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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Date: August 15, 2015
Guest: Philip Rucker, Matt Lewis, Lauren Fox, Andy Gomez, Jamal Simmons,
Shira Center, Lincoln Chafee

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC HOST: The state of the state fair.

Good morning, thanks for getting UP with us. I`m Richard Wolffe, Steve
Kornacki has a much deserve morning off. We have a packed two hours of
news and politics planned. We want to get to that start and straight right
away. Going first to Iowa, home of the Iowa state fair playing out this
weekend in Des Moines. Yes, I know it happens every year, but every four
years, the national media descends on the fair as if it`s the microphone
stand on the driveway to the west wing. And if you think that`s overblown,
that it doesn`t matter what presidential candidates say in a forgotten
corner of a Midwest fairground, it was at this event four years ago that
one Mitt Romney made one of the first major gaffes of his gaff field

Because that`s where he told the nation or at least the heckler that
corporations are people, my friend. Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee have
already spoken out at the fair. We`ll be getting to Jeb`s remarks a little
bit later in the show. But first, we need to discuss the spectacle of the
fair, because this is how presidential candidates begin their journey. Not
only debate stage, but a walking, talking performance where they need to
show off more of their human side. This is the place where you get to see
a first-time senator from Illinois, someone no one believe had a realistic
chance of beating Hillary Clinton for the nomination, drive a bumper car
with his six-year-old daughter, and doesn`t she look cute?

Yesterday, the former Florida governor who wants to replace President Obama
was showing off nothing less than his pork flipping skills who knew that he
had them. And today, Donald Trump will be the main attraction. The Des
Moines Register reporting that Donald Trump will arrive this morning by,
yes, helicopter. According to his aides, he will visit the famous blue
ribbon butter cow.

And MSNBC`s Jane Timm is joining us at the Iowa State Fair this morning
with the details. Jane, I`ve got, I`ve got to put it to you that this
helicopter stunt really does sound perfectly Trumpesque. What do we know
about his itinerary today? There were rumors about the kids going on the
helicopter rides, is that in fact going to happen?

JANE TIMM, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, we know it`s the plan. I can
see so many different people who can pull the plug on this, I cannot
imagine any insurance company who says, yes, take strangers on your
helicopter, Donald Trump. But as we all know, it`s hard to say no to
Donald Trump, that is his plan in addition to sort of that meet and greet.
I think we may see him try something fried, but what he tries, we will not
know, as there are many different varieties here. We know he`s going to
try to meet, walk and talk, he`s going to do some media, Donald Trump
doesn`t really go anywhere without doing media, and then we`ll see where it
takes him besides the butter cow.

WOLFFE: Can you even walk and talk at the fair if you`re Donald Trump with
all the media there?

TIMM: You know, I really don`t know. I mean, it`s a pretty big area, but
at the same time, I mean, there are hundreds of reporters who are here who
are all going to be chasing Donald Trump. I mean, that is going to be

WOLFFE: So there was an event in Iowa for the democratic candidates last
night, and you were there, all the candidates were speaking except for Jim
Webb. What did you hear from them last night?

TIMM: You know, I was really curious to see how Bernie Sanders was
received. He`s been surging in the polls, he`s come up with that second in
place, but the fan favorite definitely was Hillary. People were hooting
and hollering and shouting themselves hoarse, her name over and over again.
They interrupted her to say it over and over. They were very excited to
hear what she said. You know, she spoke a lot about the issues that she
cares about, but she did address the e-mail scandal that has been in the
news so much recently and she got in a couple of jokes in that address.

WOLFFE: So, what did she say about Donald Trump? She is the Trump of the
Democratic Party, what did she say about the Trump himself?

TIMM: Well, she had some fun with that. Most of her speech really was
about the other Republicans, but, she got in some jokes to basically tie
all of the other opponents to Donald Trump.


recently launched a snapchat account.


I love it. I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves.


But it`s not about e-mails or servers either, it`s about politics. I will
do my part to provide transparency to Americans, that`s why I`ve assisted
55,000 pages of my e-mails be published as soon as possible. I`ve even
offered to answer questions for months before Congress. I`ve just provided
my server to the Justice Department, but here`s what I won`t do, I won`t
get down in the mud with them. I won`t play politics with the national

Now I know, most of the attention these days is on a certain flamboyant
frontrunner. But don`t let the circus distract you, if you look at their
policies, most of the other candidates are just Trump without the pizazz or
the hair.



TIMM: As you can see, she definitely tried to make clear that she is the
champion to take the Democratic Party away from the GOP`s vision.

WOLFFE: Jane, thank you so much. It was a feisty and funny Hillary
Clinton. Thank you, Jane were for all your work in Des Moines. Okay.
Before heading to Iowa today, Donald Trump was in New Hampshire last night.
Holding a press conference and taking questions in Hampton.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was called by one of the
biggest journalists in the world the other day. He said Mr. Trump, could I
ask you a question? What? How does it feel? How does it feel? I said
how does what feel? He said, you have done something that nobody else has
ever done. You`ve taken over television, you`ve taken over the airways,
it`s the summer of Trump. You know, they`re calling it the summer of

I actually said, if you`re running for president, you should not be allowed
to use a teleprompter.


It`s true, it`s true. It`s so easy. No. You walk up, you walk, ladies
and gentlemen, hello.


So, Rand Paul has been hitting me because he`s like his poll is like going
down. He`s weak on military. Can you imagine today being weak on the
military? You know what, even doves are strong. Rand Paul is weak on the
military, he`s weak on immigration, he`s weak on everything. He`s got no


WOLFFE: Well, he`s having fun at least. Right? The Washington Post
Philip Rucker and Robert Costa reported this week that in fact this isn`t a
stunt for Donald Trump. He wants to win. Starting in Iowa and then
beyond. He`s building an extensive ground game in Ohio as the first act
towards making that happen.

Joining us now from Des Moines is Philip Rucker of The Washington Post
who`s been covering the Trump campaign. Also join by our amazing panel,
Matt Lewis, senior contributor to The Daily Caller. Lauren Fox,
congressional reporter for the National Journal. And my friend Jamal
Simmons, democratic strategist and co-founder of Crepe Incorporated,
welcome to you all.

We to want start out with you, Philip, in Iowa, this Iowa surprise, you
know, the way the story was written, the way people have reacted to it,
it`s as if people were astonished, the Donald Trump actually wanted to win
this thing, that it wasn`t just some great pr campaign. Is that what
you`re trying to get at with this story?

PHILIP RUCKER, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think so. You know, a lot of us are
watching the Trump campaign through television, he`s on TV every day
talking endlessly. We didn`t know there was sort of a real campaign behind
it all, but there is. He has one of the most extensive ground operations
here in Iowa. He`s got ten paid staff on the ground, he has a bus that
goes all over the state signing up new volunteers, people to caucus for
him. This is a fairly sophisticated political operation, the kind of thing
that we would expect from a Jeb Bush or a Scott Walker, but not necessarily
from the billionaire celebrity candidate.

WOLFFE: Philip, ten paid staffers means more than the other campaigns, but
there are 99 counties in Iowa. It`s a pretty big state geographically, how
can that be a sophisticated ground game? How can you blanketing a state
with ten people? Surely it`s his supporters who are everywhere more than
the paid staffers.

RUCKER: That`s right. And I think the big test for him of course is going
to be whether he can translate people who right now are more like fans and
turn them into caucus-goers come February, you know, when it`s cold and
people have to show up late at night. But he certainly has more extensive
ground game than somebody like Scott Walker who has about three or five
staff I believe in the state. You know, Jeb Bush has about nine. So Trump
is really in the game here.

WOLFFE: Yes, and that makes an interesting question about who`s running
the sort of p.r.-led campaign. I want to bring in the panel here. And
Matt, I want to read you something from a story that our reporters on the
ground have done, some right now. There`s a Trump supporter
quoted by our reporter Kite, Conic and Ali Batali (ph) here, who says that
this is Jimmy Reardon (ph) from -- who is retired from Raymond in New
Hampshire, he says, I want somebody who is going to make us feel like
Americans again. And give us a backbone. Make us feel like Americans


WOLFFE: Okay. So, I`m assuming that this is a representative statement of
Trump supporters. What does that mean for republican voters? Make us feel
like Americans again?

LEWIS: Well, look, I think that there is a sense that America has lost its
way. There is a sense that America was once a great country that could
push people around. I mean, and not in a bad, not just in a bad way, that
we, that we were right on the issues, and now there`s a sense that
America`s getting pushed around. And people don`t like that. And they`ve
tried to elect republican politicians, tried to elect a republican Senate
in Congress, and nothing seems to change. Now Donald Trump, it`s a leap of
faith to believe that he can do that, right? I mean, it requires magical
thinking to believe that he can have the Mexicans pay for -- the Mexican
government pay for a wall or the Chinese, all the sudden start, you know,
manipulating their currency, but at least with Trump, you can take that
leap of faith. Nobody else is even offering you the opportunity to have a
naive quick -- belief that they can snap their fingers and change the

WOLFFE: Jamal, what do you hear when you hear a Trump supporter say, he
makes us feel like Americans again.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, the question is who is us?
Right? And so, I get worried a little bit about the kind of conservative,
republican, whiter, older American, who might think, you know, making us
feel like Americans again is really about blaming somebody else for us not
feeling like Americans. What Trump has been able to do, is he has been
able to get a unique blend of grievance and aspiration into the same
message. Right? So, it`s -- let`s make America great again, we can cut
out all this Mexican immigration of the rapists and the criminals, then we
can make America great again. So, it`s this unique mix of aspiration and
grievance, and that`s something I think is a toxic mix. Because if you
look at it, whether it`s like national front in France or some of the
Italian parties, the sort of right-wing, more rural, you know, nativist
sentiments that begin to really turn underbelly of democracy.

LEWIS: I think populous demagoguery always requires a villain, somebody
who`s to blame. But I will say this, there`s also you talked about the
optimistic side, and there is that, and this is not that dissimilar to what
Barack Obama promised.

WOLFFE: Right.

LEWIS: With hope and change, what President George W. Bush promised.

WOLFFE: I want to pick up on that, right, this is going to sound
uncomfortable for democratic supporters here. But Lauren, at the heart of
the story here, at the heart of Philip`s great story, really great
reporting, was this idea that the operatives, the state chairs, everyone
else are saying, Trump will never make it, it cannot be real. Listening to
what people said back about in 2007 and 08 about Barack Obama was the same
kind of thing from the party officials. So you cover Congress, are people
in Washington are saying either, this will never happen or we cannot
believe that this is happening?

a combination of both. I think the longer this goes on, people can`t
believe this is happening. But we also have to think back in 2012, where
was the Republican Party at this time? Michelle Bachmann was leading in
the polls, she looked like she could be the nominee for the Republican
Party. I guess this was 2011 right before the 2012 election. So, I think
that that`s important to remember, it`s a good marker that this is so
early, and that you might have a lot of grassroots support, but getting
people to the caucuses is a very different game and February is a long time

WOLFFE: Matt, that is an important point, right? You`re action is you
have to mobilize these people.

LEWIS: You do. And, you know, I think politics is littered with the
corpses of charismatic, exciting people who didn`t turn out the vote on
Election Day, and it`s a logistical nightmare identifying your people,
dragging them to the caucuses where they have to essentially stay all day.
I mean, this isn`t like even just voting in a primary, this is being a part
of the community. Are the Donald Trump folks likely to actually be
registered and to show up? I don`t know.

WOLFFE: Well, thank you. Panel stay with us, Philip, I just want to thank
you in Des Moines, sorry we couldn`t get back to you, but that was great
story there and it will be a test to see if indeed he can turn out his
supporters. Philip, thank you.

RUCKER: Thank you.

WOLFFE: Donald Trump may be taking his helicopter to the Iowa State Fair,
but expect a bit of a more subdued arrival from the Donald on Monday.
He`ll be taking a break from the campaign trail to appear in court. Trump
has jury duty in Manhattan. He was reportedly fined $250 earlier this year
for missing five jury summons since 2006. Not that he had any trouble
paying that fine. But it will be a race if he shows up to court on Monday.
So we`ll see.

Still ahead, as we continue this morning, will Donald Trump still be the
frontrunner when he lands in Iowa later today? We`ll take a look at the
latest poll numbers from the Hawkeye State.

But first, it`s a new day and a new era in Havana. That`s next, stay with



JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We will improve this. We just started,
this is the beginning. It`s a historic day, we went nowhere for 54 years.
I believe in the next year, people will see much more change.


WOLFFE: That was Secretary of State John Kerry with our very own Andrea
Mitchell, reflecting on U.S.-Cuba relations on which a day the American
flag was raised over the U.S. Embassy in Havana for the first time in more
than half a century. Even before Kerry spoke, republican presidential
candidates, most notably Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants was
speaking out against this historic moment.


fought for decades for the very democratic principles President Obama
claims to be advancing through these concessions. Their exclusion from
this event has ensured it will be little more than a propaganda rally for
the Castro regime.


WOLFFE: NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez has more from Havana.

GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Richard, now that the U.S. flag is
flying at the embassy here in Havana for the first time in 54 years,
diplomats from both countries are preparing for talks set to begin next
month. Now, the U.S. and Cuba still disagree on many issues including
democracy and human rights. But Secretary of State John Kerry during his
historic visit to Havana on Friday, said he hoped progress could be made on
other points as well. Looming largest, the U.S. trade embargo which can
only be lifted by Congress and that isn`t likely to happen any time soon.

Still, despite many travel restrictions in place, more Americans are
visiting Cuba. The number`s up 54 percent so far this year. And the U.S.
is authorizing more sea voyages to the island, cruises, and yachts, and
more air travel options could be on the way. In many ways, Friday`s flag-
raising ceremony was symbolic, but in this country, following decades of
mistrust, symbols matter. Secretary Kerry saying that both country should
look at each other now not as enemies or rivals, but neighbors -- Richard.

WOLFFE: Thanks to Gabe Gutierrez in Havana.

Joining us now is Andy Gomez who is a retired senior fellow of Cuban
Studies at the University of Miami. Andy, welcome.

morning, Richard. Good to be with you.

WOLFFE: So, that is obviously a ceremonial, symbolic event. Lots of
history made yesterday. In this discussion of greater trade, greater
relationships, more travel, are we, are we seeing any early signs that the
regime in Cuba is actually changing its behavior, particularly with regard
to human rights?

GOMEZ: No, absolutely not. I mean, they haven`t shown any signs up to
now. There are many issues that still remain on the table. The question
that I ask myself is, has the Cuban government received enough by
establishing diplomatic relationship with a United States to open
themselves up to the rest of the world, are they going to push further and
come to the table with some other issues before our own presidential
elections because, the likelihood if a republican candidate wins the White
House, this entire process is going to slope a lot of bit.

WOLFFE: Matt, it`s going to slow a bit, Marco Rubio says he`ll reverse the
whole thing, but if you look at the polls, maybe we can pull this up here
from the Pew Research Center, 56 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of
Republicans favor reestablishing diplomatic relations. You know, 73
percent of all Americans say, their support re-establishing relations. So
is it really, not just is it viable or popular, but is it realistic to
think any republican candidate, no matter what they say now is really going
to reverse this process.

LEWIS: Well, I think if it`s Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush then it is realistic
because of their Florida ties. But otherwise, you know, maybe it does get
pushed to the back of the burner. Look, I mean, I think there`s a couple
attention here at play. Right? I mean, one hope is that by having more
trade introducing American ideas potentially into the island that
eventually that there will be more freedom, more human rights. The other
fear though is that this is a regime, the last gasp, and now we`re giving
it oxygen. And we may be able to tell going forward in the next couple of
years which of those two things it is. But I would caution every -- I do
worry, if you look at what happened in China, I think there was a hope
that if you could introduce capitalism in China that the political freedom
would follow, and that so far has not happened. And so, I think that dream
doesn`t always come into fruition.

WOLFFE: Well, I want to go back to Andy there. Andy, do you think that
trade is going to develop quickly and with trade is the Cuban culture going
to change?

GOMEZ: Look, let me be very honest, lifting the economic embargo, Congress
doesn`t have the votes now to do so. I don`t think knowing how the Cuban
leadership thinks, I don`t think that Cubans are going to be all that open
to attracting or wanting American foreign investment any time soon. I
think they`re going to be very selective as to who they let invest in Cuba.
Perfect example, couple of weeks ago, Google offered them, for nothing, to
establish the internet infrastructure, and they turned down Google. I
think what the Cuban government wants in order to give a boost to their
economy is American tourism. And we`ll have to wait and see whether some
of these other issues develop.

WOLFFE: Jamal, is there a political opportunity for Democrats here?
Obviously Marco Rubio thinks he can help himself and the republican crowd
by saying, he`s going to reverse this stuff. But more broadly the time
when Trump is going out the way, an anti-immigrant message, anti-Mexican
message, does this play with Cuba? Does this move with Cuba? As historic
as it is, open up political opportunities for Democrats to say, we`re more
inclusive, we can connect better with our broader Latino audience, and a
newer generation of Latinos.

SIMMONS: You know, Sam Farr, the congressman from California had a great
statement out last week where he said for the first time in his time in
Congress, when he voted on the Iran deal, he got a chance to vote for peace
over war. And I think one of the things you`re seeing with Barack Obama is
the President is going around the world trying to settle some old problems
and bring everybody back into a bigger community of nations. On the
politics side, even in Florida right now, Barack Obama did very well in
Florida with younger Cuban-Americans. There`s a split that`s happening
even among the Cuban-American community, among the sort of second or third
generation of Cuban-Americans who are a little less dogmatic about how to
treat Cuba. So, I think politically, the jeopardy isn`t as great and I
don`t expect that we`ll see this rollback.

WOLFFE: Lauren, there was a time when people thought normalizing relations
and trade with Vietnam was too difficult to do. Could we look at a couple
years from now and say, actually, yes, it`s hard to imagine now Congress
voting for ending the embargo but -- it looks very different.

FOX: Well, I think once we have a new president in office, I think that
will really set the tone for whether or not Congress is going to cooperate
or not and how much room there is moving forward. I mean, there could be a
situation where you have a democratic Congress once again or democratic
Senate, a democratic president, and that starts to move a lot more quickly.
Now if Marco Rubio is the president, kind of circling back to what we were
saying earlier, it`s very possible that this gets reversed, especially if
he still has a republican Congress behind him. And all the sudden, the
brakes go on again. So I think it could go one of two ways, really is
going to depend on who gets elected in 2016.

LEWIS: Can I ask real quick though to Jamal. Look, you know, President
Obama is trying to, you know, bring peace and not talk about war, but if
you look in the Iran deal, we still have hostages over there. And I think
there`s a similar problem in Cuba, what about the extradition of fugitives
that Cuba needs to send back to America? If they really want to, you know,
be our friends and have this, you know, following of attentions, how about
sending back some horrible people that they`re harboring on the island?

WOLFFE: We don`t have an extradition treaty with lots of countries,
including Brazil, but we still deal with them. But panel stay with us.
Thanks to Andy Gomez for joining us this morning. Thank you, Andy.

Still ahead, Jeb Bush grappled with the Iraq war question yet again
yesterday. We`ll show his surprising answer.

And next, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, stay
with us.


WOLFFE: Today marks the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, the date in 1945 when
Japan surrendered and effectively ended the Second World War. Japan`s
prime minister expressed what he says is quote, "deep remorse over the
war." But he also cautioned that Japan cannot keep apologizing. Yesterday
in New York City, reenactors played out the life magazine Times Square
kissing when the U.S. celebrated the end of the war.

Still ahead, a live report from President Obama`s summer getaway. It`s the
next best thing to being there yourself.

And next, Trump touching down in Iowa this morning as the frontrunner. How
long can that possibly last?


WOLFFE: So when Donald Trump`s helicopter lands in Iowa in just a few
hours, he will do so as the leader of the PAC, and neither half of the
sentence is actually believable, but it`s true. In an average of three
Iowa polls released just this week, Trump is in first place at 19 percent.
And after a strong debate performance, Ben Carson is not far behind. Scott
Walker who had been leading in Iowa polls in recent months has been falling
to third place. It`s an important early state for the Wisconsin governor
and that third place, that fall is not a good sign for him either. Jeb
Bush has even worse news, he tied for sixth behind Ted Cruz and a newly
surging Carly Fiorina. We`ll going to bring back the panel here. Matt,
Jeb Bush, this is a dreadful start, isn`t it? Isn`t it time to get

LEWIS: I think it is. I`m one of the few, I`m an outlier, I thought Jeb
Bush did good in the debate. I mean, he was asked tough questions about
things like common corps, immigration reform where his positions fly in the
face of sort of the conservative dogma right now. And I thought he had
good answers to those questions.

WOLFFE: The polls --

LEWIS: Clearly, nothing.


WOLFFE: It`s not working.

LEWIS: Well look, and I think you said earlier that Ben Carson had a good
debate, I disagree. I thought Ben Carson was very mediocre, but he is
doing well now. I think that this transcends debate performance, I think
clearly the candidates who are doing well or the sort of the populist
outsiders. So, I don`t know that it`s about the performance in the debate
because Ben Carson didn`t do that great, and yet he is now surging, sort

WOLFFE: But Lauren, isn`t that the point. Our standard of measurement,
what makes a good performer, a good candidate, what the people you talked
to on Capitol Hill might respect, it`s not relevant. It`s irrelevant at
this moment. And that`s just not a republican thing because the Democrats
are worried in the same way about Bernie Sanders. The normal measures here
are no longer true.

FOX: Right. I think people sitting in their living rooms are looking for
who do I relate to? And when Ben Carson has his sort of finale moment in
the debate, and you know, he`s making jokes about how he`s opened up
brains, and I think people love that stuff. They think it`s fun. They
want somebody who kind of entertains them, that`s why Trump is doing so
well. That`s why Carly Fiorina sort of had a surge in the polls.
Obviously on a debate stage, she stood out as someone who knew what she was
talking about on foreign policy, but you do not have to know what you are
talking about in terms of policy as much as you have to be relatable.

WOLFFE: So, normally I`d frame this in saying, are the Congressional
leaders worried about Trump? Surely the members of Congress must be
looking at this saying the ground swell, the ground swell opinion of both
parties is for the non-politician. So what kind of primary challenge am I
going to get? Because anyone could walk in off the street, brain surgeon,
guy with a helicopter, doesn`t matter, and I`m in trouble.

LEWIS: I think worried.

FOX: Well, I think it`s very interesting, and a lot of, you know, the
senators are probably looking and saying, Ted Cruz is doing so well, how
many times have we sat in meetings with Ted Cruz and gone head to head over
shutting down the coverage or, you know, some other issue that he cares
deeply about and he`s going to go after and we don`t agree with him as a
party. I think he`s good for the party but he`s doing well. I think that
it certainly scares some of them. But we have to remember in the 2014
election, a lot of those conservative insurgencies didn`t affect republican
candidates in the same way they did in 2010 and 2012.

SIMMONS: Except for one thing, I do think that these insurgencies start to
pull the more moderate more establishment candidates further to the right.
They have to have an answer to the questions, so that the entire
establishment Republicans and conservatives have. And so, I think that
you`re right, this is really a non-establishment year. Anybody who`s
flipping the finger at the rest of the establishment is somebody that
people want to listen to.

WOLFFE: And to that point, Jamal, this poll out of New Hampshire, Bernie
Sanders leading Hillary Clinton by seven points. Bernie Sanders. I mean,
I know Vermont and New Hampshire, you know, there`s a geographic tie there,
but really, it`s not. I mean, we all say that neighboring states like each
other, but seven points. Hillary Clinton, I mean, if you can`t slay the
dragon that is Bernie Sanders, what can you do?

SIMMONS: Well, the Clinton campaign always expected that Bernie Sanders
was going to do well. He is in neighboring state. He does have that same
sort of Ben and Jerry`s crunchiness about him. But I do think he has
tapping into something inside the Democratic Party. There`s a great desire
for passion, there`s a great desire for somebody who could say it like it
is and speak up. What Hillary Clinton has to do better at is being faster,
coming out more quickly with her ideas, not hedging like he did on trade or
hedging like she`s doing on the oil pipeline. She`s got to sort of say
what she thinks and really be as non-political as possible because that`s
what people are looking for.

WOLFFE: How can you be non-political when you`re Hillary Clinton? Been in
the public eye for this long. How can you unlearn those lessons?

SIMMONS: It`s a hard thing to manage. And I got to tell you, I think, you
know, we`ll talk about this a little bit later, having more candidates in
the race, somebody like Joe Biden in the race who would make Hillary
Clinton a little bit more nervous will be helpful to her because I think it
will make her have to work harder and it will make her have to get out
there and show off her chops. You saw the best Hillary Clinton in 2008
when Barack Obama was doing well. That`s the Hillary Clinton Democrats
need running now.

LEWIS: She is much better when, you know, after she lost Iowa. But look,
I think part of the problem that Hillary has is, the Republicans have been
having all the fun, not have been losing the presidential elections, but
they`ve gotten to fly their free flag. Right? The Democrats have been
very disciplined, very orderly, they haven`t had, you know, it used to be
Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. If you`re a democratic
activist and a progressive, you haven`t had to really take a stand and go
clean with jean so to speak for a long time.

WOLFFE: Okay. Stay with us. But I`ll come back to this I`m sure. Still
ahead, is Joe Biden getting to a yes on a presidential run?

And next, 12 years later, yet another Bush is declaring mission
accomplished. Those details are on the other side of the break, stay with
us on UP without Steve Kornacki.


WOLFFE: So, it has been a bit of a rough couple of days for Jeb Bush who
continues to struggle with one of the biggest challenges of his candidacy.
Escaping his brother`s shadow. Nowhere is that more difficult than when it
comes to George W. Bush`s legacy with the Iraq war. Here`s what happened
at the Iowa State Fair yesterday.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Iraqis want our help. They want
to know that we have skin in the game, we`re committed to this. We don`t
have to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had to get out in 2011!

BUSH: Excuse me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had to get out in 2011!

BUSH: We didn`t have to get out in 2011. It could have been modified, and
that was the expectation, everybody in Iraq, and everybody in Washington
knew that this deal could have been expanded. And how what we need to do -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re brother signed a bad deal!

BUSH: Now we need to do something else.


WOLFFE: Yet another question, I wanted to know why Paul Wolfowitz, his
brother`s deputy defense secretary and the architect of his Iraq war policy
was now advising none other than Jeb Bush himself.


BUSH: The power game that`s played, you know, where you have 25, 30, or 40
people, they`re helping you with foreign policy, and if they have any
executive experience they`ve had to deal with two republican
administrations. Who were the people that were presidents the last two
republican -- I mean, this is kind of a tough game for me to be playing to
be honest with you. I`m my own person.


WOLFFE: I`m my own person, but even Mark Halpern tweeting away in the
corner there, must have known that a few of them 24 hours earlier, Bush had
invoked his brother`s infamous words, mission accomplished when talking
about the Iraq war.


BUSH: Taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal. And
the surge left, the need, you know, faulty intelligence, the lack of
commitment to secure Iraq at the beginning which would have been helpful,
put that aside. I`ve been critical, I think people have every right to be
critical of decisions that were made. In 2009, Iraq was fragile, but
secure. It was mission was accomplished in the way that there was security


WOLFFE: Okay. Bringing in the panel again now, Jamal, mission
accomplished. Is that a democratic attack ad waiting to be taped, if
indeed Jeb Bush gets the nomination?

SIMMONS: It is. But you know, what? His name is an attack ad. Every
time they say Jeb Bush, it reminds people of a lot of things they don`t
like, particularly when he starts talking about these issues of foreign
policy. And you saw in that talk, we didn`t see it in this one. When
people ask him questions about Paul Wolfowitz being one of his advisors, a
lot of people in the country are nervous about bringing back a team that
got us into a mess that we spent a lot of years and are still spending a
lot of years trying to get out of. And they want to get us, you know, they
want to move past all those old problems from the Bush era.

WOLFFE: Matt, even for the republican hawks, the people who say, you know,
we should go to war with Iran or at least, let`s abandon Obama`s position
on Iran, isn`t there a concern about bringing the same old crowd? Because
Iraq isn`t a winning proposition for Republicans either, is it?

LEWIS: No, I think there`s a huge challenge with Jeb Bush on this
controversy, like part of the deal, right? Part of the problem. Look,
it`s Iraq is part of it, but this actually on the right transcends it, I
mean, George W. Bush, amongst most mainstream conservatives is viewed as a
very mixed record, as somebody who spent too much, who didn`t veto bills,
who had Medicare part D, no child left behind, a lot of liberal, domestic
policies in addition to Iraq and by the way, I mean, it`s pretty common
knowledge, but it also emboldened Iran and made them, now I think that Iraq
is, you know, sort of a proxy government of Iran. So yes, I mean, I think
that the Bush name isn`t just a liability in the general, it`s a problem in
the primary.

WOLFFE: Lauren, I want you to listen to Jeb Bush talking about torturing
interrogation methods on Thursday. Tell me what you hear when you listen
to Jeb Bush speaking about this.


BUSH: Well, there`s a difference between enhanced interrogation techniques
and torture. Torture -- America doesn`t do torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waterboarding is one that got a lot of attention. Is
that something that you`d rule in or out?

BUSH: I`m not ruling anything in or out. Huge threat. We don`t torture.


WOLFFE: Sounds an awful lot like his brother. Does anyone really want go
back to this debate about waterboarding and torture? I mean, you know, is
Congress ready for it? Is anyone actually, does anyone embrace the
discussion that says, well, can`t rule it in Iraq?

FOX: Well, I think that we have to go back to the day that torture report
came out in the U.S. Senate, there were still many Republicans who did not
think that report was fair. Who were going down to the Senate floor
defending what had to be done after September 11th, of course you have the
stirring speech from John McCain saying, we can never do this again. But,
I think that this is not a settled issue in American politics. And when
Jeb Bush goes out there and says, he cannot rule anything in or out, it`s
not clear that the Congress is, you know, looking at him and saying oh,
that`s so far removed from what we believe, this is still a debated issue
in a lot of places.

WOLFFE: That`s right, but Jamal, Vietnam is not a settled issue, and you
know, you have generation --

SIMMONS: It is for me.

WOLFFE: Right. That`s my point. Right. There`s a generation of
politicians and activists who want to keep fighting the last war, and I
just wonder for the next generation, the people you`ve got to bring in as
new voters. The people disillusioned with politics right now, for a
younger group of voters, when they hear the Iraq debate and whether weapons
of mass destruction, was it torture or not? They think, well, what about
jobs? What about, you know, how am I go to handle retirement, what about
healthcare? It seems to me this is off topic.

SIMMONS: It is off topic, except Americans want to get back to a place
where we`re growing with, this is part of the magic of Donald Trump that we
were talking about a little bit ago. Make America great again, right?
He`s always on message, he`s always talking about it, and the Republicans
have to be able to sort of answer that.

WOLFFE: Okay. Well, we`ll wrap this one up right now. Coming up next, is
this the most moderate voice in the GOP field? Especially when it comes to
vaccinations? That`s next.

And later, what is Hillary Clinton`s campaign start nervous about? Stay
right here.


WOLFFE: There`s a lot going on this morning. So, let`s get caught up on
some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel. Politico,
Carly Fiorina says, vaccinations should be left up to parents. On
Thursday, the republican presidential candidate said, quote, "We must
protect religious liberty and someone`s ability to practice their religion.
We must devote energy and resources to doing so, period. When in doubt, it
is always the parent`s choice." Matt, are the Republicans really going
after the vaccination crowd?

LEWIS: I think it`s a mistake. I think that, you know, you have to have
immunity, which means there`s a threshold, right? Not every single child
has to be vaccinated, but you have to get to that threshold, and we`ve had
recurrences of diseases that we thought were essentially wiped out because
a combination, it`s a weird, you know, bedfellows here, it`s basically
probably like devout Christians and hippies who are sort of united at going
-- but if somebody has a documentable deeply held religious belief that
would say that this violates their conscience, fine. That is a minute
percentage of people that should be excluded.

WOLFFE: Right. Okay. Next one, I`m actually going to use the cards for
the next scientific debate because Washington Post scientist sort of set a
debate on low carb versus low-fat diets research for me. And I -- conclude
that the calorie for calorie low fat diets, low carbs diets in this case,
I`m going to have some of this. Jamal, low carbs, oh, by the way, Cory
Booker, he quits carbs and sugar. This is also in The Washington Post,
Instagram is loving it. Cory Booker went like this. But tell me, what`s
up with the carbs?

SIMMONS: I don`t know. Is it low-carb, low-sugar, low-sodium, it feels
like every year we`re supposed to cross something else out of our diet. I
guess sort of think you should eat as many things that come out of the
ground or as close to their original source as possible and enjoy your

WOLFFE: But it`s hard to eat and ask questions at the same time. So, USA
Today, Lauren, USA Today, Senator Sherrod Brown says he`ll back the Iran
deal. Okay. I find it very hard to keep track of which democrat is
peeling off and which is supporting, what is your read on what Senator
Brown did and where Democrats in general are going on?

FOX: Well, I think as they`re on recess, they`re getting hit pretty hard
back home. So, the sooner you make up your mind, the sooner people know
where you stand. So, we have moderates, we have liberals coming out to
support the Iran deal. We have Senator John Hester who came out to support
the Iran deal. But then you have somebody like Chuck Schumer of course who
is a big leader in the Democratic Party who will not support it. So, I
think that the President still has enough support from Democrats, I don`t
think he`s endangered of, you know, this deal going up in flames, but there
certainly is still more work to do.

WOLFFE: Okay. And while there`s more work to do, President Obama, his
summer reading list and his summer play list. Politico reports, the
President has six books on his list for his 16-day vacation in Martha`s
Vineyard, fiction and non-fiction, "The Sixth Extinction" by Elizabeth
Kolbert, "The Lowland" by my favorite author Jhumpa Lahiri. And "Between
the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. If he finishes all six, Jamal,
he`ll have read one every two and a half days. And I can`t actually have
this discussion without talking about his Spotify list as well. What have
we got here? Some jazz, John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Justin Timberlake too,
clearly pandering, and Beyonce, who could dispute that?

SIMMONS: A little -- which is awesome -- hip hop quality.

WOLFFE: So, people are saying, his list is authentic and Hillary Clinton`s
isn`t. What is your position on the great Spotify debate?

SIMMONS: I think you enjoy whatever you like. I`m particularly interested
though in the fact that he`s reading Ta-Nehisi Coates` article because Ta-
Nehisi Coates really took after President Obama in a couple of really big
pieces in the last year. And that got some back and forth, whether they
raise presidents, but had gotten some back and forth over this. It`s a
really big deal I think that he`s reading that book.

WOLFFE: And that book -- it`s a tough read. I`ve got to tell you. I
mean, I don`t know if any of you have caught up with it, but it`s pretty
bleak, and not the kind of uplift that I think Barack Obama has.

FOX: Many books on that reading list are not the uplifting vacation novels
that one might expect.

LEWIS: -- Infinite Jest, the David Foster Wallace book, of course there`s
the movie out, it`s called, The Last Interview or something.

FOX: Yes.

LEWIS: And I`ve been a fan of Wallace`s non-fiction. So I`m looking
forward to devilling into this big novel that so many people love.

WOLFFE: So, if you`re going out to the beach. You have some reading
recommendations. We`ve got another full hour of news and politics ahead on
up without Steve Kornacki, please stay with us.


WOLFFE: When Obama meets Clinton.


WOLFFE: Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning. I`m Richard
Wolffe, sitting in for Steve Kornacki.

And while I`m very happy to be sitting in this morning, there`s, of course,
another option that I`m not doing, which is going on vacation. Just about
everyone seems to be taking off this time of year. Even when your
president and the job follows you, wherever you go -- President Obama and
his family in the middle of a stay on Martha`s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

NBC`s Ron Allen joins us live from that lovely island.

Ron, good morning.

RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Richard. Yes, we`re just
in for the beach here for this hit. We`ll keep it short. And --

WOLFFE: Yes. I want to ask you, so the two, the president and former
President Clinton actually did run into each other I believe yesterday on
the golf course. Tell us about that.

ALLEN: Indeed, yes. President Obama has been keeping a low profile here
on the island, but we did manage to get some exclusive video with him
yesterday out playing golf. He`s out there with number of NBA greats,
Steph Curry, the MVP, from the Golden State Warriors, his dad, and Ray
Allen who is a New Englander and member as well. They`re playing.

And who should they bump into but Vernon Jordan and Bill Clinton who were
also out there playing.

Vernon Jordan is turning 80 today, the long time political operative and
business executive of course. He`s having a birthday party up here, and we
believe that the Obamas and the Clintons, President Clinton and perhaps
Hillary Clinton will be there this evening, along with long list of
dignitaries and notables.

The Clintons, of course, spent a lot of time on the island as well during
their White House years and beyond. The Obamas have been up here now every
year. A good time for them to come together.

We`re not sure, but it may be one, certainly one of the few times that
President Obama has been with Hillary Clinton if in fact she comes, and we
think she will, since she announced her candidacy. So, that will be
interesting. But, of course, this is a welcoming place for them, friendly
place for them to meet and greet and to take a moment from what`s turning
out for Ms. Clinton to be a rather arduous campaign -- Richard.

WOLFFE: Right. Ron, Vernon Jordan still has some juice there, right? He
can still bring people together like this, the Democratic elite.

ALLEN: Oh, yes, definitely. This island has always been a place for that.
We don`t know who`s on the guest list, but there are a lot of people who`ll
be there. There was a party here last year when Mr. Jordan`s wife
celebrated her birthday. So, this is a routine. And yes, it`s a place
where Democrats like to come and mingle and hang out. Have a good time and
get away from it all.

WOLFFE: Ron, I hope you`re getting time to get away from it all, maybe not
with NBA stars, but I hope you get some time out. Thank you very much.

ALLEN: Thank you.

WOLFFE: Turning now to the Democrats who hope to replace President Obama
in a White House, so far, it`s a short list. But it`s the names not in the
race that are using up all the oxygen these days.

On Thursday, "BuzzFeed" reported that Al Gore supporters have started to
discuss the possibility of getting the former vice president to run again.
Quote, "Figuring out if there`s a path financially and politically," which
is about as extensive as you can see. Democratic officials shoot downtown
report and Joe Biden is gearing up for a possible run, even if he hasn`t
yet decided whether or not to pull the trigger.

"Politico" wrote this morning that people close to the president have begun
strategizing on a campaign, and most importantly, they are doing it with
Biden`s blessing.

So, why are some searching for a name, any name other than Hillary Clinton?
Would it be happening without the unfolding story of her emails as
secretary of state? Would the rumors be flying if her favorability numbers
in recent polls weren`t so soft?

"The Washington Post" reports this morning that Clinton`s campaign team has
grown increasingly anxious as the e-mail story has developed. Quote,
"They`re worried about it, a longtime unnamed Clinton advisor told the
newspaper. They don`t know where it goes, that`s the problem."

Last night at a Democratic fundraising dinner in Iowa, Clinton dismissed
the email saga as a partisan game.


about e-mails or servers either, it`s about politics. I will do my part to
provide transparency to Americans with that`s why I`ve insisted 55,000
pages of my emails be published as soon as possible. I`ve even offered to
answer questions for months before Congress. I`ve just provided by server
to the Justice Department.

But here`s what I won`t do -- I won`t get down in the mud with them.


WOLFFE: Our A-list panel is back with us: Matt Lewis from "The Daily
Caller", Lauren Fox from "The National Journal", and Jamal Simmons from

Jamal, that sounded like a rehearsed Hillary Clinton. I mean, I don`t know
what the behind the scenes is --

SIMMONS: The teleprompter that made you thinks that?

WOLFFE: Yes. Is that performance good enough in an era when the
unscripted, unrehearsed politician seems to be emerging?

SIMMONS: I think she needs to get out of the campaign trail more often.
She should spend more time. I wish she would have gone to the soap box and
taking questions and given a speech up there. The more people see her, the
better she gets, even if she makes mistakes and stumbles, she`s got to
prove to people what they want to hear and see from her is that she`s
fighting for this, which is why getting somebody like Joe Biden to come in
the race would be helpful, because it just will provide another candidate
that`s going to make her have to, you know, just tick it up a little bit

And you know what else, the thing I`m worried about, she`ll be fine,
ultimately, she`s a good candidate, I think she`ll win, is you need to have
enough Democratic support where the activists are excited and they`re
organized and they`re getting out there. And I can`t find a single voter
under the age of 35 or 30 who is excited about the campaign and thinking
about how they`re going to organize and get their own group together and
make the party together. That worries me about anything else.

WOLFFE: Lauren, Democrats you speak to, are they looking for someone who
isn`t Hillary Clinton? Or do they want Hillary Clinton to get better?

FOX: I think it`s a combination of both. Ultimately, people recognize
that she will be the nominee in 2016, and there are a lot of strategists
who say she needs to get better in that time frame. But I think there`s a
little bit of concern looking beyond 2016, if the bench is thin now, where
the new crop of candidates going to come from?

And I think there`s a little bit of concern that there needs to be more
recruiting, there needs to be more kind of unique candidates. You know,
the Republican Party has been going out and finding doctors and lawyers,
and people who sort of are different entrepreneurs to run for Congress and
the Senate. I think the Democrats might need to start going out and
recruiting different kinds of candidates, so they go the bench.

SIMMONS: On that point, very quickly, I heard some Democrats this week
talking about Sheryl Sandberg, that Sheryl Sandberg should be thinking
about running for Democratic nomination in four or eight years.

WOLFFE: Matt, do the Republicans look at this and say, I mean, this is
exactly what we want, a weakened Hillary Clinton who almost certainly is
going to win the nomination anyway? Do any of these alternatives, are they
even troubling?

LEWIS: Well, look, first of all I think that, you know, people who say she
needs to get better, they`ve been doing this for 25 years, she`s getting
worse. You know, I think in the sort of post-modern-American world, we`ve
given up a lot of virtues.

Maybe chastity and honesty and those things aren`t as important as they
used to be. But you know what is really the thing that we fetishized --
authenticity. And Hillary Clinton is a phony. She seems fake. She
doesn`t seem real. She seems like a phony.

I think Marco Rubio is the guy who to go up against her. Remember, she
announced for president on two different occasions, but the first time she
announced, Rubio`s speech was the next day. And his announcement was the
day after her announcement and said, yesterday, candidate from yesterday
talked about some ideas from yesterday.

I think Rubio provides the stark contrast, passing the torch to a new
generation, young, fresh, optimistic, the American Dream. And if that`s
the contrast and the American public goes with Hillary Clinton over Marco
Rubio, then I don`t know what I`m going to do.

SIMMONS: I`ve got to contest the phony argument.


SIMMONS: Just because I think if you look at Hillary Clinton`s lifetime,
you see her in the Children Defense Fund in 1970, you see her pushing
health care in Arkansas in the 1980s, pushing it in the whole country in
the 1990s. And now she`s offering education plans for young people. She
clearly cares about young people, she cares about family, maybe her
political skills are up and down, but her policy objectives have always
been really --

LEWIS: Maybe true. And let me just say this, too, I don`t want it to come
across at this a Rorschach test. I mean, I felt Bill Clinton was a great
politician. I even found --

WOLFFE: You don`t think he was a phony?

LEWIS: I did not think he was a phony. He has -- look, his credibility
was never based on honesty, but it was based on authenticity. There`s a
distinction there.

WOLFFE: I even thought Howard Dean was an expiring politician. I`m
struggling between the authenticity and the phony thing.

But I wanted to take you back to Marco Rubio. You say Marco Rubio is the
right person because he can deliver a great speech. Aren`t the voters
saying right now, especially Republican voters saying right now, we don`t
want the polish, we don`t want someone who to give a good speech. That
actually is a definition of phony. In their view, what they prefer is this
apparent reality TV star who is authentic even though he knows TV better
than any of us around this table today.

LEWIS: Well, look, they`re dating Donald Trump, are they going to marry
Donald Trump? I think they`re going to marry somebody like Donald Trump.

WOLFFE: And it`s Donald Trump, and it`s Ben Carson and it`s Carly Fiorina,
these people who don`t give speeches for a living, who never --


LEWIS: When Rubio stands up there and part of his stump speech and he
talks about his dad coming to America and he says his dad was a bartender,
and --


WOLFFE: That was a good speech.

LEWIS: That journey from behind that bar, to behind this podium is the
essence of the American Dream.

SIMMONS: Absolutely.

LEWIS: You get chills. And that is what Barack Obama had and Hillary
Clinton does shot from that.

FOX: But I do feel like the race becomes between Marco Rubio and Hillary
Clinton, yes, there is sort of a new generation, old generation play, but
there`s also an experience issue at play there. You have a secretary of
state up against a first-time --

LEWIS: If experience mattered, John McCain would have been president. Bob
Dole would have been president. Guess what? Barack Obama won two
elections. That`s -- I --

FOX: I agree, but I think that the country is also looking for a little
bit more experience, perhaps.

WOLFFE: It`s interesting. Maybe we`re talking about two completely
different electorates. I mean, not just Republicans and Democrats, but
that culture is very different because who is the rival to Hillary Clinton?
Well, it`s not someone with experience, it`s Bernie Sanders. Bernie
Sanders whose been in Congress forever.

SIMMONS: Yes. But you know what? He doesn`t talk like he`s been in
Congress. He doesn`t act like he`s been in Congress and he doesn`t look
like he`s been in Congress. I mean, you know?

WOLFFE: What does he look like?

SIMMONS: College professor. You go and sit and talk to him. But I think
a lot of those Democrats who are with Bernie Sanders, they don`t expect him
to win, but they want to make the point that the way he`s talking about and
speaking as forcefully as he does is what they want out of their candidate.
Not of their party.

And that`s why I think actually Joe Biden might have swing here because Joe
Biden, even though he`s the vice president, he says whatever he wants.
He`s the one who sits on TV and said, this is a big F deal, and everybody
around the country is like, yes, it is a big deal.

WOLFFE: What happens if the voters want to make a point all the way to the
ballot box, right? We are assuming that this is just a summer fling,
dating, they`re not going to matter. What happens if it`s robust? What
happens if this is what politics really is?

LEWIS: Well --

WOLFFE: We`ve seen it throughout European politics. People are blowing up
the establishment, they`re happy. Members of Congress have the lowest
approval ratings. Maybe this is it. This is actually real.

LEWIS: We cover politicians now the way that we cover ESPN covers sports,
the way this TMZ covers celebrities. So at some point, this could be the
new normal, and this could be the year maybe Donald Trump will be the

FOX: And I do wonder, the more people --

WOLFFE: You just said that. You just said that.


WOLFFE: This could be the year --

LEWIS: I`m not predicting it, but it`s not a crazy possibility.

FOX: And the more we say Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump on
television, the more the American voter, in their mind, is thinking, Donald

WOLFFE: Donald Trump.

FOX: It reinforces itself.

WOLFFE: People are thinking Donald Trump. I`m having to pinch myself.

OK. Still ahead, trying to break through in the race against Hillary
Clinton, former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee joins me live.

But, first, one of the newest entries to the Republican field seems to be
making a splash in New Hampshire. We`ll tell you about that next.

Stay with us.



JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First, people didn`t think I was
going to get in. And then I got in. But before I got in, they said he`ll
never be able to raise the money, and we were able to raise the money.
Then they said, he`s getting in too late, and now they say, what a
brilliant strategy that he got in late, and -- but nobody knows who he is
and he`ll never get on the stage for the debate. Then we got on the stage.
It`s like the little engine that keeps saying that it can.


WOLFFE: Ohio Governor John Kasich has been camping out in New Hampshire so
far this primary season. And it seems like it might be paying off. After
a strong performance in last week`s debate, he is starting to gain
traction. A poll in New Hampshire this week has Kasich shooting up from
around the sixth spot in the 17-candidate field to third, just one point
behind Jeb Bush.

And Bush, as you might expect, is reportedly worried, because Kasich and
Bush seem to be going for the same kind of voters, the moderates, or the
establishment Republicans.

If Jeb Bush doesn`t win that crowd in New Hampshire, it`s really hard to
envision his path to the nomination. And perhaps the best way to measure
how someone is doing with the establishment is by keeping track of

Kasich on Wednesday won a nod from Tom Rath, a power player among New
Hampshire Republicans and someone who had endorsed both Jeb`s brother and
Jeb`s father.

So, is the rise for -- of John Kasich for real? And what does it mean for
Jeb Bush?

Joining us now is Shira Center, political editor at "The Boston Globe".

Shira, thanks for joining us this morning.

SHIRA CENTER, BOSTON GLOBE: Thank you for having me.

WOLFFE: Shira, New Hampshire has not been kind to the Bushes. I remember
back in 2000, George W. Bush losing to John McCain by 16 points, 17 points
there. Is it going to be tough for Jeb Bush now?

CENTER: It is going to be tough, but it was always going to be tough for
Jeb Bush. There is no Bush network in New Hampshire. It`s the exact
opposite of the Clintons who really cultivated a group of supporters and
people who knew they`d be there for them from 2008 to 2016.

That is not the case at all with the Bushes. They don`t have that solid
infrastructure leftover. And that makes it easier for someone like John
Kasich to enter the race so late, spend a lot of money quickly on the air
waves, and make a name for himself.

Let`s not forget that even though John case sick second term governor of
Ohio, he was in Congress for many years, he is using a lot of those
connections from that time as well. Former Senator Sununu, for example,
was one of his first and biggest backers, and he`s there at a lot of town
halls an events introducing him and making inroads with many other people
in New Hampshire.

WOLFFE: So, Shira, is that going to work for New Hampshire Republican
voters? You know, is the establishment track going to work? Because John
McCain, although he was a sitting senator in 2000, he was going there as
the anti-Bush, is John Kasich that kind of person or actually is New
Hampshire, the New Hampshire Republican primary voter just as likely to go
for a Trump, one of these non-elected, you know, un-traditional

CENTER: You know, the New Hampshire electorate is very unique I think
compared to a lot of other Republican electorates around the country, but
first of all because they don`t decide until the last minute. That`s part
of the reason the New Hampshire primary and those days between the Iowa
caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are so exciting. I also think they
are more economically minded than a lot of other, than compared to social
conservatives that you see in the Iowa caucuses, so you have that as well.

And then, finally, because it`s an open primary, a lot of independent or
unaffiliated voters can show up. So, it gives it a huge sense of
unpredictability, and with the field as large as this one, which is already
unwieldy and predictable, I mean, anything could happen come the first week
in February.

That said, I think the candidates with stronger economic records or
candidates who talk about the economy more than religious conservatism or
social conservatism have a better chance in New Hampshire. And that`s why
they`re playing there. That`s why you see John Kasich going there, Chris
Christie practically setting up camp there.

WOLFFE: I want to bring in the panel here.

Lauren, John Kasich has a fine line to tread. He has been saying things
about his relationships with the Republican Party which sort of tries to
put distance there. He`s getting these endorsements, but he`s trying to
say that he`s not part of the party or not beholden to it.

Let`s just listen to what he said in New Hampshire this week.


KASICH: I`m not in this to represent a political party. I`m in this to do
things. And the Republican Party, while it`s my vehicle, it`s never my
master and never will be.


WOLFFE: The Republican Party has never been my master and never will be.
This is John Kasich we`re talking about. Is that credible?

FOX: I think it`s very interesting, we saw his answer on gay marriage
really struck me as sort of one of the biggest moments of the debate where
he comes out and says, you know, personally, I don`t support gay marriage,
but I had a friend, I went to the wedding, then he goes on to say, and if
one of my daughters was gay, then I would support her, I love her, you
know, he even kind of spun this into an evangelical answer, talking about
God`s grace.

I thought that was an interesting moment, and it sorts of sets up, he`s
trying to kind of move the party forward while also trying to appeal to
Republican voters, right? He needs them, but he wants to show them the way
forward. And I think he`s going to tread that line for a while longer.

WOLFFE: Matt, that line in the debate was one of the most impressive. I
thought, but maybe you and I can`t measure these debates in terms of the
Republican voters are going for.

And I want to bring in other sound from that debate when he talked about
expanding Medicare and his embrace of Obamacare, because I wonder if this
doesn`t actually cross the line. Can we just play this from the debate?


KASICH: Yes, I had an opportunity to bring resources back to Ohio to do
what? To treat the mentally ill, 10,000 of them sitting in our prisons.
It cost $22,500 a year to keep them in prison. I`d rather get them
medication so they could lead a decent life.


WOLFFE: So, you mentioned earlier on that Republican voters to this day
have concerns about George W. Bush because of the expanded government and
spent too much and was he conservative. Isn`t that saying problem, the
issue for John Kasich when he answers questions like this?

LEWIS: Yes, there is a strong and vocal contingent of the conservative
movement who do not like this, who have a libertarian fiscally conservative
flare. But I think to bring up the point that George W. Bush won two
elections as a compassionate conservative. And so, John Kasich --

WOLFFE: It`s another era.

LEWIS: It was a different era, but look, Kasich has the benefit. He was
on the budget committee in Congress, actually balanced the budget. His
former policy credentials from being in Congress.

Unlike Jeb Bush, he`s the big sitting state governor of the state, of a big
state of Ohio. He was reelected in a landslide. And, I would not discount
the fact that he was a FOX News host. And I think that that makes him a
better debater and communicator. And I think it`s underrated the value
that that brings him.

SIMMONS: And more and more Americans are choosing to get away from
parties, we`re seeing in particularly among millennials. So, as people
celebrate themselves from parties saying you`re not beholden to a party is
actually a good place to be.

Even in the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is a socialist, he`s not even a
member of the Democratic Party and he`s running for the domination and
getting energy, people like that.

LEWIS: If Kasich could survive the primary, well positioned in the

WOLFFE: Jamal, who would Democrats fear more? Jeb Bush or John Kasich?

SIMMONS: Marco Rubio.


WOLFFE: I don`t think that`s an option.

Shira, I just want to ask you one more question -- is the Kasich for real
in New Hampshire?

CENTER: Oh, it`s absolutely for real. And it`s because he put his money
where his mouth is. He`s super PAC and campaign dropped $4 million on the
air waves in New Hampshire. That`s the most amount of money we`ve seen so
far, and it`s what`s propelled him to the third place in the polls. You
could argue that took that. He`s setting up a robust campaign and he is
the operation to back it up.

WOLFFE: Well, we`ll keep an eye in New Hampshire then.

Thank you, Shira, for joining us this morning.

Still ahead, I`ll be joined by one of Hillary Clinton`s Democratic

And next, authorities are still trying to secure the site of a deadly
chemical explosion in China earlier this week.

Stay with us.


WOLFFE: Right now in China this morning, a 56-year-old man has been
rescued from the wreckage of that massive explosion that rocked a chemical
warehouse on Wednesday. He`s been taken to the hospital after being
trapped inside a burnt out shipping container. That`s a rare bright spot
as the death toll rises to 85.

Authorities are still evacuating nearby residents over concerns of chemical
contamination. Police say they found a stack of dangerous materials near
the blast site. You can see smoke pouring from the ruins of the facility
as fires continue.

We`ll be keeping an eye on the story for more developments.

In the meantime as we continue, a woman in Massachusetts ran into a, quote,
"nice old man" who was picking up garbage at the train station. You`ll
never guess who it was. Steve Kornacki, if you are watching this story is
just for you.

But first, Governor Lincoln Chafee stops by from the Iowa state fair.
That`s next. Stay with us.



governor, and senator, and seen some tough times and taken some courageous
votes, and -- but what I`m most proud of in all those decades of public
service is I never had any scandals.


WOLFFE: That was from last night`s Wing Ding Dinner, yes, it`s really
called the Wing Ding Dinner. It`s a fundraising event for Iowa Democrats
where Lincoln Chafee and the rest of the Democratic field made their case
to Iowa voters.

In a new poll released this week, Clinton sits at 50 percent in the first
in the nation state, leading her nearest challenge Bernie Sanders by 19
points. Vice President Joe Biden, who isn`t even running yet, has double
digits too. With the rest of the field still trying to breakthrough.

Among them is my next guest, Lincoln Chafee, former governor and senator
from Rhode Island, joining me now from a site of the Iowa state fair.

Governor Chafee, thank you for joining us this morning.

CHAFEE: Good morning. Great to be here.

WOLFFE: So, I don`t know how to start with this one in a comfortable way,
but I have to say it because I read it in the reports, there are -- there
was supposed to be people leaving last night as you were speaking.

Was that dispiriting? Did you notice? Were the reports overblown? What
was it like?

CHAFEE: There were 1,800 people there. So a few were filtering in and out
over the course of the night. But 1,800 Democratic activists there, it was
a great night and most of them stayed. Some were coming in and out through
the course of the evening.

WOLFFE: So, I`ll take that as a gross media exaggeration then.

You`re obviously running for the president for the Democratic nomination,
but you used to be a Republican. So, I`d love your take, more extreme than
it used to be, or is this what it was always like?

CHAFEE: Well, it changed over time as the Republican Party drifted
southward, as the South turned from totally Democratic, solid Democratic
South to now completely read Republican South, and the issues changed as a
result. The social issues came to the fore, the old liberal moderate
Republicans, no room in the party -- abortion, gay marriage, some of the
social issues came up to the fore in the Republican Party.

So, I`m more old fashioned, take care of the books and let people live
their lives as they see fit.

WOLFFE: You`re obviously running as a Democrat now. How vulnerable do you
think Hillary Clinton really is?

CHAFEE: Well, of course it`s a long way, we`re here in August, and the
first votes are going to be cast in Iowa in early February, it`s a long,
long time here in the heat of the summer, and just think in February. It`s
a long way to go, and she`s certainly got a great record of public service,
but different issues voting for the Iraq war is an issue, what`s happening
with the Clinton Foundation and emails, and different issues. We`ll see
what plays out over the coming months.

WOLFFE: I`ll take that as you think she`s vulnerable.

You have -- I want to pull up a quote from "USA Today`s" story earlier this
week on the Biden question. You were quoted saying, "I`m a former
racetrack person", something I didn`t know actually, "so if I was going to
make my $2 bet, it would be that he would do it."

You think Biden is going to get in and you put money on it.

CHAFEE: Yes, I worked at the horse race track, the harness track, for
seven years, I think -- I was a horseshoer, a blacksmith, and I think I put
shoes on 5,000 horses over my seven years, and saw many, many races. So,
I`m used to handicapping and I was asked the question, to handicap whether
Vice President Biden would get in the race, I said I`ll put my $2 down that
he does get in. And so, we`ll see what happens.

WOLFFE: Why do you think he is? I mean, I admire your shoeing skills, but
your political prognostications are also important. Why do you think Biden
is actually going to do this as opposed to just considering it and flirting
with it?

CHAFEE: Well, it just seeing him in the photos with President Obama, the
high profile photos, whether it`s opening diplomatic relations with Cuba or
the Supreme Court cases that came out favorable to the Affordable Care Act,
some of those positive Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage.

It seems the vice president was always in the photo. So, it sounds like
he`s interested in continuing on the national stage into the next election
cycle. This is my two cents.

WOLFFE: Governor Chafee, I just want to bring in Jamal Simmons here, has a
question for you.

SIMMONS: Quick question, Governor, you`re running for president. Can you
give us why you want to be president of the United States and what is it
that you want to see exist in the country that doesn`t exist today?

CHAFEE: Well, of course, as the lead off the show, I`m the only candidate
running Democrat or Republican. Of all the candidates that are running,
whether 23, 24 candidates, that`s been a mayor, a governor, and a United
States senator.

So, I know what it`s like at the local level, there`s no learning curve,
I`ve done it for 11 years. I know what it`s like to be a governor. I did
it for four years. There`s no learning curve to know what happens in state
houses across the country.

And I know what it`s like to be a United States senator. There`s no
learning curve to know how Congress works. And also through the time, I`ve
had high ethical standards, no scandals.

But the most important thing is, the vision for the future, and peace that
we can get around the world and bring those resources home. Prosperity
through peace, so we can invest in our education, invest in infrastructure,
invest in our environment, invest in our health care. That`s my proposal.
That`s what I want to do for children and all the children across the
country, grandchildren, the future generation -- a more peaceful world and
putting for more beneficial uses.

WOLFFE: Governor Chafee, obviously, it`s hard breaking through with the
field as it is right now. If, Vice President Biden does get in, does that
actually make it easier for a candidate like you to be heard with the
debates more engaging? Do you think there`d be more of a debate for all
the candidates with another big name in the race?

CHAFEE: Well, it`s a long way to go. I think if Vice President Biden gets
in, there will be some oxygen taken out of the media cycle for a while,
just as we see with Donald Trump, just becomes this focus on different
things that occur. During the course of the campaign.

But as I said earlier, it`s a long, long way to the first votes being cast
in February. And, people don`t make up their minds until the end. We saw
that with John Kerry in 2004, Howard Dean was on a roll, and the last weeks
of John Kerry came to the fore.

It happens time anticipate time again, whether it`s with Gary Hart or going
way back to Ed Muskie. Front runner, stumbled, people come up, it`s a long
way to go. That`s what makes it fun.

WOLFFE: Well, Governor Chafee, I hope you`re getting a chance to meet some
voters in Iowa, as well as eating a few corn dogs along the way. Good luck
out there. Thank you for joining us this morning.

CHAFEE: Thank you. If you`re serious about Iowa, you`ve got to come to
the Iowa state fair.

WOLFFE: Completely agree.

Still ahead, Jeb Bush sampled a fried snickers bar at the Iowa state fair
yesterday, and who knows why.

We`ll go to the fair live next to see what deep-fried things question talk
to our reporter about. That`s next. Please stay with us.


WOLFFE: As we`ve been stressing all morning, the Iowa state fair is about
the spectacle as much as the stump speeches. You can see future presidents
riding in bumper cars and will take any excuse to show you this adorable
photo again.

This year, Jeb Bush is making his pitch to Iowa voters, and that`s not just
a phrase. Who can forget that later today, the Donald will have an
audience with a cow sculpted entirely out of butter? It really is sculpted
out of butter. It`s amazing.

Speaking of butter, the state fair is home to the some of the most gut-
busting and artery-clogging delicacies, I`m not sure if "delicacies" is
actually the word, but delicacies known to man.

NBC 2016 embed reporter and willing victim, Danny Freeman, joins us live
from Iowa this morning.

Danny, I`m hoping question convince you to throw caution to the wind. Good


And absolutely you can. I`ve been here now for three days, been here since
the start of the Iowa state fair. And already, I sampled fried Oreos,
fried cheese, fried snickers, corn dogs, and pork chop on a stick. Today,
I was just given, by Beth and Terry over here, fried peanut butter and
jelly on a stick no less.

WOLFFE: We need a close up if we can.

So this is sort of sealed at the edges, right?

FREEMAN: That`s right. Sealed at the edges here, and don`t worry, it`s
covered in powdered sugar.

WOLFFE: I wasn`t worrying. And just, I think we should actually have a
ceremonial eating together in this split screen. So, on the count of
three, I think you and I should both enjoy the shortening of our life, OK?

One, two, three, I want to see this happen.

FREEMAN: Here we go. Yum.

WOLFFE: That was really a yum or an ow?

FREEMAN: That`s a good one. Let me tell you something, Richard.

WOLFFE: It`s a two-bite.

FREEMAN: This is my first meal of the day, and this is delicious way to
start off the Saturday at the Iowa state fair.

WOLFFE: So, hang on a second, the fried food you did yesterday, second day
of eating this crap?

FREEMAN: This is in fact my third day of eating this stuff, but it`s not
crap, Richard. It is the great food of the Iowa state fair. I`m so happy
to be reporting for you guys at MSNBC.

WOLFFE: My full respect to the culinary experts in Iowa. But I`ve spent
many, many a summer and a winter in Iowa, and I got to tell you, you`re
looking young now, but if you carry on eating that food, it won`t last.

Of course, you do have a high bar to cross, which is the bar set by MSNBC`s
Anthony Terrell. I wonder if we can show the pictures of this. Anthony
here has become a legend for eating -- yes, an entire stick of fried butter
on camera four years ago. That`s -- he`s drinking the melted butter, and I
can tell you, it aged him.

And -- but I`m sure, look, he`s happy doing it. Of course you can`t hear
the ambulance right behind him.

Danny, how can you possibly top that fried peanut butter jelly, I`m sorry,
it`s not the same as a fried stick of butter.

FREEMAN: Well, after this fried BB&J, I have a stand waiting for me, fried
piece of cheese on a stick, that`s my next stop today. But one thing,
Richard, that I`ve learned especially at the Iowa state fair, is to always
carry a rag with you after eating these food. It`s important.

WOLFFE: Danny, impossibly a paper bag as well.

You have to answer this question, I was able -- many years of reporting
through Iowa, why do they put everything on a stick?

FREEMAN: You know, that is one of the great mysteries of the Iowa state
fair. But I had yesterday, my first pork chop on a stick, and I`ll be
totally honest with you, Richard, it was so good, I went back for a second.
It is outstanding food here, and that pork chop on a stick was a specialty.

WOLFFE: Danny, Danny, you are a steel man, never mind abs of steel. You
have a lower intestine of steel.

Thank you, Danny Freeman. Please make sure your insurance covers all of

FREEMAN: Sure thing, thank you, Richard.

WOLFFE: Up next, a book you won`t find on President Obama`s reading list.
And it`s a must-buy for any new parent.


WOLFFE: There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up on some
of the other headlines making news with today`s panel.

"Boston Globe", this one really is the Steve Kornacki discussion, OK?
Nothing unusual, just another day of picking up the trash. Young woman
wrote a letter to the editor for "Boston Globe" this week about meeting a
nice old man who was picking up garbage at the train station on his way to
work. It turns out, the good citizen was former Massachusetts Governor
Michael Dukakis. One of many sightings of the 1988 Democratic presidential
nominee and Steve Kornacki hero.

Jamal, Jamal, how many to Dukakis` point, how many former governors
anywhere pick up the trash, anywhere?

SIMMONS: Almost none is what I would bet. But I mean, it`s a great
testament to the America, right, like a country where you can run for
president, be that close to the highest position of the land, then years
later, be out in the streets picking up garbage.

WOLFFE: Ronald Reagan, did he ever pick up garbage?

LEWIS: I don`t know. Usually, you go from picking up garbage to running
for president, that`s the American Dream. This is the opposite of the
American Dream.

WOLFFE: Right.

FOX: He was on his way to work. He was on his way to work.

WOLFFE: I love it. I find a heart-warming story, and --

SIMMONS: Unlike Trump who doesn`t show up to jury duty.

WOLFFE: That`s because he`s flying in his helicopter. He can`t find a
jury or pick up trash.

OK, "New York Times, "Sesame Street" to air first on HBO for the next five
seasons. A new episode. This is an incredible moment in, let`s face it,
cultural and media history. New episodes of "Sesame Street" will launch on
the cable channel starting in the fall. After nine months of airing
exclusively on HBO, the shows will be available free on PBS. HBO will
double the number of episodes per year.

So, Matt, it looks like Mitt Romney got his way in the end.

LEWIS: Look, let them try to survive in the free market.

WOLFFE: Looks like the free market wants to.

LEWIS: Well, you know what? I`ve got two little kids and we watch a lot
of videos, a lot of Handy Manny, a lot of Jake in the Neverland Pirate.
But let me say this, "Sesame Street" is wildly overrated. It is not very -


LEWIS: It is not a good show.

FOX: As a kid moved a lot, people would come and set up the cable box.
You know, "Sesame Street" was the only thing I could watch as a kid when we
moved. I think it`s sad the access to "Sesame Street" is going to go away
for a little while. I think it makes it tough.

WOLFFE: I`m reeling from this idea "Sesame Street" isn`t up to scratch.

LEWIS: It`s wildly overrated show.

WOLFFE: Wildly overrated --

SIMMONS: It`s fun Lauren had hers on the cable box. I had to turn the

LEWIS: And the rabbit ears.

SIMMONS: Exactly. With my brother holding --

WOLFFE: I can`t believe I`m saying this seriously about "Sesame Street,"
PBS -- I mean, it`s in trouble. If it can`t support "Sesame Street", what
is PBS for?

SIMMONS: Absolutely. I mean, there are kids all over who should be
watching it and who want to watch it and people learn, I mean, we all --
many of us learned how to count and do letters and all that sort of stuff
on "Sesame Street." The fact it`s going to HBO, there`s a class problem
here, right? You got to be able to afford HBO in order to see this first.

WOLFFE: That`s not cheap.

SIMMONS: It`s not cheap. The point is to get to kids who aren`t
necessarily getting to preschool to get information earlier. It`s a touchy

WOLFFE: Congress isn`t going to come in and save this --

FOX: I don`t think at this moment, with the Iran deal pending and some
government funding issues, I think "Sesame Street" --

WOLFFE: Too big of a problem.

SIMMONS: Matt Lewis will just kill the whole thing. So --

WOLFFE: On the case of editorial merit.

OK, Matt, I hope you can find some solace in "The Telegraph" story.
Bedtime phenomenon, scientist develops book to send children to sleep in
minutes. The rabbit who wants to fall asleep. These are psychological
techniques to send children to sleep quickly. Parents are instructed to
yawn frequently. I`m only laughing because I would yawn frequently with
every book I read with my kids.

Parents are instructed to yawn frequently, emphasize certain words and
speaking a slow and calm voice when reading words in italic. The 26-page
paperback is the first self-published work to ever top the Amazon charts.

How old your kids, Matt?

LEWIS: Four and a half, and 2 1/2. I will be purchasing this. I already
subtly employ these techniques. I will endorse these techniques. You have
to start -- it`s a whole ritual. There`s reading to them. I start I`m
getting tired, we`re getting tired --

FOX: It`s 26 pages of book, that`s not like a short book.

WOLFFE: Probably a lot of pictures, my guess.

FOX: All right. I haven`t been with children`s box for a while.

WOLFFE: Right. I would find the struggle not falling asleep myself.
Parents are instructed to yawn frequently. The other thing is, my kids --
it`s not me, I hasten to add -- my kids have rabbits and rabbits don`t fall
asleep quickly. There`s a truth aspect, a phoniness I think we might say
that a sharp 4-year-old in the Lewis household might pick up.

LEWIS: He`s on top of it.

WOLFFE: I wish you all the best because kids should fall asleep.

Talking of kids, NBC News has the wrap on the latest Pixar slate, "Toy
Story 4." Disney`s John Lasseter. We are only living in John Lasseter`s
world. John Lasseter said Woody finds love in upcoming movie. The chief
creative officer confirms "Toy Story 4", I`ll try to say that again, "Toy
Story 4" will revolve around a romance between the toy cowboy voiced by Tom
Hanks, and nursery rhyme doll named Little Bo Peek.

And just as importantly maybe even more importantly on the same day
entertainment weekly reports Ellen DeGeneres makes a splash with the long-
awaited "Finding Dori" sequel at Disney`s D23 Expo. "Finding Dori" is the
most hotly anticipated movie in my household, and I have teenagers. Come
on, "Finding Nemo", "Finding Dori", talk about a new era in American
culture, right, Jamal?

SIMMONS: It`s amazing how these cartoons live. They stay with you for
years and years and then you find yourself showing them to the next
generation, my nieces and nephews come over and I make them watch the
movies I watched when I was a kid.


LEWIS: "Despicable Me" I think is a piece of art. I love the movie

WOLFFE: And while we ran this out, Iowa movies, name your best Iowa movie.

LEWIS: You said it during the break and you nailed it, "Field of Dreams."


WOLFFE: "Field of Dreams".

FOX: (INAUDIBLE) is excellent.

WOLFFE: Every campaign says if we build it, maybe they`ll come. And it`s
not always true because if you`re Donald Trump you can just fly in and they

FOX: He has an infrastructure as we learn this morning.

WOLFFE: He does, he does.

I want to thank our panel, Matt Lewis, Lauren Fox, and Jamal Simmons for
joining us this morning.

Thank you for getting UP with us today. And for putting up with UP without
Steve Kornacki. Join us tomorrow, Sunday morning at 8:00.

But before that, you are going to want to watch "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY."
Joy Reid is in for Melissa this morning. So, stick around for that.
Please have a great Saturday.


JOY REID, MSNBC GUEST HOST: This morning my question, who created the
state of emergency in Ferguson?

Plus, the prison labor that`s being used to fight California`s wildfires.

And Mr. Trump is headed to Iowa.

But, first, the 2016 narrative has taken a most unexpected turn.


REID: Good morning, everyone. I`m joy Reid. Melissa is off today.

With Election Day 2016 more than a year away, it`s still anybody`s guess
just how the story of the current presidential election will end. But even
before this campaign season officially got under way, there were already a
few spoilers about the narratives everyone was expecting to unfold over the
course of the race.

There were the early predictions that 2016 would be the year of the woman.
The election in which women`s issues would be at the forefront, driven
largely by Hillary Clinton`s position as the Democratic front-runner.

She was also one of the primary players in a story about presidential
legacies, along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.


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