UP with STEVE KORNACKI
June 29, 2014
Guest: Jim McDermott, Eleanor Clift, Matt Lewis, John Morse, Charles
Rangel, Luis Gutierrez, Garrett Broshuis, Jim Moore
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: The next stage of the battle for and about
Good morning and thanks for getting up with us for this last Sunday in the
month of June 2014. The beginning of the current crisis in Iraq appeared
to be a lopsided march of Sunni and terrorist insurgents across western
Iraq. This weekend it looks like it could be remembered as the moment when
Shia and government forces began fighting back hard. Iraqi forces are now
battling insurgents in Tikrit, at Saddam Hussein`s hometown. It`s one of
the two major cities taken by Sunni militants earlier this month. Just
yesterday as we reported here, Iraqi military helicopters began firing upon
Tikrit from above. Iraqi military is also trying to secure the highways
into and out of Baghdad. They are going to be aided in this new stage of
the fight by a fleet of Russian fighter jets. These are bought second hard
reportedly for $500 million. The first batch of those jets arrived in
Baghdad yesterday. We want to get the very latest from the ground from NBC
News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel who is on the ground in
RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. As you said, it
seems like the government is finally launching something of an effective
counteroffensive. There had been several attempts in the last several days
to try and push the ISIS militants out of their stronghold areas in the
north and west of Iraq, but this time it seems that they are having some
success. They are using more firepower. They are using some air power.
They are using primarily helicopter gunships and the focus right now is on
Tikrit. The Iraqi government has claimed that it has liberated all of
Tikrit. That doesn`t seem to be the case. Witnesses do not corroborate
that claim. It does seem, however, that the militants from ISIS have
pulled back to another section of Tikrit. They haven`t left the city
entirely. And the Iraqi government is still sending in reinforcements, but
ISIS, which has been very effective in putting out its own propaganda
videos, just recently posted a video showing a convoy of about 25 vehicles
full of more than 100 of its own militants heading toward Tikrit. So this
could be a long battle before these parts of the country taken over by ISIS
are taken back by the government, if they are taken back by the government.
KORNACKI: And Richard, I just want to ask you a quick follow-up question
on that because we`re always hearing there`s the government forces and
obviously this is a government that`s led by Shiites, but also there`s this
Shiite militant groups that are out there. When you talk about sort of
making up ground here, ground being made up against ISIS, is this
exclusively or primarily the government forces that are doing this or are
also these militant groups involved as well?
ENGEL: That`s a great question, and I think that`s one of the most
troubling components of this entire conflict. Because the Shiite militias
are also working with the government. They are working generally
independently, but in coordination with the government, and we spoke with
an Iraqi army commander and I asked him this very question. I said do you
work with the Shiite militias, and he said, well, no, we don`t work
directly with them, but I talk to their leaders and they tell us what
they`re doing, and I tell them what we`re doing, and we exchange
information. I said, well, so, therefore, you`re working with the
militias. He said, no, I don`t work with the militias, I just work with
their leaders. So, they are working with them, but they even, some in the
Iraqi military find this relationship uncomfortable. They are also working
with some Sunni militias. There are Sunni groups that were founded under
General Petraeus called the awakening councils. They are also working with
the Iraqi government in some places. So the Iraqi government has its armed
forces, but it is deputized a large number of Shiite militias and is
keeping them in the fight, although trying to keep them at an arm`s
distance as well as Sunni militias who are in the fight as well.
KORNACKI: That`s one of the hardest things to --
ENGEL: And then Americans are above.
KORNACKI: Yeah, who exactly --
ENGEL: And then Iranians are here too.
KORNACKI: Yeah, and who is exactly alive (ph) and who it`s this morning
puzzle of this. NBC`s Richard Engel in Baghdad. That`s great information.
Really appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time this morning. Stay safe
On these shores meanwhile, President Obama has already said that he will
not be considering boots on the ground when it comes to U.S. military
action in Iraq. On Friday, the Obama administration confirmed that it is
flying armed drones over Baghdad. What it might do next is yet to be
announced or seen, but there have been calls for Congress -- from Congress
to authorize even limited military action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE (D) VIRGINIA: If the United States is to contemplate
military action in Iraq, the president must seek congressional
authorization. It would be the height of public immorality to order
service members to risk their lives when the nation`s political leadership
has not done the work to reach a consensus about the value of a mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine preceded his floor speech with on
op-ed in "The Washington Post" making him the most vocal member of Congress
to speak out this week, but he is certainly not the only one.
We`re joined now by Congressman Jim McDermott, a Democrat of Washington,
who noted this week that the Vietnam War also began as a limited
engagement. So, Congressman, thanks for joining us this morning. I know
you are one of these members of Congress who says if the president wants to
take any specific action here militarily, he ought to come to -- he needs
to go to Congress for that authorization.
Certainly there`s been plenty of reporting and quotes that are out there
where the president had this meeting with congressional leaders, Democrat
and Republican, you know, Democratic leader in the House Nancy Pelosi among
them who said the authorization for use of military force that`s already in
place covers his options right now. He says anything -- ground troops are
off the table, but everything else is on the table. And they`re saying the
authorization covers that. You disagree?
REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D) WASHINGTON: Yes. Even George Bush, Jr. when he was
going to go into Iraq finally decided he ought to get authorization from
Congress. I think that Congress made a mistake in going to Iraq in the
first place, but they did vote to do it, and a president can do anything he
wants, but he gets all the credit and all the blame for what happens if he
goes without the Congress authorizing.
KORNACKI: And that be --
KORNACKI: But they`re saying - just Congressman, they`re saying that that
authorization is still in effect. This is still Iraq and this is -- if he
wants to do air strikes, for instance, he`s covered by that, what they
already voted on.
MCDERMOTT: Well, there are some members of Congress who believe that and I
think we ought to put it to a vote. The Congress is not run by five
leaders or six leaders or seven leaders. There are 435 members of the
House of Representatives and 100 Senators, all of whom have a right to
represent their people, and they should do it, and the leaders cannot make
a pronouncement like that and expect us to just roll over and accept it.
It is simply -- must be voted on by the Congress.
KORNACKI: Do you have the sense that if any type of military action, we
are not talking ground troops here, something like air strikes, for
instance, came before Congress, just given the mood of the country, given
the war fatigue that exists in this country, given what we saw last year
when it looked for a while like there was going to be a congressional vote
on Syria, do you think in light of that that there`s any way any kind of
military action could be approved by this Congress right now?
MCDERMOTT: It seems to me very doubtful if you put it to the Congress
because you listen to Richard Engel and he tells you there are 13 groups of
fighters and militias, both Shia and Sunni over in Iraq. And Tom Ricks
wrote an article recently saying which group should we attack? Now, we
think we want to attack ISIS. That`s the one that everybody is focused on,
but what you`re making is collateral damage. People are going to be killed
all over the place, and that`s the best recruiting tool there is for al
Qaeda. There is no way that we know intelligence-wise how we can sort of
point absolutely to where we`re going. They`re all mixed in together. You
heard the militia, are they working with the government, are they not
working with the government? What you have got is a mess there that we
simply cannot go into and surgically carve out some kind of target.
KORNACKI: The case is made though among people who maybe are a little bit
more hawkish on this thing. You are, the case is made that if ISIS were to
gain a foothold in Iraq, that it would represent eventually a significant
threat, a significant terrorist threat to the United States. Do you see if
we don`t involve ourselves in this at all, if we let this play out whether
it`s ISIS potentially taking power, whether it`s a broader regional
conflict, all of this sort of sectarian strife, whether it`s Iran gaining
influence, and now Iran getting involved more directly, do you see the
potential that if we stay out of it and this all just plays out like that,
that there is ultimately a threat to the United States?
MCDERMOTT: The fact is that we created this mess. We gave Iraq to the
Iranians in the form of Maliki, a leader who is directly tied to Tehran,
and we have created that. Now, the question is what do you do to get out
of it? And my belief is that Maliki has to go. The president has said
that Maliki must go, but at the same time he`s sending him arms and he`s
sending in drones to help him. Now, when you talk out of both sides of
your mouth in a situation like this, you`re going to get into a big mess
because you either believe that Maliki is the central problem here or you
don`t. He will not form a unity government. The Saudis don`t believe it.
Nobody else believes it in the Middle East except Tehran likes what`s going
on so they`re willing to have him stay there. You`ve got a very
complicated thing, and for us to figure that we can send in 10 or 20 or 50
or 100 drones at 10,000 feet or 30,000 feet or whatever and zap some people
and suddenly it will be all better is simply believing in the tooth fairy.
KORNACKI: All right. Well, I want to thank Congressman Jim McDermott of
Washington State getting up very early out there this morning. I
appreciate the time, sir. President Obama has what might seem to be an
unlikely ally in fending off the neoconservatives who believe the U.S.
should go back into Iraq, but Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, he
said last week that many of the critics who blame the president for the
insurgency there now need to do some self-reflecting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KY: I think the same questions could be asked of those
who supported the Iraq war. You know, were they right in their
predictions? Were there weapons of mass destruction there that the war was
sold on? Was democracy easily achievable? Was the war won in 2005 when
many of these people said it was won? They didn`t really, I think,
understand the civil war that would break out and what`s going on now I
don`t blame on President Obama. Has he really got the solution? Maybe
there is no solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And that`s a refrain that Rand Paul has touched on before saying
in an interview last year that Republicans are, quote, too eager for war.
None of Paul`s comments are sitting well with Dick Cheney, the neocons-
definition for neocon, the former vice president last week described Rand
Paul specifically as, quote, basically an isolationist. He has previously
said the senator`s reluctance would endanger the United States. Very
personal dynamics of this policy fight between two prominent Republicans
are a clear example of how the Republican Party is being torn apart from
within on this. A rift that is only going to become more pronounced as the
crisis continues to play out and when it comes time for the Republicans to
pick a nominee for president in 2016. That`s a race that`s likely to
include, of course, Rand Paul. Joining me now to talk more about this, are
NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon Jr., Eleanor Clift of "The
So, Perry, let`s just - start on this issue of Rand Paul, Dick Cheney, the
Republican Party and Iraq. Because that`s a pretty significant piece of
this. It just strikes me, if you go back a decade, a little bit more than
a decade ago, the run up to 2002, you know, during the war itself, there
was no variety of opinion within the Republican Party on this. I mean
there was Ron Paul, but Ron Paul was completely marginalized. Now when I
listen to Rand Paul, and Dick Cheney going back and force on this, I say,
within the Republican Party it seems like it`s not only is it even, maybe
the balance of public opinion is on Rand Paul`s side.
PERRY BACON JR., NBC NEWS SR. POLITICAL REPORTER: Look at public opinion.
Like in most of the elite Republicans, the John McCain`s, the (INAUDIBLE),
the Lindsey Grahams are in the more hawkish group with Dick Cheney. We
should be more involved with Iraq. We should do something. The president
isn`t doing enough. Like the notion that Paul said last week which was the
president should not be blamed for this, maybe it`s having --
KORNACKI: It`s so striking and so unusual.
BACON: Usually every problem in America is blamed - everywhere is blamed
first on Obama by Republicans. The Paul group, the Paul - the
isolationists or the noninterventionist group, if you look at Paul, it`s
growing among Republicans, it`s growing among Democrats as well. That`s
where the things are moving. That`s why a vote in Congress to get involved
in Iraq will never pass. The White House knows that as well. If it comes
to a vote in Congress, that means we`ve decided basically not to have - any
kind of air strikes because Congress is not going to approve that.
KORNACKI: Yeah, and Eleanor, listening to that interview with Jim
McDermott right now, one thing that strikes me, is one of the knocks on
Congress, not just with this, but in general when it comes to foreign
policy over the last generation or two, is that Congress often the reason a
president sort of goes to something and does something without
congressional approval is Congress doesn`t fight, Congress doesn`t fight
for it, Congress doesn`t want the decision, doesn`t want the
responsibility, it doesn`t want to go on record. Is that --
ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: That`s exactly right. They want the right
CLIFT: And they - and if there`s a victory, and they would like to share
in the victory, but they are going to hedge their bets and they don`t want
to be part of the loss. And the fact that Congressman McDermott said,
well, you can`t have five or six leaders, you know, make the decision, the
Congress should vote. In the House, John Boehner decides what is voted on
and in the Senate it`s the Democrat Harry Reid and neither of those men are
going to bring anything to a vote. So in effect it`s kind of a lockdown
and you`ve got both parties divided. Nancy Pelosi has said flatly that the
2002 resolution covers whatever -- not whatever, it doesn`t cover boots on
the ground, but it covers limited action in Iraq.
KORNACKI: Like air strikes.
CLIFT: That can - the president, yes. And on the Republican side, you
have the Rand Paul faction which is really in tune with the country and the
hawkish side I think is mostly talking to themselves. So neither party
really wants to bring this to a vote and the president doesn`t really want
to go into Iraq either and I don`t think he`s going to. You have the
Syrian air force conducting the air strikes that Maliki wanted the U.S. to
do, so why bother?
KORNACKI: Because that`s the question I have when I think back to Syria
last year and, of course, John Kerry came out and made that really strong
speech where this is why we want to do air strikes, and it seemed like the
president maybe didn`t want to, but felt compelled to, and then there was
this ground swell of public opposition, some members of Congress started
speaking out and then suddenly he said he has to go to Congress for it and
then before that agreement was struck it looked like this is going to get
voted down in Congress. Could that kind of scenario play out here at all
if the president makes any noise?
CLIFT: Well, the president ended up with egg on his face because of that,
so I don`t think they`re going to walk into that again. Although, you
could argue that he was listening to public opinion and that in the end --
KORNACKI: It was a way out.
CLIFT: It was a way out and it was the right decision, but it was so messy
getting there, and I think other world leaders look at it as the president
having made a declaration and then backing down, and so I think it`s cost
him some in terms of his stature around the world.
BACON: You can tell the White House must be aware of this. Tim Kaine is a
big Obama supporter. He was one of his first endorsers, he was the DNC
chair. The fact that Tim Kaine is out here saying Congress needs to have
more on authority, Congress - it`s kind of a slowdown message to the White
House. They get this, they understand. You can tell the stage they`re in
now is trying to figure out what do we do with Maliki? Should we get rid
of him? They are definitely more in diplomatic stage right now. I think
we`re a little off from air strikes because it may not work and also
because they know the public opinion is not there right now. So I think
this conversation is going to be pushed back some and like I said before, a
congressional vote is not going to pass on this and the White House knows
KORNACKI: And the other postscript, too, quickly on that Syria story last
year is that the actual deal that was struck on chemical weapons, those
chemical weapons now basically all have been destroyed. So that part of it
actually did work out. But anyway, we will see you both later in the show.
Still ahead, this morning, Wendy Davis talks to us about her uphill fight
to win the Texas governorship. But first, House Speaker John Boehner says
he plans to sue the president. The why, the how, and the really right
after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: One of the things
that I will be emphasizing in this meeting is the fact that we are not just
going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we`re
providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I`ve got a pen, and
I`ve got a phone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was President Obama back in January promising a year of
action, how he was going to enact a second term agenda even if Republicans
continued to block him legislatively. Several high profile executive
actions later, Republicans are now fighting back. On Wednesday House
Speaker John Boehner said he is introducing legislation to allow Congress
to sue President Obama over his use of executive actions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: The Constitution makes it clear
that a president`s job is to faithfully execute the laws. And in my view
the president has not faithfully executed the laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Boehner contends that the president is flouting the
constitutional system of checks and balances. New White House Press
Secretary Josh Ernest had this to say in response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The fact that they are
considering a taxpayer funded lawsuit against the president of the United
States for doing his job I think is the kind of step that most Americans
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: This is a graph of executive orders issued by presidents per
days in office. That massive spike you see in the middle, that`s FDR,
Franklin Roosevelt. He spent the longest of any president in office, but
he also issued over 3,500 executive orders. You can see that FDR was
preceded by about three decades of active use of executive orders starting
with his cousin Teddy Roosevelt and then significant drop-off during the
term of his successor Harry Truman. Put to zero in on the last 40 years of
executive orders per day, President Obama is still the lowest. That
includes his predecessor George W. Bush. So what exactly is this all
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this lead to impeachment proceeding --
BOEHNER: This is not about impeachment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The hesitation that makes that sound bite resonate. Joining me
now is Matt Lewis, he is a contributing editor for "The Week" magazine,
NBC`s Perry Bacon, Jr. is still with us. Matt, I`ll start with you so
you`re sort of on the right here. My reading on this situation has been
that John Boehner was there in 1998 when the Republicans impeached Bill
Clinton. John Boehner remembers that Republicans were supposed to win big
in that midterm election and they ended up losing seats and Newt Gingrich
had to walk away as speaker. John Boehner doesn`t want his party
impeaching this president and giving Democrats an issue in the midterms so
he`s giving the base this. Is that right or is that too cynical?
MATT LEWIS, THE WEEK: Well, I think it`s cynical. Look, I mean it`s not -
first of all, it`s not just about executive orders. It`s about recess
appointments, not the lawsuit, but I think the broader issue here. You
have recess appointments, you have the Obamacare mandates being
unilaterally extended. So, you know, the individual mandate. There`s
really an issue here of executive overreach, and it didn`t start with
Barack Obama. So I think it`s appropriate to adjudicate this. I think
that, you know, over the recent years --
KORNACKI: But, Matt, so just - I take that point, but so what about the
timing though? Why is it we just put the graph up there, why was, what was
OK for Bush, what was OK for anybody before, why is it suddenly an
LEWIS: Well, look, again I think if you just look at the executive orders,
I don`t think that Barack Obama has been especially egregious in terms of
the number of them, but, again, when you put it in the context of recess
appointments, signing statements, unilaterally changing deadlines that were
in the lull of Obamacare, I think you have a pattern. And look, I think
this is a proper role of the courts, and we shouldn`t be worried about
Barack Obama. What about President Marco Rubio or President Ted Cruz or
President Hillary Clinton? We`ve had this happen before. Harry Truman
really overreached when he seized control of the steel industry, and the
Supreme Court slapped him down. I think it would be healthy to clearly
define what is appropriate for an executive branch to do and to maybe rein
in the power of the executive.
KORNACKI: We should note, I know Perry wants to get in here. We should
note that John Boehner in his announcement we didn`t specify what
particular executive actions are going to be mentioned in this lawsuit. I
guess that will come later, but that`s a minute still, we are unclear.
BACON: I`m actually not sure that`s going to come later for this reason.
I don`t think this is about past executive orders, and I talked to Boehner
staff, it`s a little bit. The goal here is about future executive orders.
This is less about - this is less about a lawsuit and almost more of a
press release to the president saying we do not want to see any more
executive orders. You have done too much of this. We`re tired of it.
Executive - also, executive action is different than executive order. This
is an important distinction here. The climate change revision they just
passed, always - that was an executive action the president took, not an
executive order, but that covered a lot of ground, and that has basically
changed the power plan laws for every state in the country. Also, this
issue I think is really about immigration. The Republicans are very
worried that the president has already changed deportation law for young
illegal immigrants instead.
Basically, the country is not going to deport young people. And they
worry, the talk is that the president is going to expand that executive
action and make more groups not eligible for deportation. Republicans are
very wary about that. This is a warning shot to the president saying,
we`re watching this immigration law battle very carefully. We don`t want
to see more executive orders on that. And I think this is the context,
this is why it happened now is because immigration is moving. Immigration
is not going to - is already dead in Congress. The worry is the president
is going to change the law unilaterally and the Republicans want to stop
him from doing that.
KORNACKI: Matt, go ahead.
LEWIS: Yeah, it was a valid point. Look, I support immigration reform and
I`m actually for the Dream Act, but the question is whether or not a
president can unilaterally decide whether or not to enforce a law that has
actually passed appropriately. And let`s keep in mind, I think there`s a
tendency to have an ends justify the means mentality here to say, well, the
Dream Act is good, I support it, therefore whatever it takes to get it
done. Let me remind you, an executive order signed by FDR led to
internment camps of Japanese. I think it`s proper --
LEWIS: -- the rule of LAW.
KORNACKI: I do want to ask you though, Matt, again, quickly though, I mean
you say politically it shouldn`t matter or anything, but, look, the things
that President Obama has been doing here, the high-profile executive
actions, as Perry said, one of them is on emissions, and if you take - look
at the polling on emissions, he has got like two-thirds support there, not
fighting DOMA. You know, that`s something that`s getting, you know,
popular with public opinion. You know, deferred action for Dreamers, not
deporting the young undocumented in this country. Again, wide public
support there. So, again, in the court of public opinion when the
Republicans do this, is this one of these things that their base looks at
and gets the heads nodding in the base, but two-thirds of the country looks
at it and says I kind of like that the president actually did something
LEWIS: Yeah, look, I think that`s a valid point. I mean I think the
public likes a strong executive. I mean the public likes probably
executive overreach. And that`s - therein lies the problem. I think what
John Boehner is doing may be a politically unwise move. It may not pan out
well politically. I actually support it based on principle, based on
reining in the executive and sort of let`s clearly define the proper role
and the balance of power. You know, article two of the Constitution, what
are the powers that the president has. I think we have a real mission
creep here of the executive branch.
KORNACKI: All right. I want to thank NBC News` senior political reporter
Perry Bacon, Jr. for joining us this morning. Still ahead, the Lion of
Lennox Avenue squeaks by in his bid for a 23rd term this week. Many people
thought he couldn`t do it, but Charlie Rangel will be here live. Tell us
how he proved them wrong, but first, the frontrunner in the Democratic race
for president is out on the road. How is it going so far?
KORNACKI: Hillary Clinton took her book tour to the Bay Area this week
with a speech in front of a sold out crowd at San Francisco`s Orpheum
Theater and a book signing the next day. If you were to drive a few miles
south from the Orpheum to San Francisco International Airport, then hop on
a plane across the pacific to China, well, if you got there you wouldn`t be
able to find a copy of her new book when you landed because according to
Hillary`s publisher, that country has effectively banned the title. That
wasn`t the only Clinton news involving China this week. Federal disclosure
reports show that since leaving the White House, Bill Clinton has made
$104.9 million in speaking fees. The majority of that money coming from
foreign appearances alone. Many of those appearances just happen to be in
China, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom. Hillary Clinton is still getting
criticized for the price tag on her speeches. Most recently by student
leaders at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who were unhappy with their
school`s decision to pay the former Secretary of State $225,000 to speak at
a fundraiser. None of this helps dispel the current pre-campaign narrative
surrounding Hillary Clinton. The idea that she might be out of touch with
working Americans struggling to make ends meet. This week, the former
president was quick to come to his wife`s defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON: She`s not out of touch, and she advocated and worked as a
senator for things that were good for ordinary people.
KORNACKI: And even though Hillary was smiling from the audience that day,
she later made one thing very clear to PBS` Gwen Ifill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: My husband was very sweet today,
but I don`t need anybody to defend my record. I think my record speaks for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And her record is exactly what Hillary Clinton wants everyone to
focus on. Her new book is focused solely on her time as secretary of
state. She wants to define herself as the post-2008 Hillary Clinton. But
in the most recent NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll 49 percent said a
Clinton presidency would represent a return to the past. As with Hillary
Clinton is zigzagging across the country, well, the first chapters of her
political career continue to overshadow her future ones. Joining me to
discuss this, and all the latest, Matt Lewis, still here, contributing
editor with "The Week" magazine, Eleanor Clift, Washington correspondent
for "Daily Beast" is back. So, Eleanor, it`s interesting, we say, you
know, will the past overshadow Hillary Clinton and all that. It seems to
me I have been noticing in how she talks and Bill talks about this, that
there is a little bit -- they understand that and they want to use it to
their advantage by sort of saying, hey, the past, the 1990s, the boom time,
the deficit coming down, all the jobs being created, compare that to this
sort of stagnant quote, unquote recovery we`ve had right now. Past wasn`t
so bad. Is that - can that be - But we always talk in politics, like the
future - you have to win by running on the future. Can you connect the
past and the future in 2016?
CLIFT: It was a good past, but I think most of the country realizes that
its ancient history by the rapidity with which our politics move today.
And I think Hillary Clinton has less time to make up her mind about whether
she`s going to run at least to make it public because she has a
responsibility to the Democratic Party if she`s not going to run that
Democrats can --
KORNACKI: So, when do you think we need an answer by?
CLIFT: I think pretty soon after the November election, very early next
year, because the book tour was really looks like the official launch of
her campaign --
CLIFT: And not owning up to that is kind of too cute by half, and I think
the problem with all of this, the finances that they`ve made and how
they`re making it, the danger is that she comes out looking kind of too
queenly, kind of haughty, that she loses likability with the American
public or relatability with people.
KORNACKI: Yes, how do you look at -- 2008 we can go back and we can replay
all the things that went wrong. But remember, she walked into that
campaign as, you know, the most overwhelming frontrunner we have ever seen
and didn`t quite work out and now you`re saying an even more overwhelming
frontrunner for 2016. And now as you say, this book sort of doubles as a
campaign - the Hillary Clinton you`re seeing right now and the Hillary
Clinton trying to tackle these questions about her wealth and relatability
and all of that, can you compare her to the Hillary Clinton you saw running
for president in 2007-2008? Is she different? Has she changed? Has she
CLIFT: Well, the Hillary Clinton of 2008, she announced her candidacy in a
Web ad, basically said I`m in it in to win. I am. It was all about her,
and I think the danger here is this is -- again, it`s all about her, you
know, becoming a grandmother, how much money. They were dead broke and the
legal bills they had to pay off. People want to know, well, what are your
ideas? I mean I think there`s a lot of pressure on her to develop an
economic vision that people can understand. Now, it`s not easy. I mean, I
don`t think Barack Obama has been very successful at doing it or at
certainly at marketing it, so she`s got to come up with something that`s
different from what her husband did and different from Barack Obama, and
that can excite people. I think Democrats like the fact that it`s a woman
who might break the glass ceiling, but that is kind of ho hum today.
KORNACKI: It`s not right. Right now there`s no domestic policy agenda
that comes to the - Matt, let me ask you, though, sort of as a
conservative voice here, you know, looking at Hillary Clinton from a
Republican perspective, you know, still obviously the most likely
Democratic nominee if she gets in the race. You know, we`re not even sure
she`ll have an opponent. OK, so how are Republicans looking at her right
now knowing how sort of the prohibitive favorite that she looks like right
now and watching this rollout. What are you seeing?
LEWIS: A lot of glee and joy and fun. And I tell you the real key is that
the media, you know, the media really didn`t ever go after Barack Obama,
and I think part of that was sort of historic, the first African-American
president, but I think some of it was really Obama`s demeanor, which is the
no drama Obama thing where they just sort of dismiss, you know, oh, Matt,
you know that sort of any criticism is like laughed out of the room, but
there`s something about the Clintons that invites, you know, press
attention and media scrutiny, and, you know, and maybe at some point Bill
Clinton -- I think this really goes back to Bill Clinton, but for some
reason it`s fair game to make fun of the Clintons and David Letterman, you
know, the other day was mocking Hillary, how much money that she`s made,
and I think for conservatives that`s the real interesting thing is that,
you know, we might actually have a situation here where there`s a
Democratic candidate who faces a lot of scrutiny and mockery, and that`s
quite different and I would say quite welcome from the past.
KORNACKI: Well, I want to pick up and I do think there`s an interesting
point in there that you just made about sort of the media`s attention to
the Clintons, the media`s criticism of the Clintons, which I think has a
lot to do with in 2007-2008 she was the overwhelming favorite. And, you
know, I think if the media has a bias, oftentimes it`s towards the
underdog. And once again, here she is as the overwhelming favorite and it
kind of puts a target there. I want to ask, how is she sort of holding up
with that target on her back right now and if you think, you know, if
that`s going to affect her decision about whether to run or not. We`ll
talk about it when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON: I have no illusions. I probably have a better idea of
what it takes both to win and to govern than, you know, many people who
might choose to seek the job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Hillary Clinton with PBS` Gwen Ifill`s best, we have on
Wednesday night, I think that was. So, yeah, look, no illusions here
either, I mean the polls are the polls. I mean we can say it`s been a
little rough with how she`s handled these wealth questions, how she`s
handled the gay marriage question in that NPR interview a few weeks ago.
Hillary Clinton remains way, way ahead in the polls in the Democratic side.
In fact, the guy who was talking about challenging her, Brian Schweitzer,
had his own problems in the last two weeks, may not even be able to
challenge her anymore. But so, that being said, Eleanor, we were talking
about the situation with the wealth questions. And how she`s handled them,
and you are saying, she needs to develop an economic agenda. And that - it
seems particularly key in light of this wealth questions, because you look
at Mitt Romney, in all of this sort of, you know, the wealth gaffs he had
in 2012, and then the 47 percent tape comes out and then you look -- it was
so easy to say his agenda is protecting the kind of people -- his kind of
CLIFT: Right. And Republicans are looking at this assault on Hillary as
sort of payback for what happened to Romney. Now, they can go after
somebody who is too rich on the Democratic side, but her policies really
are with the middle class and the poor in the country and she`s really got
to get that across and turn this away from being about her and her
lifestyle. Right now she`s running against herself basically even though
she`s theoretically not running. Everybody assumes that she`s in the race,
and every word she says is going to be scrutinized. Eventually she will
run against someone else. She has got to be careful that the populist
strain in the country and the anger really about the obscene wealth of the
tippy top earners in the country and the fact that everybody else as middle
class has been left behind, there`s genuine anger out there and Republicans
are learning how to tap into that. The Tea Party has to some extent. Rand
Paul I think is positioning himself for a presidential run and what irony
it would be if the Clintons went in as sort of, you know, the Democratic
version of Romney and the Republicans had the populist area to themselves.
I don`t think that Hillary is a natural populist. She`s kind of a good
girl from the Midwest, but I think she can find policies that can address
those issues, and it`s where her heart is and it`s where her head is as
KORNACKI: Yeah, and it`s also where the energy in a Democratic Party is
right now --
CLIFT: That`s right.
KORNACKI: On issues like inequality. So, Matt, let me ask you, it seems
to me like when I look at the Republicans in 2016, I kind of think the best
thing Republicans have going for them is that if you get past Hillary
Clinton on the Democratic side, there is not much of a bench there for
Democrats. So I wonder when I look at sort of -- I know there`s a super
PAC out there already that`s sort of attacking Hillary on the right. Is
there a thought on the right that you can create -- that the conservatives
can create so much sort of negative noise around Hillary Clinton right now
that it might keep her out of the race? Is that hope actually driving
conservatives right now, keep her out?
LEWIS: Well, I think conservatives would be wise to assume that she runs,
but even if you assume that she runs, you either beat her up and define her
before the race begins or you keep her from getting in. And I think either
way it`s a win/win. You`re right, I think that Hillary is, you know, this
just behemoth, you know, juggernaut of a candidate and then once you get
past her, where do you go? Not a lot of, you know, not a lot of great -
not a great bench. But even if Hillary runs, you are going to have a
potential for Republicans, I think, to win, and especially the age issue
has been talked about. I think Hillary can overcome it, but from an optics
standpoint if you had someone like a Marco Rubio running, a bridge to the
future versus a bridge to the past, it could almost be like 1996 in
KORNACKI: Yeah, yeah, the bridge to the 21st century, Bill Clinton and Bob
Dole. Yeah, well, also Democrats would say, hey, Reagan was 70 and he won,
73 the second time.
LEWIS: That`s true.
KORNACKI: Anyway, out of time, I want to thank Matt Lewis with "The Week",
and up next, Colorado is a red state that turned blue, very light blue, but
could the fight over gun reform turn it back to red again? And later we
talk to Wendy Davis on her plans to change the shade of Texas. Stay with
KORNACKI: A Democratic governor who was touted as a rising national star
less than two years ago is in danger of losing his job and the reason is
all about guns. John Hickenlooper is running for re-election in Colorado
this fall. And if you know about him it`s probably because of what he did
early last year. The backdrop in a state that will never forget Columbine,
the deadly mass shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in the
summer of 2012 followed just months later by the horrific rampage at Sandy
Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There were cries for
action after that and they were ignored in Washington and in many state
capitols across the country, but not in Denver where Colorado`s Democratic
state legislature delivered gun control legislation to Hickenlooper`s desk
in early 2013 and Hickenlooper signed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D) COLORADO: It`s that simple. These high
capacity magazines have the potential to turn killers into killing
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But then came the backlash. Colorado is a blue state, but it`s
a light shade of blue and a strong strain of rural libertarianism still
permeates, especially when it comes to gun rights. And so, opponents of
the new law mobilized a recall campaign. And last September they struck a
blow. One of the law`s architects, State Senate President John Morse, lost
his recall election. So did another Democrat who supported the law. And
that`s when you knew Governor Hickenlooper was going to be in some trouble
in 2014. Which is probably why just a few weeks ago Hickenlooper appeared
before a group of sheriffs who are among the law`s most vocal opponents and
he seemed to backtrack on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HICKENLOOPER: I give you my - I apologize. I don`t think we did a good
job on any of that stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The meeting was recorded without Hickenlooper`s knowledge and he
made even more politically damaging comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HICKENLOOPER: I think a lot of people if they`d known how much commotion
was going to come out of the high capacity magazines probably would have
looked for something different or a different approach. One of my staff
made a commitment to sign it, it got passed. None of us, no one in our
office thought it would get past through - get to the legislature.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And this became big news. Some likened it to Mitt Romney and
the 47 percent tape. Hickenlooper effectively disowning a landmark gun law
that he`d signed. Faced with this firestorm, Hickenlooper sought to
clarify and said he`d, quote, sign the bill again. And with that
controversy still flaring, Hickenlooper got some more bad news this past
Tuesday. Some Colorado Republicans held their primary to pick his
opponent. Democrats had been hoping that the GOP would go with Tom
Tancredo. As the nativist former congressman and presidential candidate,
they believed Tancredo would scare off even swing voters who are nuts about
Hickenlooper. But Tancredo lost the primary to former Congressman Bob
Beauprez, a much more mainstream Republican.
So, now that the GOP has a fairly credible vehicle for the opposition that
Hickenlooper has kicked up with the gun law and with his equivocation on
it. We`ve talked a lot about Colorado`s amazingly fast transition from red
state to Obama state, and Hickenlooper is still the favorite to hold off
Beauprez, but could a gun control backlash swing it back to the GOP this
all? Here to talk about it, we have John Morse, he is the former state
senate president we just talked about who led the fight for the gun law and
who was recalled last year.
Thanks for joining us, Senator. So, I have just got to ask you, I mean.
You literally lost your career because of this legislation, a law banning,
you know, high capacity magazines. You`re the architect of it, you pushed
it through, you lost your seat because of it. When you hear the governor
who signed it going to the sheriff`s organization and saying what we just
played, what`s your reaction?
JOHN MORSE, (D-CO), FORMER STATE SEN. PRESIDENT: Well, initially my
reaction was anger just like everybody else, but, you know, two seconds
later I knew that this is the John Hickenlooper that we all know and love
and occasionally hate and then love again because it is what he is. I mean
KORNACKI: So what is he?
KORNACKI: What was he saying there?
MORSE: He thinks out loud and he does it too much at the time, frankly, by
his own admission in public. You know, he tries to be very thoughtful and
methodical. What is coming from this side? What is coming from this side?
What are the pros, what are the cons, what are the other arguments, what
are we missing? Then he makes a decision, but he still like did we get it
right? Are there any new facts that have come to light? You know, those
kinds of things which again is very desirable and is part of why people
love him because they really do believe that he actually doesn`t have a
preconceived idea of what he ought to do, but there are certainly times
like this one when what you`re talking about is when you limit the capacity
of magazine that means you only have so many bullets in your gun and when
you run out you of bullets you have to reload.
And so you`re standing there with an empty gun. The bad guy standing there
with an empty gun is a good thing. We want that to happen as frequently as
possible. So, no, governor, you didn`t make a mistake and as you
suggested, he came out very strongly and said, yeah, yeah, yeah, I didn`t
make a mistake, I`d sign the bill again because you have got to be for
public safety in the state of Colorado.
KORNACKI: He did, although he also - he also told that group, just quoting
here, he said "If he had known that this was going to divide this state so
intensely, I think we would have thought twice about it. Your own
MORSE: And, of course --
KORNACKI: What do you think about that? Do you agree with that?
MORSE: Yeah. And, again, I think that he`s not thinking back as clearly
to the fight that we had. I mean, number one, it didn`t divide the state.
85 percent of the folks approve --
KORNACKI: You lost your seat because of it.
MORSE: Sure, because 80 percent of the people in my district didn`t show
up to cast a vote. You know, you can`t win a special election where
everybody stays home and where only the bad guys actually show up to cast a
ballot. And we lost by 319 votes. No question, and we were disappointed
by that, but at the same time as we said then and we can say again now,
this is not a referendum or a recall on the laws. Those laws are still on
the books, and in fact, you know, the sheriffs and the others on the other
side, the gun lobby, have done everything they can politically to try to
create this idea that, oh, my god, this has totally divided the state,
which is nonsense. It hasn`t. And then just this Thursday Denver district
judge, federal Denver district judge, threw out the lawsuit that had been
filed and took every argument and basically said, this argument is just
nonsense. I mean whether you agree with the law or not, whether it`s a
good public policy, that`s not my concern as a judge, but it absolutely
complies with the Second Amendment. It doesn`t come anywhere close to the
Second Amendment which is what we knew all along. So, you know, there`s a
lot of loud in this debate, but there`s not a lot of substance.
KORNACKI: Well, so we`ll see the most recent polls before the primary this
week showed Hickenlooper leading Beauprez by a high single digit marginal.
We`ll see what it`s about for Beauprez coming out of this primary. This is
a race to be keeping a close eye on this fall. If Governor Hickenlooper
can survive. I want to thank former Colorado state senate president John
Morse for taking some time this morning. Really appreciate that. And
still ahead, two of the biggest Democratic names in the news this week, and
both of them will be talking to us in our next hour.
KORNACKI: It`s been one year since she laced up her running shoes and
filibustered for 11 hours on the floor of a Texas Senate, but how does
Wendy Davis feel about what many consider to be an even tougher task,
becoming the first Democrat to win the race for governor in Texas in two
decades? She`ll tell us how she plans to pull it off ahead.
KORNACKI: It`s going to be a big hour still ahead of us, including the
first anniversary of our filibuster interview with Wendy Davis, federal
uphill fight to win the race for Texas governor. But first, another big
name is standing by to talk to us about this. You heard plenty about the
Mississippi runoff this week, but there was another huge, close, and
contentious election last Tuesday with Charlie Rangel, the long-time Harlem
congressman, the lion of Lennox Avenue, they call him, holding off a fierce
Democratic primary challenge from state senator Adriano Espaillat, winning
by less than 2,000 votes.
Since he has no Republican opponent in the fall, the win all but clears
Rangel to serve a 23rd term in Congress, but he had to campaign harder than
ever to pull this one out. He also had to promise voters that this will be
it, that he won`t run again after this. Rangel was at the center of
controversy four years ago when the House ethics committee found him guilty
of 11 violations, including failing to pay some taxes and failure to report
his personal income. He was reprimanded by his colleagues and he lost the
chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee because of
that. That controversy along with a serious illness nearly cost Rangel his
seat in 2012. Espaillat first challenged him. And there was speculation
that this time Espaillat would win outright, especially given the
demographic shift that has transformed Rangel`s Harlem district, which was
once the unofficial political capital of black America into a majority
Latino district. But Rangel actually won by a slightly bigger margin this
time. This was the scene at his victory party on Tuesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D) NEW YORK (shouting): That`s happened! I won!
That`s happened! I won!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Charlie Rangel has been one of the most significant forces on
Capitol Hill for decades and now he`s going back for a two-year victory
lap. He joins us now. Congressman, congratulations. That scene, I don`t
know if people got to see this. But I was talking to you a little bit
before the segment here. That scene on Tuesday night was so unusual
because the standard thing in politics is the candidate waits upstairs at
the hotel or wherever it is and they watch the results, they get the phone
calls. And when it`s time to either come down and declare victory or
concede, they do that. You came down an hour before anybody knew who was
going to win this race, and you`re standing up there on stage and the TV is
covering this locally and you`re calling out precincts saying how did this
precinct do? How did that precinct do? It was a very different way of
RANGEL: Well, the honest answer is that it was more upsiding down there
with my supporters than being upstairs with a bunch of VIPs. So I felt
that since no one upstairs knew what was going on and no one downstairs did
and I didn`t, why not work this thing out together? So I had no idea how
different it would be. It just seems like the right personal and
politically thing to do, to sweat it out together. But what happened, as
you pointed out, there was so many people I had to thank, so what do you
do? You bring them up to the stage. I had no idea the stage wasn`t for
KORNACKI: The stage almost collapsed. There`s another thing. We didn`t
show it. The stage actually fell down when you guys were standing on it.
It fell down a couple of inches. But so - I want to ask you like I mean
watching you on Tuesday night, watching the scene, you know, really seemed
like in very high spirits. Obviously you won the election. You seem in
really good spirits today. How does this one feel? You have won - you`ve
run and you`ve won so many times before. Does this one feel special to
RANGEL: It does. Mainly you said that I had to say I was going to retire.
Well, I didn`t have to say it. The wife and I had decided a long time ago
that we had to wrap this thing up and enjoy lives themselves, and we
intended to do it. As a matter of fact, even the last year most of the
people who were contenders asked me, hey, we don`t know this new district
as well as you, so give us an opportunity to get to know all parts of the
constituents, to raise the money, and to get the support. And so this
thing, I think the most emotional thing that came out, obviously, when I
heard myself tell my wife, do you know that`s the last time I`ll be voting
for myself, and it was a strange feeling, but the truth is I couldn`t have
wanted to begin or end my career better than it has.
KORNACKI: So is that something -- because I have seen politicians do this
before. They say this is, you know, this is the last one, then they win,
and then they say, maybe one more. Is this definitely it?
RANGEL: It is because once your job seems like work and the parties in
Washington have changed, I feel a political and moral commitment to follow
the Obama agenda, that`s going to be over, I don`t know which - how much
influence the Tea Party will continue to have on the Republican Party, but
if they want solidarity in leadership more than they want to get something
done, this is not the workplace that I`d like to spend the rest of my life
in. So there are just so many reasons that -- and then, too, I have never
had the opportunity to talk about anything exciting except politics, but
when I got in a room by myself in intensive care for three months and it
was a spinal infection and I realized dramatically the only people I really
had was my wife and my kids and my grandkids, and they were not the
priority they should have been, and so I got a real crazy opportunity to
start a new life, and that is being planned even during these 2 1/2 years.
So it couldn`t be better.
KORNACKI: Yeah, so, let me ask you this because I know there was a report
in the homestretch of this campaign that some of your colleagues, some of
your friends in the Congressional Black Caucus had asked the White House,
tried to get President Obama to come in and endorse you in this race.
Obviously, you carried your district so overwhelmingly, and he didn`t do
that, and he also made, you know, a public comment back in 2010 when the
ethics situation was going on saying he hoped you would retire back then.
And a lot of people said this stems back to back in 2007 when you had a
choice, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, and you went with Hillary Clinton.
Is that a decision you look back at now and regret that at all?
RANGEL: No. In politics you do what you think is politically correct, but
you should add to it what you think is morally correct, and if a young guy
from Illinois was going to run against my senator and a woman I knew as
first lady, of course I would make the mistake again and support who I
thought would be the right person.
KORNACKI: Did you - looking back then, did you think -- did you look at
Barack Obama in 2007 and say, no, not going to happen, he`s not going to
RANGEL: Before Iowa, you know, I said what chutzpah. I had no idea who he
was. He - as a member of the Senate, he would come to attend the
Congressional Black Caucus meetings, never indicated that he immediately
would become a candidate for president. No. Obama was a sleeper with most
Americans. This was a genius, a political genius, a guy with a capacity
that never got a chance really to share it with everybody. That`s why it
was so close. I`m convinced that if we had known the capabilities of
Barack Obama, I would have been able to talk with Hillary Clinton and say
not this time, but I encouraged her to run.
KORNACKI: So you go back to Washington now, and if you see the president,
if you get a chance to talk to him at all, what would you tell him?
RANGEL: You know, I have been with the president half a dozen times this
year, and there`s nothing -- I would like to believe that the president has
enough on his hands to deal with, in the Middle East, the economy, getting
some legislation through during this last three years, and I wouldn`t be
flattered if he came and told me that he`s glad that I won. This is what
you`re supposed to say to winners anyway, but I`m really not looking
forward to congratulations from the president. I`m looking forward to
getting something done during these last two years under his presidency.
KORNACKI: And I got to ask you this, too, before we run out of time here.
But so, you`re saying, you`re reiterating today, you know, not going to run
again in 2016.
RANGEL: I don`t know why that`s such a big deal.
KORNACKI: Let me ask you this. Here is one reason I think it is, because
people look at your district and they say it is amazing how the
demographics of Harlem has changed. We say it was sort of the capital of
black political America, the capital basically when you first came, and now
the population of the district is majority of Latino. Your opponent the
last two elections, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, you know, coming very
close would be the first Dominican American congressman. I know things
have been very contentious right now, but people are saying when you step
aside in two years, he`s sort of the natural successor. What do you think
RANGEL: I think that as much pride as people have in identifying with
someone politically that talks like them, that speaks like them, that are
born where they are, there should be a sense of pride in doing it. But you
have to be good, and it was abundantly clear that nobody but nobody denied
that I wasn`t the best candidate. Even today as you and I talk. Some that
had supported me figured, as you said, that I was going to lose. Others
wanted to be identified with someone that basically was unable to meet the
challenge of what`s going on in Washington or know anything about it, was
not prepared for it. But I truly believe that voters are sophisticated
enough, as you see in the Thad Cochran case that`s the other well-known
primary, that people vote what they think is in their best interests, and
it`s up to a candidate to use everything that they have to show why they`re
the better candidate, not just saying you look like me, whether it`s black
or white or Latin or not Latin. You got to do more than that.
KORNACKI: Very quickly, do you have a successor in mind? Do you have
someone you look at --
RANGEL: No, I do have someone in mind, but it`s not a person. It`s not
someone can be identified. It`s someone that can gain the respect of this
diversified district that is so beautiful in terms of color and cultures,
but you just don`t come from one part of the district saying I`ll represent
everyone because I have more numbers. Yes, I intend to help any candidate
to meet whomever they want in the district. The reason I had it so easy
was that I have been there so long that every reapportionment, every
redistricting, the lines just grew around me. So it`s difficult for
someone who just comes on the scene to say, everyone that voted for Rangel
will now have to vote for me. No, they have to go to the different
communities and gain credibility and whomever that is would be a part of my
legacy if I could get him or her elected regardless of where they were
KORNACKI: All right. Charlie Rangel, congratulations. It was -- really,
you ran a heck of a campaign this time. I think there were a lot of people
who were counting you out, but you showed them wrong. This is a - it was a
really impressive victory. Congratulations, good luck in Washington the
next two years.
Still ahead, the immigration crisis at the Texas border is galvanizing
politicians. Does that mean it`s bringing them together? Plus a reality
check on the effort by Wendy Davis to turn Texas blue. We`ll ask her how
she`s doing. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Overwhelmed by the huge influx of undocumented immigrants who
have made their way to the U.S. border from Central America, many of them
children, Texas officials say they will begin flying hundreds of the
immigrants to San Diego. Last week they canceled those flights without
saying why, but as of this weekend they`re apparently back on. Democratic
leader of the House Nancy Pelosi visited a border facility in Brownsville,
Texas just yesterday, just one example of how the humanitarian crisis at
the border has been a galvanizing event. Conservatives look at the
pictures coming out of Texas and they say the borders need to be enforced
While liberals look at the flood of undocumented children and want to pass
legislation that would allow for eventual citizenship. They still have one
thing in common. If there were a Venn diagram of the activists fighting
hard to see legalization take place and the conservative lawmakers who
fiercely oppose reform beyond enforcement, the overlap in the middle would
be both sides are mad at President Obama. In the last two days the
president has ripped into Republican lawmakers for opposing his economic
agenda, but we could just as easily have been referring to immigration
reform. It was one year ago yesterday that the Senate passed a measure
that would provide sweeping immigration reform and it got 68 votes. A lot
of Republicans part of that 68.
And Politico reports of the victory prompted Speaker John Boehner to issue
a challenge. He privately told a pro-reform group that if they could drum
up a lot of public support during last summer`s congressional recess
without prompting lots of vocal demonstrations from the Tea Party and other
opponents, then he would take up the issue in the fall.
This is what the crowd looked like when Congressman Steve King of Iowa
dressed in anti-immigration rally in Richmond, Virginia, last August, only
a smattering of people. And this was the size of the crowd when pro-reform
activists marched in Washington that same month. It`s fair to say that
immigration advocates did win August, August of 2013. They kept up their
end of that supposed bargain with John Boehner, but as we all know,
immigration reform in the House didn`t happen and hasn`t happened. It`s
not that members of both parties haven`t tried. John Boehner called for
the legalization of undocumented immigrants on paper. The GOP retreat in
January was described as a major shift for Republicans in Congress. And in
April, the speaker mocked his colleagues at a rotary club luncheon in his
home district. As recently as this month, Politico reports that Florida
Republican Mario Diaz-Balart has been trying to drum up support among his
colleagues for bill that would address both legalization and border
enforcement. Just yesterday in Chicago pro-reform advocates demonstrated
outside the district office of Congressman Dan Lipinski, but the rally came
after this happened. It`s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor being kicked
out of Congress. He became a short time -- he lost his primary and then
lost his leadership position as well because he failed to fend off a Tea
Party challenger a few weeks ago. It`s debatable whether immigration was
the cause of all those votes against him, but it definitely guaranteed
this. Immigration reform will not happen before the midterm election in
November. At least not legislatively.
Here to discuss this, joined by Congressman Luis Gutierrez. He joins us
from our bureau in Chicago. I appreciate the time, Congressman this
morning. So, that last point, let me start with this. How the story of
these undocumented children sort of intersects with the push for
immigration reform because until all this happened with the children, we`d
been hearing that, OK, if Congress doesn`t take up immigration reform, the
president is going to take out his pen and he`s going to be taking
executive action. Now he has Republicans up in arms saying there`s a
crisis at the borders, it`s been caused by President Obama`s deferred
action, it`s been caused by a lack of enforcement and they`re trying to
make it much tougher because of this to take executive action. Do you
think what`s happening at the border right now is going to affect whether
the president does take executive action?
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D) ILLINOIS: It doesn`t help, Steve, right? I mean,
we can`t be tone deaf to what`s happening on the border. It makes
Democrats when we see a humanitarian crisis and we say put the children in
a safe place as though we`re for open borders. We`re not. As a matter of
fact, all of our legislation would properly secure the border and make it
more secure than ever before, but having said that, look, I think the
president is going to do the right thing. He`s going to do the right thing
by the children. He`s going to do the right thing in this humanitarian
crisis. I just want to say imagine after that judiciary hearing this week,
in which Republicans talked about children bringing diseases, bringing
drugs, being part of a criminal enterprise, in which they mocked them, and
I mean, it was really chilling --
KORNACKI: So when you say the president is going to do the right thing,
specifically what are the actions you think he`s going to be taking and you
want him to take?
GUTIERREZ: Here is the match is - look, remember, we`ve had this
conversation before in dialogue with the president. He said he couldn`t do
it, he couldn`t do it, but then in June of 2012 he freed over 600,000
dreamers who today have work permits, Social Security cards, and in most
states except the morons in Arizona have driver`s licenses and are becoming
more and more part of our society. I think the president can take an
action to say, you know what? Why don`t we let the parents of those
dreamers stay? They inculcated those values in those young people. There
are 5 million American citizen children and there`s a "Huffington Post"
report just this week that said 72,000 American citizen children lost their
moms and dads due to deportations last year, 72,000 American citizen
children. That`s another group. And then we have soldiers. There are so
many people, Steve, that the president could help, and I believe the
president is going to be wide and broad and deep in his executive action.
KORNACKI: So what --
GUTIERREZ: He said in the State of the Union he was going to use his pen.
I believe he`s going to use his pen.
KORNACKI: So we also and - this could - the further context for this and
we talked about earlier in the show is the lawsuit that Speaker John
Boehner wants now against the president on executive action, which, as
Perry Bacon was saying at this table a few minutes ago, the idea maybe is
to have a chilling effect on executive action immigration. And you are
looking at the rhetoric, as I said, the second ago the rhetoric of
Republicans about this situation on the border, if the president does what
you`re saying, what kind of response is that going to generate from the
right and is that going to spill over to public opinion?
GUTIERREZ: Right. Here is what I think. Look, Steve, you in the opening
clearly established that at every time and every forum and every challenge
that the pro-immigrant community, we`ve won, and we`ve met and exceeded the
challenge. The fact is that the American public is with the pro-
immigration. You have a small group of Tea Party people, actually, a small
segment of the Republican Party, which has stopped being what the American
people want, which is to fix our broken immigration system and put this
illegal broken immigration system with a legal immigration system. So,
look, I think the president of the United States should act and should act
boldly. From my point of view, on the one hand you have Republicans who
are criminalizing children at the border. They`re saying they want to now
repeal DACA that allowed dreamers, 600,000 of them to legalize their
statuses. And they`re saying they`re going to sue the president of the
USA. I say bring on the lawsuit. I say we elected Barack Obama to be our
champion, to be our leader, and he can lead on this issue through executive
action, and he should. And I believe that he will. Look, you know, I
mean, let`s do it broadly. Let`s do it wide. Let`s help the 11 million
KORNACKI: Very quickly I just want to ask you one more thing, because I`m
told on this subject one of the things that bothers the president maybe
more than anything else is that reform advocates who call him the deporter-
in-chief, that term has been thrown around and the idea is that the White
House strategy of building political support potentially for reform is to
be very hard on enforcement, you know, for the last several years. What
would your message be to pro-reform advocates who use that term? Is it
fair and what would you tell them?
GUTIERREZ: Number one, I understand, and look, when people say that I
understand, and I think it is a fair statement to make. Having said that,
I think we`re in a different time right now, Steve. This last Thursday I
went and I gave a speech on Wednesday. We had a press conference on
Thursday where we said, look, the pro-immigration movement keeps getting
tied down by many of my friends and colleagues in the House of
Representatives Republican majority, and they keep saying if you do
anything executively through executive fiat, we`re not going to negotiate
with you. Negotiate what? You have- make a proposal as you indicated in
your opening last January and then you take it away. Every challenge we
have met. You said, oh, we want to do it piecemeal. We said OK. We said
we don`t want the Senate bill. We said OK. They said everybody can`t
become a citizen right away. We didn`t leave the table. What more do we
have to do to understand that at this time, 1,000 people will be deported
today. There are children being left without parents. The devastating
effect and everywhere I go across this country people don`t tell me move on
to legislation. They say have the president take action to stop the
deportation and the devastating effect on our community. And I think
everyone across America understands that.
KORNACKI: All right. I want to thank Congressman Luis Gutierrez of
Illinois. Appreciate you getting up this morning. Up next, we travel from
the Texas border north to Dallas to the Texas Democratic Convention so
Wendy Davis can tell us how she plans to overcome a 12-point deficit in her
fight to become governor of Texas.
KORNACKI: It was one year ago that Texas State Senator Wendy Davis laced
up her pink sneakers and filibustered for 11 hours in an effort to stop
legislation severely limiting access to abortion clinics in her state. But
her efforts were not enough to stop Rick Perry in the Republican state
house. Two weeks after that filibuster the bill passed in a special
session called by the governor. But the filibuster did rocket Wendy Davis
to national prominence. Soon she found herself essentially drafted by
Democrats into this year`s race for governor. It`s an open seat race with
Perry leaving office after 14 years. On Friday just two nights ago, Davis
formally accepted her party`s nomination at the Texas Democratic State
Convention. She`s joined by a diverse slate of candidates up and down the
For years now, of course, Democrats have been talking about turning Texas
blue. This as the state`s population becomes increasingly Hispanic. This
year, they`ve recruited strong candidates, Obama campaign veterans are
working on mobilizing new voters and expanding the electorate, but it`s
still an uphill battle, to say the least. Democrat hasn`t been elected to
statewide office in Texas since 1994, that`s 20 years ago. The midterm
political climate of 2014 favors the GOP. Polls show Davis behind Attorney
General Greg Abbott. He`s the Republican candidate, by a hefty 12 points.
But if Texas is going to turn blue, a real long shot at least for this
election, it`s the 6,000 party delegates and activists who came together
this weekend in Dallas who are going to be leading the charge. We sent
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball to the convention floor to find out how they`re kick-
starting the Lone Star State back into play for the party of LBJ.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSBNC CORRESPONDENT: There are a whole lot of fired up Dems
here who think something very special is happening this year.
STATE SEN LETICIA VAN DE PUTTE, (D-TX) LT. GOV. CANDIDATE: I ain`t no
pushover, I ain`t no East Coast liberal, I ain`t no West Coast Democrat. I
am Leticia Van de Putte, a grandmother that is Leticia, son Miguel Van de
Putte from the barrio (ph) and I`m a Texana, and I`m a Texas Democrat.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS (D-TX), CANDIDATE FOR GOV.: When Mr. Abbott says
he`d veto the Texas Equal Pay Act, he`s trying to take us back to
yesterday. We don`t iron the pants anymore. We wear them.
BALL: Great energy, particularly among women. In fact, everyone has been
remarking on that.
(on camera): I`m here with Kim, and she`s decked out from head to toe.
She has the iconic Wendy Davis shoes.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D) TEXAS: You finally have the campaigns and other
groups that are doing the hard block-to-black, person-to-person work of
organizing in such a large state.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I go to Amarillo and there are over 250 people
that show up, it`s because we have folks on the ground there.
STATE REP. TREY MARTINEZ-FISCHER, (D) TEXAS: The single and largest issue
impacting the Latino community here in Texas is that we are 38 percent of
the population and we need to start acting like it.
WAYNE SLATER, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: This hope of turning Texas blue is
very real here. There are delegates who are excited to think it`s possible
here. There is no question that Texas will turn blue. The only question
is when, and the smart guys looking at the numbers, the realists, say it
could be another four, six, eight years.
BALL: It`s been 20 years since a Democrat has been able to win statewide
in Texas, as I`m sure you are well aware. What does it look like to get
the victory in November?
DAVIS: It looks like this room, and this room is replicated in living
rooms and campaign offices all over the state. It looks like people,
people who are excited and enthusiastic about turning out in an election
when they`ve been staying home.
KORNACKI: And joining us now from Dallas is MSNBC`s Krystal Ball. You
just heard her in the video there. In Austin, is Jim Moore, he`s a co-
author of "Bush`s Brain." So, I just want to start by putting some sort of
broader national context, the Democrats in Texas meeting this week - the
weekend, they have that convention. Here is how "The New York Times" is
writing about the race this morning. And the headline is that for Wendy
Davis, filibuster goes only so far in race to be governor of Texas. "As a
year after her filibuster pumped her up into the kind of galvanizing
candidate Texas Democrats have not had for decades, she seems very much
dragged down to earth, dwarfed by the perception the Democrats chances of
ending the Republican domination of Texas remains slim." So, those are the
national expectations. We have the poll, it has her down 12 points.
Obviously, you know, midterm is expected to favor the Republicans this
fall. With all those factors at work, Krystal, what are you picking up on
from talking to people down there this weekend in terms of - are they - do
they look at this and say we can win this November or is it more let`s make
a statement this November about the future?
BALL: Well, the activists of the convention, they believe 100 percent that
they can win and what they were telling me is they have a deep faith in
their field operation. You have got Battleground Texas set up there. They
told me they have 20,000 volunteers on the ground so they feel like
something really special is happening. And what they say about the polls
is that, you know, they`re not polling the people that we`re talking to.
We`ve got this energy behind us that they`re not seeing, they`re not
picking up on, and those folks who traditionally wouldn`t vote in a
midterm, they`re going to turn out for Wendy Davis. So they definitely --
they believe they can win.
They believe that Wendy can win. They believe that the Lieutenant Governor
Candidate Leticia Van de Putte who is very strong and gave an exceptional
fiery speech there on the floor, they believe that she can win because the
Democrats are more broadly representative of the diverse population here in
Texas. You saw Wayne Slater in the piece. I mean it`s a really, really -
to say it`s an uphill battle I think is a bit of an understatement, but
what`s important that`s happening here is that they really are rebuilding
the party from the ground up. They really are putting people on the ground
to build for the future, so even if they can`t get it done this November
and the odds are long, I think that they are excited about being able to
revitalize the party. Another thing that they told me, Steve, is that this
convention this year had as many delegates and as much energy as the
convention in 2008 when you had Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So
definitely a lot of fire in the belly.
One other thing that I grabbed for you that I thought you would like is
the difference between the Republican convention and the Democratic
convention as told through footwear. If we`ve got that picture, we`ve got
the Democrats have the pink sneakers. There were lots of folks sporting
the iconic Wendy Davis pink sneakers. And then you have got on the
Republican side a woman with a gun there in a holster, a Ron Paul button,
and "guns don`t kill people, abortion clinics kill people." So very
different parties there.
KORNACKI: The sneakers look more comfortable, I`ll say that.
BALL: That`s a good point. They`ve got that going for them.
KORNACKI: Jim, I`m reading through the platform here that Texas Democrats
adopted at their convention this weekend.
JIM MOORE: Sure.
KORNACKI: It goes after what it calls, quote, "targeted attacks on women
from the Perry administration and from Republicans in Texas" and also,
quote, "violence against the very souls of LGBT queue people and now it was
about this idea of reparative therapy. And this is the cause - that it was
going to be on the Republican platform and the n was - it was apparently
pulled out. But Jim, I wonder when you look at the platform that Democrats
have adopted that Wendy Davis is running on, obviously, so closely
identified with that abortion battle last year. And you look at Texas as a
state, the cultural - it`s more cultural liberalism now that Texas
Democrats are going for. Where is the state as a whole on those cultural
JIM MOORE, CO-AUTHOR, "BUSH`S BRAIN": Well, I don`t think it`s there yet,
and I think that that`s been a part of the problem for Wendy. You probably
know if you`ve looked at the polls that her negatives are way up there, and
she has done a lot of attacking. That`s what her campaign has been about
to differentiate her from Greg Abbott. And so when you attack, obviously
some of those negatives attach to you. That`s been a problem for her.
Early on, Steve, what we saw was that the two big issues everybody knows
about abortion, but then she picked up equal pay for women, and she picks
up this persona among Texas conservative men as being almost a women`s
candidate and so she picks up a brand that it`s very difficult as a
candidate to get out from under. But then on the issues, if you looked at
her website last week and under the list of issues, the two biggest issues
in this state are probably immigration and health care, and those weren`t
even on her website. There was no policy statement on either of those
issues. She first addressed those publicly in an economic speech, a very
well received and broadly read reaching sort of economic speech last week,
and she touched on immigration. She touched on Medicaid and the expansion
of Medicaid which would probably bring 1.5 million voters to her side in
the state of Texas the more she campaigned about it. So I think that she
is a very excited candidate as is Letitia Van de Putte. It`s something new
for the Democrats to have these two type of dynamic individuals at the top
of their ticket, but it isn`t there yet. They`re just outnumbered still in
KORNACKI: Well, so we`ll pick this up on the other side. More to talk
about here. Just, you know, $20 million, Wendy Davis is going to have $20
million at least for this campaign, a staggering sum of money. But we`ll
talk about if not now, when. More on Wendy Davis and Texas right after
KORNACKI: All right, back talking about Wendy Davis, the battle for Texas
2014. So, Krystal, you showed us those sneakers. I think this popped up
in your report as well. I mean it speaks obviously to what sort of the
passion that Wendy Davis has stirred up from a segment of the Democratic
base here. Very unusual I think for a candidate for governor in a state
like Texas or any state for that matter. So, if this is not the year, if
she falls short this November, what is the future for Wendy Davis?
BALL: Well, that`s a great question, and to your point, Steve, you know,
her filibuster has sparked this transformation in the Democratic Party
here. One staffer was telling me, they went from having five staff members
of the Democratic Party here to having about 70. So dramatic
transformation, and I think the question for the Democratic Party and for
Wendy Davis is can they sustain past this election because as Wayne Slater
from "The Dallas Morning News" was telling us, eventually Texas will be in
a place where the work has been done, the voters have been registered,
they`ve been mobilized, and it really could become blue. So I don`t think
it`s out of the question to think that if she can`t get through this time
maybe four years from now if you`re able to sustain the sort of attention,
the energy, the fieldwork on the ground, she could take another crack at
KORNACKI: And so, Jim, let me - because in the report Wayne Slater there
says maybe four, maybe six, maybe eight years, maybe there`s, you know,
Wendy Davis a few years from now. I have also heard some of these, you
know, some of the data experts, some of the number experts pin the year at
which Texas will finally be competitive for Democrats more like, you know,
2028, late 2020s. You`re down there, what`s your sense of when that sort
of, you know, turning -- flipping point is, tipping point. Is that the
term, tipping point, yeah.
MOORE: Well, Steve, it`s a demographic certainty. We know it`s going to
happen. And the projections, the projections are anywhere from four to as
you suggest, 10, 15 years, but we really don`t know. And I think the "X"
factor in this is obviously the battleground in Texas, get out the vote
kind of thing and the voter registration, but we have had these kinds of
efforts in this state before and those voters simply didn`t turn out.
Southwest voter registration project turned out and registered a number of
people, but they did not turn out in meaningful ways at the polls. But I
want to stipulate here that I still think that Wendy might be able to pull
this off, but it`s going to take a pivot of some kind at this point to sort
of reinvent her campaign. Much of the language, I`m going to sound too
much like a political consultant here, but the language of her campaign is
about fight. It`s about defeat. It`s about stop these guys. And Texans
are tired of this. My sense is, and I have been all over this state since
the mid-70s writing about political politics, and my sense is the message
the state wants to hear is one of unifying. You can`t just say I`m going
to invest in schools. We`ve been hearing that since `68, and it hasn`t
really happened in the way that people want it to. So I think that it`s
still possible for her, but I think it requires a sort of rebranding of her
campaign and her image at this point.
BALL: And Steve, just quickly, one thing that they take a lot of heart in
is the David Brat and the even Thad Cochran victories, which the pollsters
KORNACKI: Right. I mean that would be the one we`ll hear for the next 50
BALL: Oh, yeah.
KORNACKI: Hey, David Brat pulled it out, you know, that`s why (INAUDIBLE)
to win this race. Whatever it is.
KORNACKI: Anyway, I want to thank Krystal Ball, good job on that report,
by the way, Jim Moore for joining us this morning.
BALL: Thank you.
KORNACKI: And still ahead, the major fight over the minimum wage makes it
to the minor leagues of professional baseball. That`s next.
KORNACKI: A fun way to pass a nice summer night is out at the ballpark in
the warm open air taking in the sounds and the sights of a big league
baseball game. A not so fun thing to do is to pay big league prices with
is what makes minor league baseball so great for fans, especially families.
You get the experience of the game without all that costs. You can argue
you will have as good a time in a Chattanooga lookouts game as you will at
a Yankees game. Besides the Yankees wouldn`t have a liposuction give away.
You can thank the Mahoney Valley Scrapers for that offer from their season
last year. But not every minor league player is smiling. A former minor
leaguer named Garrett Broshuis who`s now a lawyer has filed a class action
lawsuit on behalf of 20 of this fellow former players, saying that Major
League Baseball violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws by
paying them less than the minimum page and denying them overtime. Broshuis
said he worked six or seven days a week when the San Francisco Giants
drafted him ten years ago. He worked nine or more hours a day and he
earned about $1,100 a month, but only during the season. He says the base
salary for major leaguers has gone up more than 2,000 percent since 1976
while it`s only gone up 75 percent for minor leaguers. And keep in mind,
inflation has risen 400 percent since then. So is this just how it works?
The dues you have to pay if you have the talent and the ambition and the
dreams of one of those gigantic big league paychecks or do the x-minor
leaguers have a case that they deserve a bigger cut of the major league
pie? Well, Garrett Broshuis is here. He joins us now. And welcome to
So I guess I`ll just hit you with what is probably a question you get all
the time and I think a lot of fans probably instinctively think of when
they look at issues like this, but a fan might look at this and say, yeah,
minor league probably kind of stinks to be a player there, probably don`t
get paid that much and you got to work really hard, but those are the dues
you pay, that`s the price you have to pay to get a chance that I as a fan
dream of having but will never have.
GARRET BROSHUIS: Yeah, let`s be clear, and the minor leaguers should be a
proving ground, there`s no doubt about that, and the major league owners
will tell you that they want these kids to be hungry, but, unfortunately,
the state of it is that the salaries are so low that the minor leaguers
have a hard time even living at all.
KORNACKI: You were saying $1,100 a month if you work that out to an hourly
figure, what is that - like what were you getting paid?
BROSHUIS: Oh, you`re talking about $4 or $5 an hour often. Let`s be
clear, most minor leaguers get to the park around 2:00 in the afternoon for
a 7:00 game. They are there until 10:30, 11:00. So, a lot of time you`re
putting in nine hours a day. You are doing that seven days a week in the
typical week. Minor leaguers only get around eight days off for the entire
summer. So, the typical week is seven days a week, not six days a week.
So, you`re talking often 60-hour weeks. If you add travel, maybe 70-hour
weeks. Plus there`s training obligations during the off-season, training
obligations during spring training. They aren`t paid during spring
training at all.
KORNACKI: So, how does this - how would this work in terms of increasing -
But I look at minor league baseball and I compare it to Major League
Baseball and I think of like the Pawtucket Red Sox near where I grew up and
there`s no big TV deal for the Pawtucket Red Sox. There`s 35,000 at Fenway
Park. You`re lucky if there`s 3,500 at McCoy stadium. Fans aren`t paying
big bucks. So, where does the money come from to be paying players a lot
BROSHUIS: So the major league teams pay the minor league salaries at all
time. The minor leaguers are under contract with the major league teams.
The major league teams pay the salaries. Major League Baseball is now an
$8 billion industry. They have humongous contracts coming in, revenue is
increasing exponentially. So, the money is already there. And in fact,
they`ve already taken steps to reduce their investment in minor leaguers
during last collective bargain agreement, but to save these major league
teams quite a bit of money and if you just re-invested that into the minor
league salaries, then the solution is already there.
KORNACKI: So, what kind of salary you are talking about? What is the fair
appropriate salary and sort of benefits package for minor players.
BROSHUIS: So, currently, the majority of players are making less than
$7,500 per year. Well, if you just doubled that, that`s not a huge amount
of money. We might be talking $15,000 then. But it would go a long ways
towards helping these guys live a little bit better. This ties in directly
with something that you talk about on your show all the time. The huge
wage disparity between those at the top and those at the bottom.
KORNACKI: And that exists in baseball. If you look at the highest paid
major leaguer and then, I guess, the lowest paid, you know what, single or
double A minor league player, it`s probably a huge gap. So, how many -
what are the chances, I mean, you`ve lived the minor league life and you
know obviously a lot of people who did. What are the chances in real terms
of somebody playing minor league baseball and making it to major league and
getting more of those contracts?
BROSHUIS: They aren`t great. There are 40 rounds in the Major League
Baseball draft. So, each year they`re bringing in 1,000, 2,000 players in
addition to 40 percent of minor leaguers are also Latino players that are
signed outside of the draft. So, 95 percent of the guys are never making
it at all to the major leagues. But these guys still have rent to pay,
they still have a lot of times they went to college and then they had to
take out student loans, they still have student loan bills to pay, as well.
So, it`s very, very hard for them to make those payments on the current
salaries that they`re making.
KORNACKI: All right, so keep an eye on this - it is an interesting, when
we talk about college athletes all the time, we talk about a lot of this
labor issues in professional sports coming up right now and like you say,
it`s part of a broader story. So, this is one to keep an eye on. But
thank you for taking sometime today. What should we know today? Our
answers right after this.
KORNACKI: All right, time to find out what our guests think we should
know, except we don`t have guests in the plural. Here we have a singular.
We have Garrett, Garrett Broshuis, what do you think we should know for the
BROSHUIS: Well, I`ve got to throw a shout out to my city of St. Louis.
They just started issuing a couple of gay marriage licenses this week. The
Missouri attorney general has already sued to block that. So, that will be
the next round of court battles probably and something to watch.
KORNACKI: That`s very - I was telling in the break, I have no idea, but we
bring a lawyer from Missouri on and we get a Missouri, and that`s going to
be, you know, we had Indiana this week, we had Utah and now it looks a
court fight setting up in Missouri and, of course, the question that hangs
overall, that is, is it going to go back to the Supreme Court? Well,
that`d be happening soon. But anyway, Garrett Broshuis, I appreciate your
coming in today, and thanks for the insight on the labor issues, as well.
And thank you for joining us. We`ll be back next weekend Saturday and
Sunday at 8:00 Eastern time. And coming up next is Melissa Harris-Perry.
On today`s MHP Hillary Clinton isn`t the first politician to make what
might be called, the wealth - so, just what is a multi-millionaire would be
candidate supposed to do? That`s Melissa Harris-Perry. She`s coming up
next. Thanks for getting up with us this morning and we will see you next
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