• Full Transcript: Morning Joe Exclusive with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder




    Full Transcript: Morning Joe Exclusive with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder


    In an exclusive interview today on “Morning Joe,” Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) discussed the Flint water crisis and said he hasn’t stepped down because his view is to “take responsibility” and not “walk away.” “So my answer is instead of walking away from it, you solve it,” Snyder said. “So that's where I'm really focusing on solutions.”


    On his remarks yesterday afternoon ahead of President Obama’s speech on the city’s water crisis, Snyder said, “It is a process.  And so, I appreciate people being angry and frustrated by the situation.  It's a difficult one.”


    “Actually, I want to compliment the president,” he added. “I think it was very helpful having him come to Flint and reinforce a very similar message in the fact that filtered water is now safe to drink for most people.”


    Snyder appeared on “Morning Joe” on Jan. 22 for his first live national interview on the Flint water crisis.


    Video and rush transcript from Snyder’s appearance on “Morning Joe” today are below.  Mandatory credit for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”


    Video: http://on.msnbc.com/1T3bEbQ


    Embed Code:

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    BRZEZINSKI:  OK.  Joining us now from Ann Arbor, Michigan, the state's Republican Governor Rick Snyder.


    Very good to have you on board with us this morning, sir.


    SNYDER:  It's great to be back with you again.


    BRZEZINSKI:  So, quite a day yesterday.  Not a very good reception that you got, but you did face the people of Flint, along with the president.


    I'd like to ask, though, because you and President Obama were drinking the water.  You were drinking the filtered water.  And my understanding is that water, it is a huge process for a person who lives in Flint to make the water drinkable or usable.  So it doesn't really seem like such a celebratory act to be drinking the water in Flint.


    SNYDER:  Well, actually, doing the filters is much more straightforward than drinking bottled water, because we have a problem still with the water system in Flint.


    And in terms of alternatives, there's bottled water and filtered water.  And the filters that work on a faucet today work very effectively, and they work well.


    So, what we're really trying to encourage people is, this is a way to improve the quality of their life, is they can move away from bottled water.  It has been found that it's safe to use the filtered water for everyone but small children and pregnant woman largely.  And it would be a step forward in terms of the healing process to get Flint back on a well-established water system.


    SCARBOROUGH:  So -- so, Governor, you went there yesterday.  Obviously, you knew the reception was going to be harsh.  It was.  How do you turn the corner?


    How does the government turn the corner to get the people of Flint, Michigan, believing in you and your government again?


    SNYDER:  Yeah, well, it is a process.  And so, I appreciate people being angry and frustrated by the situation.  It's a difficult one.


    Actually, I want to compliment the president.  I think it was very helpful having him come to Flint and reinforce a very similar message in the fact that filtered water is now safe to drink for most people.  That there's a program to flush the pipes that we need the citizens to participate in that.  That we're making process with respect to removing lead service lines to get the dangerous pipes out of the ground, and this will be a process that will take time.


    In addition, he made a strong message that it is really important that children can have a bright future still.  That we're putting in place a number of medical and educational programs to make sure that if children were affected by the lead at all, there's mitigation ways, steps to be taken, so these kids can have a bright future.


    SCARBOROUGH:  Eddie.


    GLAUDE:  So, Governor, could you just -- thank you for being on the show.  But can you just explain to me why it took so long to acknowledge that lead was in the pipes?  That lead was in the water?


    What took so long from the discovery of the fact to the acknowledgment of the fact?


    SNYDER:  Oh, that was one of the main issues.  That was one of the failures of government, including state government, that basically we had experts at the state still saying it wasn't a problem.


    And it really  took outside experts, such as Professor Marc Edwards at Virginia Tech.  He did a great job of identifying the issue, in fact, he's one of the key resources I look to now for good advice.


    We made a lot of changes within state government, and we needed to.  So, this is one of those experiences -- a tragic situation that you wish never would have happened.  And now the real question is, is let's fix it.


    So, that's where it has been a focus.  And again, having the president come to town was a positive step in my view, because it shows that we need the city, we need the county, we need the state and we need the federal government all agreeing that, let's not spend time on the historical questions, but let's solve this problem by working together.


    That's the way government should work.


    GLAUDE:  Right, OK.  So, government.  What about your -- what about your culpability?  What role did you play?




    SNYDER:  Well, again, lots of investigations.  But I got up in front of the entire state and in front of the people of Flint to say there are people that work for me that didn't use common sense.  That there's investigations still going on.  And if someone is working for you, you should take responsibility for that, and I have.


    And I've put a focus in on fixing the problem.


    SCARBOROUGH:  Willie Geist?


    GEIST:  Governor, the EPA received the first complaints two years ago in 2014.  There were families saying that their children were sick, that they couldn't drink the water, they couldn't bathe in the water.  Between your office and the EPA, what happened to those complaints two years ago and why weren't they addressed immediately if people were sick in one of your major cities?


    SNYDER:  Well that is one of the issues that we're going through. Again, when you say people are sick, again, it wasn't in terms of sickness, per se.  It was in terms of -- the lead is the key issue here.  And that took some time to come out.  And again, that's where the government was too slow in identifying it, particularly state government.


    SCARBOROUGH:  But -- we -- we talked about the state government and you focused on the state government here.  But again, the Environmental Protection Agency had information, the federal government, that there was lead in the water and they suppressed those findings.  Why?


    SNYDER:  Well, I'm not going to answer questions for the EPA.  I mean, the way I view it today is -- is I'm not in a position and I don't want to be in that position of saying my goal is not to go criticize somebody else about the past.  My goal is to say how do we solve the problem for the people of Flint moving forward.  And that's about all of us working together.


    Because there are multiple investigations that have happened and are happening to look at the past.  And I'm cooperating with all of those.  I hope everyone is.  Because let's get to the bottom of that.  But at the same time, the important thing is is how do we get better water supplies, how do we help the people of Flint.  And the filtered water is a positive step forward. The next step is hopefully get it so it can come right out of the tap, like it should.


    BRZEZINSKI:  Yeah. I don't think -- I mean, it's a tough step forward. You can't bathe in it, it's...


    SNYDER:  You can bathe in it.




    BRZEZINSKI:  You can bathe in filtered water, you can have filters in all your taps, you can bring bottled water in...


    SNYDER:  No -- Mika, that's one of the things. The scientific evidence so far says you can use the regular water for bathing.


    BRZEZINSKI:  OK. Well then you should -- there are some who think that you should do that.  Let me just say -- let me just ask, given that this is a catastrophe that some say rivals Katrina, why haven't you stepped down?


    SNYDER:  Well, again, if you have people working for you that let you down, that there are multiple failures, again, my view is is you don't walk away from things like that.  You should take responsibility, and I have, and the value system I was raised on, or you want to fix it as much or more than anyone. So my answer is instead of walking away from it, you solve it.  So that's where I'm really focusing on solutions.


    SCARBOROUGH:  When you and the president met before your speech yesterday, what did you talk about with him?


    SNYDER:  Well, actually, we met with the mayor also and we had a good discussion about how we all need to work together.  In particular, was the state finding adequate resources to do that.  We've made a huge commitment from the budget.  We're putting a lot of resources on the ground. We're committed to doing things.  The city and the mayor are working hard to do it.  And how we all need to do this hand in hand.  And that's -- a good part of the discussion yesterday and it was a very constructive discussion.  So again, I appreciate his visit to Flint.


    GEIST:  Governor, most of the people affected of in Flint were poor people, people who don't have a voice politically, people who probably don't have any friends at the government level or who are CEOs.  Do you think it's fair to say that if this had happened in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, that a CEO that you probably know from a cocktail party made a call to you in 2014, this would have been fixed much quicker?


    SNYDER:  Well, again, people are going to have different opinions on that. What I would say is...


    GEIST:  What's your opinion, sir?


    SNYDER:  I think I've got a track record of working hard to help our urban areas.  Look at Detroit, for example.  We've been able to show a massive turn around in Detroit.  And that took a lot of tough decisions during a difficult time...


    GEIST:  But what about Flint, Michigan?


    SNYDER:  Well again, Flint, we actually have been doing a lot of good things in Flint.  This is a tragic situation that we need to address and we're on top of it in terms of moving forward.  And it's going to take some time to heal, though, because of, again, the trust issue.


    SCARBOROUGH:  How long -- let me ask as far as the water goes. How long until you think it will be back to normal in Flint, will people be able to turn on their faucets and drink water out of the faucets?


    SNYDER:  Well I get asked that question all the time and the answer has to be, one -- it's not about picking a date on the calendar and it's not about political people picking the date.  It needs to be based on good science, on the experts.


    And the good part is we're bringing in outside experts to help reinforce the credibility issue from Virginia Tech and other places.  And that was the point of actually having -- I appreciate the president drinking the filtered water to help reinforce that message that he's got experts that are telling people it's safe to drink and let's show people that.


    SCARBOROUGH:  All right. Governor Rick Snyder, thank you so much for being with us.  We greatly appreciate it.


    BRZEZINSKI:  Thank you.


    SNYDER:  Thank you.









    Premieres Saturday, May 7 at 10AM ET

    NEW YORK – April 29, 2016 – MSNBC announced today that Joy Reid will host a new weekend program airing Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-Noon ET on MSNBC.  Reid will tackle the most important news and political topics of the week and, along with a rotating panel of journalists, will explore how these issues shape the country.  The program will premiere next Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. ET.

    “MSNBC viewers crave not only the facts, but also in-depth discussion and analysis from a range of perspectives,” said MSNBC President Phil Griffin.  “There is no one better equipped than Joy to lead this new project, and create a place for the kind of unique discussion our audience has come to expect.”

    “We are a country of too much talk and too little conversation. We talk past our invisible divides of race and class, ideology and region rather than taking them on,” said Joy Reid. “Saturday and Sunday mornings will be a place to talk politics and do good journalism while bringing diverse, smart, and accomplished voices to the table.”

    This new program fills the timeslot formerly held by “MHP,” hosted by Melissa Harris-Perry.

    “Melissa did a show that was incredibly valuable,” Reid said. “Instead of trying to replace it, we will fill the space with something new; something compelling, and something that adds to the conversation.”






    MSNBC Dayside Growth Continues to Far Outpace CNN and Fox News

    “The Rachel Maddow Show” Gains in A25-54; Closest to Fox News in 2 Years

    NEW YORK – April 26, 2016- For the month of April 2016, more viewers tuned into “Morning Joe” than to CNN’s “New Day” in both the key demo and total viewers.  “Morning Joe” outperformed CNN in the Adults 25-54 by 16% (157,000 vs. 135,000). In total viewers, “Morning Joe” notched another monthly win (596,000 vs. 438,000), pushing the program’s consecutive winning streak to 14 months over CNN.

    While the other cable new networks saw minimal ratings movement in April 2016 for the Monday-Friday 9a-5p daypart, MSNBC’s news-focused dayside continued to soar, up 135% in A25-54 over last year (compared to Fox News at +21% and CNN at +16%) and a strong gain of 86% in total viewers over last year (compared to Fox News at +13% and at CNN +27%).  During the 5p hour, “MTP Daily” also saw strong growth in April 2016, up 110% in A25-54 and 34% in total viewers over April 2015.

    In Prime, “The Rachel Maddow Show” saw significant year-over-year growth in A25-54, up 127% compared over April 2015, versus CNN’s growth of 84% and Fox News at 11% over the prior year.  “The Rachel Maddow Show” also continues to close the ratings gap with Fox News, posting the program’s closest ratings to “The Kelly File” in two years for A25-54 and in three years for total viewers.  With the show’s April 2016 win over CNN in total viewers (1,212,000 vs. 895,000), “The Rachel Maddow Show” runs its winning streak to 35 consecutive months.

    For April 2016, “Hardball with Chris Matthews” topped CNN in total viewers (918,000 vs. 830,000) and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” outpaced CNN for the 11th consecutive month in total viewers (981,000 vs.838,000).   “All In with Chris Hayes” also came in with a solid showing, up 111% in A25-54 and 61% in total viewers. During Monday-Friday primetime 8-11p, MSNBC saw more year-over-year growth than Fox News in the A25-54 demo (138% vs. 12%).

  • FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Bernie Sanders moderated by Chris Hayes

    MSNBC’s Chris Hayes moderated an hour-long town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders today at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The town hall aired on MSNBC this evening at 8 PM ET.

    Photo Credit: Nathan Congleton/ MSNBC





    UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   They said he didn't have a chance.


    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Remember, when we began this campaign, we were 60 points behind.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   Until his message started a movement.


    SANDERS:  We're doing something pretty radical.  We are telling the truth.  Have the courage to take on the special interests who are preventing us from going forward.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   But how does Bernie Sanders bounce back this time?


    HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I will stand up and fight for you (INAUDIBLE) all the way into the White House.


    SANDERS:  If you believe that issues can be addressed by the establishment politicians, you've got a very good candidate to vote for, but it's not Bernie Sanders.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   On Tuesday, he'll have to prove he has a path to victory.


    SANDERS:  When we stand together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   This is an MSNBC exclusive town hall with Senator Bernie Sanders from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.


    Here now is Chris Hayes.


    CHRIS HAYES, HOST:  Welcome.




    HAYES:  Welcome to the National Constitution Center here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of five states that will be voting tomorrow.  And when this whole campaign began, there were more than 20 candidates in the race.  And if you took bets when it began on who the last five would be, a lot of people would have lost money.  And one of the reasons they would have lost money is the man I can introduce right now.


    It's my great pleasure to welcome senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders.




    HAYES:  How are you, Senator?




    HAYES:  Does this -- does this happen everywhere, like when you go to get coffee now or is that...






    HAYES:  Yes.


    Um, we're here in Pennsylvania.  You've got five states tomorrow.  Those five states are -- are Northeastern, Eastern Seaboard states.  They're not the deep South, where you had a hard time.  They're not the Plains States, where you had some real good wins.


    Um, how do you feel about tomorrow?


    SANDERS:  I feel pretty good.  I think if the turnout is high, if -- if working people come out in large numbers, if young people come out, I think the message, Chris, that we are bringing forth, that it's too late for establishment politics, that it is insane that today, almost all new income and wealth has gone to the top 1 percent, that we are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave, not to guarantee health care to all people, that is a message resonating in Pennsylvania, it's resonating in Connecticut, it's resonating all over this country.






    HAYES:  The primary calendar, uh, June 7th is a big date.  It's the California and some other states.


    SANDERS:  Right.


    HAYES:  The 14th is DC.


    SANDERS:  Right.


    HAYES:  As of the 14th, everyone will have voted...


    SANDERS:  Right.


    HAYES:  -- in the territories.  Right now, you're at 45 percent of pledged delegates, Secretary Clinton is at 55 percent.  She's got about 2.7 million more votes.


    SANDERS:  By the way, that's not quite accurate, because I think a lot of the votes cast in the caucus states have not been counted and we've won some of those states by 70 percent.


    HAYES:  But you would agree that she's won more?


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    HAYES:  On the 14th, um, do you agree that the person who's won the most pledged delegates and the most votes is going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party?


    SANDERS:  This is what I believe.  Now, I know the media has got into all of the process issues.  What this campaign is about is transforming the United States of America.  What this campaign is about is bringing millions of people into the political process.  And I'm very proud of the -- the fact that we have had (INAUDIBLE) to do that.


    Now, at the end of the process, you know, frankly, if we are behind in the pledged delegates, I think it's very hard for us to win.  But I think we are going to make the case, also, that if you look at the polling and if you look at reality, I believe -- and I'm not the only one who believes this -- that we are the stronger campaign in taking on Donald Trump or any other Republican candidate.  And I think that most of -- most Democrats out there, more than anything -- correctly so -- want to make sure that some right-wing Republican doesn't become president of the United States.




    HAYES:  Let me ask you about that because...




    HAYES:  -- and I -- I sort of share your feeling about process, frankly.  I mean I know the...


    SANDERS:  My response is then let's now talk about process all afternoon.


    HAYES:  Well, but -- but -- right.  On, and I agree.  But -- but there's also a principal aspect to it.


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    HAYES:  I mean the -- the principle is Democrat control of the Democratic Party...


    SANDERS:  Right.


    HAYES:  -- in the sense of you want the person who got the most votes to be the nominee.


    SANDERS:  Look, you also -- let's talk about principles.  Hundreds and hundreds of super delegates, parts of the Democratic establishment, voted for Hillary Clinton...


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  -- or pledged to come on board her campaign before I even announced my candidacy.


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  And those people have a right to rethink the decision that they made.  And if they conclude, for a dozen different reasons, that we are a stronger campaign -- and by the way, this is not just talking off the top of my head, virtually every poll that's out there, as you know, shows that Bernie Sanders is better against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton because nobody gets other Republican candidates.


    Should that be taken into consideration?


    Yes, I do.  I think so.


    HAYES:  How hard do you see yourself pressing that case?


    SANDERS:  Look, again, the issue to me right now is we've got five states tomorrow, if -- we've got 10 remaining states, including the largest state in this country.  And what I'm going to focus on is the burning issue facing the American people that we have got to talk about.


    Why is it that the middle class has been declining for the last 35 years?


    Are we happy that 58 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.


    Are we doing enough to address the crisis of climate change and make sure that the planet that we leave our children and grandchildren is a healthy planet.


    Are we happy with the corrupt campaign finance system, which super PACs and billionaires are buying elections.


    Those are the issues that we have got to focus on.


    HAYES:  One of the...




    HAYES:  -- one of the sort of sources of your -- of your -- your critique, right, when you talk about why the system is broken, um, has to do with an answer you gave to my colleague, Chuck Todd, about turnout in states and, um, you said something about, you know, a -- lower voting turnout of poor people, right?


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    HAYES:  And -- and you got some heat for that.  It is (INAUDIBLE)...


    SANDERS:  Why did I get heat on it?


    Poor people...


    HAYES:  A...


    SANDERS:  -- voted for -- voted (INAUDIBLE)...


    HAYES:  Right.




    SANDERS:  Look, let's be clear, this is the (INAUDIBLE)...


    HAYES:  And that -- and it explains a lot, right?


    SANDERS:  Let's be clear, the Clinton campaign has a super PAC.  They have 30 people on the Internet who pick up on everything and then they create this kind of, you know, narrative.


    Here is the facts, all right, dispute it if you want with me.  In the last election in 2014, 63 percent of the American people didn't vote.


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  It's not a very vibrant democracy, to my mind.  Eighty percent of young people, and as I understand it, 80 percent of low income people did not vote.  That's a fact.


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  All right?


    So what was my point?


    Low income people are not voting in large numbers.  I think that's a tragedy.  I want to see if we can change that.


    HAYES:  That -- that brings me to what...




    HAYES:  -- ultimately you set up -- you set up this campaign that, in some ways, cast its own (INAUDIBLE), right, because the -- the campaign is about this political revolution, as you say.  It's about breaking down the barriers of who does and doesn't participate.


    SANDERS:  This campaign is about...


    HAYES:  You said...


    SANDERS:  -- taking on the entire establishment, the Democratic establishment, the financial establishment and in Clinton's campaign, the most powerful political organization in the United States of America.


    This campaign is about starting off 60 points behind Secretary Clinton and, by the way, in the last couple of weeks, a few polls had us ahead of her nationally.


    All right, that's what this campaign is about.




    HAYES:  What have you learned, then, about what you've succeeded and failed at when you think about turning out precisely the kinds of people that don't -- that under vote in American politics?


    SANDERS:  I think it's very difficult.  I think there are -- and this is a real American tragedy.  There are millions of people, working class people and low income people who turn on the television and you know what they see?


    Nothing being talked about the reality of their lives.  They listen to what goes on in Congress, they can't for -- afford to feed their kids.  They can't pay for their electric bills because we have 47 million people living in poverty.  And they see Congress debating tax breaks for billionaires and candidates taking huge sums of money from the wealthy and the powerful.


    And they conclude -- and it's kind of hard to argue with them -- that the system is -- the political system is corrupt.  And they are saying and candidates taking huge sums of money from the wealthy and the powerful.


    And they conclude -- and it's kind of hard to argue with them -- that the system is -- the political system is corrupt.  And they are saying to themselves, why do I want to participate in this charade?


    Now, we are trying -- and we've had really good success with young people.  I think we're bringing out a whole lot of young people, to some degree with working class people and maybe with low income people.


    But it is very, very hard to tell people who are struggling now and seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent, that they should get involved in the political process, that their voices actually matter.


    HAYES:  So there's -- there's other folks, um, who have been running -- talking about some of those same things.  Um, you've -- you've endorsed a few of them, raised money for a few of them.


    There's a guy here in -- in Pennsylvania named John Fetterman.  He's the mayor of a town named Braddock.




    HAYES:  I had him on the show, an interesting guy.  The town has had a really hard time because of trade, because of the steel industry essentially dying.


    He endorsed you.  He says he feels basically like he's a -- sitting there without a -- with a corsage, waiting for the -- (INAUDIBLE) the Sanders mutual endorsement.


    SANDERS:  Well, I -- I honestly don't know John and I've heard just a little bit about him.  Um, what we are trying to do now, we have endorsed and gotten some money to some candidates and I hope they win.  I just don't know enough about, uh, John, to be honest with you.


    HAYES:  Um, there's -- this -- this connects to another question people have, which is about this movement that you've built.


    SANDERS:  I haven't built it.  This is a movement of millions of people who are beginning to stand up and fight back.


    HAYES:  But you've -- you've facilitated (INAUDIBLE)...


    SANDERS:  I am the candidate for president that many of them...


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  -- are supporting.


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    HAYES:  And so then the question becomes, to a lot of people, you know, you -- look, a year ago, I don't -- you were not a Democrat, right?


    You -- now you are one of the most powerful Democrats in America.


    Whatever happened after that?


    Whatever happened?


    You've raised more money than anyone ever, right?


    SANDERS:  No, I've raised more money than anyone ever?


    HAYES:  Up to this point, you are (INAUDIBLE)...


    SANDERS:  Oh, you mean...


    HAYES:  -- in primary hard dollars.


    SANDERS:  -- no, Hillary Clinton -- Clinton has raised more money than we have.  She has a couple of super PACs (INAUDIBLE)...


    HAYES:  Right.  In hard -- in hard dollars, and particularly in small donors, right, you've done (INAUDIBLE)...


    SANDERS:  We have -- this is -- let me be very clear about this.  I am enormously proud.  This campaign, our campaign, does not have a super PAC, does not want a super PAC.  What we have done is received over seven million individual campaign contributions, averaging $27 apiece.


    I am enormously proud of that.




    HAYES:  So the question then is...




    HAYES:  -- we have seen before, um, campaigns -- we have seen before campaigns that were able to ignite, uh, tremendous passion from folks, volunteer, knock on doors, give money, right, because of all of the things you're talking about.


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    HAYES:  And then the campaign goes away and what do you say to those folks that are supporting you about what endures from this, no matter what happens...


    SANDERS:  Well...


    HAYES:  -- in this outcome?


    SANDERS:  -- what I would say, for a start, it will be a lot easier for us to mobilize and endure if I am elected president of the United States (INAUDIBLE)...




    SANDERS:  -- because this is why.




    SANDERS:  And every day I say this, Chris, and I suspect you've heard me say it more than one, and that is that no president, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else, can transform this country in the way we have to transform it, because of the power of the big money interests.  Wall Street has an endless supply of money.  Corporate America would shut down a plant in Pennsylvania tomorrow if they can move to China and make another five bucks.  The corporate media very much determines the kind of conversation we have.


    Your particular station is owned by whom?


    HAYES:  Comcast.


    SANDERS:  Comcast.


    HAYES:  NBC Universal.


    SANDERS:  There we go, one of the more popular corporations in America.


    HAYES:  Yes.




    SANDERS:  And -- and, you know, and you've got wealthy campaign contributors.  And the only way -- and let me -- let me repeat it again -- the only way we transform this country, and this I believe from the bottom of my heart -- is when millions of people stand up, fight back and demand that we have a government that represents all of us, not just the 1 percent.




    HAYES:  So we've got some great folks here, uh, in the audience.  We're going to take some audience questions.


    The first comes from David Zakubuwetz (ph).


    He's a 20-year-old U Penn student who supports you.




    SANDERS:  Hi, David.


    DAVID ZAKUBUWETZ:  So, first, I want to say as a student, I'm very excited to be voting for the first time tomorrow for you.


    So thank you.




    ZAKUBUWETZ:  My question is, many of your supporters are staunchly opposed to Hillary Clinton and are considering writing you in, voting for a third party candidate or not voting at all if you don't win the nomination.


    I believe you will win the nomination and the presidency, but if you don't, will you encourage your supporters to vote for Secretary Clinton?


    SANDERS:  Well, David, thanks for the question.


    And let me answer it, uh, in this way.  Um, first, um, I think it is, you know, we are not a movement where I can snap my fingers and say to you or to anybody else what you should do, because you won't listen to me.  You shouldn't.  Uh, you'll make these decisions yourself.


    I think if we end up losing -- and I hope we do not -- and if Secretary Clinton wins, it is incumbent upon her to tell millions of people who right now do not believe in establishment politics or establishment economics, who have serious misgivings about a candidate who has received millions of dollars from Wall Street and other special interests.


    She has got to go out to you and to millions of other people and say, yes, I think the United States should join the rest of the industrialized world and take on the private insurance companies and the greed of the drug companies and pass a Medicare for all.


    I think that says Secretary Clinton, that for the young people in this country, you should not have to leave college $30,000, $50,000, $70,000 in debt because we're going to make as many other countries around the world do, public colleges and universities tuition-free.  I think Secretary Clinton is going to have to explain to millions of young people and a lot of other people that climate change is a real crisis and incrementalism is just not going to solve it.  That's...








    SANDERS:  And she is going to have to come on board and say, yes, I know it's hard, but I am going to take on the fossil fuel industry and pass a carbon tax.


    So the -- the point that I am making is, it is incumbent upon Secretary Clinton to reach out not only to my supporters, but to all of the American people, with an agenda that they believe will represent the interests of working families, lower income people, the middle class, those of us who are concerned about the environment and not just big money interests.


    HAYES:  There is -- there are Hillary Clinton supporters who I talk to, um, people who -- some of whom are -- are die hard (INAUDIBLE) they voted for her, they like you, they like your politics.  But it -- but there is concern that thing you said at the beginning of that answer strikes me as important.  You can't snap your fingers.  I mean people -- this thing is big and people are very passionate.


    Um, you know, you have Tim Robbins' gun event for you.  He Tweeted something today about the elections being stolen.  And Rosario Dawson mentioned Monica Lewinsky and all of that is going to come out in the wash, I agree.


    But the question for you is, if it's incumbent on her, what role do you have if and when you come to that moment?




    SANDERS:  Good (ph).




    SANDERS:  Fair question.




    SANDERS:  I work with Republicans in the U.S. Senate and I see what they do in the House.  I think the Republican Party today has moved so far to the right that they are way, way, way out of touch with where the American people are.


    These are people who almost without exception do not even recognize the reality of climate change, let alone want to anything about it.


    They want to cut Social Security and give tax breaks to billionaires.  They want to end the Affordable Care Act, but they have nothing to replace it with.


    I will do everything in my power to make sure that no Republican gets into the White House in this election cycle.




    HAYES:  Um, all right, we are going to take a quick break and we will be back right here at the National Constitution Center with more questions from the (INAUDIBLE).








    HAYES:  We are back here in the National Constitution Center with Bernie Sanders in a town hall.


    We have a question now from Becky Cerna (ph), who is at U Penn studying nursing and is undecided.




    BECKY CERNA:  Hi.  My name is Becky and my parents are undocumented immigrants who arrived from Mexico so that I could have opportunities that they could only dream of.  This has come with a life full of personal sacrifices and economic hardship.


    You propose to implement immigration reform that will create a path to full and equal citizenship.


    How will you ensure that after implementation, immigrants like my grand -- like my parents, aren't treated as second class citizens?


    SANDERS:  Um, Becky, thank you for the question.


    Uh, we have 11 million undocumented people in this country today.  Many of them are being exploited because when you don't have any legal rights, your employer can take advantage of you.


    Many of them are living in fear and living in the shadows.


    So I believe absolutely that we have to move aggressively toward comprehensive immigration reform.


    My dad was an immigrant.  He came to this country at the age of 17.  I know a little bit about the immigrant experience.


    Comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship.


    Now, my concern is that if Congress does not do what it should do and pass that legislation, I will pick up where President Obama left office and use the executive powers of the presidency to do everything that I can to make your parents safe in this country and not afraid.


    And the other thing that I will do, where I do disagree with President Obama, I will end the deportations (INAUDIBLE).




    HAYES:  All right, um, we now have Natalie Herbert.


    She is getting a PhD from the Annenberg School of Communications at U Penn and supports Hillary Clinton.


    NATALIE HERBERT:  Thank you, Senator Sanders.


    SANDERS:  Thank you.


    HERBERT:  So much of your campaign rhetoric is about revolutionary politics.  But so much of a president's job is inherently tied to institutions and bureaucracies as they exist.


    So, how do you keep the revolutionary spirit alive despite these constraints?


    SANDERS:  OK.  Thank you.


    Um, you're right in saying that a lot of the day to day work is going to take place in Capitol Hill and it's messy and there's a lot of negotiating.  What I will tell you is that when I was in the House, in a given number of years, I ended up passing more amendments on the floor of the House working with Republicans than any other member of the House.  I can work with Republicans.


    Just a few years ago, I helped pass, as chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, the most comprehensive veterans legislation in modern history...




    SANDERS:  -- working with John McCain and a number of other Republicans.


    So if the question is, can I sit down, you know, with conservative people like Chris here and negotiate with them...




    SANDERS:  -- yes, I can do that.


    But let me also say this, and this is important.  At the end of the day, the powers that be, the powers who control -- people who control the Congress, the big money interests and Wall Street, they are not going to allow the kind of real change that this country needs, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ending our disastrous trade policies so that corporate America starts investing in this country rather than China, making sure that women do not continue to earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to men, aggressively addressing climate change, making sure that public colleges and universities are tuition-free.


    That is not going to be done by Congress itself.  That requires a political revolution.  And as president of the United States, what I would do is use the bully pulpit in an unprecedented way to rally the American people to demand that the Congress listens to their needs, not just the needs of wealthy campaign contributors.




    HAYES:  President Obama...




    HAYES:  -- President Obama, when he came into office, had this new, unprecedented thing called Obama for America, right, where they...


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    HAYES:  -- they basically preserved the campaign organization...


    SANDERS:  Right.


    HAYES:  -- and...


    SANDERS:  Right.


    HAYES:  -- full disclosure, my brother worked for them.  He was an organizer.  Um, and that proved tough, in a lot of ways, for it to work.  Um, part of that, I think, had to do with the inherent tension between being the president of the United States and outside power.


    What have you learned from that?


    What is the model, if that -- if that seemed to not do what you're talking about...


    SANDERS:  Actually, I talked to the president about that.  And from what he, you know, indicated, it's tough.  And it is tough.  It is really tough.


    Uh, but I think that one of the most important things that a president can do is to help ordinary people come together in a variety of grassroots organizations to put the pressure on the Congress to counterbalance the pressure that Wall Street and wealthy campaign contributors now exert.


    For example, let me just give you one example and on this one, I am 100 percent sure that I'm right.


    If the young people of this country stood up and were very loud and clear that they are sick and tired of leaving college $30,000, $50,000, $70,000 in debt, that they want public colleges and universities tuition-free, and if millions of them stood up, started emailing, writing and demonstrating, without the slightest doubt, that is exactly what would happen.




    SANDERS:  So the question is, this is what the American people want.


    The question is, how we put together...


    HAYES:  Right.


    SANDERS:  -- that type of grassroots organization...


    HAYES:  But that's a hard thing to do.


    SANDERS:  It is a hard thing to do.  But for the future of this country, that is exactly what has to be done.


    Let me say this about the president...


    HAYES:  Yes.


    SANDERS:  -- somebody I love and have enormous respect for.  I think because he is such a decent guy, in many respects, he actually believed that he could walk into the Oval Office and sit down with Republicans and negotiate in good faith.  He was wrong about that.  Republicans had no intention of ever negotiating in good faith.  What they wanted to do was obstruct, obstruct, obstruct in an unprecedented way.


    And it took the president a number of years to learn that lesson.  He knows it now and that's why his pen (ph) and executive orders are flying out.  I have learned that lesson.  I will know that when I get into the Oval Office.


    HAYES:  Do you predict that would -- whoever the Democratic president, should there be a Democratic president elected in January of next year, do you believe they will be met with functionally that same attitude?


    SANDERS:  Yes.  I think the Republican Party, as I mentioned a moment ago, has moved very, very far to the right.  Obviously they are beholden to the wealthy corporate interests, but they are now also beholden to an extreme right wing base, you know, people who are active in the horrific, you know, Trump ethic, on the birther movement, people who are very hostile to immigrants.


    You see Trump talking about and referring to Mexicans as racists and criminals, wanting to ban Muslims from coming into this country.  And those concepts do have a certain support.


    So do I think if I became president that we'd run into that type of obstructionism?  Yes, I do.


    HAYES:  Terry (ph) Smith, legal aid lawyer, undecided until the issue that she is going to, I believe, ask you a question about.


    QUESTION:  Senator Sanders, I was surprised and disappointed to hear you oppose Philadelphia's efforts to bring universal preschool to all kids through a tax on big soda distributors.  Here in Pennsylvania we have a state legislature that doesn't adequately fund our existing public schools, and importantly, we also have a constitution that prohibits us from taxing just the wealthy.


    So given those constraints, I'm interested in hearing your ideas for funding winnable anti-poverty agendas like pre-K for all.


    SANDERS:  First of all, please do not be disappointed in my views on pre-K.  I believe that we have right now in my state and in Pennsylvania a dysfunctional pre-K system, which is a national disgrace.  That we have child care workers who make less than McDonald's employees, where we have parents who cannot find quality affordable childcare.  


    We have kids who are entering school way behind because they are not getting the intellectual or emotional nourishment that they need.  I believe absolutely, and if elected president one of my priorities would be to establish a cutting-edge high-quality pre-K system in every state in this country.  I can't think of many things that are more important to me than that.


    But when it comes to funding these programs, at a time when we have massive income and wealth inequality, when the top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, when 58 percent of all the income goes to the top 1 percent, to ask poor people to pay for that, it's wrong.  You are taking money from the people who are hurting the most.


    So please count me in as somebody who will aggressively lead the effort for universal, high quality childcare, but I believe it has to be funded in a progressive way.  The wealthy and large corporations are going to have to pay for it.




    HAYES:  A follow-up on that because I think it's a really tricky issue and there are people of all kinds of politics on either side of the issue.  You know, the big soda companies are on the same side of that, right.  And they have poured -- I saw them pour millions of dollars in New York City to fight that.  And that's their argument, right.  I mean, how do you feel when you end up on the same side as them?


    SANDERS:  Look, big soda companies will do what they do.  And let me also be clear.  I am more than aware of the negative role that sugar is playing in terms of obesity and health in the United States.  But what we have got to do is to have progressive taxation.


    Look, and I don't want to have to repeat it, the truth is the very, very rich are becoming much richer.  Almost everybody else is becoming poor.  It is absurd to go to some of the poorest people and raise their taxes.  And by the way, this tax, if I recall, is three cents an ounce.  Twelve ounce bottle of soda, that's 36 cents, times five sodas week, that's two bucks, 100 bucks a year.  If you don't have a lot of money, you know, that's a lot.


    So I think what we have got to do is to understand that nationally we need progressive taxation.  There are corporations, Chris, right now who make billions of dollars a year in profit, stash their money in the Cayman Islands, not paying a nickel in federal taxes.  I intend to and that.




    There are multimillionaires and hedge fund operators who pay an effective tax rate lower than many of the people here.  I intend to end that.


    So the argument is not whether we have a high quality pre-K system.  We must do that.  The argument is that we have got to fund it by asking the wealthiest people who are doing phenomenally well to start paying their fair share of taxes.


    HAYES:  Going to take a quick break, and we've got some more from the National Constitution Center in just a minute.  Don't go anywhere.




    HAYES:  We are back at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  We've got a whole bunch of folks with questions on the issues, and Senator Bernie Sanders who wants to answer those questions.  Do not go anywhere.  We will be back with much, much more.




    HAYES:  We are back at the National Constitution Center with Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democratic nominee for president.  And our next question comes from Suleiman Rahman (ph), who is 48 years old and undecided.  Mr. Rahman.


    QUESTION:  I want to ask a similar question that was posed to Secretary Clinton about there has been a lot of talk around mass incarceration.  Can you speak to, as president, how you will address the issue around the collateral consequences of convictions around housing, around employment, around education.


    SANDERS:  Thank you for that important question.  As a nation we should be profoundly embarrassed that we have more people in jail than any other country on earth.  We spend $80 billion a year locking up 2.2 million people, disproportionately African-American, Latino and Native American.


    For a thought, what I would propose is when we have unemployment rates of minority kids of 40 or 50 percent, that maybe it makes more sense to invest in jobs and education for those kids rather than jail and incarceration.




    Second of all, we need to end over-policing, and we need to de-militarize local police departments so they don't look like occupying forces.


    Thirdly, we need to make police departments reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.  Number four, we need to make sure that we end private ownership of prisons and detention centers.  And very importantly, and Secretary Clinton and I have a big difference of opinion on this, I think we really need to rethink the war on drugs.




    Now it turns out that in the last 30 years millions of people have received criminal records because of possession of marijuana.  And it turns out also, interestingly enough, that the white community and the black community do marijuana at about equal levels.  But blacks are four times more likely to be arrested than whites.  So this becomes a racial issue and not just a criminal justice issue.


    I would take marijuana out of the Federal Controlled Substance Act.


    HAYES:  Senator, some of sort of the knock-on effects of a criminal justice conviction, particularly a felony conviction, that Mr. Rahman just mentioned, are punitive across the board, right.  Student aid, living in public housing.  Some of that comes from the '94 crime bill.


    That was a bill that you got on the floor and said there was a lot about this bill I don't like.  You also voted for it.  Was that a mistake?


    SANDERS:  Well, it's one of these things where you have a -- has the bill had absolutely horrendous impact in terms of mass incarceration?  Absolutely.  Is that an awful thing?  Yes it is.  It also had in it, when you sit there and vote, the Violence Against Women Act.  And I worked very hard as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, trying to end domestic violence.


    It also had in it, as you know, the ban on assault weapons.  And I have believed from way back when that assault weapons should not be sold or distributed in the United States of America.  These are weapons design not for hunting but to kill people.


    So, you know, I could see if I had voted against the bill, you know, there would be 30-second ads saying, Bernie Sanders didn't vote to ban assault weapons, didn't support women in the fight against domestic violence.


    But here is the more important point.  It has had a disastrous impact and we've got to undo the damage that it caused.


    HAYES:  Obviously you can't go back in time, right.  But you learn things about votes -- because all votes, frankly, have some stuff on one side or the other.  I mean, do you wish you had that vote back?




    SANDERS:  I wish I had a different piece of legislation.  I wish that I could vote for the Violence Against Women Act.  And I want to see assault weapons banned in the United States, weapons that were used in Sandy Hook and in other areas.


    So what we need to do, it doesn't -- you know, 1994 was a long time ago.  What we need to do now is address this very serious issue.  And I have said this.  Let me repeat it again, that if elected president, by the end of my first term we will not have more people in jail than any other country.


    Now the other point that you made, and I thought you were going there, is many people who have felonies in this country, believe it or not 2 million people, lose their right to vote and participate in the political process.  My state of Vermont is one of the few states that allows felons to vote.  I think we should do that nationally.




    HAYES:  It's been interesting to watch the '94 crime bill being debated in this.  I think in the case of Secretary Clinton, if you asked her or people said, what's the biggest vote she regrets, I think people would say it's Iraq.  I think she would say that.  That's a sort of obvious answer to that.


    What is your answer to that question?  What is the piece of legislation in the 40 years you have done this where you think to yourself, I got that one wrong?




    SANDERS:  Well, you know, Chris, it's hard.  I've cast many, many thousands of votes, and there was one vote where it was almost unanimous in the House on de-regulating derivatives and so forth.  I should've voted the other way.  I mean, like four people -- you know, I had help lead the effort against de-regulation.  That was a bad vote.


    But I'll tell you something.  As I look back on my voting record, you know, Secretary Clinton -- and I don't mean to be overly partisan here -- supported DOMA in 1996, and that is the Defense of Marriage Act, which I think she has since apologized for.  It was a homophobic piece of legislation.  Back then it was not easy to vote against that piece of legislation, all right.  I voted against that piece of legislation.




    Back in the early 1990s, when all of corporate America and all Republicans and many Democrats were pushing these disastrous trade agreements, NAFTA and later CAFTA and permanent noble trade relations with China, I didn't vote for any of them.  I helped lead the opposition to them.


    So I'm not saying by any means that after thousands of those I did not cast a bad vote.  I did.  But I will say that time and time again I took on issues and voted -- cast votes that were unpopular at the time but turned out years later -- whether it's the vote against the war in Iraq, the vote against trade agreements, voting against DOMA, voting against the first Gulf war.  Those are votes that I cast.  They were not popular votes.  Those are the votes that I cast, and I'm proud of casting those votes.




    HAYES:  We'll be back with much more with Senator Sanders and live questions at the National Constitution Center in just a bit.  Don't go anywhere.





    HAYES:  We're back at National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, site of one of tomorrow's five big contests in the primary, and we have a question now from (Miguel Garces), he's 29 years old and he is supporting Senator Sanders.


    QUESTION:  Senator Sanders, you said that you think that the U.S. airstrikes are authorized under current law, but does that mean that the U.S. military can lawfully strike ISIS-affiliated groups in any country around the world?


    SANDERS:  No, it does not mean that. I hope, by the way, that we will have an authorization passed by the Congress, and I am prepared to support that authorization if it is tight enough so I am satisfied that we do not get into a never-ending perpetual war in the Middle East. That I will do everything I can to avoid.




    But the President, no President, has the ability willy-nilly to be dropping bombs or using drones any place he wants.


    HAYES:  The current authorization which you cite in what Miguel just quoted which is the authorization to use military force after 9/11. That has led to the kill list. This President -- literally, there is a kill list. There is a list of people that the U.S. government wants to kill, and it goes about doing it. Would you keep the kill list as President of the United States?


    SANDERS:  Look. Terrorism is a very serious issue. There are people out there who want to kill Americans, who want to attack this country, and I think we have a lot of right to defend ourselves. I think as Miguel said, though, it has to be done in a constitutional, legal way.


    HAYES:  Do you think what's being done now is constitutional and legal?


    SANDERS:  In general I do, yes.


    HAYES:  One more question -- the announcement today that the U.S. is going to send 250 Special Forces operators on the ground in Syria. Do you agree with that? Do you think that's permissible, given the fact that there has not been an authorization?


    SANDERS:  I think the -- look. Here's the bottom line. ISIS has got to be destroyed, and the way that ISIS must be destroyed is not through American troops fighting on the ground. ISIS must be destroyed and King Abdullah of Jordan has made this clear, that the war is for the soul of Islam and it must be won by the Muslim nations themselves.


    I think what the President is talking about is having American troops training Muslim troops, helping to supply the military equipment they need, and I do support that effort. We need a broad coalition of Muslim troops on the ground. We have had some success in the last year or so putting ISIS on the defensive, we've got to continue that effort.


    HAYES:  All right, the next question comes from (Monica Hunt).


    QUESTION:  Hello. How do you plan on protecting women's reproductive rights in all states?


    SANDERS:  You got it. I do. And I'll tell you how.




    I have a 100 percent, lifetime pro-choice voting record. I believe --




    Not only do I vigorously oppose Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, I think we should expand funding for Planned Parenthood ---




    And it is no secret that in states all over this country, in a dozen different ways, there are governors and legislatures who are trying to make it impossible for a woman to control her own body.


    I will use the Department of Justice to go after those states in every way that I legally can. I believe that in the United States of America women have that right to control their own body, and I find that, I must say, completely hypocritical for my Republican colleagues who tell us every day how much they hate government, how they want to get government out of our life, but they think that local state and federal government have the right to tell you and every woman in America what she can do with her body.


    That is hypocrisy.




    HAYES:  There's a very big abortion case before this eight member Court that is a challenge to the Texas law. That Texas law -- many people believe essentially it upheld death-row inmates in all but name. Meaning it wouldn't overturn it (CROSS TALK) how bid a deal is that court case to you?


    SANDERS:  Of course it's a big deal. And by the way, that is why it goes without saying, that if elected President, I will appoint or nominate people to the Supreme Court who number one are prepared to overturn Citizens United, a disaster and a (poor decision) and number two, absolutely protect a woman's right to choose.




    HAYES:  This has obviously been a contentious fight, on the Democratic side, although not, I think, the most contentious. There have been -- I went down in the archives to look at 2008, it got pretty ugly --


    SANDERS:  Yeah it did.


    HAYES:  -- and you know 1980 on the Republican side got pretty ugly and Kennedy and Carter -- there's a long list. One of the things that happens, sometimes in those contested intramural disputes is someone had the other person serve on their ticket or in their administration. Would you consider that in this case, either having Hillary Clinton on your ticket or being on hers?


    SANDERS:  Well let me just answer that question in exactly the way you knew I would answer it. And that is to say right now we are running as hard as we can to win this thing, and at the end of the process we'll take a look at what's going on, but right now my job is to get as many delegates as possible and try to win the nomination for President.




    But you knew that that would be my answer.


    HAYES:  Well we try.


    I've interviewed you probably dozens of times since you started running for President, and before that. And what’s happened in this campaign in some ways is things you've been talking about haven’t changed that much between before you were running for President and running for President. But you have found an audience for them that is bigger, I think it's fair to say, than when you were just a United States Senator from Vermont.


    You have also had to go out and politic in places where you didn't have to politic before. You're from Vermont. You've been in Baltimore, you've been in Philadelphia, been in Chicago. You are trying to run the Obama coalition, right? You are trying to -- you're running in the party of the first black president. What have you learned on this campaign about race in America, about the way this coalition operates? What have you learned -- what have you come away thinking, "I did not know before I ran for President, this, and now I know?"


    SANDERS:  How many hours do we have to discuss that? I mean, one of the extraordinary things about the experience of running for President is you learn just so, so much, and you meet so many extraordinary people.


    We have been -- I have been, obviously, to Flint, Michigan -- and let me tell you something Chris. I will never forget that experience as long as I live talking to a mother who described to me the breakdown of the cognitive capabilities of her daughter because that daughter was drinking poisoned water.


    And you ask yourself how that could possibly happen in the United States of America. You've heard me being critical of media more times than one, but I think people in America really don't know, not only what’s going on in Flint, Michigan, they don't know that the Detroit public school system is on the verge of a fiscal collapse. They don't know that in Baltimore, Maryland there are tens of thousands of heroin addicts. They don't know that in inner cities all over this country people are paying 40, 50, 60 percent of their limited incomes for housing, that there is not enough affordable housing. People do not really know what is going on in African-American communities where kids are suffering 40, 50, 60 percent rates of unemployment and what I have learned in this campaign, is if I get elected President we are gonna change national priorities.


    We're not just gonna rebuild communities in Iraq and Afghanistan, we're going to rebuild them in the United States of America.




    Hayes:  Senator Sanders, thank you very much. Everyone here at National Constitution Center, we thank you very much, (regret to leave) all these wonderful folks.


    Up next don't go anywhere, Rachel Maddow hosts another super town hall event with Hillary Clinton.




  • FULL TRANSCRIPT: Hillary Clinton Says "I'm Winning" in an MSNBC Town Hall Tonight

    Photo by Nathan Congleton for MSNBC

    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow moderated an hour-long town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today at the National Constitution Center in historic Philadelphia. The event also featured questions from the audience.  The full MSNBC town hall will air tonight on MSNBC at 9 p.m. ET following the hour-long town hall with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders moderated by Chris Hayes at 8 p.m. ET. 

    Photos will be available here.

    MSNBC.com write up: http://on.msnbc.com/1UdveRA

    Highlights and rush transcript are below. MANDATORY CREDIT: MSNBC

    Hillary Clinton says “I Am Winning”:

    I've got 10.4 million votes. I have 2.7 million more folks, real people, showing up to cast their vote, to express their opinion than Senator Sanders. I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Senator Obama when I ran against him in 2008 ever had over me. I am winning. And I'm winning because of what I stand for and what I've done (APPLAUSE) and what I stand for.

    On the Gender Makeup of Her Cabinet:

    RACHEL MADDOW:  Canada has a new prime minister, Justin Trudeau.  He promised when he took office that he would have a cabinet that was 50 percent women, and then he did it.  He made good on his promise.  Would you make that same pledge?

    HILLARY CLINTON:  Well, I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?

    On the Issue of Racism:

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: My question for you is, what as president you would do -- what initiatives, programs you would institute to address the racial and systemic racism that still exists and predates the glass ceiling for many twentysomethings like me?

    CLINTON: // Here are some things that I think we have to do.  Number one, we have to talk about it more and as a white person, I have to talk about it more and say that we are not a pro-racial society.  We still struggle with racism—It is not only wrong but it is holding us back because for every young woman like yourself -- ready, willing, able to get to work who is held back that not only hurts you, it hurts us.  We want as productive a society as possible.  So we have to enforce the civil rights law.  We have to use the bully pulpit which I intend to use to speak out about systemic racism every chance I get -- to talk to organizations like the American Bar Association in your case as a lawyer.  To speak up and say, "we still have work to do."



    CLINTON:  Victory is in sight. 


    UNKNOWN:  Hillary Clinton has the momentum.


    CLINTON:  This campaign is the only one, Democrat or Republican, to win more than 10 million votes.


    UNKNOWN:  And she's the GOP's number one target.


    TRUMP:  Crooked (ph) Hillary will not have a chance if I'm the nominee. We beat Hillary Clinton.


    UNKNOWN:  I beat Hillary consistently in every single back performance (ph).


    UNKNOWN:  And now, with five states in play, can Sanders pick up ground?


    SANDERS:  We beat Donald Trump by wider numbers than she does.


    UNKNOWN:  Or, will Tuesday be the turning point that propels her to the nomination?


    CLINTON:  Let's go out and win this election in all five states.


    UNKNOWN:  This is an MSNBC exclusive town hall with Secretary Hillary Clinton from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, here now is Rachel Maddow.


    MADDOW:  Welcome to Philadelphia. Welcome to our town hall with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I'm Rachel Maddow. I could not be more excited to be here. There are five states voting tomorrow, including the big one you're in, Pennsylvania, Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders down but not out in the polling. But the polls today show him closing in on Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton is in the lead but this thing is by no means sewn up, we have lots of things to talk about. 


    It really is great to have you all here. This is going to be fun. Please join me in welcoming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.




    CLINTON:  Thank you so much Philadelphia. I really appreciate it. I'm so happy to be here. This is great.


    MADDOW:  You're expecting a big day tomorrow.


    CLINTON:  Well, I always hope to do as well as I possibly can. We have been working really hard, I've got so many terrific friends and volunteers and organizers here in Pennsylvania and in the other four states. So we're going to work really hard until the polls close tomorrow.


    MADDOW:  We're doing these town halls tonight before this great body in Philly, you and Senator Sanders back to back. At this point in the primary I think a lot of people think no matter who gets the nomination, there is something that has changed in the Democratic primary because of this contest. I think a lot of people would describe it as Senator Sanders kind of putting his mark on the party, that after this contest the Democratic Party may be more populist, more aggressive on economic inequality, maybe more progressive overall. Do you see it that way?


    CLINTON:  Well I think that what we've had is a very spirited contest. Certainly we share a lot of the same goals. We have a commitment to doing something about inequality, more good jobs and rising incomes, we have a commitment to try to counter the much-too-heavy influence that money has, particularly by overturning Citizens United -- I think we diagnose the problems in very similar ways. But as I have said repeatedly, it's not enough just to diagnose the problem, you have to have solutions, you have to be able to demonstrate you can achieve results.


    And that's why throughout this campaign I've been laying out plans, I've been talking about what I'll do, I've been as specific as it's possible to be in a campaign, and I think voters respond to that. That's why -- you know I do have far more votes than anybody else. On either side. And I think it's because people want not just to understand better what we think the problem is but what are we going to do about it? Because at the end of the day that's what the real outcome should be about.


    MADDOW:  Senator Sanders has been asked about how this all ends. He seems to be saying now that even if you beat him in the primary it's not necessarily a given that he will implore all of his supporters to go out and work for you. He says that he thinks that they'll support you if basically you adopt some of his platform on the issues that are most important to him. He's specifically talked about Wall Street and some other things in his platform. Does that make sense to you? Is that something you'd be open to? Are there significant enough differences between you on what you'd like to do, for example about Wall Street, about the bridge too far?


    CLINTON:  Well Rachel, let's look where we are right now. I've got 10.4 million votes. I have 2.7 million more folks, real people, showing up to cast their vote, to express their opinion than Senator Sanders. I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Senator Obama when I ran against him in 2008 ever had over me. I am winning. And I'm winning because of what I stand for and what I've done (APPLAUSE) and what I stand for.




    Look, I think we have much more in common and I want to unify the Party, but my Wall Street plan is much more specific than his. We saw that when he couldn't even answer questions in the New York Daily News interview. I have laid out a very clear set of objectives about not just reining in the banks -- because we already have Dodd-Frank, which President Obama passed inside (ph) and I said I will implement it. But I've gone further.


    He has yet to join me in going after the shadow banking industry. So there are so many areas where I'm more specific, where I have a track record, where I explain what I will do and I think that's why I have 2.7 million more votes than he does.


    MADDOW:  Am I right in hearing that as basically you saying that there's nothing you're going to do differently than you're already doing as a way to try to win over his supporters, even at the end of the primary season?


    CLINTON:  Let's look at what happened in 2008, because that's the closest example. Then-Senator Obama and I ran a really hard race. It was so much closer than the race right now between me and Senator Sanders. We had (ph) pretty much the same amount of popular votes. By some measures I have (ph) slightly more popular votes. He has slightly more pledged delegates. 


    We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn't say, "You know what, if Senator Obama does x, y and z, maybe I'll support him. I said, "I am supporting Senator Obama, because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the Republicans." That's what I did.


    At that time 40 percent of my supporters said they would not support him. So from the time I withdrew, until the time I nominated him -- I nominated him at the Convention in Denver -- I spent an enormous amount of time convincing my supporters to support him. And I'm happy to say the vast majority did.


    That is what I think one does. That is certainly what I did and I hope that we will see the same this year. 


    MADDOW:  That was June 7, 2008 when you got out of the race and endorsed President Obama. June 7, 2016 will be the California primary, this year. Is that when -- if you're ahead in the vote, if you're ahead in pledged delegates, 






    CLINTON:  Now wait a minute. I have the greatest respect for Senator Sanders. But really, what he and his supporters are now saying just doesn't add up. I have 2.7 million more votes than he has. I have more than 250 more pledged delegates. I'm very proud of the campaign that we have run and the support we have gotten and of course we're gonna work together. I, as I said, I share a lot of the same goals. We are going to work together.


    But I am ahead and let's start from that premise when we talk about what happens next, OK?


    MADDOW:  Do you expect him to drop out June 7th?


    CLINTON:  That's up to him. I would never tell him what to do. Nobody told me -- I concluded after it was over in June that Senator Obama was going to be the nominee and I didn't want to hurt him. I didn't want to keep this going, so I stood up and said that it's over. And I withdrew.


    And then I went to work to help get him elected, and I'm very glad I did. It was good for the country. It was the right thing to do.


    MADDOW:  A lot of Republicans had verbial (ph) heart attacks this weekend when a gentleman by the name of Charles Koch, one of the billionaire Koch brothers, said that you might very well be a better president than either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Now I know that you don't want Charles Koch's endorsement, and you have said that, but it struck me that that might be a little bit of a preview of what's to come. 


    If Mr. Trump or Senator Cruz is nominated, I think a lot of Republicans will find them to be unacceptable as Republican nominees. If you were the Democratic nominee in that situation, do you have a plan to basically lobby for Republican votes? They're having a weird primary.


    CLINTON:  Well they are.




    It's not over yet, we don't know what the final outcome will be.


    MADDOW:  It could get really normal, real fast. 




    CLINTON:  That would be worth seeing. 


    And you know I tweeted I really am not looking for endorsements from people who deny climate change and who have the views that the Koch brothers have had for so many years, so I'm gonna stay focused on what I'm doing right now. I will let the Republicans come to an agreement, maybe it won't happen before their convention in July as to who will be the nominee because I have no idea what the latest alliance between Cruz and Kasich will be, that's for them sort out.


    But I'm gonna keep making the case to the American people about what I think we need to do right now to try to make sure we have broad-based prosperity, that we create opportunities for every American, get back to the basic bargain that I believe in, that if you work hard, you should get ahead and stay ahead, and your family should be coming right along with you. Focusing on education and healthcare and all the other issues that I've talked about and I've laid out specific plans about -- you know I know that for a long time people were saying," Why is she raising all these plans, you know? I mean my gosh, she has a plan for everything." 


    Actually when you run for President I think you should tell people exactly what you're going to do. You shouldn't make promises you can't keep. You shouldn't just rant and rave with a Trump-like demagoguery, you should tell people what you're going to do because you should want people to hold you accountable for actually delivering, and that's what I've tried to do.


    MADDOW: When you -- when you say you shouldn't make promises that you can't keep -- I know that you've reiterated that a number of times on the stand (ph), are you talking about about Senator Sanders when you say that?


    CLINTON: Well, I think that there certainly have been questions raised about the numbers not adding up for his college plan or his health care plan and those legitimate questions that people have to be able to ask and answer.  And again I would just refer to the New York Daily News interview which was a very long interview and certainly in New York people read it very carefully.  And it demonstrated that there weren't a lot of answers to some of the hard questions that were asked on both domestic and foreign policy.


    But you'll have a chance to ask him about that.  I think my goal is to keep talking about what I believe will work and I have said I will not raise taxes on middle class families because too many Americans haven't even yet recovered from the great recession and I think we can do what we need to do without having to even look at that.  Instead, we ought to be looking at making the wealthy pay their share of supporting our country.


    MADDOW: There's a lot of good people here from the state of Pennsylvania and beyond who want to ask you questions.  So I'm going to get out of the way.  Our first question is from Bob Whiteboard (ph).  Mr. Whiteboard (ph) is a councilmen in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  Hi, how are you?


    QUESTION: Good evening, Secretary Clinton.  


    MADDOW: Get close to that microphone.


    QUESTION: Good evening, Secretary Clinton ...


    MADDOW: There you go.


    CLINTON: Good evening.


    QUESTION: As a councilmen, a volunteer councilmen in a small borough of Montgomery County, I'm particularly concerned about how the Democratic party comes together after the primary and supports candidates down (ph) ballots.


    CLINTON: Right.


    QUESTION: Will you say what role you would trust Senator Sanders in, in the Clinton administration?


    CLINTON: Well, I can't answer that because obviously I don't have the nomination yet.  I'm not yet elected president but here's what I will say.  I'm already raising money for Democrats up and down the ballot.  I am dedicated to electing Democrats -- it's something that I've spent many years doing.  I am a Democrat and I want to see more Democrats elected from the small boroughs in Montgomery County to Philadelphia to across the country.  


    So you can count on me doing that because I feel very strongly that we need to have a vital, dynamic Democratic Party.  We need to recruit more people into it.  We need to have a bigger pipeline so that more people are taking local positions and then moving up the ladder and I want to be a very strong ally of elected Democrats across the country.


    MADDOW: Can I ask you as a follow-on to that.  It said at the outset that a lot of people have talked about Senator Sanders kind of putting his mark on the Democratic party.  Are we raising (ph) questions whether that's happening?  How will you change the Democratic party?


    CLINTON: Well, I think that we have some good examples from our two most recent Democratic presidents.  I happen to be looking hard at what my husband accomplished and what President Obama accomplished.  And I know there are some who raise questions about how much they could have done that maybe they didn't do but I had a front row seat both with the Clinton administration and the Obama administration.  And I know how hard they work and I know how much they got accomplished when they had a Democratic Congress.


    If you look at the first two years of my husband's administration, you look at the first two years of President Obama's administration and then what happened?  They pushed through a lot of changes.  They pushed through regulation on guns, they pushed through the Affordable Care Act.  They pushed through a lot.  The deficit reduction plan, the Dodd-Frank regulations. 


    What happened?  Democrats didn't show up in the midterm elections.  So here's how I want to change the Democratic party: I want to be absolutely clear that when we have a Democratic president we have to support that Democratic president and we have to show up in midterm.  And we have to elect governors and state legislatures and county officials because that's how you have the kind of broad based political campaign and the momentum you need to get change at all levels.


    Right now majority of states are run by Republican governors and we see what they're doing.  On choice, on voting rights, on LGBT rights.  It makes a difference so my job will be to make sure that the Democratic party is producing results through our elected officials, electing more Democrats and then convincing our supporters to turn out and vote in midterm elections.


    MADDOW: What's the Democratic party doing wrong now that that's not happening?


    CLINTON: I think that we are a party that is very focused on presidential elections.  That is just the way it seems to have historically (INAUDIBLE) ...




    MADDOW: You think that can be changed?


    CLINTON: I do absolutely think it can be changed.  I want to have the kind of emphasis on reaching out to voters and concerned citizens and elected officials that doesn't just happen every four years, that happens every month of every year.  And that is -- if you take a lesson from what the Republicans have done.  They're in trouble right now but they never quit working on electing Republicans, on creating the kind of base that they need to put people into office and we need to be doing exactly the same thing.


    MADDOW: There's lots more questions ahead of you.  We're going to take a quick break.  We'll be right back with Secretary Clinton.  We'll be right back.






    MADDOW: Welcome back to Philadelphia.  Welcome back to our MSNBC town hall with Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.  Let's stick with some more questions from our audience.  We've got (Evalisse Pilates) here.  She's a Democrat and she is undecided in this race.  Hi.


    QUESTION: Hi, Secretary Clinton.  I was born and raised in Harlem, New York to parents who struggled and suffered from drug abuse and poverty.  Like many black women, most of the men in my family have been in jail.  When I was born, my father held me and he said, "you're going to get an education," because like you he believed that education was the great equalizer.


    So I went to college, graduated with honors, I'm a practicing attorney and despite the fact that I'm intelligent, articulate and ambitious I face racial discrimination as a member of a profession that's almost 90 percent white.  My question for you is, what as president you would do -- what initiatives, programs you would institute to address the racial and systemic racism that still exists and predates the glass ceiling for many twentysomethings like me?


    CLINTON: Well, you are absolutely right.  We are still facing and struggling with systemic racism.  It's true in employment and promotion and other job opportunities.  It's true in education, it's true in health care, it's true in the criminal justice system.  That's why I talk about breaking down all the barriers.  We have economic barriers to be sure but we have very entrenched barriers of discrimination.


    So here are some things that I think we have to do.  Number one, we have to talk about it more and as a white person, I have to talk about it more and say that we are not a pro-racial society.  We still struggle with racism and it is ...




    CLINTON: It is not only wrong but it is holding us back because for every young woman like yourself -- ready, willing, able to get to work who is held back that not only hurts you, it hurts us.  We want as productive a society as possible.  So we have to enforce the civil rights law.  We have to use the bully pulpit which I intend to use to speak out about systemic racism every chance I get -- to talk to organizations like the American Bar Association in your case as a lawyer.  To speak up and say, "we still have work to do."


    When I was a young lawyer, I chaired the commission on women in the profession because there's also a lot of sexism still.  And even though we came up with a lot of good recommendations we still haven't fully implemented them and people are still not being fairly based on gender, based on race.  So I want to enforce the laws, I want to make it clear that this is unacceptable, I want to speak out about it and then I want to call people into the White House because one of the great powers of the president is to be the conveyer in chief.


    Bring people in and say, "you've got to do more and here are ideas that we have that have worked" -- excuse me.  "And you have to try to implement those."  And that's exactly what I intend to do because I don't want to see any young person held back because of any of these barriers.  And so I'm going to try to tackle all of them head on.


    MADDOW: Thank you very much.




    MADDOW: Our next question is from (Garrett Anderson).  (Garrett) is a registered Democrat and says he is leaning toward you.  Hi, (Garrett).


    QUESTION: Good evening, Secretary Clinton ...


    CLINTON: Lean, lean, lean ...




    QUESTION: So your opponent has been a strong supporter of the $15 national minimum wage.


    CLINTON: Right.


    QUESTION: You on the other hand have stood firm in your position that the federal minimum wage should be no more than $12 an hour.  In a city like Philadelphia, a significant number of citizens work minimum wage jobs and struggle paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet.


    CLINTON: Right.


    QUESTION: So if you were elected president, what would you tell these workers is a basis for denying them the additional $3 an hour?




    CLINTON: Well, first of all let me say this because I think the facts are important here.  The facts are obviously critical.  I have supported the fight for 15.  I supported raising the minimum wage in Los Angeles, in Seattle, in New York City and I stood with Governor Cuomo (ph) after he passed a $15 minimum wage increase in New York.  So what I have said is I wanted to align myself with the Democratic members of the Senate who have come around to a $12 national level.


    But I want to go higher than that in any place that will go higher than that.  That's why I have supported these cities and these states and in fact, in New York which Senator Sanders and others have called a model it works the way that I think it should.  You will get to $15 faster in the city than you will in the small towns and rural areas upstate.


    In Philadelphia you can probably get faster to 15 than you can in rural places in Pennsylvania.  So my goal is to raise the bottom.  Getting to 12 since we are at $7.25 would be a major accomplish and the real difference is not between Senator Sanders and myself.  We both want to raise the minimum wage.  The difference is with Republicans who do not and Donald Trump who actually says that wages are too high in America.


    So I think our battle has to be with the Democrats who want to raise it and are on the front lines doing so and the Republicans who refuse to acknowledge the terrible struggles that people are facing because you -- at $7.25, $9.50, $10 -- that's not enough.  So I'm going to continue to fight for 15 but I did go along with the other Democrats in the Senate who did a lot of work on this because if you have different parts of the country where they're not going to move.  


    They're not moving off of 7.25, let's get everybody to 12 and then index it to the cost of living so we don't have to keep voting on it.  It just keeps going on and that way we will solve this problem once and for all ...




    QUESTION: Thank you.


    MADDOW: We got a question now from Iron Benshay (ph) who is a Democrat who says he is undecided.  Hi.


    CLINTON: Hi.


    QUESTION: Hi.  Good evening.  Secretary Clinton, we've heard some ways in which we might expect a Clinton presidency to be similar to President Obama's but what are some points of differentiation that we might expect?


    CLINTON: Great question.  I think -- I agree with a lot of what President Obama has done and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for all that he has accomplished.  And in particular saving our economy from what could have been a great depression.  People I think now don't really remember how bad off we were.  So I do want to build but there are things that I want to go further on.


    I want to really make a big, big push on equal pay for women.  This has to finally be accomplished and ...




    CLINTON: I believe that if we start early and we are absolutely determined we can make a big change there.  I want to make a big push for early childhood education because we can talk all we want about our schools ...




    CLINTON: But if children come not prepared or able to learn we're never going to close the achievement gap.  I will make a big push for affordable college -- debt free tuition and to pay down student debt by allowing students to refinance their debt ...




    CLINTON: And I want to get the government out of the business of making money off of lending money to students.  I just disagree with that and ...




    CLINTON: I will build on the Affordable Care Act but I want to tackle the prescription drug costs and make sure that Medicare gets the authority to negotiate for lower drug costs and those costs are then spread throughout our health care system.  And I will make a very big push on mental health and addiction.  We are not doing enough in either area and we're paying a very big price.




    CLINTON: And then finally, let me just quickly say when it comes to criminal justice reform, I want to build on some of the recommendations that President Obama's policing commission has made because I think that we've got to do more to retrain our police forces.  We have to get best practices from those department that have good records.  We have to make sure that we deal with the -- what is called the school to prison pipeline and turn it into a cradle to college pipeline and also ...




    CLINTON: Go right after incarceration.  And then I really support everything President Obama said he would do through regulation on guns but we're going to start the very first day and tackle the gun lobby to try to reduce the outrageous number of people who are dying from gun violence in our country.  And I will take that on and (INAUDIBLE) ...




    MADDOW: Let me just follow with you briefly on the guns issue.  I'm struck -- here in Philadelphia the front page of the Inquirer today is half about this race that you're in and half about another shooting ...


    CLINTON: Right ...


    MADDOW: A shooting in a church in Montgomery County.  We just had eight people killed in Ohio, six people killed in Georgia.  President Obama has said it's the greatest frustration of his presidency that he hasn't been able to do more to stop gun violence in this country and I know what your platform is.  But what do you think that could get done that he has not been able to do?


    CLINTON: Well, in the last month he has come out with some very tough regulations and getting those implemented -- and I hope he gets them done before he leaves but I will certainly make sure they are -- they're executive orders.  They have to be re-introduced and signed with a new president.  That will give us a base we haven't had before to build on.  If we take back the Senate which I believe we can and you here in Pennsylvania have a real opportunity to help us take back the Senate by ...




    CLINTON: Electing a Democrat -- that the Democrats have decided they will be led by Chuck Schumer (ph) and Chuck Schumer (ph) has been one of the most effective legislators in taking on the gun lobby.  He and I work together to get the Brady bill passed way back in my husband's administration.  So I think that it's the kind of issue you have to start early, you have to work on it every day and we need to make it a voting issue.


    We were talking about people not showing up in midterm.  Well, that's when you can hold legislators, members of Congress accountable with -- if they continue to be intimidated by the gun lobby and indeed here in Pennsylvania and I see my friend Red Rendell (ph) there -- the legislature in Pennsylvania has passed some of the worse kind of legislation favoring the gun lobby.  It's just outrageous.


    And you have these killings going on in Philadelphia and it wasn't just this weekend.  Last weekend 12 people were shot, four people were killed.  There was a man executed on the streets here in Philadelphia.  Talking to somebody, running for office.  This is out of control and if anything were killing 33,000 Americans a year we would all be working as hard as we could to save lives.


    I am determined we're going to save lives and we're going to do it by taking on the gun lobby and getting common sense gun safety measures.  But we're also going to do it by addressing the gun violence culture.  Too many young in particular are turning to guns to settle disputes, grievances, resentments.  We have got to help our young people understand guns are never an answer and there have to be other ways.  And that's going to take all of us working in our schools, working through our churches and our houses of worship.


    We've got to break the grip of the gun culture on our young people because the number one leading cause of death for young African American men are guns.  It outranks the next nine together so this is a -- this is a health  issue, a safety issue, a cultural issue, and I'm going at it from the very first day.  I'm going to keep talking about it, and we are going to make it clear that this has to be a voting issue.  If you care about this issue, vote against people who give in to the NRA and the gun lobby all the time.




    MADDOW:  We'll have much more with Secretary Hillary Clinton.  Our town hall continues from Philadelphia.




    MADDOW:  We are back in beautiful Philadelphia with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is joining us on the eve of another big primary day.  Five states voting tomorrow, including Pennsylvania.


    Thank you again.  This is been a lot of fun so far.  Our audience has a lot more for you.  We are going to start with Ashley Gorham (ph), who is a registered Democrat who is undecided.  Hi, Ashley.


    QUESTION:  I'm going to lean in and vote for you tomorrow, don't worry.  My question is, there's been a lot of talk about feminism and what it means to be a feminist during this election cycle, and how our feminism should influence our voting.


    So my question is, what does it mean to you to be a feminist?


    CLINTON:  Well, I believe I am a feminist because I believe that women deserve the same rights as men in every aspect of our economy and our society, here at home and around the world.  And I have devoted...




    CLINTON:  You know, I've devoted a lot of my public life to advocating for women's rights being human rights, and making the case that we have to do everything we can, through laws, regulations, culture, to change the still-existing stereotypes that hold women back.


    And I think it's also really important to recognize that we have made progress but we are still a long way from where we need to be.  I know that if you look at pay, for example, equal pay is still a problem, and it's a problem that gets worse as you get older.


    So young women coming right into the workforce often are paid pretty close to equal, if not actually equally.  But within a few years there begins to be a disparity.  And it's hard to explain all of the difference because people claim, well, women make different choices and therefore they have a different kind of work life because of those choices but that does not explain all of it.


    I was with Lily Ledbetter a few days ago outside of Philadelphia here, and she was talking about how she never knew that she was paid 40 percent less than the men doing exactly the same job in the factory that she worked in.  Now what does that mean?  It meant that her family was cheated.


    It's not just a woman's issue.  If you have a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter who is working and they are not being treated fairly, the whole family suffers.  But so does the whole economy because we are a 70 percent consumption economy.


    The other thing Lily said which really struck me, because she was paid less, she will be paid less when she gets Social Security, which she is now on.  She is paid less because in her 401(k) not as much money was put in as was put in for everyone else.  So this has pervasive effects on women's lives and their well-being.  So I think we have to keep hammering the point.  


    I remember when I came back from making my speech in Beijing.  I went on one of the international radio programs that the United States sponsors and we were taking call-ins from around the world.  I got a call from the Middle East, and this man's voice said, what do you mean by saying that women have the same rights as men?


    And I said, well, I want you to shut your eyes and imagine everything you do.  What I mean is that every woman should have the same right to do everything you do.  And that's how we need to really stand up and speak out.  And we have to start early because a lot of little girls as they become teenagers, they begin to suffer all of these pressures on social media, on, you know, you're not good enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not this, you're not that.


    Stop it.  We need to build the confidence of our children, both girls and boys, to be able to go out into a complicated world and start their own futures.




    MADDOW:  Canada has a new prime minister, Justin Trudeau.  He promised when he took office that he would have a cabinet that was 50 percent women, and then he did it.  He made good on his promise.  Would you make that same pledge?


    CLINTON:  Well, I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?


    MADDOW:  So that's a yes?


    QUESTION:  (OFF MIKE) the lives of the women that are (inaudible) right now?


    MADDOW:  This is outside of our forum (ph).  Let me just rephrase the question for you.  Tell me if I get it right.  Asking about women and families in family -- immigration detention facilities.


    CLINTON:  Yes, I'm against that.  Absolutely I'm against that.  I've been against it for a long time.  I've said we should have family detention.  We should end private prisons and private detention centers.  They are wrong.  We should end raids and roundups, and when I am president we are going to get comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.  So we will end all of these problems at the time we are successful.




    MADDOW:  I'm going to bring in Ed Morgan.  Do we have Ed Morgan here?  Yes, we do.  He's a registered Democrat, he's undecided.  He's also a former letter carrier who now works as a political organizer for the Letter Carriers Union.  Mr. Morgan, thank you for being here.


    QUESTION:   Hello, how are you?


    CLINTON:  I'm great.


    QUESTION:  I'd like to ask your plan about keeping working class jobs in Pennsylvania from going overseas and out-of-state.


    CLINTON:  Right.  Well, I have a really robust jobs plan, and let me tell you about it because it includes exactly what you are asking about.  First, we need a much bigger investment in infrastructure jobs.  They can't be exported.  They have to be done in Pennsylvania.  So roads, bridges, tunnels, roads, water systems, ports and airports, we can employ literally millions of people over a ten-year period.


    Second, we need to bring back advanced manufacturing to Pennsylvania.  How are we going to do that?  Change the incentives in the tax code and override the incentives in the trade agreements that enable people to take jobs and move them overseas.  Instead, have them bring jobs back, because what we are finding, we are finding that there are economic benefits to do that so I want to incentivize them.


    And if any company in Pennsylvania ever took a penny of taxpayer dollars in tax abatements or grants or loans or anything that they got from the taxpayers, and if they move jobs out overseas, they are going to have to pay all of that back before they are permitted to leave.


    We are also going to look at how we use clean renewable energy to create more jobs because we have to deal with that.  And somebody is going to be the 21st century clean energy superpower.  It's either going to be China, Germany or us.  I want it to be us because there will be a lot of jobs, again, that have to be done right here in America.




    And finally, look, when I was a senator from New York, I stood up for a lot of workers, particularly union workers who were being disadvantaged by unfair trade around the world.  And I took after China, took after some of these other countries.  I am absolutely committed to making sure that we don't let those kinds of unfair trade practices cost us jobs anymore.


    So I'm going to take a lot of actions that will prevent that kind of exodus of jobs and make those countries and those companies pay a price.  That's the way to change their behavior, and that's what I intend to do.


    MADDOW:  We're going to take a quick break right now.  We'll be right back with more with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton life in Philadelphia.




    MADDOW:  Welcome back to Philadelphia.  You'll never believe what happened during the commercial break here.  Let's bring in William Cobb.  Mr. Cobb is a Democrat, says he is leaning toward Bernie Sanders.  He works for an advocacy group helping former prisoners re-enter society.  Mr. Cobb is a former prisoner himself.  He served time in the 1990s.  Mr. Cobb, thank you for being here.


    QUESTION:  Thank you for having me.


    Secretary Clinton, good to see you again.


    CLINTON:  Thank you.


    QUESTION:  I really appreciate the fact that you are now championing criminal justice reform.  However, what made the 1994 crime bill so powerful is that it was frontloaded with an investment of $30 billion, which put over 100,000 police on the streets, which gave states money to build prisons across our country.


    So my question to you is, if you are elected president of the United States, are you willing to make billion-dollar investments in restoring the lives of people and communities that have been adversely impacted by the 1994 crime bill?


    CLINTON:  The answer is yes.  And it's both on the front end because we need more diversionary programs so that young kids don't get caught up in the criminal justice system in the first place.  It also means addressing the systemic racism that I spoke with the young woman about because a young African-American man is more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated for doing exactly the same thing as a young white man who doesn't suffer any of that.


    So we are going to focus on the front end.  But we are also going to focus on the back end.  We need to have a lot more done to try to release nonviolent offenders, low-level offenders.  We need to get them out of our prisons and jails.  But then we've got to do something for them.


    And when you were introduced, it was said that you were working with ex-offenders.  I want us to have the best programs that are funded from the federal level to provide housing, job training, the kind of support that will enable young people to finish their education, to be able to get back into society.  And I've seen some excellent programs that are doing that.


    I visited one here in Philadelphia, Impact Services, where they are really working hard to help put the pieces together for people getting out of prison.  That has to be done at the federal level, and that requires a multibillion dollar investment.  And it's worth it because we need to be providing people with the services and support they deserve to be back in society.


    And then we need to restore voting rights for everybody.  And I intend to do that.




    MADDOW:  We've just got about one minute left.  I have one quick question to ask.  I'm taking personal privilege and asking it myself.  We have not had a president or vice president who has had significant military experience since George H.W. Bush in 1992.  I know you don't want to get ahead of yourself while you are still in this primary, but is military experience something that you would consider to be a political asset in a potential running mate?


    CLINTON:  Well, of course.  I mean, I think that our military serves was such distinction on behalf of our country.  Over the years as a senator and secretary of state I've gotten to know, you know, people at all ranks, particularly leaders of the various services.  So yes, of course it's an asset.


    And in the kind of complex, dangerous world we find ourselves in, we need all sorts of talent and experience.  So whether it's in a vice president or members of the cabinet or in the White House staff, I want as broad a set of experiences that I can possibly draw together because I'm someone who likes to listen to, you know, people who come at problems from different perspectives, even argue among themselves about it, because I think we get to a better solution.  And that would certainly be how I would go about it.


    MADDOW:  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Thank you so much for making time to be with us today.


    CLINTON:  You're welcome.




    MADDOW:  Thank you (inaudible) in Philadelphia.  I want to thank our great audience at the National Constitution Center here in Philadelphia.  It's been a great night.




  • FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Gov. John Kasich Moderated By Chris Matthews

     FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Gov. John Kasich Moderated By Chris Matthews 

    MSNBC’s Chris Matthews moderated an hour-long town hall with Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) today for Long Islanders in Jericho, New York. The event also featured questions from the audience.  The full Kasich Town Hall will air tonight on MSNBC at 7 p.m. ET followed by the Cruz Town Hall moderated by Chuck Todd at 8 p.m. ET. 

    Photos will be available here. Below is a rush transcript of the town hall.

    NBCNews.com write up: http://nbcnews.to/1qskR0e

    Photo credit: Brian Ach for MSNBC






    ANNOUNCER:  Donald Trump's biggest rival is Ted Cruz.


    CRUZ:  There's only one campaign that has beaten Donald Trump over and over again.


    ANNOUNCER:  But John Kasich may be Trump's biggest problem.


    KASICH:  Nobody is going to have enough delegates to go to the convention and win on the first ballot.


    TRUMP:  Kasich shouldn't be allowed to continue, and the RNC shouldn't allow him to continue.


    KASICH:  Donald Trump has created a toxic environment.


    ANNOUNCER:  Could a strong finish in New York give Kasich real momentum?


    KASICH:  These people think I'm going to drop out.  What are they, nuts?


    ANNOUNCER:  Can he be more than just a spoiler at the convention?


    KASICH:  Great leaders don't divide people.  Great leaders respect the differences that exist in one another.


    ANNOUNCER:  This is an MSNBC exclusive town hall with Governor John Kasich from the (ph) Milleri Gym in Jericho, New York, here now is Chris Matthews.




    MATTHEWS:  Good evening, and welcome to an MSNBC exclusive town hall.  Please welcome tonight, for the full hour, Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich.  (applause)  Thank you, governor.  Two days ago in New York, with the Republican Women's Club, you talked about fear and anger out there and how certain candidates opposing you have been exploiting it for their own fame and to gain attention.  What were you talking about and who were you talking about?


    KASICH:  Well, I was talking about Trump and Cruz, primarily.  (laughter)


    MATTHEWS:  You didn't say that then.  Now you're saying it.


    KASICH:  Well, look, here's some of the menu that they've offered.  We're going to have surveillance over some neighborhoods.  We're going to ban people based on a religious test.  We're going to use nuclear weapons in Europe, and we're going to get rid of NATO, we're going to let Russia kind of run Europe -- here's the problem, Chris, this is what bothers me.  Do we have problems?  Yes.  Of course we do.  People are worried about their jobs, they're worried they don't have good wages, they put their money in the bank, they get no interest, and what they're really worried about is their kid went to school and is still living with them, can't find a job.  I mean seriously can't find a job.  


    Now, are those as serious problem as the Depression?  As the Second World War?  As the attacks on 9/11?  I don't think so.  They're serious, but you can either get people and drive them into a ditch and feed on their anxiety, gnashing of teeth -- this person did this to me, or you can walk into a room and you can acknowledge the problem and you can try to give people an answer.  Have a little hope.  Tell them they can be solved, because these things can be fixed, and they're not even that difficult to fix.  It's just that people have to remember, they're Americans before they're Republicans and Democrats and we've got to fix the country.  That's all.


    MATTHEWS:  So, the fear is real, the anger is real.  Why are they all voting -- 15 million people, if you count up all the votes in the primaries, voting for Trump and Cruz, the guys you say are exploiting it?  Why are they getting the votes?


    KASICH:  Well, look.  I grew up in a blue collar neighborhood, as you know.  I understand these fears, and frankly, people think, if a politician's lips are moving, they're lying.  So it's been incumbent on me -- people say, why does he keep talking about his record?  I talk about my record because I think if you can show you did it a couple of times, you actually fixed things, then you have credibility for doing it the third time.  But I think people have just kind of had it.  Here's another thing they say -- I hate political correctness.  OK, I get that, but we don't want to get rude.  That's not where the country should head.  And I tell you, they got all the publicity, too.  I mean, Trump, are you kidding me?  He's like up there all the time and he just caught a wave, and I think it was the first debate, I said, don't dismiss what this guy says, it's serious.  But, I think now that people are beginning to hear a little bit of a message that we have, we continue to do better.  


    Here's the way it kind of looks right now in the three man race.  There's Coke, there's Pepsi, and there's Kasich, OK?  (applause)  You're not supposed to clap for that, you're supposed to cry when I say that, OK?  And then there's the other part of it.  Now, it's kind of like, Coke, Pepsi, Kasich, and you're shopping with your spouse and you're looking at what you're going to buy and people are beginning to realize there is this un-cola called Kasich but they still don't know enough about me.  And so I've been playing from behind the whole time, but you know what's amazing?  I'm still standing.  There were 17 of us and now we're down to 3.  (applause)


    MATTHEWS:  Let's talk about -- we're not going to get rid of fear and we're not going to get rid of anger because it's justified, so how does John Kasich, that third brand, deal with -- let's talk about a couple things.  Is illegal immigration, mainly from Latin America -- is that a real problem or not?


    KASICH:  No, I think it is, I mean it is for --


    MATTHEWS:  Well, what are you going to do about it?


    KASICH:  Well, we need to make sure -- in '86, Reagan had a plan --


    MATTHEWS:  I know.  It was never enforced.


    KASICH:  It wasn't enforced, so we've got to enforce it, and we've got to say, you can't just walk into this country willy nilly.  I mean, we lock our doors at night so people just don't walk into our homes.  They shouldn't be able to walk into our country.  So it is an issue of laws.  It's also becoming more and more a national security issue.  So let's control the border, and then we can have a guest worker program where people come in, work, and go back, and for the 11.5 million that are here, we're not going to go yanking them out of their home and deporting them.


    MATTHEWS:  Yes, but let's talk about (INAUDIBLE) who's coming here illegally.  We have people here, we're probably not going to deport 12 million people or 11 million people.  But there's probably a fellow down in Mexico now or in Salvador somewhere, hears there's a job open because his cousin tells him about it, he calls him up and says, I've got a job and a kitchen up here in Chicago.  You get up here, you've got a job.  It's all below the counter, it's off the books.  As long as people hire people illegally in this country, people are going to come to this country illegally.  No matter how many walls you've got or no matter what, they'll get here.  You'd get here and I'd get here.  So what are we going to do about the business man who hires to get cheap labor?  What are we going to do about that guy?  Are we going to put him in jail?


    KASICH:  We're going to have to hold him accountable --


    MATTHEWS:  How do we do that?  How do we make him fear hiring a guy illegally?


    KASICH:  Well no, I'll tell you what you do, you fine them.


    MATTHEWS:  You really think that would stop them?


    KASICH:  Let me tell you something.  Small businesses, whether it's construction industry or whether it's the service industry -- there's not big margins.  They work on small margins, and we just have to have a system that says -- 


    MATTHEWS:  Do you like (ph) e-verify?  Do you like it?


    KASICH:  From what I know about it.  But let me just tell you this -- we pay our taxes.  We're going to pay our taxes.  I already paid mine last week, OK?  So we're going to pay our taxes.  Why do people pay their taxes?  Because they have a sense that if they don't, they might get caught, and beyond that -- well, I'm saying, what we're driving at is, what would keep people -- why would you have compliance?  Well, because there is a certain sense, like, I don't want the IRS coming after me, and that's not -- people feel they've got to pay their taxes.  Most employers don't want to hire illegals, but if you put a consequence --


    MATTHEWS:  They don't want to hire illegals, even though they get the most work out of them and it's the cheapest money?


    KASICH:  I'm saying they -- most don't, come on?


    MATTHEWS:  Then why do they do it?


    KASICH:  OK, MSNBC, you guys hire illegals?


    MATTHEWS:  No, I'm talking about --


    KASICH:  No, I'm talking to you.  (applause)


    MATTHEWS:  And you think we do?  Is that a charge?


    KASICH:  Yes, it's a charge.


    MATTHEWS:  And what's your basis for making that charge?


    KASICH:  Well, because I've talked to people and they tell me this is what's going on.


    MATTHEWS:  Let's get back to serious.


    KASICH:  What I'm saying is -- let me finish.  I'm saying most employers wouldn't want to do that, some do.  And compliance, where they know there's a fine --


    MATTHEWS:  OK, why'd your party not pass the comprehensive immigration reform bill?  It's got e-verify in it and a whole good stuff, 12 Republican senators backed it, and the house speaker wouldn't bring it up.  He wouldn't even let it come to a vote.  Why don't you bring it to a vote?


    KASICH:  Can I give you an answer?  I'm serious.  Because I'm not president.  If I was president, they'd bring it up.


    MATTHEWS:  If you were speaker, would you have brought it up?


    KASICH:  Would I have brought it up?  I don't know --


    MATTHEWS:  Would you bring out votes if most people wanted to vote for it?


    KASICH:  I would say -- look, I'm not speaker, Chris, but I was budget chairman.  You want to talk about --


    MATTHEWS:  I just want to know why we can't get stuff done.


    KASICH:  Well you know why?  Because everybody's polarized.  We know that.


    MATTHEWS:  I know that.  Including your party.  


    KASICH:  Look, I said that there's two things that have been happening lately.  One is, so the President does these executive orders, bypasses congress, bad idea --


    MATTHEWS:  Maybe because he can't get a vote in congress.


    KASICH:  Can I just finish this train of thought?


    MATTHEWS:  It's all part of this argument you're in.  Blame the other party when in fact your party won't bring these matters to a vote.


    KASICH:  You didn't let me finish.


    MATTHEWS:  Go ahead.  I think I did, but go ahead.


    KASICH:  No, you didn't!  Here's what I was saying.  The President did these things, but then we had a Republican who went to the State of the Union, and when the President of the United States was talking, he shouted, you lie.  OK?  It's pops on both houses.  First of all, I said we're Americans before Republicans and Democrats.  You know what one of my 16-year-old daughters said the other night, she said, we live in the United States of America, not in the Divided States of America.  And the fact is, it's leadership, Chris!  It's leadership.


    MATTHEWS:  Just so you get the sequence right, I'm not here to defend Obama on this because I don't like these executive orders, but he did it after the Republican speaker wouldn't bring up a comprehensive immigration bill, so we get this thing behind us.


    KASICH:  Chris, look, I've just got to tell you, for a long time, now, they have not been able to communicate.


    MATTHEWS:  I agree with that.  What happened?  Why did it stop?


    KASICH:  Let me tell you a story.  I'm going to tell you a really good story.  It's never been told before.  I got a call from Boehner.  He said, I want you to come play golf with the President, the Vice President.  So we go out, we get there, Biden's like been out there for two hours practicing, and he's all lathered up and everything, and Boehner takes Obama, I take Biden -- after the first ball, I never saw Joe, he's in the woods the whole time.  But --


    MATTHEWS:  See what you're --


    KASICH:  I love Biden, OK?  He's a good guy.  I don't agree with him but I like him and look, say this about him -- that guy has been through some hell with the loss of his son, with the accident where he lost his wife, and I think a child -- I mean, and he's been a great public servant.  I don't agree with him, but I like him, OK?  So we get done playing and we're supposedly having a soft drink, but we were drinking beer, let's be clear about it, OK?  And I looked at John Boehner, I said, Boehner, can you believe it, that you're the speaker of the house?  I mean, your dad owned a bar, you had like I don't know how many brothers and sisters, and you're the speaker.  I said, give me a break.  And I said, Joe, you, vice president?  Are you kidding me?  And then I looked at them, I said, and me, I'm the Governor of Ohio.  Me, the Governor, and you, you, Mr. President?  You?  Come on.  I said, clearly the Lord wanted us to be here, so we better do something while we're here.  And the President looked at Boehner and he said, you come down to the White House and we'll start talking about the budget.  And right after that, they started talking.  Now the thing fell apart.  I don't know why it fell apart, but there was a moment there where there was a connection.  And you know what, Chris?  You know this from the experience you had -- where there's a will, there's a way, and we have to get people to ride their performance to a level where they want to help America.  They want to fix Social Security.  They want to create economic growth.  They want to --


    MATTHEWS:  I'll tell you, you've been very clear in the last two days, especially with the Republican Women's Group the other day about, there are two paths that your party could take, and one is the dark path and one is your path.  But it reminded me of Robert Frost.  Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, we all learned that in school.  But the problem is, you're taking the road less traveled by, that's the problem.  You're taking a road of openness and agreement and negotiation and most of the voters out there in your party, 15 million I said, 3 million voted for you so far, how do you come out ahead in this at the convention?  How do you get out and become the nominee between now and July?


    KASICH:  Well, I'm studying how Lincoln got there.  He was like fourth or whatever and he got picked, but -- (applause)


    MATTHEWS:  I knew Lincoln.


    KASICH:  I almost pulled that on Ted but I stopped.  I knew Reagan -- but Chris, look.  We keep talking about the primary.  Now, you win a primary, you lose a general, what's the point?  What, do you hang a certificate on your wall?  I'm the only one that consistently beats Hillary and then yesterday, did you see that little thing they did, 40,000 people they surveyed, and they did the electoral college?  Hillary decisively beats Cruz and Trump and I decisively beat her.  And there's a reason.  Look, the reason is, I can appeal to the blue collar workers and I can appeal to the independents, or my team can, and we have a proven record of success of solving problems.  I don't want to operate in the negative.


    MATTHEWS:  OK, look, you go into Cleveland, it's in your state, and everybody knows Republicans don't win presidential elections without Ohio.  It never happened.  It's the one state your party needs.  Obviously -- but you get to the convention, suppose Trump doesn't get even 1,100, he's nowhere near.  He doesn't get the gimme.  He doesn't get to 1,237.


    KASICH:  Well he's not going to, we know that.


    MATTHEWS:  OK, but that doesn't happen.  That's the first step to you getting the nomination.  You get there and all the sudden, Trump starts making speeches, which he's already begun to make.  If I don't get this thing, it's been fixed, and I'm walking.  Or running third party, we don't know what he's going to do, but he will blow his stack, and he will say one word to you and you've got to respond to it, so I'll say it to you now -- democracy.  He got the most votes.  Shouldn't he be the nominee over somebody who got 1/5 the number of votes or 1/3 the number of votes?


    KASICH:  Great point.  There's only one problem with that.  We know that to get an A, you need to make a 90.  So somebody makes an 83 and says, you know what, I did better than everybody else, I should get an A -- no, no, no, you didn't get to 90.  Now let me say another thing about conventions.


    MATTHEWS:  Why do you apply that rule when in every sport we fight in this country, the team that gets the most points in basketball, wins?  The baseball team that gets the most runs wins.


    KASICH:  Right, once you finish the fourth quarter.  And once you finish nine innings.  We're not done yet.  So there's -- because -- (applause)  because --


    MATTHEWS:  Every election that's ever been held in this country, they don't say, you didn't hit 33 million.  All you have to do is get one more vote than the other guy.


    KASICH:  Not true.  You ever heard of this thing called the electoral college?  OK, so I can throw that argument right back on you.


    MATTHEWS:  So you think you can beat the word democracy?


    KASICH:  You want to abolish the electoral college?  Well, now this is Al Gore's argument.  He wasn't president.  Bush did, he won the electoral college.  


    MATTHEWS:  Somehow I think the Democrats are more docile than the people for Trump.  I don't see the people for Trump saying, oh, I guess we lost.  We're going home.  I don't think they're going to be like that.


    KASICH:  Let me tell you something.  There are people who are for Trump who are really not for Trump.  You know that.  Here in New York --


    MATTHEWS:  I don't know that.


    KASICH:  Yes you do.


    MATTHEWS:  What is this big conversion?  You get to Cleveland, and all the delegates that got there because of Trump or got there because of Cruz, they're going to say, something's just come over me.  Kasich, Kasich, I'm going to vote for Kasich.  How's that going to happen?


    KASICH:  I'm going to tell you how it's going to happen.  Because first of all, the Trump voters are comfortable with me, and the more they know me, the more they like me.  You know why?  Because I grew up more like them than Trump did, OK?


    MATTHEWS:  That's an argument?  But you haven't convinced them.


    KASICH:  They don't know me yet, Chris!  


    MATTHEWS:  When are they going to know you?


    KASICH:  When you keep putting me on TV.


    MATTHEWS:  It's April.  We're getting close.


    KASICH:  Yes, but here's the thing -- remember the Coke, Pepsi, and Kasich?  Now, it's starting -- people are beginning to say -- a lady came up to me in New York the last Saturday, she said, I need to take a picture with you.  I said, why's that?  She says, well, because I was for Kasich before it was cool to be for Kasich.  And that's starting to turn.  Now, let me tell you what happens up there.  When people become delegates, they assume -- there's a gravity that sets in.  They realize they're picking somebody who can be president and somebody who has to win.  And I think, at the end of the day, when they're there, they take on a different role, and who are the delegates going to be?  A lot of them are going to be people who worked in the party vineyards for 40 years, and so I think it's very possible.  Now it'll be up to me to convince the delegation to --


    MATTHEWS:  To overrule the voters.


    KASICH:  We're not overruling anybody.  You've got to get the magic number.  I mean, what are you, kidding me?  You know this!


    MATTHEWS:  I made my point and you've answered the question.


    KASICH:  You didn't make a very good point.  I made a good point.  (applause)


    MATTHEWS:  I'm letting you do this.  Let's go to the first question.  Let's go, from the audience, the people here.


    STEVE YOUNG:  Hi, my name is Steve Young, and welcome to Jericho.  I am a local resident and it's a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk to you.  Chris Matthew has trumped -- I don't want to say Trump, but he has trumped my -- what I was going to ask, because you're talking a lot about the number of votes -- and all of that, and I hate to say it, but a lot of us Coke drinkers are not going to switch to the un-cola and that's why Coke is so popular.  Don't you feel at some point that you have a responsibility to voters to recognize the fact that they're not voting for you?  I know, you keep saying, and I'm listening to you say, well, people are jumping on your bandwagon.  Well what if they don't jump on your bandwagon?  Are you just going to be comfortable going into a convention -- it looks like it's going to be chaotic and really a problem, and you're going to be comfortable --


    KASICH:  Who told you that?


    YOUNG:  The media.


    KASICH:  They haven't been right about one single thing they've said.  (applause)  But anyway, let me answer the question.


    YOUNG:  I'm watching the primaries.  I'm watching primary results, and I will tell you, I was very interested in your campaign from day one.  You're not new to this, and it just hasn't resonated, and at some point, I mean, who told you that you're all that popular now when the vote -- we're looking at the New York polls, and your vote is really not where it needs to be, and at some point, are you going to recognize that?  Because I do think that there is some responsibility to democracy.


    KASICH:  Yes, let me tell you what the responsibility is.  The responsibility is to run for an office and give people solutions and lift them.  The responsibility is not to talk about dividing people, gnashing teeth, turning them against one another.  I will not participate in that, OK, sir?  Now, now -- (applause)  Now let me tell you this.  If I don't win, I'll be a gentleman.  I'm not going to say that my people are going to walk out.  I'm not going to say any of the things that I've heard said either by him or by other people.  You see, it's important that people hear the message that they matter, that they have a God given purpose, that they need to solve problems in their neighborhood -- come to the town halls and see what happens there.  It's important.  It is important for people to hear a different message than the message of negativity.  I want to give them a message of hope, and you know what?  We're in New York, and there was this guy, he once said, one time, it ain't over until it's over, and this may happen to be Yogi Bear, but thank you.


    MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you.  I think you made your point.


    YOUNG:  I just want to tell you, I really appreciate the way you're approaching this, however, we often need to look at the vote.  So thank you for --


    KASICH:  God bless you.  I appreciate you.  See you in Cleveland.


    MATTHEWS:  OK, how'd you like that?  Much more ahead including questions from our audience here to (INAUDIBLE) in a town hall with Governor Kasich (INAUDIBLE) MSNBC.  Stay with us.




    MATTHEWS:  We're back here from (INAUDIBLE) New York on Long Island, with Governor Kasich.  (INAUDIBLE) here.


    I don't know where to start but I want to ask you a question for (INAUDIBLE) but I have to do a couple of these things.


    First of all, I'm trying to think about your party.  You sound like your path, some of the other paths being a dark path and you've got the right path.


    (INAUDIBLE) years ago, your party had this autopsy.  It sounds pretty grim but the idea was how do we bring in more -- how do we bring in more people in a way Republicans?


    How do we bring in people Hispanic and gay people and African Americans and how's that going and gay people, how's that going, honestly?


    Is that working?


    KASICH:  Well, it's working in Ohio.




    KASICH:  -- because to be a -- you know, I have a right to define what it means to be a conservative and to be a Republican.  So you know -- and my reelection, I received 60 percent of women, 51 percent of union households.  Pretty amazing -- and 26 percent of the African American --




    MATTHEWS:  -- opposition from the Democrats?


    KASICH:  Well, and the thing is is that when you  bring people together and you can lift them -- I was in Baltimore yesterday and we were -- I'm very worried about Baltimore from the standpoint of those riots we saw.


    So I asked -- we were talking about it and some guy says you know how you solve a lot of these problems?


    Create jobs.


    MATTHEWS:  I agree.


    KASICH:  And that's exactly right.  And that's what we've tried to do in the state.  And we have.  And that's --




    KASICH:  -- everybody gets lifted.


    I got one other thing to tell you.  For 30 years, I worked on balancing the budget.  And I always had problems trying to explain to people exactly why it matters, OK?  So now I can tell you.  I figured it out.


    We have a $19 trillion debt.  When the debt goes up, your job opportunities go down.  And when the debt comes down, your job opportunities --




    MATTHEWS:  (INAUDIBLE).  How's it work that way?


    KASICH:  Well, because what you do is you make job creators very nervous.  When they think the debt is out of control, they just don't invest.  And they don't create jobs.  And it's particularly through small business.  


    So it's -- it is debt.  It's also higher taxes.  Look at Connecticut.  And it's also regulations.


    So there are three things you need to do to create jobs.  And that's precisely what we did in the state, what I did in Washington, what I'll do again.


    But when you have jobs, then you have a chance to reach out to people who often feel neglected.  The mentally ill:  they shouldn't be living under a bridge or in prison.  The drug addicted:  you can then have the resources to treat them, to get them on their feet.


    So that is a Republican Party that I believe in, one that is all about opportunity.


    But, Chris, as my mother used to say about the poor, it's a sin not to help somebody who needs help.  But it's equally (INAUDIBLE) to continue to help somebody who needs to learn how to help themselves.  That's a good philosophy.






    Most -- I mean, (INAUDIBLE) politics to talk about it.  I think that -- just love talking politics.  Women more so every year.  But there are more women voters than there are men.  And 75 percent of American women voters right now say they will not vote -- they do not trust and do not like Donald Trump.




    KASICH:  And that's pretty unbelievable.


    MATTHEWS:  Well, it is -- what do you do --


    KASICH:  You got to work to get that --






    MATTHEWS:  Well, he has.


    KASICH:  He has.


    MATTHEWS:  And he fights with Carly Fiorina --




    KASICH:  -- why he's still in the race?


    I mean, why would I not be in the race?


    This is a guy that has a 75 percent negative among married women?


    Are you kidding me?


    We got to write -- when we going to get our menu? 


    Pick the menu that he would present.  You can't -- nobody's going to order anything off the menu.  OK?  And we're not only going to lose the -- we're not going to lose the White House and the court is gone and then the courthouse to the statehouse, I mean, we just take a dropping.  But that's why he's not going to win.


    Why he's not going to get --


    MATTHEWS:  But a lot of women may be --




    MATTHEWS:  -- they may be worried about (INAUDIBLE) like you.  And they're conservative.  Except on these social issues.  They are pro-choice in many cases because they --




    KASICH:  That's divided, OK.


    MATTHEWS:  That's divided because --




    MATTHEWS:  -- pro-choice in this state, I can tell you.


    And a lot of women who say, you know, I'm straight; I'm married to my husband.  I'm happy to (INAUDIBLE) still married.  But the fact that two guys and (INAUDIBLE) doesn't affect me any.


    What's your view on those subjects?


    KASICH:  Well, you know, I support traditional marriage --


    MATTHEWS:  What does that mean?


    KASICH:  Between a man and a woman.


    MATTHEWS:  Well, yes, I know that.


    KASICH:  OK?




    KASICH:  No, I said the court has ruled and we're not going to pass any laws now.  It's in place.


    See, there's a -- there's an issue here, though, that I keep wading into.  People ask me, look, Chris, we have -- there is a -- there is a conflict to some degree between people practicing their deeply held religious beliefs, which they have a right to do and the issue of discrimination against somebody that they think is doing something inappropriate.


    That has to be balanced.  And what I'm trying to argue is everybody just take a breath and let's just try to understand one another a little bit better and be more tolerant because once you write a law, then they keep -- you keep rewriting the laws because you never --




    MATTHEWS:  -- tolerate same-sex marriage?


    KASICH:  Yes.  I mean, I'm not going to -- yes --


    MATTHEWS:  You tolerate it?


    KASICH:  -- I went to one.


    MATTHEWS:  Yes, I know you did.


    KASICH:  Yes.  So I mean --




    KASICH:  -- I don't think it's right and the wedding that I went to, they know that I don't agree with them.


    MATTHEWS:  What should gay people do if they love each other?


    KASICH:  What should they do?


    MATTHEWS:  If they love each other, what should they do?


    KASICH:  Well, they should love one another.




    MATTHEWS:  -- but not get married?


    KASICH:  I've given you the answer.  I believe in traditional marriage --






    KASICH:  No, wait.  Here's the thing.  There could be an effort to pass a constitutional amendment.  I'm not for doing it.  I'm for moving on. 


    And you know what? 


    I'm also -- I'm also a believer that if I don't like what somebody is doing, I got a couple things I can do.  I can tolerate it.  I can say something or I can have another thing I could do.  I can pray for a person.  That's another thing I can do.




    So you're not -- you're not driving me into some ditch here, Chris.


    MATTHEWS:  No, I'm not trying to.


    KASICH:  You're not going to.  OK?


    MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about the (INAUDIBLE) --




    MATTHEWS:  -- because I think it was interesting, you would go to a gay -- this is in my special field of interest but the fact that you would go to a gay wedding and you would help celebrate it with people and you would say I believe a traditional marriage, I don't -- I still don't get the -- your exact position.


    Would you like to change the law?


    KASICH:  But it's -- exactly where it is now, I'm fine with it.




    KASICH:  I just don't want anybody kind of on either end trying to drive controversy because it has to --


    MATTHEWS:  Oh, I know.


    KASICH:  -- it has to do with respecting people's deeply held religious beliefs versus something that could be discriminatory.  And it has to be --


    MATTHEWS:  See, you're taking it -- it just sounds very different to a person here, what you're saying, than what a Ted Cruz says.


    KASICH:  But I'm running.  




    MATTHEWS:  I'm trying to bring out the differences in what the candidates stand for.


    Cruz is, you know, evangelical and he runs on this kind of thing.


    You don't.


    KASICH:  No.


    MATTHEWS:  All right.  Let's get a question.


    QUESTION:  Governor Kasich, thank you and welcome to beautiful Long Island.


    KASICH:  Strong Island (ph), some of us call it.




    KASICH:  I've eaten my way across the entire state of New York and I've had the best time.  And you know, they talk about New York values.  I bring my -- I have twin daughters, you know, and a wife and my wife and I come here and I take my -- one of them each to New York.  And you know what, there's not a greater place in the world than (INAUDIBLE).




    KASICH:  And that's not -- and that's not pandering.  I really love it.  I think it's -- I mean, look, you're alive, you're youth -- 




    KASICH:  -- I've been in and out of here for 10 years.




    KASICH:  No.  No.  Here's why I want to live here.


    Well, first of all, I love where I live and I love Ohio.  But the thing that would be a challenge for me -- you know, I've traffic and things like that.  But that's why I don't want to live here.  But I love coming here.  OK?  So but I want to invite you all to come to Ohio.  It's great.  I'm telling you.






    QUESTION:  Allow me to introduce myself.


    My name is Dr. Cynthia Colus (ph).  I'm a proud veteran.  I've served this country for four years as Lt. Commander in the United States (INAUDIBLE).  Thank you.




    QUESTION:  (INAUDIBLE) medical school of the United States Public Health Service and I work with the Native Americans in Oklahoma.  And afterward, I said way down to Texas.


    I've had a unique experience for almost 20 years, I worked the border towns in Texas.  I worked Brownsville, Harlingen, Laredo, McAllen.  I worked all those towns that we affectionately refer to as the Knife and Gun Club.  I worked the night shift there.


    You talk about building bridges.  I literally got to see what that wall was like, which is like Swiss cheese or doesn't exist.  


    QUESTION:  The question is have you done your homework?


    I mean, I'm going to go into that voting booth next week.


    You're one of the few candidates -- well, the only person that's really gone down to see the border with Donald Trump.  He gets it.  He talked to the border patrol.  He talked to the people.


    MATTHEWS:  What policy would you push?


    QUESTION:  I feel that those borders need to be secured.  And I do. 






    QUESTION:  No, and I'll tell you why because the crime is rampant.  I mean, it's one thing, when you're talking the talk and I do like you.  But I'm concerned that why have you not gone down to the border?


    Why have you not talked to the people there?


    And see what these people are --


    MATTHEWS:  -- get an answer.


    KASICH:  I've talked to people who were there.  I haven't actually been there to look at those --


    QUESTION:  But why not?


    KASICH:  -- well, because there's so many hours in the day.  I mean, would I -- do I think it'd be great to go there?


    Yes, there's a lot of places I would like to go all over the country.  But there's only so much time.


    But I don't -- I didn't know that you didn't know that I absolutely believe we have to secure the border.  I know we have to secure the border.


    We were just talking here about what -- you know, in '86, Reagan and the Republicans and Democrats passed a plan on immigration.  But we talked about it.  We didn't -- we didn't enforce it.  And we need to enforce it.  And we have to protect our border.


    And I'll tell you, it's not just because of that.  I worry about ISIS or people who are part of that coming into our country.


    So it's a given.  It's a given we do that.  But we ought -- we shouldn't just do that and then wait to  -- do it all at one time.  And the other thing is, if somebody comes across that border, we got to send them back now.  No more coming in.  And you got to do it legally, OK?






    MATTHEWS:  Thank you.  Thank you very much for that description.


    But stay with us.  Much more of our MSNBC town hall with Ohio Governor John Kasich still ahead.  We'll be right back.








    MATTHEWS:  We're back with Governor John Kasich.  Let's go to the next question.



    QUESTION:  I'm -- my name is Nathan Jackson.  I'm a publicist and I want to thank you, Governor, for coming to one of our Long Island landmarks, the (INAUDIBLE).  And a quick question --




    QUESTION:  -- what are your plans for national health care?  I know everybody's talking about repealing ObamaCare but most of the world -- most of the country wants it.


    KASICH:  Well, look, the problem with ObamaCare is three things.  What -- the first problem is is that health care costs continue to rise.  They haven't dealt with that problem.


    Secondly, insurance costs have skyrocketed.  


    And thirdly, small businesses don't want to expand because they don't want to get caught in it.


    So is there an alternative?


    There better be.  First of all, I would take some of the federal resources, combine it with Medicaid, which I would send back to the states, let the states create their own -- their own way of coverage the working poor so millions of Americans don't lose health insurance.  But that's first step.


    The longer step would be we're driving in our state, which can be taken nationally towards total transparency, we want to know the quality of a hospital; we want to know the cost of a hospital.  We want to know the quality of a physician.  We want to know the cost of a physician.  And we are creating a system working with the insurance industry and with the hospital system and with the physicians to reward people who provide high quality below the average. If you are -- if you're providing high quality and your costs are low, we're going to give you a financial reward. 


    This will work in driving down -- putting downward pressure on health care costs, because we keep going the way we're going, look at our deductibles.  We might as well -- you know, we just might as well have catastrophic policies now.


    So, I believe -- look, we're going to -- we're actually doing this in our state, not just in government, but also the private sector, and we want to take this nationally.  So, we believe in the work.




    MATTHEWS:  Then you would repeal Obamacare?


    KASICH:  Yes. 


    MATTHEWS:  First, before we got something new or -- ?


    KASICH:  Well, I would have the whole --




    KASICH:  -- I'd just switch it all out, yes.


    MATTHEWS:  OK.  This next question, sir?


    JOSEPH DEANGELO (ph), EDUCATOR:  Hello, Governor.  My name is Joseph Deangelo, I'm an educator.  My question involves an incident yesterday where a war ship in the Baltics, an American war ship, was buzzed by two Russian fighters and a helicopter.  


    And this is part -- I'm assuming, an attempt to incite an incident.  This is part of a continuing problem that's occurred in China and also, for instance, the defense in Iran, the taking of one of our patrol boats.  I was -- I'm curious what you might do about such an international affair.


    KASICH:  Well, look, I mean, I served on the Armed Services Committee for 18 years, and I saw everything from the buildup of our military, to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, to pushing Saddam out of Kuwait.  And I was in the Pentagon after 9/11 at the request of Secretary Rumsfeld.


    The one thing you have to do is you have to be strong, sir.  You can't -- you can't say one thing and do another.  And you also have to stay cool.  We don't need to have an international -- an incident or a war.  But we need to make it clear to people we're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior.


    For example, I would tell the -- I would tell Putin we are going to arm the Ukrainians so they can fight for their freedom.  And by the way, if you try to --




    KASICH:  If you think you can invade NATO and not be attacking us, you're wrong, OK?  And with the Chinese, you don't own the South China Sea.  And the fact is, if you cyber attack us, we're -- we're not only going to defend ourselves, but we're going to take your systems out.


    See a lot of it is being --




    KASICH:  -- saying what you mean and meaning what you say.  But we don't want to get all worked up about something that can take us down the path where we may not be able to get back.  


    Now, this world needs to unify.  And we have to destroy ISIS.  The same coalition we used in the first Gulf War, we have to go and get them, with the Arab Muslim nations, along with Europe and ourselves in the air, on the ground.  


    When we beat it, the settle it -- to beat them, we settle it down, we come home.  Let them redraw the map, because they will redraw the map of the Middle East.


    And then finally, honestly, the civilized world has to beat the barbarians.  And so, we've got to take lemons and turn them into lemonade, and we've got to bring the whole civilized world together, not only on the military issues, but also intelligence and policing so that we can all be aware of where these people are so we can destroy them before they destroy any of the people that we love.  OK?




    MATTHEWS:  Can I -- ?




    MATTHEWS:  I want to follow up on how hawkish to dovish you are, where you are in that spectrum.  By the way, I think Hillary Clinton's much more hawkish than people think.  Bernie's not.


    KASICH:  He is.  He screwed up Libya.


    MATTHEWS:  Well -- I want to talk about your politics.




    MATTHEWS:  You talk about having a significant component of ground troops in going after ISIS.  You also supported the Iraq War.  In 2003, you voted for it, like Hillary did.


    KASICH:  Wait, no -- in 2002, I wasn't in Congress.


    MATTHEWS:  Well, you supported it.


    KASICH:  Well, because we thought --


    MATTHEWS:  At Ohio State, "We should go to war with Iraq," it's a direct quote.




    KASICH:  Let me -- let me explain.


    MATTHEWS:  Well, you said that.


    KASICH:  OK, can I explain why?


    MATTHEWS:  Sure.


    KASICH:  Because we had intelligence that indicated that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.  If he did not, I wouldn't have wanted to go.  And let's talk --


    MATTHEWS:  Who told you he did?


    KASICH:  Colin Powell.  The world.  The United States.


    MATTHEWS:  Do you think you were told the truth?


    KASICH:  Well, I don't think somebody was lying, from what I know, Chris.


    MATTHEWS:  Well, I talked to the top brief from the CIA in May of 2015, last -- just last May --


    KASICH:  Yes?


    MATTHEWS:  -- who said that Saddam Hussein -- no one ever said to the administration, meaning Cheney or W, that Saddam had --




    KASICH:  Well, I --


    MATTHEWS:  -- any kind of nuclear weapons.


    KASICH:  -- I think --


    MATTHEWS:  So, all this talk about nuclear weapons in Saddam's hands was not true --


    KASICH:  What did Powell say?


    MATTHEWS:  -- and they knew it -- Well, do you just believe people like that?


    KASICH:  Colin Powell?


    MATTHEWS:  Yes, you just believe him?


    KASICH:  Oh, well, I -- 




    KASICH:  Chris, the whole world --




    MATTHEWS:  Did he actually say he had nuclear weapons?


    KASICH:  Yes.  Why, sure he did.


    MATTHEWS:  Or did they use the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" instead of -- confused a little bit.


    KASICH:  Look -- OK, look.  Here's what I would tell you.  When Reagan had troops in Lebanon --


    MATTHEWS:  Yes?


    KASICH:  -- I voted against having them there.


    MATTHEWS:  Right.


    KASICH:  I said, you don't get in civil wars.  I now believe we need to get out of Afghanistan.  I -- if I were president, I wouldn't be announcing the timeline, but I would give the aircraft that the Afghans need, and I'd get out of there.


    And then, if we saw people acting up in there, we'd use special forces to take them out.  Let me go on.  I've never been for being in the middle of civil wars.  I'm not in favor of using US forces on the ground against Assad.


    MATTHEWS:  Why were we in Iraq?


    KASICH:  Because we thought he was -- he posed a danger to us and the world.


    MATTHEWS:  What was the danger exactly?


    KASICH:  Nuclear weapons.


    MATTHEWS:  And who told you he had nuclear weapons.


    KASICH:  Chris.


    MATTHEWS:  I just wonder who told you?


    KASICH:  We -- yes, I did answer that.  But look, I heard Colin Powell, I heard Cheney, I heard the president of the United States, and so did Tony Blair.


    MATTHEWS:  Yes.


    KASICH:  And now he's being castigated for bad intelligence.  It is critical that we have good intelligence.  If I'm president, let me tell you the way you do it.  You sit in a room with your traditional intelligence person and you have your non-traditional intelligence person.


    MATTHEWS:  Right.


    KASICH:  You have your traditional military advisor and you have your non-traditional military advisor.  Because you need -- you cannot have group think.


    MATTHEWS:  Yes.


    KASICH:  If we'd have had group think, Kennedy would have bombed Cuba.  You've got to have a diversity of opinion --


    MATTHEWS:  Right.


    KASICH:  -- and it's up to --


    MATTHEWS:  And you believe W had that in the White House?


    KASICH:  Look, I'm not going into what W --




    MATTHEWS:  Why would you trust W and Cheney on an issue of war and peace when you know they're hawks.  In their core, they wanted that war, and you knew it.  Why would you trust their intelligence?




    KASICH:  Well I -- first of all, I didn't know that they wanted that war just to go to war.


    MATTHEWS:  They sure as hell did.


    KASICH:  Well, that's your opinion.  You should write a book about it.




    MATTHEWS:  No, it's the record.  It's on the record.




    KASICH:  Look, Chris.  I'm just going to tell you clearly -- I'm going to tell you clearly, now, if Saddam had not had -- if that intelligence information that got Tony Blair, even, to go, and then they called him Bush's poodle --


    MATTHEWS:  OK, well, I --


    KASICH:  If we didn't have that, I would never have gone.


    MATTHEW:  You know what?  I just have one question.




    KASICH:  Just like I think we --


    MATTHEWS:  If the CIA didn't believe they had nuclear weapons --


    KASICH:  Well, they --


    MATTHEWS:  -- why did everybody else in the administration?


    KASICH:  Because we -- I don't -- I think you're now recreating history.


    MATTHEWS:  No, no.


    KASICH:  Yes, I think you are.




    KASICH:  I think you are.  I think you are.  I think you're now -- what you're doing is you're Monday morning quarterbacking and say this and this and this and this wasn't true.  And by the way, Bush was a warmonger.


    MATTHEWS:  That's how we learn, though.  We learn when we make mistakes.


    KASICH:  OK -- well, that's right.  And I wouldn't do them again.  I would make sure that the intelligence was accurate.  And if it wasn't accurate, I wouldn't go.




    MATTHEWS:  Just for the record --


    KASICH:  Yes?


    MATTHEWS:  Just for the record, I asked all those questions to the top CIA briefer to find out what the actual objective truth was, not the political BS and the arguments back and forth and the ideology involved in going into that war.


    And the top briefer who briefed the administration, Mike Morell, told me on my show -- we've got the tape, we'll show it -- what he said -- they never had any testimony, they never gave testimony to the administration that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons.


    KASICH:  Yes.


    MATTHEWS:  So, however they spun this to get us into that war, it was spin.


    KASICH:  OK, let me say this about --


    MATTHEWS:  It was spin.


    KASICH:  -- about -- let me say this about -- let me say this.  First of all, just because one guy said something --


    MATTHEWS:  He's the chief briefer.  He's the guy that that briefed the White House.


    KASICH:  Look, I'm going to give you my opinion.  Just because one guy says something and gets a nice headline doesn't make it so. 


    MATTHEWS:  He didn't get a headline.


    KASICH:  Doesn't make it so.




    KASICH:  But let me tell you this.  If I thought --




    KASICH:  Wait a minute, folks.  Wait a minute.  If I thought they manipulated this to get us in a war like that --


    MATTHEWS:  Right.


    KASICH:  I would be -- you think I would defend them?  Are you kidding me?  I've never been -- I'm -- the Republican Party's my vehicle, it has never been my master.  


    MATTHEWS:  So you'd take --


    KASICH:  I've never shied away from critics in my own party.




    MATTHEWS:  You'd take Dick Cheney on good faith?


    KASICH:  No, I'm -- I --


    MATTHEWS:  Dick Cheney.


    KASICH:  No, I took Colin Powell and his presentation --




    MATTHEWS:  Who was told what to say by Cheney.


    KASICH: -- as the United States -- do you know Colin Powell?


    MATTHEWS:  Yes, I know him.


    KASICH:  OK, how many times are people --


    MATTHEWS:  Do you think he's happy about what he did?


    KASICH:  No -- well, sure he's not now, because we found out it wasn't true.  But you're not implying that he was some sort of a fool or got manipulated..


    MATTHEWS:  I think he was used.


    KASICH:  OK.  Shame on all of them.


    MATTHEWS:  You know why they did?  Because people like you and me trust him.  That's why they used him.  Because we would believe him.


    KASICH:  Well, here's what I would tell you going forward.




    KASICH:  We're not going to just go willy-nilly into the -- into war anywhere.  I'm -- I don't -- first of all --


    MATTHEWS:  That's what's surprising.  Why do you want to bring ground troops in to fight ISIS when we've been through the experience of ground troops in the Middle East --




    KASICH:  Well, you know what?  Because --


    MATTHEWS:  -- and it hasn't worked.


    KASICH:  Are you kidding?


    MATTHEWS:  It hasn't worked.


    KASICH:  The first Gulf War worked great.  The first Gulf War was a united world.  We could --


    MATTHEWS:  Because we didn't occupy a country.


    KASICH:  Exactly.  You know why?  Because Bush the father --


    MATTHEWS:  You were --


    KASICH:  Yes, but he -- we achieved our objectives.


    MATTHEWS:  So, why do you want to put ground troops in the fight against ISIS?


    KASICH:  Because we have to destroy them before they destroy us --




    MATTHEWS:  With ground troops?




    MATTHEWS:  With ground troops?


    KASICH:  Yes.  Wait a minute, Chris.  Wait a minute.  Do you actually think that you could destroy them without people on the ground?  Are you kidding me?


    MATTHEWS:  Well, what happens when one of our guys gets picked up and they say they're going to behead him in two days?  What are you going to do about that?




    KASICH:  Hey, look.  Look.


    MATTHEWS:  Doesn't that escalate it further?


    KASICH:  No.  What we need to do is --


    MATTHEWS:  Wouldn't it?


    KASICH:  No.  I don't --


    MATTHEWS:  It sure would.


    KASICH:  Look, it's -- all I'm going to say to you is this:  ISIS is spreading. It needs to be destroyed.  The caliphate needs to be destroyed.  It will take all the air -- a lot of the air out of the radicals.


    Number two, if you're not on the ground, it won't work.  You can't just do it from the air.  We learned that -- how many wars did we learn that in?




    KASICH:  So -- but -- but -- let me tell you this.  Once they're gone -- once they're gone, I'm for getting out of there.  I am not for the United States being an occupier.


    MATTHEWS:  Look, Mr. Governor, I -- look, we went into Afghanistan.  We went into Iraq twice.  We went into Libya.  We're in there now against Syria.




    KASICH:  I wouldn't have gone to Libya.


    MATTHEWS:  When are we going to stop this regime change?


    KASICH:  Well, I'm going to tell you.  First of all, I'm not at work --


    MATTHEWS:  When are we going to stop this business?  It's not working.


    KASICH:  -- and this is great.  This is --


    MATTHEWS;  It's not working.


    KASICH:  This is perfect.  Because none of these either people can talk about this, because they have no experience in this.  So, it gives me a chance to talk about -- let's talk about Libya.  


    Hillary Clinton went and put the pressure on the administration to get rid of Gaddafi.  We should never have done that.




    KASICH:  Gaddafi was working with us, OK?  It was a terrible, terrible mistake.


    KASICH:  Did you say that at the time?


    KASICH:  Yes.




    KASICH:  Yes.  


    MATTHEWS:  We'll check it out.


    KASICH:  Check it out.  And then, let me talk about Afghanistan.  I would have never added the extra troops.  I would have used special forces.  And when we see Al Qaeda somewhere, take them out with drones.  Take them out with special forces.


    MATTHEWS:  Right.


    KASICH:  I want to get out of there.


    MATTHEWS:  But you want to put troops into fighting ISIS.


    KASICH:  Yes, because ISIS is different.


    MATTHEWS:  How is that getting out of there?


    KASICH:  Chris, I am not for using troops to get rid of Assad, but I'm for troops for destroying ISIS, because the longer we wait, the more complicated it will become --




    KASICH:  And the more at risk we will be.




    KASICH:  And we need to defend America.




    MATTHEWS:  We're going to have more questions from the voters here when we come back.








    MATTHEWS:  We're back here in Jericho, New York, the center of all support for John Kasich.  Our MSNBC Town Hall continues now.  Next question.


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, good afternoon, Governor.  I want to know, what is your position about the -- North Carolina bathroom law.


    KASICH:  Well, I think governor now is trying to go and somehow improve that or fix that, and I wish him the best on that.


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So, you haven't had -- you haven't had --


    KASICH:  We're not passing anything like that in my state.




    MATTHEWS:  Next question please.




    MATTHEWS:  Come on.


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I'm a Democrat, a liberal Democrat, actually, but you seem like a really authentic --


    KASICH:  Well, you can't cross over, now, so you have to vote for me in the fall.


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You seem like an authentic -- 




    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  -- really like you have deeply-held religious beliefs, so I've always wanted to ask this question of somebody who wasn't pro-choice.  I don't understand the exception part.  I don't understand if abortion is deemed murder why you would make any exceptions at all.


    KASICH:  Because I think they're appropriate.  And I just think they make sense to me, and that's why I'm for it.


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  But it's not --




    KASICH:  And by the way -- by the way, you've brought up the issue of faith.  There's a lot of people who say, OK, well, if you have faith, how does that affect the way you do things?  


    You know, I don't feel I consult the Bible when I try to decide what to do.  I would say that the single biggest thing that faith has done for me is to slow me down and make sure that we do pay attention to people who traditionally get run over.  


    And those are -- whether they're the disabled, whether they're the poor.  It just forces me -- it doesn't force me, it just makes me more aware.  And so, that's how it's really -- it's really served me well.


    MATTHEWS:  OK.  We'll be right back.  Great question.  We'll be right back with more questions for John Kasich.








    MATTHEWS:  OK (INAUDIBLE) to Ohio governor John Kasich.  By the way, Governor, I'm going to wave the "New York Daily News" in your face.  This is the best -- you've been endorsed --


    KASICH:  Yes.


    MATTHEWS:  -- by the "Daily News."


    KASICH:  I got endorsed by about everybody, you know?




    KASICH:  And I appreciate it.


    MATTHEWS:  And I believe that some day will come that you will join Colin Powell in agreeing that you made a mistake in Iraq.


    KASICH:  OK.


    MATTHEWS:  Anyway, they're really in here at Jericho --




    KASICH:  Hey, you know what?  I want --




    KASICH:  I want to say one last thing.


    MATTHEWS:  Just to get the record straight --


    KASICH:  Yes.


    MATTHEWS:  Everybody here is for you.  OK?  This is not an objective focus group.  This is not a focus group.




    KASICH:  I want to say just one thing.  You know, when you do shows like this, you're only as good as the person who asks the question, and I tell you, every time Chris and I get together, I think it's really cool and there's some magic in it.  And I've loved -- I love doing stuff like this.


    MATTHEWS:  Governor.  I knew him when he was a nobody. 




    MATTHEWS:  I'll be right back at 11:00 tonight Eastern for a special post-debate edition "Hardball" as the Democrats face off in Brooklyn, that's Bernie and Hillary.  But stay tuned right now as Chuck Todd picks up things next in his exclusive Town Hall with Senator Ted Cruz.  




    USAGE GUIDELINES Non-NBC News or non-MSNBC media and individuals, including Internet media, may use unlimited excerpts (up to 3:00 minutes at a time) with appropriate credit outlined below. Media outlets may not rebroadcast the town hall in its entirety unless granted permission by MSNBC.

    • Mandatory onscreen and verbal credit to MSNBC on first reference.
    • The onscreen “MSNBC” credit must be clearly visible and unobstructed at all times in any image, video clip, or other form of media.
    • Embedded web video must stream from the MSNBC.com media player with the unobstructed credit as described above.
    • Excerpts may only be used for the purpose of analyzing, reporting on, or commenting on the town hall.

    No use of the audio or video of NBC News or MSNBC journalists in a town hall is permitted for the purpose of advertising for any cause or candidate. No NBC News or MSNBC town hall may be used in any medium where the primary purpose is to retransmit the event or excerpts of the event for Commercial Use. Commercial Use shall be interpreted as any use for which the primary intent is to procure a commercial advantage or private compensation. Without limitation, examples of Commercial Use include: charges for downloads or streaming; using town hall video or audio to promote a website or product; or advertising preceding or during video or audio of the town hall. ###


  • MSNBC News: Kasich doubles down on his support for traditional marriage but says he accepts Supreme Court ruling

    MSNBC News: Kasich doubles down on his support for traditional marriage but says he accepts Supreme Court ruling

    In an MSNBC town hall moderated by Chris Matthews, Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) doubled down on his support for "traditional marriage" between a man and a woman, but said that he accepts the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

    Kasich stated: “I believe in traditional marriage. I’ve accepted the court ruling. …  There could be an effort to pass a constitutional amendment, I’m not for doing it. I’m for moving on.”

    Transcript of this preview is below. The full Kasich Town Hall airs at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Cruz Town Hall at 8 p.m. ET.

    Video: http://on.msnbc.com/22xtpyW   

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    * * * KASICH TOWN HALL -- AIRS AT 7 p.m. ET * * *


    MATTHEWS: And there a lot of women who say, you know I’m straight. I’m married to my husband. I’m happy. That’s a traditional marriage. But the fact that two guys or two women  get married doesn’t affect me any. What’s your view on those subjects?


    KASICH: Well, you know, I support traditional marriage.


    MATTHEWS: What does that mean?


    KASICH: Between a man and a women.


    MATTHEWS: Well yeah, I know that.


    KASICH: Ok-


    MATTHEWS: I know that.


    KASICH: Let me finish.


    MATTHEWS: Is that exclusively to them?


    KASICH: No I‘ve said the court has ruled and we’re not going to pass any law now. It’s in place. There’s an issue here that I keep wading into. People ask me. Look, Chris. We have to--there is a conflict to some degree between people practicing their deeply held religious beliefs-


    MATTHEWS: Sure.


    KASICH: -- which they have a right to do.


    MATTHEWS: I agree.


    KASICH: And the issue of discrimination against somebody that they think is doing something inappropriate. That has to be balanced. And what I’ve tried to argue is everybody just take a breath. And let’s just try to understand one another a bit better. And be a bit more tolerant.  Because once you write a law then you keep re-writing laws because you never get this right.


    MATTHEWS: Do you tolerate same sex marriage?


    KASICH: Yeah. I mean, I’m not going to—Yes.


    MATTHEWS: You tolerate it?


    KASICH: I went to one.


    MATTHEWS:  I know you did.


    KASICH: Yeah. I don’t think it’s right and the wedding that I went to, they know that I don’t agree with them.


    MATTHEWS:  What should gay people do who love each other?


    KASICH: What should they do?


    MATTHEWS: If they love each other, what should they do?


    KASICH: Well they should love one another. That’s the end of it.


    MATTHEWS: But not get married?


    KASICH: I’ve given you the answer, I believe in traditional marriage. I’ve accepted the court ruling. Okay?


    MATTHEWS: I know.


    KASICH: So here’s the thing, there could be an effort to pass a constitutional amendment, I’m not for doing it. I’m for moving on


    MATTHEWS: Yeah


    KASICH: And you know what I’m also a believer that if I don’t like what somebody is doing, I’ve got a couple things I can do. I can tolerate it, I can say something, or you know I have another thing I can do, I can pray for a person.




    USAGE GUIDELINES Non-NBC News or non-MSNBC media and individuals, including Internet media, may use unlimited excerpts (up to 3:00 minutes at a time) with appropriate credit outlined below. Media outlets may not rebroadcast the town hall in its entirety unless granted permission by MSNBC.

    • Mandatory onscreen and verbal credit to MSNBC on first reference.
    • The onscreen “MSNBC” credit must be clearly visible and unobstructed at all times in any image, video clip, or other form of media.
    • Embedded web video must stream from the MSNBC.com media player with the unobstructed credit as described above.
    • Excerpts may only be used for the purpose of analyzing, reporting on, or commenting on the town hall.

    No use of the audio or video of NBC News or MSNBC journalists in a town hall is permitted for the purpose of advertising for any cause or candidate. No NBC News or MSNBC town hall may be used in any medium where the primary purpose is to retransmit the event or excerpts of the event for Commercial Use. Commercial Use shall be interpreted as any use for which the primary intent is to procure a commercial advantage or private compensation. Without limitation, examples of Commercial Use include: charges for downloads or streaming; using town hall video or audio to promote a website or product; or advertising preceding or during video or audio of the town hall. ###




    APRIL 12, 2016 -- MSNBC, the “Place for Politics,” will present a double-header night of Republican town halls on Thursday, April 14, as the presidential candidates fight for every vote ahead of next week’s New York primary.

    At 7 p.m. ET, Gov. John Kasich sits down with Chris Matthews for a town hall with Long Islanders in Jericho, NY.

    At 8 p.m. ET, Sen. Ted Cruz faces questions from Chuck Todd and upstate voters in Buffalo, NY. 

    MSNBC has hosted twelve previous town halls with Republican and Democratic presidential candidates this campaign season as well as a series of long-form interviews with candidates on both sides of the aisle.

  • Full Transcript of Sen. Bernie Sanders' Interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sat down with “Morning Joe” for a live, in-studio interview. He told the co-hosts he was “very moved” by the invitation to speak at the Vatican, saying, “I am a big, big fan of the Pope.”

    “Obviously there are areas where we disagree on women’s rights or gay rights,” he said.

    Sanders added, “There are people who think that Bernie Sanders is radical—read what the Pope is writing.”

    Below are excerpts and the rush transcript of the interview. Mandatory credit: MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    On his invitation to visit the Vatican:

    MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I don’t know if this is new. Have you heard that he’s going to the Vatican? Has anyone—

    BERNIE SANDERS: You have the story, Mika. Tell the world.

    BRZEZINSKI: Tell me. You’re going to be going to the Vatican to talk about how to create a moral economy that works for all people rather than the top one percent. How did this come about?

    SANDERS: It was an invitation from the Vatican.


    SANDERS: I was very moved by the invitation, which just was made public today. I am a big, big fan of the Pope. Obviously there are areas where we disagree on women’s rights or gay rights. But he has played an unbelievable role. An unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy. And here’s what he is saying. There are people who think that Bernie Sanders is radical. Read what the Pope is writing. What he is saying is not only that we have to pay attention to what he calls the “dispossessed.” And again, we don’t talk about it enough. These are the children who have no jobs all over the world. Youth unemployment is off the charts. The elderly people who are watching this program now who are trying to get by with $11,000 a year. We don’t talk about that. But you know what else he’s even doing—he’s talking about the idolatry of money. The worship of money. The greed that’s out there.

    Video: http://on.msnbc.com/1NdjJ5B

    Embed Code:

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    On Hillary Clinton:

    SANDERS: How often have I talked about Hillary Clinton’s emails? Have you heard me? Not a word. How often have I talked about the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising? Have you heard me say one word about it during the campaign? // I am trying to stay away from personal attacks on Hillary.

    Video: http://on.msnbc.com/1NdiT90

    Embed Code:

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    JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Let's bring in right now Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.  You know what I loved about Wisconsin is you won by 13 points, right?  Huge win, and then you had a couple days to just kind of sit back and relax.  Just take it all in, Bernie. Take it all -- Isn't that crazy?  You win there, a huge win, but then you're catapulted straight into the big apple.  


    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, what I liked about Wisconsin is we won in almost every county in the state, right across the board.  That was pretty good.  


    SCARBOROUGH: What happened there?  What worked there that worked in Michigan as well?  


    SANDERS: It is a smaller state, not a very small state.  We had the opportunity to go out and talk to tens of thousands of people.  Last week alone we had rallies with 35,000 people came out. So I think we do well when we can speak to people in a -- in a meaningful way, not in a three-second soundbite.  We're up there for an hour talking to people and answering questions.  It works pretty well.  


    MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: You get to stay focused, too.  You don't have to go to fundraisers, you don't have to deal with that whole side of things.  


    SANDERS: Lets me say that we don't do a whole lot of those fundraisers.  We've been extraordinarily lucky.  I have not done a quote/unquote fundraiser once.  


    SCARBOROUGH: We have a joke that you cough and you raise a million dollars.  


    SANDERS: Excuse me, time out.  (COUGHING) Berniesanders.com.  


    BRZEZINSKI: There you go. Look -- a million dollars.




    SCARBOROUGH: Let me just say, as a former colleague, I did it as a favor.  I just got you a million dollars.  


    BRZEZINSKI: It's incredible.  All right. So let's get -- First of all, there will be no questions about -- Now his wife said last night we are moving on.  Okay?


    SCARBOROUGH: About what?  


    SANDERS: If my wife says it, what can I say?  


    BRZEZINSKI: Oh, we're moving on.  


    SCARBOROUGH: Can you say I'm not qualified all the time.  


    BRZEZINSKI: Well no -- Exactly.  But here's the deal, everyone is saying, oh, this riff between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continues, but then you show the soundbite and it's reporters asking the questions continuing it --


    SANDERS: Oh, Mika, you just discovered something!


    BRZEZINSKI: Hello! So stop it.  Now listen, there are -- I think there -- I think a lot of people turned heads a little bit with "The Daily News Interview." The interview with "The New York Daily News." Some answers they felt you came up short with, especially on your main message. So I'm going to re-ask those questions.  I'm literally taking "The Daily News" interview and borrowing from this great interview.  All right. By what authority and how would you go about breaking up the largest financial institutions in the country?  


    SANDERS: All right. You ready for the answers?  


    BRZEZINSKI: I'm ready. I want to hear it.


    SANDERS: You do it in a couple of ways.  One is you use Section 121 of the Dodd-Frank legislation.  And No. 2, better, and I would prefer it, is pass my legislation.  And what my legislation -- the legislation that I've introduced says that the secretary of the treasury will have the authority to investigate and determine which banks pose systemic risks to our economy, i.e., if they're too big to fail, they can bring down a significant part of the economy, and then within a period of time the secretary can break them up.  


    SCARBOROUGH: So let me ask you that.  I mean -- by definition -- I'm going to upset a lot of my friends -- but Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, you can go down the list, Citi.  


    SANDERS: Yeah.


    SCARBOROUGH: If any one of those banks went under tomorrow, I don't care what anybody says, we'd be bailing them out again.  I don't care what the legislation says. You've been there, I've been there, they stick a gun to your head and say you either vote yes or the entire economy will have to -- why are we still in that position eight years after 2008?  


    SANDERS: Why are you asking me the question? This guy gave a better answer than I did.  


    BRZEZINSKI: I'm sorry.




    SCARBOROUGH: Now why are we still on that position?  It's maddening.  


    SANDERS: By the way, Joe, three out of the four largest banks in this country today are bigger than they were when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail.  So that's point No. 1.  Point No. 2 is that when you have six financial institutions that today have assets of about 50 -- equivalent to about 58 percent of the GDP of this country, they issue two-thirds of the credit cards and one-third of the mortgages, don't you think that's a hell of a lot of economic and political power?


    SCARBOROUGH: Yeah. Nobody is going to let them go under.  


    BRZEZINSKI: I don't disagree.  So another "New York Daily News," the great paper's question, what does a bank like J.P. Morgan look like in year two of the Sanders administration?


    SANDERS: And what I said is after they're broken up, that is their decision to reconfigure how they want to do it.  It's not the government's business.  We tell you you can't be this big, you're too much of a danger -- go from there -- this is how big you can be. That's all. I'm not going to run J.P. Morgan.  


    SCARBOROUGH: Is there a parallel between what the government did to the bells back in the '70s and '80s and what you do to the banks?  


    SANDERS: Right. I think so. Just say you're too big.  And -- yep.


    WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC HOST: Would you concede, Senator Sanders, that Wall Street banks, though, do play an important role in the United States economy, no matter what their size are in terms of employing people, managing people's public pensions -- ? So how do you -- how do you reconcile your position that they ought to be broken up with the important role they play in the economy?  


    SANDERS: Well, they play -- When they are that big, if they issue, the top six banks issue two-thirds of the credit cards and a third of the mortgages, by definition they play an enormous role.  But I think what we have got to say is that -- are they playing the kind of role that we need for small to medium-sized businesses in terms of providing the affordable credit that those businesses need to expand?  And I think the answer is no.  


    Much of what Wall Street is about is figuring out how they can make more profits for themselves and in many ways they're an island unto themselves, like all these esoteric crazy rules that nobody really understands to make more money for themselves.  The goal -- you know -- and in this one I guess I'm pretty conservative and I believe in old-fashioned boring banking.  You make a deposit, you make a loan.  The small or medium sized businesses, the consumers who want to buy a home, want to buy a car. That's kind of my definition of what banking should be about.  


    GEIST: Do you think it's good to have Wall Street banks managing public pensions, for example?  


    SANDERS: I think that's an important role for them to play.  




    MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: On another issue, gun litigation.  Yesterday Governor Cuomo of New York, with regard to your position, says what he does is take a political stance on a moral issue.  So the question is why -- What other industry in this country receives immunity from litigation other than the gun industry?


    SANDERS: Let me just say this. So let's set the record straight.  No. 1 -- and I do get a little bit upset at this.  The Clinton campaign has been on this gun business from day one.  I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA.  Okay? D-minus.  No. 2, I come from a state that has virtually no gun control.  You know something about --




    SANDERS: Okay. No. 3, and this is important to understand. In 1988, before I was elected to Congress, I was in a race, three-way race. The gun lobby was against me in that race because I said in 1988 that we should not have assault weapons sold or distributed in this country.  I lost by three percentage points by running as an independent, Republican won, Democrat came in third place.  I lost that race because I said in 1988 let's ban assault weapons in this country.  So to keep attacking me, I think, is unfair.  


    Now to answer your question, let me put it back to you.  I am a gun shop owner in a rural area.  You come in, you go through the instant background check, I sell you the gun, you flip out, go do something, you go out and shoot somebody.  Should I be held responsible for having sold you a legal product?  


    BARNICLE: Is that the point of the litigation, though?  


    SANDERS: Yes.  


    BARNICLE: The point of the litigation, it would seem to me, is massive sales of guns in bulk.  


    SANDERS: Okay -- If that's the case, then of course my position is then that gun -- if you walk in and say, hey, Bernie, give me 10,000 rounds of ammunition or I want to buy 47 assault weapons. Should I be held responsible for selling you that?  The answer is yes.  


    SCARBOROUGH: I want to flip what the governor of New York said around a bit and look at it in the other direction.  He said that you were taking a political position.  It seems to me in the Democratic primary on guns, the safe political decision would have been to change your position and actually tell "The Daily News" what "The Daily News" wanted to hear.  Why didn't you do that?  


    SANDERS: Well, I didn't because I try to be honest.  But here is the issue, and I want to pick this up.  If a gun manufacturer -- and there are instances of this -- are selling guns to gun shops and we know that those guns are ending up in the hands of criminals, you know what?  Hold that manufacturer liable.  But don't hold a gun shop owner who legally sells a product to somebody else liable because that person did something crazy.  


    SCARBOROUGH: Just to make sure, and we've been debating this since Newtown -- You do support a ban on gun shows without background checks, right?


    SANDERS: Of course I do.  


    BRZEZINSKI: There is definitely --


    SCARBOROUGH: You want background checks --




    SANDERS: Let's go for the --


    SCARBOROUGH: ...on selling over the internet just for people that don't know all of your positions, let's get them out on guns.  You support stronger background checks.  You support background checks at gun shows over the internet, et cetera, et cetera.  


    SANDERS: And the straw man provision so that if you walk in legally and buy a gun and then you sell it to criminals, that should be against the law.  I very strongly support what President Obama is trying to do.  But I want to reiterate that back in 1988, I lost an election because I did not think it was a wise thing to have assault weapons being sold throughout this country.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  So, you would be the first Jewish president, and I'm looking here at -- I don't know if this is new, have you heard he's going to the Vatican?  Has anyone -- this been revealed?


    SANDERS:  You have the story here, Mika.  Tell the world.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  So, tell me -- tell me, you're going to be going to the Vatican to talk about how to create a moral economy that works for all people rather than the top 1 percent?  


    How did this come about?  


    SANDERS:  It was an invitation from the Vatican.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  You know, that's pretty good.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  That's kind of impressive.  


    SANDERS:  It is.  Look, let me...




    BRZEZINSKI:  It is.  I like that.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  Mike, has the pope invited you -- has the pope invited you?  


    BARNICLE:  The pope has not invited me.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  I got not no invitation.


    BARNICLE:  And he has invited Senator Sanders.  I am kind of offended, because I've been going to 8:00 o'clock children's mass now for...


    BRZEZINSKI:  Last time I checked, you're a Catholic, too.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  So you've been invited by the Vatican to go over and speak?


    SANDERS:  Yeah.  And I was very moved by the invitation, which just was made public today.  I am a big, big fan of the pope.  Obviously there are areas where we disagree, on women's rights or gay rights, but he has played an unbelievable role, an unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy.  


    And here's what he is saying.  You know, people think Bernie Sanders is radical.  Read what the pope is writing.  What he is saying is not only that we have to pay attention to what he called the dispossessed, and again, we don't talk about it enough.  These are the children who have no jobs all over the world, youth unemployment is off the charts.  The elderly people who are watching this program now, who are trying to get by on $11,000 a year.  


    We don't talk about that.  But you know what else?  He's even going -- he is talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that's out there, how our whole culture is based on, "I need more and more and more, and I don't have to worry about veterans sleeping out on the street, or elderly people who can't afford their prescription drugs."  


    And he's trying to inject a sense of morality into how we do economics.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  Trying to put a conscience into it.  


    SANDERS:  Absolutely.  And we need that absolutely desperately, so.  


    GEIST:  I assume you think part of that morality, economically is raising the minimum wage.


    SANDERS:  Yes.


    GEIST:  And we've been talking about that a lot in New York at $15, and California as well, $15.


    SANDERS:  Yes.  Oregon.


    BRZEZINSKI:  New York, right?


    GEIST:  The governor of the state of Massachusetts, Oregon, New York have all been talking about that.  


    What do you say, though, to the small business owners and other people who say, "if I've got to pay 15 bucks an hour I'm either going to have to lay people off or shut down my business all together?"  


    SANDERS:  Well, first of all, everybody is going to have to be paying -- you know, it's one thing if I say to him if you pay $15, and you're paying $8 an hour.  But it goes up to the whole country, that is number one.  


    GEIST:  Up to $15, Senator?  


    SANDERS:  Yes.  If I had my way -- and I want to say a couple things about this.  Number two, when we raise the minimum wage to a living wage, you're putting money into the hands of people, who in many instances, don't have any disposable income right now.  He's now getting $15, before he got $11, he has money to go shopping in her store and buy some goods and she can now hire somebody to do that.  


    I understand the conservatives argue that point, and there may -- I'm not going to tell you that there will not be some small businesses that will be impacted, but I think overall for the economy, putting cash into the hands of people who desperately need it will be a plus for the economy.  


    I want to make a second point, though, if I could, on this $15 minimum wage.  If we were sitting here -- and let's be honest about this -- five years ago, Willie, you said, "I think we should raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, because $7.25 is starvation wage."  


    Would anybody here have believed that in a period of five years, California, Oregon, New York state and other cities would have done it?  Nobody would have believed that.  






    SANDERS:  All right, here's my point.  When I am criticized for being too ambitious, talking about free tuition to public colleges or universities, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, moving toward a Medicare for all, I'm criticized -- it's too big an idea, too radical an idea.  


    But what happens when an idea catches fire?  When people see the justice of that idea, it moves very, very quickly.  


    What happened with the $15 an hour minimum wage is people in the fast food industry, the McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, they went out on strike, they raised the issue.  And suddenly I have governors and city councils all over the country saying, "That's right."  


    What my campaign is about is trying to inject that sense of urgency and bringing people together to say, we can deal with incumbent wealth inequality.  We can deal with pay equity for women.  We can deal with the fact that we have more people in jail than any other country on Earth -- if we get our act together, if we stand up and take on the big money and trusts that have so much power, we can change America.  




    SCARBOROUGH:  Let's go to foreign policy and talk about an issue that matters a lot to people -- well, in my home state of Florida, but also here in New York and across the country -- and that is Israel.  


    Do you believe, like many diplomats, that the only way to at the end strike peace -- strike a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians is moving back to pre-1967 borders?  


    SANDERS:  What I believe, first of all, is there are good people on both sides and there are political opportunists on both sides.  Got to say that.


    Number two, what I believe is, as somebody who is Jewish, who has lived in Israel for a few months when I was a young man, who has family in Israel is that of course, the security of Israel, the independence of Israel, the right of Israel to live in peace and security is paramount.  But you have to recognize the plight of the Palestinians.  


    And I know that in America, in politics, that maybe is not something that is said very often.  But we're not going to have lasting peace unless we recognize that in Gaza, for example, what the current situation there is deplorable.  I mean, people living with horrific levels of poverty in an area that has been the -- just annihilated.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  Right.


    SANDERS:  So what I think is, Joe, you need a two-state solution and we'll argue about the details of that.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  But do you have an opinion on the pre-'67 borders?  


    SANDERS:  Not at this point.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  Not right now, OK.  


    GEIST:  Do you believe, quickly, Senator, that that plight of the Palestinians you talk about was brought on in part by Israel?  


    SANDERS:  Look, Israel has a right to protect itself from terrorism.  The idea that in Gaza, weapons, and missiles and bombs were being created is obviously unacceptable.  


    Do I think that Israel reacted in a disproportionate way?  I do.  And in that same interview, what I -- did not know the exact number, but it turns out that according to the United Nations, over 2,000 civilians were killed and some 10,000 people were wounded.  


    I think that is, you know, an understanding that there was a war, I think that was a disproportionate reaction.  


    BARNICLE:  Paul Krugman raises an issue about the increasingly vitriolic tone of the campaign on both sides.  


    SANDERS:  Well, I think vitriolic is probably too strong a word, but go ahead.  


    BARNICLE:  Well, Mr. Krugman writes in part...


    SCARBOROUGH:  We've never known Paul Krugman, though, to overreach rhetorically.  




    BARNICLE:  Recent attacks...


    SCARBOROUGH:  Not good at -- he's not good at debates.


    BRZEZINSKI:  Stop it!  Stop.  We have a minute.


    SCARBOROUGH:  He's not good at debates, but he can overreach rhetorically.  But go ahead, I'm sorry.




    BARNICLE:  Well, we're going to get a reaction to whether he overreached or not.  


    "Recent attacks on Mrs. Clinton as a tool of the fossil fuel industry are plain dishonest and speak of a campaign" -- yours -- "that has lost itself ethical moorings."


    SANDERS:  Oh, man.




    BRZEZINSKI:  Wow, you're in trouble.  


    SANDERS:  We get attacked every single day.  I've been called a protector of the NRA.  The Clinton campaign has said I want to dismember American health care and leave people without Medicaid or Medicare.  


    That I am attacking Planned Parenthood when I think Planned Parenthood is one of the great organizations in this country.  It was a headline in the Washington Post just the other day, quote, "Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president."


    To say that, you know -- how often have I talked about Hillary Clinton's e-mails?  Have you heard me?  Not a word.  How often have I talked about the Clinton Foundation's fund raising?  Have you heard me say one word about it during the campaign?  


    To say that I am running a vitriolic campaign...


    SCARBOROUGH:  Why haven't you?


    BRZEZINSKI:  I know.




    GEIST:  It'd be an argue -- you'd make our job easier.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  Well, I mean, some of them are very good questions.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  What?  Well, I mean, some of them.  Some of them.


    BRZEZINSKI:  Some of them are legitimate questions.  


    SANDERS:  They are, but I am trying to stay away from personal attacks on Hillary.  


    You know, so when I get attacked for being unqualified, and when I respond by saying well, you know, Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq, she voted for all these disastrous trade agreements, she's raising millions and millions of dollars from Wall Street and other special interests -- oh, my goodness, isn't that a vitriolic attack?  


    I don't think so.  


    GEIST:  So, since you say that, Senator, that when she was up to be secretary of state, you said of her, "Clinton is one of the brightest people in Congress, she would be an excellent choice."


    SANDERS:  Yeah.


    GEIST:  At that point, she had already voted for the Iraq War and all those trade deals.  What changed since then?  


    SANDERS:  Well, she's running for president now, that's what changed.  


    And look, I think she is very bright, and I'm not going to get dragged into telling you something that is not true.  I've known her for 25 years, I respect her.  


    But if I am being attacked day after day, after day, if what the Clinton -- what the Clinton campaign basically says, look, we lost in Wisconsin, we've lost six out of the last seven states, we have got to go negative on Sanders.  


    That is what their new strategy is.  What am I supposed to do?  Just sit back and say, hey, I come from a small state, we're really nice people, we don't -- we have got to fight back.  And that is what we are trying to do.


    I hope, though -- let me be clear on this, OK?  Let's get back to the issues.  Hillary Clinton and I have strong disagreements.  I respect her.  But let's start debating the issues, and that is what the American people want.


    BRZEZINSKI:  And there will be a debate, and Jane just pointing out -- we did not bring it up.  We did not bring it up...


    SCARBOROUGH:  No, Jane, we didn't -- hi, Jane.  


    BRZEZINSKI:  We didn't bring it up.  


    All right.  Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much.  Great to have you on the show.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you, Bernie.


    GEIST:  Thanks, Senator.  


    SCARBOROUGH:  Always great to see you.  





  • MSNBC's Chris Jansing Interviews Donald Trump One-on-One in Wisconsin

    MSNBC’s Chris Jansing interviewed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump live and in-person outside of a Waukesha, WI polling site this morning.

    On reports of infighting within his campaign, Trump said, “I haven’t heard those reports. We have a great campaign. I’m number one by a lot… I have not heard anything about infighting. I don’t know where you hear it… I’m the only one that would know.”

    Trump responded to critics who said last week was “not his greatest weeks.” He told Jansing: “But I’ve had worst weeks on the campaign. I’ve had so many weeks that I think a couple of them that were worst and in one case I went up in the polls, so you know, it couldn’t have been so disastrous.”

    On the recent charge of battery against his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, Trump said: “If you look at the tape, what did Corey Lewandowski do? So am I supposed to be loyal to a person? Or because somebody filed something, because if you look at the complaint—people have looked at that tape and they’re trying to say, ‘What did he do wrong?’ So I have to be loyal to people just like I’ll be loyal to the people of this country. But when you analyze it, it’s called ‘give me a break.’”

    “As far as women are concerned, nobody respects women more than I do,” he added.

    When asked by Jansing why women aren’t getting that message that he respects women, Trump said, “I get a very, very unfair press having to do with women and many other things.”

    Video and rush transcript are below. Mandatory credit: MSNBC’s Chris Jansing

    Video: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/trump-feels-great-ahead-of-wi-primary-659223107954

    Embed Code:

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    CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Let's go in and see if we can get him to answer a question for two.  How are you feeling this morning?


    DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We feel great.  I mean, the turnout has been fantastic.  I think we're going to have a great day.  We had a phenomenal poll come out last night, actually a pollster that called South Carolina.  You know, I wasn't supposed to win South Carolina.  We won in really a landslide, Chris, and we feel really good about this. 


    JANSING:  I want to give you a chance to answer these reports that there's a lot of infighting in your campaign, that it's in a state somewhat of disarray. 


    TRUMP:  I haven't heard those reports.  I mean, we have a great campaign, I'm No. 1 by a lot.  Millions more votes than Cruz or anybody else.  I have millions of more votes, as you know.  I have almost 300 more delegates.  I have not heard anything about infighting.  I don't know where you hear it. 


    JANSING:  Do you feel -- well, it's being reported and there are people within your campaign who are suggesting --


    TRUMP:  I'm the only -- no, I'm the only -- I doubt that. 


    JANSING:  You feel confident that your campaign is all working together.


    TRUMP:  Yes.




    JANSING:  None of the people who have been brought in --


    TRUMP:  Let me ask you, are we No. 1? 


    JANSING:  You are No. 1.  But will you --


    TRUMP:  Do we have millions nor votes than anybody else?  Will we win today, I can't tell you, but we're going to have a great turnout and I think we're going to do very well. 


    JANSING:  As you know, it's not uncommon when things seem to not be doing as well as they might have been -- and I know you disagree with some of the assessments, but people have said not your greatest week last week for sure.


    TRUMP:  But I've had worse weeks on the campaign.  I mean, I've had so many weeks that -- I think a couple that were worse.  And in one case I went up in the polls.  So, you know, couldn't have been so disastrous.


    But we actually have a very, very good campaign going.  I'm No. 1 by a lot.  And, you know, the thing that nobody talks about are the votes.  I'm millions of votes more than anybody else.  You know, we talk about delegates, which I'm by far and away No. 1, but the votes are even more impressive, because I have -- if you take a look, is it close to 3 million votes more than the second place person. 


    So we're doing really well.  I had not heard anything about the inner fightings of the campaign, but we have a successful campaign going and I think we're going to keep it going. 


    JANSING:  And let me ask you about going on from here.  How important is Wisconsin, and if Ted Cruz is able to win here, does it substantially make it harder for you to go into Cleveland and assure a win? 


    TRUMP:  Well, Ted Cruz can't win.  There's no way he can get the delegates and everybody has said that, all of your friends and everybody that I've watched, has said that it's impossible -- almost impossible for Ted Cruz to win.  So he would have to get it at the convention, which I think would be highly unlikely. 


    So he can't win.  We can win fairly easily.  If we won Wisconsin, that would be a big help. 


    JANSING:  And what has it meant in Wisconsin, do you think, that you had the radio talk show host, you've had the governor, you've had so many people who are in the, quote/unquote, "establishment", who have actively said that they think that you're dangerous for their party and that they want to work to make sure that you don't win. 


    TRUMP:  Well, the governor has to say that because, as you know, I took him out.  He was running for president and I was the one that took him out and I took him out rapidly and I didn't  ever even ask for his endorsement or support.  But I have the support of many people, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, people that ran and really ran much more successfully than he did. 


    I have the support of many, many people.  We just got the support of the 16,500 border patrol agents, which really is responsible for the border, the southern border.  And, I mean, we have tremendous support from so many different levels, Senator Jeff Sessions, who Cruz was trying to get on his camp, because he's one of the most respected senators.  He endorsed Donald Trump. 


    So we have tremendous support but I can understand why Governor Walker wouldn't want to support me because I was the one that took him out of the presidential race and it was done pretty -- it was pretty tough.  I mean, it was a pretty tough situation.  He was expected to win and he ended up leaving, one of the earliest to leave.  So I understand that; that's why I never even bothered to ask for his support. 


    JANSING:  One of the toughest mountains for you seems to be with women now.  In some areas you have 70, 77 (ph) percent negatives with women.  Can you turn that around and what do you think is behind I,t besides obviously there were people that are concerned about your questions on abortion, very concerned about the fact that you continue to support Corey Lewandowski. 


    TRUMP:  A lot -- well, if you look at the tape, what did Corey Lewandowski do?  So am I supposed to be loyal to a person?  Or because somebody filed something -- because if you look at the complaint, I mean, people have -- we don't have to get into it now, but people have looked at that tape and they're trying to say what did he do wrong?  So I have to be loyal to people, just like I'll be loyal to the people of this country.  But when you analyze it, it's called give me a break. 


    As far as women are concerned, nobody respects women more than I do, not even close.  Nobody respects women more than I do.  And I get very --




    JANSING:  So why aren't they getting that message? 


    TRUMP:  I'll tell you what, because I get a very unfair press.  I get very, very unfair press having to do with women and many other things.  I mean --




    TRUMP:  That's right.  Phyllis (ph) does. 


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I told that to Charlie Sykes last week, Mr. Trump. 


    TRUMP:  Yes, and Charlie Sykes, I mean, this guy is third rate.  He's a third rate talent and he frankly -- and the governor, you know the story with the governor.  But the women -- I think that I'm going to do very well with women.  We just had a big meeting, many women at the meeting, and they like me best because they say you're best with the military, you're best with the borders, you're best with security.  And I said I'm going to be best for women's health issues, much better than hillary, much better than anybody else.  So I think we're going to do fantastically well with women. 


    JANSING:  If you don't win here, Donald -- Mr. Trump, will it be because you misread or your campaign misread the Wisconsin electorate?  Do you think that perhaps you might have come in here, knowing that you beat him, and not been so tough on the governor, not been so tough on a radio talk show host who frankly is  very popular here and very well respected?


    TRUMP:  The state is not doing particularly well; it's average compared to other states surrounding.  The governor has a good press.  The governor's a nice man.  I mean, he gave me a plaque because I supported him a year ago.  You know, a year ago I was like establishment, right?  I supported him; I gave him a lot of money because I liked him because he was a fighter.  But the truth is his results are not very good.  They're very average, even less than average in many cases.  They're losing jobs; they're going to other countries.  And I let people know and I let people know, too, when I was running against him as president and I talked about what's going wrong.  And it was something I didn't want to do, but he had to leave the race, because when I brought out the facts he was unable to answer what I said. 


    That being said, I've done great in Wisconsin. I mean, the people have -- you've seen, I've had rallies that have been fantastic.  Yesterday we had over 8,000 people trying to get into a airplane hangar and it was in the middle, like, I mean, it was in an area that everyone said you couldn't get anybody.  And they had thousands and thousands of people from all over Wisconsin coming. 


    I think we're going to do well.  A poll came out last night and it was interesting because it was the same pollster that polled South Carolina that I ended up winning in a landslide.  This was the poll that was the most accurate in South Carolina and I believe also in New Hampshire, which I also won.  So it's going to be interesting to see.  But I think it's going to be a great day in Wisconsin and I think we're going to do very well.  I don't know, but I just -- based on the enthusiasm -- how do you think we're going to do in Wisconsin?


    CROWD:  Great! Great job!


    TRUMP:  I think we're going to do very well.  I hope so. 


    JANSING:  And finally no changes anticipated in your campaign staff?  You have full confidence in everyone within it and you see no signs of any kind of unrest or infighting within your campaign? 


    TRUMP:  No, it's just the media again.  I get the most unfair media.  Nobody ever even called me.  This is the first time I've been asked this question.  Nobody has ever called me about this.  We're No. 1 in every category -- No. 1 in delegates, No. 1 in votes by millions.  I don't mean by like two votes, by millions and millions of votes.  And I'm very happy. 


    JANSING:  And you don't feel ill served, for example, to go on to a very popular talk radio show and you said you didn't know they had been leading an anti-Trump show. 


    TRUMP:  No, because if you listen to that -- I don't mind that.  I mean, you go into the enemy camp sometimes, but you have to take on the enemy.  He's not a very smart guy, not a very bright guy, and if you listen to the entire show, you would've said Donald Trump totally won that debate.  I was on the show for 15 minutes and everybody that listened to that show said you convinced me.  I've had many people call me that were going to vote against me.  They listened to that show.  By the end of the show, and they wrote me -- I have two or three letters -- they wrote and tweeted and all of these, and they said by the end of that show, you have totally convinced me.  I'm voting for Trump.  So sometimes you go into unfriendly territory.  That's part of the game. 


    JANSING:  And that's what you consider Wisconsin to be? 


    TRUMP:  No, you said about a radio talk show host --


    JANSING:  You were just talking about the radio host. 


    TRUMP:  See, that's what I mean about the dishonest media. 


    JANSING:  I'm asking you a question, allowing you to answer it. 


    TRUMP:  Excuse me.  Excuse me, excuse me.  You're asking me about a show host.  I said he was unfriendly territory.  Then you say is that, what, Wisconsin?


    JANSING:  Well, you also talked about (INAUDIBLE).




    TRUMP:  That's so dishonest.  It's so dis -- No, no, look, that's called -- you know what's that's called?  Dishonest media.  That's called dishonest reporting.


    JANSING:  Well, let me ask you finally, going into New York --


    TRUMP:  I think I'm going to do great. 


    JANSING:  -- and Pennsylvania --


    TRUMP:  Excuse me.


    JANSING:  -- what's the strategy?


    TRUMP:  Excuse me.  I think I'm going to do great in Wisconsin.  The polls are showing me doing really, really well in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut.  I mean, it looks like we're going to have tremendous victories there.  But right now, I'm interested right here.  We'll see how we do tonight.  And I think the results will surprise you. 


    JANSING:  Donald Trump, thank you so much for your time, sir.  






    MSNBC Wins the Demo and Beats CNN in Total Viewers 8-11pm

    NEW YORK – March 31, 2016 – MSNBC’s night of four candidate events scored big in the ratings Wednesday night, beating both Fox News and CNN in the demo and topping CNN among total viewers for the 8-11pm daypart. 

    MSNBC’s “Place for Politics” special coverage also handily beat CNN at 8pm and 9pm in both A25-54 and total viewers with the news-making Trump town hall hosted by Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow’s long-form interview with Hillary Clinton respectively.  

    The evening also included a town hall with John Kasich moderated by Chuck Todd at 7pm and Rachel Maddow’s extended interview with Bernie Sanders at 10pm.

    This big night comes on the heels of MSNBC’s recording setting growth in the first quarter of 2016.  This quarter was the highest for the network in over three years.

    Wednesday, March 30






    # # #

  • TRANSCRIPT: Bernie Sanders speaks with Rachel Maddow

    Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow today and discussed Trump’s comments on abortion saying the comments were “beyond comprehension.”

    Sanders also spoke about the race, veterans and criticized the media’s fascination with Trump. 

    The interview will air tonight at 10 p.m. ET following Maddow’s interview with Hillary Clinton at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC. 

    MANDATORY CREDIT: MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”


    MADDOW:  Welcome back to this super-sized edition of "The Rachel Maddow Show" tonight.  Senator Bernie Sanders is riding high today, in today's presidential politics.  Just a few days after his huge double-digit wins over the weekend in Alaska, and Hawaii and Washington State.  Bolstered by those huge margins he got in the caucuses in those states this weekend, the Sanders campaign appears to now be feeling its proverbial oats.  They're not demanding more debates with Hillary Clinton.  The Sanders campaign is now calling Secretary Clinton a weak Democratic front-runner.


    The Sanders campaign is also committing to campaign heavily at some of the big states coming up, including New York State, where Senator Sanders will be tomorrow, and in the great state of Wisconsin, which votes on Tuesday, and where Senator Sanders has already been holding some big rallies.


    A brand new poll from Marquette University just out today puts Bernie Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by four points.  Looking down the barrel at that it is a good day to be Bernie Sanders.


    Today the senator held a big townhall event at the Orpheum (ph) Theater in Madison, Wisconsin.  And the senator joins us from backstage at that theater now.


    Senator Sanders, thank you so much for being here.  Really appreciate  your time tonight.


    SANDERS:  Good to be with you, Rachel.


    MADDOW:  So congratulations on this big weekend that you had, not just wins in those three caucuses, but blowouts.  Now there aren't that many more caucuses on the calendar, even though you've done some well with them.  The next big state is Wisconsin on Tuesday.


    Do you expect that you're about to win Wisconsin as well?


    SANDERS:  Well, this is what I think -- I think that if there is a large voter turnout, if working-class people who have given up on the political process come out the vote, if young people who have never participated come out to vote, if there's a good turnout, we will win.  If there's a low turnout, we'll probably lose.  So we're doing everything that we can to create a high voter turnout.


    MADDOW:  Senator Sanders, I'm not going to ask you to play pundit.  I am going to ask you about some stuff going on in the Republican field in just a second. 


    But before we do that, I was struck by the cover story that "Rolling Stone" had recently, where they put you and Secretary Clinton on the cover. They called it "the good fight," basically contrasting the fight between you two with what's happening on the Republican side, saying that the Democratic primary has been policy driven, and decent and intelligent.  It's been an argument to be proud as a country. 


    They also said it's been "game-raising" for both of you, basically that it's made you both better candidates.


    I wanted to know if you agree with that, if you think this has been a good fight to be proud of thus far and if you think it has changed you over time?


    SANDERS:  Well, Rachel, let me say that comparing us to the Republicans, you know, the bar -- that's a pretty low bar to overcome.  Uh, and I think what is really a -- a national disgrace -- and I think this is not just what, you know, average Americans are saying, but what many sane Republicans are saying.  This country faces enormous crises.  You know, massive levels of income and wealth inequality, a declining middle class, climate change, uh, the pay equity issue for women.


    And what Republican candidates have now stooped to is to starting attacking each other's wives.  I mean this is an international embarrassment.  I think people around the rest of the world think we are pretty crazy.


    So I think compared to that, at least, you know, what Secretary Clinton and I are trying to do, and while we have very different points of view, we are trying to discuss the real issues facing the American people and I think most objective Americans appreciate that a lot more than the kind of circus that is taking place on the Republican side.


    MADDOW:  I had a chance to speak with Secretary Clinton earlier today and I asked her this question, as well.  I'm going to -- I'm going to ask you because I think it is possible that you two might have a difference of opinion on this.


    Um, last night the Republican candidates gave up on what had been their previous pledges that they would all support their party's eventual nominee in the fall.


    Because of that, I think whether or not the Republicans nominate Donald Trump, there are plenty good odds now that are good portion of the Republican Party won't support whoever that party runs for president.


    Now, as a -- as somebody who's running in the Democratic -- for the Democratic nomination, do you look at that on the Republican side and say basically, you know, good riddance, it's about time for the Republican Party in this country to blow up...


    SANDERS:  Well...


    MADDOW:  -- I hope they come back with something better?


    Or are -- are you concerned, because our cardy -- party has a two party system and we need both parties to be strong and -- and sane in order to make this system work?


    SANDERS:  Well, uh, first of all, I don't necessarily take at value -- face value what they say.  I think at the end of the day, they probably will come together.


    But the other point, I think the more -- the deeper point, Rachel, is the Republican Party today has moved very, very far to the right.  Uh, they are way out of touch with where the American people are.


    And I think if we had a media in this country that was really prepared to look at what the Republicans actually stood for rather than quoting every absurd remark of Donald Trump, talking about Republican Party, talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the top two tenths of 1 percent, cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid, a party which with few exceptions, doesn't even acknowledge the reality of climate change, let alone do anything about it, a party which is not prepared to stand with women in the fight for pay equity, a party that is not prepared to do anything about a broken criminal justice system or a corrupt campaign finance system, I think, to be honest with you -- and I just don't, you know, say this rhetorically, this is a fringe party.  It is a fringe party.  Maybe they get 5, 10 percent of the vote.


    What you really need in this country is a progressive party standing with the working class and the middle class of this country.  And yes, a conservative party that, you know, has, you know, is more fiscally conservative.  That is where we should be as a country.


    But the Republican Party today now is a joke, maintained by a media which really does not force them to discuss their issues.


    So that -- that's my two cents on that.


    MADDOW:  Well, if the -- let me try to get three cents out of you on that.


    If they're a -- a fringe party and a joke and they're no longer the conservative party that they appear to be, they're being propped up by a media that doesn't call them on what it is they're actually offering, does that mean that you would applaud if the Republican Party really did blow up?


    I mean some people say that the nomination of Donald Trump and the process they're going through now by which they -- they might nominate him is enough to maybe destroy that party, maybe end the Republican Party.


    Do you think that would -- that would be a good thing?


    SANDERS:  Well, I'm not going to give the Republican leadership, you know, really any ideas on how they can reorganize their party.  All I can tell you is that it is absolutely imperative for the future of this country and for future generations that we do not have a Republican in the White House, whether it is Trump or Cruz or anybody else.


    And one of the things that I'm proud of, Rachel, uh, and it hasn't gotten, I think, quite the attention that it deserves, is that in national poll after national poll, what you find is that, uh, I am leading, you know, people like Trump -- a poll came out a few days ago, CNN, by 20 points and a significantly larger number than Hillary Clinton is.


    So I think one of the points that we're trying to get across is if Re -- if the Democratic Party wants a strong candidate that will defeat Trump or some other Republican and beat them badly, I think I am the candidate, because we appeal not only to Democrats, but to a lot of Independents and actually some Republicans, as well.


    MADDOW:  Your campaign has talked about those head-to-head match-ups, those hypothetical match-ups in November, uh, as essentially the case that you might make to the super delegates.  And you -- you and I have talked about this, uh, before.


    But since we last spoke about it, your campaign has gone into more -- to more detail about this.


    Tad Devine, uh, said to Greg Sargent at "The Washington Post" this week that your campaign would try to convince super delegates to support you at the convention on this -- on the strength of what you just said there, that you have a better chance in the general election, that they would try to flip those super delegates to support you even if, at the convention, you're behind both in the pledged delegates and in the popular vote.


    Um, I felt...


    SANDERS:  Well...


    MADDOW:  -- I thought that was surprising.  I just wanted to find out if that really is your campaign strategy.


    SANDERS:  Well, look, I don't want to get into -- too deeply into process here.  First of all, we hope to be ahead in the delegate count.  That's the important thing.


    Uh, but what I do believe is that, uh, there are a lot of Republican -- a lot of super delegates who have signed onto Hillary Clinton a long, long time ago, uh, and then you have other super delegates who are in states where we have won by 20, 30, 40 points.  And the people in those states are saying you know what, we voted for Bernie Sanders by 30 or 40 points, you've got to support him at the convention.


    So we'll see what happens down the line.  But our main task right now is to, in fact, come out of this whole process after California with more delegates, uh, than Secretary Clinton.


    MADDOW:  Are you working now on -- on lobbying some of the super delegates?


    We should say super delegates...


    SANDERS:  We are...


    MADDOW:  -- (INAUDIBLE) elected officials and -- and party leaders.


    Are you working now on...


    SANDERS:  Well...


    MADDOW:  -- on trying to persuade them?


    SANDERS:  -- yes, we are.  We -- we are.  We have started off by going to those states, you know, states like Utah, uh, states like Hawaii, uh, states, um, that have given us, uh, very large, uh, victories and trying to get to those people and say you know what, your state voted overwhelmingly for us, listen to what your state has to say.


    MADDOW:  Senator Sanders, I have -- I promise I won't ask you only process questions here, but I do want to ask you about something, uh, that arose this week from your campaign that I, um, I -- I disagree with on factual grounds.  And I'll tell you what it is.


    Your campaign said this week that Secretary Clinton is leading overall basically because you chose not to compete, um, in eight states -- in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee.


    Uh, and the reason I say I take factual issue with that is because, you know, I -- I saw the footage of your rallies in -- in Texas and Virginia, at least.


    SANDERS:  Right.


    MADDOW:  We reported you were first on the ground ahead of Clinton...


    SANDERS:  Right.


    MADDOW:  -- in Alabama, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee.


    Why is your campaign now saying that you...


    SANDERS:  Well, I don't -- look...


    MADDOW:  -- simply didn't try in those states?


    SANDERS:  Rachel, you're talking -- you say you don't want to talk about process, this is exactly what we're talking about.  One person said that.  I don't know the context of that.


    Once we were in Texas.  We had great rallies in Dallas, in Houston, uh, and in Austin.  Of course we campaigned there.


    I think perhaps what Tad meant by that is we did not put a lot of money into TV advertising that we know those states would be difficult states for us and we used our resources elsewhere.


    But to be honest with you, we put a lot of money into South Carolina and we did poorly.


    So of course we did compete in Mississippi, Alabama, not a whole lot, to be honest with you.


    But I think what Tad was meaning is that we did not put a lot of resources into those states.


    MADDOW:  You told me, uh, in -- in January, you articulated it a few other places, that the Democratic Party really needs to run a 50 state strategy and that people in places like South Carolina...


    SANDERS:  Absolutely.


    MADDOW:  -- and Mississippi specifically...


    SANDERS:  Absolutely.


    MADDOW:  -- need strong Democratic campaigns there so that their voices get heard.


    How do you say that with...


    SANDERS:  Absolutely.


    MADDOW:  -- with not running that hard in a place like Mississippi?


    SANDERS:  Well, I will tell you how.  If there were -- if we had a -- a lot longer time, that's exactly what I would do.  But the difficult choices you have to make -- right now, I'm in Wisconsin.  Well, you know what, I should be in New York, I should be in New Jersey, I should be in California.


    But what you had to do in the midst of a campaign is to say where is our time, where are our resources?


    Let's allocate it if we're going to win this thing.  Truthfully, we knew from day one we were never going to win in Mississippi or Alabama.


    But the point you make is a different point.  It is the correct point.  I believe that starting yesterday, the Democratic Party has got to start planting flags in all of those states.  Now, they may not win it in 2016 or 2018.  But you're never going to win it unless you begin somewhere, unless you mobilize the grassroots in those states, come forward with good, strong candidates.


    So it's really not a contradiction.


    I do believe very strongly if elected president, I will create a situation where the DNC is a 50 state party.  You cannot ignore half the states of America, including those states who are -- have the poorest people, the highest levels of unemployment, the worst health care system in the country.  Democrats have got to pay attention to all 50 states.


    MADDOW:  Senator Sanders, will you stay with us for just a moment?


    I have -- I have more to ask you, I promise.




    MADDOW:  My conversation with Senator Sanders continues in just a moment.


    Stay with us.




    MADDOW:  Joining us once again from Madison, Wisconsin is Senator Bernie Sanders.


    Senator Sanders, thank you again for being with us tonight.


    Appreciate it.


    So, sir, you Tweeted today, uh, that it was, quote, "shameful" -- that was the word you used -- when Donald Trump said this to my colleague, Chris Matthews here on MSNBC.




    CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  How do you ban abortion?


    How do you actually do it?


    DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, you know, you'll go back to a -- a position like they had, where people will perhaps go to illegal places...


    MATTHEWS:  Yes!


    TRUMP:  But you have to ban it.  The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.


    MATTHEWS:  For the woman?


    TRUMP:  Yes.  There has to be some form.


    MATTHEWS:  Ten days or 10 years?


    TRUMP:  (INAUDIBLE) I don't know.  That I don't know.




    MADDOW:  After, uh, the word spread that Donald Trump had made those remarks today about abortion, that a woman needs to be punished, uh, if she seeks an abortion and abortion should be banned, you said today that was shameful.


    What is shameful about it?


    SANDERS:  Well, I think it is -- shameful is probably understating that position.  First of all, to me, and I think to most Americans, women have the right to control their own bodies and they have the right to make those personal decisions themselves.


    But to punish a woman for having an abortion is beyond comprehension.  I -- I just -- you know, one would say what is in Donald Trump's mind except we're tired of saying that?


    I don't know what world this person lives in.  So obviously, from my perspective, and if elected president, I will do everybody that I can to allow women to make that choice and have access to clinics all over this country so that if they choose to have an abortion, they will be able to do so.


    The idea of punishing a woman, that is just, you know, beyond comprehension.


    MADDOW:  And Mr. Trump has made -- is making headlines on -- on this issue today, obviously, because of what he said.  It's sort of, you know, taken the media day by storm.


    Um, that said, I think there may be a case to be made -- and I'd love your -- just your response to this, your perspective on this, uh, that his opponent, Senator Ted Cruz, is more extreme on this issue.  And I say that, in part, because one of his national co-chairs on his Pro-Lifers for Cruz coalition, is a man named Troy Newman, who once wrote a book saying that abortion providers should be executed.


    Is Ted Cruz even further out on this issue than Donald Trump is?


    SANDERS:  Well, you -- you know, you're living in crazy world there.  And that is why, uh, you know, the Republican Party, if they continue in this direction, will be, as I mentioned a moment ago, a fringe party.


    Uh, look, they have nothing to say.  All they can appeal is to a small number of people who feel very rabid, very rabid about a particular issue, whether it's abortion or maybe whether it's gay marriage.  That is their constituency.  They have nothing of substance.


    You know, you mentioned a moment ago, Rachel, that the media is paying attention to Donald Trump.




    No kidding.  Once again, every stupid remark will be broadcast, you know, for the next five days.


    But what is Donald Trump's position on raising the minimum wage?


    Well, he doesn't think so.


    What is Donald Trump's position on wages in America?


    Well, he said in a Republican debate he thinks wages are too high.


    What's Donald Trump's position on taxes?


    Well, he wants to give billionaire families like himself hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks.


    What is Donald Trump's position on climate change?


    Oh, he thinks it's a hoax perpetrated, shock of all shock, by the Chinese.  You know, on and on it goes.


    But because media is what media is today, any stupid, absurd remark made by Donald Trump becomes the story of the week.  Maybe, just maybe, we might want to have a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America.  Donald Trump will not look quite so interesting in that context.


    MADDOW:  Are you suggesting, though, that the media shouldn't be focusing on his call to potentially jail women who have abortions?  Because that's another stupid --


    SANDERS:  I am saying that every day he comes up with another stupid remark, absurd remark, of course it should be mentioned.  But so should Trump's overall positions.  How much talk do we hear about climate change, Rachel?  And Trump?  Any?


    MADDOW:  He said that he cares more about nuclear climate change, which is a term that he's invented.


    SANDERS:  Nuclear climate change?


    MADDOW:  That's just what he comes up with when he's asked on the subject.


    SANDERS:  All that I'm saying is that Trump is nobody's fool.  He knows how to manipulate the media and you say an absurd thing and the media is all over it.  And my concern is that today in America, you've got millions of people who are struggling economically.  They want to know how we're going to expand the middle class.  Overwhelmingly, people think we should raise the minimum wage.  Vast majority of people think climate change is real and a threat to our planet.  They want to do something about that.  What do we do?  Vast majority of the people think the wealthiest people in this country should start paying their fair share of taxes.  But if we don't discuss those issues, it creates the climate for people like Donald Trump to do much better than he really has a right to do.


    MADDOW:  Senator, you have been a fierce critic of the influence of the wealthy and big business on our politics, not just on who gets their way but who sets the agenda.  As Republican legislators and governors have recently been weighing new laws that are discriminatory, particularly against LGBT people in North Carolina, in Georgia, in Missouri and Indiana, big business, including Bank of America, today in North Carolina, has weighed in strongly against those discriminatory laws.  Do you think those businesses should butt out of those issues?  Is it inappropriate for them to try to wield political influence even when they do it in a progressive way?


    SANDERS:  Well, look, they have -- when we look at politics in America, you have CEO's of major corporations who have children who are gay, who have friends who are gay, whose wives or daughters have had abortions -- they live in the real world and they're responding to the type of very right win reactionary policies and I understand that and I appreciate that.  When I talk about money in politics, what I talk about is the Koch brothers and billionaires spending hundreds of millions of dollars, along with Wall Street, to create a situation where politicians will be elected who represent the wealthy and the powerful.


    MADDOW:  On one of the issues that the Koch brothers and their networks have supported in a way that I think has been stealthy but very effective is an issue concerning veterans.  And you were the former chairman of the Veterans Committee in the senate, and in that capacity, you worked closely with Senator John McCain on a number of issues.  He's praised you in this campaign.  You've talked about your ability to work with him on veterans' issues.  But right now, Senator McCain is actually pushing a proposal to effectively privatize large parts of the VA, which is something that the Koch brothers and their networks have pushed.  What's your response to that?  Do you have plans to try to stop him on that, particularly given your past relationship?


    SANDERS:  Of course.  Categorically disagree.  What you have is a group called The Concerned Veterans of America.  They appear on and have appeared on stations like CNN time and time again without being identified as being funded by the Koch brothers.  And what they are doing is taking legitimate criticisms of the VA and blowing them up and then coming to the conclusion that at least partially, if not totally, we should privatize the VA.


    Look, this is an issue that I have dealt with.  And what I will tell you is having talked to the American Legion, the VFW and the DAV and the Vietnam vets and virtually every veterans organization, what they tell you is that once veterans get into the VA system, the care is pretty good.  It is pretty good.


    The problem has been getting back -- getting into the VA system and also legitimately how people who live 50, 60, 100 miles away, 200 miles away from a VA facility.


    Should they have to travel 200 miles to get their health care?


    The answer is no, they should not.


    But the idea of privatizing the VA would be, in my mind, a huge mistake and a great disservice to the men and women of this country who put their lives on the line to defend us.


    MADDOW:  Do you feel like the way that veterans have advocated for themselves, the way that's changed since the Vietnam era and through to today's generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, do you feel like there's any lessons there, uh, in terms of bringing about social change in this country?


    You talk about a political revolution and people getting their voices heard, particularly people who otherwise get boxed out of a system stacked against them.


    Have -- have veterans, in a way, sort of shown us a way around some of those, uh, those structural barriers to political change?


    SANDERS:  Well, I think you have organizations that do a very good job -- and obviously I know them all, because I was chairman of the committee -- who represent veterans' interests.


    What I don't think we have at this point is the kind of grassroots activism at the local level that we should be having.  So there's a lot of good groups in Washington, the DAV, the VFW, the American Legion, the Vietnam vets and others who are really there, who are fighting for veterans rights.


    But I would like to see more grassroots activism take place.


    MADDOW:  One last question for you, Senator.  I know you're kind of tight today.  Uh, and it is about your prodigious fundraising.  After those huge wins this weekend in those three caucus states, we know that within something like 24 hours, your state had raised $4 million.  Um, you have shown an incredible ability to tap large numbers of people for small amounts of money that really, really add up and you've got, ostensibly, infinite resources to stay in this campaign as long as you want...


    SANDERS:  Well...


    MADDOW:  -- no matter what lese happens.


    I have to ask, though, if you have thought about whether or not you will, at some point, turn your fundraising ability toward helping the Democratic Party more broadly, to helping their campaign committees for the House and the Senate and for other -- for other elections?


    SANDERS:  Well, right now, Rachel, as you are more than aware, our job is to -- what I'm trying to do is to win the Democratic nomination.  And I'll tell you something, I never in a million years, Rachel, would have believed that we could have, uh, received over six million individual campaign contributions averaging 27 bucks apiece, a very different way of raising money than Secretary Clinton has pursued.


    So right now, we are enormously appreciative.  You're right, without that type of support, we would not be where we are right now.  We would not be able to continue this campaign to the Democratic convention.  So I am just blown away and very appreciative of all of the kind of support that we have gotten from grassroots America.


    MADDOW:  Well, obviously your priority is the nomination, but I mean you raised Secretary Clinton there.  She has been fundraising both for the nomination and for the Democratic Party.  At some point, do you think -- do you foresee a time during this campaign when you'll start doing that?


    SANDERS:  Well, we'll see.  And, I mean right now, again, our focus is on winning the nomination.  Secretary Clinton has access, uh, to kinds of money, uh, that we don't, that we're not even interested in.  So let's take it one step at a time.  And the step that we're in right now is to win the Democratic nomination.


    MADDOW:  Vermont senator, candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders.


    Senator, thank you so much for your time tonight.


    I know you're stretched very thin.


    Thank you, sir.


    SANDERS:  Thank you, Rachel.


    Take care.


    MADDOW:  All right.

  • FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Ohio Gov. Kasich Moderated by Chuck Todd

    Nathan Congleton for MSNBC

    Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich participated in an MSNBC Town Hall moderated by Chuck Todd in Queens today to discuss his campaign efforts, Trump’s campaign manager’s arrest, the potential of Trump as the party nominee, criminal justice reform and more.

    Watch the full town hall tonight on MSNBC tonight at 7 p.m. ET, followed by a town hall with Donald Trump and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

    See below for the full rush transcript, and please note mandatory credit.

    Chuck Todd is the NBC News political director, moderator of “Meet the Press,” and host of MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.”

    STORY & VIDEO: Kasich Says He Would Fire Trump Campaign Manager http://goo.gl/v8eAcv




    After the town hall has concluded, non-NBC News and MSNBC, media and individuals, including Internet media, may use unlimited excerpts (up to 3:00 minutes at a time) with appropriate credit outlined below. Media outlets may not rebroadcast the town hall in its entirety unless granted permission by MSNBC.

    • Mandatory onscreen and verbal credit to MSNBC on first reference.
    • The onscreen “MSNBC” credit must be clearly visible and unobstructed at all times in any image, video clip, or other form of media.
    • Embedded web video must stream from the MSNBC.com media player with the unobstructed credit as described above.
    • Excerpts may only be used for the purpose of analyzing, reporting on, or commenting on the town hall.

    No use of the audio or video of NBC News, or MSNBC journalists in a town hall is permitted for the purpose of advertising for any cause or candidate. No NBC News or MSNBC town hall may be used in any medium where the primary purpose is to retransmit the event or excerpts of the event for Commercial Use. Commercial Use shall be interpreted as any use for which the primary intent is to procure a commercial advantage or private compensation. Without limitation, examples of Commercial Use include: charges for downloads or streaming; using town hall video or audio to promote a website or product; or advertising preceding or during video or audio of the town hall.



    TODD: Well good evening and welcome to another MSNBC town hall, this one with Ohio Governor John Kasich. We're here in Queens, NY at St. Helen Catholic Church. It's not far, actually, from where Donald Trump grew up. But just a single primary win so far in his home state of Ohio, Governor Kasich is playing the long game. He's looking toward a floor fight at the convention in his home state, which just happens to also be in Cleveland. But there are a lot of contests to get through. First, you got a few more months before the July convention. New York votes in less than 3 weeks. It matters. The New York primary. And the next big primary is even soon, it's Wisconsin this coming Tuesday. So, let's get started and welcome Governor John Kasich, Republican from Ohio.


    TODD: Welcome to Queens. You know you're in Donald Trump's home town, home borough.


    KASICH: I didn't know that. [crosstalk] If I’d known I'd studied it. I know I'm going to get some good pizza when this is over, that's what I know. That's more important.


    TODD: That's the pandering we wanted to hear


    KASICH: Maybe a little hot sausage while I'm at it. What do you think?


    TODD: You don't use a knife and fork for your pizza right? You're gonna fold it and eat it like a, eat it like a New Yorker right?


    KASICH: Come on Chuck. I grew up in Mackey’s Rocks. We didn't even have silverware.


    TODD: Let me just start with a question that actually is almost the most common one I get. I bet you you get it to in private settings. What the heck is happening in the Republican Party?


    KASICH: Well, look, a lot of these people that are here today, they, they think the system is ripping them off. I mean they're worried about their jobs, Chuck. They're worried about getting a wage increase. They put their money in the bank and remember you used to get interest, remember that. And now they don't give you anything. And they're worried about their kids. We got a lot of kids here today I'm told and they're worried are their kids gonna have a good America. And they're worked up about it. And then I think on top of it, there have been politicians that have promised things that they could never deliver and then of course the talk show hosts and the television pundits and all that, they drive this as well. And people are stirred up.


    TODD: What's the organizing principle of the Republican Party now? Now I thought I knew what it was. I think I thought, you know, low taxes, small government, strong national defense. It doesn't feel like the organizing principle that we're seeing right now in the party.

    KASICH: Well, you're seeing it out of me, I have a right to lead the party and define the party as much as anybody else. Because, what I believe... TODD: ... (INAUDIBLE) to it yet. KASICH: Yes, sure they are when they know me they do. Absolutely. But, here's the thing, I think it's really a couple of things. First of all, it's all about jobs. I mean, the only thing that matters -- the three things that matter are jobs, jobs and jobs. We don't have jobs, we don't have anything else. But, once we have economic growth, once we have jobs, then we can't leave anybody behind. The mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor, the developmentally disabled, our friends in the minority community, everybody has to have a sense that they can rise. And, there's one other thing that I think is really important, especially being in a place like Queens. I mean, I don't know Queens that well, but I can sit here for two seconds and I can look in your eyes and the spirit of our country doesn't rest in Washington. The spirit of our country rests in your neighborhood. And, you -- I don't know as much as I would like to about what happened here during the flood. My understanding is this church served as a beacon for people who lost... TODD: ...  Part of it was flooded as well, though. KASICH: Oh, I know. There was 10 feet of water in here according to the father that runs the school. But, everybody pulled together, right? Shoulder to the wheel. We were all connected. That's what needs to be reborn in America again. We don't need the words (ph) -- wait for some politician to fix our problems. The politicians ought to do their job, provide economic growth, protect us from, you know, these crazy people that want to kill us. But, then when we -- our schools, the poverty programs, the programs that affect people who are lonely. We're the ones that have to heal that right where we live, and we need to give people the confidence to know that they need to change the world in which they live, Chuck. You know, we're all -- it's, you know, Easter season still. I believe the Lord's given us all certain gifts, and I think we need to use those gifts to live a life bigger than ourselves and heal that part of the world in which we live. That's what I think is important. Top (ph), you know, the big wigs taking care of their jobs, and then in the neighborhoods, revitalizing and reenergizing the spirit of our country. TODD: (INAUDIBLE) campaign hasn't been defined by an issue, it's been defined by a sentiment, a culture, however you want to describe it. The issue with his campaign manager, and the charges that were filed, Ted Cruz called it -- he said, blame Trump himself, and said that, you know, he is creating an abusive culture in the campaign. You were pretty critical too saying you would have at least suspended Mr. Lewandowski... KASICH: ...  Well, now I heard there's a video, I would have gotten rid of him. Period. TODD: Do you hold Trump responsible for the culture he's created at these rallies? KASICH: Here's what I know, Chuck. I've done more over 200 town hall meetings. I can walk into a room, and I can tell people about how we're going to solve problems. Recognize the frustration, but tell you how we can work our way out of it. I've done it all of my career. Or, I can walk into a room and just depress people, and make them angry, and divide them, and become bitter. It's your choice as a leader. I choose to give people hope. I think, in some cases, he's spent on -- he's driven people farther and farther into gloom and doom, and I don't think that's what a good leader does. This whole thing that we always lose? I think we're doing pretty well in America. I mean, yeah, we have our problems, but look how much longer people live. Look at the improvements in education. Look at the improvements in transportation.... TODD: ...  Do you think America's already great... KASICH: ...  and so many things. TODD: So, you're saying America's already great. KASICH: I think America is great. I think we have our challenges and our problems, clearly, brought about by politicians that haven't done their job, and with some people in the business world who've been greedy. I mean, there's a lot of things that are floating around out there, but does anybody deny the greatness of our country? Where would you like to live if you didn't live here? This is a great place, and we can be -- and the key though is to convince the people here that if they can live a life bigger than themselves, and I can go, and I can get the jobs going, and take care of the national security, we're going to be fantastic, and our kids are going to have a great life. I mean, what are we thinking about here? TODD: You, shall we say, have evolved when it comes to Donald Trump. And, this is the one piece of tape I have that I want to play, a compilation of what you have said about Mr. Trump, and the potential of you supporting him. Here is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Why are you comfortable with him as the -- why would you be comfortable supporting him as the nominee? KASICH: Because, we got a long way to go to the nomination. I don't believe he'll be the nominee, so if he ends up as the nominee sometimes you make it a little bit hard, but you know? I will support whoever is the Republican nominee for President. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KASICH: Well, it's tough, I mean, but he's not going to be the nominee. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KASICH: We're going to look at it every single day and we'll see what happens. We've got a long way to go, and I don't want to project that he's going to be the nominee. I don't think he will be, and if he is they'll be -- have to, I'll review it every day. TODD: I was just going to say, it sounds like it's more hesitance every day. KASICH: I said what I said, Chuck, and I'm done talking about this subject. (END VIDEO CLIP) (CROSSTALK) KASICH: This is getting very boring. TODD: Well, guess what? Forty-eight -- Sunday you said one thing, 48 hours later you said -- you called his campaign -- his foreign policy ridiculous, his rhetoric incendiary. I can't imagine you ever supporting somebody you thought was incendiary, or ridiculous. (CROSSTALK) TODD: hold out that you might support him. KASICH: Here's the thing, I am Republican. We are all in the arena. There's only three of us left, but anybody who got in the -- I mean, it's not easy running for president. I can tell you. I mean, it's great, my Dad was a mailman, I'm sitting here with Chuck Todd in Queens. It's fantastic, OK? But, I mean, Trump's in the arena with me, and sometimes it's a roller coaster is the way I see him. Sometimes he calms down. In the last debate we had he was very calm. And, then these crazy things start happening, and it's not just him, but you know? Look at Cruz. He says we should patrol Muslim neighborhoods. I mean, this is very disturbing to me because it pulls the country apart, but here's what -- I Was thinking about this today, actually, driving over here. So, I have two 16-year-old twin daughters. And, whatever I say -- if you happen to be the nominee, I would have to tell them why I would endorse him if I did. So, I said (oh) my two daughters... TODD: ...  You haven't figured that out yet, have you? KASICH: I haven't. I haven't. TODD: You don't know what to tell them? KASICH: Well, I don't know what I'm going to do yet, and honestly, I don't think he's going to be the nominee and I'm going to tell you why. Because nobody's going to have enough delegates to go to the convention. And, when we get to the convention people are going to think about two things, who can win in the fall, because he can't. And, secondly, who could actually be a good president. I mean, that's a crazy thing to think about, who could actually run the country? TODD: The fact that you can actually... KASICH: ... You can laugh. What do they tell you not to say anything? (LAUGHTER) TODD: The fact that you said you can't -- you don't know what to tell your daughters yet, do you think he's sexist? Misogynist... KASICH: ...  Look, I'm not going there. TODD: ...  Or, do you just think it's his bad rap (ph)? KASICH: I'm just not going there. TODD: Then why did you say daughters? Why does it say to you two daughters because (INAUDIBLE)... KASICH: ...  Because if they were my two sons, it wouldn't have been -- I have daughters. (LAUGHTER) TODD: No, and I just asked you because a lot of people believe he's more anti (INAUDIBLE)... (APPLAUSE) KASICH: Chuck, we're not in a psychologist’s office here. I've said what I have to say. You figure -- they pay you all this money to figure these things out. TODD: The last thing you want me to do... KASICH: ... All I want to do is tell these people... TODD: ...  (INAUDIBLE) read between the lines.... KASICH: ...  All I want to do is tell these people whom we can get this thing fixed, that's what I want to do. And what my record is. You know, a lot of people say, why do you always talk about your record? I'll tell you why, in this day, if a politician's lips are moving we assume they're lying. So, if I can tell you what I have done in various places, and then I tell you what I can do, you're going to have a better chance of believing me, won't you? Than, if I just tell you, hey, I'm going to give you a 10 percent flat tax, or I'm going to do this and do that, and all these other things. I can tell you what I think can be accomplished. TODD: You just brought up what Ted Cruz said about patrolling Muslim neighborhoods. And, as you know, Bill Bratton, the Commissioner of the NYPD wrote an Op-ed and he criticized what Cruz said. And, Cruz has argued he saw it was a mistake that the NYPD stopped surveying Muslims, that they were doing after 9/11. But Bratton called his quote... KASICH: ... (INAUDIBLE)... TODD: ...  Well, let me tell you what Bratton said. Bratton, quote, said this, Short-sighted capitulation -- first of all, Cruz it was Short-sighted capitulation to his liberal allies at the expense of the safety and security of the people of New York. Bratton said that ending the program was a positive and necessary step. Who do you side with? KASICH: I'm a Bratton fan. Let me just tell you. Bill Bratton started in Boston. He had a hard time in Boston, right? I mean, they kicked him around, and he came up with this policing business, and he did -- he graduated from Boston, really. Did great there. Then he came to New York, and he was Giuliani's Commissioner. Then, he goes to Los Angeles. He's out there dealing with the gangs. When I was first governor I called him. He didn't know me, I said, Sir, I'm an elected governor of Ohio, and tell me who's the best -- who would be the best person to run my prison system because you're the best in policing. And, he said, well, we don't have anybody great. Well, we do now, Garry Moore, my guy, but Bratton is a very, very smart man. Now, he's back here again, and I believe him. Look, here's the thing, Chuck, and these people can all get it. I've no question about it. If I want to find out about radicalization in the Muslim community, I don't send you. As smart a guy as you are, you aren't going to be able to find it out. TODD: You're going to call a mosque (ph)? KASICH: I've got to go somebody in the community. If I want to know about radicalization in a mosque, I got to talk to somebody who goes to the mosque. And, if I try to send you there you'd be three blocks away, and they'd say, here comes that guy from television, OK? It wouldn't work. We have the entire civilized world fighting against a small group of murderers. Our key, the key for America, and the president is to unite the civilized world, to get over the egos, the turf protection, and fight this. And, stop it now. Both killing ISIS in the Middle East, and the good intelligence that we need, and the policing that we need worldwide so we can be safe. Now, if you're going to polarize one group on a basis of religious tests, how are you going to get the information? What do you think? Am I right or wrong about that, folks? I mean I don't think there's any other way to do it. (APPLAUSE) TODD: Speaking of these folks, let's go to... KASICH: ...  And, there's one other thing about this... TODD: ...  All right, go ahead, and then we want to get down to the question (ph)... KASICH: ...  Doubling down -- look, the easiest (ph) people attacking the world today are the Muslims, right? Attack them. I mean, then I can be popular. I mean, that's not what a leader does. Sometimes a leader has to say, hey, folks, let's calm down. Let's be smart about this because it's our families, our neighborhoods, our civilization that's at stake. See, you know the greatest thing about my running for president is? I am free. People say, what does that mean? I'm having the time of my life, and I get to say what I really believe based on all the experience I've had throughout my lifetime to be a good leader. So, if I don't get your vote -- I want it, but if I don't get it, that's cool because you don't want me telling you something that isn't true, so why get your vote, and suck you into the process. Then, when I don't deliver you get bitter. I'm not going to do that. It's hard, hard to do it that way, but that's the only way I can see to be a public official. (APPLAUSE) TODD: All right, let's take some questions from them, and not me. Edwin (ph) Sullivan (ph) has the first question. Where's Mr. Sullivan here? He is right here, sorry. (CROSSTALK) UNKNOWN MALE: No, no we want to make it so you don't have that. TODD: He's a retired New York City firefighter. Mr. Sullivan, the floor is yours. QUESTION: Welcome, Governor. Best slice of pizza right down the block on your way out. (LAUGHTER) QUESTION: I'm a retired New York City firefighter, and I firmly believe that elected officials have ignored New York City for decades, unless it's been for a tragedy, or for a political fund-raiser. For example, we were a political football for the drug (ph) act, as we were for Sandy. Two issues that should have been a no-brainer. Why should we believe that you have our best interests in mind now, and not simply clamoring for votes? KASICH: Well, I'm not doing a lot of clamoring here today, but look, I mean, we're all connected. That's what I try to tell people. Things happen -- when Sandy happened here, and people lost their homes, or when we see a police officer that gets, you know, assassinated? We all die a little bit, you know? We all lose a little something. And, you know what? Not only here, but even around the world. When we see innocent people get blown up on Easter Sunday we all die a little bit, don't we? When a fireman goes into a building and loses their life, we all look at it, and we all die a little bit. So, we can all die a little bit, but we can all rise a little bit, sir. There's no way that -- I love New York. This is an incredible place. Just coming here, it's like -- it's like having a transfusion into life when you come here. This is a precious place, a precious city. It's, frankly, the apple of the world, not just of the United States. But, that's the way I feel, not just to the big towns, but to small towns as well. I mean, this is America, and we are strongest when we pull together. I think I heard the little soundbite, we should be Americans before we're Republicans and Democrats, absolutely. And, we can't have a system where we're driving people, you know? I'm a Democrat, and I hate you, and I'm a Republican, and I think you're nuts. Look, I'm a conservative, but I don't have to dislike the people that don't agree with me. So, when you talk about New York, or anywhere else, it's got to always be in the minds of a leader of this country. But, you know who it's most important in the minds of? You, as a fireman, as a policeman, as a teacher, as a nurse. Again, I want to go back. The strength of our country rests in the neighborhoods, and we can't ignore neighborhoods when they're in distress, OK? TODD: Let me ask you though, the Republican party scapegoats New York City every once in a while when they want to make a point. I think that's sort of where he was headed there... KASICH: ... No, no, who did that? TODD: Ted Cruz talked about New York Values. KASICH: OK, who else did it? KASICH: And, you have -- a lot of people, when they run in their small conservative towns... KASICH: ...  I love that song by Rihanna. I mean, I wish the played it all the time. I mean, I love New York. (CROSSTALK) TODD: When you hear the phrase, "New York Values", is that a positive, or a negative... KASICH: I am the party too -- for me? I love it. My wife, I can't keep her from coming here all the time. She'll come and campaign in New York. She doesn't like to campaign -- well, she does, but when I say, "Sweetie, would you go to New York and help?" She'll be here in -- you won't be able to get rid of her. But, the fact is is that for me, it's an exciting place. I mean, think of the arts, and the music, and all the things that -- you know? Literature. I'm not pandering either, it's an incredible place. So is Columbus Ohio, come. (LAUGHTER) By the way, you know where you really want to come this summer? You want to go to Cleveland. TODD: Apparently a lot of people want to go to Cleveland. KASICH: (LAUGHING) TODD: I'm going to get a quick commercial break here, and on that note, (INAUDIBLE), we'll be right back... (APPLAUSE) TODD:  And we are back.  MSNBC Town Hall with Ohio Governor John Kasich.  We're in St. Helen's Church here in Queens, Howard Beach neighborhood.  Let's go to the questions.  Governor, it's (ph) Nina de Blasio.  Any relation?  No relation.  Well, there you go.  I think we know the approval rating of Mayor de Blasio in this room.  Anyway, Nina de Blasio, you go ahead.


    NINA DE BLASIO:  Governor Kasich, thank you very much for coming to Howard Beach and putting us on the map in a positive perspective.  My question is, at this time, I am a Donald Trump supporter.  I feel he has a strong vision in keeping our great country safe.  I also believe he will defend Christianity in a world where others want to defeat it.  Yes, at times, he does speak rough around the edge, but he brings to the table a non-political correct point of view in which most of us can relate to.  Having said this and wanting a Republican desperately in the White House, how or what can you say to me to make me get off the Trump train?


    KASICH:  Well, first of all, you know, I'm really the only candidate that wins against Hillary.  Last poll, I was up by 11.  I mean, the last five or six, I've been able to beat her decisively.  But let me tell you, you can get frustrated with the system and you can knock all the pieces off the chess board, but I think you want solutions, don't you?  So let me tell you a little bit about me.  When I was in congress, I was one of the people that helped to reform the welfare system to eliminate the entitlement.  I operate under the philosophy that it's a sin not to help people who need help, but it's equally a sin to continue to help people who need to learn how to help themselves.  That's my philosophy on welfare.  Number two, I was chairman of the budget committee.  We balanced the budget, we had four years of a balanced budget, we cut taxes, and we paid down a half a trillion dollars of the national debt, and at the time that was happening, the jobs were growing so fast, there was no discussion of wages, no discussions of income inequality, we were doing great, and when I left Washington, we had a projected $5 trillion surplus, which they blew once my friends and I had left.  I became governor.  We had lost 350,000 jobs.  Now we're up 417,000 jobs.  I've cut taxes more than any governor in America.  We are continuing to reform welfare, plus, because we're doing better, we've been able to help all these people who find themselves living in the shadows, to get them on their feet.  We don't want the mentally ill sleeping under a bridge or living in prison.  We have programs to rehab the drug addicted in our prisons with an 80 percent success rate.  We are funding more money into K-12 education, created vocational education, more school choice, I mean I could go on and on.  Given everybody a chance.


    The key to the future, economically, are common sense regulation so we're not killing small business.  If you over regulate them, you kill them, and that's where are kids need to work and you need to work.  Number two, you have to lower taxes for individuals and businesses, and number three, you've got to have a plan to balance the budget, and you can't do it by visiting the waste, fraud, and abuse office because there is no such place.  So, what that will do is allow us to grow again and to leave no one behind and to unite us, because that's what I've been all of my lifetime.  Even though I don't agree with the liberals, I get along with them, and being able to bring us together, to remind us that we're all Americans, and finally, I spent 18 years on the Armed Services Committee, so I actually have foreign policy experience and the knowledge of how to defeat ISIS, how to bring the world together, how to unite people, not divide the world.  So here's the problem.  You send somebody down there that doesn't understand how it works, then you're going to have more drifting, and the only thing I can tell you is, we won't drift if I'm there because I know how to move the system and I want you to know one other thing.  My dad carried mail on his back.  His father died of black lung, was a coal miner.  My mother's mother could barely speak English.  All of my lifetime, I have been a reformer for people who have no voice.


    Chuck will tell you, I upset the apple cart all the time, but I don't hate the establishment, but I know how to move the establishment for the good of the folks, and that's what I want you to know.  I can't do any better than that other than, I think the more you get to know me, the more you'll like me, so keep watching.  All right, thank you.


    TODD:  Well before you go, you still on the train?  Are you still on the Trump train?


    DE BLASIO:  I am on the Trump train but I do like a lot of your views and I do like the way --


    KASICH:  You know what happened to me?  I'm going to tell you, this is true, and Chuck has been very fair to me, but I received no attention for months and months and months.  You like Rocky, you like the underdog?  I have been ignored for about five months, but you know why?  Because I wouldn't name call.  And everybody pronounced me dead all the time, and we're the little engine.  We keep climbing.  And our challenge now is for people to really get to know who I am.  Now they're beginning to know I exist but they need to hear more about who I am before they can decide, and that's why things like this is so important, because what I love about this, it's not sound bites, it's not wrestling in the mud, you get to listen to me, you get to look into my head and my heart, and then you get to decide who's going to fight for you.


    DE BLASIO:  Thank you very much.


    TODD:  "The New York Times" did an interesting little profile of you.  You probably saw it, that some of your old friends in congress, they don't recognize soft and cuddly John Kasich.  They remember scolding confrontations, and that's the John Kasich -- I'm old enough to remember when you were the maverick, when you were the guy that was politically incorrect sometimes, in what you said, the blunt talker.  But you have been the prince of light, and is it by comparison or have you moderated yourself demeanor-wise?


    KASICH:  Well first of all, no, let me tell you, if you want to get into a fight with me, let's get it on.  Down in Washington, I fought for ten years to balance the budget.  I couldn't even get my own party to support it.  Now, what am I supposed to do, just smile?  I had to fight for what I believed in.  And guess what?  I got it.  I won.  And some of them are very bitter about the fact that I got this budget balanced, and you know what they're really bitter about?  I left Washington, we had a $5 trillion surplus, and guess what?  The Republicans controlled the house, the senate, the White House, and they spent it all.  So I say, there's no difference, really, Democrats love to spend, so do Republicans, it's just that Republicans feel guilty.  The point is, Chuck --


    TODD:  Good thing we're in a church.


    KASICH:  The point is, Chuck, I'm going to fight.  Look, I'm in a big battle with the legislature over taxing the fracking industry and using it to reduce income tax.  Yes, I mean I will push as hard as I can respectfully, but I'm going to push, because if we don't push, we get nowhere.  You go to Washington, this guy's running for congress, Mr. O'Reilly over here, OK?  You owe me now.  But here's the thing, you go down there and you're a mouse, you know what you'll get?  Nothing.  And if you want a friend and you live in Washington, buy a dog.  But I've got a lot of my old pals, (ph) Chris Shay, guy's been living out on the campaign trail for me.  So, got a lot of loyal people too.


    TODD:  All right.  Let's go to (ph) Carrie Roman who's got the next question.


    CARRIE ROMAN:  Hello, governor.  Thank you for coming to Howard Beach.  My question to you is, what plan do you have to keep New York City safe and America from preventing another terrorist attack from happening?


    KASICH:  OK, I'm going to go very quickly.  We should have a coalition of the Arab Muslims who supported us in the First Gulf War, along with the Europeans.  We need to go to the Middle East and destroy ISIS both in the air and on the ground.  Destroy them.  Then, when it settles down, come home.  Let them figure it out over there.  Let's not stay over there for 100 years.  Let them figure it out.  Then, we need to take this NATO organization, Chuck and I talked about it on Sunday, which he gave me a lot of time to talk about it, fundamentally a military organization.  It needs to be transformed into both an intelligence organization and a policing organization, and the President of the United States has got to make it clear that we're all going to work together to make sure we know where the bad guys are so we can disrupt them and destroy them and imprison them, OK?


    Here at home, we have the Joint Terrorism Task Force.  This is made up of FBI, Homeland Security, state and local law enforcement.  They need to have the resources, which they currently have, and if they don't, I'd get it to them, and secondly, the tools, which is why I'm glad to say that the encryption issue appears to be behind us so we can hear, and then there's another thing.  You as neighbors.  You see something crazy, you've got to tell somebody.  San Bernardino, the neighbor knew, didn't say much.  The father knew the son was radicalized, didn't say anything.  I know that's tough for a dad but the point is, we need to be able to tell people what we see and that is why (ph) Bratton is saying, policing these Muslim neighborhoods is not a long term solution.  The solution is, all of us who believe in peace and civilization and the lives of our children need to be together.


    TODD:  You said, quickly, about get in, destroy ISIS, and then get out and let them work it out, basically, you don't think America should be --




    KASICH:  They're going to redraw the map.


    TODD:  Right.  We don't have to get involved in the -- but you are in favor of regime change in North Korea.  Is it simply because of the nuclear issue?


    KASICH:  Yes, I mean, this guy -- yes, I'm in favor of --


    TODD:  But how do you do it?


    KASICH:  You've asked that question, a lot of people have.  You look for all the means.  But first of all, what I'd rather do is prevent them from proliferating their weapons.  If they put a ship or a plane out of there, we ought to stop it.  Secondly, we ought to put sanctions on them where they can't change all this money.  We still don't have tough enough sanctions on North Korea, although U.N. just put additional sanctions on.  In addition, the Japanese and the Koreans need to have a missile defense if the Chinese cannot --


    TODD:  Should they have their own, though, or should we do it for them?


    KASICH:  Well, I think we can work together and figure -- I mean, I think they can have it, or we can help them to build it just like the Israelis have the iron dome.  I mean, we helped with it but we didn't actually do it.


    TODD:  How hard would you prevent Japan and South Korea from developing their own nuclear weapons?


    KASICH:  I don't think we want them to have nuclear weapons.  We don't need to have anybody else developing nuclear weapons, including Iran.  If we find that, I'm for suspending that agreement.  If we find out they're developing, we're going to have to act.  No more nuclear weapons.  We need to control this.  These are the weapons of mass destruction.  This is so bad, and that's the thing I worry about for our children and for my daughters.


    TODD:  All right.  We're going to sneak in another break.  This is a town hall with John Kasich right here at Howard Beach neighborhood, here in New York City.  We'll be right back.










    TODD: We are back. Welcome to St. Helen's Church here in Queens, New York, at the Howard Beach Neighborhood. We are with our town hall with Governor Kasich.


    Governor, let's go right. This is Sharine Murray (ph). She's got the next question. Sharine, go ahead.


    QUESTION: Thank you, Todd.


    TODD: And I believe you are running for office, or you have run for office as a Republican a few times.


    QUESTION: Yes, I have. State committee woman of the 29th assembly district. Thank you so much for coming here to Queens County. For me, Governor Kasich, your narrative for president mirrors that of Lincoln. So my question to you is, as president of the United States --


    TODD: Not bad. Lincoln.




    QUESTION: Yeah. That's pretty good.


    TODD: That's a good one to get compared to.


    QUESTION: As president of the United States, what specifically would you do to build trust and what specifically would you do to reform social and economic injustices in African-American communities across the country?


    KASICH: Well, you know, it's -- one of the things that happened that was really great is Nina Turner, who is a Democrat state -- was a former state senator, may some day be mayor -- she came to me with a couple other ladies in the legislature, African-Americans saying, we have a problem, we need a commission. I say well, you know, some sort of a study. I said you know, Nina, we're not going to do that, we're going to move quicker. And we created a task force on community and police and what we did is we staffed this with community leaders, law enforcement people, she's one of the co-chair persons, along with our head of public safety, who used to run the highway patrol. And they sat down for a period of time and tried to figure out how we could bring police and community together.


    What does that mean? The community can understand the police and the challenges they have and that their family doesn't want them to be killed and taken out here when they’re on duty, or even off duty. And secondly, that there are people in the community who feel that the country doesn’t just work for them, but works against them. And two days into the Baltimore riot, it was just really amazing. They released a report. And the report created a statewide policy on the use of deadly force. Secondly, not only that, but now a whole policy on recruiting and hiring so that the community -- the police force looks like the community and in addition to that now, we're moving now to ways in which we can fully integrate police and communities so that trust can exist in both communities. And then finally, we also have a grand jury study going on by our chief justice.


    The point is -- a couple more quick things, Chuck.


    TODD: Yeah -- No, no, no. It's fine.


    KASICH: We give criminal justice reform, we give people a chance to get out of the prisons if, in fact, you know, they're nonviolent felons, they want to improve their lives, our recidivism rate is about -- is almost less than half the national average. We give nonviolent felons a chance to wipe the record clean and to be able to get employment, because many of them can not. And I'm a person -- and look, if you're a gang banger, if you want to cause violence in the prison -- We just had a guy escape. He'll never get out. We caught him and he's never going to get out. You're a gang banger, you're never getting out. We’re going to lock you up for 1,000 years.


    But if you want a chance to better your life, we're going to give you a chance. And in addition, with nonviolent felons, Chuck, we don't want to just throw them in the prison. We want to give them a chance to get their lives back because it's going to keep repeating itself and I do believe that people can have a second chance.

    TODD: Now very quickly, this is more than just criminal justice reform, though, and you have reached out to the African-American community in a way that other Republicans have, but Ohio -- what is it -- the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Ohio the sixth worst state to raise a black child in, median income, a $20,000 gap between blacks and whites in Ohio. Cleveland is considered one of the ten most segregated cities in the country. Why?


    KASICH: Well first of all --




    TODD: And what does it take to fix these stats? Do you not believe them?


    KASICH: No. I'm not sure I do believe --


    TODD: You don't believe these guys? (ph)


    KASICH: No, everybody has a political angle when they do stats. Look, I received 26 percent of the African-American vote, which is unbelievable. And you know why? Because the community says basically we trust them, we know that he is doing his best to help us. I don't know what all these statistics are, but I'm going to give you one great statistic. We are building a road from downtown Cleveland to the Cleveland Clinic and we not have a goal of 20 percent of the construction is going to be done by minorities. In addition to that, we are the first administration that actually enforces the set-aside (ph) where the black community has the chance to receive, you know, 15 percent of all of the contracts that go on and they can get even more than that.


    But look, we've reformed the Cleveland public schools. I did it with the entire community. Look, I will tell you that the urban challenges we have are real. But you've got to have a growing economy, you've got to do workforce, you got to improve your schools and we’re doing all of that. So I don't know about all that study. I will tell you this. The issue of instant mortality is a tough one. We have taken that on and one of the toughest areas to take on is in the minority community. And the community itself is going to have to have a better partnership with all of us to begin to solve that problem with infant mortality in the minority community because we're making gains in the majority community. We don't ignore any of this, Chuck. These are serious issues and they need to be addressed and I don't put my head in the sand and if I got to get people upset doing it, that's life.


    TODD: Right. Craig (inaudible). Got the next question.


    QUESTION: Welcome, Governor. Governor, average middle class income has been stagnant for nearly four decades now. The average middle class worker making $60,000 in 1980 can expect to make $72,000 today. All this while wealthy corporations are growing at an amazing rate. Some will say this is due to tax breaks, lax corporate laws. The poor have also seen an increase in handouts and less of an incentive to better their position. All at the expense of us, the middle class. What do you think you can do to fix? You or any other candidate. What would you put in place day one?


    KASICH: Well our rate (ph) is in Ohio are growing faster than the national average and that's because we've diversified the kind of businesses and we're very business friendly, which is what this country ought to be. Frankly, we got to lower the corporate tax rate because it's the highest -- one of the highest in the world among industrialized country and secondly, if you pay your taxes in Europe, you get double taxed when you bring your money here. That's got to stop because we want business investing here in the United States, not investing over in Europe because they feel that their money is trapped over there.


    But in addition to that, sir, look, there isn’t any question. When we have the zero interest rates, you put your money in the bank, you got nothing. The wealthy people -- you know, what companies did is they bought back stock, they raised the price of their -- of the stock. The risk people bought it. They got richer and you got stuck with a bad policy over time. Now you want to get out of this mess, you got to get skills. Our schools have got to be transformed into schools that take -- give people training for what their purpose is, connected to a job that really exists, that's real. And we got to get with it.


    I think sometimes K-12 is still training for jobs of the past. We need to train for jobs of the future. Not only that, but you ought to have an opportunity to get out and work as part of the education credits you get, not only through K-12, but the community college and the four-year school. Finally, when you go to the community college or the four-year school, you ought to have a guide that says what do you want to be. I will tell you the jobs that are available, this is what it pays and this is what you have to do to get one. But there is no question that the issue of the struggling middle class is real. And we have to address it. We have to work on it.


    I'll tell you another thing. A faster economy -- this economy is growing terribly. A faster economy will lift all boats. It will. And give companies and incentive to invest so that you have the tools to become more productive so you get better wages. This is not just some Kasich theory here. I have seen these things happen. Remember I mentioned, when we balanced the budget in our state, up 400 -- over 400,000 jobs, wages growing faster. We're not out of the woods, but we're doing better because we're business friendly. We don't give away the store, but we want people to create jobs because that's what matters in our country. Okay?


    TODD: All right. Great. Thanks very much for the question. We got to sneak in another break.




    TODD: (Inaudible) We're here in Queens. Governor John Kasich. The town hall madness begins with him right now. We'll be right back.












    TK And we are back here -- John Kasich's town hall. We are here in Queens, New York, the Howard Beach Neighborhood. And Mr. Marty Ingraham (ph) has the next question.


    QUESTION: Welcome, Governor, to Queens. This summer if you get a chance, come out to Rockaway (ph) for the beach. I need to commend you about --


    KASICH: How much time do you think I'm going to be spending at the beach?




    QUESTION: I hope you don't have too much time.


    TODD: But if he had time for the beach, that's bad news --




    QUESTION: We -- many people in this room are victims or survivors of Hurricane Sandy and our neighborhoods, our homes were destroyed and we’re coming back, we're doing a great job in that, but it's widely talked about that the National Flood Insurance Program, the premiums are going to skyrocket. What would you do as president managing the National Flood Insurance Program?


    KASICH: You know, I -- Look, I haven't really studied all of this, but I would tell you, there's two ways to look at it. If you live in an area where it's guaranteed to be a flood, then you're going to have to have flood insurance. But if you have a natural disaster where something just kind of wipes in here, then the government has an obligation, in my opinion, to help people to whatever degree that's going to be reasonable and get them on their feet again.


    We have natural disasters in my state, of course we do. And I think we have to be there, we have to help people and look, here in this -- in Howard Beach -- you're people that play by the rules. I mean, you go to work, you're God-fearing people, you got common sense, and then you get wiped out and in that case, we got to help you. And in terms of flood insurance, I think you got to look at it in two ways. I mean, if you're living somewhere where you're likely to be flooded, you're probably going to pay more. But you know, in a place like this where it's not to be expected, I think we -- could be maybe two -- you know, two formulas as to how we do it. I'll have to check it out, okay? But are you doing all right?


    QUESTION: Yeah, we’re doing fine.


    KASICH: Yeah.


    TODD: Are we letting too much development close to the coast line where it sort of -- almost too much of it and there's not -- and then it --




    KASICH: Maybe, perhaps. I mean, I -- I don't want to just go off the top of my head on this. I mean -- one thing you got to do is be careful. But clearly, in areas where --


    TODD: Presidential politics. There's no careful this year.




    KASICH: Well, you're right. There's some. But with me, you know, I mean, I want to be a mature leader here. I mean, you just don't pop off. Well, I guess popping off works. Not for me.




    KASICH: Chuck, I don't know. But I think you have to be careful with this because there's a lot of people that have invested a lot of their money in this. You have to think about it.


    TODD: All right. Think about it. Patrick Cook, you got the next question.


    QUESTION: First of all, thank you for coming to New York. Secondly, I'd like to ask you. --


    KASICH: Are you from New York? That sounded like you were from Maine.


    QUESTION: No --


    KASICH: No, I'm sorry.


    QUESTION: I am from New York. I'd like to personally say that I think you're the best candidate -- unfortunately the best candidate  --








    TODD: Don't blow it now.


    QUESTION: Unfortunately, the best candidate doesn't always get the nomination. So my question is, if you weren't to receive the nomination, why wouldn't you accept the VP nomination?


    KASICH: Because I'm Governor of Ohio and it's the second best job in America. And secondly, I'm running for president and I'm going to finish my job as governor. People find it hard to believe, but there's also another world out there that is not connected to the government and I have an obligation to my family we'll see, though. You see, I think what's going to happen is -- Let me tell you -- We've had ten Republican contested conventions and the person who had the most delegates going into the convention only won three times.  Seven times they picked somebody else.


    So who goes to a convention?  Somebody like you, sir.  I mean, you could sign up as a delegate for somebody, but if they don’t get enough of the votes in the first or the second ballot, you’re free. Then you start thinking  OK, two things: who can beat Hillary, right?  Who can beat her?  And secondly, who can be president?


    Because then it gets to be serious on your shoulder.  See, then it gets to be serious issue about what you want this country to look like and who can really run it.  So that’s kind of my view about this.


    And you’d be a good candidate maybe.


    TODD:  Do you think that you could do more in the White House than you could as the Governor of Ohio?  As Vice President?




    TODD:  Vice President, sitting in the West Wing --


    KASICH:  No, I would be the worst Vice President anybody ever had.  OK?  Trust me.


    TODD:  How have you been able to govern Ohio while campaigning ful l time?


    KASICH:  There’s these things, Chuck, it’s really amazing, they’re called cell phones.




    TODD:  No, I understand.




    TODD:  But I mean, no, I got it -- where has it been difficult though?  Something you cannot do -- what’s a -- is there an initiative you haven’t gone after?


    KASICH:  (INAUDIBLE).  No, not really.  We’re, you know, we’re preparing a whole series of things right now.  I’d meet with my staff when I’m at home.  I’m on the phone with them constantly.  No, my number one job is to make sure Ohio’s taken care of.  Running for president is second.  But I can do them both.


    You know, one time when I was out of government, I had five jobs.  You know, so it’s -- the Lord’s been good to me, given me the capacity to do this, and so that’s how it goes (ph).


    TODD:  Two days in February you were in Ohio total.  Understandable.  You’re campaigning full time for president --


    KASICH:  Yes, but you know, I’m on the phone constantly.  And I have a -- we built a great team of people, and every time I look at the things that they’re doing, I’m like you folks are so great.  Because they’re creative, they’re innovative, and I’m getting ready for a State of the State address, by the way, in Marietta, Ohio.  It comes next week.  You should come out and cover it.


    TODD:  I have a feeling we will --


    KASICH:  It’s going to be a humdinger.


    TODD:  I have a feeling we will be.  Let’s take another break here.  More with Governor John Kasich, Republican from Ohio, right after this.  The MSNBC town hall from Queens, New York.






    TODD:  And we are back at our final moments with Governor John Kasich.  Governor, you’ve made no bones about it: your strategy is to go win this nomination at the convention.  Your buddy, former House Speaker John Boehner in Ohio, said this: “If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above.  They all had a chance to win.  None of them won.”


    He obviously is saying, hey, bring more people into the nominating process if it doesn’t happen on the first ballot.


    Do you believe somebody other than somebody that ran for president should be placed in the nomination (ph)?


    KASICH:  Well, you know, it’ll be up to the delegates.  But since I’m one of the three still in, I think it ought to be one of us.


    No, I’m just kidding.




    TODD:  -- and he wasn’t going to (INAUDIBLE).  Ohioans (INAUDIBLE).


    KASICH:  Whatever the delegates want to do, I think Boehner’s retracted that since they caught him at a weak  moment or something, but look, I think its’ going to be a decision about who can win, who’s tested and who has the record.  So, you know, I don’t know how somebody just pops in, but look, we’ll see how it goes.


    TODD:  You criticized Donald Trump for saying there could be riots in Cleveland.


    KASICH:  Yes.


    TODD:  You’re going to be governor -- you’re going to be governor of Ohio regardless of your standing at the convention.  How concerned are you about the Cleveland convention?


    KASICH:  We talk about it.  You’re asking how do I take care of Ohio and do this?  We’ve had a lot of discussions about this.


    TODD:  Meaning you are concerned that this is going to be (INAUDIBLE).


    KASICH:  We’ll be -- we’ll be prepared.  We work with the Secret Service, the Cleveland police, our National -- the National Guard maybe to some degree.  And the Ohio Highway Patrol.  Yes, we -- look, it wouldn’t matter what he said; we’d have to be prepared for this.  But this is not -- that kind of language is not good.


    TODD:  Where are you going to win next?  And I say this because if -- you’ve won in Ohio --


    KASICH:  Right.


    TODD:  Your home state.  And your next best showing, Washington, D.C. 


    KASICH:  Well, we were close there.




    TODD:  It was almost 36 percent.


    KASICH:  And -- look, it’s about accumulating delegates.


    TODD:  Where do you win next?  Are you going to win a state before the --


    KASICH:  You know, the minute I start predicting, I’m like -- I’m not Muhammad Ali, so I’m not predicting.  But I will tell you is it’s accumulating delegates.  We feel very good about Pennsylvania.  We think we’re going to be aggressively getting support here in New York.  And then we head east, you know, then at that point, frankly, a vote for Cruz will be a vote for Trump, because he can’t compete over in these (INAUDIBLE).


    TODD:  Well, right now in Wisconsin --




    TODD:  -- new poll out, has Cruz ahead of 40, Trump at 30, you’re at 21.  Cruz has argued that a vote for you is a vote for Trump in Wisconsin.  Do you buy that?


    KASICH:  I think, well, you know --




    KASICH:  It’s funny, interesting, that “The Milwaukee Sentinel”, the largest newspaper in Wisconsin, endorsed me yesterday, saying he’s a pragmatic conservative that can fix the country and can win in the fall.  But, you know, look, Chuck, this isn’t, as I’ve told you before, it’s not a parlor game.  None of these -- these other guys cannot beat Hillary Clinton in the fall.

    So, look, as the calendar moves along and people get to know me more, and we do more town halls and all that, we’re going to continue to do well.  And the calendar’s now beginning to favor us.


    And, look, we just have to keep accumulating delegates and gather momentum.


    TODD:  Well, I’m going to pause it there.  Governor Kasich, appreciate you joining us here.


    KASICH:  (INAUDIBLE).  This was great.


    TODD:  This was great.


    KASICH:  I enjoyed it.




    TODD:  Stay safe on the trail.



  • TRANSCRIPT: Hillary Clinton speaks with Rachel Maddow

    Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sat down with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow today and discussed Clinton’s commitment to Wisconsin, the Sanders dispute over the popular vote vs. delegate count and the conversations she has had with foreign leaders over their concerns with Donald Trump as a potential President.

    The interview will air on a special edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show” tonight at 9 p.m. followed by Maddow’s interview with Senator Bernie Sanders at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC. 

    MANDATORY CREDIT: MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”


    RACHEL MADDOW: Madam Secretary, thank you for doing this.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you.

    RACHEL MADDOW: I really appreciate it.

    HILLARY CLINTON: We're live at The Apollo.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Live at The Apollo. Which is, you know, you can kinda feel the energy here. You just had a big event here.


    RACHEL MADDOW:  I thought I was going to have to chase you all the way to Wisconsin.

    HILLARY CLINTON:  Here I am.

    RACHEL MADDOW: To find you this week. (LAUGHS) But-- I mean, but that's a strategic decision. So, n-- New York votes April 19th.


    RACHEL MADDOW:  Wisconsin votes on Tuesday.


    RACHEL MADDOW:  On April 5th.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Right, right.

    RACHEL MADDOW:  The Sanders campaign seems to think that they are going to win in Wisconsin. Do you share that expectation? What do you think's going to happen?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I'm going back to Wisconsin this weekend.


    HILLARY CLINTON: So, I will be back in Wisconsin. And I had a great-- day-and-a-half there-- yesterday, day before.  And we've got a really good organization, and we're going to just keep workin' very hard to win every vote we can. And I'm-- just committed to doing that. I know that-- you know, so is-- Senator Sanders's campaign. And, you know, we'll see who turns out and votes on Tuesday.

    RACHEL MADDOW: I know that you expect to win this nomination. Do you also expect that Senator Sanders is still going to be there fighting for it at the convention?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think it matters-- where we stand in delegates. And, frankly, in popular vote. Right now, I'm-- gratified that I have more votes than anybody in this-- election. Nearly nine million. And that's a million more than Donald Trump, and it's two-and-a-half million more than Bernie Sanders.

    And I have a delegate count that is a higher margin between me and Senator Sanders than it ever was between me and President Obama. So, I think we are on a very good path to getting the nomination. But I'm not taking anything, or anyone, or any place for granted. And I'm going to work really hard.

    Now, I hope that if I am fortunate enough to secure the nomination-- that we will come together as a party, as I did-- when we ended our very tough-- contest, and I endorsed-- then Senator Obama. I nominated him-- at our convention in Denver, and worked my heart out to get him elected. Because-- that's what I think you do when a primary is over.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Senator Sanders's campaign this week has suggested that if heading into that convention-- he is behind in the pledged delegates, and even if he's behind in the popular vote, that he will still try to win the nomination at that convention by persuading super delegates to switch their allegiance to him at that point. Is that a legitimate, reasonable, ethical way to try to get the nomination? Would you-- forswear that sorta strategy yourself if the situation was reversed?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I don't understand the argument. If I have more popular votes and more delegates, then I think it's pretty clear that-- the people who turned out and voted-- chose me to be the nominee.

    And that's what I would expect-- as I've found. I've been on the other side of this equation. I got slightly more in the popular vote in 2008, but not in the delegates. And so from my perspective, you know, this is about delegates. You have to have-- the right number of delegates to get the nomination.

    I'm ahead. I'm ahead by a significant-- number. I believe I'm going to continue to add to that number. And I believe that I will be the Democratic nominee. And I certainly hope that Senator Sanders and his supporters will join ranks, the way that I did-- with President Obama.

    RACHEL MADDOW: To be clear on this issue of super delegates versus delegates, the Republican party really wishes they had super delegates right now. Because they'd love to have some manifestation of the establishment worries about their frontrunner, that they could throw a big (COUGH) part of the nominating process.

    Back, basically, to the party, and take it away from the voters. Do-- do you make a distinction between the different kinds of delegates that the Democrats have? I mean-- are super delegates an inappropriate thing in terms of the process? That there are these party leaders and elected officials who can make such a big difference?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I have more popular votes. And I have more pledged delegates. And we have a system in our party that was set up before I decided to run, or before Senator Sanders even decided to run. And that's the process. And I feel very good about where I am in that process.

    RACHEL MADDOW: There have been-- a number of caucus states, recently, where not only has Sanders won-- Senator Sanders won, he's won by a lot. And this seems to be-- a pretty clear pattern in the contest between you two, so far. That you are winning overall-- both in terms of more states, and more delegates, and more of the popular vote. But when there are caucus contests he tends to win, and by a lot. He's won ten of the 12 caucuses, and he's won ten straight. And the ones this weekend were by huge margins. Why is that?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you'd have to ask caucus-goers. But, you know, clearly not as many people participate in caucuses as they do in primaries. In fact, if you add up the votes that Senator Sanders got in last weekend's caucuses, I got more votes than he did in the Arizona primary.

    So, I think that caucuses are a very unusual way for some states to-- really choose who they want to be delegates, and who those delegates-- are pledged to. That's fine. Every state gets to pick however they want to. But when you get to the general election it's about who gets the most votes, and who gets the most electoral votes.

    And I think there's no question, given what I've already achieved, that I'm in a far stronger position when it actually comes to voting in November-- to win, and to become president.

    RACHEL MADDOW: It seems like, looking ahead at that general election right now, we're at a-- we-- we've just hit a turning point. Last night all three of the Republican candidates who are left-- seemed to basically abandon what had been their previous pledged that they would support the ultimate nominee at their party, whoever it was. None of them are saying that any longer.

    Which means whoever they pick, there's a really good chance that the Republican party is not going to all be in favor of their presidential nominee. Now, as a-- as a Democrat, looking ahead at that general election, do you basically look at the Republican party in this kinda crisis and say, you know, "Good riddance. That party needs to be blown up.

    "I hope they come back as something better."  (LAUGHS) Or-- or do-- do you worry about that? I mean, we are a country with a two-party system. Do both parties need to be strong and-- and-- and sane, and-- together enough to really contest the ideas that the country needs to fight about?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I do favor two strong parties. And at different points in our recent history the Republicans have been stronger, and more unified than the Democrats. At other points we have been. And clearly there is a lot of turmoil going on-- among Republican voters, and elected officials, and party leaders, that they're going to have to sort out.

    But if you really look at what the three remaining candidates have said, what they've stood for, I think they are much closer in their ideology and their position on issues than their personal animus perhaps suggests.

    So, whoever emerges, I'm going to hopefully be the Democratic nominee to take on where they stand when it comes to how we get the economy going. We're not going back to that trickle-down economics snake oil that doesn't work, and cannot work.

    Where they stand on health care. We're not going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we're going to make it work for people. You go down the list. They have a very strong affinity when it comes to-- ideology and issues. They may express it in different ways. And some are more colorful than others, certainly.

    But when you really strip it down they are peddling the same failed policies that they have for the last 30, 40 years. And the country cannot tolerate that. So, whoever emerges, whether it's one of the three, or they engineer some kind of convention coup.

    Whoever emerges is going to be on the wrong side of what our county needs to do. How we meet the test that I laid out in my speech today. Can the next President actually produce positive results in peoples' lives, starting with good jobs and rising incomes.

    Can the next president and commander in chief keep us safe, and demonstrate strong, effective, smart American leadership in the world. And can the next president bring our country together. I've seen no evidence that these three candidates on the Republican side can meet those tests. So, I'll let them fight it out however they choose. I'm going to keep talking about what I will do as president to make sure we do meet those tests, and that our country is better off because I will have served.

    RACHEL MADDOW: It's-- it sounds like you a-- you have a very different take. With that-- with what you just laid out there, it sounds like you have a very different take than sort of-- I don't even want to say the Beltway common wisdom. Just the b-- the broad political common wisdom of what-- what's going on in this race. Which is that on the Republican side there is a very different kind of candidate as their frontrunner.

    The country is sort of convulsed in fascination, I think, with-- with Mr. Trump being the frontrunner. Because everybody believes that he's a very different kind of politician, he's a very different kind of Republican. If the Republican party picks him it will somehow change that party fundamentally, if not destroy it. It sounds like you think he's just another Republican politician.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he has a different personality, and he presents himself differently. But look at the budget he presented. It would throw our federal government into the biggest deficit hole, and increase the national debt beyond anybody's wildest imagination. Look at his commitment to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

    Look at how he has basically said, you know, he's going to make decisions, and he's going to try to, you know, solve problems like deporting eleven or 12 million immigrants. He's not that far off from others who are also still in the race, or were in the race before. You go down the list, Rachel, and there may be differences of degree but not of kind, when it comes to comparing where the party is and its leadership, and these candidates.

    What I think is going on is that, you know, they know, because of his personality, because of his divisiveness, which is much more out there than what you see among other Republicans, not that it's that different, but the way he expresses it. You know, going after Mexicans as rapists, and criminals. Insulting women. Barring Muslims.

    You know, that reflects a certain strain of belief within the Republican party. It's not totally outside the pale of what many of their leaders have been saying, campaigning on, winning elections on. What they've done is to create the environment where someone emerges who is truly, in their view, a personality they don't know what to do with. And yet on issues it-- they should look in the mirror.

    RACHEL MADDOW: You, as Secretary of State-- and in other p-- elements of our political career, including be a Sen-- being a Senator from here in New York-- you've had lots of contact with leaders around the world. Mr. Trump, as the Republican frontrunner, is obviously having some success with Republican voters.

    He really is way ahead of the field. He does look like he's likely to get the nomination. Whatever he's offering, it is playing in our country, to a certain degree, with the Republican electorate. How do you imagine it will play with world leaders?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, we already know that. Because we can see public comments from world leaders. And we also-- have a lot of evidence from private communications that-- I and others have received, asking, "What is going on? What does this mean?"  Just take two of the points that he has made.

    One, around terrorism and barring all Muslims from coming to the United States. We know if we're going to defeat ISIS, which is a very high priority for us, for our partners in Europe and the Middle East, especially Israel and others. We have to form coalitions with predominantly Muslim nations.

    I know how hard it is to form a coalition, I formed the coalition that imposed the sanctions on Iran. Got Russia, and China, and others to be part of it. You don't form a coalition by starting with insulting the religion of the people in the countries you're trying to get into the coalition. And then when he turns his back on NATO, the most successful defense alliance in history.

    Which has to be a part of our effort to defeat ISIS, and to stop terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere. It doesn't show that he's strong, it shows that he is dangerously wrong. He's in over his head. This idea he's been putting out recently that we should withdraw from the Pacific. So, we're no longer a Pacific power.

    We're no longer fulfilling our treaty obligations to Japan, South Korea, and others. In fact, off-the-cuff he said, "Let them have nuclear weapons."  So, we'd have an arms race under his theory, not just in the Middle East, but also in Asia. I have no idea what that means, other than it scares me.

    And it scares a lot of thoughtful leaders around the world. The United States has kept the peace. We have created the conditions for global prosperity. We now have to up our game economically so that more Americans benefit from that global prosperity.

    And I have the plans, I think, that will deliver on that. But if we withdraw from the world, if we, in a sense, build a wall around the United States, we will pay a big price. And I think if he decides to continue with that sort of foreign policy, national security ad-libbing, it's going to cause a lot of-- serious questioning among our friends and allies. That could have-- unfortunate consequences for our policies.

    RACHEL MADDOW: The criticism that he has raised about NATO, which you were just discussing there-- is obviously raising eyebrows not just around the world but also here at home.

    It's seen as a very, very radical proposal-- that we would turn our back on NATO. But there is an element of his criticism which I think is-- is not seen as extreme. And there is widespread concern about it. And that's the fact that NATO countries-- less than 1/5 of them are spending what they are supposedly obligated to spend on defense.


    RACHEL MADDOW: This is a mutual defense pact. We count on our allies to be holding up their end of the bargain on this. He's complaining that we're basically carrying other countries' weight in NATO, and that other countries aren't keeping up with us. Isn't there something to that-- that part of the criticism?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think it's fair to say that we do want the countries that are partners in NATO with us to fulfill their obligations. And we will continue to push that. Some countries, as you said, have really stepped up in the last few years to do that. And we want more to step up. But we have to look at what it means to have defense. We have to modernize NATO.

    What kind of alliance will NATO be? How does it protect from the non-state threat of terrorism? We've always been an alliance primarily focused on Russia, and aggression. Then moving our eyes toward Iran, and the potential of nuclear-- weapons and the like. We have to take a 360 degree look about how NATO is going to help improve the defense and security of our European partners.

    But I would still argue, while we're in that process to get them to do more for themselves, and to change some of their laws so they can be better partners with us. Particularly on sharing information across their own borders, and with the United States, when it comes to potential terrorist activity. I, again, don't think you accomplish that by holding this threat over their heads. Where it a-- you act like you are totally oblivious to the fact that Russia is probing the boundaries of the Baltic states, for example.

    You don't, I think, get what you need out of NATO countries, all of them, including the smallest ones, by acting as though you could walk away from it. That could lead to the politicians and the forces within, let's say the Baltic countries, who are favorable toward Russia, like Russian-speaking populations.

    To say to their fellow leaders, "Hey, you know what? The U.S. is outta here. We better start making accommodations with Russia."  This all is a very complex set of circumstances that I don't think he even has studied, or cares to understand. And so, you know, from my perspective I'm willing, and-- and anxious to take him on on-- this broad range of foreign policy and security issues.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Do you think that he's manifestly unqualified to be running for president, given what you just described as his approach to foreign affairs?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I'll let voters decide that. But I look forward, if he is the nominee and I'm the nominee, to really going after him on issues. 'Cause remember, the Republicans still have not gone after him on issues, in large measure because they agree with him on so many issues.

    So, when they start moaning, and groaning, and gnashing their teeth, and the best they can do is insult each other's wives, and call each other names, they're not dealing with issues. Because they're afraid to deal with him on issues, because he'll turn around and say, "Well, you said this, and you said that, and I know where you stand."

    I'm the only one who will be finally taking him on on issues. And I believe once we start doing that the American people who have been watching this like the most ramped-up-- you know, reality-celebrity TV show are going to start saying, "He is scary. He is dangerous. We can't-- you know, we can't let him go forward."

    RACHEL MADDOW: I hear your eagerness-- to engage in that general election fight. I have-- I have to just ask you big-picture, if you are-- frustrated that the Democratic primary is-- probably going to go until June, if not July. If you felt when you started this process that by now you'd already be talking general election, and-- and-- and focused on a nomination that you'd already sewn up. Are you surprised that Senator Sanders has-- has been this much of a fight for you?

    HILLARY CLINTON: No, I'm really not. I-- I always knew that it would be a contest. It should be a contest. We're going after the most consequential job in the world. And it's like a big job interview. And we're asking the American people to hire us. And remember, I'm the person who went all the way to the end in June in 2008.

    So, why would I expect anybody running against me to give up or quit before the process is done? I don't expect that at all. I expect to win it. I expect that I will be the nominee. But I respect the process. And so I'm going to go after every vote in every contest going forward.

    And I also believe that when I talk about Trump, or Cruz, I'm not turning my attention to the general election, as though the primary's not still going on. Today in my remarks here at The Apollo I addressed some of the differences that Senator Sanders and I have. You know, we share a lot of the same goals, but we do have differences. We have differences of experiences.

    We have differences of approach. And that should be part of the primary contest between us. But I also know how the rest of the world is hearing Trump and Cruz. I know how other Americans are hearing them. And since the Republicans are not taking them on on issues, I feel an obligation to stand up and say, "You know what? NATO's important, I understand that."

    I get messages from European leaders saying, "Thank you. Thank you. You know, we-- we just thought, you know, that we didn't believe what we were hearing."  Here at home, you've got Trump talking about racially profiling Muslim communities.

    And Cruz talking about policing Muslim communities. I can't let that go unanswered. You know, I'm fighting to unite our country. And I don't think you wait and then take on these outrageous, offensive, dangerous statements.

    You take them on as they happen. And you give some comfort to Americans who are literally coming up to me, Rachel, all over this country, and saying, "Thank you. Thank you for standing up, thank you for speaking out."  More of us need to be doing that. This is outrageous.

    And, look, I'm not going to-- you know, join in the chorus of bashing the press. But for a long time, you know, I think the media just was in awe of the ratings spikes, and the amazing number of eyes that were willing to watch Trump do anything.

    And so he was basically unchallenged. And now, finally, as he's gotten more and more-- outrageous in a lot of what he's said, where he's gone after large populations of people. Muslims, immigrants, (LAUGHS) women, you name it. I think there are a lot of Americans who are not part of the Republican primary process.

    Because, think about it, I've gotten more votes than he has nationwide. He has not demonstrated that he can really broaden his appeal. But I don't want his views to be appealing either. So, I'm going to keep raising my voice about him.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Let me ask you about-- a more present issue, in the sense that it's happening right now. Which is that-- President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.


    RACHEL MADDOW: If you are nominated by the Democratic party, and you are elected president in November, would you ask President Obama to withdraw that nomination in the lame duck so that you could put forward your own nominee? Or, would you be okay with that nomination going forward in the lame duck, if that's what the Republican Senate wanted to do?

    HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I-- I really find-- this whole-- line of questioning one that I'm not comfortable with, because I-- we have one President at a time. And I think part of the problem right now is the Republicans are trying to act like he's not really still president.

    I was one of the 65 million people who voted to reelect President Obama. So, my voice is being shut out because the Republican Senate won't actually process-- Judge Garland's-- nomination. So, I don't want to-- I don't want any daylight between me and President Obama.

    I want to support his Constitutional right and obligation. I want to keep the pressure, as I did in the speech that I gave at-- the University of Wisconsin-Madison, talking about what's at stake in the Supreme Court. So, let's stay focused on what this court has before it. Because there are some very consequential decisions that are pending. And, you know, let's keep the pressure, which you can see is beginning to affect some of the Republican incumbents who have tough races-- for reelection.

    I want them to feel as much heat as possible. I don't want to give them any way out. So, I'm stickin' with the President. The President's prerogative, his Constitutional responsibility. And-- that's what I'm going to stand up for.

    RACHEL MADDOW:  You know, but there is this-- I mean, there is the issue of the radicalism of what's happening right now in the Senate. I mean, to hold a Supreme Court vacancy open for a year-plus.


    RACHEL MADDOW: Because, as you say, you know, they may be deciding that they'd prefer that President Obama wasn't President anymore, and so they're going to pretend as if he isn't. I look at that, and I see that as so unprecedented and so radical. It makes me wonder that, whether or not you are the nominee or Senator Sanders is the nominee, if there is a Democratic president elected in November, it makes me wonder why they wouldn't just continue to hold that seat open.

    I mean, are we-- have we so broken the norms, have we so-- so broken with precedent that they may decide that Democratic presidents in general are not allowed to fill Supreme Court vacancies?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, we need to elect a Democratic Senate. And that's why this-- Supreme Court fight has real-- consequences for this election. Because it's hard to make the Supreme Court a voting issue. I've tried in the past, and, you know, I think people see it as sort of theoretical.

    But this is so in front of everybody's eyes, front of mind. About this Senate behaving in such a radical, extreme, partisan way. I actually think it can help us take back the Senate. And I would love to see that.

    And if we then have a Democratic Senate-- and we have somebody as creative and vigorous as Chuck Schumer leading it, I think we'll be back on a path of, you know, progress, and problem-solving. Now, if that doesn't happen but we narrow the margin, even that will give us leverage we don't have right now.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Let me ask you one-- last question. Which I'm asking in part because we're here in New York. Which is-- the headquarters of The Clinton Foundation, and The Clinton Global Initiative. Is there a case to be made, an ethical case to be made that The Clinton Foundation and the global initiative should essentially be wound down as a family foundation while you run for president?

    I ask that because I think about the-- the good works, the good charitable works that The Clinton Foundation has done. But the way that some of that work gets done is by soliciting donations from people in this country, from people around the world, from organizations around the world.

    I think it is not unreasonable to suspect that people may give donations to The Clinton Foundation hoping that they will favorably influence your opinion toward them, as a presidential candidate, or eventually as president if you're elected. Is there an ethical concern there that there should be essentially-- a split between you and your family, (COUGH) and-- and-- and this foundation, that has done good work? But now you're in a different position-- with regard to potential donors.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Well, look, I-- I think that-- the work that it's done has been extraordinary. And I give the credit to my husband and my daughter, because I haven't been involved-- for that long. And, you know, when I look at what they've accomplished, and what they've been able to amplify in terms of saving lives-- by getting the price of drugs for HIV/AIDS down in sub-Saharan Africa.

    It's quite astonishing. And I would hate to lose that creativity, that imagination, that-- extraordinary flexibility. So, I think the answer is transparency. And there is no doubt that there will be-- complete transparency about-- donations.

    But when you have hundreds of thousands of people who are donating-- as they do-- I think that-- the best-- answer for that is what we have been doing for the last several years. And that is-- to be transparent about it. And let-- you know, let voters and others make their judgment.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Madam Secretary, it's really nice of you to give us this time.

    HILLARY CLINTON: It's a pleasure.

    RACHEL MADDOW: Thanks.

    * * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *

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