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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: July 19, 2015
Guest: John Stanton, Nicholas Burns, Chuck Schumer


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP: He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people
that weren`t captured, OK? I hate to tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: All right. Good morning. Thanks for
getting up with us this Sunday morning. We have a busy morning in store
for you today including, but not limited to how Donald Trump, you just
heard it there, how he is stirring new outrage. And reaction from the
Republican Party and beyond. Has he finally gone too far? Is this the
beginning of the end of the Trump surge? We`ll get into that in just a few
minutes. We`ll also be sitting down this morning for breakfast with
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. But we begin in Tennessee. We`re
learning more about the alleged shooter behind the deadly rampage of the
military recruiting center in Chattanooga, which has now left five people
dead. Governors of six states have called for full time military personnel
and National Guard facilities like the one in Chattanooga to be armed going
forward. NBC Sarah Dallof is in Tennessee and has more on that. And new
details this morning about the gunman, Sarah.

SARAH DALLOF, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Steve. Authorities
expect to clear this scene here behind me, although they say processing the
second location where the Marines were killed is going to take more time.
They are chasing down some 200 leads right now into the suspected gunman
and his background. His family released a statement, which reads in part,
quote, "there are no words to describe our shock, horror and grief. This
person who committed this horrible crime was not the son we knew and loved
for many years, our son suffered from depression. It grieves us beyond
belief to know his pain, found its expression in this heinous act of
violence.

Meanwhile, the community continues to come together to grieve. Last night,
they met here, they prayed and then they marched across the street,
eventually making their way to the location of the second shooting where
they held an emotional vigil. Church services throughout the community
today are expected to touch on morning and on healing.

Meanwhile, there`s a push to arm military members at these recruiting and
reserve centers. A Tennessee congressman has introduced or will introduce
a bill on Monday that would repeal bans on military members carrying
weapons on military facilities. Meanwhile, governors in about half a dozen
states have ordered guardsmen to be armed. Texas, for example, ordering
all guardsmen at storefront locations to report to their nearest armory.
The army has also agreed to review procedures and security. Although right
now, Richard, right now - Steve, they`ve not set any tentative timelines
for that yet. Back to you.

KORNACKI: All right. Sarah Dallof in Chattanooga. Thank you for that.

And turning now to Donald Trump who is taking fire this morning from just
about everybody, this in the wake of new comments that some say are the
death blow to his presidential candidacy. Now, of course, Trump has
skyrocketed to the top of the polls in the last month. But the question
has always been how long can it last? Especially now that Trump has
criticized the Vietnam War service of Senator John McCain. Here is the
exchange from yesterday in full. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: John McCain goes, oh, boy, Trump makes my life difficult. He had
15,000 crazies show up. Crazies. He called them all crazy. I said they
weren`t crazy. They were great Americans. These people -- if you were to
have seen these people -- I know what a crazy is. I know all about
crazies. These weren`t crazies. So, he insulted me and he insulted
everybody in that room. And I said somebody should run against John McCain
who has been, you know, in my opinion, not so hot. And I supported him. I
supported him for president. I raised $1 million for him. That`s a lot of
money. I supported him. He lost. He let us down. But, you know, he
lost. So, I never liked him as much after that because I don`t like
losers, but, Frank, Frank, let me get to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a war hero.

TRUMP: He`s not a war hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a war hero.

TRUMP: He`s a war hero ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five and a half years ...

TRUMP: He`s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that
weren`t captured, OK? I hate to tell you.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Do you agree with that? He`s a war hero because he was captured,
OK? You can have - and I believe perhaps he`s a war hero, but right now he
said some very bad things about a lot of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Now, immediately after leaving the stage at the GOP leadership
summit in Iowa, that`s where that took place yesterday. It`s a
conservative Christian event for Republican candidates out in Iowa.
Immediately after making those comments on stage, Trump talked to reporters
and that press conference became contentious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you didn`t -- you said John McCain was - your
...

TRUMP: I do like people that don`t get captured.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you blaming John McCain for his capture?

TRUMP: I`m saying that John McCain has not done a good job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you say that you like people who don`t get
captured? It`s a simple question.

TRUMP: I do like people - oh, I do. Why? The people that don`t get
captured I`m not supposed to like? I like the people that don`t get
captured and I respect the people who do get captured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you say that in the context of John McCain?

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. I like the people that don`t get - You have
many people that didn`t get captured. I respect them greatly. You have
people that got captured. I respect them greatly also.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Republican Party leaders, others in the 2016 field now are
openly taking shots at Donald Trump over this. Some are calling for him to
get out of the race even. MSNBC`s Anthony Terrell is in Des Moines. He
was there yesterday as all of this went down. So, Anthony, set the stage
for us a little bit. This was a conservative Christian conference in Iowa.
What was the reaction when Trump said this, and afterwards, yesterday?

ANTHONY TERRELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, you heard that reaction in the
room. There were 3,000 people there. And there was an audible gasp. But
afterwards, Trump didn`t back down. He battled with reporters for about 20
minutes, didn`t back down. Almost doubled down. I talked to some
attendees afterwards, some of them Trump supporters. And although they
didn`t agree with what he said, they liked his bluntness, they liked his
frankness. They said John McCain shouldn`t be able to use that or his
defenders as a shield, that he was a POW, that he was in the military.
However, I talked to Dr. Ben Carson after the Donald Trump interview and
Dr. Carson wouldn`t directly address it. He said it depends on what your
definition of war hero is. So, I followed up and asked him. So, what`s
your - in your definition, is John McCain a war hero? And Dr. Carson said,
well, John McCain has done some wonderful things.

Now, I talked to Senator Lindsey Graham, John McCain`s best friend,
afterwards and he said the voters will decide whether or not Donald Trump
stays in the race and he has the overwhelming feeling that voters are going
to tell him the same thing that Donald Trump is fond of saying. You`re
fired.

KORNACKI: There`s that line. Anthony, just quickly, do you have a sense
talking to anybody around Donald Trump or around Donald Trump`s campaign,
did they recognize when he said this, the gravity of this potentially, the
seriousness of this? Or do they think this is just another thing that will
blow over and they`ll skate through?

TERRELL: They feel like it`s something that would blow over. Now, people
who support Donald Trump, 15 to 18 percent support him because of that
bluntness, because of that frankness. And people around Donald Trump like
that about him. They think this may blow over. Now, you heard Rick Perry
call for him to withdraw from the race. Perry is the only one to go that
far. Everyone else says Trump will make that decision on his own. But the
people who support Donald Trump don`t believe that this is going to end
anything for Donald Trump. They just think this will put fire behind him.

KORNACKI: All right, MSNBC`s Anthony Terrell out there in Iowa for us.
Thank you for that. I appreciate it. Just bringing this morning`s panel,
we have with us MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, editor-at-large of
"Sloane," Michael Steele, also and MSNBC political analyst, the former
chairman of the RNC and John Stanton, Washington bureau chief with
BuzzFeed.

So, let`s just get a few more reactions out there. Because this is - The
reaction was swift and it was intense yesterday. The Republican National
Committee came out to condemn Trump, they said Senator McCain is an
American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most
can imagine. Period. There is no place in our party or our country for
comments that disparage those who have served honorably.

As Anthony Terrell was just saying, Rick Perry came out, Lindsey Graham,
one of John McCain`s best friends came out to condemn this. This is the
cover today of "The New York Post," one of Donald Trump`s home town papers.
Look at this. "Don Voyage." They`re saying Donald Trump is toast after
his insult to John McCain. One notable exception to all of this, we should
mention, Ted Cruz, who has been praising Donald Trump the last few weeks,
people thinking there might be a political calculation there. He was asked
all about this. Here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED CRUZ: I will happily tell you what I think about John McCain. I`ll
happily tell you my views on any issue, talking immigration or Obamacare.
I`m not going to engage in the media`s game of bashing another Republican
candidate. I`m just not going to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: So, that is Ted Cruz, the exception. But otherwise universal
here from Republican voices. In that press coverage we are playing clips
from, that was a reporter Trump was going back and forth with, from "The
Weekly Standard." Bill Kristol`s magazine, Bill Kristol has been defending
Trump. Not on this. Is this the beginning of the end, John? What do you
think?

JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: Well, because I mean look. Donald Trump is not
the kind of guy that`s going to quit a race like this. I mean he`s unless
Republicans find a way to make him - his mind, Donald Trump into a martyr,
then this is not what is going to do it. I think what he needs is he needs
to feel like he`s been stabbed in the back by Brutus and he could then go
out and then extract some sort of thing from the Republican Party based on
that. And this is, I think, not going to do that. I think it`s just - it
hurts him certainly, but I mean he wasn`t going to win the nomination to
begin with. So, I don`t know that there`s much of a reason for him --

KORNACKI: But he does - so right now he surged to the top of the polls, 18
percent, top of the pack in the latest one I saw. I guess the question
here is, if you have all of these voices, conservative voters, who
Republican voters listen to who are now almost universally saying this is
terrible, this is outrageous, does it bring those numbers back down to
earth and does it almost humiliate him out of the race?

JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: But Steve, what evidence do we have
that Republican voters really are listening to this field? I mean this
man`s surge is a symptom of the fact that it`s not a strong field, that
there isn`t a really strong leader in the Republican Party. And so, people
come out. They say terrible things about him. This is his brand. He`s a
toxic waste dump. But that`s what people like about him. I just don`t see
- he`s shameless. So, shaming him isn`t going to work. And I do want to
point out I don`t think Scott Walker condemned him. I think Scott Walker
did say something nice about John McCain, but he ...

KORNACKI: No, he did.

WALSH: He did?

KORNACKI: He said I denounce - I said I denounce.

WALSH: OK, I take that back.

KORNACKI: He did say that last night.

WALSH: So it really is everyone?

KORNACKI: It is everyone except - Ben Carson was a little wishy washy.

WALSH: Yeah that was (INCREDIBLE)

KORNACKI: And quite bigger - but so, Michael Steele, does he pay a
political price for this?

WALSH: Yes.

KORNACKI: Does he pay a political price for this?

MICHAEL STEELE, NBC ANALYST: No. I don`t think, I don`t think in the long
term, he does. Not coming out of Washington or the establishment of the
RNC or any of the other candidates. I think the real test is going to be
to see whether or not it does hit the numbers. If some of those folks who
are part of that team who maybe went hard charging Donald Trump and liked
that brashness, and liked his going there, figure he went too far and then
back off a little bit. So, we`ll see over the next week to ten days. It
takes a small dip.

I agree with John. I don`t think it`s going to be a big dip in the
numbers. I think people in the party right now, in large measure, this
notwithstanding his comments on Mexico notwithstanding, the underlying - of
what Donald Trump has been saying still resonates. And you can tell even
after that, and talking to folks. Well, you know, it will - you know, it`s
sort of outside the establishment people are like that made me feel
uncomfortable. There were scattered boos in the audience, but not an
overwhelming condemnation. And that - that`s going to be the real test for
him, whether or not he`s able to tip the scale in that direction, in which
case he starts losing votes right and left.

KORNACKI: I guess the other question here, too, is I don`t know if we have
this. "The New York Times" put up - a neocon (ph) "New York Times"
yesterday put a thing up. Basically this is the beginning of the end for
Trump and he was saying don`t necessarily think of it as this particular
moment is what kills the Trump candidacy, but he said the nature of the
coverage is going to change. For the last month there`s been sort of this
breathless coverage of Trump said this. Can you believe it? Trump said
this. Can you believe it? Thousands of people showed up. Now the
coverage, he says, is going to be much more one Republican leader, one
conservative leader after another saying this went too far. This went too
far. That went too far. And the totality of that wears him down.

STEELE: But they don`t want to do that. And that`s - and this is why I
said, I think on this show a few weeks ago, Ryan`s and the RNC has to
become the off-ramp for this. Because as a presidential candidate you do
not want every other day having a reporter or network in their face asking
about Donald Trump. That is not their message. That is not the
conservation they want to have with the country. So, the party has got to
figure out how they become the RNC, the chairman becomes the ....

KORNACKI: So, we have - this was the RNC. I mean they actually, yesterday
on this one, they did come out.

STEELE: Right. I thought that was a very strong statement.

KORNACKI: You say they need to do more of that?

STEELE: They need to do more of that. And not just more of it, a lot of
it. Because they`ve got to create the deflection point. Because
otherwise, you know, guys like these folks over here, it`s a direct target
to the candidates and the candidate do not want that.

STANTON: They`re going to be getting their candidates cover basically.

STEELE: Right. Exactly.

STANTON: Though I will say there is thing Rick Perry has done a pretty
good job.

WALSH: Yes.

STANTON: Of beating up on him a little bit.

WALSH: That was great.

STANTON: The one deployment candidate right now that comes out, he says
things about Trump and I think it does hurt Trump to have him out there
pretty squarely punching him.

WALSH: But again, with the Trump base, the Trump voters are people who are
fed up with the Republican Party, who are fed up with the RNC. They don`t
listen to the establishment. So, their condemning him is only going to
make him popular. Now, does it keep him from going up above 18 percent?
It might. But I don`t know if that takes him down.

STANTON: If you`re a candidate like, say, Ted Cruz or somebody else like
that, that is coming from the right already, that is trying to sort of -
just going to try to pick up those voters once Trump leaves. At some point
you are going to have to essentially get Donald Trump to lay hands on you,
which is kind of what he`s playing for now. He`s playing for the moment
where someone has to come into his office and, you know, he lays hands on
him, says, OK, you`re my anointed one. You get my voters. And he feels
like ...

KORNACKI: Yeah. I guess it`s the one thing, is how durable is that? We
say 18 percent. If that - right now it`s the ceiling Trump has
established, how loyal to Trump are they? Because when you say, when I see
the scenario where he gets out of this thing - is the scenario, and he
would come up for some excuse for this, obviously. But the scenario where
those numbers really start to drop and he`s facing the prospect that
history recording that Donald Trump ran for president in New Hampshire.

STANTON: He`s a loser.

KORNACKI: Two percent of the vote.

STANTON: He doesn`t like losers.

KORNACKI: He needs to define the way to get out, declare victory and get
out. But right now he is not. This is sort off hot of the presses this
morning. If you don`t follow that Donald Trump Twitter Feed, you`re
missing something. Because I mean this is - say what you will - it`s
authentic. This is what he says. "John McCain called thousands of people
crazies when they came to seek help on illegal immigration last week in
Phoenix. He owes apologies." So, that`s Donald Trump. His latest comment
on this is saying that John McCain owes him an apology for how he handled
Trump when he was in Arizona last week. We should also mention that John
McCain will be appearing tomorrow morning, this is good timing, on "Morning
Joe." That`s going to be tomorrow morning, morning - 6:00 to 9:00 pm, this
will be John McCain`s first on the record interview following Trump`s
comments yesterday. But so, it sounds like from the panel here there`s a
consensus. "The New York Post" is saying "Don Voyage." It`s over. You
guys are saying no, this show goes on.

WALSH: This show goes on.

STEELE: I think it does. Yeah. I think it does.

WALSH: And I mean the Republicans did help create this, no offense,
Michael, by not standing up to him over birtherism. I mean I have a sense
of deja vu, where he would just again and again double down on birtherism
to almost no rebuke. Mitt Romney continues to seek his endorsement.

STEELE: But again, it spoke to a common sentiment that existed with some
within the party and that`s what motivated and really animated that part of
the conversation. And so, he had the space to do that. And he played in
that space just as he`s playing in this space.

KORNACKI: We`ll have more with the panel on this later.

And still ahead on the show as well, the future of the nuclear deal with an
ambassador who knows all about negotiating with Iran. Also, still ahead
this morning, my breakfast with Senator Chuck Schumer. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK SCHUMER: Here is another little trick. This has nothing to do with
Brooklyn. I dilute my orange juice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D) NEW YORK: I`m going to spend a lot of time
thinking about it, learning about it and then I`ll just do the right thing,
and I`m not going to let party or pressure or anything else. What`s good
for America first and foremost and what`s good for Israel which, of course,
I care a lot about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, he`s in line to be the next
Democratic leader in the Senate telling me on Friday how he plans to decide
on what he says is one of the most difficult decisions he has faced in his
political career, whether to vote in favor of President Obama`s nuclear
deal with Iran or whether to try to derail it in congressional hearings
that will being next week. Top administration officials will continue the
hard sell of getting lawmakers to sign off on that deal. The pro-Israel
group APEC, has formed a lobbying group in their own effort to oppose it.
How lawmakers ultimately decide on this vote will be an important test for
the president`s policy. Nicholas Burns was ambassador to NATO and also
Greece during both Republican and Democratic administrations. He`s
undersecretary of State for political affairs for President George W. Bush.
He was the lead U.S. negotiator on Iran`s nuclear program. So, ambassador,
thank you for joining us this morning.

NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Good morning.

KORNACKI: You worked on this issue a decade ago, you are looking at this
deal now. We`ve ended up at this point. When you look at this deal, is
this something that this country should be comfortable with?

BURNS: I think it is. I think it`s a sensible deal for the United States.
I mean look at its virtue, Steve, it will freeze the Iranian nuclear
program for 10 to 15 years, it will cut off all the reach to a nuclear
weapon, through plutonium, through uranium enrichment. Right now the
Iranians by virtue of the Obama administration public statements, the
Iranians may be two to three months away from a nuclear weapon. With this
deal, they`ll be at least a year away from a nuclear weapon. They won`t
have enough - material or heavy grade uranium to be able to produce a
nuclear weapon.

So, I think you`ve got to look at the advantages of the deal. You`ve got
to look at the imperfections, too. This was a series of very tough trade-
offs for the Obama administration and Secretary Kerry. A lot of people
have been - have been critical of the inspections regime. And also whether
or not we would be able to re-impose sanctions. I think that will come
down to how tough minded not only President Obama is but his successor will
be in trying to take account of Iranian infractions and I think that will
be inevitable. So, how we implement this might be the most important
factor down the road.

KORNACKI: Obviously, a lot of outspoken opposition from Israel across the
political spectrum in Israel, really, but Benjamin Netanyahu, the most
vocal critic of this. I want to put this. He had an interview with NBC`s
Lester Holt this week. He said, "And I think Iran has two paths to the
bomb under this deal. One if they keep the deal, the other if they cheat
on the deal. He`s basically saying, this is heads I win, tails you lose.
That`s the proposition here. Is Israel - are his concerns, are Israel`s
concerns justified in your mind?

BURNS: They`re not justified in my mind, but they are understandable, it`s
the difference. Given the fact that Israel has to live in that region and
face this outrageous rhetoric from the Iranian regime, obviously, the
Israelis have to be concerned. But I don`t agree with the concerns by
Prime Minister Netanyahu. The problem is, he`s not giving us an
alternative to the current strategy. And a lot of the critics here in the
United States are not doing the same. What most people are saying,
including the Israelis is, that President Obama should have walked away
from the negotiations and continued to sanction Iran. There`s a fatal flaw
on that argument. The whole sanctions regime was not really just based on
American sanctions, but the fact that the E.U., and the Japanese, and the
Indians and South Koreans stopped buying a lot of Iranian oil and gas.
That these sanctions were universal. If we had walked away unconfident
what would have happened, the global coalition against Iran would have
withered. The sanctions regime would have been seriously diminished.
There wouldn`t have been as much pressure on Iran, and all the restrictions
on the Iranian program from the past year and a half would have completely
gone away. So, this no deal option, this tough-minded option that critics
say would have been better I think would have been dramatically worse for
the United States. So until critics like the prime minister of Israel
present a coherent, credible alternative, I think President Obama`s logic
overtime is going to win out.

KORNACKI: OK, well, again, we will see that congressional debate now just
about to begin. It`s going to take a two-thirds majority, a supermajority,
really of Congress is going to kill this deal. Chuck Schumer, a key voter
in that. We`ll talk to him in a little bit. We`ll hear that in a little
bit. But for now, Ambassador Nicholas Burns, thank you for taking a few
minutes. I appreciate it.

BURNS: Thank you very much. Thanks to you.

KORNACKI: All right. Straight ahead, a milestone day in Cuba. We`re
going to go live to Havana, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: The important milestone is about to be reached in the re-
establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba
when later today the U.S. embassy in Havana officially reopens after more
than half a century. NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez joins us live from Havana. Big
day there. Gabe, what are you looking at today?

GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Steve. Good morning. Well,
today this is the U.S. interest section in Cuba. Behind me tomorrow, as
you mentioned, it will be the U.S. embassy here for the first time in 54
years. However, the U.S. flag will not fly here until Secretary of State
John Kerry visits the island later this summer. But tomorrow, the Cuban
flag will be hoisted in Washington, marking the formal restoration of
diplomatic ties. And the Cuban foreign minister will also visit the State
Department for the first time in decades.

Now, this is a long way from 1961 when the U.S. broke off those ties with
Cuba, following Fidel Castro`s rise to power. This historic - comes after
secret negotiations, following a handshake between President Obama and Raul
Castro at Nelson Mandela`s funeral. And then came a personal plea from
Pope Francis himself. But there are still many disagreements between these
two countries, including on human rights and whether to reopen - or to
close, rather, the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. A major obstacle as well
is the potential lifting of the U.S. trade embargo. Only Congress can do
that. And there`s still some opposition from several Republican lawmakers
who argue the Castro regime is - has a record of human rights. And they
don`t want to see that happen. But here in Havana, many people we spoke
with say they have a new hope. Una nueva esperanza, Steve.

KORNACKI: All right, Gabe Gutierrez in Havana. Thanks for that. And as
Gabe said, that embassy is reopening tomorrow, not today like I said I get
those words confused. I don`t know. Anyway, still ahead, making room for
yet another candidate in the crowded Republican presidential field and
next, protesters storm on the stage takeover net roots nation, drowning out
Bernie Sanders. And Martin O`Malley. It was a wild scene yesterday. We
will show it to you and talk about. That is straight ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Hi drama on the presidential campaign trail yesterday, we are
not even talking about Donald Trump here. Not one, but two Democratic
presidential candidates were shouted off the stage at the progressive Net
Roots Nation conference, by protesters from Black Lives Matter.
Demonstrators marched on stage disrupting former Maryland Governor Martin
O`Malley and then after that, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your agenda going to be to make sure that
black lives do matter and that as a leader of this nation, will you advance
a racial justice agenda that will dismantle -- not reform, OK? Not make
progress, but that will begin to dismantle structural racism in the United
States?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: O`Malley and Sanders both tried to respond. But the protesters
didn`t want to hear what they were saying. Candidates also didn`t get any
help from Net Roots organizers who did nothing as the protesters took over
the stage. Moderator Jose Antonio Vargas tweeting later "to folks who
asked me why I didn`t stop the protesters, we cannot silence people of
color and women of color." Net Roots Nation organizers offered an apology
to O`Malley by flashing it on the teleprompter, as the protest unfolded,
though they later released a statement saying, quote, "Although we wish the
candidates had more time to respond to the issues, what happened today is
reflective of an urgent moment America is facing today." If there was a
winner among the Democratic candidates yesterday, it was probably Hillary
Clinton. She chose to skip yesterday`s event. She had been boo`d at a
past Net Roots event in 2007. After yesterday`s chaos, though, it seems
likely that Net Roots will have a much tougher time getting presidential
candidates and other national leaders to accept their invitations in the
future. MSNBC caught up with O`Malley on immigration round table with
Arizona Dreamers later yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your mood today when you said white lives matter,
what would be your response?

MARTIN O`MALLEY: Actually, what I said first was that black lives matter
and then I said white lives matter. All lives matter. And I meant no
insensitivity by that. And I apologize if that`s what I communicated.
That was a mistake. What I intended to say was that we`re all in this
together that black lives do matter and that we have a double standard of
justice in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: MSNBC`s Jane Timm was at Net Roots. She joins us now from
Phoenix. Jane, I`m tempted to say you covered the last Net Roots
convention. It`s hard to see how a presidential candidate`s staff would
ever put their candidate in that situation after yesterday.

JANE TIMM, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean you imagine the Hillary
staffers who made the decision not to come are popping the champagne and
saying we look great today, because our candidate wasn`t bood off stage. I
mean, it`s an outrageous setup for a candidate. And you kept hearing these
candidates say I was told I could say my stump speech and chat about things
I wanted to talk about, and these protesters were saying, absolutely not.
We are going to go through with our agenda and what we want to talk about.
It was highly organized, very effective in terms of taking over the
conversation. It was surprising how well it came off and how strong it
was. At a Republican event -- I often cover these Republican conferences,
these people would have been arrested in less than half a minute. It was
an interesting place to try to make a safe space for these organizers, but
I mean, you`re right, I don`t see anyone coming next year to chat with the
Netroots crowd.

KORNACKI: All right, Jane Timm live in Arizona for us this morning,
appreciate it. We`ll talk to the panel now about this. Before that I
actually -- we have sound as well. This is Martin O`Malley and Bernie
Sanders. They were being confronted by these protesters. As we say, not
getting any help from the organizers. The organizers are saying, go ahead,
protesters. This is how the candidates handled it yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`MALLEY: Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on one second. Hold on. Hold on.

SANDERS: It`s okay with me. Listen, black lives, of course, matter. I
spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity. But
if you don`t want me to be here, that`s okay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Let`s talk about this with the panel. I`m still trying -- as I
say, to me, the headline -- Hillary Clinton, people were asking, is she
making a mistake by not going to this thing? This is the base of her party.
She`s had trouble with them in the past. Maybe she should be at this
thing. She looks really smart right now not going to this.

STANTON: She looks great. Netroots, I forgot it was happening, that it
was still a thing, until this happened, so maybe for Netroots it does turn
out to be a bit of a winner.

KORNACKI: Gets them attention.

WALSH: -- has to decide what it is. I respect on one hand the organizers
acknowledging the fierce anger that exists, that people who feel that,
looking at things through the lens of economic -- progressive economics
doesn`t get to the structural racial issues. And this is a big deal. Poor
Martin O`Malley. He says what should be self-evident, and what should be a
progressive thing to say, which is black lives matter, white lives matter,
all lives matter, but doesn`t understand that in this context, that`s an
erasure of black lives matter. People want it to be said that there`s a
specific problem around the police, eradication of black people, mostly of
black men but not only of black men -- and that they want attention to that
fact.

And I think it was terrible staff work for Senator Sanders, who really does
deserve credit for 50 years of fighting for racial justice, but just can`t
seem to let it in that people want to hear specific talk about mass
incarceration. They were chanting --

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: I`m not going to put that on the candidates.

WALSH: They were chanting say her name about Sandra Bland. There were
specific things they could have listened to and they could have said and
done that would have diffused this whole thing.

STEELE: But then they`re accused of pandering when they do. In that
moment, if they start chanting what the audience wants, that`s not real.
And this is the bottom line. The organizers of this sold a bill of goods
to the candidates to show up. As they said afterwards, we were told that
we could do X, Y and Z. And they had no control over their people. It
doesn`t matter what stripe you are politically. That is not a group you`re
going to go in front of ever. Because you`re not going to have the
conversation that you want to have as a candidate. If you have the chance
to get up and speak and then sit down and do the one on one with the Q&A,
that`s when all that other stuff starts to come out. But if you start
booing the moment that they get on the stage because you don`t like what
they`re saying --

WALSH: They don`t invite them.

STEELE: That is a level of intolerance from people that are supposed to be
so tolerant that I find funny.

KORNACKI: I have to say, just watching this yesterday and trying to make
sense of it, I was stunned. The thing that stunned me was that there
seemed to be no effort as this is playing out to restore order here.

STEELE: Right.

KORNACKI: This is a convention. This is a conference. There are rules
here. If one group of protesters -- if you`re going to say we can`t
silence this group of protesters, can you silence any group of protesters?

STEELE: Right.

KORNACKI: If anyone shows up at this event or any event in the future, are
you out of line saying no, guys, there`s a time and a place for this. We
have rules here, and the rules are, the candidates get to come in and the
candidates get to say what they want. You get to talk to the candidates
after. And it becomes chaos and it becomes pointless if you are going to
make the statement, no, I`m sorry, no -- we have no standing to drown out
any protesters.

STANTON: It was a little odd having them stand up on the stage next to the
candidates who look like they`ve been --

WALSH: Completely sandbagged.

(CROSSTALK)

STANTON: This is what you get. Right? And also, it was a little odd that
they kept up with the protests even after they clearly changed the entire
conversation, (inaudible), after it became very clear they were no longer
going to do their little stump speech. Which is not necessarily a bad
thing.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: They were trying to engage.

STANTON: It became clear it wasn`t about having them respond. It was very
much about talking about what they wanted to talk about, about their
message, and they didn`t really care what either of these two guys had to
say about it.

STEELE: It was protest for the sake of protest.

WALSH: I want to take issue with one thing that Michael said. I really
don`t think that it`s necessarily pandering. I think Senator Sanders very
much believes that police should not be killing black people, innocent
black people. I`m sure he believes that, I`m sure he could have learned
the name of Sandra Bland.

STEELE: Maybe he knows the name of Sandra Bland, but he just didn`t put it
-- because he didn`t use it in that context or that moment doesn`t mean he
doesn`t know the name. So to set a bar of expectation for him, when he`s
coming to deliver a protest -- I`ll give you this, how he`s briefed and
prepared about the group he`s going to speak to is something different.
Maybe that comes out there. But again, all of that is erased the moment
you turn to chaos. And it doesn`t matter.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: I was sitting there watching it yesterday. I was thinking back
to 1972, the Democratic convention in 1972, and it was back at a time when
George McGovern had to give his acceptance speech at 2:30 in the morning,
and why? Because the party had this thing about the vice presidential
nomination, there was going to be this open vice presidential nomination,
and it ended up -- gave over to the floor of the convention the control of
that convention, and they knocked the presidential candidate to 2:30 in the
morning. And it`s -- 40 years later we`ve become so much more
sophisticated politically and everything, but I thought the chaos of
yesterday, that is what I was thinking of --

WALSH: Well, Netroots is not the Democratic convention, and I think the
Democratic convention organizers are really going to have to think about
this and pay attention to it. They should study `68 and `72. Because
there is a current of activism in the party that`s a good thing, but that
can spill over into anger, frustration and chaos.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: -- there might be disagreements, but these are their allies.

WALSH: Their friends. Right.

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: I found it amusing that everyone sort of soft-pedals the sort of
noise on the left side of the field and how that`s healthy and energetic
for the party, but on the right somehow it`s crazy and disorganized.
Activists are activists, no matter what their stripe is, whether they are
conservative or they are progressive. At the end of the day, both parties
will have to account for that in next year`s conventions and leading up to
those conventions.

WALSH: But I wrote about this a month ago. White progressives` racial
myopia. What they are not paying attention to, including Senator Sanders.
So there has been a conversation about this. This should not have been a
total surprise.

KORNACKI: OK. Straight ahead, the race for the Republican nomination,
only two days away from entering the sweet 16. I`ll explain what that
means next.

And later we sit down for breakfast and a whole lot more with Senator Chuck
Schumer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: You just had some grits.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: Grits, yeah. Well, Brooklyn has become so
universal that we even have grits. A Southern dish. Rural Southern dish.

KORNACKI: Do you like them?

SCHUMER: I love grits. I love anything with corn.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO: No one running for president has helped balance
the federal budget, saved a state from near bankruptcy, or served on the
Defense Committee for 18 years. Maybe I ought to run.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: That was Ohio Governor John Kasich teasing his soon-to-be
announced presidential candidacy in an ad that debuted Friday on the social
media app, Snapchat. Kasich will be making it official just two days from
now at his alma mater, Ohio State University. And once he does, he will
become the 16th -- yes, 16th serious contender to enter the Republican
field. This is the GOP`s very own version of the sweet 16. If you think
that`s a lot, Republican National Committee spokesman tweeted Friday that a
whopping 114 candidates in total have filed paperwork seeking the
Republican nomination. Of course, most of those names you have never heard
of and probably will never hear of. Come Tuesday, though, Kasich will be
competing against the 15 other leading candidates for one of the 10 spots
at the first debate, that debate taking place in his home state, just less
than three weeks from now. And right now, Kasich`s poll numbers are too
low to land him a spot on that stage in Cleveland, in his home state. But
can he get a bounce in the polls from his big announcement?

Joining me now, NBC News senior political editor, Mark Murray. I guess
this counts as -- this is sort of the last entry into the Republican race.
I think this counts as a late entry. I am thinking to the history of these
things, whether it was Wesley Clark on the Democratic side, Fred Thompson,
Rick Perry, if there`s a common thread there, the late starters, it never
seems to work out. Is that a concern here for Kasich?

MARK MURRAY, NBC NEWS: I think it`s a concern for him getting the
nomination. The good news for him, if that same Wesley Clark, Fred
Thompson model holds correctly, he is probably going to get a little bit of
a bounce. And that`s what his team is hoping for, having that announcement
two weeks before that first debate on August 6th in Cleveland, Ohio, to be
able to get enough to qualify for that top 10 position, for that first
Republican debate. And so that`s why they decided to announce now instead
of a week ago or even a week earlier.

John Kasich has some strengths going into this contest. His approval
rating, according to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, is at 60 percent, and
of course that`s in the prime battleground state of Ohio. But he does have
some drawbacks. Of course, one is that he just hasn`t gotten traction in
the polls. All the models show that he would not get that top ten, if it
were -- the first debate were held today. The last NBC-Wall Street Journal
poll had him at just 1 percent among Republican primary voters. And Steve,
another shortcoming that John Kasich ends up having is an ideological one.
He`s no liberal. But he expanded Medicaid in his state, and a lot of
Republicans see that as a fireable offense. And it does bring up one of
the challenges for the entire Republican Party, is that how is someone who
has a 60 percent approval rating in his own state, a popular governor who
is now in his second term, somehow unacceptable to big swaths of the
conservative base for expanding Medicaid.

KORNACKI: Let me ask you about that, Michael Steele. The idea on paper of
the popular governor of Ohio, big swing state Ohio, has congressional
experience, executive experience, seen on paper to be a strong general
election candidate for the Republican Party. But what Mark is saying about
Medicaid, for instance, is there too much baggage here with Kasich?

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: I don`t think so. I think Kasich will find a way to articulate,
and has already began to do that. His pearly gates comments about showing
the passion he felt in making that decision, for caring for the people he
was charged to care for as governor of the state. I don`t see how anyone
in the party except for just real hardheads can look at that and say, you
shouldn`t have governed that way. If he had governed differently, maybe
the polls would be different, maybe the outcomes would have been different.
Who knows. But he made the choice he needed to make at that time. And I
think he`s going to find a lot of people in the party that respect that.
He will be an interesting dynamic character in this sweet 16 battle. He
brings to the table a lot of things that others don`t have. He`s got the
TV experience, having run his own show, he`s got the executive,
congressional, the grassroots experience. So how he begins to articulate
that messaging, on particularly on something like this, is going to be
important, and I think he`ll do it. Whether he gets the bounce in time
will be interesting. Because I can see him sitting in the governor`s
mansion, watching that debate.

KORNACKI: Let me quickly, Mark, ask you about that. Is there a risk here?
This thing is over before it begins for Kasich. That`s a humiliating blow.
If he jumps in this race and he comes to his home state in three weeks, he
can`t even make the stage. Do people dismiss him then? Is there a risk of
that?

MURRAY: That is a huge risk, Steve. And it`s also a risk for the whole
entire Republican Party, that 10 people who are on that stage, one doesn`t
include the hometown governor of one of the most important presidential
battleground states we`ll see in the general election. And of course there
are going to be tough decisions on either end. Does Rick Santorum, who
finished second in the 2012 race to Mitt Romney, get left off the stage?
Does Carly Fiorina, the only female, get left off? There are no good
outcomes really for the RNC and the Republican Party, because there will be
tough choices here.

KORNACKI: NBC News` Mark Murray, thanks for taking a few moments this
morning. Appreciate that.

And up next, our reigning against the clock game show. Remember this?
Josh Barro winning this a few months ago. He received a very special honor
last night because of that. We`ll explain that to you and show you some
video you are not going to want to miss, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: All right, last night was a special night at the old ballpark,
the Brooklyn Cyclones honoring our very own up against the clock game show
champion, Josh Barro of the "New York Times." The Cyclones are a minor
league team of the New York Mets around here. They gave Josh the mound to
throw out the ceremonial first pitch. That was part of his prize for
winning the game show a few months ago. Members of our own UP team left UP
world headquarters last night to head out to Coney Island and watch Josh
make weekend morning cable news show game history. Let`s see how it all
went down, let`s go live to historic NCU Park. There he is. He`s in his
wind up and now he`s in his windup, and just a little bit outside. But it
was a good effort. It was a fun night for everybody. We got to catch up
with Josh for a little post pitch analysis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: I got within 10 feet of the plate, which was
my goal. I hadn`t played baseball since Little League and first grade. So
grading myself on the curve, I think I`ll give myself a B plus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: I think everybody here at this table has played up against the
clock. That could have been you.

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: Moved almost to tears.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: You always remember the standard for these first pitches, by the
way, set by George W. Bush, remember? He threw out that first pitch at that
World Series game after 9/11 and he threw a strike.

STEELE: One of the hardest things you can do. It is intimidating as all
get out to stand on that mound. And if it`s a regulation distance, it is
really scary.

KORNACKI: I think that`s the thing, though, you can practice all you want,
but once you`re actually on the mound in the ballpark.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: That was kind of a shotput move, too. I was very impressed with
his dynamics.

KORNACKI: Thank you, by the way to the Brooklyn Cyclones for making that
happen, for coming up with that prize. We had a great time out there last
night. And the Cyclones, by the way, fell short against my beloved Vermont
Lake Monsters. (inaudible).

Still ahead, grits, OJ and tough political talk all on the menu. Breakfast
with Senator Chuck Schumer is next. Really interesting interview. You`re
not going to want to miss this. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us this morning. The senior senator
from New York, from Brooklyn, New York. The probable future Democratic
leader of the Senate, the key vote right now on whether or not President
Obama`s Iran nuclear deal will get derailed by Congress, we are sitting
down for breakfast this morning with Senator Chuck Schumer. So let`s get
started.

With the Obama administration ramping up its hard sell on the Iran nuclear
deal, I got the chance to sit down with Schumer on Friday for a wide-
ranging conversation at a neighborhood institution, a Brooklyn landmark not
far from his home. We discussed the Iran deal and a whole lot more.
Starting with the setting around us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: We are here in a -- this is an iconic New York location. We`re
at Juniors.

SCHUMER: Juniors.

KORNACKI: We`re in Brooklyn. You just had some grits.

SCHUMER: Grits. Well, Brooklyn has become so universal that we even have
grits. A southern dish. Rural southern dish.

KORNACKI: Do you like them?

SCHUMER: I love grits. I love anything with corn. I liked grits when I
first tasted them. I said, I wonder why I like them. That was in
Washington, which was even then when I went in 1981, a more southern city
than it is now. I said, why do I like them? It`s corn. I love grits. And
let me tell you, these grits stack up just fine to the grits in the South.

KORNACKI: Tell that to some of your southern colleagues.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHUMER: Guess what I have on my grits, which the southerners would turn
their nose up. They have butter or something. Sweet `N Low. A Brooklyn
product, 1,200 jobs in Brooklyn, Sweet N`Low jobs, direct and indirect. So
I eat a lot of this stuff.

KORNACKI: Sweet `N Low. When I came down to New York from Massachusetts
originally, one of my favorite things about this area, it`s the diner, it`s
such an institution.

SCHUMER: You bet.

KORNACKI: What makes a great diner? What are the necessary ingredients?

SCHUMER: First, the menu has got to be seven or eight pages. They have to
have everything. How they have so many dishes and they`re all fresh and
good is amazing.

KORNACKI: Stuff that hasn`t been sold in 15 years probably.

SCHUMER: I hope not. I hope the stuff is fresher, but each diner has its
own specialties. But you know, there are certain things, a good hamburger
and french fries. A good diner has to have that. One of the specialties
of diners, many of the Greek diners have little cookies at the end that
they serve you. You can tell the quality of that, you can tell the quality
of the diner, but it`s also the proprietors. It`s usually a Greek family,
father, husband, wife, son, daughter, grandparents, all working and
hustling at the diner. So it`s a great New York scene. And in fact, when
Michael Dukakis ran in 1988 here in Brooklyn, he was Greek-American, diners
were the backbone of his campaign. Diners had the signs. Every diner had
a Dukakis leaflet, whether they were Democrat or Republican. Diners are
great.

Here is another little trick. This has nothing to do with Brooklyn. I
dilute my orange juice. You drink this glass of orange juice, it`s 200
calories and it`s acidic. Do this, put nine-tenths water, one-tenth orange
juice. After a week or two, it tastes the same, and it is one-tenth the
calories.

KORNACKI: Are you sure it tastes the same?

SCHUMER: Cheers.

KORNACKI: Can we give you a blind taste?

SCHUMER: Brooklyn juice. To me it tastes the same. Or you get the same
orange kick.

KORNACKI: So there you go. We got watered down orange juice and we got
Sweet N Low in the grits.

SCHUMER: God bless America. God bless Brooklyn.

KORNACKI: Senator Schumer`s breakfast.

So you are all over the news this week because of the nuclear deal with
Iran. Everybody is looking at this. It`s now going to Congress. And
Congress gets a say on this. The linchpin on this is Chuck Schumer. Which
way is he going to go? You put out a statement the other day, you said
you`re going to review this very carefully, you`re going to talk to
everybody.

SCHUMER: That`s what I`m doing.

KORNACKI: Let me just start with this. Have you read the deal at this
point?

SCHUMER: Not yet. I`ve been so busy in Washington this week. We had the
education bill on the floor, and there was an attempt to dramatically cut
funding from New York and the other northeastern states, send it to the
south and west. We took a lot of time. We beat it back. Now New York is
held harmless, we don`t lose funds. And we have the highway bill. We`ll
run out of highway funding come July 31. So finding a way to fund it in a
bipartisan way, has to have Democrat/Republican support, has to pass the
House and Senate. So I`ve been so busy that I resolved that this weekend
I`m going to get in my little chair that I`ve had in my house for 32 years
here in Brooklyn and read it, read it thoroughly and quietly. And then
what I`ll do is I`ll talk to people, I`ll talk to the administration. I`m
sure I`ll have a whole lot of questions and concerns on both sides of the
issue. And the one thing I`m going to do -- this is what I`ve learned
through the years, my 41 years as an elected official. Is on important
things, just do the right thing. Now, you know, no one has a monopoly on
what the right thing is, but do what you think the right thing is.

So I`m going to spend a lot of time thinking about it, learning about it,
then I`ll just do the right thing. And I`m not going to let party, or
pressure or anything else -- what`s good for America first and foremost and
what`s good for Israel, which, of course, I care a lot about.

KORNACKI: The reason all eyes are on you is because politically, just sort
of here, you`re pulled in two very powerful directions here. On the one
hand, let me ask you, from this standpoint, this president, your party`s
president, a guy you have been very close to, Barack Obama, this is like
the signature thing he is pushing for in his second term. He`s seeing
legacy here. Could you see a scenario where you go against him?

SCHUMER: I`m not going to comment until I read the document. But that`s
what`s going to guide me. But look, when I think the president is wrong, I
go against him. I just voted against the trade bill and the TPA, because I
thought it hurt middle class incomes. The president talked to me regularly
on this issue, but I told him, unless it changes, even if it helps
corporate profits, I`m not going to be for it if it decreases middle class
incomes, and I think it does. So there are times that I have broken with
the president before when I really think that I have a different point of
view and the right thing is not what he`s doing. So I`m just going to wait
to read the document. I`m not going to comment on whether I will or maybe
I won`t, maybe yes, maybe no. None of that is helpful.

KORNACKI: I understand, but let me tell you, one more angle on this,
because I`m curious about this as well. You mentioned, too, you are a very
staunch defender of Israel, advocate for Israel. And not only is Benjamin
Netanyahu, very outspoken against this, the Israeli prime minister, but the
leader of the opposition in Israel also is against this.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: You have basically the Democrat and Republican in Israel are
against this. Can you be pro-Israel and still --

SCHUMER: There are kinds of many people, many different places have many
different opinions. I have got to read it, listen to them, but make up my
own mind.

KORNACKI: Final question on this, you`ve been in public office 40 years
now basically. When you look at the stakes in this issue, the sort of the
consequences of the decision you have to make on this, where does this one
rank in terms of tough decisions?

SCHUMER: High up. It`s high up. Tough decision. High up. But I`ve had
them before. It goes with the territory. That`s why you`re paid the big
bucks, as they say. And the importance of it is very, very real to me.
I`m going to read it, you know, go over it with a fine-tooth comb, going to
talk to people on all sides. Of course, to the administration. And then
because it`s such an important decision, I`m going to weigh it really
carefully. That`s all I can say.

KORNACKI: Take a step back, if you could, and say how is history -- when
history looks back at this administration, what are they going to say? This
period in American history?

SCHUMER: This is a changing period in American history, and I think the
president will come off very, very well. First, maybe foremost, he
prevented a great depression. We had the greatest financial meltdown we`ve
had since the depression. Even before he became president. I was one of
the people on the little group trying to fix things in the midst of the
collapse. And as a candidate, John McCain`s my dear friend, but he came
and made political hay on this. The president, then the nominee, the
senator from Illinois, would call me and say, you just do the right thing.
You figure out what the right thing is and do it regardless of the
political consequences.

I came to respect him for that. Then we had, of course, the stimulus. You
know, the right wing attacked a few bad things in the stimulus. But
overall, every economist in history as we move further along in history,
more and more them, will say we would have had a great depression without
the stimulus.

And then we went right into one of the great changes in American politics
for the better, is health care. And all the naysayers have proved to be
wrong. It`s working. More people are covered. They are getting better
coverage, and they said the costs would go through the roof. It`s cut the
costs of health care. Instead of health care going up 10 percent a year,
which was a huge contributor to the federal deficit, it`s gone up 2 or 3
percent a year. That`s a huge, huge change.

KORNACKI: Do you think, what hasn`t changed as we talk about health care
and Obamacare, is the polling on it. It`s been so locked in place. Do you
think we`re ever going to get to a point where people look at Obamacare and
in the vast majority just say, it`s a good thing?

SCHUMER: Absolutely. Look, I wasn`t around with Social Security. I don`t
know what the polls said four or five years afterwards, but the initial
reaction was negative. I`ll tell you another one. The prescription drug
bill, which expanded prescription drugs as part of Medicare for senior
citizens, I was here then. And a whole lot of people said, never work. It
will be horrible. For a year afterwards, it was negative. It`s now a huge
positive. I think Obamacare will be a huge positive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: There`s the start of our conversation. It will continue after
this. Up next, I talk to Senator Schumer about the men and women who are
hoping to replace President Obama.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: During her eight years on Capitol Hill, Hillary Clinton was
technically the junior senator from New York. Legendary New York Senator
Daniel Patrick Moynihan helped to shepherd the former first lady to her new
career as a lawmaker back in 2000, helped her win his seat that year. And
that meant that once she got there, after the 2000 election, Chuck Schumer
was the senior senator from New York. Schumer and Clinton forged a close
partnership during the years they served. In 2013, Schumer became one of
the first people to endorse Hillary Clinton`s current run for the White
House. When Schumer and I sat down on Friday, I asked him to weigh in on
the 2016 field. He had some interesting thoughts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: When you look at the 2016 race, Hillary Clinton, obviously
you`ve endorsed here.

SCHUMER : I have.

KORNACKI: The Democratic front-runner. I`m curious, you look at this
Republican race taking shape, there`s 18, 19 candidates.

SCHUMER: The more, the merrier.

KORNACKI: From a standpoint of someone who is supporting Hillary Clinton
and wants her to win, do you look at that field, is there somebody in that
field where you`re like, I really hope they nominate this candidate? This
is the most beatable candidate.

SCHUMER: Let`s put it like this. Sometimes your instincts tell you how
you feel. That thing gets up to your brain, and I tend to be an
instinctive politician in a lot of ways. When I read that some New Yorker
was raising $30 million for Ted Cruz, I said great.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Ted Cruz is the dream candidate.

SCHUMER: I doubt he would carry Texas.

KORNACKI: What about the flip side? Here is what I hear from a lot of
Democrats when I ask them this question, I say, who is the Republican
candidate you would least like Hillary Clinton to face up against? You
would least likely your party to face? They say they`re most scared of
Marco Rubio. What do you think of that?

SCHUMER: Yeah, I think that -- the number one fact facing our elections
today is that middle class incomes are declining. This is an issue I`ve
cared about for a long time. As you know, I wrote the only book I`ve
written about it in 2007, how we had to do something about this. And the
average voter is going to look at who can best solve my problem. Make sure
I have a good paying job. And once I have a good paying job, my standard
of living is going up.

You know, we`re here in Brooklyn. I see outside my window that beautiful
lady with the torch. And the torch symbolizes to most Americans, most
people in the world the American dream. And if you ask the average
American, what is the American dream? They wouldn`t put it fancy language.
They would simply say, it means if I work hard, I`ll be doing better ten
years from now than I am doing today, and my kids will be doing still
better than me.

When that torch flickers, when that dream is no longer in the American
breast, we`ve got trouble. For 10 years, 12 years, median incomes have
declined. And so that`s the number one issue. Who can best address it? I
think people are going to want someone who is compassionate. Hillary is.
Who has experience. Who knows how to get things done. She`s got that.
And who`s strong. She`s got that. When they look at Marco Rubio`s
platform or the platform frankly of any Republican candidates, Jeb Bush
down, they`re going to see give the corporations more power, let them go
free. The average American isn`t close to believing that. Isn`t close.

I`ve seen surveys the average Tea Party voter doesn`t believe that. The
right wing has put in their heads that government is your problem. They
believe that, the Tea Party people, even though it`s false. But they don`t
want to let big corporations govern America. The Tea Party was against the
trade bill, many of them.

So, I think Marco Rubio is a fine man. I worked with him on the gang of
eight, although I was very disappointed that the minute we had our
immigration bill and Rush Limbaugh attacked him, he ran from it. What are
Americans going to say if a right wing radio person attacks you, you run
away from something that you worked so hard and long on? And he did a very
good job on it. He was part and parcel to the bill. What are they going
to say about that? But overall, I think it will be a big Democratic year
and it`s going to be -- thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re welcome, sir.

SCHUMER: Are you from Brooklyn?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

SCHUMER: Where do you live?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t live in Brooklyn. I live in Ellmont (ph).

SCHUMER: Ellmont, very nice. My daughter played soccer for Ellmont. We
didn`t have enough grass in Brooklyn for soccer. So she was on the Ellmont
soccer team in junior high school. We would go to Dutch Broadway and play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dutch Broadway, yeah.

SCHUMER: Yeah. In any case, the Republican nostrums are going to fail.
And I think Hillary is going to win by 350 electoral -- I think it will be
a Democratic sweep, because they`re so bound by this hard right group that
is spending all this money, that`s gotten rank and file Tea Party voters to
believe government is the enemy, they`re going to be out of touch this
time.

KORNACKI: Do you know who is doing well right now, or at least
surprisingly well--

SCHUMER: A New Yorker.

KORNACKI: Well, Bernie Sanders.

SCHUMER: Oh, Bernie Sanders. Another--

KORNACKI: Who is a New Yorker. He went to your high school.

SCHUMER: Bernie and I didn`t know each other because he graduated from
Madison high school a few years before I went. But he is a Brooklynite
through and through. And you know what? One of his appeals is that he`s
sort of unvarnished. He is who he is. And you know, I think that`s a
characteristic of people from Brooklyn, and New York, to a great extent. I
tell candidates, when they are saying, what do I do, I said, first be
yourself. I said, I`m from Brooklyn. Sometimes it helps me. Sometimes it
hurts me. But I know one thing, if I tried not to be from Brooklyn, I would
be worse than whatever I am. And Bernie is like that. I`m sure he
believes that.

KORNACKI: The idea of authenticity. Because I look at what Bernie Sanders
is saying and I look at what Martin O`Malley is saying. Both of them
running against Hillary Clinton. And Bernie Sanders is getting real
traction. O`Malley so far isn`t. And I wonder, is authenticity the
difference there?

SCHUMER: You bet. Well, let`s look at their history. Bernie has been
believing this for 30 years. He`s been tilling in the vineyards and he`s
running out of -- we all believe in the Senate, you know, even us, those of
us who are Hillary supporters, he`s running out of true belief. That he
wants to pull the electorate further in his direction. O`Malley was not a
great -- now he is running on the left side. And that`s his privilege and
right, and I don`t begrudge him that, but he used to be a Third Way guy.
Reminds me a little of John Edwards. John Edwards was the big moderate in
the Senate. Then when he ran for president, he was running to the left of
Hillary and Obama. It didn`t quite wash or work.

KORNACKI: What about Bernie Sanders in the Senate, this is your colleague
--

SCHUMER: He`s great.

KORNACKI: This is a guy you work with every day. What is that dynamic
like? He caucuses with you, but he`s an independent.

SCHUMER: We respect him.

KORNACKI: What is that relationship like?

SCHUMER: And he does great things. He`s done so much for veterans. Jim
Webb and Bernie Sanders -- Jim Webb is no longer there. Jim Webb with the
act, the Webb Act that could allow veterans to go to college, and we would
help pay for college for veterans, and Bernie was helping the veterans
health care system, have done more for veterans than just about anybody
else. He gets things done.

KORNACKI: The culture of the Senate and the relationships that form there,
here is what I`m curious about. Is there a Republican you can think of who
you`re close to that people would look at it from afar and say I don`t
believe these guys get along?

SCHUMER: John McCain and I are good friends. We worked on the immigration
bill. He stuck by it through thick and thin. He and I are good friends.
A guy I work with on issues, even though we`re miles apart, is Jeff
Sessions. A lot of these relationships, ironically, start in the Senate
gym. Most Republicans exercise early; most Democrats exercise late. But I
exercise early.

KORNACKI: Do you know why? Is there a reason for that?

SCHUMER: I don`t know. We`ll have to -- some PE guy, or some psychologist
or something. So -- so I get there early. And who`s in the gym? Lamar
Alexander, one of my best friends, John Thune, whom I work really closely
with. Jeff Sessions. And I recruited Marco Rubio to be part of our group
of eight, being in the gym. Dick Durbin was in the gym. He`s even earlier
than me, and he helped to recruit him, too.

KORNACKI: So what about transitioning potentially to being the Democratic
leader? That is -- maybe a year and a half from now, you are the top
Democrat in the Senate. If you -- (inaudible), you could be the majority
leader of the Senate.

SCHUMER: God willing.

KORNACKI: These relationships with Republicans, a lot of people look at
the last eight years. And they say, one of the lessons of politics for the
last eight years is, people forget this now, when Barack Obama was first
running for president, a lot of Republicans said really nice things about
him. Then he beat Hillary Clinton, he became the face of the party,
suddenly no compromise, nothing like that. Do you think something similar
might happen?

SCHUMER: You know, Mitch McConnell got up within the first few months, and
said our number one goal -- this was in 2009 -- was to defeat Barack Obama
for re-election. Which, of course, didn`t come true. But it set a bad
tone for the Republicans.

There is a yearning for both Democrats and Republicans to work together and
get things done. We`re seeing more of it this year. And we`ll see -- here
is my theory. If the Tea Party loses its third election in a row for
president, they`ll lose their grip. Many -- if you had to look at the
Senate or the House, you would divide Republicans in three groups.
Moderates, very few left in the Senate, there is one, Susan Collins. But
the majority are not hard right Tea Party people. They are mainstream
conservatives. But because the Republican primary is so far to the right,
they`re afraid of losing a primary. After three elections that they lose,
and if God willing we take back the Senate, the mainstream conservatives,
three of whom beat Tea Party people, Lamar, Lindsey, and Mitch McConnell
beat Tea Party people so they`re a little freer, they`re going to say, we
can`t follow these guys over the cliff anymore, and they`re going to work
with us and get things done. It will be great.

I think with Hillary as president, a Democratic majority in the Senate and
even the House, which would be harder to get the majority, but a gain in
the House, we could have a great two years, because we`ll work with the
Republicans -- and we have to. There are some people who say never
compromise. No, that`s not what the founding fathers wanted a legislature
to be. And you keep your principles. But there are lots of ways you can
meet people part of the way.

KORNACKI: A lot of profiles get written about you. There`s probably stuff
in there that`s probably almost like cliches at this point to you.

SCHUMER: Yeah.

KORNACKI: What is the biggest misconception in the media about who Chuck
Schumer is?

SCHUMER: They generally get it right. You know, they criticize me. I
like being on the media. I can`t deny that. It`s my way of reaching
people.

KORNACKI: People talk about the Sunday press conference is a Schumer
tradition.

SCHUMER: Yeah, yeah.

KORNACKI: What`s the origin of that?

SCHUMER: We just came up with it, even when I was an assemblyman, because
we wanted to reach people. And if you notice, my Sunday press conferences
are usually not about some internecine fight in the Senate. It`s about
things that affect average people`s lives.

I`ll never forget, one lady said to my daughter, she met my daughter and
she said, Schumer, are you related to the senator? She said yes. And this
lady said to her, she is a middle-class lady from one of the more
conservative neighborhoods on Long Island, and she said, you know, all
those other politicians talk blather, but he`s on TV every Sunday night
talking about something that matters to me. She was proud of it. A little
bit angry and a little proud. So I do that. And let that -- most of the
public, they don`t mind it. They like it. It`s the media types who like
to say, oh, he loves TV. That should be my biggest problem.

KORNACKI: Here is an interesting story. I`ve seen this written about you
a few times now. You are probably the top matchmaker in the United States
Senate. It bothers you when members of your staff, and you see that
they`re single and you start badgering them to get married, you`ve had
marriages in your office. What`s that all about?

SCHUMER: I love my staff. They`re almost like a second family to me.
They work, you know, they work so hard. They`re so dedicated. I wouldn`t
be here without my staff. And my staff, they`re great. And so I feel for
them. They work hard. I`d like them to have a nice relationship. And so
you know, I`m not shy. I sometimes say to one or the other, she`s nice,
he`s nice. What about, what about it? And I told one of my staff, who was
a very handsome guy, I said this gal is quality, you know. Don`t go -- he
was going out with people who were not up to his level, but they`re
beautiful. I said, go for what`s inside.

KORNACKI: Did it work out?

SCHUMER: Yeah, they`re married!

KORNACKI: If you had to live -- you have to give me an answer on this one.
You can`t live in New York. You have to live somewhere else. Where is it?

SCHUMER: Oh, there`s no place like New York.

KORNACKI: I knew you were going to say that, but you got to --

SCHUMER: Listen to this. I spent seven years in Boston. I can`t imagine
being there as a Yankee fan with my hated Red Sox, but I suppose Boston is
a city that I found closest to New York. I don`t mean to be pejorative,
but it`s like a little New York. It has neighborhoods. What I don`t like
about Washington, doesn`t have neighborhoods. Now it`s beginning to, but
it didn`t when I got there. I like neighborhoods.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: Being from Massachusetts, no one in Boston is going to like
being called a little New York.

Anyway, a surprising answer there from Senator Schumer.

Still ahead, I try to limit him to one-word answers. A very fun lightning
round with Chuck Schumer coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: One of the fun things about following politics is trying to
figure out what makes the people in politics tick. Their motivations,
their opinions, their desires, what`s going on inside the suits, inside
their heads. How better than to find out what makes Senator Chuck Schumer
tick than a lightning round of questions, prompted by one name only.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: I`m going to say a name and get the first word that comes to
your mind. Just curious what your associations are here. So let`s start
with Harry Reid.

SCHUMER: Close friend. Foxhole buddy.

KORNACKI: That`s close enough, we`ll allow that. Nancy Pelosi.

SCHUMER: A great leader. Does a great job. Long time friend, too. I met
her, I mean, I`m going to divert -- George Miller, we had a dinner group in
the House. The center of it was the four people who share that Alpha, so-
called Alpha House originally, and it was Miller, George Miller the
landlord, Marty Russo (ph), Leon Panetta and me. And the dinner group was
about 20, 25 people, very diverse in the House, and we`d end up there every
Tuesday night. George Miller says one day, we have a new person I`m going
to bring to our group, she just got elected to Congress. Her name is Nancy
Pelosi. She`s going to become the first woman speaker.

KORNACKI: And he was right.

SCHUMER: Yeah, yeah.

KORNACKI: John Boehner.

SCHUMER: I wish he could be himself.

KORNACKI: Rush Limbaugh.

SCHUMER: Politically speaking.

KORNACKI: Rush Limbaugh.

SCHUMER: Too much power.

KORNACKI: Rudy Giuliani.

SCHUMER: I worked on crime issues with him.

KORNACKI: Chris Christie.

SCHUMER: Talks too much.

KORNACKI: Amy Schumer.

SCHUMER: Second cousin once removed.

KORNACKI: Do you know her? Do you hang out with her?

SCHUMER: I probably had met her when she was a little girl. My
grandfather and her -- wait. Gordon Schumer, her father, is my second
cousin. Our grandfathers were brothers. So she`s my second cousin once
removed. But first, she said she was my cousin. I said, I don`t know of
any Amy Schumer who`s my cousin. And then I met her, coincidentally at
Shakespeare in the Park, just going. She came over. She was not as famous
as she is now, but she was still pretty famous. She said, I`m Amy Schumer.
I said, are you my cousin? Because she was saying, she was in those days,
she was saying she was related to me. That helped her, I guess. Now I`m
saying I`m related to her, it will help me.

When my nephew started college, he had four roommates. And they went in to
see him, they saw his last name was Schumer, Max Schumer. They said, are
you related? And he says, oh yes, Chuck Schumer, the senator. No, no, no,
Amy. That was my comeuppance.

But in any case, so I met her there, and she`s very nice, and we said we`re
going to sit down and have a cup of coffee together.

KORNACKI: Hasn`t happened yet.

SCHUMER: Hasn`t happened yet, but it will. It will.

KORNACKI: She got a new movie out.

SCHUMER: I heard, I saw, she was -- I still have it. I`m behind in my
reading. But she was on the front page of the drama -- of the lead arts
section of the New York Times last Sunday. I have it there and want to
read it.

KORNACKI: All right. Donald Trump.

SCHUMER: Good for the Democrats.

KORNACKI: And Caitlyn Jenner.

SCHUMER: Each person should be free to do what they want.

KORNACKI: And my final one I`ll ask you about. Mitch McConnell.

SCHUMER: Like Boehner. Hope he can be more himself. What I mean by that
is these guys are pulled to the right, and I think in their heart of
hearts, they are not -- their politics are not mine, Boehner and McConnell,
but they really don`t like being as hard right as they have to be, given
primary nature and give their caucuses.

KORNACKI: And my final question, national audience watching this, they are
coming to New York. One thing they have to do while they`re in New York,
what is it?

SCHUMER: Just experience New Yorkers. Experience New Yorkers. Most
tourists who come here and when I say, what`s your impression? They say
New Yorkers are much nicer than we thought. We`re gruff, but we`re nice.
We like people. We like to talk to people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KORNACKI: All right, that was Senator Chuck Schumer at Junior`s deli over
in Brooklyn. Appreciate him taking some time to do that the other morning.
It was a lot of fun.

Straight ahead, who`s in danger of not making it onto the stage in that
first Republican debate just three weeks from now? Some of the names, and
there are a lot of them, may surprise you, that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: A spokesman for former president George H.W. Bush says this
morning that doctors are pleased with the progress he`s making. This after
a fall in his home on Wednesday in which he broke a bone in his neck. His
spirits also said to be good. The former president fractured his c2
vertebrae; that`s the second one below the skull. Doctors say his spine
was not damaged. There are no neurological problems. They estimated it
will take him three to four months to fully heal. Obviously we wish the
former president all the best, and the former president`s son, Jeb,
meanwhile, now with only a few weeks to prepare for the first presidential
debate. The Republican candidates still vying for a spot on that stage,
some with more of a chance than others. There were three new national
polls this week, shaking up what had been the top 10, so let`s go to the
big board, let`s crunch the numbers, and again, what we`re trying to keep
in mind here, August 6, that is the first Republican debate. The average
of the five most recent national polls before that debate. The top 10 in
that average, they are in. Everybody else, off the stage, not in the
debate and invisible on that night. So let`s take a look. A bunch of new
polls this week. Here is your new top 10.

These are the candidates who would be on that stage right now if this
debate were to be held at this moment. You see Bush out there in first,
Trump obviously has surged, he`s got a ticket. You move down toward the
end here. Christie, Santorum, they`re just making it. That is the big
change this week, by the way. Rick Santorum, we`ve been doing this week to
week for a while now, Rick Santorum has always been on the wrong side of
the average. This week for the first time, Rick Santorum into tenth place
right now, very tentatively would have a ticket to that debate. Who did he
displace, who did he knock out? You can see it right there, it`s Rick
Perry, the former Texas governor. By our numbers right now, Rick Perry
would be 11th. He would be the first one not to have a ticket, not to be
on the debate stage. And obviously we talked about this earlier in the
show, very notable here, John Kasich, the former governor of Ohio, due to
announce his candidacy this week. This debate will be held in his home
state. Can he get that number up? Can he get in there?

And again, we do this NCAA tournament style here. The bracket comes out
every March. They got that bubble, whose bubble burst, who gets in? You
can see the cut line, Santorum, as we say, last one in, 2.2 percent. Rick
Perry first one out, just 0.2 of a point. That`s the difference between
Rick Perry right now not getting into this debate, not getting any of that
exposure, not being seen by millions of people, and Rick Santorum getting
in and having all of that. And again, the question too, if John Kasich can
bump up a little bit after that announcement this week, will he knock
Santorum out, would he knock Perry out? And by the way, Chris Christie, he
has been counting on this debate to turn his campaign around, he now is in
grave danger of missing this debate at 2.6 in the average. You can see the
down arrow, though, he is heading in the wrong direction at the wrong time.
So keep a close eye on these numbers all week. We`ll crunch them again
next Sunday. That first debate getting closer and closer.

Still ahead in the show, Donald Trump near the top of the polls. As you
just saw there. But for how long? Especially after his latest comments?
That`s next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Donald Trump still not apologizing for those controversial
comments about John McCain yesterday, taking to Twitter this morning, in
fact, to continue his tirade against McCain. Trump tweeting just moments
ago, quote, "John McCain called thousands of people crazies when they came
to seek help on illegal immigration last week in Phoenix. He owes
apology." So Trump again, clearly not backing off those remarks about
McCain from yesterday. To refresh your memory, let`s listen again to what
he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I said, somebody should run against John McCain, who has been, you
know, in my opinion, not so hot. And I supported him. I supported him for
president. I raised $1 million for him. That`s a lot of money. I
supported him. He lost. He let us down. But you know, he lost. I`ve
never liked him as much after that, because I don`t like losers. But --
Frank, let me get to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a war hero.

TRUMP: He`s not a war hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a war hero.

TRUMP: He`s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that
weren`t captured, okay? I hate to tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Republican Party leaders and others in the 2016 field now openly
taking shots at Trump after that. So what will this latest episode mean
for his presidential campaign going forward? The panel is back with me. We
have Salon`s Joan Walsh, former chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele and
John Stanton with Buzzfeed.

We also have this. Donald Trump, in addition to that tweet we just showed
you, a new statement out this morning from Donald Trump. So he keeps
addressing this thing. A new statement says that I have always made sure
our veterans are treated with the respect they deserve. Two weeks ago, I
pointed out the problem of illegal immigrants crossing our border and
causing tremendous amounts of crime. Now I have been able to focus the
energies of our country on the horrible treatment that our veterans are
receiving. We must solve their difficulties and solve them now.
Politicians like John McCain have totally failed. I will continue to fight
to secure our border and take care of our veterans. I will never apologize
or back down because these steps are vital to -- all capital letters here -
- make America great again."

Here is the thing I`m noticing about Donald Trump. He shoots his mouth
off. He doesn`t know -- he doesn`t seem to know what`s going to come out,
and then he works sort of backwards to justify it. I think the whole
immigration thing that happened over the last month was Donald Trump just
spouting off. And then he stumbled into this issue and said wow, there`s
this huge base of people that are with me on this. Now I`m the leader of
this movement.

He has a personal grudge against John McCain. He let that show yesterday
and said something really impolitic about John McCain, and now he`s in the
middle of a controversy again, and now he`s turning it into this is all my
great effort to shine the light on the issues of veterans.

WALSH: Veterans. And what John McCain has not done for veterans, which is
completely ridiculous. He also I think on "This Week" today he refused to
apologize, he came out and said no, no, he will never apologize to John
McCain.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: We all know John McCain`s record of military service. We also
know Donald Trump, by the way, is old enough to have served in Vietnam,
he`s in the Vietnam generation, and he didn`t go. He said yesterday he had
a deferment because of something, his ankle or his foot. Which foot was
it? He said I don`t remember.

WALSH: That`s how tough it was. No, it`s ridiculous. He stayed here.
John McCain went. And now he`s calling into question his heroism. But
he`s not going to stop. He continues to get attention. He doesn`t back
down. I don`t see what makes him stop.

STEELE: I think that`s going to be one of the challenges that everybody is
going to have right now as this thing folds into the next level of
conversation, leading into the debate. This could be a real contentious
moment on that stage in a couple of weeks, which is something that the
Republican Party does not want. They wanted to get in -- that`s why they
scaled all this thing down. They wanted to make it nice and smooth, you`re
in and out. We do the thing and now we`re done. And then Donald Trump was
like, wait a minute. I have a point of order. And it`s really almost a
point of disorder for everybody else on the stage.

And now the reality -- layering all this attack on John McCain and his
service to the veterans.

The question I heard already in the last 24 hours is how does a president,
Trump, stand before a group of POWs and speak to them, a group of veterans
and speak to them? And none of that really matters at this stage. I
really, people started to go off down these other rabbit holes. The party
has got to stay focused on what`s going to be happening in the next two
weeks, and what is the message they want to convey to the country as they
begin what will be a very difficult and contentious --

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: There have been suggestions in the wake of these new comments by
Donald Trump, John, that some of these Republican candidates who would be
in this debate, we just went through the numbers there, they take this as
an opportunity to say, I`m not going to that debate if Donald Trump is
included. Do you think this is something that could get any traction?

STEELE: That actually would be interesting.

STANTON: That would be a good idea for some of these guys, that don`t have
the numbers, even somebody like say Kasich, who would be like, look, I`m
not going to be involved in that. I am a serious guy. I do policy. I
don`t do that. Right? And that would be actually a true statement on his
behalf. And then he could keep it from looking like he`s not doing that
well. But I think even if they do that, frankly, Trump is eating up all
the oxygen right now.

WALSH: Right.

STANTON: And for anybody who doesn`t have the money, the ability and the
sort of infrastructure to withstand that -- however long that storm goes
on, Jeb Bush is going to be able to do it. Marco Rubio probably able to do
it. There is a handful of others, but most of these guys, they don`t have
the money and resources to wait.

WALSH: And they need the time. They need the media oxygen. We don`t know
anything that went on at that candidates` forum yesterday. All we know is
what Trump said about John McCain. And if other people said smart things,
dumb things, things to rile up the base, we really don`t know very much
about it.

STEELE: It`s not being covered. That gets us back to the point. That`s
the problem that -- writ large for the party, is that the narrative,
whether it`s on immigration, whether it`s on outreach to African-Americans,
whether it`s working with education, veterans, whatever. All of that is
being supplanted by a different conversation. And over the next two weeks,
if we`re still talking about a Trumpism that`s out there, that`s going to
be a real challenge for the folks standing on that stage, because that`s
going to be the focus for the people asking the questions, whether it`s Fox
or anybody else.

KORNACKI: Also, if he`s on that stage and they`re up there with him, I
mean, whatever he says -- we`ve gotten little windows into how this works.
If he says something controversial or if somebody brings up one of his
controversial statements, this is not going to be a dialogue that takes
place on stage that ends -- he will just keep moving on to something else
and throw it -- what he`s looking to do is constantly throw it back in your
face. Never apologize. Never back off. Never qualify. Just look for
something new to throw in your face.

WALSH: And you`re the loser.

KORNACKI: People say like he doesn`t play by the normal rules of political
combat. And that`s something these candidates up there on the stage are
not used to.

STEELE: I can tell you firsthand, having witnessed it in Maryland a few
weeks ago when he came to speak at the state`s red, white and blue dinner,
the fact of the matter is the room was packed. The energy was high. He
steps on the stage and he just gives sort of stream of conscious kind of
conversation, and folks are eating it up. And as long as that energy is
there for him, it fuels this fight, because he is the guy, for good or bad,
who is pushing back against the standard that the GOP elites often put out
there.

STANTON: And also if you`re on the stage with him and you don`t fight with
him, that could also be just as problematic. So he can be like -- he
agrees. You don`t want that.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: Or he`s in your face, saying, look, I can push you around.
What, Jeb, you won`t stand up to me? You`ll stand up to the Chinese but I`m
in your face?

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: At a certain point, it becomes a test of the strength of these
other candidates, can they muster a fight to go back at him? Then he`s not
going to be -- you have to land some kind of a blow there because he`s
going to keep coming back at you. Anyway, 2 1/2 weeks away. We`ll see
what happens. This programming note, tomorrow morning, here on MSNBC,
Senator John McCain will be a guest on "Morning Joe," this will be his
first interview following Trump`s comments yesterday. Very curious
obviously to see what he has to say.

Straight ahead, how President Obama spent his weekend here in New York.
I`m not sure why he didn`t call me for recommendations. That`s next. Stay
with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: All right, there`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up with some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel.
Let`s look in the Wall Street Journal, what are they saying this morning?
Obama takes a Central Park stroll on New York trip. So President Obama was
visiting New York City yesterday. There you`re seeing a picture of him in
Central Park with his daughters, Sasha and Malia. He attended a
fundraiser, he had dinner in New York on Friday night. He walked in
Central Park. He saw the new musical, Hamilton on Broadway. Apparently
there was a late night tour of the new Whitney museum as well. You can see
him walking through Central Park as well.

What`s interesting is I`m wondering, this is sort of a preview, I think, of
the post presidency. The stories I read about Barack Obama, he feels very
sort of confined in the White House. He misses, I think he had spoken to
people about he is missing that idea of almost being able to sit outside at
a cafe and people watch, and just sort of take in the life around him, and
he looks for these opportunities to get outside.

WALSH: I see them living here. I say, I welcome the first family. I
guess Chicago really did get the presidential library. But I see them
making a home here. It`s a perfect place for them.

KORNACKI: Make a trade with the Clintons in Chappaqua--

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: They get the e-mail server that comes with--

(LAUGHTER)

STEELE: You said that, I didn`t.

WALSH: I walk my dog in Central Park.

KORNACKI: Sometimes it`s too easy, you know.

WALSH: I`ll take Bo--

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: I`m looking forward to it.

KORNACKI: I do, I think about it sometimes. It takes a certain
personality type, I think, to be a politician. Bill Clinton, it seems
like, I never thought he was particularly bothered by the idea of the White
House bubble and all that, and everywhere you go, you`re swarmed by crowds,
but Obama seems a little bit more of an introvert, and that sort of thing
might bother him a bit.

STEELE: Yes, and I think this idea of sort of walking in Central Park, and
going to shows, sort of gets him reconnected to things, particularly with
his daughters, to have that father-daughter moment with a thousand people
watching and being a part of it, but it`s still, for him, it`s not within
the confines of Washington. And they kind of like that. And I think a
little of it is sort of shopping the field for New York, to see what it`s
like to be a part of New York in that way. It will be nice for him, I
guess, to get out every once in a while.

KORNACKI: I`m sure, the former president living in New York City will be
left alone by the New York press.

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: Just blend right in. Another headline here, this is from USA
Today. Chocolate ice cream is tops on social media. By the way, today
we`re mentioning this because today is National Ice Cream Day. So a study
by an analytics company called Netbase analyzed social media activity over
the course of three months to find out the top flavors and brands.
Chocolate is the most mentioned flavor, Ben & Jerry`s is the most mentioned
brand. I love Ben & Jerry`s. I love their peanut butter cup ice cream. I
have to say--

(CROSSTALK)

KORNACKI: Caramel fudge swirl. What`s your favorite?

WALSH: I like New York chocolate chunk.

STANTON: I`m not overly complicated. Just give me like Breyer`s
chocolate.

KORNACKI: That -- you are the voice of the people. Let`s see what else is
going on right here. This is from "Time." A Google self-driving car was
rear-ended once again. The accident happened in California on July 1st.
According to Google, the car was coming up to a red light, and as it slowed
to avoid traffic, it was rear-ended. The self-driving car has been in 12
accidents since 2009.

STEELE: That should tell you all you need to know about that right there.

KORNACKI: I don`t trust these things. I would never want to get into a
car that drives, you know.

STEELE: No, no, not happening, sorry.

KORNACKI: Not that driving around with some of the people I drive around
with is any safer. But anyway, my thanks to today`s panel, Joe Walsh,
Michael Steele, John Stanton, appreciate you all being here. Thank you at
home for getting up with us today. As we`ve been saying, you`re not going
to want to miss Senator John McCain tomorrow morning on "Morning Joe." That
will be his first interview since Donald Trump called his Vietnam War
service into question. But before that, you`re going to want to stick
around for "Melissa Harris-Perry." She`s coming up next, that does it for
us today, 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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