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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: June 14, 2015
Guest: Blake Zeff, Phillip Stutts, April Ryan, Larry Sabato, John Sununu,
Alex Bolton


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton launches. Now what?

All right, good morning, thanks for getting up with us this Sunday, June
14, 2015. It is flag day in the United States of America. Our country`s
colors adopted by the Second Continental Congress on this day back in 1777.
We have some more fun stuff on that ahead this morning.

Also, today is the first day of the rest of Hillary Clinton`s presidential
campaign. The former secretary of state formally launching her White House
bid on a small island in New York City`s East River yesterday. And now
today, she is on the banks of the mighty Mississippi in Burlington, Iowa,
campaigning in that first in the nation caucus date, that`s a place with
some painful memories for her. More on that in just a minute.

Also on the show today, former New Hampshire governor and White House chief
of staff John Sununu. He is going to be along to talk 2016 and about the
president he served, someone he calls the quiet man.

Also coming up, there are new details this morning about how those two men
escaped the maximum security prison in upstate New York, allegedly with
help. And we are learning more about what drove a man in Dallas to open
fire on police headquarters there yesterday. More on both of those stories
ahead.

But we begin this morning with Hillary`s launch. This morning, she is back
on the ground in the Hawkeye state, in Iowa. That`s where she finished in
third place the last time she ran for president. This after yesterday`s
big rally in New York City, where she sought to answer that one simple, but
important question that every candidate has to answer. Why are you
running?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: Prosperity can`t be just for CEOs and hedge fund
managers. Democracy can`t be just for billionaires and corporations.

(CHEERS)

HILLARY CLINTON: Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain,
too. You brought our country back. Now it`s time, your time, to secure
the gains and move ahead. And you know what? America can`t succeed unless
you succeed.

[ applause ]

HILLARY CLINTON: That is why I am running for president of the United
States.

[ cheers and applause ]

KORNACKI: And Clinton also shared parts of her personal history, something
else she didn`t talk that much about the last time she ran for president
back in 2008.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: My mother taught me that everybody needs a chance and a
champion. She knew what it was like not to have either one. Her own
parents abandoned her and by 14, she was out on her own, working as a house
maid. Years later, when I was old enough to understand, I asked what kept
her going. You know what her answer was? Something very simple. Kindness
from someone who believed she mattered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: And it was her mother who she invoked again in the closing lines
of what was a 45-minute speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: I wish she could have seen the America we`re going to
build together.

[ applause ]

HILLARY CLINTON: An America where if you do your part, you reap the
rewards. Where we don`t leave anyone out or anyone behind. An America
where a father can tell his daughter, yes, you can be anything you want to
be, even president of the United States.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you all! God bless you and may God bless America!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: All right. And for the latest from the trail in Iowa with
Hillary Clinton, we are joined now by MSNBC`s Alex Seitz-Wald, he`s live on
the ground with the Clinton campaign. Alex, thanks for taking a few
minutes this morning. So, the Clinton campaign has it - we had the soft
rollout a while back, we`ve had some events since then, but yesterday, this
is - this big statement of purpose event. What do they think they
accomplished yesterday?

ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, morning, Steve. Well, I think
what they wanted to lay out yesterday was sort of a road map for where the
campaign is going from here. It was a really policy-heavy speech, ticked
off a long list of items on everything from transgender rights to climate
change to paid family leave and that`s going to be their rubric going
forward for the policy she is laying out. I think today is going to be
really interesting. This is a first chance in Iowa where Iowans get a
chance to see her without a public invitation. So far, she`s only done
these round tables where you have to be invited by the campaign, and it`s
going to be really interesting to see the enthusiasm, the intensity here.
Bernie Sanders has been in town firing up huge crowds. He was here Friday
at Drake University just across town, 700 people there, reportedly, get
this, got 100 rounds of applause during his town hall. You were -- Steve,
you were at his announcement in Burlington, big crowds there. Definitely,
a big fired up crowd in Roosevelt Island yesterday, but we`ll have to see
what happens in Iowa, of course a state that was not too kind to her in
2008.

KORNACKI: Yeah, that`s right in Burlington, I was there yesterday on
Roosevelt Island, trying to compare those two crowds. I`d say Hillary as
big as Sanders, but the Sanders crowd certainly has been notable. Alex
Seitz-Wald on the ground in Iowa. Thanks for taking a few minutes this
morning. Appreciate that.

Now we`re going to bring in today`s panel. For that, I am joined by April
Ryan, White House correspondent, Washington bureau chief for American Urban
Radio Networks. Phillip Stutts, former campaign manager for Bobby Jindal,
get out the vote director for the Bush-Cheney 2014, now the CEO of
GoBigMedia, and former Democratic communications staffer for Hillary
Clinton, Blake Zeff, now the editor-in-chief for the soon-to-launch
cafe.com. They join us now.

So, well, Blake, I`ll start with you. In a former life, you worked for a
former Clinton campaign eight years ago. Watching this rollout yesterday,
this launch, this statement from her, when you look at the Hillary of 2008
and you look at the Hillary who is going to present herself in 2016, are
you seeing big differences?

BLAKE ZEFF, CAFE.COM: I have seen tactical differences, right? I think
people who are supporters of the Clintons, people who are detractors of the
Clintons, I think everyone would agree that Hillary Clinton is a smart
person. So I think there was a big lesson from 2008, which was there was
an opening in the primary for her to be defeated as we obviously saw, they
are not going to let that happen again, they will try really hard to not
let that happen again, right? She didn`t go dramatically to the left, but I
thin she was really trying very hard to make sure that she was taking
nothing for granted with that primary electorate. You saw her talk about a
range of issues. Again, not all the way to the left where Bernie Sanders
is. We didn`t hear her talk about TVP, we didn`t hear her talk about Bill
de Blasio`s call for $15 minimum became, not all the way over there but
rhetorically hitting a lot of those points, very clear to me that they
don`t want to make the same mistake twice.

KORNACKI: April, what did you think of it?

APRIL RYAN: Yesterday I thought she looked very presidential in her
presidential Democratic blue. She looked very much like a Democratic
convention as well. I think that she, again, she -- she went a little bit
further to the left that she had been, but I think that Hillary Clinton is
strategic in how her imagery is. The first person who came up on the stage
yesterday after she made her announcement was Chelsea Clinton, not Bill
Clinton. They are keeping him in the fold but keeping him at a distance.
That is her biggest asset, biggest liability, but also, I`m talking
visuals, and we were talking about this a minute ago, I think she might
have made a mistake with the people behind her, the crowd, the sea of
America. We didn`t see all America like we normally see in the Democratic
Party. I think her visuals might have been off a little bit, but her
message was right on point, and I think the issue of trade will be coming
up because TAA will be another issue, because that failed this week and
that is a big issue with trade. Trying to help those who fall through the
cracks, the 100,000 people who potentially may not have any assistance for
job training.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: That`s what we had yesterday, we were out there for the event,
we had Lincoln Chafee, who is running against her, on the show, saying hey,
I`m for TPP, Transpacific partnership, she should say where she stands.
Bernie Sanders says I`m against it, but she should say where she stands.
We had her communications director on, he wouldn`t say where she stands.

RYAN: I have heard about increased wages, what they are talking about
increased wages, not too far into it but they want to make sure people are
securing increased wages.

KORNACKI: So we`ll see what happens now. Phillip, I want to bring you in,
but first, I want to show this "New York Post", this is a conservative
paper, but this was their take, I can put it up here, this was their take
yesterday, they call her Rodhamhood, they say Hillary reboots her campaign
with an attack on the rich. As Blake was saying, she did rhetorically go
to the left a little bit. There was a line there we just played it,
basically the country can`t just be run by billionaires and corporations,
and I`m sitting there saying I could see Bernie Sanders saying this, maybe
Bernie Sanders has said this. You are looking at this as Republican. What
did you hear today?

PHILLIP STUTTS, GO BIG MEDIA: I`m looking at this also as a political
consultant, and I would tell you that speech was for a primary audience
only, not the middle of the road voter, not to a soft Republican who may go
back and forth between voting for Democrats and Republicans. That was a
primary speech. The only thing that was really interesting to me, it was
very stilted, and it almost felt like a state of the union speech, not a,
you know, get people fired up primary speech that we are probably used to
from the Obama side.

KORNACKI: It was interesting to me. I wasn`t ready for -- we have been
told she will make the grand statement of purpose and she will talk
personally about her mother, she has not been very comfortable talking
personally in the past. But it did seem like there was almost a checklist
she was going through at one point. Something else that jumped out at me,
I want to play this, though, there`s been a lot of talk about the
generational issues, the intergenerational theme, she will be 69 years old
if she wins, if she runs against Marco Rubio, he is a full 25 years
younger. How she addressed that issue, I thought a creative way, let`s
play that

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I may not be the
youngest candidate in this race, but I will be the youngest woman president
in the history of the United States.

[ cheers and applause ]

And the first grandmother as well.

And one additional advantage, you won`t see my hair turn white in the White
House. I`ve been coloring it for years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: So I thought that -- I thought that was - obviously a great
applause line there, but it`s also -- you think of it, saying, look, if my
opponents, on the Republican side or even the Democratic side want to say
I`m yesterday`s news or something, there`s a chance to make history with me
here, there is something very fresh, very exciting about the idea of this
candidacy.

RYAN: I think the South Carolina piece, when she talked about dying her
hair, was better. This she kind of rehashed it again yesterday talking
about her hair won`t go white, she will always color it.

KORNACKI: You saw the line coming?

RYAN: I saw the -- I definitely saw the line coming, it was the South
Carolinaesque thing she was talking about, when she was in South Carolina a
couple weeks ago. But I will say this, we as a nation are very visual
people. The unfortunate thing is she is a woman, and she is a woman who is
older, and people will be looking at her visuals versus a Marco Rubio or a
younger candidate. But at the same time, we are also a nation who likes
wisdom and who wants someone who`s been there, done that, got a t-shirt and
washed it, and she has been there, when she was secretary of state. One of
the things that really stood out for me yesterday, was when she said, I was
in the Situation Room when we killed Osama bin Laden. So, that was one of
the thing she is gravitated to, the Obama administration and brought him in
and said, you`re laughing, but --

(CROSSTALK)

STUTTS: She sat in a room?

RYAN : No, she helped strategically, she was there, that`s not just sitting
in a room, they want -- okay.

KORNACKI: But here`s the thing. What April is saying, I`m curious what
you think of this, it was notable the way she sort of attached herself to
the Obama administration. This is what Scott Walker, who would like to run
against her potentially as a Republican nominee, he said this as he tweeted
this out after the speech, he said Hillary Clinton would be a third term of
Barack Obama`s failed policies; instead, we need new, fresh solutions. So
here`s -- a lot of talking in advance of this speech, how close will she be
to Obama. I think she made it clear in that speech, she is going to be
close to him.

STUTTS: She didn`t runaway from it. Absolutely. Listen, April made a
great point. She is running right now, and she has poll tested that she is
the older candidate, but running as a grandmother, running as a woman, is a
big, big plus for her. And she did a great job. We were talking about --
she talked about her mom. That was the best part of her speech yesterday.
I don`t know why they only spent two lines on it, they should have spent of
the 45 minutes, 15 minutes on it. I think that was the only strategic
mistake I saw.

ZEFF: If I could speak to that, in 2008, there was a big internal divide
within the campaign, I think it`s well documented now, where some people,
sort of the Mark Penn-type of wing of adviser, saying got to be tough,
tough, tough, commander in chief, don`t play up the humanity, don`t play up
the fact you are a woman, that kind of stuff. And you had other people,
who had been with her a long time, who were sort of saying, no, Hillary
Clinton is someone who is the, I hate this, but relatable, softer side,
human side, woman, all this kind of stuff, right, and so there was a big
divide. Ultimately, I think Penn kind of won that argument. To me, it was
very different, 2008 versus even this, and I think there were only a couple
of lines this time, so it`s not that they went full bore on this, but I do
think that side, those people who were saying we got to show her
personality are starting to win a little bit more. This time around, I
think is a little bit different than last time.

RYAN: And understanding she will win with that, because you have more
people in this country who are struggling to survive and make sure their
children have better that they had, and that relates to more Americans than
hearing all this other Washington, inside Washington stuff. So hearing
about the mother, I`m a mother of two kids, single mother of two kids, I`m
not saying I`m voting for her, but that touched me, that perked my ear as a
person, taking the reporter hat off.

KORNACKI: Blake, you`re right, it always struck me from the outside, there
was this thinking that Hillary Clinton has to be Margaret Thatcher, you
have to be the iron lady, you have to be the toughest one if you want to be
a female candidate, and maybe that`s not where they are anymore. Anyway,
still ahead in the show, wealthy Californians feeling parched by the
state`s new water restrictions. What they are saying this morning.

But first, mythbusters, politics edition, we`re going to dispel some of the
biggest fictions about 2016. That`s next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: It`s almost become a joke this election cycle, how many
Republicans are actually going to run for president? Right now, there are
ten declared candidates on the GOP side. That will likely become 11
tomorrow when Jeb Bush officially enters the race, and at least four other
potential and likely candidates are going to jump in over the next few
months. But if you think this is pretty much anyone`s race to win? Well,
think again. At least according to the University of Virginia`s Larry
Sabato, who calls that one of the myths of 2016. Writing, quote,
"Republicans are hungry to reoccupy the White House, and the realistic
among them understand the party won`t win without pitching a bigger tent.
There may be no single GOP front-runner, but there are just a few
politicians who have the resources, positioning and potential to expand the
base." Larry Sabato joins us now to discuss this and some of the other
myths of 2016 he would like to dispel. Larry, thanks for taking a few
minutes. I love -- let`s start on the first one, the idea that the giant
Republican field is that wide open. I have been saying in my mind, Bush,
Rubio, Walker and maybe Kasich are the four truly viable ones, are there
more than that? Less than that? What do you think?

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: No, I guess I stole that from you,
Steve, because that`s exactly what my piece in Politico says. Look, you
can make a case for any candidate. You talked to the staffers as I do.
You spend a half hour with them and you come out thinking, my god, this
candidate`s going to win. Of course, that`s not true. They are very good
at spinning a scenario that produces their candidate as a nominee. But
when you really go right through the nominees, you have potential nominees
and look at their pluses and minuses, and whether they honestly have a
chance of getting the nomination or wining the general election, it does
come down to Bush, Rubio, Walker and, you know, maybe a chance for Kasich.
I tend to think not, but you could throw him in there.

KORNACKI: Some bad news there for Jim Gilmore. Let`s get to myth number
two. Hillary Clinton`s favorability is in free fall. So all that
attention to the emails and the Clinton Foundation, and you`re saying this
is overblown?

SABATO: Ridiculously overblown. This is not to criticize the press, but
let me criticize the press. Everything`s a game changer. Everything`s a
game changer. No. Almost nothing is a game changer in this age of highly
polarized partisan politics. Steve, more than 90 percent of the votes are
already locked in for 2016. Nobody believes it, but it`s true, assuming
both parties pick mainstream candidates, and I think they will because they
want to win. You know that if you look at the polling averages, all this
negative news for Hillary Clinton has driven down her favorabilities on
average, get ready for this, 2 percentage points.

KORNACKI: Let`s try number three here. You say myth number three of 2016
is that billionaires are buying the 2016 election. This is one, listen to
a Bernie Sanders speech, he`s going to tell you billionaires own the entire
process. You say no.

SABATO: I say no because, look, billionaires are trying to buy the
process, but you know, it`s a chicken in every pot and a billionaire for
every candidate. I didn`t know we had so many billionaires in the United
States. I guess it`s a good thing. I don`t know. But there seems to be a
billionaire for everybody, at least one. Some of the candidates may have
more than one. When it comes right down to it, the major candidates for
the nomination will have enough money to get their message across, and then
in the general election, I guarantee you, both major party nominees will
have far more money than they need to get their basic message across, and
both will reach a point of diminishing returns because they are spending so
much.

KORNACKI: I completely agree with you, diminishing returns in a general
election, absolutely. Number four, this is the last one you have here, but
the number four myth, you say that candidates are all important.

SABATO: No, the candidates like to think they are all important, and their
staffs like to think they, the staffs, are all important. But in fact, in
this polarized era, it is actually the two most important letters in the
English alphabet, r and d. That`s what`s really important. That`s what
sorts out voters, and that includes this gigantic group called
independents, which actually is about 5 or 6 percent hard core. The rest
of them are hidden partisans, and they vote for their partisan candidate at
the same rate as people who openly say they are Democrats or Republicans.

KORNACKI: Larry Sabato, sucking all the fun out of the 2016 election, but
I think a lot of good points there, thank you for joining us this morning.
I appreciate it.

SABATO: Thanks a lot.

KORNACKI: All right, still ahead on the show, how authorities believe a
prison worker helped the two convicted killers who have been on the run for
days. And next, Jill Biden makes her first appearance since her son`s
death for a very special occasion. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up on some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel,
our catching up segment, I got the trusty index cards, let`s see what this
one says. It`s from Politico, the Iowa straw poll pronounced dead at 36,
the Iowa Republican Party`s Central Committee voting unanimously on Friday
to end the straw poll. This had been held six times since 1979. Several
top Republican candidates had indicated they would not participate in the
costly event. Michele Bachmann killed this thing, huh?

STUTTS: I`ll tell you a quick story. In 1999, I was working for Dan
Quayle`s presidential campaign. We never got to 2000, that`s why I say it
was `99, but because he furnished eighth behind Alan Keys in the Iowa
stroll poll, this was a ridiculous fundraiser for the Iowa Republican
Party. It`s probably best.

KORNACKI: What you`re saying, though, it did have a real impact. Tim
Pawlenty in 2011 dropped out because he lost to Michele Bachmann. This is
one of those -- now we have - we will get to it later in the show, I guess
now it`s that 10 candidates cap in the debates, that`s going to do the same
thing that the Iowa straw poll is doing. So (inaudible), a picture. This
is Jill Biden just yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden`s wife making her
first public appearance since the death of their sop. She was helping to
christen the USS Gabrielle Giffords, named after the former congresswoman
from Arizona. As part of the ceremony, you can see her smashing a
champagne bottle over the boat`s bow. You can see that there. Giffords
and her husband, retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly, on hand. Also, this was
held in Alabama yesterday. So obviously, nice to see Jill Biden back out
in public. Let`s see what else we have here.

This is from the Washington Post. Headline, rich Californians balk at
water restrictions. We are not all equal when it comes to water. The
ultrawealthy Southern California enclave of Rancho Santa Fe uses five times
more water per capita than the state average. Starting in July, the
community is going to have its water rationed for the first time in its 92-
year history. One Orange County resident fondly referring to his watering
hose with Charlton Heston`s famous quote about guns, "they`ll have to pry
it from my cold, dead hands." What a time in California.

ZEFF: One of the quotes in that story that really stood out for me is one
of the guys who lives in one of these gated communities, says we have a
right to have golf courses that don`t have a little bit of brown in them.
That really spelled it out for them, because some people who are trying to
make sure they have drinking water, and the other guys worry that his golf
courses won`t look totally pristine. But to be totally honest about this,
we had a little bit of a tiered class system when it comes to water for a
little while as it is. I remember growing up when you just drank water
from the tap, that was the thing, and then - it was before bottled water
became this zillion dollar industry now. So paying for water is something
that`s been going on for a little while, and it`s just been outrageous for
a long time anyway.

RYAN: Basically we can afford it so let`s have it. Poor people not.
That`s basically what it is.

KORNACKI: Let`s see what else we have here. This is from Voxx. I like
this one, headline. Salads poison more Americans than hamburgers. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that fruits and vegetables
cause nearly half of all food-borne illnesses, while meat and poultry cause
just 22 percent. Part of the reason, we often eat vegetables raw so that
the bacteria are not killed off. I just want to go back to my childhood
right now and show this to my grandfather.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All those smoothies I drank, now I don`t have to do it
anymore.

KORNACKI: This is --

RYAN: Some of the salads are organic, too, and you know what we use to
help promote the growth --

(CROSSTALK)

RYAN: The water. And the other stuff. The manure.

KORNACKI: Now I`m happier than ever to stick to a hamburger diet.

Still ahead, the Supreme Court`s decision on the Affordable Care Act due
any day now. Why Republicans are worried the ruling will leave them in a
catch-22.

And next, MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt sits down with some of the 2016 hopefuls at
the Mitt Romney-hosted summit this weekend. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC: If you were elected president, where would you take
someone on a date as president? There have been a couple of presidents who
got married in the White House.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: You know, I hadn`t really thought about that.
Let`s rule out Syria and Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOP NOMINEE: I don`t expect to be become associated
with any one campaign. They are going to have a long process, battle it
out. We will see someone emerge and become our nominee, and I will then go
to work for him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Mitt Romney saying he doesn`t expect to make an endorsement in
the Republican presidential primaries. He also doesn`t regret his decision
not to run. Romney has been busy enough this weekend, holding a three-day
summit in Utah for donors and the other candidates, making him at least a
potential kingmaker this cycle, if he wants to play that role. MSNBC`s
Kasie Hunt was there this weekend. She got to sit down with some of those
2016 hopefuls.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HUNT: What did you learn from running against George W. Bush in 2000?

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO: Well, I was too young. I didn`t have any money.
And I hadn`t accomplished much. I mean, I did. I thought balancing the
federal budget and reforming the Pentagon were big items, but it wasn`t
enough. So, I went to Iowa, I went to New Hampshire, and in New Hampshire,
they said, we like you. But could you just come back? This is not your
time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Let`s talk about this with the panel here. This event now, we
were talking about the decline in the last block of the Iowa straw poll,
but an event like this, this is sort of a new thing Mitt Romney has created
in the last couple of years, these Republican candidates will all come out
-- Jeb Bush wasn`t there, he was in Europe, but a lot of the other ones
come out there. Mitt Romney now looms as this -- as this sort of potential
kingmaker figure, but also he is bringing to this event a lot of the sort
of top, elite donors in the Republican Party. So this is a hugely
important audience for them.

We can put this up on the screen, Spencer Wick, who was one of Romney`s top
aides when he ran for president, he was asked who performed well this
retreat, he said that quote, "people were very impressed yesterday with
Chris Christie. They were impressed with Lindsey Graham." Those were
examples of two candidates they hadn`t seen much of. I think it gets to the
potential, you can go to an event like this, it`s very much behind closed
doors, but you can impress the right people, you can raise a lot of money.

RYAN: Impress the right people how? Playing flag football, skeet shooting,
and pilates and stuff? There is a problem with this. It`s very elitist.
And as you said, Romney could be the kingmaker now in his case. The only
way you can be a kingmaker, you would have to be a king first. So once
again, this is going back to his elitism, and he was very polarizing when
he ran. I`m going to tell you, I met with Mitt Romney in Frankenruth (ph),
Michigan, when he was running for president. And one of the things, one of
the reasons why I say this is elitism and isolating, I asked him something
about the issue of jobs, we were having bad job numbers, particularly for
African-Americans. And I said, you know, he asked me what would you do,
you know, to change, I said have you heard of tax incentives? He said, I
don`t know what you mean. And I was not speaking a foreign language. So I
believe that all of this is all for naught. It is about getting the donors
together to understand these people so they can make this networking, this
connection, and I just think it is too elitist and too arrogant and too --

(CROSSTALK)

STUTTS: You got to raise $1 billion.

RYAN: Playing skeet ball, flag football.

(CROSSTALK)

STUTTS: You got to raise $1 billion. The Democrats have to raise $1
billion. George Soros is out there helping candidates.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: What is Mitt Romney`s role in the Republican Party right now?

STUTTS: I think he wants to be secretary of state. And I think if you saw
his foreign policy -- no one saw his foreign policy speech, but the points
that were reported on were a takedown of the Obama foreign policy. And so
I think that`s what he is going for. I think he is bringing donors in to
meet with the candidates and to see what they respond to, and, yeah,
Christie really performed well. I know Walker was there, Rubio was there,
Kasich was there.

KORNACKI: How is Romney viewed in the Republican Party these days? I
wonder is he viewed as somebody who is the narrative, oh, wow, we should
have won in 2012 and he was a bad candidate and he botched the election, or
is the narrative more, he got a raw deal, he represented us well, he should
have -- how do they view him?

STUTTS: I`m 41 and I remember 1992, the bumper sticker that said I don`t
blame me, I voted for Bush, and in a way, I think that`s what the
Republican primary voters are pretty much saying right now, and probably
some of the donors, they really do wish he would have won. They think the
country would have been in a much stronger position than where it is right
now.

RYAN: It`s not about perception, it`s about the fact that he lost, you
have a loss, period. He lost, he lost, history shows it.

ZEFF: I think it is the third thing in terms of how he is viewed in the
party, which is he`s viewed as somebody who has access to a lot of people
with big pockets, right? So you got to kiss the ring a little bit, because
he`s going to be able to compile all these donors at this event. So
whether you think he got a raw deal, whether you think he was pathetic,
these Republicans are going out there because he is around people with
money, and they feel they have to do it.

One other point on this with Romney, I think it`s clear he sees an
opportunity to remain relevant in the party. It`s a big deal, everybody
comes over and sort of kisses his ring a little bit, that`s got to feel
good for him. I think it`s very interesting to watch, him to watch Jeb
Bush have some problems as this has been going on, because I think one of
the reasons why he probably didn`t go forward, it seems, when Romney was
thinking about running, because Bush had locked up a lot of these people in
the early going, interesting for him now, watch Bush.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: I wonder what he thinks about that. I want to get to something
else, another big issue we`ve been talking about in this Republican race,
and Lindsey Graham, who was out there, apparently made a good impression,
but Lindsey Graham right now, if this first Republican debate were held,
would not be on the stage, he is not in that top ten. So he was asked by
Kasie Hunt about those debate rules and Republicans, and -- that could keep
him out. This is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: I think the national standards for the debates are bad. I think
what they are trying to do is bad for the primary process. If Brad Pitt
were running, he would be in the debates. So you reward people from big
states, you reward people who have run before, people with celebrity
status. I like the traditional approach of Iowa, New Hampshire, South
Carolina, and I think this national polling is a bad idea. The difference
between fifth and last is probably less than two points, and polling is not
that accurate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Brad Pitt, a Republican, I didn`t know that. Look, it`s got to
be frustrating, we`re going to get into the numbers of this later in the
show, but I can imagine, it has got to be maddening for somebody like
Lindsey Graham, for somebody like Rick Santorum, to be sitting there and
looking at these polls and seeing Donald Trump, Donald Trump being in the
top ten, and saying I`m going to miss this chance because Donald Trump is
out there?

STUTTS: Let me make this point, Bobby Jindal is an Indian-American, Ben
Carson maybe gets in, Carly Fiorina, a woman candidate, they maybe kept out
of a Republican primary debate, and I think that`s really, really bad.

RYAN: And this goes to something I was saying during the break, is it
about ego? Should the party have pulled everyone together, because you have
got too many people and it breaks the vote down. Everyone is in single
digits, what is that about? You have so many people who have good ideas.
You have some people who are very far to the right, you have people who are
on the religious tip, you have people who are moving a little bit more to
the center, talking about immigration, but should the party have pulled
everyone together and said, look, let`s figure this out because we are
going to have a problem?

KORNACKI: This is where I`m a little -- I`m sympathetic to Fox News and
the rules they set here, and CNN, for that matter, because you got 19
candidates, and you say, hey, everybody, here is two minutes for your
opening statement. That`s 38 minutes.

STUTTS: Make it random. Let everybody have that -- look, listen, we fight
these -- these battles from past elections. We have a robust and a good
bench of candidates right now who are going to be shut out, and that`s bad
for the party, bad for our ideas. I say bring us all together, do two
debates, make them random, and let the people (inaudible) have the chance
to come up.

KORNACKI: And then of course you get into the question of matchups, right?
If Chris Christie is a stronger debater and Scott Walker is a weaker -- who
gets the easy draw and who gets the hard draw? I don`t know.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: I have heard the comparison to bracket, I keep looking at it, I
keep saying, look, what they have decided on is the worst possible way of
doing this, except for all the others. I can`t -- I don`t know how you
make sense out of a 19-candidate field. Debates are not designed to be
that big.

ZEFF: I agree with Phillip. I don`t like the idea at all of people not
getting a chance to appear in the debate. I don`t think that makes sense.
I don`t think we should be in the position of deciding who is a viable
candidate and who isn`t. And it`s so far out right now, people don`t have
big name recognition. I kind of agree with Lindsey Graham on that, there
is no easy way to do it, but if you have to do it on separate nights, or
something like that, have it drawn at random, I think that`s fine.

KORNACKI: Still ahead, Jeb Bush marking his father`s 91st birthday this
week on Twitter. We will ask one of the people who knows George H.W. Bush
the best, how the former president is feeling about his sons -- his other
son`s campaign for the White House. That is coming up.

But first, the amazing new details about how this prison worker is alleged
to have helped two convicted killers escape. That`s next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: An update right now on a story that was getting an awful lot of
attention this time yesterday morning. Dallas police confirming that the
suspect who sprayed gunfire at Dallas police headquarters early yesterday
was killed when a police sniper fired at his armed vehicle during a
standoff. Police also detonated the pipe bombs found inside that vehicle.
The man`s father says he was angry over a custody case. We are going to
have more details from Dallas later in the show.

And meanwhile, in upstate New York, as that search continues for two
convicted killers who broke out of a maximum security prison more than a
week ago, we are now learning about how authorities believe a prison worker
helped those men to escape. MSNBC`s Adam Reiss is live this morning in
Morrisonville, New York. He joins us now. So, Adam, they are starting to
piece together exactly how these guys got out. What are we learning?

ADAM REISS, MSNBC: Steve, good morning to you. The district attorney
saying she had a very unusual relationship with these convicted killers.
Not only would she be the getaway driver, but she was going to actually run
off with them as well. The plan was they would meet at midnight at the
power station when they made their way out of the manhole cover on the
night of the escape. They would then drive seven hours, we don`t know
where, they could have gone as far west as Ohio, as far north as places in
Maine and Canada. If they went south, they could have made it all the way
to Philadelphia. But she got cold feet. She says she loved her husband
too much and she just didn`t want to hurt him. Today, she is in a
Rensselaer County jail, that`s about 160 miles south of here near Albany,
and she will be back in court tomorrow morning at 8:30.

KORNACKI: Adam Reiss in Morrisonville, New York, thank you, appreciate it.

Still ahead in the show, who is in, who is out of the GOP debates? We`re
going to tell you who makes that top ten cut. We`re going to show you the
numbers just ahead in the show.

But first, one of George H.W. Bush`s senior White House aides weighs in on
the GOP debates and discusses why he believes history will treat his former
president well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: All right. So it`s been one of the biggest conundrums of the
2016 campaign for the Republican nomination. We were just talking about it
a second ago, how do you fit so many candidates on one debate stage? Of
course the short answer is you can`t. Multiple news agencies announcing
plans to limit the debate field to only ten candidates, which means some
presidential hopefuls are going to be left out. More on that ahead in the
show. But earlier this week, I had a chance to ask former New Hampshire
Governor John Sununu about a letter of protest from Republicans in his home
state, even from some of his own family members, to the organizers of the
first debate, which is going to be held later this summer on August 6th.
New Hampshire Republicans, who are looking for a way to make sure more
candidates make it on to the debate stage. Also talked with Governor
Sununu about his impressions of the president he once severed as chief of
staff, George H.W. Bush, the leader he calls in a new book, the quiet man.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: All right, Governor Sununu, thanks for joining us. There is a
lot I want to get to you with about the book you have written, but I want
to start with some news that`s been made out of your home state in the last
24 hours. You probably know what I`m talking about here, a letter signed
by 56 New Hampshire Republicans. I think there are some Sununus on that
list, although I don`t see your name there. They are protesting the
conditions that have been set for this first Republican debate, this Fox
News debate in August, that`s capped the number of candidates at 10. They
are saying that is unfair, all the other candidates should be allowed to
get in. Wondering what your opinion on that is?

FORMER GOV. JOHN SUNUNU, R-N.H.: The old debate debate, is that it? No,
I`m not on that letter. Look, New Hampshire likes to have lots of
candidates come up and visit, and I suspect that Governor Merrill and
Governor Benson, whose signatures were on the top of that letter, former
governors, are trying to encourage as many candidates to participate in the
whole process, and I guess that`s what they were expressing. I really
haven`t had a chance to talk to anybody beyond that.

KORNACKI: The case I guess that`s made, I hear this from Iowa Republicans
too is, with these debate rules, the traditional role of Iowa and the
traditional role of New Hampshire, in winnowing the field, the sort of
picking out the losers, that is now being taken over by the people who
write the rules of the debate. Is that a concern as a New Hampshire
Republican that you have?

SUNUNU: Look, just remember, Iowa picks corn, New Hampshire picks
presidents.

KORNACKI: I`ve been hearing that line for a long time. But Barack Obama
might disagree with that.

Let me switch gears, then. I want to talk to you about this book you have
written. You were chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, there were
very tumultuous years in this country, tumultuous years in this world, and
I just want to talk about those with you for a second. And I`ll start with
this. I remember when Bush was leaving office, in speeches he would give
the first couple of years he was out of office, I noticed he seemed to end
every speech by saying I believe history will be kind to us. And I know
that is something every former president thinks about, they think about
their legacy, they think about what they are going to be remembered for,
but it`s a particularly tough situation for Bush because he is a one-term
president, and that is sort of historically a bit of a black mark. How do
you think history will -- now we have had 25 years almost, how do you think
history will remember the Bush 41 presidency?

SUNUNU: Well, I think he was right. I think the latest poll I saw has him
tied with Bill Clinton as the most popular former president. I think
history is beginning to understand how significant what George Bush did,
not only in the foreign policy, we all know that he really nurtured the
collapse of the Soviet Union, he dealt with it in a way that was absolutely
amazing, bringing about the unification and making Europe whole and free in
such a short period of time. And certainly, how he handled the Gulf War
and the fact that he was smart enough not to chase Saddam Hussein into
Baghdad and get the U.S. bogged down in the quicksand of an occupation.
But people are beginning to realize how prolific he was on domestic policy.

He passed more significant domestic legislation than any president except
Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. History is beginning to put all
that in context, and that`s one of the reasons I wrote the book. I wanted
to put all of it in one place between two covers so that people would
really understand that this president -- and I call him the quiet man --
really didn`t brag about himself, but really had a tremendous impact on
America and the world.

KORNACKI: You mentioned the decision in 1991, toward the end of the Gulf
War, no to continue into Baghdad, to get Hussein out of Kuwait, to end it
there, bring the troops home, and of course after that, his popularity
jumped to 90 percent, something hike that. We all know domestic economy
sort of took over. But I`ve heard the argument made that that decision at
the time, back in the 1990s, wasn`t necessarily a popular one. A lot of
people looked at it and said why didn`t we finish the job? But then seeing
what happened in the last decade, well, this is what happens when you go
into Iraq. This is what happens when you get bogged down in an occupation.
The case is basically made that the decision of the second Bush president
sort of validated the decision of the first Bush president.

SUNUNU: Well, history is validating the decision of the first Bush
president. He did take a lot of heat for not having chased Saddam up into
Baghdad, but as we said at the beginning, when people have the perspective
of looking back, they can make a better judgment. And I think it`s pretty
clear that that was the right decision.

The actions of George W. Bush really, people have to put in perspective,
that was following 9/11, and after 9/11, any president of the United States
would have to make sure that he left nothing unturned in terms of trying to
deal with this issue to prevent a second attack from happening. And I
think each one of those decisions in their own context was correct.

KORNACKI: I always think of George H.W. Bush as sort of a throwback in a
way, a different kind of Republican, a throwback to a different era of
Republicanism. His father, Prescott Bush, in many way, the senator from
Connecticut, embodies this same -- I don`t want to say liberal Republican
but sort of more middle of the road Republicanism. You mention a domestic
record included the Clean Air Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act,
that budget accord in 1990. Doing a lot of things, I look at him and I
say, are there Republicans like George H.W. Bush left anymore?

SUNUNU: You know, Steve, he actually was conservative. I think he was as
conservative as Ronald Reagan. All that legislation you talk about was
written either from a free enterprise point of view or from making sure
there is equality, but doing it as a conservative Republican would do it.
His son used the phrase compassionate conservative. He had the guts to
veto a badly written civil rights bill and send it back, and then get it
written correctly so that it would not end up being a quota bill. The
Clean Air Act, he changed the approach at emissions controls, he made it a
market-oriented, incentive-oriented, and it ended up costing about one
fifth as much to - or even as low as one tenth as much as people expected
that kind of reduction of emissions would cost. So I think George Bush may
have been more mild spoken, but I don`t think he was not a conservative. I
think the results that he produced were a record that any conservative
today would be very proud of having.

KORNACKI: How much does he want Jeb Bush to become president?

SUNUNU: Well, of course, every father wants his son to succeed, and I did
have lunch with the president a couple of weeks ago, went up to Kennebunk.
I think he actually looked a lot better that he looked last October. He
was more energized. I think Jeb`s campaign is part of the reason he is
more energized.

Look, I have a son that was a senator. I have another son in politics.
You always want to bask, if you will, in the success of the next
generation.

KORNACKI: Former New Hampshire governor, former White House chief of
staff, John Sununu, appreciate you taking a few minutes today. Thank you
very much.

SUNUNU: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: Thanks again to former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu,
author of the new book, "The Quiet Man." Another full hour of news and
politics straight ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: That was then, this is now.

Thanks for staying with us. Lots more ahead as we continue on this Sunday
morning. It is Flag Day in America, fly those colors with pride today.
With Hillary Clinton out on the trail and ramping up her campaign, the
political landscape looks very different than it did when her husband was
running for president. More on that in just a moment. Meanwhile, Jeb
Bush`s plan to annihilate his competition for the Republican nomination
hasn`t been quite as dominant as he perhaps been hoping for. So, what does
the landscape look like for him as he gets ready to officially announce his
candidacy tomorrow? Also, Republicans may soon get their wish to dismantle
a key part of Obamacare, so why are some of them now scared to be getting
exactly what they wanted? Plus, we`re learning more about what drove a man
in Dallas to open fire on police headquarters. More on that story ahead.

But we begin this hour with Hillary Clinton`s big launch. A lot of talk
about how her speech yesterday positions her against all of her potential
Republican opponents. But there is another key question here. How much
room did she leave for challengers that she faces in her own party?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America`s
kindergarten teachers combined and often paying a lower tax rate. When
does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead? When? I say now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: That speech yesterday notably heavy on populist economic themes,
heavy on cultural liberalism, notably heavy on the kind of rhetoric you
might expect to hear from Elizabeth Warren or from Clinton`s primary rival,
Senator Bernie Sanders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money
that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and
drowning out the voices of our people. We need justices on the Supreme
Court who will protect every citizen`s right to vote rather than every
corporation`s right to buy elections. If necessary, I will support a
constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court`s decision in Citizens
United.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Clinton also listed off what she says will be her top priorities
as president, it is a veritable checklist of the priorities of liberal
activists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I will propose that we make preschool and quality child care
available to every child in America. Lift the crushing burden of student
debt. I believe you should have the right to earn paid sick days. That
you should have the peace of mind that your health care will be there when
you need it without breaking the bank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: In a way, the tone and message of yesterday`s Clinton launch was
jarring, at least if you`ll remember the tone and message that defined the
first Clinton presidency back in the 1990s.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON: The era of big government is over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Triangulation, they called it, a Democratic president sounding
like, well, not a Democrat. It was key to the strategy that helped Bill
Clinton win the White House twice in the 1990s, and it was a numbers game
back then. When it came to winning national elections, the Democratic
coalition just wasn`t big enough. Before Bill Clinton, there was Walter
Mondale.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALTER MONDALE: The American people will have to pay Mr. Reagan`s bills.
The budget will be squeezed. Taxes will go up. And anyone who says they
won`t is not telling the truth to the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: He ran as a traditional liberal. He won just one state against
Ronald Reagan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL DUKAKIS: I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United
States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Michael Dukakis didn`t do much better. He lost 40 states in
1988. So, Bill Clinton tried something different. He pitched his message
away from the Democratic base, to non-liberals, to swing voters. He was
for the death penalty. He was for free trade. He signed the Defense of
Marriage Act. He said he wanted to end welfare as we know it, and it
worked. Clinton turned huge swaths of the country blue in 1992, and he
kept them that way in 1996, back-to-back national victories, the first for
any Democrat since FDR. But now, think about that strategy. Think about
how Hillary Clinton has been talking lately on immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: Make no mistake, today, not a single Republican
candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a
path to citizenship. Not one. If Congress continues to refuse to act, as
president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: On criminal justice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: It is time to end the era of mass incarceration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: On voting rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: I`m calling for universal, automatic voter registration.
Every citizen in every state in the union.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Notice a pattern? It`s the opposite of triangulation. She is
aiming straight at the Democratic base. And why? Because her campaign
thinks the math has changed, that the Democratic coalition has grown so
much in the last 20 years that all Hillary needs to do now is turn them
out.

Not everyone`s on board with this, though. Democrats from red states see
danger in a full-on embrace of the left. That`s not good for the country,
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin told the New York Times this week, but
the Clinton strategy gets a strong endorsement from the architect of Barack
Obama`s 2012 campaign. If you run a campaign trying to appeal to 60 to 70
percent of the electorate, you`re not going to run a very compelling
campaign for the voters you need, says David Plouffe. And actually,
Plouffe relied on the same strategy in 2012. It worked then. It may work
for Hillary, too.

But as we have seen these last few years, winning an election with one
thing, being able to govern effectively after an election is another.

All right. Back with me now, our panel, April Ryan, White House
correspondent with American Urban Radio Networks, Phillip Stutts, former
campaign manager for Bobby Jindal, and Democratic political analyst Blake
Zeff, editor in chief of the soon to launch cafe.com.

I want to get into these questions from two angles. One, I want to look at
Hillary sort of embracing the left, the angle within the Democratic Party,
and then also what that means for the general election. Let`s start with
the Democratic Party, though, and think about that speech yesterday in
terms of she still has to get through the primaries. I know we talk about
what an overwhelming favorite she is, and she is, but she is facing
particularly a challenge I think from Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was
asked about the speech yesterday. Let`s play what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNARD SANDERS, I-VERMONT: I thought she touched on some of the
important issues facing this country. But I think the devil, is of course
is in details. The question is who has the leadership capabilities to take
on a billionaire class style (ph), whose greed has no end, at the time when
the 99 percent of all income is going to the top 1 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: And when Bernie Sanders talks about this, he says the devil is
in the details. She sounds very progressive, he`s saying. Some of the
details he is talking about, I think, are he said she should have a
position on the Transpacific Partnership, she doesn`t. Minimum wage, she
says she is for raising it, but will she go to $15 an hour? That`s what he
is calling for. Social Security, he says he wants to expand it. She
hasn`t made that commitment yet. Debt free college, this idea of debt free
college, she seemed to endorse it yesterday, but what does that mean? How
would she go about doing it? So how much room is there, Blake? You listened
to that speech yesterday. How much room is there for somebody like Sanders
to get to Clinton`s left the way Obama did in 2008?

ZEFF: I think they are doing, they being the Clinton campaign, are doing
everything they can to really try to forswear that possibility. They
really learned their lesson from last time, they are not looking 15 steps
ahead like they did frankly last time, which was absolutely detrimental. I
think they were a bit dismissive of Obama initially, really took it for
granted, and didn`t clamp down the way they needed to. They are really
determined not to do that.

But I was struck by watching the video package you just did, which is so
much of what the Democratic Party is doing today is not just the opposite
of what they were doing in the `90s, but is almost a repudiation of what
Bill Clinton did in the `90s, where you`re talking about on LGBT issues,
for example, don`t ask, don`t tell, or DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, NAFTA
is part -- precursor of what we are seeing now, the TPP. Crime, Hillary
Clinton gave this big speech on mass incarceration. That`s a big legacy of
the Clinton era in that crime bill. So very interesting to see this is very
much, as I was saying, a repudiation of that era, and Hillary Clinton is in
touch with where the party is today, not where it was in the `90s.

KORNACKI: So somebody like Bernie Sanders, I say Bernie Sanders, you also
got Chafee out there, you got O`Malley out there, but the one who seems to
have at least some energy behind him, he`s getting these big rallies, is
Bernie Sanders. Is there room for him, April Ryan, after what you heard
from Hillary?

RYAN: Almost definitely there is room, because I think yesterday was
somewhat of a reaction to Bernie Sanders and his message to the left, and
also Elizabeth Warren. People are listening and she`s realizing people are
hearing what they are saying. It makes sense. So I think what we are
seeing is reaction. But one thing I also want to find out from Hillary
Clinton`s camp is health care, as we are dealing with this health care
issue and this possibility of what could happen from the U.S. Supreme
Court. I would love to hear where she stands on that. We didn`t hear
about trade yesterday, we did not hear about health care, so that is
something we need to hear as well.

KORNACKI: Phillip, let me ask you in terms of the general election
implications. There is a lot of conversation this week about this idea
that the Clinton campaign is embracing more of a sort of mobilize the base
strategy, but when Bill Clinton was running a generation ago, it was hey,
we got to find these swing voters and pick them off. And there`s been some
criticism of that, but the confidence you hear when you talk to people on
the Democratic side, talk to people around Clinton, is they say, look, the
numbers are there. The numbers were there for Barack Obama in 2012, if we
can get those voters out. The numbers were there in 2008, if we do it
again in 2016, the numbers are there for us. Have the Democrats reached a
point where if they turn their people out, they are the majority party in
this country?

STUTTS: No. But what I tell you, your piece was very informative and very
good.

KORNACKI: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

STUTTS: I thought it was very well done. But here is one thing I would
add in there, you are not talking about the messenger, you are talking
about the message, and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were incredible
messengers. And I don`t know if Hillary is a great messenger. She talks
about her family, I thought she was a great messenger, like I saw
yesterday, but 43 of the minutes she spoke, she didn`t, she talked tactics,
she talked issues, and she was very stilted, and that has to resonate in
those key target states. Are the electoral college is in the Democrats`
favor, there is no doubt. Republicans have to grow the women vote, they
have to grow the minority vote. We know this. This is what we are working
on inside our party. But their messenger better be dang good, or they are
going to be in trouble.

RYAN: I think the messenger yesterday hit on a key point that Americans
talking about the economy, she was talking about the tax code, she was
talking about this infrastructure bank to help with what is it building --
building roads, railroads, bridges, you know, the infrastructure, she
talked about FDR. That`s what happened with FDR, the interstate system,
and many of the federal buildings. You`re laughing.

STUTTS: No, I`m not. She`s talking about yesterday. FDR.

RYAN: That`s what she said, yesterday, the song "Yesterday," but she is
talking about now, we are trying to come out, stay out of a depression or a
recession or what have you, and this is what she is trying to look forward,
and building and building an infrastructure bank and things of that nature.
I think she was -- the messenger delivered a message of hope, I believe, it
remains to be seen.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: Let me ask you, Blake, that question of personality though,
we`re always asking how important is it to voters that they like or can
relate to the candidates, or whatever, and you look at what happened in
2008, in the Democratic primaries. I do think that the personality might
have been a part of that. There was more -- it seems a lot of people might
have been more of a draw to Barack Obama`s personality that Hillary
Clinton`s. You talk to Republicans, that`s one of the reasons a lot of
them seem optimistic about Marco Rubio. They say the same thing that
happened to her in 2008 with Barack Obama and the primaries could happen in
the general election with Marco Rubio, with a sort of exciting background,
a chance to make history, all those sorts of things.

ZEFF: I think in primaries, it`s a little different than general
elections. Right? In the primary, Obama and Clinton, there was a big
difference on the Iraq war, obviously that was a crucial part of that
primary, but I think the bigger part of it was Obama really captured
people`s hopes, yes, we can, hope and change and that kind of stuff. A lot
of that was personality driven, and I think that ultimately did help him a
great deal. In the general election, just to go back maybe 30 minutes ago,
you had Larry Sabato on saying the candidates are a little bit overrated in
the general election, and I think Phillip sort of taking issue with that,
but I think what he meant by that is that you do have certain basic facts
about demographics, voters, electoral college. And one of the things I`d
say that I think, Phillip, with all due respect, was glossing over a little
bit, which is if you look at the issues that Hillary Clinton and frankly
Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary are pushing, these are issues this
are actually popular widely in a general election. Immigration reform,
right, minimum wage, crime reform, in terms of mass incarceration, all that
kind of stuff. So Mitt Romney had a problem in 2012 when he was seen as
going too far to the right in the primary to win the primary, because then
he had to figure his way out to the center. I don`t think Hillary Clinton
or Bernie Sanders or whoever emerges from the Democratic primary is going
to have that problem this time, because the issues that Democrats are
talking about are widely popular throughout the entire country.

KORNACKI: All right. Hillary Clinton not the only big launch on the
campaign calendar this week. Another political dynasty getting ready for
their own kickoff tomorrow. That candidate just released his own logo
minutes ago, we`re going to unveil it for you and dissect it. That is
next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH: Mrs. Clinton was the secretary of state for four years under
President Obama. And she has a record. And it`s a record that she will
have to defend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: As one political dynasty reignites its presidential ambitions,
another appears ready to do the same thing tomorrow. Jeb Bush is ready to
unveil his logo. Actually, he unveiled his logo on Twitter just a couple
of minutes ago. Now, it does not include his last name. It is also
similar to the logo that Jeb has used before, back in 1998 and 2002 in his
campaigns for governor of Florida. You see the first name with the
exclamation point. This comes only 24 hours before Jeb is scheduled to
give a speech in Miami, where it`s expected he will announce his candidacy
for president of the United States.

But the headline in the "New York Times" this morning tells the story of
his campaign so far. Headline there, Jeb bush working to recover from a
shaky start, from that article, quote, "Bush finds himself in a position he
could not have imagined, part of a pack of candidates and the target of his
questions about his own competence and conservatism." Jeb Bush wrapping up
a five-day trip to Europe this weekend in which he had hoped to bolster his
foreign policy credentials before the general campaign begins. His
strategists working to separate him from the field, and one of his primary
opponents who they think could be hurt most by a lack of foreign policy
experience, that is Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. Bush aides
telling Buzzfeed news, quote, Walker was the 2016 contender who best
illustrated the disparity they are hoping to highlight with Jeb`s trip
overseas. Jeb Bush holding a press conference at nearly every stop of his
tour, in contrast with the no-media trip to Israel that Scott Walker took
last month. Bush had once hoped that a shock-and-awe style campaign
rollout would catapult him to the 2016 Republican nomination and clear the
field, but that hasn`t happened, at least not so far. So in a crowded
Republican field, can Jeb Bush pick up momentum once again? Let`s talk that
over with the field.

But let`s start on this logo. This is the breaking news this morning, we
got the Jeb Bush official logo, we put it up on the screen, what I noticed
is, I have seen this construction before, this first name and the
exclamation point or name and exclamation point. Jeb! in 2016. Looks like
that is going to be the logo. But can also look back and see Paul
Wellstone, do we have this? I thought we had it. Well, we had Paul
Wellstone, there it is. Paul Wellstone, the late senator from Minneapolis,
had briefly explored running for president. He would use that in all his
campaign, his last name with the exclamation mark. Lamar Alexander running
in 1996, on the Republican side, he had that, we couldn`t find it. I`m
almost sure, prove me wrong, but Hillary Clinton in 2000, running for the
Senate, had Hillary, exclamation point. So seen this one before. But
anyway, Jeb`s done it before, too, as well.

The Jeb Bush candidacy. I know obviously, you have some loyalties here to
another potential Republican candidate. But John Kasich had been out there
saying this, other Republicans had been out there saying this, what Jeb
Bush was supposed to do, expected to do, he hasn`t done.

STUTTS: I think it is ironic that Kasich says that because Kasich ran
against his brother in 2000 and got sucked out of -- all the oxygen got
sucked out of that campaign. The real critical factor is how much money
Jeb raises in the first quarter, because that will tell you how viable his
super PAC is and his candidacy is. They are downplaying it right now. I
remember this from 2000, because like I said, I was on Dan Quayle`s
campaign. We thought they were going to raise $15 million, and they were
downplaying it, they were going to raise less than $20 million in that
first critical quarter, and they came in at $37 million.

KORNACKI: That`s when that meant something.

STUTTS: Right. Then it did mean something, and we went, oh, my God, it`s
over. That`s not going to happen here, but the viability of staying in the
top two or three candidates will, and I think they are going to have a
shock and awe number.

KORNACKI: So April, when you look at this rollout, Phillip says the number
is still going to be there for Bush in terms of -- the money is still going
to be there, but that intimidation factor he is talking about.

RYAN: $100 million?

KORNACKI: Not there. We`re talking about a field of 19 candidates.
Nobody`s intimidated by this guy.

RYAN: You know why they are not intimidated, because we have been there,
done that, we had daddy and we had brother. So I hate to say that, but
they feel that some of the same. I will say that that new logo is very
attractive. I`m sure that -- it`s hot. It`s hot.

KORNACKI: You like it?

RYAN: They took a lot of time. You`re not just going to put out a logo,
it`s short, simple, and sweet, that big red exclamation point. So I think
they are calculated in how they try to embrace but yet distance themselves
from foreign policy of brother, brother W, who many -- many of the
Republicans want to still run away from, but it`s still -- he is still
there. He was a president. And his dad was president.

So I think what`s going to happen is, I think the intimidation factor will
be tomorrow, when he comes out, because I know it is going to be very big,
and it`s going to be - we`ve seen all of these presidential candidates come
out and make this big grandiose statement, when they come out, like Obama
started it, when he was running and we saw the first one. Ted Cruz come
out at Liberty University, making everyone come. But this one, I believe
people will be coming on their own, but he is going to make a statement
tomorrow, and I can`t wait to see, I think the intimidation factor will be
there.

KORNACKI: Here`s what John McCain said about Jeb Bush, in today`s "New
York Times," says he just hasn`t met the expectation level of what we
expected of a Bush. That`s John McCain, of course John McCain ran against
George W. Bush back in 2000. But Blake, the case you hear from people,
from Bush people now, it`s not we are going to intimidate everybody out of
the race, it`s more this field is going to be exposed in a lot of ways. A
guy like Scott Walker`s lack of foreign policy experience will be exposed.
Marco Rubio, there was this story about his finances, they think maybe
there are going to be questions raised about Marco Rubio. And basically
months from now, people are going to look up, Republicans will look up,
they will look at Jeb Bush and they are going to say, this is really the
only responsible, mature choice we can make.

ZEFF: I feel like so much of the Jeb Bush rationale and candidacy is not
about voters, it`s not about these issues he can connect with the voters
about, it`s this idea that`s going to have a ton of money, and that is
something that is not entirely relevant to reaching out to voters, and it
is also something that hasn`t even been demonstrably proven yet. So I
think that`s a shaky ground on which to have your candidacy. And I think
this idea he`s going to have a huge number, he may, but they had a big
shakeup, and you don`t normally have a shakeup with your campaign staff.
If things are going great, usually it means there is something quietly
behind-the-scenes that has been sort of disastrous. I`ve been on these
campaigns before, I know. Usually the public doesn`t quite know what is
going on, quietly, things are in disarray. It`s a bad sign.

Something else I will say, if you are going to look at Jeb Bush and what`s
gone wrong, I think there are two people to point to that are big parts of
this story, George W. Bush and Marco Rubio. George W. Bush, I think that
name, as my panelists, co-panelists are saying, is really shadowing him all
over the place, Jeb. I think that`s why he went to Eastern Europe, to show
he could be a commander in chief with a different foreign policy. You
noticed when he went there by the way, it was much more about his father
than his brother. He was kind of talking about the Cold War and remember
my father. The Marco Rubio thing I think is significant, because a lot of
us didn`t think they would both get in the race, Jeb Bush from Florida,
Marco Rubio from Florida. Rubio is not just in, but he`s doing quite well.
That I think spells a bit of a problem.

KORNACKI: And by the way, the other thing, you look at these polls now,
matching up the Republicans against Hillary Clinton, and Jeb Bush is
running behind Hillary Clinton. He`s not doing better than the other
Republicans out there. In fact, he is doing worse than Rand Paul, Marco
Rubio. In a lot of these polls, they actually run better against Hillary
right now than he does. So it`s tough to sit there and make that
electability argument, at least with those numbers. Anyway, still ahead,
what to expect when you are expecting a Supreme Court decision. A major
ruling on the Affordable Care Act due any day now.

But next, as it stands right now, who will be in that first Republican
debate and who will not? New numbers. We will show you that cut line,
where it is right now. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH MCQUAID, PUBLISHER, NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: I`m not sure what
the Republican national rules are regarding a forum. I would like to see
them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: That is the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Joe
McQuaid, on the Rachel Maddow show Thursday night, after announcing that
his newspaper would be hosting its own Republican forum, one outside of the
sanctioned debate system set up by the Republican National Committee.
McQuaid, along with other prominent New Hampshire Republicans, arguing this
week that the winnowing of candidates should be left up to the voters and
not to television networks, because as rules stand right now, for that
first Republican primary debate on August 6th, only the candidates polling
in the top ten are going to be allowed on the debate stage. The rest of
them relegated to an alternative forum with unclear parameters on what that
would look like and whether it would mean participating in that alternate
forum would bar them from participating in any of the future sanctioned
debates.

A dilemma there potentially. Detractors arguing such a plan would create a
second tier of candidates through arbitrary means. So, who is in that
first big official debit on August 6th? Who is outed as something that`s
likely to be changing week by week, if not day by day, if it`s worth
checking in on, we thought, on a regular basis, so we will start doing that
this week, right here at the big board, and as you can see, right now, the
rules Fox has announced for this debate, they say it`s an average of the
five most recent national polls that they recognize in advance of that
debate.

So, we took the five most recent national polls, we averaged them to see
who makes the cut and who doesn`t. Where is the cut line right now? Top
ten candidates, you can see it right here, that is the list that would be
in. These are the candidates or potential candidates who would not be on
that stage. So let`s take a look at what that means, actually. What will
that stage look like? Here you go. This is what the debate stage would
look like right now on Fox News on August 6th, with these ten candidates
in, and who would be at the what they are calling the kids table, these are
the ones that are left out, they would not have a place at that table, and
you could see, you have got nine names there.

So let`s take a closer look back at those numbers now, and break them down,
because a couple of things jump out at you. First of all is this, Rick
Perry is the last candidate right now who would be in that top ten. John
Kasich, the governor of Ohio and Rick Santorum the first two candidates who
would be out, they are tied at 2 percent. Rick Perry, 2.8 percent, so that
is the difference we are talking about here, 0.8 percent, less than 1
percent right now is the difference between making that huge nationally
televised event and being forced to sit on the sidelines.

Another thing to look at here is this name, Donald Trump. Now, Donald
Trump has promised what he is calling a major announcement this week. Now,
everything that Donald Trump says he is going to do is major, so we`re not
sure exactly what that means. But a lot of people say, have been saying
for a long time, Donald Trump is really kind of pulling a fast one on us
here, he`s not actually going to run when all is said and done, he`s not
going to be a serious candidate for president. So if Donald Trump ends up
removing himself, or if he gets removed from polling by the pollsters, then
it creates an opportunity for some of these other candidates to get in.
Also keep in mind that John Kasich right now would be out, but John Kasich
has not announced his candidacy yet. What we have been seeing is when
these candidates have these big events when they get in, big rallies, a lot
of press coverage, they get a polling bump. So Kasich a chance to move up
in a way that like Santorum maybe can`t, because Santorum already had his
big campaign launch. Kasich though still has to do that, so there is a
chance for him to move up. So a lot of fluidity here, as we say. This is
a big, momentous thing, who makes that top ten, who doesn`t? We are going
to be checking in on it weekly between now and that first debate.

Still ahead on the show, we`re learning more about yesterday`s police
standoff in Dallas with a man who opened fire on police headquarters from
an armored van.

And next, the Supreme Court has some Republicans worried, and not for the
reasons you might think. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Once you see millions of people having health care, once you see
that all the bad things that were predicted didn`t happen, you`d think that
it may be time to move on. Let`s figure out how to make it better. It
seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people, to
take care away from the people who need it the most, to punish millions
with higher costs of care and unravel what`s now been woven into the fabric
of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: That was President Obama talking this week about continued
attacks on his health care law, now five years after its enactment. Under
the very real threat right now that a key piece of that law could be gutted
by the Supreme Court any day now. The conservative-tilting court could
side with the Republican-backed lawsuit that would eliminate the subsidies
that make it possible for millions of low-income Americans to purchase
insurance under Obamacare in states that haven`t set up their own
exchanges. Obama mincing no words when asked about the case on Monday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: This should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn`t even
have been taken up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: If the Supreme Court decides in their favor, Republican leaders
will be in a tough spot, though. They will be seen as the people
potentially who took away health insurance from more than 6 million people
in 34 states. At the same time, they would risk upsetting their own
conservative base, which wants nothing to do with Obamacare, and could
prevent them from restoring those insurance subsidies through some sort of
legislative fix.

While the health care law still divides many in the country, a new
"Washington Post"/ABC poll shows a majority of Americans want the Supreme
Court to keep the subsidies. The Hill newspaper reporting that this
reality has Republicans in Congress worrying that they might win the very
lawsuit that they backed, a classic case of be careful what you wish for.
Alexander Bolton writes that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are quote,
under pressure from colleagues up for re-election in swing states and
districts to extend the subsidies at least temporarily, if the court
strikes them down. But doing so would risk a backlash from the
conservative base.

Joining us is The Hill`s Alex Bolton. He joins the panel as well. Alex,
this dilemma for Republicans, potentially. First of all, the court could
say no, we`re rejecting this case and that is the end of it. Let`s say the
court does take out - does side with the plaintiffs here and essentially
guts Obamacare. It could be easily fixed legislatively, if Congress were
to pass and Obama were to sign something that says, hey, these subsidies
now apply to all states, it doesn`t really matter what the status of their
exchange is. What are the odds in that case of Republicans passing
something like that?

ALEX BOLTON, THE HILL NEWSPAPER: I think pretty good. Because they know
that they need to show they can govern, and as Silvia Burwell, secretary of
health and human services, made the point recently that if the court
strikes these subsidies down, it will be up to Congress to fix it. The
administration isn`t going to do anything. It is up to Congress to show
that they can govern, and that is something that Mitch McConnell and John
Boehner have been talking about since they took over the majorities. And
the Senate Republicans who are facing tough reelections this year, they are
in states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, where hundreds of
thousands of people are going to lose their subsidies, they are going to
see their premiums increase by as much as 200 percent. So it`s a political
disaster for them. And coming up with a solution is going to just split
their party.

KORNACKI: So, here`s the part where I start to wonder, though, it`s been
such a priority for the Republican base to end Obamacare. We are still
hearing this five years after the law came out. If you poll it, there is
not a Republican that wants to touch this thing. So if they were to win
this and get this big victory they have been seeking for five years, and
they were just to do a quick legislative fix that restores everything, they
have gone to war with their own base in a way. So what I`ve been hearing
is this idea that they would do, and I think this was in your reporting,
the idea that Republicans would do some kind of a temporary extension. But
if they do a temporary extension, then the White House is in position to
say, no, we are going to veto that, because we want a full, permanent
solution for Americans. So there would be tension on that front, and how
long this fix would be getting (ph).

BOLTON: And there are a couple of plans out there. Mitch McConnell signed
on to a plan sponsored by Ron Johnson, who is facing re-election in
Wisconsin, against Russ Feingold. He proposes extending the subsidies
through the middle of 2017, but that`s making conservatives angry. The
Heritage Action for America, a conservative advocacy group, is saying that
is an overreaction. And so what`s going to happen is, the Republicans are
going to rally around this plan and pass it. It`s not going to get done,
because Obama is going to veto it. They are going to make the conservative
base angry, and then we are going to be in this almost government shutdown
standoff, where you have two sides blaming each other for why people got
their subsidies stripped. The Republicans will say, well, we passed
legislation to extend these another 18 months, two years, but the president
vetoed them.

I think as we saw in the government shutdown battle, Obama has more
credibility on the Obamacare, on what`s -- on Obamacare subsidies since it
is his law, than the Republicans will. So Democrats are feeling pretty
confident the Republicans will get the blame for this, just like they did
in the government shutdown, and that`s why they are not making any effort
to fix what could be a public policy disaster.

KORNACKI: Phillip, curious what your take is on that dilemma the
Republican Party could be facing. How far would the Republican base allow
the Republican Congress to fix something if the Supreme Court takes this
down?

STUTTS: I think they wouldn`t be OK with it, but everything is about the
presidential campaign. If Congress falls on their swords, so it doesn`t
affect the presidential candidates, I think they would be willing to do
this and make it sort of - put it up for election again and make it 2016,
another mandate on a presidential campaign. I think that`s what the
strategy is.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: They go along with it, temporary, like basically saying --

(CROSSTALK)

STUTTS: No, no, they would be mad, but they would be mad at Congress, not
the presidential candidates who are saying scrap it, and then becomes an
issue for 2016 on the presidential campaign.

ZEFF: Look, I defer to Phillip`s expertise about Republicans, I defer to
Alex in terms of his expertise in terms of sources in Washington and that
sort of stuff. It just seems to me though from watching this House GOP
over the last several years, that, you know, this is not a caucus that John
Boehner has a lot of control over. These are not people who are thinking
about long-term strategy. They have very conservative districts that they
are reporting to. These are not people, when I say these people, I mean
actual members of Congress on the Republican side who are doing things that
will make their base upset. And I think that if Obamacare, any aspect of
it gets struck down, it seems very hard to imagine that these people would
then vote to restore parts of Obamacare, like you are saying, and upset
their base. They are worried about primaries, it just seems unlikely.

KORNACKI: You`re getting into that divide, and we`ve talked about it so
much, the House divide, too where you got candidates running for the Senate
or incumbent senators, in the swing states, they have to worry more about
the general election.

ZEFF: But in the House, these guys are worried about being the next Eric
Cantor, where you could lose to someone on your right.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: We got to run out of this one. We`re going to get more from you
in the next block, and April, I promise my thanks now to Alex Bolton from
The Hill, appreciate you joining us.

And still ahead, we are learning more about what drove a man in Dallas to
open fire on police headquarters there. More on that story ahead.

And next, was it a pack of cigarettes or not? The reporter who asked that
question is sitting right here. That is next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Police in Dallas are learning more this morning about what led
to yesterday`s bizarre shootout and standoff with the man who opened fire
on police headquarters from his armored van. We get those details from
NBC`s Charles Hadlock in Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES HADLOCK, NBC NEWS: Dallas police say they have never seen anything
like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.

HADLOCK: A brazen attack on police headquarters overnight Saturday. By a
man driving an armored vehicle loaded with automatic weapons and pipe
bombs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re being shot at, at headquarters.

HADLOCK: The bullets whizzing by bystanders running for their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shots fired.

HADLOCK: Across the street, Josh Guilbaud recorded the chilling sounds on
his cell phone.

JOSH GUILBAUD, WITNESS: It was going on for maybe 10, 15 minutes of non-
stop gunfire.

HADLOCK: The armored vehicle rammed several patrol cars before speeding
away, with police in pursuit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got the van rigged with explosives.

HADLOCK: The chase ended at a Jack in the Box parking lot, but it was
followed by a tense standoff. The gunman, 35-year-old James Boulware of
Dallas, told police he had explosives and was upset over a child custody
case. Boulware was arrested three years ago for family violence. Back at
headquarters, police found several bags they suspected contained pipe
bombs. One exploded when a robot tried to pick it up. Fearing Boulware
may try to drive away again, a police sniper shot the engine, disabling the
vehicle. And later, after police say negotiations had failed, they fired
through the windshield, killing him. Boulware`s father said his son had a
history of mental illness and blamed police for losing custody of his son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every one of us has a breaking point. Some at one
point, some at another. But we all have one.

HADLOCK: Jim Boulware says his son bought the armored van last week,
planning to live in it. Instead, it`s where he died, surrounded by more
pipe bombs police believe he intended to use on them. Charles Hadlock, NBC
News, Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: All right, Charles Hadlock in Dallas. Appreciate that report.

A lot more to come on the show, but first, if you`ve been wondering why we
have had a flag on our desk all morning, well, it is our way of celebrating
June 14th, otherwise known as Flag Day, the holiday Woodrow Wilson first
established 99 years ago to commemorate the adoption of the American flag.
It is a big day in places like Quincy, Massachusetts, not far from where I
grew up, which has the longest running Flag Day parade in the nation, or
how about Three Oaks, Michigan, Fairfield, Washington. Both of them claim
to have the oldest continuing Flag Day parades. And the largest Flag Day
parade, well, that can be found in Troy, New York. So happy Flag Day,
everyone. If you are near one of those places, go see a parade today.
Today is a special day to let those flags fly, even if it`s in a mug.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: Can you tell us, does the president have a pack of cigarettes in his
hand?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He does not.

RYAN: What was it?

EARNEST: I don`t know. April, I wasn`t there.

RYAN: I understand, but did he tell you what it was?

EARNEST: You may not be surprised to hear that I have not raised this
issue with the president today.

RYAN: OK, well, the president, as you acknowledged, he reads media reports
everywhere. His picture with him holding --

EARNEST: I`m not sure that`s how I would describe it.

RYAN: It is everywhere. Check it out.

(LAUGHTER)

EARNEST: I have.

RYAN: The size (inaudible), but the sizing looks like, I mean, so you`re
saying --

EARNEST: I told you it`s not cigarettes. Let`s move on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Wow, the new Sam Donaldson in the White House press room. An
exchange between our guest April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Networks
and White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, on Wednesday. What were
they discussing? They were discussing this picture that was posted on
Instagram by the office of the spokesperson of the Italian prime minister.
The question there of what did President Obama have in his hands? Can we
take a closer look. Here we go. This is what April is talking about. A
lot of chatter out there online, around the country about, well, the
president, we know he`s a former smoker, he says he`s a former smoker, is
he still maybe a current smoker? April, what did you learn from Josh
Earnest there?

RYAN: That he didn`t want to talk about it.

(LAUGHTER)

RYAN: I didn`t learn anything from Josh about that, but I will say this.
The picture shows us something, and if the president is indeed smoking
again, that`s his prerogative, but he said he was someone who had tried to
kick the habit when he came into the White House. So that`s the only
reason why I asked, looking at that picture. And I got a lot of Twitter
hate from that question, a lot of Twitter hate. So -- I don`t know.

KORNACKI: Any chance that could be an e-cigarette?

RYAN: My name is Bennett, I`m not in it, I have to go back to the White
House tomorrow.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Just asking.

(CROSSTALK)

RYAN: Have a donut on that one, yes.

KORNACKI: You want to bring those to the White House with you tomorrow to
mend some fences.

RYAN: Yes, yes.

KORNACKI: Good for you for asking the question.

RYAN: I have to mend fences. They don`t like that question.

KORNACKI: If it`s true -- the other thing, it`s Europe. Smoking is a much
more recreational thing in Europe, isn`t it still?

STUTTS: There`s a war on cigarettes unless it`s Obama, but frankly, I
don`t care.

RYAN: You said the operative thing when you introduced the piece. It was
the spokesperson from the Italian prime minister`s office. It was not
leaked or printed, published by the White House.

KORNACKI: Interesting. There are other things going on. This is our
catching up segment, so let`s see what else is going on, squeeze a few more
stories in here. This is from The Wrap. The headline is Jeb Bush is set
to appear on Jimmy Fallon`s Tonight Show. Bush will be there on Tuesday.
That`s a day after his presidential announcement. President Obama has made
recent late night appearances on Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman. This is
Jeb Bush going on Fallon. I guess that put him in this building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a cross-promotion you`re doing right now.

KORNACKI: I guess so, come to think of it.

RYAN: I want to see if he does a GOP rap where he drops the mic.

KORNACKI: That`s the thing on Fallon. He doesn`t just have him sit on the
couch.

(CROSSTALK)

RYAN: Drop the mic, Jeb Bush. He might get some cool points for that.

KORNACKI: He did one with Mitt Romney a few months ago. I remember the
people were saying, that`s a different Mitt Romney (inaudible). Let`s see
what else we have here, another headline. This is from Ad Age. Crystal
Pepsi is poised for a comeback. The clear cola was first introduced in the
1990s. Do you remember when this first came out in 1992? It lasted only a
few years. It is, it`s just clear Pepsi. I remember it. I don`t think it
tasted very well. We got a Bush running for president again, we got a
Clinton running for president again, so bring the Mighty Ducks back. What
else can we bring back?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crystal Pepsi is a Coke.

RYAN: No, the South is Mountain Dew.

KORNACKI: Is there a crystal Mountain Dew?

RYAN: I don`t know, but it`s yellow.

KORNACKI: I remember when crystal Pepsi came out, SNL did one of those
fake ads -- they did crystal gravy. That was the SNL take on crystal
Pepsi. I don`t know, maybe it will taste more like Pepsi this time or
something, but anyway, be looking for that on a shelf near you. Thanks to
this morning`s panel, Blake Zeff, April Ryan, the tenacious April Ryan.
Phillip Stutts, appreciate you all joining us.

Thank you for getting up with us today. Up next is Melissa Harris-Perry.
Stay tuned. We`ll see you next weekend. Have a great week.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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