'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, February 8th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
Past transcripts by month
Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: February 8, 2015
Guest: Fawaz Gerges, David Avella, Kate Zurniki, Karen Tumulty, Keith
Carson, Howard Dean, David Frum, John Feinstein
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Holding out hope for Kayla Mueller.
Hey, good Sunday morning to you. Thanks for getting up with us. We have a
lot of news, a lot of politics, a lot we want to over the next two hours on
this Sunday morning in February, including the severe flooding out west and
the big snow storm back east. It`s about to wallop New England once again.
They got about 4 feet of snow in the ground. They are already and it`s
going to get worse.
Also, the Democrats who appear to be lining up to avoid Benjamin
Netenyahu`s speech to Congress in the big controversy that`s erupted over
that. And Rick Santorum opening up today about his daughter`s disability
in a new and very revealing article. Also, why Chris Christie must be glad
this week is finally over, and also, our very special guest this morning,
Senator Al Franken from Minnesota.
But we begin today with the latest on American ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller.
Until ISIS claimed on Friday that Mueller was killed on a Jordanian air
strike -- that`s a claim by the way that U.S. officials say they have no
confirmation of right now. Before all that, though the American public did
not know much about Kayla Mueller, or even the fact that she was being
held. Los Angeles Times revealing new details overnight, in a year and a
half, the Mueller family spent holding the painful secret of their
daughter`s capture all in the hopes of helping to secure her release.
The efforts to contain that secret were extraordinary, all contained in
this new report. The family saying in a statement on a Friday, her father
sold his business to focus solely on his missing daughter. A spokesperson
for the Mueller family is set to say more later today.
We`re also getting to know a lot more about Kayla herself. A young woman
who spent years doing aid work around the world. Three months before she
was taken hostage, Mueller told a local Kiwanis club about her work
assisting Syrian refugees in Turkey, quoting from that speech, "For as long
as I live, I will not let this suffering be normal. I will not let this be
something we just accept."
Here on the set to discuss the ISIS threat is MSNBC military analyst Col.
Jack Jacobs, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, and Fawaz
Gerges, he`s the chairman of Contemporary Middle East Studies, a department
at the London School of Economics. Thank you all for joining us this
So, Ayman, let me just start with you, reporting on this region and knowing
what you know about ISIS and the region as a whole, the claim here that
she`s been killed whether it was through the air strikes or something else,
versus the hope that she`s still alive. How much hope is there that she is
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we`d
certainly want to try to keep as much hope as alive as possible. I think
the U.S. certainly from some of the comments that have come out in the
past, not only in the 72 hours since this incident began to surface, but
also just generally over the past several months seem to have a pretty good
idea where she was. They had some accounts that perhaps she was being
treated better than other hostages. So, there was some indication that
there is intelligence that, you know, roughly where she was and her
In the past couple of days when this began to accelerate, when there was
the report that ISIS came out, it didn`t get a lot of traction online. And
I think that`s an important thing. We haven`t seen any evidence of this.
I think that would have been something ISIS may have tried to do as well to
try to capitalize on some propaganda value of an air strike like this that
may have accidentally killed her. And that hasn`t surfaced. And the U.S.
has so far dampened the claims. I think the U.S. have good signal
intelligence. They would have probably picked up a little bit of chatter,
they would have picked up some noise within various groups within ISIS that
in fact she had been killed.
KORNACKI: Could -- I mean practically speaking, just the way ISIS sort of
operates, could they -- these claims that she`s dead, they`ve said that
she`s dead. If she were actually still alive, is that something they could
clause (ph) with and come back and say and negotiate over or anything?
MOHYELDIN: That`s -- it`s really hard to know that, you know. It`s hard
to know who within ISIS has that kind of decision making capability. What
we do know is that ISIS does not shy away from using their hostages for
both propaganda value and trying to extort some kind of concession from
whoever their dealing with. They tried to do it with Jordan, they`ve done
it with -- they tried to do it with the Japanese hostages. They`ve tried
to do it in the past. It would be no different. I believe it would be no
different with this particularly American hostage, if in fact they had
access to her in a way that they could benefit from it.
KORNACKI: And Colonel, so what -- from a military standpoint, form a
intelligence standpoint, what is going on right now?
CO. JACK JACOBS, MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Ayman was right about the
signals intelligence. We work very hard to intercept phone messages, radio
messages and all of that. We have overhead capability with satellites and
spy planes and all that. Very good.
But what we don`t have is human intelligence, we don`t have people on the
ground in order to verify things. So, we`re in a position where we have to
believe everything that is told to us or at least make believe that we
believe that everything is told to us until we get some, say, some human
intelligence on the ground and get some real information.
KORNACKI: And to that point, just very quickly, Jordanians also have
pretty good intelligence on the ground. They definitely have been.
MOHYELDIN: And they`re saying, absolutely, this is.
KORNACKI: Yeah. And they`ve added -- and then another thing to Jordan`s
credit, you know, they actually came out very quickly one the Jordanian
pilot was killed and said, "We believe he was killed back on January 3rd."
And they had demanded a proof of life video when these negotiations we`re
taking place in exchange for the pilot and the prisoner in Jordan`s
custody. The fact that Jordan now has also come out expressing doubt about
the ISIS claim, I think also substantiates the fact that these.
JACOBS: Well, that`s what ISIS does, you know. Time and time again,
they`ll kill hostages and ours is not the only one.
JACOBS: They`ll kill hostages well in advance of the.
KORNACKI: So, Fawaz, let me ask you about that because there`s been some
additional talk and additional speculation in this case because the hostage
is a woman. And the idea that maybe ISIS killing a woman would be a, you
know, more of a violation of Islamic law. It would be more problematic
maybe from -- in terms of the recruitment P.R. standpoint and all of that.
Is there -- there`s been some speculation here that maybe they did kill her
and they`re latching on to the air strikes and sort of to give them cover
for doing something that could get them in a lot of P.R. troubles. Do you
think it could be anything to that?
FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE:
Maybe. But Steve, we are no longer surprised what can ISIS do and does not
do. I mean they have done everything really that does not exist in the
book. In terms of slaughtering in the name of religion, twisted
interpretations of their faith (ph), burning the Jordanian pilot who is a
very (inaudible), he was a very (inaudible) Sunni Muslim, beheadings.
But I think the question of woman -- Kayla is a very special case. You`re
absolutely correct. I think ISIS knows or some of the leaders within ISIS
know that they cannot display a video of Kayla in the same way they do when
it comes to man. Islam not only prohibits the killing of woman and
children and elderly, even though that ISIS has violated all the principles
and values of Islamic doctrine, but this would a be a very special case.
My take on it, I hope I`m right that Kayla is not dead. ISIS has not
provided any evidence that somehow she was -- she had been killed by the
Jordanian air strikes. The American seem to believe that the air strikes,
they`ve not really target where she is. So hopefully, this is more of a
P.R. stunt, and they`re trying to basically respond to the intensifying
Jordanian air strikes in the last fews days.
MOHYELDIN: And to that point, really quickly, I mean, Professor Gerges is
absolutely right. But ISIS has killed women. I mean, you know, we`ve
heard them talking -- President Obama addressed this talking about how they
rape women, (inaudible) women. They`ve killed women within ISIS-controlled
territory for what they may think as.
KORNACKI: But something they publicize.
MOHYELDIN: Exactly. Exactly.
KORNACKI: . in the same way that.
MOHYELDIN: Yeah. So that`s.
GERGES: That`s what I`m saying.
MOHYELDIN: And that`s the point I think that -- exactly. That`s the point
the professor is making and some are holding on to that it won`t cross that
KORNACKI: So one thing in terms of the bigger picture here with ISIS and
then any strategy to defeat them. I want to put this up. This was an
article that was in Slate in this week, that characterized ISIS as
fundamentally suicidal and basically saying that all of its actions are
ultimately going to be self-destructive. They say in the case of Jordan
and the video of the pilot burning to death, in Jordan, the video has
changed everything in its local culture in that country. ISIS remains a
threat but the King`s domestic problem is gone. He no longer has to
persuade his people that ISIS is their mortal enemy. The video took care
So basically, Fawaz, saying that you know, Jordan is now united in the
fight against ISIS in a way that it wasn`t before. But I`m just curious,
do you accept -- do you believe that basic framework that ISIS is
fundamentally suicidal and that with time, they will self-destruct?
GERGES: You know, Steve, I know that ISIS -- and particularly in the
United States, is portrayed as invincible, as undefeatable, standing tall
in the face of multiple coalition partners. ISIS is very fragile. ISIS is
defeatable, ISIS is committing collective suicide. ISIS now is pitted
against the Muslim public mainstream. ISIS has really now triggered a kind
of widespread feeling among Arab and Muslim, public opinion, clerics,
theorists, middle class, that basically it presents a threat to the state
system and the social fabric of the region. It has alienated, Steve,
radical jihadists of Al Quaeda type. Across the board, we don`t have the
time to talk about it.
In this particular sense, ISIS is defeatable, but not just militarily, even
if we defeat militarily in the next few months or years, the strategy
itself, the strategy is to really dismantle the ideology. You have to
really take the ideology apart from the bottom up by really trying to
convince local public opinion in Iraq and Syrian and other places that ISIS
is a threat, not only to the state system, but even to the Sunni community
itself. The killing, the burning of the Jordanian pilot could really, I
think, represents a tipping point in terms of convincing, reinforcing
Muslim public opinion hostile and negative view of what the ISIS threat is.
JACOBS: Yeah. It is a tipping point that Muslim countries have to take
advantage of it. Ultimately, militarily, you`ll have to have people on the
ground, meaning the coalition of Arab forces to take advantage of the
advances you get as a result of the air strikes, and take advantage of the
political situation when less Arab countries get on the ground and hold the
KORNACKI: Does it take -- so in the case of Jordan, you have -- it`s a
Jordanian pilot and it changes, as we just showed. It changes the culture
or the political culture of the country. Now, everybody wants, you know,
sort of revenge on ISIS. We`ve talked about like the UAE or Turkey, does
it take -- does it take it happening to one of their own to get them
engaged like that?
JACOBS: Well, it might. I mean, you -- as a result of the pilot being
emulated, murdered through emulation, you have UAE who had originally
decided that they weren`t going to bomb anymore, they weren`t going to
participate anymore, they`re back in the game. So I think it does take
something really, really personal, up close and personal -- sorry about
that cliche, to get them all motivated. But there`s going to be some
leadership in the region to say, "OK, enough is enough. We`re now going to
take advantage of this opening, and we`re going to, not only get rid if
these guys, but we`re going to be able to, militarily and politically hold
the terrain so that they don`t come back."
KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to Fawas Gerges with the London School of
Economics, MSNBC military analyst, Col. Jack Jacobs, NBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin.
Appreciate you all being here this morning.
Also, a note this morning about Brian Williams, the NBC Nightly News anchor
is stepping away temporarily from the broadcast. In a statement, Williams
says, it has become apparent, "that I am presently too much a part of the
news." This comes after questions about his version of events while
covering the Iraq war invasion in 2003. Lester Holt will be filling for
And still ahead this morning, a new winter storm threatening to dump even
more snow on New England. We`re going to have the latest from the weather
channel reporter who`s on the ground in Boston, maybe on the snow that`s on
the ground in Boston. We`ll talk to him in just a little bit.
Next, the RSVP list for Benjamin Netenyahu`s speech to Congress next month
is getting a little bit shorter, maybe a lot shorter. Stay with us for
KORNACKI: Dominoes continue to fall the wrong way for Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s planned speech to Congress next month. Vice
President Joe Biden announcing on Friday that he will not be attending that
event. Netanyahu`s speech is expected to question the Obama
Administration`s effort to negotiate a deal with Iran on its nuclear
President Obama has already said that he will not be meeting with Netanyahu
while he`s in town for that speech. And ever since the announcement,
there`s been a steady stream of Democrats announcing their plans to skip
the speech. James Clyburn, Raul Grijalva among those saying they won`t be
able to make it. In Israel, also a growing number of politicians now
calling for Netanyahu to cancel his visit in the interest of preserving the
Also worth noting, it`s election season in Israel. Netanyahu`s fate as
prime minister is going to be decided there on March 17th, that just two
weeks after the planned address. There are questions now about whether
Netanyahu will actually go through with the speech. There are also signs
that he maybe be preparing to blame House Speaker John Boehner, who made
the invitation to Netanyahu without consulting with the White House first.
The Israeli deputy foreign minister telling Israeli radio this week that
"It appears that the speaker of Congress made a move in which we trusted,
but which it ultimately became clear was a one sided move and not a move by
So, is his speech actually going to happen? Should the speech happen?
Here to talk about it this morning is our panel. We have Elahe Izadi from
the Washington Post, David Avella, he`s the Chairman of GOPAC, and my
former co-host on "The Cycle", MSNBC`s Toure, all joining us this morning.
So, Elahe, let me start with you just -- in terms of where this stands
right now, in terms of congressional politics, John Boehner issued the
invitation, even Nancy Pelosi, who`s not said she`s skipping but she`s been
very critical of the invitation was extended in the first place, is this
speech actually going to happen?
ELAHE IZADI, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, all signs point to yes right now.
Speaker Boehner has reiterated that he -- the invitation still stands, it`s
going to happen. And there`s this question of how this is going to play
back in Israel. If Netanyahu received his acceptance of this invitation,
is that going to make him look weak and they have all their own internal
politics to deal with and you flagged the fact that his deputy foreign
minister infer that perhaps they were misled which really raises the
question of whether this is hurting him back in Israel.
But, you know, if he were to take back his acceptance of this invitation,
would that make him look weak on this national stage. So, I think it`s
looking like it`s heading that way and it seems like Democrats are trying
to downplay it. Congressional leaderships said there weren`t -- there`s no
organized boycott or anything.
KORNACKI: Right. We`ve had some -- you`re right. I think it was John
KORNACKI: . he won`t be there, then it got reported as well, he`s
boycotting the speech. And then he said, "Well, no, I`m not boycotting it,
but I won`t be there."
KORNACKI: I`m not sure what that distinction.
IZADI: Yes. Yes.
KORNACKI: . actually means either. But it terms of this -- so the will it
happen, there`s also the should it happen question. What do you guys think
TOURE, MSNBC CO-HOST "THE CYCLE": Well, my initial reaction is how dare a
world leader come here and tell us how to run our country as (inaudible) we
do, nobody else gets to do that. But, you know, I would think that
Netanyahu would not want to come here and be upon within this ongoing
congressional legislative battle between these and ours, right?
I mean he`s sort of being used to embarrass Obama another way. You know,
part of some of the obstructionist tactics that we talked about back when
you were with us, you know. And I was thinking he would want to be above
that, that he wants to have an impact on American politics and foreign
policy, there would be a way of doing that without being used to embarrass
KORNACKI: Was he -- I guess it raises the question because we know that
Netanyahu-Obama relationship is -- I mean, I`ll say not good, it`s
poisonous, right? And Netanyahu certainly didn`t expect Obama to get re-
elected in 2012. Is this a case maybe of Netanyahu casting his lot with
Boehner, casting his lot with congressional Republicans, and really sort of
making a stand on domestic politics in United States?
DAVID AVELLA, CHAIRMAN, GOPAC: There are two people who will not in two
years be upset that they won`t be working together anymore and that is
President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu.
The issue here, though, really isn`t this one speech. The issue is what
actions are the U.S. going to take when -- as it relates to Iran and its
nuclear program. And the challenge really is for congressional Democrats
who want to take sanctions further. So the Senator Menendez`s, the Senator
Schumer`s, they want action taken.
And so at some point, they`re going to break with their president and say
"We`re going to push this with Congressional Republicans." Congressional
Republicans are very clear where they want to go. They want more
sanctions. And so, the pressure really is between the president and his.
KORNACKI: But this -- and that`s where it starts to get interesting. We
can put this up. This is from the New York Times, I think last week.
Because this debate over the Netanyahu speech has exchanged the politics in
Congress over this issue of sanctions where you had the Democrat you`re
talking about who were willing to sign up with this Republican push, they
backed off and in response, you see it there, "For months, the issue of
imposing sanctions on Iran split Democrats from the president. They fear
this pasture was emboldening the government in Tehran to further develop
its program. But Mr. Netanyahu`s planned speech, a provocation of the
president that many Democrats found distasteful and undiplomatic, has
helped to shift the political dynamic."
So like, Menendez now why he`s saying he`s going to wait till after March
24th, that`s the deadline the Obama Administration has set for its, sort
of, negotiations or attempted negotiations with Iran, so that sort of
changed a little bit.
IZADI: Definitely. And the fact that Senator Menendez and 10 democratic
colleagues who are supportive of sanctions have pinned (ph) this letter to
the administration saying we`re going to wait until March 24th, means the
administration has that time. They shouldn`t expect those Democrats to go
back on that and they are the most supporters of sanctions.
If you recall last year, around this time, or maybe a few months before,
these are Democrats who were calling vocally for a sanctions vote and it
wasn`t until the administration lobbied and Harry Reid didn`t put the
sanctions vote on the floor for a vote that they backed off basically.
So, I think they have time, but the clock is ticking. March 24th is around
KORNACKI: Yeah. I mean, it gives you about six weeks to get a deal with
Iran, good luck with that.
IZADI: Well, you know.
AVELLA: That`s plenty, that`s plenty.
KORNACKI: But there is a point also that -- we talked about this a little
bit in the show yesterday, that David Ignatius in the Washington Post was
basically saying, "He thinks now the United States internationally is in a
better in a sort of a stronger position than it has been in a few years."
And he was saying, basically, "Don`t just take any deal with Iran. You
know, you can really holdout now for the right deal."
TOURE: Right. I mean, absolutely. You know, look, we need to have Iran
be in control in terms of what they`re doing nuclear-wise. And if we can
force them to do the right thing, then that`ll be better for all of us.
The thing that we were wondering, for the show, is this actually helping
Netanyahu and Israel and we`re not clear. I mean, if it helps him 1
percent and that`s all that he need and that`s all he want. But I don`t
know, you know don`t know that. I mean, do you have any sense of whether
it`s actually helping Netanyahu and Israel?
AVELLA: What Israelis want is a prime minister that will communicate a
message that everyday they`re under threat of annihilation from a number of
neighbors who would rather see them gone than be around. And right now, he
is the best messenger.
Whenever I think about Israel, I always think -- two years ago, I went to
Israel and had to visit. And saw a (inaudible) Chin Abarahams (ph) who
everyday lives on the Gaza Strip. Every day is in fear that a missile will
come down and drop and blow up the school that her son and those children
go to. And they`ve had those experiences over the last couple years.
Israel needs the best messenger out there saying, "We`re under attack
KORNACKI: But I guess, he`s maybe forcing them into a position that --
where they have to say, "Look, we need the United States. And do we want
to have a prime minister here who has this antagonistic relationship with
AVELLA: You know, it`s a -- I think Josh, the press secretary at White
House gets sent out to make the most ridiculous arguments, that he had to
come out and say, "Well, we don`t want to interfere with the elections."
This coming from a president, who when he was a candidate, went all around
the world before the election to show his gravitas. And so, somehow, this
-- President Obama can go around when he`s up for an election and campaign
and communicate a message, but other world leaders can`t do the same.
TOURE: You know, one thing I think about too, though, is that the United
States` position in the Middle East is somewhat compromised with the Arab
Nations because we are seen us being there for Israel all the time in every
possible way. And I wonder if we could be a better friend to Israel if we
would somehow able, and this is not politically possible, if we`re able to
pullback a little bit and be seen as an honest broker. Therefore, all the
countries, right, rather than just Israel`s best friend.
AVELLA: But this administration had Netanyahu come out just a few years
ago and say, "OK. I`m for now a statehood." I`m now for a thing that he
was never for before, that he took great grief from right his right plank,
from the conservative members in Israel because they`re like we`ve never
been for that. And now, you know, the White House has told you, you have
to be for it and now all of a sudden you`re for it.
So, the case to be made, Netanyahu has tried to follow President Obama`s
KORNACKI: Well, and then it adds the other piece. And this then gets into
like the real nitty-gritty of Israeli politics which I found is great for
ratings on Television.
But it is -- you know, in this parliamentary system where, you know, you
become prime minister by patching together this coalition. And the
coalition that Netanyahu had to put together is the far right parties in
Israel. So that, you know, politically, that`s just going to inhibit you
We will see what`s happening with that speech, again, a few weeks away on
that. Let see that actually happens.
Still ahead though on this busy new morning, a truly brutal week for Chris
Christie. Is he now in danger of being written off by his own party? And
next, a new very high profile effort to try to somehow convince Elizabeth
Warren to run for president from some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: So, all right. There is a lot going on this morning, a lot in
the news this morning. We`re going to get caught up some of the other
headlines people are talking about. Bringing back today`s panel, so.
What do we have here? Let start with this. This is from The Hill, The
Hill newspaper in Washington saying that more than 90 celebrities say they
are ready for Warren. Susan Sarandon, Olivia Wilde, Mark Ruffalo, Edward
Norton, Avengers director Joss Whedon, all them signing an open letter to
Elizabeth Warren saying, "We`re ready to show you that you have the support
needed to enter this presidential race." Also we had Mark Ruffalo, I guess
has been saying this for awhile, he told our Perry Bacon over the summer
that I would love to see Hilary adopt Elizabeth Warren`s politics honestly.
So they are ready for Elizabeth Warren, I don`t think Elizabeth Warren
ready for them but.
TOURE: You know, this always works when Hollywood tells -- what should do,
what could happen -- I mean, you know, it reinforces the idea that
Elizabeth Warren is this very cool candidate but is this actually going to
get her to run, I don`t think so.
IZADI: And it also reinforces the notion that Hilary Clinton might have a
problem on her hands if she`s not inspiring this kind of enthusiasm, maybe
not among Hollywood, but certainly among the Democratic base. So if you`re
seen as the era-parent, that`s not really helpful for you this far out in
AVELLA: You know, my column this week talked about this very topic, and
Elizabeth Warren is only a -- not a candidate until she is a candidate.
And if you ask the majority of Democratic activist who they really want to
be their nominee, it`s Elizabeth Warren.
KORNACKI: Yeah. There is still a -- the activist say that they can take a
poll and she`s 58 point behind or something, so, there it is.
KORNACKI: Speaking of Hillary Clinton, we also have this from "The New
York Times," saying the economic plan is a quandary for Hillary Clinton`s
campaign. She has not been doing much publicly the last few months but
privately she`s been receiving advice from 200 policy experts on how to
address the anger in this country about income equality without over
vilifying the wealthy.
And also Dan Balz today in "The Washington Post," a good political
reporter, reporting that Clinton is building a different kind of campaign
for 2016, trying to build off the mistakes of 2008, promising a different
result this time.
Well, she starts off in a different place than she did in 2008. But this
economic quandary she`s in, it`s interesting. It`s all playing out behind
the scenes. We don`t know what message she`ll run on yet. That`s all
being decided now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and I looks like she`s not going to go with a
more centrist approach that characterized her husband`s administration, but
rather a more populist approach.
And that again ties back into the Elizabeth Warren enthusiasm question --
KORNACKI: But it sounds like they`re nervous about being too far to the
Left and seen as too hostile to the wealthy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It personifies Hillary Clinton`s problem, she`s a
terrible candidate. There`s one thing that a candidate has do in a
campaign, decide the message. There were articles this week that they were
delaying in part because they haven`t figure out what the message is. That
comes from one person.
Elizabeth Warren doesn`t have that problem. Bernie Sanders, like him or
not, doesn`t have that problem. They know what they`re for.
TOURE, "THE CYCLE": I think it`s easy for Elizabeth Warren, who is a
fantastic campaigner, to say that because she`s not actually in the fish
bowl, the mistakes that Hillary made in 2008 when she was up against one of
the great campaigns of all time, is not something that we`ll see, I think,
This is one of Hillary`s biggest challenges, to your point. A Democratic
Party that is very upset about income inequality and rightly so. They`re
angry at the rich. Rightly so. These policies, this economy, this way of
being did not come about all on its own. Rich people helped create this
situation. So they`re right to be angry at the rich.
Can Hillary articulate that as a rich person, as a Wall Street Democrat?
TOURE: I don`t think so.
KORNACKI: -- clearly is thinking beyond the Democratic primaries, who`s
thinking of the general election.
Want to get to a few more -- this is from Gizmodo. This is my favorite
story of the morning.
KORNACKI: This is an app that tells you the probability of your plane
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on.
KORNACKI: I`m terrified of air travel. So it`s called Am I Going Down?
My answer to this yes, is generally, yes, if you get on an airplane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think the answer is 100 percent.
KORNACKI: Here`s my problem with this. So here`s (INAUDIBLE) using it
that says they`re going to get on, and it says their odds are 1 in 0.54
million. They type in their flight specifications, 1 in 0.54 million. Oh,
there, I feel better. OK. So you do that once. Now you get on the plane
the next time, this time it`s 1 in 2.3 million. Well, I`m not going to
feel safer because --
KORNACKI: Things just got a lot worse for me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like those clocks where you type in all your
information and it tells you when you`re going to die.
Why do you want to know that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever use one of those?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. I`m living every day like it`s my
TOURE: Does the app also tell you when you`re driving in your car to the
airport your odds of getting in a fatal crash?
They would be far lower, far higher than it is the plane is far safer than
driving to the airport.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A far more helpful app for me would be the chance that
my luggage is going to arrive in time.
KORNACKI: Don`t lower yourself into a false sense of security.
The worst thing that I can imagine is, this is the fear of flying, this is
what it is. I can imagine being in the plane, I can imagine something
going wrong. I can imagine it starts to go down. What is my one thought,
I could have stayed home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say that every day any way.
KORNACKI: And I`m still here, Toure. It`s a miracle.
Next hour, more headlines, a lot more to get to with them.
Still ahead today, Senator Al Franken, he will be on the show to talk about
an issue he is deeply passionate about. Also I will ask him about next
week`s big 40th anniversary for "Saturday Night Live."
Will he be there?
Next, George W. Bush ran his first campaign on the idea of compassionate
conservativism. We will find out what brand of conservativism his brother
just unveiled. That is right after this. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: The recovery has been everywhere but
in the family paychecks. The American dream has become a mirage for far
too many. So, I`m getting involved in politics again because that`s where
the work has to begin. The opportunity gap is the defining issue of our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That`s Jeb Bush on Wednesday this week making the case that not
enough people have shared in the economic growth of the past six years.
The speech in Detroit gave us the first real look at what a Jeb Bush
presidential campaign would look like, including at least some willingness
to break with his party`s base.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Immigration`s not a problem. The immigrant experience that our
country makes us unique and special and different and it is part of our
extraordinary success over time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Separating himself from the base on immigration is consistent
with Bush`s stated strategy of running a campaign that`s mindful of the
general election, not just the Republican primary. There`s also a question
of how voters will react to the possibility of a third Bush occupying the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I love my dad. In fact, my dad is the greatest man alive. And if
anybody disagrees, we`ll go outside, unless you are like 6`5" and 250 and
much younger than me, then we`ll negotiate.
BUSH: I still will not change my mind for sure. And I love my brother.
And I think he`s been a great president. It doesn`t bother me a bit to be
proud of them and love them. But I know for a fact if I`m going to be
successful going beyond the consideration, I have to do it on my own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Here to discuss what we learned from Jeb Bush`s first big speech
as essentially a presidential candidate, we have "The Washington Post`s"
Robert Costa, who is in Des Moines this weekend covering all things 2016.
And Marc Cupito, Florida political reporter for Politico.
So, Robert, let me start with you.
If you could put in context for us the message that Jeb Bush -- I almost
called him George W. -- the message that Jeb Bush delivered this week in
Where does that put him in today`s Republican Party?
ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Governor Bush, he is the son and
brother of former presidents. But where he really fits in the Republican
ideological spectrum is a Jack Kemp Republican. He gave a speech at The
Kemp Foundation dinner in 2013 that I think really captures this idea that
he`s talking about, right to rise, talking about poverty, engaging with
It`s not W; it`s not 41, who Jeb (INAUDIBLE) to is that Kemp message of
uplift, of joyous politics.
KORNACKI: So, Marc, where do you think the party`s appetite is for what
Robert`s describing and for what Jeb Bush said this week?
Because I`ve been struck looking at the polling early on, and I know we
always say it`s very early, but the thing to me is when it`s very early,
name recognition counts for a lot. The name Bush is polling in single
digits in a lot of these polls that I`m seeing.
So where do you think the Republican Party is as it relates to the message
that Bush is offering?
MARC CAPUTO, POLITICO: If I could answer that question accurately, I could
tell you the winning lottery ticket numbers. If you look at 2012 and 2008,
the way the Republican primary electorate reacted, it seemed like everyone
got a shot. So Bush will have his time in the sun, probably Marco Rubio
will as well.
The idea that Bush is a reform conservative because that`s what he`s
running on, well, yes, it might hearken back to Jack Kemp.
It also hearkens back to Jeb Bush, certainly Jeb Bush of 1998. At the time
he ran a campaign that was premised on reforming schools and especially
looking at minority communities, and doing well and improving minority
performance in schools and lifting kids out of poverty in that way.
I`m not saying I endorse the idea just for some of your listeners out
there, but just understand that that`s been Jeb`s consistent message for
quite some time.
KORNACKI: I wonder though, Robert, has there been any change here in terms
of strategically, whether this is Bush or the other Republicans?
It was striking to me, the economic message he was delivering, was not
necessarily one we`ve been hearing from Republicans the last few years.
But the last few years he`s been focused on look how high unemployment is,
look how horrible this recovery has been, look how bad the economy is.
Now we`ve had a few months of pretty good economic news, really the best
economic news we`ve had in the Obama presidency, and the Bush message was
more about, well, it`s not that bad, but it could be a lot better.
Has there been a shift here on how Republicans are talking about economic
COSTA: I think there has been a shift, Steve. And I`m out here in Iowa,
and I have sat down with a lot of Jeb Bush allies. They make the argument
that the Republican Party is changing. Yes, in 2008 and 2012, the Iowa
Republican caucuses, they went to a favorite of the evangelical Right.
But Jeb Bush, he thinks because the party is more attuned to the issue of
economic inequality, he could make a play for a state even like Iowa, he`s
hired David Koch (ph) on an Iowa-based consulted, could be the likely
campaign manager for him.
And I think that really is indicative of how Bush sees this race. He
thinks, yes, the party was pulled Right in previous cycles, but he can make
it pull it back to the center.
KORNACKI: Yes, I`m really interested in that because I think his line was
a few months ago when he started with this, Marc, his line was you have to
be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election.
I certainly see the point with how Mitt Romney, especially on comments with
immigration really hurt himself in the primary in 2012.
At the same time I wonder does Bush need to make some kind of a gesture
here, to the core base of the Republican Party that really tells them,
look, I may stray a little bit, but in my heart I`m one of you.
Does he need to do something dramatic on that front?
CAPUTO: He might. I think it`s important to note that Jeb`s comment about
being willing to lose the primary to win the general is more him
telegraphic, saying I am who I am, right, the Popeye thing. That is I`m
going to run as you take me and as I have always been. I will not wind up
pandering, swinging Left and Right too much. That was one of the big
problems that Mitt Romney did have in 2012.
So for Jeb, when he goes out there and talks about immigration, he`s not
shying away from it because he believes in it. The idea that Jeb may not
play well among evangelical voters, I`d encourage everyone, not because I
work at Politico, but also because it was a great story.
Michael Cruz (ph) wrote a really wonderful piece about Terri Schiavo, the
case of the brain-damaged woman who was taken off life support. And Jeb as
governor went out of his way to insert the government into that matter and
tried to keep the woman alive. It was a huge right-to-life issue, at least
in the anti-abortion community.
So if I am in the Bush campaign, I will basically mail that Politico
article to every possible evangelical voter out there to remind them, look,
Jeb Bush is pretty solid on what they call pro-life issues. So maybe he
has some heresies to -- that is, for conservatives, and that is
immigration, but even among evangelical voters some polling suggests it`s
not that strong.
Then there`s the Common Core matter, which I`m not sure a lot of people are
as well informed on as Jeb would like them to be. Now his struggle will be
explaining that. And as they say in politics, when you`re explaining
you`re losing. And the polling right now shows he`s not doing so well in
places like Iowa.
KORNACKI: Yes. And just an added challenge, you look at the volume of
Republican candidates out there, a lot of alternatives for people, if they
say I`m not 100 percent satisfied, there`s a lot of other candidates they
could look at.
Anyway, my thanks to Robert Costa of "The Washington Post" and Mark Caputo
from Politico, appreciate both of you joining us this morning.
Also we have an update for you this morning on the TransAsia Airways crash
in Taiwan, whose dramatic final moments of descent were captured by
motorists on their dashcams as they clipped the taxi, the bridge that taxi
was on before it crashed in a river on Wednesday. Taiwanese officials now
say that 40 bodies have been recovered, which means the number of people
still missing is down to three; 15 survivors in all were rescued from the
Still ahead in the show today, she may be the favorite, but Hillary Clinton
still faces some major roadblocks on her way to the White House. We will
look at some of those challenges.
Next, snow fell in the Northeast while you were sleeping, and now it`s
heading towards New England. We`ll go live to Boston where people
certainly have had enough snow already. But more is coming down. Details
KORNACKI: We`ll get back to politics in a moment. First a story we seem
to be covering every weekend lately. A major winter snowstorm. New
England braces for its third storm in as many weeks. This one could bring
as many as 20 inches of snow to Boston and Eastern and Central
That`s where we find The Weather Channel`s Mike Seidel live in Boston. He
joins us -- well, half of him joins us, we can only see half of you in that
But tell us, what can we expect out there today?
MIKE SEIDEL, THE WEATHER CHANNEL. Good morning, Steve. This is what is
left from the previous two storms. They`ve had nearly four feet in two
weeks. We`ve had another four inches overnight. The beginning of what`s
going to be a long duration event. As I climb up to my mountain here on
the corner of -- whoa, Dartmouth and Boylston Street in Copley Square.
This gives you an idea what we`re facing all around town. They are still
trucking the snow out to the snow farm where they melt it. We have another
12-18 inches of snow coming down between now and Tuesday morning. It`s a
long duration event.
We will not have the kind of wind we had with previous storms, gusting 50-
60. There will be some blowing and drifting, 5 to 8 inches tonight, 5 to 8
inches on Monday, more snow for Tuesday, early Tuesday morning then it ends
for a couple of days.
At the airports already today, 48 flights have been canceled in and out of
Logan; tomorrow ahead of the storm tomorrow, 60-plus flights have been
canceled on Monday. These numbers will go up. Even though there`s not
going to be any snow or little if any wintry weather right in New York
City, there will be issues at the airport there.
So Steve, get ready to plow and dig out Boston once again. Heads up,
Northeast, coldest weather of the season coming up later this week. It
will be bone-chilling cold by Friday and Saturday.
KORNACKI: Well, you are full of good news today, Mike. I`m watching this,
so I got to say, you are standing right now, basically, at the finish line
of the Boston Marathon.
SEIDEL: There we go.
KORNACKI: In two months they will be having a race there.
SEIDEL: Yes, coming up on April 20th. I predict by April 20th, well, most
of this snow will have melted. Let`s hope so.
KORNACKI: The runners are hoping for that. Anyway, Mike Seidel in Boston,
thanks for that. Appreciate it.
Still ahead, Al Franken is the only senator that we know of that can draw a
map of the United States freehand. Have you ever seen him do that trick?
This morning we`re drawing him into a conversation about an issue he`s
really passionate about.
And next, Hillary Clinton is farther ahead in the Democratic field than
anybody has ever been at this point in the race, but she still faces some
big hurdles as she tries to reclaim the White House for her family. We`ll
take a look at those hurdles on the big board -- that is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the shadow of the old
state capital, where Lincoln once called on a house divided to stand
together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before
you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was eight years ago this week, Barack Obama announcing his
candidacy for president. Hillary Clinton had been the overwhelming
Democratic favorite up until Barack Obama emerged in 2008. And then Barack
Obama, you know the rest, he defeated her, huge upset. And now here we
are, eight years later, Hillary Clinton coming into 2016, clearly
interested in running, overwhelming favorite.
So we thought we would look at it and say how different is it right now?
How well positioned is she this time versus 2008?
So the easiest answer, I think you already know this one, is when you look
at the Democratic side, she is much better positioned than she was heading
into 2008. At this point eight years ago if you`d been polling Hillary
Clinton and Barack Obama, there wouldn`t have been 40 points separating
them, as there is with Hillary and Joe Biden. We wouldn`t have had talk
about Hillary Clinton running uncontested.
So Hillary Clinton in much, much better shape as it comes to the Democratic
nomination. You know that.
What about the general election? How is she against the possible
Republican candidates? Take a look at this. These are the overall
averages of national polls. She`s 9 points up on Bush, about 9 on Chris
Christie, about 10 points up on Rand Paul. These are the most commonly
polled Republicans. Obviously a good position to be in there.
Look at the swing states, some of the key swing states, new data this week,
take a look. In Pennsylvania, not even close. Almost 20 points over Rand
Paul. Double digits over everybody. Look in Ohio. Always comes down to
Ohio. Clinton comfortably ahead of the three most likely, at least three
of the biggest names on the Republican side -- I don`t know about most
Florida, again you see pretty much the same thing, with one exception,
again, not surprising, but Jeb Bush, his home state, the two-term governor,
he runs very close to her there. The others do not.
So that`s the good news for Hillary Clinton.
The question though is how durable is this? We`re still about a year and a
half away from the actual election.
How durable are leads like this at this point in the cycle?
We thought we would look back quickly at the last three times. You come to
the end of a two-term presidency. Where do those races stand now? Where
did they end up?
Here`s the first one. Back in 1988, at this point, the top Democrat, Gary
Hart. Remember him? He was running double digits ahead of George H. W.
Bush. Two things happened. One, scandal knocked Gary Hart out of the
race. Two, George H.W. Bush really recovered over the next year and a half
by Election Day `88, he won by eight points. So that was not a very
durable advantage for the Democrats there.
In this point in 1999, George W. Bush was double digits ahead of the two-
term vice president, Al Gore. Now George W. Bush ended up winning of
course, but that was a very close election. In fact, Gore came back to win
the popular vote, lose the electoral college. So again, there was a lot of
movement in that year and a half.
And then of course in 2008, you had the two most commonly cold Republicans
at this point in the cycle matched up against Barack Obama, you saw an even
race against McCain. He ended up beating McCain fairly comfortably;
Giuliani, remember, we all thought, wow, this guy could be president.
Something that didn`t quite work out. But he was beating Obama at this
So it does show you there is still plenty of room for movement here despite
the clear early advantage for Hillary Clinton.
Anyway, still ahead in the show today, what does "SNL" veteran and current
U.S. Senator Al Franken think of comedian John Oliver? We talk to him
about that in the next hour.
But first, how Chris Christie`s week went from bad to worse to now we`re
questioning whether he can stay in this Republican race for too long. Stay
with us. We`ll talk about it next.
KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us on what is a very busy Sunday morning.
Lots still to get to in the hour including why Chris Christie must be glad
this week is finally, finally over and hoping that next week goes a little
Also, Rick Santorum is opening up about his daughter`s disability in a new
and very revealing article this morning.
Also, former Vermont governor and former presidential candidate Howard Dean
is gonna join us to talk about the future of the Affordable Care Act,
Obamacare, and Senator Al Franken, he`s gonna be on the show to share his
thoughts on a very important and passionate issue for him.
But as we mentioned, we begin this hour first, with Chris Christie. His
visit to England this week was supposed to be a big image boosting trip
abroad, but it started with a big thud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Governor, this company makes
vaccines. There`s a debate going on right now in the United States, the
measles outbreak that`s been caused in part by people not vaccinating their
kids. Do you think Americans should vaccinate their kids?
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: All I can say is we vaccinate ours.
You know, that`s the best opinion explanation can give you in my opinion.
It`s much more important when you think as a parent than what you think as
a public official. That`s what we do. I also understand parents need to
have a measure of choice in things as well. So that`s the balance that the
government has to decide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Now, that set off a firestorm of controversy with even many
republicans blasting Christie over his vaccine comments. That was just the
start of what is turning perhaps the most trying week of Christie`s
national political career. The next day after that, the New York Times
documented in detail Christie`s taste for expensive travel while others pay
the bill including a private jet paid for by Sheldon Adelson, and $30,000
in luxury hotel rooms paid for by the King of Jordan. Then came the new
that`s feds subpoenaed flight records about a special route created by
United Airlines for a top Christie appointee, allegedly allowing him to
travel to and from his vacation home nonstop. And that was followed by a
report that the feds interviewed an ex-county prosecutor who claims that he
was fired by the Christie administration for prosecuting a political ally
of the governor`s. Now at the end of this week, the Wall Street Journal is
reporting that republican donors are starting to fret over the many what
if`s, now hanging over Christie, making it much tougher potentially, for
him to raise critical campaign cash as he tries to run for president.
Politico describes this seven day stretch as, "Chris Christie`s week long
train wreck." Joining me now to assess the damage is MSNBC political
correspondent, Kasie Hunt, GOP strategist David Avella back on set with,
New York Times reporter and Kate Zurniki who co-authored the piece on
Christie`s luxury travel tastes. Kate, let`s go back to your article and as
we say, there was so much this week. So there are two issues here in terms
of your reporting. One is conflicts or potential conflicts that are raised
by the travel and the sort of gifts he`s taking and then also just the
appearance of this so take us through what you`ve found.
KATE ZURNIKI, NEW YORK TIMES: The first thing, for instance, the Sheldon
Adelson flight, the casino magnet, who was opposing an internet gambling
bill that Christie was facing at that moment. So it`s a gift, the flight
was a gift to Chris Christie, so that again creates the appearance of
impropriety. Then you have the King of Jordan paying for a weekend in
Jordan. Again, $30,000 in hotel rooms. He`s flown on the plane of Woody
Johnson, the owner of the jets, again, has a lot of business before New
Jersey. Again, it`s the appearance. Chris Christie when he was U.S.
attorney was dinged by the justice department for spending too much on
hotel rooms. You would think that all these years later you would sort of
get the message that this looks bad and try to curb that.
KORNACKI: Kasie Hunt, the conflict issue aside, just the appearance for a
Governor and for a politician whose image is so dependent on being the
regular guy, the no-frills guy, it seems that stories like this, obviously,
no politician wants a story like this, but it seems to me, but it`s
particularly damaging to somebody with Christies image.
HUNT: Well, that`s the rub Steve. You know, this is somebody who`s
theoretically walking the Jersey boardwalk, has this sort of swagger, is
kind of like he`s selling himself as you said, as an every-man. And this
sort of contradicts that. I also had one well-placed republican source that
suggests that this is something that`s gonna set him up to be in a
difficult position if he were to run against Hillary Rodham-Clinton, for
example. Republicans feel like they have a lot of arguments against her
that involve her lifestyle. Her comment that she hasn`t driven since the
1990s. The fact that she and her husband are often jetting off to Davos,
and sort of living a life at this point that other Americans don`t live.
And whoever the republican nominee is gonna want to use that avenue of
argument, and if Christie is setting himself up as this person who
essentially enjoys all the finer things in life and maybe all the way to
the tune of a conflict of interest, that doesn`t serve him very well even
in a general election.
KORNACKI: Yeah, I could see that debate right now. Christie says, Hillary,
you said you were dead broke. Hillary says you took free hotel from the
King of Jordan. So, David, how do republicans think about this? Because as
we said earlier, there are so many options for republicans looking at this
presidential race right now, do they look at stories like this about Chris
Christie and say he`s not worth the trouble?
AVELLA: Every person who tries to step on the national stage has a few days
where it`s not the message they want to get out. The reaction we need to
see is how does he move on from here? I mean, let`s keep in mind, Bill
Clinton was alleged by multiple women to be a sexual harasser and he became
president of the United States. In my view, the worst thing Chris Christie
has done so far as a life-long redskin fan is hug Jerry Jones.
KORNACKI: There is a federal investigation around the Christie
administration at this point. Some would say it`s a little bit more serious
than that. But Katie, I think that is sort of the question here. We talk
about the other investigations that are swirling. This issue we raised
about the county prosecutor, nobody is quite sure how serious that one is,
but there was the other issue this week of David Sampson, the former port
authority chairman appointed by Chris Christie. United Airlines created
this special route from Newark down to South Carolina where his vacation
home is. He apparently called it, the Chairman`s flight. It signals to me
a couple of things, but one is that this federal investigation is expanding
from where it started.
ZURNIKI: I think that`s definitely true. There have been a number of points
where we have been able to say that. I think the prosecutor -- you have to
take that with a grain of salt. The U.S. attorney`s office will talk to a
lot of people. I don`t take the fact that they talked to him. They sent him
a letter in June saying we don`t think you have anything there but we`re
happy to talk to you and now they`re talking to him in February or January.
So I don`t think that`s necessarily a sign that this investigation into the
original bridge gate scandal (inaudible) expanding to including that. But
certainly, the port authority, the Sampson route definitely indicates that
there`s a lot going on there.
AVELLA: When you`re explaining, you`re losing. Governor Christie has to get
the narrative back to where he wants it to be. The longer he has to explain
these allegations that have come up, and these inquiries that have come up,
he`s not talking about the message he wants to talk about.
KORNACKI: Well, he is at the mercy of these forces that are just more
powerful than him at this point like a federal prosecutor, for instance.
Kasie, it`s tough to reclaim if you`re in Christie`s camp. Its tough to
grab control of the narrative in a situation like this, but what are you
hearing from people around Chris Christie about how you can conduct a
presidential campaign, how you can win over all these big donors, how you
can get people to say I will stand with you, and not with Jeb Bush? Not
with all these other people, how do they sell that in a climate where
there`s so much uncertainty around him?
HUNT: Well, I think they`ve watched how the bridge gate scandal has
unfolded, how so many people were saying that he was going to basically be
dead in the water after that, and that the reality is at this point he
still isn`t. That doesn`t mean that they don`t acknowledge privately that
these are some their issues. But one thing I would say, you were talking
about how to drive your own message. That`s really something that was
missing from his trip abroad. They sold that trip as here is Governor
Christie standing on a stage, that`s bigger than the one he has at home in
New Jersey. It was a chance for him to sort of maybe outline some of his
views for the world. When it got down to it, he didn`t actually have a
message that he was trying to push while over there. Yes, obviously,
vaccines sidelined the trip a bit. He got a little bit derailed there. But
that doesn`t mean he wouldn`t have been able to pull it back into a place
where they wanted to go. He could talk about security policy, he can talk
about Ukraine. I mean there are so many issues going on in the world today
that are related to relationship with Great Britain and they just didn`t
seem to push any of that. I tried to ask him a question about NATO, just
asking what that relationship should be. He didn`t want to answer it.
Another reporter asked him about ISIS, obviously, we had some terrible news
lately, with the most recent deaths of those hostages. That`s when he
snapped what do you understand about no questions? Assuming that, yes, he
got pushed off a narrative, my question was what was the narrative that he
was originally trying to push that he got pushed off of? They didn`t seem
to have one.
KORNACKI: You know, that`s so interesting because in my observation of
Christie. This is a guy who believes very much in his ability, the power
of his personality, maybe to walk into a room without a plan, as Kasie is
saying there, just to hold court with the press, to hold court even with a
hostile crowd and to win them over with his charm, to win them over with
sort of the power of his personality. In a lot of ways, that`s the story of
his career. He`s done that an awful lot and he`s gotten very far with it. I
wonder now maybe he`s stepping into new waters where you have to have a lot
more planning, a lot more preparation and a lot more infrastructure around
you then he`s used to.
ZURNIKI: I think that`s definitely the case. I think his administration,
there`s a theme or undercurrent there, they believe he can get out of
anything. He has gotten out of a lot of things. He has been able to explain
a lot, I just think that now these things are coming closer together. And
so it`s just harder to sort of keep up with it all.
KORNACKI: Can he win the nomination still then?
AVELLA: Could still win the nomination. Anything could happen, right? He`s
going to have to get the message to where he wants. I will say this,
republican candidates need to quit going to London, whether it`s Mitt
Romney getting off a message, or Governor Christie getting off a message,
they need to quit going to London.
KORNACKI: Kasie, no more trips to London for you, I guess.
HUNT: Scott Walker is going next week.
KORNACKI: All right, so much for that. Thanks David Avella, Kasie Hunt,
Katie Zurniki from the New York Times. We want to bring you up to date on
one of the big developing stories overnight. You may have heard about this
Olympian and TV reality personality Bruce Jenner was behind the wheel in a
deadly car accident yesterday afternoon in California. Jenner was driving
the Pacific Coast Highway, in Malibu when according to eyewitness, his SUV
rear-ended a car in front of him, sent it into oncoming traffic. Police say
it does not appear the paparazzi were the cause of the wreck, but they do
note the cause is under investigation. Jenner of course has been in the
spotlight lately as reports swirl that he`s transitioning to a female.
Still ahead, we`re gonna return to politics including finding out what
Senator Al Franken thinks about another Saturday Night Live alum who wants
to run for office.
And next, the must-read article of the morning. Its author joins us, and
tells us how Rick Santorum is going where he`s never gone before. Stay with
us for that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM: I decided that the best thing I could do was to treat her
differently, to not love her like I did, because it wouldn`t hurt as much
if I lost her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That`s Rick Santorum talking about the struggle he went through
after his severely disabled youngest child was born. He made those remarks
at a forum sponsored by an Iowa Christian group back in 2011, it was about
six weeks in fact before the Iowa caucuses, that`s as Iowa conservatives
were looking for an alternative to Mitt Romney who they could rally around
instead. Santorum of course, did go on and win the Iowa caucuses over
Romney in an upset in 2012. That was a huge moment for Rick Santorum, not
really because he was running for president at the time, but because his
daughter, Bella, was someone he`d never really talked about in public
before. Starting then, that all began to change. Three and a half years
later, Rick Santorum, his wife, his oldest daughter have now collaborated
on a new book about that little girl who is now six years old and who was
born with an 18th chromosome in every cell of her body. The doctors say is
incompatible with life, the Santorums tell the Washington Post in article
out this morning, it`s intended as a guide for other families like them,
the kind of handbook they wish they had after Bella was born. The book
released on Tuesday. However, unconventional its topic may be, it coincides
with candidate book release season. That`s the period of time every four
years when would-be presidential contenders embark on book tours that more
often than not take them to early primary or key swing states.
Washington Post national political correspondent, Karen Tumulty shares the
byline on this morning`s Santorum story and she joins us now. So, Karen, I
mean I encourage everyone to go and read this. This is really a fascinating
article and I can`t do it justice in summarizing here. But maybe you can
just tell us first of all about his 6-year-old daughter Bella, and
specifically what her condition is and what she is suffering from.
KAREN TUMULTY, WASHINGTON POST: Well, it is an extra 18th chromosome in
every single cell of her body. It`s called Trisomy 18, it`s a condition
that doctors describe as incompatible with life. Half of the children born
with this condition don`t survive more than a few hours. More than 90
percent of them die within the first year. So -- when Rick Santorum talked
about that in Iowa, his inability to love this child the way he did his
other six, it was -- the room there was silent, but one place that did not
go over well was back in his home in Virginia, where his wife was
absolutely furious with him because, first of all, that they had agreed not
to talk about this. Second of all, that he had done it, in what she had
regarded as a really hurtful way. As they write this book, they write it in
their two different voices. You really do see inside the marriage, inside
the family life. As of last week, when we interviewed the Santorums, Rick
Santorum had not been able to bring himself even yet to read all of Karen
Santorum`s chapters. That`s sort of how open it is. As a campaign season
book, this is a very unconventional book. I must say.
KORNACKI: Yeah, it`s very fascinating. We played the clip at the start of
the segment from November of 2011. So that`s the first time he talked
publicly. We saw this as observers of politics, and we thought, well,
crudely, purely from a political perspective if you`re trying to go after
sort of the culturally conservative vote and talking about a personal story
that affirms your commitment against abortion, a politically effective
moment, but we`re seeing that moment, it caused a real trouble in his
TUMULTY: It did because basically, the Santorums who are deeply devout
Catholics saw this as God`s will. But they had two very, very different
views of what god`s will was. Karen Santorum thought that God had put a
challenge in front of them. It was their job to overcome that challenge, to
do everything they could. And Rick Santorum thought, you know, it was too
make their peace with how ever this turned out. So, from the outset,
there`s a really remarkable scene where they have ordered a crib, as they
are building the crib, Rick Santorum tells his oldest daughter, by the way,
be sure to save the box because Bella may, we don`t know how long we will
have her and we may need to take this back to the store. He does not
portray himself here as, you know, the hero of the tale. Also, you know,
this, again, to this day, this child is in a very fragile state. You know,
the odds remain very, very much against them.
KORNACKI: Wow. Just quickly, do they have any concern as we say this is the
typical candidate book release season, do they have any concern that this
would -- people will think they`re trying to capitalize politically on
TUMULTY: Well, I can certainly -- I can tell you their strategists are
sensitive to this. And again, he actually did a more kind of conventional
campaign kind of book. My 10-point plan, my view for America last year, I
really do -- as cynical as we get, I think this is a very different kind of
book, and a very raw book.
KORNACKI: Yeah, I know. It`s certainly from your reporting, that`s exactly
what it sounds like. My thanks to Karen Tumulty from the Washington Post, I
appreciate the time this morning.
TUMULTY: Thanks, Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead, Senator Al Franken will join us to
discuss the issues he is fighting for on Capitol Hill, the 2016 elections
and his words and wisdom for other comedians thinking of running for
And next, another major winter storm heading to New England. We`re gonna go
live to Maine. How much more snow are they gonna get up there? Details on
the other side of the break.
KORNACKI: Some sad, breaking news. We are just learning about this morning.
The Associated Press reporting that legendary University of North Carolina
basketball Coach Dean Smith has died at the age of 83. He was the UNC coach
from 1961 to 1997. When he retired in 1997, he did so as the all-time
winningest coach in NCAA men`s basketball history, surpassing Adolph Rupp
in his final season. He has since been passed as the winningest coach his
old rival Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Smith won two national championships in
those 36 years, in 1982 when his team was led by a freshman named Michael
Jordan. The famous four corners offense against Georgetown. In 1993, that
was the Chris Webber game. Chris Webber of Michigan called a time out his
team didn`t have, giving Dean Smith, helping give Dean Smith his second
national championship at North Carolina. Also, countless ACC championships,
a number of final four appearances. Dean Smith had also should be noted was
instrumental in integrating the game of basketball in North Carolina and in
the south. Dean Smith was 83 years old.
Shifting gears, we want to get up to speed on that snow that`s begun to
fall in parts of New England. Another winter storm that could dump a foot
of snow or more on parts of that battered region that`s been hit so hard
the past few years. Weather Channel`s Keith Carson joins us live from
Portland, Maine. Keith, I don`t see snow there, but I guess you`re
expecting a lot.
KEITH CARSON, WEATHER CHANNEL: Yeah, you know, Steve, it did snow actually
from midnight through the early part of this morning. The deal with this
system is that its very persistent, so had one wave of come through, we
have another one this afternoon, this evening, and the strongest will come
in as we head into tomorrow morning. You know, the problem in Portland is
also the same problem as down into Boston as well which is just where do we
put the snow? These cities are good at removing snow, the plow trucks are
going already. The problem is, in an urban environment, believe it or not,
Portland is a relatively compact city, even though its population is not
huge. There`s nowhere to put all of this snow. They`re trying to get dump
trucks, haul it out of the city, and you can see the sand truck there
behind me, starting to get on and is moving as well. I think the story with
the storm isn`t that it`s going to be a blizzard, but they`re gonna pick up
another foot of snow over the next day and a half, two days, that`s gonna
add to the problem that we already have down here. I was talking to
somebody down the street, they were in their office the other day and they
heard this crashing sounds coming down the street. They looked out the
window and it was a truck taking off every side view mirror on its way down
the street because it had become that much more narrow to the amount of
snow on the side.
The other story with this system, Steve, is that it is very, very cold even
for Maine standards. Its 11 right now, and that`s actually probably gonna
be the high temperature for the day. Temperatures dropping through the rest
of the day into the evening.
KORNACKI: All right, Keith Carson and by the way, wearing the LL Bean
jacket, you`re in Maine I think that`s required by state law or something.
Anyways, thanks for the update from up there.
Up next, are the 90s really back? I`m gonna ask my panel. Also, the
Obamacare the Supreme Court maybe weighing in on that soon again. Could its
fate once again be in the balance? We will talk about that with former
Governor Howard Dean and that is straight ahead.
KORNACKI: The Affordable Care Act was supposedly settled as a matter of law
by the Supreme Court back in 2012, but the court is soon going to hear
another challenge to Obamacare, one that does have the potential to
severely cripple Barack Obama`s biggest achievement as president. More for
that matter are republicans letting up on their push to repeal it. This
past week three republican lawmakers released ideas for replacing the law,
trying to address criticism that the party`s repeal and replace message has
been heavy on repeal for the last five years, but very short on replace.
Senators Orrin Hatch and Richard Burr and Congressman Fred Upton introduced
the plan that would include some of the protections already in placed under
the Affordable Care Act. For instance, you couldn`t be denied coverage
because of pre-existing conditions, but there are some other parts of the
plan that might catch you off guard. If you get insurance through your
work, then the value of that insurance exceeds a certain level, you would
have to pay federal income taxes on that sum. Now keep in mind, all of this
plan is not in legislative form right now. It is basically still just a
bunch of ideas, a framework if you will, and it comes almost five full
years after the Affordable Care Act was first passed. So what is the future
for Obamacare, could the Supreme Court -- would the Supreme Court actually
deal with a fatal blow this year? And will republicans ever build enough
support to gut it themselves or will they eventually give up the fight?
Joining me now is former Governor and doctor, Howard Dean, also former
chairman of the democratic national committee, and David Frum who is a
speechwriter for President George W. Bush, now a senior editor with the
Atlantic. So, Howard Dean, I`ll ask but this republican alternative. For
years, we have been hearing repeal and replace. Now, they say OK, here is
the replace. What do you make of it?
HOWARD DEAN, VERMONT FORMER GOVERNOR: Well, the first thing -- the first
test is always for me is this bill universal, does everybody have
healthcare? Obamacare actually doesn`t do that. This does it worse. The
key insurance reforms in Obamacare sound like a little bit like Upton and
his crew are proposing that is community rating and guaranteed issue. We
need to see the fine print. This is not enough. This can`t be taken
seriously, but it is a step forward for any republican to propose anything
to do seriously to deal with healthcare.
KORNACKI: So, David, when you look at this plan what does it address, what
does it provide, and what does it do that Obamacare doesn`t? What are the
DAVID FRUM, THE ATLANTIC: Well, what the plan does, it takes as its
priority maximizing individual choice by removing the mandate. For many
republicans, that is the (inaudible). I think that`s the wrong test, the
wrong thing for republicans to focus on it. It seems to me the reforms the
republicans should be searching for, one greater cost control, to free up
more money for other things. I would to see it go to defense rather than be
spent on healthcare. And second, to make sure the financing mechanism is
less crushingly distributive.
KORNACKI: Do you see working within the existing framework of the
Affordable Care Act?
FRUM: I am not here representative of most republicans, but I have been
advocating since 2009 that republicans should do this. The Romneycare bits
are good. The Obamacare bits are more troublesome. It`s not going to be
repealed. It is not going to be repealed and it is not going to be struck
down by the Supreme Court. It`s a fact, but it is cloggy (ph), it doesn`t
work. And it`s financed in ways that won`t work and that are very
suppressive of business initiative. So fix the financing mechanism, give
states more leeway and focus on cost control, but stop a fight that is only
allowing the problems in the system to get worse while you fight these
battles that will never be won.
KORNACKI: Two questions to Howard Dean. First of all, do you agree with the
idea that the Supreme Court will not strike this down? Because they have
taken the case, they are going to have another ruling on this, do you
DEAN: Yeah, the fact they have taken the case, the four justices who voted
against it last time are willing to take the case. I don`t know, this is a
tough one for John Roberts because this is a different question than
KORNACKI: He has taken a lot of heat.
DEAN: I actually agree with David, if they were -- if the Supreme Court
were to be taken seriously, which I can`t always take them, they would vote
this down. Why? Because this is really amounted to essentially a clerical
error, and the will of congress is clear that they did, in fact, intend the
subsidies to be for the national.
FRUM: Supreme courts just don`t strike down big social welfare spending
programs. They didn`t strike down social security in the 1930s. They are
not going to strike down this. It`s too scary. It`s too much like acting
like a super legislature. So for the same reasons of institutional self-
preservation that motivated John Roberts on the last case, I can`t see it.
I`m saying it on television, watch me be completely wrong, but I don`t
think I am.
DEAN: Let me make one point that is really critical though, which neither
side has been willing to do, what`s driving the health care expenditures in
this country and has for 50 years is the fact we use a fee for service
medical system. You keep paying me to do as much as I can whether you need
it or not. That`s never going to work. We are smart, consumer-wise. This
is where I agree with David. Romneycare was not a terrible model because
it was market based. Because the market forces are about buying insurance.
If market forces get to buying healthcare, they fail.
KORNACKI: You are both talking about ways to improve or change the law
again within the existing framework. So, David, I guess the question to you
is you`ve been saying this for a few years. Republicans for the 58th or
59th time, whatever it was this weekend, another repeal vote, is there a
point where you can see coming in the near future where republicans stopped
doing this and start thinking like your model?
FRUM: There is a mighty python sketch about a man who goes for hitting on
the head lessons. And eventually, look -- eventually parties change, and I
think that`s going to happen here. I was hoping we could learn faster. We
are choosing to learn slower. This is a fact, and it`s a fact. And one of
the things I regret is a lot of concessions that could have been had for
the asking in 2009 are now going to be achieved through blood, sweat and
tears, especially changing the way the things are financed. It`s financed
with an invisible tax on young people through the insurance mechanism and
with an explicit tax on savers, investors, and high income people. With
explicit tax, it is totally inadequate. This system should be financed in
ways that everybody pays in to create incentives to create price control,
not price control but by price restraint, which is the most important
KORNACKI: I think back to Medicare 50 years ago, LBJ was obsessed with
getting by getting bipartisan support for this one, it went through. I
think this is why, because of the long term. You can put the debate aside
maybe a little bit more easily if you have the bipartisan support. Of
course, politics are much different now than they were 50 years ago.
DEAN: And Lyndon Johnson is a much better arm twister than Barack Obama.
KORNACKI: Thanks to Vermont Governor, former presidential candidate Howard
Dean and David Frum with the Atlantic. I appreciate that.
Still ahead, he`s been a comedian, a radio host and now United States
senator. You know what we`re talking about. Al Franken, he`s going to join
us. We will talk about all of that and more.
And also, more on the passing, we`re just learning about this morning of
former North Carolina basketball coach, Dean Smith. Sports writer John
Feinstein joins me on his legacy, that`s next.
KORNACKI: The University of North Carolina now confirming that their
legendary basketball coach Dean Smith has passed away at the age of 83.
Sports columnist John Feinstein of the Washington Post joins us now by
telephone. He has written extensively about college basketball. As an
undergraduate, he got to watch the great Dean Smith in action, as a student
at rival Duke University. So, John, thanks for joining us. We talked a few
minutes ago about obviously in terms of wins and losses, Final Fours, ACC
championships, the legacy very clear when it comes to Dean Smith, but also
a legacy here when it comes to integration, when it comes to issues of
race, this is a guy who became coach back in about 1961. The south was
very different, America was very different. And he had a forward thinking
attitude and approaches.
JOHN FEINSTEIN, SPORTS WRITER: you`re right about that. I always said the
least significant about Dean Smith with 879 wins. He was actually involved
in desegregating restaurants in Chapel Hill before he became head coach at
North Carolina. When he was an assistant coach, he walked into a segregated
restaurant with a black member of his church and basically dared management
not to serve them. Obviously in Chapel Hill, anybody who worked at North
Carolina was a significant person. And the management chose to serve him
and his friend. And that was the beginning of desegregation in Chapel Hill.
I think the most significant thing about that might be that he never wanted
to talk about that. He didn`t think that was something you should brag
about. In fact, his very close friend, John Thompson, former Georgetown
coach, told me once that Dean had never once brought it up to him and he
would have been surprised if he had. Because that wasn`t who Dean Smith
KORNACKI: As a coach, again, when you look at 36 years and every year his
team is winning 25, 30 games, contending for national championships, a
pipeline in many cases to the NBA, how did he build a program that elite
FEINSTEIN: Well, there were two things about him. He had extraordinary
relationships with his players. You are going to hear an unbelievable
outpouring in the next few days from players who were stars, went to the
NBA as you said, to players who were walk-ons, totally insignificant in
terms of wins and losses because he was so intensely loyal to every one of
them. He was a great communicator with the kids he coached. Beyond that, he
was an innovator. A lot of things we see in college basketball today in
terms of the way teams run offense, run defense, little things like players
giving tired signs to the bench to come out, were all Dean Smith
innovations. One of the most significant ones that has nothing to do with
wins and losses was when he started the concept of senior day, which is now
a big deal, every school brings in parents, sisters, cousins, aunts to
honor seniors on the last day they play a home game. That was never done
until Dean Smith started it at North Carolina.
KORNACKI: You talk about how humble and modest he is. I do wonder though,
when he passed -- when he got the record, his last year as a coach for most
wins ever, 879, he has since been passed by several others, when he got
that record, the man he supplanted was Adolf Rupp. And Adolf Rupp`s legacy
on racial issues pretty well documented.
KORNACKI: He wouldn`t recruit and play black players for basically all of
his career. Did that mean something special for Dean Smith that it was
Adolf Rupp that he was passing in the record books.
FEINSTEIN: I think it did in ways he wouldn`t admit. He never wanted to
talk much about the record. He didn`t want it to be a big deal. The day he
broke the record in an NCAA tournament game at Winston-Salem he was stunned
by the number of ex-players who had flown in to be there that day. Terry
Hollins, the Virginia coach, one of his biggest rivals was running the
venue for the NCAA that day. He left instructions with the security people
that any ex-North Carolina player who was there was to be allowed into the
normally off-limits area, so they could see their old coach and celebrate
with him. I think that meant more to Dean Smith than the actual number of
passing Adolph Rupp.
KORNACKI: All right, John Feinstein, written a lot about basketball and
written a lot about the ACC, from the Washington Post joining us. I
appreciate that, John. Thanks for the time.
FEINSTEIN: My pleasure.
KORNACKI: Up next, Al Franken may not be the only Saturday Night Live alum
on Capitol Hill, at least if another has his way. Details right after this.
KORNACKI: Maybe it`s because he was a long-time writer and a star on
Saturday Night Live that Al Franken has proven himself to be all business
as a United States senator. Recently, Minnesota democrat has taken on Uber
for its privacy practices, called for all-steel used in the keystone
pipeline to be made in America and he commended the chairman of the Federal
Communications Commission Tom Wheeler for preserving open internet rules,
commonly known as Net Neutrality. I should also add that Comcast, our
parent company here, has a vested interest in that debate over Net
Neutrality. In an interview that we taped on Friday, Senator Franken joined
me to talk about why he feels Net Neutrality is so important.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right, Senator Al Franken joins us now from Washington.
Senator, thanks for taking a few minutes. I`ll start with the hardest
question, I guess. Net Neutrality, what does that mean?
AL FRANKEN, MINNESOTA SENATOR: That means treating all content on the
internet neutrally. What that means is all content, whether it`s that of a
huge conglomerate or a blogger will get to the user of the content, the
consumer, at the same speed, so I`ll give you a good example of why this is
necessary for innovation. Before YouTube, there was a thing called Google
video. And it wasn`t very good. And the guys who created YouTube or three
guys who did it over a pizzeria in San Mateo, California, and because their
product was carried over the internet at the same speed as Google video,
people got to sample it. They preferred it. And a few years later, they
sold YouTube to Google for $1.6 billion. Because of Net Neutrality, we have
all this amazing info investigation on the internet, in commercials sphere,
and in free speech and what we saw the other day, FCC chair Wheeler
announcement about preserving Net Neutrality through Title 2, enormous
victory for everyone other than the ISPs, internet service providers.
KORNACKI: Let`s look at that from the other side. You have mentioned the
internet service providers, and sort of (inaudible) bones of contentions
here is the idea could they charge a content provider more and to give that
content provider some speedier ability to.
FRANKEN: Faster relative to slower.
KORNACKI: The argument that I think they could make is hey, look, we have
invested a considerable amount of money, a lot of resources in basically
building the infrastructure, that made the internet what it is. That has
made the internet something that is so attractive to all these content
providers, why shouldn`t we be able to charge a little more to some of
these bigger content providers and then take that money and invest in
further innovation, in further growth of that infrastructure that we have
FRANKEN: Because all the growth that we`ve had on the internet has happened
under Net Neutrality. We`ve seen this tremendous growth and innovation
under Net Neutrality. What this would do is simply consumers would pay
more, the ISPs would just get more profit. You can only build so many
Comcast towers in Philadelphia. They`re doing fine. They`re doing fine. You
know, this was not just lefties. This was a coalition of businesses. For
example, let me just -- Ford, Visa, U.P.S., and Bank of America formed this
group to protect Net Neutrality, and this is their argument. Every retailer
with an online catalogue, everybody manufacturer with online product
specifications, every insurance company with online claims processing,
every bank offering online accounting management, every company with a
website, every business in America interacting with customers is dependent
upon an open internet. We are preserving the open internet under which we
have seen this tremendous growth of the internet, this tremendous GDP
value. You know, McKenzie did a report a few years ago saying about a
quarter of new GDP growth is about the internet. All of that has happened
under Net Neutrality and we`re going to preserve that.
KORNACKI: You mentioned a minute ago the news this week on this front is
the chairman of the Federal Chairman Communication basically saying now
that he would seek to have the internet service basically reclassified as
utility and that they could then regulate, so, obviously, a big victory for
your side there. I`m curious about the process over the last year that got
us to this moment. Because it seems to me that a key moment, of all people,
John Oliver, the comedian on his HBO show, who sort of shined the light on
the issue of Net Neutrality and I think there was something like 4 million
calls, 4 million e-mails, letters, correspondences with the FCC. It seemed
to create real momentum on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN: We need you to get out there, and for once in your
lives focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I`m curious for somebody who cares about this issue, it`s not
gotten a lot of attention, how big a difference do you what John Oliver
made on this?
FRANKEN: I think it what John Oliver did was very helpful. It caught a lot
of attention to the issue. Ironically, I think what did this is Wheeler
early last year saying he was considering pay prioritization, in other
words, a fast lane/slow lane. That really was what prompted these 4 million
comments to the FCC, more than twice as many comments on any issue in the
history of the FCC, and I think Wheeler himself after putting it out there,
something antithetical to Net Neutrality, which is pay prioritization, fast
lane/slow lane -- after putting it out there, saw the light and came down
where he came down. That`s a great victory for everybody.
KORNACKI: I do want to ask you on another broader question about politics
here. I know you want a few months ago in terms of your party in the 2016
presidential race, that you`re ready for Hillary, a lot of talk now on the
republican side, obviously, a very wide-open race, but Jeb Bush clearly
interested in running, gives the possibility of a Bush-Clinton match up in
the general elections. Two, sort of dynasties almost in the American
political politics. I`m just curious what you think of a Bush-Clinton match
up would look like to the country in 2016.
FRANKEN: I think the republican party will take care of itself. I have
known Hillary for about 20 years. I think that at this time in American
history, she is the most qualified person to be the president. I hope she
KORNACKI: And one other thing, I couldn`t resist asking you this, because I
just saw this in the news this week, but Gary Kroeger, I think a name you
know, another SNL alum, who apparently will be running for congress in Iowa
and he told the National Journal this week that, "Al Franken is the
template on how it`s done, making that move from the entertainment world to
politics." He said he wants to get your advice. What advice would you give
FRANKEN: Well, that you`re running for a job that is a very different job
from being a comedian, but a lot of young people ask how do you become a
senator? I say do comedy for 40 years, and then run for the senate. So far
that has worked every time.
KORNACKI: He also said he wants to talk to you at the SNL reunion.
KORNACKI: Are you going to be there?
FRANKEN: I`m going to be there. I`ll talk to him about it then. You know, a
lot of people ask me, you know, is being in the senate as much fun as
Saturday Night Live? And of course, it isn`t as much fun, but it`s the best
job I`ve ever had, because you get to do things. It`s incredibly satisfying
job, and I`m very glad I did this.
KORNACKI: All right. Senator Al Franken, democrat of Minnesota, thanks for
the time. We appreciate it.
FRANKEN: You bet, Steve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. An SNL reunion is a week away. I know I will be tuning
in for that. I want to thank this morning`s panel. I didn`t get to do so
earlier because of the breaking news, but I thank all of them for joining
Up next, MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, with her interview with the U.S. Attorney
General Eric Holder is a must-see, so make sure you stick around for that.
That`s coming up next. Have a great Sunday.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2015 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2015 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
MORE FROM RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Add Rachel Maddow Show headlines to your news reader: