pools, they`ve got mansions, and they were being taxed at a rate of 70 percent to 90 percent and they still had a great life.
WILLIAMS: But their mansions were modest by today`s standards.
MOORE: Yes. For them, it was --
WILLIAMS: Yes, for them it was a power.
MOORE: Right. I`m just -- my point is --
WILLIAMS: But how do you bracket that? How do you say, OK --
WILLIAMS: -- Mr. Bloomberg, we`re going to -- you can keep the profits from the first 1,000 computers, but after that --
MOORE: No, no, no.
WILLIAMS: -- it goes into public welfare.
MOORE: You can do actually well by making $100,000, $200,000, $500,000 a year. What more really does anybody need than that $500,000 a year? Am I missing something here?
WILLIAMS: That`s not capitalism.
MOORE: Well --
WILLIAMS: That`s not a capitalist society, other will say.
MOORE: Yes, but here`s the problem. Capitalism is not democracy. Democracy means that everybody has a seat at the table and everybody gets a slice of the pie. That`s democracy. And that`s closer to that other "ism" than capitalism.
Capitalism is only for the few to do really, really well, and everybody else struggle to get by, make ends meet, live as half of Americans do from paycheck to paycheck. That is just morally wrong on just that level alone. We did well when the rich did well, and everybody else got to live in the middle class and send their kids to college and -- my dad was a factory worker and had a four-week paid vacation. That`s what I grew up in.
We had free health care. We had -- the doctor was free, there were no co- pays, no deductibles, the dentist was free, these eyeglasses were free. What happened to all that? What happened to college? What happened to going to U.C. Berkeley for nothing except your books?
You know, where did we make this switch? And we allowed this, our generation allowed this and we put it on the younger people. And that`s why the younger people are for Bernie because we`ve handed them a world where they`re going to be in debt until their well into their 40s, where they`re going to live on a planet where they`re choking to death. Where -- just go down the whole list of things and you can see why young people, the things we take for granted that we got to have, our parents got to have, they don`t get to have it and they reject this "ism." And by the way, this whole socialism, capitalism thing, nobody under 45 gives a rat`s ass about it.
WILLIAMS: But it`s going to be on the ballot. And you hear the complaint that no moderates are going to get pulled in running down-ballot with the Democratic socialist.
MOORE: They`re going to --
WILLIAMS: Devil`s advocate reacts.
MOORE: Yes. Don`t pick on. Who are you talking to?
WILLIAMS: To camera, frankly.
MOORE: Leave Brian alone. It`s the other MSNBC people.
WILLIAMS: Oh, look at the time.
MOORE: No, buts -- no, no, no. How much time do I have left?
WILLIAMS: What is it? Thirty seconds -- Michael Moore in 30 seconds. This I want to see. This I`m going to sit back and watch.
MOORE: If we had Medicare for All, if we had a free health care system, nobody tonight would say jeez, I`m feeling a little -- I got a fever, I`m coughing. I have to go to the doctor. I can`t afford it.
MOORE: 39 -- 29 million don`t have health insurance, another 50 million are underinsured.
WILLIAMS: True fact.
MOORE: They don`t have time. They don`t -- or they go there and they`re told we got to get this test for the coronavirus, but it`s at that hospital. Oh, I`m sorry, it`s out of network. Oh, you brought the wrong card. Oh, and no other democracy does this happen.
If you`re sick tonight, if you think you have the coronavirus, you go to the doctor first thing in the morning, it`s free. The hospital`s free. Everything is free. If we have people -- just understand the danger of this. If we have a pandemic, if we have anybody who says I`m going to put that off, they put everybody in danger, not just themselves, but everybody.
We`re a safer society when everyone goes to the doctor for free, everyone`s covered. Nobody worries about going into debt.
WILLIAMS: To your point, the doctor told us not to shake hands. I would shake your hand. Thank you very much.
MOORE: No, I`m aware of that. I saw that, right? She would not shake your hand.
WILLIAMS: Continue to come on and go talk to Bill Maher in regular intervals. Michael Moore, host of the "Rumble with Michael Moore".
MOORE: Thank you.
WILLIAMS: Wherever fine podcasts are sold or rented out.
Coming up, Steve Kornacki, big board, final preview of South Carolina.
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JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been confident about South Carolina because I worked so hard over 30 or more years here in South Carolina. It`s been the launching pad for Barack and I believe it would be a launching pad for me. We`ll see how much I have to win by. I don`t want to jinx myself along the line here. I feel very good.
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WILLIAMS: Joe Biden does sound like a winning candidate again after disappointing finishes of fourth, fifth, and second in those first three contests. But a reminder, tomorrow is only the second full-on primary of this season that already feels like we`ve been at it for five years.
For more on what we must do to get back into this political game, starting Saturday night and then on to Super Tuesday, everything we need to know, Steve Kornacki at the big board. Steve?
STEVE KORNACKI, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Hey, Brian. Yes, it`s really interesting. You mentioned how Joe Biden did in the early contests. And usually when a candidate coming in that far, they start to fade out in the polls.
Instead, what we`ve seen this week in South Carolina is Joe Biden moving up dramatically here. Before those Nevada caucuses last week, there were polls in South Carolina that showed this narrowing to a single digit raise to Bernie Sanders being within striking distance of Joe Biden. There was talk when Sanders won Nevada and that landslide last week that he might pass Joe Biden this week in South Carolina. Instead, it is Biden.
All the movement in the polls, all the momentum has been behind Biden this week. You see the Monmouth poll that came out yesterday, opening up a 20- point lead over Bernie Sanders. We`ve seen a bunch of polls in South Carolina over the last two days and they are generally pointing to a clear advantage for the former vice president heading into tomorrow.
And it raises the question, obviously for Biden most immediately, can he live up to these renewed expectations in South Carolina tomorrow? Can he get not just a win in South Carolina tomorrow? Can he get a big win? And why that might be so important is, can he get a big win that would springboard him into what is to come? Just a couple of days later, this is next Tuesday, a couple days from now, Super Tuesday.
Look at that, over 1,300 delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday. And what is imperative for Joe Biden here is to try to get such a strong showing in South Carolina that it refocuses the Democratic electorate attention in all these states on the possibility that hey, if they do not want Bernie Sanders to be the nominee, is Joe Biden their best bet -- their best alternative.
Here`s why that`s so critical. Take a look at some of the new polling from the Super Tuesday states that`s out today. California, Bernie Sanders, we`ve seen him leading there a 21-point advantage for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren Biden`s actually in third in this poll in California. And remember, the critical number, when you`re talking about presidential primaries is 15. You got to be at 15 percent to be eligible for delegates.
So Joe Biden, or Warren or Bloomberg, all of the candidates not named Bernie Sanders, would be shut out of statewide delegates in California. They could pick up some at the congressional district level. But if this is what the result look like, in California on Super Tuesday, where Sanders is the only candidate clearing 30 -- clearing 15 percent statewide, that would be a delegate landslide for Bernie Sanders in the biggest state in the country that would put him far ahead of everybody else. That alone would put him far ahead of everybody else.
So Biden getting momentum out of California, that in his view -- that in his case, Mike past 15 percent that`s something he needs. There`s also this, the second biggest prize on Super Tuesday, Texas new poll out there today. Sanders leading to 9-point margin in this poll, Sanders 29, Biden 20. Look who`s right behind Biden 18 percent, Mike Bloomberg. That`s the other hope of the Biden campaign.
Can he get a big enough win out of South Carolina, that folks who are deciding between Bloomberg who suddenly going to be on the ballot and all these Super Tuesday states next week, folks who are deciding between Bloomberg and Biden say, you know what, if you want to stop Sanders, it`s got to be Biden. Biden needs to get up a lot of that Bloomberg vote behind him very quickly, Brian.
WILLIAMS: This is why we asked you to get us back in the game. We haven`t seen you for a few days. We will see you back in the studio tomorrow. Steve Kornacki, our thanks as always
Coming up for us, a veteran Democratic campaign manager tells us the one thing all the candidates will need to move forward after whatever happens on Tuesday night.
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SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, some of you may have heard recently that the establishment is getting a little bit nervous about our campaign. And they should get nervous because we`re going to win.
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WILLIAMS: With us tonight to talk about all of it is Addisu Demissie, Veteran Democratic Strategist who worked on the campaigns of the last three Democratic presidential nominees. No big, successfully managed the 2018 campaign of California Governor Gavin Newsom, and most recently served as campaign manager for Senator Cory Booker`s presidential effort. Very good to have you. I hope you`re seated and comfortable. We`ll do a lightning round because I have a ton of questions for you.
First and foremost, how do you have the talk with the candidate? The day after Super Tuesday, not all of these candidates are probably going to survive. Do they know it in his or her heart? Is it always the campaign manager and is it always all about money for jet fuel?
ADDISU DEMISSIE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Usually is the campaign manager of the candidate, maybe the family. But ultimately, money is the thing that first and foremost ends campaigns. And I think a lot of these campaigns are going to be -- they`re not going to be able to fake it anymore, you know, they`re going to be exposed on Super Tuesday when, if you`re not in the top three, and the total number of delegates at that point, when about a third of the delegates will have been decided your path to victory becomes pretty unlikely.
And so, a candidate, a campaign manager, the family, some of the top advisors are going to have to sit down on Super Tuesday or on Wednesday thereafter and make some tough decisions. But that moment is definitely coming for a number of the candidates that are still in the race.
WILLIAMS: In a normal world that might include one Michael Bloomberg, I`m reading on social media tonight that he`s made no advise that people are aware of post-Super Tuesday. So that has floated speculation that he may get out. But tell me what would his motive be for getting out since he has more available balance on his discover card, then all the other campaigns combined are spending?
DEMISSIE: Yes. He doesn`t have to play by the same rules as the other candidates. He can decide on Wednesday morning, if he wakes up, that he wants to put $100 million of television ads on the air in the March states and do it and the other candidates can`t do that. I think what may motivate him to not stay in the race, should he decided to do that is having no path to victory. And ultimately, his rationale for getting in the race in the first place was to ensure that Bernie Sanders wasn`t the nominee. And if he sees that he`s in the way of that, maybe he has a different discussion with his team on Wednesday morning.
But he didn`t have the challenge that Senator Booker`s campaign and other than Tom Steyer, basically every other campaign has, which is you have enough jet fuel, as you called it, to fuel a campaign that`s going to be in rocket speed over the course of March and into April as we decide more and more delegates and more and more states.
WILLIAMS: What do you think it will be a net loss of one or two candidates who will not make it past Super Tuesday and do you care to guess who they may be?
DEMISSIE: I am not good -- I have sat in their chairs. So I do not want to put pressure on them here. I know it`s a tough one. But I do think we`ll be down to probably four candidates, if not in reality in -- for all practical purposes, as we get into March. And again, we have so many -- Steve referenced this in the last segment -- so many delegates are being decided not just on March 3rd, but March 10th, March 17th, huge states like Arizona and Ohio and Illinois and Florida, Missouri, tons of delegates at play.
And if you wake up on March 4th, and you can`t -- don`t have the money to play in those states and don`t have a path to victory, you should really be looking in the mirror and deciding whether or not your time in the race is up.
WILLIAMS: Any predictions for us on California?
DEMISSIE: I think Senator Sanders is very, very strong out here. I think what -- again, what Steve said in the last segment is absolutely right. The question is how many people, how many other candidates are going to get to that 15 percent threshold statewide? If none does or if only one does, I think Sanders was going to win a ton of net delegates out of this state, and that`s going to put him most likely just on the basis of this state alone, way ahead in the delegate count as we head into the rest of the primary process.
WILLIAMS: Do you have any real fears that your party could be torn apart, that the convention could be a mess?
DEMISSIE: I think it could be a mess, sure. But I don`t know if we`re going to be torn apart. Look, I`ve been through this, as you said before, in `08, we had a real tough primary process. In `16 as well. In `08, it ended well for us. In `16, not so much. But a lot of this I think depends on the conduct of the campaigns, the conduct of the candidates, the conduct of their supporters over the course of the next five months, and it does not have to be that way.
But, yes, if we go into the convention with no candidate with a majority and no candidate close to a majority, who knows? We could be in for a tough couple days in Milwaukee. But I have faith. I have hope. I`m a prisoner of hope, and I think we`ll be all right and take on Trump in November.
WILLIAMS: Addisu Demissie, thank you very much for taking our questions tonight. Appreciate it.
DEMISSIE: Thank you, Brian.
WILLIAMS: Coming up for us, the rare honor that was just awarded today, designed to remember an unmistakable voice.
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ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), FORMER REPRESENTATIVE OF MARYLAND: When we`re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked in 2019, what do we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?
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WILLIAMS: That was just a year ago yesterday. Last thing before we go tonight, 12-term Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings was 68 when he died in October. As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his was a booming presence in that large hearing room. He`ll now forever loom over that room, which will now bear his name.
Naming rooms in the Capitol or in the six large congressional office buildings, it`s a rare honor. But his was a rare presence, and Thursday`s dedication allowed his friends from the speaker on down a chance to get together and talk about his life and work once again.
That is our broadcast on this Friday night. We`ll be back in our studios tomorrow night beginning at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time, coverage of the South Carolina primary results. Our thanks to you for being here with us. Have a good weekend. Good night from our NBC News headquarters here in New York.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END