'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, October 11th, 2014
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: October 11, 2014
Guest: Elahe Izadi, Will Cain, Robert George, Liz Mair, Nate Cohn, Wesley
Clark, Bill Scher, Thomas Roberts
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Hillary`s new stump speech.
Good morning, and thanks for getting up with us this Saturday. There was a
historic shift this week in the number of Americans who could legally get
marriage licenses. But the legal path seems clear. The political path,
especially for the Republican Party, is a little bit murkier. We`ll going
to discuss all that in a little bit. We`ll also speak with former NATO
supreme allied commander Wes Clark whether or not the air strikes against
ISIS are getting the job done.
Plus, how President Obama plans to make the most of his last two years in
the White House. There are also developments in the fight to prevent Ebola
from spreading here in the United States. Enhanced screenings are set to
begin at five U.S. airports this week where 94 passengers from West Africa
will arrive. We will go live to JFK airport here in New York as the first
airport where those screenings are going to be conducted. We`ll going to
go live there in just a moment. But, first, we start with the biggest
political story this week. It involves Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton
delivering one of her most powerful political speeches since 2008. She
delivered it Thursday night in Philadelphia in what felt like a stump
speech now campaigning for Tom Wolf who is the democratic candidate for
governor in that state. Clinton`s address seemed to touch on issues that
could be the basis for her own run for president in 2016. It was by far
her most partisan speech since stepping down as secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: When democrats fought for
workers` rights so more families can make it into the middle class, when
democrats fought for Social Security so that their parents would not live
in poverty. When democrats fought for health care and education and civil
rights so our children could grow up with opportunity and equality, you
know they were fighting for families. And they were fighting for the
future of every single family, not just our own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, little bit of 2014 and 2016 mixed in there at the same time.
Are we seeing the unofficial start of the 2016 campaign? That`s the
question and joining us now to talk about it, we have Jonathan Alter, Elahe
Izadi and Will Cain, contributor to TheBlaze.com.
Thanks, everybody for being here with us this morning. So, this Hillary
speech this week, now we`ll be hearing a lot of these over the next few
weeks. That was the first one. She has this sort of long October
schedule. I`m listening to the themes in that speech and obviously they
fit to the race that she`s in, but workers` rights, Social Security, health
care, education. It seems to me we keep hearing, you know, the supposed
unease that exists on the left towards Hillary Clinton, you know, people
say, I get Elizabeth Warren to challenge her. I don`t think that`s going
to happen. But there are others were out there making a little bit of
noise. And that seemed to me, listening to that speech, that seemed in
part in answer to that. She was stressing a lot of the themes that people
on the left maybe have some issues with her on and she seemed to trying to
reassure them a little bit on that speech. At least, that`s what I thought
I was hearing.
ELAHE IZADI, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. I mean, in another interesting
thing that she was doing was not just going back to these core democratic
principles but also tying it to her own biography and kind of giving voters
a reason to maybe think why she`s running and why she should be the next
president if she should run. I mean, she mentioned her granddaughter as
well and tied this idea of women`s equality and then also education being
able to afford education, affordable education to her granddaughter.
Saying, you shouldn`t have to be the daughter of a president or the
granddaughter of a politician in order to access education, to access
KORNACKI: You mentioned Steve, are we seeing the unofficial start of
Hillary`s campaign. I mean, we saw the unofficial start. Months ago,
years ago. All you`re seeing here really is some simulant of honesty.
That looks like somebody stumping. That looks like somebody running for
office. And if that right there isn`t honest for you enough, Bill Clinton
this week, as well, was at a speech where he said the great thing about not
being president, is I can say whatever I want, that is, unless, your wife
is running for president. So what we`re hearing is honesty. Now, the
content is really quick, that`s not new. Democrats make that same speech
every four, every two years. Workers` rights, minimum wage, war on women.
It was the same. It`s not new. Maybe the tone for Hillary is a little
new. Meaning a little more partisan, a little more campaign speeches.
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: She has more running room to the
left than I think people have recognized. There are some liberal democrats
who think that she`s a corporate democrat. And can somehow get into
trouble as it ties to Wall Street. Most interesting line in the speech
when she went after corporations by name and she said, you know, they have
all the rights of citizenship, but are not exercising the responsibilities
of citizenship. She can move into, you know, Bernie Sanders` territory.
KORNACKI: Is that her answer in a way what you were hearing in that speech
this week. To Bernie Sanders out there making noise, activists making
noise saying about Elizabeth Warren. Is that her answer to it?
ALTER: Yes, all she has to do is just move a few degrees to the left and
she can protect herself. She`s really, you know, I don`t want to admit how
long it`s been, but I will. Thirty years of covering politics, I`ve
actually never seen a frontrunner who is as strong as she is right now.
KORNACKI: Yes, his numbers, right --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
ALTER: It could always change. Because American politics always changes.
KORNACKI: You`re right on that point, though. We said in the road to 2008
we`ve never seen a democratic frontrunner like this.
WILL CAIN, THEBLAZE CONTRIBUTOR: But this is why she doesn`t have to
protect herself on this sort of ant anti-corporate environment in the
Democratic Party. Because she has no challenge from the left.
KORNACKI: She will have a challenge.
CAIN: Well, if Elizabeth Warren gets in and presents a threat from the
sort of anti-corporatist left. That doesn`t exist right now.
KORNACKI: Much more likely we`re looking at Bernie Sanders.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
Not a real threat. Compared to Elizabeth Warren. Right.
ALTER: But what will happen is all of us will pay a lot of attention to
Bernie Sanders or whoever it is on the left who challenges her and that
person will win at least a couple.
CAIN: It`s her personal narrative, how much she can play that whole
granddaughter, grandparent, women`s role. I think that`s potentially the
most powerful thing she can play, if she can, again, reinvent her image.
IZADI: Well, and even if there isn`t a candidate coming, attacking her
from the left who is as viable as her or as Elizabeth Warren. It also
forced these questions into the narrative and having her to answer about
corporate interests and all of those things. Also, is she going to be able
to inspire activists on the left to be out there and in general and
campaign for her? I mean, you`re going after independent voters but you
also need your base to really turn out and be enthusiastic the entire time.
KORNACKI: Well, the Hillary Clinton that we`re seeing whether it`s in this
speech this week or few of these others as we say, we`ve had 62 unofficial
launches of the 2016 campaign. So, the Hillary Clinton we`re seeing right
now, are you seeing anything different in, you think back to 2008, you
think back to the mistakes and whatever cost her the nomination in 2008.
Are you seeing signs she`s learned something and she`s applying a new
lesson this time around?
IZADI: I will say it. I don`t feel like she is as concerned about
speaking about herself as a woman in those specific terms. I think in the
2008 campaign you saw some reluctance to do that. You know, she was trying
to be the first woman president and I understand and I think a lot of us
understood why maybe they went about that tactic. And I don`t think she`s
shying away from that this time. Earlier this week she made some comment
about she has trouble, a history of not being able to say no to charismatic
attractive men, President Obama and her husband, hey, that`s something that
Hillary Clinton of 2008.
ALTER: Right. Remember, at the beginning of the 2008 campaign she said
things like I`m in it to win it, which is maybe one of the dumber, you
know, launch statements you can imagine. So process oriented. So, now,
she has learned some things. I think she, you know, her team when I`ve
spoken with them, you know, they are more supple, less arrogant.
ALTER: -- in 2000.
KORNACKI: She`s mentioned to, I`ve been -- people running track here the
mentions of her grandchild. She`s mentioned that all the time now since an
interesting one. Anyway, 2016 is still two years away, but we have a more
pressing election to cover. One that is less than a month away right now
and that we`ll decide which party controls the Senate. A few weeks ago,
democrats seem ready to begin maybe writing off the Senate race in
Kentucky. It looks like despite a tough challenge from democratic Alison
Lundergan Grimes that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would be able
to hold on to his seat. And then something funny happened. First, this
blue grass poll came out which is the gold standard poll in Kentucky. It
showed Grimes with a slight two-point lead over McConnell. That was this
week. And then McConnell made a surprise call to a Louisville sports radio
show which described him as combative and needlessly angry. Grimes had a
flub of her own on Thursday while appearing before the Louisville courier
journal editorial board. She refused to answer the question, "did you vote
for President Obama?"
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Did you vote for President Obama in 2008/2012?
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES (D-KY), SENATE CANDIDATE: You know, this election
isn`t about the president. It`s about making sure we put Kentuckians back
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Did you vote for him?
GRIMES: I was actually in `08 a delegate for Hillary Clinton. I think
that Kentuckians know I`m a Clinton democrat through and through. I
respect the sanctity of the ballot box and I know that the members of this
editorial board do as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, there are some pundits saying Grimes lost the election with
that awkward answer or non-answer I guess you could say. But did she who
made the bigger blunder this week? How is this all playing out in
Kentucky? So, we don`t the audio but unfortunately by -- I think people
saw this story this week, too. There`s Mitch McConnell calls into, it`s
one of these moments you can see how this happens from the campaign
standpoint. These sports radio show, college sports raise in Kentucky,
Mitch, you know, you`ll going to call in and banter with the guy, whatever,
and it turns out the guy is really up on the news and start to asking
really pointed questions of Mitch McConnell about global warming, about gay
marriage and questions that really made him uncomfortable and his really
testy exchange comes across, come through. And in the other hand, we said
we have Grimes there, refusing three times to answer the, who did you vote
for question. And I think both of these, they`re not so much about
specific issues to me when I look at both of these, they get to like
authenticity and likability. And I guess it raises the question this week
between those two moments who had the less authentic or the more unlikable
moment in terms of how people can relate to these guys.
CAIN: I`m actually interested to see what Jonathan has to say. And
seriously, whether or not that flub from Alison Lundergan Grimes in her,
it`s not just luck of support. But running away from President Obama. If
that, look, Chuck Todd on this channel says, it`s possibly a disqualifying
factor. Is that a massive deal to those on the left? She would not stand
behind President Obama.
ALTER: No. I mean, people know and the President knows that you`ve got
to, every man and woman for themselves in a midterm election. And she has
to run away from him. She`ll run away from him and if as a result, the
democrats will hold the Senate is definitely worth the price. I think the
bigger problem for her is that McConnell can turn that into an ad where he
both makes her look dodgy and connects her to Obama at the same time.
ALTER: And that`s his big card to play in Kentucky is Obama. If he cannot
connect her every day to Obama, he either well might lose. He`s not a very
good candidate. That radio show showed just how arrogant and prickly he
is. And we`ve seen that Mitch McConnell in Washington for years. In
Kentucky under pressure, the voters there are seeing it a little more.
It`s not attractive and when you listen to that radio interview from the
very start, when he can`t even name his favorite player on the Kentucky
wildcats team, you can tell that he`s in trouble and when he gets in
trouble, rather than getting vague like Alison Grimes, he gets annoying.
KORNACKI: When I say it kind of gets to authenticity. Right? It`s like,
Grimes exchange we`re playing, it`s like, you feel I think as a viewer,
you`re looking at robo candidate there. Somebody who has been programmed
not to ever say the name Obama and to ever acknowledge any kind of tie. At
the same time with Mitch McConnell and his radio interview, he comes on and
he tries to do. I mean, Kentucky, think of Kentucky sports as Louisville
and University of Kentucky. It`s like Red Sox and the Yankees. You are
one or you are the other. And Mitch McConnell is a Louisville guy and he
goes on and this is a UK sports show and he goes out and he tries to say,
oh yes, I`m both. I mean, who would ever get away with I`m a Red Sox fan
and a Yankees fan.
KORNACKI: You can`t get away with that and you can`t get away with --
CAIN: Well, you`re right that authenticity is the issue. But I would even
expound to authenticity to the truth, so as a matter of partisanship, a
political strategy, I agree with you. Alison Lundergan Grimes doesn`t need
to stand behind President Obama, it`s not a necessity. But what smacks
there in the clip is, she is not telling the truth. That`s matters to
voters. It`s like, I don`t know, one of your buddies hooks up with a girl
like, did you hook up with that girl, and he`s like, no comment. That`s a
yes. That`s a yes.
IZADI: Everyone is going to assume that --
CAIN: That was a yes. It was just a dishonest yes.
KORNACKI: You know, I assume what she`s scared of there Elahe is,
something that can be turn under into a 30-second ad.
IZADI: Exactly. Well, and exactly, either way, there`s no winning in that
IZADI: Maybe one way she could have won is just owning it and then saying,
yes, but I disagree with him on X, Y and Z. I mean, either way, you`ll
going to end up with a clip. I think one of the other problems people have
is that she is not able to explain something that can be interpreted as a
tough vote. How is she going to be able to be a senator? Because in the
Senate you have to take tough votes and you have to be able to explain
KORNACKI: And I was trying to think this week, where is the language you
can use there. That even if they turned it into the 30-second ad, it
wouldn`t be that damming. And the best I could come up with was yes, I
checked his name off on the ballot because he wasn`t Mitt Romney or
something like that.
CAIN: A democrat.
ALTER: But here`s the thing, ultimately, it`s not going to be about this.
What it`s going to be about is coal such a big issue that she can`t get
traction in the last three weeks. But the interesting thing, this blue
grass poll which showed at statistically dead even a big surprise for
pundits. Because the kind of conventional wisdom, is yes, yes, yes,
McConnell is going to win. You know, he is going to pull away at the end.
So, the fact that she`s even in this is really interesting at this point.
Her problem is, she has to run flawlessly for the next three weeks. She
can`t make another single gaffe if she really --
KORNACKI: Well, now the best line that I heard from somebody this week,
the best way she should have answered that question in Kentucky was,
actually, I just drew a picture of a piece of coal in the ballot. Anyway,
we got more talking about the panel, we`ll be right back.
KORNACKI: All right, turning now to the battle against the spread of
Ebola. The World Health Organization now says the number of deaths
attributed to the outbreak has risen above 4,000. In the worst affected at
West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and meanwhile
medical records of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who died in Dallas
earlier this week showed that he actually had a 103 degree fever during his
initial emergency room visit. He had severe pain that he rated an eight on
a scale of one to 10. And Duncan was discharged after four hours only to
return to the hospital three days later. Authorities are stepping up their
efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. And screenings are set to
begin at five U.S. airports this week when 94 percent of passengers from
West Africa arrive. Medically trained coast guard members are running
those checks while Homeland Security trains others to take over that job.
To tell us more about the first screenings which are beginning today, we
are joined now live on the ground of the JFK International Airport in New
York City by NBC News correspondent Kristen Dahlgren. Kristen, how is it
going so far?
KRISTEN DAHLGREN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. We`re still
waiting for the first wide spread task a flight from Guinea and West Africa
I guess later on this morning. And then it will likely be a few hours
before they get through customs, immigration and then this new screening.
As for how other passengers feel about all of this, though, some tell us
that it makes them feel more relieved while others worry this is still not
DAHLGREN (voice-over): At New York`s JFK this week, trainings for new
strep test (ph) screening. Forty three percent of travelers from the
affected nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia enter the U.S. through
this airport. Leaving many here including airport workers worried about
what might come off a plane.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I have children, I don`t want to bring that home to my
DAHLGREN: So, starting today, representatives from the Centers for Disease
Control are on hand. Passengers will be questioned about whether they have
been to the infected countries and could have had contact with an infected
person and their temperatures will be monitored with a no touch infrared
thermometer. If infectious expected travelers face isolated enhanced
screening and possibly quarantine. For air passengers?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hand sanitizer (INAUDIBLE).
DAHLGREN: Fears of Ebola have been growing since traveler Eric Thomas
Duncan died this week in a Dallas hospital. On Friday, a plane from New
York was quarantined in Las Vegas after reports a passenger vomited.
Health officials investigated and found no evidence of infection. And this
was the scene onboard a US Airways plane in the Dominican Republic after a
passenger there sneezed and said he had Ebola. Another false alarm.
Stepped up screening will start at other major international hot spots.
Washington Dulles, Chicago, O`Hare, Atlanta`s Hartfield Jackson and Newark
next week. Measures getting mixed reviews from travelers.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Screening is not a bad idea, but if someone is
carrying the disease but isn`t displaying symptoms yet, that`s not going to
pick them up.
DAHLGREN: Now, at least one lawmaker in Texas is asking that the
government expand this screening to airports in Houston and Dallas, even
the head of the CDC though has said, in order to get zero risk of Ebola in
this country, we really need to stop its spread in West Africa -- Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to Kristen Dahlgren live at JFK, a lot
going on there this morning. Thanks for joining us, I appreciate that.
And so, we`ll bring it back to the panel now and let`s just talk for a
minute here about Ebola. I mean, seems to me, there`s obviously a lot of
different angles on this. The two that`s interests me right now are, one,
there`s the specific issues that happen in this Texas hospital where we`re
finding out more and more here that only raises more questions. I mean,
this guy comes in and says, I came over from West Africa, I have, you know,
pain and diarrhea, I have all these horrible symptoms and, by the way,
they take his temperatures and it`s 103 degrees and they let him go. And
it`s not until three days later that he comes back in the hospital giving
all sorts of different versions of this. So, there`s a lot of questions
need on how the hospital is handling this. On the other hand, there`s also
the question of how the U.S., how the government, how official response is
to this. And as we see from that report right there at the airport today,
it looks like we`re taking some reasonable and sort of fairly comprehensive
steps. What do you guys make of the response of the government right now?
IZADI: Well, so, the screenings at the airport, I think part of that is to
allay public fears and make us all feel better. But the fact is, if
someone comes in from one of those affected countries and is carrying the
virus but it`s not yet symptomatic, they will pass that screening with no
problem and also part of the screening relies on people being honest. You
have to answer whether you may have come into contact with someone who had
Ebola. You have to be honest with that question or you might not know that
you actually were in contact with someone who had Ebola. There were
reports that Thomas Eric Duncan, the Dallas patient, did not believe that
he had come into contact with an Ebola patient.
KORNACKI: And yet, there had been reports that he transported somebody to
IZADI: Well, no that he helped carry his landlord`s daughter from the car
back to the house. He thought it was a miscarriage because she did have a
IZADI: So, I mean, there`s all of that at play. When you come into this
country as he did, he was not symptomatic. That means he wasn`t
contagious. You`re symptomatic when you`re exhibiting symptoms. That`s
when you`re contagious. So, it can still come into this country despite
asking those questions and taking temperatures at the airport.
CAIN: Look, the trick with Ebola and this is going to be apply to the
government and to the media and to everyone watching, it`s the balance
between appropriate caution and panic. And Jonathan said this during the
break and I happen to agree with it. You have more to fear from the flu
than you do in Ebola in this. Spanish flu killed 50 to 100 million people
immediately after World War I where 15 million people died in casualties.
It was just more dangerous than the thing we all learned about and know
about. Ebola is what we hear about, is it dangerous? Yes. Do you need to
be panicked about it? No.
ALTER: Especially in the United States. So, this is, you know, a few
weeks from now we`re going to say, remember how panicked we were in October
about Ebola because I think we already know now that it`s contained in the
United States and it`s not going to spread like wildfire here. We know
enough about the disease. The real disaster is in Africa where they`re
saying that it is the worst situation since aids and they are, you know,
terrible, terrible scenes of devastation in this Liberian villages and
eventually there will be an accounting for this that will not make the
United States look very good. We had an opportunity months ago to contain
this in Africa in conjunction with the international community, the
international health community and do so, we didn`t show the proper
leadership months ago to contain this in Africa.
But what`s worse about that now for me is the political exploitation of
this by the republicans, which I find absolutely repugnant that they want
to take a public health emergency and try to squeeze some votes out of it
in the mid-term election. You see this throughout the Republican Party and
they`re saying ridiculous things like elect us and we`ll make the
government work. That`s what Rand Paul said the other day. These are
people who are against government, they hate government, they built their
entire career on voting for cuts for the CDC and that kind of thing, and
suddenly they`re saying, oh, put us in and we`ll do a better job on Ebola,
which is preposterous.
KORNACKI: Well, I mean, if something like this comes at a higher election
season. There are always going to be a certain -- that`s a question, too,
of does it go over the line in and some of these cases probably has.
CAIN: Yes. I don`t think Ebola is an appropriate voting agenda item. I
don`t think to the small push back I`d put on Jonathan as you`ve said, this
is running throughout the Republican Party as though. This is a platform
for the Republican Party right now and it`s not. And so, whenever you
attempt to paint an entire party ideology and philosophy with one simply
bad idea for some guys, you overstepped.
ALTER: But look at, OK, not every local republican is running on Ebola.
But look at the comments on FOX and other places coming from republican
leaders, republican presidential candidates and a lot of them are trying to
fit this into a pattern of incompetence on the part of the Obama
administration. Without knowing any facts and they`re basically trying to
paint Obama and by, you know, with reference to all other democrats as the
Ebola party or the party that couldn`t handle Ebola. Now, I know all is
fair and, you know, war and politics, but this was a public health
emergency, they should just give it a rest on Ebola and the campaign.
CAIN: I agree.
KORNACKI: All right. Good note to end it on. My thanks to Will Cain of
TheBlaze for getting up with us. Elahe and Jonathan, we`ll see you a
little bit later in the show. Will republicans give up the ghost when it
comes to opposition to gay marriage? That`s next.
KORNACKI: House Speaker John Boehner is going ahead with a long scheduled
fund-raiser later today for Carl DeMaio, an openly gay republican
Congressional candidate in California who is suddenly at the center of a
sexual harassment controversy. DeMaio was running dead even in one of the
tightest house races in the country and his campaign was rocked yesterday
with lurid accusations of sexual harassment from a former staffer. Detail
this claims to CNN. DeMaio strongly denies the accusations. His campaign
spokesperson calls the allegations completely false. In the wake of this
revelations, Boehner`s campaign spokesman tells Roll Call that today`s
fund-raiser is still on. And the House Speaker will be appearing with
DeMaio letter today. Boehner`s interest in DeMaio`s candidacy speaks to
his commitment in the commitment in many of the GOP`s Washington
establishment to broaden their image by helping at least one gay republican
win election to Congress this year.
In addition to DeMaio, Richard Tisei Massachusetts also has a chance of
winning next month. That sense of urgency among the Washington
establishment in the Republican Party speaks to how quickly the issue of
same-sex marriage is changing in this country. Just last night, North
Carolina became the latest marriage equality state and the Supreme Court
said same-sex marriages in Iowa should proceed even as the appeals process
continues. This comes on the heels of the Supreme Court`s decision earlier
this week not to hear a handful of cases from states whose gay marriage
bans have been overturned by lower courts. And by doing so, they made gay
marriage the day fact (ph), the law of the land in more than half of the
United States. These are the places in America where same-sex couples
could get married in the beginning of the week.
Nineteen states in the District of Columbia and this now is what that map
looks like this morning with this historic shift, we have to remember that
it was only ten years ago that George W. Bush and the national GOP ran
their national campaign on anti-gay marriage sentiment. And there are
still some republicans who are willing to fight tooth and nail to stop
same-sex marriage. This week, Mike Huckabee called for a third party. The
GOP gives ground on gay marriage and other social issues. So, where is the
GOP on same-sex marriage? Now, where is it headed and can it keep itself
together as the country moves forward on gay marriage even as the Mike
Huckabees of the world cry stop.
Well, here to discuss this with us Liz Meyer, she`s a republican
strategist, a former Republican National Committee spokeswoman. Liz,
thanks for joining us this morning. We really appreciate it.
LIZ MAIR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thanks for having me.
KORNACKI: Start with, I guess, the most recent polling numbers on this.
The support for same-sex marriage and you break it down by party.
Democrats sitting at 63 percent, republicans at 41 percent. As far as I
can tell, that`s a pretty, that`s a higher number than we`re used to seeing
among Republicans suggest to me that it`s growing pretty quickly there.
But still not at majority level. When do you think it`s going to get to
the majority level there?
MAIR: I think pretty soon. Because if you actually look at a number of
other polls, there`s some very significant movement well beyond what we`ve
already seen which I agree with you has been significant. First of all, if
you look at polling of republicans and republican-leaning independents
under the age of 50, you see that we`re already at majority level support.
If you look at evangelical millennials, you see we`re at a very high level
of support above a majority. If you look at where Catholic voters are, you
also see a majority and you can keep going through demographic by
demographic and you see that support for this has been building and is at a
majority level amongst the number of demographics. What we`re dealing with
here I think is a very small minority in the party that actually treats
this still as a very significant issue and something where they want the
party to take a very strong stand against it. And so, you know, what I
would say to Mike Huckabee candidly is, if he wants to live and start his
own third party, by all means, do it.
But they`ll never going to win an election and frankly they are such a
small minority of the Republican Party. People who actually want to see a
party take a strong stand on this and treat this as a top three or four
priority issue. And that I just don`t think that that`s going to be
politically viable for them. The vast majority of republicans are not
where they are on this even amongst social conservatives. Social
conservatives treat abortion as a high priority issue. Very, very few of
them treats same sex marriage as being anything approximating the issue of
abortion, when it comes to the importance that they attach to it
personally. And that`s a real problem for Mike Huckabee and people of his
KORNACKI: So, I`m thinking back to a couple years ago when Joe Biden went
on "Meet the Press" and said, he`s OK with gay marriage and then the
President comes out a couple of days later. And then what you had, it was
like dominos falling. All of these major democratic elected officials
followed suit. I support gay marriage, I support gay marriage, until
basically is the default position of the party. I haven`t seen that, that
sort of the top elected official level on the republican side, you have
Portman from Ohio who has come out for gay marriage and just a couple
others. When is that going to happen, do you think, on the republican
MAIR: Well, I think, first of all, it is actually broader than what a lot
of people think. You know, first of all, we do have four senators, elected
senators who are on record as supporting same-sex marriage at this point.
I think that is a reasonable significant number. I think it`s also -- they
we are not talking people who are necessarily considered to be like this
sort of poster child rhinos of the party. Lisa Murkowski, obviously there
are conservatives who have issues with her. She did face a primary
challenge in her last election but she managed to get herself re-elected.
She is not somebody who I reconsider to be, you know, sort of the
equivalent of the Olympia Snowe who is previously in the Senate. Portman
himself is obviously a pretty conservative guy. When you look at the house
and you look at house candidates, you do have eight people who are very
strongly vocally in support of this. And so, you know, that is not a huge
number but it is significant.
We also have two republican gubernatorial candidates who are on record and
support of this at least. Plus, we have a ton of other people who are
influential within the party. So, I think when you actually look at the
full spread of it, it has changed quite a bit. I don`t think you`ve
necessarily had quite the domino effect that you saw on the Democratic
Party after Biden`s comments. But I also think it`s noteworthy that a lot
of these republicans actually were quicker to come out and say that they
support same-sex marriage than even Hillary Clinton. You know, Rob Portman
was well ahead of her in terms of timing, in terms of expressing his
support for this. And so, I think you have seen a lot of change within the
party on this and I think you`ll going to continue to see that. And as to
your point, you know, when you were bringing in this segment, you were
talking about Washington establishment republicans on this versus the rest
of the country.
I would also urge people to go and take a look at two sides. First is the
American unity fund site. They`ve just launched a standout campaign that
we are part of and you`re seeing people from all over the country just
grassroots republicans who are uploading videos and, you know, expressing
their views in support of this. I would also urge people to take a look at
the page of the un-conservatives and the freedom to marry, which is a group
that I`m involved in. And if you look at the leadership of that
organization, it is really not that D.C. heavy. You find a lot of people
from places like Utah, Indiana, New Hampshire. All across the country,
people who are supportive of this and these are people, these are people
who are grassroots republicans and who are actually the voice of the party
in their local areas.
KORNACKI: All right. The question that I`m looking at going ahead is when
does that first major republican presidential candidate come out and say,
I`m running in the primaries and I`m for this. That`s the sort of the next
step we`ll be looking forward but my thanks --
MAIR: I think it`s likely that Rob Portman will be running personally, so
that could be happening very soon. Stay tuned.
KORNACKI: We`ll look for Rob Portman. Maybe a little bit more news there
on the Rob Portman. My thanks to republican strategist Liz Mair for
joining us this morning. I appreciate that.
MAIR: Thank you.
KORNACKI: It began with a team of rivals, but how does it end? Coming up,
we`ll discuss how Barack Obama finishes out his presidency and we`ll take a
look at his early place in history. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Multiple protests are set to take place in St. Louis, Missouri
today as a weekend of resistance over the shooting death of unarmed
teenager Michael Brown and other police, cases of police brutality plays
out. About 200 protesters gathered near St. Louis University early this
morning. They tried to march down the main street but were prevented by
riot police in an armored S.W.A.T vehicle. Organizers are urging the
hundreds of participants to avoid arrest so that they can continue to
demonstrate throughout the weekend. Demonstrators are demanding that a
special prosecutor take over the Michael Brown case. We`ll bring you a
live report from the ground in Missouri just a few minutes from now. Stay
KORNACKI: When Barack Obama first took office in 2009, he began assembling
his team of rivals. He brought in cabinet members with diverse
perspective, modelled on staffing approach of Abraham Lincoln. As these
rivals leave the administration, they are airing their disagreement with
the president very publicly. Earlier this year, we heard from Bob Gates
and from Hillary Clinton. And this week, it was Leon Panetta`s turn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: He approaches things like a law
professor and presenting kind of a logic of his position. And there`s
nothing wrong with that, if you want to have a president who thinks through
these issues. But my experience in Washington is that logic alone doesn`t
work. That once you lay out a position, you have to roll up your sleeves
and you have to basically fight to get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: One reason why David Ignatius at "Washington Post" says the
White House is in need of a shakeup and predicts that one will be coming
after next month`s election. The White House for its part pushed back in
that report and said, the President appreciates his team. Amid all of this
ranker, one-time liberal critic of Obama Paul Krugman has come full circle.
And he took to a Rolling Stone magazine this week to defend the President
citing health reform, a steady economic recovery and financial reform.
Krugman called Obama, quote, "One of the most consequential and yes,
successful presidents in American history." So, with the Obama presidency
now, almost three quarters down, we thought we`d hit the pause button for a
minute. Has it been a successful presidency? How will it be remembered?
And what can he do in the next two years, in his last two years in his
president to leave a bigger mark on the country.
Joining me now to discuss this is Robert George of the "New York Post."
And MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter is back with us. Jonathan
Alter, the Paul Krugman, as we know, has been very critical of a lot of the
decisions this president has made now saying not just a successful
presidency, but one of the most successful. Is that how you look at it six
ALTER: I don`t think you have to say it`s one of the most successful
KORNACKI: Look, what has to happen over the next two years?
ALTER: He needs to put a couple other big points on the board. He needs,
you know, immigration reform, something else that really cement his
legislative legacy. Anybody who says this is a failed president doesn`t
know what the hell they`re talking about. Isn`t looking at the actual
record because in the first two years, he actually had more accomplishments
than say, Bill Clinton did in eight years. If you`re just looking at it --
KORNACKI: He got health care reform through which --
ALTER: Two huge ones.
ALTER: And not just health care reform, but also preventing a depression.
We were losing 850,000 jobs a month when he took office and he turned that
around and it was controversial, but he got it done. However, I think
Panetta is on to something. When he says that this president isn`t
fighting hard enough for what he believes in. So, for instance, the
American jobs act, which he talked about a lot in 2011 and 2012, he haven`t
heard about it at all. Rebuilding America. These midterms should be a
referendum on rebuilding this country. Democrats` favorite, republicans
have consistently voted against it. The President`s political skills have
been lacking in the last two or three years and that will mar his legacy
unless they can turn it around.
KORNACKI: All right. Coming from conservatives -- how do you look at six
years of President Obama?
ROBERT GEORGE, NEW YORK POST: Well, I`m going to probably agree with
Jonathan that I think the president`s political skills have been his
biggest problem. I mean, it was relatively easy in the first couple years
when you had a solid democratic majority in the House and the Senate, but
it`s been proven less effective since then. Yes, he did get through
ObamaCare, but ObamaCare is still unpopular. It`s not something that the
republicans are exactly running on per se because they have other issues
they can run on, but it`s still, it`s still not popular and if he ends up,
you know, in the next couple of years with a republican, with complete
republican Congress, he`s going to be playing a defensive, a defensive game
on that. So, I don`t think it`s necessary, I don`t think one would call it
a completely successful presidency and one of the most successful. I do
agree, though, with Johnathan, he needs to do something solid over the next
couple of years. If he can actually get immigration reform through what
may be a unified republican Congress. It may not be exactly what, it`s
going to be his exact liking, but it would be a big legislative bipartisan
achievement if he can do it and possibly, possibly tax reform though that
is less likely.
KORNACKI: So, this actually sets up. We`ll going to get into this in the
next hour, the question of these last two years and what happens if the
republicans do take back the Senate. So, we`ll pick this discussion up in
the next hour. But for now, thanks to Jonathan Alter and Robert George for
being with us.
And also, it`s the Senate and the battle for the Senate we keep talking
about. It may be going into overtime after November 4th. We`ve been
saying the election ends on November 4th, it may just be starting on
November 4th. We`ll tell you why, that`s next.
KORNACKI: For months we have been telling you that on November 4th, just
24 days from now, we`re going to find out who controls the Senate. And
we`ve been lying to you. Well, maybe. Because it`s very possible that we
have to wait all the way until the first week of January of next year to
find out. You can blame Georgia for this, that is where fresh there are
fresh signs that a key Senate race is suddenly heating up. Republican
David Purdue leads democrat Michelle Nunn by two points in a recent PPP
survey, but perhaps more importantly, look at a third candidate in this
race. Libertarian Amanda Swafford, she`s getting five percent in that same
poll. And that five percent could well be enough to keep any candidate
from breaking 50 percent in November and therefor trigger a second runoff
with the second election between just Purdue and just Nunn. And
ordinarily, that runoff would be held in early December but because of a
complicated court ruling it will now take place on January 6th, 2015.
More than two months after Election Day. So, this is one of the very few
states Georgia where democrats have a chance to flip a seat and steal one
from the GOP. That could be decisive when it comes to deciding Senate
control. Purdue has been leading this race, but Nunn who is the daughter
of former fourth term democratic Senator Sam Nunn picked up some momentum
last week when Politico reported that in a 2005 deposition, Purdue, a
wealthy businessman said he spent most of his career outsourcing jobs.
Then when Purdue was asked on Monday about his outsourcing record, he
replied, quote, "defend it, I`m proud of it." It`s an issue that Nunn`s
campaign is now hammering Purdue over. But will it be enough to lift her
to victory on November 4th or at least to force this race and the entire
political world into overtime?
Joining me now to discuss the race in Georgia is Nate Cohn, who covers
elections and polling for The Upshot in "The New York Times." Nate, thanks
for joining us this morning.
So, we put the latest PPP poll up there and it shows at that, if something
like this happened on Election Day, we would go to a runoff and the runoff
would be in January. You`re looking at these races really closely. What
are the chances that is what happens in Georgia? Nobody gets 50 percent on
NATE COHN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think there`s a pretty good chance of a
runoff in Georgia. I don`t think Swafford is going to get five percent.
But if it`s a one or two or three-point race which I think is entirely
conceivable than, you know, even three percent or four percent of the vote
going to Swafford would be enough to force the runoff. And the reason why
I think Nunn can do that well is because of demographic change. The state
is extraordinarily diverse though likely electorate in November is going to
be something like 62, 63, or 64 percent white. Nunn is not going to run
very far ahead of John Kerry among white voters but back when he lost by 18
points, that electorate was 73 percent white. It is a different state now.
And, you know, Purdue`s problems with outsourcing and the investments of
DFCC are making, are going to be enough to allow Nunn to run a little bit
ahead of past democratic candidates and that should be enough to get her
into the upper 40s and force a runoff even with strong national current
coming in, sir.
KORNACKI: So, here`s the second big question then. I mean, if there`s a
runoff in Georgia and if it goes all the way to January, and that`s
something for political junkies, hey, we have a two-month, you know,
overtime election here. That`s interesting. But where it gets beyond
interesting is, if on election night everything else gets settled or, you
know, you have Louisiana that may also go to a runoff. But let`s say, some
were in there, basically control of the Senate comes on the line in
Georgia. Georgia becomes the deciding state between a democratic majority
in the Senate and a republican majority in the Senate. What are the odds
of that happening? Of this going to a runoff. You said those are pretty
good. But those runoff deciding Senate control.
COHN: It`s not inconceivable. I mean, for that to happen, the Republicans
would need to pick up six seats and hold their other seats in states like
Kansas and South Dakota. I think that`s entirely possible. I think,
though, that you know, at the moment maybe the single likely scenario is
that they do a little better than that. I think the republicans are not
all that far away from looking like they have a clean advantage in a state
like Iowa and Alaska and Colorado. And although you can see the path to
victory for independent candidates in Kansas and South Dakota, there are
still a lot of time left for the republicans to take advantage of some
pretty fertile terrain.
KORNACKI: Yes. Actually, you just mentioned in that list of states where
you say republicans might be solidifying. One I think might surprise you.
You mentioned Colorado, Mark Udall, the democratic incumbent there who
months ago seemed to be in decent shape. In Colorado obviously a blue
state, that voted for President Obama twice, so you`re saying, there`s been
some real movement there.
COHN: I think that`s right. There hasn`t been a lot of good news for
Udall over the last month now. Now, that democrats had something to --
there`s universal mail voting in Colorado which will drive up, turn out a
lot. But, you know, in 2010 when Senator Bennett was able to beat a very
controversial republican candidate, you know, the republicans weren`t able
to unify their base and Bennett ran very well among registered independent
voters and that allowed Bennett to overcome a six-point registration
deficit between democrats and republicans on election day. If Udall isn`t
running that kind of campaign, I`m not sure that he can overcome that type
of party registration deficit unless mail voting can change the electorate
a lot, which maybe it can.
KORNACKI: All right. Well, that`s another interesting one and interesting
twist obviously to keep an eye on. My thanks to Nate Cohn from "The New
York Times" for joining us this morning. We really appreciate that.
And next, we`ll turn to the conflict in Syria, why a political standoff
with Turkey can complicate our fight against ISIS. We`re going to be
joined by General Wesley Clark, that`s next.
KORNACKI: The siege of Kobani in the next front against ISIS.
All right, thanks for staying with us this morning. In just a few minutes,
we`re going to bring you live to a report from the ground near Ferguson,
Missouri, where activists are demanding the prosecution of the police
officer who repeatedly shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown. And we will
tell you about why the democrats losing the Senate might be the fix the
Obama administration needs since the last two years. At least somebody is
going to argue that, I might argue back but we`ll do that in a little bit.
We begin though this hour with the overnight developments on the fighting
in Syria. The United Nations is warning that the week`s long Islamic State
offensive on the Syrian border town of Kobani could end with hundreds of
civilians being massacred. Kurdish fighters defending the city are finding
themselves outgunned and the U.N. Syria envoy called on Turkey which asked
forces masked just across the border to step in. Quite, "you remember
Srebrenica, we do and probably we never forgave ourselves for that."
That`s the special envoy said, referring to a notorious July 1995 slaughter
of thousands of civilians in the Bosnian city by Serbian paramilitary
troops as a contingent of the U.S. peacekeeping troops stood by.
NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is in Turkey, he is near
the Syrian border with the latest and Richard, what can you tell us this
RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: There are concerns,
as you just mentioned being voiced now by the U.N. that we could be
watching a massacre in slow motion. That the city of Kobani, which is
almost entirely surrounded by ISIS militants. The only part of the town
that is not controlled by ISIS militants is the part that is closest to the
Turkish border. There are Turkish tanks there, there are Turkish troops
there. Sometimes just a few hundred yards away from the ISIS militants and
yet the Turkish troops have done to intervene. In many cases they are also
preventing fighters from leaving from Turkey to go and reinforce Kobani and
we don`t know exactly how many people, how many civilians and fighters are
in Kobani. The numbers range from 700 civilians and a few thousand
fighters to numbers that are considerably higher than that. And the
concern is that these fighters and civilians won`t be able to hold out for
ISIS will completely cut them off. And then carry out atrocities. And
ISIS which has been very effective at using social media has already been
posting pictures that appear to show atrocities. Beheadings, piles of
Kurdish civilians dumped in the back of vehicles. ISIS fighters posing
with bodies and the town hasn`t even completely fallen yet. So, if we`re
already seeing what would appear to be documentation of war crimes, it
could get significantly worse if the militants take the rest of the city
under the watchful eye of Turkey, which is fully aware of this problem. In
fact, the Turkish government, the Turkish president said not long ago that
it`s not Turkey`s problem, Turkey is providing aid to refugees, but that
what happens in Kobani is serious problem.
KORNACKI: All right, my thanks to Richard Engel who joins us live again
from near the Turkey-Syrian border. I appreciate the time this morning.
Visiting an air base in Columbia yesterday, Secretary of Defense Chuck
Hagel said, the United States is wondering how far Turkey is willing to go.
The question is whether Turkey will train Syrian opposition fighters at
facilities within its borders as Saudi Arabia has agreed to do.
Joining me now from Little Rock, Arkansas by retired General Wesley Clark,
a former NATO supreme allied commander and author of the new book "Don`t
Wait for the Next War." General, thank you for taking a few moments with
us this morning.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK, RET., FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Thank you.
KORNACKI: So, this issue of, I mean, we just heard from Richard Engel
saying, he thinks he might watching a slow motion massacre playing out here
where this town could be falling to ISIS and if ISIS gets in there, you`re
going to see just all sorts of horrible things and then just miles away,
you`ve got Turkish troops masked, Turkish troops who could step in there
and put an end to this. Why isn`t Turkey putting an end to this?
CLARK: Well, I think there are at least two or three reasons why. Number
one is, of course, for Turkish troops to come in there, it is crossing the
border into another country. So, that`s an act of war against Bashar
Assad. That means that when Bashar Assad attacks, of course, then Turks
can call on NATO. So, it really does escalate the concept of war legally.
Secondly, a lot of these fighters are Kurdish fighters allied with the
faction that has actually been fighting against Turkey for several decades
for Kurdish independence. And so these two factors are complicating
things. In addition, I think the Turks have asked for several years now
for U.S. help in dealing with Bashar Assad. The United States has withheld
that help. The Turks ask us for air cover, they`d asked for some
participation with them and thus far we haven`t said yes. We have not said
KORNACKI: Do you think the fate of Kobani rests on this question of
Turkish intervention? Can Kobani hold on if the Turks continue not to
CLARK: Well, we have to be on the ground inside and looking at it. But
all the people that are there say, it`s doubtful. If you have unlimited or
basically some flow of reinforcements and ammunition and despite the air
attacks on the outside to the ISIS power and you can`t get those
reinforcements in and you can`t get fresh fighters in and you can`t get
wounded out for the Kurdish fighters, then, you can see where it`s headed.
So, it could very well be that Kobani falls. Now, the position is, that`s
not militarily strategic but that it is certainly going to be a huge blow
to world opinion and it`s going to put a lot more pressure on us to take
the United States, to take more stronger action in a region.
KORNACKI: Well, yes, I guess that would raise the question, again so much
of the strategy here is that we hear the refrain over and over, no boots on
the ground, no boots on the ground, we are going to provide air support to
the Kurds, maybe to the Iraqi army, we`re going to provide air support to
people in the region to fight this fights. Well, that is the strategy
right now to defend Kobani. And as you say if Kobani falls, in terms of
how that could change sort of the pressure around U.S. involvement, do you
think then there would be stepped up calls for boots on the ground if the
air strikes were insufficient for this?
CLARK: There will be there`s actually, there`s three agendas at work here
on the airstrikes, Steve. First of all, there`s the agenda of, it does
take boots on the ground. That is a necessary, but not sufficient
condition. After the boots are on the ground if you defeated ISIS,
somebody has to govern it. People are going to come back in, it`s not
Bashar Assad. If it`s not Bashar Assad, who is it? And so, this is where
the moderate Syrian opposition should come in and work. We have been
working with these people but we haven`t given them the go ahead. They
said they need US Air cover to come in because Bashar Assad`s helicopters
are after them. So, that`s one. Then there is partisan agenda in the
United States. The people who believe that Barack Obama made a mistake by
withdrawing from Iraq. They want to say put the boots back on the ground,
you see, you were wrong. You shouldn`t have taken them off anyway.
But this is a war that`s motivated in part by religious extremism. And
what is really would like to have is U.S. forces on the ground so they can
claim they`re the only ones fighting against the infidels. So, we would be
like putting gasoline on a fire. And there is a larger agenda at work, as
well. Because Saudi Arabia and Qatar have actually funded extremists and
now those extremists are coming after them at some point. So, they`d like
us to come in and fight because their own soldiers aren`t capable or their
diplomacy is not effective enough to get in there and stop it without our
boots on the ground. So, the administration got a huge problem dealing
with this and they`re trying to sort out now how active they must be. For
us to put air cover over Syria to protect the Turkish intervention or to
protect the moderate Syrian opposition is a real declaration of war against
Bashar Assad. And of course, that involves then going against possibly
Russian reinforced, Syrian air defenses and that`s a big deal militarily.
So, lots of issues open.
KORNACKI: Yes. And that brings me to one other thing that I want to ask
you about. Because, you know, Joe Biden, the vice president, made a lot of
news for comments that he made basically saying that the Turkish
government, the Erdogan government in Turkey was in part responsible for
the militant extremist build up in Syria because they basically let these
militants, Biden saying come across the border and come into Syria to join
the fight against Assad that resulted in all sorts, in all these groups
that are now causing such problems. He had to apologize for that,
obviously caused a big diplomatic issue between the United States and
Turkey. But I just wonder, when you hear the argument that Joe Biden made
before he apologized, do you think there was something to that? Did he
have a point?
CLARK: Well, I think these people who were fighting with the militants got
there somehow. So, they either came through Lebanon, they came through
Turkey or wherever. Whether they were identified as militants or they just
looked like young people driving in vans and going from one Turkish City to
another and from one safe house to another. We don`t know what the details
are. Maybe Vice President Biden does. But I don`t think Turkey
necessarily sponsored them as armed militants. But some of them probably
did go through Turkey in civilian clothes as tourists or whatever. That`s
typically what`s been feeding this conflict over the last several years.
Ever since the U.S. intervened in Iraq, the presence of U.S. forces has
drawn people from around the world wanting to fight there. It`s becoming a
cockpit of violence ever since we overthrew Saddam Hussein.
KORNACKI: All right. Retired General Wesley Clark joining us from Little
Rock this morning. I really appreciate the time. Thank you for that.
CLARK: Thank you.
KORNACKI: Next, can democrats win by losing the Senate? A different
perspective on the stakes on November 4th right after this.
KORNACKI: Ed McMahon never told anyone you may already be a loser, instead
his job was to tell you that you might be the lucky recipient of a big,
giant check for millions of dollars. In politics, the tag line, you may
already be a loser has begun gaining a little currency in recent weeks, as
in good news, democrats, you`re going to lose the Senate. That`s the
argument from Bill Scher. He`s a liberal commentator who wrote that
article for Politico. And his argument republicans do win the Senate next
month, democrats stand to gain some things like the opposition is on the
verge of fully sharing with President Obama the responsibility of running
the country. And Scher predicts that when it gets ugly, voters will blame
the GOP. And Scher isn`t alone in arguing this. Philip Bump of the
Washington Post actually says that Obama might want to root for republicans
to win in November. He says, it could help make the President`s last two
years in the White House more productive. Jerrod Shouse at "The Wall
Street Journal" adding, quote, "For Mr. Obama, in particular, full GOP
control of Congress might well shift republicans` focus from stopping him
to making things happen."
Bump points to some data that shows a divided government, one party
controlling the White House, the other controlling Congress can be more
productive and this chart of the most productive Congress since 1973, the
yellow line show the years when there was divided government. Most
legislation was passed in those years. Then, again, of course, what was
arguably the biggest legislation for the last four decades, health care
reform and the massive 2009 stimulus, those came when democrats controlled
both the White House and Congress. That was back in the first two years of
Obama`s presidency. So, how much of what we`re reading right now is just
wishful thinking? If republicans do win the Senate next month, is there
really any consolation prize for democrats?
Joining us now to talk about is, is the author of that political article,
headline, "Good News Democrats, You`ll Lose," Bill Scher, he`s also senior
writer for the Campaign for America`s Future. The New York Post Robert
George joins us. Washington Post Elahe Izadi are also back with us.
Bill, I`m sure you`ve gotten the question before. But isn`t this what
everybody on the cusp of losing says? Oh, actually, it`s fine. You know,
we`re going to lose by 30 points, we thought we were going to lose by 40,
so it`s a moral victory.
BILL SCHER, CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA`S FUTURE: And I generally agree that
usually that is silly thinking. I think there are unusual circumstances in
this election. Normally, if you win the elections because the country is
with you, politically, you have a popular agenda that people want to put
into place. An opposition party like the republicans would become in the
majority, they`ve put their agenda on the table, force Obama to sign or
veto, putting him in the uncomfortable spot. That`s not the current
situation right now. They`re not running on an agenda. You can`t find a
Senate ad, say vote for me and I will pass this bill. They don`t do that.
KORNACKI: So, what happens? So, let`s say we come out of this election.
Republicans still have the House, Republicans get the Senate, President
Obama is in the White House. Right now, there`s gridlock because the
republican House and the White House won`t agree on everything and anything
and now you have the Senate and the White House not agreeing. So, what is
SCHER: You remember October 2013, remember the shutdown debacle. You saw
how dysfunctional the House ran where they had one body of Congress.
They`re going to export their civil war to a second front, if they win the
senate. They have to keep the government open for some period of time.
Right now it`s open until December, they have to pass the bill extended
further and somewhere in the middle of 2015. The debt limit is extended
now to March 2015. Mitch McConnell says, his plan is to take spending
bills, tacked on poison pills that restrict the executive branch`s
authority and force it on Obama`s desk.
KORNACKI: So, you`re saying it`s going to be all-out confrontation and
all-out war between Congress and the White House and it`s going to be
clarifying in a way that helps democrats.
Once Obama vetoes those bills, which we`ll have to do is they`re aimed
square in his eyes and it`s punted back to McConnell and Boehner who have
both said, we can`t shut down the government. We can`t have a debt
default. What`s the Tea Party caucus could have do? It`s going to be
total chaos. You`re going to have Ted Cruz and Rand Paul grandstand,
they`re going to the Senate floor, for president, making Mitch McConnell`s
life miserable. And if they look like complete dysfunctional party, un-
capable of governing, that is a disaster for 2016.
KORNACKI: Elahe, I`m curious what you think of this. My question is, you
remember October 2013, that tells me something, because not many people do
IZADI: Well, I remember it because I had to be there every single day.
KORNACKI: You won`t forget.
IZADI: No, I will never forget.
KORNACKI: We heard at the time like, this is going to give the democrats a
majority of the House. People are like, oh, what shutdown, you know?
IZADI: Yes. But at the same time there aren`t very many national
republican voices saying, that was a good strategy, that was a good tactic.
And one of the things when you have a divided government, everyone shares
in the responsibility of governing and so it`s in everyone`s best interest
for Washington to seem somewhat functional. Because right now republicans
are able to say, oh, Washington is so dysfunctional, we have democrats in
the Senate, we have democrats in the White House. So, there`s that at
play. One of the pieces of legislation that were issues that could really
come to the fort. Maybe not, maybe I`m being optimistic here, could be
immigration reform because if republicans control the House and the Senate
and they`re looking at 2016 and in their autopsy report after the last
presidential election, that was the one policy recommendation that they
have. They need to do something about this. And that could be one issue
where republicans might feel like, OK, now we can put together a bill where
we`re not making the kinds of compromises that maybe we had to make before
and put together our republican vision for immigration reform. That could
put the president in a bind and force him to compromise on that.
GEORGE: I agree. We talked earlier on. I agree with that. I mean, I
think immigration reform is the one issue that is actually in the best
interest for republicans in Congress, republicans running in 2016 and for
KORNACKI: Well, immigration reform, it left two republicans to define and
draw up immigration reform would look different.
GEORGE: It`s going to look different, so then it will be on Obama as to
whether he`s willing to settle for like maybe half a loaf of what he wanted
in the context of comprehensive immigration reform or what the republicans,
or what the republicans are giving him. Now, I have to disagree I think
with Bill with the idea that this is --
KORNACKI: He hasn`t heard that before.
GEORGE: This is going to be Nirvana. I was working for Newt Gingrich, you
know, back in the `90s when the republicans did have both the House and the
Senate. They were able to get things --
KORNACKI: There was a shutdown.
GEORGE: There was a shutdown. Bill Clinton, though, right after that
election was basically trying to explain to the country why he was still
relevant. And the point, though, was you were able to get certain things
done. Bill Clinton, though, I think had better political skills in terms
of going to the country, basically blaming, figuring out how to blame the
republicans on shutdowns and force a kind of a compromise. I haven`t seen
that with President Obama in the last, in the last couple of years.
KORNACKI: So, Bill, let`s take that point.
GEORGE: And that doesn`t, by the way, doesn`t even get into the whole idea
of investigations. If Barack Obama thinks he`s going to like having
investigations both in the House and the Senate in his last two years.
KORNACKI: Also the nominations go through the Senate. But one thing I
want to pick up with you, Bill, is immigration. So, what Elahe and Robert
are talking about here is, republicans now say, let`s say they have control
of the House and the Senate. They now say, OK, we can drop our own
immigration proposal very different than what the democrats have been
talking about. We`ll pass it, we`ll put it on Obama`s desk and he doesn`t
want to be the president that doesn`t veto immigration reform. Does that
put him in a bad spot?
SCHER: It will be a trickier spot for him if the bill had a version of
legalization of undocumented, but not citizenship. That`s a bit of a tough
KORNACKI: It probably wouldn`t.
SCHER: If it did not have, if it was a pure, secure the border, nothing
for -- that`s an easy thing for Obama to veto. And for republicans have to
solve their internal conflict on this question if they`re going to do that
and I see no evidence that they have.
GEORGE: And I think legalization but not citizenship I think is a
compromise that Boehner and a Mitch McConnell could take to the members.
Yes, there`s going to be a lot of controversy, but I think that could get
IZADI: Within all of this we have to remember that it doesn`t look like
republicans are going to be able to have a filibuster proof majority. So,
they`re always going to have to have democrats, some democrats with them
and you make a very good point. Two, three maybe of the GOP presidential
nominations are going to be coming from the House or the Senate.
KORNACKI: Or do they change the filibuster rules? Democrats have started
to change --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
IZADI: Going to have to force these people to make, to take votes in the
middle of a presidential season. Where if Hillary Clinton runs and she`s
the frontrunner, she can just kind of stay out of that --
GEORGE: And the other thing to keep in mind with possibly three people
running, running for president in the Senate, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and
possibly Marco Rubio, they`re going to be focused on the campaign trail.
They may not have as much time as they want to keep making trouble in the
KORNACKI: Bill, I`ll give you the last word on this one.
SCHER: I think, basically, if republicans were ready for primetime, they
would be in a great position to cue up 2016 by laying out what their vision
for the country is. They are not running for primetime. They did not
spend the last two years working out their internal differences and that
they`re going to work out their dysfunctional family problems on the big
stage. If they win. I`m not saying they`re definitely going to win. If
they win, and I think they`ll prefer to do that.
KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to Bill Scher, Robert George for joining
us this morning. And Elahe, we`re going to see you in just a few minutes
for something called "Up Against the Clock." I think she`s ready for it.
GEORGE: Good luck, Elahe.
KORNACKI: And also this morning, a weekend of protest is now under way,
reports from the ground near Ferguson, Missouri. That is straight ahead.
KORNACKI: Thursday marked the two-month anniversary of the shooting death
of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police
officer. It began weeks of demonstrations and unrest and in St. Louis, a
weekend of new protests now under way. NBC`s Ron Allen is live on the
ground with the latest for us. Ron.
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Steve. There are a
little way thousands of people expected here who want to make a very loud
statement on a very big stage. A stage that they are literally building
right now behind me. Protests so far have not really happened here in a
big way in the heart of St. Louis. They have been, for the most part, in
Ferguson. But that is about to change during this weekend of resistance.
The so-called weekend of resistance. Many people demanding justice for
Michael Brown and others as well who`ve lost their lives in confrontations
(Protesters): We do this for Mike Brown!
We do this for Mike Brown!
ALLEN (voice-over): Ferguson Police Headquarters, epicenter for another
night of confrontation. For two months now protesters demanding the arrest
and prosecution of Officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing unarmed
teenager Michael Brown. As the crowd crossed the street, police appeared.
And the tension began to build. Anita Jones Mack brought her three-year-
old Nigel (ph) right up front.
ANITA JONES MACK, PROTESTER: He needs to know exactly what`s going on.
ALLEN: In the crowd, demonstrators from across the country, with more
expected to arrive. Laurie Arbiter (ph) making signs, he`s from New York.
(on camera): Why come here from New York?
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh, why not? We have to. This is a national problem.
ALLEN (voice-over): Here, this week, renewed anger as another family of
another 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers claimed -- he, like Michael Brown, was
an innocent victim. Shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He was respectful. He was my baby.
ALLEN: Police insists Myers was armed and opened fire first after the
officer had attempted to question him. But many here don`t trust the
authorities. Especially since the officer who shot Michael Brown has not
been charged with a crime. Brown`s father.
MICHAEL BROWN SR., FATHER OF MICHAEL BROWN: At this point, I`m at peace,
I`m not angry. (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (INAUDIBLE) Subject to arrest.
ALLEN: Overnight, the protesters and police in riot gear squared off,
face-to-face. Eventually the crowd dispersed, but this weekend of
resistance has just begun.
ALLEN: Overnight, police say they did not make any arrests and there are
no reports of any significant violence, but authorities in the region are
on high alert and there`s a lot of concern and anxiety about what`s going
to happen during this weekend of protests -- Steve.
KORNACKI: All right, Ron Allen, live for us in St. Louis. A lot going on
out there this weekend. We appreciate that, Ron. And we`ll be right back.
KORNACKI: On our show we tend to have a lot of guests who are experts in
particular stakes. But it couldn`t help me impress when I saw this clip
from the game show "Wheel of Fortune."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Shannon we start with you this time. Letter, please.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: N.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One n.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Albuquerque, New Mexico.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, of course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Your guess is as good as mine about how that happened. He`s one
of those amazing game show moments that make your jaw drop. And if you
have an appetite for mind blowing fits of witt (ph), and hand eye
coordination, then you`re going to love "Up Against the Clock." It`s our
weekly current events quiz show, it`s taking the country by storm. Stay
tuned, "Up Against the Clock" is up next.
JIM CUTLER, ANNOUNCER: Live from Studio 3A in Rockefeller Center USA, it`s
time for "Up Against the Clock." He can name all the presidents in 30
seconds. So we`re only going to ask questions about vice presidents. Say
hello to Jonathan Alter. He hopes to advance to the next round of
competition just like his favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles.
Please welcome Thomas Roberts. And please wait a second while I come up
with a punchline for this comedian. It`s Elahe Izadi. And now the host of
"Up Against the Clock" Steve Kornacki.
KORNACKI: Oh, thank you, Jim Cutler. Thank you, studio audience. Thank
you, everyone at home. And thank you to our contestants, Jonathan Alter,
Elahe Izadi and our special guest today, Thomas Roberts.
THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC HOST, "WAY TOO EARLY": Thank you.
KORNACKI: Thank you for joining us. You ready to play?
ROBERTS: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
KORNACKI: You came to play today. To let you know how it works. Thomas
first-time contestant, I think Jonathan is, as well. But those of you just
joining us, this is a fast-pace political news and current events quiz. We
play three rounds. Each of them 100 seconds long. Questions are worth 100
points in the first round, 200 in the second, 300 in the third and
contestants you can ring in any time, but be careful because you will be
penalized for any incorrect answers and also we have two special bonus
questions scattered in here. We will explain them, if and when they come
up. Our contestants today will be playing not just for victory, but also,
maybe, a chance to play in our tournament of champions at the end of the
season. To qualify, you are first going to have to win today, as always.
I will implore our live studio audience. Please, no outbursts. Our
contestants require absolute concentration. And with that, contestants, I
will ask you to put your hands on your buzzers.
We`re going to put 100 seconds on the clock. I have in my hands the 100-
point questions here and we begin the game with this. The "Wall Street
journal" reported on Friday that President Obama is considering using
executive power to close this long controversial -- Jonathan?
ALTER: Guantanamo Bay.
KORNACKI: Guantanamo Bay, he is considering closing it. Hundred points
for Jonathan. Hundred point toss-up. In an interview this week, Mitt
Romney says that he prefers watching the downstairs cast more than the
upstairs cast -- Elahe?
IZADI: "Downton Abbey."
KORNACKI: On the PBS show "Downton Abbey." That`s correct. Hundred
points for you. Hundred point toss-up. On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton will
continue her October campaign blitz when she joins this democratic
candidate in Kentucky. Elahe.
KORNACKI: Alison Grimes is correct. Stop the clock. Exciting news for
you Elahe, that is our video instant bonus question. Here`s how it works.
Very simply this is a risk-free chance for you to double what you just won.
To add an extra 100 points we have a special celebrity guest who is going
to read a famous political quote. You will then to have to identify who
said the quote. If you will direct your attention to our video monitor and
say hello to Hoda Kotb.
HODA KOTB, CO-HOST, "TODAY SHOW": Hey, everybody, I`m Hoda Kotb with the
"Today" show and I`m here with the latest "Up Against the Clock" quote of
note. Are you ready? Here`s the question. Which 20th century world
leader once said, in politics, if you want something said, ask a man. If
you want something done, ask a woman.
ROBERTS: I know.
KORNACKI: I will ask a woman. Who said that?
IZADI: Clinton, I don`t know.
KORNACKI: Incorrect but no penalty. Did you know it, Thomas?
ROBERTS: Eleanor Roosevelt.
KORNACKI: Incorrect. Did you know it, Jonathan?
ALTER: I don`t actually.
KORNACKI: I do. It`s Margaret Thatcher, he has written down right in
front of me, that`s how I knew. But nobody loses anything. That`s just a
bonus question. We put the clock back on the board. Hundred point rounds
continues with this. Clocking in at 517 pages, all things possible, a new
memoir by -- Thomas?
ROBERTS: Incorrect. A new memoir by this -- Jonathan.
ALTER: It`s about Nelson Rockefeller.
KORNACKI: Incorrect. A new memoir by this New York governor will be
released on --
ALTER: Andrew Cuomo.
KORNACKI: You`ve already got it wrong. You`re supposed to be locked out.
Cuomo is correct. Hundred points. A lot going on there. She waits until
he gives her the answer. Hundred point toss-up. It`s been over a month
since this leader of North Korea has seen in public -- Thomas?
ROBERTS: Kim Jong-un.
KORNACKI: Is correct. Hundred points for Thomas. Hundred point question,
quote, "We all wear them with pride, First Lady -- Elahe.
KORNACKI: First Lady Michelle Obama said about spanx this week. Hundred
points for Elahe. Hundred point toss-up. This 2012 republican candidate
who finished third in the New Hampshire primary said this week that he
would not run for -- Thomas?
KORNACKI: Jon Huntsman said it this week. Hundred points for Thomas.
Hundred point toss-up. There were reports this week that a television show
about cars is being developed. Elahe.
IZADI: Jay Leno.
KORNACKI: And hosted by Jay Leno. Hundred points for Elahe. A lot
happening in that round. It ends with Elahe at 500, Thomas climbing out of
negatives to 100. Jonathan at zero there with that early jumping in on
that Cuomo question. But everybody still very much in this game.
IZADI: Thank you for that.
KORNACKI: Because the stakes are about to get higher. We double the
value. These are 200-point question. Which means they`re also twice as
hard. Another bonus question scattered in here. We put 100 seconds on the
clock and we start the 200-point round with this. Apologizing this week
for saying that women should trust, quote, "karma" in the workplace instead
of asking for a pay raise with Satya Nadella -- Elahe?
KORNACKI: Was the CEO of Microsoft. Two hundred points for Elahe, 200-
point toss-up. The new poll of Capitol Hill staffers by Washingtonian
magazine ranked Al Franklin as the funniest U.S. senator in this embattled
Kansas republican as the second -- Elahe?
IZADI: Pat Roberts.
KORNACKI: Pat Roberts as the second funniest senator. Correct, somehow
200-points. Two hundred point toss-up. Introducing President Obama at a
fund-raiser on Thursday night by saying, quote, "You`re so handsome" --
IZADI: Gwyneth Paltrow.
KORNACKI: Gwyneth Paltrow said. Elahe on a roll here. Two hundred more.
Two hundred point toss-up. When Jan Hooks, the comedian who passed away at
the age of 57 this week portrayed a Hillary Rodham -- Elahe?
IZADI: Oh, I was going to say Eleanor Cliff, I thought you`re --
KORNACKI: Incorrect. I can complete the question for trade. Hillary
Rodham Clinton on "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s, which fellow cast
ROBERTS: Phil Hartman.
KORNACKI: Phil Hartman played Bill Clinton. Two hundred points for
Thomas. Two hundred point toss-up. Cutting an ad this week -- the
democratic challenger to Maine Senator Susan Collins was this famous Maine
resident and prolific horror novel author -- Jonathan?
ALTER: Stephen King.
KORNACKI: Stephen King is correct. Stop the clock. Very exciting news
for you, Jonathan, by answering that question correctly, you have triggered
our use it or lose it bonus question. Here is how it works. It`s very
simple. We have a follow-up question that is in some way related to the
question you just answered. It is worth 200 points. You can double what
you just won. But it is not a risk-free proposition.
ALTER: I have to.
KORNACKI: You can lose 200. I have the question. Will you use it or lose
ALTER: Use it.
KORNACKI: He will use it. Here`s your follow-up question, Jonathan.
Stephen King`s 1982 short story "The Body" became the basis for this hit
1986 Rob Reiner coming of age film.
ROBERTS: I know it!
ALTER: Rob Reiner coming of age film.
KORNACKI: Better take a guess. Going to need an answer. Call time.
Thomas, you want to guess for nothing.
ROBERTS: "Weird Science."
KORNACKI: Incorrect. Elahe? It was "Stand by Me." And unfortunately,
that will cost you 200, Jonathan. We`ll put the clock back on and we will
go with this. This week at Madison Square Garden, Fleetwood Mac reunited
with the original member Christine McVie who wrote this song that was used
as a theme for Bill Clinton -- Jonathan?
ALTER: "Don`t stop thinking about tomorrow."
KORNACKI: That`s right. Two hundred points for Jonathan. Next question,
200 points. Locked in a tight re-election battle, this democratic governor
of Colorado said this week -- Jonathan.
KORNACKI: Hickenlooper at the wire. Correct. That`s the end of the
round. Jonathan moving to 400 with that correct answer, Thomas at 300,
Elahe at 900. So, Elahe still in the lead but it gets very volatile when
we move to the 300-point round. The PH.D. round. We dim the lights for
dramatic effects. These are the hardest but most valuable questions on the
ROBERTS: Can you please dim so we can unplug her monitor?
KORNACKI: That would be cheating. So, we put 100 seconds on the clock.
The 300 point round that will crown the champion begins with this question,
this teenager known for her advocacy in education --
KORNACKI: We need the last name.
ROBERTS: Malala Yousafzai.
KORNACKI: She says what he said. Three hundred points for Elahe.
IZADI: Oh, oh, OK.
KORNACKI: It was still her turn to answer. Thomas you gave an answer, 300
points here. On Friday, the U.S. army war college revoked the degree of
Montana Senator John Walsh after investigating his master`s thesis for
KORNACKI: Plagiarism. Three hundred point for Jonathan. Three hundred
point toss-up. President Obama on Friday dedicated a national monument for
the 13th time. This one in the San Gabriel Mountains of this state?
KORNACKI: Three hundred point for Jonathan. Three hundred 300-point toss-
up. In a settlement agreed to this week, this telecommunications giant
will pay 105 -- Thomas?
KORNACKI: AT&T is correct. Three hundred points for Thomas. Three
hundred-point toss-up. A military team from the United States will be
discussing steps to combat ISIS with Turkish officials next week in this
capital city of Turkey. Jonathan?
KORNACKI: Ankara is correct. Three hundred points for Jonathan. Three
hundred point toss-up. Bill Clinton returned to his native Arkansas this
week -- Thomas.
ROBERTS: That`s true.
KORNACKI: It is true. But I`ll complete the question. This week where he
was first elected governor in what year? Jonathan?
KORNACKI: 1978 is correct. Three hundred-point toss-up. Larry Pressler,
the independent whose polls show is closing in on the lead in the race for
Senate in South Dakota previously served in the Senate from 1979 until 1997
when he was defeated for re-election by this democrat? Jonathan?
ALTER: Tom Daschle.
KORNACKI: Incorrect. Any guesses here. All right, time. Three hundred
points. End of the game, Jonathan, the correct answer by the way to that
was Tim Johnson. The retiring democratic senator. Jonathan, it almost
cost you the game, but it didn`t. This is a very close one, 1,300 for
Jonathan. Thomas knew quite a few answers, ringing in a little early on a
few but a very close game, very hard fought game. And Jonathan, as the
winner, Bill Wolff is about to tell you what you`ve won.
BILL WOLFF, STAFF ANNOUNCER: As our champion, your name will be engraved
using the finest sharpie ink on the all-new stain-resistant "Up Against the
Clock" gold cup. You`ll also receive a DVD copy of the classic 1988 film
"Cocoon 2: The Return," personally autographed by Wilford Brimley. And
you`ll get to play in our jackpot round for today`s grand prize, a $50 gift
certificate to quick meal food cart, Big Town Manhattan, the only street
meat vendor in the greater 45th St. area operated by a former chef of the
Russian tearoom. I had it for lunch today. Delicious. Enjoy the meal and
congratulations. Back to you, Steve
KORNACKI: All right. I always say that third round a lot can happen, you
just proved it, Jonathan. A very dramatic comeback here. Now, to seal the
deal and win the jackpot bonus. I have your question here. Scott Walker,
if he manages to defeat Mary Burke and win re-election as governor of
Wisconsin, is considered a likely candidate to run for president in 2016.
Who is the last Wisconsin governor to run for president?
ALTER: Pat Lucy.
KORNACKI: Incorrect. It was Tommy Thompson.
ALTER: Right. Tommy Thompson.
KORNACKI: Tommy Thompson running briefly in 2007. You do not win the
bonus but you do get to keep the mug for a week and you get all the glory
and honor and maybe, maybe a chance to come back. Thomas, Elahe, thank you
so much for playing. You both receive the home edition. Thank you for
joining us. And we`ll be back with some final thoughts in the show right
KORNACKI: All right. We have a few minutes here, which means it`s time to
find out what our guests know now that they didn`t know when the week
began. And actually, Thomas Roberts, surprise appearance, nobody knew you
were coming for the big game show there a minute ago. But you`re back with
us at table here. And actually, you told a lot of people something they
didn`t know this week. You had an interesting piece that aired yesterday
on "Morning Joe" about baseball.
ROBERTS: Thanks. It was a really cool week. Because we have an
intersection of sports and judicial policy that began because of the
Supreme Court not taking up any of the cases that had to deal with marriage
equality, and the fact that they decided not to do that opened up the
floodgates for what we`ve seen now. And just overnight with North Carolina
now moving ahead to have marriage equality. So the easier thing to do than
talk about the states that have marriage equality is to talk about the
states that don`t. So, there`s only six places right now that ban marriage
equality. North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama and
Georgia. The rest of the country either has the full right. There are six
places that have a pro-marriage ruling and an appellate level which paves
the way for marriage. Nine places right now that have a pro-marriage court
ruling pending further action. So when we started the week. We did not
have this, right? So here we sit today with almost the entire country in a
swath of marriage equality. As I said, only six places. It`s easier to
talk about these six states that have nothing on the book and no movement.
It`s like a light switch went on overnight.
KORNACKI: But you did a piece this week on also another realm where things
are changing, but maybe about professional sports.
ROBERTS: The great point about this is the fact that Billy Bean is now the
Ambassador for Inclusion for Major League Baseball. Baseball does not have
an out player. The MLB oversees more than 5,000 professional athletes when
we talk about the pro-leagues, the minor leagues, you know, the farm
leagues, the Latin academy, all these men that are coming up through the
system, but we have these four teams that are working their way through the
playoffs right now, on their way to the world series, and we have got the
cards, we`ve got St. Louis, we`ve got the Orioles, we`ve got the Giants.
All of those states and all of those cities now recognize marriage
equality. Because Missouri this week, their Attorney General said that we
will recognize marriages that are performed in other states. Again, that`s
a state right now that falls in that kind of gray area.
ROBERTS: But the Attorney General said, we`re not going to keep other
people from, you know, getting married elsewhere. And that being
recognized here. We`re not going to want other people to come from other
places and not be supported here. If business are going to move here and
sees an economic boom down. So it`s really encouraging to see. So Billy
Bean, now in charge of trying to helm this. Again, we don`t have an out
player, Billy came out in 1999 --
KORNACKI: This is a former Major League Baseball player --
ROBERTS: Baseball player that played for the Padres. Played in LA.
KORNACKI: It`s not the same. When people say baseball and Billy Bean.
ROBERTS: Not money ball.
KORNACKI: These are two different Billy Beans who were kind of big in
KORNACKI: So that`s interesting. So, Jonathan, as the new reigning
champion of "Up Against the Clock."
ALTER: I can`t believe I won. I look on the board, I started getting
KORNACKI: I always say -- won or lost in the third round. You proved it
today. So, what do you know now, Jonathan, that you didn`t know when the
ALTER: So, it`s a little phony, because I did know this when the week
began. But nonetheless, it gives me a chance to plug the fact that it was
announced by Amazon that the show that I`m an executive producer of which
is called Alpha House, stars John Goodman and Wanda Sykes and Matt Malloy,
Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson, this is going to be binged release on
October 24th. Our entire second season.
KORNACKI: This is the members of Congress who live together.
ALTER: I should mention that. Four republican senators who live in a man
cave on Capitol Hill. The show was created by Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury
Fame. We recently completed our second season. And it was announced this
week that all ten episodes of season two will be available on October 24th.
If you subscribe to Amazon prime. Now, just to segue, you know, what you
were to talk about, the season concludes with a gay marriage. But I won`t
KORNACKI: All right. A little bit of a tease there. And Elahe, how about
IZADI: Well, all right. I hate to be a little bit of a downer. But I
learned a lot about Ebola this week. One of the things that really came
across the radar for me was all of these stories of just acts of her
heroism really on the front lines of these crises in West Africa. I mean,
these health care workers are essentially having to do these -- like going
above and beyond with anyone should have to do and really putting
themselves at risk. And there`s a huge orphans crises. Particularly in
Liberia, there are all these Ebola orphans. And a lot of these clinics
that are opening up, that are quick to deal with Ebola patients, don`t know
what to do with the babies and the children of these patients once their
parents die. So, the math still favors the virus right now in its spread
in West Africa. But we`re really trying to -- we`re sending over troops.
There`s all this aide going. So, there`s support going there.
KORNACKI: All right. We`ll keep an eye on that obviously. I want to
thank Jonathan Alter, Thomas Robert, Elahe Izadi, thanks for getting up
this morning. Thank you for joining us. And I`ll play the online version
by the way of "Up Against the Clock" on our Facebook page.
Up next, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." We will see you right here tomorrow
morning, 8:00 a.m. Thanks for getting UP.
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