tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 18, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PST
this sunday counter terror raids have been launched across europe. whatever happened to the west's strategy to disrupt all of these radical islamist groups. as charlie heb"charlie hebdo" hits the streets, protests -- then there's mitt romney. he says maybe i will. and republicans say maybe you shouldn't. >> heaven knows i have experience running for president. >> the sour reaction to mitt 3.0. and we've seen it year after year. >> tonight i have the honor of responding to st state of the
union address. >> can iowa's -- >> i'm chuck todd and joining me are president obama's former white house press secretary. kelly o'donnell. carol lee of the wall street journal and michael steel, former chairman of the republican national committee. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> good morning. the shock waves of the paris terror attacks continue to be felt particularly in europe. muslims angry at "charlie hebdo" have taken to the streets across the world, churches torched and three people killed in the former french colony. there have also been anti-terror raids across europe and a number
of countries including belgium. and my exclusive interview with the new editor of "charlie hebdo." >> reporter: all over europe police and counter terrorism officers have been raiding homes, making arrests and in one address in belgium exchanging heavy fire with suspected trysts who -- terrorists who were just about ready to launch an attack. they are being pulled in all at once in the wake of the terror attacks in paris. europe is stepping up its efforts to stop home grown terrorists and continuing to send jets to isis targets. the french parliament broke into a spontaneous national anthem.
the fact is the u.s. is doing most of the bombing in syria and iraq. about five of every six sorties are conducted by american jets. >> we are putting them on the defense and helping local forces in iraq push these terrorists back. >> reporter: are they on the defensive? there's another way to look at the paris attacks. >> things like that cost them almost nothing, but yet it creates a huge amount of fear and anger in the west. so for a very small investment they're able to have a big psychological effect. that's the way they are on the offensive and have the initiative. >> reporter: being bombed by the u.s. and its allies has elevated isis's status and upped its recruiting game. now they are telling their supporters in the west that they don't have to travel to syria and iraq to join the war.
they can stay at home and find targets. "charlie hebdo" and the immense popularity of its most recent issue have enraged muslims around the world. at least three demonstrators were kill bided by police in niger. the slogan i am charlie meant to express solidarity and the french expression of speech is being understood in the muslim world as being against profit. that helps isis and other terrorist groups with a weapon that no jet can destroy, the weapon of propaganda. >> and this brings up a phrase that was very familiar during vietnam, hearts and minds. the fact of the matter is we kill a lot of leaders of this radicalist istist movement but we
don't defeat the eny. what is the next strategy and what should it be? >> i think there's a hearts and minds campaign internationally to try to convince the world yet again that by fighting isis the united states and other nations are not engaged in a wider war against islam supporting "charlie hebdo" worked what against that message. and then there is the very tactical message of degrading and destroying isis in syria and iraq. there has been some progress in iraq. military officials told me they do not believe there has been as much progress as some of the officials are claiming. just a few days ago turkish intelligence said in this country there are about e ling have been linked to isis. the numbers aren't going down. >> not at all. richard, thanks very much.
it's been ten days since the horrific attacks on the magazine "charlie hebdo." i had an exclusive interview with its editor in chief. >> i was wondering if you could share with our audience if you could put into words the difficulty you had and the staff had in putting an issue out. >> well it's very complicated because we have all been enormously affected each in our own way. some of us were present during the at the tacktack. others arrived after the shooting. personal i was not in france. i was in london. those who experienced the attack each experienced it differently. some of the injured are still in serious condition. and then there are those who were present during the attack
but who escaped injury. they are trying individually to understand why they escaped unharmed. they are also trying to process how they help the wounded. it is very difficult to process because when obviously feels an enormous relief to have escaped, mixed with a sense of guilty. >> i want to get into some of the criticism that the publication has received including from pope francis. and i want to get your response to the pope answering a reporter's question about the extent of freed of expression. the pope illustrated his point by describing what would happen if his personal vatican aide said something bad against his mother. and the pope said this. to kill in theame of god is an aberration. we have the obligation to say openly to have this liberty. if a good friend says a bad word
against my mother then a punch awaits him. but it's normal. it's normal. one cannot provoke or insult others' faith. what do you say to the pope? >> every time that we draw a cartoon of mohammed every time we draw a cartoon of a prophet. god must not be a political figure. he must be a private figure. we defend the freed of relijom of religion. religion should not be a political argument. if faith, if religious arguments step into the political arena, it becomes a totalitarian argument. secularism guarantees democracy
and assures peace. secularism allows all believers and all non-believers to live in peace. and that is what we defend. >> your line is you will attack any religion that is being used in your view for political reasons. but you don't attack people of a -- of a religious ethnic group? >> we have a problem when faith and rigion become political. then we become worried and we attack. then we respond because we are convinced that religion has no place in the political arena because once religion injects itself into the political debate the political debate becomes totalitarian. >> i'm curious of your reaction. many news organization including our own, have not
shown your cover completely either blurred out. and it's a decision we made editorially. no government told us to do anything. but it was a decision w made. and every news organization is making their own decision. what are your reaction to our decision and others who have chosen not to show your cover? >> listen we cannot blame newspapers that already suffer much difficulty in getting published and distributed in totalitarian regimes to public newspapers that could cost them at best jail and at worst death. on the other hand i am cite critical of newspapers which are published in democratic countries. this is a symbol. it's a symbol of freedom of speech of freedom of religion of democracy, of secularism.
when they refuse to publish this cartoon, they insult the citizenship. >> do you feel like you're part of the this war that's taking place in the western world that's taking place between some radical islamists? >> we did not kill anyone. we must stop conflating the murderers and the victims. they are throwing gas on the fire. we must not place thinkers and artists in the same category as murderers murderers. we are not warriors. we only defend one thing,
freedom, our freedom, secularism secularism freedom of conscience and democracy. >> i appreciate you coming on "meet the press." i know this is not an easy time. and i know you're still mourning many of your friends. so my con doll ensdolencescondolences. >> it's interesting debate that goes on in france. and some of this interview we left on the cutting room floor for time and franceulation andtranslation and things like this. when you worked for president obama and the administration if a religious leader in this country appeared to be inciting muslims, including the pastor that was burning the koran, you guys were aggressive in stopping him from doing that. that of course would have been totally frowned upon in france.
>> i think one of the things that we're going to have to do is show to the more than billion muslims in the world that we're not at war with their religion. we are at war with people that take the believes of that religion and bastardize them to the point that justifies killing. i think you talked about hearts and minds. we are going to have to have a greater effort on counter radicalization to let people know in this world that they have an outlet for frustration that doesn't include either joining an army in syria or training in their home country to attack somebody who doesn't believe what they believe. >> there's going to be a lot of folk that is watch that and realize -- who were very supportive of wanting to stand by "charlie hebdo" and realize they're no friend of religion. and i wonder if there are going to be a lot of americans going
that's some harsh stuff they would do against catholics and evangelicals. >> people do get uncomfortable and they are really struggling with trying to be supportive of the victims, but as people learn more about the publication, it doesn't always feel comfortable for them to support some of the ideas. we can see if you just interpret some of their artwork and put it against your own religion how would you feel? i think americans do want to show support for freed domom of expression. >> michael steel, your party, there's a big religious core to your party. >> very much so. >> if that publication for over here he's basically saying he would be totally mocking anybody that uses religion in politics. >> it would be a real problem. a lot of the grass roots
evangelicals out there with respect to the sense of attack on them personally. it's a real balancing act between what both of you just said that feeling of expression and wanting to be free to do that and then the personal feeling i have when you express. i think a lot of evangelicals in this country would rise up and make a lot of noise. there would be a lot of protests against a publication like that. >> congress has one take and they want to see, i think, a more aggressive -- particularly republicans in congress. the president seems to be wanting to walk a line here. >> yeah. there's a couple things. it's interesting to see the white house's response to this particular new cover of "charlie hebdo." and when the original cartoons had come out, they were very critical about them doing that.
and now you see the white house press secretary this week saying that it was a poignant cover. so that's different. and they eesh're trying to figure out how to balance in the wake of the at the tackstacks that robert was talking about. they won't say radical islamists. they won't say war on terror. they're trying figure out how to talk about this. as you mentioned, they have this congress and mr.in particular republicans who want them to be more aggressive about it. >> all they're hearing is "charlie hebdo." coming up more on the threat to the u.s. and then as mitt romney goes from no no no no to well why not. republicans go from we start the interview with a firm handshake. firm, but not too firm.
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going after these terrorist groups has been to disrupt, dismantle and destroy george w. bush's policy promise, president obama's. 14 years we killed a lot of people, but we have not defeated this enemy. why? >> well, once you liberate a country like iraq, and you don't have a force, they fill in the gaps. syria is a failed state. the civil war in syria basically broke the country apart. and only thing i can say is you have to deny the enemy's safe haven, withdrawing from iraq prematurely was a mistake. not supporting the free syrian army three or four years ago was a mistake. you have to stay after these guys. >> are you advocating more troops in a place like syria now, more troops potentially? is it yemen we need to do? what is the answer now? we want to debate about some of the things in the past about iraq, but what is the answer
now? >> well, the answer now is to deny isil the safe haven they enjoy in syria and iraq because it is a platform to strike the united states. there are more paris' coming until you disrupt the -- there are more terrorist organizations, more safe havens with more capability to hit home than before 9/11. the answer is the former regional coalition america has to be part of it go in on the ground and get these guys out of syria. the current strategy is failing. everybody has told us on this trip that if you don't have a no fly zone the people who are training the free syrian army we're training is going to go back into syria and get slaughtered by assad. there is no reason to be successful on the ground without neutralizing assad's air advantage. and so we need a no fly zone desperately. >> what you to fell a country that is war weary? >> fight them over there or they're coming back here. you got to show the ability to stay with it. you try to get partners, free
syrian army would be a good partner. they have been punished pretty hard by assad and isil. it is in our national security interest to deny them a safe haven. when it comes to iraq, let's get it right this time. >> the most vicious islamic -- radical islamic group might be in nigeria. you didn't bring it up. a lot of people don't bring it up until it is -- boko haram slaughtered thousands in the same week that 17 people were killed in paris. should the united states be doing more in nigeria? other countrys? what is the answer there? >> i think we should be doing more but boko haram doesn't represent the threat to the homeland in my view that isil does and al nusra and other groups in syria and iraq. but this problem is spreading throughout the world. the next stage of the fight i think is africa. but if we could show some resolve in syria and iraq and reset the table and go after these guys in syria and iraq with success, i think it would change the landscape throughout
the world. success anywhere breeds success everywhere, fair in any one spot hurts you everywhere, but you're right, 2,000 people were killed in one weekend in nigeria and the world basically ignored the story. >> let's move to iran. let me play what the president said in pushing back at congress' attempt to apply more sanctions before the negotiations are done with iran. here's what he said. >> my main message to congress at this point is just hold your fire. nobody around the world, least of all the iranians doubt my ability to get some sanctions passed should the negotiations fail. that's not a hard vote for me to get through congress. >> why not wait? >> i think we're trying to tell the iranians we would like a political negotiation a diplomatic solution, but please understand in iran that the congress' intent on reapplying sanctions if you walk away from the negotiating table, and if you cheat. i don't think that's a disruptive message. all we're telling the iranians,
if you walk away from the negotiations, sanctions will be reapplied. if you cheat, they will be reimposed. but me just say this, i'm willing to forgo sanctions, chuck if the president will take any deal he negotiate and brings it congress for our approval. if he thinks sanctions is disruptive to a good outcome, i'm willing to forgo that vote with the understanding that any daily negotiates will come to the congress for our approval or disapproval as a check and balance. >> i want to follow up on two other things very quickly. last week you said something pretty provocativevoluntary provocative. campaign promises are getting a lot of people killed. is that proper rhetoric? you think the president of the united states is getting people killed? >> i think his policies are getting people killed. i think sound military advice was given to the president to leave a residual force in iraq and he turned it down. as a result, iraq has collapsed.
his entire national security team suggested three or four years ago to create a no fly zone and train the free syrian army while it mattered. almost 3,000 people killed in syria on his watch. syria, the worst has yet to come. lebanon, and jordan have closed their borders. where do the people in syria, where do they go now? hell on earth is about to descend upon syria and it matters to us. the safe havens in jordan and syria and iraq isil and other terrorist groups are a direct threat to the united states. letting people out of gitmo in this environment i think is irresponsible. so, yes, his campaign promises should be adjusted based on reality. >> and final question, john mccain when he was asked about mitt romney running for president, he talked about his illegitimate son running for president referring to you. where are you on this? i hear you're polling now to test your ability to run for president. >> we're not polling, but we set up a testing the waters
committee under the irs code that would allow me to look beyond south carolina as to whether or not a guy like lindsey graham has a viable path. the good news is i guess i'm in john's will and i can get part of the estate, but i don't know where this will go but i'm definitely going to look at it. i think the world is falling apart and i've been more right than wrong when it comes to foreign policy. but we'll see. >> we'll check with cyndi mccain to see if you're in that will. senator graham from jerusalem, stay safe while traveling overseas, sir. thank you very much. coming up why republicans thought another run by mitt romney was a introducing dance-all-you-want bladder leak protection. new always discreet underwear for sensitive bladders from always, the experts in femine protection new always discreet underwear absorbs heavy bladder leaks faster than the leading brand, so you can feel comfortably dry. plus always discreet has a discreet fit that hugs your curves. you barely feel it. new always discreet underwear. now bladder leaks can feel like no big deal. because, hey, pee happens.
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well, you know the saying, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. well for some time quite a few republicans, particularly rich ones, suggested that's exactly what mitt romney ought to do. make a third run at the white house. well, surprise, romney seemed to warm to the idea as he was meeting with donors. and then surprise again a lot of those same republicans got cold feet. very cold feet. on friday night, romney addressed this issue head on. well sort of. >> in last few days, the most frequently asked question i get is what does ann think about all of this? and she believes that people get
better with experience. heaven knows i have experience running for president. >> mitt romney trying to persuade republicans that the third time's the charm suggests that if he runs again he'll be running a different kind of campaign. >> under president obama, the rich have gotten richer income inequality has gotten worse and more people are in poverty in america than ever before. >> but romney's evolution on 2016 from no no no, no no -- >> i'm not ronald reagan, i think that's been pointed out to me before, and i'm not running for president. the answer is no. i'm not running for -- i'm not running. i'm not running for president. i said that so many times. >> to romney 3.0 has been lampooned by late night. >> mitt romney is reportedly considering running for president in 2016. in a related story, charlie brown is planning on finally kicking that football. >> never a good sign when you have to start your speech with hear me out.
>> relished by democrats -- >> i have no comment. >> and panned by some in his own party. >> i feel like i'm taking crazy pills at the idea of mitt romney running again. i think it is a terrible idea. >> the wall street journal quipped if mitt romney is the answer, what is the question? and the paper's owner rupert murdoch more blunt he had his chance, he mishandled it, you know? i thought romney was a terrible candidate. even former supporters are trying to squelch the idea that anybody is drafting romney. >> governor romney had two increasingly good years after losing the presidency and now he's had one pretty bad week. >> potential opponents are already taking jabs. >> honestly, we wornt successfuleren't successful and you have to ask why. >> john mccain or mitt romney, the result over and over again is we lose. >> i think it is pretty hard to make an argument about going forward when you're talking about ideas from the past. >> but elections are supposed to be about the future, 2016 is turning into the year of the political rerun.
the fathers of mitt romney and jeb bush once served together in richard nixon's cabinet. now supporters of one dynasty are attacking the other. >> three times a bush i'm not sure that's the right formula. >> what does it mean for the dynasty in democratic politics? under pressure from the populist wing of the party led by elizabeth warren, hillary clinton took on a new fight friday tweeting, attacking financial reform is risky and wrong. better for congress to focus on jobs and wages for middle class families. a hint that clinton is eager to prove to democrats that she is thinking about tomorrow. well, mitt romney 3.0, kelly o'donnell you have been traveling, you covered chris christie's state of the state he's somebody that probably is not happy about mitt romney thinking about this. this is not playing well in the establishment wing of the party, is it? >> you got a case where mitt romney has been hearing from people who have been his loyal supporters and donors, who are
mixed with nostalgia and respect, telling him you would have made a great president. that's very different than actually doing it again. at the same time, i talked to a number of people close to him, not convinced he's going to do it, but when he joked about experience, i'm told that he really believed he would be a better candidate. and that by the time people actually vote nobody will be a fresh face. and so then it becomes a choice between what romney has to offer and what other candidates have to offer. >> michael steele, i mean, the reviews and they're coming from former supporters or former people that maybe agree with him, peggy noonan wrote yesterday, mitt romney is a smart, nice and accomplished man who thinks himself clever and politically insightful. he is not and will not become so. he should devote himself to supporting and not attempting to lead the party that raised him so high. there is no such thing, she said as romneyism. couldn't figure out what it was other than mitt romney trying to finally succeed. >> and that is a huge problem. the question i've been hearing since all of this started to break was so how is this going to be different from four years ago or eight years ago?
and he has not -- i don't think he'll be able to successfully answer that question for a face that wants the white house to complement the house and the senate and they're looking not just at a marco rubio or a rand paul, but they also got governors who are going to come online. you're talking about you know, having a scott walker on the stage with, you know, governor jeb bush has been out 12 years and a governor you know, who has been out for eight. >> carol and robert, presidential elections are about the future, never about the past. in 2007, hillary clinton and mitt romney running for president. here is what other presidential candidates were doing. marco rubio, florida house speaker. ted cruz the solicitor general of the state of texas. scott walker, the county executive in milwaukee. elizabeth warren, simply a harvard professor. rand paul, an ophthalmologist. it is eight years away, and it is like, you know, fresh face. >> yeah. and elections as you said, are about the future and when you have a lineup that includes the
bush/clinton/romney, it is like -- >> even a paul. i mean, let's not forget paul. >> back to the future. you have this clamoring on both sides frankly on either end for something new. and probably not going to get that on the democratic side but certainly on -- >> you guys successfully prosecuted the we're fresh in 2007 clintons are part of the past. hillary clinton has a -- how does she not get sucked into this vortex. romney created this story line now of oh my god it is romney huckabee, bush it is clinton. like she gets sucked into that vortex. how does she avoid it? >> i don't think democrats believe the nostalgia for clinton ends with tragic losses in two different presidential campaigns. i believe they believe her resume as secretary of state is something that lifts her up. i think -- >> do you believe that? >> i do. look i think if you're mitt romney there isn't one negative that you had in either 2008 or
2012 that you in any way mitigated leading into 2016. there is no reason to believe that 3.0 is going to be any different than 2.0. i think hillary clinton quietly had a very good week bringing in people like john podesta people like joe bennett who will be different actors in a presidential campaign and have the potential to change the outcome because the infighting will be less, because the characters will be different. >> and it is all obama. >> third term. >> any president -- anybody that runs on the democratic side and hillary clinton will almost certainly be the nominee will agree some with the president and disagree some with the president as it has to be. this is not going to be the third obama term and the pressure will be on her quite frankly not to be the third obama term or the third bill clinton term. >> exactly. all right. we'll pause it there. i wonder if mitt romney has gone out too far because pulling back now might be a pride issue. when we come back president obama's new plan to raise taxes
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coming up on tuesday it is president obama's second to the last state of the union speech and we learned the president will call on congress to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to pay for tax cuts for the middle class. he would do that by raising the top capital gains rate to 28%, which would hit the wealthiest americans. last night the white house announced plans that they want to close what is called the trust fund tax loophole. that also would hit those who, of course, are better off. the president unveiled plans for
free community college tuition and paid sick leave. he's pressuring congress to do that. people were wondering how is he going to pay for it? now we have the answer. joined by dan pfeiffer senior adviser to the president. welcome back. let me start with taxes here. forms of this tax proposal to pay for things that you want to do for the middle class, you've done for five years, in some form or another, trying to target wealthiest americans in various ways. it didn't get through when you had a democratic congress. it didn't get through with a democratic senate. why do you think a tax hike on the wealthy is going to get through a republican congress? >> we're in a place now, chuck where we have come back from the crisis where the american economy is in the best place it has been in a long time. what do we do now to deal with the decade long trend of wage stagnation. the president put forward a series of investments, paid for by a simple idea, the wealthy the largest financial institution and corporations pay a little more. some ideas have republican support.
the fee on financial institutions is an idea similar to one that dave camp's tax plan last year. we'll mack a case for it. republicans want to oppose closing the trust fund loophole. >> taxing on the wealthy before it is never found traction and mitch mcconnell said he's willing to do tax reform, but wants it to be neutral. overall, some people might see taxes go up, but overall it would be a net zero tax increase overall. >> that's not actually the case. if i had been on the show in 2011 or 2012, you would say there is no chance to raise rates on the wealthiest americans back to where they were. and we did that at the end of the 2012. we'll make the case -- best for the country ands going to do that on tuesday night. >> i understand -- how much of the state of the union, it feels honestly, if this were a campaign year, i would say it feels like a campaign, because some things he's proposing nobody in washington believes it can get through a republican congress. >> well, first, tuesday night's
speech, let me give you the theme of the speech, middle class economics. he'll talk about how middle class economics brought us back from the brink and put us to a place where the economy is growing jobs are growing, the deficit is shrinking and will add the plan to deal with wage stagnation and declining economic mobility where we can help the middle class. we'll push for those things. some will be legislative proposals republican mazes may not love. some will be executive action. he announced a plan to reduce the premiums on mortgages which will give -- put $900 in the pocket of an average new borrower. with congress on our own or using the bully pulpit to push dates and localities like we have done on minimum wage to make progress we're going to do that. >> i want to switch gears. keystone will get to the president's desk at some point. you have said you're going to veto it. but this has really put a strain on canadian relations. canada wants this, this summit the three amigos summit, mexico america, canada, has been
postponed. you say it has nothing to do with this but it feels as though it does. why not throw this bone to canada in. >> the president will make the decision that is best for the united states that process is not finished yet. when it is done, a decision -- a decision will come. congress is trying to front run the process for politics. >> i want you to respond you heard lindsey graham earlier when it comes to iran. he said he's willing for congress to -- he said he wouldn't pass more sanctions and exchange for the president taking the iranian deal and at least getting it approved through congress. what is wrong with that? >> i think what lindsey graham would like to do is make the foreign policy decisions. as i learned an your show today, he wants to do that. with the president's authority he's going to see if we can get the best deal we can, does not make sense for congress to scuttle that deal now. that will put america in a bad place, not dealing with iran but the world. iran will be able to go to the world and say the united states negotiated in bad faith here that will make it harder for us to maintain a sanctions regime across the world if that
happens. >> so congress shouldn't have a role in iran at all. >> we'll consult with congress. we have the president -- the president has done that, will continue to do that. the idea that congress dictates the entire policy of the united states is not a good idea. >> is that a dictation? asking, hey we want to be able to -- they may pass a resolution regardless. >> they're welcome to do that. the president has a veto to -- if he doesn't -- but they do. >> dan pfeiffer, a lot of rumors. is this your last state of the union? >> i am focused only on the state of the union now. this has been the -- this job, you know, robert gibbs over there and i started this process, a far fetched idea we would be in the white house or on "meet the press" set you know. this has been a great honor and privilege. i'm going to keep doing it as long as i can. >> dan pfeiffer, thank you for coming on "meet the press." coming up, we know dr. martin luther king jr. changed civil rights in america. now in this mlk weekend we'll tell you about his other lasting change on american politics, one that no one talks about a lot. i'm jerry bell the second. and i'm
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tomorrow is a country, we remember and honor dr. martin luther king jr., leader of the civil rights movement. did you know mlk can be considered a crucial architect of the modern political map? that's because the civil rights movement fundamentally changed the political landscape. let's start by taking a look at the deep south. here are the states we mean when we say the deep south. arkansas louisiana mississippi, alabama georgia and south carolina. with the help from our friends at the american communities project, we looked at how voting patterns here have changed since the civil rights movement. before 1964, these states outperformed the average for
candidates regionally. adly stevenson nine states overall, two thirds of the states, deep south states. stevenson received 52% of the vote in the south, more than his national average of 44%. story was basically the same in 1956. by 1964 the year the civil rights act was enacted a year after mlk's famous i have a dream speech democrats started losing the states to republicans. that year lyndon johnson won the presidency with over 60% of the vote. but look at the states that went to republican barry goldwater the deep south states. he overperformed by ten points in the region. his best numbers compared to other areas. the pattern continued until today with the exception of 76 and 80 when jimmy carter did better in the south than any other region in the country and outperformed his national average. what was once the democratic solid south was now the republican solid south. but at the same time, the exact opposite happened in the north,
particularly new england. those states have been solidly republican. started turning blue, trending democratic after 64. and can't ignore the power of the civil rights movement and the role dr. king played in creating the modern electoral map. here is another legacy of dr. king. and that is african-american elected politicians. first african-american mayors of major u.s. cities happened after the movement. 67 carl stokes elected mayor of cleveland. richard hatcher elected mayor of gary indiana. big strides in big cities. in congress in 63 just five african-american members of congress. that number jumped to 11 in 69 and, of course, continued to rise today. it stands at 46. progress, but still below the national average when domes to the percentage of the population that is african-american. but, of course, the biggest legacy of all for dr. king, the first african-american president. coming up giving the response to the state of the union. it is supposed to be a ti crest gave one friend crest 3d white whitestrips. and the other, a whitening toothpaste. here's what they thought.
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and welcome back. of course we have been focusing on president obama as he prepares to deliver yet another state of the union address. but across the country, a lot of governors have been doing their own speeches, specifically state of the state addresses. including some governors who may see themselves some day delivering their own state of the union speeches. here is some highlights. >> we don't accept the false choice that the president offers about projects like the keystone pipeline. between a clean environment and a strong economy. >> i believe government has grown too big and too intrusive in our lives and we must rein it in. the government that is left must work. >> folks, i think the erosion of basic values that made our nation great is the most serious problem facing our state and our nation today. >> this anxiety was the most palpable emotion that i saw and
felt more than anger, more than fear, anxiety. i saw it on streets of chicago and felt it in the suburbs of maryland. i heard it from farmers in kansas and from teachers in colorado. i felt it from veterans in maine and from workers in arkansas. >> i tell you, michael steele he needs to learn he needs to be saying farmers in iowa and health care workers in new hampshire, and textile workers in south carolina. he doesn't have the presidential -- >> no, he needs to be talking about you know, pig farms in new jersey. >> the anxiety piece i thought that that is -- that was a very smart thing. >> it is. i think that's -- it goes to what i'm saying before, when these governors engage in this presidential campaign, i think they have the potential to really change the dynamic of the conversation. aiwa from crazy, and more to substance these are governors who govern through the recession of that great recession. they had to balance budgets.
they had to deal with health care. and they will have, i think a clearer argument to make potentially than those others that we talked about. >> robert, you were mentioning you know, the tone that mitt romney wanted to do and you heard chris christie's tone, john kasich's tone. those three in particular trying to deal with poverty issues, trying to deal with middle class anxiety issues it does seems as if they're adopting obama 2012 rhetoric. >> what we do have is some pretty large agreement on the national stage as what the most important issue facing this country -- >> you're starting to see -- yeah we have an income inequality problem. >> middle class economics and the fact that wages are basically at the same rate they were 15 years ago is something now that animates both parties. i think with state of the state addresses and also state of the union address, you begin the race for ideas for 2016. as you mentioned with dan, the likelihood that a lot of this stuff gets through congress is not that great. but it does start the race for
ideas, what are republicans going to now propose if they all agree that anxiety and middle class economics are indeed the biggest issue facing this country. what is their solution? that's the first race in 2016. >> and, kelly you were covering chris christie's speech, looking at it through the national -- >> in the chamber when he was giving -- >> no offense to new jersey, not the new jersey prism there he looks like he's been squeezed out, jeb bush and mitt romney would be squeezing out chris christie. he has an aaron rodgers-like response to all of this which is what? >> he's talking about the fact that he believes he has a capacity as a leader to say things others can't. and that he can bring the message of having worked with democrats in a very blue state, new jersey and anxiety gives him some cover for the economic troubles that are real in new jersey. and i think he also believes that donors will try to hedge their bets and will try to support more than one candidate. and he's had a real record of
raising money for other governors. so he will -- we'll see what he does in the next perhaps week or two. >> kelly, you're not a packers fan. >> clearly not. >> the rodgers message, that was chris christie's msage to donors. she's a cleveland browns fan. she doesn't know what the playoffs are like. >> oh! >> i don't know. >> he's trying to tell people to relax. all is not lost. >> he is trying to tell people to relax. as can kelly mentioned -- as kelly mentioned the problem with, and chris christie and some of these other governors is their states aren't doing that great. so he's out there and he's talking about -- trying to get on this national stage. new jersey is struggling still. and they have a huge problem in terms of their pensions, economy is still sluggish. that's all going to be put under the microscope. >> if he's a top tier candidate,
he'll have a top tier record. four years ago a gigantic moment, supreme court deciding same sex marriage making that decision made that decision friday. we'll know in june. it will be a shock if same sex marriage is now not legal in all 50 states. but evangelicals in the republican party, will they make this a primary issue or is it going to be more like what we heard from mike huckabee and jeb bush saying i think marriage is between a man and a woman but the law is the law. >> i think it will be a primary issue. you've gone to hear and see that. i think the supreme court ruling is going to really make a big difference for a lot of folks. and leave it to a conservative court to open up gay marriage across the country. that is going to be a frustration that will boil over to primary and every candidate is going to have to clearly state where they are on that. >> the phrase you'll hear is not about marriage, religious lib sy. that's going to be the dog whistle if you want to call it that or whatever. we'll have a little fun here.
we learned this week that joni ernst, the new republican senator from iowa will give the response to president obama's state of the union address. sounds like a political -- a ticket to the political stardom, until you realize that in recent years giveing the response is more trouble than it's worth. it has been a lot like the infamous sports illustrated jinx. 2008, governor kathleen sebelius of kansas, she has been sunk by the botched health care website rollout. 2009, bobby jindal of louisiana damaged by the gone with the wind-like entrance that he made. 20 10, bob mcdonald of virginia next month he has a new home in a prison cell apparently. 2011 congressman paul ryan, worked out all right for him losing vp candidate, not so bad on the resume. also in 2011, michele bachmann giving the first tea party response, she struggled looking at the wrong camera. 2012, mitch daniels he's now out of politics. 2013, senator -- excuse me marco rubio, who was, of course,
hurt by the famous drinking water incident. last year congresswoman cathy mcmorris rogers gave the response and an exception to the rule. but joni ernst, this is from state senator and southwest iowa two years ago -- >> i would have won the office pool on this. she was my pick because i thought republicans won't want to put a finger on the scale and pick a 2016er. but with her, you get iowa. there is 2016. she's first female combat veteran in the senate, with she can speak to the foreign policy issues. >> she gave us the easy transition to go from iowa senator to presidential politics. that's all for today. i'll be back with brian williams and the team, including kelly on our live state of the union coverage on tuesday night here on nbc. we'll be back next week. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
massive waves take out surfing fans. >> everybody look out! >> we're hearing this crowd yelling run, run, run! a bull charges into the stands. spectators attack. >> what happened there? one of the fans came in! >> he came at me with two fists, right to the chest. bleachers collapse. a plane crash lands at a baseball field. >> desperation set in at that point. >> an off-road vehicle veers off track.