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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  April 10, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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touch individual transfers. whether the provision will actually pass the upper chamber remains tbd. following the announcement toomey was asked if it could gain the support of his gop colleagues. >> i've had conversations with several of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but i can't speak for them. i'm looking forward to the debate. i'm hopeful, but i think this is a fluid situation and hard to predict. >> the announcement of the 2k50e8 comes as democrats appear to have support of enough republicans to break a threatened filibuster when the debate begins tomorrow. joining me today eugene robinson, r.e. shapiro is a white house correspond for npr, and former white house press secretary and current contributor robert gibbs. also joining us from washington, the sage of capitol hill action mr. luke russert, my friend, yew
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boat shoes are going to clock a lot of mileage in the has of congress today. >> yeah. yeah. >> let's talk about what a deal means if there's no deal. a, can expanded background checks pass the upper chamber? is it going to happen? >> that is the million dollar question, ms. alex wagner. we simply do not know. this certainly gives a lot of republican senators who might want to patrick too many -- outside philadelphia and pittsburgh, but what i'm looking at as this moves forward is obviously the debate that will happen on the house floor, how intense the lobbying is going to be around it, and these different aspects of the bill. you obviously have this compromise right now, when does not affect the person-to-person transfers, then this idea of trying to crack down on drug trafficking, and then you'll see more money go for school
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security, all things we thought for a while could get some support. from talking to members, this idea that democrats have really watered this down to try to make it bipartisan to get out of the senate, maybe get 65, by a miracle maybe 70 to 75 votes, that's what they need to put pressure on the house of representatives. i asked speaker boehner, would you bring a bipartisan bill to the house floor, he said he would look at it, but there is no guarantee. if this gets out of the senate, the how could sit on it and not let it go anywhere, not let it breathe. interesting enough today, heritage action, they really have the ear of a lot of conservatives in the house gop difference. they came out actively against this. i'm sure there will be pressure on folks against this, so the question becomes, even if it gets out of the senate, if it can come out of the senate, does john boehner wants to go against
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the hastert rule, risk instigating the majority of the majority to pass this rule, we do not know the answer. >> john boehner has broken that rule several times already this year, but to your point on what's adequate pressure on the house to pass it, are you saying this needs to have very, very strong republican support to get boehner to do anything on it? >> it needs to be like that payroll tax compromise last year, remember two years ago -- time flying up here -- where there's such a bipartisan majority, the house has to -- they look very bad to the general public. the numbers support university background checks, these types of watered-down measures have a lot of universal approval, but boehner, he will violate the hastert rule, they did it yesterday, to include the revolutionary war and war of 1812. >> i'm so glad you're taking it
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up at that time. really important legislation, but anyway, i digress. >> this is a huge issue. what's the other big one? immigration. john boehner has political capital. does he want to spend it on gun control or immigration? i suspect it's much more immigration. the public pressure from newtown might be too much, but if it gets through the senate, it does face a very easy future in the house. >> let's bring in our panel. >> where to start? >> i sorted floated the idea of pat toomey, american hero, that was met with i won't say chortles, but maybe chuckles from some members of the panel. how meaningful is it that he's supporting this? >> he just made the most meaningful statement in this entire debate, and that is to start moving background checks away from a discussion on gun control. that is hugely, hugely important. i think this is an exceedingly
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good day. i would say the one i get nit i would have is let's not rush to call this watered down. if this passes, it would be the first time that something like this has passed. it didn't pass after columbine. it didn't past after a congresswoman was almost assassinated. if this passes, it will put an enormous amount of pressure on the house so that they can't walk away and do nothing. pat toomey and joe manchin, interesting legislators who have come together, diverse interests. interesting similar geography, which makes it also important, but pat toomey's statement is the single most important statement in this debate as soon as we broke in reporting when it happened. >> let mess say also that if this changes, ari, this was kind
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of a doa prospect just days ago. the president has shown what i think many people wildly applaud as leadership on the issue, using a lot of his own personal political capital to push this thing forward at a time when there's huge uncertainty. >> every week the president has given a speech about guns. this week connecticut, the week before that colorado, the week before that something at the white house. he brought the newtown survivors with him. he's been relentlessly focused. it is striking to me that people in washington have been saying for the last ten years this is the most partisan that washington has been. in many ways it is, but we may be on the vern of seeing the first real action on guns in more than a decade, maybe the most partisan that washington has ever been, but there's striking bipartisan stuff
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happening, too. >> it's joe martialing and pat toomey, they kind of moderate guys, you know, they're both sort of in semiuncomfortable positions within their own states, that they can go ahead and be the once to carries it over the midway mark. >> i think it could be a model for maybe making progress on other areas, and so let's talk about toomey, but let's talk about manchin as well. this is uncomfortable for him. west virginia, to be coming out with the supporting of any measure to reduce gun violence that is seen as infringing on the second amendment in any way, that's a dangerous thing to do. he's doing it very bravely, you know, this is news today, huge news, washington threatens to do something. wow. >> don't get too caught up in it. >> i know. i know. threatens to. it hasn't happened yet.
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>> the filibuster threat doesn't seem to have worked. with showed a full screen of the angry men who wanted to see this not see the light of day. the president went out hard on that, seemed to have worked. could we maybe have seen the beginning of less promissius work? >> some group will filibuster bus reading the names of more than 3,000 people who have been killed since newtown. it's an arcane political thing that the people of this country don't understand is completely false. people understand that the kind of special-interest politics that's dominated washington, that is how it gets translated, where people can lose the lives of their children and loved ones, and not have any kind of political accountability.
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the idea you could hold your congress person or senator actually accountable for not voting is something that sticks in most people's craws, and the fact they're going to filibuster the filibusters and that has resonance shows it's not just procedure, it's substance. if we debated yesterday which would be worse, now it looks like republicans and those oppose to gun safety have to put money where their mouth is. at this point, how scary is that to the house? >> i think there is some element of a pr backlash, but it all depends on the timing. if this comes out of the senate, which mostly would be over the next two weeks, and then it's sort of we get caught up with immigration, does it come back, have we lost the momentum that came from newtown? what i will tell you is from seeing it personally yesterday, when these families were on capitol hill, they had a deep
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emotional impact on any member who they spoke to. even walking around the has. they weren't like their usual taking group, talk to me, have my sticker, rah-rah-rah. they were purposeful, looking people in the eyes and saying, do this for our deceased kids. i think that type of pressure would have a huge effect on the house of representatives, including those types of ads that mayor bloomberg d. or his group, rather, that show the parents. those definitely resonate. >> >> that's a great point, luke. i think it sounds like that was a pivotal moment in this debate. thank you for your sage insights as always, luke. >> indeed. >> we will be coming back to you in this high season of washington threatening to actually get something done.
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the president says there's no smoke and mirrors in his budget. we'll look at what is in it with ezra klein, up next on "now." [ female announcer ] new york strips. sudden trips. mr. wiggles and curling irons. for the little mishaps you feel, use neosporin to help you heal. it kills germs so you heal four days faster neosporin. also try neosporin eczema essentials.
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because seven budgets on capitol hill was not enough, president obama has added another to the file, unveiling the fiscal blueprint, a $3.7 trillion plan to cut deficits over the next decade. in the last hour, president obama outlined his budget priorities. >> growing our economy, creating jobs, shrinking or deficits,
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keeping our promise to the generation that made us great, but also investing in the next generation. the next generation will make us even greater. these are not conflicting goals. we can do them in concert. that's what my budget does, the numbers work. there's not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here. the president call plans for reduction in social security and medicare, new investments in education and infrastructure, and new taxes on the wealthy, mainly a revival of the buffett rules, ensure that those who make at least 30% of their income in taxes at over a million. it's meant to draw republicans back to the bargaining table, but the final offer. a senior white house official said the following -- we don't view this budget as a starting point in the negotiation. this is an offer where the president came more than halfway toward the republicans in an attempt to get this fiscal deal
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and get this era of government by crisis behind us. the republicans seem to be ready to snap the branch in half. >> president got tax hikes in january, we don't need to be raising taxes on the american people. >> memo to the speaker -- the whole thing with compromise is each side has to give a little. that's why they call it compromise. this is something the white house also made clear on friday, quote -- if they refuse to include retches, there will be no deal. it is that simple. paul ryan isn't exactly pleased with the president's budget, either. he took to the air waves this morning to question the plan. >> this is probably a status quo budget. the real question i want to know is when does he balance the budget? does he propose to ever balance the budget? those are the kinds of things we'll be looking for.
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>> the president isn't just dealing with government push-back. yesterday democrats protested in opposition, with senator bernie sanders leading the charge. >> some of you may remember that when barack obama was running for president in 2008, he said that he would not cut social security. we want the president to remember what he said and not go back on his word. >> it issen clear whether the deal-making in general will actually go anywhere. tonight the president will break bread with sonar republicans, but with still bitter tastes lingering, perhaps they should start with dessert. with us, "the washington post's" ezra klein. what a day to have you, ezra. what a day. >> i'm so happy to be here.
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>> you talk like there could be a number of budgets that would be enough or even too much. >> there's no such thing as enough budgets. you always have great analysis on this, but you had a great post today, where you suggest -- we talk about whether there's going to be any deal-pealing. you make the point that republicans don't think they have to come to the table, because sequester was no big deal, but actually we're going to start feeling pain semi-soon. once that pain is felt, republicans will be in a very distinctly different negotiating position and may have to play ball with the president. tell us more. >> put it this way. here is what is happening. one of the things sequester will begin doing this very month, if you're unemployment and been unemployment for more than 26 weeks, you've getting federal, not state. these sequester will cut those benefits by 11%. that check you will get, and you are very bad off, the long-term
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unemployed, it will cut it by 11%. you'll begin seeing that all across the government. there was a miscalculation made by democrats right before the sequester that something really bad would half the day after, but the reverse miscalculation has been made, because nothing bad happens the day after, nothing bad will happen. it's gust to begin hitting in april and may. there will be more pressure to come to a deal. the white house is setting up that debate by clearly showing a willingness to provide a compromise. it's just really disingenuous. two years ago, one year ago -- >> like many other things about paul ryan, but continue, ezra. >> this is a pet peeve. a year ago paul ryan's budget, if it ever balanced, and probably didn't, in 2038, in his assumption. it was 2038, 2040 when it finally balanced. this year, because of things that paul ryan had nothing to do
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with, or because there was a big tax increase in the fiscal deal, because the congressional office brightened the outlook. so now he says that the only way to judge a budget is when it balances, but he need a year ago, two years ago, that balance had nothing to do with it. you need debt on a declining percentage of gdp, you do need to get this down, but this idea of what we're trying to do is to just get it to balance, it is balance for balance's sake. it has no coherence economic theory behind it, and requires cuts that are draconian and aren't necessary for any reason except to symbolically say, look at how great i many am, i balanced the budget. >> here the republicans have been given the things, but they could just say balances a budget would be the paper on which -- it's not college ruled.
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you know, whatever it is. >> to build off what ezra said, it shows a year ago everyone figured that a budget deal would go through paul ryan. okay? paul ryan is last year's news. i don't mean that in a conned sending way, but in a political reality. the president is might with the senate, trying to establish a coalition of the wills, a coalition of the willing on guns, on immigration, a coalition of the willing on the budget, in order to force the house to have to do something. the strategy is a little less than voluntary, but that's the way this thing is going to go. the mantra of let there be a vote is not just going to be something i predict you see on guns. i think as you get a coalition of the willing, sensible members of the senate that will step out of line of sort of the
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doctrineaire, let there be a vote, will be huge pressure on the house to do something. paul ryan, fairly insignificant in this entire debate. you tell me where a couple of senators are, and i can give you a better sense of what might happen. >> let me ask you, heather, to build on robert's point about paul ryan being last year's news or fairly insignificant. the legacy of paul ryan is where the president is putting the markers. he's starting from a position far further right, which is to say in the center than the white house would have it than a lot of progressives like bernie sanders would have it. on some level, yes, if the president gets a bargain done, that is some kind of victory. if he doesn't, he has put medicare and social security on the table, and what is the legacy of that for the progressive community especially? >> it's really a challenge. there are so many great things in the president's budget, the increase in the minimum wage, near universal pre-k for low and
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moderate income children paid for by cigarette taxes. really great things in this budget. however, when you look at the question of how retirement is treated, i think you have to remember this slogan that the president used to say in his campaign, which is i'm not here to represent washington to you. i'm here to represent you to washington. the fact that he has felt right flu so, i think, that he has had to put reduction of social security benefits down the line on the table. it shows that he is actually in the washington bubble. the fact is that retirement is going to be only more secure in the future. americans will need more from social security in the future to have any kind of retirement security than they do now. it's not representing actual american families. it's representing washington. >> are you trying to make me feel old?
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no, the interesting thing is president obama has done something that he said he wouldn't do. he always said that social security should be its own conversation on those terms, and we should talk about its sustainable, then you could do a lot of things. you might have to change cpi -- >> means test? >> means test or whatever, but it shouldn't be sort of mixed in discussion that you've got all these other budget sort of concerns, but now it is, and i think that's something they'll have to explain. >> but teakically, what we are witnessing is the education of a president. the way he doubled republicans, when he essential ignored them, because he could to now, we have seen this evolution. he had dinner with republican senators a month or two ago, where senior white house officials are telling us, this is for you press people who say dinner with republicans is going
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to help bring him on board. well, if they didn't think it was effective, they wouldn't be doing it again tonight. they're doing it a second time tonight, because they think they can build relationships here. >> ed ra, given the intransigence on revenue raisers, how likely do you think a deal actually is? >> not likely. i agree with ari, they should have been doing this for much longer. there are two possible outcomes. one the real clear effort to build these relationships, and on the other, the clear end to include concessions. the two outcomes are one. they systematically take away are not single republican use. at such, all that's left is intransigence. no more pocks on both your houses, no more the president going to capitol hill. the republicans won't agree to
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everything with revenues. that's why there won't be a deal, period. the other possibility is the crux of inclusion of the willing in the senate, where you get four, five, six, ten senators around lindsey graham or joe manchin, who can get through the senate and then jam it. the house. if boehner suspends the house reel again and gets a vote. that is how you get to an answer. after the sequester, creates enough pressure that there's a need, up in 2014, but that is a key, you wipe all the excuses off the table. either you're let with a better political situation or reply policy situation. >> the recurring theme seems to be get it done in the senate and use a battering ram to open the doors of the house. you would think boehner would just leave the door open?
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anyway, this is tbc, to be continued. ezra klein, thank you. coming up, senator marco rubio's slows his roll on reform. we'll discuss that next on "now." genet herrero knows a lot about her building maintenance company, because they tracks everything. through her customer relationship management program, she knows what her clients want done, how they would like the job completed, and what they thought of the work. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 or msnbc. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble
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yesterday one of the gang, senator dianne feinstein said the train is leaving the station. that train, however, faces a journey that may be long, perilous and could possibly be run off the rails. that train must travel over snowy mountains, muddy plains, electrified fences andally gator-filled moats. senator marco rubo is demanding an extended debate, meaning a committee vote seasonal likely to happen until after the first week in may. he said, the judiciary committee must have plenty of time to debate and improve the proposal. that will leave plenty of time to air their objections early el this month pat lakie ce iie iie
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criticized rubio -- we will lose the opportunity we now have to fix our immigration system. for his part, senator john mccain took no issue with the pace. >> some are saying we're not having enough hearings. >> first of all, we know the issue, but second of all, the judiciary committee will act, there will be amendments, debate, then it will go to the floor of the senate. there will be plenty of time. i reject this notion that something is being railroaded through. >> it may be a train, but don't railroad it, which begs the question, if immigration reform is running on a local track and ready to stop at every station, will it ever reach its final destination? eugene, i mean, some part of me is all for open debate and challenging ideas and crafting of really true by bipartisan bill, but given the extreme receipt ricks, the passion around this issue, can this actually make it through the
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discussion process? >> i guess i'm skeptical that talking it to death is really going to make a huge difference at this point. this is not an unfamiliar issue. it's not like we haven't been over, you know, every element of this in the past. we kind of know what the problem is, we know what the solutions are, got to pick and choose. so i'm not quite sure what rubio is up to. maybe he just wants to let everybody vent, but i know he has a real personal and political stake in getting something done on immigration. he's been talking about it since he got to the senate. >> he certainly has. and so, you know, let's go ahead and do it. are you ready for your close-up, senator rubio? it's time. >> you have to remember why are we even having this conversation? why does a bipartisan proposal even exist after they dropped the dream act, this very consensus part of immigration reform. the only reason this has so much
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momentum is in 2008, barack obama won two thirds, no 2012 three quarters, this is the fastest growing demographic in the country, by 2043, the united states will be a majority minority company. that gives republicans tremendous incentive to do something. >> so just go ahead and do it and let's move on. >> that's just the demographic reality here, but robert, there's also -- there's a cost. the senator for american progress has a number of studies in terms of the path to citizenship would at 1.1 trillion to the gdp, and add 144 billion to federal and state, local taxes, and mass deportation beyond a largely unexecutable idea, the prospect of that -- >> how do you even estimate that? this is why i wouldn't be appear
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oplektic about having a good debate on this. i think it's likely to happen. i don't think it will be as easy as most in washington have sort of checked the boxes we've sewn immigration, can we do anything else? looks, the long term of immigration reform is important to us as a country. that is, let's get it right, but also have a discussion, because there are limit in the democratic party that are nervous about aspects of this. there are elements in the republican party that are nervous. if immigration reform works for us as a nation, right? everybody does maybe need to vents. everybody needs to have their peace said, have their voices heard, because we will judge immigration reform not on the speed at which it will get, but in 10 or 12 or 15 years in what we were able to accomplish in this debate in making immigration reform a truly
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lasting legacy of our country. i think if what is required to do that is a debate that the voices feel pinched on either side, i think that's probably a good thing. >> you know, it's been interesting to watch the president's handling, which is to say he sort of came out the gate strong earlier this year, and was criticized or got his knuckles rapid for that, saying we've got this. marco rubio is now in a weird position. to some degree he's obviously advocating for more discussion, because it could be rubio and the democrats pushing this thing forward. he wants the national stature which comes with being the author of the reform, but if it's just his finger pripts prints and a couple democrats on its that's not that good for him coming 2016. >> there's something being said for letting the public learn more about immigration and the many contours. actually the american public are sort of undered kited about the basic facts, about who's here,
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what the demographic makeup is here, why they're here, how hard it is to go the legal route. when happens when guest workers come and end up working on mcdonald's. >> whether or not illegal immigrants are getting entitlements. >> right. the more we get stories of the people who are here, it will serve an important function for uniting the country and humanizing the people in the shadows. i would love new stories about it. >> it's nice to think we're still a country where we can reach consensus through debate and discussion, and convince each other of things, and i hope that's true, but i think our recent record suggests that a lot of debate and discussion tends to lead to more debate and discussion, and sometimes to bitter digging in on established
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positionings. >> i remember in 2007, i travel with then senator obama running for president. we did town hall meeting after town hall meeting in iowa. every single day, these are iowa caucus-goers, a subset of democratic primary voters, somebody would raise their hand and say why are you for amnesty? you realize there is that guest worker program over there where, you know, somebody who is feeling pinched in this economy says there's a bill in congress to give somebody the job i would really like. we have to have a discussion about that so that every member of this country doesn't feel so enormous his cross-pressured that we see something break out that gives immigration reform an ugly name. >> i've said many things that are actually positive about senator mccain this week, which the twitter-verse has not actually liked, but he's going home to arizona, doing the town
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has and people are screaming at john mccain and saying, no, man, you have it wrong. the fact that that guy wants to continue the debate is a testament to his believe i think we can come to a consensus. i began this segment perhaps as apo plektive, but calm. keep calm and carry on. with that in mind, we're going to take a short break. shedding light on the shadowy world of u.s. drone strikes. [ mom ] 3 days into school break and they're already bored. hmm, we need a new game. ♪ that'll save the day. ♪ so will bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller powerful sheet. the only one with trap + lock technology. look! one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent
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from the headlines, but it was brought into the news this weekend with two "new york times" about the covert war inseed pakistan. it is reported that it began with with a killing in 20040, because pakistan wanted him eliminated. in a secret deal the cia agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it long sought so it could use drones to hut down its own enemies. that became a turning point. from cold war era espionage to modern-day paramilitary operations. before long, the cia would go from the long-term jailer of enemies to a military organization that erased them. four years later frustrated by
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the pakistanist delays, the u.s. reneged on the original deal, and announced it would no longer give pakistan advance warning before launching drone attacks. according to the uk-based bureau of investigative journalist, the killing in 2004 was the first of 366 lethal strikes in pakistan. the vast majority carried out under the obama administration, resulting in the deaths of over 2500 people, including as many as 800 civil yags. it reached a crescendo during the confirmation hearing of john brennan. ultimately that debate focused more on the pie in the sky possibility of fating an american here at home rather than the very real issue at hand -- the without decision without any public debate to change the focus of the war on terror from captures enemies of the state to killing them. a 16-page white paper leaked to
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mike i see cough, in essence revealed there is none. >> i am not somebody who believes that the president has the authority to do whatever he wants or whatever she wants whenever they want just under the guise of counterterrorism. >> but two months later, a legal framework and system of checks for targeted assassinations has yet to be unveiled. in the meantime, the killings continue. the u.s. has conducted more than 400 drone strikes in pakistan, yemen and somalia. the last known one took place on mar 21st. while casualties are estimated in the rain of 3 to 4,000 people, the numbers remain shadowy. indeed the legal justifications, the security implications, and the drones' destabilizing effect on the american image overseas are no clearer now than they
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senator mitch mcconnell is on a campaign, not for reelection, though he's on that kind of campaign -- but for vindication. mother jones yesterday report published the recording. their team is crying foul and calling for an fbi investigation into what they describe as what watergate-like infiltration, even though the security firm they hired found no evidence to support the theory. while there remains questions who recorded the tape, there's no question about the content. muck that the campaign was prepared to unleash on ashley judd. that's something the minority leader has no interest in discussion. >> was it appropriate for members of your staff to tack about ashley judd's bouts with
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depression as a potential campaign issue? >> well, as you know, last month my wife's ethnicity was attacked by a left-wing group in kentucky. apparently they also bugged my headquarters. >> reporter: is it fair game for you to question someone's mental health or religious sensibilities in a strategy session like that? >> yeah, as i indicated last month they were attacking my wife's ethnicity, and apparently unbeknownst to us they were bugging or headquarters. >> reporter: that's not what i asked, though. >> as i indicated they were attacking my wife's ethnicity, and bugging my headquarters. that's what the political left does these days. we're going to move to another subject. >> let's be clear. the tweet sent out from an organization called progress kentucky that pointed out mitch mcconnell's wife has the ear,
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may explain why your job moved to china. nasty, nod cool, bad, racist, all the rest. does that compare to a campaign office developing a strategy to bring in someone's bipolar disorder as a legitimate line of attack in a political race? >> i don't see what one has to do with the other. they seems to be completely different. as for bugging his office, i think you should have a check your cell phone at the door policy or something, because that seems to me the more likely way that somebody got a recording of what was in there, and then leaked it. this is speculation on my part. >> watergate, they are still talking about watergate. >> it haunts washington on a legal basis. this is what happens in brainstorming sessions. i think it's interesting for people around the country to hear an unfiltered version of how these conversations go, but i think there are conversations like this happening in many campaigns all over the place.
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that doesn't mean it would have led to a specific discussion, but i think it's informative of the unpleasant way our system works. >> i would never have this conversation in front of the candidate or the senator. for your viewers at home, decipher his long answer. the answer was yes, it is appropriate for him to do this, because at the semantic and he was bumbling about. >> obfuscation, i think. >> it's hard to sum up, but obviously nobody should questions his wife's ethnicity, but the notion that he himself, the leader of the united states senate, republican leader is sitting in a strategy session like this, encouraging his staff to play, as he said a whack amole strategy, this is somebody who's extremely scared on what's on his left. if you want to know what he's doing next, figure out what rand
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paul is doing now, because he's freaked out about his right. >> and talking about mental illness, such a banner issue for those on the right opposed to gun safety reform, and then to trot out bipolar disease would seem to be, i will say euphemistically hypocrite cal at best. we have to leave it there. that is all for now. we'll see you back here tomorrow at noon, when i'm joined by michael steele, richard wolfe, and former obama administration official, the one and only cass sun steen. until then find ultimate on facebook. chris rock 'n' roll cillizza is in the chair for andrea. i'm meteorologist bill karins. a huge storm in the middle of the country is creating just a plethora of weather. record highs possible on the east coast, nears 90 days in the
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