'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, September 28th, 2014
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UP with STEVE KORNACKI
September 28, 2014
Guest: Wesley Lowery, Lynn Sweet, Robert George, Patrick Murphy, Perry
Bacon Jr., Maria Chappelle-Nadal, John Yarmuth, Ann Gearan, EJ Dionne,
Steve Giegerich, Carrie Johnson, Adolfo Franco, Katherine Mangu-Ward
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: A police officer shot in Ferguson.
Good morning, and thanks for getting up with us. The search is under way
at this hour in Ferguson, Missouri, for two suspects. And authorities say
one of the men shot a police officer last night at around 9:00 p.m. This
is what officials say happened. The police officer approached the two
young men, these men ran away and then they fired on the officer as he
tried to pursue them. The officer was shot in the arm. He is expected to
live. They were called at the St. Louis suburb. Ferguson has been the
scene of racial unrest and huge protests ever since young African American
man named Michael Brown was shot and killed last month by a white police
officer named Darren Wilson. The St. Louis County grand jury is now
hearing evidence about that incident and deciding whether to bring charges
against Officer Wilson. And to many in Ferguson, Missouri, that process
can`t move fast enough. The protest in Ferguson appeared to wane in recent
weeks, but earlier this week, Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson issued a
videotaped apology to the community to protesters and also to Brown`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE CHIEF: I want to say this to the Brown
family. No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand
what you`re feeling. I`m truly sorry for the loss of your son. I`m also
sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street. The time
that it took involved very important work on the part of investigators who
are trying to collect evidence and gain a true picture of what happened
that day. But it was just too long. And I`m truly sorry for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Brown`s parents told the Associated Press yesterday that they
were unmoved by that apology. His father said that instead of an apology,
he would like to see the officer who shot his son arrested. And in
response to questions by an AP reporter Brown`s mother said that Chief
Jackson should be fired. There were two separate protests held in Ferguson
yesterday at the same time of the shooting. It`s important to point out
that neither of them is thought to be related to last night`s shooting.
Also, early on Sunday not far from Ferguson, an off-duty St. Louis City
police officer was injured on Interstate 70 when three suspects fired shots
into his personal vehicle. The police spokeswoman said, and there`s
another variable in all of this, still, on Friday, the U.S. Justice
Department, which is conducting its own investigation of the Brown shooting
urged Ferguson police officers to stop wearing bracelets that show support
for Officer Wilson while they`re on the job. This is a photo from
Instagram that someone in Ferguson took of an officer`s wrist. Civil
rights division letter said that the wearing of those wrist bands, quote,
"itself, is exacerbating an already tense atmosphere between law
enforcement and residents in Ferguson. These bracelets reinforce the very
us versus them mentality that many residents in Ferguson believe exists."
The letter also asked that all officers no longer cover up their name
plates with black tape saying that doing so violates Ferguson police
department policy. The letter said that the Justice Department had made
this request before the story with many moving parts and this morning the
national conversation about what happened in Ferguson, what is happening in
Ferguson and what should happen in Ferguson continues and right now I want
to bring in "Washington Post" reporter Wesley Lowery who spent a lot of
time on the ground in Ferguson the past two months covering Michael Brown`s
death and the protests as well.
So, Wesley, you know, we have the news of the officer being shot in
Ferguson last night and also there is apparently the separate incident in
St. Louis County. It appears what we`re reading at least in the news here
is neither seems related to these protests and neither seems at all related
to Michael Brown`s story. Is that your understanding from your reporting?
WESLEY LOWERY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yeah, that`s my understanding as well.
Speaking with law enforcement officials down there as well, some community
leaders, that neither of the shootings is believed to be in any way related
to the protests, which are still ongoing and nightly down in Ferguson. In
some ways it`s reminiscent of one of the first few nights following the
Michael Brown shooting. There was an evening where there were two
shootings that happened as well. The police shot one suspect after an
altercation and then there was a shooting of a young woman. Both of those
things were relatively unrelated to the protests. But, again, it raises a
flag if only because tensions are still so high, especially between police
and protesters and residents right now, that any type of violent
interaction between residents and protesters and the police could spark a
new round of tear gas, and a new round of clashes and potentially more
violence. So, obviously, it`s something everyone is watching very closely
for those reasons.
KORNACKI: Yeah, and can you give us a sense, I mean for people who
obviously, a few weeks ago, a month ago, if you turn on television the only
thing you were seeing is Ferguson, I think, you know, millions of people
around the country got a really good sense of what was going on in this
town. And frankly, to tell you a lot about the geography of the town from
watching all that coverage in the last few weeks, you know, this is what
happens. The world moves on and other things happen and the war breaks out
and I think a lot of people haven`t been following this day-to-day. But as
you say, these protests are still ongoing. What is going on in that
community while the rest of the world has started to look away?
LOWERY: Of course, they are still seeing protests almost daily. At the
same time we are seeing town hall meetings, frequent town hall meetings and
DOJ just did some extensive town hall meetings last week. The city of
Ferguson is down town hall meetings, many of which have been closed to the
But what we`re seeing is we talk to people still in Ferguson as we have
reporters on the ground in Ferguson, the frustration is still there. The
situation remains extremely tense. There`s still the deep distrust between
the police officers and the protesters and the residents. If you remember,
the things people were upset about, whether it was a lack of information, a
lack of arrest of Officer Darren Wilson. Those factors as variables still
exist. There still is no more information and the longer this takes in
some ways the more frustration is building. And so, and what we`re seeing
as these protests continue, arrests are continuing and we have seen a few
kind of community leaders and protest leaders have been arrested, there has
been some clashes between some of the organized protesters and the police
in terms of where they can set up and what they can do. And so, tensions
are still remarkably high in Ferguson and any given night something could
KORNACKI: And very quickly, Wesley, just on that, I know it sounds like we
don`t have a lot of answers here. But do we have a rough sense about the
timetable in terms of when this grand jury might be finished and when there
might be some announcement and whether there is going to be a legal action?
LOWERY: So, prosecutor Bob McCullough told one of my colleagues last week
that he is expecting to be the first or second week of November. So,
either very late October or early November. Initially, the initial
estimate was sometime in October, but then they quickly realized that that
probably was not going to be realistic, especially given the way they are
prosecuting this, which is presenting all of the evidence to the grand
jury, rather than coming to the grand jury and recommending specific
charges. And so, what - what - the guidance we received is that to expect
something some time in very early November in terms of a decision of
whether or not Darren Wilson will be indicted.
KORNACKI: All right. And last night Michael Brown`s family was in
Washington. They were guests at the Congressional Black Caucus
Foundation`s annual awards dinner. Also attending was President Obama and
in his remarks, the president addressed Brown`s death very carefully
weighing in on the widespread mistrust between law enforcement and the
communities they serve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In too many
communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local
residents and law enforcement. Too many young men of color feel targeted
by law enforcement. Guilty of walking while black or driving while black
and judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.
We know that statistically in everything from enforcing drug policy to
applying the death penalty to pulling people over there is significant
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Attorney General Eric Holder was also at that dinner last night.
And it`s his civil rights division of the Justice Department that this week
advised the Ferguson police department and asked officers to stop wearing
those bracelets on the job in support of the officer who shot and killed
Michael Brown and to stop covering up their name plates with black tape.
Eric Holder, excuse me, it`s Eric Holder`s Justice Department that has now
taken on its own investigation of Michael Brown`s death. And here to
discuss all of this, we have Lynn Sweet of "The Chicago Sun-Times", Krystal
Ball, cohost of MSNBC`s "The Cycle," Robert George of "The New York Post."
So, thanks to you for being here.
So, the timing on this is so interesting in that, obviously, it`s terrible
the death of the officer last night may not be related, but it brings to
the surface ...
ROBERT GEORGE, "THE NEW YORK POST": Shooting.
GEORGE: Yes, shooting
KORNACKI: Yeah. OK. I screwed it up there somehow. But anyway, yes,
obviously, a horrible thing. But the timing here, you know, obviously, it
doesn`t appear related, but as Wesley is saying, these protests have been
ongoing and now you have Eric Holder, you know, last night and the
president who have made Ferguson sort of a priority.
LYNN SWEET, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": They have. And I just think that this
videotape so-called apology is going to boomerang. Who does that? You do
not -- I don`t even know if that counts as an apology. Apology is between
people. OK? An apology is if you are a person who usually wears a uniform
or a coat and tie, you dress the part. You don`t look like you were kind
of brought in at the last minute to read something. So, I also think,
don`t underestimate that I think that is going to backfire, too, because it
was - struck me as very disrespectful. If I have done wrong to Steve, I
have to go to you and make it right. You don`t, what would you think if I
sent you a videotape apology? It`s not how people work. Now, having said
that, let me move on. I think it shows how hard these racial issues are
and that President Obama who is winding down a term is in terms of his
legacy, it`s kind of in danger of not having the improvements that I think
he thought he would have had through all these years because, you know,
enough hasn`t changed. Ferguson is still simmering and this shooting,
obviously, didn`t help.
KORNACKI: Yeah, this is something that obviously Eric Holder and we say
and the Justice Department has taken on. One of the things you look at
sort of - we`re talking this week a lot about Eric Holder`s legacy as
attorney general, you know, six years on the job. One of the things the
president has been talking about I think he talked about this last night,
was he was saying, look, the crime rate has fallen about, you know, ten
percent or so while Eric Holder has been attorney general. At the same
time, it was on Eric Holder`s watch that - we have sentencing. There`s
been pretty broad sentencing reform.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST: Right.
KORNACKI: And so he say this, there`s all the idea that, you know, the
only way you bring the crime rate down is to be tougher. Eric Holder has
changed the thinking on that.
BALL: Yeah. That is absolutely right. And I actually disagree a bit with
what you`re saying there, Lynn. Because I think, you know, that moment
when Attorney General Eric Holder went to Ferguson and said not only am I
an attorney general - the attorney general of the United States, I am also
a black man. That was an incredibly important moment and I think the very
fact that the Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation
and that they`ve made it a priority that we`re looking at Ferguson not just
in terms of Ferguson, but in terms of the country. Yes, there are
obviously, still racial tensions and they are apparent in Ferguson. But
the very fact that we`re willing to deal with it, I actually think is an
incredible step forward. So, as we look at the president`s legacy and as
we look at Attorney General Eric Holder`s legacy, I think we have to say,
you know, they made voting rights a priority in a time when the Supreme
Court and others are trying to strip them away. They made sentencing
reform a priority and they made civil rights a priority.
SWEET: And they have done stuff on sentencing.
GEORGE: Yeah, but I mean I think - I think Lynn`s right. I mean, if you
take a look at - if you take a look at polls about whether, whether the
races are closer together or further apart, they seem to suggest that
they`re further apart. And one of the implicit promises, I guess, of the
Obama candidacy in 2008 was this sort of a kind of a reconciliation, if you
will. As a whole idea that post-racial presidency. Now, but the fact is -
but the fact that President Obama single-handedly couldn`t do that, you
know, is surprising. And I think we were a little bit naive to think about
But when you see what`s going on in Ferguson and you also see similar
things are happening in New York City with the Eric Garner, the Eric Garner
death and the fact that somebody as still relatively controversial as Al
Sharpton is still kind of in the middle of that. That sort of kind of
taints the idea of Obama as being, as being a reconciliative figure.
BALL: Well, you know.
GEORGE: Again, It`s not completely on him, but that`s part of it.
BALL: Right. Well, I mean that`s a piece of it. Is that his fault or is
that, you know, a Republican in Congress who from day one said our number
one priority is going to be to stop you at every turn. Right? And a
Congress who is really worked at polarizing the ...
GEORGE: One is a policy, a policy issues and the other is this broader
question, though, of race and the country, which I don`t think you can put
on - solely on the Republicans.
BALL: The things that we`ve seen through the lens of Ferguson is the fact
that whether you are white or whether you are black very much determines
the way that you are viewing racial relations in the country.
BALL: So, in Ferguson, for example, if you ask the African-Americans in
the community, were you surprised at this uprise, were you surprised that
there were these simmering tensions? They said, absolutely not. It was
just a matter of time. If you ask the white folks in the community, they
were completely shocked.
BALL: So, we`ve seen an uncovering here in Ferguson, but I think it`s an
important step forward to be able to have a recognition as a country that
we have an issue, that we need to deal with.
KORNACKI: Lynn, quickly, go ahead.
SWEET: OK. Quickly, I think we`ve known that since O.J. that people see
things quite differently and the point is, is that there is still a divide.
I mean you clearly the Justice Department was on the right track,
revitalizing civil rights, but if you are in a community where policemen
are still putting black tape on your badges after what happened, you all
know the message isn`t getting through.
KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot more to discuss in Ferguson this
morning and a lot more to talk about in the world of politics. We`ll keep
juggling both topics all morning long. So stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As your commander-in-chief I will not commit you and the rest of
our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq. After a decade of
massive ground deployments, it is more effective to use our unique
capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can secure their
own countries` futures. And that`s the only solution that will succeed
over the long term.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was President Obama earlier this month assuring the nation
that there will be no boots on the ground in Iraq. He`s also ruled out
ground troops in Syria. Last night, warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition
carried out airstrikes near the Syrian city of Kobani that`s been overrun
by ISIS fighters. As the president assured Americans, so far there have
been no ground troops deployed. We`re learning this morning that most
Americans don`t believe the president when he says that. This is a brand-
new poll from NBC News and "The Wall Street Journal." Here are the results
right now. No one has reported this before now. But it shows that 72
percent of those surveyed by NBC and its partners say they think the U.S.
will end up using ground troops to fight ISIS, despite the president`s
assurances. 72 percent.
Opinion was more split as to whether people were in favor of putting those
boots on the ground. 37 percent say they`re against using American ground
troops to go after ISIS, but 45 percent, a plurality, say they`re in favor
of it if, that`s what military commanders have decided is the best course
of action to defeat ISIS. Perry Bacon is the senior political reporter for
NBC News. He joins us now from Washington. We are also joined here in New
York by former congressman Patrick Murphy, Democrat of Pennsylvania and now
an MSNBC host and analyst. He was the first Iraq war veteran to be elected
So, Patrick, let me start with you on this. I mean this refrain, you hear
it from the president all the time, but you hear this from politicians on
both sides of the aisle all the time. You know, we`re so tired of war, we
are so sick of war, absolutely no boots on the ground. And what jumps out
at me here, with these two numbers is that the plurality of Americans say,
no, we`re for under certain circumstances. That`s very surprising to me.
FMR. REP. PATRICK MURPHY, MSNBC HOST AND ANALYST: Yeah, well, the
plurality, but it`s not only 45 percent. I mean it`s not - it`s not the
KORNACKI: What do you think - it`s like ten percent?
MURPHY: Well, listen, I think marking people who have seen two American
journalists been beheaded and the tragedy, what`s going on there. But I
will tell you the facts on the ground are moving so fast with ISIS, that
the fact they are taking ground in Syria, and in Iraq, and we had American
interest, and Americans that were in harm`s way. So that`s why we, you
know, fought and used airstrikes in Irbil. But I will tell you that I
agree with the American people. 72 percent of them are right, Steve. When
we have sent 1,600 troops, American troops into that region, they are going
to be on the ground fighting ISIS. And when those pilots are overseas
doing those airstrikes, they`re in harm`s way. So, you know, the American
people, you can`t --
KORNACKI: Right. You`re saying what`s already been deployed, but I think
what I`m seeing in this pole is, and this is part of the broader discussion
of whether it`s on Obama`s watch or whether it`s on his successor`s watch,
a much more significant and robust commitment of ground forces and it seems
like that is what people are kind of bracing for here.
MURPHY: Right. Because they see what`s going on, they hear our own
military commanders say you can`t just defeat ISIS with airstrikes. So,
we`re sending these advisors in to train up the Kurdish forces in northern
Iraq and we may be sending the troops over in Syria. With the Congress
just approve at least $500 million to do that. I will tell you that the
American people aren`t stupid. They`ve seen this rodeo before. And we`re
gearing up to take the fight to ISIS. Now, do we have five Arab nations,
part of that coalition that`s striking ISIS? Absolutely. But it`s
American military might and our economic and diplomatic power that is
needed to really snuff them out.
KORNACKI: So, Perry, what do you, you know, what do you make of these
numbers? I mean is this the case before these beheadings where do you
think we would have seen massively different numbers here?
PERRY BACON JR., NBC SR. POLITICAL REPORTER: I do. The number of people
who are for ground troops, I thought like you said, it was very striking.
The polarity in that poll for having ground troops considering how war-
wearied people were two or three years ago, I was shocked, man, I think the
beheadings have really changed the poll. That said, the 72percent number
I`m not surprised by at all. Like the Congressman said, the military
commanders have been saying for a while now, ground troops may be needed.
So, even why President Obama has been saying no ground troops, no ground
troops, no ground troops. There`s been a lot of coverage in the papers
because the chairman of joint chiefs said there may be ground troops. And
that`s surprise. And also, Americans do seem, you know, they have seen a
mission creep before, they`ve seen us increase troops in Middle Eastern
countries before. They`ve seen President Bush say one thing and do another
in terms of policy. So, I`m not surprised there is some skepticism about
Obama saying we will not use any ground troops. I do think it is important
to know will we have 100,000 troops in Iraq or Syria any time soon, I still
think the answer is probably no.
KORNACKI: And Perry, though, does this change when you start seeing
polling results like this? When you`re down in D.C. and you`re talking to
members of Congress. Again, everybody - I think every member of Congress
and every politician is so scared of, you know, this country doesn`t want
war and I don`t want to be associated with it. Do these numbers start to
change the sort of political calculations of electoral officials in
BACON: I think they already have. What you saw a couple of weeks ago,
there was a vote about arming the Syrian rebels. I think three years ago
we wouldn`t have a vote at all, about anything - as all the members,
particularly Democrats would have wanted to avoid being on the record in
any kind of way, supporting any kind of military conflict. So, now we`re
to a point where you`re seeing a little bit more openness for a Congressman
to be on the record. You`ve seen some Democrats who say, I want to
actually have a vote on this and some Republicans, too, I want to have a
formal vote to say we just take on ISIS. So, I do think we kind of fear
about for members of Congress that I might vote the wrong way like on Iraq
has went away slightly because of these beheadings and because how serious
and what was happening with ISIS - right now.
KORNACKI: Patrick, I`m just curious, how do you think this is going? So,
we talk day-to-day about the airstrikes here and the airstrikes there.
Yesterday, (INAUDIBLE) to protect the Kurdish population by the Turkish
Syrian border, there is also some activity on sort of the eastern front
where ISIS is basically headquartered. So, these are sort of the latest
incremental developments. But if you take a step back and you look at the
big picture, that goal to degrade and destroy ISIS, how do you think this
is going so far?
MURPHY: I think it`s going well. I mean the fact that we have got five
Arab nations to be in the fight with us is historic, frankly. To go
against, and the international community has rallied against ISIS. They
called them for what they are. They are the network of death, they are
terrorist organization. But they are trying to, unlike al Qaeda, they are
trying to capture land and build up this space, this Islamic State and
these Arab countries are saying, no. What I will say, though, is that
those five Arab nations that are with us in that fight were not with us
last week when we did airstrikes against an al Qaeda affiliated group in
Syria, the Khorasan group. But it is what it is. Against ISIS, I think it
is going pretty well. But just to truly stomp them out we need boots on
the ground. Hopefully, it`s not American boots, but it looks like it`s
going to be.
KORNACKI: And I do want - we`re talking about polling here. We have this
new poll on the U.S. attitudes towards the war with ISIS. I do want to
bring in one other piece of polling news that came overnight. Not related
to this, but this is significant in the world of the politics, this is from
the state of Iowa, key battleground state for control of the U.S. Senate
this year and it shows Joni Ernst, the Republican leading Bruce Braley the
Democrat, 44 to 38. The significance of this poll, I know we always - you
see a lot of different poll numbers floating around there. This is the
"Des Moines Register" poll taken by one of the most reputable pollsters in
the country. This is a woman, Ann Selzer, who the national media looks to
every four years to give the final read out of what`s going to happen in
these caucuses. Her numbers are really considered the gold standard in
Iowa. This broke overnight. This is getting a lot of attention in the
political world this morning. Perry, you talk us to for a minute about the
significance of this race and what you think when you see a poll like this.
BACON: This is really big. See, this is not the only poll that`s shown
Ernst ahead of Bruce Braley. So, you have a series of polls now suggesting
that Iowa is a state where Democrats is really, really hard to see a path
for the Democrats in the Senate that doesn`t involve them winning this
race. And the fact that Braley is behind in several polls, including this
one, tells you that Democrats need to be really worried about losing that
race and therefore losing the Senate because this number has a lot of
Democrats worried, and it should.
KORNACKI: Yeah, and, of course, the sort of the back story here is that
Braley was - had his own 47 percent moment they called it. There was this
videotape of him talking to a group of lawyers and basically disparaging
the idea of Chuck Grassley, a farmer being the chairman of the Judiciary
Committee, saying, you know, you wouldn`t want a farmer doing that. And
the striking thing in this poll is among rural voters in Iowa. Rural
voters, a lot of them farmers or no farmers, Braley is running at 15
percent. That comment is really hurting right here, and hurting Democrats
as they try to control the Senate. That`s the other big polling news this
morning. But for now I want to thank Patrick Murphy for joining us and
Perry. We`ll talk to you a little bit later in this morning. And also, I
want to make sure, everyone knows that another edition of Patrick show
"Taking the Hill" will air this afternoon. Patrick has interviewed Senator
Tim Kaine of Virginia about the Senate`s not just role but responsibility
in authorizing the fight against ISIS. Patrick Murphy`s full interview
with Senator Tim Kaine that airs at 1:00 Eastern Time today on MSNBC. You
are not going to want to miss that. We are also keeping an eye on the last
night`s shooting of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. More on that
in just a moment.
And later, we`ll be joined by one of the few people in Kentucky who knows
what it takes to win office as a Democrat there. How is Democrat Alison
Grimes doing in that big marquise Senate race? We`re going to find out in
just a little bit. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: She`s marched alongside protesters in Ferguson and she`s been an
outspoken advocate for residents upset over the death of Michael Brown.
She`s the state senator who represents them. And Maria Chappelle-Nadal
joins us next.
KORNACKI: All right. More now on the breaking news out of Ferguson,
Missouri, that we have been following all morning. The suspects are still
at large and the manhunt continues after a police officer was shot there
overnight. Police say the men ran away from the officer after he
approached them outside a community center and then one of them opened fire
during the pursuit. The officer was struck in the arm and doctors expect
him to survive. Police do not think this incident was related to the
recent protests over the shooting of teenager Michael Brown last month.
And two more protests were also held last night. Earlier this week,
Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson issued a videotaped apology to Michael
Brown`s family. His father says instead of apologizing, though, Chief
Jackson should just resign. Joining me on the phone right now is Missouri
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Her district includes Ferguson.
Senator, thanks for joining us. If you could just start by letting us know
what it is you`re hearing right now about this shooting overnight and what
the reaction of the community has been so far.
STATE SEN. MARIA CHAPELLE-NADAL (D) MISSOURI: Well, first of all, what I
am hearing is that there were two shootings last evening. One dealing with
the incident that you just mentioned and another at Highway 70 and 170 of
an officer who was off duty in his personal car and not in a uniform. And
so, tensions are very high right now. We are hearing right now that there,
these incidents are not related to the protests. However, there are
protesters who are going to the scenes of these incidents. While the
police officers are trying to investigate these situations, it is very
important that we allow the police officers to do their business and not
get engaged in these situations. The tensions are high, as I stated. And
protesters want to get some resolution and when it comes to the Ferguson
police department, they are not being heard. There is a lack of
communication between the police department and protesters in the greater
community. And, so, we are still in a state of chaos right now in
KORNACKI: Yes, so, I mean we talked about this and we played a little bit
of it earlier in the show. This week there was that videotaped apology
that the police chief Jackson put out, I think it was about four minutes
long. We played a clip from it earlier. We have the reaction from Michael
Brown`s family. I wonder you have been very critical of the official
response. Now that you have seen his videotape apology what, what is your
reaction to that?
CHAPELLE-NADAL: That did not go well in the community. In fact, it even
heightened tensions. So, you`ve seen the apology. And I`m just reflecting
what the community is saying right now. What my constituents are concerned
about, why didn`t the chief apologize after the killing of Michael Brown?
Why did he wait for six weeks? The only resolution right now for this
community is for Chief Jackson to resign. Clearly, that is the only
resolution and he refuses to do so, but, this community has not gotten a
win yet. And they`re concerned about it.
KORNACKI: How, also, we talked earlier in this letter from the Justice
Department advising the Ferguson police department that officers should not
be wearing those bracelets in support of Officer Wilson and also saying
that apparently some might have been blotting out their name I.D.s on their
uniforms. Do you have a sense how wide spread that was, how wide spread it
was among officers there wearing these bracelets? Was that one or two
officers or was this almost a concerted thing?
CHAPELLE-NADAL: Steve, it was actually quite a few officers who are
wearing those bracelets. And that intensified the situation completely.
In fact, every time police officers show up, we are guaranteed to have a
situation that is uncontrollable. When police officers are not around,
protesters are fine. There`s total peace when police officers aren`t
around. But when they come in force, especially when they don`t wear their
badges and then when they have these bracelets on, it intensifies the
entire situation. So, we are not settled down. This community is not
settled at all. And, frankly, it seems as though we have gone back to the
KORNACKI: Well, all right, well, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, I
really appreciate you taking the time this morning. Again, represents
Ferguson in the state Senate of Missouri.
And we`ll be right back to check in on how all of the blue state governors
who`ve been governing as if they represent red states. Scott Walker, Rick
Scott, Rick Snyder, how they`re fairing in their efforts to win re-election
four years later. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: We talk all the time about how different presidential elections
and midterm elections are, how different the voters who show up and vote in
them are. It`s the dynamic that`s created a new political phenomena, and
we`re calling them the blue state Republican governors. Back in 2008 when
Barack Obama won a solid victory over John McCain, he turned a bunch of
states blue, but then two years later when a very different, much more
Republican friendly electorate showed up in the 2010 midterms, a bunch of
those blue Obama states revolted and elected Republican governors and then
in 2012, when it was a presidential election year, again, and when those
Obama voters were back at the polls, those same states went for Obama,
again. They went back to being blue. And so, that leaves us where we are
right now. There are nine states. There are nine states that President
Obama carried twice, but where Republicans also won governors` elections in
2010. That`s nine blue states that have Republican governors right now.
And now in 2014, those nine Republican governors are facing the voters,
again, for the first time since they were elected. They lead blue states,
but they have governed as Republicans.
So, how many of those nine will be punished for doing that? How many of
them will survive and how many have prospered? We thought it`s a good time
to take a look at the GOP`s blue state class of 2010. How are they doing
with the election fast approaching and to help us out with that is Perry
Bacon Jr., senior political reporter for NBC News. He joins us again from
So, here`s I will do the - Perry, we`ve done our best to rank these in
order of the safest of this class of 2010 Republicans in blue states to the
most vulnerable. We`ll run through the list and we`ll get your thoughts on
some of these. Let`s just start with the safest, not much to be said here.
We rank the safest, blue state Republican Governor of Nevada`s Brian
Sandoval. He`s running significantly ahead of his Democratic opponent.
Not a lot of suspension in that race. He looks fine. Also looking pretty
safe, Susanna Martinez in New Mexico. Again, she`s up by double digits.
IF you go up to Iowa, Terry Branstad, this would be his sixth term as
governor if we wins. He`s well positioned, and then you go to Ohio. And
again, this is one where a lot of people thought this would be a close
race. The Democrat is just completely collapsed in this race. John
Kasich, well on course to win this race. This is an interesting one to
pause on, I think, Perry, because a lot of people are looking at the 2016
Republican field and they are saying, boy, it`s missing that establishment
candidate who can kind of unite the donors of the party and it looks
electable and all of that. Boy, Kasich might be making a case for himself
BACON: He is. We know he`s the - already, because he ran for president in
1996 and didn`t do very well. We know that he - in addition to doing that
and what you see, and what you see in the numbers is that he`s moved to the
center. Early on he signed some anti-union legislation and that got him,
and that got him a lot of intense opposition from Democrats. But since
then, he`s moved on the left, to the point where the other day he was
talking about Medicaid expansion. He made his point of Medicaid expansion,
having to do with Obama care which was very misleading. But it tells you,
he is - he knows expanding Medicaid has helped him politically with getting
more Democrats along the way. So, he`s run to the Senate, and that has
been very smart for him.
KORNACKI: Yeah, I know, he had very- early turbulence as governor. He`s
definitely back. Again, the biggest things from the Democrat there.
Again, back to our list here. We`re getting into the territory now where
these are Republican governors who are a lot more vulnerable in those - We
can start in Michigan. Go back to that map, you see Rick Snyder running
for re-election there. This is the real clear politics polling average.
You are seeing all the polls they have taken in that state. They average
them together, that`s what you are seeing in that number right there. And
you see, that`s about 2.5 lead for Snyder over his Democratic opponent Mark
Schauer, very, a very close race there, and you go Wisconsin put in
basically the same category. Scott Walker. we all know the Scott Walker
story. They tried to recall him in 2012. He survived. Running for
reelection is here. Also gets mentioned if 2016 real clear politics says
this race, it has him up by a point and basically did. Even Perry, I know
you`ve done some reporting in Wisconsin earlier, so, Democrats try to take
him out in 2012 and the recall they failed miserably, what are their
prospects looking like right now?
BACON: Looking good. Walker is doing something very striking, which is
the most of these governors in this list have tried to move left in some
way, like Rick Scott in Florida signed the version of the Florida Dream
Act, several of them have expanded Medicaid. Scott Walker is running as an
unabashed conservative, one of his big things in this campaign platform is
to require if you get unemployment benefits, and you have to pass drug
tests first. This is a very controversial idea and one is very much like a
pose by liberals and very strongly supported by conservatives. He is
running at a very strong base campaign to win. But Democrats think they
can win in Wisconsin. Michelle Obama is going to campaign for Mary Burke
tomorrow. There`s talk that the president will go to Wisconsin in October,
because the view is that there really aren`t any swing voters in Wisconsin
left and whoever can drive up their base the most and be the most
polarizing can win that race.
KORNACKI: You go back to the map, you teased this a second ago, but we -
the next most vulnerable Republican, we say, is Rick Scott in Florida. And
I mean, look at this, look at the real clear politics polling average.
Dead even. 42.6 percent for Scott, 42.6 percent for Charlie Crist. Of
course, Crist, former Republican, now running as the Democrat. Perry, I
know, this is the state where Rick Scott`s poll numbers are terrible, but
he has spent a lot of money criticizing Charlie Crist and has gotten some
benefit for that.
BACON: He`s outspent Crist about three to one on television. That`s a big
change. One thing also, in all of these polls, mostly are showing the
Republicans leading. What most of the pollsters assumed is that the
electorate will be much less black and much less Hispanic than in a
presidential year. And that`s what absenting in Florida where the polls
does assume that the race, they`ll like - they`ll go back to a non-Obama
electorate. Crist is very focused on turning out those minority
communities. He`s hired a bunch of people who worked in Obama stuff. So,
the polling in all these races, particularly in Florida, could be off if
somehow the Democrats can change this electorate, the - for me that has
more minorities and more young people and more women in it.
KORNACKI: And we`ll just quickly finish up the list here. The last two
states, you are getting into very vulnerable territory for Republicans.
So, you go to Maine. We all know Paul LePage, Mike Michaud, the - wildcard
there, there was this independent and ran four years ago, nearly won his
running, again, presumably siphoning a lot of the - entire LePage vote, so
that complicates a little bit and then you get to the most vulnerable
endangered, imperiled, picky award, there Republican on the map in a blue
state. That`s Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. And all you can say there,
he`s down 16 points and I haven`t seen too many incumbent governors fall
behind that much, this close to an election and survive.
BACON: Yeah, Republicans have all but conceded Tom Corbett is going to
lose. There`s not a lot of efforts for him. In Maine that race is close
and I think that we`re not sure who is going to win. Joe Biden and Bill
Clinton went up there to campaign for the Democrat and LePage has been
controversial, but at the same time, that race is still close. This is not
over. He`ll be held by the fact that Susan Collins is on the ballot too,
and she`s a very popular Republican in that state. So, that I think, that
race will be closer. But this - it`s likely to see overall, Steve, that
the Democrats are going to lose a lot of seats in the Senate, probably. No
matter what they`re going to lose seats. It`s possible they can gain a lot
of ground in governors` races and I suspect governors in the next two years
will set more policy than senators will because the Senate is so polarized
and the House and the president of a different party.
KORNACKI: Yeah, and that`s part of the story here. You have these
politically volatile states. They vote for Obama one year, they elect
Republicans the other year. And those Republicans do things and now are
going to be judged on them. So, interesting to see how this plays out.
But I want to thank NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon for
joining us this morning. I appreciate that.
Right after the primary back in May, Senator Mitch McConnell and Alison
Grimes were running neck in neck and this looked like the marquis Senate
race in the year. And that he - to unseat the man who would become
majority leader if Republicans take the Senate. So, how is that race
looking now? Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, he joins us live
to tell us next.
KORNACKI: The biggest goal for Democrats this November, by far, is to hang
on to control of the U.S. Senate. But there`s one particular race they
would love to win more than any other on the board. And when there - this
campaign was starting, it looked like they might get their wish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES, (D-KY), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I invite
Kentuckians all across this commonwealth.
GRIMES: Join our campaign together.
GRIMES: We will rid Kentucky of a man who hasn`t worked for us in
Washington. Won`t work for us in Washington and replace him with a fighter
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And that, of course, is Alison Lundergan Grimes making her
victory speech on primary night back in May. And serving notice on the
spot that she was rearing to give the top Republican in the U.S. Senate
Mitch McConnell the run of his life. Back then polls show the two running
dead even. Democrats were licking their chops. It was McConnell, of
course, who famously declared that his chief goal was to deny Obama a
second term. It`s McConnell who has shattered all previous records in his
filibustering, obstructing and delaying President Obama`s agenda. But now,
here, finally, looked like it was the Democrats` chance to knock him out.
And to do it in his own backyard to keep McConnell from ever reaching his
dream of becoming Senate majority leader.
But now, just over a month before the big day, this is a race that looks
like it is slipping away from Democrats. McConnell has opened up a steady
lead in the mid to high single digits over Grimes, he hasn`t put her away
completely, but he`s definitely put some distance in this race. The "New
York Times" upshot model gives McConnell a 93 percent chance of winning
now. Grimes, of course, isn`t giving off of anything, she`s trying even
harder to make the state`s many conservative rural voters feel comfortable
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMES: I`m not Barack Obama. I disagree with him on guns, coal and the
EPA. And, Mitch, that`s not how you hold a gun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Kentucky is a tough state for a Democrat to win. Especially in
the midterm year like this. So, this was always going to be an uphill
climb for Grimes. But it`s one that Democrats were really believing they
had a shot at and one that they dearly would love to win. So, how has
Grimes fallen behind and can she get back into this and, if so, how?
Joining me to discuss now, we have Democratic congressman John Yarmuth from
Kentucky`s third district. Congressman, thanks for taking a few minutes
this morning. So, what can Alison Grimes do between now and November to
turn those polls around?
REP. JOHN YARMUTH, (D) KENTUCKY: Well, first of all, I was with her
campaign on Friday and was talking to the campaign manager and they are
doing nightly tracking polls across Kentucky. She`s actually, virtually
tied. Or actually, she is a couple of points ahead in some of the tracking
KORNACKI: Those are the internal polls, right? They are always ....
YARMUTH: These are the internal polls. These are the internal polls.
But, you know, in a midterm election, as you said, the whole key is who
comes out to vote. And they have a model where they`re tracking the most
likely voters, the people who voted consistently over the last few years
and they`re ahead with that group. So, I think, you know, the push button
polls, the automated polls are probably not capturing the dynamics that are
going on with voter turnout. But, you know, I think Alison`s challenge
over the next few weeks the people of Kentucky have decided that they don`t
want Mitch McConnell any more. His disapproval rating is 60 percent, 63
percent in a recent CNN poll, ORC. And so, they`ve decided they`re
finished with him. Alison hasn`t closed the deal with a number of people
who want to replace Mitch and I think that is her challenge over the next
six weeks. She knows that`s what she has to do and she has got a very,
very solid plan for doing that. So, this race is by far from over. I`ll
spare you all the Kentucky Derby metaphors. But we are in the home stretch
and she`s got a great chance to win.
KORNACKI: Right. So, oh, you`re saying she`s a closer. I should point
out one of the polls, though, you know, one of the polls here that has her
down, it has her down eight points. It`s our own NBC Marist polls. We
certainly stand by their work. So, I want to point that out. But one of
the things I hear when I talk to people in Kentucky has been that there
might have been a miscalculation on the part of Grimes about the nature of
this race. You say the high negatives for McConnell been around for 30
years and all that. People I`ve talked to in Kentucky, though, have said
she tried too hard to make this a negative message about McConnell and that
in so doing, nobody really knows much about her. Is there anything to
YARMUTH: Well, I think there is with a lot of voters, that is the case.
As I said with a lot of voters, she hasn`t closed the deal yet. But
they`re waiting and they`re looking for, there`s a very, very important
debate, actually, the only debate that Mitch McConnell has been willing to
have with Alison on October 13. I think it`s going to be a very, very
critical night, particularly for those voters who don`t want to go out and
vote for Mitch. And, so, again, she`s got time to make up whatever
difference there is, if, in fact, there is a difference. But we here, you
know, in Louisville and in my district, I`ll guarantee you the energy is
very, very high. The turnout is going to be very, very high. Mitch
McConnell is going to be rejected resoundingly here and if we can come out
with a 60 percent turnout, which is what we are working for, she`ll come
out of Louisville with a margin that Mitch is going to have a hard time
overcoming. So, it`s all going to be about getting out the vote and she
has an unprecedented organization for that.
KORNACKI: And the other thing that strikes me, when I looked closer at
these polls, as we see in races all across the country and we certainly saw
this in the presidential race in 2012, the story of American politics is
the gender gap. And it`s Republicans tending to do better with men and
Democrats now building a bigger and bigger advantage with women and
Democrats nationally have talked so much about how women, in particularly
the single women are so important to their 2014 strategy, yet when I look
at the polls in Kentucky, it`s very different from the other states. I
don`t see nearly as pronounced a gender gap in Kentucky anywhere else. Do
you have any explanation for that?
YARMUTH: Well, you know, I know that most of the polls have shown that,
but what they also show is that on all the issues, excuse me,
fundamentally, that the campaign will turn on, which are bread basket
issues, as well as issues like paycheck fairness. The voters agree with al
Alison Lundergran Grimes and Democrats. They don`t agree with Mitch
McConnell. So, that`s a message that she is going to hammer home, she`s
already running ads across the commonwealth. Stressing those differences
on key economic issues things like raising the minimum wage, changing the -
you know, helping people with their student debt and we`ll see. Again, I
think that women and men are going to respond to her affirmative agenda the
next few weeks.
KORNACKI: All right, Congressman John Yarmuth in Kentucky. I appreciate
you taking a few minutes this morning, in October 13, we`ll definitely be
watching that debate. Grimes and McConnell, and we`ll be right back.
KORNACKI: The manhunt is under way in Ferguson.
All right. Thanks for staying with us. We`re juggling a lot this morning.
There were new airstrikes overnight in Syria. Republicans are fighting
amongst themselves over what should be done about ISIS and what direction
their party takes on foreign policy and national security. We`ll be
talking about all of that ahead.
But we want to start this hour with last night`s shooting of a police
officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The search continues this morning for two
suspects. Authorities say one of the men shot a police officer last night
at around 9:00 p.m. Department version of events is that the police
officer approached the two young men, those men then ran away and one of
them fired on the officer as he tried to chase them. The officer was shot
in the arm and he is expected to live. You`ll recall that the St. Louis
suburb Ferguson has been the scene of racial unrest ever since a young
African-American man named Michael Brown was shot and killed last month by
a white police officer named Darren Wilson. The St. Louis County grand
jury is hearing evidence about that incident and deciding where to bring
charges against Officer Wilson. The protests in Ferguson appear to wane in
recent weeks, but there were two separate protests that were held in
Ferguson yesterday, at the same time of the shooting. And it is important
to point out that neither of those protests is thought to be related in any
way to last night`s shooting. Earlier this morning, also not far from
Ferguson, police official say an off-duty St. Louis County police officer
was injured on the interstate when one of three suspects fired shots into
his car, that also is not thought to be related. Earlier this week,
Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson issued a videotaped apology to the
community to protesters and also to Brown`s family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: I want to say this to the Brown family. No one who has not
experienced the loss of a child can understand what you`re feeling. I`m
truly sorry for the loss of your son. I`m also sorry that it took so long
to remove Michael from the street. The time that it took involved very
important work on the part of investigators who are trying to collect
evidence and gain a true picture of what happened that day. But it was
just too long. And I`m truly sorry for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Brown`s parents told the Associated Press yesterday that they
were unmoved by that apology. His father said that instead of an apology,
he would like to see the officer who shot his son arrested. I want to
bring now back in Wesley Lowery of "The Washington Post." He spent a lot
of time on the ground in Ferguson in the past two months covering Michael
Brown`s death and the protests. Wesley, so that videotape. And we talked
to a state senator last hour who was saying, you know, much like Michael
Brown`s parents said, you know, didn`t mean much to her. But is there a
back story to that videotape? Because we`ve seen that the Justice
Department corresponding with the police department out there and saying,
hey, stop doing these bracelets, stop blotting out the badges. Is that -
did that produce this videotape, as well?
LOWERY: So, this happened. The videotape, it happened a little bit
previous to the Justice Department letter and, however, it has been a back
and forth between the Justice Department and the Ferguson police. I think
one thing that is important to remember about Ferguson police department is
that this is a relatively small suburban police department that doesn`t
really handle these type of massive national stories, these heated
tensions. And so, at the very beginning, the Ferguson police and the
Ferguson City brought in a PR firm and then eventually replaced it with a
second PR firm and this is what this video, how it was produced and who
produced it was the PR firm that the city of Ferguson was working with and
that is why it was released. Again, there are questions about why it took
so long for this type of video and why maybe chief Jackson hadn`t said
something sooner. But this was a product of the city trying to proactively
- trying to reclaim some of the narrative.
KORNACKI: Right. And so, I mean it`s interesting, too. It`s aimed, it`s
in a message to the community, but it`s also a message to Michael Brown`s
family. But it`s being delivered via videotape. Has there been any more
personal contact between the police chief and this department and the
LOWERY: No, there`s not. You know, so I spoke with Michael Brown`s
parents yesterday and they told me they have yet to have any official
contact, whatsoever, with any law enforcement locally. That they have not
spoken to police except for that first day when they were at the scene
attempting to identify his body and the police were pushing them backwards.
And so, the family has no relationship and no trust and, in fact, they told
me yesterday they haven`t even watched this video. And so, there`s no
relationship at all between the local law enforcement and Michael Brown`s
KORNACKI: And also, I`m curious, too, about the response from the police
officers in Ferguson because, again, we were talking about this last hour
with the state senator out there who was telling us, that these bracelets,
these "I am Darren Wilson", you know, support bracelets. She thought they
were very common among police officers there. Now, I`m saying, is that
just one or two officers? She said it`s more than that. Also, officers
blotting out their name I.D. Apparently, you know, who are wearing them.
Has there been much reported? I know police departments, they can be tough
to sort of penetrate, they are sort of very insular, but has there been
much reporting about how the police are responding? Is there a sort of a
mentality here of what closed ranks around Darren Wilson?
LOWERY: You know what, I think we have certainly seen some of that
mentality, not from every officer and not from all departments, but from
many of them, we`ve seen - Darren Wilson fundraisers that were going on -
at the ground, they were going basically at the FOP bars. So, they are
going on at the police bars, there are a lot of former and current officers
from different jurisdictions coming in, buying bracelets, buying t-shirts
and spending money, donating money. We saw, I mean the law enforcement
community, especially locally, certainly has closed ranks around Darren
Wilson and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for a legal defense that
right now he doesn`t even really have to have.
He`s not charged with any crime. And so, we`ve certainly seen a mentality
on both sides of this. Both as residents and protesters and then police
and other police officers. This us versus them from both sides and I think
that community leaders and certainly the Department of Justice, as I said
in that letter, I think that that in fact, the core of some of this problem
is that we`re seeing this. And when I was on the ground, many officers,
not all officers, because some of them made a point to make sure that their
name was visible and their badge number were visible, there were some good
officers on the ground down there really doing the work to try to build
some trust, but many officers did have their name tags blacked out,
including many of the officers physically doing the arresting of
KORNACKI: All right, Wesley Lowery, from "The Washington Post" thanks for
joining us this morning. I appreciate that.
Last night Michael Brown`s family was in Washington. They were guests at
the Congressional Black Caucus foundation`s annual awards dinner and also
attending was President Obama. In his remarks the president addressed
Brown`s death very carefully. Ferguson also came up in his remarks at the
United Nations earlier this week. He spoke with how the nation was trying
to work through its problems.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It was interesting. Ferguson was used by some of America`s enemies
and critics to deflect attention from their own shortcomings overseas. To
undermine our efforts to promote justice around the world. They said,
well, look at what`s happened to you back home. But as I said this week at
the United Nations, America`s special not because we`re perfect, America`s
special because we work to address our problems. To make our union more
perfect. We fight for more justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And Attorney General Eric Holder was also at last night`s dinner
on Friday. The U.S. Justice Department which is conducting its own
investigation of the Brown shooting urged Ferguson police officers to stop
wearing those bracelets in support of Officer Wilson while they`re on the
job. Here`s a photo on Instagram of someone - that someone took in
Ferguson of an officer`s wrist. The civil rights division letter said that
"wearing those wrist bands itself is exacerbating an already tense
atmosphere between law enforcement and residents in Ferguson. These
bracelets reinforced the very us versus them mentality that many residents
of Ferguson believe exists." The letter also asked that all officers no
longer cover up their name plates with black tape saying that doing so
violates Ferguson police department policy. The Justice Department has
made this request before. I want to bring back in now our panel, Lynn
Sweet of "The Chicago-Sun Times," Krystal Ball, cohost of MSNBC`s "The
Cycle" , Robert George of "The New York Post." So, play that clip from the
president last night sort of reminding the audience what he had said at the
United Nations earlier in the week. And I remember when he gave that
speech at the U.N.., that surprised people that he included and made such a
specific use of Ferguson in that speech. I wonder what you made of that,
Robert? His U.N.. speech.
GEORGE: I don`t know. It struck me as a little, as a little bit off. I
mean I think what the president said yesterday was appropriate showing how
the United States hasn`t moved past these issues, but we`ve moved to
address them. And we`re still evolving in that way. Whereas the speech at
the U.N.., it was very much probably the most forceful war footing speech,
you know, that he`s given. Which was good. And I`m not quite sure if a
specific domestic issue while it`s definitely heats up emotions at home and
so forth, I`m not necessarily sure if talking about Ferguson there, if that
was actually perfect. It just - it didn`t seem like a seamless transition.
KORNACKI: I guess one reason surprised me, it`s just the basic politics of
it, right? Where the president has found out when he was talking about
Cambridge back in 2009 and talking about Trayvon Martin when he ventures
sort of explicitly into the topic of race, the blow back he takes in terms
of domestic politics is fierce. It reached the point where the White
House, it seemed, you know, made an intentional decision to stop stirring
that up to the extent that it could, and yet he willingly goes to the
United Nations and the world is literally a stage, and he made a point of
talking about that.
SWEET: And here`s where I think he did. In that same speech he is also
talking and making an appeal to the Muslim world and to any would-be
domestic ISIS fighters, which is a great concern that we might be exporting
terrorists, is that in the United States, yes, we have serious problems and
at least we try to solve them. And we talk about them, and, you know, this
is thematically run through other speeches, and that`s what makes us
different. We have these divides and we`re not perfect, and I think that`s
an important message that the president sent out in the U.N.. Meaning
we`re not putting ourselves up on a pedestal saying we are trying to tell
you what to do, we`re just saying that even between a religion that has
great differences -- we could spend all day here talking about Sunnis and
Shiites and why they`re fighting and why the Irish and the British have
problems. But in this case, I think it was important to incorporate the
imperfections of the United States and make an appeal for people to not
express yourself that way.
One thing I want to point out is that the Obama White House has a pretty
important initiative that hasn`t gotten a lot of attention called Becoming
a Man, where Obama is working with at-risk African-American males. I think
we`ll hear more about it.
GEORGE: My Brother`s Keeper.
SWEET: It`s -- Becoming a Man is the antecedent program that started in
Chicago. But it has its roots in working with at-risk youth. And that`s
the kind of thing that I think is important work that is being done and
Obama is doing more and I think --
KORNACKI: Taking a very hands on role there.
BALL: Lynn, I think you`re exactly right. It depends on who you`re
looking at as the audience for that speech at the U.N. And I think the
president was speaking much more to some of our reluctant allies, for
example. That is the thing you hear around the world. Americans are
hypocrites, they have got their own problems and they are trying to tell
all of us how to live. To have that level of candor to say, I know you`re
talking about this. I know you saw what happened in Ferguson, and here`s
why even though, yes, we have our own problems, here`s why we`re different,
because we are a democracy and we`re having an investigation and we are
having an open conversation about it. I think that was an important piece.
He didn`t say anything particularly groundbreaking or new in terms of the
domestic political audience.
GEORGE: The fact that that was a speech, you know, addressing terrorism
and war and why the United States was getting involved and why it was
trying to bring coalitions together.
BALL: Why we`re trying to be moral leaders and why we have a grounds to be
moral leaders in the world.
GEORGE: I`m not sure if that particular link, just saying that we`re
trying to work through our own imperfections is quite the same thing as,
you know, the United States getting involved in trying to stop a terrorist
BALL: Existing argument that exists in the international space.
GEORGE: I think it`s something of a false equivalence, though, in my view.
KORNACKI: We`re going to cut it off there. I want to thank Lynn Sweet of
the Chicago Sun Times, Krystal Ball, co-host of MSNBC`s "The Cycle," Robert
George of the New York Post for joining us this morning. We`ll have more
from Ferguson in just a little bit, also keeping an eye on the fight
against ISIS this morning. New air strikes in Syria last night. The
details and the implications, next.
KORNACKI: Turning now to Syria. Last night U.S. coalition planes launched
air strikes in northern Syria in the Kurdish area of Syria along the
Turkish border. The U.S. directly engaging via U.S. military in the
country`s three-year civil war for the first time. ISIS has overtaken
village after village of Kurds around Kobani in recent days. At least
150,000 refugees have fled to Turkey. The Pentagon says that forces from
Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates took part in yesterday`s
air strikes around Syria. And meanwhile, this morning, New York Times
reports that Turkey is inching towards an alliance with the U.S. in Syria.
At the same time, you may recall that yesterday, the British royal air
force flew its first combat mission in Iraq, not Syria, only one day after
the British parliament approved the move.
Joining me now is Ayman Mohyeldin, who when he`s not here in New York,
covers the Middle East for NBC News. You cover the Middle East even when
you`re here in New York, you just happened to be in New York. Let`s start
by talking about what happened yesterday. By the Turkish-Syrian border,
you have a group of Kurds there that ISIS is sort of moving in on, and the
U.S. with its partners launched the air strikes yesterday to protect them.
What was achieved yesterday?
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS: Well, I think the on the ground assessment
remains to be seen. I think from the military perspective, the U.S. is
trying to keep ISIS fighters back. They have been pushing towards the city
of Kobani now for several days. Leading to the 150,000 refugees that have
crossed the border. A lot of Kurds are lining up on the Turkish side
wanting to return, some of them even wanting to fight. But it seems right
now the U.S. is trying to slow down that ISIS advance. It`s not yet clear
whether the advance itself has been completely stopped or whether they just
have been destroyed. The positions have been destroyed, meaning they`re
now retreating back to some of the strongholds of ISIS in places like
Raqqah or (inaudible).
KORNACKI: So, this gets to the big question. We got it a little bit there
in the intro about Turkey and its role or potential role in joining the
U.S. Turkey with a very strong military. This is right by the border
between Syria and Turkey where this is playing out. And as we say, these
Kurds have been going into Turkey for protection. Has ISIS been, is ISIS
respecting the Turkish border in a way that they don`t respect other
borders, to try to keep Turkey out?
MOHYELDIN: They have been in the sense that they haven`t attacked Turkey
inside Turkey, per se. So, they haven`t gone, not only in the Kobani area,
but they do have several other areas along the Syria-Turkey border that are
firmly in ISIS`s control, and they never demonstrated a clear violation.
I`m sure there have been skirmishes along the border, but they have never
demonstrated a deliberate attack or an attempt to try to take over a
village or a town or go into Turkey or carry out a raid against Turkish
soldiers. There`s been nothing to demonstrate that kind of, what they
would describe as a provocative action against Turkey.
KORNACKI: Has that affected the calculus from Turkey`s standpoint? Has it
made Turkey look at this maybe differently than others?
MOHYELDIN: Turkey has had a slightly different perspective, not
necessarily towards ISIS but for some time towards the Syrian conflict,
which is they did not wanted to do anything that would weaken the
opposition in trying to topple President Assad. So, for a long time, they
let that border remain open, thinking that foreign fighters, arms and
weapons would essentially help anyone trying to topple the Assad regime.
But we`ve now seen the result of that policy and ISIS being one of the
major negative consequences of it, and I think that the Turks are waking up
to that reality. At least according to several officials that I`ve been
speaking to. They are interested in trying to crack down on it. They want
to participate now in the coalition. They had 49 hostages held by ISIS.
That tied their hands a little bit in terms of how public they could be in
their involvement, but I think the dynamic is slowly starting to change,
according to officials.
KORNACKI: Interesting. Keep an eye on that. I want to thank NBC News
foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, appreciate you joining us this
morning and we`re going to continue talking about the campaign against ISIS
on the other side of this break, including how an anti-war president does
not appear to be so anti-war anymore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As president, I will end this war. We don`t have to choose between
retreating from the world and fighting a war without end in Iraq.
Four years ago I told you we would end the war in Iraq, and I did. After a
decade of war, it is time to do some nation building right here at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: President Obama won office by presenting himself as the anti-
war, anti-Bush candidate, and that seemed to change a little bit this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There could be no reasoning, no negotiation with this brand of
evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of
force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to
dismantle this network of death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Dana Milbank of "The Washington Post" observed that that phrase
from the president`s speech at the U.N., the network of death, has a
certain similar ring to Bush`s axis of evil statement more than a decade
ago. "The Economist" even put Bush in a flight suit - put Obama in a
flight suit in illustration under the headline "mission relaunched." New
Yorker`s Ryan Lizza took stock of countries bombed by the last two
presidents, and counted seven by Obama and four by Bush. Has Obama changed
or has the world changed him? Here to discuss we have "Washington Post"
diplomatic correspondent Ann Gearan and joining us from Manchester, New
Hampshire, MSNBC contributor and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne.
EJ, I will start with you. The circumstances, obviously, of launching this
war on ISIS are very different than the circumstances of choosing to
invade, occupy and rebuild Iraq, as this country did as George W. Bush did
more than ten years ago. At that same time, the point that Dana Milbank
made and the point that others made this week about the language of the
president`s speech at the U.N. this week being very, it had a very familiar
sound to it if you heard George W. Bush`s speeches talking about Saddam
Hussein and the axis of evil. Was that striking to you, as well?
EJ DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: In particular, his invocation of the word evil
as well as that phrase, the network of death. And I think so much of how
you look at this depends on what you think Obama should have done in the
first place. Because I think there`s one way of looking at this that says
what Obama is doing here is quite consistent with what he said all along.
If you go all the way back to that 2002 speech that State Senator Barack
Obama gave opposing Iraq, he said, I`m not a pacifist, I think we need to
respond to terrorism, but this Iraq war that President Bush was launching
is not the right war and it`s not about terrorism.
Jump forward to now. What he`s saying now is this is not about a
reoccupation of Iraq. I`m not sending troops back. This is about
terrorism. The same fight that I had against al Qaeda is now the fight
that we are carrying out against ISIS.
Now, there`s a lot of skepticism of that, particularly on the left. I
happen to be in Cambridge, Massachusetts, yesterday, a place where you
would run into ant anti-war sentiment. And ran into a very thoughtful
person I know, who said, look, is Obama being sucked into Iraq again? Are
we beginning what we began the last time? And again, I think Obama would
say, no, we`re not going to send troops. We`re going to roll ISIS back or
contain them with Sunni Arab troops, and that makes it very different, and
we are, once again, just going after terrorists. But I think that`s the
debate you`re going to hear.
KORNACKI: Ann, I guess some people looking at this feel there is a certain
inevitability to this, to this happening to a president. The idea of
getting sucked in, when President Obama spoke to the country this summer
and we launched this first round of air strikes, it made him the fourth
consecutive U.S. president, Democrat and Republican. Two Republicans, two
Democrats to launch military action in Iraq. I think some people looking
at this say there seems to be something about being president that just
makes this decision ultimately automatic.
ANN GEARAN, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I mean to a degree President Obama has
been dragged to this decision, but, as you said in the intro, a fair amount
of it that circumstances have changed around him. He`s been president for
a long time now, and the beginning of his presidency was all about one
thing, which is disentangling on the foreign policy front, which was
disentangling the United States from wars in the Middle East and
Afghanistan, and the White House would argue that they were successful in
that, and, oh, by the way, at the same time they had to unravel the worst
financial crisis in many, many years. But the -- all of those things sort
of seem in far distance now. Because nothing happened in the Middle East
that was good from his perspective as a result of the withdrawal of
American forces. In fact, Iraq fell apart, and the United States is now
picking up the pieces there. And I think the more significant thing that
is happening here is that in that U.N. speech and elsewhere confronting in
very sober and hawkish terms, the fact that the United States is going to
be involved in Syria, a war he has avoided at every turn for more than
three years in an action that may well outlast his presidency.
KORNACKI: That`s the other question, too. It may well last his
presidency, but it`s also what he hands off then to his successor. Whether
it`s a Democrat or a Republican, and I think people looking at, for
instance, in the last two weeks we find about the Khorasan group, something
we haven`t heard of before a week or two ago. We just found out about ISIS
in the last few months, an I think a lot of people would wonder now that
we`re amping up our military activity out there, are we going to find out
about other groups that you could say are the result of blowback that force
us to stay even longer?
GEARAN: Yeah, this is the thing, too, that Obama complained about very
loudly during the campaign and upon taking presidency, that he had
inherited ongoing military activities, and you can`t just end that right
away because you end up putting American forces and potentially other
American interests at risk if you do. So, in one sense, he`s going to do
to the next president what was done to him, which is to give him a complex
ongoing war, not of his or her own making and that person is going to have
to decide what to do next.
KORNACKI: E.J., can you see that cycle ever breaking? I can think all the
way back to the 1990s and Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait. We push him out
of Kuwait, we put all these sanctions on him, he starts flaunting the
sanctions, and it sets up one confrontation after another that spans
presidencies, that spans parties. Can you see this cycle ever breaking
with the U.S. and the Middle East?
DIONNE: I mean, some day way down the road. I think the problem is that
beginning before the Iraq war and leading into 9/11, you had a series of
terrorist groups that grew up, and al Qaeda became the one we were most
aware of and Osama bin Laden, the leader we were most aware of. And
Americans, all of us, I think, including the president, wanted to believe
that, you know, that he killed -- our forces killed Osama bin Laden and
that this threat would begin to die down. It turns out that this threat is
a longer-term threat, and that we will probably be at this fight for a long
time to come.
I think the question is, are we at this fight in a way that gets us stuck
in a whole series of ground wars, or do we find a way to encourage not only
Shia Arabs who have -- Shia Muslims who have reason to be opposed to these
groups, but also Sunnis, more moderate Sunnis. We use the term moderate
advisedly. Who say this isn`t what we want. I think what Obama is trying
to do for the long run -- and it will be hard -- is to enlist a lot of
Sunni allies against a Sunni group so that this does not look like just
another part of a Sunni Shia civil war. But I think we`re going to be
stuck in this fight for quite some time, and I think the president has been
very clear about that. He is not trying to make people believe that a few
strikes and this will be gone.
KORNACKI: The administration making it clear these air strikes we`re
talking about that were carried out yesterday were carried out with the
Sunni state partners. A key point to keep in mind there. My thanks to Ann
Gearan and E.J. Dionne, both from the Washington Post, for joining us this
More from Ferguson and the overnight shootings of two police officers, one
in Ferguson, one nearby.
Plus, how the fight against ISIS is polarizing the Republican Party.
That`s still ahead.
KORNACKI: The manhunt continues in Ferguson, Missouri this hour for the
suspects in last night`s shooting of a police officer. Earlier this
morning not far from Ferguson, police officials say an off-duty St. Louis
police officer was injured when one of three suspects fired shots into his
car. The shootings came on the same night as two new protests in Ferguson
over last month`s death of Michael Brown. It`s important to keep repeating
those protests and both shootings are not believed to be related.
St. Louis County grand jury is hearing evidence about Brown`s death. For
many in Ferguson, the decision on whether to bring charges can`t come fast
enough. Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is conducting its own
investigation. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has not only visited
Ferguson, his department has made civil rights one of the cornerstones of
his tenure. Joining us now by phone is Steve Giegerich of the St. Louis
Post Dispatch who was on the ground reporting in Ferguson last night.
Joins us now, so, Steve, what can you tell us about exactly what happened
overnight in Ferguson?
STEVE GIEGERICH, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH: There were two perhaps unrelated
incidents. One approximately 9:10. A Ferguson police officer happened
upon a robbery of some kind. One of the suspects (inaudible) an officer in
the arm. That set off a massive manhunt with the helicopters in the air
with the search lights, and also spun a lot of rumors among the protesters
who are a continuing presence in Ferguson. Then about three hours later, a
St. Louis city police officer was driving home on the highway maybe about a
mile and a half, two miles from Ferguson. And he -- apparently a car
pulled up next to him and fired several shots into his automobile, injuring
him. My understanding is that it was basically injures to his hands from
broken glass. There were no bullet injuries.
KORNACKI: And you`re saying so that there are two things here. One is
these ongoing protests, there is no indication of any relationship between
the protests and either of these, but also there is no indication that
these two shootings themselves are connected in any way.
GIEGERICH: Not at this point. The police made a concerted effort last
night to emphasize that especially the first shooting of the Ferguson
officer was not in all related to the protests. However, the protesters
did move to a site near where the officer had been shot, and there was a
small demonstration there for about an hour last night. And tensions were
pretty high and people yelling at the police and some of the things that
we`ve been seeing around here now for seven weeks.
KORNACKI: Steve Giegerich of the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the scene
there, appreciate the update. Thank you for taking the time.
We`re going to talk more now about the Justice Department investigation of
Michael Brown`s death. There are many ways in which Eric Holder`s
resignation will have a big impact, and this may be one of the biggest.
For that now, we`re joined by Carrie Johnson of NPR. She actually broke
the story earlier this week of Eric Holder`s resignation and she joins us
now. Carrie, thank you for taking a few minutes. Yes, the attorney
general was in Ferguson last month. The attorney general has made it clear
that this is a very important investigation to him by the department. With
Eric Holder stepping aside imminently, is that going to affect how the
Justice Department approaches this in any way?
CARRIE JOHNSON, NPR: Eric Holder has said he`s going to stay on the job
until the president nominates and the Senate confirms his successor. And,
Steve, that could take the rest of the year and into 2015. I was doing
some reporting this week, and it`s not clear that the Ferguson
investigations will be done before Eric Holder leaves.
Note, Steve, there are two investigations. One of Officer Darren Wilson
and whether he violated the civil rights of Michael Brown. And a second, a
civil investigation of whether the Ferguson police department has engaged
in a pattern or practice of discrimination. That investigation may take a
little bit longer to resolve, but the people who are running that
investigation day-to-day, Steve, are going to stay on the job even after
Eric Holder leaves.
What we expect to see there is a written finding involving the Ferguson
police department and potentially a court ordered consent decree that would
require some changes to the way the Ferguson police department does its job
KORNACKI: In all this, too, there`s also the issue of in Missouri itself
and St. Louis county itself, there is the grand jury, if the officer is
ultimately charged and if there is a trial, if he is then convicted, is the
Justice Department`s time table at all contingent on what happens on that
JOHNSON: Not at all. Often the federal authorities at the Justice
Department will allow a state or local officials to go first with their
investigation. And we`ll look over their shoulder. What we know, Steve,
is that the FBI has been sharing information with the state`s attorney who
is investigating this and the grand jury there. But they are no way bound
by what that grand jury does.
KORNACKI: So, it`s possible then that the Justice Department could move
before we find out anything in Missouri?
JOHNSON: I think it`s much more likely that the state officials will act
first and the federal officials will act after that.
KORNACKI: Carrie Johnson, NPR, she broke the story of Eric Holder`s
resignation this week. Thank you for taking a few minutes.
And still ahead, how the fight against ISIS looms large as we approach
2016. The war within one of the parties about war. That`s coming up next.
KORNACKI: At this time yesterday, British air force planes were in the air
and on their way to Iraq to conduct air strikes against ISIS. Overnight,
U.S. coalition planes struck ISIS in northern Syria. Whether the U.S.
should be doing this at all or should be doing more is at the heart of the
Republican Party. The hawks versus the noninterventionists. John McCains
versus the Rand Pauls. That`s next.
KORNACKI: The political fight over what to do about ISIS isn`t a normal
Democrat/Republican issue. There are fights within each party,
particularly on the Republican side. It`s where you have hawks like John
McCain and those who are much more weary of intervention like Rand Paul.
It is a fight that looms large as 2016 approaches when Republicans will
have to choose who they are and what direction they want to go when it
comes to the use of military force. This week that battle in the
Republican Party started to get personal. Long-time McCain confidant Mark
Salter (ph) used a column to whack Rand Paul for dabbling in quote,
"outlandish conspiracy theories of political fringe dwellers." Salter is
referring to a debunked story that McCain supposedly met with members of
ISIS on a trip to Syria last year, a story that went viral before the "New
York Times" documented that it was false. But that did not stop Paul from
saying it last week, after the story had been debunked, from saying that
McCain, quote, "did meet with ISIS and had his picture taken and didn`t
know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of
determining who are the moderates and who aren`t." So Salter after that,
McCain`s close friend here, Salter this week called Paul quote, "either a
dissembler or a crackpot," writing it quote, "raises obvious questions
about the sincerity of Paul`s recent efforts to moderate the paranoid
radicalism that so delights 9/11 deniers and Ayn Rand fanboys but will
cause most voters quite sensibly to reject him." A Paul spokesman fired
back with this, quote, "Mark Salter advised the Republican Party down a
losing electoral path that paved the way for two terms of President Obama.
So people should read his angry screed in that context and disregard it."
It`s obvious McCain and Paul don`t care much for each other and they are
coming from very different places when it comes to the next phase of
American foreign policy. Which side, the McCain side or the Paul side,
will win out when Republicans are forced to decide. That is the question
of the next couple of years.
And to discuss this, I`m joined by Adolfo Franco. He`s a former foreign
policy adviser to Senator John McCain`s 2008 presidential bid. And
Katherine Mangu-Ward, she is a managing editor at "Reason" magazine.
Appreciate you both taking the time.
Katherine, I`ll start with you. And "Reason" magazine, you guys are
probably a little closer to the Rand Paul world view than the John McCain
world view when it comes to foreign policy. It seems clear here that
McCain and those that see the world like McCain does would very much like
to discredit Rand Paul. John McCain has made that clear in a lot of his
public comments. It looks like Rand Paul did him a favor, didn`t he? You
look at the language that Mark Salter is using. They saw an opportunity
here and they pounced. And that is Rand Paul`s fault for putting this
thing out there about McCain and ISIS.
KATHERINE MANGU-WARD, REASON MAGAZINE: I get it that John McCain`s head is
exploding right now. He is looking at a match-up that potentially sees
Hillary and Rand Paul. He sees a hawkish Democrat, relatively speaking,
and a non-interventionist Republican, relatively speaking. And this is not
the Republican Party John McCain has worked his entire life for. That
said, the stuff that Rand Paul is saying out there is not insane, which is
what the strong implication is of McCain and his proxy`s remarks. He is
saying stuff that frankly a lot of Americans believe too. Maybe
congressional authorization is not the worst idea in the world before we go
to war, for instance. The fact that he`s going after this kind of small
gaffe I think suggests he is getting a little bit desperate. I think Rand
Paul should be thrilled.
KORNACKI: I do, I wonder though just on that initial question I asked you,
because you look at the Paul name, the Paul family name in politics. You
start with Ron Paul and when Ron Paul was running in 2012. There was all
this controversy about this newsletter that had his name on it. It was
sort of his political network, and there was all sorts of terrible
conspiracy theories, racial stuff in there, ethnic stuff in there. There
has been this sort of taint around the Paul name from that, that the McCain
people and the people from that wing of the party would love to put on Rand
Paul to discredit him politically. And Rand Paul is out there saying hey,
McCain had his picture taken with ISIS, and McCain didn`t have his picture
taking with ISIS, that does end up helping them a little bit in that cause,
MANGU-WARD: I think it`s pretty different things. The idea that Rand Paul
is a clone of his father is I think pretty clearly demonstrated not being
true by the fact he does support some U.S. action abroad with regard to
ISIS. And I also think the Rand Paul newsletters which were written about
in "Reason" magazine which we helped expose are a very different thing than
what I think is likely an honest mistake, or if it wasn`t, it was a bad
moment of political strategy. I don`t think it points to broad conspiracy
theory, and again, what McCain`s goal here is to say that this guy is nuts.
We can`t trust him. When in fact he is offering fairly reasonable foreign
KORNACKI: Also, John McCain, as far as I know, unless you know something
and want to make news here, is not running for president in 2016. It seems
like this is John McCain`s 2016 cause, is to make sure that his party, the
party he represented as the national candidate in 2008, that his party does
not embrace a foreign policy platform of Rand Paul. Is that a fair way to
look at this?
ADOLFO FRANCO, FORMER MCCAIN ADVISER: Well, I hope people still consider
him running for president, I think he`d be a great president, but Mark
Salter is spot on on this. Listen, John McCain is not a hawk. He
represents the view, I think, of traditionally of both parties. It was
John Kennedy who said this country would pay any price, bear any burden to
defend freedom throughout the world. Certainly that was the tradition of
The philosophy advocated by Mr. Paul and both Pauls, Ron and Rand Paul, is
the isolationist policy of the 20s and 30s that led to World War II. It
just doesn`t work. And Katherine, to say he supports intervention with
respect to ISIS right now is just not true. In June, he was against it.
And now with public opinion moving in a different direction, he now changed
his point of view. The fact of the matter is he has disqualified himself
from being a serious candidate for president of the United States for two
reasons. First of all these outlandish, outrageous really crackpot
comments regarding Senator McCain. They are just untrue, and everyone
recognizes that as such. Secondly, the policy as advocated I think is not
clear to the American people, that at best it is a fringe policy that puts
us in grave, grave danger. So John McCain advocates -- and he said it in
2008 -- we`re in for the long haul. Had people paid attention to that
message in 2008, including President Obama, who has been late to recognize
the threats to the United States, we would not be in the position that we
are today. It was President Obama and the likes of Rand Paul that referred
to ISIS as junior varsity. It was President Obama who said we do not have
a strategy. They certainly have a strategy, and Senator McCain recognizes
it. So Rand Paul is I don`t think a serious candidate, and he, like his
father, will win zero primaries.
KORNACKI: There is a large constituency on this I say on the right, in the
Republican Party, on the conservative side, and there is a tradition on the
conservative side of noninterventionism. It goes all the way back to Bob
Taft 60, 70 years ago. There is a strong tradition there. I don`t know if
it is the majority of the party, that`s what I`m interested in finding out.
Is he that marginalized?
FRANCO: I think he is completely marginalized. There has been a
libertarian streak in the Republican Party. Those candidates have never
won the nomination to be president of the United States. Certainly Ronald
Reagan, who I think most Republicans admire greatly, did not advocate that
philosophy. He was the one that said we`re going to leave the Soviet Union
in the ash heap of history, and he was the one who said we would not
surrender one square inch to the communists during his tenure. So when you
look at the totality of the situation, Steve, that is the point of view of
a very small number of Republicans. I think John McCain represents the
bipartisan view that has led to the end of the Cold War and has met the
great challenges our country had during the course of the last century.
KORNACKI: Katherine, we got about 20 seconds, but I`ll give you the final
thought on this.
MANGU-WARD: You know, I always hate to try to out-Reagan a real
conservative, but Reagan actually said that libertarianism was at the heart
of conservatism when he spoke to "Reason" magazine 30 years ago.
FRANCO: Domestic policy.
MANGU-WARD: Rand Paul is part of that thread.
FRANCO: Domestic policy.
MANGU-WARD: Over the fight over who needs to be more Reaganite. That`s
fine. But again, I think Rand Paul is not wacky. I think John McCain is
fighting for a party he tried to build, and the idea that he now has to go
after Rand Paul or use his proxies to go after Rand Paul in such vicious
terms suggests that maybe he is a little scared.
KORNACKI: All right, former John McCain adviser Adolfo Franco, "Reason"
magazine`s Katherine Mangu-Ward, Thank you both for joining us. It brings
us to the end of our show today. Up next is "Melissa Harris-Perry."
Thanks for joining us. We`ll see you next week here on "UP."
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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