ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Bernie Sanders sits down tonight at 9:00 P.M. Eastern with our own Rachel Maddow. I wouldn`t miss that. But also, you should know, Joe Biden will be out on television on NBC`s today show tomorrow morning.
That does it for me, I`ll be back here tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, keep it right here on MSNBC.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. I`m Joy Reid in New York.
The Democratic presidential race has undergone a seismic shift after Joe Biden`s Super Tuesday comeback. All but counted out after going winless in the first three contest, Biden`s campaign roared back to life in a huge way after his big win in South Carolina, setting up a quick super Super Tuesday for Barack Obama`s former vice president this week.
Biden got another boost today when he was declared the apparent winner in Maine, giving him victories in 10 of the 14 Super Tuesday states. Biden swept the southern states, including Texas, the second biggest delegate prize of the night, thanks in part to overwhelming support from African- American voters, while Senator Sanders promised youth vote surge just frankly did not happen.
Biden`s victories last night have propelled him past Sanders in the overall delegate count. Last night in Los Angeles, he told his supporters there`s a reason that it`s called Super Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just a few days ago, the press and pundits has declared the campaign dead. And then came South Carolina, they had something to say about it. And then we we`re told, well, when we got to Super Tuesday, it would be over. Well, it may be over for the other guy.
So I`m here to report we are very much alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Sanders still leads in California where a total of 415 delegates are at stake. And that race is still too early to call. And because of the weeks of early vote, we may not know for a while.
Biden got another big boost today as former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg announced he`s calling it quits. He addressed staff and supporters in New York this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. And after yesterday`s vote is clear, that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For his part, Sanders today seemed to acknowledge it looks now like a two-person race. Though we should know that Senator Warren is still running. Sanders told reporters that he likes Biden personally but accused the former V.P. of being beholden to billionaires.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe and I have a very different vision for the future of this country. And Joe and I are running very different campaigns. Joe is running a campaign which is obviously heavily supported by the corporate establishment.
Does anyone seriously believe that a president backed by the corporate world is going to bring about the changes in this country that working families and the middle class and lower income people desperately need?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now a Symone Sanders, Senior Adviser for the Biden campaign. And, Symone, thank you so much for being here. Congratulations on a very super Super Tuesday and on South Carolina.
SYMONE SANDERS, SENIOR ADVISER, BIDEN CAMPAIGN: Thanks for having me, Joy.
REID: So what do you guys count up your win to? I mean, obviously, South Carolina propelled the campaign forward. And give us sort of your take on how you were able to get from a campaign, a lot of people were declaring to be, you know, not dead on arrival but really struggling to a campaign that is now the front-running campaign.
S. SANDERS: Look, Joy, a lot of people counted Joe Biden out but I always bet on Joe Biden.
Look, what we saw yesterday on Super Tuesday and in South Carolina is enthusiasm, and in many places across the country, an increase in turnout. And I think that`s a strong response to the bold vision that Vice President Biden as put forward.
Look, we need to unite. It is time for Democrats to unite. Democrats across the country, I have all indicated that the most important thing to them is beating Donald Trump and we need to build on the bold vision that the Obama-Biden administration have put forward. That is what Joe Biden`s campaign is doing. So this campaign, Joy, is for anyone that`s been knocked down, anyone that`s been counted out. We welcome you here because we have work to do.
REID: Let me play for you an ad that Senator Sanders` campaign is running, right now, running in Florida and perhaps other states. Let me, let you take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Bernie is somebody who has the virtue of saying exactly what he believes with great authenticity, great passion and is fearless. Bernie served on the Veterans` Committee and got bills done.
I think people are ready for call to action. They want honest leadership who cares about them. They want somebody who`s going to fight for them. And they will find it in Bernie. That`s right. Feel the Bern.
B. SANDERS: I`m Bernie Sanders and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: What do you make of Senator Sanders, sort of wrapping himself in Barack Obama`s almost sort of what sounds -- it sort of makes it sound like an endorsement, almost.
S. SANDERS: Another Obama ad. Joy, I find this so interesting. In 2012, it was then -- it was Senator Sanders who noted that Obama had actually been a disappointment. President Obama had been disappointment. He hadn`t gone far enough on a number of issues and topics and said that, you know, it wouldn`t be too bad if he had a primary opponent.
So I find it very interesting now in this race when the polls have tightened after a number of voters in this country have had their say, namely African-American voters, Democrats with whom President Obama is extremely popular. Now, we have another individual trying to wrap themselves in the cloak of President Obama, if you will.
I think what we have seen in recent history, Joy, is that ads, no matter how many ads you run, no matter how much money you spend on ads, they cannot erase the facts and history.
REID: How would if former Vice President Biden is the nominee, he`s still going to need that young, the energy of the Sanders voters, he`s going to need young progressives to turn out? That is the base which Senator Sanders really still does very well with. What pitch will the Biden team make to Sanders voters if he`s the nominee?
S. SANDERS: Look, I think the reality is voters across the country, young people, young voters included, older millennials, millennial and Gen Z, they don`t want revolution, they want results. Young people are angry and they understand more than anyone the existential threat that is climate change, the threat that is an economy where, yes, GDP, is up but wages are stagnant for so many people across the country. They are saddled with student debt, working two or three jobs just trying to pay the bills, they can`t buy homes.
And so Vice President Biden has put forth a bold vision for that. Our campaign is in fact the campaign for everyone. We have to do this together. It takes a bold vision. But none of the things that I noted cannot get established if we do not beat Donald Trump.
So I don`t think we`ll have a problem bringing the party together, Joy, if in fact Vice President Biden is the nominee, which we believe he will. We have from day one said that this campaign is about restoring the soul of the nation, rebuilding the backbone of this country and uniting America, and that`s what we plan to do.
REID: And before I let you go, Symone, I have to show you this. Let`s show a little bit of V.O. (ph). I don`t know if you can see it from where you are. This was yourself and Joe Biden bodying two protesters who apparently, I guess, an anti-sort of PETA or anti-meat protesters. Your thoughts in that moment, very quickly, before I let you go.
S. SANDERS: Well, I am proud to stand behind and with Dr. Jill Biden any day of the week. Look, we had a number of protesters at our rally last night in California. Our security acted very quickly. And in the moment a number of staffers, women staffers might I add, sprung to the stage and sprung into action.
So I`m proud no one was hurt, Joy, and I`m just happy that our rally could continue. But I would note, don`t mess with Joe Biden, okay? That`s Jilly from Philly.
REID: I hear that. Well done to both of you and Dr. Jill Biden. Thank you very much, Symone Sanders, we really appreciate your time.
S. SANDERS: Thank you.
REID: Thank you. Joining me now is Congressman Mark Pocan. He is the Wisconsin Chair of the Bernie Sanders Campaign. Thanks for being here, sir.
REP. MARK POCAN (D-WI): Yes. thank you, Joy, glad to be here.
REID: Thank you. So I played earlier for Symone Sanders, who`s from the vice president`s campaign an ad that Bernie Sanders is currently running in the State of Florida that sort of wraps him in the mantle of Barack Obama, of President Barack Obama. Let me let you hear what Senator Sanders has said about that ad. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. SANDERS: Well, look, we have worked with President Obama. I`m not going to say he and I are best friends. We talk every now and then.
I wanted to make it clear because, you know, there`s a lot of dishonest statements about my relationship with Obama to say that I worked with him and respect him and look forward to working with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Is it fair to run an ad sort of wrapping Senator Sanders in Barack Obama`s mantle when he did indeed suggest that President Obama should be primaried in 2012 when he -- you know, he called him a disappointment and when he is saying that he`s anti-establishment? I can`t think of what would be more establishment than the president of the United States.
POCAN: Well, I think real way you look at that ad is Bernie Sanders was there on every major initiative that the president needed them when the president was in office. Bernie Sanders was there. And they were crucial partners in making sure that legislation passed. So I think it`s very fair for Bernie Sanders to talk about the record that he and Barack Obama shares in advancing a lot of really important public policy.
REID: Does he still -- does he regret wanting to have him primaried?
POCAN: You know, if we go down that list of every candidate, boy, you`re going to have a long list of paper for all the different things that people said. If I had to look at Joe Biden`s record over the years, he`s probably taken ten different positions on almost every issue.
I don`t think that`s the way we judge people. But where you can actually judge Bernie Sanders is on the incredible voting record, fighting for working families in places like Wisconsin and that he was there with Barack Obama getting those things done when it was really important.
REID: I mean, I think it`s fair to say that probably Joe Biden was probably more there because he was his vice president. I want to play -- show you a tweet by a gentleman named Addisu Demissie. He was the former Communications Director for Senator Cory Booker.
And he wrote following. Obviously, the big win that Joe Biden had on Super Tuesday rested in him being able to turn out base that looked very much like the Obama base. This is what Addisu Demissie has tweeted. It appears Biden is basically reassembling the Obama primary coalition tonight. African-Americans, college whites with residual strength with older non- college whites. It`s a pretty formidable coalition.
It doesn`t appear that Senator Sanders has grown his coalition with those groups. Do you have a sense within the campaign of why?
POCAN: You know, first of all, I would disagree with that. I think when you look at the vote he`s gotten, he`s improved among African-American voters, he is picking up big quantities of Latino voters. Then way I look at it is this is like a basketball bracket, right?
We had a Democrat primary bracket, and let`s face it, we`re down to the final two candidates. We have got someone who`s a moderate establishment candidate and we have a progressive populist candidate. And I think we`re going to look at both of their issues and judge them.
But in places like Wisconsin, you know, just running the same old, like we did in 2016, establishment sort of campaign, gave the Electoral College votes to Donald Trump. We have to talk to those people who lost those manufacturing jobs. My hometown of Kenosha, 14,000 people used to make cars. No one does today. When Bernie Sanders ran in the primary in 2016 in Wisconsin, he won 71 out of 72 counties. He also talks to those working class voters and others that we have to bring back into the party.
We had 250,000 Democratic voter drop off in Wisconsin in 2016. We can`t do that again. And I truly believe Bernie Sanders message will bring out more of the voters we need. So that Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania fall in the blue column.
REID: But it would be fair to say that he has not shown that he can do that so far. If you look at numbers in the state, you know, he won New Hampshire but it was very marginally over Pete Buttigieg. And when you look at the African-American voters, we`re putting that up right now in the south, Joe Biden taken in 62 percent of those voters to only 18 percent for Senator Sanders in other states, 33, 25. If you look at the exit polls of black voters by age, Senator Sanders is only doing four points better that -- among black -- young black voters 18 to 44 than Biden is, whereas Biden is lapping him with older black voters.
Looking back, do you think it was a mistake for Senator Sanders to be the only major candidate, even some who had already dropped out, not to show up in Selma? Do you think that was strategic error looking back?
POCAN: Well, I think if you look at Latino voters, it would be very much just the opposite of what you showed. This is the way I look at it again. Right now, we` are starting the finals, we have a two-person race. And at this point, each of those candidate is going to have to talk about why they think they are the best person to defeat Donald Trump.
And I think, when you look at the exit polls yesterday, Medicare-for-all had a majority, I believe, in every state from what I saw this morning. The Green New Deal has lot of support. In fact, in Wisconsin, among independent voters, there is a poll, it was the number one issue among independent voters. Those are all the issues that Bernie Sanders is running on. And I think, if he talks about those issues versus maybe some of the record of Joe Biden around social security and trade and some other things that aren`t going to play as well in Wisconsin, that`s what`s really going to be matter and that`s what we`re going to look at going forward.
REID: All right. Well, we don`t have time, but, I mean, there is -- he did not win with that message. He was putting that message out. He`s been putting it up for five years. He didn`t win the state.
POCAN: Joy, that`s because you still have a bunch of candidates. We are now at the finals. You have two people. And those are the two messages you`re going to contrast. And I really believe that that`s going to be different when you look at the election on Tuesday, you`re going to see those are the two messages that people are deciding not among many candidates.
So I really think this is the launch of the final phase of the campaign. I do believe that Bernie Sanders is going to connect better especially with people in states like Wisconsin.
REID: All right. Well, we`ll see what happens. Thank you, Congressman Mark Pocan. I appreciate your time.
POCAN: Thank you Joy.
REID: Thank you,
I`m joined now by Rachel Bitecofer, she`s election forecaster and Analyst and Senior Fellow at the Nisakanen Center, and Karine Jean-Pierre. Chief Public Affairs Officers at MoveOn.org.
And, Rachel, let me ask you first because Representative Pocan is making the case there is still time to prove and sort of prove results, right, that Bernie Sanders message, which, is directed at working class voters can actually win against Joe Biden. He is making that case. They have not shown it so far. Do you see evidence in the states coming up that he might be able to have different results going forward?
RACHEL BITECOFER, ELECTION ANALYST: Before I answer, Joy, I just have to say you look great in the 7:00 P.M. slot. And, no, I have to say I think that last night was a real demonstration of what we can see these candidates capable of producing. And, ultimately, I think Sanders` strength is that younger generation, both working class and college educated, frankly. It`s that age factor that really is predicting Sanders` support. And as the congressman pointed out that Latino voters too are much more conducive for Sanders. But, yes, I think it`s not going to make much of a difference, the winnowing, in terms of who is supporting the candidates.
REID: Let me, Karine, for you, just to put up this backup this black voter support number in the southern states. Because to prove Senator Sanders` case, he would have had to do extremely well with young black voters even if he gave up most older African-American voters.
But what I see here is a split among younger voters that actually isn`t that much. I`m sorry. This is clip five for the producers. It was only 35 to 39. So it wasn`t as if there was sort of a blowout among young voters, whereas with older voters, it was in favor of Mr. Biden, of former Vice President Biden.
Have we seen proof of concept yet that Senator Sanders can get the kind of turnout among young voters he needs to start winning in some of these larger, more diverse states?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, MOVEON.ORG: So, Joy, I have to echo Rachel and say, you really look good in the 7:00 hour as well. I just have to say that.
Look, I have to say this first, Joy. What we saw last night, as a student of politics myself and someone who teaches politics and worked in politics as long as I did, what we saw yesterday was remarkable. The comeback from Joe Biden was -- I mean, it was unheard of. And he did it without much money. He did it without really operation outside of South Carolina. And that`s kind of where we are with this race right now. I mean, it was because of black voters that Joe Biden has been catapulted into the position that he`s in.
Now, what Joe Biden has to do now is can he turn and build a real operation, a paid media program, a field program.
And what`s going on with Bernie is that he is not expanding his base, and he needs to do that very, very quickly. Look, he`s doing well with the young Latin community. You saw that in Nevada. He got 51 percent when you look at the entrance polls there, very, very impressive. But he has to do more. He has to break in a little bit more with African-American voters, both young and old. He has to expand that electorate, and he just hasn`t been able to do it, and he doesn`t have a lot of time.
One thing that Bernie knows really well is, in 2016, as we saw, once you have decent lead in delegates, it`s hard to catch up. And right now, it is a delegate game.
REID: Yes. I wish we had more time. Rachel Bitecofer, thank you very much. Karine Jean-Pierre, my friend, thank you all very much. We appreciate both of you.
And coming up, Biden is the frontrunner again and he`s also Donald Trump`s worst nightmare. Remember, it was Trump`s attempt to get foreign governments to smear Biden and his son that got him impeached.
Plus, the rise and fall of Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren, half a billion dollars couldn`t buy Bloomberg a single state, but he did get a territory. And the question bugging a lot of you, because I kept running into you all and you keep asking me why didn`t progressives rally around Senator Warren?
Plus, Trump is always more optimistic about coronavirus than his own experts. And those experts are walking a fine line needing to tell the truth without making Trump mad. Is that any way to manage a crisis?
We`ve got much more to come so please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Do you think the president is rooting for Sanders?
JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come on.
Look, I think the one thing the president want -- doesn`t want to do from the very beginning is face me, because I will beat him, period, period.
He`s done everything in his power. He`s even risked his presidency, because he doesn`t want to face me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Welcome back.
That was Joe Biden on the threat that he poses for Donald Trump in an interview with "The Today Show" tomorrow.
Biden`s multiple victories last night marked a stunning turnaround for a campaign that appeared to be on life support just days ago. But his resounding win in South Carolina and a series of high-profile endorsements propelled him into Super Tuesday with the momentum that he needed to overtake Bernie Sanders.
Well, now Politico is reporting that Trump`s political operation is shifting its focus to Biden and ramping up its efforts to convince Sanders supporters that he`s being robbed of the nomination, attempting to deepen divisions within the party.
Trump tweeted today that: "The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders again."
And he labeled Elizabeth Warren a spoiler, saying: "So selfish for Warren to stay in the race. She has zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly."
As "The New York Times" reports, for months, Mr. Trump has told aides he believes he can shape the Democratic race to his own advantage by focusing on specific candidates.
I`m joined now by Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for "The PBS NewsHour." And Beth Fouhy is an MSNBC senior -- our MSNBC senior politics editor.
Thank you both for being here.
Yamiche, I`m going to jump over to you first, because it does appear that the White House is attempting to shape the race by essentially trying to outrage Bernie Sanders supporters in advance to try to make sure that they don`t coalesce with Joe Biden, should he be the nominee.
It feels like they`re running the 2016 playbook all over again.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, "PBS NEWSHOUR": That`s right.
And what it seems like is that you have a president who is on his heels. He`s facing a number of challenges.
There`s the coronavirus that might have all sorts of complications inside the United States, with the administration scrambling to get out more tests, so that people can know whether or not they even have the virus.
Then, of course, you have the stock markets that have seen gains today as a response to Joe Biden doing well in the Democratic primary. And then, of course, you have the rise of Joe Biden, someone who President Trump saw as his chief, it seems, person that he did not want to face, got himself impeached over trying to get information on Joe Biden and his son.
And what you see -- the problem with this, of course, is that President Trump is using language, not only that is paralleling some of the Russian bots that we`re seeing, but it`s also paralleling allies of Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders and people around him have been saying that the Democratic Party is trying to cheat Bernie out of it. I got an e-mail from a group associated with Bernie Sanders saying that Democrats are trying to steal the election from him.
So it`s not just that President Trump is saying these things. It`s that also Democrats are saying these things, which is feeding into this atmosphere of people feeling aggrieved, if you`re a Bernie Sanders supporter.
REID: Right. Well, I don`t think black voters just choosing Joe Biden is stealing an election. It`s just people voting. But people believe what they believe.
Let me come to you, Beth, on this, because literally the day after the South Carolina primary, in which Joe Biden won big, you had the Home -- the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the United States Senate, Ron Johnson, immediately say, oh, he wants to subpoena, he wants to issue a subpoena to Hunter Biden, to Joe Biden`s or only remaining son.
And this letter came immediately after the victory by Biden. You then had the same senator, Ron Johnson, say about a Biden investigation -- and this is a quote -- "These are questions that Joe Biden has not adequately answered. And if I were a Democrat primary voter" -- it`s Democratic -- "I`d want these questions satisfactorily answered before I cast my final vote."
So they`re essentially trying to do and complete the work that Donald Trump tried to get Ukraine to do.
BETH FOUHY, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR: Yes, I mean, it`s members of Congress, it`s lawmakers acting as the president`s political supporters in this way, and using the subpoena power of the United States Congress.
Let`s not forget, Joy, that Lindsey Graham, who was a very good friend of Joe Biden from their time in the Senate, has said he is fully ready to investigate Hunter Biden, bring him up there, to talk to him about Burisma. He`s the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
He said, it`s nothing about friendship, it`s nothing personal. This is just something that has to get done.
These folks have proven time and again that they are willing to be political, I don`t want to use the word props, but certainly support for the president in his political goals through their legislative power.
FOUHY: And that`s what we`re seeing here.
REID: And that`s what we`re seeing.
Let me play Lindsey Graham, as his name has been called. Here he is talking about just what Beth was mentioning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Do you think that the Senate Republicans or Republicans in general would go after about Ukraine, about his son and the ties to Burisma?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If you are going to run for president, and you were in charge of the Ukrainian anti-corruption campaign as vice president, and your son is sitting on the most corrupt company in the country while you`re trying to clean up the country, yes, that will come up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And what you have, Beth, to stay with you for just a moment, is not just Senate Republicans.
You also have the Department of the United States Treasury cooperating, when they were uncooperative with Democrats who issued subpoenas requiring -- regarding, let`s say, Donald Trump`s taxes, et cetera. They`re completely uncooperative.
Now what we have is complete cooperation when it comes to Republican requests on Hunter Biden.
REID: This feels like sort of a collusion of Republican senators, instruments of government, under the president`s control, all to hurt one person, one presidential candidate.
FOUHY: Well, President Trump has made clear that he expects the instruments of government to work for him, and not work for the American people.
He`s made no bones about that. And, basically, we have seen folks falling into line, both on the Hill and within his own administration. This, of course, gives a lot of Democrats pause about Joe Biden, because he`s repeatedly said, if I`m the president, the Republicans will have an epiphany and they will come back to be normal, and they will work together, and they will be all about being bipartisan.
And people see, like, that sound bite you played from Lindsey Graham and think, he`s so naive. How could he imagine that this is suddenly going to just dramatically change if he becomes the president?
FOUHY: That`s a pause that a lot of Democrats have expressed about Joe Biden in this role.
REID: Well, yes, clearly, he`s not going to change.
I want to just shift gears one moment with you, Yamiche, on Jeff Sessions. So, Jeff Sessions is running to get back into the United States Senate in Alabama.
Here`s what Donald Trump had to say about him. He still has a problem with him, apparently: "This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed attorney general of the United States and then doesn`t have the wisdom or courage to stare down and end the phony Russia witch-hunt, recuses himself first day of office," yadda, yadda, yadda.
He`s still at Jeff Sessions over recusing himself, as he should have.
What role do you think that he will wind up playing in that Senate race in Alabama, if any?
ALCINDOR: Well, if he does at all get involved in that race, you can bet that he`s going to be trying to push back against Jeff Sessions.
He obviously is very, very mad at him still. He blames him for the entire Russia investigation and the entire special counsel`s investigation, which, of course, was pretty legitimate and found that Russia was in fact meddling and continued to try to meddle in our elections.
But you could kind of almost picture him, Joy, angrily typing that, fuming, wherever he is in the White House or where -- on the plane somewhere, because you can tell he`s just so angry at him.
So I think we`re going to see more of that anger continue.
REID: Yes, and we have seen Jeff Sessions respond with, of course, sycophancy. It isn`t working so far, though.
Yamiche Alcindor, Beth Fouhy, thank you very much. Really appreciate you both.
And up next: the fall of Mike Bloomberg. What happened with the Bloomberg campaign? And, more importantly, what happens next? Will he follow through on his vow to keep spending even if he`s not in the race?
Don`t go anywhere. We`re back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you remember, I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump.
And, today, I am leaving the race for the same reason, to defeat Donald Trump, because staying in would make it more difficult to achieve that goal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Welcome back.
That was Mike Bloomberg this afternoon speaking to his campaign staff and supporters about his announcement this morning that he will end his run for the White House and endorse Joe Biden.
Bloomberg was the last candidate to get into the presidential race just over three months ago, and has outspent every other candidate combined by a wide margin.
On Super Tuesday, the first time he had appeared on any ballot in the Democratic primary, he was only able to win one race, the primary in American Samoa.
He isn`t the only candidate who started the day reassessing his campaign. As Bloomberg left the race, Senator Elizabeth Warren spent the day with her team figuring out what, if any, path remains for her.
Not only did Warren not win any Super Tuesday states. She finished third in her home state of Massachusetts.
For more, I am joined by Lily Adams, former communications director for the presidential campaign of Senator Kamala Harris, and Tim O`Brien, senior adviser to the Bloomberg campaign.
Thank you very much.
And I`m going to start with Lily.
And I want to play for you something that I asked the producers to pull, because it was such a memorable line that James Carville had about Elizabeth Warren. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Elizabeth Warren, I think, had the best bio of anybody that`s run for president in my lifetime.
And she had the best critique, that corruption was killing the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And he was very disappointed that she didn`t catch on more. And I think a lot of people feel the same way about Senator Harris.
How do you assess why she didn`t, why it is, in your -- in your view, that Senator Warren was not able to catch on more in that progressive lane? Was it that she explained how much it would cost to do Medicare for all, that she paid the price for that and Bernie didn`t?
What do you think is the explanation?
LILY ADAMS, FORMER HARRIS CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, look, I think let`s start with this.
I think Senator Warren has run a remarkable campaign, and she deserves a lot of credit, not just for a lot of the ideas that she`s put forward that really has kind of dominated the first part of this primary, but also for, I think, the argument that she`s made about corruption that we all need to take on and to take on Donald Trump.
But there will be a lot of time for obits and for who did what when and wrong, but I think that she has contributed a lot to this race.
There`s also going to be a question, Joy, about, why are there are no more women left in this race? And I think the Democratic Party is going to have to ask themselves some very hard questions about what sort of sexism continues to exist out there.
REID: Yes, I think Tulsi Gabbard is still in it. But I think you make an excellent point.
ADAMS: Oh, sorry.
REID: I think she came in second in American Samoa. So I don`t want to -- I don`t want to get any calls from Tulsi`s fans. I think she`s still in it.
I think that, Tim, one of the things that a lot of folks would say that Senator Warren did accomplish was really -- really taking down your candidate, really taking down Michael Bloomberg.
I want to play the moment that a lot of people just remember as ether. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would like to talk about who were running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians.
And, no, I`m not talking about Donald Trump. I`m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.
Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those nondisclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?
BLOOMBERG: We have a very few nondisclosure agreements.
WARREN: How many is that?
BLOOMBERG: Let me finish.
WARREN: How many is that?
BLOOMBERG: None of them accuse me of doing anything, other than maybe they didn`t like a joke I told.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: So we`re basically just all kind of sort of assessing what happened.
Do you think that was sort of the reason that Michael Bloomberg was not able to go forward? Or do you think it was something else?
TIM O`BRIEN, SENIOR ADVISER, MICHAEL BLOOMBERG CAMPAIGN: No, Joy, I mean, I think everyone recognizes that that first debate was a real stumbling block for Mike in many different ways.
I think, prior to that debate, we know we were polling one or two in most of the key states. There had been a big surge around Mike as the candidate to bet on to beat Donald Trump.
And I -- clearly, I think that debate was a stumbling block. I think he bounced back after that debate, but there`s no question that was a moment.
REID: Let`s talk about what both of these candidates can accomplish going forward.
And, Lily, I will go to you first.
Senator Warren is still in the race. And there`s a lot of argument, I`m hearing a lot of friends just sort of argue back and forth that the reason for her to stay in would be to keep the ideas that she`s put forward, all of her plans and ideas, in the conversation, that, in the debates, rather than just have Biden and Senator Sanders sort of yelling at each other on stage, that you could actually have a third voice there, a voice of a woman that`s in context and can allow that in.
And the argument for her to get out would be to clarify things and allow there to be a two-person race and really sort of start to bring this all to an end.
Where do you fall on which of those two things would be a better way for Senator Warren to go forward?
ADAMS: Well, look, I think you`re right.
She`s incredibly smart. She`s incredibly strategic. You saw that when she was trying to take on some of the financial issues during the Obama administration. She knows how to use her leverage and her power. And so I bet that`s what she`s trying to figure out. What`s the best way for her to do that?
I can`t answer that for her. But I do know that she, almost more than anybody else left in the race, with all due respect, is so committed to her agenda. And so she`s going to do what`s best to getting that agenda passed. And that`s why I think she`s so beloved by so many Democrats out there.
And I think, for Michael Bloomberg, a lot of sort of the talk among sort of political operatives and the Democratic side is that he could go from somebody who was really kind of demonized for his past policies on policing, et cetera, to really the hero in the Democratic Party side, if he became a super PAC, if he took what he built, in terms of the ads he was able to run, the money he was able to spend, and sort of made that a super PAC that could help elect either Biden or Senator Sanders.
Is that something that he`s prepared to do?
O`BRIEN: You know, Joy, we said from the beginning of the race that Mike was in this to beat Donald Trump, that this big electoral machine we were building would be in the service of the party or whoever the ultimate nominee would be.
As you know, because we have talked about it, I don`t think his traction with voters of color ultimately got undermined by stop and frisk. As you know, some people you know still put a lot of faith in his candidacy...
O`BRIEN: ... because of what the totality of what he stood for was, most of which is in the broad family of Democratic values.
The advertising campaign was really focused on issues and on Donald Trump. The infrastructure we built benefits the party at a time when Donald Trump is about to torch the Constitution, and the Democrats do not have a lot of money and resources in the bank to wage an effective national campaign against him.
And I think Mike sees this as the culmination of his life`s work. And so of course he`s going to want to keep all of these resources in play.
REID: Yes, I think Donald Trump might be a bit nervous about that.
Thank you so much, Lily Adams, Tim O`Brien. Thank you very much, my friend. appreciate it.
And up next: The House and Senate have agreed on a plan allocating $8.3 billion to the coronavirus response. That is real money, but is it enough to keep the outbreak from getting a foothold here in the U.S.?
And does this administration have the competency to handle it?
We`re back after this.
REID: Welcome back.
Well, within the last hour, California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency over the spread of coronavirus. Within the hour, the Governor confirmed 53 cases of the virus in the state. Earlier today, California reported its first coronavirus death, bringing the national death toll to 11.
In addition, the World Health Organization announced that the virus is more lethal than previously reported. According to WHO, 3.4 percent of the people known to have the virus has died, making it more deadly than the common flu.
However, some experts say the actual percentage is probably lower because many people with mild or no symptoms are going undetected.
On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases warned that the spread of the virus would get worse before it gets better.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What are we dealing with, with this coronavirus COVID-19?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: You know, we`re dealing with an evolving situation. We`re dealing with clearly an emerging infectious disease that has now reached outbreak proportions and likely pandemic proportions. If you look at, you know, by multiple definitions of what a pandemic is, the fact is this is multiple, sustained transmissions of a highly infectious agent in multiple regions of the globe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: According to "The Washington Post", officials at the White House were irritated at Dr. Fauci for using the word "pandemic", because why use the real word when you can say something positive for Trump.
"The Post" is also reporting that Trump has privately griped about what he considers to be hysteria from both the media and his own public health officials. On Tuesday, Dr. Fauci discussed his role, telling "Politico", you should never destroy your own credibility and you don`t want to go to war with the president, but you`ve got to walk the fine line of making sure you continue to tell the truth.
And Trump is blaming his administration`s slow response to coronavirus on the same person he always blames for everything -- wait for it -- Barack Obama.
That`s next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be detrimental to what we`re doing and we undid the decision few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion that was a decision we disagreed with. I don`t think we would have made it but for some reason it was made. But we`ve undone that decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That was Donald Trump blaming the Obama administration, which is no longer here for the nationwide shortage of testing kits.
Trump has been under fire for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak. According to "The New York Times", Trump has offered a consistently rosier assessment of the situation than health experts have put forth unproven and false assertions. Early today, Congress approved an $8.3 billion dollar fund to help fund a robust response to the virus. The package was nearly seven time what is the president initially requested.
And for more, I`m joined by Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, and Dr. Celine Gounder, infectious disease specialist and host of "The Epidemic" podcast.
Congressman, I`ll go to your first. The Obama administration is gone. What do you make of this president who has gotten very poor grades for his handling of this outbreak so far blaming the previous president?
REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): Look, the point is not to score political points. It is to protect vulnerable populations.
The problem with what he`s talking about is that there has been an unconscionable delay in the CDC getting testing kits to all the people who need them. In addition to that, the CDC does not provide guidance even today for the most vulnerable populations in the most vulnerable settings.
What the Trump administration has failed to do is to take this seriously and to coordinate a government response that would allow nursing homes, for example, to protect elderly patients because we know elderly people are particularly vulnerable. They aren`t doing that, they need to.
MALONEY: In New York, where we had an outbreak in the Hudson Valley, every nursing home in New York should have a protocol that the CDC provides to screen who comes in, to test immediately people who have symptoms and to have the kits to do that, and to have the knowledge about how to handle this so that we contain these outbreaks and we get treatment more quickly and we can do better tracing and we can effectively respond.
The resources we passed today on the Hill are essential, and it was outrageous that the president tried to do this on the cheap. This funding, so people understand, is consistent with the funding that has been passed previously for similar situations. It`s what`s necessary to have a full- blown government response.
So, we`re getting there but days are going off the calendar. We could have learned much more, more rapidly from the Chinese experience and from others around the world who are doing some things better and some things worse, and we can learn from that. But we need to do it in time to protect people from this virus.
REID: Yes, and you`ve had very recently, Dr. Gounder, Dr. Anthony Fauci had to carefully explain to Donald Trump that, no, there`s not going to be a vaccine in three months, that that is actually not possible, and have to explain that to him. He didn`t seem to understand it.
Meanwhile, you have members of Congress, I`m going to show you here of Matt Gaetz of Florida, going around the House floor in a gas mask. This is not exactly -- you know, they`re not causing lots of confidence to erupt around the nation.
Is there something they could be doing differently other than everything?
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Well, I did find this afternoon`s press conference actually somewhat reassuring. You know, there were a lot of points made by Vice President Pence, Tony Fauci, Debbie Birx and others that were reassuring in terms of what they were highlighting in moving forward.
So, there was clearly a recognition that the screening protocols and the dissemination of test kits was a problem. They are addressing that. I don`t think it`s happening fast enough, but at the same time it is happening finally.
You know, they did note nursing homes did need to be a priority here. There was also clearly an effort to address safety for travelers with a meeting with the airlines and also addressing how do we keep people who are working, how do they stay home if they need to stay home, how do we address school children.
I think there are some gaps, however. I think, you know, if somebody wants to stay home from work because they have symptoms, how do we make that possible, especially if they are hourly workers. If kids have to stay home, you know, what do we do in terms of child care or to help parents stay home with their kids. Those are big gaps that still remain.
REID: Yes, and Congressman Gaetz apparently said they come in contact with so many people in the public. That`s why he said that he was wearing the gas mask.
There`s also a clear recognition, Congressman, that there`s a clear potential price that this president will pay for the poor handling so far and the poor grades that he`s getting and also for its potential impact on the stock market, things like that. Are they paying too much attention to those kind of political ramifications?
MALONEY: Well, first of all, I think it was disgraceful that Matt Gaetz is joking about it or bringing light. I mean, going out of his way to bring a gas mask to the House floor is not easy to do first of all and it shows extraordinary insensitivity to people who have lost loved ones and who are now scared about what`s going on.
MALONEY: I mean, look what the governor of New York has done. If you want to see an effective government leader, look at Andrew Cuomo has done. He`s been out in public, he`s been explaining what is going on.
He`s providing information. He`s raised a sense of urgency without creating a panic. That`s what we expect from government. So, the things that the doctor just ticked off are not questions that the rest of us should be wondering about.
MALONEY: This is when we look to our leaders.
So the issue, Joy, is not -- is not how this affects any of us politically.
MALONEY: It is having an effective bipartisan rapid response based on science that is going to save lives.
REID: Yes, indeed. Thank you, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. Appreciate you, and Dr. Celine Gounder. Really appreciate you both.
And before we go, there`s one more thing I want to say. Tonight was the first time in 20 years that this hour was something other than "HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS", a show that I`ve been watching since the first day it aired on MSNBC.
Now, Chris is not just the O.G. host of this network who we`ve been hiing (ph) with for generation, he`s a mentor and friend to me and so many people at MSNBC. He`s also one of the most knowledgeable people about politics that I`ve ever met, having worked for a president and for the second most legendary speaker of the House, Pelosi claps to Tip O`Neil.
Chris once gave a political bit of wisdom to a group of us political columnists and writers who were listening to him doing a talk in Miami before more than a decade ago. That politics, he said, is where you put the wedge in. If it`s between the rich and the middle class, so the middle class feel like they identify with the poor, then Democrats win. But if the wedge is between the poor and the middle class so that the middle class identified up, Republicans win. And he said we could steal that, so of course, I did.
Chris is not just smart and passionate about politics, he`s also the guy who will make you laugh even in these crazy times and even sing you an old Irish dirge when you`re feeling down. Chris, I cannot wait to read your next books and see your talks and grab a selfie. Yes, I know, you think selfies are silly but you have to do them for the gram.
And I`m grateful for the help that you`ve given me in my career and to have you as my friend. Thanks so much all of you for being with us. Please don`t go anywhere.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" comes up next.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, "ALL IN": Tonight on "ALL IN" --
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, I`m here to report -- we are very much alive!
HAYES: A historic turnaround makes Biden a front-runner in a two-man race.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m glad to say I endorse Joe Biden.
HAYES: Tonight, the impact of Bloomberg`s departure and endorsement.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END