'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, September 21st, 2014
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UP with STEVE KORNACKI
September 21, 2014
Guest: Mike Freeman, April Ryan, Beth Fouhy, Carrie Sheffield, Nate Cohn,
Michael Scotto, Keith Ellison, Brian Thompson, Kate Zernike, April Ryan,
Beth Fouhy, Eric Schmitt, Jonathan Landay, Karen Lewis
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: The march for climate change.
Good morning, and thanks for getting up with us. We are waking up this
morning to news that the United States government suspects there is another
terror group in Syria that poses an even bigger threat than ISIS, at least
potentially. Who they are, who that group is and why they maybe a threat to
us here in America. We will get to that in just a few minutes. Today is
also another NFL Sunday. It seems like not much has changed since the last
NFL Sunday. Although we have heard this week from Roger Goodell, we are
still also absorbing the report from ESPN that raises some serious
questions about what exactly the Baltimore Ravens organizations knew about
the Ray Rice incident and what they might have done or not have done with
that information. We`re gonna discuss that within NFL insider, shortly.
But we begin this morning with what is shaping up to be a potentially
historic day in New York. Right now, at this hour, about ten blocks from
this building, the first and were expected to be at least 450 buses are
discharging passengers for what is being build as the largest climate
change march ever. Organizers say they expect anywhere between 100,000 and
400,000 people to march through the streets of New York City today. The
demonstration comes just two days before the United Nations host a summit
on the issue. The U.N. Secretary Ban Ki Moon is planning to join today`s
march. Former Vice President Al Gore, who`s devoted his public life since
loosing to 2000 presidential to raising awareness about climate change,
will also reportedly, be marching in New York today.
The march and the U.N. summit this week come as a wave of new report
and studies painting increasingly dire picture when it comes to greenhouse
gas emissions and rising sea level. Raising the question not just of how
much damage has been done, but how much of the damage may now be
irreversible. There`ve been similar marches and rallies around the world
this weekend, as well. About 30,000 people marched in Melbourne, Australia,
earlier today. And many thousands more are expected to march in London
later today. They`ll begin later this morning. And in Rio, the famous
Christ the Redeemer statue lit up green, Friday night, to raise awareness
for climate change. MSNBC`s Ned Resnikoff is standing by at 58th street in
the avenue of the America, that`s not far from Columbus Circle where the
march is expected to begin later this morning. So, Ned, I`m just looking at
the scene behind you, obviously there are -- there are few short of 100,000
right now. But tell us about what they`re expecting today.
NED RESNIKOFF, MSNBC REPORTER: Yeah, they`re expecting more than 100,000
people, people from all over the United States and all over the world. You
mentioned this is the largest climate change march in history is what
they`re expecting, it`s also probably, going to be the most diverse climate
change march to ever happen. So, we`re going to expect people not just from
the Environmental Activism Community but also labor unions and different
community organizing groups, churches, a lot of locals who are affected by
Hurricane Sandy or other extreme weather events. Right now, as you can see,
there aren`t very many people out, but there are a few. There`s a
meditation vigil going on right now in the Central Park and, obviously,
pretty pronounce police presence.
KORNACKI: So unusual, I guess, you have Ban Ki Moon, the secretary-general
of the U.N., he`s called a summit this week, but he`s also going to be
marching today with the protesters, also apparently Al Gore`s gonna be
there. Tell me about, what we will know about why Ban Ki Moon decided had
to do this? It seems an unusual move for a secretary-general.
RESNIKOFF: Well, I mean, with both the Climate Summit happening on Tuesday
and the march happening today, there are no specific policy plans that
being made, but both have a similar objective which is to generate the
political will to take some, sort of, significant action on climate change.
And I think Ban Ki moon is every aware of that, he wants -- he wants to
march today to demonstrate to leaders at the U.N. Summit that there is a
lot of popular support for something aggressive being done.
KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC`s Ned Resnokiff, standing by this morning, just
a few blocks from here where that march is. I think I saw an extra person
walk to the shot, so there`s still -- they`re getting to 100,000 right now,
but we`ll keep an eye as that goes on today. Thanks for giving us a sense
of what`s going on. Appreciate that.
And just to give us a -- put in some perspective here what we`re talking
about when it comes to this rally today. This is what an estimated 100,000
people, actually looks like when they`re gathered in one place. That`s an
anti-Vietnam demonstration in Washington back in 1970, over 40 years ago.
The crowd that turned out seven years earlier before that back in 1963 for
the march on Washington, that was about 250,000 people, a quarter of a
million people and this is what`s believed to be the largest political
protest in American history. This is a gathering in Central Park, here in
New York in 1982.
People demanding nuclear disarmament, this is was at the height of the Cold
War between the U.S. and the USSR. We will see where today`s march ends up
falling in comparison to some of these past marches. Of course, as we
today`s march comes, two days before the start of the United Nations
climate summit. And the hope is that, all U.N. member states will create
some kind of a global agreement in the next year to limit the world to less
than two degrees Celsius rising global temperatures. That`s according to
the summit`s website. We don`t know if today`s march will mean anything
when it comes to this week`s summit, especially with the leaders of some of
the biggest emission producing countries like China, Russia, and India.
Those -- leaders to those countries are not attending, so, we could also,
though, be prelude to next year`s international climate summit which is
scheduled to be in Paris. It`s big day for climate change activists. But
the question, of course, is will this end up meaning anything?
Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota will be among potentially hundreds
of thousands of marchers today. But first, he joins us here today.
Congressman, thanks for taking a few minutes. So, I guess, let me just ask
you that question. We show some of these old, some of the old footage from
-- in pictures from old rallies in the past. I also remember more recently,
the last big one of these in New York, I can remember was right before the
Iraq war, and I`m guessing there`s about 100,000 people came here to say,
don`t invade Iraq, don`t do the war. And they invaded Iraq, they had the
war, we`re living with the consequences. Does protest mean what it used to
mean? Do you think something`s gonna actually come out of this?
KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA CONGRESSMAN: Yes, protest means a lot. And people
who are going down to put their feet in the street are making an important
statement. Of course, it does require that people who are in a policymaking
world will listen to the wisdom of the people. Unfortunately, that didn`t
happen in Iraq, but it did happen in the civil rights marches in 1960`s.
And so, today, we`re making a moral appeal and I`m joining that and Ban Ki
Moon, a lot of people who are in policymaking role are standing with the
people saying, we`ve to limit our emissions now. And we can`t -- we`ve got
to stand up to the fossil fuel industry.
KORNACKI: So, what`s going to happen? So, there`s the march today, then the
U.N. is having this climate summit this week. Do you think, as we say, you
know, the president of china not gonna be attending, I guess he`s sending a
deputy, India not participating, Russia not participating, somebody`s big,
you know, emissions producing countries...
KORNACKI: ...is not gonna be there. Do you think -- is there anything
meaningful that`s gonna come out of this summit this week?
ELLISON: No one will be able to ignore this -- the action that`s gonna
happen today, and this action today will affect the summit, and the summit
will affect Paris, it`s coming up in not too long. So, all these things
have a cumulative effect. So, I just want to just urge everybody who`s able
to come on down. If you are not able to come, tweet, Facebook, do a
solidarity thing where you live and let your voice be heard. Because, you
know, all over this world, people are being affected by this, mostly people
who are low-income people, who are least able to avoid the negative effects
of extreme weather events, heat waves, floods, all that stuff.
KORNACKI: So, what does it mean for this? I mean, you talk about the
consequences that people are feeling every day. The kind of agreement
you`re looking for, if the United States to enter into with other
countries, the kind of, you know, climate changes agreement you`re looking
for and hoping for. What does that mean in terms of -- tell the average
person out there, how is their life gonna be different to comply with that?
Are they gonna have to give something up? How does their life change for
the United States to cooperate with our countries to deal with climate
ELLISON: Yes, your life may change a little bit, but perhaps for the
better. I mean, going zero waste, making a more walkable community. Making
a community in which we try to live more harmoniously with the environment.
Things like that. I mean, we can live very high-quality lives and will, if
we live in a way that doesn`t emit all these...
KORNACKI: But what is it -- the zero waste. What -- what does that mean to
-- what do I do?
ELLISON: Composting. Well, the means that instead of just throwing all that
stuff away, you`re gonna compost it, recycle it, and reuse it. And, you
know what? Once you get into the groove of it, it`s very easy to do. A lot
of cities have gone single sort, which makes it more convenient. And so,
the fact is that, it`s really a small thing that we can do, but it will
take some change. It will take some change in culture.
But just remember, people used to smoke inside. People used to drink.
People used to -- I mean and drive. All these cultural changes have made
our lives better. It`s not a bad thing. Matter of fact, if you`re a young
person, you know, this is a good time to talk to mom and dad about sorting
that trash and things like that, and pulling those cords out of the wall
when you`re not using the appliance and all those kind of things.
KORNACKI: All right. Right here on MSNBC, we`re gonna be covering the
climate march today, so stay right here for all the latest developments in
that. And my thanks for Congressman Keith Ellison for joining us, before he
heads of to the rally this morning. Appreciate that, congressman.
And joining at the table, we have April Ryan, she`s the White House
correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. Beth Fouhy, senior editor
at MSNBC. So, let`s talk about the politics of this, the politics of
climate change. Because we know that the issue here in the United States
has been, this is sort of the consequence in part of dividing government,
of having a democratic White House, and then a republican congress, and
even when the president`s party had complete control in 2010, they weren`t
able to get cap and trade done.
So now, we start talking about this from an international standpoint is
gonna be this U.N. summit this week and as the congressman says in Paris,
next year, there`s gonna be another meeting and then an issue starts to
come out of that like if there is some kind of treaty. If the United States
enters and decides they want to enter some kind of treaty with other
countries, do they then have to ratify that treaty with the senate? If you
ratify treaty with the senate, it takes two-thirds. When do you get two-
thirds of the senate to agree with anything? So the question here, is this
something that the White House can work around or they gonna have to get
the senate to approve something eventually?
APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Especially when you have the
possibility of republicans that could run the senate and run the house
together. Republicans are not necessarily for the issue of climate change.
You know, when Al Gore was stomping, they said, oh, he was this guy who was
just trying to find something to deal with when he lost the White House.
But Al Gore hit the nail squarely on the head. There is a problem. And
Congressman Ellison hit the nail squarely on the head. There are holes in
the ozone. Just simply put because of emissions. You know, we`re now seeing
that we in many states to include -- I just had an emission test a couple
weeks ago, $14 to make sure that I wasn`t emitting any carbons into the sky
to help create those holes.
But those holes in the ozone are actually creating things that we`ve seen
Katrina when and people in the poor areas live in those places that are
more susceptible to effects from natural events to include what happened
when we saw the breach in the levees from water rising and the lower income
areas. We`re also seeing the effects of this in other countries to include
places like Nigeria. They`re trying to grapple -- Africa -- they`re trying
to grapple with agriculture. And the change -- the dynamic change in
weather that we`ve been seeing affects countries like that when their
populations are growing. And here, just last winter, we saw on the east
coast, all of that slope, extreme weather conditions. From hot, hot summer
to cold, cold winters.
KORNACKI: I guess, Beth, the question I have is, you know, what changes the
politics on this? Where does -- ultimately, this has to be, you know a
political solution, whether that`s the congress doing some here or whether
that`s an international treaty and we keep saying, you know, there`s one
report after another, there`s one warning after another. The signs seem
fairly well established at this point. Where does the momentum come from
that`s not there now? Does a protest do that?
BETH FOUHY, MSNBC SENIOR EDITOR: I think it`s great that people are coming
out to talk about this. It is a huge issue, as you said, I mean it is a
global issue. The science is absolutely clear. That something must be done,
that this is a function of divided government, as you said before. We`re
not really going to see a lot happening in politics in the United States
any time soon. I mean, there is a very good chance that republicans are
gonna take control of the senate in November, even if they don`t, their
ability to block and obstruct are going to prevent anything from happening
on this, because like so many others issues, there is a huge blue/red
divide on this. Republicans in most of the district, certainly another
house districts, very, very heavily republican districts, they don`t see a
problem there with climate change.
You have got Mitch McConnell who is running in a tight race against Alison
Lundergan Grimes who is likely going to be re-elected almost entirely on
the issue of coal, as a protector of coal. You`ve got Bobby Jindal, who
just past week, he is considered one of the more intellectual, heavy
weights of the party, Road Scholar, and all of that. He refuses to say
whether man made climate change was an issue. He kept saying, I`m not a
scientist, I`m not a scientist. Well, people who are scientists have said
unequivocally, this is happening, but for some reason, republicans right
now are in the grip of a lot of people who want to say that this is not
happening and I don`t see a policy change.
KORNACKI: I say, we say it`s the red/blue thing and (inaudible), you look
at that race in Kentucky and not as if Allison wonder that Grimes is out
there saying, actually, I disagree with Mitch McConnell and (inaudible),
she is saying hey, I think the president is at war on coal, you got -- you
know, there are democrats, too, and this is the moment that has to cut
across both party lines. Anyway, we will see what is this or how this rally
develops today. What comes from it this week?
But coming up next, the new and different Syrian terror cell, the U.S.
officials suspect could be more of a threat to attack the United States
than ISIS. That`s next.
KORNACKI: It`s only been a few months since American were introduced to the
group our country is now at war with, ISIS. Syrian based terror group that
emerged from al Qaeda and now this morning we`re learning the name of
another new terror group that U.S. officials are warning could be just as
dangerous, maybe even more dangerous than ISIS. Syrian terror cell that
according to today`s New York Times, quote, maybe most intent on hitting
the U.S. or its installations overseas, the group is called Khorasan, and
it`s run by someone name Muhsin al-Fadhli. State Department believes he was
a member of Osama bin Laden`s inner circle. That he was so close in fact to
the former al Qaeda leader that he even knew about the September 11th
attacks before they were launched.
And according to the story, Khorasan operatives spanned the Middle East and
Asia and North Africa but other than that, not much is known about who
exactly these operatives are, and as for having, it might be planning to
attack the United States. According to the story, quote, members of the
cell are said to be particularly interested in devising terror plots using
concealed explosives. For more on the Khorasan group and ISIS, we`re joined
by Eric Schmitt of the New York Times, he is a senior writer who covers
terrorism and national security issues for the paper, and Jonathan Landay,
who covers the same issue from class. So Eric, let me start with you. I
know this story we`re talking about here, you didn`t write it today, but
obviously, you cover this world, and I`m curious what you know about this
group Khorasan. This is the first time, I guarantee that most people who
read that story have heard of this. What do you know about them and what
can you tell us?
ERIC SCHMITT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Steve, as you said in your
introduction, not a whole lot is known about it. Its leader al-Fadhli, as
you`ve mentioned has been an operative -- senior al Qaeda operative for
over a decade has been on the radar of U.S. intelligence and
counterterrorism officials for that long. He most recently was head of a
group of al Qaeda operatives in Iran that fled after the attacks in 9/11
there and has been instrumental and carrying out in planning, according to
U.S. intelligence officials, these types of plots from an inner cell in
Syria somewhere. Of course, this is a group that is different than ISIS.
It`s a faction of something called the al-Nusra front, which is the
official al Qaeda affiliate in Syria and it`s also dangerous because ISIS`
focus consolidating control in Syria and Iraq, its long-term threat, of
course, maybe the United States. It does not apparently pose an immediate
threat to the U.S. This group does, however, have the mission apparently of
plotting attacks against the U.S. and other western targets.
KORNACKI: And is it -- would you consider it, is it an ally with ISIS? Did
they work cooperative with ISIS at all? What is their relationship?
SCHMITT: No this is -- you know, ISIS of course split off from the al-Nusra
front last year and was formally disowned by al Qaeda in February. So they
would apparently be at odds at this -- with ISIS on this group. These
groups have been fighting each other on and off over the last several
months in Syria. But what is interesting about this faction, again, not
little is known, but their focus is primarily on the west and the united
states and planning attacks against the U.S. in that form.
KORNACKI: So, Jonathan, in terms of, you have like James Clapper, you have
intelligence officials who are now speaking out about this, can we read
anything into that about why they would at this moment suddenly be speaking
up about a group and talking about bluntly these -- the potential for
attacks in the United States?
JONATHAN LANDAY, MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS: I was there at the conference where
Director Clapper talked about this group and it was actually in response to
a question. I don`t think it`s something that Mr. Clapper, himself would
have brought up simply because, it`s a group that the CIA and other
intelligence agencies have been looking at but I don`t thing they know a
lot about. And his response to this question was, you know, they could be
as threatening to the United States as ISIS, as the Islamic State. And yet,
it`s hard to see -- and the deal being, apparently, that they were
dispatched, that al-Fadhli was dispatched to Syria to create this cell
within the al-Nusra front to specifically recruit foreigners, westerners
who are, we know are there fighting for various Islamist groups with the
purpose of training them and turning them around to go back to their
homelands including North America, Western Europe to stage terrorist
KORNACKI: Eric, I want to turn to the question of ISIS now because that was
sort of the other dealer (ph) piece this week. Obviously, the congress
approving the president`s plan at least for Syrian air strikes for arming
some of the rebels in Syria, maybe there will be a broader discussion of
this in December when that funding comes up again, at least by the
congress. But right now the president is going forward with the strategy to
the outline to try to, as he says, to degrade and to defeat ISIS. You wrote
about that this week and talked about the strategy basically involves
teaming up with the Iraqi security forces, with the Kurds and with local
Sunnis to try to form at least we have coalition there to go after ISIS. I
wonder -- the question that a lot of people have raise here, is how tenable
a coalition like that would be when the United States is leading it. The
risk of it seeming like the United States is sort of trying to impose
itself and maybe even is sort of at war with Sunni Islam, for instance.
What is the risk there of the United States taking such a leading role and
trying holding a coalition like that together?
SCHMITT: Well, you put your finger on it, Steve. This is one of the real
cautionary notes that the president and his advisors have been talking
about over the last week or so, and that they do not want to have that
perception of the U.S. in the lead, this -- you know, U.S. air war for
instance. So, I think what you have seen is a very slow increase in the
number of air strikes, for instance. One official told me you`re not going
to see shock and awe reference to 2003 beginning of the Iraq war. They want
to be able to calibrate these attacks in support of Iraqi security forces
on the ground and, frankly, that`s gonna take a long time as U.S. advisors
move to team up with the Iraqi security forces and only about half of the
remaining army is deemed workable by the U.S. military. Work with Kurdish
fighters in the north. So, this is going to take a fair amount of time and
to try and keep this coalition together, as you said, will be quite
KORNACKI: Jonathan, just to -- again, on this issue of the, talking about
the Khorasan group right now. The potential if -- I think a lot of the
question that people might be asking is just how many more of these groups,
we didn`t -- hadn`t heard of ISIS until a few months ago, we hadn`t heard
of Khorasan until right now, how many more of these groups are we going to
find out about?
LANDAY: It`s really hard to say because you have this enormous ungoverned
space now in Syria and Northern Syria, in particular. It`s a place where
people, you know, young jihadis are being drawn in particular by the
Islamic States propaganda and, again, it could be very, you know, in the
future we could hear of some other kind of terrorist group. But,
essentially, the ones we know about are aligned with the major groups that
are operating there on the one side. You have the Islamist State and then
on the other, you have the Jabhat al-Nusra, the official affiliate of al
Qaeda. Within that, we now know about Khorasan. It`s hard to see whether or
not enough space give on the strength of these groups for another group
that is going to be able to represent as much of a threat, but, of course,
it only takes a few people to threat -- to pose a threat in various
KORNACKI: All right, I want to thank Eric Schmitt from New York Times,
Jonathan Landay from McClatchy, appreciate you both joining us this
And still ahead, he once held the job that made him the second most
powerful man in the world, at least arguably, he leverage that to become
mayor of the third biggest city in the country. We`re talking about Rahm
Emanuel. In just a minute, we`ll talk to the president of the Chicago
Teacher`s Union who may be his biggest threat to winning re-election next
KORNACKI: It was around this time four years ago as democrats were bracing
for a rough election day in the 2010 mid-terms. But President Obama`s Chief
of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced he`ll be leaving that job and return to
Chicago where he would run for mayor and now, four years later, Mayor Rahm
Emanuel is facing his first re-election. The re-election is coming up in
February and it looks like he is in for the fight of his political life.
His most likely opponent is Karen Lewis. She is the head of the Chicago
Teachers Union. Lewis and her union have been bitterly at odds with the
mayor. In 2012, she led a massive teacher strike to protest Emanuel`s
school closings and cutbacks. The seriousness of her potential candidacy
was made clear when a poll in July showed her running nine points ahead of
Another survey last month showed a closer race, but still showed Lewis in
the lead. Lewis is now forms an exploratory committee has loaned it $40,000
and the mayor`s allies have begun attacking her. A pro-Emanuel group called
Democrats For Education Reform is claiming that it is a conflict for her to
lead the Teachers` Union while also running for mayor. Since as mayor, she
would have to negotiate with the union. Lewis is brushing off that
criticism and On Wednesday night she tweeted that she was looking for
donations to help her make a decision. She`ll, of course, need every penny
she can raise if she does run because Emanuel has more than $8 million
already in the bank. Sure sounds like Karen Lewis is running for the job of
mayor of Chicago and she`s ready say it and if she and can she beat Rahm
Joining me from Chicago is the Teacher`s Union President, potential
candidate for mayor, Karen Lewis. Karen, thank you for joining so. So, I
will start with the million dollar question, are you running for mayor
against Rahm Emanuel?
KAREN LEWIS, TEACHER`S UNION PRESIDENT: Well, thank you for having me and
I`m seriously considering it.
KORNACKI: When are you expecting to make a final decision? The election is
coming up in February.
LEWIS: So, you know, we have all kinds of timelines and benchmarks that we
are looking at. So we have to have a certain amount of money to run a
credible campaign. We also have to have a certain amount of petition
signatures in. so we`re looking at those benchmarks and those are the
things that will actually help make that decision real.
KORNACKI: Is this -- I get the impression and I`m looking at this from
afar, so maybe I`m wrong here. But I get the impression, you weren`t
expecting to be in this position to be making this decision right now. I
saw when that poll -- when that poll that came up in July to put you nine
points ahead of Rahm Emanuel, I guess the reporter called you for comment
and your comment was, wow, first of all, I`m sitting here stunned. I get
the impression you didn`t realize there was that much opposition to him and
potential support for you.
LEWIS: well, actually, we have actually been doing polling for the last
three years, I mean, on a regular basis. Not necessarily about that, but
certainly about the mayor and his policies. So, we were pretty clear about
how unfavorable, about how high his unfavorables really were. So -- but
that particular poll was, was a little shocking because at that time, we
were not, we were not expecting those kind of numbers. That was at that
KORNACKI: So, what is your message if you run? Because you represent --
obviously you`re with the Teachers Union, you led the teacher strike in
2012, you`ve had opposition to the mayor clearly but a disagreement with
the mayor clearly on his education policies. Is your message if you run
against Rahm Emanuel about his education policies or is it a broader
critique of his performance, what is -- leave a message?
LEWIS: It has to be a broader critique. I mean the problem -- the reason
that the mayor is so unpopular is not just because of education policy.
It`s a very large part of it. Be clear. But, also, we have serious issue
with public safety that most people feel is not being addressed
appropriately. We have a serious problem with how the finances in our city
are being dealt with. I mean the only way this mayor seems to be able to
figure out how to finance things in the city is to put regressive taxes on
the same people or closing police stations, closing mental health clinics,
closing libraries, closing schools, and they`re all in the same
neighborhood. These are things that are affecting the same people. So, he
has no broad-based plan for trying to deal with the financial issues in the
city either, that seems to move out. There have no creative, innovative
solutions involved and that`s the direction we`re going in.
KORNACKI: So, this group, as we say in the opening, they`re called
Democrats for Education from a pro-Rahm Emanuel group. And they are saying,
there is a conflict here -- a conflict of interest for you here. If you as
the president of the Teacher Union decide to run for mayor, their spokesman
saying, that you`d be sitting on one side of the bargaining table while
campaigning for a job, on the other side of the bargaining table, you
represent the Teachers Union now, you have to negotiate with the Teachers
Union as mayor. Is there a conflict there?
LEWIS: No, of course not. I mean, there`s no conflict for the mayor, you
know, for him doing whatever he does all day. And nobody is asking him to
step down from his position while he`s campaigning. The other piece is,
people may not know DFER or Democrats For Education Reform are a bunch of
very wealthy hedge fund people, by and large, who support vouchers and
charter schools and all kinds of things. They are very anti-union, they are
anti-public school teachers. And they`re, frankly, anti-traditional public
schools in general. So, the problem is that they, as a matter of fact, help
finance through education reform now a series of radio ads attacking
Chicago teachers and the union, but just teachers in general before we went
on strike. So, they ran the series of very nasty, negative and some people
would call racist ads on black and Latino radio. That`s who these people
are. They have an agenda.
KORNACKI: Right. They have an agenda and clearly, you disagree with their
agenda. So that`s-- you have issues with the education reform sides agenda,
with the agenda of this, and I guess if you`re a mayor and you`re suddenly
negotiating with and you`re dealing with the Teachers Union that you are
the president of. Can you give people an example? What would you look at
the Teachers Union as mayor and say, hey, Teachers Union, you`re wrong
about this. Can you think of one thing there?
LEWIS: you know what, let me just -- I understand what you`re trying to ask
me. People need to understand the mayor did not negotiate with us, all
right? So, let`s be clear. He wasn`t anywhere near the negotiations. For
the most part, he didn`t even have a person at the negotiation table until
the very end. So -- this whole notion...
KORNACKI: But as mayor you`re playing a major role.
KORNACKI: So, what do the Teachers Unions get wrong?
LEWIS: So, the Teachers Union will get to see a very transparent budget. So
we can say, how do we work together to solve these problems? I`m much more
interested in a collaborative way of doing things rather than coming out
with some kind of policy that I have to turn around six months later and
change because I find out that the people it`s going to affect don`t
believe in it, are not part of it. There`s a very different motion in
starting from the very beginning trying to be collaborative and figuring
out what we can and cannot do. It`s just that simple. This is not rocket
KORNACKI: All right, Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago teachers union
and potential Chicago mayoral candidate for 2015, thanks for joining us
today. I appreciate that.
And still ahead, did Chris Christie plan to carry out those lane closures?
New reports shedding light on that question. We`ll talk about what it says
and what it means. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Chris Christie is calling himself exonerated. The reason, this
report from WNBC television in New York which aired on Thursday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Federal sources briefed on the criminal investigation
say, the Justice Department has found no evidence that Governor Christie
knew or played any role in the plan to shut down traffic lanes approaching
the George Washington Bridge. The governor reacted to a report earlier on a
radio show earlier.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR: What matters most to me is that the people in New
Jersey know that I tell them the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Federal official trust (ph) the investigation being led
by Veteran U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman is not over yet. And spokesman at the
Justice Department and FBI had no comment. But this news comes from several
independent federal officials. Not the Christie camp, not his own lawyer,
not members of the assembly committee.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KORNACKI: And, so, there are now many voices saying that the whole
Bridgegate affair is pretty much over, at least as far as Christie himself
is concerned. Those voices aren`t just here Christie supporters here. For
instance is the Washington Post putting the rest of the 2016 republican
presidential field on notice and declaring that Christie, quote, is poised
to reclaim the front runner status. So, is that it? Is Christie in the
clear on this? Well, that`s actually a very complicated matter. Keep in
mind what exactly those sources told WNBC.
They said, and WNBC reported, that the U.S. attorney`s investigation has
found no evidence that Christie, quote, knew in advance or directed the
closure of traffic lanes at the George Washington Bridge last year. And
this is definitely significant, but it`s also not very surprising. We`ve
talked on this show repeatedly about the lack of evidence that Christie
himself hatched this scheme or help to execute it. The more apt question
has always been when Christie found out about the nefarious nature of the
lane closures. Remember the David Wildstein, the Christie appointee who
carried out the closures, his claim that there is evidence that Christie
knew what he was doing while he was doing it.
Christie insisted he had no idea until Bridget Kelly`s time for some
traffic problems and four emails surfaced in January, that`s five months
after those lane closures. So, it`s also the question of willful ignorance.
Even if Christie had no rule in planning or carrying out the closures, then
he ignore indications for all those months that something more than a mere
traffic study was involved and that Kelly, one of his deputy chiefs of
staff, might be involved herself. There`s also the question of Hoboken on
this show in January, the mayor of the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, accused
Christie`s lieutenant governor of delivering a, quote, threat to her,
demanding that the mayor expedite a large commercial development project if
she wanted to get more Sandy aid for her flood-ravaged city. Well, the U.S.
attorney has been looking into that accusation and this week`s report tells
us nothing about the status of that.
And finally, there`s David Samson, Christie`s confidant. Samson was
representing that commercial development project in Hoboken, he`s also
until recently, Christie`s hand picked chairman of the port authority,
which oversees the George Washington Bridge. The media scrutiny that Samson
is attracted has produced several revelations in gulfing potential
conflicts of interests between his private business dealing and his role
within the port authority. This is another goal that is still in the air.
To do Christie plan or carry out those lane closures, well that never
seemed likely in the first place and this week`s report seems closed the
door on it altogether.
That`s a long way from saying that Christie has put all of this all behind
him. Joining me now to discuss this, we have WNBC Reporter Brian Thompsy --
Thompson, excuse me, and Kate Zernike of the New York Times. Brian Thompsy,
that`s a new one for you. Anyway, so, Brian -- I mean, it is look, it`s a
significant report this week, it`s great reporting. You`re with WNBC and
you guys have this saying, look, Christie -- no evidence that Christie knew
in advance, that Christie was carrying this out. But that`s not really the
whole issue here, I don`t think.
BRIAN THOMPSON, WNBC REPORTER: That`s not the whole issue at all. It`s
very, you know, it`s very specific here. No evidence, yet, that they have
found in nine months of investigation that Christie knew in advance. So,
that`s very important. No evidence yet, you have to keep that in context.
That being said, the information that I`m getting from someone who had an
encounter with somebody close to the investigation tells me that even on
Friday they were taking testimony. Here`s an interesting little tidbit I
found out. They have long since moved the grand jury interviews of possible
people in this -- involved in this were away from the federal building in
downtown Newark to an undisclosed location, because they don`t want
reporters just walking up like we did several months ago when the
governor`s press secretary walked in and there was a reporter from, I think
ABC there and said, oh, hi, how are you? So -- but that`s one indication
that this is still going on and it is very, very serious. So, you know,
I`ll leave it at that for right now.
KORNACKI: And, I`m sorry, we might be having a mike problem with you, but
that`s very interesting information that you have there. And Kate, I want
to ask, though, about also the broader national implications here for Chris
Christie, because, obviously, we`ve put that thing in there from New York -
- from, you know, Washington Post saying, hey, look, he`s the front-runner,
again. It seems to me, there`s a lot of potential, you know, political
landmines here, and Brian`s getting in a few of them here. But I mean -- I
mean, one of them is, we still haven`t heard from the principles, as we
haven`t heard publicly from the David Wildstein, from Bill Baroni, from
Bridget Kelly, from all of these people. We`ve had indications from some of
them that they -- ideally, the federal prosecutors, but they have something
to say here, that`s a major political headache for them -- if nothing else
-- you know, come out.
KATE ZERNIKE, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think we also have some pretty strong
indications that even the federal prosecutors have not heard from them yet.
This investigation is not over. Washington Post story said federal
officials declined to comment. But what they didn`t say was that, in fact,
the federal -- office had commented and said we`re not done. This
investigation continues. So, there`s a lot more that could happen here. In
addition, there`re all the issues about Christie`s budget, the pension
problems. You know, he`s now -- revenue projections becoming so low, and I
was walking (ph) to talking about it, they have come in so low. The state
has no surplus, no rainy day fund, how is this gonna affect conservatives
for voting in those primaries?
KORNACKI: Is there an indication, though, from -- I mean, did we hear
anything this week from republicans that they shared that -- influential
republican people that, hey, look, yeah, we think it`s behind now or do
they get it too?
ZERNIKE: Well, in a Washington Post story they quoted some donors and
Donald Trump who manner, of course, a lot.
ZERNIKE: Saying, you know, look, you need to put this behind him. This is a
great for putting it behind him. SO, I think it`s significant. And what
Brian was talking about was interesting. When Christie`s press secretary
was there, one of things that -- that having a reporter there allowed him
to do was say, I`m not a target. His attorney put out a statement saying,
I`m not a target. The Christie people had been very eager to put out word
that this is behind him, and that`s largely to appeal to donors. Just so,
that the donor community will say, oh, OK, we can`t get behind this guy.
THOMPSON: Here`s one thing though. It`s very important to keep in mind. To
the best of our knowledge, and I was talking to a prominent attorney who`s
connected to all of this, there have been no target letters sent out yet.
They`re still gathering information now. I mean, you think nine months
later, no, they don`t have all the information they want. I guess the
voluminous amount of e-mails, et cetera, the nature of the financial
transactions involving David Samson, that sort of thing. But, well, they,
to the best of our knowledge, have not sent out target letters yet, they
have targets in mind and I`m told at the top of the list are Bridget Kelly,
David Wildstein, those are the two governors deputy chief of staff, and
Wildstein from the port authority who supervise putting out the cones, as
well as David Samson, the chairman of the port authority at the time before
his resignation in disgrace or not, depending on how you look at it a few
months ago. So, keep this in mind, this thing is very, very active.
KORNACKI: Well, we have to squeeze a break in, but when we come back I want
to get into that -- it`s the old, you know, it`s a cliche, it`s the
Watergate question. When did he -- what did he know and when did he know
it? But I think, again, when this thing happens in September of 2013, and
he says, I have no idea until January of 2014, when that Bridget Kelly
thing. We learned a lot in the last few months about things that happened
in that time, that I think when many -- when most people would set off an
alarm bell. So, I want to get to that question about Christie, because I
think there`s the legal and stuff, but there`s the political issue. What
kind of a governor doesn`t know this is going on around him? We`ll get to
that when we come back.
KORNACKI: So, here`s the thing picking this up about Chris Christie. There
are the literal legal question, as we say of, you know, did he plan this?
Did he -- you know -- I never have suspect -- I`ve never really thought
that that was where this was going.
THOMPSON: Very few people do.
KORNACKI: Right. Well, the question to me that has been interesting is, OK.
So, this happened in September of 2013. The lane closures happened in
September 2013, they start generating some significant press coverage and
question starting about three weeks after the fact that Wall Street Journal
has this story. By the end of the next month, the state legislature is
having hearings, Bill Barony is giving this -- this, sort of, completely
discredited talk about, you know, the traffic study and lane alignments
that just did not hold up to any scrutiny.
And then it turns out from this Christie internal investigation that came
out that, Christie`s Political Lieutenant Mike DuHaime`s on the phone with
him in December, on the day that Christie goes out there and insure the
public, nobody in my senior stuff knew. DuHaime is on the phone, DuHaime
has been told by David Wildstein that, hey, Bridget Kelly knew about this.
DuHaime has been told by David Wildstein that he talk to Bill about this.
So, all these indications are in the air and from a publicly, what Chris
Christie has maintained is, I had no idea anything was amiss here until
THOMPSON: And I think that`s one thing the U.S. attorney has had to look
into when you`re checking out. It`s always the cover up that people really
get in trouble with is, what kind of communications were going on and how
could a hands-on governor like Chris Christie basically, I want to say turn
a blind eye, but not recognize what was going on in his office. And, you
know, he maintains -- he just dropped the ball on this. And it`s very
KORNACKI: What I`ve always wondered, though, is like -- there was the
deadline that was looming. There was a new legislature coming in, in the
middle of January this year and the subpoena authority for that committee
that was stirring all this up was going to expire. And what I have been
told is that the incoming speaker of the assembly, he`s a democrat, a part
of this alliance, though, with some Christie (inaudible), that there was
basically, Christie was under the impression that that incoming speaker
would not renew the subpoena power. So, if he can get to January 15th and
nothing explodes on this, it goes away.
THOMPSON: Run out the clock.
ZERNIKE: They were trying to run out the clock. And so, there`s a crucial
period between when barony testifies at the end of November and January
9th, particularly December 12th and 13th when those phone calls between
DuHaime and Wildstein going on. The governor was actually told that if you
read the master report, the report written by his own lawyer. It says, you
know, the governor was told on December 12th that these emails out there,
that David Wildstein approach Bill to step in and talk about this. I mean,
there are all these clues in there, not only that. When the bridge was
closed down in September, the governor`s constituent office was getting
emails about this, was getting calls from residence, they knew about this
in September, they knew it was upsetting people, and they knew from
(inaudible) what the allegation was, which is that it was political
KORNACKI: And as we say, the other thing on this show in January, we had
the mayor of Hoboken went on the record and she made her accusations
against the administration. She went to the U.S. attorney office, we know
the next, and she made the same accusation. We don`t know what`s happened
to that. Maybe nothing will come of that, and maybe there`ll be exoneration
there, but that`s a whole separate piece that we don`t know.
THOMPSON: I was given a piece of information, I can`t officially report on
this. That it looks like that is going no where on the U.S.
KORNACKI: It is. OK, so that...
THOMPSON: That`s the best indication I have had, and that was this past
KORNACKI: OK. So, we got some new information on that one, too. Excellent,
that`s a good note to end it on. My thanks to WNBC`s Brian Thompson with
some good information at end there and New York Times Kate Zernike,
appreciate you both joining us this morning. And coming up next, another
security breach at the White House.
KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us. Our own neighborhood here in New
York City is even more crowded and busier than usual today. As protesters
arrive for today`s climate march. We`re keeping an eye on that and keep
you updated during the day. I`ll also be making a trip this hour on the
Staten Island ferry to check in on the congressman out there who is under
federal indictment and yet is still leading in the polls. How is that?
We`ll try to get an answer to that.
But we want to begin this hour with week three of the NFL season. Another
week of intense dissatisfaction with what the league`s commissioner has
done, is doing and says he will be doing about domestic violence. The
reviews from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell`s press conference on Friday,
his first press conference since Ray Race, Adrian Peterson and Jonathan
Dwyer`s, since those stories broke, the reviews from that were very
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: Over the past several weeks, we have seen
all too much of the NFL doing wrong. That starts with me. I got it wrong
in the handling of the Ray Rice matter. I let myself down. I let
everybody else down. We acknowledged the mistake. My mistake. We`re
going to clean up our house. We`re going to get this straight and we`re
going to make a difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: NFL players tweeted some frustration with Goodell, Darius Butler
of Indianapolis Colts, cornerback, writing on Twitter "This press
conference is pointless." Goodell announced that there will be a new
committee in place by the end of the season to enforce conduct, experts
charged with making sure the league has a clear set of rules to govern
player behavior on and especially off the field, a taskforce that seems to
offer transparency. But is Goodell nearly buying time and postponing more
meaningful action? It took the NBA commissioner four days to ban Clippers`
Donald Sterling from the game for life. Major League Baseball commissioner
went full throttle in investigating individuals from biogenesis selling
steroids to some of the game`s biggest stars. Roger Goodell is the $44
million man. That`s how much he was paid in 2013. Powerful paycheck for
an executive believed to wheel tremendous power. But veteran New York
columnist Mike Lupica points out that the longer Goodell talked on Friday,
the more clear it seemed that "he had gotten caught being the weakest
commissioner in professional sports. That he is through being called the
most powerful man in sports in this country." And there`s one type of
power that Goodell still appears to benefit from, though. The 32 people
who write his paycheck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOODELL: I believe I have the support of the owners. That has been clear
to me. They, obviously, expect us to do a better job. When I make a
mistake or I don`t get something right, it bothers me more than anybody. I
think the owners have seen that in me. I think they know that we have
always tried to do the right thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Goodell has his supporters, he comes, the owners of the
Patriots, the Giants and the Steelers as some of whom are most loyally in
his corner. And not to be lost here, the owners of the Giants and the
Patriots John, excuse me, the Steelers - John Mara and Art Rooney are two
of the executives leading the investigation into Goodell. But ultimately,
the question is, doesn`t Goodell need to reconcile the needs of the owners
and the players and the businesses invest in the NFL to be a successful
commissioner in the long run.
To get a sense of Goodell`s standing in the league, where it goes from
here, we want to bring in Mike Freeman of "Bleacher Report" who joins us
from Seattle where it is, I don`t know, 2:30 in the morning or something.
But Mike, thanks for getting up at a crazy hour and joining us. So, you
wrote about this Goodell press conference and you`ve ought to - covering
for - covering the league for a long time. Something you wrote that jumped
out at me, though, you said you were watching him and you thought you were
seeing a changed man. Tell us what you were looking at.
MIKE FREEMAN, BLEACHER REPORT: Well, I`ve covered first of all, good to be
with you. I`ve covered almost all of his press conferences since he became
commissioner of the Super Bowl or owners meetings or whatever, he is -
whenever he`s speaking. I`ve covered the vast majority of them. And
usually Roger Goodell is usually very confident. That`s a nice way to put
it. He is very, very confident guy. And this one he was a little more
contrite than I`ve ever seen him. He looked at times to be a very beaten
man. A beaten man that provided zero answers, but a beaten man. So, he
looked a little different to me than he has in the past because I think
this whole thing is really - I`ve never seen the league in covering it in
25 years, I`ve never seen the league this shaken. I`ve never seen him this
shaken. So, that`s what kind of stood out to me in the press conference.
KORNACKI: Do you think he is - you know, he didn`t give any public
indication of this, but do you think he`s worried about his job security
FREEMAN: I don`t think he is because you pointed out very well in your
introduction, he has the support of the owners so far. The big thing with
Roger Goodell that people need to understand, and I know you know this, but
for people who don`t quite get the background of this, is that he has made
the owners a lot of money. Most of the teams, most of their net worth has
doubled under his tenureship. Is he responsible for that? No. He`s the
leader while this has happened. So, so far because he`s made the owners a
lot of money, they`re going to steak with them. And there are no
indications that he`s worried about at his job, or the owners are going to
make any kind of move. Now, this thing goes even further south, then you
could see something. For right now he has mostly the owner support.
KORNACKI: The other thing is, the big story on Friday we all thought for
this would be the press conference for Goodell. It was a couple of hours
after the press conference that ESPN, their investigative unit, put out
this really blockbuster story. All the ESPN is reporting, you know,
needless to say, but this was some serious allegations here, specifically
about the Ravens organization. It`s not so much - this report`s not so
much raising questions about the NFL itself. Much more about specific
leaders in the Ravens organization. For instance, the team president, Dick
Cass, according to this report, being told by the lawyer, being told by Ray
Rice`s lawyer very early on, about what`s on his videotape, and basically
being told that if this video ever comes to light, huge problem. Using
expletive I can`t say on the air, exactly how this was described, but also
basically saying that the team owner, Steve Bisciotti, texted Ray Rice
after releasing him recently and told him he`d have a job with the
organization eventually and Ray Rice apparently indicating through this
article that he thought he was being - there was some attempt to keep him
silent. Ozzie Newsome, the team`s general manager apparently overruling
the coach, and saying, no, early on, we don`t want to cut Ray Rice. If the
allegations that are contained that ESPN is reporting, is true, it looks
like there could be some specific, if serious fallout for members of the
Ravens organization here, including maybe the owner.
FREEMAN: Yeah, I`ve said, Steve, from the very beginning that really the
organization that mishandled this the most was Baltimore, was the Ravens.
They completely screwed this up from the very beginning and part of this
and what the ESPN story shows and it was really well done and really well
reported and I believed every word of it. What it shows is sort of a new
twist of an old problem. You see what the Ravens - what they did. They
liked Ray Rice so much that they were willing to sort of back him despite
some horrible allegations and some horrible video. That`s not
unprecedented in sports leagues and NFL history. Teams have always
compromised themselves for talent. So, that`s not a new story. What`s new
is sort of the 21ST century aspect of this. A player attacking his then
fiancee on an elevator and the video of it in social media, Facebook,
Twitter. It sort of gave the story more of a push, it was more of an
accelerant. It spread faster and had more power. So, you take those two
things and what that ESPN story sort of really puts together really well is
this pursuit of talent at any cost and in today`s world that you just can`t
do that because everyone will see it and everyone was outraged by it. So,
ESPN did a nice job of putting those two things together.
KORNACKI: All right, Mike Freeman from "Bleacher Report" joining us from
Seattle. You get the award for getting up the earliest to do the show
today. I really appreciate that. And good luck to you with the games.
And I should point out that the Baltimore Ravens have responded in a
statement to that ESPN reporting, their statement reads "The ESPN.com
"Outside the Lines" article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false
assumptions and perhaps misunderstandings. The Ravens will address all of
these next week."
KORNACKI: Again, thanks to Mike Freeman for joining us now. Bringing the
panel, here back with us, we have April Ryan, the White House correspondent
for American Urban Radio Networks and Beth Fouhy, senior editor at MSNBC.
So, here we are second straight week on this show. We don`t normally do
NFL Sunday coverage, but this has become such a major story and then the
games resume today but the questions obviously still lingering. I just -
the interesting thing to me, again, is, we`ve talked so much about
Goodell`s status. But this ESPN report. And again, the Ravens saying
they`re going to rebut it. But if true - if what`s contained in the ESPN
report is true, again, I`m wondering, you know, we saw what happened in the
NBA so quickly with Donald Sterling and the Clippers and now the owners of
the Hawks is apparently selling the team, because if - made emails, and I`m
wondering if there are - what the implications here could be for the Ravens
organization itself based on what this ESPN thing is claiming.
BETH FOUHY, MSNBC SENIOR EDITOR: The Clippers thing seemed to me a bit
different in that the vast majority of the players are - in the NBA are
black. And he had to be - that issue had to be dealt with immediately.
Regrettably, this is a man`s game. And the allegations here are against
players hitting women. I would like to think that the NFL would take that
as seriously. I`m not sure they do. Despite the fact that women are huge
fans of professional football. And not in the same league as men. It`s
still a man`s game. It`s still men who play the sport and to educate this,
this organization to the fact that hitting your wife, hitting your
girlfriend is unacceptable, I think - I think they`re not there yet. And I
think it`s going to take a long, long time. Here`s Goodell was clearly
just trying to scramble and make up for lost time. That this isn`t
something that`s on the radar screen as something that needs to be dealt
with as immediately I think as the Clippers case.
APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: You know, I think this is a
very serious issue. And it`s so serious that the NFL, the NFL has
recognized how serious it is by bringing in the former head of the FBI
Robert Mueller to come in to investigate who knew about the video, what
happened. This, that, and the other. This is serious. And I think Mike
in "The Bleacher Report" hit it perfectly on the head. What he said, it`s
about making money. And you don`t want to believe it, but, unfortunately,
you know, we saw this grotesque, sickening video. The first video we saw
was of the woman laying inside the elevator. With not much remorse by the
man who hit her and that happened to be this football hero Ray Rice. I`m a
Ravens fan. I`m in the Baltimore area, I`m covered by the purple haze. I
couldn`t believe it. And then -and we already knew that something bad
happened. But I guess the old analogy seeing is believing is what really
got America saying, what? I mean you should - we should have seen as
people something was wrong when you saw her laying there like a piece of
meat in that elevator. So, I think - I think Mike hit it right when he
said, it`s about making money. But there are going to be some serious
problems for the NFL, there are going to be some serious problems for
Ravens, if this is not handled correctly and if the findings from the ESPN
report are true, there are some problems. But the Ravens are saying,
that`s not the case.
KORNACKI: Yeah, I know and I stress that. But it is what makes that
reporting so interesting to me, is that what I have been trying to figure
out in all of this, is the idea, I know there`s been - the suggestion has
been put out there that the NFL has been reported that the NFL, somebody in
the NFL received this videotape, the full videotape inside the elevator.
We haven`t confirmed that with NBC, but that - the reporting has been out
there, then the question was raised, well, how, if that`s true, how did it
not get to Goodell? Surely, he saw this. What the ESPN report, what I was
wondering about, that I should say, is just what does Ray Rice mean, when
you`re Roger Goodell and you are a commissioner of the whole league. And
you have a $44 million salary, you at some level I think understand the
damage the league could take from a domestic violence situation. So, I`ve
had a little bit of a hard time seeing why Roger Goodell would be in on the
cover from the beginning. But what the ESPN report starts to bring to
light is that according to their reporting, there was this full court
press, this concerted effort from the very top level of the Baltimore
Ravens organization potentially to keep all of this from getting out there.
To keep the prosecutors from releasing this videotape, to keep anybody from
getting their hands of this videotape, to write all these letters of
support to Ray Rice. So that I think when it gets to Roger Goodell`s desk
there is all this sort of doubt about, what do I exactly do here?
RYAN: Protecting the brand.
KORNACKI: And he matters to them. So, you know. Right.
RYAN: Protecting the brand. And making money. Even if they didn`t see
the video, they knew that the video was there. They turned a blind eye.
So, OK, take this and deal with this. And then we`ll move on. But again,
seeing is believing. Once we saw the severity, the punches and saw her go
to the ground that was it. That was it. I mean if we hear, if we hear -
there`s supposedly a video out there that has the sound. And if we hear
the sound, what more is going to happen? I mean that`s going to make -
bring a whole new level of punishment and scrutiny and people feeling sorry
and being contrite. So, I mean I just think, again, it is all about money.
Unfortunately, and again, I am a Ravens fan and I`m covered by the purple
haze, but it`s about money.
KORNACKI: Yeah. No, exactly. Just - the reason I think of the NBA
situation is just the forced sale of the team with the Clippers and if
everything that`s in this ESPN report bears out and you have the highest
levels of the Ravens organization, it`s a little unclear in terms of the
owner and everything and his role in this. But if that all bears out, I
wonder if there are similar consequences that we start talking about with
the Ravens. I know we`ve talked so much about Goodell. This report really
got me thinking about what the Ravens themselves did.
Anyway, good news for Democrats as they fight - a weird transition here
KORNACKI: ... but good news for Democrats as they fight to hold on to the
Senate, or is it? That`s next.
KORNACKI: So, this was a headline that Democrats were thrilled to see
earlier this week. Democrats now have 51 percent chance of holding the
Senate. This one was from the "Washington Post" election forecasting
system, but there were others like it too this week. For most of this
year, these forecasters have been saying that Republicans are favored to
gain the six seats they need, if they`re going to win control of the U.S.
Senate this fall. But this week, that math seemed to flip. And now
suddenly those forecasters are saying the Democrats are favored. Very,
very slightly. But still favored. So, that was the good news for
Democrats this week. And then came these numbers. This is from Colorado.
A new poll that puts Democratic incumbent Mark Udall eight points behind
his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner. And the second new poll shows a
little closer, but still shows Gardner ahead by a point.
Still, this is a state that Democrats have been favored to win all year.
Colorado. It was supposed to be a bonus for Republicans if they could pick
it off. Colorado is a state that has been getting bluer. It`s becoming
more diverse. It voted twice for Obama. It`s supposed to represent the
future of the Democratic Party. Udall is supposed to win reelection this
year. Even if it is a little close, he is supposed to win. So, what`s
going on here? How is that in the same week that those national forecasts
suddenly show Democrats gaining strength in the battle for control of the
Senate, but the race in Colorado, of all states, all of a sudden seems to
be taking a turn towards the GOP? Are the polls we are seeing flawed, are
they outliers? The real clear politics average of all the polls in
Colorado still shows Udall ahead, although barely. By less than a point.
So, is something else going on here? We`ve talked a lot about Kansas
lately. It`s a Senate race where the Republican incumbent suddenly could
actually lose. And maybe cost the Republicans their chance of controlling
The Democrats haven`t been expecting to lose Colorado. So, what is going
on here? To discuss Colorado, some of the other big races, I`m joined by
our numbers guru Nate Cohn. He covers elections and polling to the upshot
at "The New York Times" and he joins us now from Washington. So, Nate,
Colorado, I think we all can say this is going to be - it will be a close
race this year, but this is one, and unless it`s a big Republican wave,
Democrats should be winning. We look at these polls this week, is this
just a statistical noise or is something happening here?
NATE COHN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think it may just be noise. I don`t know
anyone that thinks that Udall is down by anywhere near eight points. I
think that if you take out the best poll for Mr. Gardner and take out the
best poll for Udall, you`ll find that Udall is ahead by a slight margin.
There are high quality polls that show Udall with a lead still, there is
NBC Marist poll a couple of weeks ago that showed him up six points. There
was a Survey USA poll that showed him up four points, the CBS New York
Times Hugo poll. Also, it showed him up four points. I think that when
you look at the balance of evidence, the best argument is that Udall still
has the lead. Now, it is close and there are going to be pools in such a
close race that occasionally show Gardner with an advantage. But one
Quinnipiac poll, I don`t think would be enough for me to change that
characterization. If that`s followed up with additional pulls that show
Gardner with the modest lead, and I think it will be time for reassessment.
But in the interim, I think that the fairest interpretation of the data is
a slight Udall advantage, which is where it has been all year.
KORNACKI: So, what happened this week in the bigger picture then? Because
we put that "Washington Post" headline up there, Democrats now the 51
percent chance. They are saying - I think people are hearing a lot of
these numbers thrown around. Oh, it`s a 42 percent chance, now, it`s a 58
percent chance and all of these different forecasters and all of these
different models out there. The one thing that there seem to be some
consensus on this week was it moved slightly in the Democratic direction.
That headline there being sort of indicative of that. What happened to
make that happen?
COHN: I think the first thing to keep in mind is, it is really close. I
mean the difference between 58 percent Republican advantage and the 51
percent Democratic advantage is very little. If it`s helpful to imagine,
you know, one of these nice little probability curves, when you get near
the center of that curve, even a little bit of movement on either side can
make a very substantial difference in the percent chance. So, we`re
talking about just any time a new poll comes out in one of these close
races, you can generate a couple of points of movement. And that Colorado
poll, for instance, is worse a couple points to the Republicans, even
though it`s probably an outliner, because the national contests are so
close. I think that two things have really helped Republican - helped the
Democrats since earlier this summer. One is that in a couple of blue
states like Michigan and maybe including Colorado, the Democrats seem to
have consolidated their position.
Earlier this year, it looked like the Republicans had a real shot there. I
don`t think that`s so true in Michigan any more. I think that the
consistent advantage for Mr. Udall, this Quinnipiac poll notwithstanding,
suggests that the Democrats still have an advantage there. And that
advantage gets more - gets more solid as the election approaches. The
second thing that`s happened is North Carolina. You know, earlier this
year when you are trying to figure out the sixth seat for the Republicans,
North Carolina was the obvious answer. But you know what, for whatever
reason, and we can talk about that, if you want. Kay Hagan has a clear
lead. She leads in all the polls over the last month by three to ten
percentage points. I don`t think anyone would have saw that coming in
April. That essentially allowed Democrats to begin to block the most
obvious Republican raft (ph) at 16. And then the third thing is Kansas
where now suddenly you can say, OK, even if the Democrats do lose Iowa or
Colorado or the Republicans now come back in North Carolina or they get
lucky in Alaska, there`s this new way that the Democrats can avoid -- can
avoid losing that sixth seat and, therefore, losing.
KORNACKI: When you think ahead to election night, I know obviously a lot
can change between now and then. But I think people looking at all of
these competitive races around the country. Is there one that you would
look at, at least from this advantage point right now, that you would look
at and say, hey, this is the one on election night, this is the one I think
is the tipping point. How this state goes, that`s going to tell you what
kind of night it is for these two parties.
COHN: I think the answer for that is Iowa. Iowa on paper has always been
the most obvious bellwether of the year. It is an open contest, there is
no incumbent, it is an extremely competitive state in presidential
elections that always votes near the national average. If this is going to
- it`s a state where the Republicans, although they didn`t - were not
initially expecting to nominate a good candidate. They found a decent one
in Joni Ernst. If the Republicans are going to have a good night, it ought
to include Iowa. If it doesn`t include Iowa, then I think we start to talk
about why aren`t the Republicans winning a state like Iowa in a good year.
And Iowa is a state that if the Republicans win and if they can hold
Kansas, then they`ll probably get a majority because I have long believed
that the Republicans were clear favorites in Arkansas and Louisiana and in
addition to those three Democratic open seats in red states, South Dakota,
West Virginia and Montana. So, if Iowa goes to Republicans and the
Republicans also come back in Kansas, then I think that that`s - that would
be the easiest way to see the evening going right now.
KORNACKI: All right, the Iowa caucus for president. That`s Tom Harkin
steak fry last week. Iowa gets plenty of attention for politics for the
small state in the U.S. Anyway, my thanks to Nate Cohn and "The New York
Times" from the op shop for joining us this morning. I really appreciate
A congressman who is under federal indictment and who is leading in the
polls. That`s next.
KORNACKI: The congressman who earlier this year appeared to threaten the
life of a reporter is now fighting for his own political life. This was
the scene caught on camera back in January.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven`t had a chance to kind of talk about some
REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R) NEW YORK: (INAUDIBLE) about anything that`s off
topic. This is only about the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what about ...
All right, so Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of
the allegations concerning his campaign finances. We wanted to get him on
camera on that, but he, as you saw, refused to talk about that. Back to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?
GRIMM: (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Three months after that, the Staten Island Republican found
himself in more hot water, this time a 20-count federal indictment. Former
Marine and FBI agent is facing charges of fraud, tax evasion and perjury
related to a restaurant he owned before he took office in 2010. Grimm has
pled not guilty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMM: I stand before you with humility, but still proud. I know who I am
and I know what I have done for this country. For almost 20 years now. I
know I`m a moral man, a man of integrity and I also know that I have a lot
more service and leadership to provide this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Obviously, Grimm is innocent until proven guilty and he is going
to have his day in court in December. But before then, he is going to have
to face the voters. That`s only six weeks from now in November. The new
poll this week shows that Grimm, the embattled congressman, is actually
doing better than you might expect. He is up four points over his
Democratic challenger, Domenic Recchia. Basically a statistical toss-up.
And in an article this week about how well many "Bad boys of Congress" are
doing in the polls this year. According to that article, quote,
"strategists from both parties tell Politico that Grimm`s unapologetic and
hard-charging public image is very much in sync with the gritty style of
his New York City district. His New York City district is basically Staten
Island and a small slice of Brooklyn. So, how in sync with Grimm - is
Grimm with the people on Staten Island? They call it the forgotten borough
here in New York sometimes. To find out I traveled across New York harbor
in a big, orange boat. Otherwise known as the Staten Island ferry to ask
Grimm`s constituents what they have to say about him in their own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I say the name Michael Grimm what do you think of him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard-working politician who has been tainted by
KORNACKI: What do you think of Michael Grimm?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like Michael Grimm. I think he`s - I think he`s
professional. I think he`s well-spoken and I think he is a good advocate
for Staten Island.
KORNACKI: Is there a lot of personal loyalty to Michael Grimm among voters
on Staten Island?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there`s a lot of personal loyalty to the
party, to the Republican Party. And I think that that`s why people, even
if they have doubts about him, you know, you call it holding your nose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m a trial lawyer and the indictment itself doesn`t
really mean hell of a lot.
KORNACKI: People are assuming guilt when he hasn`t had trial yet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, of course. Yeah.
KORNACKI: A lot of people are saying, well, it`s kind of interesting -
particularly in Staten Island they`re sticking by this guy. Is there ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he`s doing - they stand out. I mean not
precisely the so called corruption, people are getting their services and I
mean I`m happy to - getting into places and getting in and out. Quickly,
not like Brooklyn or Bronx.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s done some good things, but at the same time, I
just, I`m basically, I feel there is something to be said about that
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He does what a lot of politicians end up doing, but
he managed to get caught, which means he is dumb.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Mike. I`m from Oakwood. And as far as
Michael Grimm`s concerned, the people had your back and you let us down,
your (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The unvarnished opinion there of some of Michael Grimm`s
constituents about their embattled congressman. Joining me now in the
studio is Michael Scotto, he is the New York One Capitol Hill reporter.
He`s also reporter who in that video you saw Michael Grimm threatening.
Mike, thank you for taking a few minutes to join us this morning. So,
yeah, what I learned from my trip to Staten Island was check the weather.
Because I was that jacket. And I didn`t - to do with it, it was like 90
degrees out. So, that was uncomfortable. Anyway, what I also learned is
there are people out there who are standing by Michael Grimm and I think
that poll as we put there surprised a lot of people. Do you think despite
all this, he could actually win this November?
MICHAEL SCOTTO, NYI CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: I think so, but actually that
poll, I think the national narrative, prior to that poll was that this was
a seat that the Democrats had a really good shot of picking up. This poll
shows that perhaps that might be the case. It`s a toss-up. But Grimm is
not doing as well as I thought he would be. Because people on Staten
Island thought, and I assumed they were going to stand by him. But this
poll shows, it`s a statistical tie essentially. It`s a toss-up.
KORNACKI: You thought they were going to ...
SCOTTO: I thought he would be doing better in the poll.
KORNACKI: So, why is that? What is it about - so I mean like for people
who don`t know New York that well, I mean it`s - you get the five boroughs
and Staten Island is this one sort of, and we think of New York as the
Democratic bastion, but Staten Island is like the red borough of New York,
it`s the Republican borough.
SCOTTO: It is. But to be fair or to be perfectly clear, the Democrats
have an enrollment advantage on Staten Island. But yeah, it`s the
forgotten borough. He`s from Staten Island. People I think like his
image, not to be pejorative about it, but he kind of personifies Staten
Island. He`s a tough guy, he`s honest, he speaks the truth and I think his
constituents liked that. So I thought he would be doing better in this
poll. And you look at the poll. He`s in only 44 percent, he`s below 50
percent. His unfavorable rating is around 50 percent and there`s only
about 12 percent of the people who were polled in a - surveyed in that poll
who were undecided. And, you know, judging from the past, it`s likely
those 12 percent, they might go with the challenger.
KORNACKI: Because one of the people we showed in that video there, she
talked about Staten Island sort of as the forgotten borough. And when I
picked up talking to a bunch of people out there, that that notion, this
idea a lot of people on Staten Island, it seems to me have a chip on their
shoulder. They feel overlooked by the rest of the city, they feel - it is
smallest borough, certainly, by far in terms of population, and it raises
the question to me, I wonder, if a lot of the attention he`s getting in a
way with certain voters out there helps him in that it is sort of like he`s
- the same people that overlook us that ignore us in their minds are
turning on him. We sort of have a common enemy here.
SCOTTO: Exactly. I think they feel that the establishment is against him.
And you`ve seen that in Michael Grimm`s attacks on his opponent. He`s
saying, you know, if you elect Domenic Recchia, his opponent, you`re going
to be supporting Nancy Pelosi. You`re going to be supporting Bill de
Blasio who is absolutely disliked out in that borough. He has like 25
percent approval rating. And, you know, you are going to see I think over
the next few weeks as Grimm tries to define Domenic Recchia, he is going to
attach those - he`s going to attach Recchia to those establishment figures
and he`s also going to attach Recchia to some of the unpopular votes that
he had to take while he was a member of the city council. That Staten
Islanders didn`t like.
KORNACKI: I`m just going to ask you, a few seconds left here. But I mean
you played that video - and you might be sick of seeing that video by now.
SCOTTO: I am.
KORNACKI: I guess.
KORNACKI: So, I apologize in advance for asking, but I think people watch
it, and they ask, it`s been a few months. What happened after that? Did
you ever hear from him again? Or ...
SCOTTO: He apologized to me. We never went out for lunch. No, I`ve
covered him at some press conferences. I haven`t interviewed him. But
yeah, I mean I cover him when I have to cover him.
KORNACKI: Yeah, well, OK, and six weeks left, this is something certainly
to cover. This is the closest race. Both parties nationally - are keeping
a close eye. And my thank to New York 1 Capitol Hill reporter. Michael
Scotto, I appreciate you are joining us this morning.
And some very good news for President Obama and Democrats this week on
health care and maybe some not so good news. We`ll give you both sides of
it, that`s straight ahead.
KORNACKI: Not one, but two pieces of good news for Obamacare this week.
On Thursday, the administration announced that 7.3 million people have paid
for health care policies in the new federal and state exchanges. That
number is actually 1.3 million more than the Congressional Budget Office
forecast would be covered on the exchanges this year. And earlier in the
week, we also learned the number of uninsured Americans fell by eight
percent over the past year down to the lowest levels since the 1990s. So,
all in all, pretty good week for the president`s health care plan, at least
in terms of its implementation. It leaves us worlds away from
healthcare.gov horrible role out a year ago. When Obamacare was a
lightning rod for Republicans and still an issue playing out in this year`s
midterms but as Politico put it recently, it`s going from game changer to
background noise. Republicans are slowly backing away from it as their
cause celeb on the campaign trail. But it`s also not providing the big
electoral windfall for Democrats that some predicted it would. So, why is
that? What is next for the politics of health reform? For more on that,
let`s bring in Carrie Sheffield, she`s a contributing editor to "Forbes,"
April Ryan the White House correspondent from "New York and Urban Radio
Networks" and Beth Fouhy, MSNBC senior editor, back at the table with us.
So, Carrie, I`ll start with you. Sort of from the conservative side of
this. I mean we think back to 2010 and there wasn`t a Republican candidate
in the country who wasn`t running primarily on, oh, my god, we have to get
rid of Obamacare and Republicans - so, this is why they took back the House
and did so well in the Senate that year. I`m not seeing ads this year from
Republicans saying I want to repeal Obamacare in these close races.
It seems like this issue has lost its steam on the Republican side.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, FORBES: Well, as far as the repeal and replace, it is
true that Kaiser came out with a poll showing by a two to one margin, 63 to
33 or so, people don`t want to repeal Obamacare. So, it is - it is the law
of the land. We have the Supreme Court ruling. I think in fact this law
has never had more people who are in favor of it than were against it. So,
real clear politics has done tracking on this ever since the Ford (ph) law
was even passed, when it was - I mean Harry Reid - the entire time, self-
consumption, there`s never been more people who favored this law than
KORNACKI: Doesn`t that - so, that speaks to something. I think when we
get to the politics of that, which is - the concept of Obamacare because it
has the name of the president and it`s Obamacare. What it ends up being
when you poll Obamacare, is you`re polling what you think of Obama. But
when you start talking ab out repealing it, as you say, to actually
advocate that, means ...
SM: Some unpopular things.
SHEFFIELD: No, I think it`s interesting. I think there is a difference
between the law as a whole, versus specific aspects. So, for example, in
Arkansas. We had Mark Pryor running an ad being very much in favor of -
you cannot deny health care based on pre-existing conditions. That is
incredibly popular. But that`s just one aspect of the law. So, taken as
an aggregate, the law is unpopular, but you might have some other things.
I, personally, like the fact that the law cannot discriminate mental health
care versus physical health care. I think that`s wonderful. . I think
there are a lot of aspects individually that people might want, but taken
as a whole, some other things are not very popular. For example, the
medical device tax, the 30-hour employer mandate, and that sort of thing.
KORNACKI: Yeah, so that gets to the other side of it, too, April. So, for
Democrats, I`m saying, I`m not seeing many Republicans or any Republicans
who are running on repeal in these battleground states this year to the
extent I`m hearing Democrats talking about it. It`s sort of the same
thing. As Carrie says, they are talking about specific benefits and
specific aspects of the law, but you don`t have Democrats up there saying,
yes, I voted for Obamacare. So, it hasn`t reached the level where the
concept of Obamacare has gained new acceptance, it seems.
RYAN: Well, the concept has gained acceptance among the people. But
Democrats know that Republicans poison the well even before, let`s call it
what it is, the original name, the Affordable Care Act. Which is now known
as Obamacare. Obama says he cares, yes.
RYAN: But, actually, what happened is the fact that Republicans poison the
well with this before it even became law. So, then you had that hanging
over its head. And then the other albatross around the Affordable Care
Act`s neck was the fact that the website just didn`t work. The first 30
days were horrific for the administration. So, they don`t want to get into
all of that. But I`m interested to see how the next roll out for open
enrollment happens come November 15. And this White House has already
dispersed, what is it, the organization, QSSI that helped fix the first
website. They`re going to start in October. October 15TH. Starting to
work out the kinks before anything goes out on the website, again.
KORNACKI: Where do you - so, Beth, where do you see the politics of this
right now? We`re six weeks away from the midterm election. Obamacare, how
do you see it helping or hurting either party this November? Does it have
FOUHY: Well, and what`s really ironic is that in places in tight Senate
races including Arkansas and Kentucky, the Obamacare roll out actually has
been fantastic. The states adopted the Affordable Care Act, one called it
FOUHY: Democratic governors in Republican states. They managed to kind of
present it in a way that was palatable to those more conservative voters
and talk about why would you give up this money? If we give up the money
that the federal government is giving us to implement this health plan,
it`s just going to go somewhere else. That was a very - that was a very
smart strategy. So, you`ve got these exchanges working very well in
Arkansas and Kentucky. You have two very close Senate races in both places
and it`s causing a really interesting sort of shift in dynamic. You have
got Mitch McConnell who is, yes, he wants to get rid of Obamacare, but he
doesn`t want to get rid of what is going on in his state. Mark Pryor to
some degree can take him - stand on the back of what is going on in
Arkansas, and saying, see, it actually works. But ultimately I think I
would have to say that you guys are right. That even though some people
are benefiting very much by this law and getting health care when they
never had it before, the people who really hate it are the ones who are
more motivated to vote. And so ultimately, they are going to be the ones
who are going to decide.
KORNACKI: And the other thing that has fascinated me from the very
beginning with this. Is there`s this gray area of existence. I think it
was "The New York Times" this week that went down to Kentucky, one of the
states you`re talking about, Beth, and found a voter who through that stat,
through exchange, that was created in that state, through the Medicate
expansion that was created in this state has health care now that she finds
very affordable, very satisfactory, she says she loves it. Then the next
question, what do you think of Obamacare? She hates it.
KORNACKI: So, it`s just - that - it - that seems to me that is what`s
always been different about this compared to like Medicare. People just
always know what Medicare is. You like Medicare and you know what the
benefits are. Here, you can like the benefits without knowing where they
are coming from necessarily.
SHEFFIELD: I think a problem for a lot of conservatives is the results.
So, in Oregon there`s the - gold standard study here that said, what
happens when we give Medicaid to people who didn`t have it. There is no
results differential in terms of the outcome of the quality of life that
they had, compared to someone who didn`t have health insurance. So, I
think for a lot of people, it`s a taxpayer issue and the thing, we`re going
to be shelling out billions and trillions of dollars for something with
nothing to show for it. And I think that`s a big question mark for a lot
RYAN: But Steve, you know, I think there`s a more interesting dynamic
here. In Kentucky, a state that has really benefitted from their exchange
and states that have had exchanges have done better than the states that
went through the website. The Kentuckians do not believe that their
exchange is Obamacare. So, it`s a mindset. And, so, Kentucky that has
Appalachian, some of the poorest in this nation, they benefited so much
through the expansion of Medicaid. So, it`s interesting that the mindset,
the concept in that state that, OK, we are great. We have this insurance,
but we didn`t get it through Obama.
KORNACKI: That is fascinating. We have got to squeeze a break in here,
but I want to talk about the longer term implications in terms of exactly
what you are talking about there, in terms of health care, Obamacare,
Affordable Care Act, we are going to call it, as an issue and how we`re
going to think about it five years, ten years, and 20 years from now. When
you think about the social safety net and some of these other programs.
We`ll pick that up, when we come back.
KORNACKI: Back talking about the politics of Obamacare. I just -
something that sticks - that has always stuck in my mind about this, is
back in 1993 when the Clinton administration was trying to do health care
reform and its own Bill Kristol, conservative Bill Kristol put this famous
memo together where he told Republicans, you have oppose it, you just have
to kill it and not let it happen. And his rationale was political. He
said that if you let this go through, you will have allowed the Democratic
administration to provide this new benefit that millions of people will
enjoy and you will then have created millions of new Democratic voters.
And that was sort of the political fear for Republicans then and even as
Obamacare was going through. It does strike me, Beth, though, as we are
talking about how people think about this and don`t necessarily recognize
that this is Obamacare.
KORNACKI: I don`t know that millions of new voters were ever going to
materialize, even if this works.
FOUHY: Yeah, we`re not quite seeing that, are we? We still have that, you
know, that Kentucky woman in the "New York Times" saying she loves her
health plan, but she is the Republican, she is going to vote Republicans
hence forth. Let`s remember, I mean the creation of new entitlements has
always been controversial. I mean when Medicare and Medicaid went through
in the `60s it took a long time for the states to even embrace that. And
then once they did, the idea is, how could they ever go back? And I think
that`s fundamentally the fear that Republicans had, is that this is
creating a new, a very expensive entitlement. That people, once they have
it, of course they are never going to want to lose. It is a vital thing
for families to have affordable health care. And Republicans know, once
families have that they are not going to want to - they are not going to
want to lose it. Does that make them Republican voters? I mean Democratic
voters? I don`t think necessarily.
SHEFFIELD: Well, going back to the history, so I covered Medicare part D
roll out, and Republicans were hoping that this would be - we are going to
get the seniors in our pocket, Tom DeLay said they were just hoping that
this would be the new constituency because it`s expanding prescription drug
coverage. That did not happen either. And frankly, health care in
general, so when I cover health care, for "The Hill" newspaper, I was
really excited and I was - and thought this would be a major issue. Health
care will be a major issue. No, it ended up being a rock. And so, it`s
the same thing here with health care, I mean it`s number five according to
Gallup in terms of the national priorities, and the poll taken pre-ISIS, so
we could see national security even bumping it down to number six. So,
health care just doesn`t ...
KORNACKI: Very quickly, April, your final thoughts.
RYAN: Final thought on this is that those who had affordable care
insurance from the website, from the first open enrollment, if they`re
expecting the White House is expecting those people who had lower premiums,
but had higher deductibles to go back in November to get new insurance,
because the deductibles were too high, so you are going to see people who
had old insurance from the first open enrollment go back and try to
navigate and get something cheaper.
KORNACKI: That`s another thing to keep an eye.
And what should we know for the week ahead, back with the panel, our
answers right after this.
KORNACKI: Net Reznikoff, our MSNBC reporter on the scene of today`s
climate march in New York City is sending back pictures of people beginning
to mobilize for today`s events. Climate activist Bill McCibben has tweeted
this photo of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont getting ready to march this
morning. We will be covering that March here on MSNBC throughout the day.
Not only when it starts, we`ll also be covering its implications and its
aftermath. And the time that we have left on today`s show is that time
that we find out what are the things we should know going ahead for the
week, for the month, for the year, whatever. Carrie, we`ll start with you.
SHEFFIELD: So, we have got some important figures that are going to be
coming out this week. It could play into the campaign trail. If there are
big fluctuations either way, so we are going to get the jobless claims, we
are going to get the adjusted GDP figures and we are also going to have the
housing starts and existing sales. So, we`ll see if that - it turns out to
be a talking point.
KORNACKI: This is an exciting - if you lodge statistics.
RYAN: Saturday night President Obama makes his fifth address to the
Congressional Black Caucus annual dinner at the Phoenix Awards. I would
expect, I don`t know yet, but I would expect continual themes of ISIS, the
economy, which is number one for this country, also Obamacare, he cares,
and also the possibilities of talking about Ferguson, which is still a big
issue for them at the White House.
KORNACKI: All right, and Beth?
FOUHY: Clinton Global Initiative, CGI, the famous annual event. That the
Clinton foundation does in concert with the U.N. General Assembly, this is
going to be - the Clinton team at it`s best. It`s going to be Bill, always
entertaining, Hillary, sounding more and more like a candidate, Chelsea
getting ready to give birth, literally any day, and then this cast of
celebrities that always shows up at this thing, Bono, Bill Gates, Barbra
FOUHY: It is another big Clinton extravaganza.
KORNACKI: Well, when you - when you say Clinton Global Initiative, I know
I think of the U.N. because the U.N. meets every week this year. And when
I think of the U.N. I think because I look at New York, I`ve got to add
north 30 minutes to my commute. So, that`s what I know for the weekend.
KORNACKI: It`s going to take a while to get through that traffic. Anyway,
thank MSNBC`s Beth Fouhy for joining us, American Urban Radio Networks,
April Ryan, Carrie Sheffield from "Forbes." Thanks for getting up this
morning. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for getting up this morning.
We`ll be back next weekend, Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. Eastern time.
Coming up next, it`s "Melissa Harris-Perry." On today`s MHP, North
Carolina in the vote that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, and
debate over what some see as the last form of socially acceptable form of
domestic violence, and Roxie and Gay comes to Nerdland, it is a packed
show. Stick around for it, Melissa is next, that`s Melissa Harris-Perry
next on MSNBC. We`ll see you next week here on "UP."
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