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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: October 3, 2015
Guest: Robert Costa, Eric Milgram, Gian-Carlo Peressutti, L. Joy Williams,
Jeanne Zaino, Nina Khrushcheva

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC ANCHOR: A once in a lifetime weather event or even a
couple of lifetimes.

Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday morning. I`m
Richard Wolffe in for Steve Kornacki. Hurricane Joaquin may be tracking
away from the East Coast of the United States at this hour, but the storm
is expected to generate rainfall levels in the southeast that haven`t been
seen in 200 or maybe even 500 years. More on that in just a moment.

Twenty eight Americans are also missing at sea on board a cargo ship that`s
believed to be caught in the hurricane. We`ll have more on the coast
guard`s effort to find and save that ship.

Plus, we`re learning more this morning about the nine people who were shot
and killed at an Oregon Community College on Thursday. More on them and
the latest from Roseburg in just a little bit.

The aftermath of yet another mass shooting prompting anger and frustration
from President Obama, expressing what so many people here in the United
States feel. More on that and the rest of the day in politics is coming
right up.

But we begin this morning with that once in-in-a-lifetime weather event.
The Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland expecting up to a foot of rain before
it`s over in a part of the country that has already seen massive amounts of
flooding this week. The National Weather Service calling this a one in 200
year rainfall event or maybe even 500 years. South Carolina Governor Nikki
Haley is warning residents to be prepared for extended power outages.

MSNBC`s Sarah Dallof joins us live from Columbia, South Carolina. Good
morning, Sarah.

SARAH DALLOF, MSNBC REPORTER: Well, good morning, Richard. The river that
cuts right through the city here under a flood watch in the southern part
of the county. Flood stage is 115 feet and this morning that river is
already at 114 feet. If it keeps rising and the rain is falling, that
could lead to extensive flooding in the Congaree National Park. Now, here
in Columbia in the city proper, officials are kind of in this wait and
watch stage. Public works telling us that this rainfall so far has been
steady and their systems have been able to keep up. However, if it
suddenly starts coming in a deluge, if there`s a sudden downpour, that`s
when we`re going to run into problems in the storm drains and we`ll going
to start seeing those flooded streets here in Columbia.

Now, forecasters are predicting rainfall in the teens, Charleston about two
hours from here. They received six inches overnight. The Governor hasn`t
ordered any evacuations but she is encouraging people whose homes have
flooded before or who may live in low-lying areas to evacuate. A number of
public events have been canceled, for example football games here in
Columbia cancelled yesterday. The Greek festival in Charleston canceled
throughout the weekend, officials just hoping this keeps people at home and
off the waterlogged and potentially deadly road this weekend. Back to you.

WOLFFE: Sara, are you seeing people making lots of preparations? Are the
stores getting cleared out of supplies?

DALLOF: Well, we`re hearing known as five points, it`s a business and
entertainment district. Historically this is one of the first places to
flood in Columbia. And business owners, before they left for the night had
stocked sandbags, a few sandbags by their doors, they`re also keeping a
close eye on the drainage system. We spoke to one man, his wife owns a
business here, he was coming down to check on the drainage system. So far
everything is looking good, like I said the drains behind is keeping up,
but that could change in a heartbeat especially if the rain really starts
coming down hard and fast.

WOLFFE: Okay. Stay safe out there, Sarah. Many thanks to you.

MSNBC`s meteorologist Bill Karins is monitoring the severe weather and he
joins me now from our weather center. Bill, what`s going on?

BILL KARINS, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: Well, all eyes are on South Carolina.
The Charleston area, things are shut down in the downtown. There`s one to
two feet of water in many places, high tide -- until 1:00 this afternoon.
So we have the rainwater and the coastal water all coming in. And
Charleston is probably the ugliest situation on the East Coast right now.
So, we`re not too worried about Joaquin anymore. Here we are watching the
storm exiting the Bahamas. We`ll see those devastating pictures later
today. Thankfully they`ll going to actually have some sunshine today as
they begin to just assess the damage.

And there`s the path of the storm well away from the East Coast, maybe
Bermuda will be affected by a category one storm but that looks to be a
glancing blow. So, let me explain, we are now stealing moisture from the
tropics and near Joaquin in what we call an atmospheric river that`s
heading up towards South Carolina. This cutoff low is over here in areas
near Florida and up towards the panhandle and that is just pumping like a
fire hose almost. Think of it just spraying out right into South Carolina,
all this high octane tropical air.

And that`s why we just have this rivet of extremely heavy rain that sat
over Charleston, now 67 inches of rainfall just within, just about 8:00
p.m. last night. And that`s a lot of rain in a short period of time. And
that hose now goes all the way to areas like Columbia and towards
Charlotte. We have flash flood warnings throughout this region too. And,
you know, the pictures continue to be devastating throughout the Southeast
Coast and all the way up through the mid-Atlantic too. Now, as far as the
warnings go, we do have a couple here, Charleston and towards Charlotte, we
do have flash flood warnings in effect. Charlotte was just dropped
actually down in Rockingham. It looks like we`re under a flashflood watch.

But here`s the Charleston area. Let me give you the latest information out
of the Charleston area. As far as the flooding goes, it does look like
this will probably be a warning that will probably be out for much of the
day. I mean, it`s not going to really good -- go away. We`re expecting
the possibility of another nine inches of rain on top of the six to seven
inches of rain we`ve already had. And this doesn`t even mention the days
of consistent flow, the high tide cycles are going to just keep going up
today and tomorrow, Richard. So, you know, we have the coastal flooding
and we have the fresh water flooding. We`re now getting into the heart of
this event and especially South Carolina is going to be a mess for days to
come.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Bill. We`ll going to be checking in with you later on.

Turning now to the latest developments in the Oregon school shooting where
we now know the names of the nine victims killed in Thursday`s shooting at
a community college. They are 18-year-old Quinn Glen Cooper, 18-year-old
Lucas Eibel, 33-year-old Jason Dale Johnson, 44-year-old Sarena Dawn Moore,
18-year-old Rebecka Ann Carnes, 19-year-old Lucero Alcaraz, 20-year-old
Treven Taylor Anspach, 59-year-old Kim Saltmarsh Dietz and 67-year-old
Lawrence Levine who taught at Umpqua Community College.

Nine more people were wounded. They are all expected to survive. We`re
also letting more about the alleged gunman. Authority say, 26-year-old
Chris Harper Mercer attended a school for emotionally troubled children, he
was kicked out of the army and became a loner obsessed with mass killing.
They say, he left behind a lot of weapons at the scene of the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CELINE NUNEZ, ATF: So far we`ve recovered 13 weapons. Out of those 13
weapons we currently have in custody six were recovered at the school,
seven were recovered at the shooter`s residence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Let`s turn out to MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff live at this hour in
Roseburg, Oregon. Good morning, Jacob.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Richard. You
know, yesterday at the public safety building here in Roseburg behind me,
we into separate press briefings got lots of new information on the
investigation and on the victims as you mentioned from Sheriff John Hanlin.
Most importantly, in addition to the victims` names, we found out as you
said the identity of the shooter, Christopher Harper Mercer, 26. We also
heard about the guns as we just heard the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and the
Firearms mentioned 13 total, six in his home, seven in his home and six on
campus.

He was enrolled it turns out at Umpqua Community College in the class in
which the shooting took place and NBC News is reporting according to law
enforcement sources that he was suffering from mental illness. Today at a
press conference there are lots more unanswered questions that we hope to
be answered including the motives of the shooter. The cause of death of
the shooter, we still don`t know if it was self-inflicted or from one of
the bullets of the tactical officers that responded on the scene and more
about the shooter`s background. Again, lots of unanswered questions still
here in Roseburg -- Richard.

WOLFFE: Jacob, you`ve been spending sometime in the community obviously
over the last couple of days. I don`t so much, you know, it`s hard to
summarize the mood of the community but I`ve been reading a lot about the
community`s attitude towards guns. Have you talked to people about how
they feel about this bigger debate about gun violence and gun control?

SOBOROFF: Yes, I absolutely have, Richard. And you know, Southern Oregon
is more of a conservative part of the state unlike the urban centers like
Portland. And as a matter of fact, concealed carry is permitted on
postsecondary campuses here in Oregon and there were students I spoke with
that were actually armed and on campus at the time of the shooting. One
student, John Parker Jr., told me he did not intervene for fear of being
caught in the cross fire with the law enforcement that responded. Now, the
interim president of Umpqua Community College also told me that she was
aware of students that were armed on campus but doesn`t believe that that
is something that would have helped in this situation and pointed to the
fact that it was tactical sheriff`s deputies that responded and ultimately
engaged in the cross fire with the shooter.

WOLFFE: That`s a great point. Thank you for all your reporting and for
joining us this morning, Jacob. Thank you.

This summer in the wake of the Charleston Church shooting, President admits
that gun laws here in the U.S. or rather the lack of them has been his
biggest frustration as president. This week in the wake of yet another
mass shooting on American soil, that frustration only grew.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: So, the main thing I`m going to do
is I`m going to talk about this on a regular basis, and I will politicize
it because our inaction is a political decision that we are making. Here
you`ve got the majority of the American people think it`s the right thing
to do. Background checks. Other commonsense steps that would maybe save
some lives. Couldn`t even get a full vote. And why is that? It`s because
of politics. The politics has to change, and the people who are troubled
by this have to be as intense and as organized and as adamant about this
issue as folks on the other side who are absolutists and think that any gun
safety measures are somehow an assault on freedom or communistic. Let`s
not forget, this is happening every single day in forgotten neighborhoods
around the country. Every single day. Kids are just running for their
lives, trying to get to school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Joining us now is our panel. L. Joy Williams is a political
strategist and president of the Brooklyn Chapter of the NAACP. Gian-Carlo
Peressutti was a spokesperson for former president George H.W. Bush as well
as an aid to none other than Karl Rove. And Jeanne Zaino teaches campaign
management at New York University and is a Political Science professor at
Iona College. Good morning, panel.

L. JOY WILLIAMS, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Good morning.

JEANNE ZAINO, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: Good morning.

GIAN-CARLO PERESSUTTI, FORMER GEORGE H.W. BUSH SPOKESPERSON: Good morning.

WOLFFE: We have a lot to get through today. L. Joy, I want to start with
you. That frustration we have from President Obama is surely reflected in
the base. Communities that are living with gun violence, democratic
voters, is this something that the base, people you work with, do they feel
that the President has let them down or do they understand how he has
reached this point?

WILLIAMS: Well, I don`t think it`s just a base conversation. I think it`s
the frustration across America. And even those supporting or advocating
for the rights of gun owners understand that there are some common thing
things that we can do. Now, the ebb and flow of the support of what people
call gun control, you know, goes up and down as these mass shootings happen
or terrible tragedies happen. Tragedy happens, it goes up, people want
stricter laws, they want better control, background checks. And then it
kind of levels out after the news cycle has passed and we leave the
families alone in dealing not only with their grief but in their continued
activism, their brave activism in trying to get some of these things
passed.

WOLFFE: Uh-hm.

WILLIAMS: So, I don`t think it`s just a base conversation. I think it`s a
larger conversation because there are people who believe in gun rights or
the Second Amendment who also believe that there are some concrete things
we can do. But here`s what happens in the cycle. We start off with
someone should have noticed something, right? And we look at the, you
know, we go back and look through the person who committed the act and, you
know, we see certain signs that people could have noticed. And so, we say
someone should have noticed something.

And then we say someone should have did something and then we say someone
ought to do something. But never do we take on that ownership and say that
I as an American can press my elected official and say that there are some
commonsense things we need to do. And never also is there a courage from
elected officials on a bipartisan way to say, here are some things that we
can do while protecting and respecting the Second Amendment but also making
sure we`re protecting Americans overall.

WOLFFE: So, Gian-Carlo, you worked in politics. You understand the
calculations on some election cycle. Lots of candidates. All try to
differentiate themselves from each other and yet, none of them, not a
single one of them, at least not on the republican side and I don`t think
there`s a huge debate going on the democratic side either that at least on
the republican side, no one has tried to say, I can pick a different line
here. They talk about, you know, criminal justice system, there`s talk
about drug abuse, which we`ll get to later in the show. How come no one
wants to take this on at all?

PERESSUTTI: I think Richard, few things exemplify the political divide in
this country like this issue. If you support Barack Obama, you probably
want more gun laws, if you oppose Barack Obama, you probably don`t. And
the job of a leader, the job of a president, is to bridge that divide into
fine solutions. Everyone agrees that some things need to be done, but this
president wasn`t on stage 30 seconds yesterday before he was criticizing
Congress, which is to say Republicans, for not passing more gun laws. Gun
laws may very well be part of the package of things that L. Joy just
described, but there are other things that need to be done as well, and
this president`s job, any president`s job is to get the country to a place
where we can embrace those things collectively and move forward. And I
don`t believe the President has done that.

WOLFFE: What is any republican -- what is the republican solution, any of
the candidate solutions to these kinds of mass shootings?

PERESSUTTI: I think if the Republicans want to lead on this issue, they
have to be willing to compromise to a certain extent. Political opinion
seems to be in favor of gun laws but that`s like saying something should be
done about climate change. The devil is in the details here. And I think
there needs to be what a republican should do is put forth a comprehensive
plan that includes mental health that includes addiction, addresses drug
addiction issues as well as some commonsense issues.

WILLIAMS: But they`re in leadership, so why haven`t they done that?

PERESSUTTI: I think I would argue that leadership on this issue comes from
the President and comes from the top. And I`ll give you a perfect example.
In 2013 in the wake of Newtown, a democratic Senate could not even get gun
control laws passed.

WOLFFE: Right.

PERESSUTTI: That`s a fact.

WOLFFE: Right. That`s true.

PERESSUTTI: Leadership comes from one place in our government and that`s
the presidency and this president needs to lead.

WOLFFE: They`re all elected officials. Not on the candidates, no one on
the campaign Jeanne wants to take any of this on.

ZAINO: No one wants to take it on because it is a very complex issue.
And, you know, President Obama has stumbled on this, I agree with you on
that. His first term, his own attorney general said, look, we have to go
after the assault weapons ban.

WOLFFE: Where?

ZAINO: They didn`t get it.

WOLFFE: We`re going to come back. Honestly, we will come back to this
one. It`s a huge topic but we have to rush here. Still ahead, more on
this weekend`s storm and the path of Hurricane Joaquin.

But first, did Kevin McCarthy say too much about the Benghazi committee`s
true intentions? That`s coming up next, please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable,
right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select
committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why?
Because she`s un-trustable. But no one would have known any of that had
happened had we not --

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: I agree. I give you credit for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: So that was the man who would be the speaker of the House,
Congressman Kevin McCarthy saying something that struck many people as
absolutely true but also a huge mistake to admit out loud. The idea that
the Congressional Committee investigating Benghazi was created purely out
of a political desire to bring down Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I hear a statement like
that, which demonstrates unequivocally that this was always meant to be a
partisan political exercise, I feel like it does a great disservice and
dishonors not just the memory of the four that we lost but of everybody who
has served our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: That was from Al Sharpton`s interview with Hillary Clinton. And
you can catch more of it tomorrow on your appointment TV, on your
appointment TV, the first Sunday airing of "POLITICS NATION." And with
Clinton`s testimony before the Benghazi Committee fast approaching, many
people believe Kevin McCarthy has given Hillary Clinton all of the cover
she might need to dismiss what happens in that hearing room. Your parent
gaffe is also threatening to cause McCarthy himself the speakership, much
as he`s trying to push that toothpaste back in the tube.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This committee was set up for one sole purpose, to find
the truth on behalf of the families for four dead Americans. Now, I did
not intend to imply in any way that that work is political.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Joining me now along with the rest of our panel is "The Washington
Post" national political reporter Robert Costa. Robert, good morning.

ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST" NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Good
morning.

WOLFFE: What on earth was he thinking when he said that?

COSTA: McCarthy`s still adjusting to the national spotlight. When you`re
the majority leader of the United States it`s more of a background role.
You`re counting votes, you`re keeping members in line. Now he has to step
up. He`s going to be third in line to the presidency. I spoke to Newt
Gingrich, he said, it was a transition even for him in 1995 to recognize
that everything you say goes national.

WOLFFE: It`s a bit difficult preparing for prime time when you`re running
for the speaker. So has that led to a collapse of confidence in the
caucus? Has there been if not nervousness but, you know, a lack of surety
and sure footing among McCarthy`s team?

COSTA: I`ve been calling around the House GOP, and there`s certainly some
new nervousness, there`s a sense McCarthy may not be ready yet for this
job. But he has political capital. The conference within House
Republicans is young. Most of them came in in 2010. And McCarthy was the
chief recruiter for the party at the time. So he has strong relationships
are bolstering him at this time as he tries to ascend. He only has one
long shot challenger for the speakership. The elections are next week.
Bill, you are seeing some grumblings. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the
Oversight Committee, he is now thinking seriously likely to enter the race
for speaker, probably not going to win but his entry says something.

WOLFFE: So, I`d love to play the sound of Congressman Chaffetz responding
to McCarthy this week on MSNBC. Let`s listen to that now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: I`m very supportive of Kevin McCarthy, but
those statements are just absolutely inappropriate. They should be
withdrawn. Mr. McCarthy should apologize. I think it was absolutely
wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Absolutely wrong. He should ply. This is not someone who`s, you
know, tiptoeing around this issue or around this contest. It does sound
like he`s got plans to challenge McCarthy.

COSTA: And we`ll see tomorrow. He said he will make a formal decision on
Sunday. Chaffetz, he`s been trying to draft Trey Gowdy of South Carolina
into the race from majority leader. There`s an appetite post Boehner to
get some kind of fresh face in there. I don`t think Chaffetz has the
support within the conference, but to think a committee chairman is already
challenging McCarthy, it says that some people behind the scenes and now
publicly wonder is McCarthy ready to really lead the party to be a public
voice and figure who can bring it forward in an election year when politics
are tricky.

WOLFFE: It does sound like he`s going to come in. If he does come in as a
weakened speaker which is a difficult thing to actually pull off, Jeanne.
Is this a free pass for Hillary Clinton?

ZAINO: You know, it is a welcome mark for Hillary Clinton. But I have to
say it is not just this incident about Benghazi. His foreign policy
address as well was full of missteps, Kevin McCarthy. And so, if I`m in
the GOP in the House right now, I`ve got to be saying, is this guy the most
inexperienced potentially speaker since 1891 to take over this incredibly
important role as you mentioned in an incredibly important year? Is he
ready for prime time? We just heard that statement he made. Dis-
trustable. Is that any word? Hungria. Is that any word? I mean, these
are the things that he is saying. Now, as somebody who sticks myself in my
mouth all the time, I appreciate that, but if you`re a republican, I think
there are a lot of grumblings he might not be ready.

WOLFFE: Karl Rove understood very clearly about the exercise and the
impression of power, can Kevin McCarthy still project power?

PERESSUTTI: I think he can. I think he needs to tighten his game, there
is no question about it. He has made some early missteps. He has to prove
to his caucus --

ZAINO: You think he`s trustable?

PERESSUTTI: -- he has to prove to his country. That remains to be seen.

(LAUGHTER)

He needs to tighten his game but he knows that. The only other thing that
I would say on this issue is, if ever there was a time that the republican
electorate was accommodating and forgiving of people who make brash in
politics statements, it`s now. So, he`s got that going for him but that`s
about it.

WOLFFE: Quickly L. Joy.

WILLIAMS: But I think it also, it will change the nature of the testimony
where the hearing when it comes up as well. Because now you put
Republicans in a position of how, what questions they`re asking, how
they`re performing and grandstanding or not during the hearing is going to
be tied to his statement. And so it will be able to say, ha, yes, we told
you, not only did your new potential leader say so, but now you have
Republicans in the hearing grandstanding and it is clearly political.

WOLFFE: Robert, quickly, you think McCarthy is still pretty safe.

COSTA: McCarthy is safe though you have to win 218 votes, you have to win
on the floor. Could be chaos next week. McCarthy though as Alice told me,
he`s pretty much has it wrapped up.

WOLFFE: Well, we`re going to find out pretty soon over that pretty
confidence. So, listen, thank you very much for joining us today. Robert
Costa of "The Washington Post."

As we mentioned, you can catch more of Al Sharpton`s interview with Hillary
Clinton tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. on POLITICS NATION. That begins
airing on Sunday mornings tomorrow right here on MSNBC. And we`ll still be
right on afterwards starting at 9:00 a.m.

Still ahead this morning here on UP, we`re keeping an eye on the record
storm. We`ll also be talking to Kerry Sanders on the ground in Greenville,
South Carolina. So, stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: We`re keeping a close eye on the historic rainfall and major
coastal flooding expected throughout the weekend. The state of South
Carolina is thought will experience the worst of the storm. Officials are
warning residents to move the higher ground if possible and to prepare for
extended power outages.

NBC`s Kerry Sanders joins us live from Greenville, South Carolina. Kerry,
good morning.

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning. To give you an
idea of how much rain is expected, they believe that what would normally
fall in this area over three months will fall in three days. That`s a
tremendous amount of rain, maybe up to 12 inches. Part of the problem
already is the ground is saturated with water and that`s caused not only
some trees to go down but it`s also allowed some power lines, the weight of
the power lines on those poles in the saturated ground to go over. So
between South Carolina and North Carolina there are now upwards of 20,000
customers who have lost power.

And according to Duke Power they expect that will continue and be a problem
for more people throughout the weekend. The authorities are watching this
very closely. Public works officials are on overtime making sure that
storm drains themselves are not clogged, but they know it`s going to be a
battle to try to keep up. You can see over my shoulder here, that`s the
Reedy Creek, it`s holding up right now, but they also know that in the low-
lying areas this will get worse. Finally, as we take a look in New Jersey,
you can see one house that fell into the water and that`s the real concern.
Houses along the waterfronts that can get captured by this rising water and
get taken out and destroyed -- Richard.

WOLFFE: Very troubling. Thank you very much. NBC`s Kerry Sanders.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Joaquin continues to churn near the Bahamas. But to
the relief of many it looks like it`s moving out to sea.

MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins is monitoring all of the extreme weather
and joins us from our weather center.

KARINS: Yes. Extreme sums it up. Joaquin, we still haven`t even seen the
pictures yet of the island that were hit the hardest in the Bahamas. That
will come out later today. They`re finally seeing the sun this morning for
the first time at about three to four days. So, let`s take it through
here, that`s Joaquin there, not a problem. Bermuda could get brushed by
hurricane, not an issue. The big problem right now is Charleston, South
Carolina, now going up the interstate towards Columbia. That`s all the
heavy rain is focusing. It`s literally a hose that`s just spraying on the
same areas with torrential tropical rains. And even thunderstorms mixed
in. And we do this all day long today. That`s why we could see the
historic 12 to maybe even as high as 20 inches of rain.

We`ve already had about eight inches of rain in Charleston and this is just
the beginning. This is going to -- all day today. The other thing we`re
dealing with is on the wave front. We are watching just big waves that are
continuing. And then when we get this fetch that`s going to be very gusty
today and tomorrow for the third day in a row on the beaches from New
Jersey southwards. We`re not talking historic flooding but we are talking
about every high tides that are taking another chunk out of those dunes.
And especially once we get towards tomorrow down in areas around Virginia
Beach, the Hampton roads area, that`s where we could see some bad stuff.

So, as far as the flooding goes, we did have some flash flood warnings in
the Charlotte area, those are expired. Now, it`s down towards Charleston
that we`re still watching this. And this is a combination. We`re getting
the high water, coming in the saltwater and then we`re also getting all the
rain too. I mean, we`re having torrential rains out in this area. Flash-
flood warning goes until about 11:15 for Charleston, Goose Creek, Mt.
Pleasant and also the North Charleston area. I`ve seen many pictures on
social media, about a foot of water in downtown Charleston. And the roads
are closed.

All of downtown Charleston, you cannot drive. And then they`re telling you
not to drive because there`s just water everywhere, they don`t want cars
stalling out, they don`t want to have to do additional water rescues. And
this is the additional rainfall forecast for the area, another nine or 10
inches pretty much statewide through South Carolina, Richard. So, that`s
the problems that we`re dealing with. I think South Carolina is the peak
of this storm and the peak of this event during the day today. Tomorrow
we`ll deal with the river flooding from all this rainfall today.

WOLFFE: Big numbers, Bill. Thank you very much. Stay with us.

Still ahead, President Obama calling Vladimir Putin`s actions this week a
recipe for disaster. We`ll try to figure out exactly what`s going on in
Syria ahead.

But first, new rumors about another late entrance into the 2016 field.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: With the first democratic debate just ten days away, it`s
appearing more and more likely that Joe Biden will not be on that debate
stage. There are reports that the Vice President isn`t engaging in any
debate prep and that he`s pushed off a decision on his future until the end
of the month. But the indecision doesn`t appear to be hurting Biden any.
Maybe because the desire to see another viable democratic candidate in the
race remains strong. The latest "USA Today" Suffolk poll has Joe Biden
only three points behind the supposedly surging Bernie Sanders. There`s
also new buzz about seeing none other than Michael Bloomberg launch a run.

Supporters told Politico`s Mike Allen that they believe the former New York
City mayor would be able to attract republican, independent, and democratic
voters. I think I`ve heard that in every single cycle, a triple whammy of
support if true. But working against such a run is that Bloomberg himself
doesn`t actually seem to be interested.

Let`s bring in our panel here. Jeanne, if you don`t appear in the first
democratic debate, campaign tactic question, can you still mount a credible
run?

ZAINO: You can if you are a sitting vice president of the United States.
And I think that that`s what Joe Biden is banking on, that he would still
be able to make a go of it because he has the name recognition, he`s going
to be able to put together the fundraisers. You know, and I really would
advise him to get into that debate because he is a very strong debater and
I think it would attract a lot of attention to the debate. So, if he`s
seriously thinking of running, and he seems like he is, I would advise him
to get into the debate. He could still make a go of it though even if he`s
not there.

But the question is going to be, some of these deadlines in these early
states are looming and I think that`s the real question. Does he get his
name on the ballot in these early states? If he doesn`t, he`s going to
have a hard time going forward, especially as Hillary Clinton has announced
that she`s wrapped up about half of the super delegates. You know, wrapped
up as they are committed to her. They could unwrap themselves certainly if
they wanted to. But this becomes a problem as you go forward for him.

WOLFFE: L. Joy, what is the space that Joe Biden or the idea of Joe Biden
is trying to fill for Democrats? What are they missing?

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, we were just talking about this offline and the
likability factor and sort of knowing more information. I mean, people,
you know -- I don`t get the sense that people certainly are head over heels
for Bernie Sanders, maybe for his policies and things, but they don`t want
to, quote-unquote, "get a beer or like ice cream --

ZAINO: You`re not feeling the burns from Bernie Sanders?

WOLFFE: Ben & Jerry`s ice cream.

WILLIAMS: Ben and Jerry`s ice cream. Right. But more of his policies.
And then, you know, we won`t even get into the back and forth that is with
Hillary Clinton who`s a known entity, who either you like her or you don`t
and there`s very few people that occupy that space in the middle. Joe
Biden, I mean, everybody likes Joe Biden. I mean everybody does,
Republicans, Democrats, Independents, you know. So, it`s the likability
factor I think that would go a long way. But I just want to say something
about the buzz of new candidates, particularly when you`re talking about
Michael Bloomberg. Just because a journalist overhears three people in a
cocktail reception talking about possibly someone running doesn`t make it a
buzz of someone running.

PERESSUTTI: Three people all of them probably working for Michael
Bloomberg.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

WOLFFE: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

PERESSUTTI: Awesome. Because I love the fact that I get to offer the
Biden campaign, the supposed Biden campaign some advice here. But I mean,
the calculation here to me is obvious. Joe Biden has to figure out where
he fits on the spectrum in a democratic primary. He certainly can`t
credibly campaign to Hillary`s left. That`s where all the energy and the
excitement is. He`s got decades of a record in public life. He can`t
credibly occupy that space. It seems to me the only space he can occupy is
right on top of Hillary Clinton and in order for him to do that, he has to
see her tumble, we all have to see her fall for Biden to get into the race
and that`s why he`s waiting. I think there`s any magic in that.

ZAINO: But Gian, let me just say one second. So, if he did something, I
agree with you totally enough, but if he did something innovative and
exciting like pulled an Elizabeth Warren to his side, he could try to move
both to the left and maintain over Hillary Clinton. So, if he does
something innovative like that, he could make a go for some portions of the
left.

WOLFFE: But how can he even decide whether to get in the race? So, how
can he decide to bring in that --

WILLIAMS: But both are two different decisions, right? So, the decision
that he`s making or calculating on whether or not to get in the race I
think is a very personal one in dealing with this personal tragedy.

WOLFFE: I just want to talk about Bloomberg for a second because it does
seem to me in the way the republican debate has unfolded so far where
really it is moving to the right of where the center of politics has
traditionally been, is Bloomberg -- is the idea of Bloomberg -- I`m not
saying it is going to be Bloomberg, but does that open up this space that
is actually the centrist republican middle space that is not being filled
currently?

PERESSUTTI: No, no. Because four years ago with Jon Huntsman, that didn`t
turn out too well. In a republican primary to me, Mike Bloomberg is a
nothing to nobody. He`s not an outsider and he`s not a conservative. So I
fail to see where he fits. Conceivably, could he run as a third party once
the two parties have selected their nominee? Conceivably he could. Do I
think he will? No.

WILLIAMS: And particularly, there were even when Michael Bloomberg was
mayor here in New York City, there were a considerable amount of
conservative challenges against him. You know, people in other states were
like we are not Bloomberg and we will not be a nanny state and talk about
the soda ban. And, you know, he`s been all across the country on gun
safety as well. Right? So, there are clear things that are --

WOLFFE: So, even without him, where will do moderate republican voters go
in a race where the oxygen is taken up by Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and
Donald Trump?

PERESSUTTI: Sure. I think those are the outsiders, quote-unquote, and
we`re still scratching that itch, at least on the republican side. And I
happen to believe that once things calm down and republican voters take a
good, hard look at whose left, they`re going to choose a candidate that
fits the bill, that can be acceptable to the moderates and I think there
are many of them.

ZAINO: And I think we do see them running right now. I mean, you see John
Kasich, you see Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio fighting it out because there is
this left, you know, this establishment fight going on at the same time
where the outsiders are getting most of the attention. And so we are going
to see this establishment coalesce and in the end Republicans will do what
they always do, they will pick an establishment candidate.

WOLFFE: We will see. I`m not so sure about this time. We have to wrap it
up here, but I think it`s fascinating. We are still talking about new
candidates at this stage. Stay with us.

Up next, Russian air strikes continue to attack rebel forces fighting in
Syria. NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin is here to explain
what`s really happening over there.

And later on, 28 Americans on board a cargo ship are missing at sea. We`re
keeping an eye on all the severe weather. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The reason Assad is still in power is because Russia and Iran have
supported him throughout this process. And in that sense what Russia is
doing now is not particularly different from what they have been doing in
the past. They`re just more overt about it. They`ve been propping up a
regime that is rejected by an overwhelming majority of the Syrian
population.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: That was President Obama denouncing President Vladimir Putin at
the White House yesterday as Russian bombs continue to rain down on Syria
for a third straight day. Russia is lying about bombings since they`re
targeting ISIS. But the concern in the west is that these strikes are
actually an attempt to bolster the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad at a
time when rebel forces have been making advances against the crumbling
Syrian army. On Thursday, Putin of course defended the air strikes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: Other countries has been launching air
strikes on Syrian territory for more than a year, without a resolution from
the UN Security Council and without a corresponding request from the Syrian
authorities. We have such a request and we intend to fight against
terrorist organizations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: At his press conference yesterday, President Obama called this
Russian strategy a recipe for disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Regardless of what Mr. Putin said was that he doesn`t distinguish
between ISIL and a moderate Sunni opposition that wants to see Mr. Assad
go. From their perspective they`re all terrorists and that`s a recipe for
disaster and it`s one that I reject.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Here with us to make sense of exactly what`s going on here is NBC
News Foreign Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin. Ayman, first show us, what
areas has Russia actually been hitting this week?

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, this is the
most important part in this question because it gives you a sense of what
the Russians say they`re doing and what the Russians are actually doing.
We heard there the Russians saying that they want to go after ISIS held
territories, that they`re going after that organization. So, we put up a
map to show you what areas ISIS actually controls. This area here marked
in red gives you a sense. That`s all ISIS held territory. On this side
you have both the government and the rebel areas in the green. If you look
at these little explosions that we`ve marked on the map for you, these are
the areas where the Russian air strikes have been mostly clustered.

There have been a few in the ISIS held territory but not that many. The
majority of them have been in these rebel held areas and it gives you a
sense that the Russians are going after what have been known as the
moderate Syrian opposition. And that`s a cluster of different
organizations. But mostly their main territorial fight is against the
Assad regime and it seems that`s where the Russians have been concentrating
most of their fighting so far. And it`s leading people to say that the
Russians aren`t serious about going after ISIS at this point.

WOLFFE: So, tell us a little bit more about the different kinds of rebel
groups we`re talking about here, the kind of green ones. Right?

MOHYELDIN: Yes. That area we showed you in green has a cluster of
different organizations. One of them is an umbrella group known as the
army of conquest or an Arabic known as Jaish al-Fatah. But essentially
reformed in March. They include a lot of different organizations, mostly
Sunni rebels. Those Sunni rebels consist of groups that are considered by
U.S. and western standard to be moderate but at the same time they do have
elements of al-Qaeda affiliated groups and that has been tricky for the
United States to navigate.

The U.S. is trying to arm them, equip them, not this particular group but
some of this specific underlying smaller groups with that program that
costs about $500 million but hasn`t been very successful. The U.S. is
reluctant also to give them heavy weaponry out of fear that those weapons
may ultimately end up in the hands of groups like ISIS. But their main
fight is against the Assad regime as well as against ISIS and they`re now
being attacked by the Russian military.

WOLFFE: And is there anything about what`s happening right now that has
prompted, triggered this Russian action?

MOHYELDIN: Well, the Syrian government over the course of the last several
months has definitely weakened. You know, when we put this number up to
give you a sense. At the beginning of the war, the Syrian army was about
300,000 members. That`s a very strong number. But since then, it`s gone
down to 80,000. A lot of people have left the country, recruiting has been
very difficult for the Syrian regime. And here`s the most important thing,
that the Syrian government really controls about only 20 to 25 percent of
the country.

That means about 75 percent of the country is in the hands of either groups
like ISIS or other rebels and really the Damascus-based regime of President
Bashar al-Assad has been very weakened, and that`s perhaps why the Russians
felt compelled to act now. The regime some say was really on its last
legs, if you will, it was coming under increased attack in Damascus and
really did not have the manpower to sustain this ground battle anymore.

WOLFFE: Thank you for explaining a very complicated but vital story.
MSNBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you.

Still ahead, we`ll continue to bring you the very latest on the storm`s
path and what you need to know about the flooding along the East Coast.

But first, why the phrase "better late than never" might not apply to
Hillary Clinton`s schedule. That`s next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: There is so much going on this morning, we better get caught up on
some headlines with today`s panel. Okay. Going to start with this,
Jeanne. Hillary Clinton is consistently late and voters are noticing. She
takes the stage more than an hour after she`s supposed to. You know,
democratic volunteers, the voters, they are supposed to be energized and
they`re not. This can hurt, right?

ZAINO: It really can. And I`m starting to think this may be a partisan
issue. We have de Blasio in New York City who is consistently late,
Hillary Clinton`s husband was always late. I don`t know if it`s a
democratic thing or what. As Gian-Carlo was mentioning, he worked for the
Bush administration, they were consistently on time. I don`t know --

WOLFFE: It`s great story from Colin Powell, I think gave Bill Clinton a
watch to see, you know?

ZAINO: They`re on time, right?

WOLFFE: You know, military guy can --

ZAINO: Hillary has got to be a little careful I think if she goes forward.

(LAUGHTER)

WOLFFE: Okay. This was from the BBC. This was from the BBC. We`ll going
to get through a lot here. Come on! Stay with me.

PERESSUTTI: Lightning round.

(LAUGHTER)

WOLFFE: Sponsors saying, FIFA boss Sepp Blatter must go. I realized this
may only speak to, I don`t know, half the world`s population but Blatter --

PERESSUTTI: More.

WOLFFE: More. Blatter refuses to resign, despite major sponsors like
Visa, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, McDonald`s issuing statements saying, he should
quit after Swiss criminal proceedings were open against him last week.
Gian-Carlo is another soccer fan. Soccer fan is a soccer fan. Please
release us. When will he go?

PERESSUTTI: Not soon enough. I mean, this guy makes Mexican drug cartels
look like, you know, tours at Disney Land. As a longtime soccer fan,
soccer fan before it was cool in the United States, the worst kept secret
was that FIFA was a corrupt, poorly run organization. The whole world
knows it now. Come on. Blatter, got to go. Reform has to happen.

WOLFFE: Long be on time for the sponsors to keep in the private sector.

PERESSUTTI: Hundred percent.

WOLFFE: Enough already. You know, we don`t have enough time. This is
just impossible. You`ve got to stick around for another full hour of
politics and news at the very top of the hour. We`re going to get to more
headlines. But we`re also going to get to the latest on the severe weather
right on the other side of this break. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: Lost at sea.

(MUSIC)

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

Amid record rainfall here in the U.S., we`ll get the latest on what`s
happening and what`s going to happen.

There`s also a cargo ship missing at sea in the path of hurricane Joaquin
with 33 crew members on board, including 28 Americans. In just a little
bit, we`ll take a look at the Coast Guard`s heroic effort to find and save
that ship.

Also this hour, a day of mourning in Roseburg, Oregon, as that community
tries to work through the anger and sadness now sweeping the nation.

Plus, President Obama with new comments yesterday about the shooting and
also about President Vladimir Putin of Russia. We`ll be taking a closer
look at Russia`s true motives for bombing in Syria.

But we begin this hour on the southeastern coast of the United States where
a storm of historic proportions has already caused massive flooding and is
expected to bring record rainfall to the region. The amount of rain
expected to fall in just three days is equal to what the region normally
gets in three months.

MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins joins us now from our weather center.

Bill, what`s the latest?

KARINS: All eyes on Charleston, South Carolina. They get a lot of
flooding if they get 1 or 2 inches of heavy rain, then it goes away. The
downtown is kind of used to it.

But this is an exceptional case where they`ll get high tide, some of the
saltwater coming in and the rain, the fresh water at the same time. It`s a
bad recipe out there right now in South Carolina, especially down along the
coast.

So, we`re not worried about Joaquin. The Bahamas is clearing out. The
path of the storm is going to barely miss Bermuda. That will be a glancing
blow for them. No effects at all except for waves on the East Coast.

Here`s a picture from Jeffrey Temple, he let me use his picture, this is
downtown Charleston right now. This is a very typical scene from the
social media stuff I`ve seen, about 6 inches to a foot of water in downtown
Charleston. It is cleared out right now. No one is allowed to drive in,
no one is -- all the roads are closed in the whole downtown peninsula and
high tide isn`t until 1:00. And they expect the water to stay high until
4:00. It could be the highest water levels that downtown Charleston has
seen since Hurricane Hugo in 1986. Now, if that could be like Hugo, that
was, of course, a devastating storm. But just to give you, this could be a
top ten all-time flood in areas. If anyone else is down there in the
Charleston or South Carolina or along the storm front, send me images at my
Twitter account and I`ll show them on air.

This is Ocean City, Maryland. We`re not as concerned with the tide as
yesterday. The winds are not as strong and the fetch is not as bad but
Sunday, it looks like the high tides will peak as bad as Friday, maybe
higher. So, we`ll do a lot more over-washing of the dunes and stuff like
that.

So, here`s our flash-flood watch map. The only warnings we have right now
are down there in the Charleston, until 12:15. There`s just a hose of rain
that is now focusing into this region. And it`s going to continue
throughout the day today. You can see it here. It`s just funneling right
up through Charleston, back through Columbia, and it will eventually get to
be heavy around the high point and Greenville, South Carolina, areas.

This, Richard, is the area where greatest concerns are for heavy rain.
Still the possibility of additional almost foot of rain in areas that have
already picked up 3 to 6 inches of rain. So, we will get that 12 to
possibly 18-inch totals. And a few isolated spots.

So, dangerous situation throughout the rest of today.

WOLFFE: Incredible volumes of water there. Thanks, Bill, for the update.

We`re also expecting authorities in Oregon to update us later today on the
investigation into Thursday`s shooting at a community college.

Overnight, we learn that the University of Oregon will hole a vigil on
Monday in memory of the nine people killed. The University of Oregon Ducks
football team will also wear a decal with the letters UCC for Umpqua
Community College on their helmets for tonight`s football game against
Colorado.

For more, we`re joined by MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff in Roseburg, Oregon.

Jacob, what`s the latest over there?

SOBOROFF: You know, Richard, yesterday, the adrenalin and the shock of the
day of the shooting transitioned here and most everybody started to feel,
at least that I talked to, you know, extreme sorrow and extreme grief.

We saw for the first time the faces and the names, heard some of the names
of the victims. We heard about their lives and from their families
including two in particular, Quinn Glen Cooper was only 18 years old and
was from here in Roseburg, had just graduated the local high school in
Roseburg, Roseburg High School, and also Lucas Eibel, who his parents and
family said loved FFA, Future Farmers of America, volunteered at wildlife
safari here, and the Saving Grace Animal Shelter.

His personal details will obviously continue to come out in the days ahead.
We learned about more of the victims as well. Also, Richard, we talked in
the last hour about gun control. Gun control is starting to become part of
the conversation here despite here in Oregon the relatively lax gun control
laws. There was a law passed just this year about background checks in the
state, but otherwise the gun laws are not particularly stringent.

We hear when they came to us yesterday at the public safety center behind
us, the governor of the state of Oregon, Kate Brown, and United State
Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden come and start to make veiled
references to the idea of potential future reforms, but they didn`t want to
get into them specifically yesterday. That, of course, comes on the heels
of President Obama sternly talking about the need and his feeling for more
gun control regulations from the White House on the day of the shooting.

WOLFFE: Of course, these guns were purchased legally. And, you know, is
there a sense in the community that if not gun control, what else could be
done? What would a solution look like to stop this kind of thing happening
again?

SOBOROFF: Well, you know, the sheriff here has been particularly outspoken
against the idea of gun control. He actually wrote a letter to the vice
president in 2013 pushing back after Sandy Hook on the idea of federal gun
control regulation. I think the sheriff was asked yesterday during the
press conference if the idea something that owning 13 guns was normal here.
He said Oregon is a hunting state. That is something that people do. That
is, you know, I don`t want to put words in his mouth, but that number of
guns is not out of the ordinary for somebody perhaps in a place like
southern Oregon.

WOLFFE: OK. Thank you, MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff.

The Roseburg shooting comes thee years after Sandy Hook and it feels hike
nothing has changed. With more school shootings, more mass shootings in
all kinds of places and no federal gun control laws.

Joining our panel us is Eric Milgram of the Newtown Action Alliance. His
son and daughter both survived the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary
school.

Good morning, Eric.

ERIC MILGRAM, NEWTOWN ACTION ALLIANCE: Good morning. Thank you for having
me.

WOLFFE: Eric, what`s your first reaction when you hear of another
community struck with this mass shooting?

MILGRAM: I`m not surprised. This is going to continue. It is not going
to get better without federal intervention. You know you have a problem
when you say, hey, have you heard about the latest school shooting and
people say which one? We`re the only industrialized country in the world
that tolerates this.

WOLFFE: This happened in a community as we`ve heard from Jacob Soboroff
there that is pro gun, anti-gun control, and strongly so. It doesn`t sound
like that community has rallied around the kinds of measures that Democrats
and the president were talking about.

So, do you understand that? Do you understand what would lead to that kind
of reaction in a community or is that really just sort of a foreign
language?

MILGRAM: No, I do. And, you know, communities are homogeneous. Even in
Newtown today, the National Shooting Sports Foundation`s headquartered
there. It`s ironic they happen to be there, the second largest gun lobby
behind the NRA. There are plenty of people in Newtown who don`t want any
gun control. They think things are fine just the way that it is.

I think most sane Americans would ask themselves do we have a problem and
if your answer to that is no, things are just fine, there`s nothing more to
say to people like that. The people who say, yes, we have a problem, come
to the table. Let`s talk about it.

There are things we can do that still respect the Second Amendment, allow
people to lawfully own firearms, but keep them out of the hands of people
who shouldn`t have them.

WOLFFE: Gian-Carlo, you said there should be a comprehensive Republican
alternative to what the president is talking about. It doesn`t sound like
one`s going to emerge anytime soon, right? No one is really opening this
debate other than you saying there should be a plan.

What do you think would be the elements to-that that Republicans could sign
up to say we as a country, we`ve put a man on the moon and deals with big
challenges, sends armed forces halfway around the world, what can we do
about a challenge which seems big but this country does big things?

PERESSUTTI: As I said before, what frustrates me is the lack of leadership
that comes from the president on this issue in a comprehensive fashion.
This is a real opportunity for our next president, be it Republican or
Democrat, to convene the country and have a commonsense inclusive
discussion about how to solve this problem.

We reflexively make this about gun control, and whenever we do that, to
Eric`s point, we`re not going to get past it. We need to have a
comprehensive discussion, and that`s what leaders do. They convene, they
lead the conversation and we can do that. It`s an opportunity here for
someone to do.

WOLFFE: I`d to pick up on this. The president straight after his re-
election put everything behind responding to Newtown and actually in the
words of one of your former bosses, he spent his political capital getting
nothing done through Congress.

So, are you saying it was the way he approached it? Because Congress
seemed pretty adamant they were not going do this and Congress has to pass
the law.

PERESSUTTI: Look, it certainly won`t be easy. I don`t mean to be overly
critical of the president but -- and maybe it is easy for me to sit back
and say he didn`t try hard enough, but he didn`t try hard enough. And the
fact of the matter is the country, rightly or wrongly, views this president
as being focused on gun control as a solution that is much more
complicated.

WOLFFE: Eric, did the president not try hard enough after Newtown?

PERESSUTTI: What could he have done more? He passed all those executive
actions when Congress -- there were 54 votes in the Senate, which was a
majority, which is what we kneed to just get universal background checks,
something that virtually every American agrees on, whether you`re
Republican, whether you`re Democrat, it doesn`t matter your political
leanings.

We know that that`s not an intrusion. There are some people who should not
be allowed to own firearms and certain kinds of firearms. When Congress
wouldn`t even let it come up for a vote, they need 60 because of the rules
of the Senate. They never even got voted on.

So, again, what more could the president have done?

WOLFFE: I`ve got to say, L. Joy, I don`t understand some of these
restrictions. I hear, you know, they`re rural areas, people like hunting,
and I respect that, but I don`t see how concealed carry has anything to do
with hunting.

WILLIAMS: Yes. And there are a number of things about gun -- I agree with
you, some of it is also in the language we`re talking about, right, because
if you talk to people about gun control, you know, there`s this fear or
this conspiracy thought that people are coming around to take your guns,
right?

(CROSSTALK)

PERESSUTTI: And that`s not the case.

WILLIAMS: But if you talk specifically about some of the issues -- ban on
assault rifles and magazines, people agree with that and that`s something
we can do again and prevent that.

Wait one second. There`s also talking about having background checks,
universal background checks -- a waiting period before you buy a gun.
People who are going hunting, they know they`re going this weekend, they
have enough time and they agree with that.

But then there`s also things like doing a temporary restraining order. If
a family is noticing something within their family members and they know
that they are in possession, they know -- they`ve been noticing suicidal
thoughts or things like that -- we`re not just talking about mass
shootings, remember, because every single day there is gun violence going
on in urban communities and rural communities from suicide, from murders.
There are so many other things going on.

And so, when you talk to people specifically about these specific
strategies that we can do to reduce gun violence and to restrict gun
ownership from some people, people agree with that pip think from a
political standpoint and a messaging standpoint those are the things we
need to coalesce around.

WOLFFE: Jeanne, in ne, this is a moment it seems to me in politics, you
have people who may want to have an unvarnished debate and there are some
big ideas out there. I mean, we may have different opinions about Donald
Trump and his big wall but he wants it to be a big wall and it`s not a
timid project.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAINO: With a nice door, Richard. With a nice door in it.

WOLFFE: A beautiful wall. But is there a bigger challenge right now that
stretch across the country that people could talk about? I just don`t
understand why none of the candidates are offering up a credible plan or
even a semi-credible plan.

ZAINO: What I would really love to see is one of these Republican
candidates take this up as moral and health crisis. We are fighting
terrorism. And terrorism is nothing in comparison to the number of people
in this country shot by guns. You look at those numbers.

To Eric`s point, our children are 14 times more likely to be shot and
killed by a gun in this country than in any other industrialized country in
the nation. And there are examples of ways we can go. Australia, Canada,
Great Britain. We don`t have to do everything they do, but we can take
those as examples and move forward and cut down many experts say by a third
the number of our children shot and killed.

PERESSUTTI: Jeanne just laid out sensibly a path to do this.

ZAINO: Thank you, Gian-Carlo.

PERESSUTTI: No, you did, and I was talking before about leadership. But
let me give you an example, OK?

I think all -- I won`t speak for everyone. I know I`m certainly old enough
to remember the so-called third rail of American politics, Social Security
and Medicare. No one touched them. When George W. Bush was president, he
reformed Medicare.

I don`t remember anyone campaigning on that issue. Obviously you can`t
completely equate the two, but Medicare was a very difficult, very
politically sensitive issue to tackle and he did it. How did he do it? He
worked across the aisle, he demonstrated leadership and he got it done.

ZAINO: So, you`re saying one of these Republican candidates not speaking
now is going to get into office and --

PERESSUTTI: I think they should speak now. As I mentioned before, this is
an opportunity to lead and they need to do it, but they need in a
comprehensive way because that`s how you solve this issue.

MILGRAM: John, with all due respect, let`s be honest with each other here
for a moment. In 1994, the NRA through their lobbying was able to pull the
CDC`s funding, the premier public health organization in the world, so they
were not allowed to do gun violence research. Even with the executive
action, they`re still afraid to do gun violence research.

I worked in the Centers for Disease Control. I know how the politics work
there. Without a professional decree, no one is going to stick out their
neck on the line. We can`t make decisions without the data.

(CROSSTALK)

PERESSUTTI: OK, that needs to change 100 percent, but a Republican
Congress is not going to do it if a Republican president doesn`t lead them
by the handle and say you must get this done and that`s what has to happen.

WILLIAMS: It`s unfortunate the Republican Congress won`t get a larger
picture on what`s good for America.

PERESSUTTI: Democratic Senate didn`t do it either, in fairness.

WOLFFE: That`s true. I suspect it`s going to take a Republican president
to do this because clearly the conspiracy theorist about what President
Obama really wants to do is very powerful and we saw that out of some of
the reports in Roseburg as well.

Eric Milgram, thank you very much. I think you`re staying with us.

Up next, we`re going to go live to Ocean City, Maryland, where the mayor
has warned the flooding this weekend could be as bad as Hurricane Sandy.

And the desperate search for a cargo ship that vanished near the Bahamas in
the midst of Hurricane Joaquin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: There`s a desperate search at sea this morning we want to tell you
about. The U.S. Coast Guard is combing the waters near the Bahamas for a
cargo ship that disappeared on Thursday as Hurricane Joaquin pummeled the
area. There are 28 Americans on board.

Kristen Dahlgren is live in Jacksonville, Florida, where the ship set sail
earlier this week.

KRISTEN DAHLGREN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Richard.

The Coast Guard has just confirmed they were back out there at first light
from the air searching for any sign. So far, they have not seen anything
today. But the hope is that the improving weather as Joaquin moves away
will help them as they go through today.

Now, we know that the ship was disabled, was taking on water. We know that
the eye of Joaquin moved very close to the ship`s last known position. So,
today, families here in Jacksonville really holding on to hope that somehow
those crew members were able to hold on through the storm.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t know their status, 140-mile-per-hour winds.
It could have destroyed their communications equipment.

DAHLGREN (voice-over): Missing at sea, the 735-foot cargo ship with 33
crew members including 28 Americans disappeared during Hurricane Joaquin,
just as the powerful storm was delivering punishing winds, floods, and
torrential rains to the Bahamas.

El Faro set off from Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday night and was expected
to reach San Juan, Puerto Rico, Friday. But instead, it vanished near
Crooked Island in the Bahamas. At around 7:20 on Thursday morning, the
Coast Guard received a distress call from the vessel saying it had taken on
water and lost propulsion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are disabled at sea, you basically are totally
vulnerable to the sea state. And there is between 20 and 30-foot waves out
there.

DAHLGREN: El Faro has not been heard from since. The maritime company
that owns the ship says its captain has extensive experience and would not
take unnecessary risks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The captain knew the conditions and communicated back
to our headquarters, you know, his -- the conditions were as he saw them
then very favorable, he was very confident, the ship was doing well.

DAHLGREN: All of this doing little to comfort family members praying for
their loved ones` safe return.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want them home safe and sound. We need
everyone`s prayers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DAHLGREN: You know, you hear from those families and you just remember
that these are fathers and these are husbands that are missing, so really
some agonizing times for those families. Most of them already here in
Jacksonville, those who weren`t are being flown in so they can be here to
get the latest up to day-to-day information on that search -- Richard.

WOLFFE: Thank you, NBC`s Kristen Dahlgren in Jacksonville.

Severe flood warnings are still in effect for much of the southeastern
coast. Moderate to major coastal flooding, beach erosion, and record
amounts of rain are expected in the Carolinas, Maryland, and Virginia
today.

NBC`s Tom Costello joins us live from Ocean City, Maryland.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Richard. Good morning.

I have to tell you, they`re breathing a sigh of relief in Ocean City,
Maryland. The worst projections we were hearing about the possibility of
torrential rain and flooding have really not materialized. We did have
some flooding here yesterday in Ocean City, but that has now completely
receded. We have no flooding in Ocean City right now.

When we have high tide again at 12:45 this afternoon, we might get some
more of that water coming into the back bay, but behind me you can see the
Atlantic Ocean here is choppy. We`ve got about 9 to 10 foot height on the
surf and the wind at about 30 miles per hour. But this is nothing compared
to what it was yesterday.

Joaquin, the hurricane, is not a threat here. We`re really just talking
about the potential for more rain this afternoon and that could aggravate
whatever we see in terms of some very minor and I want to stress minor
street flooding.

We`ve also seen minor flooding in Virginia so far. The real worst of the
flooding has been in the Carolinas. Some of that rain may be working its
way up the coast, but the folks here on the eastern shore of Maryland are
warning about the possibility of some rain this afternoon and the
possibility of that creating some street flooding.

But we have in the view of many people here dodged the bullet. Nothing
compared to what they had feared. And in fact, if you walk the streets of
Ocean City, Maryland, it looks like just a typical October kind of a
cloudy, rainy, overcast day here, really nothing to be concerned about
here.

We`ll see what happens when that rain moves in this afternoon -- Richard.

WOLFFE: OK, good news from Maryland at least. Thank you to NBC`s Tom
Costello.

Up next, President Obama has some strong words for Vladimir Putin.

Plus, we`ll keep you updated on the brutal weather up and down the East
Coast.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: At his press conference late yesterday, President Obama slammed
Russian President Vladimir Putin for bombing Syria this week in an apparent
effort to bolster the regime of President Bashar al Assad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Putin had to go in to
Syria not out of strength but out of weakness, because his client, Mr.
Assad, was crumbling and it was insufficient for him simply to send them
arms and money. Now he`s got to put in his own planes and his own pilots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Tough stuff.

Those remarks followed a week-long war in public between the two leaders at
a time when both were in actual physical proximity. They paused
momentarily for a stiff handshake and a closed door meeting Monday at the
United Nations General Assembly. That was their first formal meeting in
more than two years.

Here at home, Obama is facing criticism that his reluctance to intervene
militarily in Syria has allowed Russia to take the lead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: This administration has confused our
friends, encouraged our enemies, mistaken an excess of caution for prudence
and replaced the risk of action with the perils of inaction. Into the
wreckage, into the wreckage of this administration`s Middle East policy has
now stepped Vladimir Putin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Syria has become just the latest backdrop for an increasingly
nasty relationship with the former Cold War adversary, and yesterday, Obama
pushed back hard against the claim that Putin has taken the leading role in
the Middle East.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The notion that he put forward a plan and that somehow the
international community sees that as viable because there`s a vacuum there,
I didn`t see after the made that speech in the United Nations suddenly the
60-nation coalition that we have start lining up behind him. Iran and
Assad make up Mr. Putin`s coalition at the moment. The rest of the world
makes up ours.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Joining me now is Nina Khrushcheva, granddaughter of the former
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and professor of international affairs at
the New School.

Good morning, Nina. Thank you very much.

NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, NEW SCHOOL: Good morning.

WOLFFE: I thought that Vladimir Putin and Russian political opinion was
much more concerned with Ukraine and fighting a conflict there. Is there
danger in the distraction that Vladimir Putin will be seen to be off topic
and maybe getting into a quagmire in the Middle East?

KHRUSHCHEVA: Not really, because Ukraine has outlived its purpose, its
political purpose. It`s actually unraveling right now because there have
been Minsk agreements, the agreements of withdrawing the troops,
withdrawing the armed forces. They have a military and having some sort of
a reconciliation or resolution with the Kiev government. So that actually
politically is no longer interesting to Putin just because it didn`t become
a grand strategy that he wanted to take half of -- not half of Ukraine, a
lot of Ukraine, which he called new Russia. So, Crimea is Putin`s and
that`s fine for now.

So he actually needs a much larger political gamble, political game, which
is in the Middle East, to indeed show that he is a very important
international player. I would say the last thing here is that Barack Obama
always very quick to dismiss Putin`s claims, and this has been a very bad
strategy on Barack Obama`s part.

WOLFFE: Because it helps Putin.

KHRUSHCHEVA: Not only that, but then Barack Obama has to eat his words.

WOLFFE: Right.

KHRUSHCHEVA: A year ago he called -- Barack Obama called Putin a regional
power and Putin is showing maybe he is a regional power but he`s not easily
to be dismissed.

WOLLFE: So, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said this about the
air strikes. He said, "The fight against terrorism is a holy struggle and
today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world to combat
terrorism."

I don`t know if this helps Putin by putting him in as the leader of a holy
war, but it cannot surely help Russian forces or objectives in ISIS
territory because it`s ISIS recruitment slogan right there.

KHRUSHCHEVA: Absolutely. George Bush`s rhetoric to a degree that Putin
sort of spiritualized in the following decade. But the reason it`s
important for Putin is because they are supporting all these original
Christians and Cops in Egypt and those in Palestine, so then he becomes
leader on that -- of that world that, you know, there is an Islamic State
taking over, but we are really an original Christian force.

In some ways, it is more of a propaganda for the Russians because Putin
really made it into very important Orthodox Christian state than it is for
the Middle East.

So, we`ll see how all this propaganda purposes for the local community
would actually play out in international stage and it probably would be
problematic at some point.

WOLFFE: As if that isn`t complicated enough. I want to bring the panel
here because the politics -- the American politics here is complicated just
on the Democratic side. I want to play some sound of Hillary Clinton on
Syria because there`s a very clear gap here between what Hillary Clinton is
saying and what the president is saying. Let`s listen to her now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I personally would be
advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop
the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to
take stock of what`s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: So, very different position there of intervention humanitarian
purposes. This is President Obama responding to Hillary Clinton yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There`s a difference between running for president and being
president. And the decisions that are being made and the discussions that
I`m having with the joint chiefs become much more specific and require I
think a different kind of judgment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Jeanne, that`s actually an ouch moment. The president is slapping
down the Democratic front-runner, he` presumably the favored candidate in
this race right now. I`m president. I know how difficult this stuff is.
And I don`t know what she`s talking about because it`s not practical.

Is there room for Hillary Clinton here? I realize this is foreign policy,
but there is probably no bigger international story, foreign affairs story
right now. So is there room for Hillary Clinton to put some distance
between herself and President Clinton? Do Democratic voters gravitate
towards this?

ZAINO: You know, I think she`s desperately trying to put that room between
them because of course she was his secretary of state for a number of
years. And so, she is going to be tied to his foreign policies whether she
likes it or not. And certainly, I don`t know if the professor agrees with
this, she will -- she has contributed to where we are at this point.

And I think this probably in my mind goes down as the blackest mark on
Barack Obama`s presidency in terms of his legacy unless he can in the next
year, year and a half that he`s got left do something to change the course.
But I struggle as you`re talking thinking what does he do now going
forward?

I mean, Imagine this. Imagine if those Russian planes -- imagine if they
knock out -- you know, take down one of our European allies. Imagine if
they shoot down an American or an American plane or American ally. What do
we do then? What happens then?

You`re going to have us close to a war.

WOLFFE: Nina, it doesn`t sound like President Putin is going to run a
short-term campaign here. If he`s serious about propping up Assad, he`s
going to be there for talking about a year for President Obama to show some
action there. Surely, he`s got a longer longevity. Putin has longer life
span here in Syria than this president does.

KHRUSHCHEVA: Absolutely. And Putin has shown that he`s not there for a
short period. I mean, you know, you impose sanctions over his annexation
of Crimea, you expect immediate results.

He doesn`t work this way, he actually long and steady. And he needs to
stay in power until 2024 because what happens if he`s taken out? This is
not going to be pretty.

So this is something that is part of his consideration, and he does think
that he`s going to outlive and outsmart Barack Obama. In fact, two years
ago, he did say you will see that Gadhafi is not going to be in power and
Assad still will be. And, you know, we`ve seen that absolutely.

WOLFFE: You said 2024 for Vladimir Putin, which is an astonishingly long
time.

Nina Khrushcheva, thank you for joining us today.

KHRUSHCHEVA: Thank you.

WOLFFE: Still ahead, Carly Fiorina gets personal about an issue that
doesn`t get talked about much especially on the campaign trail.

Plus, we have the latest on the two different storm systems we`ve been
tracking this morning.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: We`re keeping a close eye on the severe weather this morning,
bringing record levels of rain to the southeastern United States.

And there`s also the search for that missing cargo ship in the path of
Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas.

MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins is monitoring it all and joins me from our
weather center -- Bill.

KARINS: Hey, Richard, look at this image that just came in. This doesn`t
have anything to do with Joaquin. This is house that is tipped over into
the water. This was North Wildwood, New Jersey, last night during the high
tide cycle. This doesn`t look like it was a house that was maybe teetering
on the edge. I mean, obviously, it was close to the shore but it looks
like a really nice property and a lot of the debris is now in the water.

And this is on the Jersey shore. So, again, with each high tide cycle
vulnerable structures from past storms, some structures hanging
precariously anyways and this must have been one of them.

As far as Charleston area goes, we`re continuing to get more images in
here, how about paddle boarding outside your house down your street, this
image on my Twitter account. Thanks for sending that to me.

Also, we`re trying to -- again, about 6 inches to a foot of water
throughout much of downtown Charleston. You can see the houses and the
structures. There`s a door to a place here about 2 inches from the water.
So, we`re getting to the point now where the water will keep going up in
Charleston. They got an inch of rain in the last hour alone. They`re
heading towards high tide at 1:00, the combination of the ocean water and
the rainwater.

This is going to be an historic flood in downtown Charleston peaking likely
as we go throughout the day today. Of course, you know, with all that
rainfall, of course we`re under flash flood warnings here in the Charleston
area. Let`s see if they extended.

It was out for 12:15 or 11:15. They`re remaining that. We`ll probably
extend that later.

Then, of course, the rainfall hasn`t stopped. I mentioned we picked up an
inch of rain at the airport in the last hour. This is just a hose. This
is what we thought would happen.

This is why we`ve been saying this would be an historic rainfall in South
Carolina. We knew that this hose of rain and thunderstorms would not move
much during the entire day today. So right now it`s focused over
Charleston, trying to push down and it goes all the way to Orangeburg up
towards Columbia and that`s where the worst flooding will be. Our
computers are pinpointing that area still for another ten to eleven inches.

This is in addition to what`s already fallen in this region. That`s why
the rivers are going to be a problem in this area for days to come.
Remember, the house image I showed you in the northern portions of
Wildwood, located right about here, just south of Atlantic City, New
Jersey. They`re under coastal flood warnings from the jersey shore all the
way down through Virginia Beach to Norfolk, Hampton Bay.

At each high tide cycle, we`re going to see problems there and coastal
flood warnings around Charleston, too, with that torrential rain. So,
Richard, you get the picture. A lot more damage still to be done. The
rainfall flooding will peak today, but we`ll still have damage on rivers as
we go throughout the day tomorrow even into Monday.

WOLFFE: What a mess in the streets of Charleston.

KARINS: Yes.

WOLFFE: Bill, thanks for the update.

We got more still ahead. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I very much hope that I am the
only person on this stage who can say this, but I know there are millions
of Americans out there who will say the same thing. My husband, Frank, and
I buried a child to drug addiction. So we must invest more in the
treatment of drugs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: That was Carly Fiorina talking about the death of her stepdaughter
during the last Republican debate.

And with heroin abuse and prescription drug addiction at epidemic levels
the issue of drug addiction is being raised often on the 2016 campaign
trail. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush have both visited treatment centers.
Hillary Clinton outlined a plan designed to combat drug abuse for a New
Hampshire newspaper.

In fact, several candidates are now making policies on substance abuse part
of their campaigns. That`s probably because the state of New Hampshire is
feeling the effects of this epidemic most acutely. During his visit to
Manchester last week, Jeb Bush was told that in the past 30 days, more than
100 people overdosed on drugs in Manchester alone.

Former Governor Howard Dean of the neighboring state of Vermont joins us
now. He`s an MSNBC contributor, a former Democratic Party chair and, of
course, a 2004 candidate for president.

Good morning, Governor Dean.

HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning.

WOLFFE: So when I was covering your campaign in 2004, I don`t remember
many candidates, I may have blanked on you talking about this, but it
didn`t seem to me many people were talking about drug abuse, not in this
way, anyway.

DEAN: No, it wasn`t. Ironically, the whole discussion was kicked off by
the current Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin, when he devoted an entire
State of the Union Address to drug addiction, which was very controversial
at the time.

I think he gets some credit for basically turning around the country`s
policy on this, which is now being discussed, as you pointed out, by both
Republican and Democratic politicians and it`s essential we do something
different. The war on drugs hasn`t worked, drugs are much more dangerous.

Even marijuana is causing really big problems because a lot of what people
smoke turns out not to be marijuana. It turns out to be synthetic Chinese
manufactured chemicals which create tremendous violence.

So, this is an enormous epidemic and we have to deal with it and it`s a
very serious public health problem.

WOLFFE: In your own home state of Vermont, over 2,000 people were treated
for heroin last year. That`s 64 percent more than in 2013. This is an
epidemic that`s really out of control, isn`t it?

DEAN: It is. It actually started with prescription pills that were much,
much stronger. When my kid were in high school up here, that was the rage,
these prescription narcotic, which, of course, could find their way onto
the black market very easily.

Then that formulation changed and they became much more difficult to abuse
and that`s when cheap heroin began to flood into Vermont in ways that no
one could have imagined before. We`ve had a heroin problem for a long
time, but it`s always been fairly minimal. But after about 2008 or so, it
began to really be a major problem.

WOLFFE: As a physician and a politician, what is a comprehensive policy
package look like here that is actually credible for these candidates to
talk about?

DEAN: Well, I think -- who know where is to start, but let`s start with
treatment. People should not be sentenced to prison for possessing
narcotics. They should be sent to treatment, mandatory treatment.

This is contrary to everything I learned when I was in medical school. You
have to sentence people to treatment. This is -- you also have to have
realistic expectations. The average person who becomes clean goes through
seven failures before they finally become clean.

Secondly, we have to be much smarter about using substitutes. Suboxone,
things like methadone, which I have some concerns about because it`s also
dealt on the street, but these things allow people to function normally
without the kind of high that interferes with their lives and so, I do
think there`s a very prominent role here for synthetic opiates that don`t
create the high but do fix the addiction part.

You`re still addicted to drugs, which some people have had problems with,
but it`s much better to have people like that in the workforce than it is
to have them in jail. So, those are places to start with.

WOLFFE: L. Joy, I just want to bring you in here. It sounds like the
debate has moved on from criminalizing people suffering from substance
abuse. Is that something you`re seeing as well?

WILLIAMS: Yes, but I want us to be mindful -- the link as Governor Dean
mentioned to the criminal justice system and we`ve been here before. We
talked about the crack and cocaine epidemic. When we were talking about
that and started creating laws. That was criminalizing possession and drug
abuse. There`s a time now to make sure we`re not repeating some of that
same behavior.

And just look at how the conversation about heroin abuse in places like
Vermont versus some place in New York City or in other places and the
different in population, and what the population looks like, right?

So, what I`m looking forward to is if we`re going to have this
conversation, that we move to a treatment conversation in all communities
and that`s also reducing the amount of people, particularly people of
color, who are in the criminal justice system, strictly because they have
an addiction to drugs. And so, there`s some reform we need to do to that
overall.

There`s probably a number of people that need to be released from prison
that were probably there, just because they have a substance abuse problem
and make sure that we`re talking about this holistically and not just
because, you know, the difference of what a population looks like in a
different state.

WOLFFE: We`re going to have to wrap it up right there. Thank you,
Governor Dean, for joining us this morning, I appreciate it.

DEAN: Thank you. And also -- 100 percent right, by the way.

WOLFFE: OK, thank you.

Still ahead, President Obama is headed to Broadway. We`re going to explain
that, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLFFE: There`s a huge amount going on this morning. It`s time to get
caught up on some headlines with today`s panel.

This one really lifts out of me. Obama is planning to see the musical
"Hamilton" again, this time to raise money for Democrats.

I`m a huge fan of "Hamilton". He`s going to see the musical November 2nd
for a Democratic Party fund-raiser. His third time. Michelle Obama just
saw it.

This is the Obama musical, isn`t it?

WILLIAMS: Uh, yes. Everybody should go see it, yes. Also, like, ya`ll
just wait a month, so I can then get my tickets, because this is causing
problems for those of us who have been waiting for a while to get tickets
who don`t have, like, $500,000 to donate to the DNC.

ZAINO: You can just donate.

(LAUGHTER)

WOLFFE: I feel your pain.

OK, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step down at the end of the
year. One of the longest serving members of the senior Obama
administration. He`s chosen John B. King Jr. to -- who`s currently deputy
secretary of education to replace Duncan.

Gian-Carlo, education was a major priority reform for President Bush. Do
you think he has done a good job, Arne Duncan?

PERESSUTTI: I think he has done a good job. I think he has embraced the
core tenets of No Child Left Behind. He`s reformed in some areas where
necessary. He`s been a great role model for kids. I think he`s a leader.

I give him high marks for his job as education secretary.

WOLFFE: OK. "New York Times" says "Friends" is popular with New York
teenagers. This story just speaks volumes to me. Teens like "Friends"
because of the stress-free lifestyle the show depicts.

One teen in the article said, quote, "In the back of our minds, we know
it`s unrealistic. The characters have nice apartments and lots of free
time but there`s something about that perfect lifestyle that`s fun to
watch."

So, I think we`re getting an `80s/`90s nostalgia moment, the carefree days.
Remember, that there`s almost -- we`re almost to the 30th anniversary of
"Back to the Future II." in which Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015.
We`re so close to that special date. People love that sort of -- the days
before terrorism and recession.

ZAINO: They do.

WOLFFE: Right?

ZAINO: I have two teenagers. I didn`t realize the anniversary until my
younger one told me. He`s like, don`t you know the date? I said, oh, my
gosh, that`s right.

So, they are truly enthralled by all of these `80s nostalgia. I`m hoping
we can wear the clothes again.

WILLIAMS: Listen --

PERESSUTTI: Oh my gosh!

WILLIAMS: I`d like to go to the carefree days of not being an adult, of
not paying bills.

ZAINO: And having a big apartment.

WILLIAMS: And, you know, for those who are -- you know, I would also
suggest you watch something like "Living Single." They have a better
apartment than the "Friends" did. And a better show.

WOLFFE: You can TV tips right here.

Thank you to my panel this morning, L. Joy Williams, Gian-Carlo Peressutti
an Jeanne Zaino.

And thank you for getting UP with us this morning. We`ll be back tomorrow
morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

And before that, at 8:00 a.m., you got to catch "Politics Nation" at a new
time. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is Al Sharpton`s first guest.

But before that, you`re going to watch "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY", because
she`s coming up next.

Have a great Saturday.


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