UP with STEVE KORNACKI
July 7, 2013
Guests: Sean Trende, Daniel Garza, Dave Weigel, Deborah Hersman, Donita
Judge, Jim Morrill, Brad Miller, Barbara Buono, Garance Franke-Ruta,
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Investigators are looking for answers in the
Flight 214 this morning after it slammed into the runway at San Francisco
We`re standing by for a live report from San Francisco on exactly what we
know about the deadly crash of Flight 214 there and what`s the status of
the victims of the crash. We`ll go to our correspondent as soon as we`re
But right now I want to start with our top political story today, which is
a remarkable strategy being considered right now in some quarters of the
Republican Party for how to save that party. I don`t know if I`m supposed
to admit this, but I`ve kind of got a soft spot for Sean Hannity. It`s not
necessarily of an ideological thing. No, I think it`s probably unwitting
on his part, but if you want to really know and really understand the
psyche and the mood and the strategic thinking that`s guiding the
Republican Party at any given moment, well Hannity is just an unusually
good barometer for that.
To me this is what makes him unique among Fox hosts. They are all the
right, we know that. But they all have all their own corks, and more than
any of them, Hannity really is, first and foremost a party man, a
Republican Party Man. He wants the Republicans to look good and to win,
and he wants the Democrats to look bad and to lose. He`s more than happy
to completely reverse himself or to totally ignore or contradict past
pronouncement of principle if it serves that underlying agenda.
The ideological contortions this requires can be absurd, but if you pay
close enough attention, it can also be very revealing. Because what he`s
really doing is expressing the message, the strategy that`s gaining favor
or that`s in favor at that moment among Republicans. Case in point, the
debate over immigration. In the immediate wake of last November`s
election, it`s an election that Republicans like Hannity were absolutely
convinced they were going to win right up until the polls closed, Hannity
dramatically announced that he had evolved on immigration.
"We`ve got to get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It`s simple for
me to fix it. I think you control the border first. You create a pathway
for those people that are hear, you don`t say you got to go home. And that
is a position that I`ve evolved on. Because you know what, it just -- it`s
got to be resolved, the majority of people here, if there are some people
who have criminal records, you can send them home. But if people are here,
law abiding, participating four years their kids are born here, you know,
it`s first secure the border, pathway to citizenship done, you know,
whatever little penalties you want to put in there, if you want, but then
And the incentive for Hannity to say that seemed obvious, it was a surprise
defeat of Mitt Romney. Again, a surprised for those living in the
Republican media bubble. It was chalked up initially by Republicans and
just by everybody else to a record high turnout of nonwhite voters. There
is nothing new for Republicans to get shellacked with African American
voters, but the results pointed to a different problem for the GOP.
Latinos, a rapidly growing group had given President Obama more than 70
percent of their votes. The urgency for the GOP to change its tune seemed
obvious. That was eight months ago. But since then a bipartisan bill has
passed the Senate that would basically achieve everything Hannity said he
$30 billion in border security, the border surge, they are calling it, a
13-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants with clean records
with a series of fines and penalties for them along the way. It passed the
Senate by a 68 to 34 vote late last month, but now there`s doubt, grave
doubt that anything like it or anything at all will make its way out of the
Republican-controlled House and why? Because the strategic thinking in the
Republican Party seems to be changing. And who better to express that
changing thinking than Sean Hannity. "Not only do I doubt that the current
legislation will solve the immigration problem," he wrote recently, "but it
also won`t help the GOP in future elections."
So Hannity has evolved again, it would seem. Just getting rid of the
immigration issue is no longer the top of his agenda. And this mirrors a
broader trend among Republicans as MSNBC`s Benji Sarlin documented this
week, there is a growing sentiment within the GOP that the party does not
need to do any specific outreach to Latino voters. But the challenge
Republicans face going forward isn`t how to appeal to more nonwhite voters,
it`s how to win over and to turn out even more white voters. Two beliefs
seem to be driving this. One is that Latinos are simply a liberal leaning
voting bloc to start with, that for all sorts of reasons having nothing to
do with immigration, they are largely out of reach for the Republican
By this logic, Republicans see immigration reform as an electoral threat,
something that will simply add millions of more Democratic voters to the
rolls. Second belief, that there is a large untapped pool of more
Republican friendly white voters out there. With some data to support
this, there was a marked decline in white voter participation between 2008
and 2012. More than 5 million white voters who showed up in 2008 did not
turn out last year.
Now, Consider that Mitt Romney took 59 percent of the white vote overall.
If those extra white voters had shown up, it could have made the race a lot
closer. And if a future Republican candidate could turn those white voters
out and build on that 59 percent share that Romney got, well, then maybe
the GOP could still win without broadening its ethnic base. It raises all
sorts of troubling issues, of course. We are only getting more diverse as
a society. What would happen if the basic fault line between our two major
parties became race. One party basically became the party of white people
and the other became the party of nonwhites. Is that even possible it
could happen? Is that what Republicans like Hannity, Republicans who are
suddenly saying, hey, you know, we actually don`t have the incentive to do
immigration reform after all? Is that what they want to happen?
I want to bring in Sean Trende, senior election analyst at
Realclearpolitics.com, MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar, president and
CEO of Vote Latino - Latino, excuse me, a political organizing group.
Daniel Garza, executive director for the conservative Hispanic group, the
LIBRE Initiative. And MSNBC contributor Dave Weigel, the senior political
correspondent at Slate.com.
And Sean, we`ll start with you because you made a big contribution to this
discussion, maybe even got this discussion started recently with a series
you wrote at Real Clear Politics, which - if people haven`t read it, I
really would encourage them to look at. You made the case not for why
Republicans should concentrate on winning the white vote, but for just why
it would be possible to sort of concentrate on sort of being, you know,
more or less, being the party of white people. And for Republican - just
take us through the logic behind how that would work.
SEAN TRENDE, REALCLEARPOLITICS.COM: Yeah, and I do think upfront it`s
important to make the distinction you did. What should the GOP do, what`s
good politics, what`s good policy versus what wins elections, when - what`s
the easiest path is. And if you look at the demographics of 2012 as you
pointed out, you know, the Latino share of the electorate basically keeps
pace with population growth, same with the African-American electorate, but
there is a marked decline in the number of whites who turned out. And if
you look at the map, we are talking about the GOP base, this GOP base
strategy is completely not the way to get these voters to turn out. It`s
white working class, somewhat rural voters in the north kind of Perot
voters who were turned off by both candidates in 2012, ultimately .
KORNACKI: These are like - these are older voters, if they`re Perot voters
they`ve been around for a while. And you are saying, they are not -
because a lot of people, I think this has been interpreted by a lot of
people on the right. Limbaughs and Hannitys who are sort of saying, you
know, this is further proof the Republican Party isn`t conservative enough.
You know, we should be thinking, we think of, you know, the Republican
Party, we think of the South, we should be more Southern friendly, well get
more this way. But you`re saying, no, it`s - look in other states.
TRENDE: That`s right, it`s exact opposite of what Limbaugh and people are
saying, as a matter of fact, we`re talking about voters in kind of
southeastern Ohio, voters in western Wisconsin, places where, you know, the
GOP southern message doesn`t necessarily play particularly well, where the
GOP probably has to liberalize its economic message a little bit, or at
least change its pitch from what Mitt Romney was trying to sell.
KORNACKI: So, Daniel, when you hear this kind of discussion, I`m just
curious, what do you think about where the Republican Party needs to be
looking right now and then how it should be thinking about its future.
DANIEL GARZA, THE LIBRE INITIATIVE: Well, the Republican Party, they`ve
got to have a vision and vision means long term. My observation has been
that everybody who has any kind of national aspirations, Ryan, Rubio,
Jindal, you name it, has come out for immigration reform and a path to
citizenship. The party itself, the GOP has come out for a path to
citizenship. Anybody who has national aspirations has already come out for
a path to citizenship. The folks who have not, who resisted a little bit
more are the ones at the local level who fear being primary. That`s right.
I mean I think they`re trying to do the best of a very difficult situation.
KORNACKI: But I mean it seems there is - it`s a little bit more than a
local national divide. I can think of to me like a Ted Cruz, for instance,
probably has some national admission, right?
GARZA: Yeah, but listen to what Ted Cruz is saying. He wants to expand
legal immigration, he wants to double the number of folks coming legally.
He has asked to actually increase the number of visa opportunities into
America five times what it is today. So he`s not against immigration
reform. But I guess it depends on how you define immigration reform. Is
it a path to citizenship or is it just - let`s learn from the lessons of
the past and let`s try to fix .
KORNACKI: And let`s talk in a little bit, we`ll have a little time for
this discussion, a little bit more about how specifically immigration fits
into this discussion, but a sort of more on this, have you noticed what
we`re talking about in the opening here. Has the conversation shifted in
the Republican Party a bit about the urgency of appealing to nonwhite
voters and Latinos in particular, you know, over the last eight months?
GARZA: It has to a certain extent, but I think that`s coming from the
political pundits more than anything else. I don`t see it coming from the
actual leadership itself. And what we`re seeing here, I think there is a
fear, maybe, that immigration reform has gotten out of control. You know,
they don`t want it to go all the way to path to citizenship - talking about
the base, the Tea Party folks who may be a little bit more strident when it
comes to the issue of immigration. But what I`m seeing, there is an
openness on part of the party itself to engage in the issue of immigration
reform and have welcomed it, in fact.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTTRIBUTOR: I think - I think when you
actually step back. Sean, what you`re describing is basically identifying
for a populist candidate to come in and overtake the Republican Party.
Plus, you know, taking a step back, this is the party of the Koch brothers.
This is a party of big business. They are not going to let a populist
candidate to come in and actually overtake the party and just like they`re
not going to win the Latino vote overnight, I don`t see a populist
candidate coming overnight and basically winning this swath of the
But you start looking at Texas. Yes, Ted Cruz is, you know, he is quite
popular in Texas, but he - it`s also one of the worst performing states
when it comes to Latino participation. They have 2.3 million Latinos that
are unregistered, but eligible voters. When you start actually looking at
the demographic, just, it`s not in the interest of the Republican Party to
look at this and say, OK, well, in the short term we just need more white
Well, it`s not just white voters, they`re turning off a whole swath of
female voters, white female voters with their agenda, so they have to start
looking at not just how do you actually start wooing the disaffected white
voter, but how do you actually start changing your policies and your brand
so, yes, you may be able to win the next congressional race, but what are
you going to do six, seven years from now when the demographics just aren`t
on your side, nor are your policies.
KORNACKI: Well, I want to pick this up in a second and to how long -
because we`ve talked a lot on the show about the demographic changes, now
(inaudible). I want to talk a little bit about how that - how long that
process is going to take to play out and how it will look, but we`ll get to
that in a second. First, we are going to get the latest on the crash of
that Boeing 777 in San Francisco yesterday. It killed at least two people
and injured 180 more. Asiana Airways Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea,
crash landed after it came in an awkward angle and clipped its tail.
President of the airline said at a press conference this morning that the
two fatalities were Chinese women born in 1996 and 1997 whose seats were at
the back of the plane. For the latest we`re going to go to NBC`s Miguel
Almaguer outside San Francisco General Hospital where some of the
passengers were taken. Good morning, Miguel, can you tell us what`s the
latest is out there.
MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, good morning. We know 182
passengers were treated at local Bay Area hospitals, at about a dozen Bay
Area hospitals. Some of the most seriously injured were treated here at
San Francisco General Hospital. They saw some 53 patients, half of them
were children. We know that this morning six patients remain in critical
condition including one child. We`re told that so many patients were
arriving at this hospital they actually came in four different waves.
That was a similar scene at Bay Area hospitals across this region. Some of
the injured had some broken bones, internal bleeding, some also had some
burns, we`re told that many of the victims when they arrived here were
certainly shocked and it took some time for them to realize what was going
on. Again, six patients remain in critical condition here at San Francisco
General Hospital. Of those six patients, one is a small child. There are
other patients recovering at other Bay Area hospitals. Certainly going to
be a long couple of days for those survivors who are bruised and beaten,
back to you.
KORNACKI: All right, NBC`s Miguel Almaguer reporting from San Francisco.
Thanks for that. We`re going to get back to this conversation about the
Republican Party and its identity crisis. That`s after this.
KORNACKI: I want to put some exit poll data up on the screen, so this is -
this is the white vote in two recent presidential elections comparing how
white voted and how they turned out in 2004 and 2012. So, you could see
the percentage of the electorate that was made up white voters, dropped.
And this has been all sort of - this has been a modern story in American
policy, dropping every presidential election from 77 percent in `04 to 72
percent last fall. Now, how did those white voters actually vote when they
turn out? In 2004, George W. Bush winning re-election. There you go. You
can see it. 58 percent of the white votes - so Mitt Romney losing, you
know, by what - like 4 million - 4.5 million votes last year compared to
Bush winning in `04. Romney actually improved his showing among white
voters, but it because the share of the electorate dropped so much that
didn`t translate into the kind of victory it did for George W. Bush. Dave,
what do you make - sorry I`m losing my voice, you can pick up after me -
but what do you make of this conversation taking place in the Republican
Party right now about how to balance the need to outreach or whether
there`s a need to outreach or to just to drive the numbers among whites?
DAVE WEIGEL, SLATE.COM: Oh, you`re right that it`s - Hannity is a good
sounding board for this. Because we`re (inaudible) not to say this, but
the things that will say, is that they are getting honest about what the
electorate they`d like to have next time.
One of the Republican strategist I talked to said, you know, Barack Obama
is basically stunt casting. I mean they`re not - Democrats are not going
to have another charismatic biracial candidate in 2016, unless somebody
we`ve never heard of takes the nomination. It`ll probably be - when you
hear Republicans make fun of Hillary Clinton as a golden girl, which has
happened a couple of times, that`s part of the message that you`re going to
have - you`re going to have another white candidate going and if can - if
those numbers tick at all, move around the margins, then Ohio is harder for
you, guys, to win because I think Ohio you get Obama winning about 40
percent of the white vote. Something that the Democrats didn`t think they
could win with. He wins by bringing out black voters, North Carolina,
Virginia, they think they changed the map that way. They`re pretty hard-
nosed about how they can hold the house, too. And they`re right.
And I think if every district that had less than 20 -- more than 25 percent
Hispanic votes that Republicans hold now, if they lost all this, they`d
still have the House. I mean they have still big enough majority to lose
everything, because - now, there is (inaudible), they gerrymandered in a
way, so that they`ve got mostly white strongholds, low minority populations
where they can make it and the places where they do have a high minority
population like Maria was saying are Texas districts were Latino
participation in the electorate is not that high.
KORNACKI: Well, that`s the interesting thing. We talk about this in terms
of presidential elections, but you were talking about you`re seeing a
national and sort of more local split. But I think that local split is
maybe - is embodied in the House and you look at the House Republicans.
The open question right now whether immigration will pass the House. Well,
as Dave is saying, there is no real electoral incentive for just about
every Republican House member right now to be thinking about Latino voters
in the general election, they worried about the Republican primary, they
worry about these largely white districts.
Does that become or has that already become self-reinforcing where you get
2014, you know, we`ve talked in the show about the disparity between
presidential turnout and midterm turnout. So, if all of these, you know,
Republican congressmen sort of ignoring Latino voters get re-elected in
2014 and maybe a few more get in there, too. Does that sort of reinforce
this - the kind of thinking that the Republicans have been embarking on in
the last few months?
GARZA: Well, I mean, look, if people are looking at just the presidential
election and Hispanics, that`s short-sighted too. It`s myopic. And what I
mean by that is like, you know, I think Maria Teresa made a good point
about Texas. But also like the state of Arizona where you have Barbara
Kirkpatrick and Sinema who are - won within four percentage points each in
the last go around. Immigration is going to matter, and how you outreach
and engage the Hispanic community in states like that is also going to make
the difference whether you get to win in congressional districts, as well.
So, it`s just not about a national, it`s at the local races, as well, where
I think immigration is going to play a huge role.
KUMAR: That`s right. And what Daniel I think is also saying, what you`re
referring to, is that sure, the Republican Party can sit tight and just go
after congressional races, but they`ll be fine, but where are those
congressional candidates that actually won statewide office? Who are the
ones that want to run for governor? Who are the ones who run for a Senate?
Forget the presidency, because of these massive demographic shifts, not
just in the Latino community, but African-American, Asian and young white
women they are going to have to make sure that they`re changing their brand
in order for them to win -- statewide offices. So, it`s not just about -
it`s not just about gerrymander districts, but who among those House
representatives in the gerrymander districts actually want have the
affinity of wanting to .
KORNACKI: But is there - and, Sean, maybe you could speak to this. Is
there in some states I absolutely see how that`s the case for Republicans
and already is the case in some states where there is, you know, a growing
Latino population, for instance and Republicans have to be sensitive there,
but that`s not true in every state. Right? I mean your case is sort of
that Republicans - you`re not talking about 538 electoral votes, you`re
talking about getting past 270. You`re not talking about 435 House seats,
you`re talking about 218. And you are saying by concentrating on white
voters, there is a path not just in 2016, but going further beyond that
where they can reach both of those thresholds, just kind of strengthening
(ph) on white voters.
TRENDE: Yeah, you know, people say how do you make up for the loss of
Texas, which I don`t think happens for a long time, but, you know, the fact
of the matter is that states like Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan
have the same number of electoral votes as Texas does so - I think and
those states are largely white. I think there`s another point to be made
here, though, that even in state - even in border states, you know, Arizona
went more strongly for Mitt Romney when you look at how the nation as a
whole voted than it did for George W. Bush in 2004, and it`s the poster
child for what you should not do to reach out to Hispanic voters. And the
reason is that working class whites move toward the Republican. I`m not
advocating Arizona as a national strategy, I`m just saying, if you want to
look at the cold calculus of electoral politics it works out a little
different than a I think a lot of people expect.
KORNACKI: Well, there are some more questions, too, but we say the white
vote, as - what we always talk about is the Latino vote and we say too
monolithically, and maybe we say, they are too monolithically about the
white vote, too. I want to look more specifically at what that coalition
you`re talking about would look at if it`s even possible to get the kind of
numbers you`re talking about. We`ll pick it up after this.
KORNACKI: So, Sean, I just - I want to pick up on this point, and Maria
kind of raised it a little bit earlier. You were talking about - so, this
- the white voter strategy, if Republicans were to follow, would be to turn
out, sort of older, sort of more economically downscale white voters not so
much in the South, but in the north. Keep talking about more of a populist
message, economically populous message, reaching out instead of, you know,
Mitt Romney and Mr. corporate America. I get that, but then what Maria
sort of raised, was can that message and can the candidate like that co-
exist in today`s Republican Party, which really, you know, for lack of a
better way to put, it seems like a worship the private sector, you know,
the Koch brothers` Republican Party, can that even co-exist or would you
lose a chunk of the Republican Party by going after these voters?
TRENDE: Yeah, you might lose some of the donor base. I don`t think you
lose that many actual voters. I mean I think one thing we`d all agree on
on these panels that the Republican Party has to change, the kind of Mitt
Romney face of the party doesn`t sell well. You have to be careful.
Because Mitt Romney actually did come out ahead of Barack Obama on the
economy and deficit question in the exit polls. So, the question is how
does the Republican Party change? Does it want to reach out, become more
Bush-like if you will in terms of outreach to Latinos or does it want to
become more Bush-like in terms of its economic policy and its message,
because you might remember, Bush was actually, you know, the compassionate
conservative, but I think the kind of more libertarian economic message of
Mitt Romney just doesn`t appeal to a majority of voters. It`s not going to
appeal to these downscale whites.
KORNACKI: And you`re saying the long-term -- you did a chart that laid it
out going through like the 2048 election and the white people party
strategy, - but you are saying they`ll ultimately be getting like 70
percent of the white vote and we have like Mitt Romney getting 59 percent
last year. People were saying, wow, we got 59. Reagan got 63 when he ran
in in `84. And you`re saying they could drive it up to 70 percent.
TRENDE: Well, you know, the interesting thing about the white vote is when
you control for the economy it`s actually been moving naturally rightward,
at about - a tick about one percent a year. I mean Reagan got 63 percent
of the white vote, but he was running with seven percent economic growth at
his back. Mitt Romney came close to that running against an incumbent who
was running with 2 percent growth at his back, and so you have to take a
look at the bigger picture and say, yeah, I think some shift is possible.
KORNACKI: I think - when I hear it I think - I think it was the younger
white voters .
KORNACKI: . are a lot less conservative and especially, I mean, we had
this -- we were talking yesterday on the show about this, the Republican
autopsy of the election and talked about issues like gay marriage being
gateway issues for young voters, and we can`t even have a conversation with
them until we hid this off the table. So, I look at that and I say how can
the Republican Party continue this with people who are not, you know, 50,
60 years old?
WEIGEL: Yeah, when you say, the bigger picture, the country is not
monolithic. We have - every presidential election we are talking about
picking off states, Iowa, Barack Obama wins the white vote, has gay
marriage. New Hampshire, Barack Obama wins the white vote, has gay
marriage. You - the white vote isn`t going to be static and it changes
dramatically state to state. I think Mitt Romney wins about 90 percent of
the white vote in Mississippi. That - that colors the entire picture. The
Midwest, this hope that whites are going to come back to the Republican
Party naturally based on the trends of the past. There were reasons why
white voters flood the Democrats in the `60s and the `70s, you go back to
stories from Iowa in the `70s, for example. You`ll find panic about crime
in Chicago, crime in urban areas. You don`t have that now. What is the
motivation for a white backlash? A fear of crime, a law and order focus?
You had immigration a little bit, but there is nothing comparable to the
crack wars and the things that really made people panic, riots in the `60s,
`70s. You need those conditions again, which I don`t` think hopefully
we`re not getting to, to really recreate the animus that turned - that
turned areas that didn`t have a history of racial voting.
And I don`t think you`re going to get that. You`re going - instead of the
current trends happily are more people graduating from college, a white --
the white vote being more liberal on almost every issue as they come into
the electorate. I don`t think they stay - I mean there are issues in the
future we can`t predict, but generally the conditions that made people
Republican in Michigan, we still talk about Reagan Democrats and Perot
Democrats. Look at the Detroit suburbs when they were panicked about crime
for Detroit when Reagan was running. Look at them now. Barack Obama won
them twice. (inaudible) County, (inaudible) County. How do you swing them
back? In Michigan, Rick Snyder can win them when he runs for governor by
running as a more moderate Republican. That`s what we come down to. If
you go to - compare any other country where the conservative party has been
able to win back minorities or win back suburbs they`ve moderated.
KUMAR: That`s right.
KORNACKI: Well, so, let`s connect this. We teased this a little bit.
Let`s connect it to the immigration debate right now. This was Lindsey
Graham, talking - Lindsey Graham, one of the members of the Gang of Eight
really advocating for immigration reform. This was him talking about the
consequences for the Republican Party not doing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY GRAHAM: If it fails and we are blamed for its failure, our party
is in trouble with Hispanics not because we`re conservative, but because of
the rhetoric and the way we`ve handled this issue. I want to get
reattached to the Hispanic community to sell conservatism, pass
comprehensive immigration reform and grow this party. The party`s got to
be bigger than Utah and South Carolina. The Hispanic community is very
close to our values, but we have driven them away over this issue. Let`s
fix this problem for the good of the country and for the good of the party
and this bill does that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And Daniel, I want to ask you about that after this.
KORNACKI: So, Daniel, we played Lindsey Graham there saying basically the
future of the Republican Party is on the line with immigration reform. I
guess I`m curious. What do you expect to happen if this gets through the
House, something like the Senate, gets through the House, if we have
immigration reform this year, what do you expect that to mean sort of - you
know, we`ve seen two straight elections the Republicans have not cracked 30
percent or barely cracked 30 percent among Hispanics. Do you expect that
to be up at 35, 40 percent. How big of a problem does this solve if the
Republican Party getting it through, in your mind?
GARZA: Well, we`d like to see a path to citizenship. That would be
ideally the kind of reform we want to see. We settle for legalization to
remove the poll of illegality between employer/employee and so we can get
the economy back on track here. Now, what`s interesting is that a poll
just came out a little bit ago, and the question was, you know, would you
support like Marco Rubio or Ryan and the numbers that they got were almost
similar to Romney, but when they changed the question, they asked him, what
if I told you that Marco Rubio was instrumental in passing -- in reform
that led a path to citizenship. It went up to 54 percent we`re more likely
to vote for .
KORNACKI: You`re talking about Hispanic voters.
GARZA: Hispanic voters.
KORNACKI: Yeah, because we have - so we have - this is the first poll you
are talking about. I think this is the same one. This is from maybe two
weeks ago. Latino decisions poll.
GARZA: Yeah, I know it.
KORNACKI: So this was yea, Rubio versus Clinton in 2016. Put it at
Clinton, 66, Rubio, 28. Last year, it was Obama, 71, Romney, 27. So
there`s really no statistical difference between how Romney did last year.
This was, you know, terrible.
GARZA: Well, but that`s because, you know, he was not running for
president and he hasn`t made a campaign, but if he would have owned the
issue and embraced his Hispanicity and I think cash in his cultural
capital, he`d go a long way, and that .
KORNACKI: But how much can he - how much can he really own this? That`s
been the whole story with Marco Rubio, right, and the Republican Party.
KUMAR: I think more important, I think this is what Lindsey Graham gets.
What happened in California before Pete Wilson basically, who is basically
very anti-immigrant, just to give you - just go back in history a little
KUMAR: California was - it was a swing state.
KORNACKI: It was a Sunbelt state. It was .
KUMAR: And then what happened is that they created really harsh
restrictions and now Latinos felt that it was an insult. So what happened
is, that it closed up California. Lindsey Graham sees the future. He
understands that in order for the Republican Party to basically move
forward and win the presidency, win that golden jewel, he needs to make
sure that Latino voters are open. What Marco Rubio does, is that all of a
sudden, he may not - you know, he may not be the best candidate, but what
he does, opens up the Republican Party to the Latino voter and say, you
know what, you are not only palpable, but we really worked on the front
lines to make sure that we have a pathway to citizenship and we want you
back and then it - and opens up for them to talk about economic issues. It
allows them to talk about issues that the Latino voter, just like American
voters, care about. They want jobs, they want access to health care. They
want to make sure that their kids get a good education. They want the
KUMAR: But that`s not going to happen short of the Republican Party
balking immigration reform. It`s just not going to happen.
TRENDE: You know, the interesting thing about the California example is if
you look at the exit polls, the Latino - the Republican share of the Latino
vote in California was constant from 1988 through 2004. It doesn`t budge,
what changes is, what happened nationally during the 1990s, which is the
white vote, especially around Silicon Valley swung heavily Democrat. And
that`s what really lost California for the Republicans. Now, if you get
rid of the immigration issue, take it off the table, does that allow for
further outreach? I think it`s an open question, I think it`s a good
question, but I don`t know the answer.
KORNACKI: So, you`re - you are not of the opinion of Lindsey Graham then
that this -- that there`s an automatic upside with the Hispanic vote for
Republicans if they pass this?
TRENDE: I don`t - I think there some upside. I just don`t know how much
it is. I mean you look at George W. Bush running against John Kerry,
that`s like a perfect storm for Republicans to win Latino votes, you look
at Mitt Romney, who was the absolute worst outreach candidate for all sorts
of reasons against Barack Obama and you`re talking about a difference of 17
percent. How much of that 17 percent is due to Mitt Romney`s stance on a
path to citizenship? Is it five percent, is it ten percent? I don`t know
the answer to that.
KUMAR: But Lindsey Graham kept hitting the nail on the ad. It`s the tone
of the way people talk about immigration reform and if you basically come
from a party where they`re basically saying, we don`t want to listen to
you, you aren`t American that turns voters off. The moment you`re saying
we recognize that we need you, then you create an opportunity for -- to
have conversation. There`s a whole swath of Latinos that are in
evangelical communities, in rural communities that under all the best
circumstances they would vote for the Republican Party.
KORNACKI: Well, but there are - I mean the polling on this, and I think,
you know, we alluded to this at the top here. If you talk about sort of
basic issues, you know, economic principles and economic values, you are
finding that Latino community is much more Democratic than Republican in
terms of sort of its basic philosophical views on economic issues.
GARZA: I think that there has been -- there`s a dependency, a
disproportionate dependency has been created in the Hispanic community, and
I think it lends to looking towards the government for assistance.
KUMAR: I don`t think that.
GARZA: But I mean that`s .
KORNACKI: Is that the way to - is that the way to?
KUMAR: Actually that`s .
GARZA: I`m sorry. It is true. That there is a dependency streak within
the Hispanic community that - when they lean more on government.
KUMAR: They`re - I think the (inaudible) the least ones that are actually
on the government.
GARZA: But I can tell you this, I can tell you this, as the LIBRE
initiative, which is organization that advances economic freedom, which is
free enterprise, self-reliance, free markets, rule of law and these kinds
of things, that message is absolutely embraced within the Hispanic
community when we take it to the Hispanic community.
So I disagree a little bit with Mr. Trende when he says that, you know, you
have to shift away from an economic message. That`s exactly what they`re
needing and Maria Teresa was exactly right. It is about jobs, it is about
the economy and educational opportunities. When we talk about these
issues, but when what gets held up is this immigration issue where, yeah,
this tough kind of rhetoric is - rhetoric is keeping them at bay, I think
if they were to -- I think we need to -- we need to know that you care
about the least of those. That you care about the less fortunate, that
you`re going to do something about that and that`s when I think you`re
going to open up to the other issues and economic issues and these kind of
things is what you`re going to see.
KORNACKI: All right. I want to thank Daniel Garza of the LIBRE initiative
and MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar. We`ll talk to the chairman of
the NTSB on the crash of Flight 214 in San Francisco. It`s right after
KORNACKI: We`re waiting for a press conference later today on the crash of
that Boeing 777 in San Francisco yesterday that killed at least two people
and injured 180 more. Asiana Airways Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea,
crash landed after it came in at an awkward angle and clipped its tail.
The president of the airline said at a press conference this morning that
the two fatalities were Chinese women born in 1996 and 1997 whose seats
were at the back of the plane. The National Transportation Safety Board
arrived on scene late last night and took control of the investigation.
We have with us right now the NTSB`s Chairman Deborah Hersman. Deborah,
thanks for joining us. So, you guys have been on the scene since last
night. What can you tell us you`ve learned so far?
DEBORAH HERSMAN, NATL. TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD: Well, I can tell you
we had a couple of investigators here from California yesterday afternoon.
They were able to secure the black boxes and get them out on a red-eye
under federal supervision yesterday evening. We arrived around midnight,
had an opportunity to go to the accident site and I can tell you that we`re
very thankful that we don`t have more fatalities and injuries given the
devastation that I saw.
KORNACKI: So you guys have recovered the black box. We always hear about
these black boxes in crashes like this. How key is that to sort of
unlocking the mystery of what happened? Is that really sort of the holy
HERSMAN: I will tell you, the flight data recorders and cockpit voice
recorders are sometimes the key to solving these investigations, very, very
helpful. Hundreds of parameters on the flight data recorder that can tell
us what the airplane was doing, what was being commanded at the time. The
cockpit voice recorder will tell us not just about the last moments right
before the crash, but the minutes and the hours before the crash so we can
understand the communication, the coordination and any issues that were
raised in the cockpit.
KORNACKI: And so, has that -- I mean it was recovered. Has it been like
preliminarily reviewed at this point or when will that, you know, play out?
HERSMAN: The recorders left here in San Francisco on a red-eye flight just
before midnight. They were scheduled to arrive back in D.C. Very first
thing this morning. They`ll be escorted back to our labs and within the
first 24 hours we hope to do a preliminary audition. That`s to make sure
that the data is there, the quality is good. There wasn`t any damage from
the crash that information was recorded and we`ll have a sense of that
hopefully within the next - next 24 hours.
KORNACKI: And obviously you know we have all the reporting out there about
how the plane was coming in at a weird angle. It seems to be, you know,
involved in this crash here. Any sense what kind of error could have led
HERSMAN: You know, we haven`t ruled anything out at this point. It`s
still very early in the investigation. We`ve been here for literally a few
hours with our go team. We need to review the recorders, we need to
document the perishable evidence here on scene. Certainly, we want to do
some interviews of the crew, of the survivors, of witnesses and piece all
of those things together with the air traffic control tapes and radar data
and we want to corroborate all of that information to get a really good
picture of what happened.
KORNACKI: Also I`m just curious. Have you guys had a chance yet to talk
with the flight crew and to just get their perspective on what happened?
HERSMAN: Federal law enforcement officials did engage with the flight crew
very early, but the NTSB has not yet had a chance to interview the crew
members. We hope to do that over the course of the next couple of days.
KORNACKI: And finally, I mean, you know, you talk about how - and I`ve
heard this a lot how sort of almost miraculously, there`s unfortunately two
people dead, but it could have been as you said, much, much worse. How
much is this a result of what we have learned, what you folks have learned
over the years from previous crashes, how much have we been able to learn
from previous crashes that may have saved life yesterday?
HERSMAN: Well, I tell you, we have to give tremendous credit to the
aviation community for the hard work that they have done over the years,
the manufacturers with respect to aircraft, the operators with respect to
their programs and their crew training. The pilots for proficiency and so
we have had very safe commercial aviation system here in the U.S. But I
think that crash last night, yesterday really reminds us why it`s so
important to be vigilant all the time. When we look at what happened in
that crash it absolutely could have been a lot worse.
KORNACKI: Yeah, I don`t fly that much, but I know the next time we`re
coming in for, you know, the final approach there I guess, they`ll call it.
I`ll be a lot more, you know, sure to listen to the flight crew and
everything. That`s for sure. Thank you to NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.
Rick Perry for president. I`ll tell you why that`s not as weird as you
might think although it is still kind of weird after this.
KORNACKI: I remember August 23rd 2011, because I felt something I have
never before felt in my life. An earthquake right here on the East Coast
in New York. Well, OK, that`s not totally true. I was sitting at my desk
at work listening to cheesy music on Pandora when everyone else in the
office got up and started making noise. Apparently, the whole building, it
just started shaking, but I kind of then oblivious to it. So, they all
felt it, but I didn`t.
But anyway, yeah, there was a literal earthquake 5.8 on the Richter scale
stretching from Virginia to New York on that August day two years ago. And
then the very next day there was a political earthquake or what seemed at
the time to be a political earthquake. When Gallop released its newest
poll on the Republican presidential contest and found a new front-runner,
Rick Perry less than two weeks after jumping into the race surging into
first place with 29 percent and threatening to leave Mitt Romney in the
It kind of made sense, up until that point Romney had been the luckiest
Republican alive. There was a clear, huge, gaping opening for a credible
conservative to take him out and there had been all year. The conservative
base was in revolt against the party establishment. A party establishment
that was basically personified by Romney. Perry seemed like a more natural
fit for the grassroots. But because he was also the governor of a major
state, someone who had proven he could raise big money and win big
elections it also seemed like the party establishment would be comfortable
with him. So when that poll came out two years ago, it really looked like
Mitt Romney`s luck was quickly running out. But I think you know what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY: I think Americans just don`t know sometimes which Mitt Romney
they`re dealing with. Was it -- was before he was before the social
programs from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe versus Wade
before he was against Roe versus Wade.
Those of you there who will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your
support and your vote.
The third agency of government, I would do away with the education, the ..
PERRY: . Commerce and let`s see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my.
PERRY: The third one, I can`t. Sorry. Oops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All of that is what caused this to happen to Rick Perry`s poll
numbers. A steady merciless fadeout in the fall of 2011. By the time the
New Hampshire primary rolled around, Perry got less than one percent, just
1,764 votes in the entire state. By that point everyone figured poor Rick
had had about enough and would just drop out, but, no, the morning after
New Hampshire he sent out a tweet showing himself in jogging shorts and
announcing that he was moving on to the, quote, next leg of the marathon,
the South Carolina primary. But Perry was doing so badly that he didn`t
even meet the threshold criteria for inclusion in the big pre-South
Carolina debate on CNN. Although, CNN for some reason, entertainment
value, I`m guessing, waived the rules and decided to let him in anyway.
But then the day of the big debate came and Perry decided not to show up
and instead he dropped out of the race and he endorsed Newt Gingrich.
Somebody did the math. Perry had spent more than $16 million in this
campaign and received a grand total of 14,321 votes. In other words, he
had paid more than a thousand bucks per vote. Now, that, ladies and
gentlemen, was one disastrous presidential campaign.
And it`s why the reports that keep coming out of Texas seem so weird. The
Perry supposedly is interested in running again in 2016. Maybe it`s all a
bluff or maybe it`s a joke or something. We`ll probably find out a lot
more tomorrow when Perry is supposed to announce whether he`ll seek a
fourth term for governor in 2014. Let`s say Perry really does want to run
again. How unprecedented would that be? For someone to run such a
terrible, awful, miserable failed campaign for the presidency to be
epically humiliated on the national stage and then to turn around and do it
again? Is there any reason to think it will be any different for Perry the
second time around? Well, the short answer is probably not, but I don`t
know. Take Bob Dole.
He was Gerald Ford`s vice presidential nominee in 1976. It made him a
national name so he decided to run for president four years later in 1980.
And it was a complete catastrophe. He got only 597 votes in New Hampshire.
Like a third of what Rick Perry got and he dropped out. A few years later,
though, in 1984, Dole got himself elected Senate majority leader, it made
him a much bigger deal on the party, so he tried for the White House again
in 1988 and this time he gave George H.W. Bush a real scare when he
finished second in the primaries, which made him the next in line guy for
the next open nomination in 1996.
So, I guess Dole`s example could give Perry some hope. There`s Joe Biden.
He ran for the 1988 Democratic nomination and he looked like he might just
grab it. He was raising big money, his speeches were winning rave reviews.
His poll numbers were moving. It was real excitement, but then it came out
that some of his most effective campaign trail rhetoric was actually
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN: Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go
to a university? Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the
audience is the first in her family to ever go to college?
NEAL KINNOCK: Why am I the first in a thousand generations to be able to
get to university? Why is (inaudible) the first woman in her family, in a
thousand generations .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That comparison set off a huge scandal in 1987 enforced Biden
out of the race, but the timing was pretty good. He was chairman of the
judiciary committee in the Senate which was just about to consider Ronald
Reagan`s nomination of Robert Bork who was the most controversial Supreme
Court pick of the last few generations, so Biden led the fight against
Bork, beat the nomination and won back a lot of his stature. Enough that
two decades later, he was able to land on his party`s national ticket. The
problem for Rick Perry, is that nothing has really happened since his 2012
campaign to change the way people see him. Dole and Biden got second and
third chances because they found high-profile ways to redeem themselves.
By the time 2008 rolled around, when most people thought of Joe Biden, they
thought of a long-time senator, the guy who had done the crime bill, the
guy who`d fought Robert Bork, the guy who liked to talk and talk and talk
and talk. They didn`t really think of Neal Kinnock plagiarism anymore.
They thought of a serious credible politician, but ask anyone about Rick
Perry these days and chances are this is still the first thing they think
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Let`s see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my.
PERRY: The third one, I can`t. Sorry. Oops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Until and unless that changes, he`s probably climbed as high as
he can in politics. Texas and other states unleashed by the Supreme Court
stampede to roll back voting rights. That`s next.
KORNACKI: Last week we talked about the Supreme Court overturning a
crucial component of the Voting Rights Act allowing states with a history
of discrimination to make sweeping changes in their voting laws without
advanced federal approval. Within hours of that ruling, Texas, Mississippi
and Alabama, all said they would begin enforcing strict new voter I.D. laws
that had been held up by federal review. Now ground zero for voter I.D.
laws is shifting to North Carolina where Republicans have total control of
both houses of the state legislature and the governor`s mansion. So, it`s
the time that happened since 1870.
This is not just a change to voting laws North Carolinians are facing,
Republican attacks on reproductive health, unemployment insurance and
Medicaid spending are all under way as well. And we`ll discuss those in a
minute. Along with the voter I.D. bill the state GOP is advancing, there`s
also a push to end popular provisions such as same day voter registration,
early voting and Sunday voting, all of which disproportionally affect
North Carolina NAACP President Reverend William Barber who has led nine
straight weeks of protests at the state capitol says he is not backing
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. WILLIAM BARBER, PRES., NORTH CAROLINA NAACP: If you think you`re
going to take our voting rights without a fight, you ain`t seen a headache
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BARBER: We will fight you every step of the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I`m joined now by Donita Judge, staff attorney at the
advancement project where she leads the organization`s redistricting work.
MSNBC contributor Dave Weigel is back at the table. And we`re also joined
by Jim Morrill, a longtime political writer at "The Charlotte Observer" who
has been covering the state legislature and rally, the former North
Carolina Democratic Congressman Brad Miller, now a senior fellow with the
Center for American progress.
And Jim, you know, you`re covering this. So, I`ll start with you. If you
could just kind of update us on as soon as the Supreme Court ruling came
down we started getting word out of North Carolina that the voter I.D. - a
voter I.D. bill had sort of been stalled, had sort of been in a holding
pattern waiting for this ruling that the Republican legislature was ready
to move on this and then possibly as we said, other restrictions as well
and I guess the Republicans in the state senate are saying, you know, next
week they`re going to unveil a comprehensive sort of voting package. Can
you tell us what`s expected to be in that and what`s expected to happen
JIM MORRILL, THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Well, we think it will be next week.
They`ve had a lot of things on their plate including last week sort of
unexpected abortion bill that came up. But, yeah, they`re expected to do a
voter I.D. bill, which we`re not really sure how comprehensive it`ll be,
but it`s going to be part of an omnibus elections bill, with some of these
other things that you`re talking about, too, about early voting probably,
and so the Senate is going to come out with that, and then it would be -
and then it would go to the House so it could be, you know, their hands are
free now. They don`t have to get it approved by the Justice Department,
like you said.
KORNACKI: The - every expectation Republican Governor Pat McCrory,
anything that comes through he`ll sign, and so we`re talking about
something that`s going to be enacted.
Donita, I imagine, you guys are watching this, you know, very closely.
What do you make of what`s happening in North Carolina and are you thinking
in terms of already, right now, challenging anything legally?
DONITA JUDGE, THE ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Well, certainly, we`re watching
what`s happening in North Carolina and we`re watching it very closely. We
had expected that the voter I.D. bill would drop last week and it didn`t.
And we think that it`s possible that the reason for that is that now they
have an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, and even make
something that`s even more restrictive because now it doesn`t have to be
cleared through under section 5. We do have a litigation team. We have a
-- we are starting to think about a litigation strategy. This will be a
multi-prong attack. It will not only be litigation, certainly litigation
is one of those things that Advancement Project is really putting a lot of
their efforts and thoughts into how do we combat this type of voter
KORNACKI: And is this - is North Carolina potentially a test case? We
look at the movement in a lot of states as we said, but is North Carolina
sort of potentially a test case for in a post-section 4 slash maybe section
5 world where you have to initiate the legal action to challenge anything.
Is this sort of a template for what it`s going to be looking like?
JUDGE: Well, certainly, you know. North Carolina is historic in terms of
decisions out of the Supreme Court. It could be a test case, but of
course, we already know that there was another case filed in Texas with
regards to redistricting and certainly they`re asking for bail in under
section 3, so it could be a test case, but certainly there`s enough there
for us to really grind our heels and really get moving in terms of really
pushing back on some of these thing.
KORNACKI: And there`s another component and, Brad, I want to ask you about
this, because you were basically a victim of this. There - redistricting
in the Republican legislature. Now, there was a Democratic governor at the
time, but she had no sway in this. So, it was the Republican legislature
radically redrew the maps in North Carolina in advance of the 2012
elections. They basically obliterated your district and then you did not
run last year. That`s why you`re now former congressman who is here. But
as I understand it there`s still a pending lawsuit about how that process
was done in terms of packing in minority voters, packing in black voters,
really to like, you know, a couple of very specific places in the state
like (inaudible). Just keep talk about what that process was like and what
FMR. REP. BRAD MILLER, (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Yeah, well, there a couple of
things. First of all, a voter I.D. That is not a small thing. There are
hundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina, I`ve seen the figure
half a million who are registered to vote who do vote, but don`t have
driver`s licenses which is the typical voter I.D. And in a state that is
very closely divided, if you effectively disenfranchise hundreds of
thousands of people that skew strongly Democratic, you have definitely
changed election results.
With respect to the redistricting, you know, the decision by the Supreme
Court that effectively eliminates Section 5 is all bad except that in
places like North Carolina, other southern states, the pending lawsuit is
over racial gerrymandering. Using the Voting Rights Act as a pretext to
create Jim Crow districts. What the Republican legislature did with the
congressional map which was I think 7-6 demographic, Democratic push before
that, which was a fairly accurate representation of the state`s politics,
created three districts in which Democrat -- in which President Obama got
more than 70 percent, so the other ten are pretty Republican. They did
that by saying that the Voting Rights Act required that they put black
KORNACKI: Create opportunities where black candidates could win.
MILLER: Exactly. And I think not only the Democrats, but I think the
African-American community recognizes the real effect of that is actually
to diminish the political influence of the African-American community
MORRILL: But don`t forget, the Obama Justice Department did pre-clear
KORNACKI: Yeah, they had to go to districts. And it was actually - I
think we can put the comparison just on the screen to give you an idea what
we`re talking about here. This is what the North Carolina congressional
map looked like, you know, red districts, blue districts in 2010 and in
2012. The balance of it, a lot has been made of the statistic. I think if
you took the aggregate congressional vote in North Carolina in 2012,
Democrats carried what was it like, 51 percent of it, they got a slight
majority. It`s nine to four Republicans. That`s the effect of packing in
so many districts.
You know, Dave, when I think of North Carolina, what strikes me is we`ve
talked about this in the show before. In some ways this is what America
might be looking like if Mitt Romney wins - because North Carolina you had
-- it`s really the first time as we said in over a century where
Republicans finally got, they got the control of the state - and the state
House, they got control of the state senate, they got control of the
governorship and suddenly they are able to just do anything they want. And
this is an example of sort of a flood of things that have been happening in
the last six months.
WEIGEL: And it wasn`t alone. You saw it in Ohio, you saw it in Wisconsin,
you saw it in states, Virginia too, a state that the president carried,
Ohio is a state he carried where they have very slanted districts that now
only elect a couple of Democrats. And you see the kind of - the melody
underneath the music here. When they are trying to map the best possible
situation for Republicans, they say how can we minimize people who are not
like conservative or even like moderates. How can we get as many districts
that are about 80 to 90 percent white and the party is not about to change
that. This is -- this does affect their entire agenda, North Carolina.
I think in the country at large, if you poll on the Voting Right Act
decision the Supreme Court made it`s incredibly unpopular. People as they
understand the Voting Rights Act are against what the court did. They are
against in North Carolina, as I understand what legislature is doing. The
solution is just to make those people kind of over in one section over here
in a pan where they can`t really affect the outcome and make sure that the
people who, you know, we`re talking about what they`re going to change in
the voting system, people who absentee vote, people who are generally
Republican voters keep deciding the election for the next few cycles. You
can do all this and have .
KORNACKI: And I wondered, Donita, how you - because you focus on
redistricting, and I was wondering how you strike this balance. Because,
you know the sort of edicts in the Voting Rights Act to create - you know,
districts of opportunity for, you know, nonwhite candidates where they can
win opens up the door since it`s so tough to sort of quantify what exactly
that means, it opens up the door to this kind of abuse. I wonder how you
can set the guidelines where you can, you know, create these kind of
districts where it`s not, you know, what we have in North Carolina, which
every Democratic voter is just going into these like two or three
JUDGE: Right, I think you do have to strike a balance in terms of making
sure that communities of color are able to elect candidates of their choice
and also to make sure that we`re not throwing all of the -- all of the
people of color in one district where they have no power in the other
districts. But also, you know, I just really in terms of what`s really
happening in North Carolina, in terms of these -- this omnibus bill that`s
being passed, I mean, to us North Carolina was a model child and when we
worked in Ohio and we worked in other states, we would look at North
Carolina and say, you know what, these are some great things happening
there. They had same-day registration, early voting.
What we`re seeing now is that, you know, Sunday voting which has always
been a tool that has been used by African-American churches, Souls to the
Polls to come to vote, is being taken away. We`re also seeing the early
voting dates reduced and, you know, and probably one of the most --
probably the worst bills is the felony disenfranchisement bill, where
people who have served their time under and had a felony conviction are now
required to wait five years to determine whether or not they can get the
right to vote back. It has to be a unanimous decision from the boards of
elections and then you have to have two people to state that these people
are of moral character. I thought so, we don`t want to get away from
really what North Carolina is doing right now and how the -- what the
impact will be on people of color and throughout the state and certainly as
we look at it in other state I`m looking and watching too and that may be
the bigger problem is that other states may try to do the same thing that
North Carolina is doing.
KORNACKI: And as I said and Jim alluded to this, this is one of sort of a
swirl of things happening in North Carolina right now. I want to talk
about another, involving abortion that is playing out right now
surprisingly after this.
KORNACKI: So Pat McCrory is the Republican governor of North Carolina. He
was elected last year, his reputation before winning last year was as a
moderate Republican, he`d been a mayor of Charlotte, he got elected. He
has these Republican majorities in both legislature chambers. No
Republican governor in North Carolina has had this forever, and there`s
been this flood of conservative legislation. So I just want to tap this up
by - this was Pat McCrory running as a moderate Republican being asked
about abortion last fall in the debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear elected governor, what further restrictions on
abortion would you agree to sign? I`ll start with you, Mr. McCrory.
PAT MCCRORY: None.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t really ask - so I`ll probably do a poll for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, yeah, it seems pretty clear cut, but now the surprising
news, and Jim you alluded to it earlier was, there was an (inaudible),
there was anti-sharia law bill .
KORNACKI: That was making its way through the state senate this week and
MORRILL: Well, they had a surprise meeting, unannounced meeting. Well, it
was announced at the last minute, but it was a surprise to a lot of people,
but in this meeting, to the sharia law bill they also added a lot of
abortion restrictions, parts of three or four bills that had been
independent bills and they added that to the sharia law bill along with
some restrictions on abortion clinics and the end result of that would be
that there are about 16 Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in North
Carolina now, they would be down to one after - if this bill passes.
KORNACKI: And what - what is this - so, we have that seemingly clear-cut
statement from Pat McCrory, but now is sounds like nobody is quite sure
what he`s going to do on this.
MORRILL: No, that`s the $64,000 question. Now, he can -- he said he
wouldn`t sign anything. He could also let the bill pass. If it does pass
without his signature, but it`s got to go to the House and the speaker of
the House is running for the U.S. Senate next year, and so it`s problematic
that he would even support this.
KORNACKI: That`s the other questions. I saw Thom Tillis - you mentioned
here. This is where it gets a little extra complicated, because North
Carolina is one of these states that national Republicans look at as one of
their top targets to win back the Senate in 2014. And they are sort of top
recruit, they are all excited when you say he was running is Thom Tillis
who is the House speaker. Here`s a poll. This is from maybe about a month
ago that shows him, he`s running five points behind Hagan. This is a PPP
poll. Kay Hagan, as Democratic (ph), is five points up.
Brad, I wonder when we look at McCrory, when we look at - we look at Thom
Tillis and the Senate race next year, and everything has been happening in
North Carolina. How do you think this has affected the way those two
politicians are viewed in the state and in the Republican Party in general?
Has this - because we have these giant protests we talked about, playing
out every Monday at the state capitol. Is this - is this spilling over
beyond those protests to the average citizen of North Carolina?
MILLER: The legislature is very unpopular. Legislators tend to be
unpopular, almost regardless but I think there is a widespread
understanding in North Carolina that the legislature has sort of been off
the rails. It probably will affect Tillis some. Right now Tillis, I`m
sure, has very low name recognition, those legislative leaders, even
speakers of the House generally tend to. It has started to affect
McCrory`s numbers, but even though he`s tried to distance himself from it
as much as he can, but eventually next year the Republicans are going to
have to run on this record.
KORNACKI: And, Donita, you were sort of talking about this, and the last
thing is the idea of the lesson that other states draw from this. I mean
how important is it in terms of what happens in 2014, what happens maybe
with Pat McCrory in 2016. That`s a long way off at this point, but that
seems, that`s a crucial component here in terms of other states drawing
lessons of what -- how far Republicans in state "X" can go based on what
happens to the Republicans in North Carolina.
JUDGE: Well, I think that right now the best thing that is happening is
that the people in North Carolina are engaged. We cannot afford to be
engaged only in 2014, 2016 during those election cycles. We have to remain
engaged and informed in terms of what is going on now. And so I think the
good thing about it is that the people in Ohio and Florida, in other places
can see North Carolina as a model to them to say, you know what, it may not
appear that we`re making a difference, but they are making a difference,
and we`re going to continue and we`re going to follow that model and that`s
a good thing. I mean, we - you can`t lose when people stand up.
KORNACKI: And, Dave, McCrory is interesting to me because I`ve been asking
myself on the other show and probably asked a few times, is it possible
these days, in today`s Republican Party to be a genuinely moderate
Republican? Because that was Pat McCrory`s reputation before becoming
governor, but a Republican Party that`s animated by such a sort of - at
this point, you know, it`s arrestive conservative movement, that`s forcing
all this legislation to his desk, he signed so much of it so far. We see
the box (inaudible) on abortion right now. Is it possible -- so far the
evidence on McCrory to me says it`s not really possible, because he`s
pressured by his party to be so conservative.
WEIGEL: No, you`re going to be led by the base and the base, and the
pundits that you listen to say that anything you do that is true to your
values is going to be popular. I think Republicans when it comes to state
backlash in states and what happens electorally, they would like every
election to be the Wisconsin recall, right? You push through everything
and see Scott Walker won. Democrats, I think, would point to 2012, because
in some of those states that had swung to Republicans, unions got back off
the map and won, but they`d also like - took them to look at SP-5 in Ohio
in 2011, that union bill was overturned by the voters. And it is - I think
it makes sense. If you are - if you are the base you work that hard. If
you are - I guess in North Carolina if you`re Art Pope and you spent lots
of money to make sure that the .
KORNACKI: Art Pope is like the Koch brother of North Carolina.
WEIGEL: Yeah. Who is now the state budget director .
WEIGEL: . which is a convenience. I mean I think we`ll see who becomes
CBO, to director if Republicans take the Senate. It makes a lot of sense
for the base to do that, but no, you`re going - the Democrats have the same
problem. Look, what happened to all the blue dog democrats? When the
party took power when Democrats were in Congress, the base demanded certain
things, there was a backlash against them and we can talk about all the
reasons why they lost Congress. I think that it might not be healthy, but
it makes a lot of political sense and, no, you can`t really run away from -
- no Republican governor who runs - we all talk about the creditability
that someone like a Bobby Jindal comes with. If he runs for president.
They`ve all been driven right once their legislature has gone that way and
Virginia, I think, most people two years ago wouldn`t say Terry McAuliffe,
you win that race. Ken Cuccinelli is conservative. But more than that,
that legislature in Virginia, once it takes power, is so motivated towards
getting the long-term goals that are considered a movement enforced that
people who gave them a chance turn against them. It`s a natural cycle, but
you can`t avoid that. You can`t -- you can`t stay in power if you`ve
ignored what the base wants.
MILLER: Yeah, the wrap on McCrory, the criticism from progressives and
Democrats isn`t that he`s a doctriner right winger. It`s that he`s weak.
That he`s not going to stand up to those extreme voices within his party.
He`s going to go along. To some extent he`s played it politically as
trying to try angulate a little bit and distance himself on that, but when
it really comes to whether he`s going to sign bills or not, I think the
betting is all that he will sign the bills that the Republican legislator
KORNACKI: It was why - it reminds me so much of the question about Mitt
Romney last year. Is he a secret moderate? And then I was saying, it
really doesn`t matter. Remember it was Grover Norquist who said all we
need is that hand to sign those bills. And I swear that`s all Mitt Romney
would have been and we`re seeing in Carolina what it would have looked like
nationally in a lot of ways. I want to thank Donita Judge of the
Advancement Project, Jim Morrill, "The Charlotte Observer" and former
Congressman Brad Miller, now with Center for American Progress.
Ohio`s governor enacted stealth abortion restrictions this week. We`ll
talk about it next.
KORNACKI: Two years ago as Dave Weigel reminded us in that last segment,
John Kasich and his fellow Republicans in Ohio went too far. They enacted
a law, SP-5, it was called that strictly limited the collective bargaining
rights of public employees, a law that stirred an immediate backlash. Cops
and firefighters led the charge against it. A repeal referendum was placed
on the ballot in November 2011 and voters overwhelmingly chose to take it
off the books. Kasich paid a serious political price for this. Here were
his poll numbers as SB-5 was going down the tubes. Approval rating of just
36 percent, obviously, perilous territory for any governor, especially a
Republican in state that had voted for Barack Obama just a few years before
Kasich was elected. But since then, something funny has happened.
Kasich`s numbers have rebounded. Just last week there was a new poll, and
his approval is all the way up to 54 percent, and it`s the best number for
him since taking office. In a head-to-head matchup with the Democrat who
will likely oppose him next year, Kasich now leads by 14 points. Big
reason for this is that the economy nationally and in Ohio in particular
has gotten better over the last few years, but it`s also helped that Kasich
is avoiding provoking big divisive pole killing controversies like he did
He`s avoided it, until this week, that is. Because last Sunday night
Governor Kasich signed a state budget that included a whole series of
measures designed to restrict abortion in the state. Requirement that
women seeking abortions first undergo ultrasounds, and effective end of
funding for Planned Parenthood, a ban on transferring women who experience
medical complications at abortion clinics to public hospitals. Kasich held
a signing ceremony, but he immediately ducked out afterwards without
answering questions from reporters. Reporters who probably had a lot of
questions they wanted to ask because of all the abortion language that had
been inserted into the budget.
This illustrates a tension that is driving politics in a number of states
right now. States that voted for Obama twice. States that are blue when
it comes to presidential elections. The states that swung hard to the GOP
in the 2010 midterms. Republicans in 2010 won governorships in Michigan,
Maine, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Florida and Nevada. All
of them states that President Obama has now carried twice, in some cases by
lopsided margins. And that in New Jersey, too, where Republican Chris
Christie won the governorship in 2009, a year after Obama carried the state
by 18 points. What`s important to remember, it`s that the voters who put
these Republicans in charge in 2010 were different than the voters who made
these states blue in 2008 and in 2012. They were older. They were whiter.
They were a lot more conservative. The electorate that, for instance, put
John Kasich in power in Ohio, probably sees the abortion restrictions he
just signed a lot differently than the electorate that delivered the state
to Obama last fall.
Some Republican governors have managed this tension better than others.
Christie seems to be the most obvious success story. He`s running about 30
points head in his current re-election race, but a big reason for this is
his public partnership with Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it`s a
partnership that endeared him to more than a few Democrats in New Jersey,
but he`s also created friction with national Republicans.
The Republicans Christie will need to win over, if he wants to win the
presidency in 2016. And now Republican Governors like Tom Corbett in
Pennsylvania, who is now on political life support. Quinnipiac poll last
month for him ten points behind his most likely Democratic opponent. When
Paul LePage, the combative Maine governor, who benefited from both the
Republican friendly nature of the electorate and the three-way race that
divided the opposition to win his office in 2010. LePage hasn`t even
bothered to try to build bridges to voters in the state who backed Obama.
He`s bitterly resisted the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care
Act. He`s likened the IRS to the gestapo, he`s refused on Martin Luther
King Day in 2011 to meet with leaders of the state`s NAACP.
The poll this spring found that 53 percent of Mainers disapprove of how
LePage is doing his job. All of the blue states, all of the blue state
Republican governors who won their jobs in 2010 are due to face the voters
next year and Christie is due to face them this year. They have certainly
had time to win over skeptical voters and just like in 2010 they might very
well be buttressed by an electorate to demographically favorable to their
party. But they have also - or they will also have spent the last four
years facing and in many cases going along with policy demands from a
national party that voters in their states have rejected in two straight
We want to talk about those states with our guests including a candidate to
unseat one of those governors after this.
KORNACKI: So we`re talking about Republicans who are basically governing
or trying to govern blue states, and here with me now, we have New Jersey
State Senator Barbara Buono, who is Christie`s - Chris Christie`s
Democratic challenger for governor this year. Back at the table are MSNBC
contributor Dave Weigel and Sean Trende of Realclearpolitics.com. Also,
joining us, we have Garance Franke-Ruta, senior editor of covering national
politics at "The Atlantic."
So, we talked in that intro about John Kasich and what`s happening in Ohio
and actually, I want to start by playing -- this was Sunday night, so we
have all this abortion language that was suddenly inserted in the state
budget. And this was the scene as John Kasich signed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH: We now have another budget signed into law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: As you can see he offered it a few quick remarks and then he
just gets up and goes and - but, first he shakes a few hands. I oversold
that. Then he goes.
So the key here, he is not - he did not answer any questions about the
abortion language at the press conference. He has so far, as far as we
could tell he has not weighed in on this and then we also had some
interesting news unexpectedly on Friday. The day after the Fourth of July,
probably going to be the slowest news day of 2013, you know, in Wisconsin,
Governor Scott Walker a Republican Governor Scott Walker signed a mandatory
ultrasound bill, not in public, you know, on the slowest news day of the
year, and so I look at this, Grans, and I`m thinking - is this sort of the
new strategy - we looked at like, you know, when Walker would head on here,
he obviously, he survived the recall, but he went through political hell
there for a couple of years. You know, Kasich was down in the doldrums a
few years ago. Is this the new strategy for Republican states, I guess, to
be as quiet as possible in giving, you know, sort of conservatives and
giving the right what they want?
GARANCE FRANKE-RUTA, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I think there`s this broader --
you know, the broader anti-abortion movement has taken on a new strategy
now. Not just the sonograms and ultrasounds, which obviously are the
things that have gotten the most attention, but the question of admitting
privileges and transfer agreements between abortion facilities and
hospitals and we`re seeing that the admitting privileges coming up in
Wisconsin and in - transfer agreements in Ohio and it`s a way to sort of
close in what`s available for these (inaudible) because suddenly, they`re
dependent on other actors. Public hospitals, religious hospitals and so on
and, you know, in North Dakota, for example, where you have one remaining
abortion providing facility they say that, you know, requiring them to have
admitting privileges like this requires them to have ten people per year
sent over to some hospital. But they`ve only sent over one person in the
last ten years, so they can`t even figure out a way to make this happen
KORNACKI: Sean, you`re in Ohio. How is this playing out so far, do you
TRENDE: You know, the strategy seems to be working somewhat there because
it`s not something that`s dominating the evening news. It`s not something
that I`m reading about on the front page of the newspaper. And so I think
your intuition there is exactly correct. Kasich got beat up in the first
couple of years of his term and now for the controversial issues I think he
wants to keep it a little bit quiet. Go ahead.
KORNACKI: But there is you say the controversial issues, there`s sort of a
recognition that he does not want to be too closely identified with, and so
he gets that the politics are probably good to kind of keep your distance,
but he`s still feeling this pressure. And Dave, this is what I`m, you
know, the Republican Party has been a clearly sort of top to bottom pro-
life party basically going back to 1980 when it nominated Ronald Reagan.
But you remember back in the Reagan years, and even like in the Bush senior
years, it was almost just like - it was almost like Reagan and Bush Sr.
would wink at the pro-lifers, they`d give them rhetoric, they`d put the
party - they`d put the plank in the platform, but they never delivered that
much. It seems like there is a lot more pressure in today`s Republican
Party trickling down now we`re seeing to the state legislative level, even
local level, to really seriously be delivering on abortion. It just wasn`t
WEIGEL: There is. And just like in the North Carolina segment we used to
have Pat McCrory said he wouldn`t do that and now he`s faced with the
choice of doing it. If you ask the Republican candidate in 2012,
especially after Todd Akin, if they are going to sign any legislation,
they`d all say no. And it was a distraction for you to bring it up. They
realize it`s not a winning issue. But they`re getting better at delivering
the base and I think - I think the prolife movement is better at pushing
through very specific attrition policies that might not blow up until they
are all - we really don`t even seem to notice these things until they kind
of form an amoeba across several states of similar-looking laws.
No, I think the base is getting more of what it wanted than it has for
quite some time. Even in the `90s you had some of this. Some critical
mass Republican - but all these states where you now have Republican
legislatures, immediately they move - they moved to stamp this, even if
they said it`s not a key issue for us.
KORNACKI: Well, so, Barbara, you`re in New Jersey, the difference there as
we were talking about, a lot of states here where Republican governors
elected in 2010 were also given Republican legislatures, so we were able to
put a lot more of the legislation through. In New Jersey, Democrats still
control the state senate, still control the state assembly. How much of a
block has that been, in your view, on what Christie has tried to do?
STATE SEN. BARBARA BUONO, THE ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Well, with respect to
social issues, it`s been somewhat of a block. And certainly on abortion
issues, on women`s health issues, we`ve tried. We`ve tried to push back,
but this is a governor who zeroed out funding for women`s health and
consecutive budgets. We`ve tried to override his veto and unfortunately we
don`t have enough Democrats to do that.
KORNACKI: Well, that`s something I want to ask you. Because that`s the
fascinating thing I see in New Jersey is you were on the floor in the
Senate arguing against the budget that was passed a couple of weeks ago
that has these cuts for women`s health funding you`re talking about. And
there was very strong support from Democrats for this budget, and that
seems to be part of the story of Christie`s governorship is a Democratic
Party in New Jersey that`s divided. I have these - I don`t want to get too
parochial, but this is important stuff, you won`t understand New Jersey and
why Christie is popular. There is a power broker - and Democratic power
broker in south Jersey who`s loyalist in the state legislature have given
Chris Christie a lot of what he wants and also, there is a few allies in
north Jersey as well, they`ve given Chris Christie what he wants in a lot
BUONO: Well, if you talk about certain issues like with respect to
collective bargaining and I was a majority leader in the New Jersey senate
and I stood up against it and I lost my majority leader position and I
would do it again, but on social issues such as marriage equality, women`s
right to choose, pay equity, Planned Parenthood this governor is way off to
the right and out of step with the people of New Jersey and we have tried
to stop him but, again, we don`t have enough Democrats in the legislature
to do so. But this is a governor who is trying to do somewhat of an
awkward dance, he`s trying to decide whether or not he wants to appeal to
the primary voters in 2016 or the general election voters in 2013 in New
Jersey and I think he`s trying to thread that needle and it`s not so easy
now that DOMA has come down.
KORNACKI: And you`ve said what I wanted to do with this next, because that
New Jersey and Chris Christie right now on issue of gay marriage sets up an
interesting test for this tension, we`re talking about between, you know,
Republicans trying to appeal to their national base and a state that sees
things differently and I think gay marriage is the perfect illustration of
New Jersey. We`ll talk about it after this.
KORNACKI: So, Senator Buono, you were just setting up - setting up our
next segment, because I wanted to talk about Chris Christie and the
response of how a governor, a Republican governor in a blue state responds
on an issue like gay marriage, because New Jersey, we could put this, first
of all, it`s the New Jersey state opinion on the question of legalizing gay
marriage. It`s two to one. It`s 59-30. This is a state - this is
strongly for gay marriage, so the Supreme Court, you know, strikes down
DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, last week, Chris Christie goes on the radio
station in New Jersey, he`s asked about it. And this is what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R ), NEW JERSEY: They, the court, without a basis
and standing substituted their own judgment for the judgment of a
Republican Congress and a Democratic president. In the Republican Congress
in the `90s and Bill Clinton and I thought that Justice Kennedy`s opinion
in many respects was incredibly insulting to those people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: There`s a lot in this, Senator Buono, but basically I was just
struck by, you know, Chris Christie`s surge in popularity last year was
being associated with Barack Obama, it was being associated with making
himself likable to Obama.
BUONO: No, that`s associated with him responding to a natural disaster.
That`s what`s driving his poll numbers, but his response to DOMA has just -
I`m just - I think it`s staggering. The fact that he called it insulting.
Insulting to whom. I call it insulting to the - our gay brothers and
sisters who are being - telling that they have to go to another state to
get married. That their love is worthless. I find that insulting. And
it`s interesting that he calls out the Supreme Court. Well, I didn`t hear
him call out the Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act. In fact, when he
was asked about his opinion on that he said he had no opinion. This is
somebody who doesn`t even have to be asked his opinion to give it.
KORNACKI: Well, right. This is - that`s the interesting thing because
DOMA passed by Congress in 1996. And he`s saying well, how dare the
Supreme Court (inaudible) passed by Congress - the VRA reauthorized by
Congress in 2006 and we`re not hearing anything on that.
BUONO: We actually passed the Marriage Equality Act and he vetoed it, so
that`s the legislative action that he`s seeking to overrule.
KORNACKI: And he`s vetoed it in New Jersey, but that argument, in
particular of, you know, besmirching the legacy - the Supreme Court is
besmirching the legacy of Bill Clinton on DOMA, Garance.
FRANKE-RUTA: It`s extraordinary. I mean he`s in denial about what
actually happened in the 1990s. I mean this is just classic American
history. We change our views on something and suddenly we pretend that we
never were that other way and I think there`s a kind of moment where he`s
just denying what actually happened in the 1990s.
KORNACKI: Well, even Bill Clinton himself said no, I don`t ...
FRANKE-RUTA: Right. I know.
KORNACKI: We won`t tell - well, Sean, I wonder when I look at Christie and
I look at just the issue the gay marriage and where public opinion in
general is trending on this, when will it be safe? Or will it ever be safe
for a Republican to run for president and just support gay marriage?
TRENDE: I think it will. I don`t think it will be safe in 2016, but even
within the Republican Party you see the same age breakdown that we see in
the national polls, younger Republicans are more in favor of gay marriage
or marriage equality than older Republicans are. I think we`re probably
getting into the 20/20s, though, before it`s safe for a Republican
candidate to run for president with a strong pro-marriage equality stance.
KORNACKI: What is that? What does the evolution look like, I guess, for
the Republican Party? Is there like an interim step will become just a
state`s right issue? Will that be what Republicans start saying? I`m
curious how it`s going to - Do you have a sense of that at all?
TRENDE: Yeah. I had always thought it would run to a civil unions first
and then marriage equality, but I don`t think that`s going to be the
evolution. I think it is going to be let`s leave these to the states, let
them sort that - sort it out and eventually embrace the marriage equality
KORNACKI: The interesting thing that Christie has said on this. That he
vetoed - he vetoed gay marriage. It was not on the books because of Chris
Christie, but he`s also said, let`s have a referendum on this, let`s put
this on the ballot. And if it becomes the law of the state I won`t fight
it. It seems like we had -- I`m blanking on his name -- we had - well,
it`s awful. Richard Socarides, I`m sorry. Clinton administration, a gay
(inaudible) in the Clinton administration on the show last week, he was
saying, if this goes to - he wants this to go to the voters in New Jersey
because he thinks it would pass. But there`s a dilemma there, David, isn`t
there? Just the basic issue of, you know, should minority group rights
ever be put to, you know, a public test like that?
WEIGEL: No, that`s I think when the Californians went for getting the
court to validate this instead of having voters to say the civil right was
validate -- they never believed that argument to be because 53 percent of
Californians said that there was no right, that there should be no right.
I think I guess it also speaks to his confidence, but would he want this on
the ballot with him? With him? Because Christie`s moved the Senate
election three weeks or four weeks ahead of his own election.
KORNACKI: We could spend 24 million on a separate referendum.
WEIGEL: In general, somebody who`s got a very fluid view of what shouldn`t
- when should voters should and should not do things.
KORNACKI: But it is -- that idea, though, senator, of having a referendum
on gay marriage, I`ve seen polling in New Jersey that says that is a
popular idea with the public and it does make me wonder, we talk about the
difficulty of Christie threading the needle. With public opinion, has he
threaded the needle in this issue where he`s against public opinion on the
basic question of gay marriage, but then he says, well, let`s have a
referendum and I`ll let you know, you all decide and the poll -
overwhelmingly they say they do want a referendum.
BUONO: All he needs to do is to release the Republican legislatures that
they can override his veto. It would be done. There is one man standing
behind preventing marriage equality in New Jersey and it`s Chris Christie.
This is what he does know. He knows that he is toast in a Republican
primary in 2016 with the diminishing Republican base if he releases his
Republican legislatures to override his veto. He won`t do that. He cannot
tolerate that, but that`s what he should do. And yeah, I do oppose putting
it on as a referendum, for the reason - but it`s also the money behind it.
We have another ballot initiative coming up this November 5th that would
increase the minimum wage and tie it to a cost of living increase and we
know that there are very powerful wealthy money interests that are lined up
to put a lot of money behind defeating that and those are the same people
that this governor could marshal those forces to skewer the results on the
KORNACKI: I do want to ask you quickly, though, because we`ve talked about
this 2013 New Jersey race in the show before, and I admit publicly I said I
don`t think much of your chances to win and you`re running far behind. But
BUONO: It hurts me.
KORNACKI: I`m sorry to say, but .
BUONO: I`ve known you for a long time.
KORNACKI: I know and I like you a lot and I used to cover you - and I
don`t mean it personally at all, but I`m just - if you could make your case
for when and how this race is going to turn around in your favor?
BUONO: Absolutely. Well, you know, the same poll that showed this
governor has wide approval on rebuilding after a Superstorm Sandy, and al -
if you dig down just a little bit and you ask people what will drive them
to the polls, it`s the pocketbook issues, it`s jobs and the economy. It`s
property taxes. We have record high property taxes in New Jersey under
this governor. They`ve gone up 18 percent in his first three years in
office. But people aren`t - and that`s what people will vote on. His job
approval numbers are in the low 40s, but people aren`t focused on that.
After Labor Day, they will.
So I can tell you that once they focus on those, and those same folks that
are polled on the -- on those issues with regard to Sandy, a lot of them
think he`s pro-marriage equality and pro-choice. People need to be
informed better and it`s no wonder that they`re not focused on this.
They`re struggling under, you know, one of the highest unemployment rates
in the nation, highest property taxes in the nation. 400,000 out of work.
The middle class has actually shrunk under this governor. And so, we have
to - you know, we have four months until this election. That`s an eternity
in politics and in life and we are going to be sure to make sure that
voters have the information they need to make an informed decision.
KORNACKI: All right. It`s one we`re obviously going to keep watching on
this show, too, and I hope to have you back before the election. Please
don`t hold that against me. So what should we know today? My answers are
So what should we know for today? We should know that it is now legal to
homebrew beer in all 50 states. Home brewing has been legal at the federal
level since the late 1970s, but some statewide bans remain, the last of
which was Mississippi`s. The bill to end that ban was passed in May and
went into effect this past Monday. Bill was championed by a local beer
advocacy group called "Raise Your Pints." Group is motivated by a desire
to "Clarify the status of home brewing as a legal, fun, and wholesome
hobby." According to American Home Brewers Association, there are over a
million home brewers in the United States. Even the White House now has
its own home brew. That`s why President Obama did not weigh in on the
bill. We assume he`s raising a pint to it.
We should know that Tulsa, Oklahoma, will probably not host the summer
Olympics in 2024. After "New York Times" ran a story about the unofficial
committee to bring the Olympics there, the city`s mayor Dewey Bartlett,
announced that he wasn`t backing any Olympic bid. The mayor previously
supported one, but his comments this week essentially end any hope of Tulsa
- of a Tulsa Olympics, if it ever existed at all. Despite the excitement
from some in the state, that`s probably for the best. Tulsa only has a
third of the required hotel rooms for the Olympic city, the cost of the
game would be about half of the state`s entire budget. Maybe starting with
the Winter Olympics would be a safer bet or maybe just to luge.
We should know that George Zimmerman trial came to an abrupt halt on
Wednesday when the witness`s testimony over Skype was interrupted by a
caller, and then another, and another, and another. This happened because
the prosecutor`s Skype name was clearly displayed during the trial. It was
broadcast on national TV. So naturally, some people started calling in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) Is it coming across?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s someone calling the destination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And after that disruption, we know that the witness was able to
testify again, this time by speakerphone. We should know that former
Illinois Governor George Ryan was released from home confinement. It was
released to home confinement on Wednesday. 79-year old was sentenced in
2007 for corruption, he spent more than five years in a federal prison.
The sentence was reduced by one year for Ryan`s good behavior, and he`d
been under house arrest since January. Upon being released Ryan promptly
got a haircut. We hope the same will be true for Illinois` other convicted
Governor Rob Blagojevich when he completes his 14-year sentence. You want
to find out what my guests think we should know? Let`s start with you,
BUONO: Just in general? Well, I think that I would like to know what
Governor Christie thinks of Walker`s decision to sign on the Friday
evening, on a holiday weekend, a piece of legislation that severely
restricts women`s rights to have an abortion.
WEIGEL: I think you should know that House Republicans who`ve been getting
- having town hall meetings this week, including the head of the judiciary
committee in the House - the one immigration soft point they have been
finding is that, when asked if they think young children brought to this
country by their parents, should be given citizenship, they are generally
saying yes. They are trying to, I think they realize the politics there
and they are trying to find the way out on that part of the issue.
KORNACKI: OK. Sean.
TRENDE: People ask me all the time if the Democrats can take back the
House in 2014. People should know that the strongest indicator of midterm
performance is presidential approval. When the president gets his job
approval above 55 percent, they do well, below that, they do poorly. Right
now Barack Obama is at 46 percent. Democrats have some work to do before
the House is in play.
KORNACKI: And Garance.
FRANKE-RUTA: On Wednesday, George W. Bush is coming off the sidelines
after 4.5 years of self-imposed politic silence, he`s going to be talking
about immigration reform and backing it at a speech at the George W. Bush
Presidential Center in Dallas. And I think this is going to be really
exciting that (inaudible)
KORNACKI: Yeah, it was going to be really interesting to watch the
dynamics of that, too. As we talk about the conservative revolt over this.
Will this hasten or will this halt that. It`ll be very interesting to
Anyway, I want to thank State Senator Barbara Buono of New Jersey, Dave
Weigel at Slate.com, Sean Trendy or Realclearpolitics.com and Garance
Franke-Ruta of "The Atlantic." Thank you for getting up and thank you for
We`ll be back next week on Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 A.M. Easter time,
our guests will include Congresswoman Robyn Kelly.
Coming up next, is Melissa Harris-Perry. Today`s MHP comes to you live
from "The Essence" festival in New Orleans. The next move in the fight to
protect voting rights. Are we witnessing a rebirth of the civil rights
movement? Plus confronting the scourge of gun violence in the city at
ground zero. That`s MHP, she`s coming up next live from "The Essence
Festival" in New Orleans.
And we`ll see you here next week on UP.
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