tv Meet the Press NBC January 27, 2014 2:58am-4:01am PST
lester holt, thanks for joining us. from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> and good sunday morning. big week coming up here in washington. one of those moment where is the president has a huge audience and a chance to speak directly to that audience with his state of the union address. my big question through all of this is how much political clout does he actually have left. the outspoken republican senator rand paul is here this morning. he'll talk to me about it. speaking of republican politics, a lot of discomfort this week about some comments made by former presidential candidate mike huckabee over what he described as hiswomen. we'll talk about it. there's a new provocative "new york times" magazine article out this morning asking whether hillary clinton can be seen as
the candidate of the future and not the past. first, the latest on that deadly shooting at a shopping mall near baltimore. police are still trying to determine the motive as a man carrying a shotgun opened fire at a mall in columbia, maryland, yesterday, killed two employees of a skate shop then himself. panicked shoppers ran for cover. police say the gunman was also carrying explosives. the roundtable is here with me this morning. chuck todd, former head of the communications commission under president bush, michael powell, our friend from the west, mike murphy, california democratic congresswoman loretta sanchez, and for the first time washington bureau cheech carolyn rank. great to have you here. >> thank you. >> installed in november, covering politics for a long time. chuck todd, what a difference a year makes. awful incident in columbia. a year ago at the state of the union it was all about gun control. different story this year. >> it is. the key words the white house is trying to put out there is opportunity, a word borrowed
from the clinton years. used to be an obsession particularly in the second term of bill clinton. but it's interesting. if "new york times" previewed the state of the union this morning and said this is a modest moment. they see it as their last state of the union that can have an impact. when you look at the next two, right, 2015 and 2016, we're going to be in the middle of a presidential campaign, everybody will be looking aid head ahea i. they believe this is the last state of the union to get something done. it is modest as far as what they'll ask congress to do, but they know this is maybe their last opportunity to have an impact. >> what do we think? how much persuasive power does he have left? >> i agree with chuck. this is the shot clock. this is the last one. i think there's been a lot of quiet tension in the last month or two as they planned this between the political hacks very worried about the midterm elections. president's numbers are low.
democrats control the senate. harry reid is probably going crazy every day on the phone. then you have the president saying it would be nice to have a legacy other than the disappointing outcome of obamacare. i'll be interested to watch the speech and see how they thread the needle. when in doubt, politics will win and the president will be in campaign mode. >> i don't think so at all. i think the president has every single day of his presidency to look forward to. when i was party chair under the gore political season going on opinion and president clinton was working so hard. i know because we were out there and we were with the people. i said to him, don't you ever get tired? because we would go till 3:00,
4:00 in the morning campaigning. he said loretta, i'm going to sleep the day after i leave the presidency. >> i don't know if that's president obama though. >> there was work to be done. i still think, when i look at immigration reform which i believe we'll see something happen this year, at least an effort to try to move it forward on the floor, we've got small things, the debt ceiling we've got to get past right now, we've got tax reform. i know my michigan colleague, the chair of the ways and means, david camp, is anxious to do this, bacchus is anxious to do this. >> let me interject. pure politics here. this is also a chance for him to say this is what democrats are for, you know, income inequality raising the minimum wage. we're much different than the republicans. he's going to be thinking about helping democrats. >> absolutely. he's thinking about the senate midterms which the outcome of those races is far more important than the speech. but just to take issue with the idea, the question is whether does obama still command the stage. you have at least some people in the political world including his own party seem to be moving beyond the obama era.
you have this kind of remarkable stampede of it people signing up to be part of the 2016 hillary clinton election campaign and the president has three years left. so the question is, is he still relevant, can he command the stage, can he move the country. >> we'll hear from all of you as we move forward. i want to turn to kentucky's republican senator, senator rand paul, who joins me now. senator, welcome. >> glad to be with you. >> let me pick up on this point. you have questioned the president's moral leadership at points along the way. is there an area where you feel you can work in common cause with him this year? >> well, you know, i think the thing we make the mistake of up there is we try to agree to too much. i'm the first to acknowledge the president and i don't agree on every issue, but if you took ten issues i think there are two or three we agree on and we may agree firmly on and why don't we go after the issues we agree on. like immigration reform for example.
we don't agree on the whole comprehensive package of the democrats but i'll bet you about half of it we agree on. the question is, are wing will to narrow our focus and go after things we can agree to and get done or stay so polarized we always have to have our way or the highway. i think there was a pathway to legislation. when i was at the white house a couple weeks ago, i said to the president, i want to increase infrastructure spending and i know you do. let's let companies bring back their profit from overseas at 5% and put it all in infrastructure. and i've been talking with senator durbin, others in the senate on the democrat side. i think we could agree to that tomorrow, but we have to narrow the focus and not say, oh, we're going to do overall tax reform because we don't agree on overall tax reform. >> the future of the republican party and, frankly, your place in it is a big story. just this morning, the front page "the new york times" has
this headline, "rand paul's mixed inheritance," senator looking to move libertarianism from the fringe to the mainstream. how big of a hurdle is this for you if you're going to run for president? >> you know, i think there always are perceptions of what is extreme versus what is mainstream. i've always said you know, spending what comes in, balancing your budget is actually the very reasonable sort of proposal and spending a trillion dollars you don't have is an extreme proposal. so really it's a matter of getting our message out. but i think we've been talking a lot about poverty. it's about debating not who wants to cure poverty, republicans want to help people who are unemployed and help people get jobs but it's about what policies work. the reason we don't think government grants work, we spend $1 trillion in the stimulus. they said it was $400,000 per job because you give it to the wrong people. nine out of ten businesses fail. so if government picks who they give the money to to create jobs, nine out of ten times they're wrong and pick the wrong person. what i asked with my economic freedom zones is dramatically
lower taxes, but don't pick who you give it to. give it to the businesses that are already started and the consumers have already voted for, but that's different than what we've been doing in the war on poverty for 50 years. >> it's interesting the role of government, you've often referred to the tyranny of the federal government. again, it comes down to mainstream versus extreme. fellow republicans and maybe he's one that will run against you for the republican nomination, ted cruz, has described your strident libertarianism of your father as an issue that will always be a shadow over anything you try to do. >> you know, i think one of the things, and you know, don't be trashing my dad too much. that's my dad. you know? but the thing is, i would say that my dad was extraordinary in washington and in being genuine, being really liked by people on both sides, being close to people from the conservative wing of the party but also very close to the congressional black caucus, as well. he went to berkeley and had
7,000 kids on their feet. he went to liberty university and had 7,000 people, 7,000 conservative christian kids on their feet. so that's a rare figure in politics and i would say i'm proud of my dad and what i would say, i'm trying to do is to try to bring that message to an even bigger crowd. >> but senator, do you think -- >> i think there's a lot to be said for him. >> is the federal government guilty of tyranny? >> well, you know, month tas cue talked about when the executive branch tries to assume the legislative powers, that's a form of tyranny. so yeah, there are times when when we lose our checks and balances when government grows and when government's not obeying the rule of law, that that is a form of tyranny. tyranny is a strong word but it makes people sit up and take notice. but i would say that there are times when we are going beyond what we should be doing when we're exceeding the restraints of the constitution that there is a form of tyranny and we need to be aware of that.
>> it's interesting, the issue of edward snowden has been very much in the news this week with calls potentially for a deal with the united states government. you've called him a hero. you've said perhaps he would face penalties that would be too harsh. that's why he's not returning. "the wall street journal" editorial -- >> actually -- go ahead. i was just going to say that's not exactly what i've said. i've said i have sort of mixed feelings. i think he's brought forward something, and i think his motives are noble in the sense i think he believe ooze the government was doing something unconstitutional and bringing this information forward. i don't think we'd have any of this debate had he not done it, but i've also said what he did was against the law and we do have to have laws to protect national secrets, you know, captains in the military, sergeants in the military do have to obey orders and we can't reveal secrets. i haven't said he shouldn't be punished. i've just said the death penalty is excessive. life in prison is excessive and
he has brought forward an important debate. >> what would you call on the attorney general, the president to do in terms of fashioning some kind of plea with him? what would be appropriate? >> i'm not sure what the answer is. i've been responding not so much in a legal fashion but i'm responding to some i think overheated rhetoric by people saying let's string him up, let's shoot him. he's a traitor, this and that. i don't assign bad motives to
snowden. i think his motives were good. i'm not sure he did the right thing or did it in the right way. i also don't assign bad motives to james clapper but he did break the law and he has exposed himself to five years in prison for perjury. so you can't have it both ways. you can't say we're going to throw the book at snowden and going to ignore perjury to congress by james clapper. i think they both, if you want to apply the law, it has to be applied equally. >> about what your colleagues, the chairs of the intelligence committees, namely mike rogers in the house, strongly suggesting on this program last
week that snowden was a spy for the russians, that he had help from the russians, that he went into the open arms of the russians to seek refuge there? how do you react to that? do you think that's fair? >> you know, i don't have details to know what the situation is there. i think it's complicated the way history will treat him because it's a little hard to be over there in russia talking about privacy and the bill of rights in a country that has persecuted journalists and doesn't really have the same degree of freedom we have in our country. so it has complicated it. but i don't know whether or not what his release and exactly what they're referring to. >> let me ask you more about some of the debates within the republican party. former candidate mike huckabee, former governor of arkansas got nest hot water this week with comments he said. he talked about a war for women. here's what he said. >> the democrats want to insult the women of america by making them believe that they are helpless without uncle sugar coming in and providing for them
a prescription each month for birth control because they can't control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. let us take that discussion all across america because women are far more than the democrats have played them to be. >> is this helpful? >> well, you know, we have a lot of debates in washington that get dumbed down and are used for political purposes. this whole sort of war on women thing, i'm scratching my head because if there was a war on women, i think they won. you know, the women in my family are incredibly successful. i have a niece at cornell vet school and 85% of the young people there are women. law school, 60% are women. in med school, 55%. my younger sister is an ob-gyn with six kids and doing great. i don't see so much that women are downtrodden. i see women rising up and doing great things. in fact, i worry about our young men sometimes because i think the women are outcompeting the
men in our world. >> but my question whether you think it's appropriate for the party -- key figures in the party to be talking about women, women's health, women's bodies and the role of the federal government related to those things. >> i try never to have discussions of anatomy unless i'm at a medical conference. what i would say is that we didn't start this sort of, i think, glossy and sometimes dumbed-down debate about there being a war on women. i think the facts show that women are doing very well, have come a long way, and, you know, like i say, i have a lot of successful women in my family and i don't hear them saying, woe is me, this terrible you know, misogynist world. they're conquering the world. the women in my family are doing great. that's what i see in all the statistics coming out. i have, you know, young women in my office that are the leading intellectual lights of our office.
so i don't really see this, that there's some sort of war that's, you know, keeping women down. i see women doing great and i think we should extol that success and not dumb it down into a political campaign that somehow one party doesn't like women or that. i think that's what's happened. it's all been for political purposes. >> elsewhere in republican politics, chris christie in new jersey is facing troubles over the bridge scandal there. and you've had your own feud with him. here's a little bit of tape that brings people up to date on that. >> this strain of libertarianianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines i think is a very dangerous thought. >> if he cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn't be in this gimme, gimme, gimme all the money you have in washington. >> maybe he should start look at cutting pork barrel spending he brings home to kentucky, but i doubt he would because most washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so they can get re-elected. >> this is the king of bacon talking about bacon.
>> i understand you two have been working through some of your feud. but my question for you is, do you think that chris christie could get the republican nomination? >> you know, i think that's yet to be determined. the nomination goes through some very conservative primaries. i think there's room for more moderate republicans in the party and i really am a believer that we should have an expansive and diverse party idea logically and diverse in many ways but the primary is a very conservative process, and the -- my understanding is it will be more difficult for a moderate to make it through because we truly are fiscal conservatives in our party. we don't want to spend money we don't have. if we are going to spend something on such as sandy, which is i think something the country was going to take responsibility in, we think we should pay for it. i offered an amendment on sandy to take the money everyone foreign aid and say look, we don't need it. if we're going to repair bridges
in new jersey, i'm fine with that. if we're going to repair houses and roads, but let's take it from repairing roads in pakistan because there's a limited amount of money and really we're borrowing about a million dollars a minute, a lot of it from china and japan. i don't think we should do that. and we need to set priorities and say if we're going to help new jersey, it ought to be paid for. but that's why i think that there was a debate over him sort of lecturing congress and saying gimme gimme gimme all this money. all i was asking for and many other republicans were asking for is it ought to be paid for in spending cuts through overseas is spending. >> whoever the republican nominee is there's a good chance as we look at it now one candidate on the democratic side will have a lot of momentum whether she gets the nomination or not, we don't know, is hillary clinton. an interesting profile in "vogue" magazine including this analysis. while her husband jokes, meaning you, that his gut feeling is that hillary clinton will not run for president, is a good thing since all the polls show
her trouncing any opponent, kelly the wife of rand paul practically cuts him off to say clinton's relationship with with monica lewinsky should complicate his return to the white house, even as a spouse. his predatory behavior was offensive to women, she tells me. are these issues something that you think will be fair game and an appropriate part of a campaign should she be the nominee? >> you know, i mean the democrats, one of their big issues is they've concocted and said republicans are committing a war on women. one of the workplace laws and rules that i think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office. and i think really the media seems to have given president clinton a pass on this. he took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. there is no excuse for that. and that is predatory behavior and it should be something we shouldn't want to associate with people who would take advantage of a young girl in his office. this isn't having an affair.
i mean, this isn't me saying he's had an affair. we shouldn't talk to him. someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office? i mean, really. then they have the gall to stand up and say republicans are having a war on women? so, yes, i think it's a factor. it's not hillary's fault. >> but it should be an issue. >> but it is a factor in judging bill clinton in history. >> right, but is it something hillary clinton should be judged on if she were a candidate in 2016? >> no, i'm not saying that. this is with regard to the clintons, and sometimes it's hard to separate one from the other. but i would say that with regard to his place in history, that it certainly is a discussion and i think in my state, you know, people tend to sort of frown upon that. we wouldn't be -- if there were someone in my community who did that, they would be socially -- we would disassociate from somebody who would take advantage of a young woman in the workplace. >> senator rand paul, a lot of ground covered, a lot of ground still to cover. hope to have you back. senator, thank you as always. >> thank you.
i want to turn now to the assistant majority leader in the senate, democrat from illinois, senator dick durbin. welcome back. i certainly want to talk about the state of the union. but i don't want to let that go. as a democrat, somebody squarely behind president obama when he ran, if hillary clinton is the democratic nominee, are these issues about the former president relevant to her? is it an appropriate area of scrutiny you think in a 2016 campaign? >> listen, david, hillary clinton has established her own reputation, her own name. and her own basis for running for president should she choose to do it. the issues raised by senator paul have been litigated in the public square for over a decade. for goodness' sakes, let's judge hillary clinton based on her talents and her vision of america should she choose to run for president. >> hard to separate one from the other he just said. >> got to be honest about it though. i mean, there are people who believe that though he may have done the wrong thing, he paid a heavy price for it in terms of
the impeachment trial and beyond, and, you know, there was an organization created called moveon.org, and the reason was the american people said we get it, it was wrong. now let's move on and talk about the future. what are we going to do about the future of america? and if the republicans like my friend, and he is my friend, senator paul, want to dwell on these chapters in the past, i don't think it's going to have much resonance. >> i want to ask you about the nsa. what should happen to edward snowden? what would call on the attorney general to do to get snowden back to the united states and perhaps do a deal with him? >> he has to answer for having violated some of the most basic laws in our country and endangering lives and costing this country billions of dollars. now, that's a fact. did he also bring out in the public eye a lot of programs that we have been talking about in congress in the most veiled terms? now do we know much more about them, are we debating them? it's true. don't overlook the fact that this man was entrusted with an
awesome responsibility, entrusted with the most serious information. i don't know why incidentally when i look at his background, how he got this information. but he it had and he took an oath that he would not disclose it because he knew it would make america more vulnerable to attack and he did it anyway. that's a fact and you can't overlook that. >> on this program last week, the chairman of the house intelligence committee suggested he is a spy for the russians. is there any evidence to corroborate that, to validate making that kind of charge? >> i haven't seen any. >> do you think there's an effort on the part of some lawmakers to try to smear him publicly? >> i can't say that because mr. rogers is the republican chair of the house intelligence committee and yet a person i have great respect for. i think he's professional, a former fbi agent. i take what he says very seriously. i've not seen any evidence to suggest what he said. >> the future of spying in america is going to be something that congress is going to take up. how much authority should these intelligence agencies have?
do you think these programs that allow the government to collect bulk metadata, should they be here to stay? >> we have to change these programs. the president challenged us to do it. i have spoken on the floor of the senate for years about this program but only in the most circumspect way. i couldn't be specific or tell the details we now know. but the fact is we have to change them. if we have a suspicion of a person in area code 312 in chicago connected with terrorism, we don't need to collect all the phone records of every person living in the 312 area code. that's just unacceptable. the government shouldn't hold that information. the president has challenged congress and the attorney general to come up with an alternative to keep us safe but to not create an opportunity for the government to overreach. >> accountability time for president obama. tough year in 2013 at the state of the union last year, what were the big issues? it was gun control, immigration, raising the minimum wage. didn't get any of those. what's different in this year? well, i hope that what we saw
with the budget agreement at the end of last year and the beginning of this year is an indication of a new bipartisan spirit. we certainly need it on capitol hill. paul ryan, republican from wisconsin, patty murray, democratic senate budget committee chair, sat down and hammered out a budget and then barbra mikulski and congressman rogers put together the spending bill, an amazing break through. we haven't done this for years. and at one point, speaker boehner had to stand up to his tea party republicans and say i know it's a compromise, we're going forward. if he continues in that spirit, maybe we'll get a farm bill after waiting on the house for two years. >> do you get an increase in the debt ceiling without a fight? >> i'm not going to speak for the republican party. the president's position is clear. we should not play russian roulette with america's economy. we shouldn't jeopardize this economic growth and kill off jobs because of political squabble. we went through a 16-day government shutdown because senator cruz and a lot of right-wing republicans thought that was a good thing to do.
it was a disaster. i hope they don't repeat it again when it comes to the debt ceiling. >> senator durbin, we'll be watching tuesday night. thanks for your time. >> thanks, david. coming up here if you haven't noticed, there's a lot of talk about hillary clinton this morning. our roundtable weighs in on what "the new york times" is calling planet hillary. plus, edward snowden, the u.s. says it may be willing to make a deal. is he ready to talk? we go live to moscow to speak to one of his top advisers. and tennis legend billie jean king is a trail blazer once again as she heads to the winter olympics in sochi. harry smith with a revealing profile. >> i was so publicly outed, i lost all my endorsements in 24 hours. [ tires screech ] [ car alarm chirps ] ♪ [ male announcer ] we don't just certify our pre-owned vehicles. we inspect, analyze, and recondition each one, until it's nothing short of a genuine certified pre-owned mercedes-benz
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chuck todd is here. carolyn ryan is here. michael powell former head of the fcc, mike murphy and congress woman loretta sanchez. michael powell, a lot there with rand paul making it very clear that bill clinton is an issue in in hillary clinton's campaign should it happen. >> this is the week of talking about spouses, right? >> yeah. >> who knows what the specific issue is, but i do think spouses can play a role politically if you look at governor mcdonnell. these issues shouldn't matter. the country needs answers to critical problems including the economy and you know, the clintons certainly are an intergalactic force of fair and have a powerful people surrounding them. i don't think we should treat that machinery as invincible. in 2008, people were sure that
was an unassailable machinery and it failed and i think it's important for her to not have an air of entitlement around her potential candidacy. this is the cover story "the new york times." michael powell set it up. it's planet hillary. we'll put it up on the screen there. >> i think he said it better than you guys. >> how do you react when you hear what senator paul said? >> first of all, both bill and hillary have been in the public eye for such a long time, i really do believe that that is in the past. meanwhile, hillary has proven herself over and over and over again. >> hillary clinton won't have to answer for this. >> no, look what hillary did. she's a great senator. she was liked by both sides. she worked hard. and she did what a new senator was supposed to do and passed laws for new york.
secondly, as a secretary of state she brought diplomacy back into the arena. she did -- i works on something called the new start treaty. hillary was the one that got that going and got it done at a time when the russians weren't even allowing us to land our planes in russia. >> here's an issue though. >> around sanctions. that was incredibly important to get to the point where we are today. she has done a great job. and she is different than her husband. i think, by the way, her husband is a very positive in many ways. >> but one of the issues that's raised in this piece in the "new york times" magazine is this. this may represent the times writes hillary clinton's biggest challenge for a hypothetical 2016 campaign. how it can clinton who is 66 make american voters think about anything other than her fraught political path and present herself as someone hungry to serve rather than someone entitled to office? >> this is a central question for her. she has this sort of dysfunctional dynastic family. but the question is,ing to what
degree is she in touch with what's going on in her party now. when you think about where the excitement and energy is at the democratic base it's around be people like elizabeth warren and economic populism and elizabeth warren kind of created this prairie fire of excitement. you saw that with deblasio. the clintons have never really stood for economic populism. there are a lot of people out there, democrats, ordinary democrats angry at wall street, angry that people were not criminally prosecuted, angry with economic stagnation. these have not been central clinton issues. there's a big gulf between where she is and the party is. >> i totally degree. i think she is perceived to be invisible, which is a terrifying place to be in early presidential politics but has three great challenges. the first challenge is that. she has an impressive story but it's kind of a backward story. and the best thing in politics is new. i think warren could give her a hell of a race in the primaries. the second problem is that
story. this is like the third story we've read about potential political dysfunction. her problem is she's got a thousand generals and no sergeant. we can have 100 pages about it. that's a problem. that's been a problem before. maybe they can fix it, maybe they can't. third problem is bill. i agree she ought to be judged on her merits. but out in real voterland, it's part of the calculation in people's minds. he brings a lot of legacy to the campaign. you can't just say, i wish mitt romney tried to say bain capital is in the past. we're not going to talk about it. >> they're going to bring everything backing >> here's the thing. i think in a larger challenge what's going on inside her party. the larger challenge think about 2016. we're going to have 24 straight years of polarization. bill clinton, george bush, barack obama brp promised they were the ones that were going to change washington and get us out of this gridlocked mess. we're now a generation.
the voters are going to be hungry for this. are they going to say somebody with the last name of clinton is the person to break the polarization? look, i've viewed her candidacy this way. hillary could be unbeatable. clinton is a terrible idea for '16. she has to epitomize both and be more hillary than clinton. if she's hillary, she's going to be president of the united states. >> hillary showed in the senate she could work with both sides and get things done. she showed in the state department having done there when she was so in a race against obama to go over there and to really suck it up and to get things done. i mean, american people have seen that. she is very competent. and she's probably the best thing that we have going with respect to someone who can work across the aisle. >> her competency to me is unassailable. the issue for me is how effective she'll connect with the modern voter. after four years of being in the
foreign policy apparatus, she has been away from the defining domestic issues many of which have leaped tectonically over the last couple of years, legalization of marijuana, gay marriage. there are a whole set of emerging issues that i haven't seen them associated with. their need to find connections with the voter that's about the future i think is the real challenge. >> how do you generally sum up what's going on on the republican side? we talked about mike huckabee and rand paul trying to bring bill clinton into that equation. what are all of -- how do all of the pieces in the republican party start to fit together here that tells you about who has an edge as you think about 2016? >> yeah, i think it's challenging when you listen to some of the crazy stuff you hear coming out of some of these conferences. i think this is why i find christie a compelling figure. it's interesting in the piece last week on obama when they --
there's always the constant comparison to lyndon johnson and the need to be down and dirty, rough and capable, a technical expert in the legislative process to make change happen. the very things that get governor christie in trouble are the things that are extraordinarily appealing to the public from the perspective of maybe someone not just talking about change but has kind of the roughness and the lyndon johnson-like qualities to make it happen could be attractive. >> at a time when everybody hates politics, he hates politics too outside washington, tell it the way it is. on the other hand, is that perceived by some people as too much and the scandal is the narrative of too much. you know, i don't think he knew. but we're going to have the mother of all investigations and he's going to be back in a strong position, not a lock by any means. he's underrated now but he'll be a player. >> mike, you did a lot of work in new jersey though. >> yes. >> are you shocked that thing like this take place in is new
jersey politics? >> this is a culture of new jersey that you get the sense that he participated in. >> which undercuts politician fighter. >> let's back up to your questions about polarization. why was a democrat so daunted or worried about chris christie? why did they want to see him damaged? it's because he was able to transcend party. you look at the new jersey results, he attracted people from traditionally democratic-leaning groups and registered democrats. now when you look post scandal, where is the softening of his support? it's among those groups democrats, independents. >> i want a moment of levity. as we look at the fun we think about the past. mitt romney coming to a place with the new documentary where he also slow jammed the news with jimmy fallon. >> better than the documentary. >> inject health care into the fight. can we just show that clip? >> of course the president will also be discussing his health care plan with many hoping to
hear his solutions to some of the issues that have affected its rollout. such as lower than expected enrollment and employees getting dropped from their existing plans, not to mention an obamacare website that has been riddled with technical problems and glitches. >> glitch, please. >> that was a pretty edgy bit they did. where was that mitt romney? >> he's a very funny guy in real life. >> it's a great movie. >> you get a three-dimensional picture of him. these guys are never the character ca tour the campaign makes them on either side. the movie is a good example of how buyer beware of the narrative you're often forced by coverage. >> bob dole in '97, that was the problem. >> difficult politics on the family in particular on the family. i have a thick skin. i've been called everything in the book. it's my mother that you know, calls up and says, why did you
not show up? i'm like mom, i have a 97% voting record. what are you talking about? so it really is the family that suffers. it's a tough thing to go through a campaign. >> i was lucky enough as a cub reporter 1994 to cover the mitt romney, ted kennedy race and you got inside that family in a very different way and you sort of saw that droll kind of self-mocking sense of humor and that sense of perspective that's very unusual. that's the first time in that documentary where i've seen it again. >> when i spent time with him on the campaign trail, what came through to me is how tough this was for ann romney. she had been through it before but she felt stung by this. you can't overstate how tough it is for the people who love these men and women. >> anybody thinking about running for president, you should watch the documentary. it's more important for a candidate prospective candidate to understand. >> romney gossip out.
he loves the movie oh brower where art thou we did a rally in the campaign as kind of an homage to the movie. he's a very fun guy in real life. >> thank you all very much. interesting discussion today. coming up, edward snowden's next move. would he make a deal with the u.s.? did he act alone. i'll go to moscow to speak with one of his legal advisors and get insight from the former head of homeland security, michael
discuss a deal for him to return to the united states but no clemency. so is snowden willing to talk? i'm joined by unwith of snowden's legal advisors jesselyn radack, the national security and human rights he director of the government accountability project. with me here is the former head of u.s. homeland security, form arer head of the criminal division of the justice department michael chertoff. miss radack, welcome. we've got a bit of a clay on the satellite. i want to play a bit of eric holder's interview on msnbc and get your reaction to it. listen. >> clemency, a simple you know no harm-no foul, i think that would be going too far. but in the resolution of this matter, with an acceptance of responsibility, you know, we would always, you know, engage in those kinds of conversations. >> so miss radack, what about mr. snowden? does he want to enter into those
conversations? >> sure. we're always glad to entertain conversations, and we're glad that holder made that statement. it's a little disheartening that he seemed to take clemency and amnesty off the table which are two negotiating points. but again, none of us have been contacted yet about restarting negotiations. and also i think that no harm-no foul is not apt. i mean, there has been plenty of suffering on the part of edward snowden. he's been punished quite a bit already. and while we are glad to dialogue be an negotiate, he's not going to come back and face an espionage prosecution. >> what's the punishment he's endured? >>. >> he's endured having to basically give up his entire life and be rendered stateless by the united states government.
revoking his passport while he was here in russia. he has been granted political asylum by four different countries because they all found that he had a valid fear of political persecution based on the very espionage act charges that he's facing in the u.s. >> on this program as you know, last week the head of the intelligence committee mike rogers suggested that he had help from the russians, might even be a russian spy. how does he respond to that? and does he think that's part of some effort to smear him? >> it's obviously part of a smear effort. it shows to me that the government is getting really desperate. the evidence against nsa continues to mount. most recently with privacy and civil liberties oversight. ford which he can heed a judge and the white house's own recommendations that the surveillance program is illegal
and ineffective. and so then the spy allegation resurrected itself again and unfortunately, dianne feinstein and mike rogers had a platform to smear the whistleblower with faceless innuendo without a scintilla of evidence to back up their allegation. moreover, mr. snowden went publicly chatted with the u.s. this week to deny being a spy. but if people don't want to take my word for it or mr. snowden's word for it, you can ask the fbi which decided and still believes that he acted alone. >> all right. jesselyn radack in moscow for us today. thank you very much for being here. i appreciate your time. michael chertoff is here, as well, former head of homeland security and also head of the criminal division under president bush which is particularly relevant here. welcome back. >> good to be back. >> how would you handle this question? you heard the attorney general. what do you do to get snowden
back? >> well, you know, we have done deals in the past with spies but they've always been a deal with your take a very heavy prison sentence. when i was head of the criminal division, we made a deal with robert hansen. he agreed to give us everything he had given the russians but what we did is we put him in prison for life instead of the death patent. >> is it irresponsible to call him a spy. >> i think legitimate questions have been raised. i don't know what the facts will show. if you look at his behavior, the fact that he systematically went and collected information about a wide range of programs, techniques that are used to penetrate for intelligence collection and then he goes to russia of all places. it certainly raises legitimate questions, who benefited from this, how did he know where 0 go, how did he know to go to hawaii to find a place there was vultnerability. how did you know where to look? all of these i think are things which as chairman rogers said we ought to explore. >> he's been push nished enough
is essentially what his legal advisor is saying. there's a lot of sympathy for snowden and hatred for snowden. that will be viewed different ways. >> i think that's pro pos terrous. he is the one hop fled. he left at the point at which he announced what he had done. he took hintz out of the country. he exiled himself. he went to russia. he is now regaling world with interviews and other kinds of public relations things. as far as i can tell, i haven't seen any evidence he's incarcerated and they keep saying we're going to give him asylum as long as he wants. this is not a person being punished. he has the spotlight and he's using it. >> is there any reason for him to cop back to the u.s. and think that a, he can get a fair trial or that there's the potential for a reduced sentence that makes sense? >> well, i think he can certainly get a fair trial. the question is, is he going to get a trial in which he gets convicted. there's a high likelihood he will. if he decides he wants to come back and wants to tell the u.s.
government everything he stole, which is important, he might be able to bargain for some kind of a reduced sentence. but again, going back to the hansen case, i don't think we're talking about amnesty. we'd be talking about maybe life in prison, maybe 30 years, maybe 25 years. but not something that would be a slap on the wrist. >> the sochi olympics you know this well. at a time when the russian leader is seeking to embarrass the united states with edward snowden, there's a real question whether the russians can secure these games. if you're head of homeland security right now in the united states, what are you worried about, what are you thinking about, what do you want to snow? >> what i'd like to do is have a level of cooperation with the russians that allow us 0 to give them the benefit of our intelligence and our capabilities but also have visibility to what they're doing. that's what we did in 2008 with the chinese in the run up to the beijing olympics. >> do you think we have that cooperation? >> according to what has been reported, there is some cooperation but perhaps not quite as much as we would like. i don't know that they fully
invited us or accepted our offer to give them a lot of assista e assistance. we have warships offshore in case there needs to be evacuation. i would hope there's a plan in place with the russians if we need to do it to take people out. >> you talk about counter terror and making targets hard to attack. this is a pretty hard target, is it not? >> well, the core event probably is a pretty hard target. a lot of troops there and a lot of capability. but as we saw today in maryland, have you soft targets at the periphery, restaurants, hotels, and depending how far you want to extend the perimeter out, you can even talk about moscow as being a target. >> back home in that mall shooting, does there have to be a national effort to harden these soft targets, schools, malls, places where these attackers know they can really get a lot of coverage and a lot of acclaim for these kinds of attacks. >> there has to be planning and preparation. part of what have that means is training people about what to do
when there is an event. one of the things that happened here and also happened i think in other occasions is it was a swift response. that mitigates the damage. that's very important. in schools, for example, people have to know how to shelter in place. teachers have to have clear instructions how to protect kids. you can't make it a fortress but you can do things that will minimize the threat and mitigate the amount of damage. >> mike chertoff, thank you as always for your sper offensive. when we come back, switch gears a little bit. we're still you can talking about the olympics.tennis legd . harry smith has a revealing profile, her triumphs, her tough ♪ [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see? ♪ the billions of gallons of fuel that get us to work. ♪ we'd see all the electricity flowing through the devices
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been a part of the legendary athlete's life. she's now headed to sochi as a member of the presidential delegation to the opening ceremonies. our harry smith has this revealing profile. >> billie jean king knew she wanted to change things from the time she was a kid. >> when i was 12, i had an epif anyone about tennis that everybody wore white clothes, white shoes, played with white balls. everybody who played was white. so i asked myself, where is everybody else? and that starred me thinking about just our tiny universe of our sport. my sport. but i also knew i was going to dedicate the rest of my life to equal rights and opportunities for boys and girls, men and women. >> reporter: first she spearheaded the formation of the women's pro tour which fought for better prize money, better venues, better everything. back then, that made her arable rouser. >> i don't believe it. >> i had a dream. now the players today are living the dream and that's what we
waned. >> when she played bobby riggs in the battle of the sexes in 1973, america was in a heated argument about the equal rights amendment. the match was a spectacular combination of hype, she did quite handily. >> the women, oh, they go i win the out and asked for a raise the next day, their self-esteem went up. >> in 19 1, king was outed by her former lover and assistants. it cost her everything. >> i feel i've always tried to be honest. >> it's horrible to be outed first of all. i was so publicly outed i lost all my endorsements in 24 hours. it's not a good feeling. and yet, that process started me getting to my truth, which was huge so it does in the end it sets you free. >> that freedom has contributed to the enormous impact she's had on sports and equal rights. king was awarded the medal of freedom. she's an icon. a pioneer. >> i don't really think about it
that much. unless someone like you, harry, asked me the questions. when i wake up i'm happy i've got another opportunity today to go out and let's go for it, you know. >> you're all fired up here. >> i am totally fired up. it's all your fault. you get me fired up, harry into king is definitely fired up to be in the u.s. olympic delegation along with other openly gay athletes, brian boitano and caitlin cahow. they head to sochi soon in a russia that is anything but friendly to diversity. >> is there a message inherent that. >> c you the the. >> just showing up there's a message. when you see us stand there and you know we're openly gay but more importantly we're athletes. we are athletes. >> do you have security concerns about going there? >> no, i think there will be ample security for us, and i think we need to be alert. i've thought about that. i get stressed out if i start thinking about it, i have to go. >> you've seen so much dramatic
change in your life seym. will there ever be a woman president. >> from your lips to god's ears, please, harry, please we have to have a woman president. >> will there ever be an openly gay president. >> i think there will be some day. >> king still thinks there are plenty of fields that need leveling like equal pay or representation in congress and she feels it's better to try than to stand by. >> there's 0 two as to look at risk. not to do it sometimes is a bigger risk than to do it. i'd rather take the risk. if it can help move us all forward, great, that's what i want. you just learn to stay true to yourself is what you do. when you stay true to yourself, you'll make it. i'll make it. >> billie jean king. that is all for today. we'll be back next week. tune in tuesday night right here for nbc's coverage of the president's state of the union
address. if it's sunday, it's "meet the address. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good monday morning. here's what's coming up on "early today," mall shooting. new details over a deadly shooting spree at a popular mall. grammy whammy. a huge night for the music industry with incredible acts, memorable moments and even a chance to say i do. gas explosion. one of thr natural gas pipelines erupt in flames amid frigid temperatures. the cold weather going from bad to worse and chicago is closing schools. a new nightmare for cruise ship passengers. and a 5k where eating a dozen krispy kremes is part of the race to the finish line. it is monday, january 27th. "early today" starts right now.