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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  July 31, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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ould help. at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. democratic debate night two right here in detroit. vice president joe biden center stage looking to reassert himself as front-runner, rebutting the case last night made by the party's leading liberals. plus, elizabeth warren and bernie sanders team up to make their case for big and bold. and marianne williamson
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shows how different she is. while other candidates study the polls. >> did this night go the way you hoped it would? >> i don't know yet. i'll tell you when, you know -- later when i see the memes. >> back to that a bit later. we begin the fight for the democratic party and how last night's feisty fight will spill over into round two. center stage tonight with a ton to prove. one glaring biden challenge after last night shows he has a plan and debate style to answer the passion and conviction of the party's two leading liberals, the go big progressive wing of the party is elated after watching senators elizabeth warren and bernie sanders fend off the biden-like moderates last night. warren and sanders, medicare for all plan, a green new deal, free college tuition, health care for the undocumented, decriminalizing border crossing.
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too expensive, the moderates argue. too risky against trump, they added. >> when we win run on real solutions things that are workable not fairy tale economics. >> this is a wish list economics. >> what i don't like about this argument right now, what i don't like about it at all is that we are more worried about winning an argument than we are winning an election. >> warren and sanders may well be in each other's way down the road but last night they were a center stage tag team, swatting back the moderate attacks, rebutting the fairy tale argument with the idea it is past time for democrats to dream bigger. >> i don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the united states just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for. >> i get a little bit tired of democrats afraid of big ideas.
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>> with me, matt viser with the washington post, lisa lair with "the new york times," and cnn's jeff zeleny. wow, it makes the stakes tonight all the more fascinating after what we saw last night. it gets hard to do left, right when the two left, if you will, candidates were center stage last night and they defended it with a passion and a conviction that is the talk of the democratic party today. >> and they were united together. there was an expectation heading into this that we would see maybe some differentiation, bernie sanders once was atop the scene, and elizabeth warren catching him. they were aligned, even apologizing and defending one another against the moderates. the case for the moderates was not as effective as it might be if there were a joe biden there or somebody more forceful, i think. >> do we -- i think that is the question for tonight.
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that's what the moderates hope, the democrats who think this is too liberal, too expensive. you can't sell it all at once. they're hoping joe biden can make that case tonight, that he is stronger and that he has a better answer. that was the question about the moderates last night. their answer was it's too big or trump will shove this down our throats, not you're wrong. >> right. >> they're not playing on the same playing field. a lot of those one percenters were trying to get in there. hillary clinton stronger together, that was her campaign slogan, as lisa is laughing at me. we spent a lot of time with her. >> having some flashbacks. >> their argument for now. it's not surprising they will all remain in solidarity. it helps both of them. they're both presenting the same argument. it also helps joe biden to have both of those in the race, splitting up the vote. what was so fascinating was to see elizabeth warren making the
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electability argument in the clearest way to this point, don't be afraid. let's go big. she is running the long game and is bernie 2.0, standing right next to him. >> we did get a contrast there. it was stylistic in a lot of ways. >> sure. >> you saw how elizabeth warren is better a story teller, bringing in people she met. she's bringing in her own personal history in a way that perhaps makes those progressive goals a little more accessible to the average voter. i think we did see a little bit of a preview. this clash between them, as jeff pointed out, will come. it is inevitable if they both stay in the race and we got a preview of what that could look like. >> last night after the debate, sanders' campaign manager was in the spin room. we were talking to him. he said yes, it is going to come. we are going to differentiate ourselves but we want it to be on a stage where there are very few candidates so that way we have the time to get into that nuance and there aren't any
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gotcha moments. he said they were very pleased with the outcome of last night and happy that sanders and warren were able to go toe to toe. >> when i talk to him and mentioned this idea of a nonaggression pact, he was very quick, sanders' managers to say there is no pact. no pact. >> the aggression is coming. >> the aggression is coming. >> those are two candidates who make the argument that the country's problems did not start and will not end with donald trump. >> right. >> for them, it is important to make the overall broader case about the ideals and ideology. both of those hypothetical administrations trying to galvanize a more movement style politics that will need supporters backing the other candidate right now. >> not always but most always a confident candidate is a better candidate. senator warren sat down with us in the postgame and didn't want to leave. she would have stayed till breakfa breakfast, had we had it brought in. she was pumped. to your point, personal stories, to connect, to get at the
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argumentability argument. that puts pressure on joe biden tonight to be a stronger moderate, if you will, to make a more passionate case. moderates tried last night. several might be gone from the race within days. to warren and sanders, one of their biggest points was you cannot pass your version of medicare for all, that would take away employer-provided health care. you would be telling people who like their health care, 180 million people in america get their health care from america. you would be telling them we're pulling that away from you. here are the moderates making the case, bad idea. >> i do not think it's a recipe for success for us. it's bad politics and bad policy. >> now many democrats do as well. >> our plan ensures that everyone is enrolled in medicare or can keep their employer-sponsored insurance. >> it will become medicare for all. >> this notion that you're going to take private insurance away from 180 million americans, you might as well fedex the election
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to donald trump. >> warren and sanders did not blink. they said yes, we are willing to take the country through what would be a major disruption again in health care. did any of those more centrist candidates get their breakthrough or is it left to bide snen. >> it is left to biden, in a large part, and he is going to wrap himself once again in barack obama and say some democrats want to dismantle obamacare. we don't yet know how voters saw this. the argument that the collective group of the lower tier candidates were making, it does resonate out there. it is in the polling. you asked senator warren last night, a liberal senator from massachusetts. the state is not -- the country is not massachusetts. we also don't know what this campaign will end on. they often do not end on the subject in which they began. 2008 started on the iraq war, ended on the economy. this is a defining issue in this
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campaign. for now it's too early to say if voters will swallow this big change or not. biden has to make the case for why it's too much. >> it's way easier to make this argument if you are senator sanders or senator warren against john delaney than joe biden. it's relatively low political risk to cast john delaney in the role of joe biden, which essentially happened. the guy barely cracked one percent. i think this was voters' introduction to john delaney. joe biden is a former vice president. we'll have to see if he does better tonight. theoretically, he should be more skilled at debates. there can be more political risk. he has a bigger following. >> remember, the sanders/clinton primary in 2016 was about these same issues, how big do you go, how bold do you go? it was a difference rat race.
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most of them privately will tell you warren is the assigncended candidate in the race but sanders can raise the money and his group sees this as a long, protracted fight. senator sanders and tim ryan over health care and elizabeth warren on immigration. >> for senior citizens it will finally include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. >> but you don't know that, bernie. >> second of all -- i do know t i wrote the damn bill. >> secure the borders. make sure whatever law we have doesn't allow children to be snatched from their parents or gated. how hard can that be? two debate nights we've got 107 years of washington experience. somehow it seems that should be fairly fixable. >> one way to fix it is to decriminalize. that's the whole point. >> so you have these moderates making the case, medicare for all will raise middle class taxes or take away health
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insurance people like from their employer. hickenlooper, there, you cannot decriminalize border crossings. that sends a signal. passion and boom a smack back, warren and sanders stood center stage saying no, this is our party now. we're in the middle because this is our party. >> it felt, at times, like a high school basketball team playing an nba team. progressives on the center of the stage were emphatic and good debaters and on the sides of the stage, you had people still fighting for oxygen. so, they couldn't make the case quite as forcefully. maybe biden can't either. he has been shaky but somebody with some gravitas coming in, making that argument. that may come in the next debate or the debates after tonight. >> we'll get more to tonight and the stakes. i want to get to this in the conversation. don't believe what you hear in washington because washington is
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not america. we do our best covering the campaigns and talking to voters. gary tuchman put the question to some undecided voters. who will impress you the most? >> being more moderate in the state of iowa will go far and bullock, klobuchar and ryan did the best to bring that out. >> who do you think did the best? >> warren. >> do thing did the best? >> warren. >> who do you think had the best performance? >> warren. >> do thing had the best performance this evening? >> warren. >> warren. >> warren. >> warren. >> i keep saying warren. you keep saying warren. who do you think did the best? >> warren. >> so it's 185 or 186 days till iowa votes. senator warren may wish we had a parliamentary system and she could call the election. she has been the tortoise and i mean that as a compliment. she has been slow and steady. surprised people how much money she was able to raise. you might disagree with her views but she was a good debater
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last night on the stage and the part that you can't see at home, she's building a damn good organization in these states that. is a candidate to be reckoned with. >> this has been building over time, like that kind of torto itch se metaphor. this is what happens because she's out there, consistently, getting those questions. we think about warren and sanders last night, they are so used to being asked how do you pay for it? they are so used to being able to defend that position, that's comfortable ground for them. warren is rubbing her hands together when she talks about the wealth tax and how they're going to be able to pay for the programs. that is the difficulty for the moderates. if yore argument is going to be i'm the best suited to beat president trump why isn't that answer joe biden? he has that case. >> her answers were effective when being attacked by the moderates, let's not engage in republican talking points. i heard that as well from voters on the trail. they don't want to hear
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democrats regurgitate those and her answer on immigration, she pulled a little bit from julian castro there, but it's one that i think can be effective. she was saying this change in decriminalizing border crossings, measures on the books will still make it so you can prosecute illegal border crossings. it doesn't open up the borders and it tackles that piece of the law that allowed the trump administration to separate families. >> she has been pretty unscathed by them in a little while. >> she got their attention without a doubt. much more to talk about it. debate times are fun. ten more candidates take the times tonight. starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern here in detroit. that beautiful fox theater behind me. don't miss it. more debate highlights, including the argument for generational change in the democratic party. first, lighter moment. more lighthearted as governor steve bullock spotted, blowing off post-debate steam.
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one of the campaign. beto o'rourke took the stage determined to sharpen his hey if you're looking for something different, look at me argument. >> we're not going to be able to meet this moment by recycling the same arguments, policies and politicians that have dominated washington for as long as i have been alive. >> there's a new battleground state, texas, and it has 38 electoral college votes. the way we put it in play is by going to each of those 251 counties no, matter how red or rural. we did not write you off. we brought everyone in. now we have a chance to beat donald trump with texas. >> thank you, congressman. >> now both mayor buttigieg and beto o'rourke have qualified. they will stay with us. we were led to believe by team o'rourke he was coming to the stage determined, not to criticize mayor buttigieg so much, but to get back in that lane to say wait a minute, if you're looking for something younger, next generation and different, i'm that guy.
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there was no sparks there. >> it felt like treading water almost. i think he will make it to the next debate but there was not a breakout performance by him, by any means. his point about texas is well taken but governor bullock spoke up about that and said i won in a state. beto o'rourke did not win in texas. i think he has more work to do. mayor pete buttigieg got more lines and more effective lines in. >> one of those lines, i found it interesting, a great debate line. i'll give you the but on the other side. >> it's time to stop worrying about what the republicans will say. look, it's true if we embrace a far-left agenda, they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. if we embrace a conservative agenda, they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there and
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defend it. >> it's a great line but he made a few points here and there. he seemed determined to say there's a food giet going on here. i'm qualified for the next round of debates. i'm going to step back and let this play out. >> he was, in a way, defending sanders and warren there, saying no matter how far left we go, no matter how middle republicans will attack us for the same line. buttigieg and beto are trying to find a sweet spot anyway way that harris is as well, between the biden poll and warren polls of the party. because they aren't as well known by biden, it will be difficult to stake out those lanes. >> democrats are worrying about this debate. lot of democrats i talked to are concerned about the direction of this conversation. that's what this campaign is about. we know now this will play out
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through the primaryies, which my go a very long time. we'll be talking about its delicate fight. this is a race for the direction of the party. that very much sounded like he was trying to stay in the conversation but he didn't say what side of this he falls on. he's trying to, you know, remain above the fray. those academic answers workup to a point. at some point he will have to get into it, and show he's not an elitist type of candidate. >> i was struck by a similar thing. all his answers focus so heavily on messaging. and that could be fine. if you have the kind of debate that senator sanders and warren want to have about policy, it just doesn't get -- that messaging falls apart quickly and you wonder if voters want to say, okay, where do you come down on this issue? and i found in a lot of his answers, it was really hard to tell, honestly. and if we can't tell and we are
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people who do this all day, every day, it's hard to imagine that voters who have actual lives and responsibilities that prevent them from being quite as obsessed, can tell. >> former governor hickenlooper, klobuchar, marianne williamson may not be in the next debate. they need to poll better, get more donors to get up to the threshold. senator klobuchar got in the race saying i'm from the midwest. essentially if biden doesn't do so well here i am acres woman of the democratic party, come from the heartland. a pretty good question gave her a chance to draw a contrast with her rivals and she whiffed. >> everyone wants to get elected. when we have a guy in the white house that has told over 10,000 lies that we better be very straightforward with the american people. >> you didn't go there. >> well, i did. i was mentioning the two of them because i mentioned their bills. you want to have a candidate leading the ticket that's going
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to be straight with people, look them in the eye and tell them the truth. >> the question before the first answer was who on the stage is making promises just to get elected which she has said there are candidates in the race making promises just to get elected and she didn't turn and say i think it's jeff zeleny, i think it's -- you know, i went through this with her former governor, who criticized mitt romney on a sunday show and refused to do it standing this close on the stage. donors especially but voters take cues from that. >> when she said look the american people in the eye and tell them the truth, she's on a debate stage not looking bernie sanders in the eye and telling him why she disagrees with him. the same thing with o'rourke and buttigieg. there's a version for them to get into it. and to really mix it up personally. and we're seeing such a crowded field, that's what drives it, is fighting and making your case very strongly. i don't think klobuchar did that
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at all. >> voters will say we don't want the field to tear each other apart, but they want to show that they can go head-to-head with president trump. >> the vice president has began his campaign trying to stay above the fray. he has that name recognition, support of african-american voters. if anyone should be able to do it, it's him. the last couple of weeks he has had to engage on a personal level with the progressives in the race, specifically bernie sanders and kamala harris. if vice president biden can't do that, i don't know why these other moderates think they can. >> senate collegeiality going on there. i think that's a sign that someone is thinking about turning back to their day job. >> your helicopter is arriving. it's a little early. we have a little more show to do. coming up, can joe biden avoid a debate tonight like the first round? to a single defining moment...
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joe biden is literally the man in the middle tonight, looking to convince democrats his way is better than the liberal approach that took center stage last night. senator sanders and warren won't
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be there tonight but biden will have them in mind when he makes his health care argument that the party and the country are better off building obamacare rather than ditching it for a disrupted debate over medicare for all. senators cory booker and kamala harris will flank the vice president. they also back medicare for all. kirsten gillibrand, julian castro, congresswoman gabbard. biden is fighting to quiet the jitters. poll numbers have rebounded but he cannot afford a repeat of his first debate performance. >> i've also argued very strongly that we, in fact, deal with the notion of denying people access to the ballot box. i agree that everybody -- my time is up. sorry. >> thank you, vice president. >> less than impressive. he knows that.
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he knows that. they know that. they also watched last night. and they understand the challenge for him, which is? >> the question is, can he pedal fast enough to sort of keep up with that fray? there will be a different dynamic. he will be flanked by kamala harris and cory booker. can he bring it? he starts with a low bar, reasonable performance is likely to be better than miami. a friend of his told me after the first debate that's the best thing that could have happened for him. it focused the seriousness of this moment on him. now we'll see if he can bring it. i spent a lot of time on the campaign trail with him, watching him. he is quick to answer questions. i don't think his age is necessarily an issue, but it's a different time that he's operating in here. we'll see if he brings it tonight or not. >> i saw some talking points that have been circulated to biden supporters and one of the points that's made is he's more than a slogan on a t-shirt. they're already trying to sort of in the pregame spin and
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probably the post-game spin and all the spin, they're already trying to cast the former vice president as the people going after him as just looking for their viral moment. he's building something enduring. >> harris made an issue in the first debate of racial issues, forced bussing, criminal justice reform. cory booker signaled i saw that. it worked. i want some of that. he wants to make this more about health care. harris has answered a question that she has had a hard time answering. her version of medicare for all in which she would allow some private insurance to stay in these medicare advantage plans, but like sanders and warren, would take away, eliminate employer-provided health insurance. here is what biden hopes to do. and the kaiser family foundation has a poll out, replace the acidable care act, 39%, build on the affordable care act, 55%. those are among democratic voters. tim ryan tried this last night, not only do i think this is wrong but our voters don't want
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this. why are we going to ram this down their throats? can he make it in a passionate way? >> he has kamala harris as a protagonist in that argument that he will try to make as forcefully as they can. i think they recognize the fallout from the last debate in raising questions about, you kn know, how aggressive he can be and, you know, how up for prime time he really is on a debate stage. you raised tim pawlenty earlier. cory booker has forecast this had line of attack on joe biden and his crime record and can he deliver that? can he live up to that? cory booker is often sort of rosie kumbaya as a candidate. on a stage, looking at joe biden, can he deliver that kind of attack, like kamala harris did in the last debate? >> i think a big topic tonight that we saw a little bit of last night, but not that much, is that this is the most diverge stage in presidential history.
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not only is it booker and harris, but castro, the only latino, gabbard. they're surrounding biden. one of the biggest topics in the democratic debate is how they talk about racial identity. how they're going to confront trump and his racist attacks on lawmakers of color and i think that either in booker's attacks on biden or castro going after biden's past on immigration and deportations under the obama administration that could be a bigger topic. >> castro, too, has put criminal justice central to the campaign. gillibrand is very unsubtly forecasting she could go after him on some issues surround iin health. >> that support from minority voters, he is coming into this with a bevy of goodwill that i'm sure he will lean on. he invokes barack obama's name at almost every turn. he will try to do that. a big question for me is will tonight be focused on the past,
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relitigating previous record or will it be about like an affirmative vision, looking forward? harris and booker have certainly forecast it, trying to relitigate biden's record from the past. he wants to shift that debate looking forward. >> and he was not mentioned by name last night. that's what was fascinating. he is the leading candidate. i'm not sure we call him the front-runner anymore. he's the leading candidate. we'll see if he can make himself, reaffirm himself. buttigieg and warren, are they talking biden? >> we're not going to solve the urgent problems that we face with small ideas and spinelessness. we're going to solve them by being the democratic party of big, structural change. >> i don't care how old you are. i care about your vision. we can have great presidents at any age. what i will say is that we need the kind of vision that will
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win. we can't have a vision that amounts to back to normal. that's the only reason we've got this president is that normal didn't work. >> biden gets night two. he gets center stage. he gets a chance to rebut that. they won't be there. will he? >> i think he will do it. again, it depends if he brings his a game or not, and does it by showing, not simply talking about it. i asked senator warren after if she was talking about joe biden. oh, no, i'm not going to put down any democrat. of course she was. some voters, though, they know joe biden better and feel comfortable with him. >> comfortable is the question. comfortable word comes up a lot. question is, can he make them lock in, not just be comfortable but be for it. fight for survival in the democratic race continues right behind us in the fox theater tonight. who is likely to get a breakthrough and who just might have to go home? crabfest is back at red lobster with 9 craveable crab creations. from the new ultimate crabfest trio
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round two of the democratic debates. 7 of the 10 have not qualified for the next round. michael bennet, kirsten gillibrand, julian castro, andrew yang, tu will si gabbard, jay inslee and bill deblasio. they haven't been able to break
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through. on one end will be senator bennet, for example. >> he really went after joe biden, his willingness to deal with mitch mcconnell. he brought up some of the fiscal cliff deals that joe biden was responsible for cutting. joe biden has talked about wanting the focus on his eight years as president. i think tonight he has a chance to relitigate some of that in a pretty impassioned way that he can do. >> senator gillibrand got into the race, dominated by women. she has had a struggle, though. >> and she struggled with how much she wants to sort of run as this feminist warrior candidate. she sort of has gone a little bit back and forth on it. iowa over the past weekend, she was telegraphing that she would go there. she was saying things like some of the candidates don't believe women should work outside the home. i'm telling who. so, i'm interested to see if she brings those kinds of attacks, who they're aimed at.
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i suspect biden will come under fire. and whether they get any traction for her. >> she said that in the active voice, as in still today. it will be interesting if she's willing to name names. julian castro got a good bounce on the first debate. the question is, will he get a bounce in the polls that sustains him? >> his campaign thinks he's on good track to make the third debate. again, i think he will try to zone in on biden, even potentially harris or booker because casttro sees himself of having more justice reform. he will go after them and try to make a moment for himself. the question is whether or not he has the time to. >> mayor deblasio saying i'm the candidate for the working man. he has had to struggle. >> the willingness to get in the mix. even though he's on the far end of that stage, like we saw in the first debate, he will have the kind of moxie to jump in the front. that's not a problem for him. i expect him to target vice
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president biden. he believes he has that kind of progressive mantle that he thinks the vice president lack. >> yang is close. an interesting candidate. gabbard, trying to be the anti-war but different democrat, hasn't found traction. >> hasn't found traction, focus on policy. yang has a following out there. one person we're not talking about, eric swalwell, of course, has already left us. he tried to go after biden in the first debate and fell flat. a warning sign to the gillibrands of the world, congressman swalwell wants to keep his day job. how much do they want to go after someone who could be the nominee versus keeping things somewhat civil? voters do not want you to see you go after the front-runner just to build yourself up. >> you are trying to win in the presence but have to think about your future as well. >> coming back, marianne williamson has a breakthrough night.
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xxxp . marianne williamson won big applause for her take on race and reparations. >> emotional turbulence that only reparations will fix. >> thank you very much. senator sanders?
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>> google says she was the most searched of the ten candidates in the debate in 49 of the 50 states all but montana, where the governor on stage, steve bullock, was tops. spiritual adviser? well she's different. >> for politicians, including my fellow candidates, who themselves have taken tens of thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars from these same corporate donors, to think they now have the moral authority to say we're going to take them on, i don't think the democratic party should be surprised that so many americans believe yada, yada, yada. i live in gross point. what happened in flint would not have happened in gross point. if you think this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark, psychic force of the hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then i'm afraid that the democrats are going to see some very dark days. >> so, she's interesting. she's different. she's compelling. for those who think she's just along for the ride, she was on with us in the postgame and she
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came over and, speaking of another candidate, saying there are more yoga girls than coal miners. she's doing some voter math. we'll see if she's right that yoga girls will replace soccer moms. >> can veer into perhaps the little bit kooky but you can understand, she can be very plain spoken in her way. she will elizabeth taylor's seventh wedding at neverland. if that is not someone who understands something about america i'm not sure who is. i'm being serious about that. >> when you look at her answer on race reparations specifically, that kind of freedom that she enjoys as a candidate who does not have to go through the typical political calculus, the somersaults that candidates do about race, to be clear eye is something that resonates and that's why you see the applause. you hear her say clearly what she thinks donald trump has
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inspired and why that, not the kind of policy questions that dominated last night's debate, is the kitchen table of the moment. there's actually a big wing of democrats who believe that's a true argument that democrats should be making. >> to your point, she may be at 1% or 2% in the polls. whatever she has she takes from somebody else and may keep them from getting into the debate. she forces the other candidates to be different. do not discount the power of different. one said donald trump would never succeed. i'm not saying she's going to take off and win the nomination but people are looking for different and don't trust the politicians. >> no doubt and i bet she'll get phone calls from advisers. donald trump had political pros around him and thought about running several times before. she's a breath of fresh air in many respects but the reality here is she was a celebrity coming into this. she'll be a celebrity leaving this race and that's probably why she's here. >> nobody used their time better last night than she did.
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she didn't have a huge amount of it, but every time she spoke, she said something memorable. you can't say that for many of those candidates. >> that means she may need to talk to some of her campaign staffers, going around the spin room saying the main goal for her is to communicate a message of peace and of love and not necessarily win the white house. >> she did in the postgame. she was pushed on the question, maybe this isn't going to work out with you being the nominee. she said she is an elizabeth/bernie person if she had to choose in the end but she said give me a chance. i'm going to fight on. i'm going to enjoy this. she said i think i've done that well. the reaction has been good. we'll see. stay with "inside politics." don't go anywhere. tonight, a big debate here. for now, bri a. in. na keilar, who starts after this quick break. have a good afternoon. maria ramirez! mom! maria!
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