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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

Date: May 3, 2015
Guest: Bob Ingle, Nan Hayworth, Elahe Izadi, Manu Raju, Brandon Scott, Ben
Jealous, Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mick Cornett, Jorge Elorza, Rick Perlstein,
Patrick Healy

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Chris Christie scrambling to survive. And
good morning to you. Thanks for getting up with us this Sunday morning as
we juggle the two big stories dominating the news this weekend. How the
weekend is unfolding in Baltimore in the wake of Friday`s charges against
six police officers there in the death of Freddie Gray. Much more on that
in just a moment. Also Friday`s indictments in New Jersey`s Bridgegate
scandals. New details this morning about how Chris Christie has been
dealing with the fall-out from that. We`ll be delving into that in just a
minute, but we begin this morning in Baltimore. Maryland Governor Larry
Hogan calling for today a day of peace and prayer. He will be attending
church services in Baltimore later this morning. And meanwhile, last night
thousands of people taking to the streets of Baltimore for what were once
again largely peaceful celebrations. That announcement on Friday as six
Baltimore police officers will be charged in connection to the death of
Freddie Gray. Handfuls of protesters were arrested for not dispersing when
the 10:00 p.m. curfew went into effect. Police did use pepper spray after
a few bottles were tossed at them. MSNBC`s Adam Reiss has been covering
all of it this weekend. He joins us live from Baltimore right now. Adam,
there`s been a lot of pressure to lift that curfew. It`s drawn harsh
criticism from many residents in Baltimore. Any idea if it`s going to be
extended past last night?

ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Steve, good morning. The sense is if
last night was peaceful the curfew would end. I spoke to an officer last
night who said he believes it will end as the protests last night were
peaceful. They began at around 12:00 today here in City Hall Park. They
made their way up to North and Pennsylvania, generally very peaceful. A
party like atmosphere. A black party like atmosphere. Many here in the
crowd were generally peaceful. There were some arrests, just a handful of
arrests at the end of the night so the feeling is, that just these handful
of arrests that a curfew would end. Now, we went looking for some of the
officers last night that were involved in Freddie Gray`s arrest. We came
across Alicia White. She`s a one female officer involved. Her next door
neighbor, here is what she had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think she would do that. Because of type of
person she is. She`s a very nice person. Very nice. I see her often. I
speaks to her, she speaks to me. She`s very respectful. You wouldn`t
think she`s a police officer. She didn`t treat herself as a police officer
around me. She was a person. And I knew she was an officer because she
had a uniform on and I respected her in that way. I didn`t ask her no
questions or nothing. All I know is I don`t think she did anything wrong.


REISS: Now church services later this morning with the governor and a
faith-based rally later this afternoon as most people here think Baltimore
has turned a corner. Steve?

KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC`s Adam Reiss on a hopeful note there in
Baltimore. Thank you for that report.

And we turn now to new details this morning about Chris Christie`s fight to
save his White House campaign with reports that he and his aides are
frantically working the phones to keep his political base from abandoning
him. All of this two days now since one of his top appointees pleaded
guilty to federal charges stemming from the closure of access lanes to the
George Washington Bridge. These two days since prosecutors also indicted
two other top Christie appointees charging them with a conspiracy to create
a traffic jam as political pay back against the local politician who
wouldn`t endorse Christie for governor.

Now, the official word from Christie`s team is that all of this, all that`s
happened in the last 48 hours, is good news for the governor. He wasn`t
indicted, they say, he wasn`t implicated by prosecutors, and as Christie
himself said in the statement on Friday, "the charges make clear what I
have said from day one is true. I had no knowledge or involvement in the
planning or execution of this act." However behind the scenes a much
different story. The "New York Times" reporting this morning that Christie
and his inner circle are absorbing a new reality "that his bid for the
White House seems increasingly farfetched. A political team long
characterized by its self-assuredness, now sounds strikingly subdued,
sobered and realistic about his odds.

Now, already the bridge scandal has taken a brutal toll on Christie before
it broke. 58 percent of Republicans nationally had a favorable view of
him. Only 23 percent didn`t. But now, now it`s upside down. More voters
in this party have a negative view of Christie than a positive one. And
now some of his top aides are under indictment charged with a scheme that
prosecutors say was carried out in the name of Christie`s re-election
campaign. With trials looming, they could start just as the primaries and
caucuses begin next year.

And Christie`s name and the names of others who were close to him are bound
to come up when those trials happen. The Bridgegate cloud, in other words,
doesn`t seem like it`s going to be going away any time soon. Christie and
his team, though, as we say, they are scrambling this weekend to reassure
donors, to reassure supporters to keep these indictments from killing off
this campaign, but there are cracks in the dam that are becoming evident.
His rivals whispering behind the scenes about his problems and also a long
time Christie ally in New Jersey breaking with him just this week and
siding with Jeb Bush in the Republican presidential race. That is a big
symbolic blow to the governor, losing somebody from his own backyard like
that. Now, Chris Christie has had his eyes on the White House for a long
time. It wasn`t that long ago that it seemed within his reach. Those days
now, though, feel like ancient history. Is there a way through this for
Chris Christie or did his window just close? Will the Bridgegate scandal
continue to haunt him or will he be able to leave it in the rear view


BRIDGET KELLY, FMR. CHRISTIE STAFFER: I am not a liar. For the indictment
to suggest that I was the only person in the governor`s office who was
aware of the George Washington Bridge issue is ludicrous.


KORNACKI: All right. And Matt Katz has been reporting on Governor
Christie for several years. Now he`s New York public radio`s WNYC, And Bob
Ingle is a senior political columnist for New Jersey. He joins us on the
set here in New York. Well, Bob, let me start with you. Looking ahead
over the next few months, we say, if these trials do happen, if there is no
plea deal beforehand, if the Kelly and Barone trials happen, could very
well be basically as voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are heading to the
polls next year. So between now and between then, give us a sense of what
the risks are and what the exposure is for Christie in this period?

BOB INGLE: I think it`s too late for him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think anybody is more on target.

ENGEL: The problems going on besides what just happened in Bridgegate.
There are too many people on the Republican side, for one thing, and the
contributors are looking for ways to whittle it down to somebody they can
really support and if we had been involved --

AC: It`s actually they`re telling me I think there might be a problem with
your mic. We will come back to you and we`ll have you make that point as
they try to address that issue. But we will go to Matt Katz down there in
Philadelphia. WNYC`s Matt Katz. Well, Matt, in terms of a survival
strategy for Chris Christie, we outline all of these calls that are being
made to donors, to his political base trying to sure up support. Any sense
of how those calls are being received?

MATT KATZ, WNYC: It seems like the people that were with them on Thursday
were assured enough on Friday after these indictments came through.
Because Christie and his people were able to tell his donors and the people
that have been backing him that listen, nothing new really came out
involving me on Friday in this indictment. And that`s certainly true.
There is nothing linking him that the U.S. attorney came forward with on
Friday to having ordered the lane closures or having covered it up. In
addition there were three people who were involved in other accusations
that came out after Bridgegate, like shake down over Sandy funds,
allegations that were made on your show, you know, very well, and we kept
the Bridgegate, involving the Hoboken mayor. Three people in his
administration including Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadano. That got letters
on Friday saying that that case is closed. For now, as far as we know it
could be forever.

So, he was able to tell, give the good news that came out of Friday to his
backers. That does not mean that he`s not in a world of hurt in terms of
the completeness (ph) of this field, in terms of the lagging problems of
Bridgegate. In terms of the split screen reality when these criminal
trials start happening in the coming months just as he is campaigning in
New Hampshire. But I think he was fairly and his people were fairly able
to tell backers on Friday that it`s not any worse than it was the day
before and now these have come out we can move forward and the strategy
going forward is all about New Hampshire. He`s got to win or at least come
in fighting distance from first place in New Hampshire and if not, then
it`s probably all over, but they see a road to at least get to New
Hampshire. They don`t see any reason why this is going to - the wheels are
going fall apart off of this campaign before then so we will see what

Ac: We started - you know, Iowa goes first in the order, but heavy
evangelical Christian, they are not necessarily the best match for Chris
Christie. But I think we have your microphone working again. But so, we
were just looking at sort of - and Matt outlined some of them there, the
political land mines for Christie as potentially these trials with Kelly
and Barone play out over the next few months, again, potentially playing
out on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, basically. The exposure factor,
exposure potential for Christie, what`s your take on that?

BOB INGLE, NEW JERSEY: Well, it`s not going to go away. I think that`s
very optimistic on their part to think it`s going to go away. It`s not
going to go away. And the Bridgegate, part of it where they were just
closing down traffic, that`s only one of the investigations that`s going
on. There are others involving the Port Authority which are going to be at
least involving people that Christie knows.

KORNACKI: David Samson?

INGLE: David Samson.

KORNACKI: The former chairman .

INGLE: The former chairman who resigned and then he took a very unusual
step. He resigned from his law firm and they took his name off the door.
Now, there are law firms where the people have been dead for 150 years and
still have the name on the door, but he took it down which seems to
indicate that maybe he thinks it`s not going to work out too well. All of
that, every time their report said, they are going to say that Chris
Christie put him in that job.

KORNACKI: And that`s one of these - There was some expectation that he
might be indicted, that Samson might be indicted.

INGLE: Right.

KORNACKI: Friday. Prosecutors were asked about that at this press
conference, David. They didn`t really want to address it, but they
certainly left open the possibility that something could be coming on that
front in the weeks ahead or the months ahead, perhaps.

Matt, so, I want to flag something in the - this was in the indictment of
Baroni and Kelly, and this was talking about the day - this is what
prosecutors are saying how they pieced this together. This was the day
that the lane closures ended in 2013. Somebody on the New York side of the
bridge blew the whistle on it. And then in the indictment says, that
Baroni went to that executive director, Pat Foye is his name, and he asked
that he reinstate the lane and toll booth reductions because the reductions
were important to "Trenton." So, there`s a finger in there sort of
pointing in the direction of Chris Christie, Chris Christie`s office. You
had after the plea deal on Friday, Wildstein`s attorney go outside and tell
reporters what he said a year ago. He said Christie knew there is evidence
that Christie knew and he had Bridget Kelly and her defiant press
conference on Friday basically saying you`re nuts if you think nobody else
in the governor`s office knew about this. So, it does seem to me, there`s
- Christie`s name is going to be coming up here in these proceedings.

KATZ: No question about it. And you know, Christie`s people say that
Trenton that Baroni was referring to is actually Bridget Kelly because she
did work in Trenton, and they say that, you know, if he did have some
involvement here that the U.S. Attorney - certainly - if the governor
himself had some involvement here, certainly the U.S. Attorney would have
brought it up.

But I mean this involves people that were pretty close to him and this
involves people that were working in his office. So, it is - it is really
difficult for him to completely distance himself from it. And even if he
had nothing to do with it, there are certainly legitimate questions to be
asked about why these people were in these positions and why they thought
it was OK to go ahead and close lanes to the busiest bridge in the world.
The good news for him and I looked at the newspapers in New Hampshire
yesterday, the day after the indictments, there are five newspapers. Only
one of them had the story on the cover. So as damning as a lot of this is,
it really only matters what a few thousand Republicans in New Hampshire
think right now in terms of this, you know, getting to the next step here,
that`s really what matters. And only, you know, the readers of one of the
five newspapers in New Hampshire woke up to this news on Saturday morning.
And, you know, that`s what they are hanging on to. He is back in New
Hampshire on Thursday and Friday. He`s going to be, you know, campaigning
around. He`s going to do, you know, speeches and town hall meetings. So,
they are just assuming that they are hoping and they are telling me that
this is a - a New York media market story for now, and it has not reached
the people that they don`t want it to reach.

KORNACKI: Yeah. I did see it get a little more attention as I know. But
he caught a break politically. No question. Baltimore is such a big story
on Friday. A lot of people maybe didn`t notice this the way - but Bob, let
me just finish with this on you. Chris Christie right now versus Chris
Christie two years ago, we put the poll numbers up there, two years ago. I
thought - I would have called him the frontrunner for the Republican
nomination. He was a rock star with Republicans. You look at where those
numbers are now. Have you seen watching him up close, do you see a
different Chris Christie? Has this changed a little bit .

INGLE: Yeah. He`s more guarded and he`s less friendly and outgoing behind
the scenes. He still does his town hall meetings and he looks like Chris
Christie. But you can tell there`s concern there on him and his all staff.
They are concerned about this and I would be too if my only defense was I
didn`t know what was going on around me. That`s not much of a defense,

KORNACKI: Right. I heard - and there was somebody with the Manchester
Union leader, the conservative paper up there, basically saying - heard a
version of that from - he said wait, you`re a former U.S. attorney.


KORNACKI: You can`t trust people that much. Anyway, that could be a part
of it that hurts him a little bit or dogs him at least. But thanks to Matt
Katz with the NYWC joining us this morning, author and columnist Bob Ingle
as well. Appreciate the time. And still ahead this morning, today`s day
of prayer and healing in Baltimore. How does that city move on? The
NAACP`s Ben Jellison and mayoral round table from other American cities
facing challenges, they will be here to discuss. And next, fight night in
Vegas at this hour. It is still probably fight night in Vegas. We will go
live on the sunset strip, excuse me, for more on whether the fight of the
century actually lived up to the hype.


KORNACKI: All right. You may be a little bit more tired than usual this
morning if you were one of the millions of Americans who stayed up very
late last night and plopped down some serious cash while you were at it to
watch the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight. For about 100 bucks,
that was the cost of the pay per view, you saw Mayweather win by decision
improving to 48-0 in a fight that some at least say didn`t exactly live up
to all of the hype. Mike Tyson tweeting "we waited five years for that?
#underwhelmed." NBC News`s Ron Mott was in Las Vegas for the fight. He
joins us live. Ron, you didn`t have to pay the 100 bucks. I guess you got
to see that close and in person. Is Tyson right? Was this thing a dud?

RON MOTT, NBC NEWS LAS VEGAS: Well, you know, there`s a lot of chatter
about last night here in Las Vegas, Steve. As you mention, Mike Tyson
among the many people who were left disappointed by how this fight turned
out. The fight was so popular that they actually pushed the opening bell
back because a lot of providers around the country had a hard time
processing all those pay per view orders. And so the fight was delayed 30
to 45 minutes or so. And in the end a lot of people thought that a fight
of this magnitude was really only about the money anyway, so what`s another


MOTT: After a five-year wait for the fight of the century, rush hour.
Fans clutching the hottest tickets on the planet streamed in to witness
history, boxing`s most lucrative event ever, a 400 million dollar spectacle
teaming with anticipation.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao proved appointment viewing
around the world. Squeezing in the private jet set in Las Vegas, with
Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Jay Z. and Beyonce among those in attendance
parking closest to the action. Social media was abuzz, too. Red hot
conversations yielding complaints Saturday night from those who didn`t get
what they paid for. $90 to fight their cable company, one tweet read, as
some per view orders never been at home to viewers.

Once the bell sounded the sports top two brand names delivered flashes of
excitement punctuated by long stretches of chest like maneuvering.

And in the end, Mayweather was the obvious victor, at least according to
judges scoring a unanimous decision which seemed to confuse Pacquiao.

MANNY PACQUIAO: I think I -- I believe -- I thought I won that fight.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I knew in my heart that I was beating -- I thought I was
beating him easy. He was applying pressure, but he wasn`t landing any

MOTT: Reaction afterwards left a few fans questioning the result and many,
the hype.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was a little boring, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Mayweather was a champion she should have fought
like a champion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This should have been an epic fight and it was not.


MOTT: Now, usually after a big fight like this you hear talk of a rematch.
That is not happening here in Las Vegas. And probably around the world.
Both of these fighters are on the tail end of their careers. And even if
they did climb back into the ring, Steve, chances are it would not be the
big seller that this fight was. Back to you.

KORNACKI: All right. NBC`s Ron Mott live for us in Las Vegas. Tom Brady
there by the way, couldn`t make it to the White House, but he made it to
Las Vegas. Anyway, still ahead, where does the city of Baltimore go from
here? More from Baltimore as we continue. But first, how Hillary Clinton
hopes to upend a major legacy of her husband`s presidency. That is next.
Stay with us.



HILLARY CLINTON: What we have seen in Baltimore should, indeed, I think
does tear at our soul. There is something profoundly wrong when African-
American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by
police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than our
meted out to their white counterparts. There is something wrong when a
third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes.
We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance.


KORNACKI: And that was Hillary Clinton in Wednesday responding to the
death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year old African-American man in Baltimore
who sustained fatal injuries in police custody last month. And this was
the first major policy address since Clinton entered the presidential race,
and she used it to call for an end to "the era of mass incarceration."
Also, she endorsed body cameras for every police department in the country,
reduced sentences for low level crimes and limiting police access to
military weaponry.

But what was most striking about Hillary speech was the departure in tone
and substance from the tough on crime posture that defined her husband`s
presidency back in the 1990s. After all, it was Bill Clinton who
championed and signed the 1994 crime bill that included the three strikes
and you`re out provision, stiff mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines and
increased funding for more cops on the streets and for building more


BILL CLINTON: One of the reasons that I sought this office is to get this
bill. Because if the American people do not feel safe on their streets, in
their schools, in their homes, in their places of work and worship, then it
is difficult to say that the American people are free.


KORNACKI: And joining the table to discuss, we have our panel. Elahe
Izadi, reporter with "The Washington Post," Nan Hayworth, former Republican
Congresswoman from New York and my colleague here at MSNBC Crystal Ball,
cohost of "The Cycle."

So, this - this got some attention this week. The difference between -
what the last Clinton president said and did on crime and what maybe the
next Clinton president is suddenly saying, a very different message. And I
think back to Bill Clinton in the 1990s and where that tough on crime
posture came from. And back then you had -- first of all, violent crime
was out of control. If you asked people to poll what the top issue in the
country was, they would say crime and Democrats were getting killed on this
part. Republicans - take a willy (INAUDIBLE) against Dukakis. And that
was the Bill Clinton thing. I`m a different kind of Democrat. I`m tough
on crime. I wonder from a Republican standpoint, Bill Clinton felt an
enormous amount of political pressure to take that position. It seems
Hillary Clinton doesn`t feel that. Nan, is that in part because
Republicans have changed their thinking on this, too?

FMR. REP. NAN HAYWORTH (R) NEW YORK: Well, I think it`s because we have
seen starkly in Baltimore over the past couple of weeks that merely being
quote "tough on crime" is not the answer. We do need police departments
that are actually well administered. We need - I think President Clinton
was right about community policing. We need those things. The people of
Baltimore also need to have a police force that they can rely on to respect
them and not to treat them cruelly. There are a lot of answers that we
have yet to - but I think we have reached a point if you will in our
political history, Steve, at which we know that we need more. We need real
help with education, with opportunity, with jobs for these young people so
that they do have hope that these communities actually do have a life and

KORNACKI: It`s really interesting to hear you say that. Because I can
think back to the era when Bill Clinton signed the crime bill, when he ran
for president and made the era that in many ways Hillary Clinton is sort of
saying we have got to move on from it right now.


KORNACKI: It was an era when the answer was and Democrats are saying this,
and Republicans were saying this, the answer was just you get tough. Get
these people off the streets, get them in jail and that`s it.

ELAHE IZADI, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, part of the issue here is that
crime rates at that time were at such a high. And now they`re at historic
lows and a lot of Republicans and Democrats are both taking the similar
tact specifically on mandatory minimum sentencing. In 2008, Hillary
Clinton attacked then candidate Barack Obama on his position on mandatory

Now, she`s talking about and applauding .

KORNACKI: So, she was still doing that - in 2008.


KORNACKI: And it didn`t work.

IZADI: And a lot of - it`s a lot easier when crime is low for Republicans
and Democrats to take a step back and realize that maybe the policies of 20
years ago have created the situation and is not that tenable, and for
Republicans - a lot of Republicans are making the fiscal argument as well.

KORNACKI: It costs so much to lock people out.

HAYWORTH: Well, but that`s just not only that but the fiscal argument that
hey, we have not done the right thing as federal government, as a nation in
allocating resources appropriately so that these communities actually can
thrive. They are not thriving.

IZADI: Right

HAYWORTH: And then the Republican message makes sense .

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": And Steve, what you asked Nan
was interesting. Because you said, you know, is Hillary not feeling
pressure to be in that tough on crime place. I would say she is feeling
pressure to not be in that quote tough on crime place. Because can you
imagine you put up those positions that she took in that speech, body
cameras, changing mandatory minimums? Those positions - if she didn`t take
them in the Democratic primary, she would get killed. You do have
Republicans now supporting the same things, demilitarizing the police
something that Rand Paul spoke about. If she wasn`t there it would be such
a political liability for her. I mean I look at this and I think it`s
great. Because if the Clintons have decided that this is the place to be
politically, that this means that this is actually potentially going to
happen. That it`s the politically convenient place to be. Is to migrate
progress. And I`m glad to see her taking this position.

KORNACKI: Let`s look at the other side of the ledger, too. Republicans
responding to Baltimore this week. We have Jeb Bush, we will play both of
these here. This was Jeb Bush and his response.


FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R ) FLORIDA: The president`s view on this, I thought
he started pretty well by talking about, he had one sentence in his
response about the decline of families in urban core America and I think
that is absolutely true. But there`s much broader issues that go along
with this, the pathologists that are being built of people that are stuck
in poverty where you`re born poor today and you`re more likely to stay


KORNACKI: And this was - we`ll get Rand Paul in here. So, this was Rand
Paul talking to Laura Ingraham about Baltimore.


RAND PAUL: There are so many things we can talk about that I think it`s
something we talk about not in the immediate aftermath, but overtime, you
know, the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack
of sort of a moral code in our society. And this isn`t just a racial
thing. It goes across racial boundaries.


KORNACKI: So, is this the message? Are we going to be hearing this a lot
from Republicans? It`s not so much - it`s not a get tough on crime
message, but it is, you know, we have a problem with the breakdown of the
family. Is that a point of emphasis that we are going to be hearing?

HAYWORTH: I think it is, Steve. Because it does - It is at the
intersection of what typically is Republican politics. Republicans often
do talk about strong families and I think that Democrats would agree with
this. You know, we don`t have strong families, unfortunately, in these
areas for a lot of reasons. And that`s why, of course, Toya Graham got so
much attention for taking her son .


KORNACKI: This was the mother who was on the cover of .

HAYWORTH: Exactly. Exactly.

BALL: Mother of the year.

HAYWORTH: That`s right. That`s right. But she does represent a parental
ethos, the responsible ethos that I think both sides are going to embrace.
And it is part of the Republican .

BALL: But Nan, you are right. It`s about - OK, what is causing the
breakdown of the family and so to take this back to Hillary Clinton and
Bill Clinton, it`s not just the legacy on policing that is contributing to
this situation that we see, too. NAFTA, for example, has decimated some of
these cities and helped to pull manufacturing jobs out of urban cores, not
to mention the welfare policy that really makes it and difficult for people
to be able to lift themselves up. So, it`s - I think this is going to be a
theme of Hillary Clinton`s campaign, having to run away from parts of Bill
Clinton`s legacy on banking, on trade, on policing and elsewhere.

KORNACKI: This is interesting. It`s more complicated for her, I guess,
than it would have been maybe a decade ago, but politics has changed so
much and the culture - just the culture of the country has changed so much.
It`s interesting to watch that. Bill Clinton running in a different
America than Hillary Clinton is.

Anyway, still ahead, more from Baltimore, plus the first official
challenger to Hillary Clinton. Who else is going to step forward to make
the Democratic nomination fight an interesting fight? Maybe more
interesting than the fight last night? Anyway, next up, Senator Marco
Rubio playing a spoiler on the world stage. So, don`t go away. We`ll be
right back.



House uses is if you`re not in favor of this deal you`re in favor of war.
I would argue that a bad deal almost guarantees war.


KORNACKI: Senator Marco Rubio on Friday warning that a bad deal with Iran
could be worse than no deal at all. Because he says, Israel might be
threatened by it. Speaking to a crowd of conservatives, Rubio adding that
he believes Iran would exploit loopholes in the deal and that he predicts
any money Westerners might invest in Iran would only end up being used to
attack the West. In short, Rubio doesn`t like this deal and he is trying
his best to scuttle it, hoping to attach the amendment that would in effect
kill it. 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz also doing what he can to stop
a final deal with Iran pushing for his own poison pill amendment. Their
efforts causing a rift among fellow Senate Republicans. Politico`s Manu
Raju reporting that on Tuesday, Bob Corker, he`s the chairman of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, he held the luncheon, at which he urged his
fellow Republicans to keep from offering poison pills that could sink a
final deal, but Corker`s message might not have been heard by his intended
audience. Since neither Rubio or Cruz were even there.

Manu Raju joins the panel now from Washington. Manu, thanks for taking a
few minutes. Let me start with this. We get into all the technical
legislative language and everything. Poison pill amendment, so you have
this bill that`s working through that Bob Corker is behind that the White
House has said it`s OK with that would give Congress some say in a final
deal with Iran and now Marco Rubio is there. There`s a number of
amendments, but I guess the most contentious one is - it`s an amendment
that would require Iran to recognize Israel`s right to exist. Now, I think
it`s something that if you - if you just say that in general, a lot of
people say, well, what`s unreasonable about that?

So, how is that a poison pill? Can you explain that for us?

MANU RAJU: Yeah, I mean the concern among the administration is that this
would upset the ongoing negotiations that are happening with the p5 plus
one world powers that are negotiating, this nuclear agreement with Iran.
Remember, they have reached a temporary interim accord, but the need to
finalize an agreement by the end of June. The fear is that if you add
language like this that passes the Congress and that overrides the
presidential veto that Iran will walk away from a negotiating table, and
the larger agreement over curbing its nuclear program. So, the effort
right now is to keep this bill, this Congressional review bill free of such
proposals that can force to walk away. At least that`s what the proponents
told. And right now they are succeeding in eliminating those so-called
poison pills, but the people are supporting them, say, we want to have
teeth on this proposal and make sure that the administration does not agree
to something that would actually make the country weaker.

KORNACKI: Yes, so I mean what kind of cover Corker is invested in trying
to keep this deal with the White House and keep this poison pills up? What
kind of cover does he have? I mean does this reach a point where if this -
- if this amendment gets attached to the bill, you`ll see Democrats
feeling, well, I don`t want to look like I`m anti-Israel? I want to - I
have to put my name on this - Republicans want to get to sort of to the
hawkish right. How much cover does Corker have right now from his

RAJU: He has some. And not a ton. He knows this is, of course, a 54
member, Senate Republican conference. You need 60 votes to adopt this
bill. I talked to Bob Corker about the several times in the past where he
believes he has the support to fend this off if it comes for a vote. I sat
down with Senator McConnell, the majority leader on Thursday, and he told
me that he would vote for this as well, if it came for a vote, but it seems
like, of course, as a Senate, as a place where you need to have both sides
to agree to actually have the vote and Democrats are objecting and blocking
that amendment from coming forward so it may force actually Mitch McConnell
to do something. That he doesn`t - want to do, which is to shut down
debate and move to a final vote on the underlining bill. It looks like he
may actually do that this week.

KORNACKI: Let me come to the panel here for a second. Elahi, does the
politics of this in terms of the presidential race? Watching Rubio is so
interesting because a year ago everybody was saying well, what he
miscalculated badly on immigration, he lost the conservative base he can`t
run for president. He walked away from his - immigration record and now
he`s moved very far and very aggressively to the right on foreign policy
issues, a very hawkish national security thing. In this move, getting as
far to the hawkish right as you can on Israel, in this context, potentially
blowing up this deal with Iran, he`s taking out such clear turf on the
right, do you think this is helping him politically?

IZADI: Well, I could see it`s helping him in the primary, at least. And
potentially in a general. You are right that with immigration he kind of
laid all his cards on the table and then once it didn`t go so well along
the conservative base, he kind of moved away from it, he .


IZADI: Yeah, but this position isn`t so much a politically difficult
position to take. This is something that plays very well among Republicans
and among certain hawkish Democrats as well. And it`s going to be
difficult for Democrats, some Democrats at least to vote down this
amendment. It`s not a politically easy thing.

Let me ask you, Manu just did, what is the reaction among, sort of behind
the scenes there in Capitol Hill towards what Rubio is doing? Are they
rolling their eyes and saying this is just posturing? What`s their
reaction to this?

RAJU: Well, certainly the proponents believe that this is all wrapped up
in the 2016 race. Certainly Ted Cruz pushing his amendments as well to
force a majority of Congress to vote in favor of an agreement rather than
giving Congress an opportunity to reject an agreement. That is viewed as
an effort to posture as well for the positions themselves for the 2016

What`s interesting about Rubio, too, is that he clearly is trying to run on
foreign policy, to distinguish himself from Jeb Bush and the governors in
this race and clearly this is an effort for him to raise his profile on
foreign policy which he believes will be the central issue in his
presidential candidacy.

KORNACKI: All right. Manu Raju from Politico. Thanks for the time this
morning. Appreciate that.

RAJU: Thanks, Steve.

KORNACKI: And still ahead on this show. Republicans who may be about to
enter the race for president, three of them this week. Can they go from
the fringe to the mainstream? And next, the newest royal baby has arrived.
Now the question, what is her name?


KORNACKI: Maybe Britain`s royals are Stevie Wonder fans, his classic song
"Isn`t She Lovely?" It was playing at the changing of the guard this
morning at Buckingham Palace. Maybe that was a nod to the newest member of
the royal family, the princess born yesterday to the Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge, already back home at Kensington Palace this morning. And as
were her grandfather Prince Charles as well as her Grandmother, Carol
Middleton there among those paying visit. As for the baby`s name, the big
mystery, the big guessing game, all that announcement could come any time
now. The latest odds on favorite, according to British bookmakers,
Charlotte or Alice.

Still ahead, a progressive who is not Elizabeth Warren enters the
presidential race to challenge Hillary Clinton from the left. And next we
talk to local and national leaders about what comes next for Baltimore.
Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening as we come on the air tonight we`re
following breaking news in Baltimore where a state of emergency has been
declared as rioting has broken out on the streets. In Baltimore this hour,
protesters are on the move again. Police keeping a very close eye on
marchers in the streets as they prepare to enforce another night of
mandatory curfew there. With breaking news tonight from Baltimore. Six
police officers charged as the death of Freddie Gray is ruled a homicide.


KORNACKI: It has been a very eventful week in the city of Baltimore, one
that began with the funeral for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who sustained
fatal injuries while in police custody and after he was laid to rest on
Monday, Baltimore residents began rioting in the streets. The next day
2,000 National Guardsmen were deployed across the city and a week-long 10
p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was imposed.

Riots turning into more peaceful protests as the week went on turning into
a celebration when the Baltimore state`s attorney announced on Friday that
she would bring criminal charges against the six police officers involved
in Gray`s arrest and subsequent death. It`s been a roller coaster of a
week for the city. Now the question is where does the city of Baltimore go
from here? And joining me now is Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott
and Ben Jealous, he`s a former president of the NAACP, now a senior fellow
with the Center for American Progress. He used to spend his summers in
Baltimore as a kid. Welcome to both of you.

Well, Ben, let me start with you, just in terms of the biggest news out of
this week of the six officers being charged, a lot of people, some people
surprised they were charged at all given what has happened in other
instance across the country. Others surprised that at the speed with which
the charges were brought. Now the question is, OK, they are charged, what
is your sense of it? How optimistic are you there will actually be
convictions in this case?

BEN JEALOUS, FMR NAACP CEO: Look, we have to stay optimistic about the
opportunity for justice to be done here. At the same time we have to be,
you know, we cannot forget what we saw happen in the Trayvon case and so
many other cases. And so, I think you will expect that protesters across
the country, that people across the country frankly are wiser now. We have
seen so many of these cases where the cops have not been convicted and
folks will stay out there and stay focused until justice is done. The
protests maybe end, but everybody will be watching.

KORNACKI: Brandon, what about the curfew? Last night it was enforced
again, 10:00 p.m. curfew. That`s been the case for close to a week now.
Some arrests overnight of people who were out past curfew. Is that
something you would like to see and may be you think will be lifted
starting tonight?

the mayor - yesterday and even heard from one of the governor`s folks that
I think that it`s time to lift the curfew. I know that they are going to
be meeting and making those decisions today. And hopefully, since we had
another peaceful day and another overwhelmingly peaceful night in the city
last night that we can have these curfew lifted. And so folks can go back,
come out, celebrate and go back to living their lives and businesses in our
city can start to make money again.

KORNACKI: You know, Ben, we mentioned in the intro there you have going
back to your youth you have a history in the city of Baltimore. You`re
back there this week. You`re looking - you are obviously getting a very
close-up look at Baltimore. I`m just wondering, what have you noticed, is
it big picture here over, you know, over a generation or so. What are
changes you have noticed in Baltimore? Is a city you see that has it
changed for the better, has it changed for the worse? How to figure out
what brought about what happened this week?

here each day. I run an office for the capital here. And my family has
been here for 80 years. My grandfather was a juvenile probation officer
for the Western District for 30 years. My cousins stretch across the West
Side. And, you know, what folks are most proud of is that this city has
been getting itself back on track. The economy has been getting stronger.
Folks are eager to see the economy get stronger and especially in the heart
of West Baltimore where there is a real need coming out of this quite,
frankly, for the business folks here in the city to say look, we will make
sure that we are recruiting more aggressively in the worst parts of West
Baltimore and the East Baltimore. We are making sure that the economy of
the city works for the entire city. At the same time we need to make sure
that justice continues to get stronger in our city. What is clear is that
quite frankly, during the war on drugs, things have gotten worse when you
look at the relationship between the people of West Baltimore, for
instance, and the cops. And there`s a needless moment. Look, we need
justice done in this case, but we need justice for every family in this
city. We need every child in the city to feel like the cops are there to
protect him, not, frankly, to do the opposite.

KORNACKI: You know, Brandon, in the climate of this week, just in the
media climate, cameras, reporters, journalists. You know, from all around
the world descending on Baltimore. The whole world watching your city. In
that climate, it`s probably easy whether you are talking about business
owners or politicians or other leaders in the community to say OK, we`re
going to change on - X, we are going to change to avoid something like this
ever happening again to improve our city. It`s easy in this climate`s
view. Are you worried what happens, though, maybe a few days from now,
maybe a week from now when all the cameras that have been around here for
the last week are gone and Baltimore goes back to sort of being on its own?

SCOTT: No. I`m not worried because as I have said often times this week,
I have said that the old Baltimore has to be dead after this. We can`t go
back to being our old comfortable selves. And moving for it everyone in
this city. Government, politicians, police officers and even citizens who
is going to have to be uncomfortable in order to make changes in our city.
When folks from out of town have been asking me how they can help, I have
been telling them to wait and let the dust settle so we can see who is
really here to help us in the long run. There are many things you have to
change about our great city, because the multiple - where people can join
in. And the folks should have to wait and see that. I know that I can
continue to fight for change.

For me, this is not an incident. This is something that I have dedicated
my life too. I`ve been out on these streets walking the streets and trying
to - balance on my city before. I`ll be doing it after. I`ll be
interacting with kids meant to when kids trying to help - better them
before I`ll be doing it after. But the call is for everyone, and this is
the last thing I`ll say, in order for Baltimore to be more, everyone here
is going have to do more. And we just have to really understand that.

KORNACKI: All right, Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, Ben Jealous,
former president of the NAACP. I appreciate you both taking time this

SCOTT: Thank you.

JEALOUS: Thank you.

KORNACKI: All right. Another full hour of news from Baltimore and beyond
and the road to the White House still ahead. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: A day of prayer and healing in Baltimore.

And thanks for staying with us this Sunday morning as we juggle this
weekend`s developments in Baltimore and also in the Bridgegate scandal.
Last night thousands of people taking to the streets of Baltimore for what
were once again largely peaceful celebrations of that announcement on
Friday that six Baltimore police officers are going to be charged in
connection with the death of Freddie Gray. Handfuls of protesters, though,
were arrested for not dispersing when the 10:00 p.m. curfew went into
effect. And police did use pepper spray after a few bottles were tossed at

Now, in theory, today the city of Baltimore is supposed to heal or begin
healing and find a way to move on from the past week with only one more
night of a curfew scheduled, Maryland governor Larry Hogan calling for
today to be a "day of prayer and peace." We will be attending church
services in Baltimore later this morning and in just a moment, we are going
to be talking to a panel of American mayors all facing their own challenges
about what it will take for Baltimore to heal.

Meanwhile what has the reaction been in New Jersey to Friday`s indictments
in the George Washington Bridge scandal. Two congressmen who represent the
state, one from north Jersey, one from central New Jersey, the New York
City suburbs, they`re going to be here to talk about that and it`s also
been a busy week of movement in the 2016 presidential race. More movement
set to come in the next 48 hours.

But, we begin this morning an hour and 100 miles up Interstate 95 from
Baltimore in the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter
welcoming more than a dozen fellow mayors to a three-day conference on
urban violence this week. That conference in the works for a long time,
long before the events begin unfolding in Baltimore, but as you might
expect, at any conference that has the mission of stopping the violence
that kills 13 African-American men and boys every 24 hours, Baltimore kept
coming up. Kansas City mayor Sly James saying that mayors across the
country have to grapple with the reality that police departments often
have, quote, "built in racist tendencies" and don`t always reflect the
racial composition of the communities they serve.

Mayor Nutter who was dealing with protesters clashing with police on
Thursday telling the crowd that the troubling events in Baltimore are "just
one of many occurrences in cities across our nation that demonstrates why
we need the people in this room to come together right now." He also urged
his fellow mayors to support their Baltimore counterpart, Stephanie
Rawlings-Blake. Karen Freeman-Wilson, she is the mayor of Gary, Indiana.
She said at the conference that, quote, "one of the things that we
understand as mayors who are gathering here is that there but for the grace
of God go we."


relentless in changing the culture of the police department to ensure that
everyone in our city is treated equally under the law. There will be
justice for Mr. Gray. There will be justice for his family, and there will
be justice for the people of Baltimore.


KORNACKI: All right, and joining us now to discuss Baltimore is our panel
of mayors. We have Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary Indiana who chairs
the working group of mayors and police chiefs for the U.S. conference of
Mayors. Mayor Mick Cornett, a Republican serving Oklahoma City, a position
he`s held now for four terms. And Mayor Jorge Elorza, a first term
Democrat for the city of Providence, Rhode Island. Well, Mayor Freeman,
listen, let me start with you. If you could pick up on that thought there
but for the grace of God go we. When you look at what happened in
Baltimore, what are the ingredients you see in your city that could lead to
something similar happening?

unemployment. We see challenges in education. All of those lead to a
sense of hopelessness among young people, a sense that they don`t have the
opportunity to succeed and so it could easily, what we saw happen in
Baltimore this week could happen in any urban center across America.

KORNACKI: And in terms of relationships with the police, Mayor Cornett,
let me turn to you in Oklahoma City. I`m curious what you make of when you
look at the issues that were exposed in Baltimore, issues that were exposed
in Ferguson over the summer, and you look at the relationship between your
own police force and the African-American community in your city, what do
you see?

MAYOR MICK CORNETT (R) OKLAHOMA CITY, OK: Well, we do a lot to try and
avoid the type of powder keg that could be created by what you see in
different cities, but I don`t want to be naive and say it could never
happen in Oklahoma City. It certainly could. We`re blessed to have a very
strong economy. We have very low unemployment and our infrastructure is
not as old as a lot of urban cities` especially on the East Coast and I
think that plays a part into the poverty issue.

KORNACKI: You know, we have some new polling data just this morning and
this is a polling done for NBC News. We can share it with you about some
of the events in Baltimore. The NBC News and "Wall Street Journal" poll,
people were asked across the country about the events in Baltimore how they
viewed them. Were they a reaction to police mistreatment or were they more
an excuse for looting and violence? Now, among whites, 32 percent saying
across the country saying a reaction to police mistreatment, 58 percent
saying excuse for looting and violence among African-Americans, the
complete opposite, 60 to 27 in favor of reaction to police mistreatment.
So, you are seeing a very wide racial gulf there in terms of how these
events are being perceived. Mayor Elorza up in Providence, let me bring
you into this for a minute. Because you had an interesting quote this
week. You were talking about being racially profiled yourself growing up
in the city of Providence, saying it is just part of growing up in the city
which is very unfortunate and sad. I`ve been pulled over a number of
times. So, I am sensitive to that. Now, I wonder when I look at those
poll results we just put up, and I hear about your own experiences I just
want to - your background, does that give you maybe a different approach to
this than a white mayor would have?

MAYOR JORGE ELORZA, (D) PROVIDENCE, RI: Perhaps, but, you know, this could
really happen in any city. And it`s about creating the relationships
between the community and the police. And we`re fortunate here in
Providence that, you know, we have come a long way since I was growing up
here in Providence. And the relationships are much better. But my heart
goes out to folks in Baltimore and the mayor there. And, you know, we have
to recognize that. We have to be proactive about, you know, preventing
this from simmering and then bubbling over. And, you know, we have a
number of measures that we`re taking here in Providence and working
proactively to - and have activities for young people to coordinate, erect
apartments with our schools, to get our police and our firefighters
involving the community.

So, you know, as mayors, we really have to be proactive. We`ve all seen
the images on TV and that we`re all concerned about our residents and about
our cities and what could happen. But, you know, this is another one of
those instance where an ounce of provision and prevention can have a pound
of cure. And if we`re proactive about it we can take very significant
steps to make sure that this doesn`t occur in our cities.

KORNACKI: You know, I wonder, all of you just watching the events in
Baltimore this week, I wonder how much thinking you do about how you would
handle a similar situation if it were to erupt in your city. And I know
Mayor Rawlings-Blake in Baltimore, she took some hit this week in terms of
how she struck that balance, at least initially between giving space to
protesters, giving space to people to air their frustrations and their
grievances while at the same time trying to avoid, you know, situation like
the rioting and looting that we saw. Striking that balance, though, I
wonder, Mayor Freeman-Wilson, how would you strike that balance?

FREEMAN-WILSON: Well, first and foremost, none of us can be armchair
quarterbacks. But Mayor Rawlings-Blake`s actions and her statements were
wholly consistent with what we set out in the report that they -- we did
about police community trust at the beginning of the year. There was the
U.S. conference of mayors. We talked about the importance of
communication. We talked about the importance of transparency. We talked
about the importance of allowing people to exercise their First Amendment
rights while at the same time having a sense of safety. We also talked
about the importance of independent investigations as we saw through the
Maryland state`s attorney`s office. And so, you know, it`s easy for us to
sit a week later and say well this should have happened and that should
have happened, but that would be unadvisable. And I think what we really
have to do and you talked about the gulf and the racial perceptions is to
really drill down on some of the underlying issues like race, like poverty
and not just come up with programs, but to really come up with long lasting
solutions. And I think that`s what the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the
National League of Cities is really equipped to do.

KORNACKI: Well, Mayor Cornett, let me follow up on that. Because it was
one of the other, you know, sort of, I guess, criticisms, you say that, the
sort of armchair quarterbacking that it was taking place though, with
people asking about Mayor Rawlings-Blake and, you know, should she have
called the National - , should she have called the governor and therefore
the National Guard earlier. And I just wonder, when you think about the
potential for a similar situation taking place in your city, how would you
approach that question of when do I make that call to bring the National
Guard into my city?

CORNETT: You know, I think in general, National Guards are good at
maintaining stability once the police have quelled the violence. I don`t
know that the National Guard can address violence, though, as well as local
law enforcement officials. But it`s a tough call. Certainly you want to
err on the side of caution. You want to try to secure your city. But, you
know, all of this is the result of decades of issues that have created.
You`re not going to resolve them overnight or very quickly. I think you
have to try and try and push everyone to take a deep breath and say look
we`re going to resolve these issues, we are going to - but we have got to
get all the information out just as the victim in this case had rights,
police officers have rights and the protesters have rights. And there`s a
rush to judgment in a lot of issues like this. And, you know, to the
extent that you can, you have got to try to push for calmer heads to

KORNACKI: And Mayor Elorza, I wonder how much of a situation like
Baltimore, a similar situation in another city, how much of it is bigger
than that city? Because we talk about it, and Mayor Freeman-Wilson is
talking about sort of poverty and the economic issues and jobs and the
manufacturing base of this country being eroded. When you look at this as
a mayor and you look at all of those sort of big picture problems that are
coming to bear in your city, how much is there as a mayor that you can
really do?

ELORZO: Well, there`s a lot that we can do, but you`re right. I mean it
is a bigger issue. It`s not just confined to our individual cities. It`s
a national problem and we see it continue to be highlighted in the event
and the latest example is Baltimore. But we`ve been having a conversation
about this here in Providence, and, you know, one thing that I fully reject
is this idea that you can`t have tough law enforcement and at the same time
build relationships in the community. You can do both of those, and can do
both of them effectively. And we`ve had our instant - Providence, but we
make sure that, you know, the - that we never sacrifice the relationships
that we`re building in the community. Because if you - if you do sacrifice
this over time then it bubbles over and boils into what we have seen in
other cities. So, we have to take an active approach to this every single
day and make sure that those relationships are consistently nurtured with
the community. But at the same time, we can still be very, very aggressive
and tough on keeping our streets safe. They are not mutually exclusive,
and, you know, to folks who say that they are, you know, I aggressively
disagree with that.

KORNACKI: All right, my thanks to our panel of mayors this morning. There
is Karen Freeman-Wilson from Gary, Indiana, Mick Cornett from Oklahoma
City, Jorge Elorza from Providence. I appreciate the time and still ahead
on the show, possible presidential decisions this week for Mike Huckabee
and two other potential hopefuls in the Republican field. We will tell you
what to expect from them coming up. But first, unearthing this week`s
Bridgegate indictments, the fake traffic study that closed lanes to the
George Washington Bridge. Actually, it interrupted a real traffic study
than that had to be redone. More details from those indictments ahead.
Stay with us.



PAUL FISHMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, NEW JERSEY: This sudden and unexpected
gridlock prevented the people of Fort Lee from going about their daily
lives. It was the first day of school and the traffic apparently prevented
many children from getting there on time. Many people were apparently late
for work and local officials reported that first responders were being
delayed as they tried to reach those in need.


KORNACKI: In the morning of September 9, 2013, as the school bell rang at
Fort Lee High School, that`s home of the aptly named Bridgemen as the bells
rang at that school the damage had already been done. Prosecutors say it
was the intended result of a conspiracy between two officials at the Port
Authority, the agency that runs the bridge and New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie`s deputy chief of staff who they say, all worked together to bring
the burro of Fort Lee New Jersey to a standstill. This in a scheme
apparently time to cause maximum disruption by starting on the first day of
school. And the reason for all of this according to an indictment, filed
by the U.S. attorney in federal court on Friday, retribution against the
mayor of Fort Lee for refusing to endorse Christie`s 2013 re-election bid.

And if the allegation prove true, these are criminal acts that are having
impact far beyond their intended victim. To talk about all we learn this
week about Bridgegate, we have on set with us. Congressman Bill Pascrell,
the Democrat who represents New Jersey`s 9 district. That includes Fort
Lee and next to him, Congressman, Leonard Lance, Republican representing
New Jersey`s seventh district. Good morning to both of you. Thanks for
joining us.

LEONARD LANCE: Good morning.

KORNACKI: Well, let me start with the bottom line question on this,
because now, according to Chris Christie`s camp, this is good news and the
bad situation for the governor, because the governor was not indicted, he
was not implicated by federal prosecutors, he`s not coming up in any of the
formal papers here. At the same time, as soon as David Wildstein, the Port
Authority official, who cut the plea deal, as soon as he cut that plea deal
on Friday, his lawyer goes outside and says yeah, Chris Christie knew about
this at the time. And there`s evidence to prove it. So, bottom line
question to you, do you think Chris Christie knew about this? Congressman

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D) NEW JERSEY: I still don`t know that. I looked at
this inside and out. Deals with my constituents although other things have
happened beyond the bridge, but I`m more concerned about the citizens of
Fort Lee. And when we talk about violating civil rights, when you`re
talking about violating people`s right to maneuver and - going from place
to place, you are talking about pretty serious business. So, we will allow
the judiciary system to do what it has to do in terms of Bridget Kelly and
Mr. Baroni. Wildstein has pleaded guilty to many charges. We will see
what he has to say in what comes from this. I think the governor has been
exposed through all of this. Whether he is guilty of knowing or not going
to me is secondary. He has been exposed and I think his administration has
proven to be a disaster for New Jersey citizens. That`s more important to
me than dealing with the intricacies. The courts will deal with that.

KORNACKI: So, let me start with you, Congressman Lance. Are you confident
that Christie didn`t know as this was happening?

LANCE: I believe the governor and I think he took immediate action when he
found out. And this is true leadership. The underlying behavior was
appalling. I condemn it, but leaders are faced with these types of crises
and I think that he took immediate action when he found out about it.

KORNACKI: It`s being done in his name. In the name of his reelection
campaign. That`s what prosecutors are saying. The mayor is refusing to
endorse Chris Christie`s reelection campaign. The fact that according to
prosecutors, these three would feel some impulse to do something as
dramatic as messing with the George Washington Bridge to get a mayor of a
town of 30,000 to endorse the governor, does that say something about the
culture of the administration?

LANCE: I think it`s the culture at the Port Authority and I think there
needs to be major reform at the Port Authority and Governor Cuomo, and
Governor Christie and the legislative leaders in Albany and Trenton now
have to come together. But I think the governor took immediate direct
action when he found out about it and I contrast this with President Obama
and the Lois Learner matter. And, of course, the other matter .

KORNACKI: Now we`re getting far - now we`re getting far in the field. .



KORNACKI: But let`s - let`s take to - stick to Christie.

PASCRELL: I want to respond to that.

KORNACKI: Yeah, go ahead.

PASCRELL: I want to talk about the culture of the Port Authority. We knew
about that long before Chris Christie was the governor for New Jersey. We
can`t blame the Port Authority on Chris Christie although there is a
culture within this administration in New Jersey. There is a culture here
and it`s being peeled off a little bit at a time. That culture started, I
think, when Chris Christie was the attorney general, was the attorney
general .

KORNACKI: When he was the U.S. attorney?

PASCRELL: A federal U.S. Attorney. When he was appointed he was
appointed by a president, OK? I don`t want Chris Christie to be in a
position of appointing the next Attorney General. I don`t want him to be
in a position of appointing the next secretary of state or the next head of
the CIA. I think that his credibility has been diminished by all of this.
I`m not accusing him of doing anything illegal. That`s not the main

KORNACKI: So, look, what Congressman Pascrell is saying, is look, David
Wildstein was a Christie appointee, Bill Baroni was a Christie appointee,
Bridget Kelly was a Christie`s appointee. Does that say something about
his judgement?

LANCE: I think he was an excellent United States attorney, many
convictions. And I think he`s been a good governor of New Jersey, many
reforms in his term of office and I think he is shaken up Trenton. Trenton
needed to be shaken up. And I think he took immediate executive leadership
when confronted with this situation.

KORNACKI: Let me ask you this. If he runs for president, will you support

LANCE: Absolutely, and I hope he does run for president. And I think he
will be a leading candidate for president. We don`t have a leader the way
Secretary Clinton is the preeminent nominee on the Democratic side, the
potential nominee, but I think he is in the top tier of candidates, and
Steve, the first contests are in Iowa and in New Hampshire. Retail
politics and Governor Christie is at his best, retail politics in those
types of states.

PASCRELL: So the position of the folks in Iowa and then Republican Party,
many leaders are saying, and I don`t want to meddle in your politics, but
what do we know about Bridgegate, et cetera, et cetera? Bridgegate is only
a mirror to the ineptness of this administration and that`s what I`m
talking about. There is a culture there. It started before he was the
governor of this state. It started when he gave a $52 million contract to
his former boss John Ashcroft. If you or I did that or if Leonard did that
we would be in the caboose by now. The fact of the matter is Ashcroft did
not perform. We covered over what prosthetic industry had done, bribe
doctors and Medicare cases for hip replacement. He did that before he was
the governor. He is being exposed right now. I wished him well. I
supported him on certain things. I can speak out, because he`s a
Republican doesn`t mean I should keep my mouth close. I think he`s being
exposed and I don`t want him making those decisions that I refer to before.

KORNACKI: All right. I wanted to squeeze in here. We - we are looking
through the indictment yesterday. I did want to at least mention this.
This is the ultimate irony of the entire Bridgegate scandal, and this was -
this is from the indictment, said that the congestion resulting from the
reductions, the lane reductions also spoiled a legitimate Port Authority
traffic study in Fort Lee, which caused the Port Authority to repeat the
study. So, this fake traffic study that was the justification for the
shutdown of the bridge actually ruined a real traffic study so there was a
real traffic study going on.

LANCE: I think that proves that there are traffic studies and when the
governor knew that this was not a difficult situation, he took immediate
action and I think we need that in the executive office of president of the
United States.

KORNACKI: All right. We will let that be the final word story.
Congressman - my thanks to New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell and Leonard
Lance, and still ahead, the emerging field of Democrats willing to
challenge Hillary Clinton. Could any of them actually pose a real threat
to her? And next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On his first day in office, Governor Huckabee`s door
was nailed shut. It was in Bill Clinton`s Arkansas.


KORNACKI: Mike Huckabee hammers Bill Clinton`s record as governor in a new
video. Will that be his strategy as he prepares to enter the race for
president for a second time, and will it resonate with Republican voters?


KORNACKI: The Republican presidential field is about to get even bigger.
Three new candidates set to enter the race in the next 48 hours. Tomorrow,
Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina each expected to officially start their
campaigns, then on Tuesday, Mike Huckabee will announce his plans. While
he hasn`t said whether those plans might include a run for president, he
does plan to tour Iowa later in the week. Now, Huckabee won the Iowa
caucuses when he first ran for president back in 2008. As an ordained
Baptist minister, he captured the key evangelical vote in that state. But
he will have some ground to make up if he wants to win there eight years
later. Right now he is tied with Rand Paul for fourth in the latest PPP
poll of Iowa Republicans.

Ben Carson at just seven percent in the same poll. Carson, a retired
neurosurgeon with no political experience, but plenty of Tea Party support.
He`s fallen off the radar a bit since announcing last month that he was
forming a presidential exploratory committee. Carson begin march with more
than 12 percent of GOP supporting the average of all polls. That made him
one of the frontrunners, at least on paper. Now, though, he stands at less
than five percent. He has also been absent from early nominating states
like Iowa and New Hampshire, places he`s going to have to do well if he
wants any chance of actually winning the nomination next year as the
"Washington Examiner`s" Byron York wrote this week, "Carson may run an
unconventional campaign, but it will still have to be a campaign and it has
to start very soon." Eliana Johnson has been following the field as the
Washington editor at "National View." She joins today`s panel, which is
back with us. Elahe Izadi with "The Washington Post", Nan Hayworth, former
Republican congresswoman from New York and MSNBC`s Krystal Ball.

So, Eliana, let me start with you on Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee,
probably, the biggest name there these three were looking to get in this
week. He certainly said - singles he`s getting in. A, is he getting in
the race on Tuesday? Is that what you are expecting? B, what was there
for him in 2008, that overwhelming support from evangelical voters that
carried him to victory in Iowa, made him a player elsewhere? Is that there
for him this time around?

ELIANA JOHNSON, NATIONAL REVIEW: Mike Huckabee will announce his campaign
in Hope, Arkansas, and I think that says a lot about what his campaign will
be. Hope, Arkansas, obviously, Bill Clinton`s hometown. And he`s going to
tell people that he can take it to the Clintons. I`m told by somebody on
his campaign that he will emphasize his ten and a half years as a governor
of Arkansas, his experience. Now, that`s something we haven`t heard a lot
about from Republican candidates. That means he`s going to bludgeon the
three freshmen Republican senators who are running for their inexperience.
And it`s really an open question whether Mike Huckabee will have the
support from social conservatives, but he`s an extremely talented
politician. And one thing that will not happen, which did happen in 2008,
is that he will not be underestimated this time. Ted Cruz, I know, is very
nervous about Mike Huckabee cutting and he had support from social
conservatives, and the Club for Growth is ready in enormous conservative
out - ready to hammer Mike Huckabee on his relatively moderate record on
tax and spending issues.

So, I think Mike Huckabee - quite possible to have a tougher go than in
2016 than he did in 2008.

KORNACKI: Now, on Fiorina and Carson when you watch this Republican cattle
call, all the candidates come and speak. I noticed, they always get very
strong responses from the crowd, particularly notable as in Fiorina goes -
seems to go after Hillary Clinton the most aggressively of any of the
candidates. At the same time for all of that response, there is a lot of
skepticism about whether either one of them can seriously compete for the
nomination. What will their roles be in this race?

JOHNSON: Carly Fiorina is emerging really as a sort of an anti-Hillary in
this race. Other than Rand Paul she is the only person really aggressively
attacking Hillary. And there is really an appetite for that among
Republicans. And I think that accounts for her very enthusiastic reception
in the field. But I think she is a very plausible vice presidential
nominee. Or somebody who could be - secretary. And I think her people are
realistic. That`s really what she`s going for, even though she`s a very
competitive person, and she has tremendous rhetorical discipline and
fluency on policy issues. That`s not really what we`re seeing from Ben
Carson who is more of the seed of Tea Party conservatives and came on to
the scene doing what a lot of Tea Partiers would have loved to do, which
was take it to the president right in front of him while he was sitting
there. An - diplomatic thing to do, and I think you mentioned the - what
Byron York had said. He`s been - from these things. What he is doing
really is giving paid speeches and the open question about Carson`s
campaign is does accomplishment in a field outside of politics translate
into political leadership? And I think Republicans aren`t quite sure about
that. They are going to be watching Ben Carson, because Republicans want
to win in 2016 and they`re not going to bet on somebody who isn`t showing
up to events and quite possibly is in this for himself and to make money
rather than to win the nomination and be a probable candidate.

KORNACKI: There was that, that was the charge Newt Gingrich had to face in
his 2012 campaign. What are you actually running for? Then he goes and
wins South Carolina. But let me ask you, I mean, you know, you`re looking
at this. You`re a Republican, you`re looking for a candidate next to you.
Let me ask you about the Fiorina thing. Because that`s really interesting
to me, and as Eliana says, she alone is aggressively going after Hillary
Clinton there. The skeptical take, the cynical take I have heard from
people is that she sees there`s a desire among Republicans that their
debate stage next year, as they all start to attack Hillary Clinton. Not
the all men attacking Hillary Clinton. So, there`s a desire to have a
woman there doing that. And that if she does that, she will get some kind
of reward from the party, whether it`s the VP slot, the cabinet slot,
something like that - that`s the cynical read. What`s your read on it?

HAYWORTH: Well, you know, I know Carly Fiorina personally, and she`s
compelling, she`s dedicated, she`s passionate. I think she`s running
because she truly feels that she can make a difference as our presidential
candidate. I don`t think she`s running because she feels that she can have
a subsidiary role and therefore she`s cynically manipulating the process,
if you will.

She comes at this from a very credible point of view. She has - she
understands how to create jobs. She has done it. She understands how to
manage a large organization to transact with other parties including world
leaders. And she really speaks very compellingly about the dignity of
work, the importance of opportunity for all Americans.

KORNACKI: But she does .


KORNACKI: She does attack Hillary Clinton? What do you make of her attacks
on Hillary Clinton?

BALL: Well, I mean one thing that is sort of interesting to me is she sort
of attacks Hillary Clinton and says she`s going to play the gender card,
but meanwhile Carly Fiorina is making the argument that she needs to be in
the race and be the nomination because she`s a woman, and can go against
Hillary Clinton. I still think her record is tough, right? Because she
lost a Senate campaign and her tenure at HP was, let`s just say, not the
best. And she was ultimately removed, the stock price lost half its value
while she was there. So, in terms of making the argument that she has the
record and the experience to be able to be president, I think it`s a tough
argument. Now, I think it`s good that there is a woman on the Republican
side. I think Republicans need a woman ultimately on their presidential
ticket. They can`t - certainly can`t have two white men on their
presidential ticket. They can`t - certainly can`t have two white men on
their presidential ticket. So in that way she`s interesting, but I just -
I`m not quite sure what she`s running on in terms of her experience.

KORNACKI: All right. I want to thank Eliana Johnson with "The National
Review." Always appreciate you joining us.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

KORNACKI: And still ahead this hour, more from Baltimore including the
question of how much Baltimore has changed since its last curfew order in
the spring of 1968, that fateful year. And next, Hillary Clinton gets her
first official opponent. Stay with us.



might run. I like Bernie. Bernie`s an interesting guy. Apparently some
folks really want to see a pot smoking socialist in the White House.


OBAMA: We could get a third Obama term after all.



KORNACKI: That was President Obama talking about Bernie Sanders, the self-
described Democratic socialist senator who announced Thursday that he will
be running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders stumped
yesterday in Manchester, New Hampshire, home of the nation`s first
presidential primary, emphasizing the populous message that he unveiled
earlier this week.


nation, in which we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major
nation on earth, at the same time as we`re seeing a proliferation of
millionaires and billionaires. So that`s the major issue. The major issue
is how do we create an economy that works for all of our people rather than
a small number of billionaires.


KORNACKI: And now, this makes Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton`s first
official opponent for the Democratic nomination, others, though, are
expected to throw their hats in the ring as well. We`ve talked for months
now about how much of an overwhelming favorite Hillary Clinton is for her
party`s nomination. But now, she will have to get through a primary, we
know that much, in the rest of the field first.

Here to help us take a closer look at the emerging field against Hillary
Clinton we have "New York Times" reporter Patrick Healy. He joins us over
at the big board. Patrick, welcome. So, let`s take a look at this field
and let`s start with Bernie Sanders this week. He`s been a senator from
Vermont elected in 2006. He was a congressman. He was the mayor of
Burlington. Before that, he`s the longest serving Independent in
congressional history. We should note also the president making a joke
there about smoking pot. Bernie Sanders said this week I haven`t smoked
pot in a long time. Some people say, the sceptics say he must be smoking
pot if he thinks he can beat Hillary Clinton. But what is the upside for
Bernie Sanders? How far can he go in this race?

PATRICK HEALY: Sure. Right. I mean he looks at himself as the consistent
messenger from the left. He is someone who can push the argument about
income inequality, about student loan debt, about the need of sort of
working class and poor Americans. And he looks at Hillary Clinton taking
huge amounts of sums from Wall Street, from the banks, from - coming out
from a more sort of moderate Democrat point of view. And he sees himself
as sort of the true liberal who can get in the race. So, I thought it was
interesting at his kick-off speech. The first issue that he mentioned
about why he would be a better nominee than Hillary Clinton, was his
opposition to the Iraq war going back to 2003, which is interesting. The
first contest - it was Iowa, there`s definitely a segment of voters out
there and that`s what helped President Obama, certainly.

KORNACKI: And we should know, he`s still an Independent right now. He
said he would be willing to become a Democrat, to register as a Democrat,
if that is what it`s going take to get him some of these ballots.

Let`s take a look at who else is lining up. Martin O`Malley, former
governor of Maryland, had two terms there, mayor of Baltimore, that`s in
the news a little bit this week. Martin O`Malley is out there as well.
Martin O`Malley was the state chair in Maryland for Hillary Clinton in
2008, stayed with her all the way to the end. Now is he going to run
against her?

HEALY: Right. I mean he`s looking for a future. I mean he - and
certainly before the Baltimore riots it looked like he would be at least a
voice in that race. He may still, certainly still run. I think the
question becomes who is the alternative to Hillary Clinton? When that
happens for the party? When, after months and months and months Democrats
start saying, you know, is ultimately, is she electable? Can she do it?
We feel OK about her as a nominee. But can she win in a fall? And Martin
O`Malley`s hope was always to present himself as, you know, a sort of a
ready-made Democrat who could sort of step in. And you know, the issue
with him talking about zero tolerance and police crime fighting policy in
Baltimore and now with what is going on he`s playing so much defensive
right now. Maybe in six months that will change.


HEALY: But they can always bring that up.

KORNACKI: He may not have six months when you`re going up against Hillary
Clinton like that.

HEALY: Sure.

KORNACKI: Let`s take a look at two others out there. Much - Lincoln
Chafee. He was a Republican Senator from Rhode Island, he was the
Independent governor. He changed to become a Democrat and now he said he
is looking to get in this race against Hillary Clinton. He brought up the
Iraq war right away. What is -- what do Democrats think of this guy who
wasn`t even their party until two years ago?

HEALY: Right. I mean, again, sort of a beauty contest of non-Hillaries.
And the question becomes, who is going to sort of aggressively go after?
Is anyone going to run against Hillary Clinton? We`re actually bringing
the fight to her. Chafee is so far had sort of suggested that he will
actually criticize her by name, go after on things like Iraq, on her
judgment, certainly about the State Department. He also comes from wealth.
He is someone who isn`t going to be scraping the sort of the bottom of the
barrel for money. So, I think again, he is sort of setting himself up as
someone who can run to the left on some issues, the center on other issues,
but is willing to sort of take her on. And sort of doesn`t have anything
to .

KORNACKI: Yeah, he has been notably aggressive there. Let`s finish it up
here with the last one now. This is Jim Webb, he was - he`s also a former
Republican. I`m noticing a trend here. He was in Reagan`s cabinet in the
`80s, he`s an author and historian. He was a Democratic senator from
Virginia for one term. And of course, Jim Webb was, he was the face of -
he was a military man who was against the Iraq war. That was - ten years
ago in the Democratic Party. Is there an audience for him right now?

HEALY: Sure. He can go to Egypt, he can go to Libya, he can go to other
countries in the Middle East and may be, you know, Iran, and depending on
how that deal works out. And he can probably - he may be able to emerge as
the most credible voice to pick apart her record at the State Department.
Again, it depends on whether any of these Democrats see an upside on really
taking the fight directly to run a record. She now has a record after four
years at the State Department. Webb with the background that you describe
is someone who can speak with authority and confidence about that. Go to
Iowa, go to New Hampshire, appeal to some of those liberal primary
Democrats who may not feel so great about her.

KORNACKI: We will see if he can raise the money. And of course, all of
them, all of these potential challengers have one thing in common - they
all start out at least 40 points behind.


KORNACKI: We`ll see how they do. But that`s the lay of the land of the
Democratic side. Patrick Healy with "The New York Times". Thank you for
being here. We appreciate that. And still ahead, why you didn`t have to
leave your couch to have a thrilling day yesterday. It sounds like my kind
of day. Details are ahead. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: You couldn`t have asked for a better weekend if you`re a sports
fan. Even if you skipped day three of the NFL draft yesterday, by day
three most people do that. Well, you still were treated to a thrilling
Kentucky Derby where the favorite American Pharaoh king from behind to win
a very close race. Jockey Victor Espinosa winning the Derby for the second
straight, very hard to do that. For those of you who stayed up late enough
also and if you could afford the $100 pay per view charge, this last
night`s boxing match in Las Vegas between Floyd Mayweather and Manny
Pacquiao. Mayweather winning that decision improving his record to 48.
This was billed as the fight of the century, though many who watched it,
didn`t necessarily say it lived up to the hype. And also last night, Team
Seven of the Western Conference quarter finals the L.A. Clippers, the San
Antonio Spurs. Chris Paul hitting a crazy shot over Tim Duncan in the last
seconds of the game to lift the Clippers to a 111-109 victory raising the
question is it the end of the line for the Spurs?

Up next, Baltimore still recovering from the aftermath of riots this week
and riots that took place 47 years ago in 1968. How different is Baltimore


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this mean you are completely wiped out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s right, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything they had and every - hard working 14
years, and remember nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Completely, completely wiped out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you won`t open again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No, sir. Will not open. Will not -- once I leave
this - I will never come at this corner again.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A curfew has been imposed in Baltimore City from 4:00
p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have local police, state police and federalized
troops on the scene, in control, working effectively.


KORNACKI: April 6, 1968. The last time the City of Baltimore, Maryland,
was placed under a curfew due to a precarious situation playing out on the
streets. That was then Governor Spiro Agnew`s announcement sounding not
all that different from the one that was made by current Baltimore mayor
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake earlier this week. It was two days after the
death of Martin Luther King, Jr. when the front window of fashion hat shop
was smashed in the Johnstown neighborhood of south-east Baltimore, and the
rioting began back in 1968. In that first night three people were killed,
another 70 were injured. Over a thousand Baltimore city businesses
decimated that week, putting the ones bustling city`s wheels of progress to
a grinding halt. The hope in today that follows, was that Baltimore would
heal, would move on, would rebuild. But as evidence this week, 47 years
later, has that really happened? At least in full. "Time" magazine
wondering on its cover, if all that much has changed in Baltimore since
1968. And what about Ferguson, Missouri, or Sanford, Florida. Protests
often spur significant growth. It seemed that way in 1968. Does it feel
that way now still?

Well, joining the panel we have Rick Perlstein, historian and author and
contributor to "The Nation." And Rick, let me just say in 1968 and in that
era it was Baltimore, but it was also - it was Detroit, it was New York,
urban unrest, violence in the streets in cities across America. And you
have written so much about this era. I wonder if you could just address
how Baltimore and all of the other riots in late `60s, how they changed
American politics, really, for the next generation in really in a way we
are still feeling today?

RICK PERLSTEIN, AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN: Yes. I think the political changes
actually went in two directions. In the first place the riots spurred a
political will for progressive action. Immediately after the Watts riots
in 1965 in August, which was the big shocker because it came five days
after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, Lockheed Martin said
they are going to build the plants in Watts. After the riots in 1968 that
you refer to, the Harvard Business Journal published an article saying
look, we`re going to have just more and more of these riots. Unless
business gets behind the goals of the great society. And Congress passed
the stalled housing bill that basically trying to open housing in the books
of law.

And that was - on the one side, on the other side you had figures like
Spiro Agnew who basically after that speech that you heard, called together
a group of very distinguished African-American leaders in Baltimore. We
are talking about ministers, urban league people, very placid, solid,
middle of the road people. And basically read them the Riot Act and almost
blamed them for the riots. And the response was just astronomical for this
guy Spiro Agnew who found himself an unknown political figure a couple of
months later as Richard Nixon`s running mate. And Richard Nixon`s .

KORNACKI: Yeah, I mean that was - that`s a big part of American history
that grows out of it. And sort of the -- you call it the white backlash.
And this was at the heart of Nixon and Reagan and the rise of the right as
we know it today in many ways.

PERLSTEIN: Right. But let`s point out one thing that I have been very
careful to note every time I talk about these riots. The scale was
colossally larger than what we are talking about now. I mean it wasn`t one
CVS. You know, it was like, you say, a thousand businesses. In Washington
there were 6,000 arrests in 1968. In Baltimore, we are talking about 200
arrests. In Chicago, rioters destroyed a two-mile strip on the West Side
of Madison Street. It`s just unlike anything we are seeing now, now
hopefully we won`t see that kind of escalation. But what`s fascinating, is
that the panicked reaction we are seeing now among all quarters is if
anything equivalent or greater to what we have seen when we saw these
events. I mean Detroit in 1967. 43 people died. I mean in Newark, in
1967, the state police shot people in cold blood. Dozens of people.

KORNACKI: That`s a very important point to make - to compare the scale
then and now. My thanks to historian and author Rick Perlstein for taking
a few minutes this morning.


KORNACKI: As well as today`s tragically under-used panel. And I promise
if they come back they will get to talk next time.


KORNACKI: Elahe Izadi, Nan Hayworth, Krystal Ball, thank you for being
good sports about it.

IZADI: We are happy .

KORNACKI: Next time we we`ll do better. And thank you for getting up with
us today. Up next is Melissa Harris-Perry. Stay tuned. We`ll see you
next weekend.



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