'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, June 21st, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: June 21, 2015
Guest: Norman Brannon, Katie Packer Gage, Caitlin Huey-Burns, Joseph
Riley, Tom Davis, EJ Dionne
STEVE KORNACKI, HOST: The mind of a killer.
All right, and good morning and thanks for getting up with us this Sunday
morning, June 21st, 2015. It is the summer solstice today, as the day
where we are going to be seeing more daylight than on any other day this
year. That symbolism is evident in Charleston, South Carolina this
morning. That is where the Emanuel AME Church doors are opening as we
speak for the first time since Wednesday`s brutal shooting. A shooting, in
which the young man who had joined church members for an hour of bible
study then gunned them down, killing nine people including the pastor.
Mother Emanuel opened its sanctuary as someone who took advantage of their
kindness. And today is opening its doors again on the path to healing and
forgiveness. Churches across the city of Charleston will also be ringing
their bells in unison at 10:00 this morning to honor those victims. And
meanwhile, we may be learning more about the gunman with the discovery of a
Web site registered by someone using the name Dylann Roof and using Roof`s
mother`s home address. Now, NBC News can`t confirm if Roof wrote or posted
comments on the site, but we can tell you that it includes dozens of photos
of the confessed killer as well as racist and hateful speech aimed at
blacks and Jews and other minorities. Sources say that FBI is working on
the assumption that Roof is responsible for this website. So, let`s begin
this morning with MSNBC`s Adam Reiss. He is in Charleston. So, Adam, can
you tell us more about what we are finding out about this website.
ADAM REISS, MSNBC AHCHOR: Steve, the website is very dark. It shows his
hateful and racist views and photographs that are very provocative,
stepping on an American flag, burning an American flag. I want to read to
you some of the quotes from the website that it is believed to be written
by Dylan Roof. He says "the event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon
Martin case. African-Americans are stupid and violent and segregation is
not a bad thing. I hate the sight of the American flag, people pretending
like they have something to be proud of while white people are being
murdered daily in the streets. And he says, I chose Charleston because
it`s the most historic city in my state and at one time, had the highest
ratio of blacks to whites in the country.
Now, this is being called a healing service. There about 400 people
expected here in the church and it is expected to be full. They are
remembering the nine lives lost. They say their hearts are heavy, but they
are going to move on as best they can. Steve?
KORNACKI: All right, Adam Reiss in Charleston, South Carolina, thank you
for that. And amid the vigils and prayer services this weekend in South
Carolina, there was also this rally in Columbia, South Carolina. Thousands
of people gathered to urge state lawmakers there to remove the Confederate
Flag from the grounds of the state capital. And the state`s Republican
governor Nicki Haley hinted on Friday that state lawmakers will likely deal
with the issue in the coming months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICKI HALEY, SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: 15 years ago the general assembly at
the time, they had a conversation. The Republicans and Democrats and
everybody came together on a consensus to bring the Confederate Flag down
off of the dome and they put it on a monument out in front. I think that
conversation will probably come back up again and, you know, what we hope
is that we do things the way South Carolinians do, which is have the
conversation, allow some thoughtful words to be exchanged, be kind about it
and come together on what we are trying to achieve and how we are trying to
do it. I think the state will start talking about that again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And that talking could start in December when the state
legislature reconvenes. And as we reported on this network first, on
Friday night, Republican state representative Doug Brennan is now vowing to
introduce legislation to remove the flag from the capital when the
legislature does return to session. And this morning, we learned that a
second Republican lawmaker in South Carolina also says that he would
support removing the flag. Representative Brandon joins us now live from
Greenville, South Carolina.
Representative, thank you for taking a few minutes this morning. I really
appreciate it. First, I just wonder if you could share with us your
thinking and I know you were close friends with the state senator who was
killed here. And just what thinking led you to say it`s time to take the
flag down now.
STATE REP. NORMAN "DOUG" BRANNON, (R ) SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you for the
question. It`s been time to take the flag down. But I simply can`t let
Senator Pinckney`s death go unrecognized. This flag must come down. It is
a divisive symbol in this state, and it really has no business on the state
capitol grounds. It should have come down five years ago. And I say five
years ago, because that`s how long I`ve served in the house. I should have
filed this bill five years ago.
KORNACKI: Have you spoken to other - say, there is one other Republican
state representative now who`s come forward and said Gary Clary, from
Pickens, South Carolina who`s come forward and said, he also wants it to
come down. Are you hearing this from other Republicans, other of your
colleagues in the GOP as well?
BRANNON: Yes. I`ve had about 23 fellow Republicans have vowed to support
the bill. I can`t suggest that they`ve all vowed to cosponsor as Judge
Clary has, but yes, I`ve heard from a number of Republicans. And obviously
Democrats as well.
KORNACKI: So, do you expect - this is an issue that`s just - it`s been in
South Carolina state politics, in the way it has been in national politics
for decades now. Do you expect that the end is in sight now when it comes
to removing that flag from state capitol grounds?
BRANNON: Well, I`m not going to use the word expect, but I`m certainly
hopeful. I hope and I pray that the senator Pinckney`s death gets us to a
place where we should have been a long time ago. So, I am hopeful, but I`m
not ready to say expect.
KORNACKI: And what is the - so, what is the time table here? We say, the
legislature is actually - is out until December, is that correct? They
won`t reconvene till December? Is there any way this could be visited
BRANNON: Well, no, I don`t believe so. We are technically still in
session, because we haven`t finalized the state budget yet. But we are
operating under what is called our - resolution, which gives us very
limited options as far as what we are able to do. We don`t actually go
back into session until January, but there is a pre-filing period in
December and that`s when I intend to file this piece of legislation.
KORNACKI: I wonder, too, if you can speak just about the role that this
debate over the flag has played in politics in South Carolina. As I have
been reading up on this in the last few days, I`ve seen those - one of your
colleagues, and I can`t remember who it was exactly, Republican state
legislature who basically said look, this is an issue that every politician
in the state is scared to tackle because they might lose their primary,
they might lose their general election. I think David Beasley, then the
governor there, about 20 years ago, a lot of people think he lost his seat
because of this issue. Can you just talk about the significance of this
flag debate to politics in South Carolina? It`s such a fraught issue.
BRANNON: Well, I am certainly aware of how politically divisive the issue
is. In fact, I will tell you now that Gary Clary has made his desires
public. I spoke with him on Friday in my home and I told him not to
cosponsor the bill. I told him I said look, I`m willing to risk my
political career, I`m not willing to risk anybody else`s. I would like to
think that over the past 15 years, it has become a less deadly issue from a
political standpoint. But clearly, Wednesday night, that point was driven
home. I hope that we can have a conversation and the supporters of this
bill will not lose their primaries. I am going to tell you that
personally, I`m more concerned with doing my job than keeping my job. So,
if the flag comes down and Brannon loses in a primary, I`m perfectly fine
KORNACKI: And I certainly want to ask you, as we say, the doors are
opening again at Emanuel AME church. There is going to be a service there
this morning. You knew you served with the reverend and state senator,
Clementa Pinckney. Just your thoughts this morning on his legacy as a
person. The man you knew. If you- just give you a chance to share your
thoughts about him.
BRANNON: Thank you so much. You know, I didn`t really know what I would
say until Friday afternoon when I saw the bond hearing. You know, the
Clementa Pinckney that I knew, had that big booming voice and that ever
present smile. But when I heard those family members step to the
microphone and speak to that shooter about love, about forgiveness and
about giving his life to Christ, it kind of donned on me even more so how
impressive of a teacher Senator Pinckney was. Because he taught his
parishioners love and forgiveness and salvation. And each one of those
people stood up and they expressed the lessons that they learned from
Senator Pinckney. Can you imagine what an incredible teacher that man was?
That`s the person that Clementa Pinckney is and was and the people that -
and I want the people of the United States to know about it. Watch that
bond hearing and you will see my friend, Senator Pinckney.
KORNACKI: South Carolina State Representative Doug Brannon who will
introduce the legislation to remove the Confederate Flag from statehouse
grounds in South Carolina. Thank you for your time this morning. I
BRANNON: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right, in the debate over the Confederate Flag is now also
playing out on the presidential campaign trail. We are going to have a
look at what the candidates are saying about that, what prompted them to
weigh in. It might surprise you. That`s right after this.
KORNACKI: And as we`ve been discussing, South Carolina is now facing
mounting national pressure to remove the Confederate Flag from its state
capitol. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate adding to
that pressure yesterday, tweeting that it should be taken down. As
comments then forcing many in the 2016 Republican field to weigh in on the
issue. Jeb Bush posting on Facebook that he believes South Carolina should
do what Florida has already done and put the flag in a museum. That is a
sentiment that President Obama shares. Bush adding "My position on how to
address the Confederate Flag is clear. Following a period of mourning,
there will rightly be a discussion among leaders in the state about how
South Carolina should move forward and I`m confident they will do the right
thing. Meanwhile, Florida Senator Marco Rubio telling reporters
"Ultimately, the people of South Carolina will make the right decision for
South Carolina and I believe in their capacity to make that decision. The
next president of the United States will not make that decision. That`s
for the people of South Carolina to make and I think they will make the
right one like they`ve made them in the past. Ohio Governor John Kasich
also waiting into the debate saying the statement late yesterday, "this is
up to the people of South Carolina to decide, but if I were a citizen of
South Carolina, I would be for taking it down." And finally, Texas Senator
Ted Cruz saying that the last thing the people of South Carolina need is
"people from outside the state coming in and dictating how they should
resolve that issue."
To talk about the politics of this, I want to bring in this morning`s
penal. We have with us MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart, columnist at
"The Washington Post," Katie Packer-Gage. She was deputy campaign manager
on the Romney 2012 team now, a political consultant. And Caitlin Huey-
Burns, political reporter with "Real Clear Politics."
So, the reaction is here. Let`s just dissect this. It seems, you know,
Bush pretty much came out and said look, this should come down. He said,
this is what I did. I think they`ll do the right thing, assume he thinks
he did the right thing. So, he`s saying, they should also put it in the
museum, take it down off statehouse grounds. You have John Kasich say
look, I mean John Kasich is answering the question everybody is really
asking. What do you think should happen here? Marco Rubio - It didn`t
sound like you want to answer that question.
KATIE PACKER GAGE, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I can`t believe we are even
having this discussion, honestly. I mean the Confederate Flag symbols two
things. A divided America and racial oppression. I can`t believe that
anybody still is standing up and saying this should be flown, you know, in
the kind of symbolic way that it is. It belongs in a museum. I can`t
believe we are having an argument about it. I`m really - I`m proud of
Governor Romney for taking leadership on this. And it should come down.
It doesn`t matter if you are citizen of South Carolina. You can have an
AC: And we should say, Romney - he`s had this position for a while.
PACKER GAGE: Right.
Ac: This was not something he just came back and said yes to.
PACKER GAGE: When he was running in the South Carolina primary, and maybe
it cost him votes, but that`s leadership.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I actually was very thrilled to see
Governor Romney`s tweet and how strong it was. Because I knew as you said
in the opening, that it would put pressure on the Republicans in the field
to actually say something about this. I echo everything that you say and I
will be a little stronger and say just to make it clear to people, the
Confederate Flag is no better than a swastika. If you want to curdle the
blood of an African-American, African-American family, people who care
about African-Americans, just fly the Confederate Flag in front of them.
Remember, during the shutdown a couple of years ago, the protesters who
moved from the World War II Memorial to the Pennsylvania Avenue in front of
the White House and there was this man who unfurled a Confederate Flag. We
have had this conversation in this country for decades now. And if there
is anything to come out of the horror of Charleston, and the horror of this
- this horrible person, Dylan Roof, it`s that the country can focus on what
the Confederate battle flag is and what should be done with it. There is
none of this let the people of South Carolina decide, don`t let outsiders
come in. We know what this thing is. Put it in a museum and let everyone
KORNACKI: Just a little context here. So, put some numbers up this - and
this might surprise some people, too. Here is this - This is an NBC News
online survey. But this is, you know, this is fairly scientific in how
they conducted this and it`s just from a couple of weeks ago. Americans
divided on the Confederate Flag. 49 percent say they see it as a symbol of
racism. 49 percent say they see it as a symbol of Southern pride. Right
down the middle. Then, if you break it down among Republicans and
Democrats, you see look at this gulf here among Republicans by three to
one. They say this is Southern pride and not racism. Democrats the other
way. Three to one. Racism, not Southern pride. And Caitlin, I am looking
at those statements from the Republican candidates yesterday, and that
three to one saying it`s Southern pride. It seems - this is a very
delicate thing, as the ...
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Well, I mean this has come up and
South Carolina is the first in the South primary. This has come up before
as a kind of a state versus federal level. But I think that we are seeing
such a ground swell, I think we are going to continue to see the public
just react to this. It has such a visceral reaction to it. And really, to
your point about really understanding what exactly this is. I mean some
people I`ve talked to have said to me, I didn`t even know that this was
still, you know, that this was flying in South Carolina. So I think, you
know, Mitt Romney knew exactly what he was doing. He just recently posted
all of these Republican candidates in Utah for a summit. He knew that this
would spark the debate. And I think especially as these candidates travel
to South Carolina in the next few months, I think we will see that.
KORNACKI: Well, this is going to be right. It sounds like - it sounds
like based on what we had in the first segment there with Doug Brannon, the
state representative from South Carolina, this is probably going to come up
in South Carolina in December. And this is going to be basically getting
close to the eve of the South Carolina primary. And you think back to 2000
when it was George W. Bush, John McCain. And the issue there were marches
that`s taking place in South Carolina, there were boycotts taking place in
South Carolina, and into the middle of all that, was thrown this
Republican presidential race back in 2000. And you had George W. Bush then
saying, you know, I am not going to tell the people of South Carolina what
to do. And you had John McCain basically say the same thing, and then he
came out after that primary, of course, and said, you know what, I wasn`t
giving you the truth there. I actually had a very different opinion on
PACKER-GAGE: Like I said at the beginning, I just can`t believe we are
still having this discussion. And I understand that there are folks in the
South that have a lot of pride in the history of the confederacy, but
leaving all the race issues even aside, it`s a symbolism of a portion of
our country that tried to secede from the Union.
PACKER-GAGE: Is that something we should be clinging to so strongly?
CAPEHART: What is to be proud of this? What`s to be proud of this battle
flag with this murderer with a gun? Why continue to support something like
this? That`s what I don`t get. That`s why I don`t understand why this
shouldn`t be a conversation that starts and ends with yes, take it down.
KORNACKI: It seems like this has the movement that seems to - Nikki Haley,
the governor of South Carolina. We showed her at the beginning. Now,
she`s saying look, we need to have this discussion. She wasn`t saying we
need to have this discussion before this. You have two Republican state
legislators coming forward now. So it does - it feels at least in the
immediate wake of this like there is some momentum.
HUEY-BURNS: Yeah, I mean just a couple of years ago, when Nikki Haley was
running for reelection, this came up and she, you know, said it should
stay. And so again, I do think that we are going to see such a reaction
from the public seeing all of these front pages with this. I just - I
really think that people are going to put pressure. And I`m wondering how
much the public will put pressure on South Carolina as a state. I mean I
think that will be interesting to watch.
KORNACKI: Great businesses too. That`s another thing. Businesses in
South Carolina have made such a push to attract businesses to come into the
KORNACKI: That may make it tougher too, the longer that flag is there.
Anyway, still ahead in she show, as we await this morning`s healing service
at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, we are also going to be taking a
closer look at politics including launch week for Jeb Bush. Was it a
success, was it a turbulent take off? Was it both? Was it neither?
That`s still ahead. But first, a pitcher makes sports history and could
still be really disappointed with the outcome. We will explain how that
happened next. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up on
some of the other headlines with today`s panel. Let`s take a look at More
magazine. And why are we doing that? Because today is Father`s Day, and
for Father`s Day, "More" magazine has an interview with President Obama,
who says that being president has made him a better father. He says that
in this job, his family is his sanctuary. Actually, the entire issue this
month of "More" magazine guest edited by the first lady, Michelle Obama.
President Obama contributing an essay to that magazine, where he says the
presidency has made him a better father. When you edit the magazine,
(inaudible), that`s the Oprah lesson.
This is interesting, too. This is the interview with President Obama.
This is fascinating and it`s something to look forward to tomorrow. The
podcast, WTF, with comedian Marc Maron. Marc Maron found out a couple of
weeks ago he was going to get to interview President Obama on his podcast.
He does this in his garage out in California. He`s had all sorts of
comedians, all sorts of celebrities go in there. The White House called
him up and said, you know what, the president would like to come to you
garage and talk to you, so we`re going to get to hear that. I guess they
actually taped that last week, Marc Maron is out there sort of previewing
this now, but President Obama on a podcast.
PACKER GAGE: Called WTF.
CAPEHART: This is part of the administration`s plan of basically
leapfrogging us, the Washington press corps, and going right to the people
who actually reach millions of people every week or every day. He did
"Between Two Ferns," which was hilarious, to get young people to sign up
for the Affordable Care Act. So you go to this WTF guy and you sit, for I
think he sat for more than an hour.
KORNACKI: I think it`s an hour. There are no commercial interruptions.
It`s straight conversation. He said, Maron said they talked about
Charleston and they talked about politics and they talked about comedy. I
think Marc Maron used to be - he had a political radio show for a while.
He`s more just comedy now. I think he has an IFC show or something. But
also, it puts -- it`s one of the interviews too, you are so used to seeing
politicians on shows like this, on Sunday shows, very formal. Well, not
this show, but other shows with a very formal, a very precise - this is a
much more conversational interview, at least that has that potential.
HUEY-BURNS: It reaches so many people, and again, we like that the
president comes to the press corps and talks to us and engages with us.
But I can understand. You want to reach, you have a couple of years last,
and you want to reach as many people as you can. And you want to talk more
- you know, I think he`s talking more personally. That Father`s Day
interview was interesting I thought, talking about how he gets to spend
more time with his family. They are all there together and the girls are
growing up. I think that touches people in a way that they don`t
necessarily get to see.
KORNACKI: I have a podcast too. We had (inaudible) 200 downloads, so if
the president would like--
KORNACKI: We will work it out. Let`s take a look at "The Washington
Post." Another headline this morning, the Nationals, the Washington
Nationals` Max Scherzer throws a no hitter after, this is the -- you
normally think a no-hitter, this is a great event for a pitcher. But you
see what happened. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 0-2 pitch, and the ball hits deep to left, Taylor going
back, and Max Scherzer has a no hitter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That`s the good part. That`s where it becomes -- let me explain
that a little better. That was the final game to seal the no hitter. But
before that, he had been working on a perfect game. No hits. No errors.
Nobody on base for any reason at all. And there was a hit by pitch. The
batter before that was grazed by the pitch, gets first base for free,
basically. It`s no longer a perfect game, which is a step above no hitter
and it`s just a mere no hitter. It`s a rare case -- it`s fantastic for
everybody in baseball. We have a no hitter, but you know what, it`s not
CAPEHART: So how rare is a no hitter?
KORNACKI: I`m being told -- I will answer the question later, but Adam
Reiss is standing by in Charleston right now with the mayor of Charleston,
Joe Riley, he`s standing there with Adam Reiss. We will take you to that
right now. Adam, go ahead.
REISS: Steve, good morning. I`m with the long-time mayor, Joe Riley.
Thank you for joining us.
MAYOR JOE RILEY, CHARLESTON, SC: It`s a pleasure.
REISS: We are calling this a healing service. Tell me about if you will
speak, what you might say and how does this city, the holy city move
RILEY: The city is moving forward with love. It`s palpable. The grief of
all of our citizens and people of all colors and backgrounds. People tell
me they can`t stop crying. People (inaudible), and the outreach and the
people who are donating money, of course. But coming to events. The
events we have had around the community have been completely biracial, and
so we move forward with that love and support of these families. This bad
person was not from here. He came here because he wanted to kill black
people. This is - it`s not a Charleston problem, we had the horrible
result of that. These nine beautiful people being killed. But this hate
was hatched elsewhere. And that is something we need to better understand
and shine sunlight on that.
REISS: You see this as not a Charleston problem. You have been in office
for a number of years and you have worked so hard for progress. Talking
about an African-American museum. What were you thinking when you first
heard about what happened here?
RILEY: Well, I knew - I mean, my heart was broken. People told me that we
had a shooting at Emanuel and he said there are some fatalities. This was
the first report. Of course I knew the minister well and I assumed he was
not there, because the legislature is in session, but it turned out he
rushed back after the session. It was just so devastating. And
unbelievable, that this would happen, and that some person could come in
there and sit for 45 or 50 minutes in the Bible study and then pull out a
gun and say I`m going to kill you. It broke our hearts in Charleston, but
it`s broken hearts in America. I talked with people from across the
country who have called me. This is an unspeakable tragedy, a most
horrific act, and as I said, as part of this, it`s not something that was
hatched in our community. This bad guy came from 110 miles away to wreak
REISS: You knew Pastor Pinckney for many years, since he was a child.
Tell me about him and how he will be remembered.
RILEY: He was a wonderful man. He was tall and he had a deep voice. But
he was soft and gentle and loving. He was a great public official.
Everyone in South Carolina Senate admired him, and we worked together on
community initiatives. Recently I was proud to be the honorary co-chair of
the fund-raising effort to get an elevator for the (inaudible).
REISS: That`s why he was here that day. To deal with the elevator.
RILEY: We had a press conference, that was sometime ago. He was here and
came back for the Bible study. That`s the kind of pastor he was. He was
hands on. You know, pastors are like that. And certainly, and especially
in the African-American churches, where the pastor over generations has not
only dealt with the spiritual needs of the congregation, but has been their
go-to person for whatever. And that`s what he was. They loved him, and
the community loved him, and I loved him, and my heart is as broken as
anyone else. I can`t believe that we don`t have Clem Pinckney or Cynthia
Hurd, all these beautiful people in our community now. Because of this
REISS: They say this morning they are going to try to move on. How do you
RILEY: Well, you move on by working to make the future better. First of
all, we make sure we were there with families yesterday, the day before,
and that we are never going to leave them. As long as they are around. We
are here to support them. We helped them through this, we`re helping
through the funerals, we are raising money and all that, but we are never
not at their side. This community, that`s one way we do it. And then, you
know, there are things we can work on. Certainly to help lend our voices
to what has to be a national effort to do something reasonable, something
that`s worthy of America, about the proliferation of guns. And then to
also work with everyone, including the Department of Justice, to shine
light on these hate groups so they are not hidden in a closet. The First
Amendment allows you to think whatever you want to think, but at least if
they are spewing this stuff, this gets them out into the public. Then they
have got to at least explain to their neighbor, they really hate somebody
because of their race. A little harder to do that, and then the neighbors
are going to say, many of them, you are crazy. You can`t believe that in
So -- and for us, we are working on our museum, which will be a nationally
significant place. That will help, because what we need to do in America
is better understand African-American history. We don`t know it. It was
never taught. And the more we understand the heritage of the African-
American brothers and sisters, the better we understand America.
REISS: Thank you, sir.
RILEY: You`re welcome.
REISS: Our condolences to you and the city.
RILEY: Thank you so much.
REISS: Steve, we expect the service to begin in about an hour. Back to
KORNACKI: Adam Reiss, thank you for that, and again Mayor Joe Riley there
from the city of Charleston. Joe Riley has been the mayor of that city of
about 130,000 people now for 40 years, since 1975. He is actually not
seeking reelection this year. He will be ending his services, mayor for 40
years, but as he is discussing there a little with Adam, one of the
centerpiece items on his agenda, his sort of legacy item has been an
attempt to create an African American heritage museum in that city. Forty
years as mayor, Joe Riley. Interesting interview right there. More from
Charleston as Emanuel AME reopens for the first time since Wednesday`s
shooting. We`ll be right back.
KORNACKI: As we get ready for this morning`s services at Emanuel AME
church in Charleston, we do so amid other potentially big developing news.
The manhunt for two convicted killers is once again in high gear at this
hour. This after another possible sighting in New York state near the
Pennsylvania border. You can see on your map there, Allegheny County, a
resident from New York`s rural Allegheny County spotting two individuals
Saturday who matched the description of the missing prisoners. They were
walking near a train track. The location is some 350 miles southwest of
the original prison breakout. The New York state police said they are
currently devoting additional resources to the area. So far adding they
have not seen the two men themselves. The prisoners, David Sweat and
Richard Matt, have been added to the US Marshals most wanted list, carrying
a reward of $25,000 for information leading to their arrest. We`re keeping
an eye on that manhunt. We will update it here on MSNBC as events warrant.
And coming up next, he has finally made it official now. Jeb Bush running
for president. Did his campaign rollout go as planned? What does he still
need to do going forward?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH: Our country is on a very bad course. The question is, what are
we going to do about it? The question for me is what am I going to do
about it? And I have decided I`m a candidate for president of the United
States of America.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And with that, it became official. Jeb Bush is in the race for
president. Bush`s first week as an official candidate taking him from
Miami to New Hampshire. The first in the nation primary state, where he
leads in some polls, also to Iowa, the first state that will actually hold
a nominating contest next year. Bush not doing so well in the polls there.
Bush tried to show a more humorous side this week as well, helping Jimmy
Fallon to slow-jam the news on "The Tonight show."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I am looking forward to hitting the campaign trail and discussing
the issues that are important to all Americans, and having spirited debates
with my fellow Republicans about how to solve them.
JIMMY FALLON, TONIGHT SHOW: You don`t want to mess with little Jebby.
Because when it comes to debating, he`s a master.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Bush also making a pitch to social conservatives at the faith
and freedom summit on Friday, reminding them that he stood with Terry
Schiavo as governor of Florida. But his rollout was not without some
bumps. During that faith and freedom summit address, he said at first he
didn`t know what was on the mind of the Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof,
despite numerous reports that it was racially motivated. He later said the
attack was racist. He also promised that the economy would grow at a 4
percent rate for a decade under his watch. It`s a claim that the
economists on the left and the right say is practically impossible. But
overall, did Jeb Bush get what he needed to get out of his official
campaign launch? To discuss, we are joined by former Virginia Congressman
Tom Davis, who will join our panel right now.
Congressman, thank you for taking a few minutes. So we have been talking
about it almost as a theme on this show all year, comparing Jeb Bush right
now to George W. Bush when he first ran in 1999, and how the whole party
just united around him in those first six months of the campaign, and not
really seeing that with Jeb Bush in the first six months of this year. Do
you think his rollout this week, that announcement speech in Florida, what
he`s done since then, has that changed the dynamic we`ve been seeing at
all, with Jeb Bush and how the Republican Party is reacting to him?
FORMER REP. TOM DAVIS, R-VA.: No, I don`t think so. It was a good
rollout, but Trump got I think as much publicity on his rollout. This is a
crowded field. Bush represents the establishment, and a good part of the
Republican Party`s base is anti-establishment. It`s tough slog for him.
He is certainly in the fight, he`s got a lot of money. But this is a long,
long road at this point. I am not sure he gets nominated.
KORNACKI: You say the anti-establishment mood, and I keep thinking the
name Bush, within the Republican world, to the Republican base, coming out
of the George W. Bush presidency, the name Bush has almost like a
pejorative quality to the base, because of the idea of hey, government grew
on George W. Bush`s watch. Big government conservatism and things like
that. Is there a resistance to the name Bush in the Republican Party?
DAVIS: I think among some elements of it, absolutely, a lot of the Tea
Party elements, Bush stands right up there with Obama. What you`ve got to
understand is the base of the Republican Party has moved more rural. It`s
moved more conservative over the last eight years. The people who
represented the Republican constituency in 2000 is a different group than
represent it today. And there is a bit of Bush fatigue. People say, gee,
do we want one family to have dominated the presidency for Republicans over
a 28-year period. So it`s not impossible for him. He had a great record
as governor. If his name were something else, frankly, he may be doing
better. But he`s also got the common core issue, the immigration issue,
that goes against a lot of the party base. It`s certainly possible for him
to be nominated, but this is no cake walk at this point.
KORNACKI: Let me bring the panel in here. Curious what you guys think of
the Bush rollout this week. I was watching it, and I thought, I will give
him credit on this front. I have not been impressed with Jeb Bush as a
stump speaker all year. I thought he is a little too laid back, a little
too almost professorial, whatever. I thought the speech he gave on Monday,
I thought there was a lot more energy than I have seen, a lot more - a
HUEY-BURNS: I was actually wondering how they were going to do it. He has
been running for six months. So trying to reenergize everyone, including
himself, I think was a big order. And I think he did well. And it was
interesting, being in Miami, a very diverse setting. He was separating
himself from his brother and his father. At least demographically and all
of that. I was in New Hampshire for his first town hall earlier this week,
and inside he was trying to introduce himself to people. A lot of people
know the Bush name, of course, but they don`t know Jeb as he was trying to
introduce himself. And outside, there were several protesters calling for
no more Bushes, not only on the Iraq war, but on economic issues. We saw a
lot of that outside the venue and protesting against common core. So
that`s another issue he has to deal with, within the Republican Party, not
only trying to expand, you know, his reach beyond that.
KORNACKI: Katie, you have been through this with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney
played the role of the establishment candidate in 2012 and you guys had to
get him through the primaries against Newt Gingrich here, there was
Santorum there. All these threats from the base. Jeb Bush is trying to
navigate a similar path. Are you seeing it for them?
PACKER GAGE: Let`s just start by saying he had a very, very strong
announcement. I think that as far as what you want to accomplish on an
announcement day, he did everything he needed to do on that day. His
challenge is that this field is a very, very strong field. That`s
different from 2012. Mitt was more of an establishment candidate, but he
was running against a relatively weak field. So it was really important to
sort of coalesce the donor community, sort of the more establishment
Republicans, and you could put together a majority under those
circumstances. It`s very tough in this field, where you have others that
can sort of lay claim to the establishment mantle, but also have a much
stronger appeal with the more conservative base of our party. And so
that`s going to be his challenge. I thought it was interesting, the optics
of his announcement, the open collar shirt, not wearing a suit. Jeb! No
mention of the word Bush. You can really see that he is trying to distance
himself from this -
KORNACKI: When they want to get away from Washington, they want to -- I
always remember when Bob Dole quit the Senate in the middle of his
campaign, he stopped wearing the tie. He still wore the jacket. But he
suddenly stopped wearing a tie, and no longer was Bob Dole Washington. Tom
Davis, let me bring you back in here. Here is what I`m curious about.
Katie is talking about this idea, trying to unite some of the establishment
with the sort of restive conservative base out there. We have talked about
Jeb Bush`s problems there. Do you see anybody in this field right now or
prospectively in this field, John Kasich looking to get in, who has the
potential to sort of hit that sweet spot, where they are acceptable enough
to the base, where the base isn`t going to want to revolt, but the
establishment also looks at them and says, this is someone we could
actually and should actually nominate for president.
DAVIS: Sure. I mean, Rubio, Kasich, Walker. They all, Christie. They
all take a bite out of that establishment base and can put -- plant a foot
down with the other groups as well. Probably Walker and Rubio are well
situated at this point. But Bush does not own the establishment. And as I
said, there is a Bush fatigue. A lot of the new people are going with
other candidates, trying something else.
The difficulty for Jeb Bush is despite the fact that he had a great record
as governor, when people hear the Bush name at this point, there is an
element in a party that just pushes the mute button.
KORNACKI: It`s an amazing dynamic as I say, when you think back to George
W. Bush, when he ran, how eager that Republican Party was, all these years
later, to see this. Former Virginia Congressman Tom Davis, appreciate your
time this morning. Thank you.
DAVIS: Thank you.
KORNACKI: And still ahead as we continue here this morning, it`s a new day
in more ways than one at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, reverting to a
house of worship for the morning services from a crime scene just three
days earlier. That shooting reviving a long contentious national debate
led by President Obama. Will stricter gun laws save lives? Both of those
angles are still ahead from Charleston.
KORNACKI: All right, a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up
with some of the other headlines making news. Back with our panel. We
started to get into this earlier in the show. We ended up going to
Charleston for that interview with the mayor. But Jonathan Capehart, this
was the second no hitter this year. To answer that question, we were
talking about Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals. He was so close to
a perfect game and then fell short and had to settle for a no hitter. We
should all be so lucky in life to have to settle for that. Let`s see what
else we have, this was in the news today. We have Mashable, here`s a
headline. Millennials, here are the best job titles to pursue in 2015.
These are the top jobs for millennials in the year 2015 based on annual
median salary, projected growth outlook. Advertising account executive,
civil engineer, computer systems analyst, data scientist, financial
planner, market research analyst, physical therapist, social media manager,
software engineer, statistician. MSNBC weekend morning host, do I see that
PACKER GAGE: You really want a financial planner that is a 22 years old?
KORNACKI: That`s a very good point.
PACKER GAGE: Even I, I think can do better than that.
KORNACKI: Computer systems analysts, they put this on the list every year.
CAPEHART: All those things have been there every year since I have been
alive, with the exception of social media manager. Or whatever that was.
I guess that`s Twitter, or twitterer.
KORNACKI: I don`t want to be a - nobody wants me being a physical
therapist. Here is the New York Times, riding with Biden in 2016, but so
far the vice president is not aboard. So now there is a draft Biden 2016
group, pushing the vice president Joe Biden. Riding has collected 81,000
petition signatures. Mr. Biden has not endorsed the effort nor called or
visited or publicly acknowledged its existence. He is playing hard to get.
CAPEHART: I think there are a lot of bored people. Draft Biden, draft
Elizabeth Warren, draft Sarah Palin, draft - well, Ben Carson actually got
in. So there is one draft effort.
KORNACKI: Sometimes they answer the call.
HUEY-BURNS: I do still think it`s interesting that the sitting vice
president is not part of the conversation.
KORNACKI: It`s amazing.
HUEY-BURNS: We never hear, I mean, even traveling through these early
states, I have not heard you know, voters talk about we really wish -
KORNACKI: It`s amazing, a sitting vice president, and when you poll him
against Hillary, he`s losing by 40, 50 points, and it`s an extraordinary
situation we`ve never really had before. Less than four days after that
shooting in Charleston, the church is set now to reopen its doors. In
fact, the doors are already open. We will show you what`s going on there
right on the other side of the break. Stay with us. Another full hour of
news and politics straight ahead.
KORNACKI: All right, thanks for staying with us this Sunday morning. We
are looking live right now at the scene at Emanuel AME church in
Charleston, South Carolina. That church opening its doors this morning for
services for the first time since Wednesday night when a young man gunned
down nine people during a Bible study session in a racially motivated
attack. As that city tries to heal now, the sanctuary morphing back from
crime scene to house of worship. Begin this hour by going now to MSNBC`s
Adam Reiss in Charleston. Adam?
REISS: Steve, good morning to you. The service is about to begin in about
a half hour. I want to show you the front door, people arriving here, not
only from Charleston, but around the region, to remember those nine lives
lost. It`s a healing process. They say today here in the holy city, their
hearts are heavy, but they will get through this as best they can. I had a
chance to talk to the mayor, Joe Riley, who has been in office here almost
40 years. Here`s what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REISS: They say this morning they are going to try to move on. How do you
RILEY: Well, you move on by working to make the future better. First of
all, we make sure, we met with families yesterday, and the day before, and
we are never going to leave them as long as they are around. We are here
to support them. We helped them through this, we helped them through the
funerals, we are raising money and all that. But we are never not at their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REISS: This is just a tremendous outpouring of grief. When I was done
speaking to the mayor, he told me off camera, everyone he talks to here in
the holy city, they just cannot stop crying. Steve?
KORNACKI: Adam Reiss in Charleston. Thank you for that. We are going to
be closely monitoring that church service throughout the hour. As we do
that, we are going to turn now to this country`s debate over gun laws, a
long and contentious national dialogue. It has been revived once again by
Wednesday`s brutal attack, and as President Obama has after past mass
shootings, more than 14 times now since he took office, the president
saying this week that stricter gun laws would save lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We need a change in attitudes. Among everybody. Lawful gun owners
and those who are unfamiliar with guns, we have to have a conversation
about it and fix this. And ultimately, Congress acts when the public
insists on action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The debate also prompting reaction from many of the men and
women hoping to replace President Obama, but even if the voting public
insists on action, as it has said in polls in the past, will that result in
actual concrete and effective legislation? Will anything be different this
time? Joining the panel this morning is Congressman Chaka Fattah, a
Democrat from Pennsylvania, who was the vice chair of the House Gun
Violence Prevention Task Force. Back here at the table, MSNBC contributor
Jonathan Capehart, Republican consultant Katie Packer Gage. Caitlin Huey-
Burns, a reporter with RealClearPolitics.
Congressman, let me start with you. We can put the polls up on the screen
when we talk about a lot of gun control measures, whether it`s background
checks or things of that nature. They always seem to poll well, but it
also seems the politicians who don`t do anything about it, who don`t vote
for it, who vote against it, they never pay a price for it. Is there any
reason to think that dynamic is going to change in the near future?
REP. CHAKA FATTAH, D-PA.: I think what the public will be very
disappointed about is that if you just roll the tape back 10 days, I`m on
the House floor, we`re debating amendments that the Republicans put out
that passed, that would allow a greater access to silencers for guns, that
would allow armor-piercing bullets to be sold. Not only are we not moving
in the right direction, we are actually moving in the wrong direction.
The bottom line is you hear opponents say, well, it wouldn`t have stopped
this shooting or that shooting. We had a shooting in Philadelphia
yesterday at a picnic, in which almost 10 people were shot, including a
number of children. The reality is that because we have traffic laws,
there are still people who run red lights. But it does save lives. It
does have most people try to obey the law. We know that reasonable gun
control will provide a safer society. And we know something else, Steve,
those of us making those decisions, look at what we do. We`re in buildings
in which you can`t bring guns in and which we check to make sure you can`t
bring. We know how dangerous guns are. But we legislate that you can
bring them in schools or in colleges or some states allow them in churches
and on and on and on. As if, you know, they are God`s gift. And really,
guns are a danger, and they are more dangerous when they are put in the
hands of people who have hatred in their heart or are mentally challenged
or unstable. But guns themselves are part of the problem.
KORNACKI: It seems though politically that there is a certain futility to
this. I start to wonder, you think of Newtown, you think of Sandy Hook.
20 children gunned down in a school, and then background checks come up in
Congress, and nothing happens. You think of Aurora and you think of going
back 20 years to Columbine. You think of this - and I guess the question
occurs to me over and over again. When you look at these, if Sandy Hook,
if 20 dead children in Sandy Hook wouldn`t stir Congress to action, is
there anything that possibly would?
FATTAH: There is action taking place at the local level. One of the
things that, efforts put together by my friend, the mayor of Charleston,
and Mayor Bloomberg and others, mayors around the country have organized
themselves, local communities are getting more engaged, because the relief
is not coming from Washington, but it is starting to build at a community
level that more needs to be done. The mayor Bill Finch (ph) just announced
a major gun buy-back program in New England. We have to work harder at
this, but we can`t give up. And we need to demand as part of the
presidential debate, I was so happy to see Hillary Clinton come out
strongly in favor of reasonable gun control. On the Supreme Court, you
won`t be able to take a gun in there this week when you go in to hear the
reports from their rulings. We need to demand that the people making these
decisions protect us as a community as much as they protect themselves.
KORNACKI: Let me bring in the panel in here. Do you think or do you
expect we will be hearing about this issue, about gun control on the
campaign trail in 2016, or is this something we hear about in this week
immediately after Charleston and then we stop hearing about it?
CAPEHART: Both. As a nation, we move on to the next shiny object. But I
do think on the campaign trail, the candidates do have to talk about this.
Hillary Clinton in her speech at the conference of mayors yesterday was
fantastic on a whole host of issues in that speech, but particularly on gun
And to your point about Newton and 20 children slaughtered in an elementary
school, which we`ve never seen before, shocked the nation. 90 percent of
the American people supported background checks and Congress did nothing.
It failed. Congress is at the - is in thrall to the NRA. This is where I
disagree with the president when he says when the American people rise up
and push Congress to do something, Congress has to listen. That`s an
instance when Congress didn`t listen at all.
KORNACKI: But I think --
CAPEHART: -- against the special interests, though, in this case the NRA.
KORNACKI: How many congressmen who voted against the background checks in
the wake of Newtown, 90 percent said they supported it, and how many lost
their seats? That`s the thing that - I always wonder when I see that 90
percent number, how intense is that and how focused is that? If it were 90
percent who were just adamantly focused, we have to have this, surely some
of these people would be losing their seats because of it.
PACKER GAGE: I think the sentiments that you are seeing truly is this high
number of people that just want the killing to stop. They don`t really
know what the solution is. Nobody is really proposing something that
actually is a real solution. I think there is a frustration for those that
are responsible gun owners that when things like this happen, all we talk
about is gun control. How about the fact that these are crazy people, and
there signs that they are going to do crazy things, and nobody does
anything about it? This young man, I saw a story yesterday that one of his
black friends said I don`t think he just hates black people, I think he
hates humans. There were signs that this guy was really troubled and
something was wrong and he was on the edge and nobody does anything about
it. Nobody says anything about it.
Hillary Clinton talked yesterday about mental health sort of
qualifications. How do you determine that? Where do you draw the line
between what doctors are allowed to disclose to people outside of their
patients about somebody`s mental health? There is a lot of complicating
factors. The passion you see, though, is people don`t want to see people
getting killed. And they just don`t know what the solution is.
KORNACKI: Go ahead, Congressman.
FATTAH: Part of the solution is not to say that you have to have a miracle
cure for everything. We have to have a license to drive a car, right? So
yes, there might be some bad drivers out there, maybe some drivers who
break the law, but there is a process in which we can try to make the roads
safer. We can do the same with guns. That is, there`s no reason for us to
have more noise suppression devices for guns, hundreds of thousands of them
provided easy access to in this country, automatic weapons, armor-piercing
bullets. There are places where responsible gun owners can agree, and they
do agree, that we should have background checks for all sales of guns, and
that the Congress will act on this is the real problem. We can`t just walk
away from by saying, can we do something about mental health challenges?
Yes, I have a bill to do something about mental health issues around young
people, but that doesn`t mean we should back away from a demand for the
kind of reasonableness in gun registration, and not gun registration, but
gun control, reasonable gun control in our country so that you don`t have
automatic weapons or semi-automatic weapons provided to people who should
not be able to have them.
KORNACKI: All right, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from Pennsylvania.
Appreciate the time this morning. Thank you.
FATTAH: Thank you.
KORNACKI: Still ahead, we will keep you updated on the services as they
unfold this hour at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston. And next, another
religious leader, Pope Francis, revives political debate on another
divisive topic. The details are on the other side of this break. Stay
KORNACKI: This is the scene right now inside Emanuel AME church in
Charleston, just three and a half days since that horrific shooting there.
The doors of the church have now reopened, services will be beginning there
shortly. We will be checking in on the service throughout the morning
here. But meanwhile, another religious leader is also making history with
his call to action this week on climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT.: This pope has dare I say been a miracle for
humanity. He makes me very conservative on economic issues, and that he
spoke out on climate change, in as forceful a manner as he did, is just
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The pope`s encyclical this week on the environment energizing
many Democrats, but also putting Republicans in a bit of a tough spot. For
years the GOP has been cultivating culturally conservative Catholic voters.
In the 2012 election, the Catholic vote split down the middle, with Obama
edging out Romney by 2 points, but among church going Catholics, Romney
actually beat Obama by 15 points. So with the pope calling on Catholics to
curb climate change, it sets up a potential dilemma for Republicans. They
can side with the pope and risk angering their base, which is skeptical of
global warming, or they can side with that base and against the leader of
the Catholic Church. Now, currently, there five Catholics vying for the
Republican nomination. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal
and Chris Christie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I hope I`m not going to get castigated by saying this by my priest
back home, but I don`t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals
or my pope.
RICK SANTORUM, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: The church has gotten it wrong a few
times on science. And I think that we probably are better off leaving
science to the scientists and focusing on what we do, what we are really
good at, which is theology and morality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Joining us now is MSNBC contributor, EJ Dionne, the author of "A
Radical Pope," in the latest issue of the "American Prospect," also a
columnist for the Washington Post. EJ, thank you for taking a few minutes
this morning. So the pope puts Republicans on the spot, and what we are
hearing, play a couple of those clips right there, what we`re hearing from
the Republican candidates so far is this, to this encyclical, thanks but no
thanks. Does he have a chance to change that at all?
EJ DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: I don`t think he is going to change their
positions, but I think he is going to create some second thoughts and some
doubts at the grass roots. If you look at Ross Douthat in the "New York
Times", this morning, a conservative Catholic, he took this encyclical very
seriously and tried to interpret it in a certain way. But he didn`t try to
interpret away how strong the pope`s witness is on climate change. I think
what you are seeing here are an awful lot of conservatives who in the past,
very recent past, said the church and religion should have a major role in
public life, and then all of a sudden when Pope Francis revives a strong
tradition in the church of social concern, of concern for the poor and
concern for the environment, suddenly we are supposed to make religion a
private matter. It`s very striking. You showed Jeb Bush up there. Peter
Beinart, the writer, pointed out that back in 2009, he said exactly the
opposite. He said that he thought it was wrong to put faith in a safe
deposit box until you finish your public service. So a lot of people are
suddenly switching sides as to what the church should say in the public
KORNACKI: And how do EJ, how do pronouncements like this, whether it`s on
the environment or other issues, you talk about in this new piece, you talk
about Pope Francis being essentially a radical. We also showed those polls
from 2012, the most devout Catholics, the ones who were most likely to
attend services every week, much more conservative maybe then than lapsed
Catholics are. How is this pope when he weighs in on issues like this, how
is it going over in the church?
DIONNE: First of all, I think 42 percent for Obama, that`s still an awful
lot of Catholics. Secondly, I think one of the great possibilities of this
pope is that some people who left the church because they thought its
public witness was almost exclusively on the conservative side are going to
say, wait a minute, a lot of things I remembered about the Catholic Church,
particularly concern for the poor, here they are being expressed again, so
those numbers could change. But this also has an effect on the grassroots.
The mass I went to last Sunday, the priest who was a progressive, broadly
speaking, gave a really powerful sermon on climate change. And I think what
the pope is doing is opening up space inside the church for people like
that friend of mine who is a priest to say things that the congregation is
going to hear a little differently perhaps because Pope Francis is behind
it. And let it be said that Pope Francis is very popular in the polls
among all kinds of Catholics. They know how good he has been for the
KORNACKI: I think his approval rating among Catholics was 86 to 4.
Anyway, EJ Dionne from "the Washington Post," thank you for taking a few
minutes this morning, I appreciate it.
DIONNE: It`s great to be with you. Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead, we are looking inside Emanuel AME in
Charleston. We`re expecting this morning services there to start within
minutes. First, in the meantime, Hillary Clinton weighs in on the tragedy
in Charleston, and we will play some of her speech for you on the other
side of the break. Here`s a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America`s long
struggle with race is far from finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right, we`re looking live at the services getting under way
at Emanuel AME church in Charleston. Sanctuary reopening to worshippers
less than four days after Wednesday`s brutal shooting. We will be keeping
an eye on what`s unfolding there. Already receiving word some dignitaries
are present in that church today, including Nikki Haley, the governor of
South Carolina. She is apparently inside the church as you are looking at
the live shots right there. Also presidential candidate Rick Santorum,
apparently he is on hand as well in that church. Others undoubtedly, other
prominent leaders likely there as well. We will again keep you posted on
what is happening inside Emanuel AME Church throughout the hour, throughout
the morning. We are also talking this hour about how that attack has
revived the national conversation about what can and should be done about
gun violence, and here`s what Hillary Clinton had to say about that
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Nine faithful women and men, with families and passions and so
much left to do. As a mother, a grandmother, just as a fellow human being,
my heart is bursting for them. For these victims and their families, for a
wounded community and a wounded church. For our country struggling once
again to make sense of violence that is fundamentally senseless. And
history we desperately want to leave behind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That`s Hillary Clinton making extended remarks on the tragedy in
South Carolina yesterday in a speech to the conference of mayors. In
addition to pushing for gun reforms, Clinton emphasizing the role that race
still plays in society.
I thought we were playing a clip of that there. Silence indicates we are
not. So let`s bring the panel right back in here. This was -- especially
the part that I thought we were going to play there about race. Jonathan,
Hillary Clinton, it`s striking to me in a lot of ways. And you remember in
2008 when it came down to the final months of the campaign, there was so
much talk, here is Hillary Clinton, the candidate of white working class
voters against Barack Obama. It was almost as if she was talking to that
base yesterday and delivering a message of hey, there is a reckoning we
have to face on racial issues.
CAPEHART: Watching her speech and particularly that section of her speech
I found very, very powerful. I put it up there in terms of its honesty
with the American people, I put it up there with then candidate Obama`s
Philadelphia speech on race. What she`s saying to the country, we have got
to deal with this. Yes, this is a gun issue, what`s happening in
Charleston, but it`s also a race issue. Because even now, with this
manifesto that appears to have come from Dylann Roof and everything that is
said in there and everything we even knew before this manifesto came out
about what he said, allegedly said before he slaughtered those nine people,
that we have a problem. I don`t know if you can fix it, but you definitely
have to address it. I think one of the things she said was, we have to
stop ignoring it. And it`s more than just stopping someone from killing
someone because the person is motivated by hate. It goes to simple things,
like when you hear the racist joke or the racist comment. Saying
something, and she lauded the florist who followed Dylann Roof for 30
miles. And lauded her because here is someone who decided, enough. That
they were not going to remain silent. And we need more people like that if
we are going to have any hope whatsoever of at least moving in the right
direction to change things.
KORNACKI: I thought it was -- it`s also part of a pattern here too that we
have been talking about with Hillary Clinton, where she is talking in a way
that she didn`t talk in 2008. She was talking in 2000 as a Senate
candidate, she seems to be in a way almost embracing a very different
coalition here, it`s sort of the story of the evolution of the Democratic
Party. Anyway, still ahead, services just about to get under way this
morning at Emanuel AME church. We will bring you there in just a moment.
KORNACKI: You are looking live there inside Emanuel AME church in
Charleston. As you can see, the service is now under way. Organizers are
calling this a healing service at that church, as the city of Charleston,
as the country as a whole try to recover from that tragedy. Let`s go to
Brother Robert Sanders now, who is speaking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- from whom all blessings flow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The call to worship is found in your worship bulletin,
your worship guide. I was glad when they said onto me, let us go into the
house of Lord, our futures stand within thy gates, oh Jerusalem.
KORNACKI: Again, looking at live pictures there, live video of those
services inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. Those
services now under way. They are now just getting under way. Going to
keep an eye on that. Expecting to be hearing a sermon at some point that
we will try to bring you some coverage of as well. So keep a close eye on
what`s taking place in there.
In the meantime, we are also juggling a lot of other news this morning,
some news from the world of politics. We have actually some new poll
numbers. NBC News "Wall Street Journal" poll numbers. These are hot off
the presses this morning. Brand new polls about the presidential race. We
want to share those numbers with you right now. This is NBC News "Wall
Street Journal" poll that asked the question of Republican voters in the
country, could you see yourself supporting this candidate, could you not
see yourself supporting this candidate? Basically measuring how acceptable
all these candidates are to Republican voters. You can see the one who
does the best there is Marco Rubio. 74 percent saying yes, we could see
ourselves supporting him, 15 percent saying no, we can`t. A difference of
59 points in the positive direction. Jeb Bush, this is very interesting,
he does very well here in terms of his rating of how acceptable he is to
Republicans potentially, you see a 53 point margin there. Of note, when
Bush first got in this race a few months ago, the number was less than half
that. So he significantly improved at least his overall acceptability to
Republicans in the last few months. You can see, Scott Walker and Mike
Huckabee doing very well there. Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz more
middle of the road.
Now flip to the other side, you can start to see where the numbers go in
the other direction. Santorum, Jindal, Rand Paul and Fiorina, barely in
positive territory, and then you get into the very bottom, Donald Trump, 66
percent of Republicans said they can`t see themselves supporting Donald
Trump and only 32 percent saying yes. George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Chris
Christie. A little bit of a surprise there, maybe John Kasich, John
Kasich, not as much known about him right now. A lot of potential people
think as the governor of Ohio, the governor of a major swing state, a
former congressional leader, on the Republican side, and yet 30 percent
saying they don`t see themselves supporting him right now. So a lot to
digest. What do you make of those numbers?
HUEY-BURNS: I think it`s been interesting to see Marco Rubio I think defy
some expectations among Republicans. I think that the biggest criticism he
had entering this race was that he was kind of an Obama, a first-term
senator, inexperienced in certain respects, going up against Jeb Bush. And
I think he has proven to be competitive, but I wonder if we will see with
Jeb Bush trying to reintroduce himself as Jeb and not a Bush, I wonder if
we are starting to see some of the impact of that. I think it will take a
few more months, but that was interesting.
KORNACKI: I have to say, I didn`t fully see the Rubio thing coming. But
I`m seeing it now. When I`m looking at all these candidates. Who
realistically could beat Jeb Bush in this? I would put Rubio at the top of
that list right now, and I see in the numbers, Katie, there seems to be
energy for him, an enthusiasm for him on the Republican side.
PACKER GAGE: It has been a while since Republicans had the opportunity to
look at a candidate that`s the candidate of the next generation, a
candidate with real strong appeal within the Latino community. He has got
a story that is very, very relatable. I teach a class at George Washington
University. And I sort of did a poll with my students, they are post-
graduate students, and they look at these candidates, and Marco Rubio has a
lot of appeal to them. They are mostly Democrat students, and they look at
him and they think he speaks to them in a way Republicans candidates had
typically had trouble. So there is something sort of special. I`ve heard
this kind of Cuban Camelot thing sort of talked about. There is something
about him that says something new and different about the Republican Party.
And there is some excitement for that.
KORNACKI: He`s the one, too, I hear more from Democrats, when Democrats
look at this field and you ask the question, who do you want to face, who
do you not want to face? We know they want to face Donald Trump or Ted
Cruz or something like that, but the one that you more often hear they
don`t want to face is Marco Rubio.
CAPEHART: Absolutely, because he is young and he`s dynamic, he`s Latino.
Let`s just take this same-sex marriage question. Remember the ridiculous
question that came up, would you go to a same-sex marriage ceremony of a
loved one or a friend? He actually answered it the compassionate, humane
way, as opposed to the totally heartless way that Rick Santorum did. So
you put all of that together, and you have the generational divide between,
say, Marco Rubio as a Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton, and it makes
it very tough if you have that matchup for Hillary Clinton to say, go with
me, I am the change candidate, even though she would be the first woman
president. It would be a clash of historic --
KORNACKI: -- she put that line into her speech last week, it jumped out
where she said she would not be the youngest president ever, but then
again, she said I would be the youngest woman president.
HUEY-BURNS: Rubio I think is the only one that can wage that kind of
historic nature of the campaign. It is interesting, both he and Walker,
and Walker recently alluded to the fact that some of his supporters are
suggesting a Walker-Rubio ticket. But they are both trying to appeal to
multiple lanes within their party, but also to strike that generational
contrast with Hillary Clinton. I think compared to the two, you have seen
Rubio be pretty good on his feet. And I think that`s appealing to a lot of
KORNACKI: And we say it`s so rare for the Republican Party. I guess
George W. Bush was in his 50s, but it is so rare for them to nominate
someone who is under 60 years old. You`re looking at Marco Rubio, he`ll be
43, 44 years old. That`s an unusual situation on the Republican side.
Still ahead, we will be watching this morning`s healing service at Emanuel
AME church in Charleston. Take a listen to that before we go to break.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- individually and collectively. We come, oh, Lord,
realizing that had it not been for you, where would we be? We thank you oh,
Lord for all of the blessings that you have given to us. We thank you for
the blessing of life and the opportunity to serve in this life, to serve
humanity and to serve you. We just thank you, Lord. We thank you for
servants that you send our way. To give us guidance. Thank you for those
who serve in various capacities, in ministries, in the government. In
homes. In schools. We thank you for everyone and for what each does.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- devil thought it was over, not knowing that you are
in charge, and on that very day he arose and he lives. Christ lives, and
because he lives, we too can live. Thank you, Lord, for Jesus, who came
and told us and gave us a spiritual map that we then find ourselves to a
greater and a better place. For we realize, our father, that this is not
our permanent dwelling place. We are only here for a short while, and
after a while, it will all be over. But thanks be to God, Jesus said I am
going to prepare a place for you, and when your room is ready, I`m coming
to get you. Our loved ones who were victimized the other evening, they
have gone on before us, but we are behind them. We will be going also one
day, and when we get there, oh, what a joyful time it will be. When we all
get to heaven.
KORNACKI: Services as you can hear and see there under way this morning at
Charleston`s Emanuel AME church. We are watching those, listening. We
will be returning to that church shortly. Meantime, as we say, balancing
of the news and politics going on in the world today. We will turn back to
Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president. Earlier we were
discussing, Sanders` embrace of the pope and the church leader`s call to
action on climate change this week. Also with note with Bernie Sanders,
though, are the nearly 5,000 people who attended one of his events in
Denver last night. That`s one of the biggest campaign rallies of the
presidential campaign, of anyone`s presidential campaign so far. You can
see, look at that wide shot there. 5,000 people showing up to see him in
Denver. Bring the panel back in here.
This is becoming a theme with Bernie Sanders campaign. I think they had
events in South Carolina and Nevada, they had to move the locations because
of too much interest. I was up in Burlington, Vermont, his hometown, a
city of about 40,000 people. For his announcement, I think they had 5,500
people. They just opened up a public park. Huge grassroots interest. The
million dollar question, Caitlin, with all this, I always think back to
Ralph Nader running for president in 2000. He was filling up 15,000 seat
arenas, and people were looking at this and saying, this guy will get 5,
10, 15 percent of the vote on election day. There`s something big going on
there. It translated to 2.7 percent in the end. We`re starting to wonder,
is this a sign of something broad, or is this a sign that basically every
Bernie Sanders supporter in Colorado came to one place yesterday?
HUEY-BURNS: I think it`s two things. One is that the Democrats haven`t
had an open race in a long time. I think they are wanting to see, they are
wanting to have this debate, especially on the issues he`s talking about.
The other thing is there is a certain amount of accessibility to his
campaign. If you think about it, Hillary Clinton has been traveling around
the country, hosting events, but in the beginning, they were very small,
very orchestrated, very designed. His have this feeling of just come on
in. And so I do think for democrats who want to participate in the
process, maybe they don`t end up thinking he is going to be president, but
they do want to be involved. I`ve seen it, especially in New Hampshire,
where Democrats and independents go to Republican events just to scope out
the field. I do think there is an accessibility to his campaign that`s
KORNACKI: I`m curious, Jonathan, do you think he`s tapping into - you can
look at the race, the Democratic race just on the numbers, and you say
overall, Hillary Clinton is 40 or 50 points ahead of him. However, we did
also see this week in New Hampshire, there were two polls in New Hampshire
this week that had Sanders within 10 points of Hillary Clinton there. You
can dismiss that and say, this is New Hampshire, he`s from Vermont,
Connecticut River, there is a lot of overlap right there. But we put it up
on the screen there. That caught my attention.
CAPEHART: Or it could be an outlier. Hillary Clinton is still ahead, but
there is no denying that the reason why Bernie Sanders is getting the
crowds that he is getting is because his message is tapping into a feeling
and an anger and an anxiety within the Democratic Party base that has been
there since the financial collapse of 2008. He is speaking their language.
He is angry at the banks. He thinks they should be punished, and there are
a lot of people who believe that. So in a political environment, when
someone is saying the things that you believe in your head and your heart,
of course you are going to go out there and hear that person articulate
your feelings. The question is, in your Ralph Nader example, that is the
perfect example, the question is, once it comes time to go to the ballot
box and vote, when it goes from a voluntary hey, let`s go see this person
speak, to now I`m actually proactively making a call, it gets to be a
little different. You know, 15,000 people showing up for Ralph Nader
translated into 2 percent of the vote, and, you know, a George W. Bush
PACKER GAGE: That`s not really the point right now. The point is there is
a lot of dissatisfaction with Hillary Clinton. She`s not speaking to a
pretty significant segment within the Democratic Party. And the
interesting thing is, you know, he`s not a big celebrity. He`s not an
incredibly charismatic speaker. He`s Bernie Sanders, and he`s showing up,
and thousands of people are coming. And Hillary Clinton is going to have
to respond to this.
KORNACKI: It sounds like she is. The themes that she is stressing at
PACKER GAGE: I think she`s going to swing farther than she wanted to swing
in order to sort of capture that. And I don`t think it`s really about
election day, I think it`s what happens between now and election day, that
she and her campaign are going to do, the changes they`re going to make
that are going to cause her some heartache.
KORNACKI: We were talking about her speech or playing some of her speech
that she gave yesterday in response to Charleston. One of the themes that
she played up in this speech is gun control. The interesting thing there
is Bernie Sanders, we think of him as the most left wing guy in the world
on everything. Not on guns. On the issue of guns, Bernie Sanders has a
political philosophy, this comes I think from being from a rural state,
from Vermont, where he thinks, his obligation to the sort of the lower
income, rural population in Vermont is, they like their guns, they cherish
their guns. He does not want to be seen as threatening their guns, and he
wants to instead unite them into this sort of economically progressive -
that is vision of politics, and Hillary, there is an opening for her to get
to his left on that issue.
CAPEHART: So now the pressure -- everyone is talking about how Bernie
Sanders is pressuring Hillary Clinton to move to the left on economics and
all of this. Well, with that speech, as you`re saying, she`s putting now
pressure on Bernie Sanders, and it`s going to be incumbent upon us to ask,
well, Senator Sanders, where are you on gun control? To put him on the spot
and make him answer those questions.
KORNACKI: Howard Dean, also from Vermont, when he ran in 2004, that was
one of the trip wires for him in the Democratic primary as well. He was
opposed to gun control, said this is a state issue, I don`t want New York
laws in Vermont.
HUEY-BURNS: Here`s where Martin O`Malley comes in. There is this kind of
primary within the primary of Martin O`Malley, and we just haven`t really
seen him. This is an issue where he saw an opening as well. He came out
with a very strong letter to supporters. So I think that is such a
fascinating part of this primary.
KORNACKI: As usual, we don`t think of Martin O`Malley until the very end.
Anyway, I want to say thanks to this morning`s panel, Jonathan Capehart,
Katie Packer Gage, Caitlin Huey-Burns. Appreciate you being here.
We want to show you the Emanuel AME church in Charleston. That`s where
Sunday morning services began a short while ago. Let`s go there now.
KORNACKI: At the top of the hour just a few minutes from now, all churches
in Charleston, South Carolina are set to ring their bells in memory of the
victims of Wednesday`s shooting. We`ll show you that live as it happens.
We`ll be back before the top of the hour to make sure you`ll get to see
that. You`re not going to want to miss it, coming up just a few minutes
from now. Stay with us.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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