tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC June 27, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
>> yes, sir. >> so it could have been fabric, could have been wind, could have been a thousand other things than somebody rolling on ground. couldn't it? >> yes, sir. >> and for that matter, you don't even know what "get off" means, whether that means somebody on top saying that the person underneath was saying "get off," or somebody was backing up, saying "get off," or -- >> objection. argumentative. >> let me hear the rest of the question. >> -- or what may have been meant if in fact you even heard it? >> i did hear "get off," sir. >> but you don't know what it meant because you didn't see any of this. correct? >> no, sir. >> and you don't know now how long that took from the point that you heard something hit somebody until you heard the wet
grass, until you heard the "get off," until the phone disconnected. how long did that take? >> i don't know, sir. i was not timing it. >> well, in fact, i take it that you were in your house trying to fix up your hair. >> trust me. trust me, i had stopped. >> yesterday, didn't you say that when this conversation was taking place you were fixing your hair? >> yes. as trayvon was waiting for the rain to slow down from the mailing area. that's what i said. >> at what point then, if any, in this conversation did you pay particular attention -- >> when i had called back. >> when he was sort of whispering in the low voice after he said he lost the man?
>> after he finished one. >> were you still working on your hair or you had stopped? >> no, sir. >> were you paying particular attention at this point? >> yes, sir. >> so you were -- were you on hand set or bluetooth? >> bluetooth. >> were you doing anything else other than listening intently to what was being said? >> yes, sir. >> what were you doing? >> trying to listen what's going on and trying to listen trayvon because i had my bluetooth on. >> were you at home? >> yes, sir. >> were you doing anything else? >> i was in the bathroom. >> was the water running? >> no, sir. >> why not? >> why do i need the water running? i was doing my hair. i don't need no water on. i put iron down, i put the hair iron down, after i called trayvon back. he answered. he told me ran from the back. >> so at that point you were
still in the bathroom. >> yes, sir. >> any background noise at all? >> no, sir. >> but -- and you had stopped fixing your hair. and you were listening only to the phone call? >> yes, sir. i had called him back. >> right. and that's when he had stopped running and that he was speaking in this lower, more like whispering voice. correct? >> no, sir. i told you, he sound tired because i had told him keep running. he say, no, he would just walk faster because -- i said, okay, because it sounded like he was tired. his voice had changed, sir. >> so the way -- this was after he had lost the man. >> yes. he ran from the back. >> he was tired from running? >> yes, sir. >> is what you assumed. >> yes, sir. >> as if he had run a long way? >> yes, sir. >> and that you knew his voice
was lowered as opposed to his normal talking voice. >> i didn't say his voice was -- i did not say his voice was lower. >> you told mr. did he la rionda on april 2nd that it was. >> it sounded like he was tired. that's what i told him.e la rio april 2nd that it was. >> it sounded like he was tired. that's what i told him. >> we'll come back to that in a moment but don't want to lose track of what we're doing here. so you were in the bathroom, and because of what trayvon martin was saying, you were paying more attention at this moment than you had been previously? >> yes, sir. >> and that you knew at this
point that he had run and that he had lost the man. correct? >> yes, sir. >> and that his voice had changed. >> yes, sir. >> and you thought it was because he was tired from running. >> he sound tired, sir. >> and you don't know how far he may have run. >> no, sir. >> objection. >> overruled. that will be the last time for that question. >> you don't know how far he had run? >> no, sir. >> and you have this conversation with him for a couple of minutes, and then he says he sees the man again. >> yes, sir. >> and are you really paying attention now? >> i been paying attention, sir. >> i'm sorry? >> i been paying attention, sir. >> i was -- >> been paying attention, sir. >> so after you are talking to him on the phone, he seems out of breath for a couple of
minutes. he says to you, he sees the man again and you pay particular attention now? >> i was been paying attention, sir, when i had called him back. >> so the answer is, yes, you were focusing on this? >> yes, sir. >> and as he says he sees the man, and as he confronts him and says why you following me, you're really paying attention then. >> objection to his characterization in terms of the word "confront." >> ask her and let it be her words. >> he confronted by saying, why you following me, didn't you? >> objection, your honor. >> we'll listen to her answer. you may answer. >> he didn't tell me. it was close to him.
>> right. at that point he decided to approach this man and say why you following me? >> yes, sir. >> he could have just run home if he wasn't -- >> he was already by his house. he told me. >> of course you don't know if he was telling you the truth or not. >> why he he need to lie about that, sir? >> maybe if he had decided to assault george zimmerman, he didn't want you to know about it. >> that's real retarded, sir that's real retarded, sir. trayvon did not know him. >> what i'm trying to get at, you're paying attention to this. somebody or something hits somebody. and all your statements before you said that's when the phone cut off. and in your statement on april 2nd, you're saying you heard a little "get off, get off," and today you are saying it sounded like somebody rolling on the
ground. correct? >> objection. mischaracterization of the prior statements that she made. >> i think that that response was because you asked her to describe what she meant by "wet grass." so objection is sustained. you may ask your next question. >> what i'm focusing on now is, how long did that take for you to hear all of that stuff going on before the phone cut off? >> i don't know, sir. i was timing it, sir. >> well, your sense of it. i know that you weren't timing it. you never said that before, so when you said it to mr. de la rionda, how long do you think it took since you were so concentrating on that? >> observation. ask objection. asked and answered. >> you may answer the question. >> i don't know, sir.objection. asked and answered. >> you may answer the question. >> i don't know, sir.asked and .
>> you may answer the question. >> i don't know, sir. 6. >> but you knew something had just happened. >> yes, sir. >> and in the statement on april 2nd is when you said "get off get off," and it was kind of low. correct? >> yes, sir. >> kind of low for a couple of reasons. one, because it wasn't said very loudly, or because the headset was somewhere else. >> i don't know, sir, i wasn't there, sir. >> and you don't really know who actually said that even if it were said, do you? >> yes, sir. >> it could have been trayvon, is what you said. correct? >> yes, sir. >> so, at the point, though, that all of that happened, you are saying now that you knew
something had taken place. >> yes, sir. >> but the reason you didn't do anything about it, tell anybody what you had heard, come forward to the police, is because, in your mind, it was just a fight. correct? >> yes, sir. >> and in fact it was just a fight trayvon martin started. that's why you weren't worried. that's why you didn't do anything. it was because trayvon martin started the fight and you knew that. >> observation. compound question, badgering the witness, argumentive. >> you may answer. >> no, sir. i had told you before, i did not knew this man was out of jail. i don't know what you're talking
about. >> i'll say it again. >> after you were concentrating so closely on that last part of the conversation with mr. martin where he's speaking in a lower voice for a couple of minutes, then he says, "i see the man again." >> your honor, objection to mischaracterization as to the time that this witness heard mr. martin. >> please rephrase your question. >> after mr. martin ran and you you reconnected with him, you were talking with him for a couple of minutes before he told you he saw the man again. correct? >> yes, sir. >> and during that time he was speaking in a somewhat low, what you considered to be out-of-breath tone. >> yes, sir.
>> and you started paying particular attention because he said to you he sees the man again -- or the man's following him. >> yes, sir. you can hear the wind, sir. i could hear the wind. that's how i know trayvon was still walking, sir. >> as opposed to hiding? >> yes, sir. >> so you think he was walking as opposed to hiding because you could hear wind on this headset? >> yes, sir. as if he couldn't be standing still and there could also be wind? >> yes, sir. >> at the point where he tells you that he sees the man again, or as he said, the man's right
there -- >> yes, sir. >> -- he decides to approach the man and say, why you following me for? >> objection. argumentative and misstatement of the facts. >> sustained. >> no, sir. >> the objection has been sustained so wait for another question. thank you. >> oh. >> there's no question, in your mind, is it, that trayvon martin, based upon what you said and what he said and what you heard, that he approached the man and said why you following me for? >> same objection, your honor. and also compound question. >> sustained. >> may we be heard at the bench, please? >> no. ask your question again. >> you believed at that point that trayvon martin approached the man and said, why you following me for? >> no, sir.
>> you want to explain that? >> trayvon told me the man was behind him and he kept being close by him. that told me a lot. >> trayvon told me that the man was behind him and kept being close by him. then what did you say after that? >> that the man was behind trayvon, sir. >> so he told you that he could see the man again, the man was behind him. correct? >> yes. close. >> sure. >> yes, sir. >> and if he were hiding somewhere and the man walk close to him, they would be close together. correct? >> objection. argumentative and -- >> sustained.
>> in any event, your sense of it was that they got close together at that point. >> he got close to trayvon. yes, sir. >> and you don't know whether the man was approaching trayvon at that point and getting closer, or whether trayvon was approaching the man and getting closer. >> trayvon would have told me he'll call me back, sir, if he was going to approach him, sir. >> so you're assuming that trayvon didn't approach the man because he would have told you if he was going to confront the guy, he would call you back when it was over? >> yes, sir. >> in any event, you knew something was going to happen it, i take it. >> no, sir. >> you knew that he had said to the man why you following me for. >> yes, sir.
>> and you knew in your mind that it was going to be a fight. >> no, sir. >> but when you -- >> maybe an argument. >> you thought trayvon martin would approach a man he had never seen in his life and -- >> i did not say trayvon approached the man, sir. >> either way. either way. are you saying that you thought that trayvon would have the discussion with that guy that he'd never met in his life, didn't know who he was, didn't know anything about him, this creepy ass cracker, and have just a gentlemanly conversation about why you following me for? >> the dude was close -- the man was close to him, sir. >> so trayvon decided, instead of just running away, to confront this guy. >> objection. argumentive. >> no, sir.
>> all right. but at the end of all of this, after you heard something hitting somebody -- >> a bump, sir. >> sorry. >> a bump, sir. a bump. >> we played it right at the beginning of this recording. mr. de la rionda said, the last thing you heard was something hitting somebody. and you said yes. >> objection. improper impeachment. he may clarify. >> thank you. you may answer the question. >> i don't remember saying that, sir. >> getting on with that, whatever it was, whether it was a bump, whether it was somebody hitting somebody, i thought you said it could have been, for all you know, trayvon martin
smashing george zimmerman in the face is what you actually heard. >> what? >> yeah. just earlier today. >> by who? >> by you. >> you didn't get that from me. >> after all of that that happened, you decided not to do anything because you thought it was just a fight and that you didn't need to come to trayvon martin's aid. did you? >> what? repeat your question again, sir. >> whenever that was that was happening that you were paying particular attention to, you decided you didn't need to call anybody, call the police, report anything, because you thought it was just a fight. >> i did call him back, sir. >> of course. but you didn't get an answer. didn't that make you even more worried? >> i called back again, sir. >> and i would assume that would heighten -- >> and i had texts, sir. >> still no answer. >> no, sir. >> couple of calls, a text, and no answer. >> no, sir. >> and the reason you didn't do
anything was because you thought it was just a fight. >> and i thought his father was around there -- around there. >> but thought it was just a fight because it was one you knew that trayvon martin was planning to start. >> no, sir. he would have told me, sir, told me to call him back or he'll call me back, sir. >> so you figure then if trayvon martin was getting ready to sucker-punch somebody and get in a fight, that he would have told you, let me take care of this and i'll call you right back. >> argumentive. >> sustained. >> is that what you're saying, you're saying that if trayvon martin was getting ready to assault this man, that he would have said hang on a minute, i'll call you back? >> same objection. argumentative. >> just one second. overruled. >> no, sir. he would not let me on the phone. >> no, sir, he would not -- >> allow me on the phone with
him if he was about to have a fight. sir. >> i didn't understand that. say that again. what about that he would have told you if he was getting ready to have a fight? >> if he was going to confront the man, he would have told me, oh, i'm about to confront the man, see what he want. did he not tell me that, sir. he just told me he trying to get home, sir, but the man was still following him, sir. >> so you're assuming that if trayvon martin were planning to confront this man and assault him, that he would have given you a heads-up? >> objection. mischaracterization what have this witness said. >> the witness' answer is what it is. >> well, has he ever told you that of before, that he was going to assault someone and he'd call you back? >> objection. improper questioning.
>> that's not a proper objection -- >> i didn't want to make a speaking objection, your honor. we've had this issue before. >> counsel, please approach. >> i'm joy reed in for alex wagner. joining us now, msnbc legal analyst lisa bloom and former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, seema ire, and from sanford, florida, kyle hightower. we're watching really riveting testimony from the last person to have spoken with trayvon martin before he was shot and killed last year in february. really fascinating testimony, seema. this young woman who was on the phone with trayvon martin from the time he left the 7-eleven all the way up to moments before he was shot by george zimmerman. we were talking while we were
listening to this about her testimony and how you think it is coming across. do you think what don west is doing, essentially trying to goad her into accepting the defense's version of events, how do you think that's working for the defense? >> when miss jeantel got off the stand yesterday she was despised by twitterverse. but now mr. west is doing so much damage to his case, she's evoking so much sympathy, i believe, from the jurors, and even from us who are watching her. she's exasperated. she is exhausted. but, she is sticking to her story and the biggest concern zimmerman should have is that mr. west is now evoking testimony from this young lady for the prosecution. she is now saying things to support the prosecution's case. >> lisa, i want to bring you in on that. yesterday the contention -- or the direct testimony that mr. jeantel gave where she essentially said, trayvon martin told her that he was being followed, he told her the man got closer, and then she heard a
bump and she heard trayvon martin saying get off, get off. those were sort of the basic facts that the prosecution wanted out. did the defense in any way manage to walk her back from that, or as we were just discussing, did she essentially double down on them? >> well, first of all, i agree with what seema iyer just said. yesterday was much better for the defense, but i think he he has certainly made progress on the "get off get off." he's shown in two prior statements, for example, she didn't mention that so this is a story that seemed to have evolved. she has an explanation, well, i wasn't asked about that specifically before, i'm giving a fuller statement now. okay, maybe the jury will believe that, maybe they won't. but let me tell you something really important that's happening right now while they're at this sidebar. the defense attorney just asked a question about whether trayvon martin had ever told her about fighting before. that brought an objection from the prosecution because this has been the subject of pre-trial litigation, that nobody is supposed to talk about this large amount of evidence that's not supposed to come in to this
trial about either side's backgrounds, proclivity for fighting, that kind of thing. of course the defense wants to get that in, that's why he's trying to open the door to that evidence. that's what they're arguing about now. >> you are talking about all of that evidence that was the subject of a pre-trial hearing, whether or not any prior texts or cell phone -- >> right. this has decided a long time ago that it couldn't come in. >> but it wasn't a final ruling. it was just for opening statement and the judge said we'll see how it goes because a trial is a dynamic thing. >> that's why you're supposed to get your relation essentially before you start picking a jury, not when you have a witness on the stand and you are trying to sneak in things. >> okay. we're going back to the jury now. don west is back on the stand again. >> you didn't take any -- take any steps or even have any particular concern about what you heard because, in your mind, it was just a fight. >> i did, sir.
so mr. de la rionda said to you in a question -- i can read it exactly or paraphrase it, but the conversation was that mr. de la rionda asked you -- >> may i see it, sir? >> may i see it, sir? >> yes. but let me set the stage, if i might. mr. de la rionda said, "but did he ever say the guy got out of the car?" >> i don't remember, sir. >> you don't remember that mr. -- >> what you talking about? >> here's what i'm talking about. that mr. de la rionda asked you,
i want to bring in kyle hightower, reporter for the associated press, who's in sanford covering the trial. kyle, give us sort of the read of sanford on this trial so far. there's been a lot brought up sort of about the cultural kind of chasm here. you have a jury where we have six women and you have five of them being white. you now have a defendant on the stand who is african-american, who is culturally maybe a little bit different than what america is used to seeing. is there a question in sanford about sort of the way rachel jeantel is being received? >> i can't really speak to that,
but i will say that during jury selection the final panel of 40 jurors that was questioned, interestingly enough, not many of them seemed to be involved in the discussion that was going on in sanford around this case. they all kind of shied away from it. so from the jury's perspective, they've definitely back away from it or were unwilling to engage with it. as far as the courtroom, there's been a daily presence of ministers and pastors in the sanford area that are in a courtroom. so there is an interest from the community but as far as the jury, they seem to have shied away from it. >> thank you, kyle. we'll come back to you. lisa, talk to us about that aspect of the case. because yesterday the question of rachel jeantel's demeanor around the way she came across was important. do you think that changed? >> i'm so glad you are raising this topic. i think we are having two different conversations in this conversation. we have rachel jeantel, who has a certain manner of speaking,
and we have a defense attorney who has a completely different manner of speaki ingspeaking. some people watching this case are saying is he being so mean to her, but this is the way we conduct cross examination and this is the way a trial proceeds. >> you do specifically remember that when mr. de la rionda asked you did he ever say the guy got out of the car, that you did not say, in response, you want that, too? >> no, sir. i did not even say "you want that, too," no, i did not say that, sir. >> could we play that portion, please? >> judge, i have no objection. >> thank you. >> i'm going to object to the rest of it -- i apologiapologiz. i didn't mean to make a speaking objection. improper impeachment and manner in which it is being played. my objection. >> what is the purpose for it being played, sir?
>> so the jury can hear for themselves whether or not miss jeantel gave the answer that they just denied giving. >> she said those were your notes, not hers. >> yes, ma'am. >> i don't know what transcript both sides have. i have somebody's transcript. and there's supposedly difference in transcripts. >> mr. de la rionda's transcript has the witness' response the same way that i do. >> could you show me what page it's on? because i don't know whose i'm looking at. >> let's let the jury hear -- >> well, i've asked a question. could you tell me, first of all, whose transcript do i have? >> i gave it to you.
>> you are watching the trial of george zimmerman in sanford, florida. we are listening to the testimony of rachel jeantel. she's the 19-year-old friend of trayvon martin who was the last person to speak with him right up until moments before the gunshot which ended his life last year in february. i want to go back to seema iyer. we were talking at the break about this witness. you said as a prosecutor you've seen witnesses like this before. can you expand on that just a little bit? >> sure. i think the question you asked earlier to lisa about the cultural component is very critical here. for me, i see miss jeantel every single week, and to me the cultural component is that you have to understand what she is going through. mr. west, the way he's cross examining, it's not -- there's no textbook way. he has to be more gentle and he's not connecting with her and i think this is a young woman
who is terribly nervous and just because she made inconsistencies outside the courtroom -- just because you're lying outside the courtroom doesn't mean you're lying inside the courtroom. and one thing -- i just think everybody here agrees that she does come across as believable. >> lisa, the questions about which she is said to have been inconsistent -- one was her age, she said she wanted to shield her privacy but appearing to be a minor. two was why she didn't go to the funeral or wake for trayvon martin. she said yesterday she didn't want to see the body. today, don west seems to be trying to poke holes in the core of her testimony which is whether or not she told bren ben kronk that she heard trayvon say "get off get off." are those inconsistents substantive or -- >> any inconsistencies you can get out of a key prosecution witness is important for the defense. right? i mean that is key. she also is inconsistent in
saying yesterday in her testimony that the screams on that recording were trayvon martin, when previously she said she did not know if it was trayvon martin. i mean that goes to one of the core issues in the case, as does the "get off get off" comment'sn martin which she previously had mott nexted. i think the cultural differences are a key factor in this case. that's why there is such a wide, divergent set of views about this witness. i've heard people say she's fantastic, she's real, she's completely credible. others have said she is a liar, i don't believe everything she says. this is a witness who certainly i would say provokes strong reactions in those watching her testimony. >> mark o'mara was asked by reporters how would he react to no blacks on the jury --
>> i wonder, but i'm not certain whether during voir dire they were picking jurors and letting the jury know, hey, you're going to see a variety of the witnesses from police officers, to scientists, to people from the community, and actually ask them about this, whether they're going to connect with someone who's from a different background. >> quick break and when we come back, we will have more of the trial of george zimmerman and more with our guests. stay with us. working to be an even better company - and to keep our commitments. and we've made a big commitment to america. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. (girl) w(guy) dive shop.y? (girl) diving lessons. (guy) we should totally do that.
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former prosecutor from right here in new york -- as well as msnbc analyst lisa bloom. we are talking about both miss jeantel's demeanor and how she is in front of the jury. what's been striking to me, don west for all his repeated very vigorous and some would say badgering testimony trying to move her off the core of her story, essentially trying to get her to say that trayvon martin could be fronted george zimmerman rather than the other way around, she's remained rock solid on that, she's mott moved off that. >> she's state consistent to her story that trayvon martin was being followed and her phone went dead but a lot of little details have changed from time to time. i think he's gone on far too long now on this cross examination. 's he ma i had some of the points over and over again. he's surely losing the patience of the jury. he's clearly lost the patience of the judge. sometimes he's inefficient. the way that you handle this is, for example, now you tell us that you were not fixing your
hair at the time that trayvon martin was running. yes. well, yesterday in your testimony you said, under oath, that you were fixing your hair at that time. were you telling the truth then or are you telling the truth now? that's a very efficient way of handling it. instead he'll go on and on for 15, 20 minutes on a point like that. >> seema, at a certain point, the third time you said to this witness did trayvon martin confront the man who was following him, the third time she says no, at what point do you say let me stop because i'm actually helping the other side? >> you have to choose how many times you are asking the same question. i think what lisa did in terms of choosing the cross examination is perfect. you ask the second question, the third question, and then you stop. you leave the ultimate question, the conclusion that you are trying to make, you bring it out in your closing argument. this is not the closing argument. you do not try to have the witness testify to the state of mind about someone who's not in the courtroom, in this case trayvon martin, the victim. >> lisa, it does seem don west
is asking this young woman questions that really only trayvon martin could have answered. was he going to start a fight? is this something that he would do? should there be more objections from the prosecution when those questions are being asked? >> probably, but this is cross examination and this is a murder trial. so he has broad leeway in asking his questions. that's why the judge is allowing that. you use the word badgering? badgering is the kind of thing we see on tv shows and movies a lot. basically cross examination is badgering a witness. that's what you do for the entirety of cross examination you try to make them look bad. you try to make them look like a liar. you bring up every embarrassing thing can you about that person. if people are watching this trial and they're not used to watching trials ander that squirming and are uncomfortable? well, this is what happens every day in murder trials across this country. >> we don't often see the jury system working in real time. again, it can be jarring.
>> there is no textbook way to xros cross examine. he does not have to do it this way. he could be a little kinder, gentler, find some way to connect with this woman and at the same time get out his points. >> we're going to take another break. this has turned out to be a fascinating day of testimony in the george zimmerman trial. when we come back we'll have more. chenoa's looking for an alternative to eating lunch out... walmart has some great lunch options. a meal like this costs less than $4.25 per serving. if you swap out lunch just 3 times per week, over 475 bucks a year. yeah? save on lean cuisine backed by the low price guarantee.
twitter. she spoke for nearly 11 hours to fill bustary sweeping antiabortion bill, a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and could have closed all but five abortion clinics in texas. at 11:18 a.m., wendy davis began her filibuster knowing that under the rules of the texas senate she wouldn't be allowed to eat, drink, sit down, use the bathroom, speak off topic or even against any furniture for the entire filibuster. her gop colleagues in the texas senaty on guard for any attempt to shut her down. republicans monitored her virtually every word and move waiting to catch her violating texas's obscure filibuster rules. crowds filled the capitol as she blocked the bill coming to vote. hundreds of thousands of people were online watching. stand with wendy was trending on twitter. at one point davis told her colleagues to get out of the vagina business or go to medical school. even davis' pink running shoes
became a sensation. "the occupation section "on her wikipedia page was changed to see she was the lebron james of filibustering. however, after 11 hours, at 10:00 p.m., davis was forced to stop speak after republicans claimed her mentioning sonograms violated the rules against going off topic on an abortion bill. with that the republican senators tried to push the bill through. with the help of her democratic colleagues and the increasingly vocal crowds in the gallery, wendy davis successfully ran down the clock on the vote and the bill died. last night on "all in" with chris hayes wendy davis reflected on her epic fill bust zblerp ultimately in that last 15 minutes of the evening, it became the people's filibuster and they were loud and they were heard and that's what democracy is about. yesterday that filibuster was about handing that microphone essentially to the people of the state of texas. >> however, this fight is not
over. ours hours after the showdown, governor rick perry called for a special session to pass the abortion restrictions anyway call davis' filibuster "the breakdown of decorum and decency." even before this davis and perry were already competitors. apparently it is already a join davis was the only texas po politics with bert hair than rick perry. chris hayes asked her if she had her sights set on the governmentship. >> i would lie if i told you i didn't have aspirations to run for a state wide office. i think the real story will be, will the sentiment of people hold, will they demonstrate their desire for new leadership in the state. if yesterday was any indication, i think chances are pretty good that that's going to be the case. >> joining me now to make this epic topic turn, msnbc political
analyst and washington bureau chief at mother jones, david corn. and daily beast senior contributing writer michelle goldberg. also joining us, texas democratic state senator la tee shah vandepue. thank you all for joining me. >> thank you. >> i want to go first to the state senators. if senator thompson could start off, explain to us the bill that started all of this. what was actually in the bill? i sort of gave a quick description of it but why were women in the state senate in such great objection to it? >> i'm in the texas house of representatives across the hall from the state senate. it was restricting the right of women to be able to have an abortion and limiting the abilities for that. for instance, they would not have the opportunity to get an
abortion unless if they were 20 weeks out. they would have to go and have a sonogram, whether they are 20 weeks out or not right now. and they say that the child feels pain and they were trying to implement the fetal pain act within this particular bill. and they were only going to allow certain exceptions in this bill to the abortion, and it had to be something that was going to really take the life threatening to the mother or the child that she was carrying was going to end up being probably a vegetable, more or less, less than a vegetable. >> i want to go over to senator van depute. i want you to play something back and explain what happened before this. >> did the president hear me state the motion, or did the president hear me and refuse to recognize it? >> senator, are you now
recognized on the motion to adjourn. >> do i not wish to make that motion at this time, senator. at what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room? >> senator, i think at that point 100,000 people watching on youtube all went yay! at the same time cheering for you. what was at issue when you made that statement? >> during the evening when wendy's just absolutely fantastic effort seemed to be threatened, the republicans tried everything they can to pass the measure. including disregarding all the rules. i jumped up and down. i yelled out. i did everything i could to be recognized, and pushed my light ahead of my republican colleagues. being overlooked. so in frustration, i cried out what is it going to take? and i think that encapsulated
what's exactly happening? they didn't want to listen to women's voices. they would do anything to pass this measure, including throwing the rule book by the side, by altering documents at the very end on the time stamps. it was incredible to see the legislative process be made a mockery. >> michelle, does the republican party in your view understand their core problem? because you keep seeing this drama play out over and over again on the issue of abortion, and this time literally dramatized in this texas state senate, this direct confrontation with women over their rights, and then literally not listening to them. >> i think this is a problem for the rms at the national level but it is actually not really a problem for the republican party in texas where the republican party in texas is the party of rick perry in many senses. and dewhurst is facing a challenge but from his right over his failure to ram this thing through. in certain ways it is a sort of microcosm of the problem facing the republican party as whole.
on the one hand they understand they need this rebrand but at the grassroots, the grassroots is very, very invested in these culture war issues, in being antiimmigration and maybe all the things party elites would like to get passed. >> you dramatized that% with the 37% video. when they are among themselves the things they believe may be crazy to everyone else but that is what they believe. >> we've talked about this before. there is a tremendous gap between the base, the grassroots of the party, and the people running the party in washington, maybe new york and some other more cosmopolitan areas. they want to see the party moderate a little bit on immigration. maybe even on gay rights somewhat. and look at how john boehner did not come out and totally slam the decision yesterday. he's very moderate in his criticism. certainly dealing with women, they don't like a lot of these sonogram bills and they'd like to see a more reasonable discussion about abortion. but yet you have a moment like this and it really capsulizes the problem they have.
it releases a lot of energy on the democratic side. >> unfortunately, we are out of time. i want to thank my guests for being here. >> thank you for having us. also, thank you to david and michelle. believe it or not, that's it! that's all for now. i will see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern. "andrea mitchell reports" live from the aspen ideas festival is next. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ]
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historic decisions on gay marriage. the president calls it a great day for america. >> it's my personal belief, but i'm speaking now as a president as opposed to as a lawyer, that if you've been married in massachusetts and you move someplace else, you're still married and that under federal law, you should be able to obtain the benefits of any lawfully married couple. >> what's next for the gay marriage debate? our big interview with the unlikely dream team that helped kill prop 8. >> to see the final vindication throughout the united states of the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to equality throughout the united states, that's the promise of the declaration of independence, eq