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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Sunday show

December 7, 2014

Guest: Basil Smikle Jr., Katie Packer-Gage, Wesley Clark, Jared Bernstein,
Lenore Palladino, Mark McKinnon, Charlie Dent, Bill Pascrell, Bernie
Sanders, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Eugene O`Donnell

STEVE KORNACKI, HOST: What went wrong in the hostage rescue?

Good morning, thanks for getting up with us this Sunday morning. We`re
learning a lot more this morning about what went wrong when U.S. Special
Forces tried to rescue American hostage Luke Somers in Yemen. More on that
in just a minute.

Also, protests of the Garner grand jury decision turned violent in
Berkeley, California, overnight. We`re going to be looking into whether
police body cameras are a solution to stopping police brutality.

We`re also five days away now from potentially another government shutdown.
Two U.S. congressmen will join us to discuss whether Congress will be able
to reach a deal in time. Also, Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, he is
going to be on the show today, talking with him one-on-one about his
efforts to move the Democratic Party to the left and his plans potentially
to run for president in 2016. You`re not going to want to miss that, and
obviously, much, much more ahead as well over the next two hours.

But as I mentioned, we want to begin this hour with the timeline that is
emerging about that failed rescue mission of American hostage, Luke Somers,
in Yemen. According to interviews with U.S. officials by "The Wall Street
Journal," intelligence agencies were able to pinpoint the hostage`s exact
location late on Thursday. President Obama then approved the raid for the
next night. U.S. Special Forces landed their helicopter about five miles
away and hiked to the location to try to keep their arrival secret for as
long as possible. (INAUDIBLE).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U.S. military officials say as the SEALs closed in on
the building where Somers was held --


KORNACKI: Sorry about that. The arrival was apparently heralded by a
barking dog, and that appears to be what alerted the hostage`s captors to
what was going on. During the firefight that then followed, U.S. forces
saw a militant go into the shack where the hostages were being held. It is
believed that is when he shot both of the hostages. Both of them died as a
result of those injuries, as U.S. forces were transporting them away. U.S.
intelligence did not know the identity of the other hostage being held with
Somers. He has since been identified as South African teacher Pierre
Korkie. A charity that worked with Korkie says he was due to be released

To discuss this and many of the other top stories from the week, we`re
joined by our panel. We`re bringing in Democratic strategist Basil Smikle,
Jr. Political consultant and former adviser to Mitt Romney, Katie Packer-
Gage. And MSNBC political correspondent, Kasie Hunt. Thank you all for
joining us this morning.

Obviously on this hostage story, we are just learning the details, it`s
obviously just a heartbreaking story. There is another report I know in
the "New York Times" this morning that apparently the South African who was
being held with this American, this charitable group he worked with is
saying it had reached a dell for his freedom, and then obviously, that was
destroyed by all this, too. There`s another piece in it as well. Just
goes to show you I think that there was a failed mission a couple of weeks
ago. All of these captors that ISIS has right now, and the attempts to get
them out, just -- how difficult it is to get any of these people back.

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC: And the Obama administration has announced that they
are going to review U.S. hostage policy, in part because they have faced
some criticism from the families of the people who have been held hostage
and ultimately killed by ISIS and other groups. And the one thing that the
Americans say they are not going to change is whether or not they will pay
ransom for a hostage, and it sounds like from that preliminary reporting
from the "New York Times" that the South African group had actually paid a
ransom or had been willing to, and that he was set to be released, and that
you know, we didn`t know that, the Americans didn`t know that when they
went in.

KORNACKI: And that is what we`re seeing, in all these ISIS stories, there
are so many Europeans who are being held, and yet these European
governments -- a lot of them don`t admit it publicly -- but privately, they
pay their ransoms, and they get their people out. And then you hear in the
United States - we talked about the policy on the show before, certainly
it`s understandable from the policy standpoint, why the United States
wouldn`t want to pay ransoms. You also have the issues of some of these
families, who are just sitting there saying hey, if the government doesn`t
want to pay it, fine, can`t I raise the money, can`t I get my kid out, can
I get my son, my daughter out?

issues there as well, but it`s hard to tell a family that you cannot do
that. It should be noted that failed missions are not unusual,
unfortunately, this goes took at least 1980 with a mission in Iran to free
the hostages. But this is an interesting turn, because the question is,
are al Qaeda now sort of changing tactics, where they were not killing
hostages before in this way. So are they changing their tactic, which may
suggest we need to as well?

KORNACKI: If it`s a response to ISIS--

broader question about policy, and I think we saw towards the end of the
summer, in the early part of the fall national security really emerging as
a significant political issue, and I think it had an impact in the midterm
elections, where Americans are starting to question whether or not this
administration and the policies of this administration has been tough
enough, and do our enemies really fear us in the way that, you know,
Americans would like to think that they should? And I think that there`s a
lot of questions today about the broader policy.

KORNACKI: Well, there is a -- Jeb Bush actually gave a speech this week,
trying to start the outline, what might be his foreign policy plan, that is
something we will talk about a lot more later in the show. Also, later
this hour, retired four-star General Wesley Clark, the former supreme
allied commander of NATO, will be here to better help us understand what
happened in Yemen.

Meanwhile, in Berkeley, California, last night, as we said, police used
tear gas against demonstrators who were protesting the recent grand jury
decisions in New York and Missouri not to prosecute police officers for
killing unarmed black men. As the "San Francisco Chronicle" reports,
minutes before the police disbursed the crowd, several concerts had let out
downtown, concert goers waiting to pay in a nearby parking garage were sent
running for cover. We have new comments from President Obama this morning
talking with BET Networks about this recent unrest in America.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: As painful as these incidents are, we
can`t equate what is happening now to what was happening 50 years ago. And
if you talk to your parents, grandparents, uncles, they will tell you that,
you know, things are better, not good in some cases, but better.
Typically, progress is in steps, it`s in increments. You know, when you`re
dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society,
you got to have vigilance, but you have to recognize that it`s going to
take some time and you just have to be steady.

KORNACKI: That full interview, by the way, will air tomorrow night, 6 p.m.
on BET. Basil, it is interesting that the president`s role in all of this,
the Ferguson, the decision not to go forward with the case was announced by
the grand jury out there now, about two weeks ago, the president was on
television it seemed within ten minutes. How have you assessed his
leadership through this?

SMIKLE: I actually think his leadership has been fine. He has been
measured, and I know there are some on the left that don`t like that, and
conservatives don`t like that he`s -- what they would say meddling in
local matters. I think he has absolutely struck the right tone. What
should be noted here is that it`s an abject failure of branches of
government, particularly the judicial system, and I think what -- what
needs to happen going forward is that the president should -- I know there
is a federal investigation -- should address the -- the actual issue here
which are failures in criminal justice. This is going to impact also his
nominee, Loretta Lynch, to the attorney general post. I know that she is
going to get significant questions on how she would go forward on some of
these issues, but I think his tone was appropriate. I think he handled it
fine. But we are waiting to see what`s going to happen with the federal

KORNACKI: Loretta Lynch angle on this is really interesting, Kasie,
because she is as the U.S. attorney for this district, involved in this
case right now, and obviously, if she becomes the attorney general,
potentially involved in anything that the DOJ is doing. So, that just
means this -- the decision that is made here on whether federal charges
will be brought against Garner is going to intersect with the confirmation
politics in the Senate. Do we have a sense of how that is going to play

HUNT: Absolutely, Steve. I think the one thing that distinguishes
Ferguson, for example, from the Garner case is that you saw a remarkable
amount of unity coming out of Capitol Hill in saying there maybe a
miscarriage of justice in this situation. I think the facts in the
Ferguson case have been much more sort of muddled and argued over. There
are people who feel, you know, strongly that the police officer maybe acted
in good faith.

I think in this particular case, because of the video, and because of the
evidence that we had, everyone on Capitol Hill that I spoke to was pretty
shocked that this came down the way it did, and I think that while it can -
- it has the potential to throw a wrench into her confirmation process, I
think unless something particularly inflammatory happens with the
investigation, there`s nobody out there yet who is saying that pushing
harder on this is going to cause a problem for her.

KORNACKI: It`s interesting, too, Loretta Lynch, she - these are political
jobs in a way, too, she knows how to play politics and she has made
alliances with people you might not expect, like Rudy Giuliani, for
instance, has been very supportive.

HUNT: She came into it in a very strong position as well. When she was
first announced, there was very little opposition to her, which is going to
help her in the long run.

KORNACKI: Right. One of the reasons she was picked. Let me ask you this,
obviously, we have seen some of the initial polling after Ferguson, and
what struck me about the polling after Ferguson, was, we talked about this
in the show a little bit yesterday, it really kind of hews to this basic
partisan divide we see on almost any question, and it is sort of the
predictable groups that go Republican have one view of it, the predictable
groups that go Democratic have another view.

The Garner one, though, the reaction, and Kasie has alluded to this, the
reaction to this does not seem as clearly sort of defined by party lines.
I hear a lot of Republicans on this one saying, you know what, this bothers
me, too.

PACKER-GAGE: I haven`t talked to anybody who has seen that video that
isn`t sort of shocked by what took place and feel like -- feels like there
was just an overwhelming amount of violence in that situation that gives
people pause. But not everything is a partisan issue. And I think what
there hasn`t been a lot of talk about is the media`s role in all of this.
And the fact of the matter is, the protesters, the people talking on either
side of it, they don`t have all of the information that these grand juries
have offered to them. And it is a little bit unfair to be second-guessing
after the fact, if you`re not willing to sit down and look at the evidence
that is presented.

SMIKLE: On the Ferguson, we pretty much did get the evidence.

PACKER-GAGE: We have it available. I`m saying I don`t think that too many
people are actually sitting down and looking at all the evidence. There`s
a lot of sort of inflammatory reporting, in my opinion, that sort of gins
this up and doesn`t take the time to look at all the facts that are
presented. And I do think that because of the video in the Garner
situation, it does seem much more clear, but again, you still don`t have
all of the evidence that people are reviewing and poring over.

SMIKLE: But I do think what is fair and what the media has done very well,
I think, is put voices on camera that are really speaking to the inequities
in the system and the disparate treatment we are seeing in Ferguson and in
the Eric Garner case that tie those things together.

Look, Cliven Bundy is out in the west holding off federal marshals with
advanced weaponry. He and his friends are standing on bridges with assault
rifles pointing at U.S. marshals, but a man selling loose cigarettes gets
choked to death, and 10 people are standing around him, and are absolutely
doing nothing. So, I don`t think the media has inflamed anything. I think
it is -- it is incumbent upon all of us really in situations like this to
bring a lot of those voices to the table and say, yes, this is -- this
treatment is disproportionate, it is disparate, and it`s wrong.

But the reality is that the criminal justice system, particularly in grand
juries, and you mentioned that, is where we need to have some real reform.
They do not get vetted like trial jurors do, and I think that needs to

KORNACKI: All right. More to get to, including some interesting comments
from Valerie Jarrett about members of the Obama administration that have

Also, the latest on that "Rolling Stone" story about University of Virginia
and rape allegations. That`s next.


KORNACKI: If you were to go to "Rolling Stone" magazine`s website right
now, this morning, click on its apology for that UVA rape article it is now
walking back from, you will find a very different letter posted there than
the one the magazine first posted on Friday. The magazine has now made
major changes to that original note. The original three-paragraph one
stated that "Rolling Stone" had quote, "misplaced its trust in Jackie, the
UVA student whose claims of being raped are the centerpiece of the
article." In the new updated apology letter, the magazine now accepts more
blame for what happened, saying, quote, "these mistakes are on "Rolling
Stone", not on Jackie."

"Rolling Stone" managing editor Will Dana`s signature is missing from the
updated apology.

There is so much to this story, "Rolling Stone" story, part of it is how
they initially framed this thing, how they initially phrased it, which was
basically like it was our mistake to trust her. We -- you know, it`s your
job as a magazine to fact-check everybody. If you`re not going to reach
out to the supposed perpetrators of this, that is definitely on you and not

I`m just trying to figure out still what exactly went wrong here. I can
see, is this a magazine that was just -- they were looking for page views,
for clicks, hey, we have got something sensational here, is it that? Is
this a magazine that sort of had an activist edge to this and they wanted
to prove something they already -- they believed had happened without
bothering -- I`m still trying to figure out exactly how something like this
happens, because in terms of failure on a journalism level, I can`t
remember something this bad recently?

HUNT: Steve, I think for this subject in particular, it`s a shame that
this has happened, in part because it is so hard for so many of these
victims to come forward. When you have someone, and clearly the woman at
the center of this story had something terrible and traumatic happen to
her. Now the magazine is struggling to figure out which details line up
right and which ones don`t. And that is on them. Every time something
like this happens, it sets back the overall goal of making sure that
victims are believed, they are not written off, their stories are true,
there is so much that goes into - people feel like they can`t come forward
because they are not going to be believed, and I think that, you know this
is a major journalistic sin, but it`s also a loss for our community as a
whole as people are trying to combat sexual assault.

PACKER-GAGE: This was a story that -- I have three nieces that are on
colleges campuses today, and it was a story when I saw it that I
immediately shared with family members, because it sort of terrifies you.
To Kasie`s point, I think it does set back the ability to get people to
come forward.

You know, there`s a lot of things that are worrisome. I think that when a
journalist makes a deal that they are not going to talk to the accused, I
think that`s a dangerous place to be. I think it`s also a dangerous police
to be when colleges decide that they are going to try to handle these
things internally and not turn something that`s a felony immediately over
to law enforcement. So all of those things, you know, sort of give you
pause about this.

KORNACKI: Part of it, Basil, you read how this all came together, there
was a point apparently in the reporting where Jackie didn`t want to be part
of this anymore, you know what, I don`t want to go down this road.
"Rolling Stone" basically strong-armed her, said, no, we are doing this,
and hey, this is running either way, you want to talk to us or not, we are
running this either way, that`s a lot on "Rolling Stone."

SMIKLE: It is. And I think it speaks to your point as well that you hope
it doesn`t have a chilling effect. If a victim wants to report the story,
wants to report what`s happened to them, wants to go forward and talk to
the police, whether the campus police are handling it or the local PD will
be handling it, you don`t want a situation where she`s being forced to sort
of come out and then not have control of the story, of the details of the
incident after that. And it looks like, you know, and I hope this doesn`t
happen, I hope that the "Rolling Stone" apology doesn`t sort of cut off the
conversation about what happened to her, but you certainly don`t want a
chilling effect going forward.

HUNT: The University of Virginia actually in their statement, I think to
their credit, said, okay, well, there are these questions that are coming
out about this story, but, you know what, this is still a conversation we
need to have. We still need to be focused on making sure that we limit or
end sexual assaults on campus.

KORNACKI: For a publication like "Rolling Stone", too, what do they do
now? They are a brand name in American journalism, "Rolling Stone" has
been around forever. They`ve had a lot of very important articles. I
mean, just a couple of years ago, they had a general fired, basically,
because of a story they ran. Can they recoup their - how do you recoup
credibility after something like this?

HUNT: Well, the New York Times did it in the wake of Jayson Blair. This
is not something limited just to "Rolling Stone," but I think each
institution has to sort of grapple with its own instance of this before
they (inaudible). I think that changing this apology is in some ways a red
flag, because how you handle this is really -- if something like this
happens, how it`s handled in the aftermath says a lot about the
institution, what they are committed to. So I`m not sure that changing
your apology and not mentioning the fact that you changed your apology was


KORNACKI: Yeah, the instincts, too, the first apology they ran, it was
just so much like trying to push this off, oh, we got fooled, we got
hoodwinked here, something like that. That didn`t look good either.

PACKER-GAGE: There`s a lot of these cases that occur, and clearly, they
gravitated toward a particularly inflammatory case, because it would sell
and it would cause page views, and I think that`s on the editorial team, to
make sure that when you have got something that is so incendiary that you
are, you know, crossing all the T`s and dotting all the I`s, and clearly,
they didn`t do that

KORNACKI: That was the thing that struck me, I don`t know, but just struck
me reading it, is all the important sort of institutional questions about
UVA, about its response, about the response of colleges to all of this,
that are in this article, and they are important things to be raised. It`s
almost as if they said, you know what, that`s not going to get the page
views. What is going to get the page views is that anecdote, we need that
anecdote at the top of it, and that`s when they get into trouble, and that
is the thing that is raising all the questions. I want to say thanks to,
Basil Smikle Jr., Katie Packer-Gage, for joining us this morning. Kasie
will be with us later in the morning.

And up next, anger over one of President Obama `s nominees from an unlikely
source, his own party. That`s next.


KORNACKI: It`s part of the ritual of Washington that when the president
nominates someone for a key post in his administration, the sniping about
that nominee begins on Capitol Hill immediately. So, in November,
immediately after President Obama nominated a man named Antonio Weiss for
the position of undersecretary of the treasury, the blowback started, but
here`s the twist. The blowback was and is being led by a Democrat, by a
member of the president`s own party. And not just any Democrat either, it
was Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is now representing
progressives as part of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, as well as
the person who created a Wall Street watchdog agency at the president`s

So, that`s why Warren is upset about the nomination. She believes that the
nominee, Antonio Weiss, is too cozy with Wall Street. She also accuses him
of engineering in his role as the head of the investment banking firm
Lazard a deal, that in effect, made Burger King a Canadian company, thereby
shielding it from millions in U.S. tax obligations. Warren`s attacks on
Weiss are now drawing fire as well, most notably from Andrew Ross Sorkin of
CNBC and "The New York Times." He is defending Weiss and he calls Warren`s
opposition misdirected, saying her understanding of the Burger King deal is

Elizabeth Warren has positioned herself as the Democratic Party`s leading
crusader against Wall Street. Now she is making this a test for her party.
Will they stand with her and stop the Weiss nomination or should they even
do that? Here to discuss is MSNBC contributor Jared Bernstein, who is also
a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and was
president - was Vice President Obama`s (sic) chief economic adviser. And
also joined here by Lenore Palladino, an economist and vice president of
policy and outreach at the liberal think tank, Demos. Thank you for
joining us.

Lenore, let me just start with you. The case against Weiss. This is a
member of the president`s party. He campaigned for Obama `s re-election,
he`s done work on the issue of raising taxes on the wealthy to combat
inequality. Why is that a bad choice for this position?

LENORE PALLADINO, DEMOS: So I think we have to step back and look what
this position actually is. It is somebody at Treasury who deals with
domestic finance and the implementation of Dodd-Frank. I think there are
two qualifications that we need. One is someone who has deep experience
with domestic regulation, and the other is somebody who is independent from
Wall Street, somebody who is going to be willing to disagree with them, and
I think that --

KORNACKI: Does he have regulatory experience?

PALLADINO: Not that I`m aware of. He is a corporate M&A guy. His
experience is really in international corporate business mergers, and also
we have this $21 million payout he is getting from Lazard to go into public
service, that really calls into question independence from Wall Street.

KORNACKI: Okay, Jared, that is the case against. What do you make of

Lenore and Senator Warren make a lot of good points. I think, from my own
experience, it really matters a lot who`s in the room when you`re making
economic policy at this level.

However, I think they are different rooms, and for this room, for the
undersecretary of domestic finance, I think it`s actually helpful to have
someone with the kind of market experience that Antonio Weiss brings to the

Lenore didn`t mention one of the most important parts of the job, that`s
managing the stock of our national debt, $17 trillion in debt that this
undersecretary has to be sure to finance in a way that`s highly efficient.
If you look at this guy`s career, he has spent decades in international
markets dealing with global finance. In fact, it`s hard for me to realize,
and I -- I would argue that Senator Warren has failed to really name a
person who would be appropriate in this position who doesn`t have this kind
of market background and experience.

KORNACKI: Jared, is it a concern to you, no experience unless -- no
experience in terms of regulation, no regulatory experience?

BERNSTEIN: Well, in fact, if you`re sitting across the table doing mergers
and acquisition and the kinds of advice that Lazard provides to firms, you
know a lot about where those skeletons are buried. What really matters in
this position, is less somebody with regulatory experience. In fact, you`d
be hard pressed to find many in this kind of position who had that kind of
experience, and that they have the kind of sensibility that Senator Warren
is looking for. And here, I know Antonio Weiss a little bit, and he
actually is very much in favor of the kind of rigorous oversight that
Senator Warren and frankly myself think is important. So we shouldn`t
judge him just on the basis of this Wall Street kind of label that`s been

KORNACKI: Lenore, is there an argument to be made, I wonder what you make
of the argument that because he is so close to Wall Street, because that`s
his background, because he knows so closely, so intimately how it works,
that it would put him in position to sort of know the tricks, to know, hey,
if this is the regulation, this is the workaround they are going to try to
come up. You want somebody like that, it`s sort of like at the casinos,
they hire the guy that knew how to beat the game, beat the house, right,
they hire him for security. Is there an analogy there?

PALLADINO: I think the question is really about the mix of regulators that
you have in Treasury, and we know how much that ineffective financial
regulation led to the last crisis. I have - I don`t know Antonio Weiss.
I`m sure he is a very smart guy and could do a good job. The question is
really who would be the best person for this position at this time.

KORNACKI: Do you have -- so do you have somebody else? Jared was thinking
he can`t think of another name.

PALLADINO: I don`t. But I think there`s a number of other consumer
advocates, financial regulatory experts, people who have really been in the
sausage making, in and around Treasury for a long time, who would be great
fits for the position.

BERNSTEIN: Let me make a point about that, Steve, you know, it`s important
to recognize that Mr. Weiss, as an undersecretary, will be working under
the deputy secretary, Sarah Bloom Raskin. This is someone who has a long
history of consumer advocacy and someone who Senator Warren really
championed and recognized as a really -- I think the type of regulator that
both Lenore and I recognize is important to have up there. That`s
basically going to be Mr. Weiss`s boss, if he is confirmed, and she will be
driving the regulatory train. That makes me feel a little better about

KORNACKI: Here is one thing, Jared, my impression from afar watching
Elizabeth Warren in this, is she is also interested in making a statement
and having the Democratic Party make a statement that a Democratic Party
that`s had such a close relationship with Wall Street, and that Wall Street
that caused so much pain in people`s lives over the last decade, using this
as an opportunity to tell people, you know what, we are looking away from
Wall Street for a change. Isn`t there an argument to be made for doing it

BERNSTEIN: It is a great argument. I wrote about this, this week, and
half of my article was completely underscoring that argument. But let me
tell you something from the inside that I think is very important and
really isn`t part of that argument. When I worked for the Obama
administration as an economist and we were trying to craft Dodd-Frank and
dealing with the recession and the Recovery Act, the folks who were on the
other side of my progressive/Warren/Lenore kind of arguments, were not
necessarily people with Wall Street experience. I`m not going to name
names, but the folks that I was arguing against often didn`t come from Wall
Street. So, you know, that kind of a litmus test may not be really what`s
warranted here, no pun intended.

KORNACKI: Lenore, final word on this.

PALLADINO: I think we have to look at what would be the best fit for this
position at this time, and I don`t think Antonio Weiss is it.

KORNACKI: All right. To be continued on this one. My thanks to Lenore
Palladino from Demos, Jared Bernstein, from the Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities. Appreciate you both joining us this morning.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

KORNACKI: It has been over a decade since the debut of the Bush doctrine,
and this week, we have got a preview of the Jeb Bush doctrine. We will
dissect it. That`s next.


KORNACKI: As he considers a run for the White House, Jeb Bush`s biggest
liability may very well be his last name, and the reason his last name may
be a liability has to do with foreign policy, specifically the invasion of
Iraq under his brother, George W. Bush. It is the chaos in Iraq more than
anything else that dragged down George W. Bush`s approval rating to
poisonous depths in his second term as president and has haunted his legacy
since. So on Tuesday, Jeb Bush, now eyeing a 2016 presidential bid of his
own, delivered a 20-minute speech that some are describing as the Jeb Bush
doctrine. At a meeting of the anti-Castro U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC in South
Florida, Bush laid out what he thinks America`s role in the world should


FORMER GOVERNOR JEB BUSH, R-FLORIDA: We need to have a policy not of
unilateralism, although no option should ever be taken off the table. Both
our country and our president should never negotiate in advance any kind of
consideration, but we need a policy of engagement.


KORNACKI: Even as he`s gently inched away from his brother, Bush reserved
his harshest criticism for President Obama.


BUSH: Our allies don`t trust us and our enemies don`t fear us. There is
no situation worse for stability and peace than that. The iron rule of
superpower deterrent is, mean it when you say it.


KORNACKI: So, how much is Jeb Bush really separating himself from George
W. Bush`s foreign policy legacy? How effective will it be? Joining me now
is former George W. Bush campaign adviser Mark McKinnon, now a columnist
for the Daily Beast and co-founder of No Labels, and MSNBC political
reporter, Kasie Hunt, is here with me in the studio.

Mark, let me start with you. Obviously you know this family very well, and
you think of foreign policy and the Bushes, and I think of George Bush
Senior, the first George Bush had a chance to go into Baghdad, absolutely
wouldn`t do it; the son absolutely did do it. When you look at Jeb Bush,
which one of those is he? Is he the restraint of the father or is he sort
of the -- let`s go in there spirit of the son?

MARK MCKINNON, DAILY BEAST: Well, probably a mix of the two. You know,
first of all, when you see a governor giving a major foreign policy speech,
that`s a pretty clear indication that he`s running. Two, I would say that
I think people saw this speech and conservatives recognize that he`s A,
really serious on the policy side, and very conservative. He`s got his own
doctrine. It is very much focused on Central and South America and
terrorism there, cyber security. So, he is really - he is talking about
going his own way and forging his own foreign policy, but it`s a real flag
that he`s getting serious about this.

KORNACKI: I mean, does he believe, I was going back and looking at the
speech, its` hard for me to say, but I mean, that idea that sort of
animated his brother, that animated George W. Bush`s presidency of just
this, the power of sort of democratization, if he could only create more
democracies in troubled spots in the world, that`s going to solve problems.
Does he believe that or is he sort of -- has he learned from that maybe?

MCKINNON: I think he`ll look at it in his own light, but I do think that
it is a different environment we`re looking at now, with ISIS, and I do
think that Jeb Bush thinks seriously that we should lean forward, that we
should lead from in front and that words matter. I think all of those
things are a part of what would be the Jeb doctrine.

KORNACKI: Kasie, I wonder how the Republican universe looks at this,
because they are aware, just politically, they are aware of the baggage
that comes with the Bush name, but obviously there is a lot of the sort of
Bush foreign policy tradition, there are a lot of people in the Republican
Party who still believe in it. Where is the Republican Party now, what are
they looking for when it comes to foreign policy?

HUNT: A couple of things on Jeb Bush, and while certainly -- any candidacy
of his would be cast in light of his brother and Iraq. You also have to
think about what`s happened since then, namely, President Obama and the
rise of Senator Rand Paul. And I think what you were hearing from Jeb Bush
about, you know, our words need to mean something, that is very much a
reflection of the Republican Party`s overall thinking on this president,
which is that he likes to say things, he likes to draw red lines.

KORNACKI: The red line on Syria. Right.

HUNT: And then he likes to not follow through. So they are definitely
looking, I think, for a candidate who is -- who will push forward with
that, we are going to mean what we say. But also, with Senator Paul, there
is some significant concern on -- in those factions of the Republican
Party, whether you want to call them neoconservative, I am not convinced
they would call themselves neoconservative anymore, but those particular
people who are very concerned about Israel.

KORNACKI: John McCain, Lindsey Graham.

HUNT: John McCain, Lindsey Graham. Sheldon Adelson is a key one, some of
the big donors, they are looking for somebody who sounds a lot more like
Jeb Bush than like Rand Paul.

KORNACKI: Mark, is that one way to maybe interpret this? You say look,
governors, when they are delivering foreign policy addresses, that is a
pretty clear sign of what they are thinking. I agree with that, but when
you look at the contents of this speech, then, is this also sort of telling
the types of people in the Republican Party that Kasie was just talking
about, telling them, look, you`re scared of Rand Paul, I can be the guy who
beats Rand Paul?

MCKINNON: No question, I mean, he has firmly established himself to the
right of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, which is a real faction now on foreign
policy, so this is really separating himself and also laying down a marker
that he`s very conservative.

KORNACKI: Let`s put this in a little bit of broader perspective. There
was a new poll that came out last week, we can show this, this is the
Republican field, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, you know, sort of running
together near the top there, sometimes they throw Mitt Romney into these
things, too, and Mitt Romney ends up into the lead. In fact, there was a
story this week, we can also show this, this is from "Business Insider"
this week saying that Romney met recently with his inner circle, that some
of them emerged convinced that he`s running. We have been hearing this off
and on, Mark McKinnon, what do you make of the Mitt Romney stuff? Is this
just a great smoke screen? Is this an ego trip by a guy who is getting a
few months of free press here? Do you think there`s any chance he actually

MCKINNON: Could be our Adlai Stevenson. But I actually think there is a
chance he could. That -- I saw that as a significant signal this week, and
in reality, you look at the field and he -- he thinks he could be the
establishment candidate again. And you know, it`s also something to be
said for having run a couple of times, he has got his chops down pretty
well, and he`s become a very good candidate, especially in these Republican
primaries, you know, sitting, having to get out there and deal in the
trenches, where a lot of candidates like Jeb Bush have not done that in a

KORNACKI: Would he -- if Jeb Bush wants to run, does Jeb Bush sort of get
right of first refusal on this? Do you think Romney would run if Bush ran
or only if Bush doesn`t?

MCKINNON: You know, he says he doesn`t care what the Bush -- what Jeb Bush
would do. I don`t think that`s really true. I think if Jeb Bush gets in,
he is going to throw a pretty wide net on the establishment money and

KORNACKI: Kasie, I wonder what you make - when I saw this poll we put up
there with Bush at 14 percent, Christie, 11percent. I said, you know, we
think of the Bush name, we think of the reputation of this is the
establishment guy, this is the one they can all kind of rally around. I`m
saying, 14 percent is awfully -- I remember when George W. Bush set out in
2000 to run, in polls like this, he was at like 40 percent. You`re down to
14 now for Jeb Bush. Are we overstating the appetite that`s there in the
Republican Party for him?

HUNT: I think that, look, very early polls are often a reflection of name
recognition, so the Bush name is immediately going to put you --

KORNACKI: It should be higher than 14, then, right?

HUNT: I think what it shows, unlike on the Democratic side, where Hillary
is absolutely blowing out the rest of the field, there is no one dominant
choice for Republicans. They have a huge potential field, and that`s why I
think these questions of who`s in and who`s out are actually going to end
up being pretty critical. I would say, his name is there, but what you
were talking about as far as who gets the early money, who gets the
establishment support, that`s going to sort of say, it`s going to signal
who on that giant long list of candidates, which ones are going to get
squeezed out before they even really have a chance to step forward and to
move their number up higher?

KORNACKI: Mark McKinnon, quick one-word answer here, we know he is
interested, Jeb Bush, do you think he runs, yes or no?

MCKINNON: I think he is in.

KORNACKI: All right. Held you to the one-word answer.

HUNT: Holding you to that, Mark.

KORNACKI: Mark McKinnon, appreciate you joining us from the Daily Beast.
MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt as well. Thank you both for being here this morning.

Election night is not over yet. The official final close 33 days later, on
the other side of this break. Still ahead this morning, our interview with
Bernie Sanders. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: We have breaking election news for you. NBC News has now called
its 36TH and final Senate election of the year. Louisiana Democratic
Senator Mary Landrieu has officially now been defeated in her bid for a
fourth term. This in last night`s runoff, she`s lost by a sound margin.
Bill Cassidy, the Republican congressman, challenging her gets 56 percent,
Landrieu, only 44 percent. That will make Cassidy the 54TH Republican vote
in Mitch McConnell`s new Republican Senate majority in January. With
Landrieu`s defeat, there will be no Democratic senators left from a deep
South state. And in our next hour, we are going to explore what happened
to the Southern Democrats, taking a deep dive with an assist from our big
board. But up first, Colonel Jack Jacobs will get a turn of his own at the
big board to help explain what went wrong in that failed hostage rescue in

Plus, General Wesley Clark will be here to add his analysis. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: As we have been reporting, details continue to emerge this
morning about the risky rescue mission yesterday to recover American
hostage Luke Somers from al Qaeda captivity. Military officials saying
that the rescue effort quote, "lost the element of surprise before it even
began." Colonel Jack Jacobs now joins us from the big board. He is going
to take a look at the challenges that this particular mission faced.
Colonel Jack, what kind of planning you can tell us went into this

COL. JACK JACOBS, MSNBC ANALYST: What`s supposed to happen is that there
is a lot of planning, and meticulous execution, and in order to do that,
lots and lots of rehearsals, but they didn`t have the luxury of time here,
because the expectation was that al Qaeda was going to execute Somers, so
they had to just go with whatever they had. They had a plan, and to
execute it as quickly as possible, without all the rehearsals that were
necessary under normal circumstances.

You`re in an area over here, the objective is somewhere in south central
Yemen, and you position the assets nearby in the Gulf of Aden. In this
particular case, aboard the USS Macon, a ship that typically has lots of
rotary winged aircraft, including Blackhawks and Ospreys like this, tilt-
rotor aircraft, carry a lot of special operators into the objective area.

Once you`re there, you figure out exactly where you`re going to go. Let`s
say this is the objective, small compound in south central Yemen. You
don`t want to land on top of the objective, because you lose the element of
surprise. Instead, you land some distance away, where they can`t hear you,
and then infiltrate your force under the cover of darkness. This took
place after midnight, and then attack the objective.

In this instance, they were alerted -- there were some people who were
awake, they saw the attacking force, and as a result, a firefight ensued.
Once the firefight`s over, you secure the objective, and then you bring in
rotary winged aircraft, like the Ospreys and Blackhawks in order to
evacuate casualties, enemy who are captured, intelligence material, the
hostages and so on. You bring them back to the USS Macon or a similar
ship, and then out of the area. This is an extremely difficult operation
to pull off, and much, much different than a lot of the operations people
have in mind using special operations forces.

KORNACKI: Yeah, Colonel, on that, what -- do we have a sense, when talking
about going into a place lake this, where you`re trying to rescue people,
you are trying to get them out alive, what the odds of success are for
pulling something like this off?

JACOBS: They are not as good as going in, for example, going in and
getting Osama bin Laden. If you`re going to attack to kill or capture
enemy, oddly, it`s much easier to do that than it is to go into an area
like this and not only kill or capture the enemy, but be able to isolate
the hostages from the enemy and bring the hostages out alive. Extremely
difficult to do. Doesn`t succeed nearly as often as the -- as the attacks
to kill and capture the enemy. Very, very tough operation. And done with
very little warning. So these things, unfortunately, don`t often come out

KORNACKI: And I wonder if there is anything, and we haven`t learned all
the details yet, but what you just laid out there, are there any lessons
that jump out to you from the experience in this failed mission that we
could learn for future ones?

JACOBS: You know, we had an opportunity to do this before, and the mission
failed. The mission failed, you know, we went about a couple of weeks ago
to go snatch him, but we didn`t get him. We didn`t get him because the
intelligence wasn`t up to speed. They had moved Somers just a day before
we went into the area. We were able to get some other hostages, but not
Somers, and it points out how important good intelligence is. Overhead
satellites, we do a lot of that, eavesdropping on telephone conversations.
There`s nothing -- there`s nothing that will compete with good intelligence
that will contribute to the successful accomplishment of the mission. And
so, the lesson here is you got to be vigilant. You got to keep on top of
the intelligence. Any time somebody is moved, you got to know about it,
and you have to be able to develop intelligence on the ground. Extremely
difficult to do in a place like this. In other areas, like Iraq and
Afghanistan, built-up areas, lots easier because we have people on the
ground talking to other people on the ground. Place like this, extremely
difficult to do. So, the lesson here is stay on top of your intelligence.

KORNACKI: All right, Colonel Jack Jacobs, the big board being used for
non-election stuff, very good job, very informative. Appreciate that.

Straight ahead, we will continue this conversation from the perspective of
a retired four-star general, former NATO supreme allied commander Wesley
Clark will be here with us next. And later, Senator Bernie Sanders joins
us to discuss not just the will he or won`t he question about running for
president, but also the why. You won`t want to miss that. So stay with


KORNACKI: And thanks for staying with us this Sunday morning. Next week
at this time, the federal government could be shut down. Yet again. We`re
going to ask two prominent congressmen, one Democrat, one Republican,
whether a deal can be reached before this Friday`s deadline. Also, Senator
Bernie Sanders from Vermont will be here to talk about his plan to rebuild
the middle class and maybe his plans to run in 2016. But we begin this
hour with the new details emerging this morning about the failed operation
to rescue American hostage Luke Somers. He and another hostage from South
Africa were killed in the raid by the al Qaeda militants who had been
holding them.

NBC`s Kristen Welker joins us live from the North Lawn of the White House
with the latest. Kristen?

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Steve, good morning. I have been
talking to senior administrations officials throughout the weekend and one
U.S. official describes the rescue mission as a multiagency whole of
government effort. It started overnight on Thursday. You will remember
that`s when video of Luke Somers was leased by his al Qaeda captors who
threatened to kill him on Saturday. So, we are talking about yesterday.
Intelligence officials say that they determined the threat was credible.
They believe that Somers` captors would, in fact, kill him yesterday.
Officials say they also had credible intelligence about Somers` whereabouts
based in part on their initial attempt to rescue him. You will recall that
happened last month, Steve. Now, all of that set off a series of meetings
from the Pentagon, the State Department and right here at the White House.

And on Friday, the president`s national security team, I am told,
recommended unanimously that Mr. Obama approve the mission. He and Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is, of course, outgoing, gave the green light on
Friday morning.

So, here is how the mission all went down. On Friday night, dozens of Navy
SEALs landed about two miles from their target. The American commandos
reached what is being described as a cluster of buildings and that`s where
Somers was being held. Once the al Qaeda captors realized what was
happening, though, that`s when a gun fight broke out. Somers and that
South African who you mentioned, Pierre Korkie, were discovered gravely
wounded, apparently shot by their captors. They were airlifted, treated by
medics, airlifted to a U.S. Navy ship, but both ultimately died of their
wounds. Now the U.S. Special Forces did kill between six to nine al Qaeda
captors and I am told that at this point, it appears as though no civilians
were killed.

When asked if the White House had second thoughts about the mission, one
U.S. official told me, look, the president still feels it was the right
decision to try to rescue Somers because the intelligence about his
location was reliable, he was in that exact location. In a statement
yesterday, President Obama said "The U.S. would spare no effort to use all
of its military intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans
home safely wherever they are located."

Meanwhile, Steve, we are also hearing from his friends and his colleagues
today in a statement, his stepmother describes Somers as a talented
photographer with a sensitivity for people and people`s lives. I spoke
with one of his colleagues who works at PBS News Hour but who had spent
some time in Yemen as well, Steve. That person telling me that he just
can`t believe that this happened to Luke Somers. That entire community of
people who are his friends and his family just in shock this morning.

KORNACKI: All right, Kristen Welker live at the White House. Thanks for
joining us this morning. Appreciate that.

WELKER : Absolutely. Thanks.

KORNACKI: And we are joined now by retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark,
former supreme allied commander of NATO, former presidential candidate,
also author of the new book "Don`t wait for the next war." General,
welcome, and thanks for being with us. So I mean, listening to what
Kristen just outlined there, it certainly seems, you know, it seems like
there was no choice but to take a shot at this, the alternative was, they
were going to kill him anyway. At the same time, when you hear about, you
know, how this went down, basically, the minute that al Qaeda realized that
there was a rescue attempt being made, they went in and killed him. And it
just raises the question, how can you get these hostages out alive if
that`s what you`re facing?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FMR. U.S. ARMY (RET.): Sometimes you can get in there
with good intelligence, and you could surprise the enemy and you can get
the hostage, sometimes you`re not going to succeed. All -- everyone
connected in this operation understood the risks, but you`re faced with the
issue of do you let it happen or do you take action, because it`s not only
about the life of that hostage. In this case, two hostages, but it`s also
about how you protect Americans going forward. It`s about whether you
increase the value of Americans as targets for terrorist kidnappings or
whether you put fear in the hearts of al Qaeda and convince them that they
will never get away with it. Maybe you won`t rescue every hostage, but you
will never have a team that`s holding those hostages that`s ever safe and
secure. And we will destroy those people who are taking those hostages,
time after time, whenever they attempt to do so, and that`s the United
States` policy. This is a long, multiyear, maybe multi-decade effort in
this region. We are going to see more of this, as long as they continue to
take Americans hostage. And I hope the United States is going to be
effective in persuading other governments, including governments like the
government of South Africa, which reportedly paid money to have the other
hostage released, not to do that. We have got to work together and we have
got to break this al Qaeda hostage taking.

KORNACKI: Let me ask you this, I just -- because this summer and early
fall, we had a spate of stories about ISIS, ISIS taking hostages, beheading
them, being paid ransoms by some European governments, the United States,
the U.K. refusing to do so. This is a different group this is al Qaeda in
the Arabian Peninsula doing this. Is there -- do you have a sense that
maybe there are other groups like this group, like al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula that maybe saw what ISIS was doing this summer and sort of a
copycat thing now?

CLARK: Well, it`s the way the terrorists can make money. So, if this is a
tactic that works, then there will be copycat cells all over North Africa
and the Middle East who will look for Americans who were in there for all
the right reasons. They will seize them, they will demand payments. They
will hold them. So, this is a problem throughout the region, it`s not just
a single organization, it`s the way they make money. The reports from last
summer indicated that ISIS had made millions and millions of dollars from
hostage taking. We know this Somali pirates in an earlier period were
making money off hostage taking and we know we have terrorist cells across
North Africa and into countries like Nigeria with Boko Haram, who would do
this if they could get their hands on the right Americans and thought they
could pull it off or the right Europeans. So, yes this is a threat
throughout the region.

KORNACKI: The other thing is I wonder what you would say, how would you
say, from a standpoint of policy, let me put it this way, from a standpoint
of policy what you are saying about why we should never pay ransoms, I
totally understand, from the policy of the United States, but when you are
talking to one of these families who has a son, a daughter, who is being
held by these groups, and that family is made aware that, hey, if we can
just raise 1 million, $2 million, if somehow we can come up with that money
ourselves, we will see our son again and if we don`t, we won`t. How do you
tell that family to resist that urge?

CLARK: Well, there`s two issues here, one is even if the money`s raised,
you may or may not get your loved one back, because delivering this money
and having the hostage released, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn`t,
sometimes it`s a matter of back and forth communication is the price gets
raised. Secondly, I think that all the American people and those families
know that they want their government to be involved in trying to bring
these people back to freedom. Now, these European governments, the South
African governments, they don`t have the capacities to mount a rescue
operation. So, they buy it off. But by buying it off, you`re feeding the
threat and you`re making it more likely that other families and other loved
ones will suffer the same fate afterwards.

So I think in this case, it`s one of those terrible things, if you`re a
family and you`ve got a loved one that`s going into that area, then I think
you have to be aware of the risks and you have to really think again about
doing this, because these people are in danger, they are targeted, they are
like a walking cash cow for terrorists. So, got to really think hard about
whether we want to do that or not.

KORNACKI: We obviously have - we had the intelligence, we had sufficient
intelligence to find out pretty much exactly where they were being held,
where these two hostages were being held for this mission to begin and
apparently, there have been a previous effort recently where they had been
moved at the last minute which raises the question, a group like al Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula, groups like ISIS, we always talk about our
intelligence to find out where they are, how good is their intelligence to
know where we are?

CLARK: Well, they do have intelligence, you know, and they are getting
better and better at it you know, a decade ago when the United States first
started, it wasn`t that easy for them. They didn`t understand the
technology, the techniques, the hardware - the way we operate, but they
have gotten better and better at this, so, yes, you can buy commercial
satellite imagery. You can probably buy electronic eavesdropping. You can
listen on YouTube and hear people talk and report things that perhaps
shouldn`t be reported. We are getting a tremendous amount of information,
let`s say, about Russian activities in Ukraine by simply monitoring YouTube
and watching what people post on Facebook.

So, there are ways in which information leaks out, but I`d like to think
that our ability to protect our own movements and our own intentions is
pretty good. And it`s able to be controlled and especially when you have
an aircraft carrier or an amphib (ph) off the coast like this and it`s
moving. Yes, it may have been seen in a port and yes, there may be
fishermen out there who can see things and who knows, but we know how to
sanitize that area, if we have to. And we can do that. So, I`m sure we
will be tightening up our own intelligence and counterintelligence
procedures after this.

KORNACKI: All right, Retired Army General Wesley Clark, thanks for joining
us this morning.

CLARK: Thank you.

KORNACKI: All right, how the holidays are threatening to bring another
government shutdown by the end of this week. We will investigate the why
and whether it can be prevented with two people in a position to stop it.
That`s next.


KORNACKI: So, stop me if you`ve heard this one before, Congress has until
midnight this Thursday to pass some kind of legislation to fund the
government and if it doesn`t, then the government is going to shut down
again this Friday, December 12th. This latest round of brinkmanship has
everything to do with President Obama`s recent executive action on
immigration reform with some on the right demanding an all-out push to stop
funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which is implementing the
president`s orders. Desperate to avoid another shutdown though, the
House`s Republican leadership has put together a two-step plan, the first
step involved a resolution rebuking the president for his executive action
and that resolution passed, mostly on party lines this past Thursday. Now,
this week comes the harder part, a bill that would keep the government open
for a year, but with one exception, making funding for the Department of
Homeland Security expire a few months from now, which would allow
conservatives to stage another fight then over the president`s immigration
action. There is some dissent on the right here.

House conservatives are complaining they are being rushed by their
leadership as "The Hill" describes it "House conservatives are griping that
Speaker John Boehner is putting the squeeze on them by rushing through $1
trillion spending bill." So, if that bill to keep the government open and
to stop it from shutting down is going to pass this week, Republican
leaders are going to need some help from Democrats. So is this a deal that
Democrats can live with? Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of
Pennsylvania, Democrat Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, both sides of the
aisle, they join us here now. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us. So,
Congressman Dent, I will start with you on the Republican side, how
confident are you right now that there will not be a shutdown this week?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R ) PENNSYLVANIA: I am very confident there is not
going to be a shut down. I think a lot of my colleagues learned the hard
lesson a little over a year ago and there`s certainly no education to be
gained by the second kick of the mule, and certainly no wisdom from the
third or fourth kick. So, there is not going to be a shutdown.

KORNACKI: But it said, to listen to some of the rhetoric coming out of
there, it sounds like there`s an appetite, especially because this
executive action thing, to find some way to undo it through playing with
funding for DHS and ...

DENT: Well, there are a handful of members, you know, who, I think would
take us in that direction. But overwhelmingly, I think most of the
Republican members in the House, you know, want to pass the cromny (ph) bus
or the omnibus or at least move forward, clear the decks now so we can
start the New Year with a fresh agenda.

KORNACKI: So, Congressman Pascrell, it might come to you as a Democrat to
provide a critical vote to get this thing passed, because if a handful of
Republicans, if it`s a dozen of them, a couple dozen of them say, you know,
this isn`t enough, we don`t want to vote for this bill, you`re going to
need Democrats to get it across. Is this bill, the one we just outlined
there, is that something you could live with?

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D-NJ): Well, we have to pass the legislation, but we
don`t have to be handmaidens, we don`t have to -- let them vote first and
then move all, let them put up their votes, I mean not all of the ...

KORNACKI: Let it go down and then let it come back or ...

PASCRELL: Yeah, it`s -- some way it will pass, hopefully by 3:00 Thursday
afternoon. Some way it will pass. But we don`t have reasonable members,
like Charlie Dent on the other side. Charlie Dent is not an exception, a
lot of good Republicans who think and try to resolve their problems. But
the majority, I think, are caught up in being pushed by the Tea Party folks
and they have gotten away with it for a couple of years and they are going
to continue to do it. I mean, they use this immigration thing as an
excuse, if it wasn`t immigration, it would be something else. There`s no
doubt about t.

KORNACKI: So, they want the showdown ....

PASCRELL: Absolutely, they want a showdown on every situation. And to
hold Homeland Security hostage, Charlie, to me, is a pretty -- particularly
in the situation we are going through right now throughout the world, is
not the right way to do this. In my opinion.

KORNACKI: So, if this gets through this week, it means that funding for
the whole government is basically good for a year, except funding for the
Department of Homeland Security ...


KORNACKI: ... which would come up again early next year and then your
party or would want to fight that all over again then?

DENT: No, actually, my preference is to pass an omnibus, all 12 of the
appropriate ...

KORNACKI: You want everything passed?

DENT: I want it all passed.

KORNACKI: So, what they are putting together ...

DENT: 11 out of 12.


DENT: Now, I serve on the Homeland Security sub-Committee and the
appropriations commission, so I helped draft that bill, and there`s a lot
of good stuff in there, I don`t particularly want to CR that, you know,
this - kick that into the New Year because come February or March, we will
pass the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, I would just assume pass it
now, this week. That`s my preference. And if the votes aren`t there, Bill
said, you know, he`s clever guy, Bill, he is a friend, he`s smart, look, he
thinks the Republicans, we, the Republicans should put the votes up, 218
before one Democrat should vote for it. I don`t blame them. That`s what I
would do if I - but we should -- but the point is if there aren`t the votes
for the Cromny (ph) Bus, I would say let`s move right to the omnibus and
pass the whole thing.

KORNACKI: Well, the way it was explained to me is, the sort of the Tea
Party crowd wants to fight over the immigration executive action and that,
hence they want to, you know, put DHS funding on the table. But even if
you stopped DHS funding, the way this thing is being implemented it would
still go forward is that right?

DENT: Pretty much. Yeah, because much of the U.S. Citizens Immigration
Service, USCIS, is funded through fees and they are going to get their
fees, regardless. So, yeah, I don`t think it`s a particularly good tactic.
I think the way that we Republicans should respond to the president`s
executive action on immigration is by passing some immigration bills in the
New Year.

PASCRELL: That`s what the president wants.

DENT: But I want to ...

PASCRELL: And that`s exactly what the president`s strategy is, Charlie,
and that is you have the Senate bill for so long, you didn`t do anything.

DENT: Right.

PASCRELL: I don`t mean you personally, you didn`t do it, so the president
is saying, look, I`m going to do something about this - it`s such a
critical thing. If immigration is broken, this is my response to it and
you have time to pass legislation to undo what I`m trying to do rather than
let`s go to court, let sue the president. Come on, that`s not going to go

DENT: Well, first, look, I just really - the president`s executive action,
I think he`s overstepped his authority, even the "Washington Post"
editorialized that this is a sweeping step. Now, that said ...

PASCRELL: Well, they are not the litmus test of what`s legal and what`s
not legal here.

DENT: Well, I mean this is a whole class of people that the president has,
you know, has suspended deportations from. I think this is - it`s
unprecedented. Now ...

PASCRELL: You agree with it though? What if we voted on that tomorrow?
What if we voted to do what the president did in executive order?

DENT: Let me tell you ...

PASCRELL: Would you vote for that?

DENT: Let me tell you what I will do. I will vote on a step-by-step basis
for several immigration bills. I don`t want to do one big comprehensive
bill. I want to do border security, I want to do interior enforcement, e-
verify, agriculture workers, STEM workers, children, including the
unaccompanied children and then I`m going to - I`m prepared to have an
honest, adult conversation about the 11 million people in this country
unlawfully and deal with them in a way that I think will be --

PASCRELL: And humanely. And humanely.

KORNACKI: Congressman Pascrell.

PASCRELL: You want to deal with them humanely?

DENT: Absolutely ...


KORNACKI: Well, Congressman Pascrell, that might be with the Republicans
increasing their majority in the House that sort of piecemeal approach,
that`s what Goodlatte has been talking about that might be the reality of
what they pursue there, do you see any common ground there, would you be OK
with that under certain circumstances?

PASCRELL: Well, most of what they might suggest as I`ve seen, and I
haven`t seen it in writing about we do this individually, step-by-step, I
can agree with. I wish they could have done that with health care, but
they didn`t, chose not to do that. I think that we are going to have a
long fight over immigration regardless of what happens, whether the
president did this last week or not, it doesn`t matter. I think we are
going to have a long fight over this. And I think border security is a
ruse. I think if it wasn`t that, they would get something else in order to
hold up immigration. The system is broken, we need a change and if the
chamber of commerce is for it, it can`t be so bad, Charlie.

KORNACKI: Let me ask you about this, we have limited time left, because we
heard this after the 2012 election that, if there`s one thing the two
parties are going to agree on after this, it`s immigration reform. Hey, we
just finished the 2014 election, it didn`t happen. By the time the 2016
election comes around, do you think Congress will have passed and the
president will have signed some comprehensive form of immigration reform?


DENT: I believe we will see some progress on the immigration reform. I
can`t say we will pass every piece of it, but I think -- certainly think
you will see it on things like border security, e-verify, STEM workers and
hopefully agricultural workers at the very least, maybe the children.

KORNACKI: Sounded a little less confident.



KORNACKI: Anyway, my thanks to Congressman Bill Pascrell from New Jersey,
Congressman Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania. I appreciate you both joining
us this morning.

A new proposal by President Obama to improve policing, but will it work?
That`s next.


KORNACKI: Another faceoff last night between police and protesters, it
ended with police using tear gas to disperse the crowd of about 400
protesters who`d been marching the streets of Berkeley, California. Mostly
non-violent protesters were rallying for justice in the wake of the
mounting death of unarmed African Americans at the hands of police. Some
in the crowd broke windows and looted stores. One of the demands made by
protesters in recent weeks, demand made by the family of unarmed teen
Michael Brown who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in August, and
demand has been for police to wear body cameras to capture their
interactions with the public. And that idea got a major boost this week
from President Obama. The president is proposing $75 million in federal
spending to help state and local police departments outfit their officers
with cameras.


laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area, and is
not unique to our time. And that is a simmering distrust that exists
between too many police departments and too many communities of color. I`m
going to be proposing some new community policing initiatives that will
significantly expand funding and training for local law enforcement,
including up to 50,000 additional body-worn cameras for law enforcement


KORNACKI: Obama `s proposal follows experiments with body cameras in
cities nationwide. New York City the nation`s largest police force,
started their body cam pilot program this weekend. But then in New York
City this week, this also happened, a grand jury declined to indict New
York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric
Garner, even though Garner`s death was recorded on camera by a bystander.
Even after seeing Garner held by the throat by police, even after hearing
garner cry "I can`t breathe" 11 times, the grand jury still declined to
issue an indictment. So, are body cameras the policy response we need to
improve law enforcement in this country?

Joining me now to answer that question, we have Baltimore Mayor Stephanie
Rawlings-Blake, who spores body cameras, but who recent vetoed a city
council bill out of several concerns, including privacy, and also with us
is former police officer and prosecutor Eugene O`Donnell, professor at John
Jay College of criminal justice. So, Mayor Blake, I will start with you.
Here`s what I`m interested in. You support, you know, body cameras and you
vetoed bill for some technical reasons this week. But I`m curious, I think
we talk in the big picture about body cameras, but how does this work, in
terms of how often do the cameras have to be on? Are they on 24/7? Does
the officer control who turns them on or off? Does the public have access
to, you know, can we get the recordings from Officer X? How will it work,
practically speaking?

we are doing, we have a work group with ACLU, we have lawyers, we have
community members, we have law enforcement people that are all looking at
these issues, and working together to come out with something that works
for Baltimore. This isn`t a cookie cutter approach. This is - this is an
approach I believe needs to be led - and included, the community needs to
be included to make sure that we get it right. And that`s what are we
doing. I`m looking forward to getting that report next month.

So, we can do the implementation and make sure it works.

KORNACKI: So, Eugene, obviously, law enforcement background, this is now
happening here in New York City, it`s happening elsewhere. What is the
reaction of the average cop being told you are wearing a camera now, what
do you think about that?

EUGENE O`DONNELL, PROSECUTOR: Well, I would say that we have to have an
honest conversation about policing, they use force and it`s never pretty,
and they are not automatically protected and they could become averse to
involvement. We have a lot of police departments in the country that are
basically employment agencies, the cops drive around, they get there late,
they don`t engage, there`s trouble on 8th street, they are on 10th street.
I would have serious doubts about whether this is going to ultimately be
beneficial. We`ve got to keep our equilibrium, there`s been some issues
about brutality, we have to acknowledge, many big cities in the country,
minority communities, it`s the communities asking for police to engage, not
to disengage, and I`d be very concerned about this, it looks like Mayor
Walsh in Boston also has concerns about whether this is going to make cops
take steps back.

KORNACKI: So, yes, you`re saying the cop may be pauses, maybe thinks
twice, maybe says, it`s not necessarily we talk about these dramatic and
horrible situations that make the news, but it`s more every day stuff that
people might -- might be able to quibble with and say that`s a little over
the line or a little tough, or whatever, but it is really every day

O`DONNELL: I have to say bluntly, I see some real class issues here in
terms of the expectation, the cops are unwise enough to get themselves into
these situations, they don`t have, again, automatic protection, every time
they engage somebody, they could be indicted that makes their job unique
and the idea that we are going to look at a video, ex post facto, when they
are in these sometimes life and death confrontations and start critiquing
it and saying, for eight seconds, it was OK, the ninth second is not OK, I
think we really have to take a step back on that. We also have a police
industrial complex, they are selling tasers, tasers selling cameras and
they are pushing this stuff. And tasers may actually make the police more
violent. We are not sure about that. So we have to have some real, honest
conversations, this is probably not a great time to have a full-scale
conversation about this.

KORNACKI: Well, mayor, I`m curious, just listening to what Eugene just
said, I`m curious what your response to that?

RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think he - Eugene makes a good point, I think in far too
many places around the country, there`s a knee jerk reaction, get cameras
on police as soon as possible without asking the tough questions and
without understanding that this is not a - these body cameras are not going
to solve all of our problems. In the Eric Garner case, there was tape and
it`s - the community is still concerned and the family is still upset and
we have protests all throughout the country, not because the camera --
there wasn`t footage of it, but because of the outcome, it`s clear that we
need a holistic approach, including work that like we are doing in
Baltimore. Ii asked the Department of Justice to come in to help us with
our community policing efforts, we have to do better with training. It`s
clear that cameras are one thing, but it has to include the types of
training and the types of engagement that rebuilds the trust that the
community and the police need to have with each other. You know, it`s
important, the people are saying all around the country, when you see these
protesters saying something very loud and clear, is do you hear me? Do you
see me? Do I matter? And with proper community policing, that`s when we
get that right, that we can show the community, yes, they do matter and
yes, you know this is a partnership, a true partnership.

KORNACKI: All right, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former
prosecutor, Eugene O`Donnell, I appreciate you both joining us this
morning. Thanks a lot.

And still ahead, Senator Bernie Sanders, our interview with him.

And up next, the president`s weekend doesn`t go exactly as planned.
Interesting detail there is on the other side of the break.


KORNACKI: In just a little bet, Senator Bernie Sanders will be here to
discuss his efforts to change the Democratic Party from the left. Also,
whether he might actually join the Democratic Party in order to - the run
for president. Until then, Americans are waking up this morning to the
news that President Obama visited the hospital yesterday, complaining of a
persistent sore throat. Test there revealed that the president is
suffering from acid reflux, it`s a condition where the acid in the stomach
flows back up into the throat and it can cause not only sore throat, bus
severe heartburn. No cause was given for the president`s acid reflux, but
anything that causes heartburn in his line of work seems like a perfectly
understandable occupational hazard.

When we come back, one of the last Southern Democrats in the Senate is
gone. We will be taking the big board back from Colonel Jack Jacobs to
figure out how we got here. Stay with us for that and they interview with
Bernie Sanders, it is still ahead.



SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D) LOUISIANA: We honor and accept the decision
tonight, but I cannot tell you all. And my family have a proud will (ph)
to have made a big difference every day for many decades. And we will
continue to do so!


KORNACKI: That is Mary Landrieu, Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana, she
was addressing her supporters last night in Louisiana. And we can show you
what happened. This is it. This is the final outstanding Senate race of
2014. And this was the runoff in Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, a three-term
Democratic incumbent, she was defeated last night by Congressman Bill
Cassidy, a Republican. Bill Cassidy will now become the 54Tth Republican
in the new Senate in January. Remember, just two years ago, Republicans
were left with 45. That means they have gained a total of nine seats in
the Senate in the 2014 midterms.

What`s so interesting about these numbers right here, within the original
election, in the jungle primary a month ago, Mary Landrieu came in with
about 42 percent. In the month since then, she`d basically stayed right
there, she climbed a point or two, and what happened was there was another
Republican candidate in that jungle primary, and basically, all those votes
went to Bill Cassidy, and that`s the story of it. Mary Landrieu loses by
12 points.

Again, we can see inside the numbers here exactly how this happened. There
was no exit poll last night, so we can`t break this down too exactly. But
I think we have a pretty good scene what is going on here. If you look
back to 2008, that was the last time Mary Landrieu was re-elected. She got
52 percent of the vote when she got re-elected in 2008. If you look at the
white vote in Louisiana, these are voters who once, a generation ago, two
generations ago, they were all Democratic, they have been steadily moving
to the Republican Party. Well, in 2008, Mary Landrieu was still able to
get 33 percent of them. In the jungle primary a month ago, when she just
got 42 percent, look at that, she only got 18 percent of the white vote.
Looks like she basically has stuck around that number. Again, we don`t
have actual exit polls from last night, but my guess would be she is at or
below 20 percent.

When you are a Democrat, when you are in the South, when you are at or
below 20percent of the white vote, you are not going to be winning anymore.
So that is why we are saying this is a story about Mary Landrieu, it`s a
story about Louisiana, this is a much bigger story though about the South
and about the evolution of American politics, really over the last 50

And what I mean by that is let`s look back 50 years ago, 1964, this is the
South in 1964. These are the states of the old Confederacy. Senate
representation from those states, every state is just blue, that`s two
Democratic senators, they all had two Democratic senators. Texas had one
Republican, John Tower, the other a Democrat, a total in the South 50 years
ago of 21 Democratic senators and just one Republican. That`s how dominant
the Democratic Party was in the South. The Democratic Party in the South
was defined by conservative whites back then. Many African-Americans
couldn`t even vote in the South in 1964.

Well, you had the civil rights revolution, you had the Voting Rights Act.
Demographics changed in the South. Look at this now. 50 years later,
after last night, accounting for Louisiana now electing another Republican
senator, this is what the South now looks like. You have two Democratic
senators from Virginia. And Virginia is a state that demographically is
becoming more and more northern, a lot of people from the north moving in.
That`s one of the reasons it`s become so blue. And Florida, you have a
Democratic senator, again, Florida, another state where the demographics
have been changed by northerners moving down. Beyond that, you don`t have
a single Democratic senator left in the entire South. Now Louisiana is all
Republican after last night for the first time since Reconstruction, a
total of 19 Republicans in the South, just three Democrats. Mary Landrieu
was the last deep South Democrat left in the Senate. So it`s basically a
complete flip from where this country was 50 years ago. That`s the bigger
story about what happened last night.

One other thing we want to note in Louisiana, I would be remiss if I did
not mention there was a runoff for a congressional seat, you see here Edwin
Edwards, the Democrat, losing, not surprising. He lost by this much, it`s
a very Republican district, but Edwin Edwards, if you know this name, this
is a throwback politician. You think of the days of like Huey Long, the
rogue politician, he was the governor of this state, of the state of
Louisiana four different times, he did time in federal prison. He ran, in
fact in 1991, he ran for governor, famous race, his opponent was David
Duke, the former Klan leader. The bumper sticker for Edwin Edwards said
back then, "vote for the crook, it`s important," and he won that race
easily. He got out of jail a few years ago, 87 years old, he figured what
do I do with my life? Hey, I`m in politics, I run for office. He ran in
this election, nobody expected him to win, but it looks like this might be
the end of the line for the political career of Edwin Edwards. In fact,
funny story, he was asked last night, what are your plans now after you
have lost? He said I`m going home to get some sleep. They said, well, what
are you going to do after that? He said, well, I will wake up and I will
have breakfast. So, Edwin Edwards, very colorful career, looks like it
might have come to an end last night, and that is the story from Louisiana.

And up next, that interview we have been talking about all morning with
Bernie Sanders, talk to him about maybe running for president. That`s


KORNACKI: Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont delivered a fiery
speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, laying out his new 12-point plan for
rebuilding the middle class.


SEN. BERNARD SANDERS, I-VERMONT: The question of our time is whether or
not we are prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of
the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and
political oligarchy?


KORNACKI: Two days later, Sanders was out on the street joining fast food
and federal contract workers, calling for higher wages and union


SANDERS: We are living in a country where the people on top have never had
it so good. And what we are saying today to the head of McDonald`s and to
the United States government is that the wealthy cannot have it all.


SANDERS: Working people deserve a fair shake.


KORNACKI: It`s no secret by now that Bernie Sanders is considering running
for president from the left. As "The New Yorker`s" John Cassidy wrote this
week, Sanders is putting together his progressive manifesto, trying to pull
Democrats to his side of the political spectrum on economic issues like
financial regulation, trade and health care.

I talked to Bernie Sanders on Friday about his efforts to make his party or
the party he may eventually join, more progressive.


KORNACKI: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for joining us.

So you laid out on the Senate floor recently a 12-point economic agenda,
and I think people can read that as your agenda, sort of your wish list for
the next Congress over the next two years, and I think other people can
look at that and say that`s potentially a platform for a presidential
candidacy. So I want to talk to you about both.

Let`s start with the Congress that`s going to be seated in January for the
next two years. This 12-point agenda you laid out. Is there anything in
there specifically, given that you have a Republican House, a Republican
Senate, and Obama obviously still in the White House. Is there anything in
there specifically that you believe can and will be passed in the next two

SANDERS: The answer is yes. I think if the president remains strong and
if we can rally the American people to demand that Congress start working
on the disappearing middle class and the growing gap between the rich and
the poor, I think we can implement some important policies. Right now the
fastest way to create the millions of jobs we desperately need is by
rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems,
rail, et cetera. If we invested $1 trillion over a period of years, we can
create 13 million jobs. You know why --

KORNACKI: I`m sorry, Senator, do you think that level of investment, given
everything we have seen from the Republican House over the last four years,
do you think that level of investment or anything approaching it is
realistic to come out of a Republican Congress?

SANDERS: Well, you`re right. I don`t think we will get as much as I want
or as much as we need. On the other hand, you have conservatives like Jim
Inhofe of Oklahoma, who happens to be the chairman of the Environment and
Public Works Committee - will be chairman of it -- who does believe in
infrastructure, as well as other Republican senators, governors and members
of the House. So I do hope with the president`s support that we can begin
substantially investing in infrastructure and creating jobs.

Other area, I think the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage.
I think it has got to be raised over a period of time to $15 an hour. But
you have people like Mitt Romney and other Republicans talking about
raising the minimum wage. You had four conservative states in the last
election voting to raise the minimum wage. Do I think the Republicans are
smart enough to know this is an issue they should be able to move on? I do,
so I hope we can make some progress there as well.

KORNACKI: As I said, it`s something people will look at this and say,
Bernie Sanders has said he is exploring a bid for president. If he runs
for president, this is pretty clearly an economic platform to run on for
president. I think one of the things people look at is they say Hillary
Clinton is obviously the big front-runner, everybody sort of acknowledges
that on the Democratic side right now. When you look at the principles
that you laid out, you look at the 12 steps you laid out here, do you think
realistically, do you believe Hillary Clinton is in line with you on them,
or are there differences you see with her potentially?

SANDERS: My suggestion is ask Hillary Clinton about her views on this. I
can`t speak for Hillary Clinton. What I do know is virtually every one of
these issues, infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, pay equity,
transforming our energy system, demanding and passing legislation, to ask
the wealthiest people and largest corporations of this country to start
paying their fair share of taxes. You know what? These are very popular
issues that go across the political spectrum. The American people know
there`s something wrong when the middle class is disappearing and 95
percent of all new income today goes to the top 1percent. So that is an
important set of principles that any serious candidate should run on.

KORNACKI: Yeah, and I guess what I wonder about is when I listen to
Democrats, and this would include Hillary Clinton, and I know she hasn`t
said too much specifically, I think that`s sort of by design over the last
few months, but when I listen to her speak sort of in the more broad terms
of principle, I hear what you just said. Pay equity, closing the gap
between rich and poor in this country, eliminating economic inequality. I
hear that from her, I hear that from just about every big name Democrat out
there. So I wonder, it seems on the core principles, I don`t hear much
difference between you and most other Democrats in Washington. So where
are the differences that would encourage you to run for president?

SANDERS: Really? I have spent my entire political career taking on every
special interest. That`s one thing for somebody to talk about, well, we
have to expand the middle class, we have to create jobs, everybody says
that. Including Republicans. I think what you have to look at the
specifics of the program that people are outlining, I will be outlining a
very specific program within the next few months.

KORNACKI: Senator, that`s what I`m asking you there, though, in terms of
when you get beyond the broad strokes rhetoric here, I agree with you, you
hear that from everybody, so I`m saying when you look at the Democratic
Party and the leaders of the Democratic Party, when you get beyond the
broad stuff, where are they falling short specifically?

SANDERS: Well, we need, for example -- we are losing $100 billion every
single year because corporations are stashing their money, their profits in
the Cayman Islands and Bermuda and other tax havens. I`m going to bring
forward and have brought forward legislation to end that absurd practice.
I happen to believe that the United States should not be the only major
country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people through
a national health care program. I support a single-payer national health
care program. I happen to believe that our current trade policies, NAFTA,
CAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with China are a disaster, which
have lost us millions of jobs in this country as companies shut down here
and go abroad to low-wage countries. I want to change fundamentally our
trade policies so that companies reinvest in America, not in China. Are
those issues you hear from a lot of other folks?

KORNACKI: Let me ask you this. If you do go ahead and run for president,
if you do run in the Democratic primaries, it will require you to change
your party registration and become a Democrat. That`s something you have
not been throughout your political career. Are you comfortable potentially
making that step?

SANDERS: Well, that`s an issue I`m talking, A, I don`t know if I`m going
to run or not. We`re exploring that. Look, Steve, if you run a campaign
based on the principles that I believe in, which is that ultimately we
don`t make change in this country unless we take on the billionaire class,
which now has so much economic and political power. In order to do that,
you need to run an unprecedented grassroots campaign. Are there millions
of people who are prepared to stand up and work really, really hard?
Getting involved in that kind of campaign? You know what? You don`t know
that, I don`t know that. I have got to determine that before I make a

What you`re asking me also is I`m the longest serving independent in the
history of the United States Congress. If you do pursue a campaign, if I
do pursue a campaign, do you do it within the Democratic - the structure of
the Democratic Party? Or do you do it outside of the party? That`s a very
difficult question. I`m also trying to get some understanding of where
people are coming from on that. There are positives and negatives of
either approach.

KORNACKI: And where at this point in terms of your decision, do you have a
sense of when you`ll have a decision made?

SANDERS: I`ll make it at the appropriate time. I think the people in this
country are not necessarily sympathetic to never-ending campaigns. So I
think we have some time to do it. On the other hand, obviously, there`s a
point if you`re going to go forward where you are going to have to make a

KORNACKI: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent, at least for
now, from Vermont. Appreciate you taking the time this morning.
Appreciate that.

SANDERS: Thank you, Steve.


KORNACKI: All right. Bernie Sanders, we`ll keep an eye out on what he
does. We have just a few extra seconds here at the end of the show, so I
do want to do something a little unusual here. I want to give a shout-out
to a team you have never heard of. The New Jersey Institute of Technology.
The Highlanders, that is their nickname. They are the only independent
team in all of college basketball. They went to the University of Michigan
yesterday. It was their first time ever playing a ranked team. Just
recently, they had a 51-game losing streak. They went in there, and they
defeated the University of Michigan yesterday, a gargantuan upset, an
incredible achievement. Congratulations to the Highlanders. It`s a great
and inspiring story. Anyway, thank you for joining us today. We`ll be
back next weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time. And
coming up next is "Melissa Harris-Perry." We`ll see you next weekend here
on "UP."


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