'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, October 18th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: October 18, 2015
Guest: Amy Holmes, Jonathan Landay, Lilly Ledbetter
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC ANCHOR: Is Joe ready to go? Good morning. Thanks
for getting UP with us this Sunday morning. I`m Richard Wolffe. We`re
closely watching Joe Biden`s every move for signs of an imminent decision
after months of speculation about a possible 2016 run. Could official word
come within the next 24 hours? We`ll have the latest just ahead.
Jerusalem is once again on edge this morning as the violence continues to
spiral there. We`ll go live to Jerusalem shortly.
And we`re lucky to have a reporter here with us this morning who knows that
region better than anyone.
Here at home, is winter here already? The first snow has fallen in
Michigan, and even in New York state. With more expected in parts of the
Northeast, whatever happened to the fall?
Plus the Internet rejoices as Larry David appears on SNL last night as none
other than his doppelganger, Bernie Sanders. It was pretty good. Pretty,
pretty, pretty good.
But we begin this morning with Vice President Biden being honored for his
human rights work last night in New York by the Greek Orthodox Church.
Here is what he said about church leadership and religious freedom, which
was a theme of the night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We saw early on, he saw
early on that we need to combat climate change, preserve the earth, our
gift from God. His all holiness continues to do what we should be doing
right here in America, in our political system. He reaches out. He seeks
consensus like we used to. He promotes peace.
Freedom of religion is essential and should be protected everywhere. And
around the world, the regions where we see the most strife and the most
conflict almost always are those that are divided along ethnic and
religious lines. And where there`s division, too often there`s a ripe
ground for extremists to saw havoc.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: Now the vice president didn`t address that possible presidential
run, but after the speech, he was met with chants of "run, Joe, run."
Joining me now is NBC`s Kristen Welker, who has a scoop of her own to share
with us this morning. Good morning, Kristen. What have you got?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Richard, well, good morning to
you. Vice President Biden has been pretty mum about his intentions. But
there have been some big leaks within his camp, including yesterday a
source saying that he had a 20-minute phone conversation with the president
of the powerful union, the International Association of Firefighters,
Harold Schaitberger. According to a source familiar with the call, the two
had a very serious discussion. They talked about strategy, infrastructure,
and fund-raising, and Biden left the union leader with the impression he is
likely going to run. But he also said, and this is important, Richard,
that he has to make that final gut decision.
Now if Vice President Biden were to get into this race, getting the
endorsement of this union would be a very big deal, a key constituency.
Secretary Clinton has been courting unions, and at this point the IAFF not
planning to endorse her. All of this coming as Secretary Clinton is coming
off of one of her strongest weeks yet. She had that dominant debate
performance. She saw a bump in her polls because of it. She`s now facing
a critical test on Thursday. She`s going to testify before the House
committee investigating the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
This is such a critical test, Richard, that Secretary Clinton is leaving
the campaign trail to prepare for it. She`s going to get a lot of tough
questions not only about Benghazi but also about her e-mails. This could
be a chance for her to turn the page to some extent on both issues.
Now, of course Vice President Biden watching all of this very closely as he
inches closer to a decision. Sources close to him say a decision is
imminent. We`re just watching and waiting. Richard?
WOLFFE: Kristen, that`s great reporting now on the firefighters, my thanks
to you at the White House.
WELKER: Thank you.
WOLFFE: Want to bring our panel here. MSNBC reporter Jane Timm and MSNBC
political analyst and columnist for the Daily Beast, Jonathan Alter, and
anchor of the Blaze.com`s "The Hot List," Amy Holmes. Good morning to you
AMY HOLMES, THE BLAZE: Good morning.
WOLFFE: Jon, the firefighters news today, does it make it more likely Joe
Biden is getting in, or is Schaitberger just sort of making himself
JONATHAN ALTER, DAILY BEAST: No, no, he`s very important figure not just
with the firefighters but in the Democratic Party, very experienced in
politics. He`s been close to Joe Biden for quite a long time. This is an
indication that the odds of Joe Biden running just went up fairly
significantly. And we`ve been hearing this kind of thing for the last few
days. It`s a real turnaround, because after Tuesday`s debate, it looked
like there was no groundswell, no opening for Joe Biden in this campaign.
And so the conventional wisdom kind of became, how is he going to run? And
then within just 24 hours, the Biden people let the political press know,
no, he really might run, and I think we`re going to find out this week for
sure, and I put the odds pretty significant that he`s going to make this
campaign, and it will be a very dramatic thing.
WOLFFE: Feels more than just a tease. Right? Might run really means
likely to run.
ALTER: Yes. This is something he`s done in the last few days, that he had
not done before, which is to have serious conversations about what it would
take to run for president. And when you`re doing that with important union
leaders, it`s too much of a tease for him to go too far down that road.
ALTER: And then pull back and say he`s not doing it.
WOLFFE: OK, not the only news we have from the presidential campaign.
Amy, I want to play you some tape of Ted Cruz on "Meet the Press" this
morning, talking about the Trump campaign and his relation to it. Let`s
play that right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Donald`s campaign
has been immensely beneficial for our campaign, and the reason is he`s
framed the central issue of this Republican primary as who will stand up to
Washington? Well, the natural follow-up if that`s the question is who
actually has stood up to Washington? As voters get more and more educated,
study the candidates, listen to the candidates in person, I think that`s
why we`re seeing the grassroots momentum that we`re seeing, is
conservatives are coalescing behind our campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: He`s spelling out here this idea that the Trump campaign is laying
the foundation for him to take over. Is that true?
HOLMES: I think that`s Ted Cruz`s hope that he could peel off some of
Trump`s supporters and particularly if Trump implodes, but he does make a
point about the outsider appeal in this election cycle, including even on
the Democratic side with Bernie Sanders. Listening to Ted Cruz there, I did
have to wonder though, is he auditioning to be president of the United
States or Donald Trump`s running mate? And you see throughout the campaign
season that Ted Cruz has tried to stay very close to Donald Trump and not
criticize the man.
WOLFFE: Jane, you had obviously lots of great conversation with Donald
Trump on the campaign trail. What`s Donald Trump going to make of this
explicit idea that Cruz is putting out there? Thank you very much, Donald,
but your people are going to be my people soon.
JANE TIMM, MSNBC: Every time Donald Trump draws a contrast between him and
anybody who is elected or has a brother who is president, it makes his
numbers go up. He looks more and more like an outsider, and I think Cruz`s
problem here is with Trump`s fans, they really do want somebody who is as
far from government as you can possibly get, and everyone does remember
that Cruz did shut down the government. He`s a part of that. He`s a part
of the dysfunction that we`ve seen, and I think Trump`s followers aren`t
going to jump as quickly as Cruz might like, as Amy says.
WOLFFE: OK. We`ll shift gears now to Israel, where authorities say five
Palestinians were shot yesterday after a series of stabbings and attempted
attacks on Israelis. They say at least four Palestinians died, including a
16-year-old girl who attacked a female police officer. Three Israelis were
also injured. For the latest, we turn now to NBC`s Bill Neely in
BILL NEELY, NBC NEWS: Good morning. John Kerry will meet Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu in Germany later this week as Israel reels after another
day of attempted murders. All the attackers were shot, four killed, one
injured, all were teenagers, and these attacks are becoming so frequent now
that people here are beginning to use the word uprising.
NEELY: Stabbed but alive, an Israeli soldier survives an attack by a
Palestinian teenager. It was the fifth of the day. Here, an Israeli
civilian in white holds the gun he`s just used to kill an 18-year-old who
police say attacked him with a knife. Most of the attackers are from East
Jerusalem, and most are Palestinian teenagers with Israeli I.D. cards, free
to move around with no criminal or terrorist record. For their families,
the attackers -- one was only 13 -- are heroes. Israel disagrees.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: He`s not innocent. He tried
to kill, murder, knife to death an innocent Israeli youngster.
NEELY: Israel says they`re terrorists.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are 13 years and 15 years -- terrorists? I
don`t know what to say. They are children.
NEELY: New York City`s mayor saw victims of the attacks and stands by
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are going through pain, we feel pain, too.
When you`re under attack, we feel under attack, too.
NEELY: Amid the daily stabbings, daily clashes, Palestinians convinced
Israel is eroding their rights. Some marched for peace last night in
Jerusalem, and called for calm. That seems a long way off.
NEELY: Well, there`s no sign of that, because Israel is promising what it
calls an iron fist. Some Palestinian groups are calling on teenagers to
keep up what almost appeared to be suicide stabbings. John Kerry will have
those meetings later this week with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas.
But all signs are Israel is spiraling into a conflict that no one for now
seems able to stop. Back to you.
WOLFFE: Thanks to Bill Neely in Jerusalem. Joining us now to discuss the
situation in Israel is NBC News special correspondent Martin Fletcher,
whose new book "The War Reporter" is now on sale. Martin, good morning.
MARTIN FLETCHER, NBC NEWS: Good morning.
WOLFFE: Can anyone tamp down this violence, Israeli or Palestinian side or
is this really out of control of the authorities?
FLETCHER: I`d say right now it`s out of the control of the authorities,
even though they`re trying hard on both sides. The problem is the
incitement I think coming from outside, Hamas in Gaza and from within
Israel, the Islamic Brotherhood in the north of Israel, from Nazareth, but
there is also this frustration and anger, deep, deep anger among
Palestinians, especially young Palestinians, which every so often reaches a
peak. And that`s what we`re seeing now. Bill Neely mentioned is this
another intifada? The first intifada was sticks and stones, the second one
was suicide bombers and guns. This is so far knives and cars driving into
WOLFFE: When news organizations go out there and put the headlines is this
the start of the third intifada, would you say it is?
FLETCHER: You know, the first intifada, nobody said, this is an intifada.
It just went on long enough, the same with the second. So we`re going to
have to see how long this goes for. What it is, is a really genuine
uprising by angry Palestinians, and the question is whether the leadership
on both sides, as you mentioned, can stop it, or whether they can offer an
alternative. And we`re seeing Secretary of State Kerry talking about
bringing in the two sides together to achieve that.
WOLFFE: Can the region really endure another area of instability? It is
already so destabilized with ISIS and everything else going on, Syrian
civil war, if the Palestinian situation flares up like this again. What
does that do to the wider region?
FLETCHER: I guess the answer to that question is yes, it can deal with
another region of instability. That area has been so unstable for so long.
We always talk about the Middle East conflict as being the conflict between
Israel and the Palestinians. In fact, there`s many conflicts, other
conflicts in the Middle East. This is though the kernel, this is the germ
that people focus on. This is always called the Middle East conflict, so
if it does explode again, I can`t say where it`s going to lead, but it`s
just going to be more and more problems for the United States, too, to be
part of the solution.
ALTER: Martin, I am wondering whether this might be a little bit
different. Your thoughts on this, because this is what you could call
viral violence. A lot of these kids -- might not be well-known in the
United States -- they have smartphones or they have dumb phones where they
can see images that are being in some cases doctored, and that is creating
an incitement that the authorities can`t control. Isn`t it right that John
Kerry could do wondrous things, and it wouldn`t make any difference because
these kids are not listening to their Palestinian leadership? They`re
FLETCHER: That`s exactly right. They`re listening to each other,
actually, and the social media is playing a huge role in this. But you
know, there`s always been this incitement. It comes from one place or the
other. Last time around it was Al Jazeera. We were all saying Al Jazeera
in Arabic is replaying on a loop these terrible scenes of violence. Now
we`re not really hearing that, are we? We are hearing about Facebook and
Instagram, and yes, there`s a lot of -- if you follow the players involved,
there`s a huge amount of incitement at the moment, and the problem of
course is that because now the pictures out of the control of people like
us, big organizations, it`s out of the control of the individuals, the
young people, and they`re beginning their videos with on the Palestinian
side Palestinians lying in a pool of blood. They don`t show the fact that
that Palestinian was attacking Israeli soldiers. It works.
WOLFFE: We saw Mayor de Blasio out there, it`s a sort of gimme for him to
say we stand with Israelis as the mayor of New York, but I imagine
Republican candidates will come in pretty quickly here and talk about what
they consider to be President Obama`s record, track record, weak track
record in their view with the Israeli prime minister.
HOLMES: Certainly, Republicans will be taking this on as a campaign issue,
big supporters of Israel, and President Obama`s own statement of trying to
create daylight between the United States and Israel, and it appears to not
be working if we are, in fact, going into a third intifada. I do want to
ask a question about Palestinian leadership. The Palestinian Center for
Survey and Research, they found last month that two-thirds of Palestinians
would like to see Mahmoud Abbas step down. Does that make this situation
even more dangerous?
FLETCHER: Well, Abu Mazen is under great pressure from the Palestinian
street. He`s sending a dual message. He`s saying on the leadership level
to the Israelis and to the Americans and to the Jordanians and the
Egyptians who are involved, yes, we need to control the violence, and he`s
sending his security services out to do that. At the same time when he`s
speaking in Arabic to the people, he`s calling on them to, he is inciting,
I have to use the word -- inciting them, too, talking about Jews visiting
the holy places with their quote filthy feet, soiling the Islamic holy
HOLMES: Pure blood being spilled as martyrs.
FLETCHER: Exactly. He`s trying to stay in power. He`s very unpopular
among the Palestinians. Outside Ramallah, most of Gaza is against him,
most of the West Bank is against him. He`s trying to hang on. He`s an 80-
year-old man trying to hang onto power.
WOLFFE: Sadly we have to wrap it up there. But thanks for joining us,
this morning, Martin Fletcher. Please check out his book, "War Reporter,"
it`s a must read. Thank you, Martin.
FLETCHER: Thank you very much indeed.
WOLFFE: Still ahead, the real scam behind the blockbuster film "American
Hustle." Actress Jennifer Lawrence speaks out.
And next, America`s war in Afghanistan will get a new commander in chief.
Stay with us.
WOLFFE: For a president who built his first campaign against the war in
Iraq, and then went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, this week brought a
major reversal that could rewrite his legacy. After years of promising to
bring our troops home, President Obama announced that he would leave 5,500
troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office. That would hand over America`s
longest running war to a third president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: So here you have a situation where we have clarity about what our
mission is, we`ve got a partner who wants to work with us. We`re going to
continually make adjustments to ensure that we give the best possibilities
for success, and I suspect that we will continue to evaluate this going
forward, as will the next president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: That means the war in Afghanistan will be a campaign issue yet
again, the fourth time in 14 years. On Friday, Hillary Clinton was asked
if she would pledge to bring the troops home from Afghanistan as president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will not sit here today and
say what I would do upon taking office, because again, we want to bring our
troops home. We certainly don`t want them engaged in on the ground combat.
So I can`t predict where things will be in January of 2017, but I support
the president`s decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: Republican presidential candidates were also generally supportive
of the president with some saying that more troops would be needed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I agree with that announcement,
because frankly if you look at what happened with Iraq, we should have
never been in Iraq in the first place, but when we took the troops out,
that was the end of that.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They need that in order to be the
base for their operations there, so unless there`s a good reason to change
that, I don`t see any immediate change.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m pleased the president has not
worried about a campaign promise six years ago. Conditions change, and I
think he made the right decision to keep troops on the ground, but it looks
like it`s political. Cut it in half and off we go.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m glad he stopped the
drawdown, but it`s not a sufficient number. In fact, here`s what people
need to understand. There reaches a point where the numbers get so low,
the only thing they`re able to do is spend all day defending themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: A single lone Republican strongly denounced the move to keep
troops in Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it`s a mistake.
It`s also not what our founding fathers intended. Our founding fathers
intended that when we were to go to war, that Congress would debate this,
and this would be approved or disapproved by Congress. I don`t know what
our mission is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: Joining me now is McClatchy`s national security correspondent,
Jonathan Landay. Good morning.
JONATHAN LANDAY, MCCLATCHY: Good morning.
WOLFFE: Jonathan, we started out there were 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.
We`re talking about, the president`s talking about giving the best chances
of success with just 5,500. Is that realistic?
LANDAY: I don`t think so, no, not at all. I think the president has
become a captive of his own campaign promises, when he first ran for
office. What this shows is, you know, he did, he was elected based in part
on his promise to get out of Afghanistan, but you can`t make a political
promise here in the United States and expect a country, you know, the
situation in Afghanistan to obey what the president wants. The fact is
that we`re seeing higher levels of violence now in Afghanistan this year
than we`ve seen before, higher levels of casualty. The Taliban is now
present in at least one-fifth of the country, according to the United
Nations. We`ve seen this surge going on. We`ve seen violence
unprecedented, a Taliban operation in northern Afghanistan, the takeover
for more than two weeks of the city of Kunduz. The fighting going on
outside that city even as we speak here, and so I think, and then when you
add in the fact that we saw the fall of Mosul in Iraq and what happened
with the Islamic State, I think the president has been forced to adjust
because of the situation on the ground.
WOLFFE: Jonathan, if you`re going to take on the Islamic State though, if
that`s what Afghanistan is now about rather than al Qaeda and bin Laden,
then why not deal with the Islamic State in its center of power? Why stick
LANDAY: Well, the fact is the Islamic State is still a very small factor
in Afghanistan. It is a growing factor because it`s composed of a lot of
disillusioned, hardline Taliban moderate leaders who are opposed to any
kind of peace negotiations, which is where some people think this is going.
I don`t believe that`s where it`s going to go in the very near future at
all. You also have this, what appears to be a major buildup of al Qaeda
again in parts of Afghanistan. There was an Afghan American operation
against al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan over the last several weeks,
and you also have this major resurgence of the Taliban. The fact is that
in all of these years that the United States has been trying to tame this
insurgency and put Afghanistan on a track towards, you know, democracy,
there`s one part of the American strategy that is absolutely missing, and
that`s Pakistan. That`s the need to try and compel the Pakistanis to stop
giving the Taliban, the Afghan Taliban sanctuaries in their country and
allowing their leadership to live there and plan and strategize there as
well, and that has been missing and it`s still missing.
WOLFFE: I want to bring in Jane here in the studio. We`ve been at war in
Afghanistan 14 years and counting. Vietnam was just ten years, just ten
years. Iraq eight years. You`re on the campaign trail. Is there voter
fatigue for the kinds of things as complex, long running war as Jonathan
was explaining, are the voters really up for this?
TIMM: There is some of that fatigue. There`s that kind of exhaustion of
having our men overseas and our men and women overseas, and this really
does change the metric for how people ask questions on the campaign trail.
Those voters in Iowa will be saying what are you doing with the 5,500
soldiers? Is it enough? Or are you going to send -- bring them home? It
will make people take a very different stand on the campaign trail because
they`re going into office supposedly with a war.
WOLFFE: Jonathan, just briefly, how does this war end, when the voters ask
how do we get out of here, with the new candidates, what is the quick
LANDAY: I can`t tell you. You know, the American strategy right now is to
try and keep a stalemate going so that they can force peace negotiations to
take place. I don`t see that happening any time soon. The Taliban have
been emboldened by what they`ve done over the last several weeks. You have
a new Taliban leader who is getting an enormous boost out of this, a great
deal of prestige out of this, following this leadership battle after the
death of Mullah Omar. So no, I don`t see this coming to a close any time
soon. We`re still in South Korea after more than 60 years, so
unfortunately I don`t see any kind of prospect of this ending any time
WOLFFE: I`m not quite sure that presidential candidates want to have to
admit that to voters, but my thanks to Jonathan Landay for joining us this
LANDAY: My pleasure.
WOLFFE: Still ahead, even Jennifer Lawrence has problems negotiating her
salary. A leader in the pay equity fight will respond to her comments this
week, that`s coming up.
But first, some more snow is expected in the northeast today. More on that
on the other side of this break.
WOLFFE: Winter isn`t just coming. In some parts of the United States,
it`s already here. Wintry weather hangs over the northeast and Midwest
this weekend. Towns in Michigan recording upwards of five inches of snow
in some areas. Another light dusting is expected further east today. High
temperatures are expected to be between 5 and 15 degrees below average.
And on the other side of the world in the Philippines, Typhoon Koppu , I
hope I pronounced that right, delivered extreme rainfall and damaging winds
yesterday, potentially bringing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides
to the country`s main northern island of Luzon today. Luckily the storm
has since weakened -- since it made landfall yesterday afternoon. We`ll
bring you the latest on these storms throughout the morning on MSNBC.
Still ahead, October baseball returns --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Equal pay is an issue because it`s not just a woman`s issue.
It`s a family issue. It`s an economic issue. There will be more money in
the economy when women are paid fairly for themselves and for their
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Despite it already being law,
the left wants to further legislate equal pay. Let`s work together to move
to a pay for performance meritocracy in the federal government and make
promoting high achieving men and women a priority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: Those were the two women candidates for president discussing an
issue that still lingers on the 2016 trail, the pay gap between men and
women. But that discussion isn`t just happening in the political world.
Jennifer Lawrence, the superstar of the "Hunger Games" movies, weighed in
this week in an essay for Lena Dunham`s "Lenny" news letter. Reacting to
the 2014 Sony hack which revealed she made much less than her male co-stars
for the movie "American Hustle," Lawrence writes quote, "I didn`t get mad
at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up
early." Later she writes "could there still be a lingering habit of trying
to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn`t offend or scare men?"
Remember that Lawrence won an Academy Award for her stunning role in
"Silver Linings Playbook" by the same director, David O. Russell. So one
of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood admits she failed to achieve pay
equity in her workplace. While the two women running for the most powerful
office in the world are debating how we should legislate equal pay. Does
this resonate with voters? Particularly young women voters. And where
does the conversation go next? For more we now turn to a woman who knows a
lot about the fight for equal pay, and knows how to win it, Lilly
Ledbetter, women`s rights activist and the namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter
Fair Pay Act. Good morning.
LILLY LEDBETTER, WOMEN`S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Good morning.
WOLFFE: Lilly, what do you make of Jennifer Lawrence`s comments there, her
LEDBETTER: I was very proud of her, for her statement. She got a lot of
attention and she hit the nail on the head. She is exactly right, in most
everything she said, although she probably negotiated very well, it`s up to
that employer to treat women and men fairly and equitably. That`s the law.
The law states that men and women are to be paid equally for the same work.
That law was passed as we all know in 1963. Jennifer Lawrence, though,
with her status, she got a lot of attention, and I`m so proud she did,
because this is in every job level. It`s in the medical field. It`s in
college. It`s in any field you want to go in. Women are unequally paid
WOLFFE: Lilly, as you know, the White House published a report on the 50th
anniversary of that equal pay act that you referenced showing that women
earn only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. Now, that was a few years
ago. Do you think the conversation has changed since then?
LEDBETTER: Not enough. Not enough. And see one of the problems that a
lot of the young people don`t realize and even some of the workers in the
middle time of their life, this goes on for the rest of your life, because
raises are based on what your salary is, your retirements, your
contributory retirements, your 401(k)s, your Social Security, all of those
items goes on and are based on your salary. So it`s critical and very
important that women get equal pay from the get-go and the men understand
WOLFFE: Lilly, I want to bring in our panel. Amy, I`d like to play for
you something from actually I`m going to read to you, I think, Carly
Fiorina on the Lilly Ledbetter act, she says there are plenty of laws in
place today. She`s a quote to CNN, says there are plenty of laws in place
today that a woman can look to if she`s truly discriminated against at
work, where she`s actually earning less for the same job as her male
counterparts. So the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay
Act, these are tokens. They`re gestures. They don`t truly help women
advance. That`s pretty harsh words. Do you think that`s actually where
Republican women stand as a consensus view?
HOLMES: I think many Republican women do, and there are laws to try to
protect women from discrimination. But getting back to Jennifer Lawrence`s
point, which I think is really key here, really crucial, is that she said
she gave up too early, that she wasn`t as tough in her negotiations. And
let`s remember, she wasn`t personally negotiating, her agent was, but she
was willing to take a pay cut. And Amy Pascal, the CEO of Sony, she said,
look, if somebody wants to work for less, I`ll oblige them. She`s not
going to hand out money for the sisterhood. I think the message for young
women here that`s so important is to stop trying to be a pleaser, be
willing to be tough, and ask for what you want.
WOLFFE: Lilly, I have to bring you back in on this Carly Fiorina quote.
She says the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is just a token, a gesture. What
do you think?
LEDBETTER: No, sir. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is the same law
actually we had previous to the ruling in the Ledbetter case. It made it
possible for people like myself to file a discrimination charge if they
knew that they were being discriminated against, where they`re paid based
on sex or nationality or whatever the case is. The law was put back so
that people can file a charge, and it`s been necessary, because so many
people was getting denied the right, because in my case, my employer said
if I discuss my pay, I wouldn`t have a job. I had no way to find out how
much I was paid until someone let me know anonymously what he was paid, and
Carly Fiorina is wrong. It`s not a myth. This is fact. Women are
Sure, we have these laws. I had the law, but the problem is, laws must be
enforced, and the company I worked for have government contracts, and I
just felt sure that they would have to be audited and checked in order to
get these government contracts. But what I learned, they did not. Now
today, they would, because in 2014, President Obama signed another bill
that requires anyone who gets government contracts, they will adhere to
federal laws and guidelines. That`s another protection in this country.
There are so few protections for women.
WOLFFE: Okay, thank you, Lilly Ledbetter, thanks for joining us this
LEDBETTER: Thank you, sir.
WOLFFE: Coming up, Bernie Sanders got the full SNL treatment last night.
If you missed it, you`ll want to stay tuned for that.
And next, Donald Trump is breaking all the rules in the Republican
playbook. How will the party faithful handle his latest hit on the Bush
administration? Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think I`m much more competent than all of them when you talk
about George Bush. I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came
down during his time. If you look --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold on, you can`t blame George Bush for that.
TRUMP: He was president. Don`t blame him or don`t blame him, but he was
president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: Never holds back what he really thinks, does he? And as we`ve
seen time and again, Donald Trump isn`t afraid to challenge his own party
or the GOP`s long-held principles. Like that one about the Bush
administration, keeping America safe.
Jeb Bush meanwhile as the establishment standard bearer and as a proud
brother has spent his campaign running on and not away from his brother`s,
George`s national security record. Former governor tweeting in response to
Trump`s Bloomberg interview, quote, "we were attacked and my brother kept
us safe." Trump doesn`t appear to see a downside to picking this fight with
the Republican establishment and their top candidate for president, which
begs the question, in a campaign year where outsiders are in the lead and
the usual rules of engagement don`t seem to apply, does this mean one of
the golden rules of politics over the last 15 years is now obsolete? Are
we actually witnessing the end of 9/11 politics? Going to turn to my panel
here, Jon. 9/11 politics has been with us very powerfully for a long time
here. Is it open season on the kinds of things that Republicans campaigned
successfully on before?
ALTER: I hope it is, and this is one of Donald Trump`s great contributions
to this campaign, whatever else he`s doing that we all object to. He is
calling out the Bush people for Orwellian, deceptive, historically
amnesiatic thinking. For Jeb Bush to say my brother kept us safe is not
true. Facts are stubborn things, as other politicians have reminded us.
Not only did it happen on his watch, but there was something called the
Hart-Rudman report, senators Hart and Rudman tried to get to the White
House in early 2001 to say we are about to get attacked. They`d been
studying it for years. They couldn`t even get in the door to meet with the
national security adviser, these are two former United States senators.
Then over the summer of 2001, Bush in Crawford, Texas gets a report, Al
Qaeda planning attacks in the United States.
ALTER: They were warned. The idea that he kept us safe is not true. Just
one other thing on this. That doesn`t mean he was responsible for the
attacks. So when the Republicans try to counter attack on this, they say
oh you`re blaming Bush. Nobody`s blaming Bush. Just saying stop telling
us he kept us safe when it`s not true.
WOLFFE: And Jane, you know Trump pretty well by this point. You won`t be
surprised to know he`s already been tweeting out this morning continuing
this line. Let`s pull up some of the tweets this morning. He talks about
Jeb Bush should stop trying to defend his brother and focus on his own
shortcomings and how to fix them. Also, Rubio is hitting him hard.
Shortly after that, there was another one because he doesn`t stop. Jeb,
why did your brother attack and destabilize the Middle East by attacking
Iraq, when there were no weapons of mass destruction? Bad info? He`s not
going to stop going after Jeb Bush, is he?
TIMM: No, and the more Jeb Bush blusters and gets mad and turns to him on
the debate stage and says he kept our country safe, the more he leaves the
establishment GOP scrambling and the more he looks great. His numbers
skyrocket, because he`s not part of the establishment. You look at the
polls, government trust is at all-time lows, everyone wants anything but
what we have.
WOLFFE: Donald Trump trying to reach you?
WOLFFE: Amy, there weren`t that many people jumping to Jeb Bush and George
W. Bush`s defense in this Republican field.
HOLMES: They`re his competitors. Why would they?
WOLFFE: But does this mean things have changed in the Republican Party in
terms of the debate about George W. Bush`s legacy?
HOLMES: I think it`s moved on from George Bush`s legacy. If you remember
in the Fox debate when Jeb Bush turned to Donald Trump and said, hey, I
know one thing, my brother kept this country safe, that was one of the
biggest applause moments of the night. The crowd burst into cheers. The
Republican Party is focusing on what are we going to do about Vladimir
Putin and his rising threat in the Middle East and exercising Russian power
there, and Crimea and Ukraine, what about ISIS and ISIS metastasizing
throughout the Middle East? Republicans are focused on what they see as
President Obama`s failures, not George Bush`s.
WOLFFE: Jane, what`s next? What else is he going to go after? What other
sacred cows can Donald Trump go after?
TIMM: Any that he can find. He`ll keep just throwing bombs as much as he
can around the party and just getting people really angry, because it makes
him look good, and he has the political Teflon in this race.
ALTER: Jeb Bush is not going to get nominated, is my takeaway from this,
not just because he`s down in the polls right now. Trump is going to be in
this all the way, and every time Jeb Bush tries to say that his brother
kept us safe, Donald Trump is going to remind voters, no, his brother not
only didn`t keep us safe, but he`s the one that cost us $1 trillion by
going to war in Iraq, which Trump was against, and if Trump had been for
the war in Iraq, he wouldn`t be able to make this argument. But because he
was against it from the get-go, he`s in a very strong position to keep
Trump -- keep Bush from being the nominee no matter what.
HOLMES: Quickly as a messaging point, I think Donald Trump, with all of
this, stepped all over what was actually a very positive story for him on
Friday, that CNBC backed down, and that Donald Trump had the power to make
the mainstream media, another boogaboo of the Republican Party--
HOLMES: Republican voters were cheering Donald Trump on.
WOLFFE: We`ll talk about this all morning, but we have something really
interesting coming up next. Bernie Sanders` supporters want to curb their
enthusiasm after watching last night`s "Saturday Night Live," we`ll explain
that joke right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY DAVID, COMEDIAN: And now, if you don`t mind, I`m going to dial it
right up to a ten.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go right ahead.
DAVID: We`re doomed! We need a revolution. Millions of people on the
streets! And we`ve got to do something! And we gotta do it now!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLFFE: That was the incomparable Larry David nailing it as Bernie Sanders
on Saturday Night Live last night. I think we can all agree that`s the end
point for everyone in this campaign. You are never going to see Bernie
Sanders and Larry David in the same room at the same time because they are
in fact the same person. This is our fanning up and catching up point of
the show. So let`s move swiftly on to a former Stanford dean explaining
why helicopter parenting is ruining a generation of children. Julie
Licecott Haines (ph) says that although incoming students were very
accomplished, many seemed incapable of taking care of themselves.
Jon, you have a college age kid, don`t you?
ALTER: We do. We have one left in college. Helicopter parents has been a
problem for a while, but it does seem to get worse every year. I was on
campus in Indiana just a couple of weeks ago. A dean there was telling me
that she gets calls from parents, will you go in and wake up my son? You
know, and they say to the parent, he`s got to learn how to wake himself up
to go to class.
WOLFFE: You would think.
ALTER: The parents truly don`t get they need to let go. These baby boomer
parents are so used to micro managing everything and controlling
everything, they are not preparing their kids for adulthood.
WOLFFE: We have to let go off this story because we also got to talk about
Stephen Glass, New York Times story here, repaying Harper`s $10,000 for his
discredited work. Jane, you are far too young to remember Stephen Glass.
WOLFFE: Published from his magazine article in 1998. He was of course a
rising star in journalism in the late 1990s, especially at the New
Republic, and there was that movie. Some redemption?
HOLMES: Redemption for Harper`s? I guess. All these years later, they
want to scrape back their $10,000?
WOLFFE: I think it was his offer. It`s his, he keeps apologizing to
people. So he deserves some credit, right?
HOLMES: Sure, why not. He stayed on the map for simply being that guy.
Was he ever able to become a lawyer? Does anybody know?
ALTER: No, he tried, and they wouldn`t let him in. It says on his
stationary, he works as a paralegal in a law firm and it says, "not a
lawyer," because he does not want to get in trouble for misrepresenting
WOLFFE: And continuing our animal story theme, NBC New York has spotted a
kangaroo on Staten Island. This is a true story. A four-foot marsupial
managed to wander away from its owner, who was visiting from upstate New
York. Think about that for a second. You are visiting from upstate New
York, you go to Staten Island, and you take your pet kangaroo with you.
TIMM: Quite the helicopter parent.
WOLFFE: Why do people travel with their pets?
TIMM: Only in New York. We have to keep that phrase working, so we bring
our exotics with us when we travel.
WOLFFE: Are there not enough exotics already?
ALTER: I live in the suburbs, and we have deer all over Montclair, New
Jersey. There are also bears in New Jersey. They have to have bear hunts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you don`t pack them up in the car on a road trip.
ALTER: The idea that somehow in the crowded east you don`t have these
animals. I was kind of hoping that the kangaroo would breed. I would
prefer to jam on my brakes for a kangaroo than a deer.
WOLFFE: I`d like to thank our panel for joining us this morning, Jane
Timm, Jonathan Alter and Amy Holmes. And thank you for getting up with us
today. Up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." Please stay tuned. We`ll see
you next weekend. Have a great week.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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