tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 9, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
encounters we're live in panama city with for the first time cuba will be joining the summit of the americas and an expected encounter between president obama and raul castro. will last minute issues spoil the summit? ♪ good day, i'm andrea mitchell in panama city where president obama is set to take a very big step stords normalizing relations with cuba accepting a statewide communication that they be removed from a list of states -- let's go first to
kristen welker in washington with more developments today in the deadly police shooting caught on tape in south carolina that has shocked the nation. >> we'll of course check back in with you in just a few minutes for that historic summit. but now to the news making headlines here the officer charged with murder in north charleston, south carolina has been officially fired from the force there. millions across the country have seen that disturbing and tragic video of officer michael slager shooting walter scott multiple times in the back. now we're hearing more from the young man, santana, who happened to be nearby and capture it on his cell phone camera. here's part of the conversation with craig melvin. take a listen. >> and like i say, the man was running away from the police. i knew the magnitude of this and even thought about eraseing the video. >> reporter: why? >> i don't know.
i felt that my life -- with this information might be like in danger. >> and craig joins me now from north charleston south carolina. you heard him talk about the fact he's now concerned for his life. you interviewed him, you felt his emotions what were your major takeaways from the conversation? >> reporter: kristen, i think a lot of folks don't necessarily appreciate that here's a kid, he's 23 years old, a barber from the dominican republic this is the route he takes to work every day. he sees something and hears something and doesn't seem right. he whips out his cell phone to do what a lot do these days and starts to shoot this video. he did not plan on releasing that video. he wrestled with whether to delete the video but said he wasn't going to release it and all of a sudden he starts to read some of the reports. he starts to watch some of the local television coverage of what transpired and also reads
the police report and said at that point he decided that what he was reading and what he was hearing didn't jive with what he actually saw. so he put the video out there. >> craig, there's been so much discussion about the fact this entire case would be different if the video didn't exist. do you get the sense that that has sunk in for santana? does he grasp the enormity of that? >> reporter: absolutely i asked him that yesterday and he said yes, that he firmly believed that if the video had not come out that the officer would still be patrolling the streets of north charleston today. he's not the only one saying that, a lot are saying the same thing. again, what we see in the video contradicts the police report in a number of ways and his attorney also tells me that he fully expects that when there is a trial, his client will be called as a witness.
at this point he is the only known eyewitness, the south carolina law enforcement department expecting today or tomorrow releasing dash cam video. but i talked to a spokesperson who already looked at the dash cam video from the officer and the dash cam video does not show the actual shooting. so what we've seen on that cell phone video, at this point is the only video of the events that transpired here in north charleston on saturday. >> a lot of people will look closely at the dash cam video once it is in fact released. give us a sense of what the mood there is in the community. i know one of our colleagues, gabe gutierrez conducted an interview with moments ago with someone else who had a run-in with this officer. talk about that. >> reporter: we're expecting a news conference any moment now.
this was back in 2013 we're still gathering information on this particular incident. but there's someone who claims that the same officer involved with this shooting back in 2013 knocked on their door and dragged them out of the house and used this taser on this particular person. they filed a complaint. the department investigated we're told but there were no charges filed. essentially the complaint was dismissed. but a lot of folks now starting to dig into the record of this officer. let's go back to the first question regarding the mood here in north charleston. this is a city of about 100,000. it is outside charleston proper. don't let the proximity fool you, the cities could not be more different in a lot of ways demographically. you look at the median income as well and look at the law enforcement agencies as well. i mean the crime rate in north
charleston particularly is considerably higher than what you would get in charleston there has been a strained relationship in the city over the past few years, so much so the state senator who represents this area introduced legislation in the general assembly last session calling for body cameras. and part of the argument was folks in north charleston are telling me officers there need to be wearing body cameras. the response from law enforcement to that was essentially, you know what you're right, we should be wearing body cameras at that point a handful of officers had them. we heard from the mayor here yesterday who said that essentially by executive order all of the officers in north charleston are going to be outfitted with body cameras here in the not so distant future. we have not seen the kind of protests and kind of rallies and marches that we saw in ferguson or that we saw in staten island. i think that's by and large
because the response here was so swift. folks who saw that video, didn't bother convening a grands jury they said, this is pretty damning video and went ahead and charged the officer with murder. we should note also here really quickly, here in south carolina over the past five years there have been 209 incidents of officers firing their weapons at suspects 209 times. there has never been a conviction in the past five years of an officer involved in a shooting. >> fascinating point. craig, you have been there to cover ferguson and all of these officer involved shootings, great, great coverage as always. it's an incredibly tough story to cover. we want to go back to andrea mitchell in panama. >> thank you, kristen, here in panama, we're preparing for a historic event. cuba joining the summit of americas for first time after president obama in december ended the u.s. policy for
blocking cuba from attending. president obama is going to arrive later this evening. right now on a onedy day visit to jamaica. in panama city we've seen clashes between small groups of anti-and pro castro protesters, some disrupting a meeting where former president bill clinton was speaking. >> if you are an ngo, if you are part of civil society, the core value you must never give up is that you are fighting for decent treatment for the people you represent because our common humanity is more important than our interesting differences. >> the big questions here in panama city at the summit how substantial will any discussions between president obama and president raul castro be? when will the u.s. remove the terror designation. joining me now on that chris jansing, also here in panama
city. chris, the president just now has said they have the recommendation from the state department and we have that recommendation but the president wants an interagency process, said just now to the group with him in jamaica, that they will not be announcing it today. he doesn't arrive and speak at the summit until tomorrow. let's play a little bit. a very windy day here in panama city a bit of what the president just said in jamaica. >> there's a process involved in reviewing whether or not a country should be on the state sponsored terrorism list. that review has been completed. our inner agency team will go through the entire thing and present it to me with a recommendation. that hasn't happened yet. >> chris jansing, has become a very big issue for the cubans. the president and timing and, this has to be carefully orchestrated because there are other issues here including recent sanctions by the u.s.
against venezuela which really upset cubans and a lot of america's close allies there and coast costa rica and others not happy about the wording of the sanctioning. >> reporter: you're right thereabout that. on the face it was going to be a headline that was very positive because this is the third time president obama has come to summit of americas but first time cuba has been allowed here. and frankly white house officials adds met the last two times when they wanted to talk about things like immigration and trade, all that was discussed at the summits were what about cuba? so now they've removed that but obviously you have other complications here. let's start with what we just heard from the president, the removal of decembersignation of terror list. there are a lot of reasons why you've been to cuba many times so you know the economic difficulties that are there and
they think this will open up tremendous new opportunities that a lot of countries and a lot of businesses that were loathed to go into a country and o that limited terror list now will be more willing to do that and also opens up a pathway for both embassies to open something originally back in december when the president announced this effort to normalize relations, by now, it's not going to happen but that would be an important next step. finally, you bring up a president maduro and the difficulty there because obama administration looked at seven venezuelan officials and put them on that list. and they said look these are people who have done human rights abuses and a lot saw that as a bad move the timing of it
couldn't have been worse because it gives maduxts ro an opening to say we're opening a new front and new policy towards this part of the world but on the other hand going after venezuelan officials. he has to navigate all of those things as he arrived here later tonight, andrea. >> chris jansing, thanks so much a very complicated puzzle here. when the president does meet with cuban's president raul castro here at the summit of americas tomorrow it's going to be the first meeting between u.s. and cuban leaders since 1956 when president eisenhower met with president ba tist ta, then the dictator -- leader of cuba who was ousted by the cuban castro revolution. that meeting will be watched very closely by business leaders who are hoping to do a lot more work with cuba soon. joining me now, former secretary of commerce carlos gutierrez,
joins me here, part of a business delegation here. you are cuban born and the business community and u.s. chamber of commerce all in favor of normalizing relations, do you have mixed views about this a sense of tug of war emotionally? >> that's always been the stress and it's it's the business community that has always been in favor of opening relations. if it's true that raul castro is reforming this system in a way where cubans can be free to open up business to aspire to a better future to prosperity and to dream, let's see if that really will materialize. but that's the big question will cuba really change the way so many companies here are expecting to. >> you've seen from all of your business connections, you see how eager american companies are, u.s. companies are to begin
investing, you've seen the visits by telecom companies and internet companies and major league baseball we'll talk more of that later, so the cuba has been so economically stricken by this 50-plus year embargo. it could be wide open. >> businesses there's no question, and at times they may be thinking too conceptionally because it's going to take a long time. there's not a lot of purchasing power, they are not going to go in and make a killing, have to think of it long term. there's no question they are lining up to see if they can get in. >> you worked in the bush administration as commerce secretary, what about your own family connections and the cuban-american community, is the attitude changing? >> it's an interesting question because a lot of polling data show that the attitudes are changing but then it's the
anti- -- anti-castro candidates that always get elected. so there's still that discrepancy but i suppose that the younger generation like myself born in the u.s. probably see it less emotionally although they learn a lot at the dinner table. >> is this a tripwire for republican candidates, you have marco rubio announcing on monday in florida and jeb bush already sounding very much like a candidate. where do -- where does the republican party -- take a step back, potential candidates. >> i'll answer that as a business person and keep emotions aside. it's very interesting because you've got the republican party that is o usually a party of business and you have candidates anti-opening up to cuba while business is saying come on please open up. that will be a fascinating part
of the election in 2016. but yes, most of the candidates today will say this is the wrong step. >> speaking of wrong steps, was it wrong for the president going to be greeted here very warmly by latin american neighbors because he lowered the bar against cuba which isolated the u.s. in the latin american community? what about what he did -- what the white house did with venezuela a few weeks ago? >> it seems like a miscalculation. tom shannon knows latin america, went to see president maduro hoping to calm him down. the strategy is how does the u.s. continue to play a leadership role in a latin america that is increasingly wanting to be a dependent from the u.s. or reducing their
dependents? every single country supported venezuela. that is a new latin america. so that's the big challenge beyond maduro and today and handshake and what do we do longer term. >> big issues here. in an area that was neglected by u.s. policy makers for a very long time. such a pleasure to see you, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> as we mentioned, president obama is in jamaica making a stop overhead of his arrival here in panama. he's the first u.s. president to visit jamaica since ronald reagan in 1982. i remember that trip last night president obama made an unexpected visit to the bob marchly museum in kingston. it is located in a legendary musician's former home. normally closed at night, special arrangements were made and he told the tour guide, i still have all of the albums. and just ahead, life or death decisions for that jury in the
boston bombing trial. they found tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts. will dzhokhar tsarnaev or his family take the stand in the sentencing phase next week? plus, for the love of the game what diplomatic relations could mean between the u.s. and cuba for baseball. that and a whole lot more from panama. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. the pursuit of healthier. it begins from the second we're born. after all, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned... every day... using wellness to keep away illness... and believing that a single life can be made better by millions of others. healthier takes somebody who can power modern health care... by connecting every single part of it. for as the world keeps on searching for healthier... we're here to make healthier happen. optum. healthier is here. look like this. feel like this. look like this. feel like this. with dreamwalk insoles, turn shoes that can be a pain into comfortable ones. their
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jurors could begin hearing testimony as early as monday in the penalty phase of the boston bombing trial. the same jury that convicted dzhokhar tsarnaev on all 30 counts must decide whether he'll be punished with life in prison or death by lethal injection. tsarnaev showed no emotion as the verdict was read allowed in a courtroom filled with victims
and family members of those who indicted in the 2013 attack. >> we're obviously grateful for the outcome today. it's not a happy occasion but it's something that we can put one more step behind us. >> i may be standing on one fake leg but i'm standing here stronger than ever because someone triped to destroy me and he feel. >> to me the mom of two boys hurt so bad and see what they suffer and go through, i solely speak for myself i want the death penalty. >> hillary sergeant joins me now. you have been following this case from the very beginning. we just heard from some of the victims. what has the broader reaction been like there in boston? >> i think people were anticipating guilty verdicts across the board but there's a lot of hesitation to be too sure
that was going to happen until it happened. i mean but i think that was pretty expected from day one. >> talk a little bit about the process that the jury went through to reach the verdict and how long did it take and what was it like for the community there while they were waiting? this was a relatively quick decision they came to. >> yeah i think they took between 11 and 12 hours and we don't know much about the process at all. i mean you know i think one of the things that is important to remember as of yesterday we didn't know whether this was going to go on for another 12 hours, another 12 minutes, another 12 days i mean or whether they would even be able to reach a unanimous verdict on every question they had to answer. so i don't know that there's much sense in speculating then or not as to who knows how long it can take. >> hillary let's look forward a little bit. the penalty phase set to begin
next week. do you know specifically it's going to start? and talk about the strategy on the part of the defense, their main goal now is essentially to save his life. >> well i think to be fair their main goal all along has been to save his life. they started out this trial essentially admitting guilty and for the defense this has always been a mitigation case not a guilt or innocence case. our best guess right now is will start sometime next week but we don't have final word on that. i think we're expecting to hear a lot more about what will be the mitigating factors this young man's life to become what it became and the extent to which the jury will find some sympathy there. >> and some legal analysts are saying there may be a benefit in the defense taking as long as possible to prepare, to sort of give a little emotional distance from yesterday's decision and
the start of the penalty phase. what are you hearing about that? >> again, i don't know we're not privy to how the court is going about deciding when the sentencing phase is going to begin. i think that that speculation is a little bit more on how easy it might be for victims and for the people of boston to have some space in between the two things. what it comes down isn't what the victims or people of boston wanted, 12 people who i never met and no one else reporting on the case ever met and they get to make the decision. >> great point. thank you for all of your insights, we really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and coming up we'll have more from andrea mitchell from panama city and what the historic meeting means for u.s./cuba relations. >> both people we're going to be able to get to know each other and the united states people they are going to get to know
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julie swig at the lyndon johnson school of public affairs and author of "cuba" what everyone needs to know. in this rapidly changing time with cuba coming to the summit for the first time. we're expecting an encounter, what do we need to know about cuba today? >> number one we need to know cuba is changing. secretary gutierrez talked about the question of whether these changes are moving forward under raul castro. the answer is definitively yes. several hundred thousand people have licenses to run their own businesses and cuban families shall sending remittances to the tune of 2 to $3 billion a year to help with that process. the open values that the president obama is hoping to project into cuba that's making an impact. there's much more debate in cuba than ever before. cubans now travel freely without
having to ask permission from their government to travel. it's a very big difference than five or ten or 15 years ago. certainly even then the summit of americas palpable changes. >> what about this issue of venezuela, has the white house, deliberately or not given cuba a hard choice between pursuing the opening on a rapid pace with the united states and being loyal to its closest ally during the hard times when cuba was completed isolated which is venezuela, the financial support and oil and other subsidy it's got from venezuela after the soviet union shut down. >> very important question. it's -- i know that ben rhodes one of the two people involved in the secret negotiations with cuba last year and year before went on the record yesterday to pointedly say the white house
does not consider venezuela to be a threat to american national security. the fact that the deputy national security adviser made that point is a clear signal along with tom shannon's visit and other moves that this was a very significant miscalculation and one that the white house is trying to walk back. moreover the sanctions regime that the united states retains against cuba is still largely in place. i don't think that this decision, the white house decision on venezuela was made to give havana a stark choice between a future with the united states or a past and present with venezuela, that's certainly how it played and i'm hopeful or i hope that that can change because it was a very significant mistake to president obama's own strategy, cuba and latin america as a whole as you've been discussing.
>> thanks so much julia sweig. take me out to the ball game. how soon will cuba be at bat there and america's favorite past pastime. people ship all kinds of things. but what if that thing is a few hundred thousand doses of flu vaccine. that need to be kept at 41 degrees. while being shipped to a country where it's 90 degrees. in the shade. sound hard? yeah. does that mean people in laos shouldn't get their vaccine? we didn't think so. from figuring it out to getting it done, we're here to help.
many of the delegations attending have one thing in common, they love baseball. in cuba the most gifted players spent years in havana unable to show case their talents in the major leagues. some of the brightest stars are cuban defectors. the cuban government is seeking a solution to the defection issue. a new experiment letting some stars play internationally but there are already problems with the new system. "washington post" latin america
correspondent nick miroff joins me. written extensively about the players and state of the game today in cuba. in america, the latin american players and venezuela number one and dominican republic two and cuba three. >> there are more cuban players in the major leagues than ever before since castro's revolution. and i think we can assume there would be more of the demand for cuban talent is very high. as we've seen the top cuban stars when they do get to the big league in the united states they tend to perform very well. the most recent and probably best example is jose abreau their success continues to drive up the value of contracts for future defectors and cuban players to reach united states. those coming without defecting and come back and
play, it is the dominican republic which has the most then ven wal la then cuba. under cuban rules they have to play a fuel year. they are playing winter ball and playing in the summer professionally in the mlb. injuries, it's really not fair to the players. >> this is the new experiment that the cuban government and cuban baseball authorities are essentially trying out, which is knowing that the players want to leave and recognize that they can make a lot of money, if they let them go abroad and play in the summer season in japan or in mexico you know and agree to come back and play for national team and participate in the domestic league can that work? the results have been mixed. i think the best example is really cuba's probably top rated player right now who went and played in japan last year for a million dollar contract and was due to go back again this year for $3 million. but was unable to go because he was injured during the course of the cuban season. >> now, we know fidel castro
loved baseball i went to a game with he and jimmy carter in 2002 where fidel castro was on the pitching mound if i recall. orioles have played an exhibition game there. major league sports wants the cuban market and cuban players obviously. >> they do and this is an obvious area of good will and cooperation for both countries. cuba is still very weary of what fidel used to call stealing athletes, that they go to the united states and their fetes will be lost to the cuban people who under the principles of socialist sportsmanship, they should be performing for. so i think the cuban government is going to enter this warily and be cautious with the opening, but there's no doubt
that american professional sports is very interested in cuba and cuban athletes are very talented. >> it's nice if there's one thing that they can certainly agree on major league white sox player, we know the president and his white sox support for the white sox from chicago -- >> i'm sure he's an abreau fan. >> pleasure to be with you, nice to see you. >> secret service scandal, yes another one. details just ahead with kristen welker and the team. you owned your car for four years. you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends. three jobs. you're like "nothing can replace brad!" then liberty mutual calls. and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement, we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual
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and chris cillizza founder of the "washington post" fix blog. you've been covering the secret service. hard to believe something like that would happen as recently as march 31st after yet another party. they went back to the office and this alleged assault happened. >> that's right. this is a case -- >> how are they explaining this? >> well it's a case of here we go again andrea and the secret service this senior supervisor javier morales has been stripped of his security clearances pending the outcome of the investigation by homeland security inspector general. on march 31st morales was at a bar in d.c. with this colleague, he allegedly according to this female employee made advances toward her. she rebuffed them. then later that night after the party back at agency headquarters he made more advances physical advances as
well. she begin reagain resisted and things got a little heated and physical. she placed a complaint last week april 2nd that is when secret service director joseph clancy took out and placed morales on leave and in a statement, joseph clancy says this is disturbing and any threats of violence that endangers our employees in the workplace is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. now, of course joseph clancy was brought in to clean up this agency which is really been -- andrea recently two top agents have been under investigation for allegedly driving near the scene of an active investigation outside the white house again after a night of drinking. so there are deep concerns about the culture within the secret service and i'll just point out that this really all goes back to 2013 and the summit of americas back then, which is held in cart hain na you'll
recall many agents got fired after soliciting prostitutes. this is an agency trying to clean up its act since then and still struggling to do so. a lot of concern throughout washington and the agency itself andrea. >> when come comes back next week, there could be hell to pay as well. chris cillizza on the political front, hillary clinton gearing up what is your take on how this time might be different? it is a different cast of characters. >> i think that's probably the most important thing, which is out are almost all of her inner circle from the last campaign with the exception of bill clinton, he's still around but in around a group of people who i wouldn't describe long time clinton loyalists, they still exist but this is a new group that have come to her in the last year year and a half two years maybe, who i think are
more younger, and attune to how campaigns work. they are very focused on this idea that she's going to do smaller rollout, less high profile lolout. i saw a headline she's going to meet with voters probably a good idea. she's going to do the sorts of things they didn't do in 2008 stylistically and tonally. this campaign is about you the voter, not about me hillary clinton, it's about you the voter. >> and she did also tweet she's beginning to at least through social media speak out more on current events. tweeted praying for #walterscott family, we can do better reform trust with reform justice system respect all lives. we also had bill clinton here in panama yesterday, he's said to town and country magazine he's going to take a back stage role but he was here as his role as head of the clinton global initiative speaking to a
nongovernment organization aid group and social action groups. he's still going to be very high profile but perhaps not on the platform with his wife when she announces. what about marco rubio chris cillizza, he's about to announce on monday? >> look i think it's so fun anyhow candidates do these things now, which is like hey, stay tuned for a big announcement next monday. we sort of know what's coming at this point. look marco rubio was all in to run for president until jeb bush surprised at least me and many people maybe up to and including marco rubio and said actually i'm very likely to do the same. he took a step back and looked at what does the field look like with jeb bush former governor of florida, mentor of mine, in the race? can i make the race? he analyzed it and decided i can make the race. if you are looking to draft someone with lots of potential,
pick up marco rubio in your fantasy policy draft that exists only in the minds of in other words like me. he has a speaking ability, care is ma and will be able to raise enough money won't be in jeb bush territory but enough money of he's cuban-american one of the faces, if not the face of the new republican party. i think this is someone who bears a lot of watching. he's going to announce at 5:30 next monday so the field continues to grow more and more crowded as we continue to wait for hillary clinton's exact announcement time. >> okay thanks to you and kristen welker. coming up more from panama ahead on what will be the highest level meeting between the u.s. and cuba in 50 years. audible safety beeping
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there are great expects ahead of president obama's arrival today joining me now is the chief operating officer, i know you've been at the sessions today. corporate leaders are here and want more business and you're talking about opening business opportunities to women. >> indeed we are. i think the vice president of panama when she opened the ceo summit this morning said it incredibly well what she said the theme of this summit is prosperity with equity. and it's impossible to achieve both of those goals unless you have gender equality and eliminate and discrimination throughout the world of course and in latin america and caribbean. >> why? is there a cultural issue here? >> i think that's part of it. i think you have a pretty good gap between women's labor force participation and men's labor
force participation. and you have a lot of very small microbusinesses that women are in. so for that reason we've chosen to highlight this afternoon in a panel focusing on three very large u.s. companies, marriott, walmart and cooca-cola. what companies can do to try to close these gaps it's good for women and business and good for development. >> and there's a lot of tension also because of venezuela and because of what happened at the white house on venezuela. can the people at the summit -- leaders get past that? is this going to be a hiccup or real problem in u.s./cuban relations going forward? >> you know you probably have a better answer to that than i with your experience but i think the summit in the past has faced political challenges back to the last summit and cuba was very much on the agenda then too. somehow the leaders were able to most past it. i hope they will be able to
because there's a lot to discuss on the the agenda important for the region as a whole. >> the region's strength economically, where are the soft spots and strong spots? >> it is in fact a case that 2015 is the fourth year in a row where growth as a whole is lower year on year. and actually this is why the issue of women is so important. if you were to equate the women's labor force participation with men's in the region you create $1.7 trillion of gdp around the world which would be the 11th largest economy in the world similarly for the region. growth is a big part of the agenda. >> a lot of political issues here for everyone to discuss. but the business community is here in force and it's good to see you and your head quartered in washington, d.c. but loans and grants to -- >> we are a development bank much like the world bank focusing on latin america and
caribbean. trying to help the economies be more competitive. that's the heart of the story, to take the important steps to reform segments of the economy so that they can be more competitive in this global marketplace. >> thank you very much. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> that's it for this edition of ats dreen i can't mitchell reports. my big thanks to kristen welker and tomorrow on the show, we'll continue our live coverage of president obama's historic visit to summit of americas and meeting with raul castro. msnbc live with thomas roberts is up next.
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north charleston south carolina in the wake of the fatal police shooting of walter scott. rand paul wants to be president but does he have a problem with female reporters or he says just a problem with all tv interviews. as president obama is traveling on to jamaica from panama today, a new white house push to ban conversion therapies for lgbt youth. is he making good on his storic state of the union promise. >> we defend free speech and advocate for political prisoners and condemn the persecution of women for people are lesbian, gay, transsexual and trans gender, not only because they are the right thing to do but ultimately they will make us safer. our bing pulse question should gay conversion therapy be banned? logon to pulse.msnbc.com and let s know what you