'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, March 7th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Saturday show
Past transcripts by month
Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: March 7, 2015
Guest: David Corn, Jessica Taylor, Eric Boehlert, Dahlia Lithwick, Alvin
Tillery, Julian Zelizer
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: A Saturday. Fifty years in the making.
All right. Good morning. And thanks for getting up with us. A truly
historic Saturday morning. What`s on tap today? President Obama will be
speaking in Selma, Alabama, just a few hours from now. Fifty years to the
day since Bloody Sunday. This comes as Attorney General Eric Holder is now
speaking out about what he`s prepared to do to fix the Ferguson Police
Department. We`re going to be taking a look at the state of that and the
civil rights movement in this country today and since 1965.
Also ahead on the show this morning, big news in Washington. Senator Bob
Menendez is fighting back insisting he`s not going anywhere. Amid reports
that he will soon face federal corruption charges.
Jeb Bush is facing an early test today as well trying to sell his
conservative credentials today before what`s expected to be a very tough
crowd in Iowa. We`ll going to be joining our reporter live on the ground
there for a report as Jeb Bush deals with a very tricky situation for him
politically. All of that, much more ahead this morning.
But we begin in Selma, Alabama. That is where President Obama, where the
first family where scores of members of Congress and some cabinet
secretaries, too, are all converging today to mark the 50th anniversary of
the civil rights march known as Bloody Sunday. Thousands of marchers on
this day back in 1965 halted what was supposed to be a journey from Selma
to Montgomery, the Alabama state capitol when they were calling for voting
rights for black Americans. They were halted on this day as they tried to
cross a bridge. Then they were viciously attacked by police on horseback.
Those police armed with batons, with bull whips, with wet ropes, wreaking
havoc on non-violent protesters who were kneeling in prayer. Among those
attack that day, a future of member of Congress John Lewis of Georgia who
said this to NBC News 50 years ago before that fateful march.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN LEWIS, STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE: We`re marching to
dramatize to the nation and to dramatize to the world that hundreds and
thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here in the
Blytheville denied the right to vote. We intent to march to Montgomery to
send grievance to Governor C. Wallace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Now, hours after that Lewis` skull was fractured by police
before he could ever make it across that bridge. Today though, 50 years
later, John Lewis is going to march across that bridge this time with the
first black President of the United States. So, it`s a big day in Selma.
It`s a momentous anniversary, it`s a big day here on MSNBC. Here`s a look
at what`s on tap for the rest of the day. 2:30 Eastern Time to 1:30 in
Selma, President Obama is going to deliver his remarks what will surely be
a powerful reflection on the civil rights struggle over the last half
century. A little less than an hour after that at 3:25 Eastern Time, the
President and the first family joined by many of the leading members of
government are then going to make that ceremonial crossing of the Edmund
Then at 4:00 p.m., the President and First Lady Michelle Obama are going to
take their daughters on a tour of the nearby National Voting Rights Museum.
That is on tap today. A big big day, not just for Selma but for the entire
And MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee is live for us in Selma, Alabama.
Tremaine, thanks for joining us. Obviously, we give you sort of the big
headlines of what we can expect for today. But you`re down there, can you
give us a sense of what we could be looking for?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: That`s right. We`re expecting
thousands of people to converge here on Selma 50 years after the gaze of
the world was shifted here. As police brutalized those protesters as you
mentioned. Now, we`re expecting President Obama, it`s his first troop to
Selma since he was president. He came before he was even a candidate.
We`re expecting a Congressional delegation of more of a hundred or so.
Former President George W. Bush will be here. But more than anything, the
community, the people who believe so much in the fight for justice, in the
fight for rights will again be converging here. Now, one thing it can
never be really overstated how important Selma is to our nation. Before
the 1965 campaign between two and four percent of the people here in Dallas
County were register to vote. Now, you understand how big that is and you
understand more than anyone is that how the landscape, black voter
participation how it changed the political landscape. And so, we`re
expecting a very big day today, not only to commemorate the foot soldiers
of the past but how to connect that spirit of the struggle to today.
KORNACKI: All right. Trymaine Lee live for us in Selma, Alabama. Again,
we will be returning to Selma throughout the morning, including a look at
the roll one president of the United States played there 50 years ago and
what role the current president servers there today. As when President
Obama speaks in Selma later this afternoon, as we say MSNBC will be
carrying those remarks live. So, please join us for that and also
throughout the day. Also tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., MSNBC is going to have a
special how commemorating the events at Selma 50 years ago. You`re also
not going to want to miss any of that.
Now though, turning to the biggest political story that`s happening at this
hour, news breaking late yesterday that federal corruption charges may be
imminent for a powerful member of the United States Senate Robert Menendez,
a Democrat from New Jersey. Allegations that Menendez tried to head off at
a press conference last night. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Let me be very clear, very clear. I
have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law.
Every action that I and my office have taken for the last 23 years that I
have been privileged to be in the United States Congress, has been based on
pursuing the best policies for the people of New Jersey and of this entire
country. That`s who I am. And I am not going anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And the federal investigation into Menendez stems from his
dealings with this man, Dr. Salomon Melgen, he`s a Florida eye surgeon who
was has also a long time ties to the Senator. The grand jury has been
meeting and hearing evidence in charges against Senator Menendez that he
received gifts and lavish vacations in exchange for weighing in on behalf
of Melgen and on behalf of Melgen`s business interests with the federal
government. Menendez last night portraying the gifts not as a payoff but
as a perfect normal and perfectly normal and perfectly legal exchange
between close friends.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MENENDEZ: As to Dr. Melgen, anyone who knows us knows that he and his
family and me and my family have been real friends for more than two
decades. We celebrated holidays together, we have been there for family
weddings and sad times like funerals. And have given each other birthday,
holiday and wedding presents just as friends do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. And for the latest on this now we want to turn to
NBC New York`s Jonathan Dienst who is standing by. So, Jonathan, you`ve
been all over the legal aspects of this. A lot of reports yesterday about
imminent charges being filed. Where do we know things stand right now?
JONATHAN DIENST, WNBC CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: We know the Justice
Department and investigators are moving forward with this case. The grand
jury is hearing evidence, some of Menendez`s own aides this month are being
put before that grand jury to tell what they know about the Senator`s
alleged actions regarding the Dr. Melgen. And the efforts the Senator
allegedly made through his office to help that eye doctor. What did the
Senator allegedly do for the eye doctor? Well, the eye doctor was facing
overbilling charges regarding Medicare in the tune of millions of dollars.
And the Senators and his staff, apparently met with Medicare officials to
try to get some of the rules changed that could possibly benefit that eye
There`s another allegation that he tried to help this eye doctor secure a
port security deal to screen cargo coming in from the Dominican Republic.
That deal could have been world tens of millions of dollars for Dr. Melgen.
So the question is, is there a quid quo pro? Did the Senator accept gifts
and campaign contributions from Dr. Melgen, and in exchange, did he
officially use his office to try to benefit the eye doctor? That is what
the grand jury sitting in New Jersey right now is weighing. And we are
told from investigators, that they plan to move forward with criminal
charges, within weeks charges could actually come sometime this month. But
again, nothing is done until the grand jury acts.
SHARPTON: And Jonathan, it sounds like the makings or the beginnings of
the defense here that Menendez would offer if charges are filed, if this
becomes a case in court, talking about, hey, look, a close personal friend,
we`ve vacation together for years, families are close, we exchange gifts.
Nothing illegal if there`s that kind of a friendship. What`s your sense
right now with people are saying about that kind of defense against these
DIENST: Well, that is going to be the Senator`s defense. If you remember
when more than a year ago when news of these three private jet trips that
he took to the luxury resort of Casa de Campo, the Senator originally did
not pay for those trips. Later after it was exposed he quickly and hardly
wrote a check for over $58,000 to reimburse the eye doctor. Why would he
do that? And at the time he was allegedly taking these flights, that`s
when some of these efforts were underway to benefit this eye doctor. It is
not the easiest case because the federal government has to get inside the
Senator`s head. They could use circumstantial evidence. They could use
his own staffers, you know, to testify but they need to show that not only
did he take these trips and gifts and donations but that he specifically
acted and used his office in exchange for that. You can`t just have the
two, you know, separate events. They need to make that connection. It`s
not the easiest thing. But federal investigators believe they have more
than enough. And they plan to move forward.
KORNACKI: Wow! All right. We`ll keep a close eye in this. Thank you,
Jonathan Dienst from NBC New York. We appreciate that.
The question now is if an indictment becomes a reality in coming weeks,
what will happen in Washington to Senator Menendez`s position in the
Senate? Menendez has a prominent stature there among Democrats, he is the
ranking member of the Senate`s Foreign Relations Committee. His position
will obviously be threatened if there is a federal indictment, if charges
are brought. Menendez actually is the third New Jersey Senator in the last
30 years to be broiled in serious ethics controversy while in office.
Senator Robert Torricelli a little over a decade ago was severely
admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee. This in 2002 for accepting
loans and gifts from a campaign donor. His revelations forced him to
abandon his re-election campaign just five weeks before Election Day.
Before him in the early 1980s, Senator Harrison Williams was convicted of
bribery and conspiracy in the Abscam scandal. That story was behind the
movie "American Hustle" a couple years ago. Williams resigned before the
Senate could vote to expel him. So, do any possible charges against
Menendez threaten his leadership position in Washington?
For that side of the story, Frank Thorp, NBC News Capitol Hill producer is
here. He joins us now. Frank, thanks for taking a few minutes. So, there
is I guess some precedent in the Senate. You think of Ted Stevens from
Alaska who was indicted and ultimately found guilty, although eventually
that was thrown out months after the fact. But when he was indicted I
think it was seven years ago, Republicans forced him to give up his ranking
status on a committee. Is that the expectation of what will happen with
FRANK THORP, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Well, that`s the question.
Republicans have a rule now with the Republican conference, that if a
Senator were to become under indictment, that they would lose the ranking
member or chairmanship or a leadership position until that is resolved. If
they`re convicted they lose it permanently. Democrats currently don`t have
that kind of rule. So, this would be up to the Democratic caucus. And
leadership. And also, up to Senator Menendez. But there`s nothing that
precludes Senator Menendez from doing his job if he is in fact, indicted.
You know, there are no Senate rules that would stop him from voting, stop
him from participating in committee actions or stop him from doing his job
as a Senator. So it would really be up to Senate leadership to decide
whether or not it would be tenable for Menendez to continue. Because, you
know, as you noted, you know, Menendez is a key voice on a lot of issues as
the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, including the Iran
nuclear deal and relations with Cuba.
KORNACKI: Yes. Well, that`s interesting you mention Iran. Because there
was some rumblings yesterday from sort of the conservative side on Twitter
saying, well, hey, here`s the leading critic, the leading Democratic critic
of the administration on this pending deal, this possible deal with Iran,
and now suddenly as that issue comes to a head, this is coming to a head in
terms of what the Department of Justice is looking to do. Is that
something you`re hearing then, that kind of chatter?
THORP: I mean, I don`t think that -- there`s no indication on Capitol Hill
that this is a retaliation for Senator Menendez`s stances on Obama
administration policies. You know, he was a large critic of the relieving
Cuban relations. And as well, he`s been a critic of the Iran nuclear deal.
But he also has been known to be really hard on the rhetoric, but also to
pull back when it actually matters. He released a letter last week saying
that they would no longer support a bill that would require that Congress
actually approve any Iran nuclear deal before sanctions are rolled back.
So, I mean, Republican leadership has actually criticized him for being,
you know, more bark than bite on this.
KORNACKI: All right. Interesting. And I covered Menendez starting out in
New Jersey. I have to say whatever ends up here as the end result of this,
he is not going to go away quietly. I think this is something that is
going to play out over a long period here. But NBC`s Frank Thorp joining
us from Washington, I appreciate you taking a few minutes this morning.
Thank you for that.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead in the show, we`re going to dive into
one of the week`s biggest political story and the other biggest political
story of the week, that is the fallout over Hillary Clinton`s e-mail
address. She`s kept mostly quiet about the controversy, but how much
longer can she stay silent?
And next, Jeb Bush heads to a state that could pose the biggest challenge
to his quest for the GOP nomination. It also happens to be the state with
the first nominating contest. How Jeb can fix his Iowa problem. Can he
fix his Iowa problem? That`s right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I`ve been to Iowa where my dad lost
and I`ve been there when he won. I like the winning part better to be
honest with you. So, I intend to come back with regularities where I get
behind beyond the possibility of the consideration of running. And I`m
excited about that prospect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: As Jeb Bush last night in Urbandale, Iowa, he`s at a fundraiser
for a Republican Congressman out there. This marks Jeb Bush`s first trip
to the critical caucus state since launching his old but official
presidential campaign. Interesting choice of language there, you could
hear the possibility of consideration of running. He still has to talk in
these legalism. Anyway, this is a trip in which the former Florida
governor plans to drop in today at the same pizza place where his brother
George W. first announced that he was running for president back in 1999.
Now behind the scenes, Jeb Bush is vacuuming up serious money from his
party`s top donors. What is far from clear though is whether this
enthusiasm will extend to rank and file conservative voters.
And so far it hasn`t especially in Iowa. The last polls shows Jeb Bush is
running in fifth place, fifth place behind even Ben Carson and Mike
Huckabee. So, what is the root of Bush`s Iowa problem? Well maybe it
could be his moderate stance on both immigration reform and education.
Bush just yesterday forced to defend once again his support for common core
school standards. One conservative pastor telling the Des Moines register
that, quote, "He appears to be a Republican in name. But not necessarily
Republican in heart and head." It could also be as simple as Jeb`s last
name with one Iowan Republican telling "The New York Times" this week that
quote, "We`re tired of the same old same old. Bush`s name is something
he`s going to have to overcome. He`s going to have to be more articulate
with his fresh ideas."
Kasie Hunt is an MSNBC political correspondent, she is live for us in Des
Moines at the Iowa Agriculture Summit. That is where Bush going to be
speaking later today. Also some other candidates speaking there as well.
And joining us on the set, we have our panel for today. MSNBC political
analyst Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC. David Corn also MSNBC
contributor, a Washington Bureau Chief at Mother Jones. And Jessica
Taylor, a campaign editor with The Hill. And the reigning champion of "Up
Against the Clock," our hit sometime weekend game show.
Anyway, Kasie Hunt, thank you for taking a few minutes and joining us from
out there. So, Jeb is sort of in the middle of this his first big Iowa
swing. We talk about that resistance from conservatives. Iowa state where
conservative really holds disproportionate sway in the caucuses. So, how
is it going so far for him out there?
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: A couple things here, Steve.
First of all, it`s pretty clear that Bush is pushing forward with this idea
that he is trying to label himself as a conservative. He`s come up with
his new web video outlining himself as such. And he was at that fundraiser
last night giving something of what sounds like the beginnings of a stump
speech. He gave a version of it at CPAC last month. And I think you heard
him outline what were critical points on what he views as his conservative
record as governor of Florida if you want to take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: As governor of the state I got to -- as a candidate, I got to say
what I was going to do. I talked about cutting taxes, about creating a
world class business climate, about changing our education system. About
turning the system upside down so that people could prosper in our state.
And for eight years, I got to act on my conservative principals. And it
worked by the way, just in case you were worried.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Just in case you were worried. That worked. He also went on to say
that he took on the teachers unions and also trial lawyers. And I will
also say Steve, it`s pretty clear that he and his team have spent some time
thinking about how they`re going to approach some of these hot button
issues that might cause problems with conservative base voters in a place
like Iowan. He was actually given the opportunity to defend his position
on common core, a woman stood up in the room last night and said, you know,
I was just appointed to the school board here in Iowa. I`m a huge
proponent of common core. I just want to say thank you. Please don`t back
away from that. Bush`s response to her was pretty interesting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: States that don`t want to participate, that`s fine. It`s a
voluntary deal. No big deal. But they ought to be advocating higher
standards in their states as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So he basically declined the invitation to give this full throated
vocal support to something called common core. He didn`t use those words,
even though the questioner did. Although he did of course go on to say he
does support high standards.
KORNACKI: Well, let me bring the panel in on this. Because that`s a
really interesting thing. So, first of all, somebody stands up at a Jeb
Bush event and says, hey, I want to just thank you for supporting common
core. My first thought that`s a plant.
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: That`s what I was thinking too.
KORNACKI: So, Michael Steele, how does -- we all know that doubts the
conservatives have about him. How does something like that go over with?
STEELE: Well, I don`t know how it goes over yet. Because this is really
kind of being fleshed out real-time. I think at the end of the day what
Jeb Bush needs to do is just be authentically Jeb Bush. If this is
something that you support and this is something that you want to fight
for, then go to that hill and stand on it and fight for it. He`s given
indications he`s willing to do that. But in moments like that you take
that advantage and you drive the point home. You know, the Reverend said
that he`s a Republican in name only, basically. That he`s not a Republican
at heart. Well, I don`t know when conservativism became heartless and
doesn`t care about how we educated kids. It`s not just about the
government, folks. It`s about how you bring all these forces together.
Jeb really believes that.
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I love this.
STEELE: If he believes this then he`s going to have to stand on that hill
and fight for it. You just can`t go in the moments like that.
CORN: You have hit the nail on the head. Because it was only about three
or four weeks ago or four weeks ago when Jeb Bush started getting this, he
said, I`m going to be myself. You know, I`m not going to bow to the Tea
Party prevailing winds of the base. I`m going to tell people and it
sounded like he was going to be fighting for people like Michael Steele,
that type of Republicanism. But now he goes out to Iowa and the first
little puff he starts caving. He doesn`t stand up. He`s going to try to
be something he`s not. It`s not going to work. He`s not going to win over
KORNACKI: Here`s the thing I keep seeing, Jessica is that you think back
to his brother. His brother won Iowa. His brother won Iowa big.
JESSICA TAYLOR, CAMPAIGN EDITOR, THE HILL: Yes.
KORNACKI: The Republicans out there loved him. I know things have changed
in 16 years. And one of the things that I think has changed is that the
Republican Party in 2000 was much more about just win. We`re going to be
pragmatic, we`re going to let him talk about compassionate conservativism.
Him being George W. Bush. And now it`s much more, they want purity, they
want an outsider. They`re not looking to, you know, compromise.
TAYLOR: Right. Exactly. And I think it`s no more prevalent anywhere
there than Iowa where, I mean, the two, when I talk to people out there,
the two big issues are immigration and common core that their activist won.
And I mean, I think as David said, you know, he certainly didn`t take the
bait but we haven`t seen him back off of that either though. I mean, he`s
not saying I`m changing my position. We all saw what happened when Mitt
Romney backed of immigration and tried to do that and everything. So, I
think Jeb is, you know, he`s trying to have it both ways. It`s very early
whether he can do that. I know that in some of his earlier speeches, I
think when he was speaking in Detroit a couple of weeks ago he talked about
education standards, not common core specifically. He talked about what he
had done in Florida. I think you`ll going to hear him talk a lot about his
Florida record. He`s trying to sort of work around it a little bit. Yes.
KORNACKI: Trying to survive. Well, let me put poll numbers up here. Look
at this numbers. This is the most recent poll. Twenty six percent, these
are likely Republican caucus goers say they would definitely not support
Jeb Bush. Look at this. This is among Republicans. Forty one percent
view him favorably. Forty percent view him un-favorably. This is among
Kasie Hunt, when you`re out there and you talk to Republicans, I mean, what
is your sense, Jeb Bush, were saying he probably can`t win Iowa, what does
he need to do out there if he contests the state?
HUNT: Well, Steve, I think that, you know, conventional wisdom would say
that there are three tickets out of Iowa. We`ll see if that holds. You
never quite know. But at this point, I think that he needs to beat
expectations for how he will do here. And he also needs to, you know, not
completely fall apart. So, I think this careful lineman he`s walking with,
you know, trying to not anger the base unnecessarily while also not
backing away from the positions that he holds or has held in the past, and
we are starting to get a glimpse here of how he`s going to tried and
navigate what`s going on here. Now, he could also make a decision about
how to compete in this state. He could largely stay away or he could
largely say, you know, what? I know that this isn`t a place but I am going
to complete really aggressively. Maybe he comes in late right at the end.
That`s what Mitt Romney did in 2012. And he`s got some of Romney`s key
staffers working on his team there. He`s got a lot of experience here in
Iowa. So I think they`ll bring that to there as Jeb Bush moves forward
KORNACKI: All right. Kasie Hunt, I appreciate the report out there. A
lot more happening today. Interesting to see what you have to say about
that but thanks for joining us.
Ahead in the show, President Obama gets ready for today`s anniversary event
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Now, Selma is about the courage of
ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they believe they can
change the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: This is the Selma anniversary falling at the end of the same
week in which Obama`s Justice Department gave a harsh assessment of the
Ferguson Police Department. We`re going to look at that report and the
reaction to it, next.
KORNACKI: You`re looking live at the streets of Selma, Alabama, this hour
as that city and the nation prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody
Sunday. Speaking to students in South Carolina yesterday, President Obama
previewed the remarks he`s going to be marking in Selma this afternoon.
Remarks that will be carried live here on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: One of the things I might talk
about, I`m still working on my speech, it might come up is the meaning of
Selma for your generation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Now, the anniversary and today`s proceedings come on the heels
of a Justice Department report this week that did two things. Number one
it cleared former Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson of civil
rights violations in the slaying of Michael Brown. It also cast down on
whether Brown actually had his hands up which gave rise to the mantra that
took hold after that shooting nationwide. But Attorney General Eric Holder
and his Justice Department also outlined in that report in excruciating
detail the abuse, the harassment and humiliation at the largely white
Ferguson Police Department has inflicted they say with alarming regularity
on the community`s mostly black citizens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: African-Americans made up over 90
percent of those charged with a highly discretionary offense described as,
and I quote, "manner of walking along roadway," unquote. Manner of walking
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Late yesterday Holder said that he would consider dismantling
the Ferguson Police Department if necessary quoting him, if that`s what it
takes. President Obama addressed the lingering effects the Ferguson Police
Department actions had yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Now, one of the things that I think frustrated the people of
Ferguson, in addition to the specific case of Michael Brown was, the sense
of, you know what? We`ve been putting up with this for years, and now when
we start talking about it, everybody is pretending like it`s just our
imaginations. Like we`re just paranoid, we`re just making this stuff up.
And it turns out they weren`t just making it up. This was happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. And joining us now is Wesley Lowery, he`s a reporter
for "The Washington Post." He`s been covering the story since the
beginning. And also reported this week on a civil lawsuit that Michael
Brown`s family is preparing against the Ferguson police. So, Wesley,
thanks for joining us this morning. So, it seems when you look at this, it
requires maybe a little bit of nuance here to understand this report.
Because on the one hand, you could look at it and say in terms of the
specific case this summer, they`re saying they`re not finding too much
there. But in terms of the underlying feelings that that brought out in
the community, they`re finding out an awful a lot.
WESLEY LOWERY, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Of course. And so, we had two
distinct reports looking at two different things. First was the shooting
of Michael Brown. And in that report the Justice Department found not only
that there was evidence to charge the Officer Darren Wilson in this case.
But they also concluded essentially that the shooting was likely justified
not only that he probably not -- not only that he not commit a crime. But
he also was likely reasonably in the fear for his life during the shooting.
But that was one report. And the second report, and this is a much more
scathing deeper more complicated report. Because this was a report that
combed through tens of thousands of pages of Ferguson police documents.
Tens of thousands of pages of Ferguson court documents.
And essentially what the Justice Department concluded was, Ferguson police
operates in a way that is racially discriminatory. That they are violating
people`s constitutional rights. And that the people who rushed into the
streets this summer were not making it up when they said that the police
were treating them in a way that was discriminatory. And so for the
critics out there who were skeptical of the hands up don`t shoot mantra.
Who were skeptical of Michael Brown, who sided with Darren Wilson, there`s
a lot in this that they concluded to here. But the hundreds of people,
thousands of people who were in the streets protesting talking about police
impunity, talking about constitutional violations, they also were
vindicated and validated by the second report, which showed essentially,
that Ferguson PD, it said in the report doesn`t function to ensure a public
safety, rather functions to raise money for the city, it`s revenue
KORNACKI: So what is happening now? Is anything happening in Ferguson in
response to this? The report comes out, it documents all these things,
what has the response been locally in Ferguson from authorities?
LOWERY: And so, the way this works when DOJ comes in and does a patterns
and practices report which is the larger report. Essentially they hand
over their list, their ledger of violations and the city has to deal with
them. The city now has to enter a negotiation period with the Department
of Justice where they have to take recommendations and come to find some
middle ground. If the city does not do that, if they can`t come to an
agreement that satisfies the Department of Justice, the Department of
Justice can sue the city and will almost every case win that lawsuit. And
so, essentially, what`s happening now is city officials to work the
Department of Justice to appease them, to show them that, yes, these things
you`ve outlined we`re going to fix them. And very likely they`ll sign what
they call a consent decree which typically includes some type of federal
monitor, specific policy changes and in this type of case could potentially
include disbanding the police department.
KORNACKI: Let me just bring the panel here. I`m wondering what you made
of reading this report this week, the reaction to it. I mean, because as
we say on the one hand it`s just about Ferguson, but I wonder, do you read
this and say how many Fergusons are out there?
CORN: Well, the interesting thing is, it`s gotten very little tension.
But this is not the first time in the Obama administration that the Justice
Department has had where these patterns and practices investigation. I
think there have been about a dozen or so. Tom Perez who is now Secretary
of Labor when he was assistant attorney general of justice, did brought a
couple of these. And they got great consent decrees and great agreements
with other police departments. So, they`ve been doing this quietly hasn`t
has a lot of attention until Ferguson. And so there is real good track
record of making this work and showing that this is not just limited to one
town in Missouri. So I think that this is really good progress on Obama,
good accomplishment on his legacy. And Ferguson maybe cap it off.
STEELE: I think that`s a key part of this whole thing that this Ferguson
is the tip. I mean, in respect. This happens particularly in small towns.
They`re sort of isolated away from the mainstream noise that you hear about
these types of investigations. And Ferguson allowed us to, you know, shine
a brighter spotlight on really what goes on with these towns where they`re
balancing the police budget on the backs of its citizens. They`re
violating the constitutional rights. And the citizens I think -- we`ll see
how Ferguson recovers in the sense that they take advantage of this
opportunity to govern themselves better. And be engage electorally et
cetera. But this is a turning point I think in many respects. And it does
puts a light on other towns around the country.
KORNACKI: Yes. That`s the interesting thing is to see if reforms that are
made there and you`re saying, in other cities as well, if other cities will
be proactively takes some steps in that direction. My thanks though to
Washington Post Wesley Lowery. I appreciate you taking the time for us.
Still ahead more potential 2016 contenders sound off on Hillary`s email
controversy. And next, why there aren`t more women in your wallet? We`ll
explain that coming up.
KORNACKI: All right. It`s time for one of my favorite segments every
week. Catching up. I call it the index card segment. It means there`s a
lot going on in the world. We`ll going to get caught up on some of the
other headlines. They`re all line here. I`m going to read them. And
we`ll have some interesting comments on. Let`s start with this. Let`s
take a look at the Baltimore Sun. It`s this headline Harry Reid endorses
Chris Van Hollen, what is this all about? Harry Reid, the top Democrat in
the Senate apparently trying to forestall a competitive Democratic primary
next year in the race to succeed, the retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski,
he`s endorsing Chris Van Hollen, he`s one of the top Democrats in the
House, and basically saying to the other Democrats, hey, you know, too
late. Time to line up behind Van Hollen. But the interesting thing here
is, the DSCC, this is the National Campaign Committee for Democrats,
immediately after that, tweeted this out. They said, quote, "The DSCC
remains excited about the deep bench of Democrats in Maryland and are
confident, we will hold the seat for the DSCC." Basically saying, "No,
don`t keep everybody else out. Let`s have a primary here."
So, Michael Steele, you know a thing or two about Maryland politics. Donna
Edwards is the Congresswoman, she`s the --
STEELE: Well, you`ve got Donna Edwards, you`ve former NAACP head Ben
Jealous, you`ve got potentially Kweisi Mfume, you have a number of African-
American Democrats who have waited in a very long line for a very long time
who see this as an opportunity to come to the fore. Harry Reid
prematurely, you know, injecting himself into this race.
KORNACKI: Is he going to get some pullback for this?
STEELE: Oh, he is. He`s already getting blowback from it and deservedly
so. I think no one has announced except Van Hollen, let`s wait to see how
the thing plays out. But I`m --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
KORNACKI: Think of all the Democrats who might run?
CORN: In fact I will say, I am endorsing Michael Steele for Republican
nomination right there.
KORNACKI: No Republican has come closer to willing a Senate race in
Maryland probably in the last generation.
STEELE: Yes, we had a little run at it in 06 and got very close. But the
reality of it is, my former boss, Bob Ehrlich, Governor Ehrlich, Dan
Bongino who was the nominee the last time. I mean, there are a number of
Republicans who are still looking at it and likely will give a
consideration but --
KORNACKI: And we`re looking, too, right? Are you going to think about it?
STEELE: I will take a look at it. But the reality of it is, I think
Steve, is there is going to be a real scramble. I mean, the bench on the
Democratic side for this is hugely deep. There`s a very long line. And a
lot of folks --
KORNACKI: That`s what happens in these states where it`s one party.
TAYLOR: We surveyed every single house member this week, and everyone
except for Steny Hoyer says, they`re taking -- I mean, it`s going to be,
you`re going to have open house seats plenty in Maryland if this happens.
So, I mean, it`s going, you know, for all of us thinking the California
after boxer left was going to be the most exciting race, I think it`s right
on the --
CORN: It`s generational. How long has Barbara Mikulski been in that seat?
You know, for 30 years. And so, they only come up once in a while.
Whoever wins it is likely to keep it for long time. So, this is your
KORNACKI: -- in the headlines, Yahoo News. How about this? Women on 20s.
This is a movement, they want female hero to replace Andrew Jackson on
currency. Some of the names being put out there. Sojourner Truth, Rachel
Carson, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt.
One reason for doing this. Maybe Andrew Jackson.
So, let`s go around the table? Who would you put on? What would you put
on in the 20?
TAYLOR: Rosa Parks, why not? I mean, we`re celebrating the civil rights
movement this year and things. I mean, Susan B. Anthony, I mean, there`s a
lot of great women. I`m all for more women. And I think I never even
thought about it in fact if there are any women on there too. But I`m sad
to lost -- in and Andrew Jackson even if he didn`t look like --
KORNACKI: That is true.
STEELE: You know, Rosa would be nice. Sojourner at least is a real
possibility. I think the idea of having -- this currency is supposed to
reflect the founders of the country. And women were very much a part of
that. So, I think it`s appropriate.
CORN: I think Susan B. Anthony needs another chance after the dollar
didn`t work out.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
KORNACKI: Why all this fuss over American currency, we`ll be using bit
coin in a few years.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
Anyway, coming up. Can you be the most powerful Democrat in the country
without being the president or even running for president? What is
Elizabeth Warren really want?
Also, the Supreme Court case that could decide if millions of Americans
lose their health insurance. The first audio recordings of what was said
this week in that important case. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Today is going to be a trying day for the family of the young
American woman who was killed while in ISIS custody. Kayla Mueller`s
family is going to be holding a memorial service today in her hometown of
Prescott, Arizona. Senator John McCain will be speaking at that ceremony.
Kayla was captured in 2013 in Northern Syria while working as an
international aid worker at the time. ISIS claims she was killed in a
Jordanian air strike last month although the U.S. officials have not
confirmed that. Kayla is the fourth American to die in ISIS custody. She
was 26 years old.
Still ahead in the show today, the presidential reaction to Selma 50 years
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: We`re going to discuss what path forward President Obama sees
for civil rights in America today. But first, what does Elizabeth Warren
see as her way forward in Washington? That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I got to tell you. One folks
said to me, you can`t win this race. You`ve never done anything like this
before. You went to an event with a very handsome guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday talking about the
man she beat in 2012, Scott Brown. That was a party for the political
group Emily`s List. Now, Warren has come a long way on the national stage
since her debut on a daily show back in 2009. She were casting her memoir,
how her stage fright before that daily show appearance was so severe that
she actually threw up in the greenroom. These days though Warren can`t
seem to go anywhere without being asked if she`s going to run for
president. Even though she keeps saying no to that. The persistent
clamoring demonstrates the powerful hold that she has over a large chunk of
American liberals. She can post a video on Facebook and in just a few
days, it will have over two million views. When she complained that a
treasury official was too close to Wall Street, well, the White House had
no choice but to pull his nomination.
This week a new political profile looks at her skill at maneuvering the
inside game without losing her outsider status. And says that she wants to
be the most powerful Democrat in America but to do it without running for
president. So back now with the panel, let`s talk a little bit about
Elizabeth Warren. Let me read something to you from this really
interesting story in Politico. This is what Barney Frank had to say about
Elizabeth Warren in the idea of her running for president. And he said
that she has no chance to win, none. And she would kill her credibility if
she did. She`s devoted her life to issues that she cared about. And the
second people perceive her as ambitious, you know, interested in running,
that`s over. Is that part of the sort of the mystique here is that she`s
not running and therefore it gives her more appeal and more power?
CORN: Well, I think she is a mission driven politician, not out of
personal ambition. She didn`t jump for the chance to run for Senate. She
had to be, you know, convinced to do that. She had a long career before
that as a law professor and advocate dealing with very, you know,
pocketbook issues for Americans. So, there`s not a lot of ambition that`s
in the obvious political way. I also, from talking to her over the years
and people who worked with her over the years, think that that`s how she
sees herself as well. This is why she`s in it. This is why she does what
she does. And I think she`s looking for a way to be as effective --
KORNACKI: Yes. For that matter, we`re so conditioned in this country --
president this sort of the singular, everything is about, you know, if
you`re ambitious you want to be a Senator -- president. So, if you`re in
the Senate and you want to be the most powerful Democratic -- what is that
TAYLOR: I mean, it`s striking how much power she does well after having
just been there two years. She effectively killed this treasury
nomination. She has been very influential with student loan reform and
things too. And now she`s been given the seat at the leadership table too
sort of as the liaison to progressive groups. It`s kind of unclear what
this rule is. But I mean, she wants to have such influence. And I mean,
there is -- I`m just struck by, you know, just how much fervor there is for
her out there in the grass roots. I will say, you know, for someone who
continues to, you know, make it pretty clear what I see is that she really
doesn`t want this, there`s a lot of people making money off of it with the
groups and things too. So, she`s a boon for that and stuff too. But I
mean, if she wants to run though, this is her moment. Like the -- she`s
maybe just a little bit younger than Hillary. I can`t remember the exact
STEELE: Two years.
TAYLOR: Two years. Yes. But I mean, like if she wants to run now, I
mean, four years could be too late eight years in a stuff too. So, I mean,
she`s really kind of guy at the side. And you know, as we were talking
earlier, I mean, especially with everything that`s gone on with Hillary
too, like what if she implodes and things to like who is the next person.
So, I think --
KORNACKI: Yes. Well, then yes I think we might have a different story.
KORNACKI: Michael, I wonder, do Republicans look at what Elizabeth Warren
has tapped into? Just the energy she`s tapped into? Is there a lesson
there for Republicans to in what she`s connected with?
STEELE: I don`t know so much that there`s a lesson they learned from
Elizabeth Warren per se. But I think that they see forming on the left
what they`ve had to deal with on the right, that there is this untapped
energy. She is now finding a way to tap into it, very much the way Rand
Paul for example is tapped to it or Ted Cruz has tapped to it on the right.
So, I think they are sort of watching to see how it plays out. I think for
Elizabeth Warren the end game is not the White House but majority leader.
And it affords her that stature to become that great Democrat in the Senate
to move the body.
CORN: Don`t tell Chuck Schumer.
STEELE: Well, you know, what, Chuck Schumer is a gentleman he`ll step down
and allow her to do it. So, this isn`t about seniority. The long year
there, the less I think cause you have to make for it.
CORN: But that`s a really interesting question.
STEELE: But I think that`s an opportunity for it.
CORN: Because whether she wants to be the leader of an institution with
all those rules and high bound that makes you or continue to address and
advance the issues. I think it`s a big question for her.
KORNACKI: All right. We will see what plays out with her. And those
presidential questions probably won`t die. But we`ll keep asking them
anyway. Anyway, another full hour of news and politics ahead. So, stay
KORNACKI: Is today the day we hear from Hillary?
KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning.
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak tonight in Miami. In remarks earlier
this week, she ignored the e-mail controversy swirling around her. Will
she be able to stay silent tonight?
Also this hour, we`ll be returning to Selma trying to get thoughts from
people down there, including Melissa Harris Perry on this historic day.
We`ll also be tackling the importance of a presidential response, both now
and back then in 1965.
Also on the show this hour, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the
case hoping to dismantle Obamacare. This morning, our first chance to hear
what was actually said during those proceedings this week and to figure out
what it all means.
But we begin this hour with Hillary Clinton who will be speaking a little
while from now at a gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative. We are
going to be watching to see if the former secretary of state decides to
address the biggest early obstacles to the presidential campaign that she
is expected to launch soon. The obstacle is the growing fear of the use of
her private, non-government e-mail address to conduct all official business
as secretary of state -- a revelation this week that years` worth of
correspondence was run from a server in her New York home and was not
preserved by the State Department.
Republicans jumping at the opening that this gave them to go after Clinton,
including Jeb Bush in Iowa last night.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, JEB BUSH ON CLINTON EMAILS)
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: For security purposes, you need to
be behind a firewall that is recognized the world for what it is. It`s a
dangerous world. And security would mean that you couldn`t have a private
server. I don`t -- just -- it -- it`s baffling to be honest with you that
didn`t come up in Secretary Clinton`s thought process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And it`s not just Republicans speaking to New Hampshire
Democrats last night. Former Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley who was
considering challenging Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination,
he stopped short of criticizing Clinton directly, but he did point out that
as governor, he complied with many requests to publicly release
Quoting O`Malley, "Openness and transparency are required of governing in
the modern age."
Presidential contenders aren`t the only ones weighing in. The House panel
investigating Benghazi has issued subpoenas for more information about
Clinton`s e-mails. And "The Associated Press" is considering legal action
over unfulfilled requests for information from Clinton`s tenure as
secretary of state.
Now, in response to the growing firestorm, Clinton tweeted late Wednesday
night, quote, "I want the public to see my e-mail. I asked State to
release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as
Those 26 words are the entirety of what we`ve heard from the former
secretary of state on this matter so far. Sources close to the Hillary
camp telling Bloomberg News that Hillary plans to say little on the matter,
betting that the controversy will soon subside. Quote, "The hope of
Clinton`s inner circle is that she`ll be able to address the e-mail
controversy as a minor element of her expected announcement." That has
left Clinton allies to fill the void.
Clinton defender David Brock attacking "The New York Times" for suggesting
that she might have broken federal rules.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BROCK, CORRECT THE RECORD: Let`s not have a situation where the
normal journalistic rules apply to everybody but Hillary Clinton. And
let`s not forget the real story here is that you`ve got a dying Benghazi
investigation on Capitol Hill. There are people trying to breathe new life
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. Here to talk about all this, our panel is back with
us, MSNBC political analysts Michael Steele and David Corn, and Jessica
Taylor, campaign editor with "The Hill", and joining us, Eric Boehlert, a
senior fellow with Media Matters, a media group that monitors press
coverage who I`m sure has some thoughts on Hillary Clinton`s relationship
with the press.
So, well, Eric, let me start with you. I mean, this does seem -- these
things sort of dissolve into partisan food fights. This seems like a big
deal. There is a directive in 2009, from the Obama administration that,
hey, look, you can`t be doing private business -- excuse me, public
business on a private e-mail account. And now, it turns out her entire
correspondence four years as secretary of state was done privately.
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: Right. Well, I mean, what`s the definition
of a big deal? I mean, as we found out, John Kerry is the first secretary
of state to primarily use a government e-mail account. And the law that
"The Times" reference in its piece was passed in 2014.
So, obviously, questions are going to be asked. We`ll be looking into this
forever as I mentioned yesterday. The Benghazi committee is going to spend
millions investigating something that has nothing to do with the Benghazi
You know, in terms of the process coverage, Jeb Bush was talking. I read a
"Washington Post" column that held him up as this model of transparency
because he released 250,000 e-mails. Let out of the column was he`s
sitting on 90 percent of his emails from governor. He used a private
account. He had his own server, 3 million emails and he say`s I`m not
going to release those.
KORNACKI: I hear this -- because this has been the push back I`ve heard
from a lot of Clinton defenders, too, is to say, look, it`s not just us.
There`s other people.
I understand and I take the point, but she was secretary of state. You`re
talking potentially national security information here. And you`re also
talking about -- I understand the initial reports suggested maybe laws were
broken here. It does not seem to be the case.
BOEHLERT: Right, this is unprecedented.
KORNACKI: However, it is unprecedented in a way because no president
before President Obama in 2009 reacting to what he saw as the excessive
secrecy of the Bush administration. No president had ever put a directive
forward saying this isn`t happening on my watch and then it happened.
BOEHLERT: Right. Well, again, you know, these are questions that have to
be answered. In terms of the media, I`d like to see some context. You
know, I`d like to see a wider -- this has essentially become a story about
her e-mail account. Right.
You know, "The New York Times" had a big story, the "AP" story. We haven`t
really seen any new revelation since then. We`re basically into archiving
protocol at this point. Let`s look at everybody. People, candidates for
president are going to brag about their transparency. Let`s look into
KORNACKI: Go ahead.
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: I like the work you do, Eric. I disagree
slightly with you on this point, because I do think it`s important that
cabinet level separates her from Jeb Bush. Listen, I went through Jeb
Bush`s e-mails that were released and found a lot of things that shouldn`t
have been there that weren`t there. So, I think there`s a big problem
about him holding back his own stuff.
But in this instance, you know, the Clinton campaign, you know, such as it
is, the Clinton land, they`re into this defensive crouch and they start
talking to reporters like me who are looking on this story and telling us
things that are not true.
I was told by a Clinton advocate, speaking for her, that everything was
preserved by the State Department. It turns out it wasn`t. A lot of stuff
didn`t go to State Department recipients, maybe outside people, were not
So, here they are -- so, it`s not just that the press is beating up on her.
There`s an awful dysfunction between Clinton people and the press. As soon
as the Clinton do something, people overact, they get into defensive
crouch, and they start saying things that aren`t true. And instead of a
level four fire, it becomes 13.
KORNACKI: We should put out on that point you`re making about who was
preserving these things. So, what we have right now -- Hillary has turned
over now to the State Department, they`re saying 55,000 pages. OK.
What we don`t know is, now we`re relying on them to say, hey, this is
everything. Since there`s no federal archivists who control of that --
KORNACKI: -- since the State Department doesn`t have control over that,
you`re essentially letting the office holder say, hey, this is what I think
should be in the public and this shouldn`t be.
TAYLOR: I have 55,000 e-mails in my inbox right now. I mean, that`s --
there`s over a four year period that`s a lot. I think this feeds into --
if it weren`t the Clintons and if we didn`t have the history of sort of
them being skeptical of the press and sort of other things like Whitewater,
and things going back to that, I think it brings up all that. These ideas
of secrecy and the fact that, you know, if you look at this -- trying to
circumvent something, and things too. And the way that they`ve handled it,
you know, instead of coming out and saying a statement they`ve said it
I mean, she doesn`t sound like she`s going to address it tonight. She
didn`t at the Emily`s List gala. I mean, it`s one of these things if you
get out ahead of it and do this -- we saw like e-mail chains back and forth
with Philippe Reines and things too.
KORNACKI: Her spokesman.
TAYLOR: Yes. So, you know, they have a very combative relationship.
STEELE: I agree with that. Look, at the end of the day, there are two
aspects to this I think are very intriguing to me. One is, OK, so you`ve
got the server in your home, which you shouldn`t have had in the first
place. OK. So, instead of a 26-word tweet, give them the server. So, put
that out there so then you begin to David`s point, break down this wall of,
you know, secrecy that you tend to create as Clinton.
And, two, on the Benghazi piece. Now, a lot of folks says this is an
investigation into nowhere. But now you`ve got these documents that exist,
these e-mails that exist on a private server in a home. We don`t know how
much of that plays into a Benghazi narrative or not.
So, the furthering of that narrative by her own hand is part of the
KORNACKI: This reminds me of -- Eric, I`m curious what you think of this,
because we talk about this sort of combative relationship between the
Clintons and the press. And it sort of self-reinforcing on both ends.
I think back to the 1990s and Whitewater. It was scandal that in one way
led absolutely nowhere. It was sort of in part because of how the Clintons
have sort of stonewalled with a lot of information requests on that. It
fed the suspicion. And what that suspicion produced was the Monica
And in this case, you have the Benghazi thing, which has not proven to be a
scandal before. What it has produced at this point is the revelation about
her e-mail use.
BOEHLERT: Right. So, if you talk about the combative Clinton
relationship, there is two sides. So, a lot of people say, oh, they
mistrust the press, they`re always hiding things. Look at it from their
perspective. I mean, what does the press routinely do? I mean, they take
stories, some minor, some not, blow them completely out of proportion.
KORNACKI: So, what is that all about then?
BOEHLERT: Oh, there`s been the simmering contempt. There`s a very
dysfunctional during the `90s Whitewater. People forget. That was co-
sponsored by "The New York Times" for five years, hundred of articles,
endless editorials about their criminality.
KORNACKI: What do you say is driving it? A personal vendetta against the
BOEHLERT: There`s a weird dysfunctional relationship. It became sort of
this Wiley Coyote roadrunner where they chase them and chase them. What
happened, Bill Clinton left office as the most popular president in modern
You know, we saw this sort of frenzy last summer. Hillary`s book tour --
KORNACKI: Does the media have it in for the Clintons?
CORN: I don`t think it`s that direct, because what`s happening is, the
people who went after the Clintons more than anyone else in the `90s was
the right wing media. You know, they start would trooper gate. It was
Jerry Falwell putting out documentary.
KORNACKI: That was David Brock --
CORN: I know, we`ll get to that later.
But also, Jerry Falwell, put out, was selling a documentary that proved the
Clintons had killed 27 people. I mean, so -- the right went after the
Clintons like we`d never seen before. And then the media comes in, "The
Times" and other people, what they do I think kind of -- at least as far as
the Clintons see it bleeds over into this other attack.
So, they get very defensive, very quickly and they have a hard time
discerning between the different forms of incoming. And that`s --
TAYLOR: She kind of blamed them too, saying that they loved Barack Obama,
that they didn`t give him as much scrutiny. I mean, you can think back to
one of the "SNL" skits that they were giving him all the favorable
TAYLOR: Exactly. Exactly. So --
STEELE: After all of these years in the public life, that this team would
have a clue in how to deal with all this stuff. And not create the noise
on the left or the right that they get from the media. And the Clintons
are as much their worst enemies in this than their real enemies.
KORNACKI: Is there anything -- OK, look, we all know she`s certainly
preparing to run. We all assume she`s going to run. However, me, the
revelation of this week beyond the headlines, is sort of the presumption of
acrimonious relationship between the Clintons and the press. We have
forgotten about that for six years. Now, it`s back. Is there any part of
the Clintons, is there any part of Hillary Clinton that looks at this and
says I don`t want this grief anymore?
BOEHLERT: There`s no way.
TAYLOR: They got to figure out a way to deal with them. The press -- we
are not going away. They`re going to be following her. They have already
been following her every move. They are just so skeptical. I think to a
fault that it does sort of cause this additional blow back.
I mean, think back to one of the initiatives last month. They wouldn`t let
the press go to the bathrooms by themselves. There was a report about
their handler following the reporters to the bathroom and things, too. I
CORN: The issue of whether she and -- it`s a bit of cliche, and
institutionally, they have a tenure or not remains. To your point,
Michael, you think after a certain number of years, they would have sort of
figured this out.
But, you know, one reason they lost in 2008 was, I think, because of the
approach they took, not just towards the media but towards the fight
against the Barack Obama. And they went after him in a way that many
people in the press thought was unfair.
I was on those calls every day. And they were saying things about Barack
Obama and the rest of the press were saying, we don`t have a dog in the
fight but this is silly what you`re saying.
BOEHLERT: I disagree. 2008, it`s totally separate category. There was
massive misogyny within the mainstream media. That was a whole separate
But, you know, I go back to the summer. She had the book tour, right? Two
week, three-week book tour. You go back and read the clips, it was a
disaster. The book tour from hell, she was rusty and awful.
BOEHLERT: She`s got a 50-point lead. Her polls went up.
There is a massive disconnect between the D.C. press and voters,
particularly Democratic voters.
KORNACKI: At that point, just in general how the press covers everything,
I take your point on that. I guess when you say it`s something specific to
the Clintons -- I want to end in this, when you look ahead in 2016, do you
think there is something between the press and the Clintons -- so how is
that, when you look at 2016, is the press going to derail her when she gets
to the White House?
BOEHLERT: No, they`re not going to do that. I mean, Chuck Todd wrote
yesterday, Hillary Clinton gets no benefit of the doubts. He put no in
So, it`s a tradition. In 2016, they`re going to have to appeal to voters.
I mean, it`s always going to be about the voters.
STEELE: And the press is going to write whatever story they want to write
about her. And they just have to deal with that in their own way and their
own time and let it roll the way it needs to roll. You know, 50 points
ahead against a Republican, it`s no big deal now. It will matter once this
campaign really unrolls and gets into play.
KORNACKI: Well, yes, 50 points ahead against Joe Biden right now.
KORANCKI: -- Eric Boehlert, thank you for taking time this morning.
The panel is going to be back later in the hour.
Coming up, this hour, live pictures from New York City as we get ready to
turn the clocks forward tonight. I am not looking forward to that. We`ll
discuss the pros but mostly the cons of daylight savings. At least for
those of us who have to get up on 4:00 a.m. on the weekends.
Anyway, up next, clues on how the justices are leaning in the latest
challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Stay with us. Audio on that, new
KORNACKI: Since 1988, C-Span, that`s the specialty cable channel for all
things Washington, C-Span has been begging the Supreme Court to let it
broadcast Supreme Court proceedings. Since 1988, the Supreme Court has
turned C-Span down.
Justice Anthony Kennedy saying in 2007, quote, "All in all, I think it
would destroy a dynamic that is quite a splendid one. I don`t think we
should take that chance."
But it puts the court in an awkward position like, they were this week in
the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the case known as King
versus Burwell. There`s been public appetite for information about this
case, because if the court rules against Obamacare in this challenge, it
would effectively gut the law, affecting more than 6 million Americans
whose healthcare prices could then skyrocket overnight. The challenge the
Supreme Court heard this week involves the subsidies that are at the heart
of the Obamacare law.
The lawyers challenging the law saying the subsidies can only be fade by
the federal government in states that choose to set up their own healthcare
exchanges, something that the majority of states have opted not to do.
The Obama administration argues, of course, that the subsidies are intended
for everyone. So, as the Supreme Court hears a case affecting more than 6
million people and many states around the country. And most people cannot
see it or hear about it until now.
The Supreme Court releases audio tapes at the end of the week after
proceedings occur. So, brand new this morning, we have for you audio from
inside the Supreme Court and some of our first glimpses into just how the
justices may be thinking as they approach the ruling in this case.
And to help us guide through what we have here, we have Dahlia Lithwick, a
legal correspondent for "Slate." She joins us this morning.
So, Dahlia, thanks for taking a few minutes this morning. So, I want to
get to some of these clips. One of them you wrote about this week. And
this is from the questioning of Justice Anthony Kennedy, Anthony Kennedy
usually seen one of the swing vote in this one. The one who`s gong to
decide where this goes.
Let me play his questioning on this and ask for your reaction to why it`s
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY, U.S. SUPREME COURT: From the standpoint of the
dynamic of federalism, it does seem to me that there is something very
powerful to the point, that if your argument is accepted, the states are
being told either create your own exchange or we`ll send you insurance
market into a death spiral. We`ll have people pay mandated taxes, which
will not get any credit on the subsidies, cost of insurance will be sky
high, but this is not coercion.
It seems to me that under your argument, perhaps you will prevail in the
plain words of the statute, there is a serious constitutional problem if we
adopt your argument.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. Dahlia, my legal experience consists of watching
"L.A. Law" repeats eight years ago. So, try if you could, just break this
down in layman`s terms so I can understand the significance of that moment.
DAHLIA LITHWICK, SALON: OK, can I start by thanking you for your mini-rant
about not being able to hear the audio, because it`s maddening. Thank you
for playing it.
This really becomes, I think, the linchpin of the argument. It`s the
moment everybody in the room goes -- first of all, Anthony Kennedy did not
seem to be in play. We saw he wrote the decent in the last Obamacare in
2012. He was ready to strike down the entire statute.
So, going into argument, folks didn`t think Kennedy was going to be
undecided. Folks thought he was going to vote with the conservatives to do
whatever he could to gut the statute. So, this is important because it
shows Kennedy is thinking hard, but also just on the merits, this is an
argument, this is a state`s right, quote, "federalism" argument that was
not made in the briefs. It was made in a supplemental, the amicus briefs
that was made on the press. The argument was, hey, there is a state`s
rights problem with the petitioner`s argument because you cannot give the
states billions of dollars in tax subsidies and then yank them away without
And so, this goes back to long history of these federal state cooperative
programs where the federal government is never allowed to kind of jerk the
states around in exactly the way you heard Kennedy say where either you
create an exchange or we send you into a death spiral was his language.
This argument is the sleeper argument in a case that`s otherwise just about
the text, four words in the text of this 900-page statute.
And everything turned suddenly when Justice Kennedy says, "I think there`s
a states rights problem." And I should add that the oral advocate says
that`s not in the briefs. Kennedy said we`re allowed to think about thinks
that are not in the brief.
So, suddenly, it looks like Kennedy may vote, again, be careful, may vote
with the liberal wing to say I`m going to uphold the statute.
KORNACKI: That is very interesting. Let me play another clip here now.
This is from Antonin Scalia. I think we all can guess pretty well, where
Antonin Scalia is going to come down on this. But he is talking about, so
he was starting to get into this issue right here, the idea that, hey, if
the ruling went with the plaintiffs here, the people opposing Obamacare, if
the subsidies were taken away, the implications of that and how that.
Let`s listen to Scalia on that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, U.S. SUPREME COURT: What about Congress? Do you
really think Congress is going to sit there while all of these disastrous
consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision,
such as the bankruptcy court decision, Congress adjusts and enacts a
statute that takes care of the problem? It happens all the time. Why is
that not going to happen here?
DON VERRILLI, SOLICITOR GENERAL: This Congress, your Honor, I -- of
course, theoretically --
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Dahlia, it seems like a pretty good rebuttal to me. This
Congress doesn`t do anything. It barely kept the government open.
Does that response, does that carry any water, though?
LITHWICK: Well, first of all, it`s a great moment because you can hear
people in the chamber laughing, including members of Congress sitting in
the front row and gallery, Nancy Pelosi laughing when he says this
Congress? So, it`s clear everybody in the room says, good luck with that,
Justice Scalia, whole Congress can fix it.
But what I think is important that underlies that question is that both
Justice Scalia and also in the argument, Sam Alito who are signing with the
petitioners here ready to say no subsidies to the states that don`t create
exchanges, 34 states, both of them acknowledge, holy cow, this is going to
create a crisis. They both use the language of crisis, disaster.
I think it`s so important that nobody in the room, none of the justices
including those willing to side with the petitioners think this is going to
be anything but a crisis if they side with the petitioners.
So, I read that two ways. I read it, one, Justice Scalia making the
fatuous argument that Congress will fix it, this Congress that can`t even
fund DHS. But more importantly, just acknowledging that the implications,
the real world implications of taking away the tax subsidies are enormous.
KORNACKI: We only have a few seconds. Let me ask the panel.
Does anyone think if the ruling goes against the people fighting Obamacare
here, that this finally ends it and this is settled and this is the law,
and there`s no more votes to repeal and people work within the framework?
CORN: There will be votes to appeal on the House side. They`ll keep doing
this until kingdom come.
But the interesting is, this is a fragile flimsy argument. It was ginned
up by a libertarian think tank. The question is I think if they come up
with something more flimsy or not.
STEELE: I think it`s a legitimate argument. Four words, four words, and
the court has an array of approaches it can take, not just looking
exclusively at those four words, that there is Congressional intent,
there`s a whole bunch of other --
STEELE: No, we don`t.
CORN: We don`t.
STEELE: It`s all over the map. Nancy Pelosi --
KORNACKI: All right. All right. Justices Corn and Steele, I`m going to
let you settle this with your final thought.
STEELE: At the end of the day, this is not the end of this. There will be
more, I think, the court will affirm its initial take on Obamacare and
Congress will do what Congress will do.
KORNACKI: All right. Jess, quickly.
TAYLOR: I mean, I think another person to watch, I was struck by how much
Chief Justice Roberts barely spoke in this. It`s very unlike him. He had
a lot of blow back on the last argument when he sided with the majority.
So, it will be interesting to see how he goes. We got very few clues into
But I agree with them. I mean, this isn`t going to be the end of it. But
we are seeing more Republicans put out plans that I think will be
KORNACKI: All right. Five years after its passed, we`ve got some rival
Anyway, Dahlia Lithwick from "Slate" -- thank you for joining us this
morning. Really appreciate the insight. Thanks a lot.
Still ahead, we have a new development in the investigation of who murdered
Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
And next, we`ve got a live report from Selma. So, stay with us.
KORNACKI: We are just a couple of hours away now from President Obama`s
remarks in Selma, Alabama. Sure to be a forceful speech about where civil
rights in America stand today, where they come from, where they`re headed.
It was back on this date back in 1965, 50 years ago today, that the city of
Selma became synonymous with civil rights. It`s when police beat peaceful
protesters and shock the nation was shocked in what has come to be known as
One week and one day after those fateful events, the president of the
United States addressed the crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT: At times, history and fate meet at a
single time, in a single place, to shape a turning point in man`s unending
search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So, it was a
century ago at Appomattox. So, it was last week in Selma, Alabama.
But, really, it`s all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of
bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Those words from Lyndon Johnson, "we shall overcome" echoing the
demonstrators on the streets. It was a watershed moment for the voting
It was not the end, however. President Johnson received applause for that
line, but it was nowhere near unanimous. It would be more than two months
before the Southern filibuster was finally broken in the Senate, nearly
five months before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law. But
what happened in Selma moved President Johnson to words and actions.
And now, 50 years later, a very different president leading a nation still
battling with discrimination, he`s going to go to Selma and speak today.
We`ve already talked this morning about what President Obama`s Justice
Department had to say about the pattern of discrimination in Ferguson,
But what might President Obama say about that in Selma? What can he say
that will make an impact and lead to concrete actions?
I`m joined now from Selma by MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee, along
with Alvin Tillery, an associate professor of political science at
Northwestern University, and Princeton University professor, Julian
Zelizer, he`s the author of the book "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon
Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society".
So, Julian, let me start with you, just to sort of place what happened in
today`s commemoration in some context. So, looking back 50 years ago, you
had Bloody Sunday in Selma, then about a week later, President Johnson
addresses Congress in the wake of that. What effect did those words we
just listened have in the national political debate and what happened next?
JULIAN ZELIZER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: It was a huge speech, Lyndon
Johnson, put some context on the march in Selma. Most importantly, when he
ended the speech by saying, "we shall overcome", he used the language of
the civil rights movement and embraced it as his own.
It was a powerful speech and had a big impact on both parties. The bill
was pretty much in place, but it would take several months to pass. In the
Senate there would be another filibuster against the voting rights bill.
And the other problem is many liberals, including Ted Kennedy, wanted the
legislation to be even bolder. So, in some ways, Johnson would have to
push back against some of those demands.
By August, the bill would be signed and it was a huge moment in the history
of civil rights.
KORNACKI: And now, Alvin, the news, of course, in the last couple of years
has been that the Voting Rights Act first passed in 1965 extended a couple
times since then. The Supreme Court struck down key provisions in that in
the last few years and not at all of that Voting Rights Act now still
When you look at the president of the United States now going to Selma
today to commemorate 50 years. What is it you would like to president to
say today? What can he say today?
ALVIN B. TILLERY, JR., NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Well, Steve, I think this
gives President Obama great opportunity to use the last two years of his
term, the lame duck phase, to really move into high gear on sylph rights
policy and preserving the legacy of the Great Society.
President Obama is an extraordinary president. He is by far deserving of
an A-minus rating in terms of his handling of the macro economy coming out
of the Great Recession.
In terms of civil rights policy, I think I would rate him in the B range,
largely because his rhetoric has been so clearly focused around the
symbolic representations of African-Americans and his own sort of skin as a
black man leaving these moments of racialized politics in America. But in
terms of putting meat on the stable, for policies to preserve this legacy,
we haven`t really seen much of a real initiative.
The DOJ report in Ferguson, this commemorative march gave President Obama
the opportunity to do what many of us believe is in his heart, which is to
really deliver these policies and preserve them, for, you know, not only
African-Americans who are his core constituency, but the American people.
KORNACKI: Well, Trymaine, on the ground in Selma, I mean, there question
of policy, but there is symbolism. Symbolism can be powerful. I wonder
that scene that is going to play out later today, 50 years after Bloody
Sunday, where the first black president of the United States is going to
walk, John Lewis, the Congressman who was beaten nearly to death 50 years
ago, that he`s going to walk with them, the first black president of the
United States crossing that bridge on the 50th anniversary, that is
LEE: That is right. The symbolism couldn`t be more appropriate when you
think 50 years ago protesters were bloodied and beaten on that bridge where
President Obama will speak. Now, the Congressional delegation I believe
are just pulling up in their buses.
But I spoke to a young man named Billy Ingram (ph) just 10 minutes ago, and
he spoke of his family growing up in Marion and in Selma, and of all the
stories they heard of people being killed and beaten.
Remember, Jamie Lee Jackson`s death kind of sparked this whole thing. And
he kept saying I can`t believe President Obama will be here in Selma. So,
how appropriate is it that 50 years later, with so many bridges we`ve
crossed socially, economically in so many ways that the president is here.
Now, when you`re talking to folks on the ground, it`s hard to find anyone
whose family hasn`t been impacted or wasn`t involved in Bloody Sunday or
the subsequent marches. So, regardless of the policy, there are serious
policy questions about how we actually, you know, heal and continue to heal
all the wounds that black Americans are suffering and that`s a valid point,
but for folks on the ground whose families participated in so many hard
fought victories, so many bloody losses, to have that black man, the first
African-American president of the United States here in Selma, they
couldn`t ask for anything more.
KORNACKI: All right. As we say, MSNBC is going to have live coverage
throughout the day, and certainly, the president`s address there today.
So, please stay tuned for that.
My thanks for right now to MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee, Alvin Bernard Tillery with
Northwestern University, to Julian Zelizer from Princeton -- appreciate you
all joining us.
And as we say, we will have the remarks this afternoon. The president of
the United States on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday speaking in
Also tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., MSNBC will have a special show commemorating
that 50th anniversary. You will not want to miss that.
Coming up, the Clintons picked to head up their charitable foundation.
She`s a familiar face to any Clinton watcher.
Stay with us. We`ll tell you who she is.
KORNACKI: All right. Time to spring forward. Set your clocks ahead
We get caught up on some of the other headlines making news with today`s
panel, back with another catching up. They give me the index cards. We`ve
got big headlines on them.
We talk about them. I like how this works.
So, here we go, this is in every newspaper today, Daylight Savings Time.
By the way, that is tonight. You lose an hour of sleep. This is the one
where at 2:00 a.m., you have to move it forward by an hour, and then it
lasts until November 1st. And I still don`t know why we do this.
TAYLOR: I don`t know.
STEELE: It`s all farmers. It`s all the farmers.
TAYLOR: I love it in the fall, with the election, I need that extra hour
of sleep with the election. This time --
KORANACKI: Snow day in the middle of winter.
STEELE: If Congress would leave when we spring forward. Congress should
leave it there permanently. Let`s move on and get out of this crazy --
KORNACKI: Lean forward, spring forward, I`m with you, Michael.
KORNACKI: What else do we got here? "The Wall Street Journal", here`s the
headline this morning, Donna Shalala to lead the Clinton Foundation. She
was the health and human services secretary of the `90s under Bill Clinton,
been running the University of Miami since then, and now, she`s going to
take over as the head of the Clinton Foundation. So, sort of an old
loyalist moving back into the fold for 2016.
What else do we have? What about this? ESPN, sports news this morning.
NCAA penalizes Syracuse in Boeheim. This is huge if you follow sports.
The NCAA yesterday suspended a hall of fame coach, nine ACC games, half the
ACC season, took away 12 scholarships from the program, ordered 108 wins of
the coach, his near 1,000 of them now, 108 of them be vacated. This is an
investigation that`s basically lasted for a decade. It goes back to stuff
that happened as far back as 2003, massive, massive stuff, about drug
testing policy, impermissible booster activity, academic misconduct.
Corruption in college sports?
CORN: We think that the NCA is a bit of racket, and not an educational
athletic institution. It`s not surprising this is happening. But I think,
you know, I`d like to see an investigation that`s wider and that guys
actually get paid for the money they make.
KORNACKI: I think we`re going to cut in right here I`m being told we have
live pictures coming in in Selma. This is the Congressional delegation
arriving in buses carrying members of Congress to today`s 50th anniversary
of Bloody Sunday. Arriving now on the scene in Selma.
You see in the background there, if you can make out any of the who`s who
there. I can`t from this vantage point. Those are members of Congress.
STEELE: If I could say in looking at this shot, how sad and disappointing
there is no member of the Republican leadership that is there.
TAYLOR: McCarthy is.
STEELE: Good. Thank you.
KORNACKI: The number two Republican in the house.
STEELE: Had to be shamed into going.
KORNACKI: There he is right there. That is Kevin McCarthy you`re looking
at on right side of your shot there, the number two Republican on the
House, who did make the trip to Selma, at the last minute. It wasn`t until
yesterday afternoon --
STEELE: Well, I thank Chris Cillizza for blowing that up and making it
noteworthy. Before, the noise yesterday afternoon, there was no one
planning to be there.
KORNACKI: Actually, Eric Cantor had been playing that role for Republicans
in the last few years. Eric Cantor had come to these commemorations
CORN: They forgot he`s not there.
TAYLOR: With everything that`s going on, he said he`ll go in the future.
I mean, this is the big 50th commemoration. This would have put a lot of
this to rest, I mean, you know, if he`d have gone. I think it should be a
bipartisan issue I think.
KORNACKI: And the question, too, is when these buses leave, when the
commemoration ends, there is still, you know, attempts being made mostly by
Democrats, and some Republicans, like Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin signed
to patch up the Voting Rights Act --
STEELE: They need to. Republicans should take the lead on this. We were
there in crafting the Voting Rights Act back in the 60s. We were part of
that narrative. We should be a part of it now.
CORN: There`s no interest in the party or base of the party for this.
STEELE: There`s no interest in either party right now, because I don`t see
CORN: They would do this in a minute.
STEELE: Well, you know, put the bill on the floor (INAUDIBLE) I don`t want
to make this partisan because it isn`t.
The reality of it is, both parties have failed to move this particular
agenda. And so, it`s a little bit of hypocrisy to go standing there.
Let me just make my point, I don`t care if you agree or disagree with. The
point is, there`s a little bit of a hypocrisy to go there and to stand
there when you know the link between the Pettus Bridge, the Voting Rights
Act and where we are today, and not have done anything in the last two
years to address that by either party, period.
So, I`m not making a partisan statement. I`m saying this is an important
act that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, people have moved enough to
come back and do something.
KORNACKI: Well, I mean, look -- since we`re talking history here, we`re
talking the 50th anniversary, I mean, it is -- when you go back and revisit
the civil rights votes, the key civil rights votes in the `60s, there was
opposition from Democrats. There were white Southern Democrats. Otherwise
you went across the board and you had liberal Democrats in the Northeast,
conservative Republicans in the Midwest. They shared the value, they came
TAYLOR: Yes, if you haven`t seen the movie, go see it. It puts a striking
face on it and how brutal this was. It`s a very, very moving. I saw it a
couple weeks ago with my parents who graduated in 19 6 5. It was great to
talk with them about what they remembered during that time. Talk with your
parents and grandparents about this.
CORN: It would be great if the Republicans would stop trying to suppress
the votes before we get to patching up the Voting Rights Act.
STEELE: It`s part of the same narrative. So, you know, at the end of the
day, for me, I don`t see this as partisan through that prism. I see this
as a civil rights issue. If you`re going to talk the talk, you need to
walk the walk like those folks did across the bridge.
KORNACKI: Well, it`s not just members of Congress who are arriving on the
scene in Selma today. Also, Melissa Harris-Perry, host of the show right
after this. She is live on the ground in Selma. She is going to be with
us on the other side of this break to tell us about what she`s seeing
KORNACKI: Protests erupted overnight in Wisconsin after police in the city
of Madison shot and killed an African-American man. Police say the man
attacked an officer. During that fight, police say the officer shot the
man, who they have now identified as 19-year-old Tony Robinson. We expect
police to release more details about the incident later today.
Stay with MSNBC and MSNBC.com throughout the day for updates. We`re going
to return to Selma and to Melissa Harris-Perry right after this.
KORNACKI: A quick programming note. Today at 12:00 noon Eastern Time,
Ronan Farrow is going to sit down with Judd Apatow, John Mayer and Carol
King, to talk about what it means to be a genius.
This is the final act of MSNBC`s Seven Days of Genius Festival. It`s a
project between MSNBC and the 90 Second Street Y here in New York. It
should be a fascinating conversation. You`re not going to want to miss
that, again 12:00 noon Eastern today.
Also, for more on everything we`re looking forward to today, a busy and
important day in Selma, Alabama, including Obama`s speech just a few hours
Now, we head down to Selma, where MSNBC`s Melissa Harris-Perry is standing
by live. In fact, her entire show originating from Selma this morning.
So, Melissa, we just saw the members of Congress being bussed in a minute
ago. A last-minute addition, Kevin McCarthy there, too.
Just set the scene for us and what are you expecting today?
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Look, this is a day that in many ways is
-- I heard the panel was having a discussion about whether or not this is
fundamental a partisan issue. Importantly this is an American moment.
This is about both where our country has been, but also where we are right
So what I would absolutely agree with the panel from earlier is this is not
just a commemorative march. This is not just about something that happened
50 years ago and the courage and the importance of what occurred in that
This is very much an active march in this moment for the question of the
preservation of voting rights and whether or not we`re going to allow
access to the ballot to be eroded.
And I think it`s also important to recognize all this is happening against
a backdrop of the Ferguson report this week in which we have clear
indication about the continuing realities of inequality in this country.
So, I think it will be, people call it a jubilee. It is a celebration of
what has been accomplished, but also a sober and American moment about what
kind of nation we want to be going forward.
KORNACKI: All right. Melissa Harris-Perry, she is live in Selma. She
will be live all day and especially for the next two hours. Her show is
coming up right after this. Thanks for joining us this morning, Melissa.
Also, thanks to our panel for being part of the show today. Appreciate
Make sure to stay tuned for "MHP" next.
Plus, an MSNBC special commemorating the entire Selma event is going to air
tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Stay tuned throughout the day,
throughout the weekend. We`ll see you back here tomorrow morning. Thanks
for joining us.
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: