'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, May 30th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: May 30, 2015
Guest: Lynn Sweet, Rick Ungar, Michael Steele, Jackie Kucinich, Mark
Murray, Mike Pesca, William Otis, John Brabender, Rosie Gray, Lis Smith
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Dennis Hastert`s secret past.
All right. Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday
morning. There are shocking new revelations about former Speaker of the
House Dennis Hastert. Details on that and what it all means just a minute
Also ahead in the show today, President Obama declaring the flooding in
Texas a major disaster. And the people who make Budweiser are now stepping
in to help out. Both those developments are ahead. Plus the President of
FIFA speaking out, if not lashing out this morning about the allegations
against soccer`s world governing body. We`ll going to be looking into that
ahead this hour.
But we begin this morning with a stunning turn in the federal prosecution
of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Federal law enforcement officials
telling NBC News that Hastert was paying a man in order to conceal past
misconduct of a sexual nature. On Thursday, as you`ll recall, federal
prosecutors charged Hastert seemingly out of the blue with concealing
payments to a person named in the indictment only as individual A. More
than $1.5 million -- more than $3million that were allegedly promised in
apparently hush money. Federal law enforcement sources now saying the
payments were an effort to cover up the sexual relationship that took place
while the man he was paying was a high school student in Yorkville,
Illinois. Now, Hastert used to be a high school wrestling and football
coach Yorkville, that was before he got into politics in the 1980s.
MSNBC`s Adam Reiss joins us now from Yorkville, Illinois. So, Adam, you`re
on the ground there in this town where Dennis Hastert taught for all those
years. What are you hearing from the locals, are they shocked? Is
everybody in Washington is?
ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: They absolutely are, Steve. In fact,
this still call him coach here in Yorkville even 40 years after he stop
teaching and coaching football, coaching wrestling. He even led to team to
the 1976 state championships. A real rag to riches story. Made it all the
way to the pinnacle of power in Washington. Unprecedented. Eight years as
speaker of the house. Second in line to the presidency, that what`s makes
it so baffling for people here. They don`t understand the guy was so
approachable, the guy they knew was low key could be charges with such a
crime. Now, for their part, the local high school has put out a statement
saying they had no knowledge of his alleged misconduct. They just learned
about it as we did on Thursday. In the last 24 hours he put out a
statement he has stepped down from the law firm where he worked. Also the
CME here in Chicago, his professional life is tarnished. His future in
doubt -- Steve.
All right. MSNBC`s Adam Reiss on the ground in Yorkville, Illinois. Thank
you for that report now.
As we mentioned the charges against Hastert seeming to come out of nowhere.
Former Congressional colleagues from both parties saying they were
surprised by the indictment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It`s surprising. I think that would be a universal
response. And of course remains to be seen what comes forth now. But it`s
very sad for him and sad, really, for the Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And we want to turn now to someone who knows Illinois politics
and politicians better than anyone, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times.
Lynn joins us from Washington this morning. So, well, Lynn, let me ask you
this. I mean, we`re hearing everybody say they`re so surprised, they so
shocked by all this. At the same time, there were, I guess, rumblings in
Washington in the last few week, last few months maybe that there might be
some sort of legal issue involving Dennis Hastert. Now we find out it`s
this. In terms of response from him, have we been hearing anything?
LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN TIMES: No, it`s been total silence from him. We
don`t even have any statement from a lawyer. There`s no lawyer of record
who has stepped up. And, Steve, just as an update, he has resigned from
yet another board that he was on yesterday. Filing came through and the
Securities and Exchange Commission. So he has been -- his actions, we
know, from a bit of a paper trail, is that he has been taking care of
resigning from groups that he has been affiliated with as he enters this
next sad tough, very serious chapter of his life.
KORNACKI: Lynn, where do we know that this goes from here? Because,
obviously, there`s the legal case here involving these banking transactions
and concealing, you know, potentially concealing the large withdrawals from
federal oversight. But at the same time, there is this whole issue of
sexual misconduct that would not be covered by any statute. The statute of
limitations has been expired. So, he wouldn`t be prosecuted for anything
relating to that. But obviously that`s the thing here that`s really
damaging to his reputation.
SWEET: Well, all of this is damaging. The Sun Times has reported that
federal authorities interviewed two people, males, about alleged past
sexual misconduct that took place when he was a history teacher and
wrestling coach. And that`s the reason, allegedly, why he then went to the
banks to withdraw all this cash that got him in trouble. And of the things
that just don`t make sense about this case for somebody of his supposedly
level of knowledge and sophistication and watching so many other people in
Congress get in trouble. It seems that he gave a flip answer to the FBI
when the agents came to question him about the money where he said, and I`m
paraphrasing from the indictment, well, I don`t trust the banks. So it
seems he just had so many problems, some self-created, to compound a very
KORNACKI: All right. Lynn Sweet. Please stay with us. I want to bring
in our panel now for the morning. We have Rick Ungar, a senior political
contributor with Forbes, and co-host of the show "Steele and Ungar" on
Sirius XM. Along with the other half of "Steele and Ungar," Michael
Steele. MSNBC contributor, former chairman of the RNC Jackie Kucinich,
senior politics editor at The Daily Beast. Thank you all for being here.
So, Michael Steele, let me start with you, from republicans in Washington,
D.C., for a decade, really from the late 90s through the Bush
administration. Dennis Hastert, you know, right there next to the
President George W. Bush, one of the top leaders in all the country. What
is your reaction to this?
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Shocked. You know, he was a well-
regarded individual. Particularly when you consider how he came in to
power on the heels of scandal. From the two previous speakers. And then
to have this sort of drop. Yes, you know, it`s much later in his career
past his time in office. But I think people have fond memories of what he
did and what he was as a speaker. So, I think a lot of folks are trying to
sort this out to get their head around it. I think you hit on the key
point though, the financial transactions are one thing, the allegations of
sexual misconduct is something wholly different, particularly with young
kids at the time he was a high school teacher and coach. That will be very
much problematic, even though as you said the statute of limitations has
passed. That`s a stain that you cannot unstained.
KORNACKI: And it`s interesting, like you mentioned he`s been out of the
lime light for a few years. That`s the other part of this that kind of
jumps out me. So, you think back to 1998 when he becomes the House
speaker, Bob Livingston is supposed to be the next republican speaker,
mayor -- has passed, he steps down, Dennis Hastert comes in. So, for all
those years, this was there, this was in his past. He knew about this.
And apparently, this individual, this -- it`s not until 2010 that this
becomes an issue where he strikes this deal.
RICK UNGAR, SIRIUS XM CO-HOST, "STEELE AND UNGAR": He obviously knew that
he met a bit of money after he left as the speaker. Look, you know, what`s
most fascinating, at this point to me, we know the conjecture of what he
did. I want to know has individual A been indicted either secretly or
otherwise, and if not, will he be? And if not, why won`t he be. He was
extorting somebody. I don`t care if you were sexually abused as a kid.
It`s a terrible, terrible thing, but extortion is also terrible. I want to
know if he`s going to be indicted.
KORNACKI: Well, Lynn Sweet, what do we know about that Lynn Sweet?
Because this is -- it`s such a confusing in a way indictment, I mean, from
the very beginning this is with this cryptic thing about individual A and
Yorkville in the 60`s and 70`s. Now, we have leaks, we`re not even sure
where the leaks are coming from. But we could suspect where they`re coming
from. What do we know about the other person here, about this individual
SWEET: Well, individual A has not been publicly identified. And we know
that even people sue all the time to get damages for alleged wrongdoings.
You know, there`s sexual misconduct victims sue the church, sue people who
have hurt them. There`s ways of legally dealing with the fallout of
situations. This situation, though, seems to have been handled the long
way that led Denny to, you know, lie to the FBI officers and, you know, and
mess up on the banking rolls. But, Steven, and everyone in New York, what
is at issue here is that individual A for the moment, for the moment seems
to have gotten a pass because we don`t know anything about what and how his
conduct may have also crossed over to illegal areas.
KORNACKI: And that`s what I wondered about, Jackie. I guess I`m
speculating along with everybody else. But I think we look at it and we
assume blackmail, we assume extortion. Although when I start thinking
about it, I say, what is there to prevent two individuals from striking a
private deal? Look, you know, you did something wrong to me years ago, I
think I deserve compensation for it. Okay. You know, I`m, you know, on
Hastert`s side, look, I don`t want this coming out, maybe there`s no direct
threat, maybe there`s no even an implied threat and he just decides he`ll
going to pay the guy some money.
JACKIE KUCINICH, THE DAILY BEAST: The Patriot Act actually is what makes
this illegal impart. Being that`s something that Hastert helped push
through which is one of the great puzzling things about this horrible
situation, what`s turning out to be a horrible situation. Avoiding the
federal reporting guidelines by withdrawing just under the limit. Just
under that $10,000 limit that`s what`s wrong here. That`s how he got
caught. So, I mean, which is just -- Hastert knew that this could happen.
I mean, somewhere in his head he had to know this was possible. So, it
really is puzzling.
KORNACKI: Although I guess if you`re faced with like -- yes, go ahead,
SWEET: Well, I mean, that is what you`re picking up on, that there was a
legal way to structure this. You have an agreement, an out of court
settlement. But something individual A didn`t want to do it, apparently, I
mean, we don`t know why this wasn`t done legally.
KORNACKI: Because, I mean, when there is some kind of settlement like
that, doesn`t that enter into the public record. Because Hastert`s thing
is I don`t want anybody ever to know about this.
KUCINICH: Individual A probably didn`t want anybody to know about this
either. I mean, this person --
UNGAR: Here`s the problem, if you look at the elements of extortion and
that`s what this would be there, some fine differences between extortion
and other things it could be. This is extortion. If you look at the
elements, it really does not appear to be a legal settlement. A legal
settlement is all right, we`re trying to get to a conclusion, this is fair
I`ll give you this, you won`t do this. That does not appear to be what
happened here. Based on what Hastert did say and what we`ve heard that
individual A did tell the FBI, it was not a let`s negotiate a settlement.
It was a, if you don`t do this, I will do this. And that is a different
part. It could have been a legal settlement. But it wasn`t.
KUCINICH: We don`t know that.
STEELE: We don`t know that.
UNGAR: We don`t know, but from everything we`re hearing.
KUCINICH: We don`t know if he`s threatened to tell. We don`t know. I
mean, this is all --
UNGAR: Why would you pay 3.5 million if he didn`t threaten to tell.
KORNACKI: That`s one of the mysteries. Yes. I guess, we can`t say for
sure. The other thing here is, I just want to play this. Again, this is,
for all we know this may have nothing to do with it. But this looks very
different in light of what`s come out in the last 48 hours. This was
Dennis Hastert appearing on c-span in October of last year and a caller
from Yorkville calls in and this is what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Trillions of dollars on the national debt.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Illinois is our next call. Here`s Bruce independent
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hello Denny.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hey, how are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Pretty good. Remember me from Yorkville?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Bruce you`re on go ahead with your question.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think he`s gone. Let`s go to Ohio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And I think you`re watching that in the moment, you think it`s
just a crank call or something. But boy, that`s look entirely different.
Again, we don`t know if that is somebody who is calling in to taunt him,
who might be related to his or just a totally unrelated thing. Anyway,
thanks to Lynn from the Chicago Sun Times for joining us this segment.
And still ahead on the show today, what does Hillary Clinton have to worry
about on the campaign trail? Well, our list of four things she needs to
watch out for, that is ahead.
But first, we`re going to go live to Texas now suffering through its
wettest month ever with tragic consequences. Wait until you hear about how
much rain has fallen there. That is next. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: As we speak this morning another line of powerful storms is
barreling through the Dallas area. Rain and flooding has already forced
the closure of a major highway there, that highway may not reopen for a
week. This has been a horrific few weeks in Texas, not only in Dallas but
in most of the state as well as neighboring Oklahoma. In fact, this is the
wettest month ever for Texas. More than 35 trillion gallons of rain have
fallen in the state this month. Spread it out, it`s enough to cover all of
Texas in eight inches of water.
NBC`s Sarah Dallof is live in Wimberley, Texas. That is near Austin.
Those are some staggering statistics. Sarah, tell us what`s going on on
the ground there.
SARAH DALLOF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: We have some sad news unfortunately to
record this morning, Steve. Officials announce they have recovered the
bodies of two more people who were inside their vacation home when it was
swept away by flood waters Memorial Day weekend. Those bodies are of six-
year-old Andrew McColeman (ph), 73-year-old Routh Terry (ph). Five people
from that home remain missing. The lone survivor was treated and released
from the hospital late this week. Meanwhile, cell phone video shows just
how quickly conditions changed and just how dangerous things became. This
was shot by a different family in a different vacation home. The Perez
family, a mother, father and a young daughter. You can see that water just
pouring into the home as they film that from a second story balcony. They
were lucky there was a fire crew nearby that was checking on one of their
neighbors. They were able to rescue that family. They were unharmed.
Meanwhile, in Wimberley today, the search continues as do cleanup efforts.
They are likely to be hampered by rain, which is expected on and off Steve
throughout the day. Back to you.
KORNACKI: All right. Sarah Dallof in Wimberley, Texas. Thank you for
Still ahead on the show. We are going to go live to Baltimore. Where
about 90 minutes from now, a democratic race for president is expected to
grow with former Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley getting in and going up
against this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As someone who has never run a negative political ad in
my life, my campaign will not be driven by political gossip or reckless
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Bernie Sanders says he won`t go negative in his bid for the
democratic presidential nomination. But Hillary Clinton still might have a
lot to fear from him. We`ll going to talk about why on the other side of
this break. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM RUSSERT, NBC HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": Senator Clinton I just want to
make sure that I heard, do you, the New York Senator Hillary Clinton
support the New York governor`s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver`s
license? You told the New Hampshire paper it made a lot of sense. Do you
support his plan?
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, Tim, this is where
everybody plays got you. It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor
supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problem. We have failed and
George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor
to do? No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Hillary Clinton in a famous debate moment back in
October of 2007 flailing, as Tim Russert tried to pin her down on her
position on driver`s licenses for undocumented immigrants. Many people
feel that that`s the moment when the wheels started to come off Clinton`s
campaign for the presidency in 2008 during that race. She came under fire
for giving answers that seemed vague, maybe contradictory, not being clear,
not being specific on all of the issues. Now, so far in this race, Clinton
has managed to avoid making a similar mistake. But this is the part of the
campaign where she actually is now going to start to get some competition.
A little more than an hour from now, former Maryland Governor Martin
O`Malley will be throwing his hat in the ring.
More on that in a just a little bit. O`Malley following Senator Bernie
Sanders of Vermont who announced his own bid on Tuesday and has already
begun drawing large crowds as he hits the campaign trail. Reporting this
week from Politico suggests that Clinton insiders are worried about the
challenged posed by Sanders. Frightened (ph) is the word they even used.
Not that he would win the nomination, actually defeat her for that but that
he could damage her by the activists based by challenging her on core
progressive issues in debates. Making her look like a centrist. Somebody
who debates doesn`t necessary get excited about.
Well, here now to take a look at some of those positions that the Clinton
campaign could be frightened of taking stance on is Mark Murray, senior
political editor with NBC News. He joins me here at the big board. Big
board. So, Mark, welcome to New York.
MARK MURRAY, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Thank you, Steve.
KORNACKI: Thank you for coming in. So, we`ve got four issues here. We
want to go through with you. Bernie Sanders, maybe Martin O`Malley, maybe
one of the other challenges could really press Hillary Clinton the way we
saw her presses on that driver`s license issue back in 2007. So, let`s
take a look. The first one up on the screen here is the trade deal, the
TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership. Let`s first listen to what Hillary Clinton
and what Bernie Sanders are saying about that right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You just asked a question about Hillary Clinton and you
were pretty tough on her for not having a stance about the trade deal.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I think it`s important for Secretary
Clinton and all candidates, not just Secretary Clinton to have an opinion
on the issue. You could be for it. You could be against it. I`m against
CLINTON: I want to judge the final agreement. I have been for trade
agreements, I have been against trade agreements. I`ve tried to make the
evaluation depending upon what I thought they would produce. And that`s
what I`m waiting to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So you got a clear no from Bernie Sanders there on patriating
this debate a few months from now, how long can she string this out without
taking a position?
MURRAY: She can`t have too much longer. She`s caught between a rock and a
hard place here. And so, Steve, the progressive movement in the liberal
base is against this free trade agreement even though President Obama is
for it. But then on the other side, you see where the movement is among
progressives. On the other hand, when she was secretary of state she
referred to this deal as a gold standard of free trade agreements. And so
in some ways, it`s kind of an almost a no win situation for her. And what
you`re seeing her do right now is basically trying not to have a position
until the TPA, the Trade Promotion Authority or fast track gets pass. If
it passes the House of Representatives, and right now, it`s a 50/50
proposition on that. If it passes, she`s going to have to be forced. But
she`s right now taking the point of if it doesn`t pass the House of
Representatives I`m not going to even take a position because it could be
moved. But yes, there`s no doubt that she`s in very uncomfortable position
maybe more so than all the other issues, we`re going to go down.
KORNACKI: So, she`s bought herself a little time. A little. Not enough
to get through a whole campaign. Let`s see what else we have here. So, we
have the minimum wage here. This has become a big issue on the Left.
Raising the minimum wage some say as high as $15 an hour. Let`s listen to
Sanders and then Clinton on this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: In the Senate, I`m leading the effort to raise the minimum wage
up to $15 an hour so that people who work 40 hours a week will thought be
living in poverty.
CLINTON: I am very much in favor of raising the minimum wage at the
federal level. States and some cities are on their own raising the minimum
wage. But I think there needs to be a federal floor. And I believe that
the democrats in the Senate are going to introduce legislation to do just
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: She`s saying she`s for raising the minimum wage. But can she
get? Is she going to be fore to get close that $15 figure that Bernie
Sanders is talking about?
MURRAY: I think you`ll see here closer to where President Obama is. And
in a lot of ways, when you look at this Bernie Sanders versus Hillary
Clinton dynamic. On most issues, I think Hillary Clinton is going to be in
the same position where President Obama is. Which in a lot of ways, the
sweet spot, that necessarily when you`re always trying to court the
progressive less, but mainly when you`re talking to getting you ready for a
general election, as well as courting most democratic voters. But you
know, Bernie Sanders wants to go to $15. It`s probably less of a realistic
opportunity. Given that what President Obama has proposed around $10 has
been a non-starter on Capitol Hill. So, I think we`re going to see Hillary
Clinton on the minimum wage in some issues going the Obama route and that
sealed the Bernie Sanders. But by Bernie Sanders saying, we need to have
it at $15, he`s championing the left. He is raising the expectations a
little bit for them. Kind of raising the bar which then makes $10, maybe a
little bit more palatable.
KORNACKI: Yes. This is interesting while we`re looking at it. We have
here. This is Citizens United, this was that Supreme Court ruling, that
lead all the corporate money. At least potentially in the politics. Let`s
listen to Bernie Sanders on this and then Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I have said it before, and I`ll say it again. I will not
nominate any justice to the Supreme Court who has not made it clear that he
or she will move to overturn that disastrous decision which is undermining
CLINTON: I think the Supreme Court made a grave error with its Citizens
United decision. And I will do everything I can do to appoint Supreme
Court justices who will protect the right to vote and not the right of
billionaires to buy elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So here it is, this is the new litmus test I guess now for
candidates for the Supreme Court. It`s, you know, will you overturn
Citizens United. They`re both saying yes to that. I guess the difference
here though is, when you talk about coordinating with Super Pacs, lining up
with Super Pacs, that sort of giving them the go ahead to work on your
behalf. Bernie Sanders is saying no, Hillary Clinton is saying, yes.
MURRAY: But at least on the issues that we`ve looked at, they`re the
closest here than they have been on minimum wage or the trade deal. There
is where the entire Democratic Party is when it comes to Citizens United.
You don`t hear a single democrat that says, you know, what? Citizens
United was a great decision which stand beside that. But I think you`re
right. I mean, this is an amazing litmus test now when you`re talking
about Supreme Court, not justice. We`re not talking about abortion, we`re
not talking about the healthcare law. People are saying where do you stand
on Citizens United. And this is a fundamental change from even 2012. I
mean, President Obama in his state of the Union Address right after
Citizens United said he disagreed with this. But now all of a sudden,
we`re heading to 2015 and 2016 and this is the issue when it comes to the
Supreme Court that has really energized not only liberals but the entire
KORNACKI: It`s interesting. Let`s squeeze one more in here. So, this is
about Social Security. Now this is interesting because so much
conversation is typically about, well, do we want to cut it to save the
program, you hear that or you want to sort of keep it where it is? So,
let`s listen to what Bernie Sanders is saying about this and what that
challenges for Hillary Clinton then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Instead of cutting Social Security, we are going to expand Social
CLINTON: Social Security trust fund, according to the trusties will be
solvent until 2035. So, what do we do to make sure it`s there and we don`t
mess with it and we don`t, you know, pretend that it`s a luxury because
it`s not a luxury.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, they`re in two very different places here. Bernie Sanders
is saying, let`s make this program bigger, Hillary Clinton is basically
saying, I just want to kind of keep its status quo. Is she going to be
forced more in her direction?
MURRAY: I think I see this is a lot like the minimum wage that were
talking about where Bernie Sanders is trying to raise the bar. And being
able to expand Social Security, then all the comes, well, how do you pay
for it? How is that end up working? Is that even a realistic option? But
by him saying we should actually expand Social Security, it forces her
where she can`t end up taking the position on, you know, what? We should
actually start reforming entitlements like Social Security. We should end
up having some kind of trained CPI that we ended up hearing during the
great debates on cutting spending in the government. And so by
progressives like Bernie Sanders saying, you know, what? We shouldn`t even
just leave Social Security alone, we need to expand it. He is raising the
bar for her and making it very difficult for democrats to even consider
cutting entitlements like Social Security.
KORNACKI: All right. And there will be debates here. We`re going to
schedule on that. So, Mark Murray, NBC News, thank you for joining us this
MURRAY: Thank you.
KORNACKI: I really appreciate that. Baltimore City States Attorney
Marilyn Mosby`s first courtroom fight before she even started law school.
It`s a viral video you`re not going to want to miss. That is ahead.
But first, we are going to go live to Baltimore that`s where former Marilyn
Governor Martin O`Malley is getting ready to announce his run for president
this morning. What he has to do to have any chance against Hillary
Clinton. That is next. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: All right. We are expecting former Maryland Governor Martin
O`Malley to enter the race for president at 10:00 a.m. this morning. Which
means that about an hour and a half from now Hillary Clinton will have two
official challengers in her bid for the White House. O`Malley and Vermont
Senator Bernie Sanders who got in earlier this week.
MSNBC`s Alex Seitz-Wald is live in Baltimore for the O`Malley announcement.
So, Alex, I know you were up in Burlington, Vermont earlier this week. You
saw, it looked about 5,000 people there turned out to see Bernie Sanders.
Now, he had free Ben and Jerry`s ice cream. So, that was the inducement.
I don`t know if they have crab cakes or something at this. But what kind
of turnout? What kind of energy are you expecting today at this event?
ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Steve, as you can see behind
me, it`s a much smaller venue. They`re just not even prepared to handle
anything close to the size of what Bernie Sanders had. So that will speak
to something. And I think it`s fair to draw a comparison here. I mean,
these are both guys who were mayor of their largest city in the state, then
elected state wide and returning to their hometown to announce a
presidential run within a week to each other. So I think it is absolutely
fair to, you know, draw comparisons. How much enthusiasm can you generate
in your hometown?
KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC`s Alex Seitz-Wald, live in Baltimore, thank
you for that update.
Of course, O`Malley making his announcement this morning as Alex said in
the city where he served as mayor from 1999 to 2007. He earned a
reputation there for being tough on crime. And then during two terms as
governor, his accomplishments include the state legalizing same-sex
marriage banning the death penalty passing one of the strictest gun control
laws in the country. These are achievements that O`Malley hopes will make
him attractive to liberal activists nationally. He left the office in
January and has been laying a groundwork for a presidential campaign for
years now. And his strategy it seems to run against Clinton from the Left
to present himself as the bolder and purer choice for democrats.
But any attacks on Clinton could be tricky for O`Malley. Since the last
time she ran for president, back in 2008, he was one of her loudest
supporters. O`Malley starts this race with essentially no support
nationally. He`s at one percent in the newest poll. By contrast, Bernie
Sanders is already at 15 percent. So, it`s an uphill climb for O`Malley.
And as they say anything can happen. I guess so. Let`s talk to the panel
about this one.
I start with you Michael Steele, as our resident Marylander. As someone
who knows Martin O`Malley up close in person, I guess. I mean, I look at
it and Alex was talking about this in the Senate there, I agree with what
Alex was saying, I do think it`s relevant if you look at, he`s not
expecting maybe that big of a crowd there in Baltimore today. I was up in
Burlington with Bernie Sanders, 5,000 people there. Bernie Sanders wend up
to Iowa this week. Five hundred people. I`m not saying Bernie Sanders is
a threat to beat Hillary Clinton but I`m saying there`s some energy there
that he`s topping into. I don`t see what O`Malley --
STEELE: Yes. There is a lot of energy there for Bernie because he
captured the imagination of the progressive left and he has a message for
them that resonates. Martin has a different problem. Because he`s coming
into this race, he`s got Hillary on one side and he`s got Bernie on the
other. And he`s not going to out left Bernie. He`s not going to be more
progressive than Bernie Sanders. So, he`s got to find that voice. And you
said it correctly. He was out there, one of the biggest cheerleaders for
Hillary in 2008. So, what`s changed? The second but most important
problem he has is the point of the hometown.
Given the events in Baltimore recently, the fact that a lot of citizens in
Baltimore do not support this effort, certainly state wide. I think there
was a state wide pol poll, 69 percent of Maryland were like, no, we don`t
think he should run for president. But when your hometown says if you come
back home, there may be riots, because of your leadership as mayor of the
city, that`s a problem. So, yes, you can expect a smaller turnout. A
muted response to his presidential bid.
KUCINICH: I mean, look at the front page of the Post today. Baltimore`s
blight has O`Malley on the defensive. That`s not exactly a resounding and
this guy is going to make good. I mean, there is a lot of --
KORNACKI: He had to do this. I mean, you got to own it. Right? It`s
your hometown you can`t be seen announcing it somewhere else.
KUCINICH: Because he went back. I think he was in Europe and he came back
to walk around Baltimore and didn`t really get a great reception there.
So, I think it`s going to be, it`s particularly because of the policing,
some of the controversy around some of his policies. Kind of mixed. So,
he is going to have an uphill crime. I mean, you`ve got to get out of the
margin of error first, I mean, that`s step one. But it`s going to be
interesting to see how he tries to square. And also, he wasn`t necessarily
a liberal guy.
KORNACKI: Not in the city of Baltimore. Not as mayor of Baltimore.
UNGAR: I know how you arrest 100,000 out of 625,000 people in one year
almost all of them black and then argue you`re a progressive. And many of
these people were arrested for the crime of simply being black. I don`t
buy it. I don`t think this guy has a chance. I think he`s the ultimate
politician. He did that in a year where he knew he was going to be running
again and wanted to appear tough on crime. As Michael knows better than
anybody. He`s not going to be able to hold up under the scrutiny.
KUCINICH: But he plays guitar.
UNGAR: Yes. Well, so do I.
KORNACKI: We`ll be checking back in with Alex Seitz-Wald in Baltimore as
that O`Malley event approaches later this morning.
And for more, a Martin O`Malley getting in the race. Little shameless
self-promotion here, I wrote some of the challenges that O`Malley faces,
you can read all about it on MSNBC.com.
And still ahead as we continue this fine Saturday morning. Should Hillary
Clinton be looking to Mitt Romney as an example of what not to do in the
second bid for president? That is coming up/
But first the President of FIFA is speaking out, lashing out this morning
about the allegations against soccer`s governing body. Mike Pesca is going
to be here next to tell us all about it. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BLATTER, FIFA PRESIDENT: Or I cannot monitor everyone all of the
time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And that was Sepp Blatter, the president of the International
Soccer`s governing body, FIFA evading responsibility this week for
allegations of corruption involving the organization that he heads. Seemed
to be a persuasive argument to the folks who work with Blatter. He was
reelected yesterday as the president of FIFA. By overwhelming marginal.
Though he did go to a second ballot for that. Early Wednesday morning,
police officers having swarmed one of the fanciest hotels in Zurich,
Switzerland to arrest seven FIFA executives gathered for a week of meetings
that would culminate with Blatter`s re-election. Fourteen defendants in
all from all around the world now facing charges here in United States
involving more than a $100 million in bribes and kickbacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our investigation revealed that what
should have been an expression of international sportsmanship was used as a
vehicle in this broader scheme to line executive`s pockets with bribes
totaling $110 million. Nearly a third of the legitimate costs of the
rights to the tournaments involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And what might be the most blatant allegation a former FIFA
executive is accused of shopping his vote for World Cup post to the highest
bidder eventually accepting. It has claimed $10 million from South Africa.
That is the country that was awarded the 2010 World Cup. And this
allegedly is how business is done in international soccer, or how it was
done until U.S. officials decided that they`d seen enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: The game according to the allegations in this
indictment, was hijacked. That field that is so famously flat was made
tilted in favor of those who were looking to gain at the expense of
countries and kids who were enjoying the game of soccer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And the indictments may not be over yet. The 2018 World Cup in
Russia, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar weren`t mentioned in this week`s
charges. But U.S. officials say their investigation is ongoing. The IRS
official in charge of criminal investigations telling "The New York Times"
this morning that another round of indictments are coming. And Swiss
officials say they have opened their own investigation into how Russia and
Qatar were selected. Sepp Blatter equally defiant this morning in the wake
of winning what he sees is a referendum on his leadership, questioning the
timing of the charges in an interview with Swiss television saying, quote,
"I am not certain but it doesn`t smell good." Also expressing his surprise
on what the U.S. Justice Department is alleging, quote, "Of course, I`m
shocked, I would never as FIFA president make comments about another
organize without being certain of what has happened.
Times like this, we like to turn to Mike Pesca for guidance. He is sports
contributor to NPR and the host of the Slate`s podcast "The Gist". Mike,
thank you for joining us.
MIKE PESCA, HOST OF THE SLATE`S PODCAST, "THE GIST": Sure.
KORNACKI: So, let me ask you a bigger picture question here. We always
talk about soccer as that one major sport that this country United States
has never really latched on to. But around the world it`s the most popular
sport. So, when the United States is leading the charge against the
international governing body of soccer, how does that look to soccer fans
around the world? Are they siding with prosecutors here in the U.S. in
saying, good for you, go get these guys or are they saying, does the U.S.
have any business doing this?
PESCA: Well, it depends who the fans are and how informed they are. I
mean, across Europe. Europe is with the United States. And I don`t know
that Europe had the muscle or the laws. I mean, the United States is a
leader in the rule of law. And so all of Europe, they are even threatening
to withdraw from FIFA and the president of, you know, the president of EUFO
(ph) which is the European Federation has asked him to step down. Sepp
Blatter who says that he`s shocked about what`s going on. And also that
there`s gambling in Casa Blanca. But yes, I don`t think that any inform
soccer fan would all be surprised. But of course, we`re talking about it`s
the world game, there`s a lot of corruption in the world. I don`t know
that most of the world`s population which is to say most of the world`s
soccer fan say, something like both, isn`t this the way power works?
KORNACKI: Was there something though about, I mean, awarding the World Cup
to South Africa in 2010, even if there was corruption at that, I think a
lot of people around the world just looked at and said, well, that`s a nice
symbolic statement that South Africa has come so far. Was there a line
crossed maybe in terms of public opinion by giving it to Qatar because
Qatar, it sounds like the worst possible place climate lies to host the
PESCA: Right. And I was at the South African World Cup. And this was,
you know, without the allegations of broad on the table, people were
saying, what a great job and it`s great for Africa. And you get to a good
point, the African nations love Blatter. It`s one of the reasons why
Blatter were so overwhelmingly re-elected. I want to say nations. Not
always nations. Like -- Macau, these little principalities have as much of
a vote as Germany and the U.S. So, yes, he satisfied his constituency of
these tiny small nations. But you`re right. So, they gave it to Qatar and
they gave it to Qatar in the summer originally. Everyone is looking around
going, how in the world that does this happen?
KORNACKI: I mean, it`s 122 degrees in Qatar.
PESCA: Right. And so, they moved to the winter high of 90 Fahrenheit.
Great. But even that, like, why did it have to be moved after the fact.
And then they came out with this report, the Garcia report. Garcia is not
-- former U.S. attorney Marco Garcia, wants to disassociation himself from
the report because they`re not issuing it fully. So, FIFA clears itself of
bribery but no one really looks at this report as an authoritative
document. There`s a whole lot of stink based on both of those states.
KORNACKI: Quick question. And I mean, the prosecution is taking place
now, maybe more indictments to come. At the same time Blatter re-elected.
Do you think big picture a year or two from now things will have change or
there`s still going to be a status quo?
PESCA: The thing is, there is no real bonafide reformist movement where
you can identify with a person. I mean, Prince, who`s saying Prince Ali,
he stepped up and he said, I`ll run, but it`s not like he has -- it`s not
like he has this long history of this. In the IRC equivalent organization,
there`s the old guard, there are reformers. I think there are more forces
for good who could plausibly be elected and take power. FIFA, it`s you
know, a great -- best US soccer writer said, it`s little bit worse than the
elks club elections.
KORNACKI: Those can be fun to cover by the way. Anyway, Mike Pesca, thank
you for joining us today. I appreciate that.
And still ahead, the historic event that took place 15 years ago changing
television history. A little tongue in cheek tease for you there.
And next, the must see ad or Super Pacs reporting Rand Paul was released
ahead of tomorrow`s rare Sunday Senate session.
KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up with some of the other headlines making news with our panel
Let`s start with this, Rand Paul, a Super Pacs supporting him, making some
noise this weekend. Rand Paul making noise this weekend. Going to be a
rare Senate session tomorrow on Sunday to deal with those provisions in the
Patriot Act that he wants to hold up, that he wants to kill off. So this
Super Pac that`s backing him came out with this video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Get ready, America. For the
biggest brawl delivered of the century. Bringing the biggest rivals head
to head. Defender of freedom Senator Rand Paul. Versus the head of the
Washington spy machine, Barack Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So I think the Paul people are excited about what`s coming
KUCINICH: I laughed so hard.
KORNACKI: What is this, I mean, Jackie, what is this -- the Rand Paul this
week sort of in terms of the politics of the Republican Party, he stepped
on it on ISIS. Now, he`s trying to stage this fight in the Senate tomorrow
that in part at least this is clearly with an aim towards helping him in
2016. Is he helping himself here?
KUCINICH: You know, among a certain group of people that actually really
like Rand Paul, yes, sure. You know, what? I mean, this is his fight.
This is something he`s picked a fight on several times. Then he kind of
has to go through with it. You know, but these ads, they`re aimed toward
young people. They hope that -- they`re a little tongue in cheek of
KORNACKI: Young people love --
KUCINICH: Absolutely. Of course, they`re a little tongue in cheek, but,
you know, we`re playing it.
KORNACKI: It`s true.
UNGAR: You know, he`s made an interesting calculation. I don`t think it`s
going to work out for him on the long run. But he`s basically willing to
trade the republican base in the hopes that he`s going to bring in new
young voters to support his way of thinking. We`ll see what happens. I
don`t think it works.
KORNACKI: Yes, Mike, I just feel like all the talk that he could broaden
the appeal from what his father had. I`m looking at the reaction at him
this week and I`m saying that he`s kind of, it`s --
STEELE: Who does the reaction come from? It`s the same old people who
like the same old stuff who want to do it the old way. Who want to go back
to policies that the American people have largely said failed. And so, he
is carving out this new space in a very independent way. I think it`s
refreshing and I think it opens up the conversation inside the GOP. Look,
we are doing a whole lot of dancing and prognosticating before the real
battle begins. You know when that is, in August when they`re all standing
on the stage --
KORNACKI: Not all of them.
UNGAR: That`s a good point.
STEELE: When some of them are standing on that stage. And that is part of
the conversation and how they react one to the other. That`s when you
really begin to judge the size of what he`s doing and the impact he`s
KORNACKI: Let`s see what we have here. This is from "The Washington
Post," headline this morning the history of reality TV. They`re saying
that 15 years ago yesterday the show survivor premiered on CBS. CBS aired
it during the summer because they weren`t sure it would draw an audience.
Fifty million people though ended up tuning in for the finale. And the
Washington Post says, it ushered in the era we are now living in of
everything is a reality show. Everything is the real house wives of the
St. Louis County or whatever, you know --
KUCINICH: You think survivor was still on? It recently ended?
KORNACKI: Survivor, Amazing Race, the Housewives show. All this --
KUCINICH: I have --
UNGAR: -- in the air of Reality TV. Reality TV goes back way before
Survivor. Unsolved Mysteries, The Real World. I mean, it goes on and on
and on. I made a couple reality shows that I`m embarrassed to tell you
what they were. That`s, you know, it goes way back.
KORNACKI: That`s what reality TV really is. It`s the guilty pleasure for
everybody. Nobody says they watch and then you look at the ratings and you
find out that everybody was watching it.
Anyway, another full hours of news and politics is ahead. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: The backlash against capital punishment from the right.
KORNACKI: All right. Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning.
Lots more to come this hour, including the question of whether we`ve
reached a watershed moment in America`s use of the death penalty. The
first red state to say no to capital punishment in four decades. More on
that in just a moment.
Also this hour, Rick Santorum won Iowa and 10 other states in 2012. As he
starts another bid for the White House now, will he be as successful this
time around? Will he even get into the debate? That`s ahead.
Plus, should Hillary Clinton be looking to Mitt Romney for an example of
what not to do in her campaign for president?
But we begin this hour with what appears to be a watershed moment for
capital punishment in America.
On Wednesday, as you may have heard, the Nebraska state legislature voted
to repeal the state`s death penalty, overriding the Republican governor`s
veto by a single vote. Nebraska now becoming the first red state to
abolish capital punishment in more than four decades, since North Dakota,
all the way back in 1973.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE SEN. JEREMY NORDQUIST, NEBRASKA: What really tipped it was this
group of what I -- they`re fiscally conservative individuals who just see
the death penalty as a wasteful government program right now that in our
state is completely broken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Now, Nebraska`s move comes as support for the death penalty is
at the lowest point in 40 years. Fifty-six percent of Americans now
support it. So, a majority still do. But that is down from an all time
high of 78 percent back in the mid-1990`s. That`s a significant 22-point
drop over the last two decades.
It`s also worth noting a dramatic shift in public opinion that we`re seeing
at the same time on another social issue, same sex marriage. The decline
in support for the death penalty follows growing concerns about executing
the innocent, as well as new questions about how prisoners are executed
following last year`s botched one in Oklahoma. European drug makers are
refusing to sell lethal injection drugs to U.S. prisons, leaving states
scrambling for new sources and for new drugs.
And in response to the drug shortage, Utah recently enacted the return of
firing squads at least potentially out there. But conservatives in other
red states seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Republican backed
repeal efforts are underway in Kansas, in Kentucky, South Dakota, Wyoming,
even Montana, where a repeal vote fell just one vote short in the House
earlier this year.
So, are we seeing a transformative moment, the beginning of the end for the
nation`s ultimate punishment?
To discuss this I`m joined now by death penalty advocate, William Otis, a
law professor with Georgetown University. He was former special White
House counsel for President George H.W. Bush.
Well, thanks for joining us. Let me start with this -- I did the story on
this show a few weeks ago. There was a prisoner on death row in Alabama.
He`d been there for 30 years. Then he was just let out of jail. This is
about a month ago because it turned out he hadn`t committed the crime.
I wonder, do stories like that have an impact on your thinking about the
WILLIAM OTIS, DEATH PENALTY ADVOCATE: I think the death penalty is
something we should keep. It`s supported by the American people according
to Gallup, 60 percent or more of people have supported the death penalty.
Of course, we want to be careful. And we are careful. The death penalty
system in the United States is the most careful system of adjudication of
any issue not just in the country, in the world. Over the last 50 years
there is no consensus evidence that the United States has executed a single
innocent person, someone who was factually innocent. And there are some
cases for which the death penalty really is the only punishment that fits
the crime. Take for example --
KORNACKI: Can I -- sorry, to interrupt, I want to press you a little bit
on that. I mean, there had been -- in over 40 years now since the return
of the death penalty, since the Supreme Court said it`s OK to have death
penalty again. There have been 153 exonerations, 153 death row
I cited one in Alabama from just about a month ago. You`re saying with
confidence you don`t think an innocent person has been put to death in the
OTIS: Not in the last 50 years, no. Questions have been raised, that`s
one thing. But to say the questions have been raised is different from
offering proof that most people accept that an innocent person has been
And many -- in the great majority of cases, the identity of the killer is
not even in question. Let`s go back again to this Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case,
the Boston marathon killer. He was on tape planting the bomb at the feet
of an 8-year-old boy.
In for example, the Timothy McVeigh case, the fellow who blew up the Murrah
Building. There was no question about his guilt.
In the John Wayne Gacy case, who sexually tortured and killed dozens of
boys and young men, there was no question about his guilt.
There are going to be hundreds of cases in which there is no realistic
question of guilt.
KORNACKI: That`s true, certainly. We talk about -- we talk about the
Boston marathon case. Right, there was no question.
Stay there for a second. I want to bring the rest of the panel in to
reintroduce them to the audience.
Rick Ungar, political contributor at "Forbes", MSNBC contributor Michael
Steele, Jackie Kucinich with "The Daily Beast".
Michael, let me ask you about this because I know you have a different
perspective on this from a lot of your fellow Republicans, but -- so what
William talks about is a lot of these cases that I -- myself included. You
hear about John Wayne Gacy. You hear about Tsarnaev up in Boston. It just
gets you -- you want the death penalty. There`s no question of guilty.
These are the worst crimes you can imagine. Put this person to death. At
the same time, if you`re going to do it in those cases, though, what about
the other cases where there`s a lot more doubt, it`s a lot less clear cut?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that is a big part of the
problem. And, you know, I appreciate the perspective that you can throw
out these big cases where the individual who committed the crime is very
But as we`re seeing with the use of technology going back in time to
revisit some of these older cases where DNA information is more available,
et cetera, you`re seeing different results now. You`re seeing the
opportunity of missing it, and getting it wrong.
And the question that the country has to ask itself is that, yes, we have
100 Wayne Gacy`s that we know did it, but we have one Joe Unknown who is
not very clear, the story line is not as focused. So, do we sacrifice him
on that altar?
And I think the country hesitates that. I think that`s why you see in
states now people revisiting this question. We did an extensive
examination of the death penalty in the state of Maryland when I was
lieutenant governor. And what we found was there are system checks that
are not as strong as we think they are. That, you know, the effort of
gathering information and the stockpiling of information and keeping the
information over time, particularly DNA information, becomes less tenuous
So, you`re not sure. There are concerns about whether or not the person
you have is the one who actually committed the crime. So, I think we need
to be careful here.
KORNACKI: Let me -- William, I want to bring you back in. I just want to
put this up on the screen. This is from Amnesty International here.
This is a list of countries -- this is a little selective, I admit, but
these are countries that have the death penalty, for instance around --
China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan. Countries that don`t have the
death penalty, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia.
Do you look at that and say we belong? The United States of America
doesn`t belong with those countries that have the death penalty.
OTIS: Well, you`re right. That list was quite selective. You omitted
from the list developed countries like Japan, South Korea, India, all of
which are culturally advanced, a couple of which are scientifically
advanced. These are not barbaric countries and they have the death
And, of course, the main country you omitted, and whose history counts the
most here, is the United States. The United States is not a barbaric
country. The founder of our country, George Washington, not only believed
in it, he used the death penalty, as did Abraham Lincoln, as did FDR,
President Obama believes in the death penalty.
The idea that we`re in bad company with all of these people believing in
the death penalty is just not something I believe the American people are
KORNACKI: Let me bringing the rest of the panel here.
Rick, with you, I mean, the case for the death penalty I guess, you can
look at it terms of -- you can look at in a moral case an eye for an eye.
KORNACKI: You could also -- people argue it`s a deterrent. I have trouble
seeing it`s a deterrent when the process is so stretched out and life in
prison is not exactly a day in the beach.
UNGAR: Yes. And the problem with the moral argument has been an eye for
an eye is the standard people used. Except that an eye for an eye in its
biblical meaning has nothing to do with this. It has to do with commercial
situations. So, that`s never been a legitimate comparison.
I have to say, I very much disagree with what William said with respect to
the standards who he says we`re not proven to be innocent over the past 50
years. That`s just wrong. If you look at the standard used in a criminal
case to convict somebody and put them to death, when you have DNA evidence
that makes it very clear that was not the person they thought that it was.
Are you going to tell me a jury with the obligation they have to convict
somebody in that kind of a case beyond a shadow of a doubt would have
convicted them? No, of course not.
So, I appreciate he can make his argument, although I disagree with it.
But he ought to do it more honestly. Because we know that there have been
people put to death who shouldn`t have been.
KORNACKI: Jackie, I want to give you a word here on the politics of this.
We show the polling is still majority support, 56 percent say they support
it, but that`s way down from where it was 20 years ago when it was like
eight in 10 issue. We`re seeing Nebraska, a red state, now turn on this.
Do you see a trend here with Republicans who have been the core supporter
for the death penalty? Certainly, Democrats supported it too. But do you
see a trend here?
KUCINICH: Right. You do see that particularly with evangelical
Christians, it`s a sector of religion that`s actually growing. So, I think
when you have more of evangelical Christians in power, you`re going to see
But I think in addition to people who are innocent be -- to having the
death penalty, I think, you know, how the death penalty has been
administered is also problematic. Look what happened in Oklahoma, it was
horrible. So, that`s also not the safety -- that`s the wrong word for it.
But how this is being implemented is problematic right now.
KORNACKI: All right. Again, it`s -- there`s two ways to look at the
numbers, a majority still support it. That`s absolutely true. At the same
time, it is down from 20 years ago.
So, we`ll see how this plays out in the near future. But thank you for
that William Otis from Georgetown, appreciate the time.
And still ahead, we`re going to go live to Baltimore where we`re
anticipating a presidential announcement from former Maryland Governor
But next, he beaten Mitt Romney in 11 contests back in 2012, but will Rick
Santorum be able to repeat that success this time around.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Rick Santorum shocks the political world three years ago by
ultimately winning the Iowa caucuses against Mitt Romney. The sweater
vest-wearing former senator from Pennsylvania wound up winning nearly a
dozen contests in his 2012 campaign, positioning himself as the
conservative alternative to Romney.
And now, the surprise underdog of the 2012 campaign is giving it another
run. But he`s once again the underdog.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like to be an underdog. Four
years ago -- well, no one gave us much of a chance. But we won 11 states.
We got 4 million votes. And it`s not just because I stood for something.
It`s because I stood for someone, the American worker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: As Rick Santorum runs again he still has his social conservative
records. He still has victories in 11 states in 2012. He still has the
backing of billionaire Foster Friess who founded Santorum in his 2012 bid.
But what he needs to rebuild is popular support. Santorum is polling in
the single digits, the very low single digits among Republicans in a much
more crowded field than he faced back in 2012.
So, how can he do it? How can Rick Santorum become a contender again?
Well, John Brabender is a senior strategist at Santorum for president. He
joins us this morning from Washington, D.C.
So, John, thank you for taking a few minutes. Well, let me start with
this, we have seen the rules put out for the first Republican presidential
debate in August, how they are going to pair the field down to ten
candidates who get to stand on the stage, get all that exposure, all that
credibility. By that criteria right now, Rick Santorum would not make the
cut. He would not be in the top ten. He would not be on that stage.
Can you run a viable campaign if you`re not getting in the debate?
JOHN BRABENDER, GOP STRATEGIST: Well, I think the first goal is to be in
the debate. But I have to say that there are a few people who are
scratching their heads by someone arbitrarily picking the number 10.
I think the truth of the matter is -- and you mentioned this -- this race
for president is much different than the Republican nomination last time.
There are probably 12 or 13 highly credible, highly viable candidates on
the Republican side. And I would think we as a party would love to
celebrate that by putting as many of these people on stage at one time.
The second thing is we certainly saw it last time, that until we got to the
debate stage, you didn`t know who the players were and how they were going
to ultimately do. I mean, at one time, Herman Cain was in the lead,
another time Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and truth of the
matter is, almost none of them ended up getting past Iowa. So, I think
it`s so early and so fluid.
Plus, I saw another poll this week which had the front runners only at
about 10 percent. So, they`re all bunched up. They`re all within striking
distance. So, I do hope that they`ll have a pretty viable debate, to be
honest with you.
KORNACKI: So, you say your strategy is to get that number up, to get into
the top ten, to make that debate. Well, what is the strategy? How do you
as a campaign approach this? You`ve basically got six weeks to turn this
BRABENDER: Well, first of all, Rick Santorum wasn`t a candidate until a
couple days ago when he officially announced. And you got to remember
another thing. Rick Santorum is not in the Senate or a governor. He
didn`t have a TV show, his last name is not Bush.
So, his campaign really started two days ago, three days ago when he
announced he was running for president.
The second thing is what the polls don`t measure are engagement of support.
Rick Santorum last time won because of all the volunteers he has. He ended
up building up over 300,000 small dollar contributors. You know, the
reason he`s an underdog is because he represents the underdogs. And those
are the people that are most passionate about Republican primaries.
KORNACKI: Are there -- you know, he mentioned standing up for the little
guy. I know he`s talked about with being OK with an increase of some sort
in the minimum wage. That separates him from a lot of the other
candidates. I think Ben Carson has said he`s for that.
Is there going to be a kind of the change in the message, a change in the
focus? To focus may be on the economic issues where he disagrees with
conservative orthodoxy, is that something we`re going to see in the next
BRABENDER: Well, Rick, his entire career has never been shy about
differentiating himself in pointing out even among his own party when he
thinks there`s a problem. Even -- right after he became United States
senator, he took on his own party when the head of the finance committee
was against the balanced budget amendment. Rick Santorum called out --
called on him to be thrown off of that.
You know, Rick also in his speech the other day said it was outrageous that
we can support, you know, bailouts for Wall Street millionaires but we
can`t afford a one dollars raise in the minimum wage. That somebody has to
stand up and give a voice to working families. And he`s also done his
whole life, and that`s going to be a big part of what his campaign is going
to be about.
KORNACKI: I just want to throw it in and pardon me if this sounds too
cynical or anything. I hear this from a lot of Republicans as I call
around trying to take their temperature on where this race stands. When I
ask about Santorum and I say I can`t believe this guy might not be in the
debates after winning 11 primaries in 2012.
What I heard back more than once is, but you know what? He doesn`t really
have a base. What happened in 2012 was he was at zero the whole way and
then the Republican Party, the portion of the Republican Party that didn`t
want to go with Romney needed someone and there was no one else left, so
they checked off Santorum`s name. Now, they got 10 other options.
What do you say to that?
BRABENDER: Well, let`s be clear. First of all, they did have other
options. They have Newt Gingrich, they have Rick Perry, a successful
governor from Texas --
KORNACKI: They`re saying they imploded by that point. That Newt Gingrich
imploded, that Governor Perry imploded.
BRABENDER: Yes. But here`s what you have to understand -- there`s a
reason Rick Santorum didn`t implode. He served four years in the House and
12 years in the Senate where he had a remarkable record. He`s the only one
that`s running for president that reformed a program like welfare where
Rick Santorum went in there and changed the entire program and was
considered, George Will called one of the most successful pieces of
legislation in our country`s history. So did Bill Clinton. When did those
two ever agree?
Rick Santorum also has a pretty strong history on fighting all the
terrorist activities that have gone on. He`s the only one that served on
armed services for eight years and has written significant foreign policy
against Iran and Syria.
So, the reason he didn`t implode like the others there is actually there,
there. There is a record there. There is a vision for America. That`s
why he`ll do well again this time.
KORNACKI: We are blessed with having a former Republican National
Committee chairman on the set. So, I have to get your take on this. I
mean, the whole idea on the debate dilemma for the Republicans, was the RNC
wanted to take control of this process, limit the number of debates, bring
a word (ph) to it. These are the rules.
So, how would you -- what would you do?
STEELE: I would, I would, OK. So if I were doing this right now, what I
would do would be very simple, I would say to the candidates that are
announced for president -- look, despite the fact that people want to make
fun of this group and call them all kinds of names, and you know, harken
back to clown car and all this silly stuff, this is a substantive group of
individuals who are running for the presidency under the Republican banner.
And they should be given every opportunity, particularly given the strife
that exists between the party to allow the voice of a Rick Santorum and
others to emanate and move.
What I liked about 2012 that a lot of people didn`t was the process exposed
a message. The process didn`t rely on the big money to determine the
outcome necessarily. So, when we change -- made the changes we did, Rick
Santorum was one of the beneficiaries of that. Newt Gingrich was a
beneficiary of that.
When you go now to the process where you`re going to try to shorten it and
control it, the result is, you`re going to say to seven or eight other
people who are governors and senators and businesswoman, potentially a
Carly Fiorina would not be on the stage, that you can`t be on the stage.
That your message is not sufficient enough, and I think that`s going to be
a bigger problem for the party.
So, what I would do is say, two nights, everybody will draw straws and
divide the 16 people over two nights. At least for that first debate, give
them the opportunity to talk to the party and to talk to the country. And
allow that voice to resonate.
KORNACKI: We`ll see if there`s movement on that. Again, we`re about two
months away from the first debate and we`ll see how final these rules are
if they are indeed final.
Thank you, though, for now to John Brabender from the Santorum campaign for
joining us. Really appreciate that.
And still ahead, Marilyn Mosby`s early appearance on a courtroom, a
courtroom before a judge you might not expect.
And next, the most important name in Republican politics you`ve never heard
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: We have been talking on this show a lot about how mega donors
are playing an even bigger role in the Republican presidential race this
time around. People like energy executives Charles and David Koch, or
casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, or the former owner of the Philadelphia
Eagles, Norman Braman.
But there is one person you`ve probably not given much consideration to, at
least until now. Miriam Adelson, that is Adelson as in the wife of Sheldon
Adelson, the man who singlehandedly kept the Gingrich campaign afloat for
month back in 2012. Mrs. Adelson apparently has a lot of say over how the
single largest political donor in U.S. history distributes his fortune.
This is according to a new piece from "BuzzFeed`s" Rosie Gray.
Quote, "For those competing for Adelson cash, she`s just as important as
her husband. The Adelson make their giving decisions together. When
Sheldon Adelson meets with prospective recipients, Miriam Adelson is often
Miriam Adelson hails from Israel and shares her husband`s hawkish support
of her home country. And while there have been reports that Marco Rubio is
the early favorite in the so-called Adelson primary. "BuzzFeed" reports
that she is also partial to Ted Cruz.
So, what does this mean for the race for the Republican nomination?
Well, joining us now, us we have "BuzzFeed" politics reporter Rosie Gray
joins us with the panel this morning.
So, Rosie, thanks for joining us.
And these are really interesting stories to me because we`re living in this
era where individuals, if they`re worth billions of dollars hold sway over
American politics like we`ve never seen before. And so, you get into the
psychology, you get into the family relationships, the sort of social
networks that they build.
So, here we have a case where there is so much attention on Sheldon
Adelson. But also it turns out his wife is a big person. So, give us a
read on the politics of Miriam Adelson and her influence with her husband
in terms of giving out this money.
ROSIE GRAY, BUZZFEED: Well, I think -- she basically shares Sheldon`s
ideology, especially on foreign policy. Some people actually think that
she`s more conservative than Sheldon is. And she`s thought to be sort of
the main driver behind their decision last time to give a lot of money to
So, in terms of ideology, they`re sort of match up. I mean, she`s
obviously a much quieter personality than Sheldon is.
KORNACKI: Is she deciding -- you thought like Gingrich in 2012, and a lot
of people looked at that and they sort of scratch their heads, why was
this? Was it ideology? Was it something personal? Did he have personal
relationship that he sort of cultivate with the Adelson?
Where did that come from?
GRAY: I think he ticked their boxes in terms of Israel stuff and also I
think he had a pretty good relationship as well.
KORNACKI: So, in terms of the 2016 race, all the reporting out there says
Marco Rubio. I should mention, Ken Vogel from "Politico" was on our show a
while back. He said his reporting is that Sheldon Adelson at one point
late last year I guess called Mitt Romney and said, hey, you should run in
2016. So, this guy who Sheldon Adelson steam rolled in 2012, he wanted him
to run in 2016. That`s what Ken Vogel was saying.
Where do you think they are in 2016, though, the Adelsons?
GRAY: Well, they`re still officially, you know, uncommitted. Apparently,
he likes Rubio a lot. Rubio`s been featured several times on "Israel
Hayom", which is their newspaper in Israel that they own.
But what I`m hearing is Miriam is becoming very partial to Ted Cruz.
Apparently, he really impressed her at the Republican Jewish Coalition
Conference last month in Las Vegas. I also witnessed Sheldon giving a
standing ovation to Ted Cruz the other night at a gala in New York. So --
KORNACKI: This is an interesting dilemma, Jackie. So in 2012, a lot of
people looked at all that money that was going to Newt Gingrich from
Sheldon and saying, he`s not backing a winner. This is not practical. And
a lot of people might look at the dilemma between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio,
saying Rubio has got the electability that Ted Cruz doesn`t. But here`s
the chance for Ted Cruz to get somebody who could get him going for a long
KUCINICH: I don`t think electability really. I mean, of course, they want
this person elected. But, you know, when you have as much money, I know
your piece made this point, you have much money as the Adelsons do, why
not, right? If you really like that horse, why not back it until the very
KORNACKI: It`s amazing. I wonder, did you guys -- did we reach a point
there is blowback to this in terms of broader electorate, saying, you know,
if they know a candidate is being bankrolled by one person, by one
billionaire, by one very, very rich backer, does that -- do you think that
we reach a point where people look at that and say, you know what, I`m not
comfortable with that?
UNGAR: It depends on the candidate I think. You know, there are some
candidates that will take front and center. You know, for instance, I
think if they were to put this money behind Ted Cruz, that`s a big story
that people could react negatively or maybe positively to. With Marco
Rubio, it feels like it gets a different reaction, because now it starts to
feel like they`re interested in backing a winner because I think winner has
a better shot to be a winner than Cruz.
STEELE: I just hope -- I hope so in answer to your question that the
American public does come down hard on this. I think all this money and
when I was chairman, brought a lawsuit, which unfortunately was not
accepted by the Supreme Court which did accept Citizens United instead of
my lawsuit would put this money back into the national party, and the state
parties where it belongs and not in the hands of small, individual groups
through super PACs to control the process.
It is a question of transparency. It is a question of legitimacy. I think
the American people after this election the American people will have their
fill. It is not good for the process. It raises question and concerns
that people have about what kind of candidate are we really getting when
their interest is so narrowly tailored and focused because you put $600
million in my campaign.
KORNACKI: Well, until and unless that changes, though, we`re still living
in this world.
So, final question, Rosie, all these Republican candidates who want to have
the support of Sheldon Adelson, in terms of Miriam Adelson, his wife, what
is the single most important thing they can do to try to get her on their
GRAY: Well, you have -- I mean, you have to impress them on Israel. You
have to support the policies that they support. You can`t really express
any sort of, you know, handwringing over the occupation. So, Jeb Bush`s
involvement with James Baker, who went on to speak at the J Street
Conference, that sort of put him out of the running with Adelson. So,
stuff like that is sort of a don`t.
KORNACKI: Number one issue, then, it`s Israel. The more hawkish, the
better on Israel.
All right. "BuzzFeed`s" Rosie Gray, thank you for stopping by and joining
us. Appreciate that.
Still; ahead, the next big date on the calendar for Tom Brady.
And next, Hillary Clinton trying to position herself as the champion of
every day Americans on economic issues, does her wealth, though, make her
seem out of touch? That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re going to have to stand
up to the people that want to keep the deck stacks in favor of those at the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Hillary Clinton is positioning her campaign as the go to choice
for middle class Americans when it comes to the economy, emphasizing what
are thought to be priorities for the average working class voter -- a
higher minimum wage, big banks that shouldn`t be quite so big and a middle
class that means something get. Those are the themes that she is
But she is trying to do this amid questions about the Clinton`s own
finances. Hillary and Bill Clinton pulling in $25 million in paid speeches
just since the beginning of 2014, last year. And while being wealthy isn`t
necessarily an issue for politicians, there was a report from the
"Associated Press" this week revealing that Bill Clinton created a shell
company to receive income for his consulting work.
Hillary Clinton is trying to position herself as the champion of everyday
Americans. But is she vulnerable to the characterization of being out of
touch with ordinary Americans, what could be described as a Mitt Romney
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY: I`ll tell you what? Ten thousand bucks? $10,000 bet?
RICK PERRY: I`m not in the betting business.
ROMNEY: Oh, OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. Let`s talk about this with the panel.
The Mitt Romney problem, all the money that the Clintons have brought in,
now you have the term shell company being associated with Bill Clinton.
What makes a Mitt Romney problem a Mitt Romney problem, Jackie?
KUCINICH: You need to be able to explain your wealth and you need to be
able to -- just tell the American people how you made your money. And, you
know, they had -- she hasn`t been able to do that yet.
KORNACKI: Bill said we had to pay the bills.
KUCINICH: I mean, when you say things like that, it`s ludicrous. They
have so much money.
It`s dead broke, right? No one understands that because, you know, you
leave the White House, you`re going to be OK. You have a way to make
money. You`re not worried about paying the water bill.
So, it`s a disconnect with, you know, normal every day people who actually
do have these worries and just look at the Clintons, what are you talking
KORNACKI: I wonder, what do you think of that, Rick? Because on the one
hand, I mean, there`s -- the range of wealth among politicians is probably
pretty vast. There is some that are worth hundreds of millions, billions,
there are some who are worth a mere million dollars. But I wonder, to the
average voter, everybody politician is in the class where we figure they`re
taken care of, we figured they don`t have anything to worry about
UNGAR: It didn`t hurt John F. Kennedy being exceedingly wealthy. I don`t
think it`s going to do his harm that people seem to suspect. But for some
of those stupid answers, like, you know, what Bill Clinton said.
KUCINICH: You have to learn how to talk about it.
UNGAR: Yes. You have to learn how to talk about it, correctly. They`re
actually new to wealth, and so, it`s somewhat understandable.
What does great on me a bit is this new meme that he`s got a shell
corporation and there is something wrong with it. It`s a loan out company.
I have a loan out company. They loan out his services that he gets paid to
a corporation --
KORNACKI: He`s got a Mitt Romney problem.
UNGAR: Many people have loan out companies. There`s nothing -- forget
that it`s completely legal. It`s completely usable and sensible.
So, a lot of this stuff -- it`s working, by the way. It`s working.
They`re turning the Clinton Foundation into looking like a criminal
enterprise, which it`s not. But all of the stuff is working because the
Clintons are not defending it very well and they`re saying silly things
like I need to pay the bills, which drives the sort of --
KORNACKI: Do Republicans -- I mean, Michael Steele, I wonder, you look
back at 2012 and -- started calling them wealth gaffes that Mitt Romney
would commit. We played a couple there where he would be talking about it.
He loved sports because of his friendships with the owners. And things
they might be innocent comments but might be read the wrong way by people.
Do Republicans think they can do that same thing with the Clintons?
STEELE: Oh, they`ve been doing it since she was secretary of state and
beyond. I -- the narrative out of the GOP on Hillary is long-standing.
And it goes back to her days in the White House as first lady.
So, there`s a lot to pull from. I think to Rick`s point, they do -- the
Clintons do a wonderful job contributing to that narrative. And a lot of
stuff that is just really commonplace in the course of doing business and
setting up various enterprises, they make it look like it`s some type of
criminal enterprise or something is going on. Because of the secrecy,
because of the sort of stealth approach that they have where they don`t
want to let down the blinders or open the blinders and let people see,
exactly what they`re doing.
You`re a public figure, have been a public figure for near 40 years now,
you should know how this goes, you should know how it works, and you should
know how to address it with the press. You should know how to address with
the American people.
KORNACKI: I wonder -- how do you -- there`s a difference that I see. We
talk about like the Kennedys or FDR who came from incredible wealth. These
were -- this is inherited wealth. They`re making money off of money. In
the Clintons` case, they`re out there -- they`re bringing in money from big
corporations. You know, big speaking fees being paid out by very rich
people, very rich corporations.
How do you explain that?
KUCINICH: They need to figure that out, you know? Sadly, I`m not a
consultant, I`m just a reporter.
KUCINICH: It`s a very tough thing to do.
STEELE: It`s what a market fair pay for a former president and former
secretary of state,/first lady/senator. It`s what the market will bear.
That`s the economics of it.
So, if they want to pay -- I mean, Reagan made a lot for his speeches.
Bush doesn`t do the speaking thing, either Bushes.
We`ll see what Barack Obama -- you don`t think Barack Obama is going to
going and give speeches for a lot of money when he leaves the White House?
Sure. It is what the --
UNGAR: It`s a simple question, would you say no to it?
KORNACKI: There you go. There you go. Yes, that might be the best
Political consultant Rick Ungar here.
UNGAR: I got you brother.
KORNACKI: Up next, we are going to go live back to Baltimore, Maryland,
where Martin O`Malley will announce his candidacy for president mere
moments from now. We`re going to talk about the top advisor for his
campaign about the road for the former Maryland governor.
KORNACKI: We are now about 15 minutes away from Martin O`Malley`s official
announcement that he`s running for president. We`re going to be carrying
his address from Baltimore live right here on MSNBC.
Our own Alex Seitz-Wald is there for the event. He joins us again now.
And now Martin -- Alex, you have a guest there from the O`Malley campaign
SEITZ-WALD: That`s right, Steve. So, we`re just moments away from Martin
O`Malley`s announcement. The paperwork has been filed. The signs are out.
And I`m joined now Lis Smith, Martin O`Malley`s deputy campaign manager.
We`re here in Baltimore. How is Martin O`Malley going to carve a space out
in this race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders?
LIS SMITH, O`MALLEY CAMPAIGN: Well, I mean, the most important thing is
telling his story and what he brings to the race. And I think the unique
things that he brings to this race are his brand of new leadership, strong
progressive values and a record of getting things done. And that`s
something that no one else in this race can bring.
SEITZ-WALD: And what is his position? How does he -- you know, Bernie
Sanders on the left, Hillary Clinton moving to the left. Can he make a
SMITH: This is not about moving to left. It`s great that Bernie Sanders
is in the race. The more voice in the race is better. It`s important for
Democrats to have a robust issue debate.
We don`t do ourselves any favors by having a coronation. But Governor
O`Malley is the only person who has delivered on the priorities that
progressives care about -- minimum wage, DREAM Act, marriage equality,
comprehensive gun control. And so, he can -- he doesn`t only talk about
things that progressives care about. He`s delivered on them.
KORNACKI: All right. Alex Seitz-Wald with Lis Smith in Baltimore. So, I
-- the one thing I`m getting from that more than anything else is he`s
definitely running. I know this was officially just an announcement, but I
guess it sounds like from Liz he is running.
We will have that speech for you when it happens, expected in about ten
minutes from now. Martin O`Malley joining the presidential race.
Right after this, how one of the largest beer companies is helping flood
victims in Texas and Oklahoma.
Stay with us.
KORANCKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up on some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel.
This is from "Time", Baltimore`s top prosecutor once made her case to Judge
Judy. So, Marilyn Mosby, if you remember from a few weeks ago, the state`s
attorney in Baltimore, she`s the one who made national news for indicting
six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Well, she once argued
another case in front of a national audience. It was 15 years ago against
a young man who stayed in her apartment over the summer while she was in
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE JUDY: Tell me what happened when you first met Mr. Johnson when he
MARILYN MOSBY: I was at work and received a phone call from the defendant.
He got my number from someone I had called locally. I knew someone
locally. And they went over and gave him my number. I asked, Ryan, how
was my apartment, what was going on? I was told someone was in my
apartment. He told me, he reassured me that nothing was wrong with my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And, by the way, Judge Judy ruled in favor of Marilyn Mosby.
So, she won her first case. Just goes to show you when you`re watching
those daytime courtroom shows, you could be seeing major political stars of
the future trying out their -- you know, testing their legal chops.
Let`s go to "The L.A. Times," Tom Brady`s deflategate suspension appeal
will be heard on June 23rd. A few weeks from now, Brady fighting that
four-game suspension handed down by the NFL. Reports he was aware the
footballs had been tampered with in the AFC championship game against the
Well, I made it clear where I stand on this. I hope he`s completely
exonerated. I expect an apology from the NFL and all order will be
KUCINICH: He has to play for the Browns or the Jets. I`m just saying --
KORNACKI: New York fans have a lifetime of Brady.
KORNACKI: I`m used to it. I`m used to it.
NBC News, here`s another one. Speaking of non-water products, Anheuser-
Busch stops making beer so that it can water for flooding victims. The
beer maker stopped production at its Georgia brewery on Wednesday to
produce 50,000 cans of water for the American Red Cross. It`s going to
help all those people affected. You were hearing about it earlier in the
show in Texas and Oklahoma.
STEELE: Very cool.
KORNACKI: There`s a great move from them.
Let`s pick another here from this like, the pile of stuff I have. How
about this, "The Huffington Post", John Stamos confirms that Bob Saget is
joining the "Full House" reboot. Saget will reprise his role as Danny
Tanner. The "Full House" reboot called "Fuller House" is set to hit
Netflix with 13 episodes.
I mean, you can`t have "Full House" without --
STEELE: I will sleep well tonight.
KORNACKI: What about the Olsen twins are out.
UNGAR: Man, how do you have "Fuller House" without fuller Olsen twins?
KORNACKI: There`s no Olsen twins, you know? Are you a "Full House" fan,
KUCINICH: Oh my gosh! Of course, I was a "Full House" fan. Of course. I
for one am very excited.
KORNACK: Yes, I was such a TGIF fan, I could remember "Family Matters"
before there was an Urkel. The five episodes before that.
We got one more we can pull out here. Interesting pictures. NBC News.
Manhattanhenge. Excuse me. It is to be seen this weekend. The sunsets in
exact alignment with Manhattan street grid. The folks compiled some of the
So, this is happening this weekend. The sun is right in alignment where it
comes right between those buildings. You get these amazing pictures. Neil
deGrasse Tyson also posted a host of pictures of an amazing sunset.
This is Neil deGrasse Tyson. He put it out on Facebook yesterday. If you
miss that last night, you can check it out. If you`re in New York, or if
you`re near New York, come in at 8:12 p.m. tonight and you can check that
One more thing we want to mention here before we go, if I can find the
right -- I`m going to organize this better in the future. Here it is. A
little news in the family here at NBC Universal. Richard Engel, the NBC
News chief foreign affairs correspondent, making a little news of his own -
- marrying his longtime girlfriend Mary Forrest last night.
So, we want to say congratulations. You can see Richard Engel tweeting
this out. "So happy. Just got married."
STEELE: Very, very nice.
KUCINICH: Very cool.
STEELE: Welcome to the club.
KORNACKI: So, congratulations on that, Richard Engel.
And thank you, my panel, for today. I want to see Rick Unger, Michael
Steele, Jackie Kucinich. I appreciate you all being here.
Thank you for getting UP with us this morning. Join us tomorrow Sunday
morning at 8:00 when courtroom artist Art Lin will be here. He covers the
Supreme Court. He just got done with the Boston marathon trial. And
tomorrow he`ll be here sketching us and showing us the tricks of the trade.
Plus, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will be here ahead of a rare
Sunday night session in the Senate. Bulk data collection and other
provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire at midnight tomorrow.
But before that, you`re going to watch Melissa Harris-Perry. She`s coming
up next. Have a great Saturday.
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