tv Meet the Press MSNBC March 16, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
pcentury link provides reliable yit services like multi-layered security solution to keep your information safe & secure. century link. your link with what's next. good sunday morning. speaking to u.s. officials over the weekend, they say they are very concerned. they've not yet found that missing malaysian airlines jet. plot? in the we'll discuss that was it sabotage or a terror plot? we'll discuss that story this morning as well as the other big developing story, that's crimea. thousands of russian troops are massing at the ukrainian border as crimeans vote on whether to join russia today. i'll be joined by the president's senior advisor dan pfeiffer. and just backing from ukraine, two key voices in the senate. plus, the politics of this election year.
danger for the democrats after a special election that puts obamacare at the center of the fight. and a different perspective on the country's ideological debates this morning. comedian bill maher working the red states and speaking his mind about what's ailing america. >> from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press with david gregory." >> lost a malaysian airlines triple 7 vanished is now nine days ago. all of our 21st century technology has turned up no concrete evidence of what happened to flight 370. these are the latest pictures from the u.s. navy tracking any potential wreckage. the fate of the 239 people on board is still unknown. however, the latest signs are pointing the a criminal act. malaiysi malaysia's prime minister saying
the plane was deliberately diverted. in a moment, i'll speaking to dan pfeiffer here about what the white house knows at this juncture. first greg fife, pilot, and nbc news analyst. he's been tracking this now. greg, it's good to see you here. i just mentioned the evidence, the concrete evidence that points to this being a criminal act. take me through that that leads you to believe that's the case. >> well, early on, david, one of the things that we had was the initial radar track. that was just the outbound portion that tended to make us believe that this was just an event that took place and we didn't know if it was an accident. it was that second turn. it was that initial left-hand turn with the track for about an hour, and then the subsequent return or right turn that caused me and i think others to believe, especially the malaysians, that that was not on the flight plan route, that it had to have been human intervention that actually initiated that turn. when you're going away from your intended destination of beijing and you start to wander well off ta course, that to me having done silk air, working with the
indonesians, that led me to believe there was something else going on that was not intended as far as conducting this flight. >> greg, the point is that there is evidence that somebody in the crew is turning off its communications, turning off the radar, and all of a sudden you see it re-emerge on a different flight path after a turn. that says to you somebody has made a deliberate decision to commandeer this aircraft and go in a different direction? >> absolutely. there would never be a reason for a pilot to turn off the transponders. that is the key for air traffic controllers to be able to track that airplane at all times in the air. there would have been no reason to turn off the transponders. the fact that the acar systems, at least the data portion was shut down, indicates somebody didn't want to be tracked through the transponder or the acar system. the military only had a skin
paint, non descript blip on the radar that said the airplane was at a distance and heading in a direction but that was it. >> so let's look at potential flight paths here on the map because it could have gone a couple of different directions. the southern route versus the northern route, if you're going north, all you of a sudden you get over a big land mass in south asia, the middle east. a lot of u.s. military assets there, other military assets that other countries have. it seems implausible you could fly a plane and not be detected. doesn't this still point to the idea it crashed? >> it does to an extent. i would think if this person is flying the aircraft, turned off all the transponders and system they didn't want to be detected. if you take the northerly track, you go back into a radar environment and potential environment where we have space assets looking down on that part of the world. why would you want to go back and get into a detected area? if you go south, there's very little radar coverage, if any. and of course, i don't believe we would be looking there from space because that's the middle of the ocean and there's not
really any activity going on out there so that would be a great place to disappear. >> theories run wild. you're an experienced investigator. in just a few seconds, what do you have to be running through here to think about likely outcomes? >> i think right now, while we all hold out hope that there may be a successful end to this situation, if you will, the airplane is sitting somewhere even though there may have been a nefarious intent. i believe based on my experience in all the years that this will not have the outcome especially for the families that they want but we're not going to be fully confident as to what the motive was for this type of event, whether it was some sort of intentional act by a pilot for selfish reasons or some sort of terroristic type or at least implied terroristic event. >> greg, thanks so much. i appreciate it. >> you're welcome. >> senior visor, welcome back.
besides the personal toll, which is potentially devastating for families already, what else troubles the president at this point? >> about the crash? >> yeah. >> look, what's troubling is we don't know the answer yes. the malaysia government is in the lead. the president dedicated his administration to direct the resources is necessary to help them. we have the fbi. we have naval assets look for the plane. the national transportation safety board is on the ground trying to figure out what happened. we need the answers. >> do you have specific evidence that points to a plot of any kind? >> it's too early to rule anything in or out. we don't know the any information. >> any elevated chatter the government is concerned about in terror circles? >> not necessarily around this. we have to get to the bottom of what's happening here. >> the question about security, a lot of people look at the situation and say, wow, could a plane originating in the united states experience this kind of trouble, this kind of criminal act? does the president want to see any additional reviews around our own security? >> i think we have to figure out
what happened here and then go back into an after action report and see what could be done better. we don't know the enough to know exactly how the this would impact the united states in the future. >> let me move onto the big developing story in ukraine. is crimea lost at this point? >> look, we are putting as much pressure on the russians as we can to do the right thing. we have given them the opportunity and the path to de-escalate and get this in the right place. theft know there are costs to their action here. the costs are economic, the russian economy, the russian stock market and the ruble are at five-year lows. russia's isolated in the world. you saw that in the u.n. security council yesterday. the more they escalate, the longer this goes, the higher the cost will be. >> there's still a concern there might be an attempt to move into eastern ukraine, maybe even militarily move into crimea further. do you think that's going to happen, starting with crimea? >> first as relates to the referendum, as we have said, this is in violation of
international law. the united states is not going to recognize the results of that referendum ,and we are working with our partners around the world, the europeans in particular, to marshall forces against the russians to put pressure on them in the form of sanctions. the president has signed an executive order last week that gives him authority to do this. you can expect sanction designations in the coming days. >> if there is a move militarily into the rest of the ukraine, how important is it from the president's point of view to send military aid to ukraine to be able to protect itself? >> supporting the new ukrainian government is the top of our priority list. we're looking at all ways of assistance. we're going to keep talking to -- >> would the president call on congress to pass more military aid for ukraine? >> we are calling on them right now to pass economic aid for ukraine. there's a bill that came out of the senate foreign relations committee last week. they should do that and we're going to keep working this as much as we can. >> is eastern ukraine the new red line here? >> what we have do, everything the russians have done this far is in violation of international law and bad for peace and stability in the region and bad for the russians.
president putin has a choice about what he's going to do here, further hurt his economy, further diminish russian influence in the world or is he going to do the right thing. >> let's talk about domestic politics and the president's approval rating. we had a big poll out, "wall street journal," nbc news this week. here's what it found. overall job approval for the president 41%. handling the economy 41%. same number when it came to foreign policy. and here's what's striking. approval is 74% among democrats. sounds high but it's the lowest that the president's had in terms of his approval among democrats. you can't very well blame republicans for this. the president has really slipped. >> public polls are a little bit all over the map. another poll came out that showed the president gained six points in the last couple months. i've looked at a lot of data. there's no question that everyone in washington, the president included, took a big hit from the double whammy of a shutdown and healthcare.gov. we have stabilize and we're
working our way back. and we've gained three points in the last couple months. there's no question we have more work to do. >> there's so much disappointment in washington. but this is an election year and democrats are worried. and "the new york times" this morning, i've been reading, jonathan martin writes this, democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes among president obama's shrinking approval ratings. a loss in florida this past week, millions of dollars spent by republican aligned groups attacking the new health care law has let to uncharacteristic criticism of president obama and bitter complaints that his political organization has done little to help the party's vulnerable congressional candidates. >> look. there's no question this is a tough map for democrats. that's what happens when you win a lot of elections like we did in 2008. the good news is we have good candidates and we're on the right side of the issue that matters to most of the public. jobs and the economy. here's what the president's going to do. he is going to lay out the terms of the debate in this election as a choice between democrats
who support an agenda of opportunity for all, for republicans for an agenda of opportunity for a few. let's not forget this president wrote the book on running and winning modern campaigns. we're going to help democrats up and down the ballots. >> do they want your help? is the president more a liability than he is an asset at this stage? >> we're going to set the terms of the debate and provide our organizational ability to help them. and the president's going to raise money. we want to help them every way we can. >> liability or asset? >> the president will be an asset in every way possible to help these candidates. >> you're talking about this as framing this as a choice that is an argument the democrats have been making for 20 years in terms of jobs and the economy. republicans are unified around one thing, obamacare is bad. a lot of voters seem to agree with that. how much does it hurt democrats? >> greg, that's not true. the republican position of repeal at costs is opposed by a majority of americans. it was not a factor in the florida '13 election. geoff gerin who is the partner
of nbc's own peter hart said it was a negligible effect. karl rove, someone i don't agree with often -- >> geoff garin also told us, since you brought him up, because we've looked at his comments, there's no question that obamacare is a huge motivator for republicans and turning out the vote, which they did effectively in florida '13 much more so than democrats could become a national trend. >> we absolutely have to do a better job of turning out in midterm elections. if more democrats don't turn out, we will not do well. it is incumbent upon all of us, the president included, to get as many people to the polls in november of possible. >> the issue about obamacare is what impact is it going to have, and did the president sell this thing accurately? you go back to june of 2009 and even last friday. listen to this. >> if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. if you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. the only change you'll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold. >> for the average person, many folks who don't have health
insurance initially, you know, they're going to have to make some choices and they might end up having to switch doctors in part because they're saving money. >> the president already apologized for saying if you like your plan you can keep it. that didn't turn out to be true for everybody. now it seems like he's backtracking whether you can keep your doctor if you like your doctor. >> no, david, this is a very different issue. insurance companies make decisions what doctor is in your network. that was true before obamacare and after obamacare. there's nothing in obamacare that mandates an insurance company make any change in doctors. that's a decision for insurance companies because obamacare is built on the private insurance system. >> can you rule out the idea that the president doesn't delay the individual mandate? >> yes, i can. >> you can? that will not happen? >> that will not happen. >> there's so many changes the administration made. i wonder if you worry another democrat or 0 republican president can make the same type of rollbacks to the law that democrats wouldn't like. >> what we're dealing with is
how large pieces of legislation are implemented. this is how it's done with medicare, how it was done with prescription drug benefits passed under president bush is to find ways to implement it in a way best for everyone. if that includes giving people some additional transition time like we have done for businesses, that's what we'll do. it's consistent with how laws are implemented. >> let me ask you about the debate now between the senate and the cia over past interrogation techniques. but there's become a big debate about this. is this a fight over documents, or did the cia spy on the senate? >> well, look. let's take a step back to what this entire issue is about. this is about the senate report and the conduct conducted under the previous administration that the president outlawed on his first day in office. we provided millions of pages to the senate and the president is urging the committee to finish the report as soon as possible so he can declassify the findings. there are allegations on both sides referred to the appropriate authorities to the inspector general and the department of justice. we'll let them get to the bottom of it. >> you're not prepared to say whether the head of the cia john brennan should apologize?
>> let's let them get to the bottom of what happened. >> let me ask you about immigration. the president's supporters in some quarters have taken to calling him the deportor in chief. some 2 million deportations under his tenure and counting. will the president take executive action to do anything to slow those deportations? >> the president has asked his secretary of homeland security to look at our current enforcement practices and see how we can enforce them more humanly within the constraints of the law. that is the right thing to do because the president >> that would mean slowing down -- >> it would be enforcing them more humanely. >> give me an example what that could be. >> what that means is -- i'm not going to prejudge the results of secretary johnson's review. but it means looking at how focusing our resources towards folks crossing the border, towards criminals, and the president is -- he feels the pain of the community. the separation in the community from our broken system. here's what i'll say. there is nothing that will come at the end of this review that is a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform.
>> but part of the reason to take executive action, my conclusion from my own reporting in the white house is, look, if immigration reform is dead, the president's got to do something unilaterally or else democrats will have a hard time with so many deportations and a president who nails to get reform. is immigration reform dead? i know it's not your hope. is that your fear? >> there is a window to pass reform. there is a bipartisan majority for it in the house right now. the speaker included who sincerely want to solve the problem. the problem we have is the power in the republican party right now is in the self-deportation wing of the party. if the speaker will allow a bill to come to the floor, we can get something done. >> when does the window close? >> i think we'll keep pushing this and try to get this done as soon as possible. >> hard it see it this year though, right? >> it could happen this week if the republicans would put a bill on the floor. >> final question about politics. is the senate in danger of falling to republicans? >> i believe we will keep the senate. we have great candidates with experience winning in tough
states, and we're on the right side of the issues. >> one of the president's political gurus, dan pfeiffer. thank you so much. appreciate you being here. we're back here in 90 seconds. will russia invade ukraine after this key secession vote in the region today? i'm going to be joined by two members of the senate foreign relations committee. i'll ask them if crimea is lost to russia, and if so, who lost it. coming up. that's all about prin. but did you know we also support hospitals using electronic health records for more than 30 million patients? or that our software helps over 20 million smartphone users remotely configure e-mail every month? or how about processing nearly $5 billion in electronic toll payments a year? in fact, today's xerox is working in surprising ways to help companies simplify the way work gets done and life gets lived. with xerox, you're ready for real business.
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we are back. the latest now on the other big story we're following this morning, ukraine has accused russia of seizing a gas plant over the crimean border calling the move a military invasion as crimeans vote today whether to secede to join russia. president obama and you heard it hear from his advisor says it would be illegal. every indication suggests the crimeans will vote yes on this vote. so on saturday russia blocked a disaster resolution that would condemn account referendum. i'm joined by two members of the senate foreign relations committee just back from meetings with ukraine's new government in the country's capital of kiev. democratic senator dick durbin of illinois and republican jeff flake of arizona. welcome to both of you. nice to have you here in the studio after a long trip. i appreciate you being here. i'm operating, senator durbin, on the assumption that crimea is gone, ha this vote moves forward. what's the plan to change putin's calculation to either get him to reverse this or to
stop where he is? >> first the selection, a referendum is a lame accuse by putin to invade crimea and take it over. when you move in thousands of russian troops from sochi olympics to garrison their positions in crimea, then to have these masked gunmen with automatic weapons and no insignia roaming the streets, what a delightful election atmosphere. we know what the ending is going to be. now the west has to decide, not just the west but the civilized world has to decide whether we're going to do anything. >> but what's the thing? >> there are plenty of things we can do. the president working now to put together an agenda. we passed -- jeff and i are on the senate foreign committee. we passed a major 14-4 measure last week that provides not only economic assistance to ukraine and the possibility of imf loans coming their way with reform but also some very serious sanctions
against russia for its conduct. >> what about military aid to ukraine? are you for it? does ukraine need more military support to hold off russia if it were to move into the eastern part of the country? >> their military has been hollowed out. according to some ukrainians, we have nothing that shoots, runs, or flies. it's because the russians have had such close ties with the previous government they hollowed the military out. so yes, this he need a lot of help. but nothing we can do will help the ukraine withstand what russia is going to do if they decide to go into -- >> what if they get the successful vote, it becomes part of your russia and they say okay, that's it. we'll have a truce. we're not sending any more troops in. is that an acceptable status quo? >> no. >> so the sanctions would still go? >> they invaded a sovereign nation. if we're going to stand by and let them do to ukraine what they did to the republic of georgia, eight years ago, then you can expect more. >> senator flake, can you reverse that with economic penalties?
>> possibly. possibly. it's going to be difficult. let's face it. russia always had designs on crimea. it considers it part of russia. so that's going to be difficult but all you can do is increase the cost significantly and hope that they don't move further into the ukraine. >> to that point, is eastern ukraine a red line for the united states? >> well, certainly we've got to move in hard now with sanctions. regardless of whether they move tomorrow or the next week or hold back. we're going to move forward with sanctions, not just us, but our european allies, as well. >> when we deal with vladimir putin, this issue of hypocrisy is he comes up. the united nations pointedly criticized the u.s.'s human rights record. >> there are imperfections in every government of every nation. look at what we have here. putin, this is the single most serious act of aggression since
the cold war. he ended up the final ceremony at the sochi olympics which are network covered trying to make it a charm offensive for the world that this is a modern russian nation and within hours he's invading one of his neighbors sending the same troops that were protecting the athletes at so chi into the crimea. now, are we going to stand by and say this is acceptable conduct? because this isn't the end of his ambition. he'll go as far as we let him go. >> how do you change the calculation? that's what i don't see. >> speaking of the u.n., what's important is happened yesterday when the u.s. and the security council with china actually abstaining, not siding with russia, actually voting to condemn what happened. that's important. what resolutions in the general assembly or whatever are less important certainly, and there's no way you can having some moral equivalency of what putin is doing and what we've done in the past. >> another foreign note before i ask you a couple things domestically. that is syria.
nbc news devoted a great deal of coverage to the untold suffering of the children of syria in this refugee crisis. on the heels of that, congress has taken action, moving to, as you did, senator durbin, with your name on it, pushing for more humanitarian aid, but the reality is this moves into its fourth year, those children in syria, those refugees are not going to be helped unless something is done to step assad. can anything besides some sort of military intervention do that? >> first, let's focus on refugees and children. i'm glad nbc did. 2.3 million is one estimate i've read close to accurate. the united states has absorbed so few of these families. we have to be more welcoming and open to help these families transition into a safe place in their lives. then comes the political question. what can we do in syria to change what's happened there for several years? it is a quandary. trying to find the right opposition force that will stand by us and effectively fight against assad has been a challenge.
many opposition forces are not friendly to the united states. let's be careful. the allies we choose, let's support them as best we can so that we put pressure on assad to end the killing. >> senator flake, the president two years ago said assad's days were numbered. how did he misjudge it? >> we do have a problem when you have somebody draws red lines that nobody has a problem stepping over. i think that was a miscalculation and could have been handled better. i'm not suggesting we could end the suffering there or would have ended it all or future suffering, but i think we could have done a better job with our policy. >> this is the ultimate thing with russia, as well. conservatives, charles krauthammer calling it obama's fruitless accommodationism. does it invite russia's putin to take the action he's taken or assad to feel like he's got more staying power? >> mr. krauthammer it has a short memory. do you realize what happened in the georgia republic against president bush? virtually the same thing that's happening in crimea. putin went in there and seized
territory and held it. what does he say of the bush administration in those days? as far as our policy in responding to putin's aggression, there's a basic question here. what will the bipartisan congress do to support the president's actions? when the president asked for just the authority for military action to stop chemical weapons in syria, it was hard to get. in fact, we couldn't achieve it on the floor of the house or senate. we couldn't get a bipartisan consensus us behind foreign policy. >> i voted to give the president that. i've been critical of the president in the past but i don't thinking anything the president did or said lended itself to what putin did here. >> just a few seconds left. do you both believe the cia illegally spied on the senate? >> i have the highest respect for dianne feinstein. there isn't a person in the senate who works harder to be bipartisan and fair with one of the toughest assignments as head of the committee. i read her statement she gave on the floor. it was a thoughtful, serious effort to establish the role of congress and the senate and the
oversight of the cia. and i am -- >> did it illegally spy? >> i can tell you this. we need to get to the bottom of it. i've called on the administration and the cia to release this report once and for all so we know what happened. >> my question is, did the cia illegally spy on the senate? are you prepared to reach a conclusion? >> dianne feinstein believes that's the case. i'll stand behind her but let's get the investigation underway. >> should brennan apologize? >> i'm not on the intel committee. i'll wait till they do their investigation. >> i'll leave it there. senators, thank you so much. appreciate you being here. coming up here, our roundtable with the country pessimistic and hostile toward both parties of congress, they're now on notice november may be pretty tough. we'll analyze the key themes you may be seeing in videos like this one everyone scott brown, now a possible senate candidate from new hampshire. >> proven that nothing is working in washington. >> we need change in washington. nothing down there seems to
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talking nitty-gritty politics this week. find frgs the nbc news poll and striking about the pessimism, the hostility toward both parties. look at this. positive and negative. republicans and democrats. 35 positive, 38 negative. and the country's just overall in a kind of malaise. look at this. 71% thinks that the government's not working well. or stagnant. 65% say the wrong direction. and 57% still think the country is in recession. so my roundtable is here and let me get to it this morning.
joining me, back here, carolyn ryan for "the new york times." robert gibbs, white house press secretary between 2009 and 2011. i'm pleased to welcome a couple of new faces to the program, as well. israel ortega of the conservative heritage foundation and outside of washington, john rolston from nevada and host of the rolston reports airing in las vegas on the nbc station there. welcome to all of you. john, let me start with you. i think this is the ultimate question of what's driving the disappointment with both parties right now? >> people are always disappointed. especially the polarization in washington and spreading across the country, people are upset that things are not getting done and you saw dan pfeifer and almost robert gibbs-like masterful way dodging every question that you asked. they don't want to talk about whether the president will go out to the states. i don't think anyone's clamoring and i think people forget and i
don't think it's just the d.c. phenomenon. it is march. things could dramatically change by november and democrats are worried not just because of florida but the numbers you put up and the fact the president's approval rating in the low 40s. >> i think what unites all of these recent developments and most worrisome to the democrats and the obama administration is feels like in some real way that people have lost trust in president obama and i don't mean trust just in the narrow sense of is he honest, forthright, but do they trust president obama to solve the problem that is are most important to them and to their families and looking at the numbers from the nbc/wall street journal poll, it cuts across a range of issues and the obamacarolout and the kind of halting incompetence of that that really i think ghon straited -- >> writing about it in the paper this morning, the disappointment, robert, the disappointment that democratings
have in this president about obamacare, that seems to be what's -- you know the republicans are coming after him but his own party saying, not so motivated. >> i think there's a trust deaf it? america with washington. i think there's a belief when looking at washington that we're in no danger here of solving any problems that people suffer out in actual america. there's no doubt that the rollout for health care is still providing a huge hangover. i think the genuine problem that democrats are nervous about is looking at a midterm election where the e lack rat is less likely to look like a presidential and much more like 2010 and if this elect rat is more conservative, less hispanic, less african-american and less young -- >> right. less like the presidentials. >> there's real, real danger the democrats suffer big losses because the real estate and the turf of which they're taking place begin with an advantage to
the republicans. >> you also see -- you see motivated republicans, israel. >> yep. >> disappointed democrats and whenever i look at the right track/wrong track i see a high wrong track and tells me independent voters are turned off to the majority party. >> right. >> that's a trifecta. >> yeah. it goes to the questions you raised about trust and i think you heard kathleen sebelius say premiums are likely to go up next year and the president basically saying if you like your doctor you can't keep it and this is coming up a lot in the midterm elections and got to be raised. >> let's be clear. because the nbc poll showed that the american people don't want to see a wholesale repeal of health care reform because they know what health care was like. they know that an insurance company got to control whether or not they got treatment and the american people don't like that. it's incumbent upon democrats to even that number up to have aggressive campaigns that push republicans not just on what
they'd repeal. we know that. what would they do in its place? >> as you talk to people, especially outside of washington, are they still listening? do they want to hear the particulars that robert's talking about on health care or thinking, wow, this is kind of a disaster? >> david, the whole repeal question is misleading. maybe people don't want it repealing but still upset with healthcare.gov and the rollout. may have friends or members of the family with problems with healthcare.gov. in nevada we have an exchange that's disaster. makes the federal one looked like a well-oiled machine and not a bin ri choice. repeal or not repeal. do you think that this is working? do you have confidence in the democrats who have supported this? >> so here's a question that came up in the polling and that we've been asking on the program which is, what people want in the elected representatives here in congress. we sent our john yang to southwestern iowa to a historically swing district to get some of the answers to that
question. have a look. >> reporter: for more than 70 years, breakfast in indianola, iowa, meant the courthouse cafe where the servings are big and with a side of politics, in the swing state, it is deep purple going for barack obama in 2008 and mitt romney in 2012. the republicans and democrats we talked to here differed on obamacare and other issues, but on one question, there was unanimity. >> how do you think they're doing these days? >> terrible, terrible. >> seems a bit dysfunctional. >> reporter: they want less bickering and more problem solving. >> time to stop worrying about what will be in office next. who will be in charge next. time to start thinking to make america what we used to be. >> reporter: democrats hope candidate stacy apple can turn the 3rd district from red to blue and become the first woman to ever represent the state in the house or senate. six republicans have filed for
the june primary. >> put iowa values to work in order to get things done. >> reporter: her website's video never mentions the party or president obama's name stressing bipartisanship, independence and making things work. >> we want the democrats to act like democrats and support the things we care object. you know? improving middle class, improving education and making an environment safe. >> reporter: in the state's senate race, key in the struggle for the jortd, groups like americans for prosperity are already slamming democrat bruce breeley for supporting obamacare. >> tell the congressman oba obamacare is hurting iowa families and we deserve better. >> republicans are fired up. democrats are depressed because they understand that the president just isn't that popular here anymore. >> reporter: as the battle for iowa voters begins to heat up. for "meet the press," john yang, nbc news, indianola, iowa. >> what do you take away from it? >> well, the one thing that's very striking and comes across
in the piece and i think in your poll is that voters do want to see washington, the parties working together and it's striking given that politicians are such kons queen shouse if not cob sesz i of polls they don't pick up on that. there aren't examples. we have an accumulation of examples to the contrary. >> right. >> just the most simple, basic fundamental workings of government seems so difficult for them. >> there's contradiction of voters i find so striking. in our poll, very interesting. are you more or less likely to vote for a candidate willing to compromise? 86% said, yes. but as a political team noted, seemed like the conclusion is we want brand new politicians to compromise, raise the minimum wage, cut spending and build new bridges. back in your home state if they need repair. i i'm scratching my head. >> right. i guess we can't have what we
want but i think a lot of these themes playing out on tuesday. there was a special election and i think you saw the argument about that dan was making earlier about obamacare and sort of tweaking it and not a crisp of an argument to make and i think a problem for a lot of democrats, particularly in republican states, you know, senator landrieu, kay hagen among others. senators by the way who weren't at the tuesday all-nighter during the climate change tal a talk-a-thon and continues to be a problem. >> nbc coincidentally in iowa. i think you saw in that video what's going to be a big issue in this race and that is outside spending. right? ads that are going to come not just by the millions but by the tens and maybe the hundreds of millions and i think if democrats are going to survive that wave, the president's going to have to get a lot more involved in raising money for the party committees and
national committee if the democrats have any hope of keeping the senate. >> but i think that's why harry reid goes on the senate floor, not to talk about the minimum wage as much as coke brothers, right, americans for prosperity, the democrats want to make it about outside spending and this is how the issues -- this is the republicans trying to buy the election. there's no evidence, though, david that people really respond to those kinds of arguments as much as they're going to respond to healthcare.gov, obamacare and why scott brown announced by saying obamacare democrats got him into the race. >> very 2010, right? >> exactly. >> that was the great strategy. >> talking about democrats' disappointment or depression, an interesting thing you are seeing on the hill and in washington is the private grumbling about the obama campaign operation, the political operation, and that democrats are saying where is it? where's the cavalry? who's going to rescue us? was obama -- obama tends to see himself as a singular figure and
got himself elected impressively. does he care about the races and it seems like democrats are saying that he doesn't. >> well, i think that's the difference because if he doesn't get as i said more involved in raising money, in getting voters excited, we know as you said that obamacare's going to bring republicans out. what issues can the president try to put on the table to get democrats excited? if he doesn't get more involved in raising money and making this a choice as dan pfeifer said, you lose the senate and if you lose the senate, turn out the lights because the party is over. >> is the senate in doinger? >> definitely. >> yeah. >> absolutely. >> how come dan pfeifer didn't say that? >> i did the same thing a few years ago and i still have tire tracks from that. >> yeah. >> honesty can only go so far in washington if you're employed. as a consultant i can say all these things now.
they have to pick up six seats. not a small number but what gives them a huge advantage is states they're in aziz real mentioned, in louisiana and in north carolina, in montana, places that the president could do well. >> israel, be a little counter intuitive. david jolly won in florida '13 and ran on a big anti-obamacare message, shows that he can get voters out behind him and republicans motivated for a statement and symbol of what they don't like about the president but there's still the government shutdown and the idea that dan pfeifer said, republicans seen on the wrong side of the economic issues. is there something you worry about? >> i think kimberly strossal had a great column on friday saying what's interesting about the campaign is he was on the offensive and not only criticizing obamacare but talking about conservative policy prescriptions on health
insurance for those that don't have it and could be what you can draw from that election, if conservatives on the offensive and are not just receiving the democrats and liberaling attacks and could be successful. >> john, again, to get a perspective outside of our focus inside the beltway, what breaks this? you sense this pessimism, this sense of stagnation in washington. what shakes it up? that's a question i get a lot around the country. >> the interesting thing is tip o'neill said what he said for a reason. all the places are different. swing district in nevada held by a republican, very close to -- a lot of resource there is and different from florida 13 and anywhere else in the country. people have feelings about where they live and what motivates them. it's a reason 95% of congressmen keep get re-elected. one interesting thing that dan pfeifer said and a throwaway line to you, david, this technology, the ability of the
obama campaign to go to a different level on this. republicans are waking up. the internet, it exists? they're learning how to use the same techniques but the democrats so far ahead thanks to the obama campaign. that could make a difference in the races. >> all right. >> but i think what breaks it is a string of successes that some evidence or examples of washington working together and one of the more discouraging points is one issue of progress, immigration, it really seems dead and seems like that was -- >> obviously, the incentive vs to change. >> right. >> this is about citizens changing the incentives for politicians. we'll come back with all of you. harry smith talks to outspoken comedian bill maher. he does think that the political system is broken including strong words for the president's health insurance plan. >> the problem with obamacare is not, of course, too much socialism. it's still too much capitalism. it's just that i'm worried about, you know, "hidden things." ok, why's that?
it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™. ♪ zzzquil. the non-habit forming sleep aid from the makers of nyquil®. now time for our "meet the press" moment. on this sunday, we couldn't help but go beyond the "meet the press" archives. this week marked as you know the 25th anniversary of the invention of the world wide web. here's keen insight into future trends from a young reporter with kcra television in sacramento way back in 1994. >> what's out there is limited. there's an internet yellow pages listing subjects of information from a to z you can access on the system.
it's estimated there are at least 30 million people using the internet service worldwide and experts predict by the turn of the century that number could up to several hundred million. while the service has always been able to be offer facts about the world or the weather, coming in 1995 -- >> this is the godiva chocolate homepage. >> that's right. purchasing power. you can buy such things as chocolates on the internet or even order pizza from this electronic store front. >> wow. i couldn't resist poking fun at myself the idea that you can buy chocolate on the internet. it's as if they did that 100 years ago. >> it's a revolution. the piece that you did and we've seen a lot of 25th anniversary pieces, but the innovation that the internet has offered my industry, for example, just in terms of changing communication from a unilateral model to bilateral models, different level of civic engagement, it's still kind of wondrous to people. >> even 1994 doesn't seem like
that long ago. in this realm, it was a long time ago. another break. we'll come back with our images to remember, and later comedian bill maher with his take on what needs to be fixed in this country. uhhh. no, that can't happen. that's the thing, you don't know how long it has to last. everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the exclusive.. confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor can get the real answers you need. well, knowing gives you confidence. start building your confident retirement today.
this week's images to remember. in a moment, harry smith meets comedian bill maher who speaks his mind about obamacare, marijuana legalization and what he says is the biggest problem in the country today. [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. ♪ so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175.
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the senate, the cure for common charisma, a man with the oratorical skills of the onstar operator. >> we are back. so when it comes to politics, comedian bill maher doesn't pull any punches. you might have noticed that if you watch his hbo show. recently he's been thinking about how dysfunctional politics have become in the country and takes his message to red state america. harry smith caught up with him. >> reliably funny and liberal, bill maher has been mounting a one-man comedic insurgency around the country. >> i know everywhere there are smart, progressive, free-thinking people. they're just surrounded by a bunch of rednecks. i understand that. >> what's it like when you take your stuff to a red state?
>> better than blue states even. but there is an extra added excitement in red states in places where people don't often see someone like me. there is not a place i can find in america that is so red that i can't get 3,000 screaming atheists to come see me on a sunday. you know? >> his sardonic smirk has held forth friday night's on hbo for more than a decade. he says if the country has the blahs, he's not surprises. take health care, please. was obamacare a mistake? >> the problem with obamacare is not too much socialism. it's still too much capitalism. the reason it's so screwed up is we have to have this rube goldberg plan that allows pharmaceutical companies to get their cut and insurance companies to get their cut and hospitals to enrich themselves and doctors to get rich. it should be a non-profit thing. perhaps elections should not be a profit-making endeavor or cost $2 billion.
of course, we're american, the exceptionalism, exceptionally stupid on this point but exceptional. >> obama's soft on terror. ask any wedding party in afghanistan. he is so soft on terror. like remember that time he found bin laden and he let him off? with a warning and a stiff fine. >> if anyone's to blame for most of what ails us, including the president's low approval ratings, it's not hard to guess who he faults. >> who are you most displeased with these days? republicans or democrats? >> oh, come on. really? seriously? republicans. you know, i mean, in the last 20 years, that has not really been a choice. they just drove the short bus to crazytown at a certain point. >> in a bill maher run world there would be more news on the news, more democrats in congress, and a marijuana store in every strip mall. >> is legalization of marijuana -- >> yes.
>> -- an inevitability? >> i think it is, yeah. i keep comparing it to gay marriage. once you see it becoming legal and the world doesn't fall down the next day or the next week or the next year, the issue kind of goes away. >> for maher's admittedly clouded perspective the world is most most askew. >> i understand why the richest 1% vote republican. they deserve those votes. they represent the richest 1% perfectly. anybody else who does, just corporate america's useful idiots. >> as for malaise, if it's real, it's our fault. >> what's wrong with us? >> well, gosh, where to begin there? first of all, we're not very well informed. the political process. people used to take civics and at least know how country worked. we have become a country where
science is poo-pooed. people never used to argue that much about science. we might argue about how we take these facts and move forward in a different direction. but we don't argue about the facts themselves. that's not true anymore. facts themselves, come on, harry, how much do we really know about facts? >> for "meet the press," harry smith. >> thank you, harry. i want to end end with this. bill maher is talking about comparing republicans and democrats. we posed this question a little bit earlier on facebook. will president obama be an asset or liability for democrats in november? it ties this conversation together. what do you think, israel? >> especially this week it's going to be a liability. i'm going to be curious to see how the president follows through on the russian ukraine situation. we heard a lot of, frankly, platitudes and so i'm looking for substance. the heritage foundation we made
a number of recommendations including withdrawing from the new start treaty. >> our reporters said obama has become poison. so i think that's in the liability column. >> what do you see? >> 41% no one's going to be inviting had imnow. the other thing that was in that poll, republican brand is not very good at all. in fact, it's worse than the democratic brand when it comes to congress. it's not going to be like republicans are able to be capitalize on that that much. i don't think you're going to see the president visiting as many places as he has in the past. >> real estate wise, obviously it will not be a positive. but the only person that can get democratic voters excited and push an agenda that gets them some matter of enthusiasm to change turnout has to be the president. >> or bill clinton. >> where's bill clinton? all right. thank you all very much. final note, march madness is here. this year it will include my alma mater, american university the eagles going to the big dance for the first time since 2009 after winning the patriot league championship. that's all for now. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
we'll be back next week. if it's press." press." fz -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the search area has been significantly expanded and the nature of the search has changed. >> the families are all waiting. we're all waiting. >> so hopefully we can find the flight. we pray for them. >> my prayer is that this will come to an end. >> prayers for the missing. more than one week later, hello to you all. i'm t.j. holmes in today for craig melvin. you are watching msnbc as we watch two huge stories happening right now. two dozen countries joined the hunt for flight 270 as the search seems to be growing larger by the minute. also this