'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, August 22nd, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: August 22, 2015
Guest: Ben Domenech, Norm Ornstein, Jonathan Alter, Sahil Kapur,
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Donald Trump fills a stadium. Well, half of
All right. Good morning, thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday
morning. Donald Trump causing a big splash with his high flying arrival to
his speech last night in Alabama, not to mention with what he actually said
during that speech. All the details on that in just a moment. And while
Trump was flying high last night, Wall Street was taking a major tumble.
Stocks plunging 500 points yesterday, down a thousand for the weeks.
CNBS`s Ron Insana is going to be here to help us understand what happened.
That is ahead.
We`re also going to get the latest from the frontlines of the Washington
State wildfires. President Obama issuing an emergency declaration
yesterday. But we begin this morning with the Donald`s southern strategy.
In a campaign that has been full of spectacles, we can now add Trump`s
arrival in Mobile, Alabama, last night to the list. He buzzed the stadium
with his very own jetliner, his 757 performing a fly-over before his
appearance last night. Now, the crowd of 20,000 that Trump drew, that is
the biggest for a republican candidate so far in this race, but it was also
not nearly as big as the Trump campaign had been saying it would be.
Twenty thousand people in a stadium that fits more than 35,000 people.
They suggested they were going to fill it up.
Robert Costa of "The Washington Post" who was there tweeted that they
played Van Halen`s "Jump" as the plane left. Only with people yelling at
the "Jump" par. Trump walked on the stage to the song "Sweet Home Alabama"
and then he had the biggest surprise of the night. He called up to the
stage, a special guest, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Sessions one of the
leading hardliners among Republicans on immigration. He didn`t actually
endorse Trump last night, but he did put on one of Trump`s "Make America
Great" campaign hats and praised his immigration plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: We welcome you here. Thank you for the
work you`ve put into the immigration issue. I`m really impressed with your
plan. I know it will make a difference. And this crowd shows a lot of
people agree with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: "Washington Post" reports that Sessions has been counseling
Trump and helping him to develop his immigration policy. It was Trump`s
first events in one of the so-called SEC primary states, voters in Alabama,
Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, all of them will head on the polls on to the
same day on March 1st next year. It will be a critical early test for the
campaigns. It`s also a sign from Trump`s appearance last night that his
campaign has ambitions that extend far beyond just Iowa and New Hampshire,
the traditional lead-off states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, if this were another
country, we could maybe call for an expedited election. Right? I would
love too. Can we do that? Can we do that? I`d like to have the election
tomorrow. I don`t want to wait.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And NBC News embed reporter Ali Vitali is covering the Donald
Trump campaign. She joins us this morning from Alabama. Ali, good
morning. So, let`s talk about this crowd last night, you see there`s two
different ways of looking at it. On the one hand, this is the biggest
crowd that any republican candidate has drawn. On the other hand, the
Trump campaign was basically saying, we`re going to fill the stadium. I
saw plenty of empty seats there last night. What was your read on the
ALI VITALI, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Well, first of all, when he said I don`t
want to wait to have this election, it kind of makes sense that`s why.
He`s leading in a bunch of the polls right now and people are really loving
him. And was no exception down here in Alabama. Like you were saying, it
was a half empty stadium which is really depending on how you want to see
it, half empty, half full, depending on how you look at the glass. But the
people that were here were really here because they love Donald Trump.
Actually, just a few minutes before we started talking to you, a woman just
pulled up, who was at work all night had to miss the event said she hasn`t
slept yet but she wanted to come by the stadium just that she could say
that she felt close to it.
So, that`s the kind of person that I`m really talking to at these Trump
events is at least the people that I talked to here yesterday and obviously
this woman just now, they`re not people who are on the fence, they`re not
people who are wavering in their support of Trump. They`re people who
really love him. And yesterday was no exception. They had pompons, they
had signs saying Mobile for Trump. People were selling t-shirts and
buttons. I know that that guy actually made out really, really well with
all the swag that he was selling. So, the swag was certainly on display.
And that change of lyrics for Van Halen was just a symptom of the larger
Trump fire down here.
KORNACKI: And Ali, what about the content of the speech. Obviously, he
led it seemed with immigration, was heavy on immigration. Is this
something, did you read this as a scripted campaign speech that Trump has
developed or is he just up there sort of riffing?
VITALI: Well, so he has definitely developed this sort of consistent stump
with usual themes that you can expect. You mentioned immigration. He also
always hits on veterans, he also always consistently talks about how he
would build up the military, how he`s been very good at making money. He
wants to make America rich again and strong again. He also consistently
hits against Jeb Bush which has become a frequent refrain and also part of
the larger duel that the two candidates have been having over the course of
the past week. I`m sure we`re going to see that amp up even more as we get
closer to the early primaries.
But yesterday he actually did something that I think we`ll going to begin
to see a little bit more of which is adding some local flare, some local
touches to his usual stump speech which is, you know, yesterday he talked
about Alabama Steel and a way that he usually gets to his points is he`ll
talk about, you know, his local issue and then meander into a larger theme.
So, he`ll hit the usual theme. But his transitions always keep us on our
KORNACKI: All right. Ali Vitali in Alabama, thank you for that.
Now, let`s bring in our panel for this morning. Who do we have with us?
We have Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, MSNBC contributor and a fellow at the
University of Texas at Austin. CNBC contributor Ron Insana and Ben
Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, host of The Federalist Radio Hour
and author of the morning newsletter "The Transom." You won the award for
the longest introduction.
BEN DOMENECH, THE FEDERALIST: Thank you for saying more. I appreciate it.
KORNACKI: So, let`s -- you have any plug in you want us to get -- thanks
for getting up at 6:00 in the morning. Well, speaking of getting up early
or staying up late. Did we all stay up late and watch the big Trump event
DOMENECH: I read about it.
KORNACKI: You did not even watch it. Better things to do on a Friday
DOMENECH: You think?
KORNACKI: I got tell you. No, it`s one of those like normally, I`m the
kind of dork that would stay up and watch political speeches on a Friday
night. But I was looking forward to this one because the theater of these
Trump events has been so interesting to try to figure out. And like I
said, the Ali there, the first thing that I`m looking at is how do you
interpret this crowd last night? I mean, 20,000 is great for any
candidate. But this is Trump. He`s saying 40,000. He only drew 20.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Twenty thousand isn`t
shabby. And I think what is so interesting here is Alabama. There is no
other reason than Alabama having the highest Hispanic growth rate, 158
percent growth rate of Latinos in the last decade. So, he knows where his
crowd is. He knows that there`s a lot of frustration. There has been a
lot of angst in Alabama in the south because of the rapid growth of the
Latino population. You have this black-white paradigm for decades and
decades. And suddenly, you have Latinos coming in and southerners don`t
know what to do about them economically, culturally, politically. And this
is where Trump has his in. He says, you know why you`re frustrated by this
rapid growth, you don`t know what to do, I`m going to tell you what to do.
KORNACKI: Is that what`s at the heart -- do you guys think of the Trump
movement phenomenon whatever you want to call it anxiety, cultural anxiety?
DOMENECH: The thing that at the heart of the Trump phenomenon really is
that the political elite of both the republican and democratic parties
actually have basically the same view on immigration. They are not that
far apart. They also have basically the same view on trade. These are two
of the issues that Trump always puts forward in terms of his conversation
with his supporters. And it`s because they feel very disaffected, they
feel very frustrated, they feel ignored. There`s a significant portion of
the American electorate, 20 to 25 percent depending on which poll you look
at. That really is in favor of deporting all the illegal immigrants who
are here. That`s not the majority, it`s not even the polarity, but it`s a
significant portion of it. And he is appealing directly to their
KORNACKI: How big is that? Twenty five percent of all Americans, within
the Republican Party --
RON INSANA, CNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Bigger than that. Yes.
DOMENECH: It`s a significant portion of the Republican Party. But it`s
actually, his appeal, it`s interesting, is not really to people who
consider themselves Republicans so much. He actually appeals to a lot of
independents and people who even described themselves as moderates. But on
this issue, they`re much more extreme, they`re much more hawkish. And they
really do want to see people deported. Primarily the argument they make is
that they`re hurting the middle and working class wages and things of that
nature which actually doesn`t have any economic basis. But it`s something
that we`ve seen time and again in American history.
INSANA: Time and again. Exactly. And you know, Steve, I brought this
along. This is called Restriction of Immigration. This is by Francis A.
Walker written in June in the Atlantic monthly in June of 1896. Talking
about Italians, Austrians, Russians, Jews, coming in and taking jobs from
Americans, describing these folks as being the worst failures in the
struggle for existence. Okay.
INSANA: So, this is the nativist -- nativist which is either ironic word
for those who believe that the U.S. was always a white European Bastian.
This has been around for quite a long time. Since the 1840s, we`ve had
these outburst of blaming the others. Italians taking jobs from the Irish,
lowering wages. You know, we`ve seen this almost for the last 170 years.
And so it`s not new. It`s very easy during periods of anxiety, and there
is some for the middle class to scapegoat and others.
DOMENECH: And Ron, what you`re really seeing there is, there`s a lot of
anger and frustration about the effects of a globalized economy on the
American middle and working class. They feel that their wages have
stagnated that cost for things that they`ve anticipated has been needs for
their family, that the cost of higher ed and health care and everything
like that is going up.
KORNACKI: Take on the republican side. Is there anyone else who is
connecting with that kind of anxiety you`re talking -- Ted Cruz?
INSANA: Yes. I think so. And look, Donald Trump`s economic and
immigration policies are very, very close, if not almost exactly the same
as those of Ted Cruz. Rather ironically. Yes.
DOMENECH: They`re close on paper.
DOMENECH: But the plan is not the paper plan. The white paper that Trump
release is a bullet point plan that you could have seen come out of almost
any of the republican campaigns. But the plan that Trump immediately went
and talked about with Chuck Todd was not that plan. His immediate plan was
we`re going to deport everybody, everything like that.
SOTO: You know, I do think there`s a difference between Ted Cruz and
Donald Trump in terms of the birthright citizenship. Because going back to
-- when Ted Cruz initially came to the political fore, he backed away from
the idea of birthright citizenship. He said, well, let`s deal with
immigration in other ways. So, I think that this is really unique that
Trump has said, we want to rescind birthright citizenship and this has been
what is fired up to base and has been the red meat --
KORNACKI: Yes. We`ll talk about that later in the show but it is one
thing we`ll talk about there that`s really interesting to me is when you
poll that question of birthright citizenship, especially on the republican
side, but not just on the republican side, that concept of not having
automatic birthright citizenship, it`s a lot more popular than you would
think based on the sort of the political world`s answer to it.
DOMENECH: Again, this is a situation, this is an issue where the elites in
both parties have, over the course of time and because their donor base,
their business base, everything else that backs them says, don`t do this,
don`t engage in this kind of behavior. We need workers, we need people to
be coming here. And I think you know, as somebody who is, you know,
generally in favor of immigrants and immigration, it creates a tension with
the base of the Republican Party and with disaffected independents that
Trump is now supporting.
INSANA: You know, what? I`m sorry, what Ben said early that there`s no
economic merit on the argument is a hundred percent accurate. If you read
Federal Reserve studies from the Federal Reserve of Dallas, there is a net
positive impact on the economy for both legal and illegal or undocumented
immigrants who come into the country. There is no tampering down of wages
because these folks enter the workforce. Quite an opposite. In fact,
there`s an argument to be made that they slightly bump up middle class
wages. And look, again, if we aspire to have our kids do the jobs that
many undocumented aliens do, we`re kind of missing the point of moving up
the economic ladder, and those same immigrants give $7 billion a year to
Social Security that they will never get back.
KORNACKI: Yes. Go ahead.
DOMENECH: The great irony of this is, in a state like Texas, there`s
actually less tension than in some of these other states because there`s a
sales tax, because people have actually -- you`ve seen this growth and
because of that you see conservatives who are less sort of hawkish on the
immigration issue because they don`t feel like people are not paying their
fair share something like that as opposed to Alabama where all those
KORNACKI: All right. Much more on Donald Trump coming up on the show.
But first, we`ll also going to get to the other big story this morning.
The stock market, the Dow taking quite a tumble yesterday. Look at this.
Plunging more than 500 points just yesterday. A thousand points total for
the week. The other major index, the S&P 500 tracking that decline. The
stock market has been on a rally for six years. But now, many are
wondering if it`s coming to an end.
And fortunately, CNBS`s Ron Insana is already here to help us understand
what is happening. Ron, time to panic?
INSANA: No. I mean, never. I mean, first of all, you never panic in a
selloff. Right. That`s --
KORNACKI: I panic every time. It`s my go-to thing.
INSANA: Look, I have some concerns, I mean, but if you look over at the
six-year rally that you just talked about, Steve. We`ve had corrections as
large as 20 percent. So far the Dow has pulled back 10 percent from its
most recent highs, same with the NASDAQ, the small cap Russell 2,000 which
is the gauge of small stocks. The bigger issue is not what the stock
market is doing, but how the global economy is performing right now.
Chinese market has declined over 30 percent. Hong Kong is down 20 percent.
We`re seeing Chinese growth slow much more -- a bit of an oxymoron, much
more rapidly than people had thought. There`s a chance they go into a real
recession, not just the grow slowdown. Japan has stalled. We`re seeing
large pockets of both the emerging and the developed worlds. Slow rather,
precipitously, and I think that`s the issue. The U.S. is playing catch-up
with the rest of the world where we`ve seen a lot of this stuff already
KORNACKI: So, you feel when the markets open again next week, you think
you`ll see more of this or?
INSANA: Well, first of all, it`s going to depend on how China opens.
China was down, you know, four percent on Friday. Three percent on
Thursday. The Chinese market is falling rather precipitously. You know,
Mr. Trump mentioned that they`re selling steel at below market prices in
the U.S. They are dumping commodities to race cash. They are not trying
to steel market share as one would argue. They were a hoarder of
commodities for the last six years. And if you look at the price of those
things as I do on a daily basis, whether it`s copper, or steel, or
aluminum, they`re getting rid of it. They`re trying to raise cash. Five
hundred billion dollars in the last year has left China. Chinese citizens
have taken money out of the country because they don`t trust their own
economy. So, we are worried about the impact of the world`s second biggest
economy on everyone else. We get profits. Companies like Apple. Get the
large sale of the revenues from places like China. So, if the rest of the
world slows, it`s a problem for the U.S. economy. By comparison, we look
dramatically better than almost any other place in the world.
KORNACKI: All right. Well, I`m glad we have CNBS`s Ron Insana here on the
morning. I couldn`t explain any of this.
But anyway, still ahead, the Donald Trump phenomena is lasting much longer
than anyone had imagine. We`ll going to have more on what he`s tapping
into with republican voters.
Plus, one veteran political watcher will be here in just a minute to tell
us why he believes Trump could make it all the way to the republican
convention. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My whole energy, my whole being
is going to be to make our country rich and to make our country great
again. That`s what my whole --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re leading in Florida, can you believe it?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And we`re leading big in Florida. And you know it`s really amazing, I
said, well, Florida, I love Florida. It`s a great place, right? Great.
But Florida, we have a governor and we have a sitting senator, and I`m
killing them. Explain that.
Obviously they`re not doing a very good job because that shouldn`t be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That is Donald Trump last night addressing that crowd of about
20,000 people in Mobile, Alabama, as he continues to defy expectations in
the Republican Party. Those who expected Trump to be a fleeting
phenomenon, and there were many of them, now being forced to reconsider
just how long he might last. One of the most respected political analysts
in the business, Norm Ornstein writing in "The Atlantic" that, quote,
"Maybe this time really is different." From his article, "I am more
skeptical of the usual historical skepticism than I have been in a long
Here to explain why we should take Donald Trump very seriously is Norm
Ornstein, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, contributing writer
at The Atlantic. He joins us now from D.C. Norm, thanks for taking a few
NORM ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Thanks, Steve.
KORNACKI: So, let`s start with this, the skepticism -- the skeptical
argument about Trump`s rise that you hear from everybody this summer is,
well, look back four years ago, Harman Cain surged to the lead in the
polls. We saw how long that lasted. Eight years ago, Rudy Giuliani was
way out in-front. We saw how long that lasted. This is just that all over
ORNSTEIN: Yes. And I think Amy Walter who is a terrific analyst, has a
very nice phrase that the summer is for dating and the fall is for mating,
that you get people who appeal during the summertime and they get a lot of
attention. But then because they`re not presidential, they don`t have the
credentials, they don`t have the staying power, their issue positions come
into different perspective. They begin to falter. But I just don`t think
that that`s going to necessarily apply this time around -- Steve.
KORNACKI: So, getting to that, why do you think this time might be
ORNSTEIN: Well, you know, start with a reality which is that the anger
that`s out there and the unhappiness is not just Republicans and
conservatives against Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. It`s their own
leaders. And, you know, we saw basically what we`ve seen as leaders who
promised that they would repeal ObamaCare, that they would bring Barack
Obama to his knees, and in his final two years, Obama has grown stronger,
their own leaders have grown impotent. You have Ted Cruz going on the
Senate floor in unprecedented fashion calling his own leader, Mitch
McConnell a liar. You have got two House Republicans putting out a
petition, something that hasn`t been done in a hundred years to remove
their own sitting speaker.
The sense of anger at politicians is very, very great and non-politicians
moving forward in surging candidates, you know, it`s not just Trump. It`s
Cruz, it`s Ben Carson. You could throw in Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee
in a lot of the polls. Those five are capturing a majority of support at
this point. And there`s no reason to expect that that is going to go away.
And frankly, in the fall when the leaders are going to have to struggle
with things that will drive conservatives crazy, keeping the government
going at a higher rate of government spending, doing another deal on the
debt limit. They`re not going to be very happy, and Trump plays right into
KORNACKI: You know, that`s interesting. You make the point. If you add
up all those other Carson, Fiorina, everything, you get close to 50 percent
right now. I want to show this. This was Mike Murphy, he`s running the
right to rise Super PAC, that`s the pro Jeb Bush Super PAC. This is his
skeptical take about Trump. He said, I`m waiting for breathless, Trump is
so real media pundits to predict this specific primary states and
delegates. He will win. What would you say to that?
ORNSTEIN: You know, if you look at the way they`ve changed the rules,
Steve. Reince Priebus in the Republican Party tried to change things so
that they could get closure earlier. But you could easily see Trump and
others dividing up the votes. And keep in mind another set of factors.
The money situation is different. Candidates can stay in this race.
They`re not going to be winnowed out as ruthlessly because the money dries
up. All you need is a billionaire or two. Ted Cruz has four who gave $36
million of the 38 million he raised in the week following his announcement
for a Super PAC. You have a bunch of candidates who stay in. And the more
who stay in, the more the incentive to stay in. The more they divide the
delegates. Trump with a plurality. And it`s not at all clear that
plurality will go away. Twenty to 25 percent may be enough to garner at
least as many if not more delegates through that critical month of March
than a bunch of others.
I could see instead of having two or three candidates by the time you get
to April when it starts to slow down a little bit, having seven, eight or
ten. And remember, last time we had Mitt Romney as the basically consensus
establishment candidate. This time there are four, five or six of those.
Many of them could stay in dividing the establishment vote. You have Ted
Cruz actually being like the race car driver behind Trump trying to draft
him. Hoping that if Trump falters, he`s the one who emerges. But I don`t
see any reason to believe that the usual pattern of an establishment figure
slowly pulling ahead will work. And I`ll tell you Steve, frankly even if
it does, you`ll going to get to Cleveland and a large share of delegates
will be there are going to feel like they have been screwed again, and it
will be quite an entertaining convention.
KORNACKI: Yes. Quite an entertaining year between now and that convention
too. I mean, Donald Trump has lasted much longer than anybody thought he
would at the beginning. And it raises the question, if nothing has taken
him down so far, what could in the future. That`s something we`re going to
be watching. Norm Ornstein, thanks for coming on this morning. We really
ORNSTEIN: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. And still ahead. New reporting this morning
indicating that Vice President Joe Biden is closer to a run than ever.
We`ll tell you about that.
But next, western wildfire spreading causing hazardous air quality levels
in Washington and elsewhere. We`ll get a live report. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Wildfires are spreading out west this morning where it`s all
hands on deck to get things under control. President Obama issuing a state
of emergency yesterday authorizing FEMA and the Homeland Security
Department to pitch in the fight to tamp down this fire. Some 29,000
firefighters out west now battling that blaze, 3,000 in Washington State
And that is where Leanne Gregg joins us like from the town of Pateros.
Leanne, firefighters working to control these fires. I understand there`s
a broader concern about air quality right now. What are officials saying?
LEANNE GREGG, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Steve. The air
quality here is the worst in the nation, no surprise with all of these
fires. They`re saying it`s so bad -- it hasn`t been this bad since Mount
St. Helens erupted back in 1980. In Spokane for example, last night, it
was considered hazardous, the worst. This morning, it`s a little bit
better but it`s going to be bad for a while until all of these fires are
gone. People are being told to stay inside, especially pregnant women,
small children, the elderly, people with respiratory problems, hospitals
and doctors are seeing more people with problems. So, it is an ongoing
issue. As for the firefight itself, today they`ll be back on the lines
trying to expand those containment lines, they`ll be able to continue their
air assaults fully today. It`s been limited for the last three days
because of the strong wind gusts, sometimes up to 40 miles an hour that`s
They`ve been able to take off and land, but the problem is the visibility
from all of the dust and debris and ash that was swept up in the air. So
some dangerous conditions. They`re hoping the improving conditions will
help today. Also volunteers are being trained today, 200 who know how to
use heavy equipment. They`re going to teach them how to use those skills
and help in the firefighting effort. Three thousand people came to the
Department of Natural Resources request saying they will volunteer.
So, much more to come today in this ongoing fight here in Washington.
Steve, back to you.
KORNACKI: All right. Leanne Gregg on the ground out there in Washington,
thanks for that report. I appreciate it.
And still ahead, the debate over who gets to be an American citizens lights
up the campaign trail. Plus, former President Jimmy Carter is blazing a
new trail yet again. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: We had an MRI of my head and neck, and it
showed up it was already in four places in my brain. So, I would say that
night and the next day until I came back up to Emory, I just thought I had
a few weeks left, but I was surprisingly at ease. But now I feel, you
know, it`s in the hands of God, and I`ll be prepared for anything that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was former President Jimmy Carter at a remarkable press
conference on Thursday sharing the news that he`s battling melanoma with
humor, humility and grace. The 90-year-old former president began
treatment at Emory University on Wednesday which continued right after that
press conference. Carter has seen an outpouring of public support this
week and that press conference is a big part of the reason why. Carter`s
diagnosis was national news not just because he was once president but also
because of how much he`s done as a former president of the United States,
redefining that role. As creator and head of the Carter Center he`s
promoted peace, democracy and public health around the world and he says,
he`s not done yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER: As far as the Carter Center`s concerned, I would like to see
guinea worm completely eradicated before -- before I die -- I`d like, so
obviously, that would be my top priority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Now, Carter will be cutting back on his work with that
organization as he undergoes cancer treatment, but he will be back at work
in Plains, Georgia, tomorrow morning where he teaches Sunday school.
Joining the panel now, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter, columnist at
"The Daily Beast" who has been spending time with former President Carter
for an upcoming book.
Jonathan, thanks for being here. So, yes, I mean, the timing on for you is
so interesting. You started work on this book about Jimmy Carter. And
have you had any interactions, any dealings with him in these last few
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I`ve spent a bit of time
with him this summer in Plains, Georgia and in Atlanta and in Colorado. I
was very interested to learn that he said at that press conference that it
wasn`t until the 15th of June, that was the date in the diary that he told
Rosalyn, his wife that he had cancer. And my wife and I had been in their
home in Plains, Georgia, on the 14th of June. And I did a long interview
with the two of them on that day. And to think in retrospect that he was
carrying that secret from the person who closest to him in the world --
it`s impossible to overestimate how close this relationship is. They`ve
been married for 69 years. She is more than his full partner, and yet in
order to protect her in this very difficult period, he kept some of this
news from her. There`s so many fascinating dimensions to this man, Steve,
not just that we saw at age 90, he is in complete control of his faculties.
He is sharper than people in their 40s and 50s. It`s astonishing how sharp
KORNACKI: And so active. I mean, it`s like, you talk about this, the
Carter presidency is one thing, but the Carter post presidency is the
longest we`ve ever seen. No president has ever left office and been around
as long as Jimmy Carter has been and how much in his legacy you think is
ultimately what he did after he left the White House versus on what he did
ALTER: Well, it`s a whole other chapter and a huge legacy. I mean, I
think that his presidency has been slimed in a lot of ways in that it
wasn`t nearly the disaster, except for the political, you know, part of it,
losing to Reagan. But substantively it was not nearly the disaster that
it`s been portrayed, particularly on the right. But it`s his post
presidency that has set a new standard for all American presidents. And we
heard a reference to Guinea worm disease, just to give you some idea of
what Jimmy Carter has accomplished, when he took on this disease which has
plagued the world for thousands of years, if you look at the symbol of
medicine, it`s kind of a staph with a serpent around it, that you`ll see on
That`s actually guinea worm from the biblical period. When he undertook to
challenge this disease, there were 3.6 million cases of Guinea worm
worldwide. Today there are under 1,500 cases. And it is on track to get
World Health Organization certification as being eradicated, the first one
since smallpox. It will be a few years before they can give it that
designation and that`s what he said he really hoped to live for.
KORNACKI: That`s an amazing --
ALTER: That`s just one of many accomplishments --
KORNACKI: Well, let me ask the panel about this too. We`re in this
interesting moment here where we had this remarkable press conference. And
it`s unclear, you know, he`s fighting this. He`s having some new treatment
and hopefully he`s still got plenty of time left. But we`re also because
he`s in the news, we`re reassessing, we`re talking about, remembering the
Carter legacy. We talk about the Carter presidency, the Carter legacy,
what do you guys think of?
INSANA: Well, I was around. I mean, I was in high school during Jimmy
Carter`s presidency. And then it was a rough economic period that started
long before he entered office. I mean, in 1971, the United States abandon
the gulf standard, inflation began to be a problem. We had very erratic
economic times. During that entire period, and Richard Nixon and Gerald
Ford both fought to beat back inflation and failed in their effort. And
Carter inherited that. There was the Iranian situation that came to ahead
in `78 and `79. The people felt he mishandled. But again, I would agree
with Jonathan. In retrospect, I mean, it wasn`t so much a disaster as it
was an inherited set of problems that he simply couldn`t tame. They did
make some economic policy mistakes during his administration, but you can`t
say uniformly, as many people do, that he was the worst president in our
history. I think that goes way, way too far.
KORNACKI: Well, I always thought that was part of the conservative like --
the legend of Ronald Reagan, the story of Ronald Reagan, to be the hero you
have to rescue the country from the worst thing ever. So Carter almost in
the rights telling of modern history, has to be the worst ever.
SOTO: But the time also matters. Because if you remember, when Lyndon
Johnson left office, he left office in a very shameful period. And now
we`re starting to rediscover Lyndon Johnson. And I think a lot of this
also has to do with perspective, that we have enough time to patiently go
through and see what worked, what didn`t work and separate out the two.
DOMENECH: I just want to say, I was not alive under Jimmy Carter`s
presidency, so I don`t have any recollections. But I do, just to your
point, I do remember when I was a kid seeing a Simpson`s joke where they
revealed the presidential statue in the park and it`s Jimmy Carter. And
someone shouted from the crowd, he`s history`s greatest monster.
KORNACKI: I remember that.
INSANA: Great historical lens to use, by the way, your frame of reference.
KORNACKI: Well, I can tell you, I`m older than you, I was born during the
Carter presidency, August 22nd, today, in 1979. Jonathan, I want to put
this picture -- we just have a minute left here. But this is to me part of
the story of Jimmy Carter`s post presidency. This was in the oval office.
Seven or eight years ago, George W. Bush was still president. They brought
all the former presidents back. And I`ve always been struck by, look at
that. They`re all shoulder to shoulder and then there`s Jimmy Carter sort
of standing apart from them. I think that sums it up pretty well.
ALTER: Well, it does. Because what happened is, he has been almost a kind
of freelance secretary of state. And he`s done a lot of good in that role,
but it also has annoyed some of the men who have been president of the
United States when they`re in office. When they leave office, particularly
Gerald Ford. He and Gerald Ford whom he beat in 1976 became very close
friends. And there have been certain periods where he had a good
relationship with George H.W. Bush. But he`s had a kind of a rocky
relationship with Bill Clinton over the years.
And a lot of the others find him a little bit of a burden. But I think
that that is now changing and there is a much greater appreciation of what
he has contributed and can contribute to them. I think his own feeling is
that he wishes they had used him a little bit more and that he might have
gotten some other things done for them. He did in Haiti under Clinton and
in Korea under Clinton, got some things done, and also especially under
George H.W. Bush. He was very hostile toward Ronald Reagan and George W.
KORNACKI: Right. That`s one thing that`s been striking, his willingness
to be outspoken about some of his successors in a way that others haven`t.
ALTER: Yes. He speaks his mind. He`s tremendously candid, decent person,
full of integrity. He`s the un-Trump. Right? And even on some of the
things that people assume he messed up on like the economy. The interest
rates were something like 20 percent when he left office. But he pointed
Paul Volker to be the chairman of the Fed. And Volker, in order to get rid
of inflation, he raised interest rates right before the 1980 election,
thereby essentially electing Ronald Reagan.
KORNACKI: Right. And then the inflation came out --
ALTER: Reagan did not bring the economy back, it was Carter`s appointment
of Volker that rescued the American economy.
KORNACKI: Jonathan Alter with "The Daily Beast." When this book comes
out, it`s going to be really fascinating to see that part of history has
brought back to life.
Still ahead. On the show. A democrat trailing far behind in the race for
president, gets late night on his side. But first, will Carly Fiorina`s
resume be able to withstand the scrutiny? That is next. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: In a new national poll this week, Carly Fiorina is tied for
sixth place on the republican side. That`s actually a pretty big uptick
for her. And thanks to her well-reviewed performance in the first
presidential debate a few weeks ago. And since Fiorina has never held
elected office before her campaign is based on her record as a top tech
executive, as a leader in the business world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do -- experience is
important, but there`s all kinds of ways to gain relevant experience to
serve as the commander-in-chief, running a $90 billion company is one of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That $90 billion company was the software and hardware giant
Hewlett-Packard. And Fiorina was HP`s CEO for six years until the board of
directors forced her out back in 2005 in what she calls a board room brawl.
But it was more than that during Fiorina`s failed 2010 Senate campaign, one
aspect of her tenure in particular seemed to haunt her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you`re talking about massive layoffs, which we
did, perhaps the work needs to be done somewhere else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Thirty thousand, the number of people laid off from Hewlett-
Packard after a merger with another company in 2001. So, when these
numbers start to come up again as they undoubtedly will as Fiorina
continues to rise in the polls, will she have an answer for them? So,
let`s turn over to the panel here. And Ron, you know this world pretty
well. The Carly Fiorina story --
INSANA: Particular --
KORNACKI: So, tell us the story. In `99 to `05, the CEO of HP, and the
big thing in that area is the merger with Compact.
KORNACKI: What`s the story there?
INSANA: Well, Compact was a company that was struggling in the personal
computer and the broader kind of server market if you will. You know,
commercial computers for businesses. It was an ill-fated acquisition, it
was not a company that Hewlett-Packard should have bought. I don`t think
Carly Fiorina will go down in the annals of business histories as one of
the great CEOs of our time. In fact, it was a failed effort despite her
claims to the contrary. And I would certainly dispute her definition of
relevant experience. I think, you know, a lot of people believe she ran
Hewlett-Packard into the ground. I don`t think that pre-qualifies you for
president. So, I don`t think it was a successful term. Meg Whitman who
now runs Hewlett-Packard is an accomplished executive and he was running
Xerox and was a contemporary of Carly Fiorina and one of the few female
CEOs of the time. I think it was a much, much better executive and I think
did a lot more to halt the slide of Xerox that Carly did to grow Hewlett-
KORNACKI: One person who has a negative opinion of her time at HP is the
granddaughter of the founder of Hewlett-Packard. Listen to this quote.
Arianna Packard, she said, "I know a little bit about Carly Fiorina, having
watched her almost destroy the company my grandfather founded."
INSANA: And look, that`s an issue that the Packard family has had for
quite some time. It`s not like the company has been well run either before
or until Meg Whitman took over. Carly Fiorina`s successor did not have a
successful endeavor either. But I don`t think that, you know, she was a
great CEO. And I don`t necessarily, and this is a personal view, not a
political one. I don`t think that prequalifies her to be president of the
KORNACKI: What is the case for or what is the selling point for Carly
Fiorina if there`s this tumultuous tenure as a CEO, what else do she has to
offer? No elected office before a failed Senate campaign.
SOTO: It`s the frame. The frame is beautiful. The fact that she can say,
I got in there with the big boys, I`m a woman, I rolled up my sleeves and I
brawled with them. And you read that and it`s just so compelling, aside
from the fact that she`s extremely eloquent. That performance in that
first debate, she just knocked it out of the park. So, it really doesn`t
matter how she performed on because most folks aren`t going to get --
INSANA: -- and he`s not a successful businessman --
INSANA: He`s a successful marketing operator.
SOTO: He`s a successful marketer and Carly Fiorina --
DOMENECH: Be prepared to be called a loser now.
SOTO: No, no, no, but --
INSANA: So, I haven`t talked to Donald Trump for ten years. My last
interview for him was with "USA Today." He promptly hung up on me because
my questions were too negative. So, I don`t expect anything nice to ever
be said about me if he comes up --
DOMENECH: Ron, can I ask you, just as somebody who was covering this, how
much of this though was really do -- how much of the struggles that HP
faced at the time were really due to Carly Fiorina and was it more about
its positioning, its decision to make this acquisition. The things that
came from that. How much of it actually goes back to her? Because my
impression is, you know, whatever you could say about her tenure, HP has
had a lot of problems.
DOMENECH: And it`s not sort of -- you can`t lay them all at her feet.
INSANA: Listen. That`s true of almost any company where, you know,
there`s a successor`s dilemma most often. You know, someone tries to grow.
And as Andrew Ross Sorkin pointed out in the New York Times piece that you
my colleague at CNBC who also writes with the "Times," that you referenced
Steve. You know, it wasn`t just the ill-fated acquisition. And it was a
series of growth through acquisition strategies that ultimately doomed
Hewlett`s position in the marketplace which were undertaken by Carly
Fiorina. So, it wasn`t just that one accusation. It was trying to grow
through acquisition rather than trying to grow the business organically in
a ways that others more successful --
KORNACKI: Yes. We should just say that the backdrop for all this too, is
look, she had that great debate performance. She was not in the top tier
debate last time, she was in that, you know, kids table debate. The
question is, for this next one coming up a few weeks, can she make that top
ten. There was actually -- this is from The Hill on Thursday, they`re
doing an analysis. CNN gets the next debate, it`s a lot more complicated
how you get into it. And basically, the bottom-line is the criteria makes
it very difficult for Fiorina to vault, even with that good performance,
even with these improved poll numbers, they`re taking into account polls
going all the way back to June where she was at zero on one percent.
DOMENECH: And I think that`s absolutely ridiculous. I think that`s
absolutely ridiculous. When you use the standard that goes back to these
early polls, where there are so many candidates that were much lower, no
name ID, I think this is probably, you know, the first time that most
Americans had even seen Carly Fiorina or become aware of who she was. And
so, I think because of that, you have to update this, you have to use the
more recent polls, that`s who people want to see, they`d rather see some of
these new faces get new opportunities. And I think that she deserves to
be on the stage regardless of the debate her tenure.
SOTO: Ben, knowing the republican field probably better than any of us
here, do you see Carly Fiorina as an establishment candidate? Is she the
middle ground? Is she the anti-political establishment? Where do I --
what box do I put her in?
DOMENECH: I think that I would put her in the outsider box along with Ben
Carson, along with some of these other people who are sort of challenging
the idea that a politician needs to look a certain way or come from a
certain class. It`s funny. There`s a difference of opinion about what an
outsider is. In D.C., when you say an outsider, you typically mean, oh,
yes, Governor, you know, a guy who has never been in D.C. But I think
outside of D.C. when people say outsiders, they mean somebody who has never
been in politics, somebody who`s never actually been in office. We`d like
somebody who`s been in office.
KORNACKI: I mean. Right. Donald Trump is a billionaire, but he`s the
outsider in office.
DOMENECH: That`s right.
KORNACKI: Anyway, a little bit more right after this. We`ll going squeeze
in a quick break.
KORNACKI: We went a little long on a couple of segments this hour. So,
this one is about 45 seconds. The long -- say, what can I put in a segment
that`s 45 seconds long? Here`s what I can put in a segment that`s 45
seconds long, video of a mother bear and five cubs invading a swimming
pool, a family swimming pool. This is in Northern New Jersey yesterday, I
think. And look at this, they just take over the place. They`re on the
swing set at one point, they`re playing with the toys, they`re in the
water. One of the children in the house watching the bears could be heard
saying, "I wish they were in someone else`s backyard." Another one was
crying out, "no, way, my floatie." But look at that. No one harmed, just
bears having fun in someone`s backyard in New Jersey. And that`s the end
of my 45-second bear segment.
Another full hour of news and politics is straight ahead including the
rocky couple of weeks Hillary Clinton is having. She`s been cutting her
vacation short to hit the campaign trail. Details coming up.
KORNACKI: What it means to be born American.
KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning.
Donald Trump is pushing the issue of birthright citizenship to the
forefront of the 2016 race for president. More on that controversy in just
Also, Hillary Clinton abruptly ended a press conference this week after a
difficult question about her e-mail server as secretary of state. We`re
going to be taking a closer look at the staying power of the investigation
that Hillary Clinton wants to be able to walk away from.
Plus, we`ll be taking a look at the amazing story outside Paris yesterday
when off duty American servicemen helped to keep a train shooting from
becoming a massacre.
But we begin with the debate and the candidate taking over the 2016 race
for the Republican nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Seven and a half percent of all
of the births in this country are illegal immigrants, OK? We can`t afford
it. So, we have 300,000 babies a year, 300,000 that you have to take care
of, we all have to take care of. And, you know, in the case of other
countries, including Mexico, they don`t do that. It doesn`t work that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Donald Trump last night on the debate he started
earlier this week with his proposal to end birth right citizenship. Under
the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, a child born within the borders of
the United States is automatically a United States citizen. It doesn`t
matter if the mother is an undocumented immigrant, here on a visa or here
According to a recent study, about 8 percent of births in the country are
to undocumented immigrants. But even some of the most vocal opponents of
illegal immigration have stayed away from the issue in the past.
For instance, here is Ted Cruz back in 2011.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think it`s a mistake for conservatives to be
focusing on trying to fight what the Constitution says on birthright
citizenship. I think we`re far better off focusing on securing the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But here is what some of the candidates were saying this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It doesn`t make any sense to me
that people can come in here and have a baby and that baby becomes an
American citizen and allows them to come in --
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Birthright citizenship is
sort of a forgiveness, you break the law, come here and have a child and we
say that`s fine, the child is a citizen. I think if you have an open
border, that`s a mistake.
CRUZ: We should end granting automatic birthright citizenship to the
children of those who are here illegally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The issue has even tripped up Jeb Bush who supports birthright
citizenship but defended using controversial language on the topic when
asked by MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Do you think the term anchor baby is
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, no. If there`s another term to
come up with, I`m happy to hear it.
REPORTER: Governor, do you regret using the term anchor babies yesterday
on the radio?
BUSH: No, I didn`t.
REPORTER: Governor --
BUSH: I don`t, I don`t regret it.
REPORTER: You don`t regret it?
BUSH: No. Do you have a better term?
REPORTER: I`m not -- I`m asking you.
BUSH: You give me a better term, and I`ll use it. I`m serious.
REPORTER: Governor, governor --
BUSH: Don`t yell at me behind my ear though.
REPORTER: Sorry about that.
REPORTER: Governor, is that bombastic language? Anchor baby, is that not
BUSH: No, it isn`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: After supporting an end to birthright citizenship and then
backpedaling, Scott Walker had this to say yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not taking a
position on it one way or the other. I`m saying that until you secure the
border and enforce the laws, any discussion about anything else is really
looking past the very things we have to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, how will this debate jump-started by Donald Trump impact the
race for the White House all the way up to the general election next year?
Well, let`s bring in Bloomberg Politics reporter, Sahil Kapur.
Sahil, so, we have all this talk about, you know, is Donald Trump a serious
candidate? Is he not a serious candidate? And I think when we start
talking about this birthright citizenship debate, right now, it really
doesn`t matter if Trump is serious or not because he`s dictating the terms
of the debate.
SAHIL KAPUR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Steve, that`s exactly right. I think
Donald Trump, whether or not he makes it too far, there`s a lot of reason
to think that he won`t. I mean, they`re increasingly some reason to think
that he might have more staying power than we thought. Regardless, he`s
already changed the debate, he`s already forced the candidates to talk
about things they don`t want to talk about.
I don`t think any one of us would have envisioned the 2016 nomination on
the Republican side would have become about birthright citizenship. This
debate has been around for a while, but it`s never made it, it`s never
gotten to the level that it is now.
So, the big problem for Republicans is debates like this keep going on, the
base is very passionate about reducing immigration, whether it`s legal or,
you know, or cracking down on illegal immigration. The damage is you have
a replay of 2012 when Romney said the world self-deportation, held himself
to 27 percent among Hispanics and actually did worse among Asian-Americans.
And what Donald Trump is talking about is basically self deportation on
steroids. It`s mass deportation. It`s a nightmare for Republican
strategists who want to make inroads with Hispanics and not the major goal
of the RNC for 2016.
So, the question is, how that plays out? And so far, Donald Trump is not
KORNACKI: Well, the other thing, Sahil, I just want -- the polling on
this, we were looking around this week on this subject. And like you said,
this is not an issue that`s really been at the fore of politics. There`s
not much polling. But we can find this from five years ago, there was a
poll sort of philosophically asking the concept of citizenship for children
of illegal immigrants.
Look at this, though. Everybody in the country, 47 percent saying they
support that concept, 50 percent saying they oppose it among Republicans.
There it is on your screen, 35 percent support, 63 percent oppose it.
I look at those numbers. Assuming they`re about that today, that tells me
now that this issue is being raised, the Republican Party in particular is
going to have to move to the Trump position on this.
KAPUR: Steve, that`s probably right. You know, the public is evenly
divided on this. And given where the two parties are, given how they
divided they are on immigration, we don`t have specific data on this, but I
would say it`s a fair bet that a majority, you know, pretty significant
majority of Republicans are in favor of ending birthright citizenship.
The substantive problem, if you do this, is that, if you say, you know, if
you say a birth certificate is not enough to declare yourself a citizen and
to sign up for Social Security and things like that, it turns into a
bureaucratic nightmare, because then, what is? Right?
But the Republicans who are making this point and the conservatives who are
casting down on birthright citizenship, they have a point to the extent
that other countries don`t do this. So, it`s been done before. European
countries don`t do this. I think Donald Trump pointed out that Mexico
doesn`t allow it. There`s been -- you know, it`s not uncommon for
countries to demand more than simply being born here as far as the system
goes. But United States has never done that, not since the 1800 when the
14th Amendment was enshrined.
KORNACKI: All right. Well, let`s bring in the panel now, the rest of our
team with us today. We have MSNBC contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto,
Ron Insana, contributor with CNBC, and Ben Domenech with "The Federalist".
And, Ben, in that last exchange I was having with Sahil, you were shaking
DOMENECH: So, here`s -- I just have to disagree. The party leadership is
actually united on this issue and they disagree with that 50 percent, OK?
They disagree that they should be a priority. The political elite of both
parties has for years on the immigration issue basically either pandered on
the side of Republicans or on the side of Democrats when it comes to this.
They don`t actually do what the public wants them to do. And because, and
in fact, they essentially look at them and say you`re not allowed to want
that thing. OK?
This change you want to make --
KORNACKI: The question is, is that going to change --
DOMENECH: Here is the reason I think this is something very toxic in terms
of the conversation -- birthright citizenship is not going to be ended. It
requires a constitutional amendment. This is why I would respect Ted Cruz
more than some of the other people who are serious on this. He at least
concedes this is in the Constitution. That`s not going to happen.
Mass deportation, is also something that`s not going to happen. You are
not going to spend 500-however-many billions of dollars that`s going to
take to round people up and ship them back to Mexico, or wherever they came
from. None of this stuff is actually going to happen. And yet,
Republicans are forced, because of Donald Trump`s presence in this race, to
talk about it. And on these issues I think this is going to lead to a lot
of problems for the Republican Party, whether or not Trump`s political
success continues because he`s injected this into the conversation.
KORNACKI: Well, exactly. And I think that is one of the other things that
jumped out this week. You look at Jeb Bush -- and Jeb Bush got -- he used
the term anchor baby and that became a big controversy. And I read that,
that`s Jeb Bush, who remember when this whole thing started, Jeb Bush was
going to be a moderating voice in the Republican Party. And Jeb Bush said
he`d be willing to lose the primary to win the general election. And now,
here he is scrambling to catch up with Donald Trump on immigration and
that`s the kind of thing that he starts saying.
SOTO: Steve, think back to couple months ago, Jeb was giving a private
speech at his father`s library where he said, you know, people come here
out of an act of love, they come here for love of their family, commitment
to their family. So, he`s talking about love.
And how do you go from talking about love to anchor babies? I just can`t
reconcile the two. It has totally shifted. We`ve seen the center of
gravity on immigration in the Republican Party completely shift to the
right. And you can`t get back in the general election.
DOMENECH: Birthright citizenship is the one of the things that sets
America apart from the rest of the world, OK? If you`re born in Paris, it
doesn`t make you a Parisian. But if you`re born in America, it means that
you owe the government and the government of America a pledge of
allegiance, and that government owes you the protection of your rights and
your freedoms and acknowledging your liberty.
I think that that`s a beautiful thing. I think there`s a portion of the
Republican Party that agrees that`s a beautiful thing. But that portion is
not the one that is taking over the conversation right now and it`s not the
one driving the force in the nomination --
KORNACKI: Here`s one dissenting voice on the Republican side, making
basically the argument you just did. Marco Rubio this week, in an
interview with John Harwood, let`s play what he said.
Well, we don`t have what he said actually. But -- I`m sorry, we do it have
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thirteen million humans -
- those are human beings, and ultimately, they`re people. We`re not --
they`re not just statistics. They`re human beings with stories.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: Is birthright citizenship one of the things that makes
RUBIO: Yes. As -- yes, that`s why I`m not nah favor of repealing the 14th
Amendment. But what`s the flip side of that argument? There`s a
legitimate issue embedded within this debate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INSANA: He`s a birthright baby. He would not be here if it weren`t for
14th Amendment, and as many others. And listen, you know, this whole
debate saddens me so profoundly that, you know, it`s getting down to who
has the right to be an American?
You know, this is exactly what the country was founded on, at least we
think. I mean, you know, obviously, native Americans were here for 14,000
years before white Europeans got here. You know, that is a debate that is
now long gone.
But, you know, the notion that -- Donald Trump, for instance, on his
mother`s side, first generation American. His mother was born in Scotland
and came here. So, I mean, just because you`re a white European doesn`t
mean you have anymore right to be in the United States and enjoy the
benefits of citizenship than if you came from Mexico or another part of
In fact, the majority of immigrants today are coming from Asia and India,
not from Latin America and Mexico.
DOMENECH: Ron, what you were seeing here -- you mentioned Europe. This is
really about whether the Republican Party is going to become a comparison
of the populist nationalist right force that you see in Europe. You see it
in France. You see it in Spain. You see it in a number of other nations,
where you`ve seen this rise of populist nationalist rage which often has
racist and xenophobic elements to it.
INSANA: You see it in Russia.
DOMENECH: And, yes, you see it all over the place. I think what you`re
seeing with Trump is sort of a question, that the Republican Party needs to
decide, are we going to be about liberty and freedom for all people? Are
we going to be the party of Lincoln? Or are we going to be a party that
sort of follows this path and as always this populist --
KORNACKI: Well, let me bring Sahil back into this. And, Sahil, so on that
question, thinking ahead next year to the Republican platform, I think
their -- you know, this issue is now out there. You look at the polling.
There`s an incentive for every Republican candidate to say, yes, you know
what, I`m with Trump on this one. Rubio is so far the only one not
dissenting. Do you think that the Republican platform next year is going
to say, we should do away with birthright citizenship?
KAPUR: Steve, that`s a great question. I highly doubt it will, because
again, they don`t want to go too far on this issue in a way that would
alienate them in the general election.
Where they are divided and where I don`t think that they won`t put out a
specific party platform because there`s no argument there, is what to do
with people who are not here with proper legal status. You have people
like Jeb Bush who give them some status, but not citizenship. You have
Marco Rubio who`s saying do all these things first and then give them a
pathway to citizenship.
You have Donald Trump and the Jeff Sessions argument which is they have to
go. And then you have people in between saying let`s just not talk about
and we`re not going to address it. So, there`s nothing close to unity on
that front. And what the party has been united on for a long time is that
legal immigration is a good thing. We should increase legal immigration
and encourager legal immigration.
All of a sudden, that`s changing now, too. Donald Trump`s plan massively
curtails legal immigration. Massively curtails a guest worker program,
makes it harder for people to immigrate legally. Scott walker is saying
some nice things about that. And the debate is changing on legal
immigration, too. So, the Republican Party is moving to the right across
the board on immigration. And there is an agreement on what to do on a
number of these issues.
KORNACKI: All right. Sahil Kapur with "Bloomberg Politics", thanks for
taking a few minutes this morning. Appreciate it.
KAPUR: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. Turning now to the big event last night, Donald
Trump`s first presidential campaign stop in one of the so-called SEC
primary states. A crowd of about 20,000 making the trek to Mobile,
Alabama. This was the biggest rally yet for a Republican candidate in this
cycle. But it was also not nearly as big as the Trump campaign had been
saying it would be.
NBC News embed reporter Ali Vitali is covering the Donald Trump campaign.
She joins us this morning from Alabama.
Good morning, Ali.
So, a little news this morning on the question of crowd size last night.
Donald Trump is tweeting out this morning that it was over 30,000 who were
in the crowd. Is there a little overestimating going on there?
VITALI: Well, I mean, like you said, they did over estimate at the front
end of this event when I had spoken to the campaign early in the day
yesterday, they told me as high as 42,000 people expected. So, obviously,
that number was lower in actuality last night.
His 30,000 estimate might be inflated. I`ve seen that number floating
around. But for us, when we were in there, we were told that the stadium
capacity was 42,000, 43,000. And it was about halfway full. Local
officials echoed that on the ground, that that`s the number that they
estimated about 20,000 as well.
But let`s be clear, even if it is somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000, he`s
still getting bigger crowds than any other GOP candidates to this point. I
think that`s really saying something. And that`s the larger message here,
more so than a specific number, but more of the fact that he`s drawing and
resonating with so many people in the early swings through these early
KORNACKI: And, Ali, do we know where he goes from here? Is there a
follow-up to this in the works?
VITALI: There is a follow-up to this. He will be in Dubuque, Iowa, on
Tuesday. So, that`s where I`ll be next as well. He`s expected to be
there, and I`m sure the crowds will be just as boisterous, just as excited,
and just as interested in hearing straight talk, unfiltered Trump.
KORNACKI: All right. Dubuque, Iowa.
Ali Vitali, thanks for joining us this morning from Alabama.
Still ahead, Jeb sharpens his attacks against Donald Trump. We`ll take a
look at why that matters.
But first, more signs that Hillary Clinton might be getting another
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Among the many headlines about Hillary Clinton`s e-mail server
this week, there was this -- a Quinnipiac poll of three key swing states
showing Vice President Joe Biden actually polling slightly better than
Hillary Clinton when matched against Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton still leads nationally, though. The latest poll showing
her 18 points ahead of Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. But, of
course, Biden isn`t even running, at least not yet.
But it is noteworthy that over the past year, Clinton`s net favorable --
favorability ratings, excuse me, have flipped. In August of 2014, a year
ago, Clinton averaged 50 percent favorability. Now, a year later, she`s at
49 percent unfavorability. Crossover happening in early April of this
year, about a month after reports revealed that Clinton had used a personal
e-mail account while at the State Department.
Five months after that, Hillary Clinton has now turned over the private e-
mail server to the FBI in an interagency investigation into whether
classified information was sent or received from her personal account. And
still defending her decision to use private e-mail as she campaigns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Did you try to wipe the server? You didn`t answer the answer.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not -- you know, I
have no idea. That`s why we turned it over --
REPORTER: But you said you were in charge of it. You were the official in
charge. Did you wipe the server?
CLINTON: Well, like with a cloth or something?
REPORTER: I don`t know. You know how it works digitally. Did you try to
wipe the whole server?
CLINTON: I don`t know how it works digitally at all.
Thank you all. Thank you all very much.
NBC NEWS: Is this an indication that this issue isn`t going to go away for
the remainder of your campaign?
CLINTON: Nobody talks to me about it other than you guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Well, let`s talk about this with the panel. And I mean, this
gets into -- we have the Biden that`s talk out there. And we should say,
there`s a little news on that front this morning. This is in "The New York
Times" about whether Joe Biden get into the race, this is Joe Biden
apparently reaching out to those who could support his campaign,
potentially, the idea that he may now extend -- some Democrats supporting
Mrs. Clinton quietly signal they would re-evaluate their support if Biden
were to join the race.
Apparently, Biden is going to extend his thinking period on this a few
months now, a little bit into the fall, to see if this e-mail story or
something else brings down Clinton further.
Also news this morning, look at this. Hillary Clinton is going to
interrupt a planned vacation to campaign in the Midwest, maybe a sign of
nervousness. You can see there`s a growing recognition in her campaign
that the continuing inquiries into her e-mail practices and the Republican
attacks amplifying the story have started to filter into the mainstream.
DOMENECH: Steve, if a week like this does not convince Joe Biden to get
into this race, I do not know what will, because that -- I mean, that press
conference, you had her launching like half a dozen memes in like 30
seconds there with her responses.
Nobody believes her when she says this. When she plays dumb and says, oh,
what are you talking about? Wiping a server, what`s that? Nobody actually
believes that and I think that this is going to be a continuing problem for
her throughout this -- the whole e-mail conversation is just, even if
people don`t understand it, it reminds them of the bad old Clintons, bad
ass Clintons --
KORNACKI: When you say no one believes here -- look at these numbers.
This was the swing state polling. We put some of it up earlier.
Quinnipiac in three swing states, is Hillary Clinton honest and
trustworthy? And basically, by a two-to-one margin, they`re saying --
KORNACKI: OK, yes, you`re saying ouch, Vicky. The counter to that you
would get from Clinton folks or the people who support her would be -- hey,
those numbers were the same for Bill Clinton back in 1990s. The country is
used to having these sort of nuanced views about the Clintons.
SOTO: Here are other numbers. Earlier, you put up a graphic of where
Biden stood. He`s at 14 percent. OK, well, that`s still trailing Hillary
Clinton. Just a couple weeks ago, Biden was in the low single digits.
So, within a couple weeks, he`s gone up to 14 percent. I would not doubt
that within the next week he`s up to a quarter of a percent. That`s when
he jumps in. He`s waiting for the number to go up.
KORNACKI: But then he jumps in and gets the same kind of scrutiny Hillary
has been getting.
SOTO: Yes -- this e-mail thing smells funny and it smells funny to
DOMENECH: People like it more. It`s that basic.
INSANA: It`s also I mean, it`s hard to compare Secretary Clinton`s
position today to President Clinton`s position when he was first running.
He was at the back of the pack at this time in the election cycle when he
was first running. He did not vault ahead until he won the New York
primary after he gone "Imus in the Morning" show and given a pretty good
performance and, you know, quoted himself well. He went on Arsenio Hall,
picked up more public support, garnered more national attention.
He came from behind. She`s in the lead. They`re in radically different
positions at this juncture of the campaign. This is her second go at it
where she was in the lead this early on and then something came out of the
blue and dogged her.
SOTO: Another difference is charisma. Bill Clinton oozes charisma.
Hillary Clinton doesn`t.
INSANA: But if you spend time with Hillary Clinton by herself, she`s
KORNACKI: I always hear, if you knew her behind the scenes, you`d have a
different. But most people don`t know her behind the scenes.
INSANA: They know her on television.
SOTO: In Trump era, we see charisma 24/7.
INSANA: This goes back to JFK, right? When you`re doing TV presidencies,
it has to jump out on the screen. It`s you`re not going to be in
everybody`s living room individually. That`s not the way we campaign.
KORNACKI: Still, I mean, from Biden`s standpoint, I mean, there`s a couple
things that I think will hold him back. First of all, I mean, there`s
still -- there`s the issue of legacy. Look, if you`re a two-term vice
president in the United States and you run for your own party`s nomination,
and you finish -- to lose is one thing, but he could actually finish, at
this point you look at these polls, he could lose to Bernie Sanders.
I mean, there`s a chance -- sure, there`s chance he wins the nomination.
There`s a chance he finishes third, and that`s a pretty bad on a political
SOTO: If you`re not first, you`re last. So, you know --
SOTO: In the words of Ricky Bobby.
KORNACKI: I get that rationale.
I just wonder, too, you know, again, it`s a story that goes back a
generation, this idea that the Clintons don`t quit. I think that lives in
the minds of most Democrats, too, that stories like this always come up.
It looks terrible for them. Their poll numbers will drop. And then they
recover and things look different.
INSANA: From a tactical perspective, I think if you`re a strategist and
you`re working with Secretary Clinton, you`re saying, listen, just wait it
You know, the Republican field right now, if you want to describe it this
way, and we talk about this before, it looks like a circular firing squad.
They`re killing themselves with Hispanics. They`re killing themselves with
any potential immigrant group. They`re killing themselves with non-whites
broadly speaking. They have to win more than 40 percent of the non-white
vote to take the White House.
The math is still in a Democrat`s favor. The Democrat who is in front is
still Hillary Clinton. So, you make the argument, listen, just tough it
KORNACKI: And she is -- in fact, that`s -- the other poll that came out
this week is you match her against the other Republicans in national polls.
She`s still leading. It does raise the question, what would it take for
Biden to get in. I guess to me, she`s going to start falling behind the
Republicans. That`s when the Democratic Party panics when say, oh, wow,
Rubio is now 11 points ahead of Hillary, something like that.
DOMENECH: I just feel there is -- it`s not just a charisma gap. But I
think one of the things that will dog Hillary is that there are a number of
Republicans and I think moderates, people on the independent side who in
2008 thought she was a responsible person, someone who they could trust to
run government, someone who they could trust on that 3:00 a.m. phone call.
I think one of the problems with this is, is that it doesn`t just go to the
sort of deceit kind of problem that the Clintons have. It goes to the
basic how do you run things, are you a responsible person in charge? I
think that actually is going to hurt her in the longer term in a greater
sense than we may fully appreciate now.
SOTO: And it`s those moderates, those independents may stay home. So,
Hillary Clinton gets the nomination and these folks aren`t going to turn
out and vote for the Republican nominee, whoever that person is, but they
go, I just -- I just don`t want to turn out and vote and Democrats lose by
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead, a life-saving act of heroism. Three
Americans on board a train in France take on a passenger armed with an
automatic rifle. That`s coming up. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: A stunning act of bravery stopped a heavily armed gunman aboard
a train in France due to off-duty American servicemen who got more than
they bargained for during their trip to Paris.
NBC`s Kelly Cobiella is in London. She has all the details on what is an
Kelly, take us through what happened.
KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS: Oh, the details are just stunning, Steve. This
was a very busy high-speed traveling from Amsterdam to Paris last night
when passengers heard a gunshot and breaking glass. That`s when an
American turned to his friend and said "let`s go", and headed straight for
COBIELLA (voice-over): A gunman with an automatic weapon opens fire on a
packed train. It could have been carnage, but only two were injured,
thanks to three brave Americans, two of them U.S. military service members.
National guardsman Alex Skarlatos, seen here in the middle, and his Air
Force friend Spencer Stone moved first.
ALEX SKARLATOS, NATIONAL GUARDSMAN: I saw a guy entering the train with an
AK and a handgun. I looked at Spencer and said, let`s go, go. Spencer got
to the guy first, grabbed the guy by the neck and I grabbed the handgun,
got the handgun away from the guy and threw it. Then I grabbed the AK
which was at his feet --
COBIELLA: The train from Amsterdam to Paris stopped in the French town of
Arras, the gunman, taken away in bare feet is now in French custody.
Police gathered bags of evidence while the French mayor handed out medals
for bravery and President Obama hailed their, quote, "heroic actions."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the aftermath we saw a man`s throat had been slit
and he was bleeding profusely and Spencer who has some paramedic training
just clogged up his neck so he wouldn`t die because he was losing a lot of
COBIELLA: Another attack which could have had a very different ending.
Back at Anthony`s California home, relief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he leaves here a young man on an excursion to
broaden his world view and have fun with his buddies, and he comes back as
France`s national hero, still wrapping my head around that.
COBIELLA: His friend Spencer Stone is still in the hospital this morning
with cuts. He is expected to recover as is the passenger he helped to
The French interior minister said they`re not ready to identify the suspect
or confirm a motive. But the attacker is believed to be a 26-year-old
Moroccan who lived in France and Spain and had been flagged by Spanish
authorities last year for links to Islamic radical movements -- Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. NBC`s Kelly Cobiella, thank you for that.
And still ahead, Donald Trump`s relentless attacks on Jeb Bush. Are they
having an impact? Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know what`s happening to Jeb`s crowd, right down the street,
they`re sleeping. They`re sleeping now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Trump on Wednesday in New Hampshire, mocking Jeb Bush`s
more subdued and sparsely attended town hall. It was taking place just a
few miles away from where Trump was. This was one of several attacks Trump
has lobbed at Bush in recent weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Jeb Bush is a puppet to his donors. He`s got lobbyists. I know
them. He`s got lobbyists.
The Iraq war is a disaster for the Bushes. That`s why the last thing we
need is another Bush.
I watched Jeb Bush yesterday. He can`t even put on a tie and jacket. He`s
running for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I don`t have a jacket on either.
Anyway, Bush fired back to these attacks, questioning Trump`s conservative
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: There`s a big difference between Donald Trump and me. I`m a proven
conservative with a record. He isn`t. I cut taxes every year. He`s
proposed the largest tax increase in mankind`s history, not just our own
country`s history. I`ve been consistently pro-life. He until recently was
for partial birth abortion. I never met a person that actually thought
that was a good idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But can Jeb Bush keep up with Donald Trump`s attack? Should he
even try to keep up with Donald Trump`s attacks?
Let`s take that question to the panel. So, I mean, these Trump attacks on
Jeb Bush, I think they`re devastating for Bush. I can imagine Republican
heads nodding when they hear Donald Trump describe how boring Jeb Bush is,
how tired it is to nominate another Bush for the presidency, what a
disaster the last one was for the Republican Party. Am I picking up on
that right, Ben?
DOMENECH: I think that, look, Donald Trump is an excellent troll. He is
the best at it, OK? He`s not just is a crony capitalist, he`s the best
crony capitalist. He`s not just a blow hard, he`s the best blow hard.
The problem that I think Jeb Bush has actually one that won`t be solved by
responding to Trump. I think it`s actually that he needs to go on the
offensive against other candidates who are to his left on a couple of
issues. I think in particular, John Kasich, who has been eating up a lot
of the conversation in New Hampshire, which is a state that I think Jeb
Bush needs to win.
And, you know, Kasich is to Jeb`s left on a number of issues. He came out
this week and made a comment about Roe v. Wade being the law of the land
and that we need to live under it. Kasich is somebody who has embraced
Obamacare and expanded Medicaid. I think these are all issues that Jeb
actually has an opportunity within this current context to show that he is
a conservative and to make a conservative attack.
I don`t think he`s actually going to gain anything by dealing with Donald
Trump. Trump`s success or failure will be unrelated to what Jeb does.
KORNACKI: Well, that`s one argument that Mike Murphy who runs the super
PAC that supports Bush was saying, he said, look, if you think my super PAC
is going to go after Donald Trump, you`re wrong, because I actually want a
one-on-one Bush-Trump race in the end. He says, that is a race Bush wins.
INSANA: Well, that depends. I mean, that`s assuming people want policy
prescriptions as opposed to these off-the-cuff remarks that are very
pointed, very targeted and very effective.
I mean, Jeb Bush has looked as Hillary Clinton did in the video you showed
earlier very defensive. You cannot be on the defensive in a presidential
campaign. Trump is on the offensive. You know, he`s not three yards and a
cloud of dust. He`s throwing bombs every single day and getting into the
You know, this is not -- and Jeb Bush is sitting there faltering looking
like a backup quarterback. You know, he`s fumbling the ball. He`s not
projecting himself. He`s not projecting himself. Just from a purely
visual perspective, you know, as a TV person, you see where he`s kind of
failing in the media itself.
KORNACKI: Here is another one of these. This is on Wednesday. This was
Trump in New Hampshire, again, another taste of what he`s out there telling
Republicans about Jeb Bush. Let`s play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Can you believe skin in the game? And I thought that was
incredibly dumb. As dumb as -- on immigration, an act of love, it`s an act
of love when they come in. It`s an act of love. Or a belief in Common
The reason I talk about Jeb is, he was supposed to do well in New
Hampshire. He`s going down like a rock. But how the hell does he -- how
does he do well?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOTO: Sometimes I`m speechless when I see this stuff. But -- so he`s
losing on the style. He`s losing on the style.
And I also think he`s going to lose on the substance. He`s accusing Donald
Trump of not being a consistent conservative. But you know what? A lot of
Americans aren`t consistent. Maybe I don`t want abortion to be legalized,
but I want protection for our trade. I don`t want jobs to go abroad.
And maybe I don`t support some aspects of gay marriage, but I don`t want to
see Medicaid taken away. So people aren`t consistent. So, he`s attacking
Trump on something that a lot of people may agree on.
DOMENECH: You see two contrasting styles there, between someone who comes
from a politically elite class and is viewed as a creature of it and
someone who comes from another elite class and is viewed as a traitor to
it, OK? People like the traitors of the class.
It`s one of the reasons we see it time and again, in the history of
democracies, the appeal to the outsider who will use and seize the power of
the executive to do whatever they want to serve the people. You know,
dissolve the Senate and bring in Caesar. This is the same kind of attitude
we`ve seen from Donald Trump.
You know, Obama`s been the guy doing all these executive actions, ruling
the country as an autocrat. If you believe that, you look at Trump and
say, fine, let`s have our own autocrat. Let`s have somebody who does it
SOTO: -- the Senate and the House under a Trump`s administration.
DOMENECH: He just ignores them.
KORNACKI: But what you`re saying, too, about the appeal or the lack
thereof for Jeb. I think back to George W., I think back to his brother.
And his brother had much more -- especially I see this now, had a much more
populist energy to him that could get beyond that he`s a product of the
INSANA: Listen, it was both natural and crafted. Karl Rove did the just
folks thing very well with George W. Bush. He`s a guy you want to have a
beer with. That was a very finally crafted message.
KORNACKI: They don`t say it about Jeb, right?
INSANA: No, they don`t see it about Jeb.
Listen, I interviewed George W. Bush twice. I`ve seen him outside and
inside the White House. He`s a fairly relaxed character when he gets to
know you. And like Bill Clinton, he`s very good at retail politics.
Something Jeb Bush doesn`t appear to be comfortable with.
Donald Trump is into the red meat game, right? I mean, that`s all he`s
throwing out there. He`s in the middle of the coliseum every day, you
SOTO: And then what`s going to happen into Jeb on the general election,
was Jeb, he was banking on the fact that once I get into the general, I`m
going to have Latinos with me because in 2004 elections George W. Bush had
44 percent of the Latino vote. So that was the path to the White House for
Jeb. And he`s lost it.
KORNACKI: And how about this one? The other path to the Republican
nomination was the electability card. Tired to losing to Obama, tired of
losing to Democrats, nominate me, I`ll win. A poll that came out this week
showed that against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump right now is doing three
points better than Jeb Bush. That shocked me.
DOMENECH: Jeb no longer has the electability argument because of that.
But keep in mind, this was a debate within the Republican Party in the wake
of the last election, where there were some Republicans who said we`ve got
to win by appealing to Hispanics. We have opportunities there. We need to
make further inroads to win.
There was another faction that said, no, double down on the white vote.
SOTO: Dig in your heels.
DOMENECH: Dig in your heels. The way you`ll win back Ohio and West
Virginia, you know, this Appalachia portion of people that you need, just
up your percentages in the white vote. People like Ann Coulter have been
making this argument for a long time, OK?
And what you see in Donald Trump is basically candidate who is just quoting
from that script, quoting from that playbook.
INSANA: I don`t care if Obama performs abortions in the White House --
SOTO: Abortions in the White House. Maybe that`s why we need Biden.
Biden appeals to the white folks in Appalachia.
INSANA: We haven`t mentioned Bernie Sanders and he is drawing crowds that
are, you know, almost equal to those of Donald Trump.
KORNACKI: Oh, Bernie Sanders is actually bigger. He`s had bigger crowds
than Donald Trump got last night. So, yes, that`s true. We will mention
Bernie next time.
Up next, big vote taking place today that could determine Rand Paul`s
future as a presidential candidate. We`ll tell you about it.
KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get
caught up on some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel.
And let`s see where we`re going first. How about, it`s on the home page of
Kentucky.com. It`s this in a conference call, Rand Paul seeks Kentucky GOP
support on presidential caucus. There is the story.
So, here`s the story. This is taking place today. Rand Paul cannot run
this year for both re-election to the U.S. Senate and for president on the
Republican primary ballot in that state. So, he`s saying, here is the
loophole. Here`s my way out of this.
We`re not going to have a Republican primary for president. We`ll have a
caucus, a statewide caucus. Then I can be a candidate for president in the
caucuses and the candidate for Senate on the primary ballot.
So, he said he`d put the money. The state party would do this. They`re
going to decide this weekend. They`re going to decide today if they`ll do
it. He said on this conference call yesterday, he told the Republicans who
are listening in, he said he has a one in ten chance of winning the
Republican presidential nomination.
What do you think of those odds?
INSANA: I think a one in 17 chance.
SOTO: And also have his cake and eat it, too. That`s the person --
DOMENECH: I think he does have a one in ten chance. He was one of the ten
on the field. But I think one of the most interesting stories of this
entire election season is how the election that we anticipated, the
conversation about the future of the Republican Party between Chris
Christie and Rand Paul, that is not happening at all and Rand I think has
really faded because of that.
In fact, I think in part, it`s because he spent more time talking about
foreign policy than domestic policy where he had some more interesting and
perhaps more --
KORNACKI: I have to say it looks like a cowardly move to want to run for
both. Rubio out there I guess to his credit says, I`m running for
president. I`m not going to simultaneously run for re-election. But I
will say in Rand Paul`s defense, there`s a little bit of history to this.
LBJ run simultaneously, Joe Lieberman, Lloyd Benson, we have names who have
done this before. It has happened.
INSANA: John McCain, too, right? I mean, although it wasn`t in the same
year, but he still ended going back to Senate.
SOTO: Marco Rubio, there`s also talk of the VP slot. He has a little more
job security. He may not run for Senate. If he doesn`t get the
nomination, he`s on the short, short list for the VP. Whereas Rand Paul is
INSANA: Let me be little more blunt here, I don`t think Rand Paul has a
snowball`s chance of getting the Republican nomination or even being
elected president, if you want to take it a step further. It`s not a
libertarian country. You know, we`ve seen this in the past. There have
been guys who have run on that, you know, platform. It resonates with a
handful of people but not with everyone.
DOMENECH: Rand`s future now, I think he has to turn this election into
something where he tries to grow his brand a little bit and then he goes
back to the Senate and is the voice for that view in that body.
KORNACKI: All right. Let`s see what else we have from "The Washington
Post." How about this? Conan O`Brien`s mission for 2016, get Lincoln
Chafee to 1 percent.
So, Lincoln Chafee, who is former Republican-turned-independent-turned-
Democrat from Rhode Island, running for the Democratic nomination. He`s at
zero percent in just about every poll they take right now. So, Conan
O`Brien said this week, I`m not saying we should get him elected. I`m
personally not going to vote for him.
But I think we should get him on the board so he`s not humiliated. It
seems like a nice thing to do.
Conan gave out hats to his audience, dispensed some facts about Chafee, and
listed why certain groups should vote for him.
SOTO: Support the metric system.
KORNACKI: That`s right. That is the big -- that is the most memorable
thing to come out of the Chafee campaign.
INSANA: They made us learn that in the sixth grade and we never used it.
KORNACKI: No, they told us it would be within ten years. But no --
DOMENECH: I know we already called it the Simpson, but the metrics system
is the tool of the devil, OK? So, I`m completely opposed to the idea.
KORNACKI: Who was it? Is it -- Bill Maher last year, right, he started
the super PAC, one random congressional member, didn`t -- put a million
dollars in, I think. It didn`t work.
So, maybe Conan will have better luck getting Lincoln Chafee to 1 percent
or maybe statistical error will get Lincoln Chafee to 1 percent.
We`ve got -- I think we have time for one more. Let`s see this is "The New
York Times." it says Tracy Morgan is going to host the "Saturday Night
Live" in the first performance for him since that terrible accident last
year, more than a year in an automobile accident in the New Jersey
turnpike. He had said on "The Today" in June, he hoped to return to comedy
when he was able, saying, when I`m there, you`ll know it. I`ll get back to
making you laugh. I promise you, well, here it comes, "SNL" --
INSANA: We`re sitting with my family in New Jersey and Tracy drove past,
looking to stop at a place but it was full. He looked pretty good. I`ve
seen him at Caroline`s on Broadway before the accident. He`s a very funny
guy. It`s nice to see it`s not a career ending experience.
KORNACKI: Absolutely. That accident last year was terrible and you
wondered if you`d ever see him again. That`s good news for you.
Coming up next, Wall Street taking a major hit this week. What happened?
What can we expect when the markets reopen on Monday? That`s next.
KORNACKI: All right. As we`ve been talking about, the Dow taking quite a
tumble yesterday. It plunged more than 500 points just yesterday, 1,000
points for the week. The other major index, the S&P 500 tracking that
decline, what might be the end of a six-year rally.
So, we got Ron Insana with us.
Monday morning, Ron, what`s it going to be like?
INSANA: We have to look at two things next week. Number one, China --
will they cut interest rates Sunday night and try to turn their market
around, relief rally hits Wall Street and the rest of the world. At the
end of next week, the Federal Reserve holds a symposium in Jackson Hole,
The vice chair of the Fed, Stanley Fischer will be speaking there. Does he
suggest the interest rate hike many expect in September will be delayed
until the end of the year, until next year, that would make a difference?
That would make a big difference for the markets as well.
KORNACKI: Ben, Victoria, are you pulling your money out right now? What
are you thinking?
DOMENECH: I`m certainly nervous about this. I`m more concerned about what
we`re going to be seeing from China in the coming weeks and months. It`s
definitely a disturbing time to be looking at this, and considering the
different moves that have been locked in from the Fed`s perspective for
such a long time. Everything that we`ve been anticipating and then all of
this trouble looking around at global markets.
KORNACKI: I`ve been saying for years I should put money in the stock
market and see a story like this, and I`m like I haven`t.
SOTO: I feel nervous like most Americans do. I`m going to take Ron`s
advice and don`t freak out. Don`t freak out. We`ve been through this
INSANA: If you have a plan, never freak out. If you have 20 years, don`t
freak out. If you got money you need tomorrow, you never should have been
in there in the first place.
KORNACKI: My plan is always to freak out.
My thanks to Ben Domenech, Ron Insana, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto.
And thank you for getting UP with us today. We`ll be right back here
tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel starting 8:00 a.m. But before
that, you`re going to watch "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." She is coming up next.
Have a great Saturday.
JANET MOCK, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Janet Mock.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: And I`m Ari Melber. Melissa is off today.
MOCK: This morning, our question -- if you can shoot, reload and fight
with the best, can you serve with them, too?
MELBER: And also, the mega turnout for supposed GOP front-runner Donald
MOCK: And why for September magazines, black is the new black.
MELBER: But first, the one thing that is constant when changing the
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