UP with STEVE KORNACKI
October 19, 2013
Guest: Brian Beutler, Christina Bellantoni, Josh Barro, Basil Smikle, Jr.,
Rep. Steve Cohen, David Brancaccio, Doug Wilder, Basil Smikle, Lizz
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Is the Ted Cruz fever breaking?
At a start of this crisp autumn morning, we`re feeling maybe a little
tentative today. A temporary deal was reached at the 11th hour to avert
default and end the shutdown, but what`s to stop the man who started it in
the first place from taking us all down the same path again. I`ll explain
my thinking on that in just a moment.
Also there was a lot of talk about the women in the Senate who helped seal
this week, the did gender play a role in negotiations or is that merely a
reflection of how the Senate and society are changing at large?
There`ll also be a new senator heading to Washington next month, only the
fourth African-American to be elected to that chamber ever. He`s a very
busy and activist agenda before he arrives, but what happens once he gets
there? We`ll be sneaking a look inside his file of facts if they even have
those things anymore. I`m not sure how that word got in there.
If it`s Saturday here on UP, that means it`s time for "Up Against the
Clock." Get ready to test your own knowledge in the week that was in news
and pop culture. That`s coming up later.
But first, the government had been closed for 16 days, and a default was a
mere hours away Wednesday night when the Senate and House finally passed a
plan to avert calamity and fund the government. President Obama quickly
signed it. We all breathe the sigh of relief and the president expressed
his hope that the opposition party had learned an important lesson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that I
said throughout this process is we got to get out of the habit of governing
by crisis. And, my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that
there`s no reason why we can`t work on the issues at hand, why we can`t
disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure
that we`re not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That hope, though, is already being put to the test because the
deal that got us out of this mess this week is a temporary deal. It comes
with two brand-new dead leans. One is January 15th, that`s when funding
for the government will next run out, unless, another deal is reached
before then. The other is February 7th. That`s when the debt ceiling
clock will start ticking again.
So, there`s a reason that reactions to the deal that was sealed Wednesday
were a lot more cynical and celebratory. The raw ingredients for the exact
kind of governing by crisis that we just lived through. Obama is warning
our are still very much in place. And more than that, the man who more
than anyone was responsible for this last episode of governing by crisis is
already dropping hints that he`d be fined with another.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: I would do anything and I will continue to do
anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare and, in
particular, look, the tests that matters, John, is are we doing anything
for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, really, if we want to ask whether we`re just going to go
through all this again three months from now, if we`re going to flirt with
the shutdown or default over rigid and impractical demands from the Tea
Party right, what we`re really asking is whether this whole episode is
eroded Ted Cruz`s power within the Republican universe or if he`s walking
away from this all unscathed or even stronger.
So, let`s first remember where Cruz`s power comes from in the first place,
how he got to the point that he could insist that Republicans embark on a
politically toxic dead end venture and how it was that Republicans felt
they needed to listen to him? The Cruz game is tactical and its tribal.
His goal, basically, is to become the undisputed leader of republican
It`s not ideological or philosophical quest. He`s not trying to sell the
right on a set of issues or a different definition of conservatism. His
gain is to take issues where there is consensus within the Republican world
and to stake-out the most extreme tactical position possible, and then to
establish that position as the test of loyalty to the conservative tribe.
That`s where the shutdown came from. Every Republican is against
Obamacare. Every Republican says it will kill jobs. It will wreck the
economy. It will ruin freedom. Every Republican wants to repeal it. What
Cruz did, though, was to create a purity test for that consensus. OK.
Republicans, he said, if you hate Obamacare as much as you say you do, then
why don`t you join me in shutting down the government to save America from
And in this era of Tea Party primary challenges, an era in which the
Republican base were rewards the purist and punishes the squishes as Ted
Cruz calls them, this era of Republicans in Congress were terrified of
flunking the Ted Cruz tribal loyalty test. And so, they went along at
least until the very last minute.
And for doing all of that, they got nothing substantively. Obamacare is
intact as ever and Democrats got the clean resolution that fund the
government and lift the debt ceiling that they were demanding. Here`s what
else Republicans got the worst poll numbers for their party since, well,
since Gallup and NBC News started asking the question in the first place.
That`s why in the wake of all of this, some Republicans are turning their
guns on Ted Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: We have to anticipate Ted Cruz is going to
try to do this again, Ted Cruz and 30 or 40 people in the House. And we to
start going after him by name. I`ve been doing it all along. I wish I had
more company on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But remember the game that Ted Cruz is playing is not about
appealing to all voters. It`s about appealing to voters who leave in the
Republican universe. Most Republican members of Congress have a lot more
to fear these days from voters who live in the Republican universe to
Republican primary voters than from general election voters.
So, even if their party`s image is taking a very big and very real hit with
all voters doesn`t necessarily make it safe for them to defy Cruz and to
defy "Cruzism," especially when the voices that voters invoke (ph) in the
universe listening to are voices like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Can you imagine in this last fight if
we would have five or ten Ted Cruzes? Can you imagine the different
dynamic? Can you imagine if we had five or ten Ted Cruzes, we`d win a lot
of debates. If we had 45 Ted Cruzes in the Senate, we`d come close to
winning every vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, that`s the question that now hovers over American politics.
There are a lot of Republican leaders in Washington who clearly don`t want
to go through this again. But will they stand up the Ted Cruz this time?
Can they stand up to Ted Cruz now?
Joining me at the table is Christina Bellantoni. She`s the politics editor
at the PBS Newshour. Brian Beutler, he`s political writer at Salon.com.
Basil Smikle Jr. is the political strategist and professor at Columbia
University and Josh Barro, BusinessInsider.com.
So, Brian, I`ll start with you, because you work at Salon, and I used to
work at Salon. So, that`s home court advantage there.
KORNACKI: Sorry about that guys. But -- so, it seems to me that when
you`re looking at the role of Ted Cruz in all of this and the role of Ted
Cruz going forward, when you look at somebody like Mitch McConnell and the
comments he made this week or John Boehner, they don`t want to listen to
Certainly, in McConnell`s case, he seems a little more willing to speak out
now than before. But when I start listening to Limbaugh, Mark Levin (ph),
a conservative talk show host this week, they`re still with Ted Cruz as
much as ever. So, I wonder, how much room do people like McConnell and
Boehner and other Republican in Washington have right now to stand up to
Cruz going forward?
BRIAN BEUTLER, SALON.COM: I mean, procedurally, tactically, the only way
Ted Cruz can do this again is if they cower and allow him to. They have it
within their cower not to let this happen again. And one thing with
McConnell is doing now is saying we`re not going to do it again.
Last time around, he was saying, well, there are a lot of views (ph) in my
party about how we should proceed with funding the government and we`re
going to work those out amongst ourselves, and that`s where Cruz was able
to light a fire in the conservative movement in the Republican Party.
This time, it seems like he`s really not going to allow it, but that means
that Republicans are going to have to work with Democrats to fund the
government. They have to work with Democrats to debt limit and so the 2:6
__ get rid of this idea that they can use these deadlines to let our policy
concessions on the Democrats.
KORNACKI: And so much it seems like it depends, though, Christina, on
what`s coming from these outside voices. With the pressure that`s being
applied on Republicans from Limbaugh, from Cruz, from, you know, the Senate
conservative funds, all these outside groups have been so active in sort of
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, PBS NEWSHOUR: Sure, absolutely. And you know, Brian
and I spend a lot of our days talking to people in Washington who really
dislike Ted Cruz. You know, Republicans and Democrats alike, but that`s
not going to matter. You know, he`s going to Iowa next Friday. They like
The "New York Times" has a story this morning going back to Texas and
people glad saying the same thing that Rush Limbaugh said, saying we need
45 people like him. So, he`s able --- that`s the whole point of grand
standing, right? It`s not about the building you`re in. It`s about the
bigger message abroad. And now, he was an unknown freshman. Now, everyone
in America knows who he is.
They might hate him, but that`s not necessarily bad in politics when you
are able to sort of capitalize on that spark. And so, I`m not saying he`s
going to win the Republican caucuses in 2016 or anything, but that`s
definitely what his aim is to take it beyond that building, because he`s
not going to be able to be successful in the building.
KORNACKI: To that point, I mean, this was in "Politico" on Friday.
They`re talking about a meeting of Republican senators this week. You
know, the president gets up every day and reads the newspaper and thanks
God that Ted Cruz is in the United States Senate.
Republican senator told Cruz, unnamed Republican senator told Cruz at a
closed door meeting they had this week that there -- you know, it gets to
this poll, Josh, that came out this week that showed Ted Cruz is standing
with Republicans who identify with the Tea Party, overwhelming popular with
Tea Party Republicans, republicans who don`t identify with the Tea Party
totally different story, but it was sort in Tea Party America, Ted Cruz is
the king right now.
JOSH BARRO, BUSINESSINSIDER.COM: Yes, and it`s a festering disaster for
the Republican Party. There`s sort of this idea, I think, among a lot of
Republicans in Congress that the only threat is from the right and that in
the House the way the map is drawn so insulates them if they don`t need to
worry about appealing to the center, and that`s why they`ve allowed Ted
Cruz to drag them into this fight, even though they didn`t think that it
was a good fight to get into.
But the map isn`t as protective as they think. If Republicans lose the
national House vote by four or five or six points, there`s a margin at
which they lose the house. And so, we saw Peter King there talking about
how the party needs to stand up to Ted Cruz.
He was one of two moderate Republicans who broke with the party on a
procedural vote on September 30th, which might have stopped the whole
shutdown thing and its tracks if he had more moderate Republicans with him.
But there are substantial numbers of moderates in the House from places
like Pennsylvania and New York who I think really do have more to fear in a
general election from the center than they have from the right. The
question is, will those people stop Ted Cruz the next time around, because
in the same way that Cruz`s allies have dragged the House caucus around
from the right by withholding their votes from things leadership wants to
If people from the center in the caucus were to withhold their votes from
things like threatening to shut down the government unless Obamacare is
defunded, they would be able to stop the Cruz strategy from being
implemented. This time around, they didn`t think it was worth picking that
fight. I think next time around, they really often think it`s worth
picking that fight.
KORNACKI: Yes. And the other guy like Peter King, not coincidentally from
New York, from a district where at least plausibly he can lose -- question
comes back to sort of like when that fear of the primary challenges, Josh,
is tell you about when that goes away or when the perception of that fear
goes away, then maybe Republicans would feel a little more free to stand up
like (ph) Ted Cruz. My question, though, has anything changed in this that
would make them feel less fearful with that?
BASIL SMIKLE, JR., POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Maybe a little bit. I think one
of the things that this crisis has done is give people the belief that
actually moderate politics gets things done. You can actually work to
solve problems with moderate politics. However, I don`t think that any of
these centrists, any of these moderate Republicans do have any of the
support outside of that core group of people to be able to make the
different, you know?
And you were talking earlier about, you know, the poll with the poll
amongst Americans with respect to Congress. The reality is that even if
people don`t like Congress right now, everybody loves their congressmen
and, you know? And so, I don`t think there`s any real motivation for
individual members of Congress and maybe to some extent the Senate as well
to do anything differently because they`re winning elections that way.
BEUTLER: Well, I think that there`s another thing that could. If Mitch
McConnell successfully able to turn down the dial on Limbaugh and everyone
else for Republicans and just press ahead from the government, work with
Democrats, just get it done, don`t do a shutdown again, don`t do this like
down to the wire thing.
I think you could see the Limbaughs, the conservative funds, these groups,
you know, turning away from legislative strategizing and into primary
fighting, and you started to hear murmurs from Chamber of Commerce,
business affiliated groups that they want to go, defend the Republicans
against the Tea Party challengers, if they`re going to keep the government
opened, if they`re going to stop this debt limit brinkmanship, and if they
can actually turn the fight -- turn those conservatives to fight on the
primary train, it might ironically actually be better for them than if they
get dragged into the another legislative tussle, shut down the government
again and then --
SMIKLE: To that point, I think that`s where the rubber meets the road. If
the business community can actually speak up and force some of these
changes, then I think you`ll start --
KORNACKI: But the question in all that is always like if the business
community can come of money, can come into sort of support the income are
under siege, that`s one thing, but there`s still that issue of the
grassroots energy that`s being generated -- anyway. We have a Democratic
member of Congress whose party may be benefiting from Ted Cruz and Cruz`s
laydown. We`re going to talk to him right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": As the journalist Theodore
White put it, The Al Smith dinner is a ritual of American politics. So,
for those keeping track, the American political rituals are this dinner and
the Republican sacrificing 2014 to Ted Cruz`s ego.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Stephen Colbert on Thursday making light of the
electoral blow Republicans could suffer next year after Ted Cruz`s doom
crusade to defund Obamacare. That`s how much our Cruz`s antics energizing
Congressional Democrats. And joining us from Memphis, we have Democratic
congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee.
Congressman, thanks for joining us. I guess, I`d start with that basic
question, I mean, that the polling is clear at least for right now. I know
over the long haul polling will change and maybe will forgotten this a year
from now, but right now, the polling seems very clear about the damage
that`s been done to the Republican Party.
When you look ahead to the immediate future, the next three months, these
two new deadlines, there are now sort of on the calendar, do you think
things will play out differently in the next round of budget negotiations,
the next round when it comes to funding the government and the debt
ceiling, do you think the Republicans will have a different posture this
REP. STEVE COHEN, (D) TENNESSEE: You know, you`d think they would. If a
child puts their finger on a burner, they`re not likely to go to that
burner again, but I`m not sure if some of these people don`t like the heat.
They seem to enjoy shutting down the government. They raveled in it. They
got a lot of energy out of it. And I`ve read where Representative Fleming
and I`ve also read Senator Cruz and some others want to do it again.
I think that the more seasoned people on the Republican side like Hal
Rogers and Doc Hastings and Jimmy Duncan and all are going to try to maybe
exert themselves a little more because they`ve seen the damage done to the
Republican brand and the possibility that they could lose control of
Congress to the Democrats, which would be a wonderful thing, of course.
But they may -- I obviously do not have an opportunity to go within the
conference. The Republican, we call it a caucus, they call it a
conference. But I know the members there, and a lot those members are
rabid. They`re sophomore, literally. Their second term of Congress never
worked in politics before, and they think they are somehow like it`s all
talked in military terms.
They think they`re some kind of gorillas there to strike a blow for
freedom. I think they may pull this -- try to pull this off again, which
John Boehner is going to have to do is decide that he`s not going to be
speaker in 2015 and work with the same crew that gave us the opening up of
Nancy Pelosi`s Democratic caucus and give or take 80 reasonable Republicans
and pass some bills to avoid another CR problem and shutdown, avoid the
debt crisis, protect the country from these people who, really, you got to
think, we take an oath to support the country against all foreign and
domestic. And these are the domestic enemies.
KORNACKI: You sound very pessimistic. I think I can safely say about the
near term prospects then for anything to be different. The question, I
guess, is you elude (ph) into it there. In terms of 2014, you raise the
possibility of Republicans losing control of the House. That would take a
loss of 17 seats, a gain of 17 seats for our party.
The history on this is not very good, though. When you go all the way back
to the civil war, you can find the best gain for the White House party in
the midterm election, the biggest ever is nine. So, you got to double that
in 2014. Realistically, what is your expectation for what this is going to
translate into for your party next year?
COHEN: Well, they haven`t been very optimistic in the past, even though
Steve Israel and Nancy Pelosi have talked about us when he back the House.
But I read where the Cook (ph) report, I believe it was shifted 15 seats
that Republican held to the Democratic leaning now. Now, we need 17 and
15, you know, when them all clean sweep. It`s going to be difficult.
But I think that these Tea Party Republicans are so extreme that they could
force a lot of moderate Republicans to support Democrats even in those
districts. I think there is a chance. There is a chance. These people
are dangerous to the future of our country economically and socially.
They`re not with the idea of people being united.
And on the social issues, they divide us. It`s a scary group. They`re
very limited in their focus, and they don`t really -- they don`t believe in
multi-culturalism and the diversity that has made America great. A lot of
what I think we`ve seen, really, is race. They have not accepted President
Obama and will not.
And President Obama came in and brought a lot more African-Americans with
him to government and he brought women and gays and Jews and other
minorities and this is a threat to those people.
KORNACKI: All right. Congressman, we`ll get Josh Barro before --
BARRO: Congressman, you mentioned people like Hal Rogers, Doc Hastings,
who`ve been around a long time. Do you get the sense from them that they
are embarrassed for their party, that they`re alarmed about what this means
for the Republican Party going forward? Are they going to try to do
something different next time or they just sort of throwing their hands up
and saying there`s not much we can do about this in January?
COHEN: I`m not sure, but I did -- when I went to my car in the garage (ph)
the other day, I saw Doc and Jimmy and Hal all talking. And it looked like
three guys that were just thinking, you know, what have gone rot (ph) the
Samuel Morris telegraph back in 1844. And I think they are embarrassed and
they know that they`re in danger and that the country is endangered.
These are honorable men. They`ve got sense. They`re seasoned legislators
and they understand issues and the effects of actions. And these people
are -- in the Tea Party, they`re default deniers. A lot of them are
evolution deniers and they`re climate change deniers. They`re scary crowd.
KORNACKI: All right. Our thanks to Congressman Steve Cohen, Tennessee,
Memphis Tennessee. Thanks for joining us this morning.
When Ted Cruz held a late night session with House Republicans this week,
it undercut the man who supposed to be their leader. We`ll talk about him
KORNACKI: We`re going to look closer at John Boehner`s role and what
played out in the House this week. We know he survived. We know he dodged
a bullet for his own job. There are two ways of looking at how he emerges
from this. One is that he strung things out for as long as he could for
weeks and for weeks until literally the last hour.
He paid constant lip service to the right but was actually never able to
broker his home bill to end the shutdown and stave off default. Instead,
he had swallowed hard and put a Senate bill on the floor where majority of
his own party voted against it. This is not the first time he`s had to do
this this year. The question is whether every time he does this, it erodes
his ability to do it the next time he needs to.
Does Bohner emerge from this ever able to do something like this again? Or
there`s the other way of looking at it, because Boehner strung things out
for so long, because he catered so much to the Tea Party base, did he
actually buy himself credibility with the hard core right? Do they now
look at him and say, we trust this guy to fight our fight in the future?
Does he actually emerge with more ability to cut a deal in the future?
Joining us to the table to talk about it is comedian, author, and co-
creator of the "Daily Show", Lizz Winstead. And Liz, we`ll start with you.
When you look at John Boehner coming out of this, what is your take? So,
we have these deadlines coming up in the next few months. Do you think
John Bohner somehow bought himself enough credibility with the right that
he could actually have more of a role?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN & AUTHOR: I sort of look at it as though, you know
-- have you ever dealt with somebody who is maybe elderly and they get to
that point in their life where they go to the hospital and they beat
pneumonia. And then, the next time they go back in, it`s a little bit
harder to beat that pneumonia?
And I look at Boehner sort of like that where it`s like, OK, he extended a
lot of energy to get better. But each time he does, he diminishes his
power and his strength to be able to do it.
KORNACKI: Interesting thing here and I`ll set this up, playing some sound
here. We had a bunch of the most conservative Republicans in the House
were asked after the deal passed on Wednesday. They were asked, you know,
basically, do you think Boehner is a traitor? Do you want to overthrow
him, that sort of thing? That was basically the question. Are you ready
to overthrow him? Here were their responses.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF REP. JIM JORDAN, (R) OHIO: Absolutely no talk of anything along
those lines. No talk at all.
REP. RAUL LABRADOR, (R) IDAHO: I`ve actually been really proud of Speaker
Boehner the last two-and-a-half weeks. I don`t think that he should be
ashamed of anything that he has done. I`m more upset with my Republican
REP. JOHN FLEMING, (R) LOUISIANA: The speaker got a standing ovation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, some praise from the Tea Party right, then balance that with
Jonathan Strong as reporter with the "National Review," conservative
"National Review," listening to that said from conversations last night I
would take all the praise we`re hearing of Boehner from Republicans with a
grain of salt undercurrents of unrest. So, I`m just curious how do you
read Boehner standing right now?
BEUTLER: I think there are a lot of things going on here. They all kind
of offer him like having an easier time next time around. I think some of
those guys are not -- they`re not angry at Boehner. They think that it was
good that he thought they`re fight for them. I think some of them, you
heard -- you didn`t play this clip, but Trey Gowdy I think it was said,
yes, we did this. He was the ones who supported (ph) and we got nothing
And then, there`s the rest of the conference to whom he can point to the
bodies on the battlefield and say, look -- we got massacred. We`re not
going to do that again. And then there`s this procedural thing which --
you know, on September 30th, the night of the shutdown, he went to about
11:00 p.m. He was at a crossroads there where he could have picked, OK,
I`ll just put the Democratic bill on the floor.
We`ll fund the government and we`ll go home, and you know, we`ll try again
on the debt limit or shut down the government. He picked the shutdown
route. He could still take this to the wire and then make that other turn
and not shut down the government.
So, he can still, you know, appear to be fighting the Tea Party fight
until, you know, December or January 15th at midnight and for, you know,
for any restive Tea Partiers just to show that he`s still willing to fight
up to the deadline but not cross it anymore.
KORNACKI: And that`s the question is what does the Tea Party and what does
the right want him fighting for right now? What do they want Republicans
in Capitol Hill (ph) fighting for because there`s sort of a disconnect, at
least as I see it, where Bohner and McConnell, again, based on the comments
McConnell made is McConnell never thought that defunding Obamacare, that
really gutting Obamacare was ever something they could pull off this fall.
That he is the consensus of, you know, Republicans on Capitol Hill probably
need a truth serum. That does not seem to be the consensus to the right.
Let`s play it. This is Mark Levin, conservative radio host this week
slamming John Boehner because he failed to get rid of Obamacare at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF MARK LEVIN, RADIO HOST: All this crap about the law of the land.
A law of the land is the constitution. John Bohner was never going to
fight hard on Obamacare. That`s why you heard throughout much of the
conservative media, almost like a bunch of parrots, the same thing we
should not fight Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I mean, are they still -- does the conservative base, Josh,
still expecting the big fight over Obamacare that we just went through? Do
they expect that again?
BARRO: Much of them, yes. And I think when you think about, you know,
what pressure is Boehner going to come under from his conference, it shifts
from day to day. You can look back to right after the 2012 election, there
was this period of reflection among Republicans where they realize, oh, we
thought we were going to win. We knew the polls were skewed and the media
was making up this thing if Obama`s going to win.
They got the rude awakening and you had like the RNC autopsy report. And
Republicans spent a couple of months wondering whether maybe they gone
wrong. And then, they go back and spend time in the talk radio bubble, and
they go back to their districts and go to these town hall meetings. And
all that awareness seems to sort of go away.
So, I think as, you know, Representative Cohen said, they got burned this
time, and they sort of recognize right now that they made a mistake. But I
don`t know how it`s going to develop over the next three months what the
appetite is going to be for in January. And that`s going to
determine Boehner`s ability to resist the worst inclinations of his caucus.
SMIKLE: And I would also say, you know, I think the bottom line is, is
Boehner the leader or he`s the puppet? And I think it`s the latter. The
president negotiated with Boehner in the past for a number of different
budget deals and his party, his conference shut him down. So, I can`t
imagine that they`re going to take him out because they are better with him
there because I think they can manipulate him.
So, to me, that`s the ultimate question, but I do agree that there is an
undercurrent that whatever it is that this fight was really for not (ph)
because they got nothing out of it, but I just don`t see that there`s a
KORNACKI: But Brian (INAUDIBLE) and he`s going to as soon as we come right
back from this break.
KORNACKI: All right. We`re talking about John Bohner and whether this
weakens his ability in the future or whether this somehow actually
strengthens it. Brian, you`re about to say.
BEUTLER: Yes. So, you know, I never really bought into the president`s
settlement campaign trail about breaking the fever, but I do think there`s
something different about this point. So, you had your Tea Party group of
people who maybe got convinced and definitely the public, you know,
conservatives and the public got convinced that the shutdown strategy might
work, might actually end up with Obamacare getting defunded.
I think that some of them might be chasing, but throughout the whole period
since the election, you have people like Paul Ryan saying when we get to
that debt limit, that next debt limit, you know, we`re too close to the
election now, but when we get out there in you know, October, September,
October, whenever it`s going to hit, that`s when we`re going to get
President Obama to the table to negotiate.
So, we`ve got to -- you know, we have to, you know, continue to make
demands, whether it`s about Obamacare or about the budget or whatever, just
come to him with relief, you know, an offer, and he`ll come to the table
and then he`ll start negotiating. I think that Paul Ryan knows that that`s
not true anymore. And John Boehner knows that that`s not true anymore.
So that if you have the 30 or 40 people who think that maybe if they had
stocked with the shutdown, they would have defunded Obamacare, have them
off the rest of the Republican Party knows that they`re not getting
anything out of Obamacare, but they`re probably not going to get anything
for free on anything or just for funding the government, just for raising
the debt limit.
And so, like that will sort of reset how they go about negotiations.
They`ll negotiate the sequester, and they`ll negotiate in this budget
conference, but they`re not going to try to bug the president.
SMIKLE: You know, what I think what`s going to be interesting now is as
the president moves from this and pivots to immigration, how do Boehner and
Ryan actually do negotiation that you`re talking about. I mean, I wonder
if they realize how mortal they are and maybe they don`t realize that. But
if they`re thinking about the future of the party, this is something that
they actually need to be negotiating for the future of their party.
WINSTEAD: Look, I mean, I would say just to all of your points, i don`t
know how we can even predict this because they are so wildly unpredictable.
When you see these people saying Boehner is useless, and he was never going
to stand for Obamacare -- and then you have people saying we gave him a
standing ovation, like, who are you? They, themselves, are not -- haven`t
been thorough and consistent in their own beliefs.
BARRO: They`re so inconsistent that even Republican leadership can`t
figure out what Republican member is going to do. This why Republican
leadership kept coming out with proposals that they thought nominally that
the idea was this would past the House and send them through the Senate and
they keep having to pull them from the floor, including how this ended.
They had another salvo they were going to send over for their proposal on
which thing we`re going to do to damage Obamacare to agree to reopen the
government. I think Boehner honestly thought he could get 218 votes for
that thing which is why he was going to bring it out. So, if John Bohner
can`t predict these people let alone lead them, how is anybody from the
KORNACKI: The most interesting comment to me this week actually came. It
was Mitch McConnell in an interview with Robert Costa (ph) of the "National
Review." The "National Review" has been getting a lot of play in the last
few weeks. Good time for them, but Mitch McConnell interviewed Costa, and
he said -- Costa said, "when did you know the standup was finally ending?"
And McConnell replied, I can tell you when I knew we`d end up here. It was
in July. We had extensive discussions in July about how to defund strategy
couldn`t possibly succeed and through the matter of simple math did he
force more than 46. And of course, when you add in the president, we knew
it had no chance of success. The interesting thing to me is that McConnell
never let on publicly from July on that this is what he believed, because
we`ve always been talking about how McConnell has this sort of double bind
right now where he`s running for re-election.
He`s always had trouble running for re-election in Kentucky. He`s going to
have a steep challenge next year, but he`s got this Tea Party primary
challenge next year.
In listening to him speak out right now, it was almost like a calculation
that like the scale may have shifted here. Maybe it`s just with McConnell,
but -- where Republicans have been so much more afraid of the primary
challenge in the general election. Now, here`s a guy who seems more afraid
of the general election than the primary.
BEUTLER: I think McConnell is more adroit leader than John Boehner is.
And he`s the minority in the senate. And you remember, the Senate passed a
clean CR for two months or whatever it was. And you can imagine Mitch
McConnell just crossing his fingers in the Senate, please don`t screw this
up, John Boehner.
And of course, John Boehner went and screwed it up, because he`s in the
majority. If he`s not willing to hive off the Tea Party and pass on the
Democrats, this is going to happen over and over and over again. And I
think he knew in July, John Boehner is going to go with the Tea Party on
this and there`s going to be a shutdown.
SMIKLE: Can we also say how amazing it is that the Democrats actually were
on the same page and how resolute they were. And I think that deserves to
be said, because I think part of perhaps what we`re seeing is the
Republicans not realizing how much of a united front they were up against.
We had no sort of brakes in the senate and Reid was able to keep the party
together, Pelosi and the president, this united front. And I think that
may be a way that they`ve scared them.
KORNACKI: From a democratic standpoint, this might be one of those times -
- good thing for them like three blue dogs --
KORNACKI: -- dozens of guys from Arkansas to worry about.
Anyway, up next, you know it, you love it. America`s favorite alleviated
(ph) made for cable Saturday morning current events game show returns. The
new bell and whistle, all the action, all the drama, all the tears in going
"Up Against the Clock" right after this.
KORNACKI: After the shutdown and the near default, it`s understandable if
you have enough Congressional deal making. So, we thought we take you to
place where negotiating isn`t such a bitter acrimonious show ordeal, a game
show. "Deal or No Deal" or as I call it the briefcase show. It was back
in 2008 the president of the United States made an appearance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m thrilled to be
with on "Deal or No Deal" with you tonight. Come to think of it, I`m
thrilled to be anywhere with how ratings these days. I don`t know if
you`re free to come to Washington anytime soon, but I have recent agreement
with Congress on the federal budget. I just like to host a $3 trillion
deal or no deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Oh, if only Howie Mandel had taken the job, but if you think the
stakes were high on Deal or No Deal," well, wait until you see our weekly
game show, rapid fire, current events questions, dazzling prizes, dizzying
speed. The contestants are doing it pre-game stretches and they seeming
pressure cooker that is "Up Against the Clock" is about to begin right
ANNOUNCER: Live from Studio 3A in Rockefeller Center, USA. It`s time for
"Up Against the Clock." The first contestant, from New York City, the
bronze bomber, Basil Smikle, Jr.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
ANNOUNCER: From Minneapolis, Minnesota, St. Paul`s partner in the buddy
system, Lizz Winstead.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
ANNOUNCER: and our returning champion from Wetlands, California, whose
two-day winnings total $11 in cash and a pre-home homemade ice cream maker,
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
ANNOUNCER: And now, the host of "Up Against the Clock," it`s Steve
KORNACKI: Thank you, Bill Wolf (ph), and thank you, studio audience, thank
you, contestants, and thank you for everybody tuning in at home for another
dramatic high stakes showdown here on "Up Against the Clock." We`re joined
today by Lizz and Basil, two new challengers.
Welcome to both of you. And welcome back to our returning champion, Brian,
who has already won twice, and today, he`ll go for the Triple Crown. Now,
I know, everyone is anxious to get started, but before we do, we`ll give
you a quick refresher in how this all works. This is a rapid fire quiz
about the week that was in politics. There are three rounds in regulation
play. Each is 100 seconds along. In the first round, questions are worth
100 points. In the second, they`re worth 200. That means they`re a little
harder. And in the third round, they will be 300 points. We call it the
And don`t forget, there are also a few instant bonuses scattered
throughout. These are follow-up questions. No risk chance for you to
double your winnings on one single question. And contestants, remember,
you`ll be penalized for incorrect answers. And as always, a reminder live
studio audience here, please, no outbursts. Our contestants deserve and
demand absolute concentration when they`re "Up Against the Clock."
KORNACKI: Also for an update for our viewers at home, we are still working
on a scoreboard situation. For now, our ace producer, Theresa, will be
keeping score. I will periodically update you on who`s winning or losing.
And with that, I will ask you, contestants, are you ready to play?
KORNACKI: Sounds ready to me. Hands on buzzers, please. We`ll put 100
seconds on the clock and we`ll go with this. For 100 points, I`m just an
empty soloist vessel laments this former congressmen with famously self-
destructive tendencies in the new interview with --
SMIKLE: Anthony Weiner.
KORNACKI: Anthony Weiner is correct. 100 points for Basil.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KORNACKI: The Iowa Republican Party will welcome as the keynote speaker at
its main annual fundraiser next Friday. Which senator who featured
prominently in a shutdown fight.
BEUTLER: Ted Cruz.
KORNACKI: Ted Cruz it is. Brian and Basil tied for the lead, 100-point
question. This Democratic congressman who served in the House from 1965 to
1995 and led the chamber from 19 --
SMIKLE: Tom Foley.
KORNACKI: Tom Foley passed away Friday after months in hospice care at the
age of 84. That is correct. And Basil, this is an instant bonus question.
You can get an additional 100 points here. There was no risk for answering
wrong. Foley served as speaker of the House from 1989 to 1995, who was the
he succeeded by as speaker?
SMIKLE: Newt Gingrich.
KORNACKI: Newt Gingrich is correct. Another 100 points for Basil.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KORNACKI: Next question, it was announced this week that Carrie Washington
will guest host "Saturday Night Live" on November 2nd. Washington stars in
KORNACKI: "Scandal" is the fictionalized D.C.-based political drama she
started. A 100 points for Lizz Winstead. Next question, 44 billion, 34
billion, or 24 billion?
WINSTEAD: Twenty-four billion.
KORNACKI: Twenty-four billion. According to Standard and Poor`s, how much
did the government lose in the shutdown? That is correct. 100-point
question, in her first campaign event since leaving the Obama
administration, Hillary Clinton will make an appearance later today
supporting what Democratic --
SMIKLE: Oh, wow.
BEUTLER: Terry McAuliffe.
KORNACKI: Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate she
will be supporting. That brings us to the end of round one. We have a
three-way tie. 200 for Brian, 200 for Lizz, 200 for Basil. And guess
what, the questions are now -- I`m sorry, Basil has 300. Basil, you`re in
the lead. Not a three-way tie. Take it all back.
That`s why we need the scoreboards. 200-point round now, 100 seconds on
the clock. Hands on buzzers. We go with this. After it urged Republican
members to vote against the deal that re-open the government, this
conservative think-tank --
WINSTEAD: Heritage Jackson (ph).
KORNACKI: Yes, we will accept that. Headed by a former senator who was
publicly criticized by John McCain. 200-point question, the political
relationship between President Ronald Reagan and this --
KORNACKI: Who rang? the light -- judges, Brian.
BEUTLER: Tip O`Neal.
KORNACKI: Tip O`Neal, yes, is chronicle to the new book by MSNBC`s Chris
Matthews. Good intuition there, Brian Beutler. 200-point question, citing
the political brinksmanship over the debt ceiling, the state media of which
foreign government called for a quote "deamericanized world" this week?
BEUTLER: North Korea.
KORNACKI: Incorrect. Lizz or Basil, either of you want this for 200-
point, a "deamericanized world" is called for by the state media of what
KORNACKI: China is correct. 200 points for Basil.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KORNACKI: Next question, the club for growth in the Senate conservatives
fun, two key pressure groups on the right announced Thursday that they are
supporting the newly announced primary challenger to what --
WINSTEAD: Mitch McConnell.
KORNACKI: Incorrect. Newly announced primary challenger to what long-
serving Mississippi Republican senator.
BEUTLER: Bob Cochran.
KORNACKI: Bob Cochran it is. This is an instant bonus question. Brian,
for 200 additional points, you and only you can answer this. Cochran was
first elected to Congress in 1972, the same year that which other well-
known Mississippi Republican first won a Congressional seat? No penalty
for guessing. Time. The correct answer, Trent Lott. Brings us to the end
of the 200-point round.
The score Basil 500, Brian 400, Lizz 200. The highest score, and this is
an offensive game and anything could happen as we go to the 300-point
round. The game will be decided here. I`m just reshuffling the cards,
please bear with me. I am now ready for the 300-point round. We are going
to pick a winner. We`re going to crown a championship here. Time on the
clock, and we go with this, on Friday, President Obama nominated this
former top --
BEUTLER: Jeh Johnson.
KORNACKI: Jeh Johnson is the new nominee for the Department of Homeland
Security. That`s correct. This is an instant bonus question. Johnson
will replace Janet Napolitano who before becoming head of the Department of
Homeland Security held what office.
BEUTLER: Arizona governor.
KORNACKI: Governor of Arizona is right. Another 300 points. A dramatic
turn there. 300-point question, D.C. area congress woman, Donna Edwards,
co-sponsored legislation this week that would strip the trademark from this
controversially named organization. Time.
KORNACKI: It`s a little late, Lizz -- Washington Redskins. 300-point
question, name a finalist for a national book award this week. Jill
Lepore`s "Book Of Ages" profiles the life of Jane Mecom sister of which
declaration of independent signor and favorite Philadelphia Sun.
BEUTLER: Ben Franklin.
KORNACKI: Ben Franklin it is. 300 more points for Brian. When governor
signed legislation to allow non-physician practitioners to perform
procedures, this state became the only in the nation this week to expand
abortion access in New York`s --
KORNACKI: California is correct. 300-point question, 30 seconds left.
The House Senate Conference Committee that is charged with drafting a
budget of the deal to reopen the government will be led by House Budget
Committee chairman, Paul Ryan and which Democratic senator?
BEUTLER: Patty Murray.
KORNACKI: Patty Murray is correct. Instant bonus question, billing
herself as a mom in tennis shoes, Patty Murray first won her Senate seat in
what breakthrough year for female candidates? Time. THE correct answer,
1992. in the new movie, "The Fifth Estate," which opens this weekend,
WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange`s played by which British actor?
KORNACKI: Cumberbatch is right. Benedict Cumberbatch, 300 more points for
Basil. The game is, unfortunately, not enough. Brian with 1,600 point. A
record shattering 1,600 points. You have survived -- sorry you are the
returning champion. You`ve already won.
KORNACKI: Brian Beutler, you are eligible for a prize package. Bill Wolf,
tell him what he`s won.
ANNOUNCER: As our champion, you`ll have your name printed in exquisite
sharpee on a coveted "Up Against the Clock" gold cup. And you`ll get to
take the trophy home with you and show it off to friends, family, and local
school children for exactly one week. You`ll also receive an appearance
this coming week on MSNBC`s "The Cycle" airing weekdays, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
And you`ll get to play in our jackpot bonus round for today`s grand prize,
a $50 gift certificate to Little Poland, the most authentic eastern
European eating and drinking experience in New York City`s historic east
village. And while you`re there, get a tattoo or a piercing. Back to you,
KORNACKI: All right. Brian, some exciting prizes there. We have some
unfinished business. This is your jackpot question for that $50 gift
certificate. It is this, with many favorites, such as raised BBQ chicken
fajitas and Bone Daddy`s nachos, it was revealed this week that this
Capitol Hill eating establishment was designed of a secret basement
strategy session between Ted Cruz and other House republicans.
BEUTLER: Tortilla coast.
KORNACKI: Tortilla coast is correct. And for the first time ever, we have
a grand prize jackpot winner. Brian Beutler, congratulations. That means
you have won the $50 gift certificate to Little Poland. Congratulations,
dramatic victory. Enjoy it. Enjoy the pierogies, enjoy the borster (ph).
Whatever they serve there.
Lizz and Basil, you don`t leave us empty-handed. You`re going to leave
with the home edition of the game -- high scorers, you could be eligible
for the tournament of champions. You have the leaderboard. Brian has
surged into the lead, but with those scores, you may be back in March for
that. We will see. Time will tell. We will thank you for playing. Thank
you for joining us. The real show resumes when we come back.
KORNACKI: There`s always that moment after a storm when you need to head
outside to survey the damage. Trees that have fallen, the power lines are
down. You can see how well the structures are still standing if they`re
still standing. In the aftermath of the federal shutdown, it also brought
the U.S. government right up to the brink of default.
This is now that moment for us. And I`m no longer talking metaphor here.
I`m talking numbers, turning off the lights in the thing called government
cost more than $3 billion in lost government services. More than $152
million that were lost in travel spending every day. Well, the $76 million
will say goodbye to on a daily basis because the national parks were
Standard and Poor`s estimates that the government shutdown lost (ph) much
as $24 billion out of U.S. economy -- billion -- GDP excuse me. Little
difference there. And while it may seem like passing a bill at the very
last minute to raise the debt ceiling staved off any consequences there,
procrastination always comes at a cost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We know that just the threat of default of America not paying all
the bills that we owe on time increased our borrowing costs, which adds to
our deficit. At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more
momentum, we got yet another self inflicted crisis that set our economy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Tuesday, the ratings agency Fitch threatened to lower the U.S.
credit rating because of the brinksmanship over the debt ceiling. The
question is what next? The government funded through January 15th on the
debt ceiling deadline less than four months away, what further economic
damage could be done, during the holiday season, shopping no less.
Joining me at the table to talk about it, we have David Brancaccio, who is
the host of Public Radio`s "Marketplace Morning Report", and with us are
still Josh Barro from "Business Insider", Christina Bellantoni of "PBS
NewsHour," and the reigning up against the clock champion Brian Beutler, I
don`t see the gold mug there.
But, David, I guess I want to start by just sort of assessing, we put out
there in the intro, but can we put some -- sort of quantify what the direct
damage of what we`ve just went through in the past three weeks is to the
DAVID BRANCACCIO, MARKETPLACE MORNING REPORT: Take a look at the S&P
calculation, $24 billion locked off of fourth quarter GDP. What does that
mean? Actually, Josh, your crew made some good comparisons in "Business
Insider." $24 billion could send more than half a million people to a
private college for a year. You want to send them to the local states
school that was more than a million people. It`s good money.
And as you point out, it`s something that will continue to impact the
economy, moving forward. Someday, someone would write a book with the
spreadsheet that shows what the final economic impact of all this is,
because we had, right, a jobless recovery. We had businesses reluctant to
take the plunge to hire human beings to make this economy great again. The
idea that there could be another one of these fights coming up right after
the holidays is going to make people making those tough decisions think
Now, as for the consumer of holiday season, National Retail Federation is
worried about some of this. We`ve seen in the past that the consumer has a
short memory. It`s possible the consumer will get over this when the
paychecks finally coming. They`ve been delayed for government workers, to
private contractors who haven`t been working and haven`t been paid for a
little bit, start getting their money. Maybe they`ll run out there and
But the business decisions that lead to jobs, that`s what could really hurt
us if this uncertainty continues to swirl, based on what we`ve been
KORNACKI: And the bigger question, I assume there were some reports out
this week speaking to this, it`s not just what happened in the last few
weeks, it`s what`s happened in the last three years.
Can we talk about what that is meant for the economy? I`ve seen some
estimates out there, I don`t know if this is true or not, that maybe the
employment rate could be a point lower if it hadn`t been for the sort of
crisis governing of the last few years, the debt ceiling in 2011, of the
continuing resolution, the sort of thing.
BRANCACCIO: I saw that same statistics that maybe 1 percent of GDP has
been lost because we govern by crisis. But, look, it`s a beautiful
Saturday morning here in the East Coast. I`m an optimistic person. Look
at the bright side of all this. For all the people who ideologically are
worried about the Federal Reserves activist role in the economy, we don`t
like them with their crazy stimulus going for such a long time, the Fed
might delay it`s so-called tapering. It may continue the stimulus longer,
because of this nightmare we`ve just been through to help compensate.
And I was grasping at, OK, straws, but I was looking for some other silver
lining in all of this. The dollar is being beaten, beaten down by all
this, because investors are leery about the United States, cheaper dollar
means our exports are a little bit cheaper. Maybe that will help a little
BELLANTONI: It gets me back to what happened with Congressman Cohen when
we were talking to him earlier, and that bigger picture can the Democrats
use this politically. And these numbers, you know, the $300 billion or
$700 billion, you know, that 1 percent in GDP over three years because of
sequester and crisis governing, if I`m a Democratic ad maker, that`s what
I`m cutting into my ads for every single candidate and that`s where if you
do smart recruitment of people that are going to say, I`m going to protect
the economy, and you have candidates like that the Democrats going to have
a slight, slight chance here of winning back the Republican House.
KORNACKI: And I wonder, how? In terms of the politics of this, you always
think of the business community as the big ally of the Republican Party,
the Republican Party is the big ally of the business community. But when
you start talking about this damage, this is damage that was essentially to
buy the Republican Party.
Has that relationship been changed here by this?
BARRO: Well, sorry, there`s been a weirdness in that, where like, you
know, the Chamber of Commerce is upset, they`re complaining about this and
they`re talking about getting involved in the Republican primaries. But it
seems to me, you have the situation where when Republicans get their way,
the stock market goes. And when Democrats get their way, the stock market
goes, at least in the last few weeks.
The Republicans who wanted a shutdown, Wall Street was clearly unhappy with
that. The logical attention to that is that business should be picking
races, you know, do we want to support a Republican or a Democrat here.
Individual businesses do that to some extent. But the broader business
lobbies like the chamber are not doing that. That`s how I think they could
real influence and put pressure on Republicans say, you know, if you`re
going to keep doing things to damage the economy, we`re going to withhold
support for you.
KORNACKI: I`ve also heard. I mean, and Dave, maybe you could speak to
this. As the deadline was approaching, it sort of changed towards the end.
But as the deadline was approaching, one of the things was, business has
not been as vocal maybe as people were expecting. Business was sort of
taking a backseat. One of the explanations that I heard was that they
feel, well, we`ve been down this road before, we`re going to walk to the
deadline, we all know how it`s going to end.
Has business attitude, are you picking up a change at all because of what
happened? Will they maybe more aggressive in the future about, maybe, if
they have some polls with Republicans, leaning on them harder to avoid
BRANCACCIO: It was one of the weird features of the week. On Tuesday when
there was some movement in the Senate, and then it fell apart in the House,
markets stayed calm. So, we made a lot of phone calls to our market
contacts. What is going on?
There was still fake at that point in the markets and in the business
community that they`re going to take this right up to the deadline and not
cross it. And we didn`t cross it. There seems to be some sort of bargain
at some point. But others are feeling, I would suggest PTSD, post-
traumatic stress syndrome after what they`ve been through, don`t want to
live through it again, would like to have the confidence to hire some
people two jobs, what we have in this country. We have three times a
number of people out there than there are job openings and that needs to
change and it may not with this level of uncertainty.
BEUTLER: Anybody to your knowledge look at what the impacts would be if
this really did happen, break the fever in the next deadline, extended
funding for the government for a year, they increase debt limit for a long
time, put it all out, waiting in the distance.
Would it serve as an anti anti-stimulus just to have, you know, the fear of
another one of these right around the corner lifted?
BRANCACCIO: I haven`t seen that calculation, but that would be really
interesting, just to remove that piece of uncertainty in our economy, what
would be essentially the bounce. And I think people on the left, people on
the right would all argue, with love, not to see this nightmare again.
BELLANTONI: And it`s ultimately what has to happened, right? Because
they`ve got to push it until after the midterms, whatever they do in
January, it`s going to happen. They`ll push it to at least after November.
KORNACKI: So, what -- we always talk about the confidence factor, the case
for like sort of the grand bargain, was always, you know, this would
inspire confidence in the business community. I guess the idea of a grand
bargain is not really what`s being discuss right now, the party maybe a
little bit more realistic in terms of these negotiations right now.
But what is -- is there a sense of what business if looking for out of
BRANCACCIO: It`s really interesting to watch. I think we`re getting a
much more vocal business lobby right now. Everyone was very happy to do
interviews this week after we reach the milestone of getting the government
reopen again, everybody by which I mean, the National Manufacturers
Association and some of the other business groups are very open in wanting
to talk to the media about where we go from here. They`re very unhappy
campers at this point and I think they`re going to get vocal with their
rhetoric and also with money to, as you talk about earlier in the show,
campaigns around the country.
KORNACKI: Yes, I mean, that`s really the thing to look for here, I think,
too, is sort of longer term and I think we`re going to talk about some of
them on the show tomorrow, though, it is, you know, that alliance between
the Republican Party ands the business community, is that something that --
could the Republican Party, as we`ve known it, be changing as a result of
That`s a little tease for tomorrow.
My thanks to David Brancaccio of "Marketplace Morning Report," Josh Barro
Last night, when we were trying to prep for our next segment and we saw
something in "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" that was kind of pertinent to what we
were doing ourselves. So, we decided we would steal it from them and use
it right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and
his opponent Terry -- what is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can say his opponent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll try it again, OK? All right. OK, there`s such a
stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and his opponent -- let me, one
second here, OK. Terry McCaskill --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terry McAuliffe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McAuliffe, OK. All right.
There`s such a stark -- there`s such a stark -- let me try again, there`s
such contrast between Ken -- let me try again, tongue twisted here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That`s the contrast. One of them is a last name and the other
one doesn`t. Anyway, what does that clip have to do with today`s show? We
will show straight ahead.
KORNACKI: The world of sports, there are some amazing streak, DiMaggio`s
56th game history, the 88 straight games the UCLA men`s basketball team won
in the `70s, the 90 straight game the University of Connecticut women`s
team reeled off a few years ago. The world of politics has had its share
of impressive streak, too, but one is in grave danger.
We take you to the commonwealth of Virginia where for nine straight
elections, all you needed to know was who was in the White House. The rule
in Virginia is simple: if the Republican as president, the Democrat wins
the governor`s race. And if a Democrat is president, Republican wins.
Part of it doesn`t control the White House wins the governorship. It`s
gotten to the point that it`s got to be more than just a statistical quirk.
To find the last time it didn`t work this way, you have to go back to 1973.
It`s when a Republican named Mills Goodwin Jr. (ph), eked out a win in
Virginia while Richard Nixon was in the White House.
But the iron law of Virginia governor`s race may be melting away before our
eyes. The election is now two days from this coming Tuesday. Terry
McAuliffe, the Democrat, as the candidate from the party controlling the
White House, has opened a solid and steady lead over his Republican
opponent Ken Cuccinelli, 46 to 38 percent on new NBC/Marist poll out on
How is McAuliffe history? One stat jumps out. A gigantic gender gap, with
men Cuccinelli is up 4 points. Among women, though, McAuliffe is wiping
him out, 52 to 32 percent. We`ve been talking for years about Virginia`s
evolution from a red state to a purple state, one of the last two swing
states in America. Are we watching it make the next leap from purple to
Joining us is Virginia`s former governor, Doug Wilder, who is in Richmond
Governor Wilder, thanks for your time.
And the poll numbers we just showed jumped out at me, also, there was an
article at "National Journal" by Ron Brownstein, who was saying that if you
look at the campaign that Terry McAuliffe is running in Virginia this year,
this is a different campaign for Virginia, where he`s not worried about
being seen as too liberal on cultural issues. He is actually proudly
running to the left of Cuccinelli on cultural issues. It seems to be
I guess I`d ask you, do you share that view and do you think, are we
watching the political culture of Virginia change in this election?
DOUG WILDER, FORMER VA GOVERNOR: Steve, it`s always good to be with you.
I agree with you to the extent that it has changed. I think Ron Brownstein
is absolutely right. One of the things that impressed me about Terry
McAuliffe and quite frankly I said I endorsed his candidacy and think he
will win is because of the very fact he is not saying, look, I`m afraid to
say what I believe.
When someone asked him at one of the debates, well, you had an F with the
NRA. He said, fine, I don`t have any problem with that. I still believe
we need to have some legitimacy relative to this proliferation of guns.
And to the extent that he has made a case for women and I say another one
of the reasons I endorse this candidacy -- the women of Virginia, along
with massive African-American turnout, were responsible for my being
You can`t deny that. Many women left their Republican husbands and said
I`m voting for Wilder notwithstanding because he emphasizes with the needs
of women. That is what McAuliffe likewise is following through with.
Unfortunately, for Cuccinelli, Ken Cuccinelli, he has not given a fathom of
opportunity or hope for women to believe that there is some reason for them
to support his candidacy. You are absolutely right.
KORNACKI: And the other issue hovering over this, if McAuliffe goes on to
when this election, one thing the national press would interpret from this
is the shutdown, itself. Sort of the nosedive that the Republican Party`s
image took in the last month. How much do you think -- Virginia is home to
federal employees, people who were furloughed, how much down the shutdown
has to do with McAuliffe`s position right now?
WILDER: Big, big deal, as it relates to people blaming the Republican
Party. Whether it`s true or number perception is three-fourths of
everything. Most people believe that Republicans were a part, a major part
of that shutdown. It has hurt Cuccinelli tremendously.
Back in May, people were talking about a tight race. You know that, you
did that even on this show. A tight race in the Virginia governor`s race.
Look what has happened now.
Now, my thing as far as what the real problems are in terms of what has
happened in the last several weeks or months as it relates to what`s going
on in Washington, there has been a huge battle, a big wall, the people lost
and Washington won. But the unfortunate thing for the Republicans, they
got the major fault fixed to them.
And unless they do something, not just in Virginia, unless the Republican
Party understands that you can`t deal with any of those. You can`t deal
with the fringes. You can`t deal with people who want to stay in the past.
Unless they understand that you`ve got to build and go forward, they`re
going to continue to suffer defeats in the polls.
BELLANTONI: Governor Wilder, it`s Christina Bellantoni, nice to see you.
WILDER: Yes, always good.
BELLANTONI: This race was a 16-point gender gap difference. So, does this
suggest to you that negative advertising works? Because Terry McAuliffe
went up two points and Ken Cuccinelli went down by two points. This poll
was taken six months ago.
And then also curious, Democrats have not won the attorney general`s race
in Virginia in a very long time since you were governor. Do you think that
Terry McAuliffe possibly winning the could translate to the Democrats
finally picking up that office?
WILDER: You are right on both counts. First of all, I think the negative
campaign unfortunately as everyone swears, we hated. We all liked it, take
it away. It worked. In many instances and it`s working here.
The unfortunate thing is many people are voting for Terry McAuliffe because
he is not Cuccinelli. And I was so amazed, amused, rather, prior to this
show, when Cuccinelli`s opponent was trying to be announced, people were
calling him everything in the world, but it does work.
And the other thing is that I do think that McAuliffe`s being at the top of
the ticket, getting the strength that I see developing might sweep and
carry forth so much so that the lieutenant governor`s race I think is
pretty much already lost. But I do think it could very easily propel the
victory for the Democratic candidate for lieutenant, for attorney general
and I think are you absolutely right on that point as well.
BASIL SMIKLE, JR., DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Governor, Basil Smikle here. In
the past, around the 2012 election, you had been a little critical of the
president, constructively, though, I may add.
WILDER: I thank you for.
SMIKLE: You have drawn some ire from progressives and some liberals. In
the last couple of weeks, has the president shown you something in the wake
of the shutdown?
WILDER: Well, yes. To the extent that he has stood his ground, he has
said that he is not going to just capitulate for the purposes of appearing
to negotiate and, yet, you and I know that winning the battle is one thing,
winning the war is another. There is a great deal still lot for the
president to do, and that`s why I would hope sober mind could understand
for the next several weeks, we need to sit down and negotiate and work
something out so that we don`t have to go through this over and over again,
because the people lose.
The shutdowns hurt the public. It hurts the people. Further shutdowns
will further hurt the public and hurt the people. We can`t afford that.
The president I think has shown he has the leadership of the party the
leadership of the nation at this point as it relates to what would be best.
He needs then now to go further and show that it has worked to the extent
that the people benefit.
KORNACKI: And we are running low on time here, but we should just at least
mention, the Clintons. The other big name in Democratic national politic,
Hillary Clinton coming into the campaign.
Bill Clinton now that there are reports that Bill Clinton`s good friend
Terry McAuliffe will be in sometime before the general election. I
remember governor in 1994 where you made peace with Chuck Robb, Bill
Clinton came down and sort of sealed that piece, so Clintons rearing their
heads again down the stretch in Virginia.
Anyway, Governor Wilder, thank you for joining us. I appreciate the time.
WILDER: Always good, Steve. Good to be with you, all of you guys. Take
care. See you soon.
KORNACKI: All right. You too. And there was a point in yesterday`s news
meeting when the producers on my show were trying to get me to say "hello
ladies," like the guy in that new HBO show, and there is an actual news
reason why they were doing that. Not just to humiliate me. I`ll explain
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN.-ELECT CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: Too many people are forgetting the
lines that divide us are nothing compared to those ties that bind us. It
forgets the cynical attitude, forgets the idea, that ideal the truth that
we are all in this together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Cory Booker, now Senator-elect Cory Booker, on
Wednesday night after he won the special election in New Jersey. And that
is the post-partisan gospel he has been preaching for years, we found his
first ever appearance on C-Span all the way back in July of 2000 as a city
councilman in Newark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you politically? Where do you stand on the
BOOKER: You know something, I label myself a Democrat. But to be truthful
to you, local politics really belies party labels in my opinion. We`re not
debating abortion in the city of Newark. We`re not dealing with the death
penalty. We are dealing with real, practical problems.
And when you`re facing real problems, you really have to find out what
works. I draw things from both sides of the aisle. I have views that are
traditionally conservative and I have views that are traditionally
considered liberal or Democratic. So, I label myself Democratic. I`m
proud of the legacy of the Democratic Party. But at the same time, a lot
of my supporters, a lot of people I work with are people who are very
conservative, neo-conservative, libertarians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But this isn`t 2000. This is the Tea Party era. Is it possible
to be a Democrat in Washington today and have conservative allies? Cory
Booker`s rhetoric in the polarized reality of the Obama era. That`s next.
KORNACKI: You`ve heard of the witness protection program. In politics,
there is something similar. We call it the front runner protection
program. It`s for candidates who are heavily favored to win high profile
races. They started limiting their public appearances, they stop talking
to the media. They go underground. They`re scared of mistakes and they
know that doing nothing is safer than doing something, saying something
that might come out wrong and might cause some sort of a big public
controversy and muck up what would otherwise be a slam dunk when.
It`s not the most inspiring strategy, but it can be a smart one. So we can
now welcome back to full public view the latest graduate of the front
runner protection program, Cory Booker, the New York mayor, who won special
election Wednesday. He will be sworn into the Senate any day now.
Booker was a ubiquitous figure for the decade before this race, and
practically dropped out of sight doing it. But within hours of the results
being finalized Wednesday night, Booker was right back on national
television and back to pitching himself as a bipartisan problem solver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: I find it eerily familiar to what people are saying to me now
because what was said to me 15 years ago in Newark, what can you do? How
can you make a difference? The problems are too big. Yet, we are joined a
lot of folks, uncommon coalitions -- Democrats, and Republican, financiers
and unions, activists of all types. And we made a lot of progress in our
KORNACKI: A day later he sent a word that he would begin personally
marrying same sex couples at Newark City Hall at 12:01 a.m. this Monday.
That`s when it becomes legal in New Jersey. At least for the moment while
the state Supreme Court reviews it and Chris Christie fights it.
Clearly, Booker is happy to be in the limelight. He is happy to enter a
very different political world, the intensely polarized hyper-partisan
world of the Capitol. We`re about to find out whether or how Washington
will change Cory Booker.
And I guess that`s the thing I`m wondering about, because we played the
clips from Cory Booker in the speech this week, on C-Span 12 years ago,
even on "MORNING JOE" this week. He reminds me in terms of that bipartisan
spirit of how Barack Obama was campaigning in 2008, before he became
president, before he dealt with this, you know, sort of reflexive
Republican opposition and obstruction. I think it`s has probably changed
Barack Obama`s philosophy of governing. I`m wondering how that`s going to
affect Cory Booker.
BELLANTONI: Steve, what`s interesting about that, though, so Barack Obama,
like in his book, he writes about how much he likes Dick Lugar, and he`s
talking about Republicans. He was always trying to --
HAYES: Tom Coburn, the best friend, yes.
BELLANTONI: Cory Booker, you ask him, he`s on the "NewsHour," what`s the
model of the senator you want to be. He`s talking about Elizabeth Warren.
He is out there talking about gay marriages. He wants to stake-out a
progressive national name for himself. He is not signing away from that
label, even though he doesn`t want a partisan label.
So, it will be interesting to watch if he follows that Elizabeth Warren
mold and tries to push that progressive side of the Senate. Then the other
thing here there is a huge generational shift. There are a handful of
members who are in their early 40s. He is now one of them. You see the
Senate actually change, and that could also change where policy goes one
HAYES: At least in the relative recent past, he didn`t sound like
Elizabeth Warren. It wasn`t from her motto, he`s sort of most infamous
moment today, on "Meet the Press", about a year-and-a-half in the 2012
campaign. The Obama campaign was making private equity, was making Bain
Capital, made it a big issue. Cory Booker among Democrats got (INAUDIBLE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It`s
nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking
private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. The stuff has got to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: This is what I`m sort of wondering ability, that`s the Cory
Booker who was very successful, as he says, in municipal government in New
York, in state government in New Jersey politics. But there`d be sort of
applying that to the national stage and realizing it doesn`t work.
Democrats were furious at him for. That has he changed in a way he`s not
going to be saying things like that again.
LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN : I mean, that statement, I think the reason that
people got so angry about that and the reason I got so angry is that
equating the personal destruction Jeremiah Wright stuff with taking on
private equity are two different things. Private equity did a lot of
horrible things to a lot of people. Jeremiah Wright was being pegged with
Barack Obama, coupled with all the races and that went on along with that.
So I think that was just a bad comparison, and that`s why to me he got so
much crap for it.
KORNACKI: It showcases sort of his instinct, the instinct that served him
so well and made him a national figure, give some kind of acknowledgment to
the other side, dabble in equivalency, that sort of thing.
Getting to today`s Washington, Democrats are not interested in hearing that
at all this day and age.
SMIKLE: Neither is the Senate, probably the most exclusive club in
America. He`s not the executive anymore. He`s not going to be able bring
$200 million of Facebook money for example to some of the pet projects that
He`s going to have to, you talk about Elizabeth Warren, I was -- it started
in Hillary Clinton`s office when she was in the Senate. She focused a lot
on policy, try to figure out how to work with her fellow members on both
sides of the aisle. I think the other members of the Senate appreciated
her taking that tone and tactic, and he`s got to do something very similar.
It`s going to be difficult because he wants to be seen as a progressive and
the Democrats nationally are going to have him all over the country
recruiting and campaigning for candidates. So it`s going to be a really
interesting lean he`s got to walk.
KORNACKI: You know, the Senate, Brian, how do you think he`ll be greeted
in the clubbing world, how do you think he will be greeted and what do you
think he will be able do there?
BEUTLER: I think he will get along great. It won`t be a tough fit for
him. I think he is probably, if he does have national ambitions, he`s
going to use his seat to sort of like what you were saying ability how his
actions and his statements with respect to finance and Wall Street don`t
really mesh with his, you know, his applauding Elizabeth Warren.
And I think leak he`s sort of like a 2012 version of Obama where he has
the, you know, he has those demerits, but he`s also got a pretty good
record on social issue, on poverty. You know, the president gets a lot of
knocks for being too close to finance. But he`s guarded Medicaid, food
stamps, you know, he`s like bracketed those in the fights he`s been. I
feel like Cory Booker is following that model, that he will, you know, cozy
up to finance for money purposes, but that, you know, the social welfare
KORNACKI: That sort of speaks of the attention that exists in the
Democratic Party. In some ways it`s a regional thing. He`s from New
Jersey, he`s from the New York area. Chuck Schumer is sort of going to do
Wall Street`s bidding in a sense in Washington. But the Democratic Party
right now, there is among some of the base, there is the sense we won on
the cultural issues. We are sort of a liberal culture now.
And the next battle is to do battle with Chuck Schumers, to do battle even
if Cory Booker is going to take private equity from Wall Street.
BELLANTONI: It gets back to the grand bargain question. If that does
happen, it comes to some long-term budget compromise. It`s because
entitlement programs are cut. That`s what they will accept for some sort
of tax increase, if that ever happens. So it really will test a lot of
these not just senators but lawmakers who have that sort of occupied
WINSTEAD: I also think, too, Americans look at Congress and the Senate
right now as sort of like a house on hoarders and if you get to, you have
won the chance to live in this garbage house. Yay!
So, the trust of what can actually get them is so low that does that mean
Cory Booker can do a little bit and be a giant hero or does it mean that no
matter how much Cory Booker can get them, it`s still not enough. It`s such
a deficit in the confidence of what can --
BEUTLER: I think the question is what can he accomplish legislatively
between now and the coming interim. I think almost nothing. He`s going to
be the most junior person in a Congress that`s not going to much anyway.
But, you know, he can sort of helps out a little bit.
KORNACKI: Quickly, Basil.
SMIKLE: I wonder if Chris Christie is not happy as a result of that as
opposed to having Lonegan and pulling him to the right when he is trying to
be a moderate and potentially on a candidate for president. Chris Christie
costs $24 million. Cory Booker is not on the ballot in November. New
Jersey, by the way, you have another election in two weeks.
There is so much going on in politics week. We have so much more going on
politics. We are going to keep going with more stories, many different
stories, including that winning thing, I tease earlier. That`s coming up
KORNACKI: So you heard the year of the woman, you can call at this time
week of the woman. We`re going to show why with a couple of different
stories here. The first is, in my home state -- if you were having a
contest to determine which state is the most Democratic in America.
Massachusetts would have to be a strong contender.
Here`s a stat of 200 seats in the legislature. Republicans hold 36, 18
percent of what you call a blue state. That doesn`t necessarily make
Massachusetts the most progressive state, certainly not when it comes to
its history of electing women to office. State sent its first woman to
Congress in 1925, but only three others have filed them in 90 years since
But the tide has begun turning. Six years ago in 2007, Nikki Tsongas, wife
of the late Paul Tsongas, won a seat in the House. This past November,
Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown to become the state`s first female
senator. And just this week, this woman, Katherine Clark, won the
Democratic primary to fill Ed Markey`s old congressional seat.
And that basically makes her a shoo-in for the general election, which
would make a second female Congress woman from the state and looking ahead
to next year, Attorney General Martha Coakley. Remember her? She leads in
the Democratic primary for governorship, she is not only leading, she is
dominating. She is ahead by 50 points in the recent poll, considering she
lost to Scott Brown in 2010, that appears to be a significant turn around.
So what has changed to make Massachusetts more friendly to women candidates
and how they are able to break the glass ceiling. And this is about
Massachusetts, this is about states that have these entrenched political
cultures that tend to be dominated by men, they tend to be nominated by,
you know, white guys usually.
And seeing some significant changes in Massachusetts, I wonder if that`s a
part of something broader that`s happening?
SMIKLE: I think so. You look at New York City, Christine Quinn didn`t
when for mayor, but we have our first African-American female elected
citywide. So, I do think, I mean, we still have a long way to go. Cory
Booker is only the fourth elected black member of the Senate. We`ve only
had four black governors in this country`s history, one elected since Doug
Wilder and Deval Patrick.
So, we still have a ways to go. In New York, it took Hillary Clinton to
break that ceiling, even though Geraldine Ferraro ran for Senate prior to
that. But as the demographics change, New York is a majority minority
city. As these demographics change, which I think is why the Republicans
are fearful, I think you will see more opportunity.
BELLANTONI: Go back to Virginia for a second. One of the most
battleground states, never had a female state-wide office holder. That`s a
So when I talk to younger people that are interested in politic, I tell
them, if you are interested and you are not a white man, you should really
think about cultivating what you are going to do, if you`re going to run
for office, because there such a bench in places like Virginia, even in
places like Massachusetts where you can look down and say you look at the
congressional delegation, there is a handful of people. In New Jersey,
Barbara Buono not going to defeat Chris Christie probably in a few weeks.
You got some difficulties building a strong non-white man base in either
KORNACKI: And the other question, we talked about Virginia earlier, you
start seeing these gigantic gender gaps, if that doesn`t create more
opportunities areas for women imperative for the Democratic Party to say,
look, this means we need to get some more female candidates.
WINSTEAD: I think so. I think women are looking at what just happened and
what`s been happening since HR-1 in Congress when they tried to fund
Planned Parenthood, wait, this government down. When it reopens, these
people are still running it. The only way we can make this change is if we
get ourselves elected.
KORNACKI: Another place where women in politics are also making real
strides is in the Senate. Sure, there have been 44 in the chamber. But
nearly half that number, 20, are serving right now. It`s not the 51 women
in the Senate would need to accurately reflect the American population.
This is definitely a whole lot better than before. This week it was women
trumpeting headlines in reaching a deal. Headlines with Senator Susan
Collins, supposedly leading 13 of her colleagues, five women, eight men, in
an effort that ultimately paved the way for the bipartisan deal.
Is there anything with the idea that women are becoming the brokering
forces on Capitol Hill? Is this -- or is it a sign there are more women in
Congress in the Senate these days? Is there something more unique they
bring to the barring anything table?
Brian, what do you make -- because we saw a spate of stories this week
about -- I think, "Time" magazine had a big thing on about women as the
So, I mean, the way I saw it play out, it was, I`m sure, you know, personal
relationships among individual senators matter for that. But there is the
case, in the Senate right now, there is a semi governing coalition of the
Democrats and about a dozen Republicans.
There aren`t a whole lot of female Republican senators. But they`re all in
that coalition, I believe. So any time, you know the Senate is going to
get together to do something when the House is tooting its thumbs, you`re
going to have all the Republican women working with Democrats and thus
You know, just on a broader play, I feel like everything we talk about is
reflective in a way Republicans behave. They`re terrible at it. Any time
there is some sort of controversy, they find a token woman legislator or
minority legislator and put them on the stage, right?
They are only doing that. They realize without anything else to offer,
these communities, they need do something, at least symbolic, they wouldn`t
be doing it if they didn`t think it was super important.
KORNACKI: We saw that, it was summer or early spring, I`m getting old.
The 20-week abortion ban, Republicans in an afterthought said, oh, wait, we
already have a woman on this, Marsha Blackburn stepped forward to be their
face on that.
WINSTEAD: Yes. Women are always dawning on them with big things. You
know, when Issa calls his, you know, his panel to talk about birth control,
it didn`t dawn on him that maybe a woman should be on that panel.
I mean, when you feel like an afterthought, when I look at the Republican
Party, women are an afterthought, it`s a problem.
BELLANTONI: But you saw a lot of women driving the Tea Party movement,
right during the health care debate leading up to the Republicans taking
over the House in 2010, you know, Michelle Bachmann for as much as people
say about her that they don`t like, she`s a strong force. Sarah Palin, a
lot of women were driven to that conservative message because of her. And
they would just say, women are the ones that control the pocket. Folks in
the household, they can resonate with the economic message.
And we`ve also seen the governors is a diverse base of people that are
young and looking to the future. Maybe it doesn`t happen until 20. But
they`re really starting to step up on the Republicans.
KORNACKI: That`s one thing we should see when it comes to, you talk about
women in congress is one thing. You talk about women at the statewide
gubernatorial level. Republicans do definitely need to leg up on Democrats
there right now.
We can`t discuss women in Washington -- we can`t discuss women in
Washington this week without bringing up Nancy Pelosi, putting aside the
question for a moment of whether she`d have a Boehner-style intra party
rebellion on her hands, it is a matter of what the former speaker actually
did during the shutdown fight, what the leader accomplished when it didn`t
matter, when Republicans tried to restart parts of the government in
piecemeal plans, Pelosi re-assured her members that it would be worth doing
it down the road.
When it really counted on Wednesday night, she delivered the 198 votes she
promised. House Democrats voted unanimously to reopen government and
extend the debt ceiling. Her ability to hold her caucus gave Harry Reid
and President Obama an essential backstop to the default deadline was
This is really a story in and of itself. She was the speaker. She is back
to being a minority leader, her second term of that. And sort of the Nancy
Pelosi renaissance going on in the House right now.
BEUTLER: I don`t want to pour water on it. Clearly, Nancy Pelosi is one
of the most talented leaders in the country and of the last probably 25
years. I think Jonathan Bernstein said the best speaker since Tip O`Neill.
But in this particular case, it`s much easier to be the house minority
leader than the House Speaker. Getting 195 votes she got together for the
final deal, I don`t think was particularly like hard challenge for her.
When she was speaker, she wasn`t dealing with the conference that sounds
screwy as John Boehner`s conference, it wasn`t like 40 people taking their
lead from Dennis Kucinich. She has a lot more flexibility and a larger
majority than he has now. That said, she`s always managed to delivered.
She`s never had serial embarrassments on the House floor, the way John
But when John Boehner was the minority, he got every Republican to vote
against everything --
KORNACKI: One thing I remember with Pelosi, though, if there was sort of
the parallel here in terms with the spot that Boehner was in, when Pelosi
first became speaker in 2007, and there was the movement from the
Democratic base about defunding the Iraq war. You know, sort of like,
defund Obamacare, defunding Iraq, there are differences between those two
movements. But Pelosi, she was able to shut that down in a way Boehner
BELLANTONI: Even though she was on the personal side. That`s what she
wanted to see done. John Murtha was one of her top ally. She and Hoyer
don`t have a lot of great dynamic there. But she has been able control her
It`s a different caucus she faces with health care, when there were, you
know, 30 moderate Democrats. A lot of them lost their seats in part for
the Republicans to take over. But it`s also extraordinary, Harry was able
to get all of his Senate Democrats in line. You know, it`s just a fact
that you had unanimous Democratic support on this is really surprising.
KORNACKI: Yes. Well, he wasn`t a woman, so we wouldn`t talk about here.
What do we know right now that we didn`t last week? Our answers are right
KORNACKI: All right. It`s time to find out what our guests know that they
didn`t know at the start of the week.
Start with you, Christina.
BELLANTONI: So, some of the unspoken, behind the scenes people that work
in Congress had been interesting. You`ve seen the chaplains in both houses
giving political messages during the shutdown but this extraordinary moment
where the House stenographer basically gave a nation saying the Freemasons
shouldn`t have written the Constitution, he shall not be mocked. This is
Dianne Ready saying God had been waking with her for several weeks telling
her she had to deliver this message and she wrestled with him because she`s
so into House decorum. She broke house decorum because she wanted to say
KORNACKI: The Freemason rhetoric, not 1852 anymore.
BEUTLER: What I know now that I didn`t this week that I should have based
on 25 years of being a Dodgers fan, they will continue to let their fans
down and, yes, the last week or so has been pretty --
KORNACKI: That was brutal. I feel for you.
SMIKLE: You alluded to it on the show, Jeh Johnson nominated for Homeland
Security, really happy to see a New Yorker for that position, was on a
panel with him a couple of times, really good guy, excited for him.
WINSTEAD: Bad news for people who believe that Jesus rode a dinosaur. The
Texas textbooks will not allow creationism to be taught as a science.
KORNACKI: And I know I`m getting ready to quit this job and move to Las
Vegas and become a football handicapper. On this show last Sunday, 4 1/2
hours before kickoff, 8 hours before kickoff, that`s the key, this was my
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: My prediction, Patriots, 30, Saints 27.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Melissa is ready to charge at me, kill me for this, but I did
call it. Tomorrow I release my next NFL pick. That was the exact final
score for that game. I`m going to brag about it because when you`re wrong
60 percent of the time you`re right 40 percent of the time. So that was
My thanks to Christina Bellantoni of PBS "NewsHour" (INAUDIBLE).
KORNACKI: "Salon`s" Brian Beutler, professor and strategist Basil Smikle,
and comedian and author Lizz Winstead, thanks for getting up. I`m losing
circulation as I speak.
Thank you for joining us today on UP. Join us tomorrow, NFL (INAUDIBLE) in
Washington. They want to change the name. We got the attorney who
represents the American Indians tribe and who want to change it. We`ll
have NPR`s Mike Pesca.
Stick around because, as you might have just seen, Melissa Harris-Perry is
coming up next. She will come and on today`s "MHP", the big retake on the
winners and losers of the government shutdown. As Saints fans know, you
never want to declare victory ahead of the two-minute warning. That and
the 100 percent population increase about to take place in the U.S. Senate.
That is next on "MHP".
We`ll see you right here tomorrow morning. Thanks for getting UP.
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