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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 7, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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"the big test" by nick lemon if you want to read more. pedro, sepi, and teacher julie. that is "all in" thr this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now with one and only steve kornacki in for rachel this evening. good evening, steve. >> good evening. thanks for that. thanks to you at home for being with us the next hour. rachel has the night off. lots of snow to come. we're following the news of the malaysia airline 777 passenger jet. mh-. 70. the boeing-made airplane was carrying 239 people. 227 of them passengers and 12 crew members. according to the airline, among the passengers are people of 13 different nationalities. the airline released a statement confirming the news earlier this evening eastern time in the united states. plane has not been heard from since earlier this afternoon, our time. search and rescue operation is
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under way. this is a file photo of the boeing 777 200-er, carrying 239 people. lost air traffic control hours ago between kuala lumpur and state agency. chinese state news agent xinuha reports the plane lost radar contact in vietnamese airspace. authorities from malaysia and china are participating in the search and rescue mission. nbc will continue to follow and report this story throughout the night. there is, though, a lot of other news around the world. and here in the u.s. tonight. including the political news out of washington, d.c. remember when chris christie was this guy. >> governor christie, all kidding aside, i've been listening to you tonight. you're a very powerful and eloquent speaker. you know how to tell the american people what they need to hear. and i say this from the bottom
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of my heart, for my daughter who's right here and my grandchildren who are at home, i know new jersey needs you, but i really implore you. i really do. this isn't funny. i mean this with all my heart. we can't wait another four years until 2016, and i -- [ applause ] i really implore you, as a citizen of this country, to please, sir, to reconsider. don't even say anything tonight. of course you would. go home and really think about it. please. do it -- do it for my daughter. do it for our grandchildren. do it for our sons. please, sir. don't -- we need you. your country needs you to run for president. >> let me -- let me just say this because -- there are a lot
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of people who have asked me about this over the course of the last number of weeks and months. and this all i'll say about that tonight. is that i hear exactly what you're saying and i feel the passion with which you say it. and it touches me. >> that was back in the fall of 2011 when new jersey governor chris christie made the great republican shrek to the reagan library in california. made it add mist calls like that from big names in the republican party and from activists and from rank and file voters to make a last-minute entrance into the republican presidential race. that was the context in which christie spoke about the reagan library back then. basking in the nostalgic glow of the republican president from the last century who's so loved by republicans of our own time. the chris christie who spoke that night was such a phenomenon in the republican party that two people who were there actually got up and implored him to run
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for president. >> my family is all still in new jersey and i just want to let you know, you make us so proud to be new jerseyans and so proud to be americans. and my italian mother, she told me to tell you that you've got to run for president. >> and it was after that speech in september 2011, after that response from that audience, that christie publicly reversed himself and he said that he would consider jumping into the 2012 race. of course, he ultimately decided not to, but there was no disputing back then, chris christie's popularity, both in new jersey and in the national republican party. but then he committed a few cardinal sins, at least when it comes to modern republican party politics. chief among them was that he praised president obama's response when hurricane sandy devastated the jersey shore. christie toured the damage with the president and said obama was doing an outstanding job, this
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just days before the 2012 election, election. now, whether that episode contributed significantly to the final result is something that's going to be debated for years to come, but all we know is mitt romney lost, and the right didn't forget what chris christie had done. which brings us to this same time last year. the headline news back then about chris christie and how he was waiting by the mailbox for an invitation that never arrived. they had left him off the guest list for cpac. they invited marco rubio and scott walker and rick santorum and jeb bush. invited paul ryan. even invited mitt romney. not chris christie. he was snubbed by cpac. supposedly this was a disaster for chris christie. he wanted to run for president in 2016 but just cozied up to barack obama. he'd snubbed mitt romney a week before the election. now his party's base was getting
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its revenge. telling them they didn't want him at his big annual gathering. the reality, though, that supposed disaster was actually a gift to christie. because christie had almost nothing to gain and had a lot to lose if he'd been anywhere near cpac last year. that's because last year was an election year in new jersey. christie's re-election year. his goal wasn't just to win re-election but his own admission to run up a score in a deeply blue state that voted for obama by 17 points over mitt romney. chris christie wanted, chris christie needed a big chunk of those obama voters. moderates and liberals in new jersey who don't usually vote republican. he needed them to vote for him in 2013 so he could turn around and tell national republicans that he, and he alone, had the formula to shatter that red state/blue state divide and to win back the white house for the gop. to get the kind of numbers he wanted to rack up in new jersey last year, christie needed to look moderate.
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so cpac and the hard right conservatism that it showcases snubbed him last year, well so much better for his moderate cred. christie, did, of course, get himself re-elected by 22 points last november. that was the biggest margin for republican in new jersey in 28 years. so it seemed he was on his way. then his world turned upsidedown. days before his inauguration for that second term, the state legislature released thousands of pages of e-mails tieing members of his inner circle to the scandal commonly known as bridge-gate. deputy chief of staff apparently ordered up gridlock traffic for the town of ft. lee perhaps because the mayor refused to endorse governor christie. one of the top christie appointees at the port authority appears to have carried out the plans. christie plan, of course, before all this had been to parlay a lopsided re-election triumph in blue state new jersey into an irresistible pitch to national republicans. but instead, christie suddenly
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found himself firing top staffers, fending off reporter questions about what he knew and when he knew it. his office, campaign, and office subpoenaed by federal prosecutors. his poll numbers took a dive not just in new jersey but national republicans he had been just about to begin courting for 2016. about a third of all republicans now say they definitely would not vote for chris christie for president next time. the worst showing of anyone they did polling on. new jersey bridge scandal wounded chris christie. that much is obvious. but also ironically enough he was invited to cpac this year. now that he's done running for governor, there was every reason for him to go. if you watched his speech on thursday, you could almost imagine it being the kind of speech he was rehearsing in his head all last year. stressing conservative themes and dishing out the kind of red meat that's poisonous in new jersey politics but also music to the ears of national republicans. christie played up electability on thursday. he implored the crowd to be
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committed to more than just principle, to what it takes to win, but he also talked in a way he never talked in new jersey last year. >> when they said it could never be done, now twice, twice for the first time since roe v. wade, new jersey has elected a pro-life governor of new jersey. you know, what we need to start saying is, what we need to start saying is that we're not going to put up any longer with them defining what we are, but the way we have to define ourselves to say what we're for. when we say we're pro-life and proudly pro-life, that doesn't mean we're pro-life just when that human being is in the womb. we need to be pro-life when they leave the womb as well. for every step of their lives. >> and that was chris christie's turn on the stage at cpac. his appearance at the conference that snubbed him last year was supposed to be a triumphant moment. it was supposed to be the day that chris christie called the republican party home from the
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wilderness. the day he showed the right that he has more in common with them than they thought and he unlike any other republican they'd seen, that he could take their values and turn blue states into red states with them. supposed to be a day that would begin to shift the tea party base's psychology to get them more excited about winning national elections than proving their purity in primaries. but instead, chris christie talked about social issues and got polite applause. and then the tea party wing of the republican party just roared on. >> it is time for washington to focus on the few things the constitution establishes as the federal government's role. defend our country. provide a cogent foreign policy. and what the heck, deliver the mail. pref preferably on time and on saturdays. get out of the health care business. get out of the education business.
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stop hammering industry. let the sleeping giant of american enterprise create prosperity again. my fellow conservatives, the future of this nation is upon you. it belongs to you. you have the power to change america. >> texas governor rick perry was last seen on the national stage trying to remember the name of the third federal agency he wanted to kill. he didn't get halfway as close to the white house as mitt romney in 2012 but today at cpac set the barn on fire with his anti-government message. if chris christie meant to move conservative hearts away from that kind of politics, he missed by a george washington bridge mile. instead of christie bringing down the house, himself, he had to settle for polite applause. in his new political weakness created an opening for rick perry of all people to start to revive himself. and it wasn't just rick perry, it was also rand paul today rallying the crowd with the kind of rhetoric that has fueled the tea party insurgency for those past four years.
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>> it isn't good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. we must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness. will we be firm in our convictions or will we cower defeated and meekly dilute our message? will we sit oddly by and let our rights be trampled upon? will we be like lemmings rushing to the comfort of big brother's crushing embrace? or will we stand like men and women of character and say, we are free and no man, no matter how well intentioned, will take our freedom from us. >> that message worked for rand paul in kentucky in 2010, but another story that year, and also a story in 2012, was republican primary voters prioritizing purity and picking utterly unelectable candidates
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who would lose races the party otherwise would never have lost. also this week at cpac, reemergence of texas tea party senator ted cruz, not only sounded the same call as rand paul but attacked republican icons while he was at it. >> of course, all of us remember president dole. and president mccain. and president romney. look, those are good men. they're decent men, but when you don't stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don't stand for principle, democrats celebrate. you win elections by standing for principle and inspiring people that there is a better tomorrow. [ applause ] these solutions will not come from washington, but i'll tell you where they will come from which is the american people. >> that was rick perry and rand paul and ted cruz who made the big splash at cpac this year.
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they made the headlines. while chris christie, well, he made a nice speech, i guess. and that might tell us as much about governor christie's personal political standing as it does about the state of republican politics. joining us now, perry bacon jr., veteran political journalist and political editor for the grio.com. thanks for being here tonight. >> thanks, steve. >> i know you've been at cpac obviously so you have a front-row seat for all this. i guess, you know, we sort of set this up by talking about chris christie and i can sort of imagine the past year before this scandal all hit, the past year was sort of building toward this moment for him. he was never going to be the favorite of everybody at cpac but this was a answer fchance t and show them, hey, i a lot more in common than you ever thought, and by the way i can win in blue states. we see a polite reception publicly there. i wonder in talking to the activists, talking to the people there, what are they saying about? what are they telling you about him? >> i ask them, where is he in
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your mind now? what hthey say, he's not as strong as he was last year. they also say, i wasn't for him anyway. cpac as you know, steve, is not the moderate republican convention. it's the conservative convention. so in the straw poll last year, christie was well behind, anyway, and this year even more, people just aren't talking about him very much. christie and rubio. rubio was second in the straw poll last year. off the map this year. christie and rubio, much less popular. the room got bigger. the crowd was huge for rand paul. then cruz was way behind in the straw poll last year. i think he'll finish a close second to rand paul this time. cruz's speech got a great reception. people love that bob dole line in particular. >> the people at the cpac may have loved that bob dole line but outside cpac today that provoked a response from senator john mccain, obviously who was close to bob todole, called on d cruz to publicly apologize to bob dole. he's a warrior. telling him he lacked principle.
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that's interesting, the response that generated from the crowd because that brings me to something else i want to ask you about. the basic dilemma the tea party movement faces and anyone faces in politics between purity and ele electability. the idea of christie being, win, baby, like the old al davis message. forget christie, forget 2016. you're looking at 2014, we have all of these, you know, republican primary challengers still to come on the docket. sounds like talking to the republican base, the conservative base at cpac, they're not thinking any more pragmatically about these primaries this year than they were about 2012, 2010 when people like sharron angle are winning primaries. >> key thing to note. matthew bevin, he was here walking around the panel but he wasn't invited to speak. mitch mcconnell was. that does tell me there is practicality here. john cornyn won the primary this week. there is practicality in terms of the midterms. the republicans feel so confident about a lot of seats
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they're not worried about that. one thing that's striking, there are side workshops at cpac. there was one about reaching beyond our base about how social conservatives and libertarians work together. there's a lot of talk, how to we win? i was in a forum with bloggers and ted cruz, somebody asked cruz, how do we stop republicans fighting each other? his response, remember ronald reagan primaried gerald ford. fighting is okay. we need to have a more principled person win. there's definitely that tension is playing out here. less on stage and more in the private discussions between how do we win and how do we make sure we have a -- people here want a pure candidate, but they want a purist principled candidate who also can win. >> well, that is interesting. so i wonder when we think back to that, the famous republican party autopsy after the 2012 election, and they -- immigration was one of the few issues they sing ld out. talked about gay marriage and gay rights being a gateway issue for younger voters, hey, if
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you're on the wrong side of this issue, they're not going to look at you when it come to any other issues. so when you're talking about thinking a little bit more strategically and talking a little bit more strategically, are there particular issues that you're hearing republicans -- you're hearing conservatives at this conference taking a different tone on than we have heard for the last few years? >> there were two issues, steve. on immigration, first of all, they have not moved at all. this is a very anti-comprehensive immigration crowd. that's a danger for the republicans. two issues. first there was a forum on criminal justice reform. and rick perry was on the panel. rick perry sounded like eric holder in terms of talking about we want to have fewer people in jail, we want to change our prison sentences work. he sounded fairly liberal and that got a great applause. on criminal justice, mandatory minimums, the republicans are moving left. that could help with minorities and the edge of things. the other thing, think about how many rulings we've had the last few months in favor of gay marriage, but on stage, there were almost no speeches that
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mentioned that issue. and that tells me -- i talk to people in private about this, too -- the republican activists here feel like that issue, they need to move on from that issue. banning gay marriage is not going to happen and they're losing the issue and people here were talking about the new issue should be maybe religious liberty and think about it that way instead of thinking about banning gay marriage. and i thought the silence on the issue was very striking and tells me the republican party is moving on that issue. >> that's interesting, especially prisons, too, when you hear from somebody like rick perry, governor of texas. of course, incarceration does cost money. perry bacon jr., political editor at the grio and more coverage on my show "up with steve car kornacki" 8:00 eastern time saturday and sunday mornings. thank you, perry, for being with us tonight. >> thanks, steve. we continue to monitor news about the missing malaysia airline 777 aircraft which lost
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president obama has proven me wrong. >> now there is something we have heard from the right a lot these past five years. i thought jimmy carter was bad, but he's nothing compared to how bad this guy is. it's a line that gets trotted out all the time as a way for the right to portray obama as an inept socialist ideologue who's going to drive the country to ruin. >> it was the most anti-small business administration i've seen probably since carter. who would have guessed we'd look back at the carter years as the good old days? you know, it's -- [ applause ] >> this has been the right's refrain throughout president obama's time in office. and in fact, it's not actually just president obama. it has been the refrain from the right for just about every democrat seeking major office since jimmy carter left the white house. >> so when you hear tax the rich, mr. and mrs. america, watch your wallet. lock your wallet because he's coming right after you just like jimmy carter did and just like
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you're going to get -- you're going to end up with interest rates at 21% and you're going to have inflation going through the roof. >> that was president george h.w. bush invoking the carter comparison against bill clinton back in 1992. that was 22 years ago. now, as a tactic, this all makes sense. carter presided over an economically traumatic part of american history. high unemployment, soaring inflation, brutal interest rates. gas lines. there's also the endless iran hostage crisis. when he ran for re-election in 1980, carter lost 44 states. strategically, i get it. the current democratic president with a past democratic president whose tenure is not generally remembered well. but there are two things that bother me about it. the first is how far off the right's character of carter is from reality. because the way they tell it, he failed because he was some kind of radical european-style president who was pursuing a far left agenda. you know, just like that far
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left agenda that barack obama supposedly pursued. that is not true at all. carter, at least when he was president, was actually a pretty conservative democrat. he had tense relationships with the democratic party's traditional coalition groups. he resisted expansive government programs, dismantled regulations on major industries. unions considered him hostile to them. historians have called carter the most conservative democratic president since grover cleveland and conservatism created a deep and bitter split in his own party and gave rise to ted kennedy's primary challenge in 1980, rallying the traditional base against a sitting president they believe to be too far to the right. kennedy lost that challenge, but three decades after carter left office, there was still obvious animosity between him and kennedy. in 2010 at the height of the health care debate, carter was taking digs at kennedy telling cbs the fact is we should have had comprehensive health care had it not been for ted kennedy's deliberately blocking
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the legislation u proposed. it was his fault. ted kennedy killed the bill. that was that a president, jimmy carter, who led a unified party or in lock step with its liberal wing. that carter was ever nominated by the democratic party in the first place, itself, was a credit to his savviness. long before the powerful forces of his party, he grasped the significance in what in 1976 was a radically expanded primary season. he amassed momentum and in delegates very early that made him unstoppable. when the rest of his party realized what he was pulling off, it was too late to stop him and he had the nomination. that's what bothers me. the history of it. we can debate the carter presidency. the caricature of him that republicans have been relying on is our official socialist president is off base. the simpler question is this. it has been 33 years since jimmy carter left office. why are republicans so intent on still beating him up? why are they obsessed with trying to turn every democratic president into another jimmy carter? joining us now is jonathan
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alter, msnbc -- i'll get that out -- political analyst. also the author of "the center holds: obama and his enemies." jonathan, thanks for being here tonight. point out right away, thank few you for wearing the sweater. appropriate in our carter conversation. it's not carter gear, but pretty close. >> not intended that way. >> unintentional, but still a fortunate decision. let's start with that question. i always wonder when you see bobby jindal doing this at cpac bringing up carter, donald trump brought him up, called him the late great jimmy carter, forgetting jimmy carter is very much alive. is that something -- it clearly means something to the audience there. does that have resonance outside of that room, outside the conservative -- >> i really don't think it does. just do the math. so they pick this idea up from the democrats who beat up on herbert hoover for many years after fdr beat hoover. but 33 years after hoover was president was the late 196 0s and it wasn't like democrats
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were using hoover against nixon and reagan and the bushes. by that time, it wasn't working anymore. so think about how long ago -- if you're under 50, you barely remember him. if you're under 35, you were barely born when carter was president. so this is a message to the republican base of elderly people. and it really doesn't resonate anymore, anyway. as you point out, it's factually inaccurate about the carter presidency. which is not a successful presidency. but not for the reasons that they describe. and i kind of lived a little bit of this. i was an intern in the jimmy carter white house when i was in college, then after college, i felt he was too conservative for me and i went and worked for ted kennedy in 1980. and there were quite a number of other liberals at the time who did the same thing. because we thought that carter wasn't liberal enough. >> you sort of embody that split we were talking about in 1980.
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>> so, you know, also it just completely ignores carter's main foreign policy accomplishment which remains one of the greatest achievements in american foreign policy over the last 50 years. which was the camp david accords of 1978 which egypt still respects. they continue to recognize israel's right to exist. they're beating up on them this week. foreign policy context, i guess because of the failed iran hostage -- >> what i wonder when i look at this, too, is if there's an aspect of we talk about how the right has sort of changed carter's image from, you know, he was the president who was sort of too conservative, that, you know, reputation at least among democrats in the late 7 0s iss. now he's our first socialist president. that sort of happened with ronald reagan, too, right? the reagan of the 1980s was a lot different. a lot different from the caricature version of him,
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conservatives celebrate now. i wonder if those two are not linked. right? like -- >> yeah. >> you know, ronald reagan to become the heroic figure they've built him up to be had to succeed as president somebody who was absolute total fail wur. you can't have the reagan legend without carter being the worst thing ever. >> on top of that, this is something i write about some in the "center holds" is the romney people in 2012 were certain right up to election night that this was kbroigoing to be a repf 1980 with obama as carter and mitt romney as ronald reagan and would be this huge wave. people forget that carter was expected to get re-elected until very close to 1980 election and then there was this human wave of disgust with him and reagan was swept into office. so they would actually talk explicitly in 2012 about the carter/reagan analogy and, of
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course -- >> that's right. in 1980, there was the assumption that reagan was too conservative to win the general elections right up until -- >> the other factor, steve, i think at play here is that as ex-president, and carter has set the pace for being a great ex-president, he's been essentially a pacifist who's going around the world making peace, supervising elections, curing diseases, doing all kinds of liberal things which are good things that the republicans are trying to make now seem as if somehow discredit that? that it would have been better if he'd been playing golf and making money? >> still added at 89 years old which is something trump didn't get the memo on. jonathan alter author of "the center holds." thanks for joining us tonight. >> thanks, steve. the news, again, we're monitoring throughout the hour is the missing malaysia airlines 777 airline, mh-370 lost contact
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a very busy night in the news. we're monitoring events in malaysia. where a malaysia airlines 777 has gone missing with 239 people onboard. news of further escalation in ukraine, where russian president vladimir putin continues to defy president obama and the rest of the western world by tightening
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late this afternoon, the report started trickling in that russian troops had stormed a ukrainian military base in ukraine in crimea after dark and taken control of it. what you are seeing here is the aftermath of that. about 15 russian trucks filled with russian soldiers from the black sea fleet. which is based in crimea. it reportedly made their way to the base by ramming a truck into its gates. troops then flooded in and within two hours the russians had seized control of the air force portion of that base. like the other troops that have taken posts in crimea, russian forces wore uniforms without invisible incig knee wra. license plates on their vehicles appear to be russian. no shots were fired but the russian forces attempted to seize control of the rest of the base reportedly negotiated with ukrainian forces to lay down weapons and surrender. some journalists on the ground trying to cover the takeover were reportedly beaten by the
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russian troops. while they were attempting to take pictures. then in a surprising turn of events russian soldiers retreated. they just withdrew and left the base back to the ukrainians. so obviously this is all very strange. it's yet another baffling twist in this ongoing standoff in the crimea region of ukraine. while today's takeover ended with a withdrawal, the pentagon estimated russia still has 20,000 troops on the ground in crimea. this estimate comes a few days after russian president vladimir putin flat-out denied the very existence of russian troops in crimea in a press conference. he suggested the troops that are there are well trained self-defense forces who bought their fake russian uniforms at a store. and at that same press conference, putin also said russia was not considering annexing crimea, the acitizens should be able to determine their own future. today leaders in the russian parliament said they'd support a vote by crimeans to break away
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from ukraine and join the russian federation. the delegation of lawmakers arrived in moscow today to lay the groundwork for that move. this comes on the heels of a vote by the pro-russian crimean parliament to secede from ukraine and a vote happened yesterday. a public referendum has been set for march 16th, a little more than a week away. president obama rejected the referendum as illegal and slapped russia with a set of sanctions placing visa restrictions and economic sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for the military action in ukraine. hours after announcing the sanctions, president obama picked up the phone and called president putin, the second phone call between the two leaders since the crisis began last week. they spoke for about an hour. president obama urged president putin to talk to ukraine's new government. he proposed pulling russian troops out and allowing international monitors in. that is something president putin apparently had no interest in. putin also called ukraine's current government
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unconstitutional. he vowed russia would not ignore the calls for help from crimea. now the readouts from the calls are so wildly different from each side that one can only imagine what actually being on the call must have been like. now, one worrying thing to note here, though, is crimea is made up of three major ethnic groups, ukrainians, russians and tatars. we're learning alarming news about members of the tatar muslim minority in the region. there are reports circulating that tatars in the crimea area are finding markings of an x or cross outside their homes. of course, raises concerns that ethnic tensions in the region are at an all-time high. unclear what will happen next in the congoing conflict. u.s. imposed sanctions. eu is considering sanctions. russia's state-owned national gas company is threatening to cut off ukraine's natural gas supply if it doesn't pay up limd immediately.
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tens of thousands of russian troops are on the ground in crimea. the vote for secession is around the corner. they vote, it's hardly clear what will happen after that. julia ioffe, senior editor at the "new republic" where she covers russia and recently back from raush sussia. thanks for taking a few minutes. the first question, we have this story today about the brief takeover of the base and then the retreat with no shots being fired and, of course, the troops have no official markings that they're russian troops but all indications are they're russian troops. i'm curious why if everybody knows these are russian troops, if the world is practically laughing at vladimir putin for pretending they are not? why is he doing this? does he think anybody actually believes him? >> you know, i don't think it's funny at all. the russians are playing extremely dirty on this one. the reason he's doing this is to make it seem like this is an organic grassroots thing that the crimeans rose up and welcome the russians in, called for
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their help. and just desperately were just banging down russians' door to be let in. there's a lot of -- none of them can be aired on tv, but look at what's happening in southern and eastern ukraine, for example. all of these rallies, these pro-russian rallies. a lot of those protesters have been bused in from across the border from russia. the guy who raised the flag over the city government building was a kremlin activist who's done this kind of thing before. he raised the soviet flag on the building of the last independent tv channel left in russia. it's just, you know, beating up journalists. pretending that these guys with the latest weaponry with clearly, i mean, these are clearly russian uniforms designed by the russian designer. these clearly russian cars just pretending like none of this exists is just -- it's, i don't know, i find it infuriating. >> so i guess the next question,
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clearly, you know, russian troops, clearly something that's being executed, we know, with putin's blessing. he wants crimea to be part of the russian federation apparently. why does he want crimea? is this part of a broader strategy to bring other areas that used to be part of the soviet empire into the russian fold? is it about crimea? what do you think his goal is here? >> it's just about crimea. the vote to set up the referendum for march 16th, they didn't tell -- they didn't make it known that they were going to have a vote. that local parliament. they didn't tell the deputies that, you know, the mps, that they knew were going to vote against it. they didn't tell them this was going to be a vote. this is how it's being done on the ground. the reason vladimir putin wants crimea is russia has been obsessed with this area for centuries. it's this very important access to a warm water port for northern landlocked country.
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where, you know, it has plenty of access to water. a lot of it frozen a lot of the time. and crimea, you know, could naturally be either part of ukraine or part of russia. it's historically been part of russia. only switched sides from the russian republic inside the soviet union to the ukrainian republic in 1954. so i think vladimir putin thinks he's taking what's his and setting up this kind of -- the smoke and mirrors to legitimatize it. but look at what he told then-president george w. bush at the nato russia summit in april 2008 in bucharest. he said, georges you realize this isn't a real country, right? ukraine is not a country. this is how he sees it. >> that's really interesting. i mean, so putin had his eyes on it for a while. >> yeah. at the same summit, sorry to interrupt, at the same summit he said there was talk of taking ukraine into nato and he said, you know what, if you guys take ukraine, i'm taking crimea. he's been looking for pretext to
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take crimea for at least six years. >> the question i have, though, if we're talking about 20,000 russian troops being on the ground, this being a long-term goal of vladimir putin's, no one, you know, basically no one in the united states, no one in the west talking about putting troops on the ground to fight him here. if this referendum passes on the 16th, i mean, are we looking at a scenario where there's no way to keep russia from taking this if they want it? >> i think we've been looking at the scenario for a few days. crimea's gone. it's russia. the russian parliament introduced this law laying the groundwork for the annexation of crimea a few days ago. russia's had troops stationed there as part of this bilateral agreement. is ukraine going to fight russia? is nato? are we going to fight russia? nobody is going to get into a war with russia. putin knows that. he's calling our bluff. he exploited this moment of weakness in kiev, a moment of political uncertainty to take
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something he's been eyeing for a really long time. knowing that he would get a slap on the wrist with very targeted sanctions that don't really affect him. or even if they do, it's a price he's willing to pay. i mean, crimea is gone. forget about it. >> julie ioffe. >> i'm sorry. >> a senior editor at the "new republic." julia. we'll be right back with a lot more. defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. calcium citrate plus d. highly soluble, easily absorbed. if your denture moves, it can irritate your gums. try fixodent plus gum care. it helps stop denture movement and prevents gum irritation. fixodent. and forget it. this is the first power plant in the country to combine solar and natural gas at the same location. during the day, we generate as much electricity
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>> we have news breaking tonight in malaysia. mh-370 with 239 people onboard lost contact with air traffic control during its flight from k kuala lumpur to beijing. it has not been heard from since 2:30 eastern time. there were 160 chinese citizens who were onboard that flight and that the plane lost radar contact in vietnamese air space. both chinese and malaysian authorities have undertaken a search and rescue mission. the malaysian airline are notifying the next of kin of those onboard the plane. since introducing the 777, boeing has delivered more than 1,000 worldwide and the record has been good since that time. at this hour, there is no indication of what went onka
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malaysian airlines mh-370. it is missing, having lost con b tact with air traffic control about eight hours ago during its flight from kuala lumpur to beijing with 239 people onboard. more information on this breaking news as it becomes available here on msnbc. nice morning, scott? aye, or...a mornin' of tiny voices crying out, "feed us -- we've awakened from our long winter's nap and we're peckish to the point of starvin'"!! i don't understand... your grass, man! it's a living, breathing thing. it's hungry, and you've got to feed it with scotts turf builder. that a boy, mikey! two feedings now...in the springtime strengthens and helps protect your lawn from future problems. [ scott ] get scotts turf builder lawn food. it's guaranteed. feed your lawn. feed it! it's guaranteed. honestly? i wanted a smartphone that shoots great video. so i got the new nokia lumia icon. it's got 1080p video, three times zoom,
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[ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some financial folks who will talk to them about preparing early for retirement and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. >> we've got aretha franklin. when aretha first told us what r-e-s-p-e-c-t meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for african-americans and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved. they wanted some respect. >> anyone who's ever heard of aretha franklin, anyone who's
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ever been to a wedding knows how to spell the word respect. people who can't spell cat can spell r-e-s-p-e-c-t. you could tell that president obama right when we started to say it knew something wasn't right. the official transcript tried to correct it for him. but it was too late. a couple weeks ago, the epic tale of how four kids broke their county spelling bees. each spelled so well in their bees, attacking tough words like nobody's business, they did so well that no one would be declared the winner. in dekalb county, illinois, 13-year-old matthew rodgers and keith morkhi went through 66 rounds, just the two of them on
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stage for hours. they did that until judges called it quits and .sent everyone home. in kansas city, missouri, 11-year-old sophia hoffman and kush sharma became the final two standing in their bee. the judges actually ran out of words. they had no more words left for them to spell. during the break, the judges consulted with miriam webster to find more words and still the kids could not be stumped. finally the judges decided to call it a day. this was sort of a problem because the winners of each match were supposed to win a trip to maryland this may to skeep compete in the sciripps nationa spelling bee. in kansas city, there was an online push to send both students but they say they could not allow it which seems a little u-n-f-a-i-r. the spellers are going to settle it tomorrow morning.
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yes, that's right, they are going into overtime in the spelling bees. in kansas city, missouri, the remachl between kush and sophia is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. local time. the kansas city public library says they have amassed 266 words just in case. this one could be a nail biter. the rematch between matthew rodgers and keith mochri is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. local time. best of luck in your quest for spelling superiority. you're all winners due to your ability to effectively take down the dictionary. rachel will be back monday. catch me tomorrow morning here accou at 8:00 a.m. a boeing 777 carrying 239 people lost contact early this afternoon east coast time. chinese and malaysian authorities have undertaken a search and rescue mission. there's more in

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