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tv   Matter of Fact With Fernando Espuelas  NBC  February 28, 2016 10:00am-10:30am EST

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it's "meet the press."ss >> today on "matter of fact." tensions over terror threats at home and abroad. >> here we are now where the world is falling apart. >> will the president' s strategy on guantanamo leave the nation more vulnerable? plus, is the gop establishment ready to embrace trump? >> going into super tuesday, he has the upper hand. >> and, a visit to birmingham.
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this blue city is battling for a voice in a red state. fernando: i' m fernando espuelas. welcome to "matter of fact." every action by president barack obama seems to be a call to arms for the republican opposition. in an effort to keep a campaign promise, he announced a plan to close the guantanamo bay president obama: this is about closing a chapter in our fernando: then, he agreed to a temporary truce with his russian counterpart, vladimir putin, to halt all hostilities in syria. >> it could save lives. fernando: the republican leadership in congress and gop presidential candidates were quick to reject the president' s initiatives. senior senator lindsey graham, who until recently was a presidential candidate himself, is a member of the armed services and judiciary committees. he joins me from capitol hill. senator graham, thank you for
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sen. graham: thank you. fernando: sir, the president has announced a new plan to close guantanamo. what' s your reaction? sen. graham: it' s not a plan, it doesn' t designate where they would go, what legal status they would have. it will go nowhere in the senate or the house. fernando: and sir, do you have an alternative plan? what' s the vision of your party for guantanamo? sen. graham: keep it open and use it. we are at war. we haven' t had a place to put high-value detainees in seven years. the appetite to close it has passed. six years ago, i presented a proposal to the president to close the facility, move the prisoners back into a facility in illinois run by dod, understanding that they would be law-aboard detainees. he never reacted to my proposal, so here we are now where the world is falling apart, 30 percent recidivism rate. there'
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congress, republican or democrat, to shut down gitmo. there' s a growing appetite to use it. that' s my position. fernando: and moving to the sort of the bigger problem in the middle east, isis and syria -- there is a plan now for a cease fire or at a least a pause to the hostilities. do you think this a good approach? a first good step? sen. graham: well, i hope we can have a cease fire, but we basically lost syria to the russians and the iranians. secretary kerry was at a hearing this week with me, asking if it was true that the russian bombing of the people we' ve trained in syria to replace assad. and he said, that yes, the russians and the iranians are we' ve abandoned the free syrian army. there is no way to get a peace negotiation now that doesn' t allow russia, iran and assad to dominate the negotiations.
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t think the cease fire will hold because isil and al-nusra, the terrorist groups that we are all threatened by, are still alive and well. fernando: is it too late, you think, for an american no-fly zone? sen. graham: john kerry took that off the table. i think the biggest mistake was not to create one five years ago. we' ve screwed up syria every way you can screw it up. 4.6 million refugees have syria -- left syria to other countries. lebanon and jordan are tremendously comprised. obama has allowed russia and iran to walk all over in syria. fernando: so, looking forward obviously in an election year, it seems mr. trump right now leads the fight for nomination of your party. how do you stop him? sen. graham: i don' t think you will stop trump unless something changes. the only way you can console -- is to consolidate the field where rubio, kasich and rubio -- cruz worked together. if they don'
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than obama' s, believe it not. he he doesn' t have a foreign policy. within 30 days, he said it' s not our fight, let isil fight it out with assad. and when that wasn' t working because of paris, he said let the russians deal with isil. well, the russians are not going to take care of the american homeland. and now he has a bombing campaign with an expletive i can' t use on tv, so donald trump has no idea of this war and how to win it. the last thing you want to do is alienate every muslim in the world, because we are going to need them as allies. so i' ve never been so depressed that i am right now, because there are so many threats. and -- so many threats. and our choices are going to come down to hillary clinton -- who will be more of the same of obama -- and donald trump who doesn' t have a clue. other than that, things are great. [laughter] fernando: and, senator, today the "washington post" published a poll that said 8 out of 10 hispanics have a negative views of donald trump. you' ve been at the forefront of
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republican party. do you think this deals a very heavy blow on the future of the republican party should he be the nominee? sen. graham: a death blow. who are the 20 percent of hispanics that like donald they' re obviously not listening it' s the fastest growing they' re wonderful people -- hardworking, pro-life, mostly catholic, very entrepreneurial, join the military higher than any percentages, higher than any other minority group in america. they should be republicans, but when they listen to mr. trump, how can they come to our cause? he said most illegal immigrants they' re not. he says he' s going to deport 11 million immigrants, including their u.s.-born children, which he can' t. but if i were hispanic, i would find that offensive. fernando, here' s my view, that i' m not going to vote for a party that would deport my decent hardworking woman, no
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might be. fernando: senator graham, thank you so much for joining me today. sen. graham: thank you. fernando: senator graham and fellow republicans on the judiciary committee have also agreed not hold hearings on a possible nominee to the supreme court. >> coming up, the congressional standoff with the white house. >> the senate will withhold it. >> is the republican establishment losing its base? >> this could end up benefiting donald trump. plus, birmingham blues. ve gotten poorer. >> a democratic city in a republican state. the black and white realities of the partisan divide. then, nearly a million twitter followers await his return.
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a dozen states and one territory will caucus or cast primary votes. more delegates will be up for grabs at one time than on any other primary date. on march 1st, democratic candidates hillary clinton and bernie sanders will battle it out for 1,004 delegates. the nominee will need 2,383 to win the nomination. on the republican side, ben carson, ted cruz, john kasich, marco rubio and donald trump are fighting for 595 delegates. the nominee will need 1,237 clinch the top spot. is it possible that clinton and trump emerge as their party nominees by next weekend? amber phillips is a political reporter at the "washington post." thank you for joining me today. amber: happy to be here. fernando: thank you. so, can anyone stop trump? amber: i don' t know. t look like it. donald trump has just dominated
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hampshire, and you know in the recent contest in nevada, he won nearly every single demographic that came out, possibly even -- although polls are shaky on this -- latinos. so going into super tuesday, he has the upper hand. i think the best chance that anyone has of possibly stopping him on super tuesday is possibly ted cruz, if he can win texas, his own home state. and that fact that we are even talking about that may not even be a possibility for ted cruz says something about donald trump' s dominance. fernando: and what about marco rubio? he' s positioned himself as everyone' s second choice, but that doesn' t make him any body' s first choice, it seems, at least it' s not shown in the voting. what' s his strategy? how does he potentially compete? amber: well, his strategy, originally, was to get third in iowa where he wasn' t expected to do well among social conservatives, climb the ranks to do second in new hampshire, first in south carolina. that hasn' t happened for marco rubio. he has not won a single state thus far and so i think his
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the window. quite frankly, the best chance he has right now is for everyone to drop out, especially some of the more establishment candidates still in the race like ohio governor john kasich. fernando: but what about trump' s response that, which is basically the idea that all of these candidates dropping out would suddenly throw their support to one candidate and not him, that he will in fact attract these voters. does that make sense? is there enough support for trump among those voters? amber: trump has a very strong case to make that that' s what' s going to happen. when people drop out, perhaps voters will go to him. and i say this because, ted cruz originally was, even when donald trump was still topping the polls nationally, seen as kind of the evangelical, social conservative candidate. well, we' ve seen donald trump pick up those voters. marco rubio is arguably the more establishment candidate. in nevada, we saw donald trump win among moderate republicans.
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strong case to make that more as other people drop out of the race. be the impact of the supreme court nominee conflict right t want to have a hearing -- the president will nominate someone? amber: well i think this is game theory in real life, right now. i think both sides are kind of stuck. they' ve put their heels in the ground where senate republicans say absolutely no, no hearing, we' re not going to listen to anyone, even a republican governor who president obama floated this name of, a moderate republican governor in nevada, governor brian sandoval. that being said, everyone' s playing politics because look what is up for grabs in this confirmation battle. the white house, potentially the ideological swing in the supreme if things go either party' s way with this, you could end up having a trifecta of control of
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those chambers of government. so i think right now everyone is testing the other side to see how they' re going to respond and therefore how their bases respond, because when it comes down to voting in november it' s all about the bases. conflict and there' s this impasse, and this log jam again in washington, do you think that could actually help trump? in other words, by showing dysfunction in washington and disgust with both parties, could amber: yeah, i think you' re absolutely right. quite frankly, anything that happens in washington, politicians on the campaign trail, especially outside of washington like donald trump can shake a finger at and say that' s not the way i would do business. and you' re absolutely right that american disgust of congress right now is high. approval ratings of congress is low, this doesn' t help congress' case at all to make the argument that they can function. and someone like donald trump and possibly only donald trump at this point on the campaign
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m going to be the one that is going to come in and shake all this up, get great people on the supreme court, the best nominees only, the hugest people, the senate is going to agree to them, they' re going to be so happy to vote on my nominee. people like those, arguments and i think you' re absolutely right, this could end up benefiting donald trump more than any other traditional politician in the race. fernando: thank you amber: thank you. fernando: in two weeks, almost 60% of all republican delegates will be committed to a candidate, with primaries in florida, illinois, missouri, north carolina and ohio. >> up next, birmingham, alabama. >> what are some of the issues that make birmingham the blue heart of a red state? >> has political polarization become a black and white issue? and, newspaper endorsements. what' s the track record of this time-honored tradition? lowe's presents: how to put your foot in your mouth. man, wish my yard looked like yours. hey, the grass is always greener
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fernando: welcome back. in the presidential election of 2000, journalist tim russert coined the term red state-blue state to describe the nation' s divided politics. now the color coding vividly reflects the partisan divide in the nation. yet, left leaning and right leaning constituencies must co-exist. "matter of fact correspondent" scott maulden examines the challenges for the blue hearts that beat in red states. he reports from birmingham, alabama -- a democratic stronghold in the reddest of the red states. scott: 1963, birmingham, alabama. police dogs and fire hoses turned against young african americans when they marched for equality. ku klux klan bombings of black churches. a haunting past, and struggles -- tied to the political
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birmingham mayor william bell walked us through a memorial park of the civil rights struggle. role in birmingham' s political -- politics today? mayor bell: it plays a tremendous part. this park and so many other locations around the city represents the struggles that took place for equal rights and civil rights. but what i don' t want to see is that define our future. scott: today, birmingham is alabama' s biggest city. 75% african-american, a democratic stronghold in a red state. what are some of the issues that make birmingham the blue heart of a red state?' mayor bell: well, after we had the out migration of citizens who left because of the racial conflict, birmingham became poorer. it increased in the minority population, and that, for a long time, probably 40 or 50 years, played a role in the
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scott: the city is in a battle with the republican statehouse for the right to raise the minimum wage, and is embroiled in an ongoing fight to increase the number of sites where citizens can get voter id' s, battles made harder by the entrenched partisan divide. merval: in local and state races there have been gerrymandering by the parties, with solid democratic districts and solid republican districts. scott: a political landscape where political views collide. >> birmingham, i guess, has a history of diversity and, you know, attracts all kinds of different people, not just red people, and i feel like that' s a big plus. steve french: where you have a city like birmingham, where a predominant amount of people live off of government transfers, they tend to vote democrat. and those that pay those transfers tend to vote republican. scott: in a city where civil rights memories remain strong, there' s still a fight on, but
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black and white, to red and blue. scott mauldin, birmingham, alabama. fernando: thank you, scott. alabama' s red history is long, with a forty-year republican streak. it hasn' t gone democratic since jimmy carter ran in 1976. >> coming up next, money and endorsements. are they the real predictors of who will win their party nominations? and, kelly and crew -- one year in space. can their mission change the health of our nation? (donkey sound) (elephant sound) there's a big difference between making noise, (tapping sound) and making sense.
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(donkey sound) when it comes to social security, we need more than lip service. our next president needs a real plan to keep social security strong. (elephant noise) hey candidates. enough talk.
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fernando: over 150 years ago, the "new york times" threw its support behind an illinois legislator, abraham lincoln. it marked the beginning of a longstanding tradition -- the newspaper endorsement. historically endorsements have , mattered. but in this election cycle we' re seeing a trend -- a seeming
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decision to go silent. when iowa was center stage, the "des moines register" threw its support to marco rubio. the "manchester union leader" picked chris christie. the voters went their own way. as we approach super tuesday, we see more newspapers opting out, saying endorsements only demonstrate a bias and "undermine trust" with their readers. others defer, saying they don' t have enough direct access to the candidates. most polls show a tight democratic race, though the endorsements appear weighted towards clinton. governor john kasich, the republican underdog, picked up the nod from texas powerhouse, "the dallas morning news." the "boston globe" went bi-partisan, endorsing clinton on one side and john kasich on the other. the paper took the unprecedented step of a third endorsement -- stop donald trump. we also found a cartoon worth sharing. it'
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of money and endorsements in this race -- questioning the return on investment for those supporting jeb bush. all of this made us wonder if social media is having a bigger impact on campaigns with candidates going directly to followers, and voters getting their positions reaffirmed by facebook friends, instagram postings, and twitter feeds. i' d like to know your thoughts. tweet me @matteroffacttv, check in on facebook or connect with our video site to view and share videos from all our programs. >> when we return -- life after landing.
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in space could change fernando: after spending an extraordinary full year in outer space, american astronaut scott kelly is about to bid farewell to his fellow crew members aboard the international space station. but as a closing thought, we wanted to share a few of
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s tweets from his unique position in the sky. when commander kelly returns to earth, he' ll see a far different political world from the one he left. i' m fernando espuelas. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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[narrator] - even here, out in space, there are places where creatures live who are not only different from us, but very different from each other. and yet, they are kind and helpful, and very happy to be living together. ah, this small planet is just such a place. let's go down and pay a visit, shall we? there's a clanger. small clanger. he's come to get some soup.


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