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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Date: June 6, 2015
Guest: Lynn Sweet, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Jonathan Capehart, Robert
Costa, Kristen Soltis Anderson, John Marciano


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Paying final respects to Beau Biden.

All right. Good morning, thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday
morning. In Delaware at this hour, family and friends of the Bidens are
preparing to pay their final respects to Beau Biden, the former attorney
general of the Delaware. The son of the Vice President. Much more on that
in just a moment.

Also this morning, new sexual abuse allegations against former House
Speaker Dennis Hastert. We`ll going to be getting a lot into that in just
a little bit.

Plus, Hillary Clinton is hammering Republicans on voting rights as she gets
ready to launch the next phase of her campaign. And a motorcycle rally in
Iowa today starts the next phase of the republican race for the White

But we begin this morning with the very difficult day ahead for Joe Biden
and for the entire Biden family. The funeral mass for his son, Beau, who
was himself a rising political star. The former attorney general of
Delaware and an Iraq war veteran. He said he want today run for governor
of Delaware next year in 2016. Beau Biden though died one week ago today
at the age of 46 after a battle with brain cancer. Now, the funeral is set
to begin later this morning in Delaware. About two-and-a half hours from
now. It will be held in the largest city in Delaware, Wilmington,
Delaware. And we will be carrying it live here on MSNBC. President Obama
is expected to deliver eulogy. Bill and Hillary Clinton are also planning
to attend.

And NBC`s Luke Russert is live for us now outside that church in
Wilmington, Delaware. So, Luke, if you will, please just set the scene for
us, what we can expect today.

to you. This is really the culmination of what I would say has been a very
emotional week. Especially the last few days for not only the Biden
family, but also I would probably say the entire state of Delaware. You
know, I spent some time here last night. And people that I spoke to, the
Bidens and Delaware are so intertwined. That a lot of local residents have
really taken this lost personally. And it`s been really remarkable to see
how much they`ve been willing to pay their respects. Standing in line for
hours to have a chance at the viewing yesterday.

We`re in this working class Italian Catholic neighborhood right here where
the church is. People putting up American flags making sure their lawns
are tidy. Really looking wonderful for the dignitaries that are about to
come in today. Now, as far as the funeral goes and how it will proceed
around, it starts at 10:30. And we`ll hear from three speakers. We`ll
have General Ray Odierno and that`s supposed to reflect Beau Biden`s life
of service in the military. And you`ll hear from President Obama which is
supposed to be Beau Biden his life is a sort of civil servant. And then
you have his brother and sister, Ashley and Hunter.

And that will be sort of Beau Biden the family men. So, you`re touching on
those three different areas of Beau Biden`s life. And expect it to be
extremely emotional. Because going through the program, you have a lot of
essential tenants that you often have in Catholic funerals. There`s Ave
Maria, there`s going to be bagpipers. Cardinal McCarrick, former cardinal
of Washington, DC. is expected to be here as well. Father Leo O`Donovan
from Georgetown University. So, heavy on the Catholic symbolism within the
service. And we expect this to go around for two hours. And President
Obama himself actually Steve has worked on the eulogy throughout the week
and he is expected to be, as one aid said extremely emotional personal

KORNACKI: All right. Luke Russert for us live in Wilmington, Delaware.
Thanks. We`ll be checking back with you throughout the morning.

For now though, we turn to the new allegations of sexual misconduct against
the former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Now, Hastert as you might
recall was charged last week in a federal indictment that alleges that he
agreed to pay $3.5 million to someone from his hometown of Yorkville,
Illinois so that that person would keep quiet about alleged prior

And now, a Montana woman has come forward to ABC News and the Associated
Press claiming that the FBI interviewed her last month about Hastert. And
she says that her brother, his name was Steven Reinboldt. He told her
before he died in 1995 that Hastert had a sexual relationship with him
while he was a student, while he was the wrestling team`s equipment manager
at Yorkville High School. And his alleged new victim named by his sister
is not the person named as individual A in that indictment that was filed
by prosecutors last week. Hastert of course was the wrestling coach and
teacher in Yorkville from 1965 to 1980. That was his life before he became
a congressman and eventually speaker of the house. Now, a friend and
classmate of Reinboldt who asked NBC to conceal his identity is now telling
NBC News that Reinboldt confided to him about this back in 1974.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He started to talk about his relationship with Denny
Hastert and told me that they had been sexual, and I was flabbergasted.


KORNACKI: That friend adding that he believes there was more than one
sexual encounter.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I said, "What do you mean?" And he said, "Well, we
would do things sexually and it would sometimes start with a massage." And
we didn`t go much further into that.


KORNACKI: All right. For more on this I want to bring in now Lynn Sweet,
Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. Lynn, thanks for taking
a few minutes. So, one of the aspects of this woman who came forward, the
sister of an alleged victim coming forward and saying that, you know, she
tried to go to the press about this, about a decade ago when this whole
mark fully case with the interns with the pages on Capitol Hill was
breaking. She says she tried to go to the press back then. But we`re only
hearing about it now. Do you know why that is?

LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, both ABC News, which broke the story,
and the Associated Press said that they were -- they knew her and they were
contacted by her. ABC talked about it in their story. And they said that
they could not corroborate the claims back then. And apparently, the story
just could not be given birth at the time. There wasn`t enough out there
for them to feel comfortable going with it. Now, having said that, that
doesn`t necessarily preclude her from voluntarily do other things people do
to call attention to situations. Press conferences, press releases, et
cetera. But this is different now, Steve. Because her comments come in a
different context, and that is the indictment. Where the indictment talked
about some misconduct happening when Denny Hastert was a high school
teacher and high school wrestling coach. And since then, so that
individual A, that`s one. Steven Reinboldt is individual two. And news
outlets including the Sun-Times have identified a third person who also
alleges sexual abuse.

KORNACKI: Right. And we should say that`s other outlets have identified a
third person NBC News has not independently corroborated that. Let me ask
you though, as somebody Lynn who has covered the Washington Post while
Dennis Hastert was sort of at the peak back, you know, maybe a decade ago
or so ago. Barney Frank was on the air here, former congressman yesterday
saying that, how surprised he was. He never would have expected anything
of this nature with Dennis Hastert. Is that true for you as somebody who
watched him up close or was there some sense, some inkling that maybe there
was something off with him?

SWEET: Nothing. Nothing of this nature. Now, you know, what he`s really
charged for as you know, is not following the law as dealing with big cash
withdrawals and lying to the FBI. Now, if he was in some legal jam because
of this dealing with transactions, dealing maybe his lobbying practice or
some political organization, I would have said, you know, we`re used to
this happening, Steve. But the sexual misconduct component, for what the
allegations are predatory abuse of conduct, going so far back. This is
something that`s obviously, to me, kind of a unique fact situation. This
goes back. He taught in high school between 1965 and 1981. Years before
he became speaker of the house.

KORNACKI: It`s an amazing story. Dennis Hastert the former Speaker of the
House we should say is due in court next week to answer to these charges.
That`s probably the first time we will be hearing from him.

SWEET: It will be. No one has seen him since this indictment came down.

KORNACKI: So, that is something to watch for. Lynn Sweet from the Chicago
Sun-Times, thank you for the time this morning. We appreciate that.

SWEET: Thank you, Steve.

KORNACKI: Okay we`re going to turn now to what might be the first big
fight of the 2016 general election. Hillary Clinton directly calling out
her possible republican opponents by name in a speech on voting rights.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENT CANDIDATE: Here in Texas, former Governor
Rick Perry signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with
the purpose of discriminating against minority voters. He applauded when
the voting rights act was gutted. And said the lost protections were
outdated and unnecessary. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker cut back
early voting and signed legislation that would make it harder for college
students to vote. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie vetoed
legislation to extend early voting. And in Florida, when Jeb Bush was
governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters
before the presidential election in 2000. Today, Republicans are
systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of Americans
citizens from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of?


KORNACKI: Now, this is Hillary Clinton very intentionally picking a fight
with the biggest names in the republican field. In other words, there`s a
lot to be gained in doing this politically and not that much to be risked.
Now, this comes as the next phase of her campaign is now taking shape.
Hillary planning to hold her major rally in New York City this time next
weekend. One week from today. The campaign is billing it as an event for
thousands. The first formal rally of her campaign. Former President Bill
Clinton and daughter Chelsea expected to join her that day at that kick-off

And now, for more on this let`s bring in today`s panel. We have with us
today, republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. MSNBC contributor
Jonathan Capehart, a columnist for "The Washington Post." And Victoria
DeFrancesco Soto, also an MSNBC contributor and Political Science professor
at the University of Texas. As to complete my walk over to the desk
without tripping. Always an accomplishment on.

So we heard Hillary Clinton there, calling out these Republicans by name.
That was on Thursday. Yesterday those Republicans had a chance to respond,
let`s play their -- some of their responses first.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: You know in Ohio we have like 27 days of early
voting. Okay? Twenty seven days, a couple hundred hours. And in New York
the only early voting, there is none. The only voting that occurs is on
Election Day. What is she talking about? I like Hillary, but I got to
tell you, the idea that we`re going to divide Americans and we`re going to
use demagoguery, I don`t like it.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Secretary Clinton doesn`t know the
first thing about voting rights in New Jersey or any other state. My sense
is that she just wants an opportunity to commit greater acts of voter fraud
around the country.


KORNACKI: So, Jonathan, she wants this fight. She called them out by name
because she knows we`ll going to be playing clips of her responding. If
she wants the clip of her up there of making that speech and Christie and
Kasich up there saying that out there. What is the game here that she

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, what it shows is and
especially by doing this speech in Texas. She`s taking the fight to the
Republican Party. And she`s not only doing it on out their turf, but she`s
calling them out by name as you showed and as you`ve said. But what was
interesting is watching Governor Kasich. How angry he was. This is the
reaction she`s getting. She`s forcing them to defend themselves. She`s
forcing them to defend themselves in their states, defend their party.
Because it`s the party that`s been doing this all over the country.
Politically it`s a brilliant move. For her base it`s a brilliant move.
And also just as an American it`s a brilliant move. Because the ideas that
she put forth, I mean, Governor Kasich called her out because there`s no
early voting in New York. But one of her proposals is to have at least 20
days of early voting nationwide. So, she`s forcing them to have a
conversation on something she cares about on her terms.

KORNACKI: The issue specifically in this speech is she raised and their
proposals that she put out there were as Jonathan said, across the board
early voting. All 50 states. Also saying automatic registration for all
voters when they turn 18 years old. So, actually when you look at those
policies in the speech, I imagine those are probably fairly popular and in
polls she`s going to be talking about them like.

interesting that Kasich, two wrongs don`t make a right. Okay? So New York
doesn`t have the early voting that other states do, she would like to see
that expanded. What I find very interesting is how Democrats are going
into offensive. Because if you remember back two, four years ago.
Democrats were scrambling republican legislators were coming at them from
every side. But now, Hillary Clinton saying, I know what you`re up to. I
know what you`re going to try. And I`m not going to let you do it. So, we
are drawing a line in the sand and we`re going to go after you.

KORNACKI: Well, so, Kirsten, with the republican response to this, so it`s
interesting to me Hillary Clinton in that speech. There`s one thing she
didn`t say and there`s one thing she didn`t talk about, and that is voter
id. And that`s something a lot of these republican governors, a lot of
these republican legislators have gone pushing. I don`t think it`s an
accident she had mentioned voter ID. Because if you put this up on the
screen, you ask people this question, do you think you should show an ID
before you vote. It`s actually very popular. It`s three quarters there,
77 percent say, yes. Twenty percent say, no. So, it feels to me like
there`s an intent in her speech to say, I want to talk about voting rights.
But these are the terms I want to talk about. And this is not an area
where I`m necessarily comfortable. There`s an opening there for the
Republicans to turn the tables on here yet?

opportunity for Republicans to say, this is 100 percent about politics.
That this is sort of the first time that Hillary Clinton has really come
out boldly on this issue. While her own home state as Governor Kasich
mentioned, you know, where is the criticism of the democratic leadership of
the state of New York where she comes from? You know, she`s making it
about politics. Okay, fine. Fair enough. This is an issue that actually
there`s an interesting body of Political Science research that shows turned
out voters who feel that voter ID and things like this are keeping them
from the polls that actually have had a backlash effect that some suspect
in 2012 may have actually hurt Republicans in some states where they most
aggressively push for things like voter ID laws.

KORNACKI: Well, that happened I think Ohio was the perfect example of
this. The black share of the vote in Ohio in 2008 was 11 percent of the
electorate. The overall. In 2012, it was 15 percent. So, turnout soared
among African-Americans in Ohio even as that early voting theory actually

ANDERSON: So, this isn`t necessarily an issue where, you know, her taking
these stances I think is going to win her a lot of swing voters. The
question is at this point in the race, does she focused on trying to
energize her primary base. Does she`s trying to fight off challenges from
folks like Bernie Sanders? This is proving that she can be the progressive
leader that the Democratic Party wants. I think that is much more of what
this is about than actually trying to have an opening salvo in a general
election contest.

CAPEHART: I disagree. I think she`s going after this because back in 2012
-- was it 2012 when I think it was the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania
said openly, you know, we have this voter ID law which will keep people
from the polls and will hand Mitt Romney, the Pennsylvanian hand him the
presidency. That`s why democrats are going after this. That`s why Hillary
Clinton is going after this. And, you know, voting soared in Ohio because
one thing as an African-American I can say this, one thing you do not tell
an African-American around election time is you can`t vote.

Because they will stand in line for as long it takes to make sure that
their voice is heard. And especially in 2012 because they wanted to have
President Obama`s back. And I think with Hillary Clinton talking about
this, and this is a part where I will agree with you that politics comes
into play. That the African-American community at least, the secretary is
hoping will have her back because she`s going after an issue that the
Democratic Party cares about, but especially African-Americans care about.

KORNACKI: Right. We talk so much about the importance of turnout.
There`s the decline of swing voters, everyone kind of knows what side
they`re on. So, it`s about getting your side out. And so this is a case
too, I think you look at the politics and clearly Hillary Clinton does have
some motivation there.

Anyway, still ahead, the republican presidential hopefuls quick to respond
to Hillary Clinton and voting rights as we just showed you. But largely
silent this week on one of the most talked about cultural stories in the
world. We`ll going to show you that still ahead.

But first, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst pulling her Harley-Davidson to the
garage this morning for the good of her party. We`ll going to go to Iowa
for a report on that straight ahead. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: While your chief-of-staff glares as me, would you be the
ideal candidate?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, I think any of the 30 republican governors would
be the ideal candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Come on, try a different way.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I love to be president. I`ll see it right here, right
live of the Harley-Davidson motor company but that`s a whole a different
what matter out there.


KORNACKI: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker finally getting the opportunity
to run for president of the United States and president of the Harley-
Davidson motor company at the same time. His big break is going to be
coming today out in Iowa as Senator Joni Ernst`s first annual Roast and
Ride. This is the freshman republican senator`s answer to the annual steak
fry that our predecessor, former Senator Tom Harkin staged every year for
37 years. This is also the most creative gathering yet of presidential
candidates. There`s a pig roast and a motorcycle rally. Scott Walker is
going to be there. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike
Huckabee, Rick Perry and Marco Rubio will also be on hand, too. Walker the
only candidate actually planning to join with Ernst on that motorcycle ride
from Des Moines to Boone later this morning. But Ernst did offer a lift to
another candidate.


ERNST: I did this with Marco Rubio on the floor of the Senate the other
day. And he said, well, I don`t ride. I said, well, you can ride on the
back of mine.


KORNACKI: And MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt is traveling throughout Iowa, starts her
day in Ames this morning. Kasie, I want to ask if you took your motorcycle
to get to the camera shot today. But I will ask you this, looking at that
list of attendees, the candidates who are courting Joni Ernst and obviously
Joni Ernst very popular with the grassroots republicans out in Iowa. Jeb
Bush, not there today. Not courting Joni Ernst with the rest of the
candidates. We`re always talking about, you know, is Jeb Bush going to be
writing off Iowa. Is this another sign of that?

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC ANCHOR: Steve, I think that it`s part of the overall
strategy here. I mean, I think for Bush, getting into the middle of this,
trying to do just one of the pack that`s here with Scott Walker, with Rick
Perry. Possibly not a calculation he wanted to make. I will say, that was
quite an offer that Senator Ernst made to Marco Rubio. To give him that
ride there, you know, he actually, Rubio who somebody who came in really
early for Joni Ernst in 2014 when she was running for Senate. And people
around her privately say that he`s somebody that actually has stood out to
her. We still don`t know if she`s going to endorse in this caucus process.
She certainly could if she wanted to, you know, play a more visible role.
It`s not clear that she won`t want to play a more, sort of establishment
step back and be the person that can court everyone, you know, not knowing
obviously who is going to come out on top in this Iowa caucuses.

KORNACKI: Let me put this on the screen. This is from the Des Moines
register, the largest paper in Iowa this morning. It`s an article that has
the former chairman of the Republican Party in Iowa basically saying that
he thinks the national party is chipping away after a traditional, you
know, very important role of Iowa. He`s citing two things in particular
here. One is that the first debate coming up in August, the number of
candidates participating will be capped at ten by national television
network, by FOX News. The other is that this Iowa straw poll, this the
quadrennial event out there, looks like that`s in danger of going away.
I`ve been hearing this talk in the last week about Republicans in Iowa
being nervous about their role, maybe not being what it normally is, is
there anything to that?

HUNT: I absolutely think there is something to that, Steve. That Jennifer
Jacob story walks through a lot of it. The concern on the straw poll for
example is that, you know, at this point there`s a competing event in
Atlanta, a lot of the Marquee candidates are not going to be here. The
straw poll has historically serve as a way to almost winnow the field.
It`s less that winning the straw poll will send you to the top and the
caucuses and more that if you show poorly in the straw poll, it does not
bode well for you over all. And that`s part of the reason why the
candidates are avoiding it. But, you know, the state party has brought
that here in Iowa, has brought that on themselves a little bit. They felt
as though it was spending too much money, that it was putting too much
pressure on the candidates. And they have kind of walked it back.

But really it does show you how the national party is in some ways
concerned about the role that Iowa plays in the overall nominating process.
This is a state that historically has pushed the field to the right,
obviously, evangelical conservatives play a significant role and have often
been the people who succeeded in that straw poll. For example, and there
is a lot of concern that, you know, focusing it, starting it here is
something that ultimately hurts the party in a general election. Is it
pushing their candidates to the right? Is the electorate representative of
their electorate they`re going to have to win over in a general election?
Probably not.

The debates are another part of this too. That story also walks through
this, the fact that, you know, republican leaders here in Iowa used to be
able to negotiate directly with the TV networks to host debates in Iowa.
And there were handful or a number of debates in Iowa in 2012. I covered a
lot of them. There`s probably only going to be one this time because
leaders are trying to control which states get debates. There is also the
issue of delegates. After Ron Paul sort of gamed out the delegate process
and created a bit of a kerfuffle at the 2012 convention. He essentially
said to these delegates who had been initially committed to vote for a Rick
Santorum or Mitt Romney, the two leaders here in Iowa.

He went in and said, hey, you know, you guys don`t actually have to vote
for Romney or Santorum on the convention floor. You don`t have to be at
the convention for them, you should come for me. That created a problem.
And the RNC said, uh-uh, no way we`re going to rewrite these rules so that
you have to abide by what voters say initially. All of those things
together could ultimately weaken the role of the caucus this time around.

KORNACKI: Let me just bring the panel here in New York and take a straw
poll of my own. Who here is going to miss the Iowa straw poll if that goes

SOTO: I`m done with Iowa. I am just so done with Iowa. You know, 50
years ago Iowa made sense. It was representative of the demographic for
this country. You know, I pulled out my little census fact check. So,
over 92 percent of Iowans are white. Only three percent are African-
American. Five percent are Latino. That is not our country. And if we
look at the demographics of our country going forward, Iowa is becoming
less and less relevant. I`m done with it. I`m ready to go on to Super

ANDERSON: Iowa is also a blue state. It`s not just, you know, it`s not
just a conservative --

SOTO: It`s a partisan thing.

ANDERSON: I think, I would like to see a lot of states play a role. And I
think to the extent that Iowa is still has a role in helping to winnow the
field. I think it`s always been very interesting to watch the candidates,
you know, have to go and do the like, go to the state fair and eat the
fried food and meet people. I mean, I like in a way that there`s pressure
on candidates to not just do big mass media things. But they actually have
to go meet real people and talk to them about issues. But I think as long
as they`re doing that in a variety of different states, that`s pretty good.
And think about the straw poll in `12. Michelle Bachmann won and
immediately got stepped on by Rick Perry announcing and then but you had
Tim Pawlenty who he did not do particularly well and that knocked him out
of the race.

CAPEHART: And I would say that proves this sort of uselessness of Iowa.

ANDERSON: I`m done.

CAPEHART: If you can win it, you can win it and still go nowhere.

KORNACKI: There`s the straw poll and there`s the -- it does seem --

ANDERSON: Right. There`s a difference.

KORNACKI: Two tracks have emerged in recent years where there`s like --
there`s the candidate of the base, and that`s who Iowa seems to vote for in
the Republican side and then there`s the candidate of the establishment and
that`s the New Hampshire seems to -- you have like Huckabee winning, the
McCain winning.

Anyway, thanks to MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt for joining us this morning in Ames.
Have fun at the motorcycle rally and pig roast out there today.

And still ahead, is this any way to win the White House? The presidential
candidate who wants Americans trading their pounds and miles for kilometers
and kilograms. What the heck are those?

But first, the water shed moment this week for this conservative hearings,
they have lost the culture wars. That`s next. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: The public unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner this week was greeted
largely with positive comments which seems to be prompting some soul
searching among social conservatives. According to the "Washington Post,"
quote, "To social conservatives, the wide spread acceptance of Jenner`s
evolution from an Olympic gold medalist whose masculinity was enshrined in
a Wheaties box to a shapely woman posing suggestively on the cover of
"Vanity Fair" was a reminder that they are losing the culture wars. Across
social media blog and talk radio this week conservatives painted an
apocalyptic view of America.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Conservatives and Republicans are the
new weirdos, the new cooks. And that is part of the political objective
here in normalizing all of this really marginal behavior. I mean, if less
than one percent of the population is engaging in it, it`s marginalized
behavior, it isn`t normal. No matter how you define it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If you want one snap shot of just how corrupt, how
morally twisted, how morally confused, how morally bankrupt we have become,
all you got to do is take a look at the cover of "Vanity Fair" magazine.

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: They are always, you know, science,
science and conservatives don`t believe science.


COULTER: This Bruce Jenner still has white chromosomes in every cell of
his body.


COULTER: Do not tell me he`s a girl. It`s real. It`s a mental illness.
And I don`t think we should be celebrating it and laughing about it.


KORNACKI: Joining us now is Robert Costa, national political reporter for
"The Washington Post." He actually wrote that article I was just reading

So, Robert, I mean, we play sort of the moral outlandish reactions we saw
this week from the right. But the thing that was most striking to me is,
when you look at the Republicans who are out there running for president,
the most prominent voices really, you know, within the Republican Party at
least as elected officials, you weren`t hearing that this week. And I`m
thinking back to 2003 or 2004 when Massachusetts legalized gay marriage I
remember the Republicans George W. Bush, Karl Rove`s campaign, they jumped
right on that as a big issue for 2004. The opposition to gay marriage. Is
Bruce Jenner thing happens this week, Caitlyn Jenner thing happens this
week, and you don`t hear that kind reaction. It seems like a pretty big
transformation there potentially.

ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It`s a major evolution for the
Republican Party to not seize and this is a social that they could perhaps
use on capitalize on politically. You didn`t have any anger from
republican candidates. Mike Huckabee corrected joke, it didn`t go over
well. Rick Santorum was an -- in how he responded and kind of walk it back
on conservative media. But even as republican candidates respond with
muted -- in a muted way or almost silent. It`s almost like the republican
family, the Republican Party still has some frustrations with how the
culture is moving. It`s like these candidates are at a thanksgiving table.
And one part of the family is really not fan of Caitlyn Jenner. They may
have their own views, they`re fine with it. And the kids know that the
country has moved on. But they`re not going to engage because they know
the base still has a certain opinion.

KORNACKI: And there, a certain way you can live with tension within your
family. At another point this will come to a head. This basic tension
you`re describing and I`m thinking of what`s coming up here. The Supreme
Court ruling on gay marriage potentially making it legal in all 50 states.
And it`s a question of how would the Republican Party respond to that. And
which of those two forces would prevail. Would it be sort of the old guard
saying, no, we have to fight this, we have to find some way to override
this, or would it be that sort of the new guard for lack of a better term
saying, let`s just let this go.

COSTA: Well, you guys just nailed it in your panel. There`s a feeling
among a lot of the top tier republican campaigns that Iowa and the
influence of social conservatives has sort of waned. But they still remain
in this bunker mentality. Because as you said the Supreme Court is coming
up with its decisions. And I thought that this was going to be a battle of
legal issues and legislative issues with the religious liberty laws earlier
this year. But now because transgender issues are at the top of the
American scene, not just the political scene, we have republican realizing
that Caitlyn Jenner is not the first issue that`s going to be coming up on
this front on this campaign.

KORNACKI: Well, so Kristen, let me bring in, you`re a republican pollster.
So, let`s say you`ve got a client out there and I`m sure you do, running
for office and say, how do I take about this, how do I talk about Caitlyn
Jenner? How do I talk about the Supreme Court rules on gay marriage?
What`s the advice from a pollster to a republican candidate?

ANDERSON: I think there`s a big difference between having to come out and
comment on a legal ruling, a policy that`s out there and having to comment
on a magazine cover. I mean, I for one, welcome Caitlyn Jenner to the
Republican Party. We need more conservative women. So, you know, I`m
personally think -- hey this is great. But I don`t think or expect every
single political leader to have to have an opinion or come out and say
something on this. The polling is very different on things like the issue
of marriage equality where polling has shown a dramatic shift in even just
the last decade and the number of people who say they know someone who is
gay or lesbian has really increased. On the other hand, the percentage of
Americans who say they know someone who is transgender is less than one in
ten. You have a quarter of the American population that doesn`t even know
what the term transgender really mean. This is an issue where if I`m
advising a candidate I`m saying, I don`t know that you have to weigh in on
this publicly unless there is a public policy issue in front of you that
you as the President of the United States would have to take on.

KORNACKI: Yes. I`ve been trying to figure it out, Jonathan where the --
it`s clear where the country is on gay marriage and how it`s moved so
dramatically. I think that when it comes to the transgender issue it`s not
something that`s really been fleshed out in our politics.

CAPEHART: No, it hasn`t. And as I`ve been saying for a while now, the
country has been engaged in a very vigorous debate. Basically since the
Stonewall Riots of 1969 about the L, the G and B and LGBT. We`ve had this
Ruckus conversation about what it means to be lesbian or gay in this
country. What it means in terms of civil rights, what it means in terms of
making this country more whole and more pure in terms of its ideals when it
comes to LGB and the B. The T has always been silent. And I think it`s
been silent because it involves a very difficult and uncomfortable
conversation for a lot of people and not just straight people. There are a
lot of people in the gay community, particularly gay men who have issues
with transgender.

But when you have somebody like Caitlyn Jenner who comes out and says,
look, I`m transgender, this is who I am and basically deal with it. She`s
forced this nation to finally start talking about the T in a way that it
hasn`t done pretty much ever except within the last maybe year, year and a
half. With Laverne Cox, the actress from orange is the new black on the
cover of Time Magazine. I think the first time a transgender person had
been on the cover of Time Magazine. We`ve started having this
conversation. But when you have a cultural icon, a sports icon like
Caitlyn Jenner who goes through this transition. She`s beautiful, she`s
wealthy. Forces everyone to not only talk about it, but to take it

KORNACKI: Right. This is the moment I think when people are starting to
think about this for the first time ever.

CAPEHART: First time ever.

KORNACKI: Robert Costa, Washington Post, I want to thank you for getting
up this morning. And great article if you hadn`t yet go out there and
check that out. Thank you very much.

Coming up, the American pharaoh, he has a shot today at claiming the
biggest title, the most elusive title in horse racing. He`s going to face
up against history. First though, more on that ahead.

But first, the latest on the search for a possible serial sniper out in
Colorado. That`s next. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: Right now, the FBI and local police are looking for what may be
a serial sniper in northern Colorado. Someone shot and killed a 65-year-
old man Wednesday night as he took a walk in the town of Loveland,
Colorado. That`s about an hour north of Denver, that was just miles from
where a man on a bicycle was shot and killed last month and where a young
woman was shot in her car back in April. She survived that shooting.
Police say they are confident that the first two shootings are related and
they believe the same gunman is behind this most recent murder. They also
admit that they don`t have many clues in the case. And they are warning
people on the area to be on high alert.

Still ahead, can Rick Perry go from underdog to front runner in the
madcaped (ph) 2016 GOP field?

And next, on this bill, mad stake Saturday, the Presidential candidate with
inside knowledge, the horse racing industry.


KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up on some of the other headlines making news. Let`s start with
something truly horrible here. This is a life threatening injury, this
happened just last night. In a life threatening injury to a fan at a
baseball game at Fenway Park at a Boston Red Sox game. This is a woman who
suffered a life threatening injury when she was struck in the head by a
broken bat. A fan seated behind her told the Associated Press, quote, "she
bled a lot, a lot. I don`t think I`ve ever seen anything like that." The
woman was carried out of the park on a stretcher. She were seeing medical
care again. This is being described as a life threatening injury. It`s
one of those things, I mean, you go to a baseball game for three hours of
fun, you know, a family fun, and I mean, you`re so close to the field. You
always I guess think something might come into the stands but this is --

CAPEHART: Yes. This is a freak accident. I mean, you hear the stories
about, you know, balls flying into the stands, people trying to catch them.
They get knocked in the head. But a broken bat? Look, I pray for the
victim here and hope she survives. But judging by that quote, it doesn`t
sound very good.

KORNACKI: No, apparently, at major league baseball changed the procedures
to seven years ago that they were concerned about bats going in broken bats
going into the stands. They changed their procedures. There hadn`t been
an instance like this until now. I guess one fan in the history of game,
about 45 years ago was killed by an errant object from the field going into
the -- obviously we hope the best for that woman.

SOTO: You know, are we going to see shields be put up? You know, if
something like this happens again is major league baseball going to say,
well, we need to take precautionary measures.

KORNACKI: I mean, you have already got netting to a certain amount. Maybe
you expand the netting or something. I mean, we`ll see. Let`s see what
else is out there this morning.

This is in Politico, "New York Times" is denying that American bridge,
that`s the democratic Super Pac was behind a Rubio report yesterday. You
saw this yesterday, "The New York Times" reported that there was this --
Marco Rubio and his wife and their traffic record. The 17 traffic tickets
going back to 1997. Four for Marco Rubio. Thirteen for his wife. Then
there was this talk from the conservatives, oh, this came from a democratic
opposition research. It was fed to "The New York Times" and the Times says
no. The whole thing is just remarkably silly.

SOTO: This is good news for Marco. Because they`re coming after him.
This means that he`s really popular. The more they come after you, the
higher up you are.

KORNACKI: Also, this is what they`ve got.

SOTO: Exactly.

ANDERSON: -- hot for a moment. I mean, yes, this is the sort of story that
you want to have come out. Because now there is not a single voter out
there in America that is going to say, gosh, I would have voted for Marco
Rubio, but those parking tickets, those speeding tickets. But, you know,
what? There are a lot of voters in the Republican Party who don`t like the
mainstream media, they`re really skeptical of the "New York Times." All of
a sudden he`s now a victim of them coming after him. And all they can come
out --

KORNACKI: And by the way, I got to say, I mean, you talk about, this is
comes a month or two after we heard the story about Hillary Clinton has not
driven since 1996.

ANDERSON: Exactly. Exactly.

KORNACKI: Well, we know that Rubio drives his own car. At least we get

Anyway, much more to come throughout the show. We have more news to get to
later in the show. And still ahead as we continue, why Florida may not
offer much of a home field advantage for Jeb Bush as he has been banking
on. But first, is Rick and Perry`s hot and sweaty, his start and sweaty
start to another run for president getting a cool reception? That is next,
stay with us.



RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: George Washington lived in the
service of a cause greater than self.



KORNACKI: Get that man a towel. A hot and sweaty start to Rick Perry`s
presidential campaign this week. The former Texas Governor announcing his
candidacy in an airport hangar in a Dallas suburb on Thursday where the air
conditioning obviously couldn`t keep up. Now, despite the hot condition,
voters have been cool so far to Perry. He is outside the top ten GOP
candidates in the latest Washington Post ABC News poll. And that means
that he is at risk of being shut out of that critical first republican
debate in August. Now, Perry`s current underdog status is a far cry from
his role as a front runner when he first jump into the 2012 race. That is
a campaign though that turned into an utter catastrophe for Perry who is
still haunted by his infamous debate gaff. But according to the Washington
Post, Perry and his team are convinced that, quote, "if he was
overestimated but ill repaired four years ago he is the opposite now."
Underestimated and in their judgement, readier for the challenges that a
presidential campaign presents.

So, let`s talk about Perry with the panel. Let`s hear from Perry in his
own words. CNBC`s John Hart would talk to him this week, talked to him
actually a little while back basically saying, why would it be any
different this time than it was last time. And this what`s Rick Perry had
to say.


PERRY: One of the errors that I made was in not being prepared. You know,
I was a little arrogant. And that had as much to do with my demise as a
candidate at, you know, forgetting the third agency of government. I spent
the last 22 or 23 months in preparation to run for the presidency.


KORNACKI: All right. Vicky, our resident Texan on the panel. You`ve seen
Rick Perry up close in personal. I mean, honestly I know we talk about
there are two gazillion candidates running on the republican side. It`s
wide open anything can happen. Crazy things can happen. But I still have
a hard time how a candidate can get past all the problems Rick Perry had
four years ago. All of the terrible negative memories from that that`s
live in voter` minds. How he could overcome that and win this time? I
really have trouble seeing it.

SOTO: It`s going to be difficult. And some folks say that he even knows
that. But the word on the street is he is going forward with a rebranding
campaign. All right. He`s not going to --

KORNACKI: New glasses.

SOTO: The new glasses, no more boots. That`s one thing we`ve been
noticing. But, you know, what? This way you will erase the oops moment.
You will erase all of that baggage in 2012. And he can go into the history
books, he can go into his speakers` bureau, he can go selling books without
that oops moment and he`s rebranded --

KORNACKI: Reputation enhancement.

SOTO: Reputation enhancement.


SOTO: And he`s the new Rick Perry. And the thing is he is such a good
retail politician. He really is. And I was so unimpressed with his speech
earlier this week. He went on and on and on and had no real central
message. He was very negative. He was very negative toward President
Obama. And I think the American public is done with that. They want to
look forward if anything --

KORNACKI: Well, he`s going after the Republicans now. They may not be so
done with that. But look, in terms of, you know, image enhancement here,
if Rick Perry doesn`t get in this debate, I mean, we`re talking about
something happening basically less than two months from now. He`s out of
the top ten right now. If he doesn`t make the top ten, that`s another
humiliation, he doesn`t even qualified for the debate.

CAPEHART: Yes. He has to spend this time, giving speeches, putting ideas
on the table. Getting into debates, going on shows where he can build up
his profile. Erase the memory of 2012. I mean, I think the American
people, one, have short attention spans, shorter memories, and like a
comeback. They know he was there in 2012. They know he made some kind of
mistakes and was a little goofy and kind of weird at points. But he`s in
it again. And I have to agree with his own assessment that he was arrogant
four years ago. He wasn`t prepared. He sounds like somebody -- even
though his speech was meandering and all over the place. But he sounds
like somebody who is much more serious this time about going forward.

KORNACKI: Yes. These debate, I mean, there are certain things that we
just can`t forget. Nobody is ever going to forget saying, you`re no Jack
Kennedy. No one is going to forget Reagan saying, there you go again. Who
is ever going to forget three things and oops.

CAPEHART: You know, what? Then Governor Bill Clinton gave that horrendous
convention speech.

KORNACKI: It`s true.

CAPEHART: I remember watching it live going, who is this guy? Four years
later where was he? Who was he?

KORNACKI: Clinton said, in conclusion, and everyone erupted.

SOTO: Rick Perry is going to be hobbled by Marco Rubio. Because Rick
Perry`s strategy was I`m going to be the candidate that can appeal to the
Tea Party and can appeal to maybe the more moderate Chamber of Commerce
Republicans, my path is through the middle. But then you have Marco Rubio
come in, and he can do that and he`s younger and shinier and has more
money. So, that`s why Rick Perry is hobbled from the beginning. Once
Marco Rubio threw his hat into the ring, I knew Rick Perry --

KORNACKI: Right. It`s not like they don`t have other options this time.
Anyway, more on Rick Perry, obviously as the campaign unfolds.

But we`re going to be returning next to Wilmington, Delaware to the church
where Beau Biden is going to be remembered this morning. Another full hour
of news and politics.

And of course live coverage of that funeral later this morning on MSNBC,
stay with us.


KORNACKI: President Obama set to eulogize Beau Biden.


KORNACKI: All right. Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning.

President Obama is preparing to leave the White House for Wilmington,
Delaware. He`ll be giving a eulogy at this morning`s funeral mass for Beau
Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, the son of Vice President
Joe Biden. Much more ahead from Wilmington in just a moment, and live
coverage of that funeral later this morning here on MSNBC.

Also, will Florida make or break Jeb Bush`s hopes to be president,
especially with another Floridian in the race?

Plus, another man who would be president who would also have Americans
trading pounds and miles for kilos and kilometers.

And no thoroughbred horse has won race racing`s Triple Crown in almost four
day decades. Is today the day that history is made that American Pharoah
breaks that streak?

But we begin this hour in Wilmington, Delaware, that is where family and
friends are gathering to pay their final respects to the late Beau Biden.
The funeral for the former Delaware attorney general and the son of Vice
President Joe Biden is to begin about an hour and a half from now.
President Obama is going to be delivering the eulogy. Family members
expected to speak as well. We`re going to bring you the whole thing as it
happens right here on MSNBC.

Beau Biden an Iraq war veteran dying of brain cancer at the age of 46 one
week ago today. The vice president and his family holding a public viewing
yesterday in Delaware. More than 1,000 people honoring Beau Biden Thursday
as he lay in state at Delaware state capitol in Dover.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Biden family is Delaware`s family. And Beau`s
dedication too and love for you, and your dedication and love right back is
what we all want for our own families.

one word, Beau, anywhere in this state, everyone would know immediately who
I was talking about.

MATTHEW DENN, DELAWARE ATTORNEY GENERAL: Beau knew how important it was to
be present for Hallie and for his kids. He never told me how he came to
know that, but I suspect he knew because he saw his dad do it for him.

with Beau, I never met a more thoughtful, conscientious or caring person.


KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC contributor and former congressman, Patrick
Murphy, a fellow Iraq veteran, knew Beau Biden personally. He`s going to
be at today`s funeral. He joins us from outside the church.

Patrick, thanks for taking a few minutes. So, you knew Beau Biden. Please
tell us a little bit about the relationship you had with him, the man you


You know, Beau Biden was one of us. We both ran in 2006. He was running
for attorney general, I was running for the U.S. Congress. We both won.
We were both in the Army.

So, we had a lot of folks in our generation who served in the military and
got involved in Democratic politics. Beau was the best of the best. He
was so sincere. He was a family man.

And when you look at it, Steve -- I mean, Beau Biden, you know, he`s a guy
that had it all. He was an Ivy League graduate, law school, worked in the
Department of Justice, joined the military when he didn`t have to, but was
one of that less than 1 percent of America that had served in the longest
war in American history, served in Iraq, has a wife and two little kids,
served there in harm`s way.

And he just defined selfless service. And for many of us in Iraq and
Afghanistan veterans, he was the best of our generation. It`s just

KORNACKI: The pictures we`ve been seeing the last few days of Joe Biden,
of his family, of the vice president, just heart breaking. You think about
the close relationship that Joe Biden had with Beau Biden. That moment
they shared at the Democratic convention in 2008. You think about the
tragedy that preceded this in the Biden family, with Beau Biden`s mother
dying, his sister dying, Joe Biden`s first wife dying in that car crash in

I think, Patrick, a lot of people looking at the vice president this week
in almost -- I don`t know the right word, marveling in how he`s endured so

MURPHY: Yes, Steve, it`s hard to talk about. When you knew Joe Biden as a
senator and now as vice president, his most proud moment when he would
light up was talking about his family and talking about his son and talking
just about, you know, about public service -- but talking about his family,
and especially Beau.

Beau, the guy was the best -- I mean, everyone whether they were Democrat
or Republican, everybody respected him, because he was a straight shooter.
He was thoughtful. He was so brilliant and just a good sincere person.
And I know it`s just -- it`s breaking the vice president and the family`s
heart, his wife Hallie and his two little kids. I will tell you, those of
us who knew Beau like I did really knew just a soldier to soldier, knew
someone who had your back every step of the way. That looked out for the
little guy.

And, you know, it`s America`s loss knowing that we lost one of the favorite

KORNACKI: All right. Former Congressman Patrick Murphy, outside that
church where the funeral mass for Beau Biden is to begin less than 90
minutes now. Again, MSNBC is going to have live coverage of that mass, of
that funeral, including the eulogy that`s to be delivered by President
Obama, also being told that General Ray Odierno is also going to be

Again, Beau Biden in addition to being an ambitious and a fast rising
politician, an Iraq war veteran as well.

Let`s now reintroduce this morning`s panel. We have with us, Republican
pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart, a
columnist with "The Washington Post", and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, also
an MSNBC contributor and a political science professor at the University of

So, President Obama will be on his way to Delaware very shortly. You think
about this relationship between Joe Biden and Barack Obama. And I think
what we`re seeing and hearing in the last couple weeks these are two men
that have grown very close. These are two families who have grown very
close and the president taking this loss very personally, the loss of Joe
Biden`s son.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You showed a picture while Patrick
Murphy was speaking and it was a picture I believe of the vice president
being sworn into office with Dr. Biden, his wife and son, Beau, there. And
in the background was President Obama looking at Joe Biden with this smile
on his face, this smile of what I took from it, was warmth, was, you know,
look at this great moment. My friend, we`re back at it.

There`s a relationship between the two of them that has grown strong --
stronger through the president`s two terms. Joe Biden, if you look at all
of the problems, if you will, between the president and Congress, whether
it was the debt ceiling, whether it was something with taxes a few years
ago, the person who the president sent to Capitol Hill to work out the deal
was Vice President Biden. He is essentially to Obama administration, the
Obama presidency.

And so, for the president to go to Delaware to be there for his vice
president, but also for his friend, someone he has lunch with every week.
To deliver that eulogy says a lot about the president`s respect for the
Biden family, a lot about the president`s respect for the vice president
himself, and a lot about the president`s respect for Beau Biden and what he
meant to the vice president, to that family and to the country through his

KORNACKI: And, you know, that is a relationship that we have watched
evolve. We`ve watched the Obama Biden relationship, I can think back to
the earliest days of the 2008 presidential campaign. They`re running
against each other for the Democratic nomination. And it was that
interview that Joe Biden gave, actually to the colleague at the time with
"The New York Observer", when he talked about Barack Obama being the first
clean, articulate African-American presidential candidate.

That was sort of how their relationship began, and it evolved from that
rivals on the campaign trail in 2008. Then, they team up for the general
election, and now, here we are talking about how these two men has grown so
close to each other.

SOTO: Very rocky relationship at first to a very close one. We know that
traditionally, presidents and vice presidents don`t necessarily have very
close relationships. But here, we do see that.

My heart just breaks when I see these images. It`s sad --

KORNACKI: Let me just -- I don`t mean to interrupt you. We want to show,
we have President Obama and his family getting off this -- looks like
they`re getting off of -- this is at Joint Base Andrews, his mother-in-law
is with him getting off of Marine One. His daughters, Sasha and Malia,
there on their way to that funeral in Wilmington.

Anyway, Becky, please continue.

SOTO: Yes. No, no, well, it`s moments like these where we put politics
aside, because we have seen a number of Republicans come forward and
express their grief and express their gratitude to the Biden family. And
you think, maybe we could have this in normal times, too. That it`s not in
these times of crisis and suffering that we see both sides come together in
Washington. I wish we could go back to this being the new normal.

KORNACKI: It is -- I feel like Joe Biden, there`s this like, "The Onion",
the satire website has main Joe Biden a punch line. I know he`s been a
punch line. Ted Cruz says, you say the name Joe Biden, people laugh. He
said that this week, he did not get a good reception to that.

But I think this might be a moment when people are sort of looking at Joe
Biden. The guy is 72 years old, right? He`s been in politics for so long.
I think respect for him has grown a lot this week.

a line he sometimes uses that has always really stuck with me -- which is
that in politics, you know, we can question each other`s positions, we can
question whether one another is right or wrong. But we should never start
with questioning each other`s motives. We should start with the position
that the person on the other side of the table is a good person who wants
the right things, who wants good things for the American people, who has a
good heart.

I really believe that`s part of why Joe Biden has been the sort of vice
president that can be sort of deployed to help navigate some of these
trickier political situations on behalf of the White House, because there
is that level of respect. There is a sense that Joe Biden is going to walk
into the room and question your positions if you`re a Republican, but
hopefully not your motives.

I think that`s a large part of why you see folks who are grieving alongside
of him over the loss of his son.

KORNACKI: And he -- the thing tomorrow about Joe Biden. You talk about
the two sides dig their heels and it often gets so personal. But Joe
Biden, somebody throughout his career, he really has tried to reach out
personally to people on the other side.

I remember he went and delivered and he spoke at the funeral for Strom
Thurmond. When Strom Thurmond died, over 10 years ago, Joe Biden, liberal
Democrat from the North, went down to South Carolina and gave a eulogy at
the funeral of his old Senate colleague, Strom Thurmond.

Anyway, my thanks again to Patrick Murphy taking a few moments with us.

Lots more ahead as we bring you live coverage of the funeral of Beau Biden.



GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Now, I didn`t think I was going to be back up
here again. Because, frankly, I thought that Jeb was going to just suck
all the air out of the room. And it just hasn`t happened. No hit on Jeb.


KORNACKI: That was Ohio Governor John Kasich on Thursday in New Hampshire,
taking a swipe at Jeb Bush as he telegraphed his own presidential
intentions. Quote, "It just hasn`t happened for Jeb." That`s what John
Kasich was saying on Thursday.

It`s true that what once seemed like a commanding lead, a commanding
advantage for Jeb Bush in terms of money, in terms of resources, in terms
of the advantages of his family name, that all of that has turned into a
big challenge and unexpected challenge maybe for the former Florida
governor who is expected to announce his candidacy one week for Monday on
June 15th down in Miami.

Now, in recent presidential elections, Florida has become the make or break
state in Republican primaries. It`s where Arizona Senator John McCain
basically cemented the Republican nomination back in 2008, and where Rudy
Giuliani famously staked his campaign and lost in 2012. It`s where New
Gingrich came in with a huge head of steam after winning South Carolina and
where Gingrich then unraveled as Mitt Romney won the state and firmed up
his grip on the Republican nomination.

And so, obviously, Florida, the state where he was governor for eight
years, is critical to Jeb Bush`s hopes next year. But he`s got two
problems on that front. The first one, Marco Rubio, his fellow Floridian.
Polls in the state show Rubio essentially tied with Bush right now in

And then, there`s a new twist around. The calendar, because just getting
to Florida with his campaign intact may end up being a very tough task for
Jeb Bush. And to show you why, let`s take a look at the big board.

So, let`s start by taking a look at the calendar. The primary calendar for
next year, February is where the action will begin. This is going to look
very familiar to you. Four states going that are sort of protected, that
are walled off from all the other states. You got Iowa, you got New
Hampshire, you got South Carolina, you got Nevada.

But take a look closer at these four states. We`ve talked earlier in the
show about all the trouble that Jeb Bush is already having in Iowa, very
hard to see him getting a breakthrough in Iowa, easy to see him having a
bad showing in Iowa.

You move to New Hampshire, a state that was good to his father many years
ago. Jeb Bush doing a little better in New Hampshire than he is in Iowa
right now. But you look at the polls, he`s at 15 percent, 16 percent, 17
percent, around there. New Hampshire by no means a shoo-in.

You look at South Carolina, again, that`s a state where you get a much
higher evangelical share of the electorate, much more conservative
electorate. It`s trouble for Jeb Bush because Marco Rubio is very well-
organized already in Florida and also because Lindsey Graham, South
Carolina senator, he`s doing -- he stands to get a fair number of votes if
he stays in the race in South Carolina. Those votes could very conceivably
be coming from Jeb Bush.

So, South Carolina another problem for Jeb Bush. And then, Nevada, very
bad news this week for the Bush campaign in Nevada. They had been counting
on getting Nevada changed from caucus, which is a more activists
conservative-oriented electorate, into a primary, a much broader
electorate, that bid failed this week.

So, again, you could see Jeb Bush having trouble just in these four states.
Then, take a look at what happens next. Traditionally, Florida would be
the next contest. Not so in 2016.

This is where the calendar quirk comes in, because these new rules from the
Republican national committee set up two key dates in March of 2016. The
first is March 1st -- that`s the first that any state can hold a primary or
caucus after those first four that we just showed you. And as you can see,
a bunch of states have scheduled their contest there or the Tuesday after

The next key date, is March 15th. March 15th is the first date, according
to these new rules from the Republican National Committee, that a state can
hold a primary or caucus and have that primary or caucus be winner-take-
all. That`s what Florida wanted.

Florida is going to get 99 delegates next year. They want to award the
winner of that state all 99 of those delegates. To do that, they can`t
schedule their primary before March 15th. So, take a look what that means.

Closer here, in March, the next slide, can we take -- there we go. March
first, these are all the states now that are going to be coming before
Florida. The next is March eighth. Then you finally get to March 15th.
And even on March 15th, Florida is going to be sharing that day. There`s
also word that Ohio is looking to move to March 15th.

So, for Jeb Bush just to get to his home state he`s counting on so much and
where he`s neck and neck right now with Marco Rubio, he`s got to get
through a lot more than candidates have in the past. That`s a very tough
road for Jeb Bush. One of the reasons people are saying he might be in
more trouble now than we ever thought he would be.

Still ahead on the show, a live look from inside the Wilmington, Delaware,
church. You`re seeing that right now. In fact, that is where mourners are
gathering for the funeral of Beau Biden. More on that, our special live
coverage of the event is going to begin at 10:00. The mass is expected to
begin at 10:30.

Stay with us for complete coverage of the Beau Biden funeral here on MSNBC.


BIDEN: You are looking at live pictures right there inside the church that
is St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Delaware. And that is where
just over an hour from now a funeral mass is to begun for Beau Biden, the
former attorney general of Delaware, the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

As we`ve been saying, MSNBC is going to have complete live coverage of that
funeral. Our coverage will begin at 10:00 a.m. It will feature a eulogy
being delivered by the president of the United States, Barack Obama. He is
on his way to that church right now.

And back to Wilmington, Delaware, outside the church right now, we`re going
to go to MSNBC`s Chris Matthews, "HARDBALL" host Chris Matthews. He is
going to be at the mass and he joins us now.

Chris, we`ve been talking about it this morning, obviously. This is a week
where a lot of people have been thinking about Joe Biden, all the tragedy
in his life, this just the latest. And I think a lot of respect for Joe
Biden this week that maybe a lot of people are discovering for the first

CHRIS MATTHES, MSNBC HOST, "HARDBALL": Well, I think -- first of all, here
in Delaware, he`s been the senator here since 1972, since he was elected at
the age of 29 and beating an unbeatable incumbent. I mean, it was quite an
event back in `72 when he did pull off that feat of getting elected here.

And all these years he`s been a senator, all these years, he`s always lived
here. He`s been a day hop in Washington politics, but he stayed and lived
here every night. This is his parish. This is a regular neighborhood

And so, his connection to the people of Delaware, especially Wilmington,
have been pretty much like neighbors rather than big shot senator or vice
president even. So, I think that`s the mood.

And also, this state is not as torrential or angry in his politics as most
states. They have a wonderful tradition here -- after you win an election,
the winner and loser drive together in a car in a kind of spirit of
friendship even and certainly civility. That was what happened after Joe
Biden pulled that upset against Caleb Boggs back in 1972.

So, it`s a different environment than what you`re used to in Washington, or
in the country generally in terms of politics.

KORNACKI: You know, also, President Obama, to be delivering that eulogy,
we were talking about this on the set a few minutes ago, the relationship
between the president and vice president, how we have watched that really
blossomed into something really in the last eight years since they first
ran against each to the Democratic nomination back in 2008. Didn`t
necessarily have the best start, but now, it`s reached a point, where there
is such a closeness between them that the president we`re told when he
heard this news, he volunteered. He wanted to be there delivering this
eulogy. He`s been writing the eulogy, apparently, all week.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, I think it`s interesting again, it gets back to
physical presence, just as the senator and then vice president was home
here every night in Wilmington, all those years going back to `72. The
president and vice president work a few feet from each other.

I mean, the vice president`s office now, ever since the days of Walter
Mondale, is right there next to the Oval Office. And so, he once told me,
the vice president, he was in there five hours a day, at least for a period
of time there.

So, I think he always plays a public role. The president is a cool
customer. We all know that. Whether you like him or not, like his
politics or not, he`s cool. And Biden`s hot.

In a way, Joe Biden`s been his sort of his connection with most regular
people, in the way that I grew up with Johnny Carson, and Ed McMahon. Ed
McMahon sort of made Carson seem like a regular guy, because Ed McMahon was
a regular guy.

Well, Joe Biden is regular guy. I wouldn`t call President Obama a regular
guy. He`s a very well-educated, sophisticated guy who`s very cool in his
manner. And Biden was sort of his connection to regular people, and Biden
would be the one that would make the calls to the senators who were having
a problem.

In fact, a lot of times he is the one that solved the problem by making the
call with McConnell, Mitch McConnell. So, he`s one of the boys, if you
will. The president is definitely not. So, I think he`s played that
public, private and political role that was very much a compliment to this
president and has been and will be.

KORNACKI: So much tragedy in Joe Biden`s life, losing his first wife back
in 1972, his daughter back in 1972 -- the closeness between Joe Biden and
Beau Biden, losing his son who had a promising political career in front of
him at the age of 46.

And you look at Joe Biden in almost gregarious public personality. And you
match that up with the tragedy he`s been through, it`s amazing how he`s

MATTHEWS: Yes, and there`s a couple of things there. One is, it`s very
much like the Kennedy family, although they were enormously wealthy and the
Bidens are of moderate means. The Kennedys lost, you know, Kathleen, they
lost Joe, they lost a son-in-law, Billy Hartington. They went through all
the tragedy, they lost John, they lost Robert. Yet they were a celebrated
successful family amidst all that tragedy.

And that`s the same way with Joe Biden. Even though he came into office
with all that tragedy, he was a successful political figure. So, it`s like
tragedy sprinkled with success, like the Kennedys. It`s a very difficult
life to put a bottom line on and say, was this a good life or a bad life?
It was all of it. It was all of life and death, all those years. It was
all there.

And, of course, very Irish, too. The Irish get death. They do. And it`s
very important part of life if you`re Irish Catholic to understand the role
of death in your life and what`s to come. It`s a very big part of the way
you look at things.

KORNACKI: And, Chris, we`re also getting word that former President Bill
Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,
they`re also going to be there today. They`ll be attending.

That relationship between the Bidens and the Clintons, Joe Biden and the
Clintons, have been awkward the last few years with Joe Biden, he was
always wanted to be president. He`s been blocked out by Hillary Clinton.

What`s that relationship like?

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, first of all, they`re friends. I think that`s real.
I don`t think it`s complicated like it may be with other relationships.

I think Joe Biden is a friend of Hillary Clinton`s and Bill Clinton. I
think that`s a simple relationship. They`re buds.

I think the fact that Hillary Clinton has been seen as the front runner
from day one in a Republican sense now, in a Democratic sense, it`s her
turn as you said, boxed out Joe Biden. But I think when he went into the
vice presidency, I never got a sense he thought about it as a preparatory
role that he was going from -- almost like Dick Cheney. It was your last
big role in public life rather than a precursor of something to come.

I don`t think Joe Biden looked at that way, that this a step toward the
presidency. I don`t think he did. He may have.

I think having talked to Beau in the old days, not that long ago, I`m sure
they were thinking what Hillary Clinton`s plans were, whether she would
definitely run and whether there would be an opportunity to run against
here. I`m sure that was all in their thinking before the health tragedy
emerged in the last reason months when all of a sudden, politics was
dropped as a consideration. I believe that.

KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC`s Chris Matthews outside St. Anthony of Padua
Church in Wilmington -- thank you for taking a few minutes. I appreciate

MATTHEWS: Thanks, Steve.

KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead, more on the funeral of Beau Biden. The
mass begins less than an hour again. We`ll be carrying the services live
on MSNBC. We`ll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The federal government has decided for the sake of
international uniformity to trade in our yards for meters, our miles for
kilometers, and our pounds for kilos. Converting to the metric system
gradually, eventually, finally.


KORNACKI: Well, finally has yet to come all these years later. When it
comes to converting the United States from the English system to the metric
system. Americans from Jimmy Carter to Gerald Ford to Thomas Jefferson
have tried to do it and all of them have failed.

And now, newly declared presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee, the former
governor of Rhode Island, he announced his candidacy this week. He said
that he is hoping that he will be the one to finally succeed.


let`s be bold. Here`s a bold embrace of internationalism -- let`s join the
rest of the world and go metric.

I happen to live in Canada. And they have completed the process. Believe
me, it`s easy. It doesn`t take long before 34 degrees is hot. Only
Myanmar, Liberia and the United States aren`t metric. And it will help our


KORNACKI: Lincoln Chafee`s odds of getting the U.S. to finally embrace the
metric system are probably as long as Lincoln Chafee`s odds of being the
next president of the United States. It`s been 40 years since President
Gerald Ford signed the Metric Conversion Act and 33 years since that law
was repealed. America seemingly no closer now than it was then to going

Our next guest says, that`s a good thing. John Marciano is the author of
the book "Whatever Happened to the Metric System: How America Kept Its
Feet". And he joins us now.

So, John, I was listening to listen Lincoln Chafee there and saying, let`s
be like Canada and Europe is not usually a winning message. I mean, is
that the problem? Is that why we`ve resisted this as a country? We don`t
want to be like Europe. We don`t want to be like Canada?

JOHN MARCIANO, AUTHOR: You know, that`s not really it at all. Basically,
every country that ever went metric did it kicking and screaming. It took
something like 70 or 80 years for it to be truly adopted in France which is
where it was invented. I mean, in Brazil, when they tried to introduce it,
there were four months of riots over it.

I mean, a lot of it has to do with the fact we are an interrupted democracy
for 200 years that we`ve never gone metric.

KORNACKI: Let me give people a little taste. What life in America would
be like if we were metric? How would this be different?

So, for instance, M&M`s "Eight Mile" would be 12.87 kilometer. There`s the
cover there. The musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", that would be Hedwig
and the angry 2.54 centimeters. How about the famous movie, "The Longest
Yard" with Burt Reynolds, that will be longest 0.91 meters.

Let`s see, the TV show, "Six Feet Under", I think we just put that up a
second ago, that would have been 1.83 meters under. My favorite, you go to
McDonald`s you get the quarter pounder with cheese. Forget that it`s the
0.11 kilogrammer with cheese. You get fries with that, too.

I mean, look, John, I mean, on paper, I remember learning this school. We
learned the metric system in school and we were always told, it`s so easy.
Everything`s based on tens. You know, we have this -- our thermometers
right now, 32 degrees is freezing. That`s arbitrary and the metric system
is zero degrees. It`s much easier and it`s much simpler. Yet, there is
still resistance.

MARCIANO: I mean, to be honest with you -- degrees, the Celsius isn`t the
system of science which is Kelvin, because having negative degrees is
irrational. I mean, there is no such thing as negative heat.

It`s not -- it doesn`t really have much to do honestly with what makes
sense and what doesn`t. What always drove the metric system to becoming an
international system was commerce, was capitalism. If that made sense, the
ten-hour clock would have gone forward, too. But --

KORNACKI: So, when Lincoln Chafee says, look, by the way, this is good for
the economy here, is there any evidence that the United States economy
would benefit from this?

MARCIANO: I mean, would our economy be better if we got rid of like,
bilingual, you know, packaging, would we save money? You know, having --
you know, getting the French and Spanish off of packaging? Manufacturing -
- there was a big push in the 70`s.

What is ironic, one of the big anti-metric actives in the 1920s and `30s
when there had been a push for America to go metric was Lincoln Chafee`s
grandfather, John Chafee. So, I don`t know, you know, if there`s any drama

But the -- that was when there was a big push and that`s when Ford signed
the Metric Act in 1975. The fact was all of our manufactures went pretty
much metric. It`s kind of like our operating system is metric and it`s
just our user interface is what`s the old customary measures.

KORNACKI: Here -- want to go metric by any chance? Or are we happy with
feet and yards?

SOTO: I`m good.

KORNACKI: I like it. We`re different this way. It`s OK.


SOTO: American exceptionalism.

CAPEHART: Despite learning it in school, I never got it. I just never got
it and I never will.

KORNACKI: If I hear anything in metric, I convert it to English. Let`s
cut out the middle man and stick to English.

Anyway, my thanks to author John Marciano for coming in this morning.
Appreciate that.

And next, we turn to Belmont for a preview for today`s Belmont Stakes. A
race with Triple Crown potential. But how likely is that potential to be



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As they arrive at the top of the stretch, Real Quiet is
taking the lead. He`s coming to the eighth pole. Twenty years in the
making, one for long ago, but here comes his rival, Victory Gallop, as they
come to the final 16th. Imploring Real Quiet to hold on. Victory Gallop a
final surge.

It`s going to be very close. Here`s the winner. It`s too close to call!
Was it Real Quiet or was it Victory Gallop? A picture is worth a thousand
words. This photo is worth $5 million.

Oh, no. History in the waiting, on hold, until we get that photo finish.


KORNACKI: And that right there is the closest we have come in 37 years to
history being made. That was Real quiet, a horse in 1998 got to the
Belmont Stakes with a shot at winning the Triple Crown, and he came as
close as you can come to doing it, without actually doing. He lost to that
photo finish.

Well, another horse has a shot at history, has a shot the Triple Crown.
American Pharoah has won the Kentucky Derby, has won the Preakness, and
today will be the overwhelming favorite at Belmont Park in New York, a race
will be here on NBC later tonight.

And to preview that shot of history that American Pharoah is taking, let`s
now bring in Laffit Pincay III, NBC Sports horse racing analyst. He joins
us from the park out there on Long Island.

Laffit, thank you for taking a few minutes.

So, look, I feel like we do this every year. A horse wins those first two
races, we get excited. We do interviews like this, and somehow, some way,
the horse loses.

Is today going to be any different?

the longest drought in Triple Crown history, Steve, with 37 years. You
know, and there is so many pitfalls along the way. It`s so much to ask of
a race horse. The three races, in the five weeks, I know I haven`t
answered your question.

But I do think finally after all this time in the 12 previous attempts in
horse whose have won the Kentucky derby and Preakness. I do think that
drought finally ends this afternoon. American Pharoah is legit. He`s
breed to run well at this grueling mile and a half distance. And he`s
prime for a big race.

KORNACKI: Yes, you mentioned the quirk of this race, I guess, is that
distance a mile and a half. I don`t think there`s any other horse race run
in the country throughout the year that`s that long. That makes it the
test of champions because of that.

PINCAY: It`s so rare. You know, you rarely see mile and a half racing
anymore in the United States. It`s much more common in Europe and much
more on grass. So it`s another reason of why we`ve gone this long without
a Triple Crown winner. Horses not being designed to thrive at a mile and a

That`s what you always have go look at when it comes to a test of a
champion. It goes back to the blood. It goes back to the breeding.
American Pharoah does have the right pedigree to thrive at this distance.
His sire was Kentucky runner up. His grand sire, or his grandfather who
did win the Belmont Stakes back in 2003, Empire Maker.

With so many of these horses who don`t have to blood and pedigree to
survive this race, to win at a mile and a half. I think American Pharoah

KORNACKI: Yes. When we talk about -- you said, the longest drought in
Triple Crown history. Before this there was a drought from 1948 to 1973,
about 25-year drought. Then all of a sudden you had three horses win the
Triple Crown in a span of about five years.

Now, we enter into another drought. Is that just sort of a fluke of
history that that happens? Is there something else going on in horse
racing that`s made it this long?

PINCAY: In the 70`s you had freakishly good horses. You have arguably the
greatest race horse that lived, in Secretariat `73. Seattle Slew who
American Pharoah has been compared to in `77, and Affirmed most recently in
1978. I think those particular three race horses just happened to come
around, one after the next after the next.

At the time, people were saying it`s not that difficult, it`s not that
hard. In fact, Spectacular Bid was supposed to win the Triple Crown in
1979. And here we are 37 years later still waiting to see the next one.

KORNACKI: Yes, the first one I remember was Ali Shiva in 1987. I didn`t
know it would be 28 years we`d still be talking about it.

But, Laffit Pincay III, he says today is the day. You can watch that race
again later here on NBC Sports.

But, Laffit Pincay III, thank you for taking a few minutes this morning.
Appreciate it.

PINCAY: Thanks so much.

KORNACKI: Minutes ago -- minutes ago, President Obama left the White House
to attend Beau Biden`s funeral that is set to begin in little more than a
half hour. We`re going to go live to Wilmington right after this.


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 today`s panel.

Let`s take a look for our first headline, to "The New York Times." George
Soros. Remember that name? Bankrolls Democrats` fight in voting rights
cases, the Democratic legal fight against the Republican passed voting laws
is being funded largely by the billionaire philanthropist. He has pledged
$5 million for this effort. The attorney leading the lawsuit works with
the Clinton campaign.

We were talking about this earlier in the show. Hillary Clinton making a
big issue of this, this week. The other part of that is there are legal
challenges to a lot of these state laws. George Soros bankrolling them.

SOTO: We know when the Supreme Court ruled on the Voting Rights Act, the
fight was over. I think a lot of people said, OK, we`re going to throw in
the towel, that`s it. We`re going to have to give into the new regulations
by the state legislatures.

But I think we see with the Clinton motivation and now, George Soros coming
into the fight that it`s not done and that it`s not a said deal. So, I
think this is going to be something that we`ll see continuing on well into
the election.

KORNACKI: And we`ll hear --

CAPEHART: Also because Congress hasn`t done anything to sort of fill in
the hole that`s been left by the Supreme Court decision.

KORNACKI: Here`s another one from "The Huffington Post." Kristen might
have something to say about this. New rules could impact political
polling. I mean, we live and die by these things. So, later this month,
the FCC is going to vote on a proposal to curve robocalls, but the effort
to curb unwanted telemarketing could also affect political polling, which
is done by phone. Pollsters are asking for an exemption to the new rules.

Kristen, what happens if you don`t get this?

ANDERSON: So, a lot of things happen. One, all of these sort of robo
polls that you hear off, constitutes a large portion of coverage of the
race would either go away or be severely harmed.

KORNACKI: How many, so like all these polls that we have out there, how
many of them are robocalls?

ANDERSON: So, here`s the thing. It will affect all of the polls. It
won`t just affect the robo polls. So those have always been -- you know,
some people debate whether they`re good or not.

But the gold standard is you`ve got a live interview or calling people
randomly across the country. That will be harmed by this regulation
because it will prevent people from having a computer dial the phone number
and hand it over to a live person. You won`t be able to do that either.

So, you`ll have to have a human typing in all of the numbers over and over,
which right now, predictive dialers make it so that when nobody`s picking
up the phone, they`re still able to get, you know, 800 voters on a phone in
a night or two, that won`t be possible anymore.

KORNACKI: Wow, a little step back in time maybe for the polling.

ANDERSON: We`re moving into the future. Online polling.

KORNACKI: Yes. We`ll see a lot of issues with that one maybe.

We`re watching another headline here, this is from "The Washington Post."
Ben Carson`s campaign faces turmoil amid staff exits in super PAC rivalry.
Four senior campaign officials of Ben Carson`s presidential campaign have
resigned since he formally launched his bid. They have yet to be replaced.
Two independent super PACs designed to help Carson are competing directly
with Carson`s campaign for donations and volunteers.

Carson`s associates describe a political network in tumult. It`s so
interesting because on paper, you`re like, they don`t want to treat as a
serious candidate, and you take a poll, and he`s sitting there close to
first place.

ANDERSON: Politics isn`t brain surgery. And brain surgery isn`t politics.
And so, you can be somebody who`s extremely smart and competent in one
area, but really struggle the first time you`re trying to put together a
presidential level operation. I think that`s what we`re seeing.

KORNACKI: Shades of Newt Gingrich in the early days of 2011 here.

Anyway, as we`ve been reporting this morning, the Biden family and their
friends are gathering in Wilmington, Delaware, for today`s funeral mass for
Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, the son of the vice

NBC`s Luke Russert joins us again live from Wilmington.

So, Luke, we`ve been looking at pictures from inside the church, where it`s
filling up. We`ve seen President Obama, on the way, looks like they`re
pretty close to getting ready to go out there.

LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: Yes, we just received word that President Obama
has landed in Wilmington and he is currently en route via the presidential
motorcade. And, of course, he is going to be eulogizing Beau Biden,
specifically touching upon Beau Biden`s public service as attorney general
of Delaware. Beau Biden will also be eulogized by Ray Odierno, the general
who will talk about his military career, and his brother and sister, Hunter
and Ashley, who will talk about Beau Biden, the family man.

This is really the culmination I think of three days of a lot of emotions
here, not only in Wilmington, but all across Delaware. The Biden name is
so intertwined with Delaware, not just politics, but day-to-day life.
Folks in Delaware are very proud of the Bidens. They`re very proud of Joe,
they`re very proud of Beau.

And people I`ve spoken to in this tight-knit Catholic neighborhood right
here, they have their American flags flying, their lawns are being kept
neat and tidy, and they just say we miss Beau. We want to send our love
and prayers during the family.

As far as you`ll see during a funeral, it`s going to be a Catholic funeral.
You`ll have the Catholic funeral greatest hits, "Ave Maria", "Eagles
Wings", "Be not afraid." I was struck by one of the readings that was
selected, from the Book of Wisdom, and reading specifically about not the
quantity of years of a life, but the quality of a life.

And that`s sort of the message that we`re going to see from this service,
is that in his 46 years, Beau Biden was able to do a lot of extraordinary
things, from serving his country, serving his state and family.

So, expect that to be the theme of the day obviously with a lot of emotion
and heavy hearts.

KORNACKI: All right. Luke Russert outside that church in Wilmington --
appreciate the update. We`ll be back with you in just a little bit.

We also want to say thanks to Kristen Soltis Anderson for joining us this
morning. Jonathan Capehart, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, you are sticking
around with me as we get ready for live coverage of the funeral of Beau

A reminder that we will be back here tomorrow morning for this show Sunday
morning starting at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

For now, though, we`re not saying goodbye, because I`ve been mentioning,
coming up right on the other side of this break, we are going to be back
with MSNBC`s live special coverage of Beau Biden`s funeral, including
President Obama`s eulogy. Keep it here. Be right back.


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