'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, July 20th, 2013
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UP with STEVE KORNACKI
July 20, 2013
Guests: Bob Herbert, Molly Ball, Carrie Sheffield, Fmr. Sen. Byron Dorgan,
Sahil Kapur, Josh Archambault
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: President Obama made a surprise appearance
at Friday`s White House press briefing where he addressed in starkly
personal terms the verdict in the George Zimmerman case in the killing of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Trayvon Martin was
first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying
that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: President also discussed his own personal experience with racial
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There are very few African-American men in this country who haven`t
had the experience of being followed when they`re shopping in a department
store, that includes me. There are very few African-American men who
haven`t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the
locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least, before I
was a senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Those challenges Obama said may explain at least in part some of
the public outrage at the Zimmerman verdict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: That all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a White male teen
was involved in the same kind of scenario that from top to bottom, both the
outcome and the aftermath might have been different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: At the same time, he made a point of saying that things are
getting better and pointing to his own family the president said that his
daughters and their friends are, quote, "better than we are, better than we
were on these issues." Since the verdict came down a week ago tonight,
there`ve been vigils and protests across the country.
And today in New York, Trayvon parents Martin -- Trayvon Martin`s parents
will join Reverend Al Sharpton for a vigil as part of the 100 city justice
for Trayvon vigils, which they will call for federal civil rights charges
against George Zimmerman. At the NAACP convention in Orlando on Tuesday,
attorney general, Eric Holder, assured civil rights activists that the
federal government is still examining the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am concerned about this case. And -
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HOLDER: And as we confirmed last spring, the justice department has an
open investigation into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And also in the state of Florida, Republican governor, Rick
Scott, met with protest leaders on Thursday who had converged at the state
capital all week to demand the repeal the state`s stand your ground law.
I want to bring in Molly Ball, staff writer covering national politics at
the "Atlantic" magazine, Bob Herbert, former "New York Times" columnist and
now a distinguished senior fellow at the progressive think tank, Demos,
MSNBC contributor, Perry Bacon Jr. He`s also the political editor of our
sister site, TheGrio.com, and Carrie Sheffield, the contributor to the
conservative news site, "Daily Caller."
So, you know, Perry, this statement yesterday really sort of came out of
nowhere, at least. From the press` standpoint, they`re sort of sitting
there and the president walks in and addresses something that I think a lot
of people didn`t expect he was going to address like this.
PERRY BACON JR., THEGRIO.COM: We thought he would address it at some
point, but certainly not for 18 minutes and extended remarks in which he
talked about himself personally his own experience as a racial profiling.
He really hadn`t spoken about race in this detailed way since the 2008
campaign, and that`s why people were really shocked not only that he
brought this up but spoken in such personal terms, spoke so long, spoke so
eloquently about it and really sort of changed the debate and the
discussion about what`s happening here.
And he also said some things that were brave and pretty controversial.
People talking all week about, "shall we have a conversation about by race
led by the president?" The president said, "No, that`s really not my role.
He talked about his children experiencing a better racial society and then
the society he grew up. He talked about America not being post-racial. He
said a lot of thing we`ve not heard him speak about before.
KORNACKI: Bob, I wonder what you make of it, because he specifically
mentioned the idea of a national conversation about race. We -- you know,
Bill Clinton actually commissioned one when he was president. I don`t know
if it achieved anything. And Obama sort of said, well, you know, I don`t
know that that productive of an exercise.
What do you think he was -- it didn`t sound like there was a specific
legislative goal here, didn`t sound like he was interested in the so-called
national conversation. What do you think the goal was and do you think he
BOB HERBERT, DEMOS.ORG: I think he was pressured into it. I think there
were a lot of call for him to stand up and make some kind of comments about
the Trayvon Martin case. There had been a television interview with
Trayvon`s parents the night before and it was, I think, it was on CNN, but
it got a little distorted. They were not critical of the president at all,
but they were asked a question, what would you like the president to do?
And Trayvon`s mom said, you know, it would be great if he could take a look
at it and make sure all the I`s were dotted and all the T`s were crossed.
It wasn`t any more controversial than that. But it was sort of promoted as
though they were calling on the president to do something. And I think
that combined with all the other requests out there made him sort of feel
he needed to step forward.
I think that he was pressured into it. But I`m uncomfortable with this
idea, this constant idea we`re going to have a national conversation on
race. We never have a real national conversation. We don`t make progress
from these incidents, you know? They said that back in the riots during
the 1960s. They said that after the verdict in the Rodney King case, you
know, we were going to have a national conversation when Reverend Wright,
you know, made his comments and the president, the candidate at the time
made his speech.
So, you know, we`re always going to have a national conversation on race.
We never seriously engage the issue, and I think after a while, the Trayvon
issue is going to go away and we`re going to be right back where we were in
KORNACKI: Well, that`s -- you mentioned Trayvon Martin`s parents, they
actually released a statement last night after the president spoke. It was
put it up on the screen to see what they have to say.
They say, "We are deeply honored and moved that President Obama took the
time to speak publicly and at length about our son, Trayvon. President`s
comments give us great strength at this time. We are thankful for
President Obama`s and Michelle`s prayers and we ask for your prayers as
well as we continue to move forward."
You know, what Bob said is sort of interesting. We talk about the second
speech, the other speech that Obama`s given on race, the other major speech
back in 2008 in Philadelphia, sort of at the height of the Democratic
Molly, did you pick up on any differences between what Obama was saying
about race back then as a candidate versus, you know, five years of being
president, dealing with sort of the racial overtones, undertones, and the
attacks against him in the last five years. Has that changed the way he
talks about this?
MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I think he has a new understanding having
been president now of how polarized this issue is and how much hatred and
terrible things get stirred up whenever he starts this conversation. You
know, he, himself, talked about the ineffectiveness and the sort of big
(ph) equality of this idea of a national conversation. And he has tended
to shy away from this topic.
You know, by some measures, he has talked about race a lot less than other
presidents, because there is a segment out there that just gets exercise by
this. It`s such a divisive issue. He has preferred to try to stay out of
it a lot. And so, you know, I think you see that influencing what he says.
But the sort of basic, the sort of backbone of his feelings about this and
his sort of tendency to want to be a conciliator and tendency to want to
bridge communities and try to bring people together even in this very
polarized atmosphere that we have politically and around this issue, I
think that remains constant.
KORNACKI: I want to get in in a little bit we have some time as I want to
get into some of the reaction that we see, but Carrie, in general, I guess,
said, you`re coming at this -- let me have you speak for all the
KORNACKI: But Molly raises, you know, an interesting point and it really -
- I have to say, maybe I was probably very naive on this, but I genuinely,
at least at the beginning, I was very surprised at the beginning of Obama`s
presidency how much race was used, how frequently race was used, and how
overtly race was used by many, not all, but you know, a number of vocal
critics on the right. I wonder if that surprised you, too.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, DAILYCALLER.COM: From the beginning? Well, I mean, a
lot of in 2008, it centered around, you know, Reverend Wright and this was
the question of, he`d been a member of this church for quite some time.
And so, this was a different set of issues. And you know, fast forward
four years later, we`re talking about a different situation, you know, a
young boy killed.
You know, the circumstances are very tragic. It`s a different set of
circumstances and I think Obama felt much more comfortable speaking much
more personally four years later. I think he`s more comfortable in his own
skin. He`s come to terms with his narrative on race.
KORNACKI: What did you make -- you know, listening to what he said
yesterday and trying to convey, I think, his own experience sort of trying
to convey the experience of many African-Americans in this country when it
comes to, you know, racial profiling, when it becomes to being, you know,
people kind of looking at you with a little extra suspicion. You know,
what did you make of it listening to that? I`m kind of curious.
SHEFFIELD: Well, I thought it was an important, you know, case that he
made that, you know, those of us, obviously, my genetic makeup. You know,
I can have sympathy for his position. I cannot truly have empathy because
I did not experience what he experienced, which is unfortunate. And I
think a lot of, you know, White Americans need to realize that.
That being said, I think some people were a little bit concerned they felt
that he was, to some extent, conflating, you know, the distinction between
racial profiling and criminal profiling. And, you know, you had on your
show last week a defense or an attorney for the family, Darryl Parks (ph),
and he made that important distinction.
But this case was about criminal profiling and not about racial profiling.
And I think some people were concerned that Obama, to some extent, was
HERBERT: I will push back on that the state was about racial profiling,
that`s why Trayvon Martin is dead now.
KORNACKI: Yes. And I think the other thing, too, is the president also
was making a -- seemed to be making a distinction at the start of the
speech where he talked about there are -- we have all the sort of
particular legal issues, the legal sort of architecture in Florida that the
jury was confronted with.
It seemed to me like a part of what he was saying was, I just want all of
America to understand why some of America took this verdict so personally
and I think he was trying to convey that, too.
HERBERT: At this late day, I mean, who are you trying to persuade anymore?
I mean, is there anyone out there who doesn`t recognize that there`s a
great deal of racial profiling that are going on that Black men and young
boys are viewed with suspicion, that there`s still a tremendous amount of
racial discrimination in this country.
Anyone who doesn`t acknowledge that at this point is not going to be
persuaded by a comment or a conversation or a speech. So, you know, who
are we trying to convince?
KORNACKI: Well, that brings up an interesting point. I want to pick this
up in a second after this break because there was an interesting column
written by Eugene Robinson. The timing on this was impression (ph), I
guess. It was about two hours before Obama`s speech yesterday. I want to
read from that column and get some reaction after this.
KORNACKI: So, first of all, I lied. The Eugene Robinson column did not
come out two hours --
KORNACKI: -- but like 12 hours. But I think I read it two hours before
the speech just to set the record straight there. But the column I`m
talking about was published in the "Washington Post" basically the same day
that President Obama spoke yesterday, and Eugene Robinson`s point was
basically that President Obama should not do what he went out and did later
in the day.
When the president talks about race, he said he can`t help it even if his
intentions are good, even if he -- no matter how carefully calibrates it,
people feel threatened. He said, at this point in his presidency, Obama
could ignore this absurd reality and say whatever he wants. He must be
sorely tempted, I guess, he really was, but the unfortunate fact is if his
aim is to promote dialogue about race, speaking his mind is demonstrably
And in particular, Perry, what Eugene Robinson cited there was in 2010,
when the president weighed in almost casually on the skip gates, you know,
matter in Cambridge and it just all of this blow back and it overheated
sort of, you know, racial rhetoric that resulted from that. What do you
make of the point that Eugene Robinson was raising yesterday?
BACON: I don`t agree with it. The comments about skip gates were probably
not the most careful thing the president has said. I mean, looking back,
the White House (ph) will tell you, they didn`t -- phrase, the police acted
stupidly was probably not the right way to -- of course, even that I
broadly agreed to what he was saying. Versus this speech, if you heard it,
there hasn`t been a lot of -- there isn`t too much negative Republican
reaction in part. This speech was very careful.
I remember one thing Bob said was I don`t think the president was trying to
persuade anybody yesterday. I think this was a speech very given to --
given publicly to the African-American community in part. This is really
aimed at Blacks and people were very concerned about this case, which
doesn`t include -- which also includes other people as well for sure, but
it was aimed at a certain community.
But I think he also took a lot of steps to make sure to not offend and to
really speak about the issues in a broad way. He talked about the fact
that a lot of perpetuators and victims of the crimes are African-Americans
(ph), too. Other African-Americans -- I think he was really trying to be
balanced and really hit all the issues really well.
So, I think if he speaks about race in that way, he can certainly address
the issues and speak to a certain community without necessarily offending
anybody. I don`t think we`re going to hear the kind of reactions about
this speech we heard in 2009 because it was framed much more carefully.
SHEFFIELD: There was a response Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, and I do want
to call him out on it. I don`t think -- you know, he said that this was a
call for Obama to, you know, steal people`s guns. That`s Ted Cruz. He`s a
fire (ph) brand. He`s angling for 2016. I think he overreacted.
KORNACKI: I don`t want to do overkill here, but I want to play something
else because this was -- I think there were a lot of reactions like that
yesterday. There were also some sort of, some better reactions. I think
Chris Wallace was on Fox News saying that if you think this was, you know,
this was a president race baiting or anything, that`s just crazy. But you
know, this is Sean interview as an audience of millions on the right and
this was his immediate reaction to the speech yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "THE SEAN HANITY SHOW": If I had a son he`d
look like Trayvon. You know, now the president is saying Trayvon could
have been me 35 years ago. Oh, that`s -- this is a particularly helpful
comment. Is that the president admitting that I guess because, what, he
was part of the Choom Gang and he smoked pot and he did a little blow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And Carrie, I guess -- again, I`m not -- I don`t want to (ph)
answer for Sean Hannity for everything sort of says, but I think what`s
interesting when I read Eugene Robinson`s column, when I watched the speech
yesterday and then I saw reactions like this trickling, I saw a lot of
reactions from Sean Hannity, like reactions trickling (ph) yesterday and
said, there really is a considerable segment of the right where there`s an
appetite for this kind of response to the president talking about race.
And I just -- I sort of wonder where that`s coming from.
SHEFFIELD: Well, I mean, it`s a hornet`s nest (ph). Any time Obama is
going to talk about race because, you know, it could potentially be
interpreted. I mean, it`s just -- it was interpreted that he was shining
the spotlight on himself and making this all about him and not so much
about the broader conversation and any time the president makes it about
him, conservatives are happy to, you know, go after him.
KORNACKI: And, Molly, I wonder, too, you have like, Sean Hannity speaking
out. I didn`t hear any reactions yesterday from like, you know, John
Boehner, Mitch McConnell, top republicans in Washington. They seemed like
they were silent on this.
BALL: Yes. And I think there were a lot of conservative commentators also
who did find this. Let`s remember what the sort of bottom line of Obama`s
comments now and immediately after the verdict was, which was he`s calling
on people to respect the verdict. He`s saying that, you know, we need to
respect what the jury has done here and respect the workings of the legal
So, I mean, there is -- so for people who believe that the verdict was
tremendously wrong, that`s not going to be very satisfying to them and
there are some who wonder if he isn`t setting up to have the Department of
Justice not move on this case.
HERBERT: If you are going to talk about race, it doesn`t matter what the
president says. The people who are hostile to Obama or the people who are
hostile to African-Americans are going to be up in arms. I mean, so,
there`s no way to win on that front. President has his own concerns. He
is the president of the United States, not black America.
But when I think about Black people in general, my first thought is, why
are you so fearful to offend? If people are racist, you should be in their
face. You should be offending people like that. I think that there`s been
much too much of a mild mannered approach in this country among African-
Americans and people who will support the idea of civil rights.
I think that we need more militancy. I think that this whole idea of you
can`t be the angry Black man, you know, well, maybe you can`t be the angry
Black man and get elected president. But there`s only person who`s going
to be president. There`s a lot of other people out here who can and should
be angry over the way Blacks are treated in this society.
BACON: I think the president spoke to -- I agree with you, Bob. He spoke
to that in terms of actual public policies and what he talked about ways to
reduce racial profiling. He talked about stand your ground laws.
He talked about reducing inequities that are based on race. So, I actually
he`s not aggressive in tone about race, as other people might want him to
be, but in terms of looking at the policy, I think he did sort of lay out
some markers about where we can go from here in terms of things that will
actually impact people`s lives as well.
KORNACKI: He mentioned a few policy areas. He did sort of hint at the
idea of maybe not having a federal civil rights charges against George
Zimmerman. I want to pick that up and I also want to bring in a former
U.S. senator to weigh in after this.
KORNACKI: So, in his speech yesterday, the president actually did
basically address the Florida stand your ground laws. Let`s play what he
had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I just asked people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and
armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually
think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had
followed him in a car because he felt threatened. And if the answer to
that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want
to examine those kinds of losses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, I mean, I guess I take this is as sort of -- this is a
classic demonstration. I mean, this will be the bully pulpit. There`s no
-- there`s sort of federal action that`s on the table here in terms of
stand your ground laws. This is sort of about, should states, you know, be
adopting these in the future? Should states may be taking stand your
ground laws off the books?
You know, also struck me at least listening to it, some of the wording
there was very almost equivocal. We might think about -- you know, he`s
sort of -- as a president maybe who kind of after five years understands
the limits of the --
SHEFFIELD: Right. Well, and you know, to the question of the conservative
reaction, I think, you know, this whole tension between federal and state,
that`s traditionally conservative issue is states rights, local rights, and
so, that`s another thing that`s going to inflame the right or at least, you
know, (INAUDIBLE) a little bit.
And the president did make the important note that stand your ground was
not invoked in this case. And then, also, I just want to make the point.
"The Daily Caller" actually did a piece on this that stand your ground in
Florida actually benefits African-Americans greatly. They do invoke it.
They successfully use it to protect them.
KORNACKI: But there are clear disparities between who -- sort of who`s
able to have the stand your ground defense accepted. It`s accepted a lot
more. It was also --
SHEFFIELD: That`s not the question of whether it`s a valid law. That`s a
question of, is it equally --
KORNACKI: Right. And the other thing, like, we were talking about this.
We had the show Sunday morning, you know, that was 12 hours after the
KORNACKI: Last Sunday morning, we had the show 12 hours after the verdict
and I was trying to figure out the role stand your ground had played in the
trial and I will say, well, it doesn`t seem like the defense invoked this.
Maybe this wasn`t -- then I heard the juror, the juror gave the interview
this week on another network and explicitly mentioned stand your ground.
So, clearly, it was in the mind of these jurors, at least.
BACON: Which the president addresses what he may think (ph) he made that
point. I think one of the clear cut results from this will be in -- in
rather discussion we`ve had is that there are 22 states that have Florida-
style stand your ground laws including four of them, New Hampshire being
one of them, Florida. Four states that Obama won. I don`t think a
Democratic governor will ever sign a stand your ground law in the future.
I think in states that are sort of more Democratic, you will not have these
laws in the future and that`s one real result that will happen.
I think the president combined with Eric Holder, they were maybe equivocal.
They`ve made clear they do not think stand your ground laws are good public
policy. And I think it`d very hard for any Democratic state to pass one of
HERBERT: I think stand your ground is important to fight these laws.
They`re lousy laws, but that`s just one of many issues that need to be
dealt with if we`re talking about race. I mean, right here in New York,
you`ve got the stop and frisk thing, which is an abomination. It`s just
the virtualize humiliation of young Black men and boys and, sometimes,
But, also, the real problems in these area have -- in these areas have to
do with employment discrimination, housing discrimination, what goes on in
the schools that Black kids attend where they`re cutting budgets and
they`re firing teachers and getting rid of programs and stuff. If you look
at the economic situation of Black people in the country, they`re
completely at the bottom of the heat, while at the same time that we`re
talking about so much progress over the last half century.
And these are the issues that need to be engaged forcefully, in my view,
militantly, and these are the issues that we are not confronting.
KORNACKI: I want to bring into the conversation here. We have former U.S.
senator, Byron Dorgan, Democrat from North Dakota, who spent 30 years in
Congress and he`s the co-author of a new novel titled "Gridlock" which
could also be maybe the title of --
KORNACKI: Senator, I just -- you know, I`m just curious, you know, what
you made -- extraordinary moment that the president speaking for 18 minutes
sort of, you know, unscripted yesterday. What did you make watching that?
What did you make of it?
FMR. SEN. BYRON DORGAN, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: Well, I was proud of the
president. You know, sometimes, not always, but sometimes, there`s a
bright line between being thoughtful and being thoughtless. I thought the
president was disarmingly personal in many ways. I thought it was a very
thoughtful reflection that he gave us on difficult issue and the
thoughtless side, of course, is the ranting by some that you`ve already
I mean, this president could say good morning to some people and they would
object to it. That`s how it`s how the politics is sorted out in recent
years. But, no, I was proud of the president. I think this was a very
interesting and I think useful reflection that he has given on this issue.
KORNACKI: All right. Well, Senator Dorgan, we`re going to keep you around
for a few more segments and we`re going to switch gears here. The rhetoric
on Obamacare meets the reality. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Estimates for health care premiums on the individual markets
being created under Obamacare are coming in. And state after state, the
price tag is less than expected, encouraging news that the president touted
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We`re saying is that consumers are getting a hint of how much money
they`re potentially going to save because of this law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: This came a day after House Republicans logged their 38th and
39th votes to repeal all or part of the law, this time, on separate
measures to delay the implementation of the employer mandate and the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GUS BILIRAKIS, (R) FLORIDA: Even the law`s authors are realizing the
law is unworkable.
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, (R) TENNESSEE: They`re finally admitting this is a
train wreck and it is not ready for primetime.
REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: I despise Obamacare. I think it should be
ripped out by the roots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Didn`t know Steve King was against Obamacare. Glad we got that
one in there. There were a couple of dozen Democrats who crossed over to
vote with the GOP on both those measures. It was all symbolic. Each bill
is dead-on-arrival in a Democratic-controlled Senate. As we`ve seen for
more than three years now, individual provisions are popular with the
public. The poll last month found that almost half of Americans think
Obamacare itself is a bad idea.
Well, 39 percent say the law will have no impact on them or their families.
Thirty-eight percent say it will make them worst off, twice the number who
say it will make them better off. In response, the Obama administration is
emphasizing health care reform as real world benefits. For example, in New
York, next year`s average premiums on the individual market will be cut in
half from where they are today.
So far, in California, Washington, Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, Louisiana,
Washington, D.C. and Oregon premiums are dropping due to Obamacare,
something that the president played up on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I recognize that there`s still a lot of folks in this town, at
least, who are rooting for this law to fail. Some of them seem to think
this law is about me. It`s not. I already have really good health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I want to bring in Sahil Kapur, Congressional reporter for
talkingpointsmemo.com and Josh Archambault, director of health care policy
at the conservative think-tank, the Pioneer Institute, and former senator
Byron Dorgan is still with us for conversation, as well. I guess, I want
to start just by, I think, sort of how politics and policy have met in this
sort of awkward ways.
I think it`s perfectly illustrated by a couple things that I want to show
here first. This is -- we`re going to start with the executive director of
covered California. This is going to be the health insurance exchange in
California and this is his reaction when the rates came out for California,
the projected rates.
"This is a home run for consumers in every region of California." This is
in democratically-controlled California. In Ohio, Republican-controlled
Ohio, the rates have come in there. This is the reaction from lieutenant
governor of the state. "Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much
higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014."
So, it`s going to be just a disaster in Ohio. Now, let`s take a look at
what the average prices are in each of these exchanges for the individual
policies in California. It`s going to be $331. In Ohio, it`s going to be
$333. A difference of $2 and that, apparently, is a difference between
disaster and a home run.
It just seems to me that this is really, you know, if you`re in a red
state, if you`re a republican Governor, you`re going to do -- Republican
administration, you`re going to do your best to talk about how terrible
this is going. If you`re a blue state, you`re going to talk about how well
it`s going and I wonder at what point the sort of the reality start to
register with people?
SAHIL KAPUR, TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM: Not any time soon because right now,
as you saw, premiums were going down in many states, because -- and part of
the reason of, you know, that this is happening is because insurers want to
compete to get these millions of new customers in the exchange. And, the
data finds that once you get new customers and, you know, once you sign up
new customers for insurance, they tend to stick with you.
So, that`s our premiums of solo. They may go up later on, but as far as
the politics of this right now, whether you`re Democrat or Republicans,
pretty much scripted (ph), you have to be -- you know, we have to have a
certain position on this. So, you`re going to see it`s spun very
differently in the first year.
And, then once public opinion crystalizes on this, we`re going to have a
very clear sense of where this is going. And if it succeeds, it`s going to
be extremely difficult for the Republican states to continue rejecting it
and to continue to try to sabotage it.
KORNACKI: And Josh, you`re from -- you`re coming down from Massachusetts,
the state that created the model for what`s taking place nationally.
Romneycare becoming Obamacare. I think we had this discussion last year.
This is encouraging news, though.
This isn`t (ph) all these estimates coming in, you know, the news from New
York this week that the individual policies that are like over 1,000 bucks
right now for people are going to come -- you`re going to come down by, you
know, more than 50 percent. I mean, this seems like encouraging news,
right? Competition is working.
JOSH ARCHAMBAULT, PIONEER INSTITUTE: Yes. It is somewhat encouraging, but
you`re highlighting a difference that every state is going to be impacted
differently by the Affordable Care Act. And New York is an interesting
story here and there`s a long history which explains some of the rates
filings that are coming out. In 1992, Mario Cuomo, when he was governor,
putting a lot of draconian regulations in the state.
Basically, young people starting their careers would pay the exact same
amount for their premiums that older folks that were typically less healthy
would. As a result, all the young people dropped out. So, as a result,
you have 17,000 people in New York buying in the individual market out of
615,000. It`s incredibly expensive, hence the $1,000.
KORNACKI: That means -- the young, healthy individuals were not required
to buy policies, were not required to have insurance, so they dropped out,
and therefore, the premiums had sky rocketed because that you only have the
most close (ph) to people to system, but isn`t that sort of -- that`s a
validation of this idea of the individual mandate, right?
With the individual mandate, the young, healthy people go back into the
system and we see the prices come down.
ARCHAMBAULT: That`s the hope. That`s the theory. Again, in
Massachusetts, that hasn`t necessarily been what happened. We still have
the highest premiums in the entire country. But back to New York here, the
problem is and the million dollar question is, can you get young, healthy
people to decide to purchase insurance that they seem is unaffordable?
Now, let me give you an example. The Obama campaign and the administration
has been running some focus groups. It was in the "Washington Post," and
they presented -- do you think $210 a month is affordable insurance. And
almost across the board, all the young people surveyed said, no, it`s
unaffordable. That when they reframe it and say, well, you could save this
much versus what you would pay on your own, then they say, oh, I guess,
that seems like a better deal.
But, if I`m a young, healthy person in New York City, I can pay $98 in the
first year as a penalty versus paying the $330 whatever it is, and I see
that as unaffordable. I`m not going to get in -
KORNACKI: And then there`s the issue, too, a lot of these young people are
eligible for the subsidies that are part of this, too. But Sen. Dorgan, I
mean, Josh does raise sort of the central challenge for supporters of the
law at this point is this implementation in getting healthy 18 to 34 year
olds, healthy young people making the case that they need to sign up for
this, because if you don`t get them to sign up in the first year here,
there`s going to be some big implementation problems, right?
DORGAN: Well, look, there are implementation problems with something like
this, I understand that. But, in some ways, this discussion that happens
all over this country is almost a fact free zone. The Republicans have an
obsession about this. This could work perfectly. They would still have
this obsession they want to abolish it.
They`ve never supported it. I voted for this law and, of course, I want it
to work and the question to ask all of those folks that have been obsessing
about Obamacare as they call it is, what is your plan? Sen. McConnell to
Speaker Boehner, what is your plan? If you don`t like this, and clearly,
you don`t -- you voted to repeal that 38 times or so, what is your plan?
The answer is they don`t have a plan, and that`s the problem. They spent
all of their time trying to prevent this administration from implementing
this plan. Well, the plan is going to be implemented. Will it work
perfectly? No. Is it the right direction for the country? In my
KORNACKI: We`ll pick up that point and say we have some interesting stats
here about who exactly the young people are who the administration feels it
really has to target to get enrolled in this to make this thing work.
We`re going to pick it up after this.
KORNACKI: This is from the "Washington Post" this week. We sort of look
at the campaign that the administration is waging now -- is going to be
waging to get young, healthy people to sign up for this, and specifically,
we always talked about last year in the context of the campaign, the
microtargeting of the Obama team.
They`re doing microtargeting, I guess, on this, too. Who are they really
going after? According to "The Post," overwhelmingly male 18-34-year-old,
overwhelmingly non-White, and a third of them live either in California,
Texas or Florida. And I look at that list, Bob, and I say, well,
California, as we just showed, blue state there. This is a state that`s
really pushing to try to make this law work.
Texas -- Rick Perry`s Texas is fighting this law, and in Florida, the
Republican governor is fighting his fellow Republicans about whether they
should be embracing the law in Medicaid expansion and all that, and it just
raises the question to me, if a year from now we`re talking about 18 to 34
year olds not signing up the numbers we need them to sign up in, what
HERBERT: Well, I think there`s a good chance that that will be the case
because I`ve been going around the country talking to young people about
employment and the economy. And an awful lot of young people are just flat
broke. You know, even college kids with the college loans that they have
to pay off and they`re having problems on the employment market.
So, it`s only a little over half, 50 percent of four-year college graduates
from the last few years. We even have full-time jobs at all. So, I think
that that`s a very heavy lift for the administration, this issue. I agree
with Josh. I think the affordability becomes the real issue and I think
that people may be surprised at what young, healthy guys think of as
KORNACKI: Well, Molly, I wonder when you talk to people in the
administration and around the administration, I mean, how worried are they
about this, because you know, I mean, we`ve talked about -- well, you had
the Supreme Court ruling, well, you had the 2012 election, and now, it`s
the law of the land, but the more you look at this question of enrolling to
help the young people, that`s sort of the ball game at this point.
HERBERT: Right. I mean, if anybody ever thought that like when they
passed the law, that this would be over as a fight. And I think that there
was more of a feeling about that -- that`s something that people have
learned is that the Republicans haven`t stopped fighting it. There are
problems with the law.
There are flaws in the bill that in an ideal world, Congress would be able
to fix, but since it`s so politicized, you know, you saw Eric Cantor
proposing some -- what he called improvements to health care and
Republicans wouldn`t consider it because all they want to do is repeal
because it is such a political thing.
So -- and you have things like the employer mandate that the administration
is delaying now. That`s an obvious bump in the road and, so, the idea that
you know, you just pass the law and then everything -- we`re in this like
brave new world of universal health care, that`s clearly not the case.
KORNACKI: I`m curious, Josh, from a republican Standpoint, what is the end
game here? Because we`ve had the 39 repeal votes or whatever and, yes, OK,
you know what, if the implementation doesn`t work and if Republicans were
to get the senate in 2014, were to get the presidency in 2016, I guess I
can see a scenario where they take this off the books, they realize their
six-year dream and Obamacare is gone.
But at the whole point of how this was designed was to mimic what Mitt
Romney did in Massachusetts, to make this friendly to the insurance
industry, was not to have single payer health care. If this doesn`t work
and down the road, this has taken off the books, then Democrats are just
going to make single payer their objective, you know, which really would be
And there hasn`t been any -- we haven`t seen the replaced thing from
Republicans. We`ve seen repeal we haven`t seen replaced. What is it
affirmatively that Republicans are looking for?
ARCHAMBAULT: Yes, you know, I think you`re right. And the senators were
exactly right. The Republicans haven`t come forward yet with a
comprehensive view. Now, that doesn`t mean that there are lots of ideas
and there`s plenty of very good ones out there. There`s a number that have
filed (ph) these bills. They just haven`t put them together as a caucus
and endorsed them.
And I think that`s a political calculation. On their point, they`re
saying, first and foremost, our goal is to get rid of as much of Obamacare
as we can and then we will work on a consensus if we feel like we have the
political environment in both the Senate and the House to get something.
Now, I think, I want to push back a little bit.
I actually think this is one of the misunderstood points about health
reform. What we did in Massachusetts or what Governor Romney did in
Massachusetts with the Democratic legislature was much smaller and nimble
and was reflecting the fact that it was done at the state level. At the
federal level, this is a whole new ball game.
And what you could do especially when it comes to tax treatment of
insurance and you have this weird consensus of right and left saying, yes,
you probably shouldn`t get it from your employer. So, you can imagine a
number of scenarios in which it was a grand bargain which they say, OK,
we`re going to phase out and getting your insurance from your employer, and
then we`re going to put people out on public and private exchanges and then
you get people actually purchasing insurance that`s the best for them.
You no longer have 35 year olds and six year olds getting the exact same
insurance from their employers. You get a lot more competition here.
That`s ultimately, I think, where Republicans want to go where you get more
of that insurance and people are becoming more active as a health care
KORNACKI: You might be expressing, you know, better than I`ve heard any of
them express it, because I got to tell you, like watching this for the last
few years, I think there hasn`t been a replaced portion of this from
Republicans, because what actually went into place is what basically would
have been in place if a Republican -- if Mitt Romney had been elected
president in 2008. I think this is what health care would look like in
And I think Republicans just haven`t known (ph) how to respond to that.
Anyway, I hate to cut it off there and stumble, but we`re going to pick it
up after this with the most important financial reform sets the new deal.
They are becoming reality and that`s next.
KORNACKI: The Senate has confirmed, has finally confirmed a director for
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the most important
developments in curbing Wall Street abuses since FDR`s new deal reforms.
This ends over two years of obstruction of nominee, Richard Cordray, as
President Obama noted in this week`s radio address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Republicans in the Senate refuse to give them a simple up or down
vote. Not because they didn`t think he was the right person for the job,
but because they didn`t like the law that set up the consumer watch dog in
the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: After Cordray`s confirmation, Senator Elizabeth Warren who`s
leader in pressing for the CFPB and who was President Obama`s first choice
to lead it declared victory to MSNBC`s Chris Hayes on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: This agency is here to stay. No
more clouds over what it legally is entitled to do. No more attacks that
say maybe we`re going to be able to undercut it in this way or weaken it in
that way. We got a full fledge watchdog. The one we fought for and he`s
going to be there to fight for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: This comes on the eve of the third anniversary, that`s tomorrow,
of Obama signing the Dodd/Frank Act into law and implementation of that has
been delayed ever since. The law`s first anniversary two years ago, "The
Daily Show" captured many people`s frustrations with that slow pace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m no law. I`m no law, John. I`m just an undefined,
impotent 203-page of legislative (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You see this? You
see this here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stole this off the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And contrast that sentiment with the compliment (ph) tone that
treasury secretary, Jack Lew, struck this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECY. JACK LEW, U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT: Going forward, we`ll measure our
progress in weeks and months, not in years. And much of our remaining work
will be completed in the next five months. Let me repeat, by the end of
this year, the core elements of the Dodd/Frank Act will be substantially in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, we have former senator, Byron Dorgan, with us, and Senator
Dorgan, I really wanted to talk to you about this because if you look at
the whole history leading up to the crash, the meltdown in 2008, you can go
all the way back to the 1999 when the Senate voted to repeal glass deal and
you were one of the very few. I think there were eight senators who voted
against doing that.
You spoke out against it. You were very pressured (ph) about what that
would mean. I wonder what now you make if we have the consumer financial
bureau up and running, finally. Richard Cordray has been running it sort
of on a recess appointment for the last 18 months. What, for a consumer,
is the big difference now that he`s officially confirmed. What does that
mean to the average consumer?
DORGAN: Well, it`s good news. I mean, this is the nugget in the
Dodd/Frank bill. Creating a consumer watch dog with some teeth (ph) is
very, very important, because a lot of Americans got cheated by
unscrupulous actions by some of the biggest mortgage, banks, and brokers,
And let me just also say, at the same time, while I voted for Dodd/Frank
because it was better than not doing anything and if you have some things
in it like the Consumer Protection Agency, it also failed to address some
other significant issues. The big banks that are too big to fail are much,
much bigger now than they were.
Nothing was done to get rid of what I called naked credit default swaps
that was just flat out gambling by some of the largest financial
institutions. That puts the American taxpayers at risk. So, there`s a lot
yet to be done and, you know, the administration is also not going through
writing rules, and of course, some of those are delayed. But we`ll see. I
still think we`re far short of the solution that is necessary.
KORNACKI: Right. And a lot of people have told me that the CFPB was
probably the best single thing that was in Dodd/Frank, but the rest of
Dodd/Frank, we talk about the delays, I think it`s something like 62
percent or something of the provisions have come in, you know, have been
implemented behind schedule.
One of the most talked about features of the Dodd/Frank is the so-called
vocal rule, which I guess, you know, Jack Lew is saying as what (ph) he
expects to be in place by the end of the year. Can you talk a little bit
about what that rule is and what that will mean?
DORGAN: Well, actually, I first wrote about this in, I think, 1996. Think
of that. It was the cover story for "Washington Monthly" magazine that I
titled "Very Risky Business," kind of after the movie title and it was
about the financial institutions, the big banks engaged in proprietary
trading on their own accounts. and I said it`s like putting a craps table
in the lobby.
So, just flat out gambling and you`ve got your assets insured by the
American taxpayer. Well, the Volker rule is something that moves down the
road to say, those kinds of institutions cannot be engaged in proprietary
trading. Now, Wall Street is pushing back with all its might to weaken the
implementation and so on.
But the Volker rule was exactly the right thing to do. It needs to get
implemented. It needs to be implemented in a way that is strong and
protects our economy and protects the American taxpayer.
KORNACKI: And we have very short time, but I do want to ask you, senator,
you have this book out, "Gridlock." It`s actually a novel. It`s not a
memoir about the Senate. Why did you decide to write a novel?
DORGAN: I`ve written two now. This is the second novel. Well, you know,
the first two books are about economics. I wrote about the Wall Street
debacle at a book called "Reckless," but this novel is about a worm or
virus put in the computer virus given to Iran and they use a hacker, a drug
-- hacker in Amsterdam to try to shut down the American electric power
Former secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, said the next Pearl Harbor is
likely to be a cyberterror attack. And so, this is a fictional account of
-- and kind of, I think, a thrilling fictional account of what can and
cannot happen. And so, I think it`s a good book.
KORNACKI: All right. Former senator turned thriller writer, Byron Dorgan,
joining us. Thank you very much, senator. And, also Sahil Kapur of
TalkingPointsMemo.com and Josh Archambault of the Pioneer Institute, thank
you for joining us today as well.
A fatal flaw in Liz Cheney`s Senate campaign? That`s next.
KORNACKI, HOST: And we just discussed a two-year Republican blockade
against allowing anyone to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
came to a sudden end this week. While the vote to cut off debate and allow
a simple up or down vote on the nomination of Richard Cordray was lopsided,
71-29 was the final margin, the were still plenty of holdouts --
Republicans who wanted to keep right on obstructing, even if it meant
provoking Democrats to changing the rules of the Senate with the nuclear
Republicans like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Enzi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Mike Enzi. And if you could barely hear his voice
there, it`s kind of fitting, because he`s one of the quietest members of
the Senate. It`s also possible that he wasn`t actually at the Senate floor
at that moment and he came and voted later. But it`s more dramatic if we
put it this way. So, take our word for it, he`s really quiet.
He`s been there for 17 years and he rarely makes headlines. It`s partly
because he is a low-key guy. It`s also because he never does anything that
is really surprising. He votes exactly like you would expect a Republican
senator from one of the most conservative states in the country to vote.
That means a lifetime rating of 93 out of 100 from the American
Conservative Union. It means he was ranked by the "National Journal"
earlier this year as the eighth most conservative member of the Senate.
He`s ahead of Jim Inhofe, ahead of Tom Colburn, ahead of David Vitter. It
means he has spent the Obama presidency aiding and abetting and encouraging
You can say a lot about the record that Mike Enzi has racked up in his 17
years in Washington, but it should keep him safe from that thing every
Republican in Capitol Hill has come to fear most, a primary challenge.
And yet --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ CHENEY, DICK CHENEY`S DAUGHTER: I am running for the United States
Senate, because I believe deeply in the values that have made our state and
our nation great. I am running because I believe it is necessary for a new
generation of leaders to step up to the plate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Liz Cheney comes from a political family. You`ve probably heard
of it with deep roots in Wyoming Republican politics. She`s also clearly
very ambitious politically.
Those reasons make sense that she`s in a hurry to run for the Senate and
that she`s willing to push aside a fellow Republican, if need be.
But in a very basic way, her candidacy makes no sense at all because she`s
going to have to answer a question that there is probably not a good answer
Look at it this way -- here`s a list of all of incumbent senators since
1980 who had been defeated in primaries. OK, there`s an asterisk there,
that`s Bob Bennett in 2010. Technically, he lost at the Utah state
convention and not in a primary. Murkowski comes with a disclaimer, too,
since she lost the 2010 GOP primary in Alaska and she turned around and she
won the general election on write-ins.
Anyway, put that aside. There is one thing all the senators on this list
have in common. They had taken position in cast votes that angered
important components of their party coalition, thus creating an opening for
an ambitious challenger to take them out in a primary.
Lugar voted for TARP and the DREAM Act and he defended earmarking those are
major no, nos for Republican incumbent at the height of the Tea Party
insurrection. He also didn`t spend much time in Indiana. He`s frequently
praised by high-profile Democrats in Washington, including President Obama.
It means he flunked most of the tribal purity test that now apply to
Republican office holders.
For obvious reasons, the others on that list were vulnerable too. TARP
helped take down Bennett and Murkowski. The GOP feud in Alaska didn`t help
Murkowski. Specter ran as a Democrat in 2010 but he`s been a Republican
for 40 years before that. Lieberman enraged Democrats with his relentless
support for the Iraq war.
Smith -- Bob Smith, anybody remember him? He invited a primary challenge
in 2002 by briefly leaving the GOP in 2000 to run a board of third party
Sheila Frahm, a former guest on this show, Sheila Frahm, she was an
appointed senator. She was portrayed as a RINO by Sam Brownback in 1996.
You have Alan Dixon. He lost to Carol Moseley Braun in 1992, just five
months after casting a controversial vote for Clarence Thomas` Supreme
And then there`s Mike Gravel, who was a nonnative. He never meshed with
Alaska`s political culture.
Jacob Javits, he was one of the last authentically liberal Republicans. By
1980, that made him a relic in his own party.
Again, say what you will about Mike Enzi, but his name doesn`t fit with the
rest of that list. If you`re a conservative Republican in Wyoming and most
of the voters who will pick Wyoming`s next senator are, you`re probably
happy with just all the votes that he`s cast and you`re probably not
itching to throw him out and to find a new senator.
Actually, probably isn`t the right word here because we now have a new poll
-- the first poll of the Cheney-Enzi battle. It`s from a Republican firm
that came out yesterday that shows that among Republicans, Enzi has an
astronomical 73-9 approval rating. In a head to head matchup with Cheney,
he demolishes her by 34 points, 55-21.
We know that Cheneys don`t like to admit making mistakes, but just a few
days into her campaign, maybe, just maybe, Liz Cheney is starting to wonder
what she has gotten herself into.
We`ll talk with Molly Ball of "The Atlantic" magazine, Bob Herbert of the
progressive think tank, MSNBC contributor Perry Bacon Jr., and Carrie
Sheffield, contributor with "The Daily Caller."
Molly, I`ve got to say -- I saw this poll that came out yesterday and I was
"A," happy, because I had written that two days earlier. Validated.
KORNACKI: I didn`t have to write it, again.
But maybe -- I honestly made me wonder, I know Liz Cheney is ambitious, but
is there a chance she doesn`t last if she polled out of this race earlier
and say this was a mistake and kind of, you know, cuts bait?
MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: I`m going to challenge you a little bit on the
poll actually. I think for an incumbent senator who`s very in step with
his constituents and who has a 73 percent approval rating, for only 55
percent of the be saying they want to re-elect him versus the primary
challenger is not as strong as it could be for him, and if he were under
50, that would be a clear danger sign.
But the fact that he is only at 55 means that she does have an opportunity
to get some traction, that 21 percent who are already saying they`re going
to vote for her without hearing anything she has to say means the Cheney
name does have has a lot of cachet among Wyoming Republicans and something
that I have written about, you have a microcosm of the chaos within the
Republican Party going on in Wyoming where they`re sort of a Tea Party
element that`s very conservative, that is challenging a lot of the more
establishmentarian Republican tradition, sort of collegial tradition in
And so, this plays into that whole feud. I don`t think she`s going
KORNACKI: I guess the reason I say that is because there`s one exception
to this idea of, wow, if there is no clear opening for a primary challenger
ideologically, you know, there is one exception I can think of that I`ve
seen in recent pasts and that was Cory Booker against Frank Lautenberg, the
late Frank Lautenberg, before unfortunately he passed away, Cory Booker is
ready to challenge him at primary and Lautenberg had done nothing to offend
the Democratic base. And I saw a polling that put Cory Booker, you know,
20, 30 points ahead of him as a primary.
I guess I`m using that as a benchmark when I say this is disappointing for
Liz Cheney, because Cheney comes into this, you know, she doesn`t have
maybe Cory Booker` charisma, but she has a name like Cory Booker, a name in
Wyoming politics. And I see somebody like that running 30 points behind,
I`m saying this says more about Liz Cheney than Mike Enzi. That`s how I
PERRY BACON, MSBNC CONTRIBUTOR: Mike Enzi has a big lead, 30 points is
significant. But I agree with Molly. I think there is an opening here
because the fact that fame plays such a big role in our politics. The same
reason Cory Booker is able to like sort of force the senator to resign, to
not run a primary, not run again which is what booker was going to win that
primary if he ran against Lautenberg, and I think Cheney has that same kind
The challenge here being she does have to speak to why is she running for
the Senate. I think it`s pretty clear why, is that if you look at Virginia
where she used to live and she`d probably have to win 1 million votes to
become a senator to beat Mark Warner or Tim Kaine in an election.
To beat win the primary in Wyoming, the Republican primary, 50,000 votes.
So, I mean, there is a clear cut argument right now for Enzi to make that
you just showed up here because it`s easier for you to get to the Senate.
In these last three days, there`s room for her to win, but she`s got to do
more than what she`s doing now and she`s like she has no message and she`s
not really contrasted in any strong way and until you get -- she`s not like
She`s not rescuing people from their homes. I mean, she`s got --
BACON: She`s got to do something with the Cheney name and also doesn`t
have the Rand Paul thing of having a different kind of conservativism she`s
running on. So, there`s room, but I don`t know where she is right now.
KORNACKI: She definitely doesn`t have the Rand Paul thing, because Rand
Paul spoke out. Carrie -- Dick Cheney left office with a 14 percent
approval rating. I`m making it up but I`m probably not that far off.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, THE DAILY CALLER: Not Wyoming.
BACON: The 1 percent of Wyoming, though.
KORNACKI: But what do national Republicans think this? Do they want a
SHEFFIELD: Well, first of all, Dick Cheney never cared about polling. We
can just set that aside. Daughter is a different story.
I think there are actually some ins here. I pulled up the Heritage Action
scorecard which is the political arm of the Heritage Foundation. They gave
a 67 percent rating to Enzi and that compares with, for example, an 82
percent rating to Rubio. Some votes that they took issue with and he
supported the internet sales tax, he supported farm bill cloture, including
the food stamps and he did not vote on the immigration bill. So, he was
silent either way.
So, there are actually some ins here I think that she -- you know, to the
points that have been made and the other thing I want to point out, I just
want to call out Ed Rollins. He said that the argument will be that Cheney
is just a desperate or bored housewife. You know, nationally if the party
is trying to appeal to women -- Ed Rollins did great in 1984, but you know
what? You need to update that message --
BACON: I like that.
KORNACKI: Are you, as a Republican, though, the idea of having a Cheney
out there, again, with -- you know, we talk about maybe Jeb Bush in 2016.
You know, now Liz Cheney coming out -- the Bush/Cheney e as a Republican
doesn`t make you nervous. We are going to move our party past that like --
SHEFFIELD: I think Cheney makes you guys a lot more nervous than the
right. I know there`s this wanting to paint him as this Darth Vader
figure, whatever. This is, this is -- first of all, that`s, I think that`s
over the top rhetoric and, secondly, this is his daughter. This is a
completely different person and different track record and I think voters -
KORNACKI: I guess that famous line that Ed McCormack used in Massachusetts
against Ted Kennedy, if your name were Edward Moore and not Edward Moore
Kennedy, your candidacy is a joke, I wonder if Liz Cheney, if her name
wasn`t Cheney --
BOB HERBERT, DEMOS: You know, I haven`t spent a lot of time studying GOP
politics in Wyoming, but when you`re talking about a small number of votes
in primary. If you`re talking about less than -- fewer than 100,000 votes,
it seems to me that money is also one of the wildcards here. What kind of
money is going to be generated what kind of ads -- television ads play well
I have no idea whether Liz Cheney has a shot at this or not, but I do think
money is always, always a big factor.
KORNACKI: And there is -- just quickly, Molly, I have mentioned Rand Paul
a second ago. It was so interesting. When Rand Paul ran in 2010, people
in dick Cheney`s orbit who were backing and they do not like what Rand Paul
represents in terms of policy and now, I know, Rand Paul is one of the
first to rush to Mike Enzi`s defense this week. So, it kind of speaks to a
split in the Republican Party.
BACON: He can`t even self endorse.
BALL: Right, and the sort of less interventionist foreign policy that Rand
Paul represents is very much at odds with the sort of neoconservative
foreign policy that both of the Cheneys had espoused. So, but I think that
also speaks to the fact that you don`t see a clear cut sense that the right
wants to back Liz Cheney. You have some voices on the right who just like
any sort of attempt to topple the old guard, but there has been a very
mixed reception among national Republicans.
A lot of them feel this is a headache they don`t need. That they had two
seasons of divisive primary battles. They would like to be more unified
and, yet, you know, for the Republican Party nationally. There`s still
these sort of fires to put out that are really unnecessary.
KORNACKI: Also, I noticed a coming to Mike Enzi`s defense this week was
Cynthia Loomis. She is the Republican at-large congresswoman from Wyoming.
She talked about his great service. I think what she was trying to say
there is I want to be next in line for this seat, not Liz Cheney. But
Bad news keeps coming for Bob McDonnell. It might just cause his party the
most hotly contested election of 2013. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Another week, another round of damaging ethics revelations
involving the nation`s most embattled governor, Virginia`s Bob McDonnell.
This time the "Richmond Times Dispatch" reported that McDonnell has been
renting out a house he owns to one of his own government appointees, the
state health commissioner. This is on top of another scandal that
McDonnell has been embroiled in, involving lavish undisclosed gifts and
loans that he and his family have received from political Johnny R.
Williams Sr., a nutritional supplement executive.
McDonnell who was once considered a rising star within his party was a
headline speaker at the Republican National Convention last summer. He was
talked up as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney and he`s now beefed up
his private legal team, bringing on a high-profile, U.S. attorney to defend
him. All of this against the backdrop of a very competitive race to
succeed McDonnell as governor between former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe
and Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has his own ties
to McDonnell`s gift giver, Johnny Williams.
Quinnipiac poll released Thursday shows McAuliffe with 43 percent support,
and narrowly ahead of Cuccinelli at 39 percent. We should note the first
debate between the two candidates is set for later this morning. As I
understand it, an 11:00 a.m. debate, in the remote corner of Virginia, that
broadcast only on the Internet on a Saturday in a July heat wave.
So, I`m not sure that this is going to be a decisive in the campaign. And
yet, I will probably find a way to watch this later. But I want to get to
this year`s race because that`s the future, but I want to talk about the
future with McDonnell because it really -- I guess, these sort of stories
about politicians shouldn`t surprise you. This surprises me because I
always read Bob McDonnell as somebody who had national ambitions, national
And neither the sort of -- I covered New Jersey politics. You get these
sorts of stories in new jersey politics about 40-year of the county
legislative board, you know, long-time and people who are not thinking
about running statewide and going national and they start taking gifts and
taking favors. These sort of deals and yet this guy was being talked up
for V.P. and White House and this is the stuff that he gets himself in. It
is amazing to me.
HERBERT: Well, this is what I was going to say. You brought it up first.
I covered Jersey politics, too.
You think what are these guys thinking, and year after year, they get
involved and tangled in these situations. They implode and then they`re
out of there and then their successor comes along and almost does the same
thing. It happened in Newark for decade after decade. It happened in
Hudson County all the time. It was like sort of a way of life in Hudson
County for a long time and happens in many other parts.
So, I just assume they`re not thinking or they think they`re not going to
get caught. It`s bizarre.
KORNACKI: Me and Bob are going to share Hudson County stories off the air.
I`ve got a few for you.
But it is, I mean, the other thing that this raises, we talk about this
year`s race, the McAuliffe-Cuccinelli race, the big news for Cuccinelli I
think was Thursday night that is that he is not going to be charged with
ethics violations. He was cleared by the commonwealth attorney they say
because he had received $5,100 in gifts from the same donor. He had used
this guy`s lake house in the summer and I think he had stock in the
company, the company had sued the state as Attorney General Cuccinelli had
to be defending the state and also owned stock in the company.
He was told by the commonwealth attorney, no ethics violations here -- OK,
when that`s good news for your campaign, that`s bad news, too.
BACON: The headline says not going to charge, still not a great headline.
And I think it also cuts at his core message. He is known as sort of
Cuccinelli is known as being a sort of purist, social conservative. So, it
also cuts against that, that he`s really, his involved in these ethnics
scandals as well. His frame is the Democrats argue he`s too conservative
but he`s certainly not immoral and he`s the moral candidate, as far as we
know. That`s what cuts his message.
It also means that McAuliffe, not a terribly exciting Democrat. Democrats
not excited about him that I talked to in Virginia. That said, he`s gotten
this has been a great few months for him -- the incumbent governor and the
candidates running against both embroiled scandals. This is a great
afternoon for him to win this race.
SHEFFIELD: Right. But McAuliffe has his own challenges, as well. I mean,
there was a big investigation with green energy projects, "The Journal" did
a big -- you know, is this the Solyndra Terry McAuliffe. So, I mean, he`s
definitely got his own challenges.
And you showed the poll, the poll is fairly tight and there`s a lot that
can happen with the debates coming forward and hopefully they`ll have more
that are more prominent.
KORNACKI: Yes, the poll just speaks to I think how broadly unlikable both
of these candidates are. The line I keep repeating, I give credit,
Jonathan Chait has said he called Terry McAuliffe, quote, "the Democrat who
Democrats have dreamed of voting against", and maybe because he just reeks
of sort of Beltway, the bundler, the big money and all this stuff.
Molly, when I look at this race, I think of another Virginia race. It was
Oliver North against Chuck Robb, back in 1994. Chuck Robb who had been
through a bunch of scandals in the few years leading up to that, was the
only person who could actually lose to Oliver North and Oliver North was
the only person who could actually lose to Chuck Robb.
And look at these two candidates, probably the same thing.
BALL: Well, that`s why it`s good news for McAuliffe any time the spotlight
is not on him. As you say, McAuliffe does have baggage. He is not a
likable candidate but any time the spotlight is on the Republicans, whether
it`s Cuccinelli or Bob McDonnell. Look, everyone thought Bob McDonnell
would be the best selling point for Ken Cuccinelli because he was so
This scandal has tarnished him tremendously and he` still at 46 percent
approval, which shows you how far he had to fall. And, you know, nobody
thought going into this race that Bob McDonnell would be a negative for Ken
Cuccinelli. Ken Cuccinelli`s baggage was supposed to be Ken Cuccinelli and
the ideological stance that he has taken and the sort of crusading -- the
legal crusades that he has undertaken as attorney general, which
conservatives are tremendous fans of, the idea being that they wouldn`t
play so well to sort of moderate voters.
KORNACKI: Actually, the scandal has distracted from that. So maybe in
that way it has helped.
I do want to ask you this, Carrie, but Virginia Republicans had a choice
going into this election. There is a lieutenant governor right now, a
Republican lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling who wanted to run for governor
this year, he would not have had that ideological baggage, the same
ideological baggage that Cuccinelli has, and he dropped out of the race
because he looked and said the state Republican that picks the nominees,
far too conservative, it wants Cuccinelli, and it won`t go and meet.
But, practically speaking, if you guys have nominated Bill Bolling this
year, I don`t know if this might not be much of a race.
SHEFFIELD: But, first of all, I`m registered independent, I`m not --
KORNACKI: Sorry. Why do they call (ph) you "Daily Caller" Republican, I
SHEFFIELD: But, I think the decision that he dropped out was pre-scandal.
I think McDonnell chose the wrong occupation. I think if he wanted to get
rich, wear a Rolex, he should have been a hedge fund manager. He should
not have gone into politics.
And so, I think there is still time for Cuccinelli to recover.
And the fact that he has been exonerated and cleared from this, I think it
gives him a clear path.
HERBERT: You know, this is one reason why voters have been turned off for
so long to politicians. And if you look at what`s happening with voting
trends around the country, they`re just getting lower and lower. So, you
have like the mayoral race I guess it was out in Los Angeles, but another,
but a lot of different local races around the country where the turnout has
really been pitifully small.
KORNACKI: Yes, it would be interesting to see who actually turns up to
vote for one of the candidates. Maybe (INAUDIBLE) against both
Anyway, a new report that another Republican governor in another major
state could be pushed aside by members of his own party. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Forget not being liked by Democrats, Pennsylvania Republican
Governor Tom Corbett is not even popular in his own party. "The National
Journal" reported this week that state Republicans are, quote, "looking to
push out their governor after his first term", possibly not giving him a
chance in a re-election year next year.
Reporters talked to several unnamed GOP strategists who are eager for him
to step aside at the end of his term, so that another, more electable
Republican could make a run for the chief executive spot. When
Pennsylvania Republican told the "National Journal", "never seen anything
like this. Party regulars are just fed up not willing to help him any
Recent Quinnipiac poll found his numbers are in the tank, 35 percent
approve of Corbett`s performance, probably making him the most vulnerable
Republican governor heading into 2014. Corbett doesn`t appear to be going
anywhere, at least not yet. On Tuesday, he replaced his chief of staff
with a veteran campaign operative. So, gearing up for 2014, I guess.
But, Perry, I mean, we had a number of these Republicans elected in big --
in many cases, blue states in the 2010 Republican wave and it looks like
none have done worse than Corbett.
BACON: This is very surprising. But governors in 2010 elected -- Rick
Scott, Scott Walker, John Kasich, all did controversial, very conservative
things, like since you just said that he is the most vulnerable person is
very surprising because he hasn`t done a lot. I mean, Scott Walker really
tried to break the unions in Wisconsin. Rick Scott tried to really stop
the health care law. Kasich is anti-union things in Ohio.
Corbett has passed the voter ID law. So, it`s controversial. He`s blocked
the Medicaid money. So, those are two things that Republicans like.
He is ineffective and he`s not very good -- and he`s not Chris Christie
who`s been able to like appeal to Democrats and Republicans. He`s also not
a Scott Walker, who is able to pass conservative legislation they like.
So, he just hasn`t have any allies which is surprising because he hasn`t
done anything essentially to hurt himself. He hasn`t done anything right
HERBERT: Well, but Corbett got off on the wrong foot from Jump Street. He
started out by cutting nearly $1 billion from the public school system in
Pennsylvania. So, they were like closing libraries and getting rid of
classes and getting rid of art education and kids were talking about, you
know, I love band, I love art and that happened.
So, that was one problem. He cut aid to higher education. This is all
like in his first year in office.
And what happened in Pennsylvania was that parents got together and began
to revolt and they had a big, organized effort -- excuse me -- that has
been going on almost from the beginning of his tenure and that just got him
on the wrong track and this ineffectiveness that you`re talking about sort
of gets piled on top of that.
KORNACKI: So, Molly, what do you think is going to happen here? Because
I`ve seen this happen before. It`s how Mitt Romney became -- it was his
big break in politics, was the Republican governor of Massachusetts in
early 2002 looked like he was heading to a certain defeat that fall and the
Republicans basically staged a coup and brought Mitt Romney in to replace
There was no primary. They just kind of pushed her aside and Romney came
in and won the election that fall and we know the rest of the story from
there. Could something similar play out in Pennsylvania here?
BALL: This happened to a governor that I covered as well, Jim Gibbons in
Nevada, who was a Republican governor and he actually vowed to stick it out
despite the party being so overtly against him that they actually recruited
someone to challenge him. That is the person who is now the Republican of
Nevada, Brian Sandoval, a Republican, who won that primary overwhelmingly.
That`s what happens when the sort of establishment of, you know, donors and
consultants and so on sort of pull the rug out from under an incumbent. If
things are that bad for Corbett and there is a sort of healthy Republican
establishment in the state, that`s what you`re going to see happen. These
sources that are now anonymous sources and tremendously good story, they`re
going to turn into on the record sources and more public, more overt until
he either sees the writing on the wall or doesn`t and potentially goes down
to defeat in the primary.
SHEFFIELD: Right. That`s the point, you know, these are nameless,
faceless people. And so to say that there is an impending coup I just
think this is all premature. In 2014, you know, in politics, that is a
political lifetime. So much can happen.
So, I just want to put that, we don`t want to be premature here and the
truth is that Pennsylvania, when you look at it, you know, it`s statehouse,
state Senate, it`s Republican held. Thirteen Republicans, five Democrats
in their congressional delegates. So, it`s --
KORNACKI: Which we know that is not the most accurate barometer of
statewide opinion, the population distribution. But the point is taken.
SHEFFIELD: The political report said that Pennsylvania could be the
keystone in 2016 for the Republicans. So --
HERBERT: There`s such a big difference between the GOP primary in a state
like Pennsylvania and the general election, you know? So, you know, no
matter how much trouble he is in and many Republican leaders are unhappy
with his tenure, that doesn`t necessarily mean that he`s going to lose the
KORNACKI: We also have this issue hovering over all Pennsylvania politics
for the last year or two, this has been this idea of voter ID. There was a
plan that was supposed to go into effect before last year`s election and
the court delayed it and the trial is going on right now. You had the
Republican state chairman this week saying that just the threat of that law
in his mind reduced Barack Obama`s margin in the state last year.
Nate Cohn, the numbers guy at "The New Republic", said that`s crazy. But
the law itself is being litigated right now. So, we`ll be talking about as
that trial wraps up in the next few weeks.
What 40 years of labor history tell us about the future of American
politics, that`s next.
KORNACKI: You`ve probably seen these images before from Kent State
University on May 4th, 1970. It`s when the Ohio National Guard opened fire
during a Vietnam War protest and left four unarmed students dead. It was
four days after that when 1,000 students gathered in New York city to
protest the shootings in the escalation of the war. And they also met a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The trouble began at the Treasury building on Wall Street where
an anti-war rally was being held. In the midst of the rally, hundreds of
men, many of them construction workers from nearby served into the crowd
carrying American flags. Then fighting broke out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That became known as the hard hat riot, plumbers, iron workers,
brick layers, and other working men, letting the students know what they
thought of their protest and the guys leading the hard hats that day was
named Peter Brennan. He ran New York`s construction union, and he got so
much attention from them that he staged his own rally to support the war a
few weeks later. And this time, 20,000 construction workers joined him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those who are ridiculing us because we take what they
call a rag and I look at it, this symbol, this flag if you read the history
of our country is more than just a piece of cloth. Men died for it -- the
men who made our country here (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And that got the attention of the president of the United
States. Richard Nixon was trying to build a new Republican coalition. We
all know about his Southern strategy, the idea of capitalizing on the white
Southern backlash against civil rights and integration.
But there was another facet to it. Nixon was also determined to win over
blue collar white voters in the North -- voters who had long sided with
Democrats in economic ground but who were uneasy with the cultural turmoil
around them with hippies, war protesters, and riots in major cities and
with the increasingly diverse nature of the Democratic Party.
In Peter Brennan, Nixon saw the perfect symbol of exactly the kind of voter
he was trying to attract. So he made Brennan his unofficial emissary to
the white working class in his 1972 re-election bid campaign which Nixon
ended up winning nearly 60 percent of union households against Democrat
George McGovern. And then Nixon made Peter Brennan his labor secretary, a
move he discussed in a phone call with special counsel Charles Colson who
was captured on the Nixon tapes.
(BEGIN AUDI O CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: They finally think that appointment of a
working man makes them think we`re for the working man.
CHARLES COLSON: That`s precisely it.
NIXON: They talk about all the tokenisms. We appoint blacks and they
don`t think we`re for blacks.
COLSON: No. Exactly.
NNIXON: Mexicans. They don`t think we`re for Mexicans. But a working
man, by golly, that is really something.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The Nixon/Brennan alliance became a template for other
Republicans. And Peter Brennan died a quarter century later in 1996, New
York Republican Congressman Peter King said, quote, "More than any other
individual, he was responsible for bringing the blue collar labor Democrats
into the coalition that elected Presidents Nixon and Reagan. The concept
of Reagan Democrats would not have existed if not for Peter Brennan."
Reagan Democrats of the 1980s were the same blue collar whites Nixon
targeted years earlier. They were backbone of the coalition for decades
but they ended up helping to fuel the rise of modern conservative and the
modern Republican Party. But today, the face of America is changing and so
is the face of labor. Nothing illustrates that better than the contrast
between Peter Brennan and the man who was confirmed just this week as the
nation`s secretary of labor.
Tom Perez, he`s the son of Dominican immigrants. And his career has ranged
from advancing immigrant rights at a grassroots community group to heading
up the Justice Department civil rights division.
Overall union membership has been at a steady decline since the nation
Brennan days, but last year, unionization actually increased among Latinos.
Organizing campaigns among janitors, car wash attendants, and home care
workers are making the union rules younger, more diverse and more female.
Last year for the first time ever, an African-American was chosen to lead
the public employee union, AFSCME.
Labor is now waging a full-court press for the Senate`s comprehensive
reform bill after successfully negotiating a landmark agreement on worker
protections with the business community. This is a big shift from the
failed immigration reform effort just six years ago when unions were
divided over whether to support a compromise bill that many felt did not do
enough to protect or deliver citizenship to the undocumented.
Forty years ago, Richard Nixon looked at Peter Brennan and saw the future
of his party. All these years later, Barack Obama may be looking at Tom
Perez and seeing the same thing for his party.
We`ll talk about that future for labor politics for the Democratic Party
and for the country, next.
KORNACKI: We`re back with the panel here and we`re sort of talking about
the state of labor politics in the country. Molly, we talk about the big
story with labor has been the overall decline in unionization. That`s a
decade`s long thing.
More recently, we have, Indiana turning into a right to work state and the
Republican governor, the union roles are shrinking there. Wisconsin, we
had all the drama in the last few years. The union rules are shrinking
But there is this other story I think where labor itself, what`s left of it
is becoming more diverse and we talk about the Democratic Party after the
2012 election -- this idea of a coalition of the ascendant, nonwhite,
younger, more female. That seems to mirror in a way what`s happening with
BALL: Sure. It also mirrors the changing economy, right? Labor used to
be very much based in the manufacturing sector and as more of the economy
is in the service sector, more of labor has been in the service sector.
It`s also true that the labor movement has largely retreated into the
public sector, that the majority now of union workers are government
And I think that has helped to turn this into a partisan debate, as well,
where, as you know, Republican attacks on unions from Scott Walker to what
you talked about in Indiana -- the Republicans really see the unions as the
foot soldiers of the Democratic Party and want to take them out.
And that`s been successful in places like Wisconsin. Union rates have
declined tremendously since Scott Walker took his actions.
KORNACKI: Bob, statistically, I think it`s 33 percent of the public sector
workforce is unionized. I think it`s 6 percent of the private sector.
What Molly is saying, I`ve seen this happen in new jersey where one of the
Democrats support this pension overhaul for public employees, the Senate
president was an iron worker and he talked about, he stoked this resentment
among private sector union workers that, hey, you know, the public sector
employees are taking your taxpayer dollars and are getting these sweetheart
deals, they have it so much better than us and that was unfair and so, he
was -- he was able to himself support and build among Democrats, among
union members for going after employees.
HERBERT: This is the whole divide and conquer thing that has been part and
parcel of our economic scene for decades. You know, that`s what was going
on with race issues when they were pitting poor and working class blacks
against whites who were in the same boat or almost the same boat. And what
I think is now when you`re down to 6 percent of the private sector
workforce, I just think that it`s time for labor to try and make a turn
around and I used the term militancy earlier in the program. I think you
need a lot more labor militancy now.
There ought to be, even it`s a tough road, but they ought to be organizing
every person in sight given the difficulties in the employment economy
KORNACKI: So, what`s going to happen, Perry? We have a new labor
secretary actually confirmed, Tom Perry, and there is also this issue of
the NLRB, the National Labor Relations Board which is the watchdog for
rights of unions and workers across country and that stalemate was broken
It looks like two President Obama`s appointees are going to be confirmed
the next month. And a third will be confirmed next year. So, the
president will finally have sort of majority in that board. It will be
Is -- are either of those developments, labor secretary and NLRB, are those
going to make a difference in the next few years?
BACON: They probably will in terms of blocking certain companies from
unfair labor practices. You know, there`s the contrast (ph) about Boeing
in South Carolina, you`ll see more cases like that. it becomes a partisan
issue with a big, strong divide.
I do think, you know, states like California where unions are strong and a
number of members are going up and the percentage of numbers is going up.
You also have an issue where I think you`re going to see more with labor
being so weak, I think you`re going to see more push by politicians to
fight against big companies in their own way.
As we`ve seen in D.C. recently, the big fight about Walmart moving in there
and you see the city council passed some kind of law saying Walmart must
pay this amount of wages. Walmart doesn`t allow unions. I think you`ll
see, also, politicians sort of have taken the role and taking the role of
what labor leaders used to do in terms of fighting for fair wages and that
sort of thing because in the fact that in a lot of private sector, in a lot
of states, public sector unions just don`t exist really.
KORNACKI: You know, Carrie, I wonder, we had the piece before this about
Nixon and Reagan kind of co-opting the white working class voter or big
chunks of it in the `70s and `80s and sort of the rise of the Republican
Party being built around that. I could see, especially in Nixon`s case,
the idea of living wages was on the table, I could see that there was sort
of cultural resentment that Nixon was capitalizing on it a bit. But he was
also offering some sort of economic incentives to those voters to be part
of the coalition.
I look at a today`s Republican Party and I look at the big, sort of the
Wall Street money that is behind it, you know, the Koch brothers, this sort
of thing. And I wonder, what is the message that the Republican Party is
sending to working class voters today? Is it different than the message
that Nixon and even Reagan was sending?
SHEFFIELD: Well, OK, so, lots packed in that question. So, to the point
about Brennan organizing to support the war, I would say that organized
labor most recently has certainly not been of that mindset. So, that`s
something that is just different in terms of comparing the past and present
and then the terms of public sector unions.
I mean, I think Detroit is really a case in point of unions run amuck of
union public sector unions really stepping in and demanding things that are
unsustainable, the same in Greece internationally, as well. And so, what
we need is discipline and we don`t need militancy and we don`t need these
battle lines drawn. We do need collaboration.
HERBERT: You know, in Detroit, I mean, we had the riots in `67, which
Detroit never recovered from. You had white flight form the city, took the
tax base with them. You have had several years of terrible management with
the mayor ends up in prison.
You know, to blame what happened in Detroit and then you had the economic
factors with globalization and technological advances and loss of jobs and
all that sort of thing. To blame what happened in Detroit on public sector
unions, I just think misses the point.
KORNACKI: It seems what Detroit -- but what Detroit is really missing at
this point is a tax base, going from 1.8 million to 700,000 people, add an
economic collapse, everything would be a lot better --
HERBRET: Most of whom are not making very much money.
KORNACKI: And spread out over a city, like physically the size of
Philadelphia. We`re going to be getting into it in the next few weeks.
That story is not going away, unfortunately.
What do we now know that we didn`t know last week? My answers are after
KORNACKI: So what do we know now that we didn`t know last week?
Well, we know that David young, an Iowa Republican, who`s running for Tom
Harkin`s Senate seat is already thinking ahead to how he`d deal with one of
the Senate`s most powerful Democrats, New York`s Chuck Schumer. The
candidate`s forum on Monday, sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom
coalition, Young was asked about, quote, "brotherhood in the Senate."
And as the Web site "Iowa Republican" reported, quote, "Young said what
really needs to happen in Washington, D.C. is a change of hearts and minds.
Young said that as a senator, he would invite New York Senator Chuck
Schumer to lunch so he could share the good news of Jesus Christ."
Schumer, we should note, is Jewish.
We now know of at least one congressional candidate who isn`t getting much
help from her in-laws, least not yet, Marjorie Margolies cast one of the
deciding votes in favor of President Bill Clinton`s first budget. That
budget was critical in erasing the deficit and producing surpluses by the
end of the 1990s. But the backlash against the tax hikes that were
included in it actually cost Margolies -- her name is actually Margolies-
Mezvinsky back then -- her seat in the House in 1994.
But Margolies isn`t just a former congresswoman these days. She is also
Chelsea Clinton`s mother-in-law. Chelsea married Margolies` son, Mark, in
2010, and now, Margolies is trying to reclaim her old seat. "The
Huffington Post" reported this week that no one from the Clinton family has
yet donated to her primary campaign.
The primary, though, isn`t until next year. And if this segment doesn`t
remind the Clintons to kick in by then, it`s a pretty safe bet Margolies
We now know the movie "Red 2" is out in theaters as of yesterday. And we
know that its trailers seize on the NSA controversy. One scene juxtaposes
from the movie which starts Bruce Willis with real clips of President Obama
defending domestic surveillance programs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be very clear. No
one is listening to your telephone calls. The people involved in America`s
national security take this work very seriously.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Idle hands do the devil`s work.
OBAMA: These folks keep the American people safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a bomb headed for London and we need to stop.
OBAMA: They operate like professionals.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve got this!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The president has taken his share of criticism for counterterror
policies, but the jury is still out on his voice-overs.
I want to find out what my guests know now that they didn`t know when the
week began. I`ll start with Molly.
BALL: Well, we know that the senate has not gone nuclear. That there was
a lot of threats and brinkmanship and Harry Reid threatening to change the
Senate rules and the Republicans finally decided he was serious and gave
him what he wanted.
And the only thing that Democrats seem to have given up in this compromise
is to agree to call it a compromise, so it doesn`t look like the
Republicans just caved. Democrats pretty much got everything they want,
without having to hit that button and use the nuclear option.
KORNACKI: And we will be talking a lot more shameless plug tomorrow, we`ll
be talking about that tomorrow.
HERBERT: If you look at the in-fighting with Liz Cheney in Wyoming and
surrounding Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, we`re learning that the GOP is
just as good as the Democrats at forming a circular firing squad.
KORNACKI: Be fun to watch Wyoming.
BACON: Bipartisan is not dead. There`s a push to renew the Voting Rights
Act, Section 4 of it. And the two people working together: John Lewis, a
civil rights legend, of course, and James Sensenbrenner, not just a
conservative, but he was one of the impeachment managers against President
Clinton in the 1990s. But now, he and Congressman Lewis working together
on the Voting Rights Act.
KORNACKI: It`s really -- I covered the voting rights reauthorization in
2006 and I remembered that there were Southern Republicans on one side and
Jim Sensenbrenner on the other side. Always one of the more baffling
scenes I see in the House.
SHEFFIELD: We`re going to go outside of politics and talk about tech. We
know now that Google is planning to do a brain chip. So "The Independent,"
our U.K. friends, Ian Burrell said he did a piece and he visited the
Googleplex and this is their plan. It is initially to help people in
wheelchairs, so you got the brain chip that will help you with disability.
KORNACKI: Google is just going to make everything. Google glass, Google
KORNACKI: My thanks to Molly Ball of "The Atlantic", Bob Herbert of Demos,
MSNBC Perry Bacon, and Carrie Sheffield of "The Daily Caller" -- thank you
for getting UP and thank you all for joining us again tomorrow for UP.
Join us tomorrow Sunday morning at 8:00, where I`ll talk with former
Massachusetts Senator Mo Cowan, and Kim Gandy, the former president of the
National Organization for Women.
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". On today`s "MHP," rallies all
over the nation are scheduled to take place today in the aftermath of the
George Zimmerman verdict. But Melissa takes a close look at what the very
role of the rally is. Protests from Florida, to North Carolina, to Texas
aren`t stopping the radical right conservative legislative agenda, but they
are planting the seeds for change.
That`s "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." She`s coming up next and we`ll see you
right here tomorrow at 8:00. Thanks for getting UP.
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