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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Date: May 9, 2015
Guest: Robert Costa, John Hart, Lauren Victoria Burke, Jared Bernstein



And good morning to you out there. Thanks for getting UP with us this fine
Saturday morning. It is though a tense weekend in the part of the country
known as tornado alley. That is where storms are blowing through parts of
Texas and Oklahoma with even more severe weather in the forecast out there.
We`ll going to have more on that ahead this morning.

Also, can Jeb Bush overcome his problems with conservatives? More on how
he`s trying to do that in just a minute.

Plus, where can you find the rest of the GOP field today? And where can
you find conservatives who are against Mike Huckabee? We`ll tell you about

Also, President Obama marking a huge milestone in his presidency just
yesterday. Details on that are coming up.

Plus, is Hillary setting a trap for republicans on immigration? And did it
work? We`ll be taking a look at how her week is going. That is ahead in
today`s show. As well as this, Tom Brady`s week with new reports that a
punishment might be in the works from the NFL. So, what is ahead for the
New England Patriot quarterback, someone who disagrees with me very
strongly on deflate-gate, he`s going to be here. We`re going to argue
that. You`re going to want to see that.

But we begin this morning at a place that exerts in outsize influence on
republican presidential politics. And with someone who hopes to foment his
own family`s White House legacy. The place is Liberty University, it`s in
Lynchburg, Virginia. It was founded by the late Reverend Jerry Falwell.
Farwell who also created the moral majority back in the 1980s. That group
mobilizing millions of evangelical Christians into republican politics for
the first time. And pushing the Republican Party to the right in the years
and decades that have followed. Liberty University is now a major
institution within the republican world.

Twenty five years ago, it was Jeb Bush`s father, George H.W. Bush when he
was president, he delivered the commencement address at Liberty University
back in 1990. More recently, when Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for
president in March, he did that at Liberty University. In 2008, on his way
to the republican presidential nomination, it was Senator John McCain
giving the commencement address at Liberty University. That was actually a
major reversal for McCain, he had once called Jerry Falwell, quote, "an
agent of intolerance." That was a comment that may have contributed to his
defeat in the 2000 republican primaries.

And today, it will be Jeb Bush, in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he will give
this year`s commencement address at Liberty University. It is a speech
that comes at a very precarious time for Jeb Bush. With fresh signs that
conservatives may be revolting against him. And against him candidacy.
More details on that in just a moment.

But first, we do want to go to MSNBC`s Jane Timm. She is on the ground in
Lynchburg. She`ll be covering that address today. Jane, I see the
stadium, it looks like it is already filling up. What can we expect today
from Jeb Bush?

JANE TIMM, MSNBC REPORTER: Good morning, Steve. Today we`re going to hear
Jeb really make his case to 35,000 evangelical Christians. About 2,500 of
them were sort of the college seniors ready to go start their professional
career. There 30,000 are online students and families. And those are the
people that I`m really going to be looking carefully at to how they respond
to Bush talking about the faith, talking about the values he cares about
and he shares with this crowd. He struggled with them as you said. But he
really, you know, he has some sort of prolife credentials that I think he`s
hoping will impress these people. And as the polling in Iowa can sort of
show you what, you know, is happening with the conservative movement. How
they`re really not looking at Jeb too seriously. But I think that we need
to remember, this isn`t a reaction to those poll numbers, this has been in
the plans since December. The university told me that they reached out,
team Jeb reached out to them in December 2014 and said, you know, I think
the governor would like to do the commencement speech. How about that?
They said yes to justice, they said yes to Ted Cruz wanting to be his
speech here.

KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC`s Jane Timm live in Lynchburg, Virginia. A
lot going on there, thank you for that report. And as Jane eluded to there
as we mentioned at the top of the show. Some troubling new poll numbers
for Jeb Bush when it comes to conservative voters. This week, I want to
take you through those for just a minute here. Let`s start if we could put
it up here in Iowa. We got to slide over. I thought they were going to
put it up. Here we go. So, this is the current horse race in Iowa on the
republican side. And you can see this came out this week. Look at this.
One, two, three, four, five, six. Seventh place.

That`s where Jeb Bush sits in Iowa right now with just five percent of the
vote. You see Scott Walker out in front with 21. All those other
republican candidates between Scott Walker in first place and Jeb Bush all
the way back at five percent. You think about this. The brother, the son
of a former republican president, all that money he`s raising, just five
percent right now in Iowa. More troubling for Jeb, look at this. This is
in Iowa, you ask republicans, do you have a favorable or unfavorable view
of Jeb Bush, look at that. More say unfavorable than favorable than
favorable. That is a very bad place to be in the first of the nation`s
caucus states. Why a lot people say for Jeb Bush he might want to think
about skipping or downplaying Iowa maybe focusing more on the next state in
line, that`s New Hampshire.

So, let`s take a look at how he`s doing there. Well, this is a new poll
out just this week from WMUR, the big TV station up there in New Hampshire.
And it does have Jeb Bush doing better in New Hampshire. He is leading,
though with just 15 percent of the vote there. So, not exactly
overpowering in terms of the number. But he is faring better in New
Hampshire. The electorate might be a little more suitable to him there.
But again, take a closer look here in New Hampshire, and you can see a
potential problem for Jeb Bush. You ask republican voters in New
Hampshire, you have a favorable, unfavorable view of these candidates.
Look at this, Marco Rubio, who is not in first place, but by a 44 point
margin they have favorable view of him. Scott Walker, 36 point margin.
Rand Paul, 20 point margin.

You go all the way down. Jeb Bush`s margin among republicans only 11
points. Forty five percent in New Hampshire saying a favorable view of
him. Thirty four unfavorable view. So, again, even though New Hampshire
looks like more fertile ground for Jeb Bush, there are a lot of problem
signs for him in these numbers. There are a lot of suggestions in these
numbers in New Hampshire and Iowa that he has a real problem with
conservative voters. Now in Jeb Bush`s last trip to the granite state, he
did loosened his belt a little bit so he could eat some pie at a politics
and pie event. And he promised that Mew Hampshire would be a frequent stop
for him in the year ahead.


FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: I do intend to be back here pretty
regularly. A lot. A lot of that depends on the decision process that I
have. My intention and hope is to be here. I learn a lot when I come.
It`s a great place to campaign. People are really fun to be with.


KORNACKI: Yes, there`s that decision process for Jeb Bush. Now he`s got
his mind if he`s running or not I guess. But anyway, should Jeb give up on
Iowa, focus more on New Hampshire. Let`s ask our guest this morning.

We have Robert Costa, national political reporter with "The Washington
Post." And here on set our panel, David Corn, an MSNBC contributor and
Washington Bureau Chief with Mother Jones. John Hart with the
communications director for republican Senator Tom Coburn, now editor-in-
chief of the media site Opportunity Lives. And Lauren Victoria Burke, a
managing editor at the Site Politic365 and a contributor to The Root.

Well, Robert Costa out in Chicago, let me start with you. So, you look at
those numbers we just put up in Iowa, you look at the numbers in New
Hampshire. I feel we have this debate with the supposed republican
frontrunners for four years. Should Romney skip Iowa? Should McCain skip
Iowa? Romney didn`t skip Iowa in 2012. McCain sort of made the play
forward in 2008. How does Iowa factor in to Jeb Bush plans for 2016?

ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Bush doesn`t want to look like he`s
skipping Iowa. He wants to come probably in the top three. This is Bush`s
strategy when it comes to appearing at a place like Liberty. He knows Iowa
is going to be very difficult, crowded healed on the right. He knows his
real place in New Hampshire. But when it comes to Iowa and South Carolina
and other evangelical heavy states, he still wants to be seen as a
contender. Because his play is to be in the long run the nominee, someone
who can play in a lot of places.

KORNACKI: Are you Robert, when you talk to people, first of all I guess in
Bush`s world, but also in the republican world in general, is there any
surprise that this is where he is five months into this? Is there a
thought that yes, we knew this would be a tough slug, but we didn`t think
it would be this tough.

COSTA: Some of Bush`s closest allies are frankly stunned that Governor
Bush has not surged ahead. That was the whole point of Bush`s early move
toward Iran in December in January. Shocking all they call it. Let`s
raise a 100 million plus perhaps for the second PAC, let`s put the rest of
the field at bay. And that hasn`t happened. When you look at Bushes in
the polls, he`s still at the top, he`s in the top tier but he`s kind of
static as a candidate. He`s not generating energy on the campaign trail.
That has Bush people nervous. But they think because of their money and
their organizational advantage they can survive.

KORNACKI: Dave, that was getting a reaction from you. Are surprised or
not surprised?

DAVID CORN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTER: He reminds me of the Mitt Romney people
being surprised and shocked that they lost. I mean, it seems going into
this, any smart political operative would have to realize that Jeb Bush had
a tremendous amount of baggage. And that he was also out of step with the
base of his party. And thus -- they should also know after Citizen`s
United that even if they raised $100 million it wouldn`t matter. Because
every candidate just as their own billionaire. Marco Rubio has a
billionaire, Ted Cruz has a hedge fund guy from Long Island that`s given
$30 million. So, it seems to me to indicate that they`re kind of dimwits.
They`re surprised by it.

KORNACKI: Well, John Hart, what do you think of it? I mean, the
resistance to Bush on the right, where it comes from and how pronounced do
you think it is?

JOHN HART, OPPORTUNITY LIVES: Well, it comes from his brother. So, you
know, President Bush was seen as an over spender, big spender by the right.
And the Tea Party was in response to President Bush`s overspending. But
it`s so early in the race right now, it`s too soon to say that he should
drop out of Iowa. And the good news is, the fundamentals of the race are
very strong for republicans. We have a deep field, we have a deep talent
to all. So, Bush isn`t it a panic. Republicans aren`t in a panic because
if it isn`t Bush, it could be Walker, it could be Rubio. It could be
anyway that --

KORNACKI: Well, in a way though, that`s Bush`s problem too. Right? I
mean, Mitt Romney, you think back in 2012, you think back to Mitt Romney
and he had to be Herman Cain.


KORNACKI: You have to be Michelle Bachmann.

BURKE: Right.

KORNACKI: You have to be Newt Gingrich. Jeb Bush`s challenge here is,
it`s not just skepticism from the right, but it`s the fact that there are
so many more options for republicans --

BURKE: That`s true. You know, I don`t know that skipping on Iowa is that
big of a deal. I mean, Iowa hasn`t proven to be the place that has picked
the President too many times. You had to tie between Santorum in 2012,
Santorum and Romney. So, why should he worry about in a big money race
where the money is going to drive him to the end, in 500 days, so we will
going to be talking about Iowa? Probably not. We`re probably going to be
talking about something else. So, in the long game, with the big money, I
think him skipping Iowa is not that big of a deal.

CORN: There`s only one reason I think why he shouldn`t skip Iowa. That
will kick-off evangelicals and social conservatives enough that will have a
ripple effect in other states. And even going into the general, they
might, you know, and they create a narrative that he doesn`t really care
about, so --

BURKE: When he names his brother as his top --


When he names his brother as his top advisor, I mean, that to me is
something from a foreign policy right wing standpoint that maybe something
actually helps him.

KORNACKI: Specifically on the question of Israel would be, he considers
his closest advisor. Now, Robert Costa, let me ask you this though, so
when you look at the rest of this field right now, you see Scott Walker
still out in front in Iowa. In that polling, in New Hampshire you see
Marco Rubio with the best gap there between the favorable and the
unfavorable number among republicans. Who right now is best position if
Jeb Bush is going to be beaten by one of these guys, who is best positioned
to do it?

COSTA: Scott Walker had a big bump back in January. We`ve seen that kind
of fade. Jeb Bush has certainly flat lined in the polls. This is then
Rubio`s moment. Can Rubio make the summer before the election his time to
rise? Make a generational contrast, not only with Clinton but with the
rest of the republican field. But because it`s so crowded on the right,
don`t count out Cruz, Huckabee and the others who look at Iowa as launching
pad, that`s going to be an intense competition.

KORNACKI: I mean, it`s so interesting, David. Like, I just, I look at
those poll numbers and I`m struck by a couple of things, one, I see Jeb
Bush at 15 percent in New Hampshire. I say, well, that`s kind of low. But
you just start adding up the numbers of all of the opponents. You say if
they could ever condense that field against him.

CORN: Well, yes, I think 85 percent of New Hampshire voters don`t want to
vote for Jeb Bush at this point in time. But it is. But his number is low
in part because it is such a wide field. I mean, think about what`s going
to happen if we have a debate. You know, up to 20 candidates on one stage.
And I don`t know how they are going to do this. Who is for revolution,
show your hands? Jeb is up or down, come on, yes or no? I mean, it`s
going to be really hard for all these candidates to work their way not just
through the debates but through the media and try to connect with people.
And I think everybody is going to have their moment. You know, like
Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain had moments. So, if they had moments
certainly Ted Cruz and Huckabee will.

BURKE: They were talking about Christie all that time and now he`s down.

CORN: Now his down.

BURKE: John McCain was written out of that in 2008 in September.

CORN: Yes. Well, look at Santorum. You know, Rick Santorum, he was not a
factor at all. He was not a factor at all at this point. He barely
announced he was going to run and then he wins Iowa.

HART: Before Iowa really was when he --

CORN: It shows you how much can change. But you know, the breadth of our
field is a strength. We have so many qualified candidates.

HART: Well, I won`t argue the point, but go ahead.


CORN: And that`s Jeb Bush`s great strength is that he has a record that he
can point to and say I ran and, you know, one governor and I implement a
conservative policy.

KORNACKI: He says that but the right is looking and they`re saying the
thing, I keep hearing is common core. Yes. The big issue to us, the
right, you weren`t there for us.

CORN: Yes.

HART: And immigration. Immigration and common core are the two issues he
has to overcome in the sense that he`s part of the Bush dynasty. But if he
can continue to talk about his record, he can be a contender and he`ll
continue to be. And I think Robert Costa is right. His goal is not to win
Iowa but to be in the top three.

KORNACKI: So, to that point, Robert, I mean, you say he`s at Liberty in
Lynchburg today. That line that Jeb Bush has to walk when he sort of got
into this race or said that he was thinking about getting in this race,
that`s where he technically is right now. But he said you want to be
willing to lose the primary to win the general election. He did not want
to fall for traps that his people think, you know, failed Mitt Romney back
in 2012. Is there a reconsideration to that do you think right now among
the Bush people seeing the damage that`s been done among conservatives.

COSTA: There is certainly discussion in Bush world about change in the
strategy. They`re worried that Bush is making a compelling argument about
how best to win a general election against Clinton. You got to run a
general election strategy in the primary. But at their donor retreat last
month in Miami, I think there was a lot of private concern that Bush has to
find a way to maybe change his way and really gets some enthusiasm going or
else he`s not even going to get the nomination to be able to run in a
general election.

KORNACKI: I think this is I mean, we`ve been talking about a lot it in the
show. But I think this is just such a fascinating story. Because when you
think of George H.W. Bush in AVA (ph). George W. in 2000. They were coax
for this guys pretty much. And Jeb is using a completely different world
right now. It`s fascinating to watch this.

Thanks to Robert Costa with "The Washington Post" for joining us this
morning. I appreciate that. And still ahead as we continue this Saturday
morning, which Oscar winning actress just signed on to play Ruth Bader

Also dangerous storms across the southern plains, could more severe weather
be underway. We are going to go to the heart of tornado alley coming up.


KORNACKI: A tense weekend of severe weather expected for the central part
of the country. It`s a large twister touching down last night in Northern
Texas. Reports that cars were overturned and buildings damaged. Luckily
though, no word so far that anyone was hurt. For more on the tornado
watches now in Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere.

NBC News meteorologist Dylan Dreyer is live on the ground in Norman,
Oklahoma. Dylan.

DYLAN DREYER, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Steve. We`ve been spending the
last couple of days here at the National Weather Center in Norman,
Oklahoma. It`s here where the storm prediction center issues their tornado
and severe thunderstorm watches. And also, the local forecasting office,
issues the warnings that we tend to broadcast. Those severe thunderstorm
and tornado warnings. Now, while we were here yesterday evening, we ended
up having a severe thunderstorm pass right through Norman, Oklahoma, just
to the north of the building I was in, we had baseball sized hail reported.
Also some of the streets around this neighborhood were completely flooded
to the point they had to be shut down.

This area, keep in mind, has seen several inches of rain over the past few
days and more rain is likely with these storms that are going to redevelop
later on this afternoon and evening. So, there is a tornado threat,
especially back through southwestern Kansas and the panhandle of Oklahoma.
But also remember that the storms have the large damaging hail, wind gusts
up to 60 or 70 miles per hour lightning, dangerous clouds are ground
lightning and the potential for flooding rain. So, there are a lot of
concerns when these storms fire up. So, even, later on today if you`re not
under a tornado warning, you need to be mindful of the severe thunderstorm
warnings that`s get issued. Because these storms are very serious and need
to be taken with full precaution because they could really cause some
damage -- Steve.

KORNACKI: Yes, I know, I mean, there`s these pictures we`re showing beside
you there from last night. That image is chilling to watch. Thank God, so
far no reports of many injuries from that. But my thanks to Dylan Dreyer
in Norman, Oklahoma. I appreciate that.

And up next as we continue this hour.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I hear Oregon wine is actually
pretty good. Somebody has told me that the pinot noir in Oregon is top-
notch, right?


I got some winemakers right here.


KORNACKI: President Obama stumping in the Pacific Northwest for a lot more
than just a wine industry. We will explain.

And later, new reports this morning of a possible suspension for Patriots
quarterback Tom Brady. Those details still to come. Stay with us.



OBAMA: There have been a bunch of critics about trade deals generally and
the transpacific partnership. And what`s interesting is typically they`re
my friends coming from my party. And they`re my fellow travelers on
minimum wage and on job training and on clean energy and on every
progressive issue, they`re right there with me. And then on this one, they
are like, whooping on me. On trade, I actually think some of my dearest
friends are wrong. They`re just wrong.


KORNACKI: As President Obama yesterday making new friends at Nike
Headquarters in Oregon, and criticizing some of his old friends. Democrats
in the Senate, quite a few republicans too standing in the way of getting
Obama`s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal or TPP passed. And it`s not
an accident that the President chose to give his remarks at a company where
nine out of ten workers who make his products are based in Asia. The
concern not so much of a deal like TPP would open up places like Vietnam
and China to buying American products. But the opposite that the U.S.
already relies far too heavily on Asian factory made goods as it is.

Joining the panel right now is Jared Bernstein, former chief economist and
economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. Also author of the new book,
"The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity." He`s also an
MSNBC contributor.

Well, Jared, let me ask you about, do you see an evolution of President
Obama`s thinking when it comes to trade? Because I`m thinking back to the
democratic primaries in 2008, I`m thinking to the issue of NAFTA.
Candidate Obama talking about -- basically trashing NAFTA, talking about
renegotiating NAFTA`s president was a bad deal for this country. That
hasn`t happened in the last few years. And now he`s basically fighting his
own party to get another one of these free trade deals through. Has
something changed in the last few years?

think it`s not unusual for democratic presidents to kind of fake left and
go right on the trade issue. So, I think that he is coming from a very
sort of traditional kind of centrist place here with the idea that more
trade is better. And by the way, he does have some textbook support for
that case. The problem is that these complex trade agreements, the Trans-
Pacific Partnership has 29 chapters. You know, if you really want free
trade, it`s actually pretty simple. These are not the kind of textbook
deals that I think he`s envisioning when he`s talking about all of these
benefits. There are many complications, some of which boost free of trade,
some of them which are protection as the nature. So, it`s a lot more
complicated than he`s making it sound.

KORNACKI: Where do you come down on the basic debate here? Because, so
there was good news yesterday, in a way, he`s out at Nike and Nike says,
hey, if this Trans-Pacific Partnership passes, we`re going to add 10,000
manufacturing jobs here in the United States. And he say, well, you know,
that`s good Nike doesn`t really make shoes here in the U.S. anymore. So,
that`s new job. At the same time, to give you a sense of the scale, Nike
is basically employing a million people right now. Overseas, 10,000 is
almost a drop in the bucket. Almost seems like a tau conjecture.

BERNSTEIN: Well, I think they employ about 26,000 people here domestically
now. And as you said a million overseas. Look, I would strongly and
deeply discount any of these job creation numbers. And to be fair, I`d
discount some of the ideas on the other side that says if it passes it`s
going to destroy the economy. Trade boosters always very overpromise. And
I think the White House is doing that as well. Look, at the end of the
day, trade creates winners and losers. And people who oppose the deal,
typically in Congress are those who represent lots of Americans who have
been hurt by not just globalization, because globalization is often a
powerful force for good both here and abroad. But the fact that the U.S.
has consistently run very large trade deficits. And one of the problems
with the TPP is, it does not have these enforceable currency protections
that could actually help us -- our manufacturers kind of compete on a more
leveling playing field. So, nobody really knows what is in the TPP.
Because it`s negotiate in secret. What we know is that a currency chapter
is not in there and I think that`s a problem.

KORNACKI: Let me bring the panel in on this and talk about the politics
here for a second. And so, John, from your party`s standpoint, from the
republican`s standpoint, I noticed this week, Mitch McConnell who generally
doesn`t have that much kind to say about the White House, about President
Obama, said this week he wants to give the President credit for the
leadership that he is showing this issue. This is an interesting place for
republicans to be you with the President on this.

HART: Right. Exactly. The problem that President Obama has is not his
fellow travelers, it`s his well-worn path of failed progressive policies.
So, all the policies he listed off, are the reason we`ve had stagnant wage
growth, and the reason we`ve had any kind of recovery is really is because
of what republican governors have done across the country. So, trade is
one of the issues --

KORNACKI: We`ll let David get in a second here.

HART: But trade is an issue that brings both sides together. And it`s not
a fantasy. It does create winners or losers but more winners than losers.


CORN: We`ve had stagnant wages for 30 years since 1979. So, if you
wanted, through Reagan`s years he had the recession there.

KORNACKI: It was pretty good after the Reagan years. Go back and look at
the numbers.

CORN: Flat income for a long time.

KORNACKI: That is true.

CORN: Okay. And it`s not because of raising the minimum wage. And
manufacturing jobs did not leave the Mount Valley in Pittsburgh because of
democratic policies. But that aside, the interesting thing is you say
trade brings you know, republicans and democrats together. Opposition to
trade, or to trade deals like this, not to trade, to free trade, not fair
trade, also bring republicans and democrats together. We saw that with
NAFTA. We had Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot and Ralph Nadir --

KORNACKI: Ralph Nadir.

CORN: All joining together and you have unions. And you have people now
like Mike Huckabee who is, you know, running for President as a
conservative populist who is against the straight deal.

KORNACKI: Yes. We`ll talk more about the Huckabee, that`s a very
fascinating thing happenings on the Right right now.

CORN: But I think Jared is right because at the end of the day, the
hardest thing to sort out is these promises. Deals are negotiated in
secret. I can`t believe anything that Nike says. I mean, why would a free
trade deal like this cause them to make more shoes here when they can make
them in Vietnam as well? I mean, why they haven`t explain why.

KORNACKI: That is something though Lauren, that is something the President
has been, I think, quietly -- maybe not so quietly been pushing for with a
lot of these corporate leaders. There was a story a few years ago before
Steve -- he was out talking to Steve Jobs in California trying to get those
jobs, some of those manufacturing jobs back in jobs apparently just looked
at him and said, Mr. President, those jobs are gone.

BURKE: Exactly. The problem with this entire thing is the President has
never been able to articulate exactly why this trade deal is good for the
American workers. And Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been able
to articulate why exactly they`re against it and give numbers. At the time
when the wealth gap is at its worse since 1928, we`ve got 45 million people
in poverty. People don`t want to hear about how, you know, it makes us
competitive with China. They want to hear about Vietnam, they want to hear
about why the trade deal helps us here in the United States. Helps
American workers here in the United States until yesterday, he`s never
articulated that. He just said everybody is wrong. He`s getting the -- no
specifics. And that`s a problem.

KORNACKI: Yes. Jared, just that basic question and that line from Steve
Jobs, those jobs are gone. Is that right, are they just gone and we should
stop thinking about them?

BERNSTEIN: Actually, I don`t know that that`s necessarily right. It is
true that in every advanced economy the share of employment that`s in
manufacturing is going down. That`s just kind of a natural evolution. But
I think what`s really hurt us in terms of our manufacturers is that we`ve
had really large trade deficits for 30 years. That means that we`ve bought
a lot more from them than we`ve been able to sell to other countries. And
one of the reasons is because lots of the other countries with whom we
trade they manage their currency so that their exports are subsidized and
our exports to them are taxed.

And so many of us who don`t really have a big position on the TPP, again
nobody has read it have said, listen White House, we`re really not wrong
about this. I really didn`t like the President getting in everybody`s
grill saying, you`re wrong. We know we`re right about this on the
economics. That this problem of currency management has really hurt us.
So, here`s a big trade bill, and as the panel just said these trade
deficits have hurt us. Why not put measures in here that would actually
help American exporters compete on a more level playing field. The fact
that`s not in the deal, you know, that is problematic. And I really don`t
like to hear the President who I consider, you know, an ally on economic
issues, to be so dismissive of that point.

KORNACKI: All right. Jared Bernstein, interesting observations out in
Washington. I appreciate you taking the time this morning. Thank you very

BERNSTEIN: Sure. My pleasure.

KORNACKI: And on the way back east, from Oregon yesterday, President Obama
stopping in South Dakota where he delivered the commencement address for a
community college. The event quietly representing a milestone, not just
for the graduates there but also for the President himself.


OBAMA: I have now been to all 50 states as president and I was saving the
best for last.


To the other 49, I hope you take no offense.



KORNACKI: And with that, President Obama is now the fourth American
president to have visited all 50 states while in office. And as we go to
break right here, with much more ahead this hour, we thought we would mark
that milestone by showing some of the amazing pictures that official White
House photographer Pete Souza has taken over the past six-and-a-half years
traveling with the President to some of those other 49 states. Stay with


KORNACKI: There is a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up on
some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel. Let`s start
with this. We need to start with video here. This is amazing. We`ll do a
changeup pitch away from politics and get to sports. Because last night,
if you weren`t watching this, if you were, you want to watch this again.
Game two, eastern conference semifinals. The Chicago Bulls, the underdog
Bulls, against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. And look at this.
Buzzer beater, a 26 footer. Let`s play it and then just talk about it for
a second.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Listen, five throws. Trying to get open. Fires away.
It`s over. The Bulls win at the buzzer.


KORNACKI: Derrick Rose, I said game two, that was game three. It gives
them the Bulls a two-to-one lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers. I`d like to
say, I did kind of predict this one here. I also predicted the Bull will
beat the Cavs. I also said the Spurs would win the Western Conference.
So, maybe I`ll go one for two. And that`s just, that`s amazing to watch,
the Cavs are in some serious trouble in that series right now. That`s
Derrick Rose again 26 footer and he called glass. What else do we have
here for the headlines? This is from deadline Hollywood. Says Parker
Sawyers to play young Barack Obama in is am Global`s Southside with you.

So, this is a romantic dramedy, that`s what they`re calling. Movie being
made about Michelle and Barack Obama`s fist date back in 1989 in Chicago.
Tika Sumpter is going to play Michelle Obama, you might know her from the
James Brown biopic "Get on UP." And Parker Sawyer who plays Obama just
wrapped up productions on Oliver Stone`s film about Edward Snowden. I
didn`t know there was going to be in Oliver Stone`s film. I hope it`s
better that one about Bush a few years ago. He had, you know, born on the
Fourth of July, that was a good one.

And we have another movie headline here, this is from MSNBC, Natalie
Portman cast to play Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Portman is going to start as the
Supreme Court justice in the biopic in the basis of texts. It is about
Ginsberg`s early career fighting for equal rights for women. The film is
slated to start production at the end of this year, Portman won an Oscar in
2011 for Black Swan.

CORN: I just hope that they get Joe Pesci to play Justice Scalia.


HART: I want to see the Obama Bromance movie.


KORNACKI: Oh, there we go. You got to write the script, you could
probably -- this is a former Tom Coburn guy. You could probably write the
script for that. But --

CORN: Other than Obama Biden road trip comedy movie.

KORNACKI: Now the Clintons are back, we got to get a Clinton movie going
here. We got a Phil Hartman had that great Clinton impersonation.
Unfortunately he`s not with us anymore but we need somebody for that.

Anyway, still ahead, Hillary Clinton`s bold statements on immigration
reform, were they about policy or political strategy? But first, a cold
war ritual making a comeback on the streets of Moscow this morning. Take a
look at this video. The details are next. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: Relations between the U.S. and Russia may be at their lowest
point since the cold war. But today, Russia is celebrating one of its
greatest victories, a victory that came with the help of the United States.
Vladimir Putin helped to lead the parade marking the 70th anniversary of
the soviet victory over Nazi Germany. More than 16,000 troops taking part
in the annual parade. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was among the
dignitaries at the parade. There were also a few European leaders who were
in attendance, perhaps a sign of Russia`s strained relationship with its
neighborhood neighbors. The Obama administration chose to send Secretary
of State John Kerry to Paris instead to mark the anniversary. Victory day
as it is known in Russia is the country`s most important secular holiday.

Still ahead, will Mike Huckabee`s appeal to the populists cost him with

And next --


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SECRETARY OF STATE: The action by the President
yesterday will only encourage more people to come here illegally and
putting their lives at risk.


KORNACKI: That is how republicans reacted to the President Obama`s
executive action on immigration reform. So, how will they react to Hillary
Clinton taking an even bolder stance? Their reaction may surprise you.
Stay with us.



partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put dreamers,
including those with us today, at risk of deportation. And if Congress
continues to refuse to act, as president I would do everything possible
under the law to go even further.


KORNACKI: Hillary Clinton calling for a path to full and equal citizenship
for the so-called dreamers on Tuesday. Promising to not only going further
than President Obama has on undocumented immigrants. But was she also
trying to bait the republican presidential field into responding? After
all this is an issue where democrats believe they have a clear advantage
over republicans. They think that Mitt Romney really hurt himself by
running hard to the right on immigration during the 2012 primaries. And
democrats would love for the next GOP candidate to do the same. Now, here
is what some of those republican candidates had to say about what Hillary
had to say this week. Scott Walker calling Clinton`s plan, quote, "Unfair
to hardworking Americans." Ted Cruz writing on Facebook, that quote,
"Hillary Clinton`s declared pro-amnesty platform confirms that she indeed
is running for Obama`s third term."

Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush though notably stayed silent this week. I`ll
bring the panel into this right now and talk maybe about the politics here
that Clinton is trying to set up. If we sort of advance her into the
general election she has to obviously survive on the democratic side.
Assuming she does and she`s looking ahead here, John, you know this is
something -- you hear this from democrats all the time, and you hear this
from republicans too. They think of Mitt Romney in 2012. And he`s in
those debates and he`s trying to shore up his credentials on the right.
And he talks about self-deportation. And it`s a line that ends up punting
him all the way to Election Day, seems to me Hillary thinks, you know,
there`s an opportunity to get that same kind of race going on this time.

HART: Right. It`s a very high risk strategy for Hillary Clinton. I think
she is setting a trap for herself more than republicans.

KORNACKI: What`s the trap for Hillary?

HART: The trap is that she`s overreached. So, she is going beyond even
what President Obama did. And I think you`re right. Democrats tend to
have an advantage because republicans have not found a clear voice on it.
But what`s different about this year, is we have several candidates who
have a great message on immigration. And it sounds it more like -- well, I
think Rubio does, Bush --

CORN: Rubio -- four great messages because they keep changing their views.

KORNACKI: Bush, I would say, it seems to me that Bush has pretty
consistently maintained his posture on immigration in the last few months.
He`s taken some heat. He talked about the National Review and he said,
look, I disagree with you guys. But Rubio seems has sort of backtracked on
this over the last year.

HART: Well, I think he has a message he also has a personal narrative and
a story. I think in a campaign, people will listen to his story more than
they`ll listen to his policy positions quite frankly.

KORNACKI: I don`t think --

HART: And that will give him the opportunity to clarify what he will do as

KORNACKI: The power biography, you have Ted Cruz with the Cuban
background, you have Marco Rubio --

CORN: I think what happens in those instances, it allows people who don`t
want to help the dreamers and the rest to feel good about voting for
somebody who won`t do that. But the people, the constituency that the
Republican Party has said again and again it needs to bring in I think will
not move just because Ted Cruz`s dad came here from Cuba before the
revolution. We`ve had this going on for a couple years now, and you`ve had
the Latino community here. I think we`re very, very mindful of what Obama
is doing, what republican candidates are saying, those of them who vote,
and I don`t think Rubio is going to be able to skate by this, by just
pointing to his own personal background.

KORNACKI: What do you think of that Lauren? Because I mean, that is sort
of a personal narrative is a big part of Marco Rubio`s candidacy talking
about, you know, his parents coming to this country really with nothing.
And talking about only in America could I a child of parents of such modest
background rise to this level. Does that help, the numbers to get into
this, 70 percent basically that`s the percent that democrats got with
Latinos in 2012? Republicans have to erode that.

BURKE: Yes. I think the narrative unfortunately that he has personally is
running counter to what he believes policy wise. He used to actually have
a centrist position. He was on the Senate`s immigration bill and he
dropped off. Now, he can`t decide what to say. So, Marco Rubio is sort of
floating out there because he can`t decide what his policy is. Which is,
you know, Hillary Clinton would -- by doing this of course is going after
the Hispanic block of voters that he`s voting. Less and less with the
Republican Party. She knows that. She`s deciding very emphatically that
the Hispanic block is more important than centrist voters which is very
interesting. At some point she`s going to have to explain just like
criminal justice with the 1994 Clinton crime bill, her husband`s 1996
immigration bill that basically pushed more arrests of immigrants. So, at
some point that`s going to come up if she has somebody to debate with that
will bring it up.

KORNACKI: The difference between where the democrats were in the 90s and
the Clinton years and where they are going right now.


KORNACKI: We`ll talk about that in a minute. But staying on immigration
point. And John I wonder, so you say Hillary Clinton has overreached here
a little bit. But I think the position that she wants to put republicans
on it, is she wants her republican opponent in 2016 to be looking at the
people who have been affected by the President`s actions right now.
People, a 23-year-old who was brought to this country years ago, was not
that person`s decision, has been a student in good standing, all these
things. You know, Hillary wants her republican opponent to have to say in
a debate yes, I want to undo the protections that President Obama put in
place for that person. Are the republicans going to be forced into that

HART: I don`t think they will be. I think what Hillary is doing is
unifying republicans rather than -- republicans. I think she`s staked out
a very extreme position that has gone way beyond what President Obama did.
And I think republicans are going to coalesce around a clear policy as a
result of her overreached.

KORNACKI: And even --

CORN: How do the republicans -- whatever Hillary does, how do they come to
terms with coming up with a unified policy when you have people like Jeb
Bush who would like some immigration reform with a path to citizenship and
we have people like Ted Cruz and others who are out there saying over our
dead bodies. I mean, there is really a tremendous gap, you know, between
the pro-business community and the Republican Party and the Tea Party
crowd. Which doesn`t want any form of pathway to citizenship.

HART: That`s just not the case. The division between the Republican Party
is vastly overstated on immigration. So an issue like border security --


We have a three percent apprehension rate over the border. So for a lot of
conservatives, the notion that we would even consider border security is a

KORNACKI: I had to say, I want to get this in, too. Because this was
Gerald Seib in the Wall Street Journal this week, wrote something that I
thought was really interesting. Basically saying that this whole debate
over immigration is based on the premise that is sort of caught in a time
warp. And what he was saying is the premise of this immigration debate,
this is from Gerald Seib this week. "The waves of Hispanic immigrants are
sweeping across our southern borders, swelling the nation`s population of
undocumented immigrants and transforming the culture and economy is caught
in a time warp dominated by trends of decades past and largely missing the
immigration issues that really matter today."

And what he`s saying is, if you look at this, it is now the flow of
immigrants in this country is not coming from the south, it`s not coming
from Mexico, it`s not coming from Central America, it`s coming from China
and it`s coming from India. The most recent data shows Mexico now number
three in terms of this. So, basically saying look, we`ve been having this
debate for so long in this country and the basic premise is outdated.

CORN: It`s a cultural debate. A lot of people in the Tea Party, a lot of
republicans don`t like this idea of whether it`s legal immigration or
undocumented workers coming in here. A lot of them talk about what`s
happened to the country. And I think that`s code term for saying we don`t
want many Latinos here. And I think that is a true divide within the
Republican Party. People like Jeb Bush don`t see a problem with that.
Look at his own family. But other people in the base of the party do. And
that`s why this is going to continue to drive the debate.

BURKE: Because these members go home particularly from the south and they
hear their constituents talk about this all the time. That`s why I`m not -
- announced with this.

HART: Well, yes, I think the bigger problem is we haven`t had a real
recovery. We haven`t had wage growth. And so, people talk about
immigration in that context. And so we need to have a pro-growth smart
immigration policy that secures the border that creates jobs. And that
lets people in to the country and goes back to a Reagan model of talking
about it. Which was walls with doors.

CORN: But still you got to come up with an issue of what do you do, 10,
11, 12 people who are here. And the republicans can`t --

KORNACKI: That`s what the Hillary people are thinking. That`s what the
Hillary people are thinking. You go into 2016, you want that republican
opponent saying, yes, those protections I`m going to undo them. They want
to corner them on that. Let`s see if she`s able to do that.

We have talked about Hillary Clinton`s ambitious immigration plan. Still
ahead though, another first from Hillary this week that separated her from
every democrat who has ever made a run for president. That and another
full hour of news and politics. That is next.


KORNACKI: What`s at the top of Hillary`s to do list? And thanks for
staying with us as we continue this Saturday morning. We`re going to have
more on that severe weather threat facing the central part of the country
this weekend. Just a few minutes from now. Also, if Hillary Clinton`s
plans for this week unfolded the way we think she meant them to, then she`s
had a pretty successful week. We`re going to explain that in just a
minute. Plus, what is Chris Christie up to at the end of the a busy week on
the campaign trail in New Hampshire? And why isn`t he joining the rest of
the field in what they all seem to be doing together?

Also, we`re going to look at the secret to Mike Huckabee`s success with
Conservative primary voters. And why that doesn`t mean necessarily that
he`s popular among all of the right. Plus, taking a piece of history with
you when you leave. An aspect of visiting the White House that doesn`t
always bring out the best in people. And finally, there are new reports
this morning of a possible suspension for patriots` quarterback Tom Brady.
Going to want to stick around to hear about that.

But, we begin this hour with what we imagine Hillary Clinton`s to-do list
could have looked like this week. With three big ticket items regarding
her bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Now, first on the
list, we`re putting it up on the screen for you there, shoring up
Democratic support. There`s been cautious skepticism from some of the left
about Hillary`s candidacy so far. Now, with no real strong Democratic
challengers to push her on the issues, would she be advocating for the
progressive wing of the party.

Well, two articles from the New York Times in the past couple of days
indicating skepticism is starting to weigh and that keeping the party
issues is a priority of her, quote "Her near term strategy is to catch up
with the steady migration of many Democratic primary voters to the left
wing of their party". Times adding, the Democratic strategist are
optimistic that the issues she has spoken out progressively about so far,
immigration and same sex marriage, will actually help her with ceintures
voters, with swing voters. With voter outside the Democratic (INAUDIBLE).

So for not, let`s give Clinton a check mark for shoring up Democratic
support this week. Next on our check list, not alienating the electric.
More specifically, what do we mean here? We mean trying to contain
potential damage from the flurry of stories about Clinton Foundation fund
raising that`s been making headlines. Not to mention, that State
Department e-mail scandal. New polls this week from NBC News and the Wall
Street Journal, also from the New York times and CBS News, both of them
show, well, they show a mixed bag. There`s a slight increase in negative
opinion of Clinton in the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll. Overall though,
her support slightly falling in that poll as well. However, The New York
times-CBS poll shows her favorability rating jumping nine points from their
last poll with her unfavorable holding near study. Both polls basically
landing in roughly the same spot. Suggesting that at least for now,
Clinton is not alienating any new chunks of the electric, despite all of
the negative stories lately. So, that`s another check mark for Hillary
Clinton on that to-do list.

And finally, keeping up with the Republican field. Hillary Clinton taking
a large leap this week, as the first Democratic presidential candidate of
the Super PAC era to fully embrace unlimited and untraceable campaign
funding. She`s going to be appearing at Super PAC fund raisers personally.
This is something that Barack Obama wouldn`t even do in 2012. Now, Jeb
bush is the one who set the tone early in the season with reports that even
the running of his campaign may be outsource to his Super PAC. A large
part of the Republican field relying on their Super PACs in varying ways.
So, Hillary Clinton, this week jumps on the Super PAC train, helping her
position in the big money game. So that is a check mark for her there,
although it does come with a catch because this is the same Hillary
Clinton, the one who is now fully embracing money embracing Super PAC in
her bid for the White House. This is the same Hillary Clinton who also says
that one of the reason she is running is to fight the role in big money in


HILLARY CLINTON, FMR SECRETARY OF STATE: We need to fix our dysfunctional
political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all.
Even if that takes a constitutional amendment.


KORNACKI: Is this a Super PAC flip-flop for Hillary? Or do you first have
to get the system to change, to win if you want to change the system.
Well, back with us to talk about it in Hillary`s week is our panel. MSNBC
Contributor, David Corn with Mother Jones, John Hart Former Communications
Director for Senator Tom Coburn and Lauren Victoria Burke with Politic 365.

So Lauren, let me start with you. Is this a flip-flop for Hillary Clinton?
Is that the way I understand it. She says hey, I want to get rid of big
money. I don`t like it. By the way, I`m going to a Super PAC fund raisers

BURKE: I don`t know what it is. I mean, this is going to be such a big
money race, that you`d be crazy to not have a Super PAC and not want more
big money. To change this thing structurally is going to take, probably,
you know, obviously, legislation or the Supreme Court or something. So, I
don`t know what -- where that came from.

KORNACKI : I guess the case would be, hey, it takes the Supreme Court,
potentially, if you want to get your people on the Supreme Court you got to
win the election. If you want to win the election you need the money.
That`s the rationalization for it.

CORN: I mean, what`s happened after Citizens United in particular, is that
the pendulum has swung so far to the advantage of big money players. And
particularly, billionaires who can just come in on their own and give
unlimited amounts of Super PACs or even worse, unlimited amounts of dark
money, which is not traceable or discloseable to 501 C 4, some of which are
affiliated or run by same people who are running the Super PACs.

And you have the koch brothers out there saying they`re going to - you know
they`re network is going to put in about a billion dollars into Super PACs
and dark money groups and so on. And so, in that environment, you know,
the clich‚ is, should the Democrats, if you believe in campaigning forming
and changing the system, should you disarm unilaterally and not participate
because if there`s going to throw billion dollars at Hillary Clinton to
drive down those, you know, those positives and up those negatives that you
just showed, can she sort of just say I`m going to stick around to raising
$2, 700 a pop for my own campaign and leave those hundreds of millions of
dollars off the table. Well, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, whoever else is out
there pocketing this. It`s a dilemma.

KORNACKI: I mean, in a way, we`ve been hearing for years, for decades, for
generations, there`s too much money in politics. The sums are
astronomical. They`re not serving (INAUDIBLE)

CORN: Those are going to be the good old days.

KORNACKI: I got to say, because I mean, look at this. This was a headline.
This was a couple days ago. The is the head of the FEC, The Federal
Election Commission, basically throwing up her hands and saying there`s
nothing I can do. Really about 2016 election abuses. Also, a Democratic
member of the FEC Commission, Ellen Weintraub, was on Rachel Maddow`s show
on Thursday. She sort of amplified that statement. Let`s listen to what
she had to say.


ELLEN WEINTRAUB, FOX BUSINESS: My concern is that what we`re seeing is a
race to the bottom. Because the candidates are out there and the Super PAC
and the outside spending groups that are even less transparent than the
Super PAC`s. They`re all out there watching and they`re seeing that the law
is not being enforced. They`re seeing we have the lowest penalty total
last year of any year since I think 1985. Despite the fact that the money
is being raised is going up and up and up. And hey are tempted.


KORNACKI: John, What do you think of this? Because, I mean, we saw this in
the 2012 primaries. That was sort of the revelation was, you know, Rick
Santorum could sort of stay up if Froster Freeze gave him the money, Newt
Gringrich got money from Sheldon Adelson. And these guys could stay afloat
for a long time. It was a brand new things in politics.

HART: You know, frankly, I think it`s the biggest non-issue in politics.
That, you know, the issue is Hillary Clinton`s hypocrisy and the problem is
not unaccountable money, it`s unaccountable government. So, we talk about
dark money in fundraising, but the darkest spending is what the Federal
Government doing with all the money we give him.

CORN: But that`s transparent Job, you get to see that in the budget, you
get to vote on it. (INAUDIBLE)

HART: It not always transparent at all.

KORNACKI : Shouldn`t the potential connection be there for everyone to see,
in terms of, okay, here`s the official action, here`s the vote that was in
the Senate. Here is the yes`s, here`s the no`s and here`s where everybody
got their money from?

HART: Let people decide. Let the voters make their decision.

CORN: But, we don`t --That`s not how the system works.

HART : But, when you think about how much money we spend in politics, it`s
a tiny fraction compared to what we spend upgrading our Iphones, what we
spend on video games. We spend ten times as much on X Box games than on
politics. So, it`s a big sort of frenzy over not anything in particular.

KORNACKI: I do wonder, though, if there is a point there about the
responsibility ultimately of average citizens, of every day citizens, this
is their democracy. This is our democracy. And, you know, at a certain
point, the information is out there. If you want to find out what the Koch
brothers are up to, you can find out.

CORN: To a certain degree.

KORNACKI: Right. If you want to find out -


KORNACKI: If you want to find out if somebody on the left who`s

HART: No. It`s dark money if it`s on the right, but you know, bright money
if it`s on the left. And it`s just ludicrous. But, as long as government
wants to be involved in every aspect our lives, there will be money in
politics. So, it`s a fool`s errand if you want to reduce the influence of
money in politics, reduce the influence of government and our money.


BURK: Or reduce the power of money in politics. I mean, come on now, we
know there`s a connection between corporate activity and what politicians
do and what they focus on. There`s no doubt about that. Whether or not
people care about it in a political race, a political campaign, I don`t
think people really care in terms of who they vote for because everybody is
getting money. So, it`s not as if Hillary`s going to get money and
Huckabee isn`t, everybody is. But the point is, in our politics, obviously,
there`s a huge effect on corporate dollars. There`s no doubt about that.

CORN: The Koch brothers have a very strong agenda. They`re very opposed to
say climate change. And some of that money they give is transparent. A
lot of money in they`re network is not transparent, so then you have people
get the money, making generationally important decisions. And you don`t
know who`s supporting them and whether they`re doing it for the right or
wrong reasons.

KORNACKI: I guess what I do wonder is we can make - we can point out all
of the problems with this, but do those problems exist? Are people able to
get away with this sort of thing because voters ultimately on some level
are okay with it. When you take a poll and ask campaign finance reform,
it`s not an issue that ever resonates with people. It`s not an issue that
people go out and vote on.

BURK: Well, campaign finance reform. But, money and politics in terms of
the issues and the way they`re affected I think would get a different

CORN: Now, if you ask people, hey, do you think billionaires should give
(INAUDIBLE) the money in secret to get their own people elected to office,
it might be difference (INAUDIBLE) on that one. Come on.

HART: The issue of crony capitalism is a big deal. So, conservatives have
found their voice on crony capitalism. We`re going after the X in back,
that a corporate welfare giveaway. You know, in Coburn`s office, we led the
fight on air marks and a quick aside, on the ethanol tax credit okay.
People talk about the Koch brothers all the time. We helped get rid of the
ethanol tax credit that helped the Koch business. And they helped us.
They didn`t do anything to stop us. And so, oftentimes, quote
"billionaires want to see a free and fair market".

CORN: Some do. No, Exxon wants a tax code. (INAUDIBLE)

HART: They don`t need the help. They don`t necessarily need the help.

KORNACKI: Alright, still ahead, why are items steadily vanishing from the
White House? Next, we`re going to go live to the South Carolina Freedom
Summit. That`s where Republican Presidential hopeful are going to take the
stage later today. Not all potential candidates are there though. We`re
going to tell you who is skipping that event on the other side of this


KORNACKI: If you want to find a Republican presidential contender this
weekend, all you have to do is look to South Carolina. A majority of that
crowded field -- ten potential candidates and already declared candidates
in fact -- going to be speaking today in Greenville, or this weekend in
Greenville, South Carolina, for something called the South Carolina Freedom

As we already mentioned this morning, Jeb Bush is not going to be there.
He`s heading to Virginia today to give the commencement speech at Jerry
Fallwell`s Liberty University, while Chris Christie, who like Jeb Bush has
also been struggling with evangelical conservative voters, he is taking a
different approach by not crossing the Mason Dixon line at all. Governor
Christie is skipping the South Carolina event this weekend, just as he
skipped a similar gathering in Iowa last month, but still finding the time
to crisscross the state of New Hampshire this week.

After a full week of covering Chris Christie in the Granite State, MSNBC
political correspondent Kasie Hunt joins us live from the Palmetto State at
the site of today`s event in Greenville. So Kasie, thanks for taking a few
minutes. And let me start on Christie before we move to South Carolina.
And actually there was an interesting exchange we want to play yesterday at
an event in New Hampshire. A woman asked him about Bridgegate and he
responded. Let`s play that question and that response.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People with whom you work very closely somehow got
the idea that that was OK. And I`m worried about having a president who
has people around him who think that that`s OK. I feel like the people at
Ft. Lee was the sacrificial lambs. It reminds me of feudal times, I`m
furious. Feudal times when the king would say, oh, who cares about the

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: All I can tell you is this, that when
you`re a leader, you`re going to hire lots of different people and you`re
going to make the best judgments you possibly can. But you`re never going
to be able to guarantee people that no mistakes will be made. I have
previously said I was sorry for what happened, because it happened on my
watch and I have to be accountable for it. But being accountable and being
responsible are two different things. I am accountable because I`m the
accountable officer of that government, but I had nothing to do with it.


KORNACKI: So Kasie, New Hampshire is sort of the ball game for Chris
Christie. Iowa looks rough for him, South Carolina looks rough. You`re up
with him in New Hampshire this week, what was the response to him from
Republicans up there?

you saw at that town hall is the risk of the New Hampshire strategy. New
Hampshire voters are notoriously well-engaged with this process. Christie
has said that the banners at the town halls say I`m going to tell it like
it is. So there you had the risky situation of a woman standing up and
confronting him about this. And it`s something that he really tried to
avoid during his other stops. I of course asked him about it; he was
pretty dismissive of the question.

But I think that she, the woman who is standing in that audience, raised
exactly the question. And you know, I think his answer shows that it`s
very difficult to distinguish -- make that distinguish -- that
distinguishing factor that he made, between accountability and
responsibility, if you`re talking about the buck stopping at the
president`s desk.

And I think you`ve seen him -- this is not the first time he`s been --
Bridgegate has confronted him in New Hampshire. So I think if it in fact
fades from the headlines, it might be one thing. But if these indicted
staff members of his are still in the courts as this is going on, if his
rivals start to make an issue out of this, I think it`s going to be hard
for Christie to get away from it.

KORNACKI: I have to just apologize, first, Kasie. My timing was exquisite
on this. I went to you as they were in the middle of the national anthem.
I see some people turning around. Put your hand on your heart next time.
That was my fault. But they`re wrapping it up so let me -- there you go.

Let me move on to the next question about South Carolina. That`s where you
are today. One thing in the news in the last couple days is Lindsey
Graham, the senator from South Carolina, saying now he`s 98.6 likely. I
don`t know if the body temperature has something to do with it. But he`s
98.6 percent likely to run for president.

I guess my question is, we always think of South Carolina as one of these
key early state tests. All the candidates are there today. It usually
looms large, but if Lindsey Graham does go ahead and run as a favorite son
from South Carolina, is that going to just render the South Carolina
primary a lot less important?

HUNT: Well, Steve, I think first of all there is frustration among
establishment Republicans here in South Carolina about a potential Lindsey
Graham run only for that reason that you just described. I mean,
essentially they`re worried that he could, in fact, make what is a very
profitable industry for them less profitable because it`s going to make it
matter less.

But I actually think that, you know, Lindsey Graham, there is a significant
number of Republicans in this state who don`t necessarily love Lindsey
Graham. And you saw that in the primary he faced. He did a very, very
good job of clearing the field of potential Tea Party challengers who were
credible. But that wasn`t to say he didn`t have a whole bunch of
challengers and he didn`t actually lose a significant portion of the vote
in that election, because he did. And I think that that shows you how much
interest there could be in the South Carolina electorate for somebody who`s
not like Lindsey Graham.

And the real test is how has the state moved away from its traditional role
of cementing the establishment favorite in a presidential candidate. They
did it every single year since 1980 with Reagan, with the exception of
course of 2012 and Newt Gingrich. And I think there is a lot of
opportunity here for anyone of these more conservative candidates to,
assuming they perform strongly in Iowa, come here and potentially have a
breakout moment. I think that`s a possibility regardless of whether or not
Senator Graham is in the race.

KORNACKI: Yes, you mentioned -- Newt Gingrich in 2012, that was -- that`s
one we`ll look back in history and somebody will see that and say is that a
typo? Newt Gingrich won by 15 points in South Carolina?

But it`s interesting what Kasie`s saying, the concerns of Republicans in
South Carolina about the effect that Lindsey Graham could have on their

CORN: I mean, I saw him the other day and he indicated to me he was
running. I said it looks prettyfun. He goes it`ll be more fun if I`m in
the race. I don`t know if that`s true or not, Senator Graham, but
nevertheless that`s what he`s saying.

Kasie`s right in a lot of, I think, South Carolina Republicans want the
candidates coming in. They do make a lot of money in all sorts of ways.
But I think Lindsey Graham will not be that strong a favorite son. And
there will certainly be three to five if not 17 Republicans who`ll make
that calculation and decide to take him on on his own battleground (ph).

KORNACKI: That ends up being the risk. Because you can remember what
ended up getting Rick Santorum out of the presidential race in 2012 was the
next big test was Pennsylvania. And he looked at his home state and he
said I can`t afford, from a reputation standpoint, what it would look like
if I go to my home state and lose. So I do wonder -- see some more polling
out of South Carolina about how --

CORN: I just can`t see Lindsey Graham will scare too many people from
competing there.

BURKE: Oh definitely. I talked to him on Thursday about immigration. He
sounded pretty moderate on me. He actually lit Hillary Clinton up on the
idea that she wasn`t -- he says, she wasn`t really involved when she was in
the Senate on the issue. But the point is he could actually lose; I think
he could actually lose South Carolina. Absolutely. In a race that has Ted
Cruz in it, I think he could actually lose that.

KORNACKI: That`s something that you have to think about. Anyway, MSNBC`s
Kasie Hunt in Greenville, South Carolina. Thank you for joining us for
that rousing rendition of national anthem. And also your great content.
Appreciate the time.

We have already talked about Jeb Bush`s plans for the weekend. What about
Chris Christie? Well, we just talked about him a little bit, but why does
he appear to be laying low?

And next, the secrets of Mike Huckabee`s success among conservative primary
voters right on the other side of this break. Stay with us.



government would stand up for the U.S. workers rather than let them take it
in the backside. That`s not free trade.


KORNACKI: Mike Huckabee making it clear where he stands on the trade bill
debate in his first official day Tuesday as a candidate for the 2016
Republican presidential nomination. Opinions like that one making the
former Arkansas governor unpopular among some of his fellow conservatives,
including the anti-tax group Club for Growth which greeted Huckabee`s entry
into the race by running this ad in Iowa and South Carolina attacking him
for his tax record.


AD NARRATOR: Ready for Huckabee?


KORNACKI: But it`s not as if everyone on the far right is against Mike
Huckabee. After all, the last time he ran for president, he ended up
winning the Iowa caucuses. Maybe that`s the secret to his appeal among
Republican primary voters, how he brandished a message that is both
socially conservative and economically populist. As Jamelle Bouie rates at
"Slate", "The former Arkansas governor understands something important
about GOP voters -- they aren`t opposed to welfare responding as long as
it`s for them."


HUCKABEE: If Congress wants to take away someone`s retirement, let them
end their own congressional pensions, not your Social Security.


KORNACKI: And John, I`ll start with you on the right here. That line from
that Huckabee`s announcement speech on Tuesday really jumped out at me
because I think of all the debates we`re used to having in this country,
that George W. Bush with the partial privatization of Social Security,
Democrats railing against that. I`m listening to Mike Huckabee there
basically saying don`t mess with my Social Security. It`s a message I
generally hear more from the left.

HART: Well I think what`s surprising is Mike Huckabee has gone "Mother
Jones" on the rest of the candidates.


KORNACKI: What does he see -- What is he looking at there?

HART: And it`s fascinating. Because what he`s trying to do is appeal to
this populist angst about what`s going to happen with retirement security.
But his prescription is 100 percent wrong. Because for example, Social
Security disability is going to be bankrupt in the year. So the worst
thing we can do is not fix the problem. And so when Mike Huckabee goes out
and does the "Mother Jones" routine, all compliments to David, what he does
is he moves us further away from the solution. So his rhetoric is going to
be a huge problem for him, with not just the Club for Growth but all of the
-- the entire conservative policy community.


KORNACKI: Is there a divide, though, between the policy community that
you`re talking about and where sort of demographically the Republican base
has moved.

HART: Absolutely.


HART: And what it shows the policy, quote, "community" needs to be a much
better job of talking about solutions that are proactive in a propositional
way --

CORN: But they have. If you look at what they want to do in Medicare, I
mean, part of the --

KORNACKI: What does Obama want to do there?

CORN: The more -- the more -- a greater degree of recipients of Medicare
trend Republican than Democrat just because of the age thing, right?


CORN: And so, you know, they`re out there talking about privatizing
Medicare and putting you at the whims or the mercies of insurance
companies, and anyone who deals with them probably doesn`t want to be doing
that when you`re 80 years old and trying to figure out what`s the best
plans. So, I think there is a big gap between the policymakers and the

And most Americans -- the interesting thing with what Huckabee is doing,
you know, he`s competing for social conservative votes with who? Rick
Santorum, presuming he gets in, and to some degree Ted Cruz. The only
other person in the race how has some degree of economic populism is
actually Rick Santorum. So, here you see Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum,
both with kind of similar strategy.

KORNACKI: Santorum has called for hiking the minimum wage. We should also
say Ben Carson made news, interview with CNBC`s John Harwood yesterday,
saying he also support raising the minimum wage.

I want to play this. I found this yesterday and I think this -- we see the
changing nature of the Republican base. It`s graying a little bit. Here`s
an example, this is a conservative radio host in Boston, big audience in
New Hampshire. His name is Howie Carr. He`s 62 or 63. He had Chris
Christie on his show. Chris Christie is promoting this means testing plan
for Social Security. This is the exchange that ensued.


HOWIE CARR, RADIO HOST: I`m going to get a union pension, a union pension.
Governor, and you want to take -- you say that I make -- I`m going to be
making too much in retirement?


CARR: That I have to give up my Social Security.

CHRISTIE: I didn`t say you have to give up your Social Security, Howie,
unless you`re going to make on that union pension, and the other things
over $200,000 a year in retirement. Then, yes, I say you do have to.


KORNACKI: And, Lauren, you know, it went on like that for 15 minutes. I
wonder if there`s something going on there, the base of the Republican
Party that we`re not quite seeing yet.

BURKE: The reason it went on for 15 minutes is Christie could not explain
in detail what his idea was to save Social Security. So, when people talk
about voucher programs and privatization, that`s all very nice. But the
fact of the matter is the Club for Growth does not have a plan for what
they would do with Social Security.

So, obviously, this is great issue to say, hey -- every -- which is what
Huckabee is saying, everybody paid into this, you should get your money
back and you should get that benefit back. It was a promise that the
government made to you. Obviously, older voters vote. So, this is a --
everybody has to roll tape on the Dan Rostenkowski thing in the 1990s when
he made the mistake -- I think you can`t play with this issue unless you
have answers.

And repeating over and over again, you know, what would Barack Obama do,
what the Democrats can do doesn`t work. You have to have your own specific
ideas and answers at a town hall when an older person gets up and says,
what are you going to do with my Social Security, you know?

KORNACKI: For the longest time, the older demographic, the 65-plus
demographic, it was the generation that -- the sort of depression
generation. And they were much more loyal to the Democratic Party. And
now, the 65 pluses are increasingly loyal to the Republican Party. And
they`re on Medicare and Social Security.

CORN: The cliched, you know, the Tea Party support is saying keep the
government out of my Medicare. Wait a second, you may not be understanding
how Medicare works. I mean, Medicare is a tremendously successful
government program that private sector and free markets did not produce,
and was created because old people were dying and living in illness because
they couldn`t afford what the private sector had to offer.

So, it`s a tremendous success story. And it`s -- you know, the
beneficiaries, as I said tend to be more Republicans. If Chris Christie or
Republicans want to start attacking that, I think they do so at their own
political peril and our own policy.

KORNACKI: John, does Huckabee have a lot of room to run? Because like
David is saying, there aren`t a lot of Republicans out there saying this.
So, the extent, there`s a constituency for that in the right, he`s got it.

CORN: Billionaires, he`s got the billionaires.

HART: I don`t think -- I don`t think he`s going to connect with it
ultimately because what he`s doing is sounding just like Hillary Clinton or
Barack Obama or other people on the left when they`re criticize
Republicans. So, Paul Ryan has been an innovative leader on this. There
are many ways to fix Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

And the reality is, none of these programs will exist. We could all agree
just as people that they should exist in some form. But they`re
unsustainable. We have to find a great specific way to fix them.

CORN: Those scare tactics --

HART: That`s not a scare tactics. It`s economic reality.

CORN: I mean, Social Security will exist for decades and decades.

HART: No, it won`t. There`s no money from the Social Security trust fund.

KORNACKI: And that`s --

CORN: Let`s get Jared Bernstein back in here.


KORNACKI: There is a simultaneously push on the left to expand Social
Security. They want to raise the payroll tax cap. Anyway, that`s a whole
other topic.

Still ahead, I will go head to head with one of my MSNBC colleague on a no
holds barred deflategate debate. They`re waiting for that one, I`m sure,
amid reports that a possible suspension could be coming for Tom Brady.
That`s just ridiculous.

Next, taking 1,600 Pennsylvania home with you literally.

Stay with us.


KORNACKI: There is a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up on
some of the other headlines making news with our panel.

And for that, let`s start in "The Washington Post". The headline, "All the
things people steal when they visit the White House." So, these are guests
who go to a, I guess, official White House functions or just happy to be in
the White House for whatever reason.

What do they steal most often? Well, the answers: towels with the
presidential seal. Place card holders, small silver spoons -- these are
the most frequently stolen things.

On Air Force One -- everything from glasses, to pillow cases have been
taken by reporters, staff and lawmakers, too. Members of the Congress
doing that -- a search on eBay turns up steep prices for presidential china
taken from the White House.

First of all, anybody here ever steal from the White House?

CORN: I have a confession to make.


CORN: I have a confession to make. I mean, I thought about it when I was
in the White House. But one time I did go to the Kennedy Center with a
friend who worked at the White House many years ago. And we sat in the
presidential box. And I did take home a little miniature flute of
champagne with the presidential seal on it, which was --

KORNACKI: Do you still have it?

CORN: I still have it. I haven`t popped it yet.

KORNACKI: Put it on eBay it sounds like.

CORN: Maybe that`s a year of college for one of my kids.

KORNACKI: I don`t know. What would you do if you`re in that position?
Would you be tempted to take something?

BURKE: Definitely. Absolutely.

KORNACKI: A towel or something?

BURKE: Absolutely.

HART: It`s a lovely place, though.

CORN: It`s the people`s house.

KORNACKI: It is. We paid for it, right? Exactly. I paid for that bar of

Quick other headline here, this from "The Huffington Post". Starbucks is
going to stop bottling water in drought-plague California. Well, I guess
that makes sense. Jerry Brown, the governor out there requiring residents
to cut their water usage by 35 percent. So, Starbucks is going to transfer
production of its bottled water to Pennsylvania.

Recent study, of course, showing that California is having the worse
drought in 1,200 years. Here is a business that`s leaving California
because of it. It`s a rough time there.

And a final headline we can just put up on the screen. Watch this here.
This is from "Quartz", says Whole Foods will be opening a lower priced
grocery chain targeting younger shoppers. Do you think Whole Foods all
that expensive, you know, $14 --

CORN: I`m going to go there. Why younger people? I see my bills from
Whole Foods, I`m heading straight there.

KORNACKI: You don`t need to be young to enjoy --

CORN: Are they going to ask for ID at the door? Card you?

HART: Means testing.

KORNACKI: Low priced grass fed beef. Anyway, no hormones or anything,
arugula. They got low price arugula there.

Still ahead, home town team loyalty. I had fun hanging out with fellow New
England Patriots fans on Thursday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom, he`s been my favorite athlete forever. I think
it`s more the ball guys trying to get back at him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe everything. He`s awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s given us 15 years of awesomeness. So I think we
should support him.


KORNACKI: Got to love their loyalty. Coming up, though, I`m going to face
up with MSNBC`s very own Toure on the football story that has gripped the
nation. And the details on those reports of a possible suspension might be
in the works for Tom Brady.

That is next. Stay with us.



JIM GRAY, SPORTSCASTER: What is your reaction, Tom, to the Ted Well`s


TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: It`s only been 30 hours. I haven`t had
much time to digest it fully. But when I do, I`ll be sure to let you know
how I feel about it.


BRADY: And everybody else.

GRAY: Are you that slow a reader?


BRADY: Well, my athletic career was better than my academic career. I`m
used to reading X`s and O`s. This was a little bit longer.


KORNACKI: That was New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady side
stepping questions on Thursday night about the NFL`s investigation into
deflategate. A 243-page document that concluded, quote, "It was more
probable than not that New England Patriots` personnel participated in
violations of the playing rules." Also that quarterback Tom Brady
probably, quote, "was at least generally aware of the inappropriate
activities of the Patriots` personnel," who it is alleged deflated the
footballs that were used by the Patriots in their AFC championship game
against the Indianapolis Colts, something that could make the footballs
easier to grip.

Now, in response to that report, Tom Brady`s agent was defiant, saying in
part, quote, "It may be more probable than not that the league cooperated
with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation."

There are new reports this morning also that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
is planning to suspend Brady. This according to conversations "The New
York Daily News" says it has had with key sources who they say know what`s
going on inside the mysterious world of NFL headquarters.

CSN New England meanwhile reporting that sources within the Patriots
organization tell them they fear a suspension for Brady could be in the
range of six to eight games. Eight games would be half the season next

"Miami Herald" reporting NFL sources told them the suspension could be as
long as the entire season. That might not be the punishment says the
source if there is a punishment. But, quote, "Everything is being

Another factor is what effect the scandal might have, of course, on Brady`s

Now, personally, I don`t think it`s that big a deal. But I`m a Patriots`
fan, so you would expect me to say that.

So, let`s make it more interesting and let`s bring in someone who isn`t a
Patriots` fan. For that we turn to MSNBC`s own and Massachusetts native --
we`re going to have to discuss how that could happen -- but Toure joins us

So, look, the reports are out there, you`re going to get your way, it
sounds like. They`re going to come down and they said --

TOURE, MSNBC HOST: It`s not my --


TOURE: It`s justice, Steve. They monkeyed with the balls.

I mean, that is going to the core of the game. That`s like, moving in the
lines or something. I mean, like -- it seems different than what the
Celtics used to do. They used to have the parquet and the garden. That
was real. Have you talked --

KORNACKI: There were dead spots.

TOURE: Yes, but that was both teams.


TOURE: Our balls that we play with our going to be softer per Tom`s
liking. I mean, this is ridiculous.

KORNACKI: OK. I take it from the rest of the panel -- let me ask the rest
of the people before they jump on me.

Does anybody here think -- I`m not going to sit here and say he`s framed.
I`m not going to say he`s not -- I`m going to say, yes, they were doing
this. They were taking some of the air out of the balls. Fine, I don`t
think it`s that big a deal.

BURKE: Steve, why couldn`t --


CORN: It`s always a cover up.

BURKE: Exactly. Why couldn`t he have just said, look, I`ve been to six
Super Bowls, I like the ball with a little less air in it. I`ll probably
go to another Super Bowl. But, hey, this is what I do. It didn`t change
the game. I`m still going to be -- he`s not going to say this -- I`m going
to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time times. Why can`t he
admit -- why can`t he say --


CORN: Tom Brady can`t admit he cheated.

TOURE: I mean, he has an economy around him, right? So, he can`t admit
that he cheated, right? He doesn`t want to admit that.


KORNACKI: In the beginning, he could have said something like I do prefer
it to be on the lower end.

BURKE: Right.


KORNACKI: He won`t say it now. He could have said, look, I asked them to
keep it on the lower end of the legal limit. If that was misunderstood --

BURKE: Right.

CORN: So, you`re saying he should have lied?


KORNACKI: Here`s my -- here`s my bigger point.

TOURE: The Colts saying before the game, we know, everybody in the league
knows that the Patriots like these balls to be underinflated. So, please,
look into this. So, this is --

KORNACKI: Epidemic.


KORNACKI: So, here`s part of why I say I don`t think that even the fact
that they`re doing this is that big of a deal competitively, because if
that`s true, if the Colts knew, if everybody knew, if it`s endemic and it`s
years long, every single play in every single game the ball is handled by
the referee. So, if you`re telling me, the Patriots have been doing this
huge game season life-altering thing for the football for years, the ref is

TOURE: The fumble rate, which is statistically improbable, suggests that
it`s having an impact on the game.

BURKE: Right.

TOURE: Steve, you`re desperate --

KORNACKI: Let me get, I made a list and I want to get to it.


KORNACKI: Here`s where I come down. This is when I say I don`t think it`s
a big deal. What I say is I think there`s a line between we call it
cheating, or we call it -- we think of it as gamesmanship. Let me just go
through a list of things --

CORN: I can`t wait until you talk to your kids.


KORNACKI: You tell me, is this cheating or gamesmanship. OK? I went to
see where taking a little bit of pressure out of the ball.

TOURE: A little? A little? It`s not a little, though. It`s a lot.

KORNACKI: Here`s number one. Stealing signs in baseball, is that cheating
or gamesmanship? What is it?

TOURE: No. But are we talk building a runner who is on second base seeing
the catcher? Are we talking about putting a guy in the outfield with

BURKE: Right.

TOURE: Right? That`s fundamentally different.

KORNACKI: One is gamesmanship and one is cheating.

TOURE: Yes. If you`re at second base and you see the signs that`s OK,
right? If you are -- if you put a guy with binoculars in the outfield, you
can`t do that. That`s cheating.

KORNACKI: Trapping the ball. Let me explain this for everybody who
doesn`t know this one. You`re a receiver, the ball is coming in. It hits
the ground, and the receiver puts his body over it in a way that you can`t
see the ball hit the ground. And he gets up and tells the ref, I made the

And he knows the ball hit the ground and he fools the ref. Is that
cheating or is that gamesmanship?

TOURE: This is an apples to orange comparison, perhaps apples to
spaceships comparison.


TOURE: Is corking the bat cheating or is that OK?

KORNACKI: No, I`m asking --

TOURE: Is that cheating or is that gamesmanship?

KORNACKI: I`m trying to figure out --

TOURE: This is more like corking the bat, which we all understand.
Corking bats is not acceptable.



CORN: If you do something that an umpire or ref doesn`t see on the field
and you don`t report that because it`s to your disadvantage, that is not


KORNACKI: Here`s the best one I have and the most analogous is this -- in
hockey, there are specific rules about how much the stick can be bent.
Just like in football, there`s rules about how much air needs to be in the
ball. Now, every player has their own preference for how much they like
that stick bend. Most of them, a lot of them bend a little bit more. Now,
if they`re caught, if they`re caught, that is a violation of --

CORN: That`s cheating.

KORNACKI: And what`s the penalty? Two minutes in the box. That`s why I
say it`s not that bad. It`s wrong. It`s a violation of the rules.


TOURE: This is what matters. You chase the game by changing the ball and
only you can have that access to that advantage, right? It`s not like we
share the ball back and forth.

KORNACKI: My producer says I`m supposed to say agree to disagree and go.


KORNACKI: Thanks, Toure, and the rest of the panel, Lauren Victoria Burke,
MSNBC contributor David Corn, and John Hart -- thank you for putting up
with that last segment. Thank you for putting up with it, too.

Coming up next, an update on the severe weather in Tornado Alley. Could
more twisters be on the way?


KORNACKI: As we have been reporting this morning, a potentially dangerous
forecast for this weekend in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Tornado Alley,
they call it. Severe storms on tap across that region, storms that have
the potential to form tornados.

Meteorologist Steven Sosna joins us now with the forecast.

Steven, what do you have for us in that part of the country?

STEVEN SOSNA, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: All right, Steve. What we have is
the ingredients for some severe weather here for today, but probably not as
bad as originally expected. Not all the ingredients coming together here
for the puzzle for today.

We`re missing the sunshine here across the plains. So, we will see strong
thunderstorms. We will see a few tornados. But I don`t think we`re going
to see those large destructive tornados here this afternoon in Texas and

But still be on the lookout, when you hear thunder, go inside. We`re going
to be seeing some large hailstones, some flash flooding, and some gusty
winds. Thunderstorms right now are across north Texas, Oklahoma, and to
western Kansas. They will be there throughout the day. We`ll be following
those storms tomorrow across areas of the Midwest. So, we`ll be tracking
it all weekend long.

KORNACKI: All right. Meteorologist Steve Sosna, thanks for that update.
Appreciate that.

And join us tomorrow, Sunday morning, 8:00 a.m., when Oregon Senator Ron
Wyden is going to be on the show.

And as we leave, we thought we would show you more of the official White
House photographs of President Obama`s journeys around these United States
with a visit to South Dakota yesterday. He becomes just the fourth
president to have visited all 50 states while in office. Check out these

Have a great day.


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