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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: November 22, 2014

Guest: Susan Page, Catherine Rampell, David Avella, Adolfo Franco, Mark
Leibovich


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEVE KORNACKI, HOST: Obama secretly extends the war in Afghanistan.

Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday morning.
There`s a lot we want to get to today including the wait for a grand jury
decision in Ferguson, Missouri.

Also the death toll in Western New York`s massive snowstorm has now risen
with temperatures in that area set to soar in the next few days, the rain
in the forecast now. Suddenly the risk of massive flooding is becoming a
top concern out there, too.

And also the dust-up over the president`s new executive action on
immigration continues. We want to begin this morning with a surprising
news breaking overnight. We now have word that President Obama has
reversed himself and decided to significantly expand the role of U.S.
troops in Afghanistan.

There`s still almost 10,000 American troops in that country and their role
through the end of 2015 was previously supposed to be limited to training
Afghan soldiers. Under Obama`s new order they could now be involved in
proactive combat missions against the Taliban, Haqqani network and other
militant groups through next year at least.

NBC News has confirmed the information reported overnight. An important
detail is that President Obama made this move quietly signing a secret
order.

To discuss this, the other top stories this week, joined by our panel this
morning, we have Catherine Rampell, columnist for "The Washington Post,"
David Avella, he is the president of the political action committee, Go
PAC, and Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief for "USA Today."

So this news will start on this, this news overnight about Afghanistan, a
little bit of a surprise here, I think, certainly the timing. People
didn`t see this coming. The way this was done, this was done in secret.
We`re just finding out about it after the fact.

Some of the back story here suggesting this is one of those clashes between
leaders in the Pentagon, who wanted a sort of more forceful involvement and
civilian leaders in the Pentagon winning out.

And then you have, the president who said earlier this year about six
months ago, look, the troops who are there are strictly there to be
training Afghan soldiers, nothing else. Now the troops are there, training
Afghan soldiers, also going after the Taliban, and also maybe going after
the Haqqani network so much more expansive role here -- Susan.

SUSAN PAGE, "THE USA TODAY": And I think a lesson learned from the
experience with Iraq, I mean, I don`t think President Obama is enthusiastic
after 13 years of war in Afghanistan to make it 14, but we know that with
the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq we saw a collapse of the Iraqi
forces.

We saw the rise of ISIS, a great complication that has us sending troops
back to Iraq. So I think this was an effort to avoid the same thing
happening in Afghanistan that this hard won gains by U.S. military over the
past decade not to be lost.

KORNACKI: What`s the reaction going to be like to this? Susan cites the
Iraq example and ISIS, and all of the talk now, did we leave too soon? Did
we not leave enough of a force there? So that becomes sort of the way we
view this.

We`d better not repeat the same mistake here. What do you think the
reaction is going to be this war has been going on since 2001? Now we`re
going to be engaged at least through 2016, get them out by the end of the
president`s term. That`s what they`re saying now. As we see here, they
can always revise these things.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, "WASHINGTON POST": I think the political optics are not
very good, right? I anticipate a lot of clips on cable news over the next
few days claiming flip-flops because of his comments in May saying that
we`re going to be out of there next year.

So you know, I think from an optical perspective this does not look so
great for Obama, but as president you kind of have to think about not just
what the political blow back will be, but what the best policy is and --

KORNACKI: As the Republican here, Dave, because we heard so much this
week, we`ll talk about this a little bit later, but so much this week from
Republicans about Obama making unilateral decisions, the king, the monarch,
all this stuff from Republicans.

Is this one the president makes this decision in secret and the president
exercising his commander in chief authority, is this where Republicans say,
he`s doing the right thing?

DAVID AVELLA, PRESIDENT, GOPAC: You know, how the American people
ultimately view this is how the president frames this and does he make sure
Americans understand what`s at stake and why he did this action?

And, to your point which you referenced, this is an opportunity for
Republicans and Democrats to come together. And ultimately when have the
American people most been around our military action overseas?

It`s when the president and Congress have spoken on one voice. This is an
area I think we have an opportunity to do that. One person to keep an eye
on as we get ready for the new Congress is State Senator Joni Ernst, who
brings a unique perspective to U.S. --

Soon to be U.S. senator, who soon will be in the U.S. Senator has military
experience, was a company commander in "Operation Iraqi Freedom" as a
woman, as a combat veteran. She brings a voice that I think you`re going
to see many Republicans look to as they try to cast their votes on the
president.

KORNACKI: It`s her voice, Rand Paul`s voice. That`s another one to look
for whenever we start talking about further intervention overseas. But
anyway, that`s one to be keeping an eye on. We have word of this expansion
in Afghanistan overnight.

But other things we want to get to this morning including new words from
President Obama this morning over the executive action on immigration that
he announced to the nation just two nights ago. Here is what the president
is now saying in this morning`s weekly address.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As you might have
heard there are members of Congress, who questioned my authority to make
our immigration system work better. Well, I have one answer for that.
Pass a bill.

The day I sign it into law, the actions I`ve taken to help solve this
problem will no longer be necessary. In the meantime, we can`t allow a
disagreement over a single issue to be a deal breaker on every issue.
That`s not how our democracy works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: The president`s order which is designed to protect some families
who are here illegally from deportation is now receiving support from
Hillary Clinton who calls it, quote, "a historic step."

He was also asking Congress to pursue legislation approved by the Senate
more than a year ago. A war of words has also broken out between Obama and
House Speaker John Boehner with Boehner saying the president is acting like
an emperor in making these unilateral changes.

And Obama replying that Boehner is standing in the way of progress and
jokingly promising that he would wash his car or even walk his dog if it
would get an immigration bill passed.

So Susan, I`ll start with the Hillary Clinton one is interesting. It`s not
-- it seems there`s been some intentional distancing here as she gears up
for 2016 on Hillary Clinton`s side from the president. Obviously his poll
numbers haven`t been that good. Not a great election for Democrats here.

Here is an issue, though, where she wants to be associated with him very
closely, it seems.

PAGE: You know, I don`t think this is some grand strategy on the part of
the White House, but I think they have stumbled into a really helpful
political situation for themselves on immigration.

Because by doing the minimum, which is temporary permission to stay in this
country legally, right, that`s all that the president has be done, he is
being hailed as a hero by Hispanics and has succeeded in dividing the
Republicans in a way that I think is going to bedevil them for the next two
years and create huge complications for them in 2016.

So Hillary Clinton is going to distance herself from Barack Obama on some
things. We`ll see what she says about Afghanistan, for instance. But on
this issue I think Democrats are incredibly United behind the president.

KORNACKI: And that`s the Democratic side. Talk about here for a second
the Republican side because obviously we hear it in the remark from
Boehner, we just quote, czar, emperor, dictator, all of these things. The
process they are going to attack.

They have been attacking the process that led to this and polls are showing
people don`t like the idea of Obama acting on his own on this, that`s fine.

But when it comes to the substance of what he did here, can we expect that
Republicans are going to try to do anything to undo anything proactively to
undo what the president put in place this week?

AVELLA: There won`t be a movement to undo what he has done, but let me say
while this probably doesn`t reach the level of constitutional crisis,
Congress has since the beginning said the presidents were doing things
they shouldn`t be doing. The president has to be careful as he continues
to make steps because Democrats are not united on this.

KORNACKI: Where is the fracturing?

AVELLA: Claire McCaskill has come out against what the president has done.
Joe Manchin has come out --

KORNACKI: Again, it`s that process argument. I`m trying to say here,
though, sure, but what I`m trying to say is when it comes specifically to
the policy that`s been implemented here, I get the sense that Republicans
actually they want to score the political points here of saying, how dare
he act unilaterally on this. But when it comes to, OK, would you actually
do anything different if you were elected president --

RAMPELL: They have to make it about process because if not for that, they
would have to actually pass something and then have something that could be
attached by the public, right. I mean, if they actually passed a law that
would open them up to all sorts of political liabilities about what they`ve
actually stood for. This way they don`t have to stand for anything.

AVELLA: There is a belief that there is universal agreement with where the
president is on immigration. Let`s look at what happened a few days ago in
Oregon where 66 percet of voters voted to not allow driver`s license to go
to illegal immigrants.

So Oregon is certainly no Republican bastion, certainly no red state. So
we need to be careful to think that just because what the president is
saying on immigration isn`t necessarily where the American people are.
That`s not the case.

KORNACKI: But you said at the beginning you don`t think Republicans are
going to try to undo these protections?

AVELLA: Well, it`s hard -- there`s not much they can do under executive
action until a new president comes in and he decides to reverse the
executive action of what a past president has done. Congress needs to work
with the president and find some common ground.

One of it -- we`re never going to solve this problem until our borders are
secure, until we know who is coming in and going out of this country and
hopefully we can find a president who now that he has passed the executive
order to keep about 5 million immigrants.

RAMPELL: That was in the Senate legislation.

KORNACKI: That seems to be the trap here. There was a bill that didn`t
have overwhelming Republican support, but it had real Republican support.

PAGE: Let me disagree with David too. I think you are whistling past the
graveyard with the idea that Republicans are not going to make an effort to
undo what the president has done. I think John Boehner and Mitch McConnell
may wish that happens.

But they have troops in Congress who want very much to undo it any way they
can by government shutdown, by impeachment, by trying to take action on the
appropriations process.

KORNACKI: Can they do it -- by the way --

PAGE: And probably not.

KORNACKI: Explain what the deal is on that.

PAGE: Because the agency that implements the major provisions of this law
is funded by fees to immigrants who are going to apply for it. You can
shut down the government and this agency can keep running. It`s
problematic for Republicans, but you know --

KORNACKI: Very crafty how they did that.

PAGE: But congressional Republicans, there are Tea Party and other very
conservative Republicans, who will demand that something be done and this
is a huge problem for the leadership.

AVELLA: Wanting something to be done and actually doing it are two
different things. The House and Senate leadership, they have said, look,
there`s only so much we can do. Reversing the action is not something that
we`re able to do at this time.

PAGE: But there`s going to be an effort to try and it`s going to impinge
upon the effort that we heard Mitch McConnell talk about the day after the
election that he wants to actually get things done. It`s going to make it
harder for him to get anything --

KORNACKI: That seems to be the test. We know -- I think we knew last year
when the shutdown happened that the establishment, the leadership didn`t
want it. The question it`s those voices from Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, from
the sort of House Republican conference. It`s those voices.

Do they rise to a level where a guy like Boehner and McConnell have no
choice, but to start pushing the envelope? I guess, that`s the thing to be
watching here in the days and weeks ahead.

Anyway, much more on immigration later in the weekend, later in the show,
probably for months, years to come, it`s that kind of topic. Anyway
though, more happening this weekend, more to tell you about right after
this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: There`s an interesting development bubbling up this morning in
the continuing controversy over Benghazi although it may not be that much
of a controversy anymore.

New report from one of the very Republican-led committees now investigating
the administration`s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate finds
that the military and the CIA both responded appropriately.

The report states that the committee found no evidence the military was
ordered to stand down during the attack or that there were any intelligence
failures before the attack.

The report also found that then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice`s talking
points, which have been scrutinized for years were not part of an attempt
to cover up or belittle the incident.

This is something we`ve been hearing about more than two years now.
Certainly there is plenty on the right who have been saying this is the
thing that`s going to haunt Hillary in 2016.

I have been suspecting all along and I really after seeing this report
feels that this is white water all over again. This is just a lot of
innuendo, you know, sort of the name of the scandal that we can`t get out
of our minds, but there doesn`t seem to be anything here unless --

PAGE: You know, how you know Republicans are unhappy with this report is
that they put it out on a Friday night in the wake of an immigration
announcement as we`re on the verge of perhaps a decision from Ferguson.

I mean, if you wanted a report to get as little attention as possible, this
is the moment you put it out. I think it is great news for Hillary
Clinton. Bad news for that special committee in the House that`s
investigating Benghazi --

KORNACKI: There`s still a second committee that`s active.

PAGE: And they said that -- Trey Gowdy said he would be happy to
incorporate this investigation into his own. This looks pretty solid.
This is a pretty extensive investigation by a Republican-led committee.

KORNACKI: That second committee is Trey Gowdy from South Carolina, this
Benghazi Select Committee. They put out like baseball cards when they
announced this committee. I mean, that --

RAMPELL: A whole cottage industry.

KORNACKI: To override what`s in this report, the authority that comes with
this report is going to take something -- I can`t even imagine what they
could possibly come up with that could override this.

AVELLA: It seems whenever our elected officials want to talk about the
Middle East, they are always doing it on a Friday just as the president
announced last night his decision to up the number of troops.

The best thing we can do to honor ambassador and those killed that day is
to make sure the facts are out. That`s what this report helps do and to
bring to justice the suspects and the killers who actually did it.

KORNACKI: Do you think as this political rallying cry that we`ve been
hearing, I mean, you know, as well as I, do you think this is going to kill
that now?

AVELLA: Look, the facts are out now. Certainly our country has lots of
things to be focussed on. We talked about it earlier, immigration and
health care and job creation being the most topics on people`s minds. As
we get ready for the new Congress, I suspect you`ll see a movement towards
other issues.

KORNACKI: David, Republicans, what are they going to do? What are they
going to do? Cat, what do you think they`re going to do?

RAMPELL: I don`t know. This is like the Groundhog Day of political
controversies. It seems like this is a drumbeat that`s been working for a
while. It doesn`t really seem like it`s likely to die down. We`ve had
several reports to this point coming to the exact same conclusion and yet
there`s another report on the horizon. I mean, if the previous findings
didn`t stop the drumbeat then why will this make any difference, I guess?

KORNACKI: How many definitive climate reports can you have and we`re still
talking about how many times were the Clintons cleared during white water?
They still were impeached in a very backward way. It`s still maybe to be
continued. We`ll keep an eye on that.

This morning, also, it is now official. House Republicans have filed their
long-awaited lawsuit against President Obama. I can feel another question
to David here, accused of overstepping his executive authority when he
implemented the Affordable Care Act.

The timing is significant. The actual filing came the same day the
president signed his executive action on immigration. The lawyer who took
on that case seemed important too.

After failing for years to find anyone to take the case earlier this week,
House Speaker John Boehner hired Jonathan Turley. He is a well-respected
D.C. law professor, who appears often on this network to discuss legal
matters.

Jonathan Turley, a legal expert, also fairly left of center in his
politics. This is a big surprise to see his name attached to this.

PAGE: You know what Americans don`t care about the process of implementing
Obamacare. It`s like Democrats discovered they don`t really care about the
Koch brothers and their ads. That`s one thing we discovered in the midterm
elections.

So it seems to me that it`s like you can`t talk about substance. You talk
about process. Americans care about the actual health care they`re getting
and about the economy and about job growth and will they have a good
Christmas.

So it seems to me this is -- I think Republicans continue to do things that
will appeal to their core base and will not help with voters as a group.

AVELLA: Susan, a law that is unpopular, how best do you stop the
implementation of it? The president is not going to reverse and sign a
bill that reverses Obamacare. So you have the courts on the implementation
and is it actually following the law?

I mean, this president continues to delay the very things he initially said
he wanted whether it be -- well, exactly. And what we`re trying to do is
make sure it never becomes part of the law. Let`s not just delay it.
Let`s get rid of it.

KORNACKI: When they started talking about we are going down this road of a
lawsuit, wasn`t the idea this is a way to give the base something to sink
its teeth into that`s not impeachment. This is a way to head off any kind
of impeachment push. You are upset with this guy. Instead of starting an
impeachment push, you know, you guys in the Tea Party right, we`re going to
sue him.

AVELLA: Well, again, it goes back to how can Congress short of passing the
law that overhauls what is happening. There are really two actions. One,
you have to go to court to stop what`s actually happening and there`s
certainly been successes on that level.

And, two is to actually find some common ground with the president which
Mitch McConnell and the speaker have both talked about trying to do, to
actually do things like -- which this law never talked about.

Things like tort reform to get rid of junk lawsuits. Things like what are
we going to do to bring more doctors? The doctors shortage that`s coming
in this country is going to be catastrophic and this legislation does
nothing to bring new doctors into the system. We just have to have a
willing partner.

KORNACKI: Look, there are areas -- you see the sort of issues that are
unresolved. Obama has been looking for a hike in the minimum wage.
Republicans might be looking for particular fixes to the Affordable Care
Act if they are willing to let go of the whole repeal idea. So there are
some sort of you can see the ingredients for some compromise.

RAMPELL: I would argue that actually one of the ingredients on which there
is -- one of the point on which there is agreement between Obama and the
Republicans is one of the very things that is the center of this lawsuit,
which is delaying maybe effectively forever the employer mandate.

You know, Republicans don`t like the employer mandate. The Obama
administration has put off its implementation again and again. And that`s
what Republicans are angry at him for. That`s clearly an area of overlap.
It`s this tortured area of liability.

AVELLA: What better way to get rid of it than to have the court say it`s
not legal and then it`s completely gone.

RAMPELL: But that`s not what the lawsuit is about.

AVELLA: The lawsuit is about how he is implementing it and we`re trying --
what the lawsuit is ultimately trying to do is get rid of the provisions
that are most destructive to the health care system and most destructive to
the economy.

KORNACKI: I don`t want to put too much of an academic point on this or
something. When I think where our politics is right now. I think there`s
a cynical motive to this lawsuit that I just expressed a minute ago.

I do think we`ve reached this -- we`re always talking about how broke
Washington is. It`s gotten worse because you have one party controlling
the White House. You have another party controlling the Congress right now
and you could talk all you want about the motives of each side.

But the fact is they have not been able to work together and I can`t see
how that will change in the next couple of years. One thing a lawsuit
could clarify that maybe we need to get some clarification on or exactly
how much power the president has to act alone on things.

Exactly how much of a role Congress needs to be playing on things because
if neither side is going to be able to work together for the next three,
four, five, I don`t know, ten years the way our politics are shaking out.

PAGE: You know, we actually think the problem is that we have a divided
government. We`re very accustomed to having a divided government. Reagan
had a divided government. Clinton dealt with a divided government. It`s
that the willingness to make a trade-off have been lost.

There are some issues on which there is general agreement where you might
be able to get a deal. You might be able to get something that you want
and give the other guy something that he wants. That`s what`s failed.
That`s not a function of divided government. That`s the constant warfare.

KORNACKI: That becomes a function of divided government, too, when it`s so
tribal. Well, there`s common ground here ideologically, but that`s the
other tribe. We don`t work with them.

PAGE: That`s not politics. That`s anti-politics. Politic is the nature
of making a deal that gives you something, gives the other guy something so
you`re willing to move forward and that`s just disappeared for the past
four years and I agree with you. I don`t see any signs it`s coming back in
the next two years.

KORNACKI: Are you any more optimistic?

RAMPELL: Not particularly. It`s been so polarized the last couple of
years and now we have divided government still but more divided. The
balance obviously has shifted now that Republicans picked up more seats
both in the House and the Senate.

KORNACKI: Extra gridlock.

RAMPELL: Super gridlock.

AVELLA: A number of our newly elected members of Congress all came from
the state legislature, members who understand politics. People who
understand governing and getting things done and so I`m hopeful that if the
president wants to work with Congress that you have a Congress that is
going to find areas it can work with the president and pass legislation and
address some of the issues our country face.

KORNACKI: All right, we started since the election we have the Republicans
saying the president is Caesar. Here we go. We`re off to a great start
with this bipartisanship.

Anyway, my thanks to "Washington Post," Catherine Rampell, GOPAC`s David
Avella for joining us and Susan Page will be back a little bit later this
morning.

Anytime, we should tell you a St. Louis County grand jury could issue a
decision on whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and
killed Michael Brown. We will go live to Ferguson to see how officials are
preparing for that decision right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is vital to engage in planning and
preparation from evaluating protocols and training to choosing the
appropriate equipment and uniforms. Now this is the hard work that is
necessary to preserve the peace and to maintain the public trust at all
times particularly in moments of heightened community tension.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: That`s Attorney General Eric Holder urging restraint by law
enforcement during possible demonstrations. Which demonstrations? Where?
By whom? Well, Holder doesn`t say in those remarks, but it`s all but
certain he`s referring to Ferguson, Missouri.

The St. Louis suburb has been bracing for an announcement for months now
whether prosecutors will indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the
shooting death of Michael Brown this past summer.

The announcement of that is thought to be coming at any time this weekend.
MSNBC`s Zach Roth is live in Ferguson this morning and he joins us from
there now.

Zach, thanks for taking a few minutes. Let me start with this. I`ve seen
a couple reports that there are FBI agents who are now apparently on the
ground out there. Is this something you know about, and do you know what
they`re doing out there right now?

ZACK ROTH, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: They are said to be here not to sort
of be on the front lines confronting protesters or anything like that,
they`re here as sort of backup, just to have a federal presence in the
region.

It`s still going to be the St. Louis County and the state law enforcement
that are doing the majority, really all of the kind of frontline work in
being there when protests are going on.

KORNACKI: One thing I read, too, that kind of surprised me, there have
apparently been a number of meetings between police, between law
enforcement will locally, and between protesters and they have basically
worked out -- it sounds like they`ve basically worked out a plan for what`s
going to happen as soon as this decision from the grand jury is announced.
Tell us a little bit about that planning.

ROTH: That`s right, Steve. Protesters submitted quite a detailed sort of
what they called rules of engagement to the St. Louis County authorities,
and police came back and had kind of annotated the document and said, yes,
we agree with this. No, we won`t agree with that.

There`s been a kind of negotiation on that. Protesters requested that
police, where possible, not wear riot gear and are on the side of de-
escalating things. Police have kind of agreed to that. We can`t give any
guarantees in certain situations.

So there has been this kind of negotiation. Of course any written document
is not necessarily going to stand up in the heat of the action and it`s
going to be an unpredictable situation, but it`s at least sort of a
positive development that there`s been that process.

KORNACKI: I mean, how does it feel out there right now? Obviously, we
don`t know when this announcement will come. We don`t know what the
announcement will be. There are all sorts of theories out there about what
could happen.

Obviously good faith efforts being made on both sides for the response not
to be violent in any way, for the demonstrators to remain peaceful, for the
police not to react, I mean, good faith efforts there. What does the mood
feel like in terms of do people think this will be orderly?

ROTH: It`s a mood of sort of foreboding and tension, Steve. People, to be
honest, do not think it will be orderly. They, when you ask people, what
do you expect the response will be? People say they expect anger and even
violence along the lines of some of the violence we saw over the summer,
perhaps even more so.

Having said that, everybody is saying we need to pray for peace. We want
calm. It`s actually similar to over the summer. There`s kind of a split
between what you see during the day and what we`ve seen lately at night.

During the day organized, peaceful, very substantive protests talking about
the kind of underlying issues to do with Michael Brown`s death that people
want to see resolved, the economic issues, the social issues, relations
with law enforcement.

At night, you see a little bit more of a rowdier element. You see people,
many of whom don`t seem to be from the area, though some are from the area,
being more confrontational, blocking traffic. We`ve seen a number of
arrests.

You had somebody, according to police, in an anonymous t-shirt and mask
yelling we want to see Darren Wilson dead. I should be clear, that`s
according to what police said. I did not witness that myself.

Again, you see that split between most of the community, who is out in the
day and wants to make something positive here and then an element that`s
coming out at night that`s a little bit rowdier right now.

KORNACKI: All right, MSNBC`s Zack Roth live on the ground in Ferguson,
Missouri. We`re all watching closely this weekend. Again, that
announcement could come anytime this weekend about what the grand jury has
decided. Zack Roth, thanks for joining us this morning.

First the people of Buffalo had to contend with a massive snowstorm this
week and now flooding could be in the forecast. We`ll keep you updated on
that as we go forward.

And a breaking story also to keep an eye out for this morning, reports out
of Japan of a major earthquake this in central japan this hour, just
getting word of this right now. The preliminary magnitude of the
earthquake 6.8, that`s according to Japanese public network, NHK added that
no tsunami warning has been issued as a means of comparison.

The Fukushima earthquake in March 2011 registered a magnitude of 9.0. The
details we have so far that high-speed trains have been halted. Obviously
this coming in right now, we`ll be monitoring developments. We`ll keep you
updated as we get more information throughout the morning.

But up next segueing back to politics with the first official Democrat to
declare that he`s thinking of running for president. I said he. It`s not
Hillary Clinton. We`ll tell you who it is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Residents of Buffalo, New York, are still digging themselves out
of the massive lake effect snowstorm that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow
all over that area over a three-day period this week.

Officials have confirmed the 13th death now as a result of that storm.
Yesterday, members of the Buffalo Bills football team were plowed out of
their homes and picked up by snowmobile.

This is the first leg in their trip to Detroit. That`s the new home venue
for their scheduled NFL game against the Jets that will be played Monday
night now.

There`s a new fear in the Buffalo area, what happens to all of that snow
when it melts? Temperatures are expected to climb into the 60s and rain is
also in the forecast. That means severe flooding is the new threat for the
people of Buffalo.

Full developments here on MSNBC as the story continue to unfold. We return
to politics next with the first Democrat to announce an exploratory
committee in the race for president in 2016. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Some people think it`s too soon to be looking at the next
election, but I`m not one of them. Not only are the presidential debates
already on the calendar, they start just a few months from now. Not only
are some candidates and potential candidates acting and looking like
candidates.

They`re running right now until they tell us otherwise. In this week, the
very first presidential hopeful took an official step toward running for
president. It wasn`t Hillary Clinton. It was Virginia Democrat Jim Webb,
who announced in an e-mail to supporters late Wednesday night that he is
forming a presidential exploratory committee.

The e-mail was accompanied by a 14-minute introductory video that had no
splashy effects, no high-end graphics, no b-roll of bucolic Virginia
country sides. It was simply Jim Webb in front of a blue screen talking
about criminal justice reform, veterans issues, and poverty.

Webb has a tough road to climb as a Democratic candidate. If he makes it
far in the field, just might be his no frills style that gets him there. I
guess that`s the spin you could put on the video. Out on the campaign
trail in 2006, Webb famously wore the same combat boots that his son, Jimmy
had worn during his tours in Iraq.

A heartfelt anti-war gesture that helped him win support not only with more
liberal voters in affluent Northern Virginia, but also working class voters
in the Western Appalachian part of the commonwealth.

He is himself a former Marine, who served in Vietnam. He was also the
secretary of the navy under Ronald Reagan. So far among Democrats, we`ve
heard hints from Bernie Sanders. Not a Democrat yet, but he might become
one and run for president as a Democrat.

There`s also been buzz about Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley or at least
there was until his hand-picked successor lost the recent election in
Maryland. Dis-banning this week of the "Please run for president ready for
Hillary" PAC has only strengthened the idea it`s only a matter of time
before Hillary Clinton officially enters the race herself.

Right now the Democratic field is one man deep, Jim Webb. Seems the
perfect opportunity to launch a series looking in-depth at each of the
prospective candidates, we`re going to be doing that every weekend on UP
and we`ll start right now with Jim Webb of Virginia.

To talk about him, we have Krystal Ball, co-host of MSNBC`s "THE CYCLE" and
a native Virginian, and former congressional candidate in Virginia. She
has also written an article for msnbc.com asking if Jim Webb is 2016`s
Barack Obama.

And we have Susan Page back with us, Washington Bureau chief for "USA
Today." OK, Jim Webb makes his move this week. It`s November 2014. The
election, the general election two years away, the Iowa caucuses barely
over a year away.

This is not historically, you know, Jimmy Carter was a candidate in
November 1974 to 1976. This is not historically that early to be getting
involved. Jim Webb, the next Barack Obama? It seems a bit after stretch.
Take me through what you`re thinking there.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC, CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": I don`t know he has the
organizational capacity to make it all the way the way that Barack Obama
did. I do think he has the potential to really challenge Hillary Clinton,
assuming that she does run, which it looks like she will, in several areas.

I mean, one, he has so much credibility as you were pointing out with his
military background, former secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan on
military issues and he`s been opposed to intervention in Libya and Syria.
There`s a real stark contrast there with Hillary Clinton.

KORNACKI: To the left on foreign policy, but he does so with these
military credentials.

BALL: Exactly. So he has lots of credibility there and as you mentioned,
his son served so that gives him an added personal stake in what we`re
talking about. And then on economic issues he`s a true populace
progressive.

He was talking about how unfair it is that hedge fund managers have to pay
only the capital-gains tax while wage earners pay a much higher rate.
That`s a very populist position to take and it`s at odds with the money
interest that normally controls elections.

The Wall Street crowd does not like that. He`s willing to stake out
economic positions that I think would be very uncomfortable for Hillary
Clinton given her coziness with Wall Street and big corporations.

KORNACKI: It is like on paper an interesting issue for Jim Webb. Let`s
back up a step. You should get credit here for helping to break the news
that Jim Webb might be running for president. Tell that story.

PAGE: Well, I was guest hosting a show on NPR a couple of months ago when
his memoir came out. It`s an hour long show so you get to ask a whole
range of questions and almost as a throwaway said, so, are you thinking
about running for president? And he indicated, yes, he was. And I think
that was the first time that there had been a sense that he was thinking
about doing that.

BALL: The thought to even ask him.

PAGE: I thought that was interesting. I thought Krystal`s piece this
morning on msnbc.com was very interesting and thoughtful.

BALL: Thank you.

PAGE: I do not think he`s the next Barack Obama. I don`t think he has the
organizational chops -- or the fund-raising potential. You know what he
could do? He could give Hillary Clinton a lot of trouble in Iowa. We know
that the Iowa Democratic caucus goers, there`s a strong anti-war group
among them, there`s a lot of economic populism.

And he could, I think -- somebody is going to challenge Hillary Clinton.
Iowa has not been a good state for the Clintons, for either one of them.
In that way he could affect the debate although I`m skeptical that he ends
up as the nominee.

BALL: He also just stylistically is such a contrast from Hillary Clinton.
You showed the video in all the ways that she`s polished and produced and
perfectly calibrated. He is not. He is rough. He is authentic. He cares
with about issues. He speaks plainly.

He doesn`t try to over smile, for example, he is exactly who he is.
There`s something very compelling about that and it is a stark contrast
from the very carefully packaged and branded Clinton image.

KORNACKI: I`ll say the thing that struck me about him because he has such
an unusual biography for a politician, a writer and he`s written real
books. Politicians always have the ghost writers. He`s written really,
the prose is impressive. He could make a career just out of that.

When I watch him sometimes I almost feel his style is almost jarringly
subdued because you respect a guy who will be a lot more. What do we know
about Jim Webb in terms of who is around him? If you`re going to be making
a national campaign, does he have --

PAGE: No.

KORNACKI: Does he have strategic people? Is this one guy out there
driving around?

BALL: That`s my impression certainly. He writes in his letter he has no
full-time staff at this point. I`ve never met a politician who has as much
antipathy towards politics as Jim Webb does. When I was running in
Virginia, I was going to every fundraiser I could whether it was mine or
not just to try to pick up as many donors as I possibly could.

I think I saw him at one of those fundraisers. He stood off the side. He
didn`t talk to anybody who didn`t come up to him. He`s not the glad
handling work the room type of a guy. So he hasn`t developed that kind
after donor network.

KORNACKI: This is Jerry Browne in 1992, running around with the 800 number
and no staff around him. There`s a debate tonight? I think I`ll show up.

PAGE: To be clear, I don`t think Jim Webb has an 800 number yet. And
let`s remember, he won that Senate election. He was lucky because his
opponent had a big, self-inflicted wound.

KORNACKI: George Allen.

PAGE: And then he chose not to run again. He doesn`t have a long
political history. He has that race. On the other hand, authenticity is
something Americans would like to see and so that`s an interesting quality
to bring.

KORNACKI: How do you think -- look, Hillary Clinton obviously is an
incredible frontrunner. Elizabeth Warren doesn`t look like she is running.
Martin O`Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, if you want to throw Biden into
the mix, but where does Jim Webb stack up to you in that mix?

PAGE: I think there`s Hillary Clinton and then there are the people who
are not Hillary Clinton. He can be in that group where it`s people who are
thinking of running and have differences to point out. It`s hard to see
them able to go all the way. On the other hand that`s what we said eight
years ago. We thought Hillary Clinton would be the nominee. Things
sometimes happen in politics that you don`t expect, but at the moment I
think Hillary Clinton is the best.

KORNACKI: The poll in some perspective Jim Webb is currently running 61.9
points behind Hillary Clinton.

BALL: It`s early.

KORNACKI: There`s a margin of error so it may only be 59.9.

BALL: One thing about the organizational capabilities and the lack of the
donor network, if ever there was a time you could go from the complete lack
of structure that Jim Webb has to having at least an impact in potentially
being a contender, it`s now.

I think about I don`t want to compare him to Newt Gingrich, but you think
about the fact if you get a couple billionaires, who are invested in your
campaign, you can have a big impact. Susan is right. He is potentially a
compelling fit for Iowa voters in particular.

PAGE: An alternative to Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will not get a
free ride here. We`ll be seeing a debate with Hillary Clinton and somebody
else. You see these various people including Martin O`Malley. I don`t
think Tony Brown in Maryland means Martin O`Malley will not run.

KORNACKI: Do you know whose lieutenant governor also lost, Howard Dean.
His lieutenant governor lost in Vermont in 2002.

BALL: How interesting.

KORNACKI: Didn`t stop him from being the biggest thing in politics for
half of 2014 and then they started voting.

PAGE: Just one thing, I interviewed Howard Dean this week. Are you going
to support Hillary Clinton? He said, yes, and I`ve told her so.

KORNACKI: He`s ready for Hillary, as they say. Anyway, Krystal Ball, my
thanks to you for joining us this morning. Of course, you can watch
Krystal Ball every weekday, 3:00 p.m. on a show called, and I don`t know,
"THE CYCLE." I`ve made the joke too many times. I used to be on it.
Susan, you`ll be back with us next hour.

We`ve heard plenty from lawmakers reacting to President Obama`s immigration
plan. We haven`t heard a lot from the people executive action actually
affects, undocumented immigrants, we will get their thoughts. Interesting
video for you to watch right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: So as we`ve been talking about this weekend brings with it a new
immigration policy that is now in effect across the United States. On
Thursday night, President Obama issued a new executive order that defers
deportation for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. That`s a little
less than half of the estimated 11 million people who are currently in this
country illegally.

Temporary protection will go to parents of U.S. citizens with legal
permanent residents. Obama is also expanding the pool of so-called
dreamers eligible for deferred deportation. Children brought here as
minors from 2007 to 2010 just in that window will be protected from
immediate deportation.

Some of these individuals will also be eligible for work permits. When
President Obama leaves office, the next president has equal authority if he
or she wants to revoke all of these new protections.

We`ve already the Republicans` strong rebuke of the president`s action. We
also thought it was important to bring you the voices of some of the people
who are directly impacted by this new policy. Here is our original report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m very happy that final really the president is doing
something that will have an impact especially on illegal immigrants that
have been here illegally for so long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not bad people. It`s just a struggle back if our
old country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve been here 20 years. I`m a mother. I have kids
back home. I don`t think it will protect me that much. Mr. Obama opened a
little door. I wish he would open it a little bit wider so I can see my
kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t know the future of this law whether there will
be a lot of opposition or not. People are afraid that this law may be gone
tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the dreamers a lot of people from our community
get some benefits because they can go to school. We are very scared that
something can happen if a Republican becomes president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that they get a change of heart or that Obama
can influence more people into supporting what he`s doing and I completely
support him and I`m not scared because I know that he`s going to make a
difference.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: An update on the Japanese earthquake this hour in the central
part of the island nation. The Japanese Meteorological Agency says it has
registered a preliminary magnitude of 6.8. The U.S. Geological Survey
believes it wasn`t as strong as that. They have an estimate of 6.2. No
tsunami warning and no reports so far of any major damage. We`ll keep you
posted on that.

When we come back a return to politics bringing -- beginning with the most
surprising reaction so far to the president`s executive action of
immigration, it`s a surprise reaction from Republican that you probably
didn`t see coming. That`s what the surprise is after all. Another full
hour straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: The fallout from the executive action.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KORNACKI: All right. Thanks for staying with us this hour. As we`ve been
talking about, it`s been a busy couple days for President Obama. On
Thursday night he told the nation about his plans for an immigration
overhaul and then yesterday he traveled to Las Vegas to officially sign the
executive action, which he signed en route, actually.

Why Las Vegas? In Nevada, about one in every five voters is Hispanic. The
trip can be viewed as an important first step in restoring some of the
goodwill the president may have lost among the Latino voters by delaying
action for so long.

It`s also no coincidence in the state of Nevada itself Hispanic voters
proved vital in Harry Reid`s defeat of Sharon Engel (ph) in his 2010 Senate
re-election race. Many Republican officials were gathered this week at the
Republican Governors Association annual conference in Florida when our
friend Chuck Todd questioned potential Republican presidential candidates
there about immigration. This is what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it would be a profound mistake for the
President of the United States to overturn American immigration law with
the stroke of a pen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He desperately and his political team desperately wants
to get the topic changed from the issues we got elected on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s the height of arrogance for this president
to go around the Constitution and the laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In his own words he said a year ago that this was not
legal for him to do.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: We have to think about what`s going to bring
about healing. Now my sense is I don`t like the idea of citizenship when
people jump the line. We may have to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Whoa. That last one sounded a little bit different there. You
have four out of five Republican governors there, Chuck Todd is talking to,
in agreement saying what you`ve come to expect Republicans to say on the
subject. They believe President Obama radically overstepped his authority
with Thursday night`s announced executive action on immigration reform.

But then there`s the fifth, the one you heard from at the end there. Ohio
governor John Kasich. He did not agree with every other Republican
governor on the stage. He stole the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASICH: Everybody in this country has to feel as though they have an
opportunity. And I know what they did. I know they jumped the line. I
don`t like it. There`s a lot of people who have gone through legally who
have not jumped the line who are bitter about this. But at the end of the
day it may be necessary. I`m open to it. I will tell you that. I`m open
to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Seems there might be two ways of looking at what John Kasich is
saying there. One, maybe he just doomed his chances of winning the
Republican presidential nomination should he launch a bid for 2016 or maybe
he`s positioning himself as the front-runner, maybe he`s someone who sees
the demographic direction in which the country is heading, someone who`s
open to solutions, willing to compromise in the name of getting things
done.

He`s a pragmatist maybe who realizes the need for immigration reform isn`t
simply going to disappear. Maybe he thinks he`s the kind of leader who can
bring the rest of the Republican Party to that realization and get them to
rally around him for that.

Maybe he`s calculating it will not hurt him, it maybe actually help him in
Republican primaries.

So trying to figure out the psychology of this issue within the Republican
Party, joining me now we have MSNBC contributor and University of Texas
professor Victoria DeFrancesco-Soto, former adviser to John McCain Adolfo
Franco and "USA Today" Washington bureau chief Susan Page is back with us.

Thank you all for this.

So, Adolfo, let me just start with you. I`m just curious. You heard very
predictable stuff from four Republican governors there. Then John Kasich
opened his mouth and I certainly wasn`t expecting it.

What did you think, listening to that?

ADOLFO FRANCO, FORMER JOHN MCCAIN ADVISOR: Well, a couple things about
John Kasich. He`s a combination -- you`re right, Steve -- of a pragmatist
and sort of a quirky guy at the same time. He`s a former Budget Committee
chairman in the House of Representatives, establishment guy, a very popular
governor in a very purple state.

And he`s been prone to these types of comments in the past. But notice in
the comments he didn`t quite say this was the way to do it.

KORNACKI: Sure.

FRANCO: He was talking more broadly about the fact that the healing and
positioning himself, I think we just saw Candidate Kasich today, candidate
for President of the United States, he`s positioned himself as a governor.
He won re-election by a large margin, bought a lot of Democrats -- in Ohio
we`ve lost twice. No Republican has ever won without Ohio.

So in many ways it`s an attractive candidate. I don`t think it`s very
different than some things Governor Bush has said, Jeb Bush. He`s been in
line with that position and I think that will be the course of the
Republican president. Get over the anger that I actually share about the
way the president has gone about doing this.

KORNACKI: I guess what`s so striking is the contrast and the timing and
the contrast because he`s on stage with these Republicans, many of them
looking at 2016 as well who can`t get beyond just the normal sort of talk
radio rhetoric on this, Victoria.

And what Kasich is doing is a model in a way, isn`t it? Politically, sure,
you`re going to bash the president for the style of doing this, but he
turns around then and he offers something real. He says, yes, path to
citizenship, I`m open to that. I haven`t heard that almost from any
Republicans.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO-SOTO, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: I`m wondering what Jeb
Bush is saying because Jeb Bush was banking on being the candidate that was
going to be a little bit different. Also, I was surprised by Marco Rubio`s
lack of response. He also had this, I don`t like the process but I also
support this.

So I think slowly but surely we`re going to see more and more Republicans
come out of the woodwork and say I don`t like the process but we do need to
broaden the tent, we do need to open arms -- and don`t forget Republicans
have been friends of immigration for a long time.

George W. Bush being the figurehead of that just recently with the Tea
Party movement, the Republican Party got very anti-immigrant. But I think
within the party, they`re starting to heal and perhaps if 2016 shakes out
in the Jeb Bush side of things, we`re going to see a more friendly
immigration position.

KORNACKI: So, Susan, earlier in the show you were talking about the idea
of the Republicans just sort of letting this executive action go without
some kind of, you know, shutdown fight or some kind of articles of
impeachment introduced by somebody, something dramatic like that.

How can -- when you look at it, can you see the Republican Party getting
from this moment right now, that kind of reaction you`re describing to
looking at somebody like John Kasich and rallying in 2016 behind somebody
who says, you know what? Path to citizenship? We have to do that.

PAGE: Well, I think we see a big division in the party and you see the
division in part with the people who would like to be elected president.

But the Republican Party and especially the Republican Party that votes in
Republican primaries is going to be very -- I mean, look at the reaction
Rick Perry got two years ago when he was running and he took a moderate
position on immigration.

But you have not only John Kasich saying this but also Rick Perry, who`s
running, and Jeb Bush trying to delineate a somewhat more respectful,
moderate, centrist position that gets you toward legal status, if not
citizenship.

But you will have the core voters in the Republican Party insisting that
their presidential candidates pledge to undo the president, and if you want
to piss off -- sorry, if you want to anger -- I didn`t mean to say that.
If you want to anger Hispanic voters, just try to take away this temporary
legal status from 5 million.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: Adolfo, I`m just imagining, think back to 2012. You probably
know where I`m going with this. But Mitt Romney wanted to get to the right
of immigration. He came up with the line of self-deportation and it
haunted him the rest of the campaign.

I`m imagining all these Republican candidates being on stage in a debate,
January 2016, and President Obama`s executive order, will you rescind it?

And the thing the Republican base wants to hear is yes. The Republican
base hears yes and everybody else in the country hears all of these people
will be deported now.

FRANCO: I don`t think we`re going to say we`re going to rescind it. This
is a little bit like a divorce or death. We`re going to go through a nice
share, an anger period here. And I think we`ll do efforts to not fund
certain parts of these programs and so forth. So I think we`ll go through
that phase.

But let me be clear. I would like to state the Republican view clearly.
The Speaker of the House, our leadership, our party has said we`re in favor
of a comprehensive reform. And we are. Not necessarily the reform that
President Obama has in mind and not necessarily this process. Obviously we
reject the process. So I think at the end of the day --

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: You don`t like the process and the executive order, I get that.
There`s the bill that passed the Senate with like 15 Republicans voting for
it. And it`s just been sitting in the House.

What`s wrong with that bill?

FRANCO: What`s wrong with the bill, even Marco Rubio stepped back from
that bill as we`re not going to do what ObamaCare did, and that is pass a
large bill that, as Nancy Pelosi has said, no one has ever read.

And also there is just a lack of confidence in this president with his own
legislation suspending aspects of it, that he won`t be faithful to any kind
of deal we reach and so spin parts of a comprehensive immigration reform
bill that has aspects of it he does not like.

So that`s the problem. Even Senator Schumer said in terms of a
comprehensive immigration reform bill this might have to wait until 2017.
Obviously with executive action I think it will. But he said that
previously, meaning there is a lack of faith in this president especially
with these very, very large bills as the former Speaker of the House said,
no one has ever read.

KORNACKI: Victoria, as political science editor, I wonder what you make of
that. We`ve been hearing this from Republicans on this issue, but we`ve
hearing from it on other issues, too, as sort of the idea of we don`t want
to compromise with the president on X because we don`t trust the president
to implement, to enforce.

Have you heard this with previous presidents? Is this -- I don`t remember
hearing this argument before?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: I don`t. And I think we also see a pushback against a
big, comprehensive immigration reform because there`s still a lot of
nervousness in the Republican Party from the 1986 (INAUDIBLE) --

(CROSSTALK)

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: -- reform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would work.

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: Did it work? It was good in theory but in practice it
failed. And that was the last big immigration reform. So I think there`s
still a lot of nervousness.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: What`s the biggest lesson from that. What`s the biggest lesson
for what -- not to repeat?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: First of all, if you want to stem immigration, you go
after the demand which is the employers. The utter failure of the 1986
Immigration Reform and Control Act was they beefed up the border, great.

They granted a pathway to citizenship but they did nothing to the guys and
gals who were hiring undocumented folks and undercutting wages for
Americans. They did nothing. On paper they said they were going to do it.
But they never went after them so the demand continued, continued --

FRANCO: Absolutely true, but I want -- absolutely true and I conquer with
that. But I would add another aspect of it. We didn`t really do anything
about a guest worker program. We didn`t talk about the demand need base --
OK, people don`t want to leave their countries. They don`t want to work
and go back and forth, which I think is a feasible alternative to illegal
immigration or immigration that`s uncontrolled.

And those aspects of a bill were never really considered in 1986.

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: It`s a bad taste in the mouth.

FRANCO: It is.

KORNACKI: Well, and here we are, it`s almost 30 years later and talking
about can we get one done in the next, I don`t know, two years, ,something
like that?

All right. The fear over executive action. Is President Obama really the
first executive, chief executive to make a kind of move like that? It`s
the kind of question demands we break out the big board. Actually, we`re
going to look at some poll numbers on this, too, some very interesting
contradictory poll numbers. We`ll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: All right. So the politics of immigration reform. The politics
of the president`s executive action. You have heard Republicans all week,
in the months up to what the president did this week with his executive
action. You`ve heard the Republicans attacking him as a king, as a
monarch, as a dictator. And you`ve heard the president turning around and
saying all you have to do, Republicans, if you don`t like this, is just do
your job in Congress and pass a bill.

So how are these messages being received by the public?

What is the political fallout from this?

How will this shape politics going forward?

Those are the questions we want to look at and the best way to do that is
with the good old big board.

You remember this thing from Election Night? We`ve dusted it off; going to
put it to use right here.

So the bottom line number on this, the bottom line number this week that`s
important is not a good one for the White House. It`s one that has
Republicans salivating. It`s why you hear all that overheated rhetoric
from them, and it`s this: it`s 38 percent. This is according to the NBC
News "Wall Street Journal" poll that came out this week, 38 percent of
Americans say they approve of the executive action the president took this
week that will protect some illegal immigrants from deportation. Just 38
percent approve; 48 percent disapprove.

Now the numbers are actually all over the place though when you look a
little bit closer. So we`re going to show you a wildly contradictory
number now that`s contained in this same poll.

So now what you have here, there`s a lot of words here but what this is are
voters who were basically asked, they were described the Senate bill. This
is the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last year that has
sat in the House for the last year and a half. Nobody has acted on it.
This is why President Obama said he has to take action this week, because
this bill is going nowhere.

So this is described now, the contents of this bill, the opportunity for
those here illegally to earn citizenship by paying fines, by paying taxes,
the long pathway to citizenship. You describe that to people and look at
this, 74 percent say they`re for it. This is something much more expansive
than what President Obama did this week; only 38 percent support that but
nearly three-quarters of all Americans support this.

So how do you get from this to that 38 percent number we saw? Well,
there`s a couple of things to take a look at here. This is asking -- this
is the same poll and this is asking voters, do you want the candidates who
were elected to office in November`s elections, a couple weeks ago, do you
want them to be focusing on making compromise or do you want them to be
sticking to their campaign position?

So you are essentially asking them do you want them to work together with
the other party or do you want them going it alone? That`s essentially
what you`re asking there. And look at that. Overwhelmingly they`re saying
we want them working together. We want bipartisanship.

You compare that to four years ago when Republicans won back the Congress
in that big landslide, then opinion on this was a lot more divided. Now
the mood of the country, that much more toward bipartisanship. So in that
sense President Obama not acting in a bipartisan way here by taking a
unilateral action.

But go even further on this. So they want compromise. OK.

Who do they want to take the lead? They want the president and the
Congress working together.

Who do they want to take the lead in that relationship? And look at this.
By a 56-33 percent margin they want Congress taking the lead. So again,
that`s not what President Obama is doing this week. President Obama is
doing this on his own while Congress pretty much does nothing. So again,
he`s running afoul of public opinion on that.

And then here is the third question.

So if Congress is supposed to take the lead, what should the priorities of
Congress be for the next year?

So one of the questions here is should it be a priority for Congress to
create legal status for some immigrants who are here illegally?

When you ask voters that, they`re actually saying, no, it shouldn`t be a
priority. Plurality there, 48 percent saying they don`t agree with that.
Only 39 percent say they agree with that. So those are all process
questions, those are questions about the style of how this is done, the
fact that it`s an executive action instead of a grand bipartisan
legislative compromise.

You add all of that together and there you have it. You have 38 percent
approving of what President Obama did this week, 48 percent disapproving.
So obviously short term, talking short term, these are rough politics for
the White House. I think the calculation the White House made here,
though, may end up being a smart one.

That is you take a short-term hit like this, you take whatever grief comes
with doing something when only 38 percent of the public says you want to do
it and you put Republicans potentially in a much trickier longer-term
position because when something this popular in terms of the policy itself
is on the books, as you saw, the policy itself is very popular.

When that`s on the books, you`re daring Republicans to undo it. And if
they undo it, they`ll be running into a storm of public opinion all their
own. So use the big board to show you it`s complicated, bad short term for
the White House but I think Democrats see a long term plus in what they did
this week.

Anyway. Up next, behind the scenes with Chris Christie. Someone who`s
been there to tell you all about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you were to run for president, would you run on
overturning this executive order that the president is about to issue and
would you overturn DACA, the law, the executive order -- excuse me -- that
allows some DREAMers to stay in this country?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), N.J.: If I were to run for president, I would
then articulate the basis for my candidacy. I have not yet decided whether
or not I`m going to run for president. Therefore, I`m not going to
articulate the basis for a yet unknown candidacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: For someone who may or may not be running for president, Chris
Christie has done a lot of running for president type of things. He`s been
campaigning nearly nonstop on behalf of Republican candidates in this
term`s midterms including in Iowa.

Ostensibly he was there as part of his role as the head of the Republican
Governors Association to support the Republican governor there. Obviously
he might have had something else on his mind, too.

This week he even dropped the self-serving hint that he believed a governor
would be our next president. And despite the year he`s had fielding
questions about the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal and even
more questions about his administration`s handling of Hurricane Sandy
relief funds, despite all that scrutiny, Christie subjected himself to a
revealing and, frankly, a hugely entertaining profile by "The New York
Times" chief national correspondent, Mark Leibovich.

The title is in this "The New York Times Magazine," the title is "Chris
Christie Is Back." That means Christie himself certainly thinks he`s back.
If he is, he`s the ideal Republican to examine today in our continuing look
at the emerging 2016 field.

So to talk about the Chris Christie that he saw up close and personal,
joined now by the author of that piece, Mark Leibovich. He joins us from
Washington.

Mark, thanks for taking a couple minutes this morning. So you got the full
up close and personal Christie treatment. I wonder just -- that experience
of sort of tagging along with him as much time as you did, what did you
learn about him?

What did you see in him from that experience that the rest of us don`t see?

MARK LEIBOVICH, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": What`s striking about him is when
you talk to people who see him, especially for the first time, is they talk
about, wow, he really comes off honest. He`s telling you what he feels,
and it`s really overdue that we have a politician who does that.

And it`s true. He does present as someone who is very straightforward.
The truth is as we just saw in the clip, he hasn`t said a heck of a lot
about a lot of really big issues. He is just as cute and obfuscating, if
not more so, about things like immigration, about any number of foreign
policy questions, about, you know, a lot of things he doesn`t frankly want
to answer as any politician.

And so you do, when you`re hanging around him, get a sense of a more maybe
charismatic or a fresher version of a lot of the same B.S. that frankly I
think a lot of voters are sick of.

So it`s a balance. He`s a fun guy to be around, very compelling. He`s
very different. At the same time there are so many black holes of where he
comes from and where he is on the issues but, also, obviously a lot of
questions to answer for over the last few years, especially around things
like Bridgegate.

KORNACKI: It`s interesting because I covered him back in his New Jersey
days. He wasn`t officially running for office then, but it was clear to
everyone in the state he had political designs in the future and he always
struck me as he is a very charismatic person.

In an informal setting, working the room, he`s great at that. He does have
that tendency, though, where sometimes -- this is very intentional, this
part where he gets in and starts mixing it up with audience members.
Sometimes I get the sense he can`t help himself, though.

What was your experience with Chris Christie and his temper?

LEIBOVICH: Well, I think the temper is real but I also that he`s all
temperament in some ways. He knows what his shtick is. He knows what has
gotten him on the map and I think he plays to that to some degree.

It`s almost like -- I remember once following him around the Jersey Shore
and these tourists from out of state were sort of watching him and they
said, hey, it`s Chris Christie and it was just this matter of fact, oh,
yes, like we`re in Disneyworld and there`s Donald Duck, right?

So I think he`s, in a way, a cultural export in many ways. But look, the
truth is, the guy really likes being a political celebrity, which is what
he`s been the last few years. And I think running for president is a lot
harder than that and you have a lot more to answer for and, frankly, he
will have to start doing so.

KORNACKI: I guess we always try to -- we always thing back to -- look at
people`s childhoods to try to explain their adult behaviors. But something
did jump out at me in this piece you wrote, talking about his parents, the
house that he grew up in, the atmosphere he grew up in. He described it to
you.

He said there was, quote, "open, regular warfare" between his mother and
father.

LEIBOVICH: Yes. No, it was amazing. He talked about his parents just
were fighting constantly and to a point where I said when did it actually
get physical, you hear these stories -- Bill Clinton has a sort of iconic
story of the oldest son sort of stepping in and saying, hey, leave Mom
alone.

He said, I never did, but it was obviously a very, very vituperative and
sort of animated household. So that forms him. The other thing that
strikes me about Christie is in politics people who are running for things
especially tend to fetishize their fathers. It`s very much a daddy issue
kind of experience you get around politicians.

Christie is different. He talks about how by far his mother was the most
formative person in his life -- his grandmother, too. He used to go and
watch "Meet the Press" and go to church on Sundays at her place in Newark.

And it was pretty amazing to hear him talk openly about that. I remember
asking him if he felt better after he had lost as much weight as he lost,
and he said, no, I feel fine physically. I feel a lot better
psychologically and he does talk in more of a -- I don`t want to say Oprah-
ish but more of a newer age kind of brand of Republican than you might
expect.

KORNACKI: I have to ask you about that, too. Obviously people talk about
his weight. I`m not looking to get into any jokes or anything about that,
but it`s a serious health thing as well. He had the lap band surgery so he
has lost all of that weight.

You have him in here, you have a scene in here where you`re at a diner with
him and you`re describing it as nachos dripping with grease, piled
prodigiously with three scoops of sour cream and melted cheese --

LEIBOVICH: All true.

KORNACKI: Is he -- what`s your observation about him?

He lost all the weight, has he changed his lifestyle at all?

LEIBOVICH: I think he says that he had the lap band surgery, he has less
of an appetite as he used to, he doesn`t drink he soda like he used to.
And it`s not his fault that the nachos were as elaborately decked out as
the diner served. He`s obviously eating, he ate a lot of that.

I think it`s been a constant struggle for him. I think it will continue to
be but he`s obviously a lot smaller than he was a year ago or two years
ago. He`s probably lost about 100 pounds. So yes, obviously he feels good
about that.

KORNACKI: And what -- in terms of just watching him deal with different
Republicans in Iowa, all these other places, what was your sense in talking
to them?

How do they look at him as a presidential candidate?

LEIBOVICH: Well, I think right now they look at him as a novelty. When he
goes to places like Iowa, he is a guy that everyone has seen on TV. I
think in a sense the Bridgegate coverage on a number of outlets, a lot of
people on the Right feel has gone too far so in a sense that gives him a
kind of victim`s credibility.

It`s like, oh, he`s been in the crosshairs of the Left and, therefore, we
must like him more. So I think a lot of things that might have made him
suspect -- being a Northeast quasi moderate, many maybe would say, also
could help him in the aftermath of this.

But, no, I think people have a lot of questions. I think what`s
interesting is that after this big year he`s had with the RGA, he obviously
won more seats than he expected, he raised a ton of money.

But there`s not exactly a groundswell of people saying, all right, I will
now support him for president if he runs. So look, I think he is -- he
says he`s not running yet. I think he probably will. And I think one of
the bigger questions is how big his act will travel, but also how it will
wear.

KORNACKI: Yes, and also when he starts to start answering those
hypothetical questions that he can artfully dodge right now. Be
interesting to see what he says. Will he keep the executive order in place
or not? There`s the first of many land mines left to deal with.

Mark Leibovich of "The New York Times," pick up that magazine Sunday. Give
it a read. It`s a great profile. Thank you for joining us this morning.

And up next an update on the breaking news of that earthquake out of Japan,
right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: We have more details coming in this hour about this morning`s
major earthquake in Central Japan. It hit the city of Nagano the hardest,
that`s where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held.

At least one building is reported to have collapsed, injuring several
people there. Japanese broadcast NHK also says that a landslide is
blocking one of the roads in the area.

At a nuclear power plant nearby, meanwhile, a spokesman for the power
company said there are no signs of anything irregular. All reactors are
currently offline.

The Fukushima plant, you may recall, as a comparison, was not damaged by
the March 2011 earthquake in Japan itself but by the tsunami that followed
it. No tsunami warning, though, has been triggered so far this morning by
the earthquake.

Still ahead, how closely have you been paying attention to the week`s big
stories? We put you to the test, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from Studio 3A in Rockefeller Center USA, it`s
time for "Up against the Clock."

When he`s not pumping iron, he`s sipping a cool glass of wine, say hello to
Aldolfo Franco.

With her "Up against the Clock" rules, she has to refer to states by their
names rather than their nicknames, as she would prefer, it`s Susan page.

Ever the rebel, she prefers apple pie over pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.
Please welcome Victoria DeFrancesco-Soto.

And now the host of "Up against the Clock," Steve Kornacki.

KORNACKI: Oh, thank you, Jim Cutler (ph). Thank you, studio audience.
Thank you, audience at home for joining us and thank you to our three new
contestants for another action-packed edition of "Up against the Clock,"
Aldolfo, Susan, Victoria, welcome.

Susan, welcome back, a contestant on season one. She returns for another
shot at glory. We appreciate you all being here today. I know you came to
play so let`s get right to it. Explain how this works, as you know this is
a fast-paced political news and current events quiz. We will play for
three rounds, each of them 100 seconds long.

Questions are 100 points in the first round, 200 in the second and 300 in
the third. Contestants, you may ring in at anytime but be careful.
Incorrect answers will be penalized and I will then complete the question
for your opponents and give them a chance to ring in.

We also have several instant bonuses scattered throughout these questions.
We will explain them if and when they come up.

Our contestants today will be playing not just for victory, not just for
glory, not just for honor but also for a possible chance to play in our
tournament of champions at the end of the season. To qualify for that,
contestants, you will first need to win today.

And as always I will implore our live studio audience, please no outbursts.
Our contestants deserve and demand absolute concentration when they`re "Up
against the Clock." And with that, contestants, I will ask you, are you
ready?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

FRANCO: Ready.

KORNACKI: They are ready. Hands on buzzers. Please let`s get 100 seconds
on the clock. And the 100-point round begins with this.

A new NBC "Wall Street Journal" poll this week revealed that this
individual who turns 72 this week is the second most positively viewed
potential Democratic presidential candidate behind Hillary Clinton.

Victoria?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: Biden.

KORNACKI: Joe Biden is correct. Victoria is on the board, 100-point
tossup.

Facing public criticism from several of his fellow world leaders over his
country`s belligerent foreign policy, this head of state -- Susan?

PAGE: Vladimir Putin.

KORNACKI: Vladimir Putin left the G20 early; 100 points for Susan; 100-
point tossup. According to newly released analysis the top recipient of
Wall Street money this election cycle was this New Jersey senator. Susan?

PAGE: Cory Booker took the Wall Street money, 100 points for Susan; 100-
point tossup question.

After recent reports about its mongering of journalists, an investigation
into -- Victoria?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: I was going to say Uber BuzzFeed.

KORNACKI: She rang in early. Incorrect.

I will now complete the question for Susan and for Aldolfo.

Uber`s business practices was called for this week by this Minnesota
senator.

Susan?

PAGE: Al Franken.

Franken, correct. Stop the clock, 100 points there for you, Susan. More
excitingly with that correct answer you have triggered our video bonus
question. Here is how it works. This is a risk-free proposition. This is
no penalty here for guessing. It`s 100 extra points if you can correctly
identify a famous quote that will be read to you by our special celebrity
guest. So if you`ll please direct your attention to our video monitor, and
to Mr. John Lithgow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN LITHGOW, ACTOR: Hi, I`m John Lithgow with this week`s "Up against the
Clock" quote of note.

Which early 20th century actor and humorist once said, "Everything is
changing: people are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians
as a joke?"

Good luck.

PAGE: Mark Twain.

KORNACKI: Oh, it was Will Rogers, Will Rogers. No penalty, though, for
guessing there. That`s the freebie. We put the clock back in motion, 100-
point tossup question. Here we go.

A Seattle-based private equity firm this week purchased the rights to sell
marijuana using this late reggae singer`s name.

Susan?

PAGE: Marley.

KORNACKI: Bob Marley is correct, 100 points, coming to a store near you;
100-point tossup.

Shuttle bus drivers voted to unionize this week at this Silicon Valley
social networking -- Victoria?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: Facebook.

KORNACKI: Facebook did that, that`s right; 100-point tossup question here.

With trips projected to take 36 percent longer than usual, Thanksgiving Eve
traffic in this congested West Coast city is expected to be the worst.

Adolfo?

FRANCO: L.A.

KORNACKI: In L.A., Adolfo in at the wire. That buzzer brings us to the
end of the round. Take a look here, Susan jumps out to the early lead with
400 points. Victoria and Aldolfo with 100.

But don`t worry, you can catch up very, very quickly or Susan you could run
away very, very quickly or if you hit it wrong, you could fall behind very,
very quickly because this is the 200-point round. Questions twice as hard,
twice as valuable, twice as much suspense in the room. I can feel it.

Let`s put 100 seconds on the clock. The 200-point round begins with this.

The latest installment of this American sci-fi adventure tween film
franchise has been pulled by a theater chain in Thailand --

Susan?

PAGE: "Hunger Games."

KORNACKI: The "Hunger Games" franchise. They think it will incite a
rebellion --200 points for Susan; 200-point tossup.

On Monday Nancy Pelosi appointed New Mexico`s Democratic congressman Ben
Ray Lujan to lead the party`s 2016 effort to retake the House as the
chairman of what -- Victoria?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: DCCC.

KORNACKI: Of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; 200 points
for Victoria; 200-point tossup.

The final film from legendary director Mike Nichols, who passed away this
week at 83 was 2007`s "Charlie Wilson`s War" --

PAGE: Oh, I`m sorry.

KORNACKI: Susan?

PAGE: Sorry, I buzzed in too early but I`d say it was about the war in
Afghanistan.

KORNACKI: Afghanistan is correct, 200 points for Susan; 200-point tossup.

After losing soundly to Republican governor Nathan Diehl this grandson of a
president --

Adolfo?

FRANCO: Carter.

KORNACKI: Be more specific, please?

FRANCO: Oh.

KORNACKI: Time: I`ll complete the -- well, Susan, you`ve already rung in?

PAGE: Jason Carter.

KORNACKI: Jason Carter may run for governor again. We needed the first
name on that, 200 points for Susan; 200-point tossup.

On Thursday the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriages to begin in what?
Susan?

PAGE: South Carolina.

KORNACKI: In South Carolina, as a Southern state, correct; 200-point
tossup. It was report this week that Scott Brown will return to FOX News
as a contributor after losing to -- Aldolfo?

FRANCO: Senator Sheehan.

KORNACKI: Correct. Stop the clock. He lost to Jeanne Shaheen. That`s
correct; 200 points to you, Adolfo, there and because you got that right,
you have triggered our "Use It or Lose It" --

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- question. So what this is -- I`ll explain it to you quickly.
This is an optional question. I have here a question that is somehow
related to the one that you just answered.

If you choose to take the question, you can double the points you just won;
200 more points -- or if you answer incorrectly, you will lose those 200.
So I have the question. Will you use it or lose it?

FRANCO: I might as well go with it.

KORNACKI: He is feeling lucky.

For 200 extra points, Adolfo, just like Scott Brown, Jeanne Shaheen is also
not originally from New Hampshire. Before moving to the state in the
1980s, she also lived in three other states. Name one of them.

FRANCO: Massachusetts.

KORNACKI: Incorrect. Missouri, Pennsylvania, Mississippi. Interesting
assortment. We have to take those two.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: It`s a chance you had to take. I understand; 200-point tossup.
We will start the clock and go with this.

The World Bank estimated this week that half of those employed before the
Ebola outbreak are now out of work in this West African nation?

Adolfo?

FRANCO: Sierra Leone.

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

Susan?

PAGE: Liberia.

KORNACKI: Liberia is correct, 200 points.

Following a petition from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, this comedian
and former talk show host canceled his upcoming performance -- Susan?

PAGE: Jay Leno.

KORNACKI: Jay Leno canceled it. At the wire, 200 more, Susan, a very
impressive 200-point round. You have charged into a big lead with 1,600
points. Victoria at 300, Adolfo took the chance and is in negative
territory. But still, Adolfo, Victoria, 300-point round here. This is our
Ph.D. round. It does not take many of these -- we have seen bigger gaps
overcome.

In fact, we`re going to dim the lights now for dramatic effect. We`re
going to crown a champion with this 300-point round; 100 seconds on the
clock. The first 300-point question is this.

A recount now looms in Arizona`s 2nd District where Republican Martha
McSally narrowly leads Democratic Congressman Ron Barber, who was formerly
an aide to -- what?

PAGE: Gabby Giffords.

KORNACKI: Gabby Giffords, correct; 300 points -- this is for 300 points.

The first openly gay athlete in a major team sport, Jason Collins announced
his retirement this week after playing for what NBA team?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not my field.

KORNACKI: Time. It`s the Brooklyn Nets; 300-point tossup.

The Oxford English Dictionary named -- Victoria?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: Veep.

KORNACKI: The veep is the word of the year, correct. She did that one,
300 points.

PAGE: Wow. Very impressive.

KORNACKI: It was revealed this week that the Washington, D.C., home shared
by retiring congressman George Miller, Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick
Durbin is up for sale. Their living arrangements are the inspiration --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Animal House."

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Alpha House."

KORNACKI: "Alpha House," big swing there, 300-point tossup.

A worldwide shortage of chocolate is possible in about five years warned
this maker of M&Ms and -- Aldolfo?

FRANCO: Mars.

KORNACKI: Mars is correct -- with confidence he said it, 300 points there;
300-point tossup.

It was announced this week that this "Saturday Night Live" cast member will
headline the next White House -- Susan?

PAGE: Cecily Strong.

KORNACKI: Cecily Strong is correct; 300 points; 300-point tossup.

With the unveiling of a marble and bronze statue and a song from ZZ Top,
Congress this week formally honored Vaclav Havel, president of this former
European country.

Adolfo?

FRANCO: The Czech Republic? Czechoslovakia.

KORNACKI: Czechoslovakia is correct; 300 points; 300-point tossup.

On Wednesday President Obama nominated Mark Rosekind to lead this
Transportation Safety Agency.

Adolfo?

FRANCO: TSA, Transportation?

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

Susan?

PAGE: National Transportation Safety Board.

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: I`m going to plead ignorance on this one.

KORNACKI: It`s the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That brings us to the end of the game.

Victoria, you got closer but Susan was 1,600 points. You held on in the
Ph.D. round. You`ve won the game and because of that Bill Wolf (ph) will
tell you what you`ve won.

FRANCO: Congratulations --

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: Congratulations --

BILL WOLF (PH): Your name will be engraved using the finest Sharpie ink on
the all-new stain resistant "Up against the Clock" gold cup. You`ll also
receive a DVD copy of the classic 1988 film, "Cocoon 2: The Return,"
personally autographed by Wilford Brimley.

And you`ll get to play in our jackpot round for today`s grand prize, a $50
gift certificate to Kwik Meal Food Cart in Midtown Manhattan, the only
street vendor in the greater 45th Street area, operated by a former chef of
the Russian Tea Room. I had it for lunch today. Delicious!

Enjoy the meal and congratulations.

Back to you, Steve.

KORNACKI: All right, Susan. Congratulations. Here is your cup. I warn
you, don`t drink from it. The chemicals in that paint are highly toxic,
but display it with pride. Here for that $50 gift certificate to that
delicious street vendor food, Susan, is your jackpot bonus question.

Jim Webb, who this week formed a presidential campaign exploratory
committee, previously served one term in the United States Senate from 2007
to 2013.

For that $50 gift certificate, Susan, who is the last former one-term
senator to win at least one presidential primary or caucus?

PAGE: OK. Can you repeat the question, please?

KORNACKI: Sure. Who is the last former one-term senator to win at least
one presidential primary or caucus?

PAGE: So it can`t be Barack Obama because you said -- it could be Barack
Obama?

KORNACKI: No, a former.

PAGE: Former -- so last former senator to win at least one. So I`ll say
Biden.

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

Adolfo, for posterity, do you want to answer it?

FRANCO: Kerry Sanford?

KORNACKI: Incorrect.

Victoria, any guess?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: I was going to say Kerry, though.

KORNACKI: Incorrect, but he formerly held Kerry`s seat.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- Massachusetts in 1992. He was a former one-term senator.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: You knew it was going to be an obscure former Massachusetts
politician probably.

But anyway, Susan, congratulations on your victory.

Adolfo, Victoria, you both get the home edition. It was a spirited effort.

We`ll be right back with the show right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: All right. It`s time to find out what our guests know now that
they didn`t know when the week began.

And, Susan, we`re actually going to start with you because we just pointed
out, this is the second time you`ve signed your name to the highly toxic
"Up against the Clock" gold cup. You won a game last year. You won this
year. I think you`re the first two-time winner now.

PAGE: But I did terrible in the playoffs last year, in fairness.

KORNACKI: , Well, it`s like March Madness. On any given day, something.

PAGE: So what I learned this week, if you want to look at what a pickle
the Republicans are in when it comes to immigration, look at a poll that
came out two days ago by Peter Hart (ph). Now it`s from an advocacy group,
but Peter Hart (ph), a highly respected Democratic pollster.

In Obama states, 67 percent of the people they polled support the substance
of what the president did on immigration. And in states won by Mitt
Romney, 65 percent supported. So you see the kind of breadth of support
for the substance of the president`s action even despite the controversy
for the process.

KORNACKI: All right.

Victoria?

DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: I learned that things are going to get worse in Mexico
before they get better. There`s been a lot of social unrest in Mexico as a
result of the kidnapping and killing of 43 student teachers.

Last weekend we thought that there might be some reconciliation. I think
things are going to get worse for the next couple of months and I don`t
know what is going to happen to the presidency there.

KORNACKI: OK.

Adolfo?

FRANCO: What I learned from this week is the Republican Party is going to
take a very different tack in the next two years.

The consequence of the president`s bait, quite honestly, on this
immigration, from my perspective, the political ploy, meaning that --
trying to have the government shut down or some dramatic action, the
Republican leadership, including conservatives, have been very clear they
are not taking that bait.

And I think we`re going to see a Republican agenda and a far more
constructive alternative to the Obama policies rather than (INAUDIBLE)
confrontation.

KORNACKI: Yes, obviously that`s the big story here for the next two years,
is what is going to happen with that.

Well, obviously, I learned -- we talked about it earlier on the show, Jim
Webb seems actually to be -- I`ve heard some people suggest that the Webb
thing is almost -- remember when he said Newt Gingrich, was he really
running or was he trying to sell books and videos and stuff, I`ve heard
people say that about Webb. He seems like a different sort, so I don`t
know.

But I guess what that tells me I learned really is there will be
competition for the Democratic nomination. Because I had been entertaining
that thought that Hillary Clinton -- maybe she is just so imposing she gets
the free pass.

(CROSSTALK)

FRANCO: I don`t think he`s -- I don`t think Hillary Clinton is losing any
sleep over Jim Webb.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- because she may have to debate him at some point.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- I`d say it`s interesting, the -- Hillary Clinton, Bernie
Sanders, Jim Webb up there having a debate, that would be kind of
interesting to me. I`ll at least watch it.

FRANCO: Probably be good for my job --

KORNACKI: But anyway, I want to thank Susan Page, two-time "Up against the
Clock" victor; Victoria DeFrancesco-Soto -- sorry to rub it in, guys --

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- and Adolfo Franco, thanks for --

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- and thanks for being good sports. Enjoy the home edition, as
we say. And thank you for joining us today for UP. Join us tomorrow,
Sunday morning, 8:00 am Eastern time.

And coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." We will see you tomorrow.
Thanks for getting up.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


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