Live Blog: Nevada Democratic Townhall with MSNBC and TelemundoPosted: February 18, 2016
The networks have partnered to host a town hall event for the dueling Democrats from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST from the KMA Event Center in Las Vegas.
Both Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were slated to attend the town hall, which is scheduled to be moderated by José Díaz-Balart and Chuck Todd. Chris Matthews and Chris Hayes will anchor the pre-show coverage, and Rachel Maddow will lead the post-show coverage, according to a news release.
The town hall comes just before the Party’s Nevada caucus, which is set for Saturday. Fresh off a win in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, Sanders was tied with Clinton in the Silver State. Both had the support of 45 percent of primary voters, but the Wall Street Journal noted that statistic only included results from six polls over the past year. FiveThirtyEight predicted each candidate had a 50 percent chance of winning in Nevada.
Nevada has 43 delegates who go to the Democratic National Convention to vote for a nominee.
Clinton was continuing to perform better than Sanders nationally, though the gap between the presidential hopefuls has closed in recent weeks. As of Tuesday afternoon, 50 percent of voters backed Clinton. About 40 percent backed Sanders, according to the HuffPost Pollster.
One of the differences that may become clearer tonight is if Sanders insistence on his income inequality message will play better in Nevada than Clinton’s focus on immigration policy. There have not been any good recent polls coming out of Nevada and it’s a caucus state so the state of the race hasn’t been clearly forecast for some time.
If Hillary Clinton has her way, the final two days of campaigning before Saturday’s caucuses in Nevada will be squarely focused on immigration policy.
But not Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator remains largely dialed in on his core message about economic inequality, his approach as disciplined and undeviating as ever.
That’s what makes tonight’s town hall forum here, hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo, an important — but potentially uncomfortable — moment for Sanders.
The Vermont senator hasn’t exactly shied away from talking about immigration policy in the state where polls show him in a close race with Clinton. He has repeatedly talked about his own immigration reform plan during Nevada campaign stops, and he has the support of some activists who have helped him take his pitch local. A group of DREAMers from around the country is even descending on Las Vegas to campaign for him this week.
I seriously hope some one asks Sanders about his appearance with Lou Dobbs where discussed his issues wit the 2007 immigration legislation he voted against. I’d like to see the segment played prior to the question being asked. The issue came up at the last debate. This is legislation that Kennedy and McCain wrote and that Obama and Clinton supported. Sanders voted against the bill and his since hedged his bets on reasons he gave to Dobbs at the time.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders briefly exchanged words over his vote against the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill that John McCain and Ted Kennedy wrote and that both Clinton and Barack Obama supported, while Sanders and most Republicans plus some Democrats were opposed. Sanders cited as his motive opposition to the bill’s guest worker provisions, which he said were bad because a Southern Poverty Law Center investigation had likened conditions in existing agricultural guest worker programs to slavery.
It’s interesting to compare this with what he said about the bill at the time on Lou Dobbs’s show. Dobbs, for those who’ve forgotten, was a business news broadcaster who refashioned himself as a somewhat Trump-esque anti-immigration, anti–trade deal populist in the mid-aughts.
If you watch the interview you’ll see that Sanders isn’t particularly interested in working conditions for guest workers and he’s also not narrowly focused on the H2 programs the SPLC report was about — he also talks about H1 programs for skilled workers that, whatever their flaws, are clearly not slavery.
Dobbs is opposed to the whole idea of “amnesty,” which Sanders was not, but Sanders also doesn’t argue with Dobbs about it. Sanders doesn’t really say anything about the costs and benefits to immigrants themselves — whether that’s people who’ve been living illegally in the United States or potential future guest workers — one way or another. His focus is on the idea that “what happens in Congress is to a very significant degree dictated by big-money interests” and that “I don’t know why we need millions of people to be coming into this country as guest workers who will work for lower wages than American workers and drive wages down even lower than they are now.”
I’d also like to hear Sanders address Killer Mike’s “uterus” comment as well as the implication of this particular exchange with a BET reporter.
Sanders appears to think that Killer Mike’s comments are okay. However, he took the opportunity to slam Bill Clinton. So much for the high horse riding about going negative in campaigns.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is standing up for Killer Mike after the Atlanta-based rapper stood onstage at a Sanders rally and quoted a feminist activist as saying “a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States.”
And he was even more direct when asked about Bill Clinton’s remarks on the campaign trail that seemed to compare fervor for Sanders on the left with the populist anger that created the tea party on the right.
Aboard his campaign plane Thursday, Sanders told reporters that Killer Mike was quoting someone else — but that he agreed with the basic premise.
“What Mike said essentially is that … people should not be voting for candidates based on their gender, but based on what they believe. I think that makes sense,” said Sanders, who has mounted an unexpectedly strong challenge against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I don’t go around, no one has ever heard me say, ‘Hey guys, let’s stand together, vote for a man.’ I would never do that, never have.”
I’m still having fun going to Still for Hill to see pictures of Clinton’s visit with workers at Caesar’s Palace. Frankly, it puts me in a better mood than reading about the latest grumpy gripe by Bernine Downers.
So, pull up you couch, your bed, your chair, your pet and significant other, pop some popcorn and join us in the Nerd Ball Toss at Bernie and the Cheers for Hillary!!!
By the way, I attended the opening of Hillary’s Headquarters here in New Orleans with former Mayor Moon Landrieu!
Here’s a picture and here’s some great poll news!!!