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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

Date: November 1, 2015
Guest: Kathy Obradovich, L. Joy Williams, O`Brien Murray, Jeanne Zaino,
Jay Rollins

RICHARD LUI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Thanks for getting up
with us this Monday morning. It`s not Monday, it is Sunday morning. I`m
already looking ahead. I`m Richard Lui. Thanks for being with us. We
want to begin this hour of news and politics on the ground in Iowa, where
the 1st of November means voting in the Iowa caucuses is exactly three
months away. Yesterday Halloween was all treats for Republican voters in
the Hawkeye state. Ten candidates from the 2016 field descended on Des
Moines for the party`s first ever growth and opportunity party GOP. The
event is the last cattle call before the Iowa caucuses. The festival had
games and free cotton candy and featured candidate booths, where potential
voters could stop by for a bit of a chat. The main event was on the big
stage, where each candidate made their own pitch.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: What makes America special is that here there
are millions of people that may not be rich, but through hard work and
perseverance, they achieve happiness. And now this generation has called
to preserve it and expand it. That is the chance we have, and that is why
this election is a generational choice.

FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH, R-FLA.: I know I can do this because I had the
chance to do it in the largest swing state in the United States, and I have
a servant`s heart, and I`m going to campaign the way I would govern, with
my arms wide open, with a hopeful, optimistic message.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: Which of those ten people do you want on the
stage in September of 2016 prosecuting the case against Hillary Clinton and
her failed leadership and her failed vision for America? Who is going to
be strong enough to stand up to her? I am ready to beat Hillary Clinton.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: And when you get rid of all of the complicated
returns, all of the deductions, all of the depreciation schedules, all of
the rules and regulations, then we can abolish the IRS.


LUI: We are joined by Kathy Obradovich, political columnist for the Des
Moines Register, who was at that event. You had a lot of folks to listen
to here, Kathy. Which candidate of all did at least that were there loved
what was being said?

KATHY OBRADOVICH, DES MOINES REGISTER: Okay, well first of all, Richard,
the two top running candidates in Iowa polls, Ben Carson and Donald Trump,
were not there. That really gave everybody else a chance to shine. I
think most people and myself included thought that Ted Cruz had the most
enthusiastic audience, fired people up, he was one of the first speakers in
the morning. It was clear people were there to see him. He got mobbed at
his booth signing autographs, et cetera. So he was very, very well
received. If I had to pick a winner for the day, it would be Ted Cruz.

LUI: What was it he said that resonated, Kathy?

OBRADOVICH: Well first of all, he has made a lot of hay off of the last
debate and going after the media, and he continued to do that on Saturday.
The Republican crowd eats that up. He did not go after his fellow
Republican candidates, but really talking about the last debate and talking
about the media was a big deal. He also got I think into a lot more detail
than I`ve heard him on his tax plan, promoting a flat tax, you heard in the
clip talking about getting rid of the IRS. So I think people heard more
detail on that than they have before from Ted Cruz, and that kind of thing
was resonating with the crowd.

LUI: And after last week`s debate, a lot of eyes were on Marco Rubio
certainly as well as Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush happened to show energy in a clip
we showed, certainly saw him give a little bit more oomph, how did Marco
Rubio do?

OBRADOVICH: Marco Rubio is on the rise in Iowa, he is moving up in the
polls. People are looking at him as possibly the mainstream alternative
candidate, and also I think that they`re looking at him as an up and comer
in the party. He did well. He had a big enthusiastic cheering section,
again, tons of people stood in line to shake his hand. He gave what I
thought was a pretty standard stump speech, one that if you had heard him
in Iowa, you heard his remarks before, but he was very well received. Jeb
Bush on the other hand came with new remarks and new energy, and I thought
that he might have gotten a second look from the crowd.

LUI: All right, Kathy, I want to bring in today`s panel, political
strategist and president of the Brooklyn chapter of the NAACP, L. Joy
Williams, good morning to you. Republican strategist O`Brien Murray, good
morning to you as well. And political scientist and NYU professor Jeanne
Zaino. OK. There they were, last cattle call as Kathy was saying. Two of
the front-runners did not show up there, and there were some messages that
had to be gotten out by at least when I mentioned Marco Rubio, as well as
Jeb Bush, based on what we saw of the debate last week.

What do you make of them not being there?

O`BRIEN MURRAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: If you look at the history, too,
the previous two winners of the Iowa caucuses, Huckabee and Santorum,
speaks to what the front-runners have to do in the future anyway possibly.
Iowa is very important. You have to go out there and shake every hand you
can and attend a lot of these cattle calls, but at the end of the day there
are opportunities beyond Iowa. You have New Hampshire, you have the
debates, South Carolina, Nevada and others. I think them not being there
speaks to some of their strength possibly. I do think Ted Cruz really has
the opportunity to win in Iowa. I don`t know where it gets him after that.
But that`s why he`s there, of course.

LUI: Is Ted Cruz the one to watch?

JEANNE ZAINO, NYU: I think Ted Cruz--

LUI: Mary Matalin says that`s who we should be watching.

ZAINO: I think Ted Cruz could possibly win Iowa. I was a little surprised
by Ben Carson`s absence. I do think Iowa is an important state for Ben
Carson. Let`s consider if he comes in second, third, if he doesn`t win
Iowa, you`re hard pressed to imagine how he moves forward to New Hampshire,
then maybe down to South Carolina, so I was a little surprised by his
absence. Donald Trump has been falling behind Carson a little bit in Iowa,
so I wasn`t as surprised he wasn`t there. I do think Ted Cruz is somebody
to watch. Iowa is perfectly situated, perfectly made for a Ben Carson and
a Ted Cruz. I think those are the two we`ll see battling it out there.

L. JOY WILLIAMS, NAACP: I was certainly surprised about Ben Carson not
being there, and certainly trying to build momentum that he can actually
win election. Remember, he`s the one who`s never been in elected office
before, not a politician, which is something that people love about him.
But certainly he still has more to prove in that instance from an election

MURRAY: But Iowa as we know is, being in a caucus, it is about
organization at this point. Ted Cruz everyone unanimously sort of says has
the organization right now. I don`t know if Trump has that capability at
this point. He has got to write a big check to get those ground troops

WILLIAMS: We`ve been asking that question for a while about Donald Trump
and about his organizing the actual campaign.

MURRAY: Very true.

WILLIAMS: Certainly he benefits the most because of his media attention,
because he says certain things, but the organization of the campaign -- has
he written you a check yet?

MURRAY: No. He hasn`t.


LUI: Or vice versa.

MURRAY: Neither way.

LUI: But about Donald Trump, and one of the things that if you watched his
remarks yesterday in Virginia, was that he was a little bit more on script,
right? He was reading off of his talking points more than we`ve seen in
the past. So is he now trying to move farther center or at least become
more, if you will, established?

MURRAY: He`s becoming a better candidate, which happens over time.
Everybody that runs for any office will tell you the first speech you give
compared to the last speech the day before the election, night and day, and
you always improve. Part of that is staying on message and part of that is
staying on script. I think also what he`d use the opportunity in Virginia
to do is deliver a message about the V.A. A new issue.

ZAINO: I was going to say, part of what people are attracted to about
Donald Trump is he`s not a typical politician. He goes off script and he
says things other people can`t say, so I wonder how much this moving on
script, which I understand why it`s happening, how much of it is going to
help him or actually hurt him in the end.

WILLIAMS: And I don`t think that`s something that just knowing Donald
Trump as long as we have and as someone in the beginning of this process
certainly did not want to take him seriously, but I don`t think staying on
message for a long period of time is something Donald Trump is going to do.
So that messaging of him maybe reading now today, but tomorrow he`ll be off
script again.

LUI: Let`s give Kathy the last word here, Jeb Bush speaking yesterday and
I just want to finish with that. He said he needed to be a better
candidate. Did you get that sense?

OBRADOVICH: Yes, he actually is a better, he was a better candidate on
Saturday than we`ve seen. He was a lot more forceful in his comments. He
does a good job with retail politics, which is important in Iowa, meeting
people one on one, shaking hands, et cetera. I have to tell you, though,
Chris Christie took questions the entire time that he was allotted from
stage. That is really what retail politics is all about, and Jeb Bush
could take a lesson from that.

LUI: Kathy Obradovich, thank you so much for joining us, as well as
chatting with our panel today, appreciate it.

OBRADOVICH: Thank you.

LUI: Right now, we are going to turn to the developing story in Egypt that
we`ve been covering here on MSNBC, an investigation into what caused a
Russian airliner to crash in the Sinai peninsula yesterday morning, killing
all 224 people on board. This hour, there`s a growing makeshift memorial
at Russia`s airport in St. Petersburg. It`s a day of mourning as Russian
officials begin their investigation at that crash site. According to
Egyptian officials, search and rescue teams have recovered 163 bodies so
far. Joining us now from Cairo is NBC`s Bill Neely. Bill, what are
officials saying about the claims the crash may have been terror related at
this hour?

BILL NEELY, NBC: Good morning, Richard. They are dismissing it, both
Russian and Egyptian officials say the militants who operate in that area
of Egypt don`t have the missiles that could down a plane flying at an
altitude of 31,000 feet. In fact, it`s not known that any terror group in
the Mideast has that kind of equipment. They have shoulder-fired missiles,
but not those more powerful missiles that would be required to down an
aircraft. But that hasn`t stopped the speculation, the lingering suspicion
in Russia that maybe Russia`s air campaign in Syria has got something to do
with this crash. And really, until there`s a fast examination of those
black box flight recorders, those suspicion will linger.

Investigators are now working on those black box recorders, slowly
gathering the clues, and also here in Cairo, slowly bringing the dead to
the mortuaries.


NEELY: From the tangled wreckage, nearly 200 bodies and two black box
flight recorders have been removed. Russian investigators joining
Egyptians, examining the fuselage for evidence. The 18-year-old Airbus was
23 minutes into its flight when it slowed and dropped dramatically. Most
of those on board were Russian tourists, 25 were children. Their bodies
brought to a morgue in the country where they`d just finished a vacation,
nearly 200 already. Russian forensic experts here, too.

Most of the dead have now been brought here to be identified, many of them
only through DNA samples. It is grim work. Identifying the exact cause of
the crash that killed them may take longer.

Among the dead, Yuri Shelna and his 3-year-old daughter Anastasia
photographed by their mom Olga, ready to board. The airline says the plane
was in working order. The pilot experienced, and human error wasn`t to
blame. Investigators will look at everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The weather, the way the airplane was fueled, the
cargo, everything about it.

NEELY: The plane crashed in an area where militants are fighting Egypt`s
army. Allies of ISIS claim they shot down the plane. Officials dismiss
that, saying the militants don`t have the missiles to do it. The airline
Metrojet has now been grounded by Russian authorities, who have had serious
concerns about its maintenance record. The crew reporting engine trouble
several times recently. The wife of the co-pilot revealing her husband had
complained about the plane`s condition.

Russia today is in shock. It`s a day of national mourning, after a tragedy
they will not forget.


LUI: So investigators now working on those black boxes, listening to the
last words and sounds from the cockpit. Some airlines now have security
worries. Remember, there is no evidence that this plane was shot down, but
half a dozen airlines, including one of the world`s biggest, Emirates, are
now choosing not to fly over this area, just to be on the safe side.

LUI: NBC`s Bill Neely, thank you so much for that report. Let`s bring in
Jay Rollins, former American Airlines pilot. We have got another day here
of data, Jay. We`ve got another day of thinking. The question still
remains here, we have an A321, a very popular plane, very safe by the
statistics at least, and we have it decreasing in speed by 85 percent, just
within a moment, as well as falling from the sky at a rate of 6,000 feet
per minute. What do you think could have caused this with the data we`ve
got right now?

JAY ROLLINS, FORMER AA PILOT: Well, good morning, Richard. Thank you for
having me on.

This is going to be one of those perplexing type crashes until we get those
black boxes. They have them now. They`re reading them out, and that will
be our real clear evidence of what happened.

Right now, there`s a lot of confusion out there. For one thing, they are
indicating this dramatic reduction in speed and then the drop. We don`t
know if that`s the case. That`s coming from Flight Aware, which is not,
not like the radar from Egypt. So that information is a little bit
suspect, and we also have conflicting reports from the Russians and from
the Egyptians, whether the pilot actually radioed that there was a problem
or not. That makes a big difference, and then there`s a question about the
tail detaching. Could that have been maybe not from a surface to air
missile, but possibly someone on board that set off a detonation device of
some sort. So there are a lot of things out there that it could be.

LUI: Right.

ROLLINS: It could be a number of things.

LUI: What is your thought here, and they have been fairly quick to move
here on the ground in the Sinai peninsula, and that is that they`re saying
there is nothing to indicate at this moment that there is a terror related
link to what may have happened, despite some claims by certain terror
groups which have been discredited by most government sources. What`s your
thought about that possibility?

ROLLINS: Well, they say there is no terrorist connection based on the fact
that they don`t think a surface-to-air missile was fired, but they haven`t
discussed the possibility of there being a device already on board the

LUI: Okay, Jay Rollins, thank you so much for your time today. I
appreciate it.

Still ahead, Obamacare celebrates a milestone. We`ll take stock of the
health care law three years in. But first, Republican presidential
campaigns will meet later today to debate about debating. That`s next.


LUI: The Republican presidential campaigns will be spending Sunday trying
to influence and reshape the party`s debate process. You`ll recall that
the party and many of its candidates are unhappy with how things went in
this week`s debate that aired on CNBC. Well, the chairman of the
Republican Party accused in a statement quote, that CNBC`s moderators
engaged in a series of gotcha questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone,
and designed to embarrass our candidates. End quote. CNBC is a sister
network to MSNBC and NBC News, and NBC News responded to the RNC`s letter
saying quote, "this is a disappointing development. However, along with our
debate broadcast partners at Telemundo, we will work in good faith to
resolve this matter with Republican Party."

Earlier in the week, CNBC responded to the initial criticism by saying
quote, "people who want to be president of the United States should be able
to answer tough questions." And so today, as we mentioned, the campaigns
are gathering in Washington without party leaders in an effort to effect
change, at least one of the candidates making it clear to our own Kasie
Hunt that it`s not something he likes to complain about. Take a listen.


CHRISTIE: I am not one of these guys who`s going to sit around and
complain about this, OK? If you can`t take it on the stage, no matter
whether it`s fair or unfair -- and I thought there was a lot of unfair
stuff the other night -- but if you can`t take it, how are you going to
take running against Hillary Clinton, how are you going to take negotiating
for America around the world? I`m not one of these whiners and complainers
about it. I think they`re doing the best they can, and it`s our job to
perform no matter what the circumstances are.

KASIE HUNT, NBC: Do you think NBC should have its debate with Telemundo?

CHRISTIE: I think it`s up to the RNC, they are the ones organizing it.
I`ll tell you this, any debate they`ll put on, I`ll show up.


LUI: Chris Christie will no doubt show up, knowing who he is. I want to
get into some of the direct proposed changes, and then get your feedback
here. Ben Carson is saying he would like when it comes to these debates,
he wants it broadcasted over the Internet, not television. He would like
less moderator questions and shorter ones at that. He`d like to reduce the
number of debates as well. And those are consistent with what are the
broader suggestions coming from not only the campaigns but also the RNC,
fewer debates, longer opening and closing statements, candidates drawing
straws for two equally sized debates, and there are others. Veto power for
instance even brought in for over-moderators.

MURRAY: This has been a long time problem. But you need to go back to the
previous debate. I think the second debate, Chris Christie specifically
said these are not the issues we want to talk about or should talk about,
and he corrected the moderators in that debate. It`s a common thing. Newt
Gingrich last cycle did the same thing, when asked about a personal
question saying if that`s what you want to ask about, this isn`t the place
to do it and you`re out of line to do it. It`s a common thing to pick a
fight with a moderator in certain fashions. So that`s --

LUI: That has become the fashion if we look at the last three cycles and
the debates used to be.

MURRAY: That`s correct, but also, I can tell you I have been a big
proponent from day one, the minute we had so many fantastic Republican
candidates, which is how strong the Republican bench is, unlike the
Democratic bench that has nobody on its bench right now, that we should
have done -- we should have put everybody in so to speak drawing straws and
had two debates, just like what other people have been talking about. I
talked about that back in August, with actually Ben Ginsburg (ph), who is
having the meeting tonight and running the meeting tonight with the people
down in Washington.


WILLIAMS: I have a couple of things to say. No. 1 is the realistic
logistics of this, as mentioned there are ten candidates, so any instance
where you have multiple candidates, particularly that large amount of
candidates, is very difficult to do a debate. This is not a debate.
They`re forums. A debate is you against one or two opponents, and you guys
asking each other questions to be able to challenge that. So that`s No. 1.

The other issue is as you mentioned what you`re supportive of. I don`t
think -- I think trading between moderators, having voters actually submit
questions that they want to hear from candidates, and the differences they
want of candidates. I think there`s a way logistically that we can do,
whether it`s a forum style or debate style to make that better.

One thing I will say, and this may get me killed from liberal friends, is
that people mentioning that they probably want Republican voters or
moderators. I don`t see a problem with that. This is a primary debate.
It is a primary process. And while there are still open primaries in
certain states, having people who will actually vote for them (inaudible).
I don`t think there`s a big problem with that. I do think the logistics of
this though are a problem, and one that we have to address. Regarding the
Democratic bench, the other piece I would say about that is just being my
Republican self for a hot minute.

LUI: Your Republican self. I like that. O`Brien is like who is this?


WILLIAMS: The media and sort of the media attention in the polls
contribute to who defines the bench. There are more than Hillary Clinton
running on the Democratic side, and so even though there are candidates
polling at 1 percent and other things, they have just as every right as a
Ben Carson or somebody else being on the stage to debate these issues.

ZAINO: Could we just take a step back for a minute and look at the big
picture? We have candidates complaining, which as you mentioned, they do
all the time. No matter if this was the greatest debate in the world or
not, they`re not going to be happy. But let`s look at the big moment of
the debate. Was Ted Cruz complaining that there wasn`t enough substance,
and yet he was responding to a question about his opposition to the debt
ceiling, which he refused to answer. That has not -- OB, just a minute,
you got your turn. That has not been stated clearly. These Republicans
did not want to engage in a full throttle debate on the substance. Why?
The economy is not their strong suit. It is much better now than it was
when Barack Obama took office.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

ZAINO: What are they going to run on? They also don`t want to note that
the biggest problem with Obama`s economy is the inequality (inaudible), and
they don`t have an answer to it. Just a minute. So we have to look at the
substance of this, and to say all of these changes that they`re going to
get together and talk about tonight, front-runners are not going to do the
same thing a Lindsey Graham or a Chris Christie wants to do. So this is
going to be a very interesting debate. They are not going to be satisfied
either way unless it`s to beat up on the media.

MURRAY: But in any debate, and I do this all the time with our clients,
you answer the question you wanted asked, not the one that was act. You
have an opportunity to pivot. What Ted Cruz did was, with ten people on
the stage and very few opportunities to speak, that was the first chance he
had after a period of time to step up and question the moderator on the
tone of what was going on, and it had to be done by somebody. Like I said,
Chris Christie did it in the previous debate. So once he answered that and
went on that monologue for a moment, then it became a question of hey, I`ll
answer your question, and then he got cut off and moved on to the next one.
So there was an opportunity there.

ZAINO: The real problem was not the tone. It was that they were surprised
that they were under attack. They should have been more prepared for that,
but if you look at it, some of the questions, you can dicker about some of
the tone.

MURRAY: We can sit here and talk about that. I got to respectfully

ZAINO: For you to say that Ted, his argument is he wants a more substantive
debate. That is not at all what you`re going to get as a result of this

LUI: I think what we have here is we have a great preview of what will be
discussed maybe today about how to handle these debates, so thank you,
panel. That was a great discussion on that, and of course we`ll return to
topics of similar issue, no doubt, later in the hour.

Still ahead for you, a report card for Obamacare. Dr. Zeke Emanuel will be
here to rate the health care law as it enters its fourth year.

And next, the latest details on yesterday`s shooting in Colorado Springs.
We have that as well.


LUI: We want to bring you up to date on some of the stories we`re
following this morning here on MSNBC, including Colorado Springs, where
officials are investigating after a suspected gunman shot and killed three
people yesterday morning before dying in a shoot-out with police. NBC`s
Leanne Gregg joins us live from Colorado Springs. What are officials
saying happened? And do we know at this moment anything about the gunman,
the suspect?

LEANNE GREGG, NBC: Hi, Richard. They have not released the gunman`s name
or anything about him. Today they are spending their time trying to
determine what may have motivated him to walk through a quiet neighborhood
here in Colorado Springs and open fire.

It started with a report of shots fired in the neighborhood. Also reports
of a fire in a basement. Police responded. The first victim was found.
Then witnesses say the gunman walked to the street and came face to face
with a woman who was leaving her house, a cyclist, just happened to come
between them. Witnesses say the gunman opened fire then on the guy on the
bicycle, killing him. He walked down the street, where he shot a third
person and killed them.

Eventually authorities caught up with the man here, that`s where gunfire
was exchanged. They said he was heavily armed. He was taken to the
hospital after he was shot, and later died. Again today, they say they`re
spending all of their resources trying to talk to anyone who was at those
three locations. They`re trying to determine the background of this man,
what his mental state might have been, how he got the weapons, anything on
social media that might have given them some clues as to what caused this
event. Richard?

LUI: Thank you so much, NBC`s Leanne Gregg with the very latest for us in
Colorado Springs.

Still ahead for you on this Sunday, one presidential candidate went door to
door yesterday, but this time he wasn`t collecting votes.

And next, diagnosing the Affordable Care Act, three years in, on its
birthday, Dr. Zeke Emanuel is with us right here.


LUI: President Obama heads to Newark, New Jersey, tomorrow, where he`ll
continue his push for criminal justice reform. This trip comes as pressure
mounts between police forces nationwide and the communities that they
protect. NBC`s Kristen Welker is live at the White House with that. Hey,

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC: Richard, good morning. The president`s trip will
include a visit to a treatment facility that helps adults get back on their
feet and a roundtable at Rutgers University. Criminal justice reform is
increasingly a central focus for President Obama and also a critical and
contentious issue across the country.


WELKER: When President Obama visits Newark, New Jersey tomorrow, prison
reform will be his rallying cry, getting ex-cons back to work. The
president arguing in his weekly address having millions of ex-offenders out
of work is bad for the country and the economy.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: Everyone has a role to play, from
businesses that are hiring ex-offenders to philanthropies that are
supporting education and training programs.

WELKER: Today more than 2 million people are behind bars in the U.S.
costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

OBAMA: That`s not a sustainable situation.

WELKER: This past week, the president spoke to police officers in his
hometown of Chicago, about reduced mandatory prison sentences for non-
violent offenders.

OBAMA: It is possible for us to come up with strategies that effectively
reduce the damage of the drug trade without relying solely on

WELKER: He also praised bipartisan legislation moving through Congress
that would decrease sentences. Earlier this year, Mr. Obama became the
first sitting president to visit a prison, talking to inmates as part of a
special that aired on HBO.

OBAMA: I did a lot of stupid stuff when I was young, but I`ve said this
before, I was just in an environment where you could afford to make some


WELKER: Last year the president established My Brother`s Keeper, that is
an initiative aimed at making sure young men of color have more
opportunities. This is clearly a key legacy issue for this president,
whose time in office is of course winding down.

LUI: Kristen Welker at the White House, thank you.

Now to a big milestone today for what is arguably the signature piece of
legislation and reform of the Obama presidency. The Affordable Care Act
unofficially turning 3 years old with the start of the third open
enrollment period for the health care law. Republicans claiming credit
this week for repealing a section of that law as part of the current budget
deal. It`s a section that requires large employers to enroll employees in
their health plans automatically. Although as the Huffington Post pointed
out, that provision was one few people knew about and few people supported

Here to assess how Obamacare is faring in its third year and where it needs
to be tweaked, we are joined by MSNBC contributor and chair of medical
ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Zeke
Emanuel. Good to see you in New York here for the marathon, I guess.


LUI: Third year anniversary, what is the grade?

EMANUEL: Well, first of all we passed it five and a half years ago, and a
lot of stuff went into effect almost immediately in 2010. It`s the third
year anniversary of the exchanges opening and expanding the Medicaid.

LUI: Which everybody remembers.

EMANUEL: I was recently asked what was the most surprising thing about the
ACA, the fact that it`s been so successful. Whatever your metric is,
whether it`s access in covering people, cost control, quality, the effect
on the Medicare trust fund, the effect on employment, it succeeded on all
of those metrics, and that`s got to be a real problem for Republicans by
and large, who still want to repeal it but don`t have a replacement that
makes sense.

LUI: I think somebody sitting at the table will have a question for you on
that shortly. I want to get to one of the issues related to this, because
we look back to the exchange and of course three years ago --

EMANUEL: It was a disaster.

LUI: It was a big sore shall we say. Another one that I was looking at
and it was something that was covered in a special on PBS, and that is the
success or the lack of success with co-ops, which were those on the ground,
need to happen clinics across the country, up to half it was said are not
going to succeed.

EMANUEL: First of all, they were an effort to provide insurance,
opportunities and options especially in states that did not have a lot of
insurers competing in the market.

LUI: Right.

EMANUEL: The government seeded them with some money, and now five years
later, we`re seeing that some of them are failing. Look, when you start
businesses in America, at the fifth year, half of the businesses have
closed. So the idea that some of these co-ops are going to work and some
are not going to work, that should be expected. That`s what business is
about. The idea that 100 percent were going to succeed I think is a false
metric we don`t hold the private sector to.

The second thing is, the rules have changed repeatedly. Congress has
altered the rules how much they were going to give the co-ops to start, and
second of all, the risk corridor, so how they were going to protect them in
the era when you start an insurance company and don`t know who will sign up
for you. Both of those have changed in the process. It`s no surprise when
you change the marketplace, some will fail, but some will succeed.

LUI: I have to let the crowds in here.


MURRAY: I think when you talk about Obamacare as a whole, I think there`s
parts you can look at that are good, but I think the cost part is one
that`s not. I am sitting here right now, I got a letter from my insurance
company this week, my insurance rates here where we sit right here in New
York went up 15 percent this year, last year 16 percent, on top of that I
have a deductible I have to pay before I can even go in and use it. So at
the end of the day the cost is atrocious and it`s going up, and on
taxpayers here in New York, you have a co-op here that`s costing the
taxpayers millions of dollars because of its failure. If you go into
business, why are the taxpayers in New York responsible paying for that at
this point? That I think is where it becomes unfair from a cost

EMANUEL: Let`s start with the cost standpoint. First of all, historic
lows over the last five years, that doesn`t predict what the future is, but
it has been historic lows, that your insurance is going up may be because
you were in a very favorable pool, taking advantage of certain situations,
like they weren`t insuring people with preexisting conditions so they could
give you, a very select group, a better rate. When we put everyone into a
pool, everyone benefits.

The second thing is, a lot of the cost increases over the last year are
directly attributable to drug increases. 14 percent on the drugs,
everything else has been pretty low. The last thing I would say is I agree
with you. Cost control is one of the things you have to be on every day of
the week. And I would flip it back to you. What is the Republican
proposal exactly on cost control? President Obama --

MURRAY: You asked a question, tort reform, buying insurance across state
borders are two things that will bring costs down, and more competition.

EMANUEL: Let me respond to that. Tort reform, the CBO looked at tort
reform over and over again as a measure of how much it`s going to reduce
costs. It`s negligible, 1 percent most. Second of all, buying across
state lines. You know what, you can now do that under the Affordable Care
Act, and it hasn`t made a difference, because state insurance commissioners
don`t want this buying across state lines. It`s going to happen. You
can`t legislate it from the federal government.

The fact is the only real cost control is going to change how we deliver
care to keep people healthy. That is one thing the Obama administration
has now been focusing on for the last couple of years, and it`s going to be
the key going forward.

I`d say the real optimism I have about the future is you go out into the
hustings, off the lights, tremendous amount of innovation happening out
there. Again, some of it is going to succeed, some of it will fail, and
that`s where we`re really going to reform the system.

LUI: Three years in on ACA and we shall see, no doubt. Thank you so much,
Dr. Zeke Emanuel, for being here as well.

EMANUEL: Nice to be here.

LUI: All right. Still ahead what President Obama said to John Boehner the
day the former speaker announced his retirement.

And next, who is Ben Carson? Getting to know the new front-runner.


LUI: Donald Trump facing strong opposition in his run for the White House
in this week`s polls. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is neck and neck
with Trump in the latest NBC News online poll. 26 percentage points each.
As candidates go, Carson and Trump could not be more different. Trump was
a star long before he launched his campaign, but many Americans are meeting
Ben Carson for the first time again and again. The claimed neurosurgeon
came on to the national scene after a very publicized speech at the 2013
national prayer breakfast, and now evangelicals are giving Ben Carson a
boost, especially in Iowa. Which may explain why Donald Trump was the
first to question Dr. Carson`s Seventh Day Adventist faith.


down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh Day
Adventist, I don`t know about.


LUI: So how will the broader public relate to Ben Carson and who he is?
To our panel, I was talking with our executive producer and senior producer
today, and I was like, that question, who is Ben Carson, we`re in a bunch
of months on this so far, and we`ve watched him go up and down in the
polls, mostly up. You still have to ask that question, who is Ben Carson?

ZAINO: And I think we haven`t gotten a good answer yet, and a lot of
people are still trying to get to know him. And in part I think when it
comes to this issue of religion, I do think Donald Trump actually is
reflecting a sense that people have out there. There`s not a lot of people
that are that familiar with the Seventh Day Adventist church, and so it is
a question, but the way in which he frames it made it seem like there was,
you know, something maybe a little bit sinister or something, you know, so
that to me was a little bit troubling, but I will say I think they are a
lot more similar -- personalities aside -- I think they are both populists
from the right. We have populists on the left. They are speaking. People
out on the stump with Ben Carson, it is like a revival. There is so much
energy and support for him out there, it is like a religious movement out
there. I think of a like Williams Jennings Bryant thing, this is how he
comes across, and people really, really do feel connected to him in that

LUI: But is it religious conservatism standing out right now really giving
him his boost in the national polls? We really want to talk about Iowa at
the moment.

WILLIAMS: I think one thing, as a person of faith I cringed when Donald
Trump said this.

LUI: The Presbyterian.

WILLIAMS: And you know, I`m a table flipping Christian, right, so I
cringed because it was framed in a way in which that we should be concerned
or leery of someone`s faith, and sort of what does that mean who they are.
Our faith influences who we are, and that`s partly has been the reason why
Ben Carson has gained so much support among certain populations because his
faith completely influences who he is, and he tells that compelling story,
Dr. Carson does.

LUI: As we all know, it`s how we talk about our faith, if you`re faithful,
it`s not just saying it.


MURRAY: As we sit here on Sunday morning, of course it`s something we`re
all aware, people have church they`re going to today at some point or they
went yesterday. But the reality is, it was a talking point he brought up.
I don`t think it`s a narrative at this point. I think if you look at what
happens in Iowa, with evangelicals voting and where they go, it`s a certain
segment of the voters at this point. The average voter is not going to
make or break Donald Trump talking about religion. The biggest question
you talk about for Ben Carson, you talk about how he speaks at a revival
meeting almost to some extent, he is like that. I hosted him a couple of
years ago here in New York and I had 300 people in New York, center right
conservatives, and he had them eating out of his hand before he was
anywhere near --

LUI: What stood out at that time he said to you?

MURRAY: I think it was his attack of Obama. It was frankly a black man
attacking a black president, which is --


WILLIAMS: And that`s where we are.

MURRAY: When you talk about it years ago, remember he stood in front of
the president, and he made his bona fides originally attacking the
president face to face at a prayer breakfast, mind you.


ZAINO: -- the fact that he`s a black man attacking the president, this is
somebody beloved across the board for what he has done. You look at this
compelling life this man has led. He brought himself up from nothing.
There is something about that, and L. Joy was talking about how faith is so
much a part of who we are, and I think it`s an aspirational story for
people. People would love to see ourselves and other Americans do what
he`s done.


WILLIAMS: Wait, wait. So one, you`re right, Dr. Carson`s, you are right,
Dr. Carson`s story is one in which those who knew him beforehand, which I
am among them, knew of his inspirational story. It was something
communicated all the time. But OB mentioned something really important.
The really important thing of people supporting him because it`s, oh,
there`s another black man commenting or -- negatively against the
president, and I don`t feel comfortable in doing so. Because of the race
factor. So here`s someone who can do it that kind of --

MURRAY: Not at all.


MURRAY: The question was what was he doing. He was attacking the
president and he was going after him in such a way that was very well
pointed out where the issues were with the president, with Obamacare and
other things. Given his narrative and history and his bio, which is
fantastic --


LUI: -- leave it with our table-flipping Christian. Which I`ve not heard
of before.


LUI: Up next, a new kind of retail politics, where the results are
immediate and they are sweet.


LUI: There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up with some
of the other headlines making news with today`s panel, I`ve got like eight
of them. We`re going to get to two or three of them and pipe in as you
always do. Bernie Sanders getting involved in a little candy collecting
with his grandchildren in New Hampshire. The senator from Vermont, he
dressed -- well, as Bernie Sanders. One of his grandsons, Grayson, 9, was
the abominable snowman. Riley, 10, was Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonny, 12, was
the white witch from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And what we
hear is when he arrived at the house of Marion Mashrow (ph), she screamed
with joy, ran, got her Bernie bear, quote, unquote, and Bernie called that
an experience of a lifetime. As we know, Bernie Sanders not a baby kissing

MURRAY: Was that Bernie or Larry David?


LUI: It`s good to see him out there.

ZAINO: It is. Imagine if he came to your door and knocked on your door.
I would scream. That`s exciting.

LUI: And you`d think it`s Larry David?


LUI: So President Obama, when John Boehner, House speaker, said he was
going to resign, they did have a little bit of an exit interview evidently,
and this is what we hear was said to Fox News on his way out of Congress
yesterday. Let`s take a listen.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO: President called me the day I announced my
retirement, and we had a nice conversation. At one point he said, Boehner,
man, I`m going to miss you. I said, yes, you are, Mr. President. Yes, you


LUI: How true. You see his eyebrows? Oh, yes.

WILLIAMS: You don`t know what`s coming.


WILLIAMS: I think -- listen, they worked together for a number of years.
Any time you work with a co-worker even though you didn`t like their smelly
lunch, you still said I`m going to miss you here.

MURRAY: This president has had a tough time getting along with people at
times, and every Democrat will say it too across the board, he doesn`t do
well with others all the time. Now he has got one year left to try to do
well with Paul Ryan. We`ll see how that goes.

LUI: I wanted to get to the Miami/Duke game. We ran out of time. It`s a
great video, though. So instead, we`ll have to eat doughnuts.


LUI: Here`s the play. Eight laterals. Reminds me of the big game in
California since I`m a Berkeley guy. Boy, a fantastic play. Eight
laterals. A lot of questions behind it. But if you like Saturday
football, this was one to see.

MURRAY: Chuck Todd`s a happy man right now.

LUI: Chuck Todd`s smiling all the way to the bank. Jeanne, thank you all
so much. L. Joy, OB, too many good times today. Have a great weekend,
what`s left for you. As to all of you for hanging out with us today, thank

Up next, is Melissa Harris-Perry. Stay tuned. We`ll see you next weekend,
have a great week.


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