'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, March 29th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: March 29, 2015
Guest: Jim Shella, Jessica Taylor, Robert George, Rick Ungar, James
Jeffrey, Barney Frank, Mallory Kievman, Tiye Garrett-Mills, Bill Nye, Ted
Kennedy Jr., Michael Shnayerson
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: The battle over religious freedom and
equality moves to center court.
All right. Good morning to you. Thanks for getting up with us this final
Sunday morning of March. If you`re a little blurry-eyed this morning then
it might be because like me you stayed up a little bit past your bedtime
last night watching the dramatic NCAA tournament game between Kentucky and
Notre Dame with the Irish falling just short, heartbreakingly short,
agonizingly short of an upset for the ages with Kentucky earning a trip to
the final four, keeping its dreams of a perfect 40-0 season alive barely.
It was an incredible game to watch. It also, though, came against the
backdrop of growing controversy with calls on the NCAA to move that final
four next weekend out of the city of Indianapolis, out of the state of
Indiana, this after that state enacted the so-called religious freedom law
this week that critics say could open the door to widespread discrimination
against gays and lesbians. And now, this morning, Indiana`s Republican
governor who signed that law may - may be backtracking. We`ll have all the
latest on that in just a minute. So, it`s also exactly the kind of story
we love to get former congressman Barney Frank`s opinion about. And this
morning we`re going to be able to do just that, the always outspoken,
always interesting former congressman from Massachusetts, particularly so
this week, will be joining us later in this show. Look forward to speaking
with him not only about Indiana, but about his new book. All of this
week`s political developments. We will interview him later in the show.
Very excited about that.
We`ll also be turning our attention overseas to the latest details we`ve
been learning about the German pilot who prosecutors say crashed that
Airbus into the French Alps on purpose. Every revelation seems to bring
with it more questions than answers. And we`re going to try to tackle some
of those questions ahead. And also this morning, Senator Ted Kennedy`s
legacy being celebrated this weekend with a remarkable new institute in his
name honoring both the Senator and the Senate. It`s actually opening
tomorrow. We`re going to sneak peek inside that Senate a little later this
morning, with the senator`s son, Ted Kennedy Jr.
And for our money, the White House science fair, one of the most
entertaining events held by the White House every year. Two of the very
smart young women who came up with science projects so spectacular they
earned them invitations to the White House. They`ll be here on the set to
walk me and Bill Nye the Science Guy through their works. Some very
interesting stuff. Very excited about that.
But we begin this morning at that intersection of politics and sports in
controversy, thousands taking to the streets of Indianapolis this weekend
to protest that religious freedom law that Indiana Governor Mike Pence
signed on Thursday. It`s a measure that critics say could allow
discrimination against gays and lesbians and those critics include some
powerful business leaders. The response has been fierce with threats to
cut their ties with the state in response to the law, potentially costing
Indiana jobs and badly needed tax revenue. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce
saying that the law is bringing unwanted attention to the state. The CEO
of Yelp vowing not to create, maintain or expand Yelp`s presence in
Indiana. A tech company called sales force canceling expansion plans in
the state. Angie`s list also saying it won`t be adding a $40 million
expansion to headquarters in Indianapolis. Eli Lilly, the drug giant based
in Indianapolis, saying the law makes it harder to recruit employees to
move into the state. The openly gay CEO of Apple Tim Cook tweeting that
he`s profoundly disappointed with the law, also asking that a similar law -
a bill that`s now headed to the governor`s desk in Arkansas be vetoed by
that state`s governor. Even the mayor of Faraway Seattle, Washington,
weighing in on all of this with a ban on city funded travel to Indiana,
this in response to the law and all of this coming with Indianapolis set to
take center stage in the sports world, the city hosting the final four the
next weekend, the culmination of the NCAA basketball tournament of March
Of all these brackets you`ve been filling out and pulling your hairs out
over the last few weeks, the two teams will join Wisconsin and Kentucky,
will be known by the end of today. And the final four, of course, it means
big bucks for Indianapolis, so does the NCAA itself. The organization is
headquartered in that city. So is the big ten conference for that matter.
Also, next year, the women`s final four set to take place in Indianapolis.
But now there are calls for the NCAA to move its signature event out of
this city, and out of the state, maybe to move itself out of the state as
well. The NCAA`s president saying in the statement that the league is
"especially concerned about how this legislation could affect their student
athletes and employees, adding that the NCAA will "work diligently to
ensure that players and visitors at next weekend`s final four won`t be
discriminated against. And promising to examine how the low might affect
NCAA employees in Indiana. And big sporting events have been moved before
because of controversy. A couple of decades ago, in 1993, the NFL stripped
Arizona of the Super Bowl because that state rejected a Martin Luther King
holiday. Fast forward it 20 years later, with Arizona set the host, the
2014 Super Bowl, a similar religious freedom bill landed on Republican
Governor Jan Brewer`s desk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAN BREWER: The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and
negative consequences. After weighing all of the arguments, I have vetoed
Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Jan Brewer last year, vetoing that religious freedom
bill in Arizona, and making - perhaps keeping the Super Bowl in her state
by doing that. Mike Pence, Indiana`s Republican governor, a potential
presidential candidate, making a different decision this week, but now this
morning faced with a fierce backlash he didn`t see coming there are signs
that he may, may be backtracking. In an interview with "The Indianapolis
Star," Pence says that he supports more legislation to "clarify the intent
of the controversial new law." So, what now? Will intense pressure from
the business community force Pence and his allies to gut the law that they
just passed or will they hold their ground, and if they do, what will the
cost be for the state of Indiana?
Here now from Indianapolis, Jim Shella of "Political Reporter" at the local
station, WISH-TV, as well as host to the program "Indiana Week in Review"
as well as this week`s - this morning - we have Rick Ungar, senior
political contributor with "Forbes" magazine, and a co-host of Sirius XM`s
"Steel & Ungar." Jessica Taylor, campaign editor at "The Hill, " and
Robert George, editorial writer with "The New York Post."
Well, let me start on the ground with Jim Shella in Indianapolis. So, Jim,
we have the governor giving an interview to "The Indianapolis Star" saying
that he now supports some kind of legislative effort to clarify this. He
was asked specifically in this interview. I think we can put this up on
the screen. He was asked would that legislation potentially include making
LGBT people a protected class. His response to that, that`s not on my
agenda. Do we have any sense what form this clarification might take?
JIM SHELLA, HOST, "INDIANA WEEK IN REVIEW": Good morning, Steve. What I
would look for is legislation that would say that this religious freedom
bill does not supersede local ordinances. Here in Indianapolis there is a
nondiscrimination ordinance in place, and city leaders believe that the
religious freedom bill trumps it. If the legislature passes legislation
that makes it clear that that`s not the case, it looks like the governor
thinks that will solve his problem.
KORNACKI: Now, it would. Because - just initial reaction that is, so that
creates a situation where may be Indianapolis and some other parts of the
state would then have protections for LGBT people, but other municipalities
in the state wouldn`t. Would that satisfy the critics here, do you think?
SHELLA: Not necessarily. What it would do is encourage municipalities to
pass their own ordinance. The only other apparent fix, the one that
opponents of this bill have called for is to amend the state`s civil rights
code to mention sexual orientation. That was attempted in the Indiana
House of Representatives. There was an amendment offer to the Religious
Freedom Bill that would do that. offered. It was voted down. And the
governor on Thursday said that`s not part of his agenda.
KORNACKI: So, tell us a little bit. Take a step back here, maybe about
how we got to this moment, because I didn`t - nationally, we all just sort
of looked up, you know, and said, wow, didn`t see this one coming. Was it
sort of under the radar in Indiana too?
SHELLA: It was under the radar for a good portion of the Indiana General
Assembly. In fact, it wasn`t filed at the beginning of the session. It`s
legislation that was put into a vehicle bill in the state senate and it`s
not part of the governor`s agenda.
KORNACKI: And what about Pence himself, a lot of talk that he has interest
in running for president potentially, somebody with nationally ambitions.
Does that fit into his decision-making here, do you think?
SHELLA: I don`t know that it does. The governor, I think, is fairly
described as an ideologue. And this fits his ideology. As I said, it
wasn`t part of his agenda, but it does fit his world view.
KORNACKI: All right. Jim Shella, a political reporter from WISH-TV in
Indianapolis. Thanks for the time this morning. Really appreciate it.
And let me bring the panel in here. Let`s just - let`s talk about this
one. So, guys, as I said in the interview there, I feel like this just
sort of snuck up on everybody and now this has become one of those things -
I think Pence wasn`t even anticipating the backlash. He`s caught in a
particularly tough position here, because this is a guy with strong ties to
sort of the social conservatives, he`s done something they really like
here, and now the business community, another sort of big pressure group on
the Republican side giving him different indications. What does he do
JESSICA TAYLOR, THE HILL: Well, I think it was interesting that he didn`t
hold some sort of ceremony for this, he sort of signed it in private, he
wasn`t trying to sort of trumpet it. I think he really is kind of stuck in
between these two competing pressures, and obviously you have this sort of
confluence of events with the NCAA tournament coming there. I think that`s
why you`re seeing this pressure from business groups and things, too, and I
think, what sounds like the law is, that it is kind of - it`s not very well
defined, that it`s sort of unclear exactly what kind of -- what kind of
things that this would set out and stop too. But, you know, I would point
out, too. I mean these is - these types of laws are nothing new.
"Washington Post" had an article yesterday, these are in place in 19 other
states. There`s a national law, too, that President Clinton even signed
himself, too. So I think it`s just - you know ...
KORNACKI: So, where is the outrage on this particularly and not in other
RICK UNGAR, FORBES: I`ll tell you what he did that I think he thought
would be clever, and it didn`t work out that way. The way this bill is
crafted, it`s really an affirmative defense in a lawsuit, which means that
if you get sued because somebody says you discriminated against him, and
you could raise this as an affirmative defense and get it off the hook. By
setting it up that way, it becomes something that most people, they
thought, wouldn`t really follow. It`s technical, and yet it didn`t turn
out that way and now you`re about to see it goes through Arkansas. It`s
already passed the Senate there Friday. No doubt will pass the House and
now you`re seeing it bubbling in Georgia. So - that got in a weird place.
KORNACKI: That`s the thing, though. Robert, when I look at the reaction
from businesses community, from cooperation, from Eli Lilly, huge employer,
drug company, I mean we are talking a lot in these cases, these are not
liberal interest groups. These are in many cases donors on the Republican
side. More the point it means jobs for the state. It seems to me in these
situations when there`s such widespread sort of corporate outrage, it`s not
ROBERT GEORGE, NEW YORK POST: Right. And the question is how Mike Pence
couldn`t have seen this coming is the real question. Because you`re right.
He does have strong roots with social conservatives, but when he was in the
House was seen as, you know, as a business, you know, tax guy, spending
guy, things like that. So, he would - you figure he would have these
connections. And the thing is, the fact is the corporations, businesses
have been so far ahead of these kind of LGBT kinds of issues, I mean
corporations have had domestic partnership things for like, you know, 20-
some years in many cases. So it`s really surprising that the governor
wouldn`t have seen this kind of a pushback coming.
KORNACKI: We have played a clip here. This was a weekend update. If you
weren`t staying up late watching the basketball game, you might have been
watching "SNL" last night and they had a little rift on the Indiana
situation. Let`s play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll be able to tell which stores are supporting the
new law because they`ll have these helpful little signs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I mean it`s true. A lot of these stores you think will face a
big backlash. It`s just a bottom line - but as you were saying a minute
ago, I mean it feels to me, like this is something we have seen in other
states, we`ll see in other states going forward. This is almost like going
to be a litmus test that elements of the rights or the social conservative
right insist on.
UNGAR: And it`s so complicated. You know, this appear on the surface to
be something very easy. It`s discriminatory. We don`t like it. But then
ask yourself the question. Let`s say somebody comes into your bakery and
they say we`re having a Nazi White Power rally next week, we`d like you to
bake the cake, and by the way, we want chocolate swastikas all over the
cake. I think I`ll probably say no to that. Now, where`s the difference
and why am I allowed to do that, if somebody isn`t allowed to say no to a
gay couple who is getting married and they want a wedding cake? It`s
KORNACKI: So, you think there is a little bit of ...
UNGAR: You know, what I really think? I would hate to be the judge on the
court that has to sort this out and this is where it`s going to go.
GEORGE: And for quite a while there has been this kind of a debate whether
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is precisely the same as
discrimination on the case of race. I mean there are divisions even within
the African-American community, as to whether - whether these are parallel
or whether because of the way religion forms people`s views on appropriate
relationships and so force, whether there`s a real distinction. And Rick
is quite right. This is a kind of - this is a really kind of a difficult
kind of thing and it could very well end up, you know, eventually, in the
KORNACKI: You know, it also feels to me like, I mean, that`s an
interesting like hypothetically you raise there. It does have me thinking.
At the same time, the intent of this one seems clear. The origins of this
seem clear. And it seems like, this is the next phase in the culture wars.
We`re always talking about. And so now, this is the new front, that the
sort of - the religious conservatives, social conservatives, whatever you
want to call them, have opened up. This is what they expect to see. And
then in response on the gay rights side they need to knock these things off
the books as they come out, and - it`s just this tug of war to see who has
sort of supremacy.
TAYLOR: Well, I think you`re going to see more of these questions being
raised after we get a Supreme Court decision this summer that very well
could sort of legalize gay marriage nationwide and so I think that it`s
going to open up those questions. You think you could see them revisiting
sort of the federal standards and what that means. And - as the Indiana
reporter mentioned, what sort of supersedes, is it the local law, is it the
federal law, is it the state law and things, too. I mean I think Rick`s
right that the -- I think we`re going to see this in the courts and we
could see a lot of sort of competing different standards.
UNGAR: I also wonder how it works practically. You know, the only thing
you can actually tell about somebody when they walk into your place of
business, are they black, or are they white. Because you can see that.
Beyond that how can do you know if somebody is gay or somebody is this or
somebody is that?
KORNACKI: In the context of these things, usually, I always use the
wedding cakes, right?
KORNACKI: You go into a bakery and then they can figure out.
And I guess maybe if the manager ...
GEORGE: Or, you know, do you want to have male statues on top of the cake,
you know, as opposed to a male and female?
UNGAR: You can pull them, though, if you wanted to, just ask for the
female and male and switch it later.
UNGAR: Look for a "Rich guy - how to live under the Indiana law" coming to
Amazon pretty soon anyway.
KORNACKI: It`s final four the next week. It`s too late for the NCAA to
move that. But a lot of big decision - but still ahead, Barney Frank will
be here to weigh in on what`s happening in Indiana, probably everything
else that`s happened this week in news and politics.
But first, new developments overnight in Yemen and those nuclear talks with
Iran and how the White House is reacting. That is next.
KORNACKI: As we speak this morning, the White House is dealing with two
crises that threaten to further destabilize the Middle East with the clock
ticking on the deal to halt Iran`s nuclear program. Secretary of State
John Kerry has changed his plans in order to stay in Switzerland for more
negotiations. At the same time Arab leaders are warning that airstrikes in
Yemen will go on until the rebels believed to be backed by Iran, until
these rebels surrender. For more on why Kerry is sticking around in
Switzerland, how the White House is juggling these developments, NBC
Kristen Welker joins us now live from the North Lawn. So, a lot of sort of
uncertainty there, Kristen. How is the White House looking at this?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Steve, good morning. I think
they`re looking at this with that Tuesday deadline looming. They are
pressured, actually, get a deal couldn`t be greater. As you pointed out,
Secretary of State John Kerry changing his plans. He canceled his plans to
attend in Nevada the Kennedy Center in honor of his longtime Senate
colleague Edward Kennedy to continue those talks in Switzerland. So that
gives you a sense of just how important this is. U.S. officials are
signaling that they`re getting closer to reaching a deal and that there are
reports this morning that Iran has accepted terms that would essentially
limit the machines it could use to enrich uranium to about 6,000. Now, one
of the largest sticking points continues to revolve around sanctions. Iran
wants it lifted immediately, wants a deal as in place. But the U.S. and
its European allies are not going to agree to that. They`re saying
sanctions should only be phased out over time and only when it`s clear that
Iran is actually adhering to the terms of whatever deal is in place.
Now, recently re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is openly
expressing concerns about the deal that`s coming together, he thinks the
U.S. is being too lenient, arguing Iran is just months away from building a
nuclear bomb and that they shouldn`t be allowed to have any machines to
enrich uranium. This is all happening against that very complicated
backdrop that you mentioned in the Middle East right now. The United
States is aiding Saudi Arabia as it launches those airstrikes in Yemen
against Houthi rebels who drove out the president and who are backed by
Iran. Now, Yemen is really a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran with
Saudi Arabia concerned that Iran is going to encroach on its territory and
its oil and gas interests in the region. Senior administration officials
insist that what is happening right now in Yemen is not going to undercut
the talks about Iran, but I`m also told that it has been a topic of
conversation on the sidelines.
It`s really important also to stress that what Secretary Kerry is trying to
negotiate for Tuesday is a political agreement to reach a deal. In other
words, the actual deadline for a deal isn`t until June. So the White House
says, Tuesday is critical. And Steve, I`m told that they have no plans to
extend this initial deadline. Steve, back to you.
KORNACKI: All right, thanks as always. NBC`s Kristen Welker live at the
White House. I appreciate that.
Still ahead, as we just reported, Secretary of State John Kerry sticking
around in Switzerland to deal with those Iran nuclear talks as that Tuesday
deadline looms. We`re following all of the developing news happening now
over there. Updates as they become available.
First up, though, Jeb Bush`s first quarter campaign chest is expected to
shatter all fundraising records. But will the cash alone be enough to get
him the nomination? It may not. We`re going to take you through the
numbers. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Big news from the world of presidential campaign money to report
to you tonight. Political pros call this early fundraising part of it the
first primary. Well, tonight we have a winner. George W. Bush stunned
everybody by disclosing he has raised $36.2 million in the first six months
of this year. That smashes all previous standing records.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was 16 years ago. That is a dramatic illustration of the
role in the power. Like it or not that money plays in choosing who the
next president will be. That was the summer of 1999, and it was that news,
that revelation that you just heard there that really catapulted George W.
Bush on his way to the White House. It was the end of the second quarter,
the second set of three months, basically halfway through the year in 1999.
And these were the kinds of numbers we were talking about. George W. Bush
raising $37 million. His next closest Republican rival Steve Forbes who
had a lot of his own money back there - so this was shocking when this
happens. It caused a lot of Republicans, a lot of people in the media,
people in politics in general to look at George W. Bush and say, well, this
guy is the overwhelming frontrunner, the overwhelming favorite. He got a
lot of endorsements, he got a lot more money because of it. It`s really
the reason he went on to win the nomination a year later.
It`s what happened in 1999. So, that`s the thing we wanted to look at
right now, how the early money could affect what ends up happening next
year in the presidential race? You see this is the example from 1999, how
George W. Bush really sort of cornered the market on Republicans very
early. You go eight years later on the Democratic side. Here`s another
illustration. The first quarter, the first three months, January,
February, March, of 2007, a full year before they were actually running in
primaries against each other. Hillary Clinton running against Barack
Obama. She did very well. She raised $36 million. But look at this.
Barack Obama reported nearly $26 million. This was a major event in that
race, because it proved to people that Barack Obama was a serious threat to
Hillary Clinton. She is going to raise a lot of money, everybody always
knew that, but here`s Barack Obama, the first term senator from Illinois.
Is he serious? Is he not? Well, when he raised that kind of money, it
told everybody he was serious. It made it safe for other Democrats to
start putting money on him. To start endorsing him. To help him build the
really serious campaign. So, again, that`s another example of the money.
So, now, why are we talking about it right now? Well, here it is. This
coming Wednesday marks the end of the first quarter for the year 2015, the
2016 presidential cycle. The first quarter will end. We will soon know
what these Republican candidates are raising and, of course, the big
question is how much is Jeb Bush going to bring in? Because everything you
saw at the beginning there, about George W., well, that`s what Jeb`s trying
to replicate. He`s trying to replicate it times- you know, three or four
factors here. He`s looking at raising $100 million. That`s the
expectation that`s been set. Can Jeb Bush bring in $100 million? If he
does, take a look at how that would compare historically. You look at his
brother here back in 1999, at 37 million. This is the kind of money Jeb is
looking to bring in.
So, if he does that, it will be a major event, you`ll hear all sorts of
talk about how Jeb Bush, may be the clear front-runner now, all these
Republicans coming around him, but here`s the twist. We want to show you
this. If you look outside of the money and you look at the poll numbers,
they`re telling you a very different story right now. Take a look at this.
The horse race on the Republican side right now, the National Republican
Poll, this is the most recent one, Jeb Bush is only running at 16 percent.
You think about that. You think of how many people know the Bush name, the
Bush family, especially in the Republican Party. You think of all the
attention he`s gotten in the press, all the stories about this bandwagon
he`s building with money. And he is sitting there with just 16 percent.
That is very low. That is very weak for somebody who comes to the race
with everything he has. It raises the question. If he brings in all that
money, is it going to translate into better poll numbers or is it going -
or is there more resistance there than we realize?
Here`s another warning sign for Jeb Bush, this is the latest NBC News "Wall
Street Journal" poll. It gave the favorable rating, the unfavorable rating
for all sorts of national political figures. And look at this. Jeb Bush
is sitting here in the last place among the big names, lower than his
brother George W. That`s a significant problem for him, as he set to have
to run for president, and then there`s this. Same poll asking Republican
primary voters. Could you see yourself voting for this candidate? Could
you not see yourself voting for this candidate? Look where Jeb is coming
in here? He`s way back. Less than 50 percent of Republicans saying they
could see themselves support him. More than 40 percent saying they
couldn`t. Compare that to like Scott Walker, Marco Rubio. Much healthier
numbers up there. So, again, it`s showing there`s a lot of resistance to
the Bush name, it would appear among all voters and there`s a lot of
resistance to Jeb Bush among Republicans. We`ll see how much money he
brings in. But then the next question is, is it actually going to be
enough to move those numbers? Keep an eye on that.
Still ahead, Indiana 2016 presidential race and probably 100 other things I
want to get to, and probably won`t have time for. But former congressman
Barney Frank will join us in the next hour to talk about his new book in
everything that`s going on in the world of politics. In first in the past.
He`s been both an asset and now a liability. So, how does Hillary
Clinton`s campaign plan to use Bill Clinton or not use Bill Clinton on the
campaign trail this time around?
KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up on some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel.
This is the catching up segment, the index card segment. One of my
favorites every week. So, let`s take a tour of the headlines and start
with this one. This is from "The New York Times" today. Headline, "To
avert repeat of 2008 Clinton Team hopes to keep Bill at his best." This is
Hillary Clinton`s team may be being a little worried about former president
Bill Clinton and some of the trouble he stirred up in 2008. They said they
want to make sure he has a clear mission in any Hillary campaign, clear
channel to top operatives. Supposedly Bill Clinton saying that he views
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as particular threats to Hillary, because their
strength in Florida. Here`s a really interesting anecdote. They also say
this in the story. That in 2012 when Mitt Romney, the Republican
presidential nominee spoke at the annual Clinton Global Initiative
gathering in New York, Clinton gave him advise backstage about how to
appear in command when facing off against Obama in their coming debate.
Bill Clinton giving advice to Mitt Romney.
TAYLOR: He did well on that first one. He did well.
KORNACKI: That`s right.
KORNACKI: Yes. Talking well the first time thanks to Bill Clinton now we
TAYLOR: Yeah. No, I mean this is going to be a big question for them as
sort of how do you handle Bill? We were talking this week, even how does
he factor into the announcement? I mean, you know, is she going to give a
speech? Is he going to be there? I mean it raises lots of questions. And
I mean she`s got to be her own woman obviously and she has her own record
to run on absolutely and I think you`re going to hear talking about that,
like where does he factor in? Again, when he`s obviously a former
president, bringing so much heft with that. But I mean he likes to
micromanage. He likes to get in there and be involved in things, too, and
we saw how that hurt her in the South Carolina, and, you know, with things
that he would say to sort of jab at Obama last time. Saying - both fairy
tale and things, and so ...
KORNACKI: Well, we just put those numbers up in the last segment too. He
is right now the most popular guy out there.
TAYLOR: You know, yeah. It`s a double-edged sword.
GEORGE: Look. He is - he loves the political scrum. Hillary does not
like campaigning. She is not - It doesn`t come naturally to her. He loves
the scrum. He loves talking to reporters. He loves being in the -- he
loves being in the mix of things. You can`t turn something like that off
as much as -- I mean I know people --`ve got these stories, saying, you
know, we`re going to handle him, we know he`s going to be under control.
He`s going to be this, he`s going to be that. I`ll believe it when I see
UNGAR: Let`s be honest. When Bill Clinton is not at his best is precisely
when we think he`s at his very best.
UNGAR: This is what we love about Bill Clinton. Look, this man has
reached that amazing status in our society where he gets a permanent pass,
you know? He can really do no wrong, let`s face it.
KORNACKI: It is one of the more -- yeah, it`s been a generation now since
he`s been on the national stage. It`s amazing. What else do we have?
This is from "N.H. Journal," "New Hampshire Journal." The headline,
"Results Are In. Bush "Wins" Grafton County, GOP tie auction, so the
Grafton County, New Hampshire, first explanation - they asked Republican
candidates to send up ties. So, Jeb Bush has got the highest. They bid
these things. 355 bucks for the Jeb Bush tie. This was actually held
through eBay. The second place was George Pataki, which I think
KORNACKI: It says you can definitely undermine the value of this
TAYLOR: That is the highest George Pataki is going to get.
KORNACKI: People keeping the Grafton County tie. Last place in this
thing, by the way, was Rick Santorum.
GEORGE: He didn`t wear ties.
TAYLOR: He should have auctioned off a sweater vest.
KORNACKI: Yeah, that`s right- I think Trump came in like 13th. There`s
something in this, too.
GEORGE: Which is actually surprising, because he actually has a line of
UNGAR: Yeah, but they`re not very good.
Where was the arena? I mean she auctioned off a scarf. You had to ...
KORNACKI: It`s not on the index card.
TAYLOR: I don`t know, but ....
UNGAR: Do you think George Pataki came on with a check for, what was it,
$250, $350, and he couldn`t go that extra five bucks to buy back the tie?
KORNACKI: Somebody in the audience, yeah, yeah, maybe that`s a good
strategy. What else do we have? We have - this is from - this is just
video that`s sort of floating around out there, but let`s put it up. This
is interesting, because yesterday, I don`t know if you knew this. I didn`t
until now, but yesterday was earth hour. So, this was - this is a
designated hour of the day, I guess it was between 8:30 and 9:30 on
Saturday night where people were asked and then corporations were asked to
dim their lights, turn their lights off, their non-essential lights for an
hour. This is an annual event on the last Saturday in March. You are
looking at - I guess we have a bunch of different pictures here. The
Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis, St. Peter`s Basilica in Rome, the U.N. here in
New York City, they took their lights as well. And there`s the Eiffel
Tower. This is - this is held annually worldwide. I wish I had known. I
think I would have my lights on ...
UNGAR: My lights were up except for the TV.
KORNACKI: Not essential - But TV is essential.
TAYLOR: I think that`s when I was - that was when I was getting into New
York and we were driving through Times Square. And I do not think the
lights were dimmed at all. So ...
KORNACKI: Maybe next year we`ll make it then with these lights off. What
else do we have? NPR headline, "Not Just Sugary Sweet." Hard cider makes
a comeback. Apparently, a new bars are sprouting up, wanting New York City
in particular, it`s devoted just to hard cider futures, a dozen ciders on
tap. 80 - bottles, cider sales have been doubling every year for the past
few years. Maybe ....
TAYLOR: I don`t like beer. I don`t like beer. I`m a wine drinker.
UNGAR: When I was a kid I used to actually make it. I would take cider, I
will put in all the fermentation stuff, stick it under my bed ...
UNGAR: ... and let it sit there for a month or two and then we drink it.
KORNACKI: So, do you think it`s time to dust off the old, you know ...
UNGAR: No. I think I`ll go buy it.
KORNACKI: Oh, OK.
TAYLOR: There`s a lot - again, if you go down in Charlottesville, I mean
there`s always a lot of wineries down there, and I`ve noticed there`s been
a couple of cideries that have been popping up to that are very good. So,
I mean it is sort of becoming more of a -I`m all for it. Because I don`t
GEORGE: I do like beer. I`m not necessarily a cider aficionado. But I
do double here and there. And I`m kind of glad ...
KORNACKI: Can you double in cider?
GEORGE: I can double insider.
UNGAR: Cider the thing like in the - mid 90 - like William Henry Harrison,
the president lived - I think he was a cider guy, so - and that was fast.
TAYLOR: That`s not a good track record for cider.
GEORGE: The bits of trivia you get on "Up with Steve Kornacki."
GEORGE: I didn`t know the ...
KORNACKI: You knew that. It was one of the presidents.
GEORGE: I don`t mean to diss, maybe I`m like ....
KORNACKI: Yeah, I know, Andrew Jackson.
Anyway, still ahead, one former U.S. ambassador`s stark assessment of our
Middle East policy, plus the latest on that devastating fire in New York
City. That is straight ahead.
KORNACKI: In New York City at this hour emergency workers are still
looking for signs of the two people who are still missing after the gas
explosion that collapsed three buildings in downtown Manhattan. It is
difficult and painstaking work. They`re using a forklift to deposit debris
in the middle of the street and picking through the heap along with the
help of sniffer dogs. Officials say, this could continue for a full week
of 24 hour days. As for what caused the explosion, officials also say,
utility workers have discovered multiple leaks in the gas line to a
restaurant on the ground floor where that explosion occurred. Gas service
was restored after the utility deemed it safe. More updates here on MSNBC
as details become available.
When we return, President Obama`s former ambassador to Iraq has some very
stern words about the state of American foreign policy. He joins us to
tell us what those concerns are right after this.
KORNACKI: The deadline for the Iran nuclear negotiations is now just two
days away, and in the last 24-hours agreement does not seem to be
forthcoming. That is the latest from Switzerland as of just moments ago.
This according to NBC`s chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea
Mitchell. This is a "gut-check moment", as the American and Iranian
negotiators cannot settle on final details. Iran refusing to accept the
current limits on their nuclear program. Negotiators are up against the
deadline on Tuesday. Of course, this is a self-imposed deadline, so
technically it can change. The Iranians remain upbeat while the U.S.
officials say they are looking grim. Iran has observed its limits on its
program during this negotiations, but if they don`t reach a deal, all bets
are off on that front. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry
want this agreement badly. The president facing a legacy moment here.
And meanwhile in Washington the rhetoric and criticism of how the Obama
administration is handling the chaotic situation in the Arab world is only
growing hotter. One of the most eye-popping quote this week coming from
one of President Obama`s former ambassadors to Iraq, quote, "we`re in a
goddamn freefall here." Joining me now to explain is the man behind that
statement, James Jeffrey, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Turkey under
President Obama deputy national security adviser for President George W.
Bush. Now a fellow at the Washington Institute. A think tank on U.S. and
Middle East policy. Our panel also with us here.
Ambassador, thanks for joining us this morning. And let me just start with
that comment. This is - you offered the most sort of stark, probably harsh
assessment of the administration and its handling of this. Explain what
you`re thinking there.
AMB. JAMES JEFFREY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ, 2010-2013: Well, first of
all, we`re not in charge of everything or almost anything in the Middle
East ever. It`s a very dangerous dysfunctional region for decades. And in
the past few years, the Arab Spring and other developments have really
turned it into a tailspin. The question is how has the administration
responded? Not with the necessary consistency, with the support for our
allies, and the willingness to threaten and use smart military force that
has characterized the actions of presidents since the 1950s, and that`s
added to the problems we`re facing and they`re dramatic ones.
KORNACKI: So, where I mean, because there are so many sort of puzzle
pieces, so many moving parts, however you want to talk about this, whether
it`s Yemen, whether it`s the battle against ISIS in Iraq, whether it`s the
civil war in Syria. There are so many different pieces here. Where is it
that you see the administration specifically dropping the ball here?
JEFFREY: First of all, we have to support our allies even if we don`t like
them. That began with letting Mubarak fall. That`s continued in other
areas. We`ve drifted away from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, and from Israel,
these are not easy allies. But they require support.
Secondly, we have to be respected and even feared to some degree in the
Middle East and we have to look like we`re willing to sustain our
commitments. Doing the right thing in Afghanistan by keeping 10,000 troops
on is a good thing. The president just announced it. Simultaneously,
however, he says, they`re all going to be out by the end of 2016. We know
that isn`t true. If he does that, which I doubt, the next president,
whoever he or she is, is going to keep them back, or put them back in. But
by saying these kinds of things, we look like we`re waffling, like we`re
UNGAR: Ambassador, in my lifetime, every generation has brought a moment
where the Middle East seems to reach that point where it boils over. This
certainly seems to be one of those moments. I`m curious where you see this
one as compared to other points in time where the Middle East has exploded.
JEFFREY: 1979 is the last period where you can really say we were at that
point. With the Soviets invading Afghanistan, Iran falling into the hands
of Islamic revolutionaries, and another group of Sunni Islamic
revolutionaries seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca. At that point, however,
President Carter at great risk to his presidency, took a series of
decisions, the Carter Doctrine, to defend our interest in the region. He
supported against the advice of many, the Shah of Iran. That cost him
dearly. But that maintained our relationships with many people for
decades. People noticed that in the Middle East. And then Ronald Reagan
came in and we had at the end a relatively stable situation after several
conflicts including a war in the Gulf with Iran, but we held the line in
the region. We`re not holding the line now.
KORNACKI: Ambassador, I`m curious. You served in the Obama
administration, you served in the previous administration, George W. Bush`s
administration. How do you rate the Obama administration in its handling
of the Middle East versus George W. Bush and his handling?
JEFFREY: Both presidents have tried to deal with the situation after 9/11,
which is a unique situation even by the standards of a violent Middle East.
President Bush was very bold, went into Afghanistan, went into Iraq. We
accomplished a fair amount, but we couldn`t maintain the support of the
American people and that`s critical. President Obama, on the other hand,
responding to that has followed policies that all in all until recently
have met with support by the American people who didn`t want to be engaged,
but it hasn`t maintained security in the region and that`s the bottom line
for any president in that region. It`s so critical to us for so many
GEORGE: Ambassador, Robert George from the "New York Post." Do you think
that the president was sort of just kind of trapped by his campaign
rhetoric where he basically kind of promised the American people that he
was withdrawing the American footprint in the Middle East and is it his
inability to spin away from that that is causing some of this chaos?
JEFFREY: No, I don`t think so. This is a very smart man who pays close
attention to the Middle East. I think he doesn`t trust his advisers.
Those advisers that he had in the first administration, the Secretaries of
State, Secretaries of Defense, CIA director, were basically of the same
traditional line that I am. I think he saw the surge in Afghanistan, our
effort to try to keep troops on in Iraq and certainly Libya as failed
policies and he decided to strike out on his own and put all of his bets on
Iran as that being a transformational event in the Middle East, an
agreement with him he thinks, I believe, would change so much in the
region. I disagree. Many others do as well.
KORNACKI: Yeah, actually, maybe you can elaborate on that point. The same
article where you had that quote that we had in the beginning about how
things are in a freefall right now, that same article at the end of it,
somebody from the administration was quoted basically saying what you just
said. The truth is you can dwell on Yemen, you can recognize that we`re
one agreement away from a game changing legacy setting nuclear court on
Iran that tackles what everyone agrees is the biggest threat to the region.
This is an official from the State Department. In the same article where
you were quoted, ambassador. So you`re saying you disagree with that
optimism the administration has, that if they can strike a deal with Iran,
that that could change the whole situation in the Middle East.
JEFFREY: Yeah, I love that State Department quote, because it brings to
the surface everything I and so many other people worry about. No, a
nuclear deal with Iran, if it is not a bad deal, is not in and of itself a
bad thing. It`s not going to change Iran any more that in the end our
reach out to China in the 1970s changed China`s long-term ambitions to
dominate its region. As we see today, that`s the Iranian goal in this
region. That`s what everybody perceives in the region. And that`s what
we`re not responding to, at least until today.
TAYLOR: Ambassador, Jessica Taylor here with "The Hill." It seems like
they have put so much more of emphasis on this since the midterms, that
we`ve seen our Congress being very resistant to their foreign policy and
things to - I mean do you think that the administration sort of sees this
as sort of their last chance to sort of get their foreign policy footprint
out there and sort of to bolster their legacy?
JEFFREY: That`s a very good point and it gets back to the earlier question
about the two administrations. It`s not usually good to compare two
presidents. They`re all different. President Bush took the midterm defeat
in 2006 as a sign he had to change people, he had to change policies. And
he did so. And he left office in much better shape than a few years
before. President Obama basically has ignored the results of the elections
that gave both houses to the Republicans and he surely does not want to
work with them. They don`t want to work with him either. So, we`re in a
real mess back here as we try to present a united front in the region.
KORNACKI: All right, again, as we say, as we reported at the top of the
segment. Andrea Mitchell over in Switzerland right now saying that there
was negotiations of this from the United States standpoint, not looking
good right now with that Tuesday deadline, even it`s self-imposed deadline.
Thanks to Ambassador, former ambassador James Jeffrey. Appreciate the
JEFFREY: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right, when we return, the interview we have been promising
you, the always outspoken Barney Frank. He`s live. He is with us next.
Another full hour of news and politics. And up, still ahead. Stay with
KORNACKI: Getting frank about politics.
All right. Thanks for staying with us this hour. Lots more still ahead as
we continue on a very busy Sunday morning. Friend of the show,
congressman, former congressman Barney Frank, author of a fascinating new
book about his career. He`ll be here to discuss his life and politics and
what life in politics is like today, amid this morning`s big news that
Indiana Governor Mike Pence appears to be trying to put the toothpaste back
in the tube on the state`s controversial new religious freedom law that
might promote discrimination. We plan to begin by asking Barney Frank
about that in just a minute. We`re also going to check in on the
investigation into that Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps
including the possibility that the co-pilot believed to be responsible for
the crash may have been hiding even more about his health from his
employers than has been reported so far.
Lots of chatter about 2016 these days as well, but none of it seems to be
about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. It hasn`t always been the case.
What`s changed there? We`re going to be joined by the author of a new
biography of the governor to try to answer that question.
It`s also science fair day here at "UP." Some of the same kids who showed
their science projects to the president at the White House this week, they
are going to be here on this set to show us and Bill Nye the Science Guy
their experiments. We are really excited about that. Some really cool
projects to show you. We`re also looking forward to discussing the legacy
of Senator Ted Kennedy with his son Ted Kennedy Junior. President Obama
set to open the brand new Edward M. Kennedy Institute of the Senate
tomorrow morning in Boston.
But right now, here it is hour, we have our own sneak peek inside. I`m
told inside the centerpiece is a full replica of the Senate chamber. We
are going to want to stick around for that. But we begin this hour with a
new law and a lot of outrage. This the scene in Indianapolis yesterday as
thousands took to the streets to protest that state`s new religious freedom
law that many believe could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.
As we`ve reported it now looks like Indiana`s Republican Governor Mike
Pence might be backtracking. Maybe. In the interview with "The
Indianapolis Star" Pence says that he supports more legislation to, quote,
"clarify the intent of the controversial new law," but when asked if that
might include specific protections for gays and lesbians, Pence said that
that is not on his agenda.
That`s a story we are going to want to discuss with our next guest, Barney
Frank, one of the most outspoken members of Congress for 32 years. He`s
one of the most influential as well, serving as chairman of the House
Financial Services Committee during the height of the financial crisis.
He`s also the first openly gay member of Congress. He reflects on all of
that and more in his new memoir, "Frank, a Life in Politics from the Great
Society to Same-Sex Marriage" and he joins us now live from Portland. So,
Congressman, thanks for - thanks for getting up very early out there for
us. We really appreciate it. And I want to get to the book, but I want to
start on the news. We have been talking about this morning out of Indiana.
We have this religious freedom bill that was passed this week, signed into
law. The governor now saying that he wants to pass some kind of
legislation to clarify it, that legislation would fall short of having
specific protection for gays and lesbians. I`m curious your reaction to
what`s happening in Indiana and what you think should happen next.
FMR. REP. BARNEY FRANK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Well, first, Steve, I
appreciate that. And I think, frankly, it kind of validates one of the
themes of the book, which is the progress we`ve been making in fighting
this prejudice. It is interesting to see a very conservative Republican
governor on the defensive claiming quite implausibly that a law whose
purpose it is to allow people to deny service to gays and lesbians doesn`t
discriminate against gays. I appreciate the sentiment, if that`s conflict
with the reality.
First we ought to explain to people what`s at stake here. Nobody is
denying an individual in his or her private capacity to be as
discriminatory, as bigoted, as selective (ph), as he or she wants. No one
has to associate in your personal life with anybody else, a guest in your
home, et cetera. But when you open a business, you are being given a set
of privileges and protections from the society to make some money and in
return the obligation has always been under basic common law that you serve
the general public, that anybody who behaves well can be served because
frankly there`s only a limited amount of space, there`s only a limited
amount of businesses. Your being there means somebody else wouldn`t be
And so, the notion that a business can pick and choose is very damaging.
Secondly, it can`t be restricted only to gays and lesbians. If you`re a
very orthodox Catholic, someone who has been married and divorced and wants
to be married without an annulment is violating church laws. So maybe
they`ll be denied. In certain areas which were predominantly Islamic in
some neighborhoods, the store owner could refuse service to women who
weren`t properly clothed or covered. And in fact, the major objective to
this, and we saw this in Arizona, when the legislature passed along the
business community persuaded the Republican governor obey (ph) to it. Most
sensible businesses don`t want such a law. They don`t want to be in a
position where they`re going to be pulled by one group to deny service,
another group to grant service. Most rational businesses want to be in the
business of selling their service, leaving their political views to other
things. So I`m not surprised at the outcry. I don`t know how Pence is
going to, you know, undo what he did, but it is encouraging that that`s
what he`s getting the pressure to do.
KORNACKI: I just want to ask you one more about that, because we were
talking about this with our panel last hour, and Rick Ungar, one of our
panelists here, made what I thought was an interesting point about, asking
where do you draw the line, though? If you`re a business owner, you`re
saying basically anybody who`s sort of reasonable - who`s well behaved
should be entitled to the same services. But he said, here`s an example,
just I mean it`s an extreme example. But if a neo-Nazi group went to a
bakery and said we want to have a cake with Nazi symbols all over it, we
wouldn`t be upset if that bakery said, I`m not going to do that. So ...
FRANK: Of course not. Here is where you draw the line. You do not have a
right as a particular group to demand that that business deviate from its
usual principles, but you do have a right to demand that they comply with
them. If the Nazi group went and said, we want a cake like any other cake,
then you have to sell it to them. People are not asking - I`m not asking
for a gay couple to have a pornographic cake. If you don`t want to do
that, you have a right not to do it. And that`s, I think, the key
distinction. You are a group. You cannot go in and tell the businessman,
all right, I`m not interested in your usual practices, do these things
special for me. On the other hand, if a group goes in and says, I want to
be treated and served in the same way as anybody else, then that has to be
KORNACKI: As I said, I do want to talk about your book here. Because this
is - you know, there is all sorts of political memoirs there. I think
yours is a particularly interesting one, though. Because it seems to me,
one of the things you`re grappling with throughout the book is sort of how
to blend idealism with pragmatism, with actually getting things done in
politics, and there`s - here`s an extra from it. I just want to read it
and get you to elaborate on it, but you said, "If you care deeply about an
issue, and are engaged in group activity on its behalf, it is fun and
inspiring and heightens your sense of solidarity with others, you`re almost
certainly not doing your cause any good." Can you elaborate on that a
FRANK: Well, I was struck as you talked about the people demonstrating in
the end against this law and my first thought was I wonder how many of them
voted in the last election. I wonder how many of them voted when
legislators who were voting for this were getting elected. And I`ve said
before, I agreed more with Occupy than with the Tea Party, not entirely.
But I wish that Occupy people had shown the political sense of the Tea
Party. There was this problem, unfortunately, in America, when many on the
left get mad, they march. When people on the right get mad, they vote.
And from the standpoint of influencing government, voting means marching.
I would tell you, my colleagues when I was in the House, there would be a
big demonstration. They didn`t know who was there. They didn`t know
whether it was any of that constituents, when these were voters, but if a
single number of voters were to call their representative, and Senator, and
state legislators, it has a big impact. Expressive demonstrations are more
an outlet for your feelings.
The best thing I could say is this. Pound for pound, the NRA is the most
influential organization in America. I wish they weren`t. I vote against
them on almost every issue, but you don`t see NRA marches and
demonstrations. They don`t have shootings. They vote and they get their
people to vote and they lobby very effectively, and I wish my allies would
do the same.
KORNACKI: Interesting points there. I want to talk to you, sort of
looking ahead also to 2016. You were on this show over this summer. You
said at the time, you are ready for Hillary, you are on board with Hillary
Clinton as the Democratic candidate. I wonder as you look - we had some of
the polls that show she`s against all the Republicans. She`s leading by
double digits right now. Certainly in good shape on the Democratic side.
When you look at her road to the White House, what do you think could trip
FRANK: I -- I don`t see anything specific. Let me say -- let me
specifically say not e-mails. I have found a number of voters going back
to my own career who care about which e-mail service somebody used or what
paper they signed to be minimal. If anything came out - not minimal, sub
minimal. If anything came out in the e-mails that was embarrassing and
there was no reason to think that -there is or probably there would already
- would have been something that might have hurt her. No, I think maybe
there will be some -- well, this dispute with Israel is a potential bump
for Democrats, but I think it`s important for Democrats to reaffirm my own
position. We continue strongly to support the notion of Israel. Israel is
a democratic Jewish state, but that does not mean you have to support the
policies of Benjamin Netanyahu. We`re all used to making a distinction
between the leader of a country and the country. I think we will be able
successfully to do that.
On the other hand, I think the Republicans have a terrible problem.
They`re very, very split. I don`t see a candidate who can bridge their gap
between the kind of traditional sort of mainstream conservatism and this
very angry group to the right. So I`m somewhat optimistic.
KORNACKI: Yeah, in terms of the Republicans, I just put this up on the
screen, Jeb Bush, we showed this earlier, but his favorable - unfavorable -
all voters. I would surprise myself there`s 31 percent favorable, 47
unfavorable. That is less popular even than his brother George W. who did
not exactly leave office with great numbers. The conventional wisdom
certainly is that Jeb Bush is the most electable Republican candidate, the
most moderate. Do you buy into that? Is he the biggest threat on the
FRANK: No. No, I think Scott Walker is because at this point at least
he`s so less defined. Although I would hope - and look, one of the big
things people talk about, part of the theme of my book is, how do we deal
with this economic inequality, which is the reason that we, Democrats, have
lost the vote to the kind of people who used to vote for FDR and John
Kennedy? I don`t believe it was us, us gay people. Gay rights has gone
ahead and that is not the reason that we had this alienation. I think it`s
the economy. I think it is the failure of the government to respond
economically to people who have been hurt by economic trends. And one key
pieces - as unions. I think it is now clear to people that many, including
some middle class liberals have undervalued the importance of unions in
holding up wages, keeping wages up. And I think Scott Walker`s number one
appeal to right appears to be that he is a union buster, private sector and
public sector. And I`m hoping some of the white guys, construction workers
and others who understand the role of unions and trying to protect them,
that that will turn against them. I think Jeb Bush is very vulnerable.
And I saw it in one other area, which I expect to talk about with Jeb Bush.
When Terry Schiavo was on her bed and - long since past, we know from the
autopsy, and her husband in conformity with her wishes wanted to stop this
artificial force feeding into her body that had no other signs of life, Jeb
Bush got his brother to convene a special session of Congress, pass the law
at them, cancel what the court had said. The more that Jeb Bush got George
Bush to get the Congress to do was held totally unconstitutional. The
American people are outraged at the notion that a politician would start
dictating to people in the most intimate parts of life.
Jeb Bush is an absolute fanatic on this subject. And I think one of the
things we have to deal with is, in fact, this notion of what do people do
when they`re in that stage, when life has passed and is there a right for
the individuals themselves to make some judgments. I think Jeb Bush`s
fanaticism on that is a legitimate issue and belies his moderate image.
KORNACKI: Just running low on time here, but I do want to get one more
question in. From just - the sort of the book looking back at your entire
career. So many different people you`ve served with, so many different
people you`ve encountered in politics. I just wonder when you look back at
your career, do you have a favorite Republican and a favorite Democrat
you`ve worked with?
FRANK: Well, there were two favorite Republicans, both Senators. Warren
Rudman from New Hampshire. When I first came to office, I teamed up with
Warren Rudman and we stopped Ronald Reagan in that - and - in the legal
services cooperation. And I thought that was a great thing. And then Al
Simpson who I worked with and we got rid of the anti-gay immigration
provision, I was - with Ron Paul, by the way, with whom - who has a great
deal of integrity, with whom I worked on military spending reductions and
marijuana all along. When he started taking seriously that he might be
president I approached him a couple of years ago in 2012 and asked him to
sign and he said, oh, I can`t do that. People tell me, you are killing me
in Iowa. But other than that, he was pretty good. On the Democratic side,
let me cite two people who were great because they had the power. Tip
O`Neill and Nancy Pelosi. Two extraordinary - who did a great job as a
speaker. And I enjoyed very much being around them, particularly with
Speaker Pelosi, I think all four years -- you know, Democrats get
criticized. We don`t do enough. There`ve only been four years since 1980
when the Democrats had the House, the Senate, and the presidency. So, I
would ask people to judge us by that. I think the years 2009-2010,
President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, were among the best in terms
of public policy in American history and that gets lost with all of the
problems that came afterwards. But I give her a lot of credit for that.
KORNACKI: All right. Former Congressman Barney Frank. Really appreciate
the time this morning. Thanks for getting up.
FRANK: Thank you, Steve.
KORNACKI: All right, the book is "Frank: Life and Politics from the Great
Society: the Same-Sex Marriage."
New developments this morning in the investigation into the co-pilot
believed to be responsible for last week`s crash of Germanwings flight
9525. According to "The New York Times", Andreas Lubitz received treatment
for problems with his vision, a condition that could have ended his career
as a pilot. Lufthansa, that is Germanwings parent company, has told NBC
News that it had no knowledge of the pilot`s medical problems. NBC`s Katy
Tur joins us now live in Germany. Katy.
KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Steve, now. The German newspaper
out here "Bild" is reporting some pretty chilling news this morning. They
say they`ve got a transcript of the final minutes inside that plane, the
final minutes as it plunged toward the mountainside. And they say it
starts with the pilot mentioning to the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz they didn`t
get a chance to go to the bathroom while he was in Spain, which Lubitz
encourages him to go while they are in the air. At first the pilot - the
captain, doesn`t respond to Lubitz. But once they reach altitude you hear
him get up, leave and say you`re in charge and that`s when you hear the
door of the cockpit click shut. The next thing you hear is the pilot
knocking, then banging and saying "Open the damn door." And that`s when
you hear him taking ax to the door, according to this newspaper, as you
also hear the screams of passengers. Certainly, very chilling details. So
far NBC News has not been able to independently verify those details, but
Lufthansa has told us that they do, in fact, hide an ax within the cabin
that only the flight crew knows about in case of emergency. Also a lot
more reporting out there about his medical condition, his medical state.
As you report in "The New York Times" it`s been saying that he had eye
issues that could have derailed his career as a pilot. The German
newspapers out here are also reporting about some sort of mental
instability or depression.
So far none of this actually leads you - leads us to find a reason as to
why he would crash this plane into a mountainside. Investigators are still
looking into that, trying to figure out as much as they can about Andreas
Lubitz at this time. Now, they`ve been to his house. They found doctor`s
notes, there are torn up doctor`s notes for the day of the crash that
excused him from work that day, doctor`s notes that did not go to the
airline excusing him from work, instead that were found in a trash can.
But so far, still no hard evidence or answers about why this happened.
KORNACKI: Some terrifying details here. Thank you to Katy Tur this
morning from Germany.
Still ahead on the show, President Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, John
McCain, they`re all gathering in Boston tomorrow to celebrate the legacy of
Ted Kennedy. We will be talking to his son Ted Junior and bring you a
sneak peek inside the institute that bears a Kennedy`s name. And next,
could the cure for one of the world`s most annoying maladies be a lollipop?
The answer that got one young science was invited to the White House.
She`ll join us on the other side of this break to tell us and Bill Nye the
Science Guy all about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ball changes position from where it starts. But
when the food ball comes up, the ball goes like this.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: OK. It`s - it`s
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But then, you can look at this one.
OBAMA: Oh, this is wonderful. So, how did you guys figure this out?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I had a brainstorming session.
OBAMA: You had a brainstorming session?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yes.
OBAMA: Kind of a quiet day on the lake ...
OBAMA: But we`re starting to get a little breeze.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yes, very true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Scenes from the always entertaining annual White House science
fair, fun not just for the president, but for everyone who gets to watch
the president getting schooled on science by America`s teenagers. Among
this week`s participants, an 18-year-old born with congenital scoliosis who
developed a new type of spinal implant that helped other - to help the
spine of scoliosis patients to stay straight as they grow. There`s also a
14-year-old who designed a battery powered by carbon dioxide. And we are
lucky enough to have two or more of the exhibitors here with us in the
studio this morning. And they are Tiye Garrett Mills whose revolutionary
method of creating images of leaves was the first exhibit that President
Obama checked out at the fair and Mallory Kievman who may have finally come
up with a cure for the hiccups. And to help us all out we brought in a guy
who knows a thing or two about science. Bill Nye also met with the
students at the White House on Monday. So, welcome to all of you. I just
want to start by going through your projects.
So, Mallory, I want to start with you. So, we can hold these up. I mean -
we are having in front of us here. These are lollipops that you developed
that you say cure the hiccups. Explain this one to me.
MALLORY KIEVMAN, INVENTED THE HICCUPOPS: Yeah. So I started this project
about four years ago. And it started as a very basic, you know, research
into the rumored cures for hiccups and I found three that worked for me.
And they were sugar, apple cider vinegar in the form of a lollipop. And
apple cider vinegar, being vinegar is the most effective, however, it is
disgusting, so I decided to combine the three into a more palatable
treatment for the hiccups, which are actually a debilitating problems for
KORNACKI: And you see - the form of a lolli - there`s something about the
form of a lollipop that`s crucial to stopping the hiccups?
KIEVMAN: Yeah. The hiccups are actually caused by a set of nerves in your
throat and mouth that cause your diagram to spasm. And any type of
pressure or stimulation in those areas can help overstimulate those nerves
and sort of reset that reflex. So sucking on a lollipop helps, although
inconsistently as does sugar, or really anything with the strong taste.
KORNACKI: That`s interesting. My cure was always to have somebody who
could scare me.
KORNACKI: That would never really ... So, Tiye now, how about - take me
through this - this is - you have - you developed a system or a program
where you scan in leaves and you get ...
TIYE GARRETT-MILLS, LEAF IMAGERY PROJECT: You get images of their veins.
So, inside every leaf there are these complex systems of veins, and they`re
- this leaf architecture, basically, and they are really important to a
wide variety of scientists. And so, basically, the goal is to kind of have
an online register of leafenation systems, but the current methods of doing
this costs thousands of dollars an hour and it destroys the sample. So I
decided to see if I could find a more economically viable and efficient way
to do this and I discovered that by scanning a leaf with just your average
office scanner and shining an LED flash flight over it, I use the one of my
iPhone, at certain distances, you get really excellent pictures of
KORNACKI: We`re going to show people how this works, actually. So, this
would be a simulation of it. Here`s the scanner. Here are some leaves.
I`m not sure what kind of plant is ...
GARRETT-MILLS: Those are holly hocks.
KORNACKI: These are holly hocks.
GARRETT-MILLS: Holly hocks.
KORNACKI: OK, I`m not like - I hope I`m not allergic to them or break into
KORNACKI: Or something. So, you put it in the scanner.
GARRETT-MILLS: You`d leave the lid open.
KORNACKI: OK, I`m going to crush the leaves otherwise. Right. And then
we would press - this is a simulation. But OK, for - and now let`s take a
look. I think we have the pictures here of what this ends up looking like.
So these are -- these are the results now. Take us through what we`re
GARRETT-MILLS: All righty. So, basically you`re looking at the major and
minor leafenation systems of and angiosperm, which is - this is from the
holly bush in my front yard actually. And you are looking at these smaller
systems, are minor leafenation systems and the large ones are the major
leafenation systems. And the goal is to get both, and with this one, I
think this leaf in particular, because you can look out at the minor -
system in particular, which are really hard to image.
KORNACKI: Wow. Bill, when I was in high school, I had a science fair, and
my project was, I grew grass. And in one of them, I put salt that we put
on the side of the roads during the winter. And I said, will the salt
negatively affect the grass. I already knew the answer. I figured it
would be easy to do it this way. Are kids getting smarter? This is
BILL NYE, THE SCIENCE GUY: Well, first of all, let me say - the greatest
thing about - first of all, great job, you guys. The greatest thing about
this is that there is a White House science fair. This is to say that this
administration, I believe this president, sees the connection between
innovation, understanding of science, and the economic success of the
And this is ...
KORNACKI: Was there no science fair -- was this instituted by Obama?
NYE: It seems yes, absolutely.
NYE: And so, what keeps the - I say this all the time, what keeps the
United States in the game is our ability to innovate, and so to come up
with new ideas, new - that are based on science. And by the way, you`ll
notice that these two winners are women. So I say this all the time. Half
the people are girls and women, so half the scientists ought to be girls
and women. And my mom was pretty good at science. So, anyway, this is -
this is really important to me. And it`s just is quite an innovation. And
being able to identify leaves quickly is brilliant.
KORNACKI: Well, this is the thing. It`s like - this isn`t just
theoretical. I mean they are giving you practical ...
NYE: This is the thing. So, this is the thing. This is the difference
between girls and boys at this age, and I`m not an expert on this, but the
lot is being discussed. When there`s a story, when there`s a problem to
solve, that`s when girls really respond, right? You had the hiccups,
right? Like a crazy thing ...
NYE: And so you solved the problem and you came across a teacher that was
GARRETT-MILLS: I was -- actually I was in this intern ship at the museum
of nature and science and we got to pursue our own research project and
that`s how I came across it.
NYE: So, she scans it with her iPhone, right? Which is like a point
source of light and so it was able to do the scanning. It wasn`t possible
-- it wasn`t possible -- you didn`t have this light 20 years ago on your
NYE: Like somebody her age wouldn`t have come across this sort of thing.
So it just shows you that as we develop all this technology, we all rely on
it. Innovations will happen.
KORNACKI: And it`s how - what was it? The president`s - came in, what was
the conversation like?
GARRETT-MILLS: Oh, yes. So we mainly discussed leafenation systems. But
it was actually amazing. He`s a really, really nice man. And he was
genuinely interested in the project, which was nice because it`s really
hard to get people excited about leafing.
KORNACKI: I believe there`s a place in the Guinness Book of Record, so you
probably are the first person to have a conversation with the president of
the United States about leafenation system. So that might be ...
KORNACKI: That might be ....
NYE: No, but it`s just - it`s really - I`m just proud to know you. It`s
just fantastic. And I just emphasize, whoever succeeds this president,
this administration, I hope will keep the science fair going, because ...
KORNACKI: I agree with that. And I`m going to steal some of these
lollipops, too, because I get hiccups.
KIEVMAN: Go for it.
KORNACKI: I don`t like my methods as much I like a lollipop. So anyway,
my thanks to our two White House scientist fair participants. Tiye
Garrett-Mills, Mallory Kievman, I appreciate that. And Bill Nye, the
science guy, thanks for stopping by today.
Still ahead, Ted Kennedy. He`s a ...
KORNACKI: Ted Kennedy was just 30 years old when he was first elected into
the Senate in 1962. That`s the youngest a senator can be according to the
Constitution. He then spent the next 47 years in the Senate. That`s the
fourth longest serving member in history, until dying of a brain tumor back
in 2009. When he came to the Senate, Kennedy was known as the president`s
little brother, but he ended up a godfather-like figure to the current
president. Kennedy of course was a liberal stalwart, but one who knew how
to get things done, too. The Martin Luther King holiday, Family and
Medical Leave, No Child Left Behind, portability for health care and what
he called his life`s work, universal health insurance. Those are just some
of the highlights of that 47-year career. And now that work is the
backdrop for the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United
States Senate, which opens tomorrow in Boston with a speech by President
Obama, along with Vice President Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and
John McCain. The institute is dedicated to the study and promotion of the
Senate and even features a full-scale reproduction of the Senate floor.
Joining me now is Connecticut State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. He`s the son
of the late Senator Kennedy and he`s live with us this morning in Boston.
Ted, thanks for taking some time this morning. Let me start with this, I
guess. I always look back at your dad`s career, we say 47 years in the
Senate. But it always seemed to me it was split into two parts. There was
the phase where everyone thought this guy is a president some day, is he
going to run in `68, in `72, in `76, and then there seemed to be that part
where he sort said, no, I`m a senator, this is where I want to make my
life. This is where I want to make my legacy. Was there a transition like
that at some point?
TED KENNEDY JR., CONNECTICUT STATE SENATOR: Well, first of all, thanks for
having me on the show and for telling your viewers about the opening of the
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It`s something
that our family has been working on. It`s going to be adjacent to the
Kennedy library, and really I hope educate a new generation of Americans
about the importance of civic participation and government service. It`s
going to be really exciting.
But regarding my father, you know, he -- if you had to describe him in one
word, I think it would be perseverance. He took that whole career, 47
years, and never stopped trying to change things for the betterment of
working Americans. And he relished his role in the United States Senate,
and the give and take, the collaboration he had with his colleagues. Yes,
he did run for president, as we all know. But after 1980, he really
settled down and really determined that he wanted to be the very best U.S.
senator that he could possibly be.
KORNACKI: And you have the roster of political leaders who are coming for
this opening, not just the president and the vice president but also
Republicans. John McCain is going to be there. And it reminds me that we
say he`s sort of a liberal icon, Ted Kennedy was. At the same time, this
was somebody who had some really good relationships with the other side,
KENNEDY: Well, I think that was my father`s magic, really, was, yes, he
was a proud Democrat, but he was never afraid to cross the aisle if he
thought he could make progress on an issue. He thought that consensus did
not mean capitulation. He felt we needed to work together as a team. He
made many friends both on the Democratic side of the aisle and the
Republican side of the aisle, and I think he was old school in the fact
that he took the time to develop personal relationships with people that
were honest friendships. And so he was able to -- and people trusted him.
He trusted them. And they were able to collaborate on a massive amount of
bipartisan legislation. So I think what we`re really celebrating today is
the possibility of what the Senate has been in the past and what it could
be in the future.
KORNACKI: From our panel, Rick Ungar has a question.
UNGAR: Rick Ungar from ""Forbes."" I wonder in a week where the Senate
minority leader has announced he`ll be stepping aside. Harry Reid, as we
know, is the master of the inside game. Will you be able to help Americans
who come to your institution understand how the Senate really works, as
opposed to how we think the Senate works?
KENNEDY: Most people really don`t understand the function of the Senate in
the U.S. government today. They don`t know that it effectively takes, as
we all know, a 60-vote majority to get anything done. So it really does
require compromise and deliberation and really well thought out ideas and
plans. So I think that, you know, so that is, I think, one of the things
that we hope to teach people about.
This institute, although it bears my father`s name and is a celebration of
his life, really isn`t about him. It`s about the institution he loved.
And that is why so many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle are
coming to really celebrate what is a very unique institution, not just in
the United States but around the world.
KORNACKI: I just want to ask one more question here about his relationship
with President Obama. He passed away during President Obama`s first year
in office, but to get Barack Obama elected, one of the critical moments in
the 2008 campaign was when Ted Kennedy stood up and endorsed Barack Obama.
At the height of the Democratic primaries. Of course he had had that
relationship with the Clintons. I`m sure that was a very difficult
decision personally for him to do, but it was a huge moment in getting
Barack Obama elected president. How much did that mean to Senator Kennedy,
the fact that Barack Obama became president?
KENNEDY: Well, I think he saw -- look. My dad and both Bill and Hillary
Clinton were long-time friends, and the Clintons and the Kennedy family
have worked on so many important issues, and I have a tremendous amount of
respect for both the president and Mrs. Clinton, as did my father. He
felt, however, that this was a -- that President Obama could be really a
transformative figure. The first African-American president was something
that he thought was extremely unique and just a unique moment in time, and
I think he developed a quick friendship with Senator Obama when the two
were together in the Senate and even before that, but he felt that
President Obama could really offer the change from, you know, the preceding
Republican years, and that`s why he took the risky step of standing up for
him at that critical moment in political history.
KORNACKI: Connecticut State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. Appreciate the time.
KENNEDY: Thanks for having me on your show.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead, the latest on the ongoing battle for
control of Yemen, with NBC News chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel.
KORNACKI: We`ve already reported from the latest on the White House as the
Obama administration monitors Yemen`s descent into an apparent civil war.
Now for more on the latest developments in Yemen and what might happen
next, we`re joined now from Istanbul by NBC News chief foreign
correspondent, Richard Engel. We`re learning that Saudi led and U.S.
backed air strikes continued overnight?
RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS: They did continue overnight, a lot of them
focusing on the region of Sada (ph), some of them also in and around the
Yemeni capital. Also we`re hearing of street fighting between Houthi rebel
and forces loyal to the now exiled government of President Hadi in the city
of Aden, which is right in the south of Yemen. It had been of the
government`s last strongholds. There has been some fighting for the
airport of Aden, with the government claiming to have recaptured the
airport, but there have been reports of the airport changing hands several
times over the last five days.
But, Steve, what most people in this part of the world are talking about
today is a new position coming forward from the Arab states. There was an
Arab summit that concluded in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, today, and at that
summit, Arab leaders called for a creation of a united standing Arab army
that would confront problems like the ones in Yemen, confront Iran across
the world. There is a clear dividing line that is getting clearer by the
day between the Sunni Arab states and the Sunni Muslim states, and Iran,
which is perceived to have a Shiite agenda that it`s trying to spread
certainly across the Middle East. And that creation of a standing Arab
army could be quite significant. There are obviously a lot of logistical
issues that need to be worked out, but it shows the Arab world is trying to
take a stand against Iran.
KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to Richard Engel in Istanbul, Turkey.
Up next, Andrew Cuomo`s future in a Clinton-dominated Democratic Party.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: The deadline for the Iran nuclear negotiations is now just two
days away. In the last 24 hours, an agreement does not seem to be
forthcoming. A lot has been happening on the ground at those talks in
Switzerland. NBC`s chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell,
is on the ground there. She`s been following every twist and turn. So,
Andrea, what is the latest this morning?
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Well, U.S. officials today say they`re trying
to work out compromises. The Chinese and others have made suggestions on
one key issue, the phasing out of sanctions. There is a sticking point,
and there seems to be a period of from 11 to 15 years where beyond the ten
years that is presumed to be the agreement, tentatively, the Iranians would
not be able to use their technology for research and development on nuclear
activity. And they say it`s for peaceful purposes. The allies and the
U.S. have been arguing that it could be easily converted into nuclear
I think there`s going to be a compromise on how to get around their past
suspicious activity. The U.N. has refused to certify that Iran has not
cheated in the past because Iran has, they say, the U.S. weapons inspectors
say, not accounted for past work on warheads and missiles, and it might be
that they come up with some agreement where the U.N. weapons agency, the
IAEA in Vienna would have to certify that Iran is complying, and that would
then be accepted as part of this agreement. It wouldn`t have to be
All of this is complicated. It`s a big jigsaw puzzle, Steve. They say
until everything is done, nothing`s done. They have made some progress,
but they don`t have a deal. And in fact, officials say it probably won`t
come until the very last moment on March 31st, I think the midnight hour,
on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning.
KORNACKI: So we`re up against that. This is of course a self-imposed
KORNACKI: But for all intents and purposes, is there a chance that could
be moved if they feel they are getting close, or is this thing over if they
don`t get it by 48 hours from now?
MITCHELL: They have twice extended before. President Obama has said they
don`t want to extend again. The virtue of extending is if it holds Iran to
its interim agreement during these negotiations not to do any of these
suspicious activities. They`ve basically restrained Iran`s nuclear program
during those long 18 months, and if they walk away from these talks, then
anything could happen. Iran could start developing technology that the
U.S. and many of the European allies say is suspicious, they could start
refusing U.N. weapons inspectors.
So there`s a virtue to being at the talks, but they don`t want this to be
open-ended. So the deadline is useful to hold all parties to account.
Yes, they could extend. There are a few practical things here. There is
the Easter holiday. In Europe, it starts Thursday and Friday with, of
course, all of the Good Friday commemorations and the religious holiday
going into Easter. There`s also Passover. There are a lot of reasons at
the same time for -- they`ve already missed some deadlines, by the way.
John Kerry really wanted to be in Boston Monday, tomorrow, for the opening,
the dedication of the Senator Edward Kennedy Institute. That`s not going
to happen. They officially canceled that today. Steve?
KORNACKI: All right, NBC`s and MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell live in
Switzerland. Thank you very much for that.
And up next, Andrew Cuomo`s future. The author of a new biography of the
Democratic governor of New York joins our panel next.
KORNACKI: One Democrat whose name hasn`t been floated much as a potential
2016 candidate is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The main reason for that
may be that many of his fellow Democrats don`t seem to like him very much.
When he ran for re-election last year, a little known law professor from
Fordham University won more than half of New York`s counties in the
Democratic primary. Cuomo still handily won the popular vote, but you can
see there how much of New York state in terms of area wanted to deny Cuomo
a second term. For more on what Cuomo`s future holds, we`re joined at the
table by Michael Shnayerson, contributing editor at "Vanity Fair" and
author of the new book, "The Contender." Andrew Cuomo, a biography.
Michael, thanks for joining us. The title, "The Contender," clearly this
is someone, his father, Mario, was connected to running for the presidency
a number of times. Never actually did it. Andrew Cuomo made it clear at
certain points he`s interested in it, but it doesn`t seem like he`s much of
a contender these days.
MICHAEL SHNAYERSON, AUTHOR: It`s been quite a journey over the last three
years. When I started this book in 2011, he just had a great first year as
governor. There was a lot of talk of 2016. We forget now. But even with
Hillary as the elephant in the room, she was sort of off doing things as
secretary of state. Elizabeth Warren hadn`t won her senator seat yet.
Andrew looked like a very strong contender, and I named my book that
thinking, hoping actually he would run - it would help the book -- but also
thinking if he didn`t run, he would be a contender for 2020. What happened
from then and now, I`d have to say his personality.
KORNACKI: That`s the thing. It`s so interesting because you think of the
New York governorship. It`s a big state, a big TV market. You think of
big personalities occupying it and having jobs like this. The thing about
Andrew Cuomo it always struck me is I wonder when I talk to people from New
York, how many of them have never even heard the guy speak. He`s very
quiet, he`s very private. He operates behind the scenes. None of that
really endears him to the public much, I would think.
SHNAYERSON: It`s curious. One of the state`s four political leaders told
me he`d never met someone who was so mistrustful of people. Who was the
least likely politician.
KORNACKI: Where does that come from?
SHNAYERSON: You know, it`s got to come from his father. Ultimately, this
whole book is a father-son story, which is what appealed to me as a story
teller. His father was very suspicious, very clannish. You could even
take it back further to the Cuomos from Italy. There was a clannishness in
the area of Italy they came from. I think it`s sort of in the genes. And
Andrew learned not to trust anyone outside of the family. And he`s kept
that in his DNA ever since.
KORNACKI: So where is this all going for him, do you think? He got re-
elected to a second term. He`ll be in office in New York through 2018.
Seems certainly blocked from any attempt at the presidency. Where is this
all going for him?
SHNAYERSON: I would like to think he`s not blocked from the presidency.
You know, he`s already in the last three months done a couple of things
that helped him. Banning fracking, no one expected him to do that.
Overnight a whole wing of the party came back to him. He can do a lot in
the next few years, but he`s got to change his personality. I`m not sure
he can do that.
KORNACKI: That`s a pretty big ask, to change the personality especially
after all these years, but I agree it`s held him back publicly. My thanks
to Michael Shnayerson, author of "The Contender," along with our panel, our
tragically underused panel today. I`m sorry, guys, we`ll have you back
soon. You`re so much fun to be with, we`ll have you back soon. Robert
George, Rick Ungar, Jessica Taylor, thanks for getting up this morning.
Thank you at home for getting up with us today. Up next, you`ll want to
stick around for Melissa Harris-Perry. Stay tuned, we will see you next
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