'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, November 1st, 2014
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: November 1, 2014
Guest: Sam Stein, Joan Walsh, Robert George, Loretta Boniti, Carol
Robidoux, Bill Nemitz, Garrett Quinn, Marc Caputo, Sam Wang, Eli Stokols,
John Aronno, David Ramsey, Michael Steele, Howard Dean
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Seventy two hours until Election Day.
All right. Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us because around
here it might as well be weekend before Christmas. Seventy two hours as we
said. There are only three days to go right now until Election Day one of
the most exciting and suspenseful midterm elections in decades. Who will
control the U.S. Senate come January it`s still a little better than a coin
toss at this point. We have an ambitious goal this weekend to bring you
live reports from every single one of the ten battleground states that are
going to determine Senate control. We`re going to get to that all weekend
on this show. President Obama has been carrying out his own plan to hit as
many battleground states as possible campaigning on behalf of democrats, of
course, he`ll be on the road all this weekend.
For more on that now, we`ll going to start with NBC`s Kristen Welker who
joins us from the north lawn of the White House. Good morning Kristen, so
what can you tell us about the final campaign blitz that the President is
taking off on this weekend? Where is he going? What`s he talking about?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Steve, good
morning. Well, today`s campaign stop tells you everything that you need to
know about where President Obama fits into the democrats` larger fight to
hold on to the Senate. He has mostly been sitting on the sidelines, but
today he`s going to be campaigning for Congressman Gary Peters in Michigan.
This is the first and only Senate candidate, Steve that President Obama
will be stumping for this election cycle. Peters is expected to win and
President Obama handily won Michigan back in 2012. So this is really a
safe race for him to be stumping for. Largely the President`s been sitting
on the sidelines going to reliably blue states and campaigning for
Places in recent days like Wisconsin, Maine, tomorrow he`ll head to
Connecticut, he`ll head to Pennsylvania. Of course, those are reliably
blue states. The reason, Steve, we`ve been talking about this for days,
the President`s approval rating in the 40s so you have a lot of candidates
for Senate in some of those tough battleground states who have been
distancing themselves from President Obama, of course, one of the big
examples of that is in Kentucky Alison Lundergan-Grimes who wouldn`t
acknowledge who she voted for when asked if she actually voted for
President Obama. But the President has been picking up his campaign
schedule, so he is going -- making stops basically on a daily basis at this
point. We have seen the First Lady, though, Steve, in some of those tough
battleground states, she has been in Iowa, she`s has been in Colorado.
But what President Obama has really been an asset for the democrats is in
terms of fundraising, so he`s been attending a lot of fundraisers. He`s
also been doing things like making robo-calls in states like Atlanta,
trying to rally the base, trying to rally that coalition that swept him to
the White House in 2008 and in 2012. So trying to get African-American
voters, women voters to head to the polls on Tuesday. And just to put it
into a little bit of context, Steve, of course, he`s not an anomaly. A lot
of people refer to this as the six-year itch. If you go back and you look
President George W. Bush had a very comparable campaign schedule back then.
So a little bit later on today, though President Obama heads to Michigan,
and we`ll be watching it here.
KORNACKI: All right, campaigning for the democratic candidate in Michigan,
he is the political equivalent of pushing on an open door, he`s ahead by
about 20 points. But I`m sure they love to take credit for.
WELKER: That`s right.
KORNACKI: My thanks to Kristen Welker live for us from the White House
this morning, I appreciate that.
WELKER: Thank you.
KORNACKI: Maybe you`ve already seen this but the President also has some
strong economic news to tout in this final campaign weekend. Gas prices
are low again around $3 a gallon on average nationwide. Stock markets are
closing at record highs so it shouldn`t be surprising in his final weekly
address this morning before the campaign, the last one before voters head
to the polls, President Obama wants to tell voters about how far the
economy has come on his watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the past 55 months our
businesses have added 10.3 million new jobs. For the first time in six
years the unemployment rate is below six percent. And on Thursday we
learned that over the past six months our economy has grown at its fastest
pace since 2003.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. Joining me now to discuss this all the other
weekend`s big stories, big election preview edition of the show this
weekend, we have Sam Stein and we have MSNBC contributor and White House
correspondent for the Huffington Post, we have Joan Walsh. MSNBC political
analyst and editor-at-large for Salon.com and Robert George, columnist for
"The New York Post." So, good economic -- I mean, I remember when $3 was
high for gas, first.
SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: You`re old.
KORNACKI: Yes. It was 99 cents when I was in college at the cheap place
ROBERT GEORGE, NEW YORK POST: We`re all dating ourselves.
KORNACKI: But it`s great news to be down to $3 definitely. So, some good,
encouraging economic news, you know, the quarterly growth rate all of these
sorts of things. Anybody thing there`s any kind of a late boost here for
the democrats, getting some credit for this, is anything like that taking
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: I think it`s late. I think it`s unlikely but, you
know, most of this news except for the gas under $3, this has been the news
for quite a while and I really think it`s unfortunate and kind of
mystifying that the democrats have been so unable to craft a message about
the rise of the economy. Now, there`s a good -- there`s one good reason
for that, and that is some of their voters are not feeling it. This has
been an amazing economy for the top one percent for the Mitt Romney voters
it`s been a great, great economy. And for democrats it`s been -- it`s been
lagging. You`ve got states like Georgia where, you know, Michelle Nunn is
running on the economy not being good. In Wisconsin, Marry Burke is making
Wisconsin`s economic lag essential to her campaign. So, it cuts both ways
for democrats. Still, I can`t -- I can`t believe that there hasn`t been
some way to have the soaring message we`ve done this much and we have more
GEORGE: This may sound a little bit odd but before we came on the three of
us were talking -- we`re talking about baseball. We`re talking about the
WALSH: Yes, we were.
STEIN: That was confidential.
GEORGE: Yes, I know.
But in a weird way this is almost the saber metric economy because the way
-- no --
KORNACKI: That`s a big word for 8:06.
GEORGE: Yes. I apologize. But the way we`ve been calculating the economy
in the old ways it was, you know, the unemployment level was this. The
amount of jobs created was this. And that would be -- translate to a good
economy. Now we calculate, you know, how large is the workforce, and how
many people have left the workforce. And so, for the last few years the
people don`t see the economy impacting -- impacting them. And the -- so
many people have left the economy, the President doesn`t get any credit for
STEIN: So, unemployment rate is bad and average basically.
GEORGE: Exactly. And now you have to look at the President in terms of
wins against replacements.
STEIN: I think objectively, you know, the president has a case to make
which is that the country is objectively better off than when he took
office. The problem is as Joan illustrated that it`s very difficult to
talk about that when a lot of people still feel like they`re left behind.
And it`s something that democratic pollsters Stanley Greenberg and James
Carville, obviously long time strategist, have talked about for six years
now which is, how do you message an improving economy if people feel like
if you are talking too optimistically about it that you`re out of touch?
STEIN: And it`s a really tough one. Now, the President has actually been
more forceful in this election and much more forceful in part because he
has the statistics to back it up and but, again, I don`t think people are
KORNACKI: And I`ve always thought there`s something about midterm
elections, I know, when we talk about them now, we`re always talking
about, well, it`s the republican voters who show up for midterms and the
democratic voters who show up for presidential elections. I think that a
more recent thing. I just think it`s the longer term thing. When you look
at history, there`s a reason why the White House party basically never
makes gains in midterm elections. I mean, we`ve seen it happen like twice,
you know, like, since World War II. In 1994 when, you know, the republican
revolution in `94, Gingrich, 54 seats all this stuff. But remember the
unemployment rate dropped under six percent. We`d come out of a big
recession in the early `90s. Clinton got elected to fix the economy and it
fell under six percent and the month before the election, it was great
economic news and it was the worst defeat for democrats since World War II.
It feels to me like there`s also something with voters the nature of the
midterm election is the party in the White House, they are in the mood to
find fault with and to punish.
GEORGE: And the economy was turning on the republican side the economy was
turning around in 2006 as well. And George W. Bush --
KORNACKI: Well, that one didn`t last too long.
GEORGE: I know. But primarily because of Iraq, there was a thumping that
went there where the, you know, and that`s when -- and actually that`s when
democrats did turn out and republicans -- and republicans stayed home, so
there is -- I mean, it has more to do with who`s in the White House, you
know, versus the --
KORNACKI: Well, no. That`s true. The democrats to get control of the
House and be in position to do stuff under Obama it took --
STEIN: Can we just step back for a second and look at the -- I mean, part
of it`s just the states, right? I mean, we`re looking at elections in
states that traditionally go republican and have more conservative voters.
The toss-up states are purple-ish state. The fact that Kansas is a toss-up
state is sort of remarkable in its own rights. But, you know, demographic
in states and landscape do matter here as much as the economy or national
and general trends.
GEORGE: But I think -- but I think it`s also interesting that -- well,
that is true, that at the state level governors, whether republicans --
republican or democrat, incumbents are in a lot of trouble. I mean, you`ve
got Hickenlooper in Colorado. But Scott in Florida. Corbett in
Pennsylvania. It`s not -- yes. Yes, Walker`s right in there.
KORNACKI: Yes. We have a list on the show of 14 of them last week.
GEORGE: Yes. Yes. Exactly. So, at the state level there`s a lot more
different factors that are going on than just ideological turnout.
KORNACKI: Yes. Well, there will be a lot to - there will be a lot to
interpret Wednesday morning. May not be over Wednesday morning.
WALSH: Right. Very likely.
KORNACKI: The fact remains that even though the economy is better many
people aren`t feeling its effects, I mean, in red states and even in a lot
of purple ones President Obama remains deeply unpopular. Here`s one
candidate in a red state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: I`ll be very, very honest with you. In
the south has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,
it`s been a difficult time for the President to present himself in a very
positive light as a leader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And that was democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in an interview
this week with Chuck Todd and as you might expect her comments set off a
firestorm. Governor Bobby Jindal tweeted this, "Senator Landrieu`s
comments are remarkably divisive, she appears to be living in a different
century." So, a lot of attention being paid to these comments. A lot of
outrage. I`ll go right to the most cynical interpretation of this. This
is Mary Landrieu who is fighting for her political life and if you look at
how she got re-elected in 2008, parishes in Louisiana, city of New Orleans,
she got like 100,000 vote plurality out of there, primarily black city and
she is really trying to energize and build up the turnout because the only
thing that would save her right now.
WALSH: I`m sure that`s absolutely part of it. But it is also absolutely
fact what she said. She didn`t say it was the only reason that the
President was having problems but it`s simply true if you look at the way
white democrats react to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, there are
differences between them. In 2008 I spent a lot of time explaining that it
wasn`t only racism behind the reaction to Hillary Clinton but there was
racism. And the way that she`s being pilloried in the mainstream media, I
find it shocking and I find it kind of offensive that we all accept that
it`s okay to say this President is deeply unpopular. Well, you know what?
He`s deeply unpopular with one group of voters white voters. He`s not
deeply unpopular with Latinos or African-Americans or Asian-Americans.
GEORGE: You meant racist within the democrats who were voting for Hillary
WALSH: Yes, I`m fine with saying racist. I don`t think racism is only in
the Republican Party. So, I`m fine with saying it. And the word "racist"
might be a little strong but there`s some racial discomfort, there`s some
cultural discomfort and for Mary Landrieu to be in trouble for simply
saying that is one factor shows how poorly we talk about race in this
KORNACKI: I mean, I just look at it, a politician in the south, in the
Deep South, she has to know, whether, you know, right or wrong aside, she
has to know what she`s stepping in when she says something like that.
GEORGE: But it`s interesting actually, one of the strongest ads against
Mary Landrieu right now has been from a black state Senate democrat who has
accused her of not doing enough for African-Americans in Louisiana. So, I
mean, the racial politics in Louisiana are always -- are always
complicated. But Landrieu is going to try to get the base out but I`m not
quite sure if that particular appeal is going to necessarily energize some
black voters towards her.
KORNACKI: What do you make of this, Sam?
STEIN: I would like to see these two continue to talk about it.
KORNACKI: Be Switzerland.
STEIN: I mean, you know, if you look at it as sort of a cynical ploy to
get the black vote out in New Orleans, I understand why republicans are
upset because they feel like they are being characterized or caricatured I
should say as a way for her, there`d been some political interests. But I
think it`s a general matter, as an observation of, you know, attitudes and
you know, beliefs. I don`t think it`s terribly crazy for her to say that.
I think there is been some evidence that, you know, there is resentment
towards the President based on the color of his skin. I`m not saying,
everyone has it but it`s there. And I think it`s silly to deny it.
GEORGE: I mean, as a historical fact it`s true.
STEIN: Yes, it`s true.
WALSH: It hadn`t been the friendliest place for African-Americans. Could
you be any more diplomatic than that? I mean, my God.
KORNACKI: All right. We got to squeeze a break in. A lot more. The
countdown is on. Seventy two hours still. Well, the polls are open in
like 30 states right now, but in even more states, the polls will open in
72 hours. So, we`ll talk about more pre-election coverage right after
KORNACKI: All right. We`re back. This Saturday before the election some
of the stories also making headlines this morning of news and politics
colliding take the situation in Maine. That`s where the state is still
trying to keep Kaci Hickox, the nurse who volunteered to treat Ebola
patients in West Africa indoors at home this weekend. A judge ruled
yesterday that the state cannot force her to be quarantined in her home.
She can do whatever she wants this weekend and the path of reporters
trailing behind her to document her every move if they want to. Federal
health officials say returning Ebola medical workers should not be
quarantined and it`s difficult to catch Ebola from someone who is
But according to a survey this week, 80 percent of Americans disagree with
that assessment. They say that all returning medical workers should be
quarantined. So interesting story we`ve seen play out this week, you know,
she -- it was probably about halfway through this quarantine, she`s in her
home in Maine, she says I`m refusing to stay here. I`m going to leave, you
will have to get a court order, they couldn`t get a court order. She`s
free to roam around. Do you think this is a good thing, a bad thing?
WALSH: Good for her.
WALSH: Really. Good for her. It`s really forcing a conversation about
how hard it is to get this disease and it`s, you know, fighting back
against the demagoguery of Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo trying to make
this into something it`s not and trying to use fear and trying to look like
the leaders because they`re beating up on this poor health worker.
GEORGE: Well, you know, at the same time even though, you know, the judge
sided with her, he also said, you know, as a health -- as a health care
professional she should be aware of what human nature is like in these kind
of things and take that into account and I think that was appropriate
language because, look, she may have been in the right and from the
science, she may have been correct as well, but the attitude that she has
is which seems to be, you know, I can do whatever I want. I can go
wherever I want and there shouldn`t be any kind of restrictions. I mean, I
think for a disease that people are still getting educated about I think
that was kind of inappropriate and she could have been -- she says that she
was humbled. If she was actually humbled, I think she would, you know,
stay a little bit closer to home and, you know, sure, go on with her life
but rather than sort of invite all of this attention I don`t think --
STEIN: I don`t think it`s fair to assume that that`s her attitude.
GEORGE: I think it`s manifest.
STEIN: I can do whatever I want. I don`t think that`s right. I think
she`s cognizant of what this disease does. I think she`s cognizant of how
this disease is transmitted and she recognizes that she`s asymptomatic at
this point in time. Now, she could change. I don`t pretend that this is
an easy one-sided debate here. I mean, there are clearly arguments on each
side and there are valid arguments on each side. And I think, you know, if
it were a more severe and contagious disease than Ebola you would have to
reconsider how you do quarantines possibly.
STEIN: But, you know, she is forcing the right conversation in this
respect which is that, we`ve had politicians sort of come in and it tell
doctors and nurses and medical professionals how they should treat this
disease, how they should deal with this disease and I think that`s sort of
-- I think we have it backwards.
GEORGE: But part of the problem is that some of these health professionals
particularly the CDC, the language on this has changed. Has changed.
STEIN: Absolutely right.
GEORGE: And when the health professionals are the ones, you know, saying,
well, you can`t get it if you`re just on a bus but if you have Ebola, don`t
get on a bus. When you start getting these mixed message coming into the
media, it`s understandable. And that`s from the --
STEIN: I understand. That`s a valid criticism.
KORNACKI: I wonder, that`s why I think the idea of the incubation period
on this is 21 days. And you certainly can salute her coming back and say
you`ve done -- you didn`t have to go over there to help out and you did and
that`s an incredibly admirable thing but at the same time, you know, you
don`t have it right now. Obviously you`re not going to be transmitting
anything right now. You could theoretically, you know, it`s a long shot.
You could sometime in 21 days develop it. Certainly the doctor here in New
York didn`t think he was about to get it. It came on after his three-mile
run and it can come on pretty quickly. And so, you know, it just seems
maybe in an atmosphere where there are so much uncertainty where some of
the information has changed on this, where the country when you look at
polls like this is so worried about this, is it the worst thing in the
world, all right, I`m going to spend three weeks at home. I`m not going to
be in this bubble that they set up for me in Newark. I`ll be at home. You
know, it`s not the best thing in the world but when it`s over I`ve set an
example and it calmed people down a little bit.
WALSH: No, but I think she`s trying to set an example. I think she
disagrees with her. I think she thinks her role is an important role and
it is to say this is not contagious and we should not have these -- she`s
not running around kissing people.
KORNACKI: But if we expand it beyond -- we have one case of somebody in a
remote part of Maine, you know, okay, she`s not really going to be around
people anyway, but what happens when it`s, you know, dozens of people
coming back and they`re going to Chicago, to New York, to Los Angeles, the
example has been please, stay out all you want and if you feel sick then --
STEIN: I think it`s important to actually state what the CDC`s own
guidelines are and they`ve revised them as you noted. And right now, the
CDC guidelines are to recommend a voluntary quarantine. They say if you`ve
been exposed to the Ebola virus and by that they mean, you`ve come into
contact with someone with Ebola and you didn`t have a hazmat suit on, then
you should be in your home. We`re not going to force you, but you should
be in your home and you should be monitoring yourself. And, you know, I
think they have thought this through very hard and well because they want
to respect someone`s individual liberty but they also have obviously
medical considerations. You know, I`m -- I guess I`m curious why
politicians feel like that is way too stringent and I can under where
they`re coming from. But I think that`s what we should base the
conversation, what are the CDC guidelines and are they acceptable and for
this woman she was not exposed in that sense. She was wearing a hazmat
suit every time she`s not showing symptoms.
KORNACKI: This doctor in New York according to his own account had the
same suit on the whole time --
STEIN: And knock on wood let`s hope. This doctor did in some respects the
right thing which as soon as he saw that he was symptomatic had a fever, he
isolated himself. Got in touch with the right authorities went to the
hospital. Did all the things. Now, it happens to be that he was in New
York City, it`s very, very frightening and God forbid this disease, let`s
hope it doesn`t spread further. But in some respects, he did follow
protocols and I think we`re losing touch with that.
WALSH: And it`s frightening and then it`s not frightening. It`s great
that he was in New York City because it has a wonderful public health
infrastructure and other places not so much. So, you know, I think --
KORNACKI: Quick thought?
GEORGE: Yes. I mean, certainly the politicians did some, you know, did
some grandstanding on it, but, look, they have to keep an eye on the public
health. And if you are talking about big states like New York and New
Jersey, they want to err on the side of caution. There`s nothing wrong
KORNACKI: I agree. Thanks to Salon.com`s Joan Walsh, Huffington Post Sam
Stein, "New York Post" Robert George for joining us this morning after
Halloween. Thanks a lot.
GEORGE: Scary enough.
STEIN: Still on the sugar rush.
KORNACKI: If you want more, it`s right there.
STEIN: No, I don`t.
KORNACKI: Chuck Todd is parking his RV right here and you validate for
parking. I didn`t know that. I save myself some money all these years.
Stay with us. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Three days to go now until the big day, Election Day which means
candidates across the country are desperately racking up the miles as they
barnstorm their states one final time. Although it`s not just candidates,
NBC`s Chuck Todd has just finished up a blitz of his own. His "Meet the
Voters" tour an RV trip through seven of the most pivotal battleground
states up for grabs this upcoming Tuesday. Here he was in Arkansas where
republicans have democratic Senator Mark Pryor on the ropes talking about
that state`s former First Lady Hillary Clinton with a group of farmers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think she`s very capable. I don`t know if she`s
electable but that said --
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I understand. But do our Kansans love her the same way
they love Bill?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I would say perhaps not quite as much as they love Bill
because Bill is a native son.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Bill just had that, you know, just something about him
like we were talking about earlier the old Uncle Bill type thing, you know,
just the old good old uncle that just knew how to talk to a crowd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. With only 72 hours to go now the RV is parked and
here now to talk about where this election is headed, we`re joined from
Washington by Chuck Todd, moderator of "Meet the Press."
Chuck, thanks for taking a few minutes this morning. Actually, let me
start, I do want to talk 2014 but I want to start on that sound bite we
just played from Arkansas because this is one of the things we hear from
sort of Hillary Clinton`s crowd is that if she`s the candidate in 2016,
they look at a state like Arkansas that the Bill Clinton is from. They
look at a couple of other states similar to it, these are states that Obama
could compete in and Hillary Clinton potentially could from a general
election, from that conversation, from your visit to Arkansas, what do you
make of that logic?
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS MODERATOR "MEET THE PRESS": I don`t know if I would
say that that`s true for Arkansas. I mean, I know the Clintons have a
unique hold to Arkansas for obvious reasons. But I do think it`s true in
maybe a couple other southern states. I think it might be true in a
Georgia, I think it might be true in maybe even in a Texas. It feels like
Arkansas is going in another direction. When you look, I mean, let`s see
what happens Tuesday night. But the fact that Mike Ross and Mark Pryor
having such trouble this year, you have a really popular democratic
governor who is retiring, even incredibly popular favorite son in Bill
Clinton that has basically been living in the state in the month of
October. So, that`s why I`ll admit I`m a little skeptical, that Hillary
Clinton can put Arkansas in play but I just think it has to do with where
Arkansas is moving.
KORNACKI: Sure. So, you`ve finished up the trip now. You`ve been out
there and we`re always trying to figure out, you know, the talk in
Washington is always is there going to be a wave this year, is there not
going to be a wave. But just in terms of the general, do you have any
takeaways about the mood of the electorate? Anything in particular strike
you while you are out there in the road?
TODD: Well, I mean, it`s not going to be rocket science, it`s a cranky
electorate. I thought the best thing we were able to do is at least get an
answer to, you know, why do you think the country is headed in the wrong
direction. Why do you disapprove of Congress? Why do you disapprove of
the President and why are you unhappy with the Republican Party? And why
are you unhappy with the Democratic Party? And the idea of dysfunction in
Washington there`s sort of two -- there were two sort of dueling issues
that I noticed on the road, right? That the frustration and dysfunction of
Washington. And, you know, I think people looked at it from their own
political point of views of who they blame for that dysfunction but there
was sort of that collective agreement that it`s not working.
And then the second is the uneven economic recovery. I mean, nothing was
more striking to me than being in parts of rural Georgia. And just, look,
you look at an unemployment map there is still double digit of unemployment
in nearly half the counties in Georgia. But rural America in general, when
you are out there and you sort to see and get a feel as to why, you guys
were talking earlier, as to why aren`t democrats getting the benefit of the
doubt on this economic recovery, well, it`s not hit rural America. That`s
why I think particularly in this map, right, which is a very rural map when
you look at it, comparatively than to the battleground states of 2012. I
think that`s why in general you have democrats having to run on a bad
economy because in those states the economy doesn`t feel good.
KORNACKI: Well, speaking of rural America, I want to look at one
particular state here you were in, Iowa, one of the closest Senate races
and this is after Joni Ernst, the republican Bruce Braley, the democrat.
You had a chance to interview Ernst and play a clip from that and I want to
ask you about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Very early when you were running for Senate, you took some very
conservative positions, personhood came up on abortion, this agenda 21, you
even talked about impeachment. They walked them all back. Why should
voters now take away from that, you know, you took some of those positions
and then you say, you know, what? Maybe I didn`t mean to take that, I`m
not there, it`s a statement of principle and personhood. What should
voters take away from that?
JONI ERNST (R), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, I will say that a lot of
those issues weren`t issues that were pushed by me. They were questions,
they are asked by media or by other members of certain groups.
TODD: In this case it was conservative groups getting you to sign on to
ERNST: Well, and didn`t necessarily sign on to pledges that dealt with
those issues at all, but I am a pro-life candidate. I stand for life.
When it comes to life -- and that`s something that has been shaped by my
faith. But when it comes to that, understanding that any changes that are
made at the federal level will have to be a consensus between democrats and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So you got into it there with these hot button, you know, issues
there, personhood, the agenda 21, impeachment, these are the sorts of
things that democrats looked at Joni Ernst to see months ago and they said,
you know, we are going to make her the next fringe republican candidate who
is unpalatable for the middle of the electorate and yet, here they are,
arguably at point or two, behind her in the homestretch, why hasn`t that
tactic against her worked?
TODD: I think part of it has to do with Bruce Braley. I mean, you know,
let`s not forget, I mean, I think the reason Iowa came into play he made
the infamous remark that he made about Chuck Grassley at that fund-raiser
with trial lawyers. And it just sort of -- it just sort of lit a fire
under republicans nationally in particular. Suddenly the national money
groups decided they would play in Iowa. You know, they had the hardest
time finding a candidate that they thought could go up against Bruce
Braley. I thought that I took away from her answer on that was simply,
hey, I didn`t know what I was doing as a candidate early. Now I`ve learned
my lesson on taking these positions. But, you know, it is interesting,
Steve, I thought that the democrats haven`t figured out how to run on those
issues because they`ve been talking about it for months.
Well, they`re going to get her on this, they`re going to get her on that.
She did try to walk most of them back. The one thing she didn`t walk back
is personhood and there`s a reason for it in Iowa, there`s a fine line in a
midterm election, right? She`s trying, at the same time she was trying to
sound conciliatory in her answer to me but she couldn`t flip-flop the way
Cory Gardner could get away with flip-flopping in Colorado. You do that in
Iowa and you have a pro-life and you have an anti-abortion rights base
there that might flip on you.
KORNACKI: Final question here quickly, Tuesday night we have all the
forecasting models, all the percentages out there for all the different
states but when you look at that map, where do you think we`re most likely
to be surprised on Tuesday night?
TODD: Hmm. I think -- it`s an interesting question. Look, I think the
surprise could be how many incumbent governors end up losing. If this --
if this is less a republican wave and more of the, I`m angry, I`m throwing
people out wave. You know, I`ve seen -- I`ve seen polling that has butch
otter in Idaho under 40. I think we`re going to see more winners with less
than 50 percent than we`ve seen in the modern era and I think that that`s
all -- both political parties ought to take that as a warning shot to them
if that ends up being the result at the end of the day.
KORNACKI: All right. Chuck Todd, moderator of "Meet the Press" back from
"Meet the Voters" tour. Thanks for taking a few minutes this morning.
Really appreciate that.
TODD: You got it, Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. And up next, three days to go. Ten races that will
decide the Senate, we`ll going to take you to the ground in each and every
one of them this weekend and the first two are up right after this.
KORNACKI: We are down to the final 72 hours before Election Day and the
biggest question at stake who is going to control the Senate. The answer
to that is still a mystery. That`s because the battleground is so big this
year. Ten states right now still up in the air. Ten races. We don`t
really know who is going to win. Ten races that are going to determine
which party ends up controlling the Senate, so this weekend we`re going to
be paying a visit to every single one of those ten battleground states. We
have reporters on the ground in all of them. Reporters who have been
living and breathing these crucial races for months now. And they`re going
to tell us exactly what`s going on and exactly what we can expect on
And we`re going to start right now in North Carolina and New Hampshire.
Where two democratic senators elected in 2008 are trying to fend off
formidable republican challengers. In New Hampshire, democratic Jeanne
Shaheen is trying to hold off former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.
Brown has closed in on Shaheen in recent weeks and now trails her by just
three points. More on that race in just a minute. And in North Carolina,
Senator Kay Hagan is up by fewer than two points in the polling average
there over North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis. Bill Clinton
rallied Hagan supporters in rally yesterday, it`s a democratic bastion
where Hagan needs to wreck up big margins if she`s going to hold on to her
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON (D), FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: She`s a big supporter of
reforming the college loan law to lower the interest rates and let you pay
them back as a fixed percentage of your income so we can stop the college
dropout rate and not bankrupt you. Her -- her opponent opposes the college
loan reform. His party voted to increase interest rates on student loans.
And he thinks we should get rid of the Department of Education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, will Bill Clinton keep Kay Hagan hang on just three days
Joining us to discuss the North Carolina race is Loretta Boniti of the Time
Warner Cable News. And also standing by to talk about New Hampshire is
Carol Robidoux, a correspondent for "The Boston Globe."
So, Carol, we`ll get to you in just a minute. But we`re going to begin
with Loretta in North Carolina. And Loretta, let me ask the question this
way because at the start of this year at the start of had campaign, a lot
of people, democrats included but certainly republicans looked at North
Carolina and they said, well, this is a state that, you know, President
Obama, he did well in terms of getting his voters out in 2012 but he didn`t
well enough to win. He lost the state by two points to Mitt Romney. So in
2012 where democrats couldn`t be more motivated they still fell short then.
In 2014 in a midterm year like this it will be much better for republicans.
Much easier for a republican challenger to take out Kay Hagan and yet Hagan
has had a small but a stubborn lead that we`re still seeing in the polls
now in the weekend before. What accounts for that lead and how durable is
it heading into Election Day?
LORETTA BONITI, TIME WARNER CABLE NEWS: Well, when you look at both of
these candidates you look at all of the polling on both of them, both Kay
Hagan and Thom Tillis have very high unfavorability marks. Hagan has
basically been on the offensive this entire time. She has been shaping
what the debate has been about here in North Carolina and even that clip
you just played from President Clinton yesterday talking about education,
that`s really what we`ve been talking about here in North Carolina which is
more a state issue overall but it`s something that she`s gotten traction
with. And, therefore, the voters are so mad at the state legislature here
which is where Thom Tillis is that she`s been able to use that and push it
all the way now almost to November and hold on to this really tiny lead.
KORNACKI: It`s such an interesting point. And I wonder, I mean, the story
in North Carolina for people that don`t know it republicans got complete
control of state government in that 2012 election. The governor, both
houses of the legislature moved very aggressively on a very conservative
agenda. Do you look at this race and say that in a way, just politically
speaking, that was a gift to Kay Hagan?
BONITI: Well, she certainly has been tying him to the legislature, that is
what she has been doing this entire race. So, if you like what the
legislature has done which according to polls most North Carolinians do not
like what the legislature has been doing. But if you like what the
legislature has been doing then you`ll vote for Thom Tillis. Kay Hagan
sees that most people don`t like that, and therefore she is tying him to
the legislature and she`s hoping that that`s going to bring her the
KORNACKI: Yes. It`s such an interesting story in North Carolina because
in every state, we`re hearing republicans tie democrats to President Obama
but in North Carolina as you hear there, Kay Hagan has the opportunity to
say, hey, if you don`t like the republicans in Raleigh, either, he`s tied
Anyway, moving on to New Hampshire, as we mentioned, former Massachusetts
Senator Scott Brown has been closing in on current New Hampshire senator
democrat Jeanne Shaheen the two faced off in their final debate on Thursday
night. Where a kerfuffle over geography made headlines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Senator Brown, what do you see going right in the
economy in Sullivan County and what`s going wrong and please be specific?
FMR. SEN. SCOTT BROWN, NEW HAMPSHIRE: You are absolutely right geography
plays a role. Along the southern border we have more jobs and more
opportunity. Infrastructure and other opportunities up north are
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re talking about Sullivan County. I think you were
talking about the North Country. So what do you see as going well, in
Sullivan County or not?
BROWN: I`m talking about any place past concord actually and the
challenges of our state.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sullivan County is west of Concord, it`s not north of
Concord, Senator Brown, so, what do you see is going well and not going
BROWN: With respect I`ve answered the question. The challenges are the
same in every county in our state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Yes. Shaheen has used every opportunity to make hay of Brown`s
recent relocation to the state and his supposed carpetbagger status. It
turns out that the journalist who challenged Scott Brown was actually wrong
on the geography. Sullivan County is both west and north of Concord and
WMUR`s James Pindell, later apologized for the error. So, will this moment
or any other moment from the debate this week have an impact on this tight
Senate race? So, Carol, I`ll ask you about that and I should say I know
James Pindell, he`s a great reporter, I think he`s a stand-up guy and it`s
unfortunate that it happened but credit to him, for acknowledging that as
soon as it happened but that incident whatever you make of sort of the
aftermath of it, it does have to do with the sort of sensitive issue about
Scott Brown coming up from Massachusetts and immediately turning around and
running for the Senate in New Hampshire. Are there signs up there that
he`s paying a price for being, you know, a quote-unquote, "carpetbagger" or
that has not been an issue?
CAROL ROBIDOUX, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Oh, it`s certainly an issue in that here
in New Hampshire it`s sort of a joke almost, you know, you`re not from here
or where you`re from. And a lot of Massachusetts people are relocating to
New Hampshire so we`re used to that. I think what James was doing and I
think that people from New Hampshire understand that the geographic layout,
there`s very distinctive areas. It`s a small state. West of Concord is
not considered North of Concord and to get there you have to go south first
to get there. So, I understand James` point. I think the greater point
that Jeanne Shaheen`s campaign jumped right on is that Scott Brown has been
here and he still actually, you know, acts like a tourist sometimes. He
doesn`t really understand New Hampshire and that`s why he`s not the best
choice for New Hampshire voters.
KORNACKI: What I`m asking, though is have you seen and it`s such a close
race, Shaheen ahead but by, you know, basically two to three points when
you`re polling this thing, so very close and this is one of those where the
republicans are saying, well, if he`s behind two or three points now, there
will be this wave on election night, there`s going to be this national
wave, and that take that two or three-point gap and it turn it into a one
or two-point victory for him. That`s what republicans are saying. When
you look at the numbers though as close as it is, does it seem like anybody
really ends up caring about his residency?
ROBIDOUX: No. I don`t think it really comes down to that. It`s really --
it`s really a personality clash I suppose at this point. It`s like a game
of battleship. Jeanne Shaheen is so well known. She`s been governor.
She`s been senator. She`s been here for a long time but Chris Brown brings
a lot of street cred, too. And I think people, it`s about what Chuck was
saying, Chuck Todd was saying about, sort of voters, are they angry, is
there just some sense of exhaustion over the lack of change or inertia in
the national government, at the national level, and will they make a vote
based on that. We have tight races all across the top of the ticket here
in every one including the governor`s race which is also a surprise, Maggie
Hassan has been popular, so Jeanne Shaheen has, she`s got a new radio ad
with Bill Clinton, she`s got Hillary coming on Sunday. The GOP has their
get out the vote victory tour bus. They`re on the move all weekend. They
have their rain boots on, they`re shaking hands, they`re going into diners,
they`re meeting people where they`re at. They are doing everything humanly
possible to mobilize the voters because that`s going to count on Tuesday if
people go out and vote. And at that point, it`s anybody`s race.
KORNACKI: All right. New Hampshire, of course, one of the first states,
you know, it`s called the first on the nation state for the primary but it
would be one of the first states we hear from on Tuesday. And so, we`ll
get a good indication there. My thanks to Time Warner News Loretta Boniti,
Boston Globe correspondent Carol Robidoux for joining me to talk about
That`s two down, that`s eight to go this weekend. We`ll going to get to
them all. Still ahead, we`re going to bring you up to speed on one of the
stories we covered here last weekend. We`re also going live to the Mojave
Desert where Richard Branson`s intended for tourist travel spacecraft
exploded yesterday and meanwhile where politics is concerned it will be
time to visit more of those ten battleground states. We`ll going to get
to all of that in time to get you out to brunch tomorrow.
Plus one of the most embattled governors in the country. We`re breaking
out the big board to break down how he`s doing. So, stay with us.
KORNACKI: This time last weekend we were reporting on the immediate
aftermath of a school shooting outside Seattle. One girl was killed during
the shooting. Another girl died last weekend. And this morning comes the
sad news that yet another young woman injured in the shooting died
yesterday. And two other students remain hospitalized. The school which
is about 30 miles north of Seattle was closed this week and is due to
reopen on Monday.
Make the segue back to politics and back to the 2014 midterms on the other
side of this break.
KORNACKI: All right. We`re back at the big board. We`re going to be
seeing a lot of this this weekend and on election night we want to look at
one particular race right now that we`ll going to be looking at closely on
election night. Could keep us up late on election night and of course it`s
something rather amazing or extraordinary whatever word you prefer is
happening. I want to set it up by showing you this is one of the most
endangered governors in America. This is President Obama`s home state of
Illinois and his name is Pat Quinn. And Pat Quinn became governor if you
remember when Rod Blagojevich who tried to sell Barack Obama`s Senate seat,
he was impeached as governor. Pat Quinn became governor and then ran for a
full term in 2010 and he was endangered from the beginning. You can look,
in the primary in 2010, his own party`s primary less than 10,000 votes. He
barely gets the nomination. Then he goes to the general election. One
percentage point, less than one percentage point barely beats the
republicans, so Pat Quinn is just, you know, hanging on by the skin of his
teeth and then let me see if this works, there we go, then in 2011 faced
with a huge pension a crisis in the state which a lot of governors faced he
made a different decision.
He decided to address the pension crisis by raising taxes and raised them
67 percent and this is what happened. Twenty six percent, that`s his
approval rating at the end of 2012. Twenty six percent. So, he went from
somebody who was already on shaky ground to somebody who is absolutely
politically dead heading into 2014 and yet here we are, this is where the
race stands right now, Pat Quinn running in the average of polls a point
ahead of his republican challenger Bruce Rauner, 45-44. Now, it`s
interesting because the way Quinn has done this, you know, Rauner has a
private equity past, so a lot of the same sort of tactics and the same sort
of messages that President Obama used against Mitt Romney in Bain Capital
in 2012, that`s what Pat Quinn has been using against Bruce Rauner and it
has been pretty effective so far.
So, can Pat Quinn despite all that history actually somehow hold on to
this? Here`s where it gets kind of amazing. Let me show you what the map
looked like in Illinois in 2010. This was Pat Quinn barely winning that
election. These are the red republican counties and you see only a few
blue counties on there. In fact, you only see four blue counties. This is
Cook County with Chicago sort of set off. But that`s all one county. Cook
County and then you`ve got three more down here. The rest of the state, 98
counties, were won by the republican in 2010. And Pat Quinn became
governor because he won four of them. And really he became governor
because he won just one of them. Cook County. And I want to show you what
that means. Go to this screen you can see. These are the four counties
that Pat Quinn won in the state of Illinois in 2010. He won one of them by
123 votes, he won one of them by 166 votes, he won one of them by just over
1,000 votes and then Cook County, Chicago, he won it by half a million
votes, 500,000-vote plurality for Pat Quinn just out of Cook County.
He lost 98 counties. He barely won three and he won cook big and it was
enough, just enough, to get him over the top and to make him governor by
32,000 votes. The rule in Illinois politics for generations was if you
wanted to win statewide in Illinois, you needed to win these suburban
counties, the collar counties they call them outside of Chicago. Pat Quinn
broke those rules and he won in 2010 with huge numbers out of Cook County
and that`s what it`s shaping up as again if he`s going to get re-elected.
So, the question really becomes if Pat Quinn wins this thing, we call him
the governor of Illinois but in a way you could see he`ll be the governor
Anyway, we`ll be looking closely at Illinois, a lot of other states on
Tuesday night. And more with the big board next hour, more to get to this
morning including reports from three states with the tightest governors`
races in the country. Reports on the ground from those states, next.
KORNACKI: Is there crying in politics?
All right. Thanks for staying with us. Lots of politics still to get to
this morning now only three days out from the 2014 midterm elections
including whether a key race could turn on a tall tale and put maybe a very
tall tale of a fisherman. But first, we want to turn to the question of
what exactly happened yesterday when the Virgin Galactic passenger
spacecraft exploded over the Mojave Desert during a test flight. One pilot
was killed, his body was found in the wreckage, the other pilot who ejected
and parachuted to the ground, he survived with serious injuries. Virgin
Founder Richard Branson is on his way there this morning. The explosion is
a setback to say the least for his plans to make space travel available to
anyone at least anyone with $250,000 to spend on the flight.
NBC`s Jacob Rascon is already live for us in the Mojave Desert this
morning. Jacob, can you give us the latest on what`s going on out there?
JACOB RASCON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, yesterday they secured the
crash site. This morning NTSB investigators will be here to look at what
went wrong. Also Sir Richard Branson who founded the company will be here
with his team and to look at among other things. What kind of a setback
this is for the program in general. Friday`s test flight was its first
since January. It was meant to test a new fuel mixture. What was supposed
to happen is SpaceShipTwo who be carried up to 45,000 feet and then
separate from its mother ship or rocket and would propel it even higher and
then it would glide back to earth. But it was at the point of separation
when it appears there was an explosion captured by some photographs.
One pilot was able to parachute out in time and was airlifted badly
injured. The other pilot did not make it out in time. The SpaceShipTwo as
we know was supposed to at one point carry paying passengers into sub-
orbit, more than 700 people have already bought a ticket at a quarter
million dollars apiece. NBC News has an agreement to document that
inaugural flight with paying passengers. As for the future of the program,
the CEO of Virgin Galactic said yesterday they owe it to the pilots flying
yesterday to keep going and that is what they will do. Of course, we`ll be
out here all day and bring you the latest.
KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to Jacob Rascon live for us from the
Mojave Desert. I appreciate the report.
We`ll turn back now to politics where Ebola, crying and an electric fan are
all playing an unexpected roll down the stretch in this midterm race. When
people say that anything could happen in a campaign this might be what
they`re talking about. Three governors` races are up for grabs this week
and the final weekend of the race, and they are potentially turning on some
dramatic, unusual, just plain bizarre events. For instance, in big blue
Massachusetts, democrats are in danger of losing the open governorship to
republican Charlie Baker. But Baker is now in some hot water over a
tearful story he told at this week`s final debate and even he has now
admitted that the story might not be totally accurate.
In Florida, democrats have enlisted a former republican to try to take out
Tea Party Governor Rick Scott, it`s a race so close that anything even a
recent dustup over an electric fan during a debate, maybe I heard about
that one, could potentially make a difference in that race. And in Maine,
combative Tea Party Governor Paul LePage, he`s trying to hang on and win an
improbable second term. And as we`ve talked about this morning. Governor
LePage had tough talk earlier this week for Nurse Kaci Hickox who is
recently back from treating Ebola patients in West Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Governor Paul LePage I don`t want her within
three feet of anybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What happens if she does? Is there any legal
LEPAGE: Let`s put it this way. I am going to use the legal provisions to
the fullest extent. That the law allows me. And I just hope that she
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But the judge ruled yesterday against LePage`s effort to
quarantine Hickox in her home. Still 80 percent of Americans in a national
poll agree with Governor LePage`s positions. So, how is his stance going
over with Maine voters?
Here to help us answer that is Bill Nemitz, columnist for the Portland
Press Herald. And also standing by to talk about those other crucial
governors` races, we have Garrett Quinn from Mass Live News. And in
Florida, Marc Caputo, a political writer for the "Miami Herald."
So, Bill, I`ll start with you. So, the story with Paul LePage and the
reason why he`s been a national story for four years is he says and does a
lot of controversial things. A lot of things that make a lot of people
roll their eyes but I`m looking at this Ebola issue. The nurse now in, you
know, sort of remote northern Maine who has come back and I`m looking at
the polling on this. I haven`t seen Maine specific polling but national
polling says basically 80 percent of the country agrees there should be
some kind of quarantine here. Is it one of those moments, one of those
issues where LePage`s bluntness is actually connecting with where people
BILL NEMITZ, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: Well, I think it is, Steve, in some
places. There`s a diversity of opinion here on whether this woman should
be kept in her home. Of course, as you said, yesterday, the judge
basically overruled Governor LePage and pretty severely limited what he can
do here. But, you`re right. LePage throughout this whole campaign has
tried very hard to kind of tone it down and to not come across as combative
as he`s been for the past four years and has done a pretty good job doing
that. I think what this has done is remind people of that side of him.
The side that he was kind of trying to push off. And he even came out
yesterday after she was effectively released from her house by the judge
and now says that he doesn`t trust her. So, you can push these things and
you can push them too far and by demonizing and sort of making her the
villain I think some people are starting to have more of a negative
reaction to that.
KORNACKI: So, the issue that sort of the overarching issue for this entire
campaign the question has been the presence of the third party candidate,
the Eliot Cutler, the independent and Paul LePage is governor in the first
place because he only had to get 40 percent in 2010 because of Eliot
Cutler`s presence and in 2014 Eliot Cutler is running again except this
week, Eliot Cutler with his poll numbers lagging and held a press
conference and he said this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIOT CUTLER (I), MAINE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: As we enter the closing
days of this campaign I ask my supporters simply to vote their conscience.
Some will vote for Mike Michaud, some will vote for Paul LePage and some
will stick with me. I am not standing down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, Bill, we had him on this show actually at the start of the
campaign and I asked him about this potential scenario and he basically did
there what he told us he would do at the time, he said if he didn`t think
he could win he could tell his supporters to vote their consciences. He
also said -- he said, the one thing I`ll guarantee you is, there will not
be a second term for Paul LePage. Is what he did this week going to have
him a meaningful effect on the outcome on Tuesday do you think?
NEMITZ: Yes. I think it`s had a tremendous effect not just because of
what Eliot did, most of us thought that was going to be a withdrawal or
suspension of the campaign announcement. It did not happen. It left a lot
of journalists very confused as to exactly what he was saying. But more
significantly later that day, independent Senator Angus King who had
endorsed Cutler in 2010 and given him quite a boost, had endorsed him
again in August of this year announced late Wednesday that he is basically
withdrawing his endorsement of Cutler and is now solidly behind the
democrat Mike Michaud. So, if you take all the events of that day in
aggregate I think it shifted the momentum toward Michaud. And I think
while Eliot Cutler is still campaigning, his campaign is in effect over.
KORNACKI: All right. Now, on to Massachusetts, my home state, where a
tearful moment at the governor`s debate earlier this week is still making
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE BAKER, FORMER U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: And he said, see those two
kids up there and he pointed to these two boys on the boat and he said
those are my sons and he said, um, they were both spectacular in football
players in New Bedford High School who were given college scholarships to
go play football and I told them no. I said you`re -- you`re going to be
fishermen. I was a fisherman. My brothers were fishermen. My father was
a fisherman, you`re going to be fishermen. And I ruined their lives. And
you hear those kinds of stories every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and since he
told that story during that debate on Tuesday, it`s turned out that some of
the details don`t necessarily add up. Baker`s campaign conceded that the
fishermen might not have been from New Bedford and his sons might not have
won scholarships and the encounter actually happened five years ago. So,
how will this strange sequence of events impact the final days of the
campaign in Massachusetts? So, Garrett Quinn, let me ask you about this.
I mean, Charlie Baker seemed to have opened up a small but real lead in
this race. The controversy that this has generated, you know, reporters
going down to New Bedford, trying to find this fisherman, reporting the
story. Saying, hey, maybe it doesn`t all add up. Martha Coakley I think
was in New Bedford yesterday. Now trying to capitalize on it. Is this
having a late effect on the race?
GARRETT QUINN, MASSLIVE.COM: In some ways it is. I think yesterday, the
day before actually on Thursday, there were events scheduled around this
issue. Charlie Baker was supposed to be endorsed by the mayor of
Gloucester, a big fishing ville, a big fishing town. Martha Coakley was
going to have an event in Gloucester with fishermen. So, at this point
though, the big game changer of this election has been the unfortunate
passing of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino and that`s really gobbled up a
tremendous amount of the news coverage of what probably would have been the
coverage of this fisherman incident. It`s still making head ways and it`s
still getting coverage and noise. But Menino has really come onto the
scene unexpectedly in this event and really stolen the news cycle.
KORNACKI: Yes. I mean, the mayor, you know, he`d been the mayor for 20
years and a larger-than-life figure in Boston and Massachusetts politics.
So, the candidates actually had taken time off the campaign trail. And the
funeral service I guess is going to be on Monday the day before the
election. Joe Biden is going to take part in that. Ultimately, hey, Tom
Menino would love it if we`re talking about the politics of his death, I
guess, but ultimately, how do you see that impacting the race?
QUINN: The candidates both stopped campaigning on Thursday, the day of his
death, and Charlie Baker intended to not campaign on Friday. Martha
Coakley ended up having an extensive schedule actually, she campaigned in
New Bedford, had campaign events all over the south coast of the state. A
popular, a big fishing area. Charlie Baker had one press conference
yesterday to respond to Martha Coakley`s, you know, event. And it`s a wild
card. There`s nothing to -- there`s no real way to determine what his
death will do to this race. And the thing, too, is that this was really
the fisherman story, the fisherman gaffe if you want to call it that, this
was sort of became a big part of the race. I never saw anything -- there`s
-- Coakley -- the fisherman story was unexpected. Charlie Baker and Martha
Coakley both had this problem or they had to present themselves, they had
emotions, they had character and this was the first time you really saw
that from either of them.
KORNACKI: Yes. This was really in many ways the first interesting thing
to happen during the campaign. Moving on to Florida now, the last of these
three we want to get to, the biggest governorship up for grabs this year,
probably the both party`s cover, it is the tightest race we`ve seen this
year. Our guest Marc Caputo thinks may have the potential to be the 2000
presidential race of 2014. Gosh, we remember all that with hanging chads
and everything. Marc, tell me we`ll not going to have to go through that
all over again.
MARC CAPUTO, MIAMI HERALD: I can`t really tell you that. I mean, we have
updated our laws about recounts since 2000 obviously but really the polling
heading into this race, this is a pick your poll election. If you happen
to be a democrat, you`ll going to want to look at the Quinnipiac University
poll showing Charlie Crist is up by three. And if you are a republican
you`ll an oddly want to look at a democratic poll from a firm called FCA
(ph) polling and design which showed that Rick Scott was up by three. So,
you put these two polls together and it`s a tie. And also if you look at
its poll and its internals and you look at their margins of error, the race
is a tie. Each one of these guys has a plus that`s counteracted by the
other guy`s plus, a minus that`s counteracted by the other guy`s minus.
It`s really up for grabs and it`s really unclear.
KORNACKI: Yes. And I look at these at this race, I always think back to
Chuck Robb (ph), Oliver North in the Senate in `94, he said, the only one
North could ever possibly beat is Robb, the only one Robb could ever
possibly beat is North. And I think these two candidates the same way.
CAPUTO: That`s very true. These are two deeply flawed candidate. You
know, Charlie Crist obviously is the three-time party switcher. Rick Scott
has never really been very comfortable in front of the camera and he headed
this hospital company many years ago which had fraud in its background and
the legacy of that has never quite gotten off of him. Before he ran or
while he was running for office in 2010, it stuck with him and his
favorables were never very high.
KORNACKI: All right. Bill Nemitz in Maine, Garrett Quinn in
Massachusetts, Marc Caputo in Florida. Good luck to all of you on Tuesday.
We`ll be watching all of those states and many more.
And our next guest correctly predicted all 33 Senate races two years ago
every single one of them. And find out what he thinks is going to happen
on Tuesday night right after this.
KORNACKI: As we`ve been saying this midterm election is one of the most
suspenseful in years. So many races in play, so close to the election, no
one really knows what`s going to happen in any of them. It`s been a long
time since there was this much uncertainty this close to a major election.
This election has also been marked by a proliferation of election
forecasters. The TV weatherman of politics. These are the numbers
crunchers who pull together polling data, demographic information,
historical trench and they come up with formulas that they believe will
give you a very good sense of how each race is likely to end up. One of
these forecaster is Princeton University`s Sam Wang. He runs the Princeton
Election Consortium and in 2012 he really made a name for himself by
correctly predicting all 33 Senate races that were on the ballot this year.
He went 33 for 33. Now as we hit the homestretch of this campaign, Wang
has one of the most favorable Senate estimates for democrats out there now.
If you can make sense of that chart, we`ll have him explain it to you in a
minute although the model still gives the edge to republicans.
Joining me now to talk about what to watch for on election night, what he`s
watching for is Princeton`s Sam Wang. So, thanks for joining us, Sam. So,
if you do the bottom-line right now for us out there. The question on
everybody`s mind is at the end of these election, when all the dust
settles, will the democrats control the Senate still or will the
republicans take control? What are the odds you`re putting on there right
SAM WANG, PRINCETON ELECTION CONSORTIUM: Well, right now as we just saw,
republicans are slightly favored with about a 55 percent probability. But
that is -- the reason that my calculation differs from the other
calculations is that I think that the other calculations are
underestimating the tremendous uncertainty. If you look right now there`s
five races that according to my calculation are within one percentage
point. There`s another one in Alaska within two percentage points and so I
would say that what I did in 2012 might actually be hard to replicate this
year simply because midterm polls can be off by one to four points.
KORNACKI: Yes. And you mention Alaska there. I`m wondering how you are
KORNACKI: Because in Alaska there was very little polling that takes place
there at all. When the polling takes place, it`s usually by these firms,
you know, not national firms, they don`t have great -- they don`t have
terrible reputations they just don`t have reputations period and it`s this,
you know, far flung state. So when you look at the polling in Alaska, how
much of a grain of salt are you using there?
WANG: A pretty large grain of salt. The problem with Alaska it`s a small
state in terms of population but as you say it`s far flung. I saw this
interesting statistic that in one survey 43 percent of registered voters
have been contacted by the Begich campaign. Okay. So, this is a teeny,
tiny state. You can imagine that so many people in Alaska have been
contacted by pollsters. I think it`s super hard to get a good sample in
the state like that. And what I see there, it`s basically at this point, a
coin toss. I mean, I would say that Sullivan seems to be up by a few
points but it is well within the range of possibility for democrats to pull
that one out and my current feeling about it is that we`ve got six coin
tosses, Alaska plus five other states and historically the polls have been
biased in one direction or the other as a group. And so I think the even
aggregation which is, usually the magic bullet for people like me even
aggregation might not help us on Tuesday.
KORNACKI: So, here`s one thing you are saying to watch for and people at
home can do this. You turn on the TV on Tuesday night, you turn on MSNBC
hopefully and some of the early states that we`re going to get results from
are Kentucky, Kentucky reports early, New Hampshire we talked about a
little bit. Now, we can put the polling averages up to give you a sense.
Right now the polling average in Kentucky has McConnell up about five-and-
a-half points on Grimes. The polling average in New Hampshire right now
has Shaheen up by about 4.4 over Brown. So, that`s where they are right
now. What are you saying people should be looking for specifically when
WANG: Right. So, I`m going to be watching those states not because I`m in
that much suspense because I do think that McConnell and --
WANG: Shaheen are favored. Thank you. But the thing to watch is the
over/under. Because they report early, if those margins differ very much,
so for instance, if McConnell only wins by three points, then that`s a clue
that there might be a bias in the polls. If Shaheen wins by only one point
or if she even loses by some extreme statistical quirk, then what that
tells us is the polls may be biased and when there`s a bias it can be
nationwide. And so, I think that`s going to be really useful information
early in the evening to get a clue. So, I`ll be watching those statistics.
KORNACKI: Yes. And no -- boy if Shaheen were ever to lose in New
WANG: That would be a bloodbath.
KORNACKI: Democrats are going to be in a real bad mood at 8:30 if that
happens. Anyway, Sam Wang, Princeton Election Consortium, thanks for
joining us. Really appreciate that.
Before anyone else in the national media was really talking about how the
election was playing out in Kansas, we were talking about it as a game
changer right here on this show. So, still ahead, what the final days in
Kansas are looking like.
Plus -- three more contentious battlegrounds. Our tour of the
battlegrounds continues. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: All right. Back at the big board here as we get ready for
election night. Three days away from now. We want to talk about a small
state where there is a big story this year. It`s the state of Kansas.
We`ve talked about it a lot on this show. You think of it as a red state.
You think of 2014 as a strong year for republicans. The question being how
strong will it be for republicans? But then you look at a state like
Kansas and you say what the heck is going on here. So, let me try to put
this in some perspective. This is what the vote total looked like in
Kansas 2012. No surprise you probably all remember it was not a
battleground state Mitt Romney won the thing easily. When you look at
Kansas, you say, how red is Kansas not since LBJ`s landslide in 1964 has
Kansas voted for a democratic presidential candidate. Not since 1932, 82
years ago has Kansas elected a democratic senator. Since then every Senate
election in Kansas has been won by republicans, so that`s the kind of red
state we`re talking about.
And again, people will think of Kansas at the start of this year and they
said, well, it`s 2014, it`s a republican year. It will only get redder
this year and yet let`s give you a tour of what`s going on here. This is
one you probably know the basic story by now. But Sam Brownback, former
U.S. senator who became the governor in 2010 he wanted to sort of make
Kansas a Tea Party laboratory and then some people thought he wanted to
turn around and run for president in 2016 and he went back to Kansas to do
that. He got his tax cuts through and look what`s happened, there`s been a
significant backlash in Kansas and the average of polls right now puts his
democratic challenger Paul Davis three points ahead of Scott Brown --
excuse Sam Brownback in this race, a three-point lead for the democrat.
Brownback certainly can still win this thing but he`s getting the fight of
his life from Paul Davis.
And don`t forget, one of the other things that Sam Brownback did as
governor, we always talk about the tax cuts being a part of this thing, the
other thing was, there was this divide in the legislature in Kansas between
the sort of conservative wing that Brownback embodies and the more
established moderate wings for the more traditional republicans.
Brownback`s forces went to war with the moderates and they held primary
challenges to a whole bunch of them in the 2012 legislative elections in
Kansas and they took out nine of them. So there was basically a purge of
the Republican Party that took place by Brownback`s forces in Kansas.
That`s another reason why there are so many -- a lot of the support you see
for the democrat are republicans were disaffected because of that. But we
say it`s not just the governor`s race in Kansas, it`s also a race for the
You recognize some of these guys, Greg Orman, he is the independent who is
running, Pat Roberts, he is the longtime republican incumbent. There
should be a third candidate here. The democratic candidate except as you
know, he dropped out of the race when he realized, hey, I`m getting in the
way. This guy Greg Orman has a chance to take out Pat Roberts and if this
guy Greg Orman can take out Pat Roberts, then maybe he will caucus with the
democrats in Washington. That is certainly what republicans fear.
Definitely what democrats hope. Orman hasn`t said anything but, you know,
for good reason. He doesn`t want to scare off any voters who might
otherwise vote for him. And so, Greg Orman is sitting there in the average
of all polls right now, ahead 44 to 43. So, you look at the two races
we`ve already talked about and you`re saying, well, maybe Brownback can
lose this thing.
Maybe Pat Roberts can lose this thing. Maybe in this very republican year
of 2014 two big-name republicans could be losing in Kansas and then it goes
a step further than that, though. Recognize this guy, Chris Kobach, he is
the very conservative secretary of state of Kansas. He has taken a
national role on issues like immigration when Mitt Romney made that
infamous reference to self-deportation in 2012 in the presidential
campaign, that was something that was sort of inspired by Chris Kobach and
his activism on that issue. This is secretary of state who has a very sort
of polarizing image and reputation in Kansas. He`s being challenged, he`s
in the fight of his political life. Look at this. Now, this is not a
polling average, this is just one poll. It`s dead even. Chris Kobach,
democratic challenger dead even. So, the possibility exists for democrats
of a sweep in Kansas. Of taking out the governor, of taking out the U.S.
senator and maybe even the controversial secretary of state. And if
they`re going to do it, I want to show you exactly how they`re going to do
This is the map of Kansas. This is the 2012 presidential vote is what
you`re seeing here, so needless to say, basically all red, basically all
Romney. There is one county, though, that I think you got to pay close
attention to and we`ll going to be paying close attention to on election
night. It`s one of these red counties and it looks like just any other
sort of square on the board here but it`s very different. This is Johnson
County Kansas. Twenty five percent, nearly 25 percent, of all the vote in
the state is going to come out of this one county. This is a densely
packed as Kansas goes suburban county. What you have on the other side of
this map, you don`t see is Kansas City. Kansas City, Missouri. So, this
is a sort of bedroom Suburban County outside of Kansas City. And these are
voters who are -- these are republican voters. They voted 58-39 for Mitt
Romney in 2012. They tend to vote republican.
They generally, you know, they like their taxes low generally speaking.
But the other thing that they like and the reason they live in Johnson
County which is sort of an affluent county, they like public schools. They
like public education. These are affluent professionals who live in the
suburbs and want to send their kids to good schools and want their kids to
be going off to good colleges and the whole issue of Sam Brownback and tax
cuts and cuts to public education and potentially declining quality of
public schools that really hits home in a place like Johnson County,
Kansas. So, these are the type of republicans who democrats think they can
win over. These are the type of republicans who maybe are upset with Sam
Brownback over the tax issue, maybe are upset with Sam Brownback over his
purge -- purge from the Republican Party of the kind of republicans who
live in Johnson County. So, this is one.
It was a 58-39 Romney county in 2012. This is one if democrats can win it,
can get very close to winning on election night, I think it`s going to tell
you a lot about of what`s happening throughout the rest of state of Kansas.
So, Johnson County. That`s the story of Kansas, that`s the story of the
Brownback backlash and that is the story of the democrats hopes of winning
not just one, not just two but three marquee races in one of the reddest
states in America on what`s supposed to be a very republican night. This
is a fascinating story. We`re going to be coming back to this and looking
at it closely on election night. Wanted to explain it to you ahead of
time. More to come, though, after this.
KORNACKI: All right. The midterm countdown continues but there`s some
news outside of politics to tell you about at this hour. Marine Sergeant
Andrew Tahmooressi is back in the United States this morning. He spent
eight months in prison in Mexico for crossing the border with loaded guns.
He says, he`s gotten lost. Yesterday, a Mexican judge ordered his
immediate release without weighing in on the charges against him.
Still ahead at this hour, we turn back to politics the question of what
will happen after the election next week. Howard Dean, Michael Steele two
former chairs of their national parties are going to be here to share their
thoughts. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: All right. It`s time to continue our epic tour of the ten
battlegrounds for the U.S. Senate on this final weekend. Many of them
within or barely outside the margin of error. Three incumbent democrats in
this installment, three incumbent democratic senators are in real danger of
being eliminated come Tuesday night. In Colorado, democrat Mark Udall once
enjoyed a steady lead over republican Congressman Corey Gardner but that
lead has evaporated in the last month. In the state of Alaska, democrat
Mark Begich is lagging slightly behind in the polling average although a
lot more uncertainty there in most states and in Arkansas, democrat Mark
Pryor is just in big trouble. Three Senate democrats fighting for their
political lives down to the wire.
And here to join us now, are three reporters on the ground in those states
covering these races. They are Eli Stokols, political reporter for KDVR in
Denver, Colorado. Alaska Commons Managing Editor John Aronno in Anchorage.
David Ramsey, associate editor of the "Arkansas Times" in Little Rock.
So, Eli, I`ll start with you. The most recent polling again, not favorable
for Udall in that Colorado Senate race. I know the democratic argument
here is, they say the polls missed it in Colorado in 2010 when Michael
Bennet ended up winning and catching buck at the wire out there and they
are saying the polls are missing it again this year. You know, Latino
turnout and turnout of the core groups. Do you buy the argument?
ELI STOKOLS, KDVR-TV, POLITICAL REPORTER: I think we all hear who have
watched these races for a long time look at the polls with a lot of
skepticism because they have had a really hard time figuring out who is
voting. And this year with the new election law it`s the first big
election we`ve had where there are all mail ballots going to all the
voters. There`s Election Day registration, you can register on Election
Day. So, there`s even more uncertainty about what that final vote will
look like. I think folks expect the vote to get over two million people
here, that`s more than it was in 2010. So, I think that democrats like
where they are. Republicans like where they are with just a few days to
KORNACKI: And the republicans have led out there. They are bragging about
how they`ve done with the early vote at this point.
STOKOLS: Yes. But that`s something I`ve seen -- that happens every year.
The republicans they always vote and they always vote early. So, their
vote comes in first. The first million votes that come in usually very
good for republicans. Democrats went into the 2010 race with six percent,
six-point voting registration advantage for republicans and democrats
overcame that just on Election Day. So I think that`s -- right now it`s
about nine points. I think that may come down a little bit over the next
couple of days over the weekend but democrats think they`re right where
they need to be and so do republicans which is interesting. One of them is
got to be right. And one of them is got to be wrong.
KORNACKI: Yes. Unless it`s a tie. John Aronno in Anchorage, so let me
ask you about the race out there. Because nobody seems to have a good
sense of how this stacks up right now. The assumption is just such a
republican state in Alaska, a good year for republicans so, therefore,
Begich is in trouble. We`ve seen a couple of polls come out in the last
week though that have said, whoa, Begich might be doing a lot better here
than we realize. What do we need to know about this race?
JOHN ARONNO, ALASKA COMMONS MANAGING EDITOR: You know, we`re clueless,
too. The thing about polling in Alaska kind of similar to what the last
person said, you can poll the same 50 people five minutes apart and they`ll
give you completely different results. Both campaigns are really
optimistic about their chances. In Alaska as you said it`s a really red
state. Republican registration, we have about 500,000 registered voters.
Republicans outnumber democrats two-to-one. But then again, the majority
of all registered voters in Alaska are independent, nonpartisan,
undeclared. The hidden truth in that is that it`s still about a two-to-one
conservative majority. Senator Begich is very wildly optimistic about his
ground game. He`s got field offices all over the state. Every corner of
the state with about 100 staffers manning them, doing door-to-door get out
the vote along with $60 million of ad buys between the Sullivan and the
Begich campaign. Dan Sullivan the GOP candidate has mainly stuck to
advertisements and hoping that is the message that carries the day relying
on the conservative nature of voters in Alaska.
KORNACKI: All right. And David Ramsey down in Arkansas for us. So, I
mean, this is one a few months ago, we were saying, wow, Pryor seems to be
almost defying gravity here, now we`re looking at it and saying, boy, it`s
looking grim in these numbers. Can you see a way for Pryor to catch up
with Cotton at this point?
DAVID RAMSEY, ARKANSAS TIMES: I think Cotton is the clear favorite. Based
on the polling numbers. Like in a lot of places, what you hear in Arkansas
is that the democrats have invested a lot, again, in the ground game. They
really believe that they`ve put a lot of resources into get out the vote
campaign that`s going to help them make up some of that ground. We`ll see.
I mean, if there is a way out, I mean, most polls, there have been a few
that show Cotton with a big lead, most of them have it more in the two to
four-point range and democrats really believe that they can make some of
that up with turnout. You know, there were 130,000 new registered voters.
Democrats are claiming that the overwhelming majority of those are folks
that they targeted but obviously too early to really know for sure whether
that has any muster or whether that`s just spin.
KORNACKI: Yes. And David, quickly, so what happened? Because, you know,
we were hearing nationally about this race saying, well, will the Pryor
mean something to voters in Arkansas? It`s one of those democrats that
even voters who now vote republican that used to check off the prior name
they`re comfortable with it. Again, he seemed to be ahead in the middle of
the summer in the polls. Is it just people sort of tuned in and it`s
become a republican state or did something else happen down there?
RAMSEY: You know, I don`t think that a whole lot shifted in terms of the
campaign. I mean, basically from the get-go Tom Cotton was saying, Obama
as much as he could. He said that Obama 154 times during the debate. That
was true during for the entirety of the campaign. Pryor has been focused
on some of Cotton`s votes that might be a little bit unpopular in a state
like Arkansas. So, that dynamic hasn`t really shifted. I think that the
fact of the matter is that from the get-go Cotton had some real structural
advantages in Arkansas and I think that what we`re going to find out is
whether, you know, for a long time folks have been wondering sort of when
Arkansas was going to make the shift to being a state like the rest of the
south that is dead red and if that happens, then what you`ll going to see
is sort of undecided and so-called independent voters naturally kind of
flocking to the republicans.
And, again, the democrats` hope here is turnout. You know, early voting is
up 26 percent from what it was in -- at this time in 2010, you know, where
that will break remains to be seen. It`s heavy in Pulaski County which is
good news for the democrats but also in some republican-leaning counties.
One thing to watch is some of the counties that actually vote republican in
Northwest Arkansas, Washington County, Benton County, these are actually --
those were the second and third spots for Obama votes in 2012. So,
democrats are hoping they can kind of pull out some democratic voters even
in republican-leaning areas.
KORNACKI: All right. Eli Stokols in Denver, John Aronno in Anchorage,
David Ramsey in Little Rock. Thank you all for joining us. And it`s three
days from now. Then there`s three months from now, we`re going to be
talking about the new Congress and the parties that will have to work
together somehow after this election no matter who wins. Howard Dean,
Michael Steele, the two former chairmen will both join us, they`ll talk
about it next.
KORNACKI: So no matter which party wins control of Congress as a result of
Tuesday`s election, democratic or republican, fundamental partisan
dysfunction is probably going to continue to be the top item on the
legislative agenda. If republicans end up in charge of both chambers of
the House and the Senate, they`ll still have to contend with the democratic
White House ready to veto their legislation, and if democrats retain
control of the Senate, they`ll still face opposition in the House, like
they have for the past few years. That`s where the party breakdown has
been for four years now in fact in the past two sessions have been among
the list productive in Congress in history. Elections are viewed as times
of great opportunity, a chance to wipe the slate clean, get a fresh start.
So what are the ways in which the new Congress, whatever its party makeup
ends up being after Tuesday, what are the ways that it can achieve that
fresh start that many Americans are clamoring for and actually get anything
done, something done. Is there any kind of way?
Here to help us figure it out are two former leaders of their parties,
former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former
democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, also the former
governor of Vermont. So, Governor Dean, let me start with you. Let`s take
this sort of dread scenario for democrats on Tuesday night, and let`s say
they lose the Senate. They don`t get back the House. They lose the
Senate. They still have the White House. To you, do you see any
opportunities in the next two years to change anything we`ve been
complaining about for the last four?
FMR. GOV. HOWARD DEAN (D), VERMONT: I think it`s unlikely, unfortunately.
And here`s why. And nobody has written about this. I`m surprised. Let`s
suppose the republicans do take over the Senate. If they do it, they`ll
have done it by knocking off four or five of the most conservative
democrats. Now, as it turns out, no conservative democrat as conservative
as a moderate republican. But those are votes that they could have used.
Let`s try to build coalition. So, they`re going to be fewer democrats
they`re going to be willing to adhere to any modestly conservative
viewpoint and there still exists the filibuster. So, I don`t see much
hope. And McConnell, given that his view is, his only job is to get rid of
President Obama, and he will be the majority leader, I don`t see much hope
of getting anything done. With the republican majority. With the
democratic majority, perhaps. And we could go through that scenario in a
KORNACKI: Yes, and let me ask you, Michael Steele about that other
scenario, that sort of the dread scenario for your party. Because this was
something a lot of people were talking about. The president himself. In
2012, he was basically saying it`s going to take beating the republicans in
this election, in the 2012 election. He said break the fever. He was
saying it will bring them back to the table. They`ll start negotiating,
compromising. Didn`t really happen. But if republicans who right now, I
mean, I`m listening to them. And they`re saying, you know, we think we got
this thing. We`ve never been closer. If they fall short. If they`re
disappointed in what happens next week, does that have some kind of an
effect on the party where it changes a little bit of its posture?
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Yes. No. If Tuesday night turns out
to be a big democratic night, and that means just holding onto the Senate
even with a 50/50 majority if you will, with the vice president as the tie
breaker. That will be a devastating blow to the GOP, and you`re already
beginning to hear, Steve within the ranks of file of conservative, talk
radio as well as activists about what the agenda should be. So, even if,
you know, whether they win or lose, the fact of the matter is there`s a
mobilization around certain issues that will be forefront going into the
next Congress. But if they lose, you`re absolutely right. That will be an
opportunity for Ted Cruz and others to really make the conservative case
and argument for different strategy and a different approach going into
2016, which will have huge impact on I think GOP politics.
KORNACKI: That`s interesting. So, that`s sort of the opposite from the
democrat`s standpoint. I think with the opposite of their hopeful
scenario, which is that, you know, the republicans lose and they`re
disappointed and re-think, you know, the role that somebody like Ted Cruz
plays in the party. So Howard Dean, when you look at that scenario, how do
you see that playing out? If democrats were to hold onto this thing?
DEAN: Well, one thing I think about politicians, for the most part, not
people like Ted Cruz. But for the most part, they are pragmatists and they
want to get reelected. Maybe the only thing they`re pragmatic about.
There are people on both sides want to do that. When we lost three
elections in a row, three presidential elections in a row, we moderated and
picked Bill Clinton, there was a centrist candidate because we just
couldn`t win by running candidates predominantly on the left. And I think
the reverse is going to happen this time. If we hold onto the Senate, I
think actually the Ted Cruz`s will go off their rocker. But what else is
new? But it could be a lot of republicans will realize that we just can`t
go on, you know, appealing to -- our platform can`t be just, I hate gays, I
hate immigrants, I hate Muslims. I hate everybody that`s not a republican.
That just can`t be anymore. And I actually think they`re going to position
themselves to get something done. So, I think if you want to get something
done in this country, the best thing to do is reelect the majority in the
Senate. Because I think there`s no percentage in what the republicans are
doing right now in minority.
STEELE: Let me clarify, that is not what the republican platform is about
hating people. Number one. And number two, the likelihood of that
scenario unfolding on Tuesday is close to nil or none. So, the reality is,
you`re going to look at a republican Senate majority. You`re going to look
at a republican house majority and a White House. And the question which
no one seems to be asking is how does Barack Obama begin to navigate his
west wing to deal with this new leadership? Everyone is looking at the
republicans to capitulate and cooperate with the White House. What is the
White House going to be prepared to do in the face of this new front in
this domestic agenda and it`s for policy agenda? And that`s going to be an
KORNACKI: Yes. Michael, is this 1995 all over again? If the republicans
get the Senate, is it hey, we got the House. We got the Senate. Let`s
make a statement with legislation. Let`s dare him to veto it. Let`s have
a showdown. Is that what happens?
STEELE: There will be some of that. But look at this, Steve, and the
governor knows this as well. Even in the midst of getting impeached by
republicans in the House, President Clinton found a way to get welfare
reform done, found a way to get a balanced budget done worked out with
Newt Gingrich. So there is -- this is a yin and yang proposition in
Washington, it`s not just one side.
KORNACKI: All right. Former RNC chairman --
DEAN: See, here`s what`s your problem, Michael --
KORNACKI: I got to cut you off there Howie. I`m sorry.
DEAN: All right.
KORNACKI: We`re right up against the end of the hour. But I really
appreciate you joining us. Governor Howard Dean, former DNC chairman.
Michael Steele, former RNC chairman. Plenty to talk about with you guys
I`m sure after Tuesday as well.
And that does it for today`s edition of UP. Joining us tomorrow, Sunday
morning at 8:00, we will continue our tour of every battleground state in
the fight for control of the Senate. All ten of them. We`ll have the next
five tomorrow. And also special guests on tomorrow show. "HARDBALL`s"
Chris Matthews will be joining us on set here, live. You don`t want to
Coming up next is Melissa Harris-Perry. You`ll going to want to stick
around for her too. And we will see you tomorrow right here, 8:00 a.m. for
UP. Thanks for getting UP.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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