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MTP Daily, Transcript 10/14/16

Guests: Perry Bacon, Chris Cillizza, Molly Ball, James Stavridis, Hampton Pearson, Nathan Gonzales, Tom Davis

Show: MTP DAILY Date: October 14, 2016 Guest: Perry Bacon, Chris Cillizza, Molly Ball, James Stavridis, Hampton Pearson, Nathan Gonzales, Tom Davis

CHUCK TODD, HOST: Good evening. I`m Chuck Todd here in Washington. Welcome to MTP DAILY.

Apologies for being gone this week but have been doing a lot of stuff all about this campaign. Two more women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump today. At least eight women have now come forward publicly just in the past week with allegations against Trump.

This afternoon, Trump responded in a manner that can only be described as unhinged. You have to see it to believe it. We`re going to play that tape in a minute. But, first, the new allegations.

This afternoon, civil rights lawyer, Gloria Allred, held a news conference today with alleged victim, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on NBC`s reality show, "THE APPRENTICE". She alleged that Trump forced himself on her at a hotel in 2007.


SUMMER ZERVOS, FORMER THE APPRENTICE CONTESTANT: He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom. I walked out.

He then turned me around and said, let`s lay down and watch some telly- telly. He put me in an embrace. And I tried to push him away. I pushed his chest to put space between us. And I said, `come on, man, get real.` He repeated my words back to me `get reaaaaaal` as he began thrusting his genitals.


TODD: NBC has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment on Zervos. The other woman who has come forward today is Kristin Anderson, a former makeup artist and hostess, who spoke to The Washington Post about an alleged incident at a club in the early `90s.


KRISTIN ANDERSON, FORMER MAKEUP ARTIST AND HOSTESS: The person on my right, who unbeknownst to me, at that time, was Donald Trump, put their hand up my skirt. He did touch my vagina through my underwear, absolutely.


TODD: You should note that is how the clip appears on The Washington Post website, edits included. Trump campaign denied the story to The Washington Post saying, "Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous".

Trump himself unloaded on some of these accusers this afternoon during a rally in North Carolina. At times, he appeared to mock and joke about the allegations. Here`s what he said about the allegations from Kristin Anderson.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Oh, in 1992, he went like this. One came out recently where I was sitting alone and at some club. I really don`t sit alone that much. Honestly, folks, I don`t think I sit alone. I go in with crews. I was sitting alone by myself like this. And then I went, to somebody.


TODD: Trump then went after accuser, Jessica Leeds, who alleged Trump groped her on an airplane flight in the `80s. His defense she wasn`t attractive enough to grope.


TRUMP: When you looked at that horrible woman last night you said, I don`t think so. I don`t think so. Oh, I was with Donald Trump in 1980. I was sitting with him on an airplane. And he went after me on the plane. Yeah. I`m going to go after her. Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you. Man. You don`t know. That would not be my first choice.


TODD: Trump went after PEOPLE magazine writer, Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Trump of attacking her in 2005.


TRUMP: She is a liar. She is a liar. She is writing a story. Check out her Facebook page. You`ll understand.


TODD: Trump then attacked more of his accusers` motives. Let`s watch.


TRUMP: Some are doing it for probably a little fame. They get some free fame. It`s a total setup. Phony accusers come out less than a month before one of the most important elections in the history of our country. These people are sick. These people are sick.


TODD: And, finally, Trump turned his attention to President Obama in language that appeared to strike a bit of a threatening tone.


TRUMP: Why doesn`t some woman maybe come up and say what they say falsely about me. They could say about him. They could say it about anybody. They could say it about anybody. I`ll tell you what. He better be careful because they could say it about anybody, anybody at all.


TODD: Folks, Trump has survived a lot in this race, but may have just witnessed what could be the ending of his candidacy. The allegations are piling up at a rapid pace right now.

There`s today`s story in The Washington Post, the two women who came forward to The New York Times, the writer for PEOPLE magazine who wrote about her own story, a woman who spoke on the record to The Huffington Post about alleged inappropriate behavior, a woman who went on the record to BuzzFeed about Trump allegedly walking in on naked beauty contestants.

There`s former Miss Utah who spoke to NBC News with allegations that Trump inappropriately kissed her on the mouth. There`s the woman who spoke to The Palm Beach Post alleging that Trump groped her 13 years ago. We should say NBC News has not confirmed many of these allegations and Trump, of course, is denying all of them.

I`m joined now by our own Katy Tur who is in Charlotte, North Carolina where Trump is holding a rally tonight. And, Katy, obviously it`s no holds barred from the Trump campaign. Does the campaign endorse Trump himself specifically targeting every accuser individually?

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I`m not sure if the members of Donald Trump`s campaign endorse this, but they are certainly not saying anything that would go against his doing so on stage. We are still waiting for the Trump campaign to produce evidence that shows that these women are lying.

Donald Trump promised that yesterday. His running mate, Governor Pence, said that it would come as early as -- or it would come today on the morning shows this morning, but the campaign says that they do not have an update on timing for that evidence.

Instead, when he was on the stage in Greensboro, North Carolina, Donald Trump does what or did what he has been doing this entire election season which is deflect, throw something else out that might be more outrageous than the original controversy.

Today, he is now saying that it`s basically a set up between a Mexican billionaire, The New York Times and the Clintons, saying that a Mexican billionaire, who owns a minority stake in The New York Times and also has contributed, donated to the Clinton foundation, is in some way influencing reporters of The New York Times to produce negative headlines against Donald Trump.

That`s part of this conspiracy theory theme that he has been going after in the past few days accusing the government, the media, the banks, the Department of Justice of all colluding, working together in some shadowy, behind the scenes room to take him down in order to stop him from doing the sort of change that he promises his supporters he alone will be able to do if he gets into Washington.

He says they are trying to protect the status quo. And he is the only who can shake things up. We`re going to find out if he produces a little bit more evidence here in Charlotte, North Carolina or if he continues on these same themes. But so far, Donald Trump has just been making wilder and wilder accusations himself instead of disproving any of these allegations.

TODD: Very quickly, what can you tell me about the scuffle that took place, anything out of the ordinary in this one?

TUR: Yeah. This happens in North Carolina, I think, more than the other places. You can see video of it now. A protester interrupted the rally in Greensboro and a supporter put that protester in a headlock. Police escorted the protester out but then also went back to get the supporter.

Remember, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, that`s where we saw a man sucker punch a protester months ago. And then a few weeks ago we did see another man put his hands on, try to push and grab a few protesters at a rally in this state as well.

So certainly this is one of the more tense states that we`ve been in in this country. And it`s one that Donald Trump really needs to win, Chuck. As you know, it`s one of the four states that he is focusing on.

TODD: All right. Katy Tur on the trail with Trump. Katy, stay safe at that rally. Thanks very much.

TUR: Thanks.

TODD: Let me bring in the panel: my colleague here at NBC News, Senior Political Reporter, Perry Bacon; Chris Cillizza, Founder of The Washington Post The Fix blog and an MSNBC Contributor; Molly Ball, Political Reporter at The Atlantic, who had herself quite the tome that is out today. Welcome all.

Before I get started, Katy brought up the Mike Pence quotes from this morning. And I think we ought to refresh because he did make a pledge that there would be evidence presented to push back against these accusers. Here`s what Mike Pence said on the morning shows.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: As I would say to you as a dad of two daughters, as a public person, you always take these issues seriously, but these are unsubstantiated claims. Donald Trump has categorically denied them.

NORAH O`DONNELL, CBS CO-ANCHOR: Let me get you to respond then to the First Lady. She said this wasn`t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking openly and freely about sexually predatory behavior.

PENCE: I don`t understand the basis of her claim. There will be more evidence coming out that supports his --

STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CO-HOST: That they are making it up.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CO-HOST: What evidence is coming out?

PENCE: Well, the campaign is working on bringing that information out.


TODD: It was promised within hours, Perry Bacon. We don`t have it. If you`re Mike Pence, it`s 5:00 o`clock and you were asked to go out there and speak for the campaign, what do you say?

PERRY BACON, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: The idea that they can refute in a day eight different claims of groping with some evidence was unbelievable one might consider. I have no idea why he thought that was the right thing to say.

And you can tell that instead of trying to deny these things, Trump is calling the women ugly. He is talking about Hillary`s looks today. I mean he doesn`t appear like he`s trying to win or has any strategy beyond saying these are all liars. And I can`t imagine that`s going to work.

TODD: I mean I guess if the Clinton campaign could script how they would want him to respond to this, this is what they would script.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, THE FIX WRITER: I mean he is being baited and he is responding every time. And I don`t mean baited by false charges. I mean he is doing and saying exactly the wrong things here, right. I mean this is not one person. This is, as Perry mentioned, eight people. I feel like every hour it`s another person.

TODD: Yeah.

CILLIZZA: He is it seems incapable of understanding that. Even if these things are false which he insists they are this isn`t the proper response. Calling the women out, doing impersonations of them, saying they are not attractive enough that he would even harass them, like it`s beyond the -- and trusting everything through a strategic --

TODD: You`ve got to stop, right.

CILLIZZA: It`s not possible.

TODD: No. It`s no longer a strategy.

MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC POLITICAL REPORTER: And it has been. I think, at least since the tape came out a week ago, we have seen him just completely off the leash. And he said the shackles were coming off. And if there ever were shackles on this man, which I somewhat doubt, that`s clearly not the case now.

He`s gone full Trump down the rabbit hole. He`s decided that he has no choice but to just be himself in the most fulsome way possible. There is a small hardcore of people who go to the rallies who find this deeply gratifying. Outside those rooms, it`s not playing quite so well.

CILLIZZA: If you wanted to dispute these things that you insisted are wrong -- I mean I watched the whole rally in Greensboro. I mean I hinted he said the word surreal too often but it literally is. This is not the way in which you would go about debunking what you insist are false, by running people down on their looks.

TODD: Perry, let`s look first on to the ways --

BALL: They think they are false and they are in every way responsible

CILLIZZA: I mean, again, the promise that Mike Pence has been put out here to say in a few hours we`ll have evidence, my guess, is someone said in a few hours we`re going to have evidence. We need you to go out and say that. But --

TODD: Say it, yeah. Perry, let`s go through. Like normally you would have a candidate accused, maybe they would appear with their spouse. Maybe their spouse would do something. There is not that. Maybe a relative would come out and be a character witness for him. There is not that.

Maybe a member of the campaign team would walk everybody behind the scene. There`s so many different ways to respond to this in a way that would protect the opportunity to actually have a conversation with voters again about issues. And they are not doing that.

BACON: I`ll be curious if Ivanka, his daughter, or Kellyanne, his Campaign Manager, how they speak about this in the next few days. We`re getting a level now where the number of people who`ve made --

TODD: Kellyanne Conway has not been on camera I believe since Wednesday.

BACON: I did not know that. So that`s a report information because in the sense the -- we`re going to go in fact to where we have like more than a dozen women have said something about Trump, groping, inappropriate behavior. It`s hard to imagine that the campaign can deny this broadly or specifically. I mean Trump is not -- if he had met some of these women before he would have told us that already. So the explanation they have would be hard for me to see.

TODD: But this dangerous path he is going down -- and, Molly, you`re right about this today that he`s got the following. And they are --

BACON: They are laughing during the rallies.

TODD: He miss up too. They are laughing with him. He`s got them -- it`s amazing. He can say anything and they believe it. They want to believe it.

BALL: And the point that I made in my story today is he is taking this following that he has, this cult-like devotion of his core followers and he is turning it against the Republican Party. He`s telling them --

TODD: Yeah. Let me give you some more credit here. Let me read what you wrote because it was terrific. This is all Trump has left, his ravening hordes, the throngs that still flock to see him, impervious to the reality the crooked media portrays. They do not believe the polls. The world is a horror show they tell me. These are Trump`s people. They are all he has left.

BALL: And the question is where does that go on November 8? Particularly if he is not elected President, does he tell them to take to the streets to delegitimize the results of the election? That`s a scary process and he`s already laying the ground work for that.

CILLIZZA: Look at his rally in Greensboro today that Molly has put, look at his rally in Greensboro today. This whole thing is rigged, his words. This is a big lie.

TODD: You wrote this a few hours ago saying that you believe he`ll never concede.

CILLIZZA: How does he go from what he is saying now --?

TODD: You believe that he`ll never concede this race?

CILLIZZA: This is all I`m asking. How does he go from today in Greensboro saying this is rigged, it`s a big lie, they are all against us, it`s global conspiracy not to let me, and then say, well, you know what, we ran a good race, Hillary Clinton won? Can you conceive of Donald Trump saying those words?

TODD: And he`d have various phone calls.

BACON: All I can see is that he`s called her a criminal repeatedly. I`m guessing this is going to be hard to do.

TODD: By the way, I want to put up yesterday Fox News, their poll out. It`s a very good national poll. They asked, is he qualified to be President? 56% said he was not qualified for President. But what was interesting here is they split it up. This combines not at all. 49% say he was not at all qualified and another 7% said yeah he is mostly not qualified.

CILLIZZA: It`s like a strongly favorable -- he is strongly unfavorable number. It`s almost equal to his overall favorable number.

TODD: Right. It`s just that stat means the race is over. You cannot have a number like that and win.

BALL: Well, I do meet a lot of people who don`t like Donald Trump and still think Hillary Clinton is worse. And that`s where a lot of mainstream Republicans are. And that`s the difficult box that someone like Paul Ryan is.

TODD: This is the problem. Well, this is their problem. Does that voter show up?

BALL: Right.

TODD: Does that voter show up, Perry? That, to me, is the question.

BACON: I think what you`re seeing in the polls is that people who don`t like Trump but are generally upper educated, upper income Republicans. So, I think, in some sense, those people are likely to vote. So I do think this could be the year where you see -- Steve said on the last segment.

Split ticket voting is going down. This could be a year -- I could see Rob Portman getting 50% of people who don`t vote for a Trump but vote for him. I can see Burr, Ayotte, some of these senators could do well. Trump is --

TODD: I`m with you. I think split ticketing is mostly a dead thing. That won`t happen anymore, except for a crazy year like this.

CILLIZZA: Well, it`s a triangle --

TODD: I think you`re right.

CILLIZZA: Except in a year in which one of the two tribes is not really represented. I mean Trump exists outside -- Bernie Sanders is really liberal. Ted Cruz is really conservative. Donald Trump doesn`t exist on that plane, like he is over here. You know what I mean like. It`s not --

BALL: The question is how much down-ballot drag can these Republican candidates survive? They can run 10 points ahead of Trump. They can run 15 points ahead of Trump. How bad does it get? Do they have to run 20 or 25 points ahead of Trump? That`s going to be a really tall order.

TODD: That`s right. You guys stick around. Later in the show, it`s not -- we`ve been saying a lot. It`s not just Trump whose prospects are in serious jeopardy. His troubles may have real implications down the ballot and not in a good way for Republicans. After the break though Vice President, Joe Biden, on how the Obama administration may respond to Russia`s cyberattacks.


TODD: As the Clinton campaign faces more fallout from the apparent hack of Campaign Chairman, John Podesta`s personal e-mail, the campaign today called on Trump to condemn what Clinton folks say is Russia`s "direct assault on our democracy". When I sat down with Vice President Biden yesterday I asked him about how the U.S. is responding to all of the recent hacking from Russia.


TODD: Why won`t we send a message yet to Putin?

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re sending a message. We have the capacity to do it and the message will be sent.

TODD: You`ll know it?

BIDEN I`ll know it. I don`t think it`s a time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact. The capacity to do, to fundamentally alter election is not what people think. And I`ll tell you what. To the extent that they do, we will be proportional in what we do. And --

TODD: So a message is going to be sent. Will the public know it?

BIDEN: I hope not.


TODD: You can see much more of my exclusive interview with Vice President Biden this Sunday on "MEET THE PRESS" where you hear what he says about Syria policy going forward. And I`ll also be talking to the guy who is hoping to move Joe Biden out of the Vice President`s residence and move in, Republican Governor Mike Pence.

That`s all this Sunday on "MEET THE PRESS". Check your local NBC station. And coming up right here on MTP DAILY, a top Clinton supporter who says if the U.S. does not stop Russia`s cyber warfare now, we are in for a whole lot worse.


TODD: Exactly one week ago, the Obama administration publicly blamed Russia for elections related hacking here in the United States. White House saying it was confident. Russia is behind cyber breaches intended to influence our election.

Those Russian linked hacks now include more than 10,000 e-mails purportedly from Clinton campaign Chairman, John Podesta, that have been published this week every day by WikiLeaks painting a portrait frankly of Hillary Clinton, political calculating politician.

White House says they have a range of options and are considering what they call a proportional response. No matter what, dealing with Russia will be a huge task for the next President. The Clinton campaign today accused Trump of a "cozy relationship with Putin".

And former Acting CIA Director and Clinton supporter, Mike Morell, says he is more and more convinced that Putin has "played Trump like a fiddle". Clinton`s campaign is calling on Trump to condemn Russia`s role in the hacking. Admiral James Stavridis is a former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and the current Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. We should also note that the Admiral is a Clinton supporter. Admiral, welcome to the show, sir.


TODD: So you used a phrase at the end of your -- you op-ed, I believe it was in foreign policy if I`m not mistaken, where you said there is an old Russian proverb where they take a band at and they push through. And if they hit mush, they keep pushing. If they hit steel, they retreat.

And essentially what you were saying is right now they are hitting a lot of mush when it comes to the United States. And I guess my question to you is when are we going to put some steel in and what should that steel be made - - what should that proverbial steel be made of?

STAVRIDIS: Yeah. I think the way to think about it, Chuck, is the bayonet is the Russian proverb which came from the 20th century. In today`s world, it`s the bits of the cyber world. And yeah, they are not meeting much resistance and the answer is we should start pushing back.

I was happy to hear Vice President Biden comment that we`re going to. I`ll give you a couple ideas. One is we should be looking very hard at the way Russia censors their Internet and revealing that process publicly which would allow dissidence in Russia to escape that kind of censorship.

Second thing we could do is go after the Russian financial records and reveal the network of overseas banking, that people very high in the administration, to include President Putin are involved in. I think those would be proportional responses.

TODD: It`s interesting though. Vice President Biden said when I asked him if we know about it, he said he hope not. Putin has the exact opposite, right. I think he almost relishes the idea that the West fears him and that he wants some public -- because they have not denied it anymore.

STAVRIDIS: Absolutely. And I take the other side of the argument from Vice President Biden. I think, in this case, given the public display of what Russia is doing in the cyber sphere, we need to not only respond in the cyber sphere, but I think there needs to be a public component to it.

Again, that`s a proportional response. We`re not going to drop the Russian electric grid as a result of John Podesta`s e-mails being out there. But we should be moving in the public sphere and demonstrate not only to the Russians but to our allies and friends that we have that capability.

TODD: Look, I don`t think I`m going to -- I can picture a President Clinton creating a reset button as she did as Secretary Clinton, if she is elected.


TODD: This is obviously going to have an impact on U.S.-Russian relations if she wins because, frankly, the political headaches coming from these WikiLeaks, I think, are going to be greater for her if she wins because of the ways that the left may be upset with her, that they are going to haunt her for quite some time.

But I guess my question to you is how much is this going to impact -- the two have to have some personal relationship if we want to make sure we don`t end up in some sort of hot war.

STAVRIDIS: Yeah. I think the odds of a hot war are very, very small. But what I think we need to avoid is stumbling backward into a full-blown cold war. That means we need to confront where we must but find some zones of cooperation where we can. So confront on Ukraine, Syria, cyber, but cooperate where we can, counterterrorism --

TODD: Where is that anymore? You just said -- I mean I remember Syria was supposed to be something we were going to work together on. Well, that`s off. That`s clearly off the table.

STAVRIDIS: Well, actually, Chuck, as you know, we`re going back to the negotiating table again. And I would argue that ultimately Syria is going to be resolved in a political diplomatic agreement, much like the Balkans were 20 years ago. But where we can cooperate immediately is counterterrorism.

TODD: Can I pause you there? I hear that talk. It feels like happy talk now. I mean I keep hearing it`s going to be a political solution. What motivates Assad for a political solution? What`s motivating Putin to have a political solution? What`s motivating Iran for a political solution right now? They are winning.

STAVRIDIS: They are. But when Aleppo completes its activity -- and I think unfortunately we`re going to see Aleppo fall into Assad`s hands. I think at that point, the motivation for a settlement comes because Russia is looking for a way to get out from under sanctions in Ukraine.

And a solution in Syria becomes part of a grand bargain that they may be able to cut with us. That`s probably how we get to the diplomatic political solution. Not going to happen in the next three months. That is happy talk. It`s a new administration sure to take that on.

TODD: Is there a high hard one as sort of Mike McFall put it to me that you could put it Putin that actually might give him pause? Is it going to take exposing his wealth?

STAVRIDIS: I think that`s certainly a factor. And, I think, increasingly, we`re going to have to make this personal about Putin, the way that he`s tried to make it personal about us. Why? Because Russia is in a unitary decision-maker mode, Chuck. There is really no other layer to go after. So you`ve got to kind of work at and, ultimately, as you said, with Putin. It`s going to be a delicate balance for the next President.

TODD: Yeah. I think John Kerry has found out there is no other decision- maker. He keeps (INAUDIBLE) had this great personal relationship that gets him absolutely nowhere. Anyway, Admiral Stavridis, appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.

STAVRIDIS: Thanks a lot, Chuck.

TODD: Still ahead, why timing is everything in what could be a Republican down-ballot disaster? Stay tuned.


CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS SHOW HOST: How bad as we look down the ballot. We`ll talk about that after the break. But, right now, let`s check in with Hampton Pearson with CNBC Market Wrap.

HAMPTON PEARSON, REPORTER CNBC: Thanks, Chuck. We have stocks posting modest gains. The Dow rose 39 points, the S&P ended the day up a fraction of a point, the Nasdaq close almost a point higher. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the U.S. economy is still falling short. The White House is reporting the budget deficit increased to $587 billion for the fiscal year.

And the federal government issued an emergency order banning all Samsung Galaxy 7 Note devices from airline flights. The phones are known to catch fire also if it is inside air cargo and checked luggage. That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.


TODD: 25 days to go and all signs point to what looks like a landslide-like win at the top of the ticket. And now Trump`s temperament has become the top issue down the ballot. Allegations of sexual misconduct, scorched earth, conspiracy theory fueled week of campaigning, attacking his accusers and wild rally like he did today in North Carolina even going after one of his accuser`s looks. The Trump`s temperament has all but sunk the top of the ticket.

And of course democrats now are on the attack in both house and senate context. Hillary Clinton is yet to actually use any of that video in any advertising that appears on television. We are seeing other candidates fled the airways this week with ads that do use Trump`s lewd 2005 comments and an attempt to tie the republican opponents to Trump. Here`s a few examples.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike Gallagher said we have to support Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you point to him as a role model?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, I would do that.

TRUMP: I moved on her like a (bleep). I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. Kiss, kiss. When you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be prepared to vote for Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will be supporting the republican nominee.

TRUMP: I did try to (bleep). She was married. I moved on her like a (bleep). When you`re a star, they let you do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Darrell Issa says Donald Trump is the obvious choice for president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Portman stood by Trump even after seeing Trump brag about sexual assault. Then Portman panicked and scrambled to save himself.


TODD: Just so that you know, that wasn`t a loop. As you saw in the upper left hand corner, every time the ad changed, it was a different ad and a different race in a different state. If every man and woman for themselves right now for down-ballot republicans, they are fleeing Trump, distancing themselves from Trump, and running as checks on a President Hillary Clinton.

Timing of the Access Hollywood tape and the allegations of sexual misconduct could not have come at a worse time for these down-ballot republicans. This is debate season. In fact, here`s sampling from some of the republican responses in both ads and in debates from this week amid all of these new fallout.


PAT TOOMEY, JUNIOR U.S. SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA: I have a lot of disagreements with Donald Trump. I have been very clear about that. What`s important for Pennsylvanians is having a senator who will stand up to any president`s bad ideas.

JOHN MCCAIN, SENIOR U.S. SENATOR FROM ARIZONA: It`s not pleasant for me to renounce the nominee of my party. He won the nomination fair and square. But this is -- I have daughters.

RICHARD BURR, SENATOR OF NORTH CAROLINA: No, I`m not going to defend Donald Trump for what he said or his actions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will stand up to anyone in the oval office if I don`t think they are doing the right thing for New Hampshire. Yes, we have parties, but ultimately we represent New Hampshire and standing up for the people of this state.

ROB PORTMAN, U.S. SENATOR FROM OHIO: I took this extraordinary step of saying that I cannot support my nominee, republican nominee for president of the United States.


TODD: How bad is it? I have my two guests here, Nathan Gonzales, political editor of The Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report, and former congressman and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Tom Davis. Welcome to you both. I know you are still in mourning from last night`s baseball game.

TODD: Nathan, you made some changes to your battleground. Let`s start with the biggest of it all. Is the house in play or not? What do you guys think?

NATHAN GONZALES, POLITICAL EDITOR OF THE ROTHENBERG AND GONZALES POLITICAL REPORT: Well, I think this week was a time to take a pause after there was initial NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken over the weekend. Everyone is kind of into a tizzy, but in the subsequent days, I haven`t seen a uniform drop in republican candidates.

There are soft spots, but I don`t think the math is still there. I don`t think the map and the seats are in play for democrats to get the 30 that they need.

TODD: You know, it`s an interesting time, actually actions speak louder than words. The fact that the democrats, all these different candidates are deciding to try to go the Trump route, I think almost actually proves Nathan`s point, which is it hasn`t popped yet, but they think there is a chance.

TOM DAVIS, FORMER CONGRESSMAN AND FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE: They might. I mean, one of the difficulties you have is you still have a three or four-way race in some of these states. What we found is that the candidates are not getting over 50 percent of vote where that third party vote goes and republicans still see they`re getting that independent vote in a lot of these races.

Democrats got the majority of the house vote in 2012 and republicans had the huge majority. So, it takes a huge way for democrats to take back the house.

TODD: Seems like there is sort of two different story lines we have to follow in this down-ballot. I think one goes to what Tom just said, Nathan, which is this turnout issue. There is obviously three or four of the party say stick with Trump, but one and four republican others say don`t. What if they don`t show up to the polls? That`s what turn this is into a landslide.

GONZALES: That`s where these -- the top six senate races are so close, but if you see a dip in republican turn up by 2 or 3 percent, that`s enough to flip all of them.

TODD: 10 percent and the house comes into play. The two or three as they said.

GONZALES: Republicans are concerned, turnout, they are getting relatively good polling numbers back, but they are concerned that the turnout in the end is not going to be there.

TODD: Tom, what you also have here is an uncooperative top of the ticket. When you guys pulled the plug Bob Dole, Bob Dole did not attack Haley Barbour. Bob Dole did not attack Newt Gingrich. Bob Dole understood what was going on and realized, okay, we got to share the same voter here, we got to give a chance to candidates to win some democratic.

DAVIS: Trump doesn`t seem to care at all about down ticket. Let me just make a point. People vote for electorates. They don`t vote for presidential candidates. If Bob Dole were in the position where he was the problem, he would step off the ticket, replace him and you could win.

If Trump got off the ticket and they replaced nominees, it would be a different race because these votes that have been voted haven`t been for him, they have been for the electorates.

TODD: Have you watched his campaign? You think Donald Trump.

DAVIS: No, I don`t. As I said, he is no Bob Dole. I know Bob Dole and he`s no Bob Dole.

GONZALES: I think what was striking about this election before last weekend was how well republicans were doing. Republicans had a chance to hold the senate and the house. They were going to keep losses to a minimum and so they have further to fall I think than what we initially see.

TODD: It seems to scare some folks though as well it is holding up. I`ll put some up. We got some in Indiana polls today, Evan Bayh, plus six, that`s a race that was a little tighter just a week ago. This came from Mon. Look at the gubernatorial race here by the way. This one has the democrat up double digits, John Gregg now at 50 percent, this is to replace Mike Pence.

Has made a point that worried him. This was before the video came out. That he said, you know, the biggest problem republicans have right now is staying competitive. But other than Portman, none of them broken away, and that`s what scares him.

DAVIS: I was broken away. No, this is still a close race and if you look at the modeling on this polls, will see different turn-out model than the NRCC. So they are looking at different turnout models. If the turnout collapses, obviously, that is gonna hurt people up and down the ticket.

TODD: Had anybody not pulled there support from Trump that you think is making a mistake?

GONZALES: That`s a good question.

TODD: I get what Toomey is trying to do, I get what Burr has to do, Ayotte is the one I wonder if she is almost in the biggest of all the vices.

GONZALES: She kind of put herself in a box with the debate answer but with the role mode question but the numbers after that debate, she did not drop. I mean, we`ll see if she drops after last weekend, but she was holding firm.

DAVIS: Chuck, republican candidates can`t win because you`re gonna lose some of the Trump base that you had in your take and votes basically out of your pocket in the case where you go the other way.

TODD: Trump`s gonna attack anybody that breaks.

DAVIS: Absolutely.

TODD: That makes it worse.

GONZALES: In the poll in Nevada, democrats came out to pull after Joe Heck pulled his support. They have him getting 70 to 75 percent republicans. The republicans came out and said, oh, he`s doing fine.

TODD: Do republicans all show up to the polls? Nathan and Tom, thanks to you guys. After the break, we will look at what`s happening in California. They may be coming to a ballot box near you and then the changes in the battleground that may have Donald Trump feeling a little tangled up in a blue swimming pool. Stay with us.


TODD: Tonight, I`m obsessed with California. I`m obsessed specifically with what`s on the state`s ballot this year. California is one of the states where voters have their say on a huge number of initiatives and referendums from the controversial to the wacky. This year, California voters will decide on everything from a plastic bag man to an initiative dealing with rules or adult film stars.

And there`s an old tradition. What passes in California today, passes nationwide a decade from now. And if that holds true this year, then buckle up. Voters in California and four other states will vote on whether or not to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Few studies show 57 percent of Americans say marijuana should be made legal compared to a 32 percent a decade ago.

So the tide certainly seems to turn at the biggest state in the union to be for it. Well, you know what that means. Perhaps the most controversial measure to won the California ballot is Prop 63. This is what I want to focus on. This would ban large capacity magazines and would require a background check before buying ammo.

Of course you can buy ammo online, but this could be a test for how gun control advocates could go after and could find some wins for democrats nationwide. If this passes in California, look for this focus on ammo to be the next movement of the gun control side of things. We will be become with more MTP Daily right after this.


TODD: We`ve got a brand-new NBC News battleground map and it features some nontraditional toss-up states. That was the big move we made today. Our count has 287 electoral votes likely or leading democratic. That would, of course, send Hillary Clinton to the White House without having to win in Ohio and Florida and all that.

Plus, now you`ve got Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, and Utah in our toss-up column. Let me repeat, Utah! We moved Arizona, Georgia, and Utah from lean GOP to toss-up. Arizona hasn`t gone for a democrats since `96. Georgia hasn`t done it since `92. And Utah cast its electoral votes for a republican every election since `64.

It`s time for "The Lid." Panel is back, Perry Bacon, Chris Cillizza, and Molly Ball. Chris, everybody got their own battleground maps and everyone can push back. Anything in ours that you had a big problem with?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CONTRIBUTOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: No, we debated at "The Post" Alaska. I mean that`s one.

TODD: We moved it from likely to lean.

CILLIZZA: That`s where we have it, too, but -- look, Texas and Alaska, there`s relatively credible polling in both places that suggests it`s somewhere between a three and five-point race. The thing we don`t know about, obviously, is who turns out to vote and does Trump have any organization. I`m skeptical that Trump has any organization in Alaska since he doesn`t really have much of one in Florida.

TODD: By the way, it`s funny you bring up Alaska. Molly, do you know that both U.S. senators, Murkowski and Sullivan both resigned, I think from the victory committee -- the total party victory committee, because they don`t want to support Trump. And neither one of them in Alaska. It`s very interesting.

MOLLY BALL, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Very interesting. And to the question about whether Trump has an organization, I don`t think it`s a question. He doesn`t have organization anywhere. If you don`t have an organization in Florida, you`re not building one in Alaska. There was a story this week about the Trump campaign pulling out of Virginia. I asked one of my Virginia republican sources. They said, they were never here!

CILLIZZA: One guy just closed the office.

TODD: You know, it`s interesting, they`re only competitive in states where the down-ballot campaign is robust. Ohio, Portman. North Carolina, both McCrory and Burr. Florida, Marco Rubio. There is.


TODD: Right, Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey. Notice where the two battleground states that they had to pull out first were.

CILLIZZA: New Hampshire.

TODD: Were, right, Virginia and Colorado. Why? No down-ballot that anybody cared about.

BACON: It is amazing to think a republican could lose Utah. It does go to the fact that the down-ballot is disconnected. Utah is a republican state. People there just really, really, really hate Donald Trump. Georgia, one thing I`m curious about is, could we have high turnout?

This is the other thing I`m curious about. There`s a lot of attention around this election. And that would change the down-ballot in the presidential as well. This whole month of Trump saying all these things that we`re calling crazy right now. It is like election like vote for Barack Obama. In 2016, vote against Donald trump.

TODD: I have to say, Perry, I`m glad you brought this up because I have -- I feel like there`s conflicting evidence. I can make a case for a low turnout election, negativity. They don`t like each other. But you just made to me just as good of a case as to why you could see a spike.

BALL: I was in Arizona a couple of weeks ago. And the Latino organizers out there are explicitly getting people to register and turnout only to vote against Donald Trump. They`re not even trying to get them to vote for.

TODD: Okay, but "The Washington Post" reported today that there`s been no dramatic increase in Latino.

CILLIZZA: In early voting.

TODD: So far. That it`s basically on-point.

CILLIZZA: Look, I think the issue here is, people will vote at -- 125 million voted in 2012. I would expect somewhere right around there, maybe a little lower. The issue is, what Trump is doing now. Molly put it in a previous segment exactly right. He`s basically turning on his own lines, and just firing indiscriminately into them.

That has to have some sort of depressive effect. So, but that`s the problem. You need, yes, the Trump part of the republican party is going to turnout. That`s not the whole republican party. It`s important to remember that. There`s going to be people who voted for, Romney, who voted for George W. Bush.

TODD: Tom Davis, district in Fairfax County, they look, do they show up?

BACON: I think.

TODD: Mean I don`t know either.

BACON: The people who vote, they`re upper income, they`re college educated. Those people don`t vote for Trump, I don`t think. But I can see -- I`m seeing all the ads.

TODD: Barbara Comstock.

BACON: I assume those people will vote.

TODD: But, boy, does she need every non-Trump republican.

CILLIZZA: Terrible for her.

BACON: Right.

TODD: You didn`t go in there.


TODD: You want to echo what they said? Last word, I`ve got to go. I`m in trouble.

BALL: Think about what the incentives are of these down-ballot candidates. John McCain is turning out Clinton voters, Rob Portman is turning out Clinton voters as long as they`re going to vote for him.

TODD: That`s right, got it, all right. Happy Friday. We`ll be right back with one more story you might have missed. Stay tuned.


TODD: Lastly tonight, in case you missed it, there`s an epidemic in this country. Republicans are turning themselves into pretzels. They`re twisting into knots trying to distance themselves from Trump, but still hang on to Trump`s supporters. And it spawned a phrase, new turn of phrase, condemndorse.

Daily Caller blogger Jim Treacher, defines it like this, quote, it is with a heavy a heart that I condemn the actions of GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, and I encourage you to vote for him on November 8th. As the allegations of sexual misconduct pile up, my conscience will not allow me to support the man I plan to vote for.

Senators Deb Fischer and John Thune and a couple of congressmen have all more or less condemndorse over the last couple of days. Let`s see if we see more of them throughout next week. That`s all we have for tonight.