tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 6, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT
this sunday america on alert. security heightened across the country this holiday weekend. we're going to have a special report on why isis is proving so difficult to defeat. witnesses say isis militants have recently begun to lay land mines and fortify their positions. also, the race for 2016. my interview with ted cruz. the senator from texas on immigration, his personal temperament, and the supreme court. >> it is the justices who have politicized the court. plus, the trump effect. >> i understand everybody loves what i'm doing in terms of the border because we have to stop the illegals from coming in. >> is donald trump hurting not just his own business brand but the republican party's chances of winning the white house? and this independence day
weekend the declarations of independents. how independent voters are changing the landscape of american politician. i'm chuck todd. joining me for insight and analysis this sunday morning, the former chairman of the republican national committee, michael steele. carolyn ryan of "the new york times." kathleen parker and chris slisaliza from "the washington post." this is "meet the press." good sunday morning and happy fourth of july weekend despite some slightly unseasonable weather there were some spectacular fireworks on the national mall here in washington, d.c. we do fourth of july really well in washington trust me. as america celebrated its 239th birthday. thankfully, despite a heightened state of alert, there were no terror related incidents. that said, authorities across the country we main on high alert with the big fear being still that an isis-inspired lone wolf attack could happen here. we've got all the bases covered
this morning. richard angel is in turkey, andrea mitchell in vienna as the iran nuclear talks take place. but first kristin welker is at the white house where. were the crowds there any smaller this year as the city was put on this jumpy high alert? >> reporter: chuck, good morning. it doesn't seem so. federal officials say there is no indication the terror threat deterred people. hundreds of thousands braved the tight security in new york and scores turned out in washington where as you know, it poured earlier in the evening. now security was tight everywhere. in new york 7,000 extra police were on patrol. here in the nation's capital -- nine security checkpoints on the national mall. there were similar measures in place from boston to los angeles. now one law enforcement official tells me this morning the message was sent out loud and clear to potential terrorists -- don't even try it. so the question now -- what happens now that it is july 5th? well, law enforcement officials say the greatest target was yesterday so there is a sense of relief in that regard.
but isis continues to call for attacks online and through social media, including through the holy month of ramadan which doesn't end until july 17th. so federal officials are still calling for vigilance. they stress that these threats are not specific. instead isis is trying to inspire soen had called lone wolves to carry out attacks on their own. isis' efforts to recruit on social media has become such a concern, there is actually a bill making its way through congress that would require social media sites like twitter and youtube to report videos and other content posted by suspected terrorists. now one top official tells me the bottom line about yesterday's celebrations show that, "we're not going to stop being americans because there is a group that wants to do us harm." chuck? >> kristin very thorough. appreciate that report this morning. yes, we are all relieved. >> indeed. so while authorities here are still on that heightened state of alert overseas isis has dramatically proven it poses a big threat there well beyond iraq and syria.
killing dozens on three continents in recent weeks. according to a bulletin circulated by the house homeland security claire, michael mccall, there have been 28 isis-inspired plots against western targets this year alone. that's an increase of 47% over 2014. the house committee also has been tracking an 80% increase in the number of foreign fighters that are entering syria and iraq to fight for isis. that's now about 22,000 fighters from over 100 countries. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel has been to the turkish-syrian border to assess why isis continues to be such a tough adversary. >> reporter: each week isis seems to be branching out and striking new targets. there was the massacre on a beach in tunisia where an isis-trained gunmen killed 38 people including british tourists. this week violence in egypt's sinai peninsula where
isis-linked militants massed in the hundreds and attacked and killed dozens of egyptian troops. the atrocities keep isis in the headlines and fuel the group's social media efforts to recruit outsiders to copy them especially in places that are perceived to be hard to hit, like the united states. isis doesn't seem to be as some u.s. officials suggested, on the ropes. it's been successful. >> it's no mistake that isis has risen in the two countries that are most unstable and riddled by civil war. iraq and syria. >> reporter: consider the syrian town of jerablu on the turkish border where hundreds perhaps thousands cross to join isis. isis is in full control of that town just over the turkish border. here it is that concrete wall that separates from turkey from
syria. you see the isis flag right there. this whole area is a key isis supply route and the militants clearly don't want to lose it. and they're not likely to because turkey which has troops positioned less than a mile away, seems to be in no rush to push isis out. why? because if isis were defeated here, kurdish fighters would take over and turkey which has been at war with kurds for decades doesn't want that. this syrian who escaped isis in jerablus should do more. >> translator: the turks need to do more. how can they let them plant mines right in front of them? >> reporter: the fight between the turks and kurds has prevented a full-scale assault on isis. turkey threatened to invade syria last week to prevent isis from taking over more territory.
you see older regional conflicts bubbling up on the surface and the chaos they are creating a helping isis. isis is like a virus. it thrives baups the hostecause the host is sick and right now the middle east is very sick. >> going back on this turkey front, what will it take to get the turks to take their eye off of the kurds? >> reporter: well i think it will take a lot of negotiation. right now the u.s. is backing the kurds and it is helping the kurds militarily to fight isis because the turks haven't been able to -- or haven't been willing to close their side of the border so the u.s. went to the kurds. that is absolutely infuriating the turks. so you have this very old very entrenches regional conflict where the u.s. is looking for a local partner it found the kurds, and now because it's helping the kurds, it is antagonizing the turks even more. >> it seems to be the story of every middle east conflict we get ourselves involved in. one side two allies, they're at
each other's throat as well. richard, thanks very much. i now want to go to andrea mitchell who is in vienna where iran has floated the possibility of joint action against isis if a nuclear deal is reached as the talks near their deadline. let's go to the talks themselves. andrea where are we? it's well past june 30th. there's still no deal. it's now july 5th. what's going on? >> reporter: well, they say chuck that this is the end game. they're closing in on a possible nuclear deal but there are some big obstacles as of today. secretary kerry and iran's foreign minister had a meeting all weekend and again today. in a snazzy youtube video, speaking english he used social media to pressure u.s. negotiators. >> getting to yes requires the courage to compromise. the self-confidence to be flexible. the maturity to be reasonable. the wisdom to set aside illusions.
and the audacity to break old habits. >> reporter: what is the progress? first on sanctions. their staffs have drafted a tentative agreement to lift the u.s. and european sanctions but they still have to get the foreign ministers to sign off on that when they get back here a few hours from now. also, where are the disagreements. there are still plenty. they still have not figured out how to automatically re-impose u.n. sanctions if iran cheats. and how much access to their military sites as well as unresolved questions about iran's past military research. finally, they haven't closed the gap on how much nuclear research that iran can do a decade from now. so all of this will be on the table tonight and tomorrow when the ministers rejoin the talks
here. the next 24 hours are going to be critical. >> andrea this is always put in the media as the u.s. negotiating with iran. but there are other countries that are involved in these negotiations. obviously russia and china are the two most critical ones to deal with the u.n. snap-back sanctions and things like that. what role are the other countries playing? >> reporter: critical role by certainly france, germany. the european union is at the table for all of these talks. russia has been very, very helpful, i'm told. and that's interesting because despite the disagreements over ukraine sanctions putin versus obama, their terrible relationship, russia in these talks has been helpful. it has its own self-interest. they want an economic relationship. they wants to sell oil equipment to iran once sanctions are lifted if there is a deal. they also don't want a nuclear iran on their border. china has been more helpful than anyone had expected as well on the u.s. side. but still they have to face the problem of israel certainly.
netanyahu calling this again not only a bad deal but a worse deal than what was negotiated with north korea and as he pointed out, they have a very big nuclear arsenal after the negotiations with the u.s. back in the 1990s. >> andrea mitchell, you'll be all over it when the deal -- if a deal comes to fruition in the next few days andrea, thanks. >> reporter: you bet. thank you. let me bring in the panel now. former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele caroline ryan "new york times," kathleen parker "washington post," chris cillizza from "the washington post." the politics of this iran deal -- the minute something happens -- and i think we all assume there is going to be a deal, whether in the next week or next month -- we'll see. what kind of political earthquake is there going to be in congress once there is something to present? >> i think there will be a lot of huffing and puffing. i think there will be a lot of ads run. i don't think given the general contours of what we know about this deal unless you had significant democratic defections that you would see
congress block the deal. remember, the way the legislation is set up, you need two-thirds majority in both houses which is a pretty high bar to clear. so far, it seems like the indications especially from house democrats is that they're not going anywhere. >> interesting you bring up these democrats. chris cillizza, jim webb, he sort of announced in an unusual way by a press release but he had critical things to say about the deal in his announced written speech. "today i would not be the president to sign an executive order establishing a long-term relationship with iran if it accepts iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons." hillary clinton was asked about iran yesterday, and she said, "even if there is a deal," essentially, iran's aggressiveness will continue and they'll continue to be a state sponsor of terrorism. there is democratic skepticism on the deal. >> there is and i think especially for hillary clinton she doesn't necessarily -- we saw this with trade. she doesn't want to sign off on
anything that she isn't in the room for or isn't sort of aware of all the details on. that said, i think everyone is just trying to buy themselves the ability to say, look. i was skeptical but i went along because president obama is my president. i think that's what's happening here. i do think i'm with carolyn, yes, there will be some folks who will not vote for this but i just don't think it is going to be enough. i think you will see skepticism even if a deal is reached. people will say this isn't the deal i might have wanted, this isn't what i would have negotiated, but ultimately they will vote for it. >> you say the same thing with republicans a little bit, too. you've already seen chris christie come out and say "i'm not the one who's going to say on day one i will undo this thing." he's buying himself a little space to be flexible. jeb bush wrote an op-ed in which he outlined all the problems with the deal and his concerns. but he also says, whatever happens, the next president is going to have a lot to deal with.
and outlined all those issues as well. >> michael steele, the fact that the iran deal is going to be a political football -- >> oh, yeah -- >> -- back-and-forth, it is all about israel. isn't it? >> it is all about israel. you'll hear more and more about israel as you get closer to the vote on this deal. israel is going to be a quiet force in the background. it is going to go to its friends and influencers in the house and senate and they'll be the one putting out tv ads and commercials and making the noise that way. but at the end of the day i think the president will have the momentum he needs to get this thing done. it is going to be a big red flag though because this deal throws the trust and verify on its head. i don't know how you'll verify. >> israel is taking a different tack than it did three months ago. this time they've been have quiet. they learned a lesson. >> i think they realized they don't want to set off something incendiary. i want to get back to your point
about skepticism. i do think that the president obama since he sees this as a legacy issue hasn't addressed skepticism in the american public. 64% of americans don't believe this will reventprevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. >> funny, the public wants diplomacy but doesn't think it will work. >> if they rush ahead and go ahead and develop -- they've gone from two to three months to a year. so -- not much of a deal. >> well, that's what we're going to find out, perhaps in the next week. july 9th is the semi-real deadline. keep an eye out for july 9th. when we come back, the race for 2016 and the man many believe could be the sleeper candidate in the republican field. texas senator ted cr [ female announcer ] when you're serious about fighting wrinkles, turn to roc® retinol correxion®. one week fine lines appear to fade. one month deep wrinkles look smoother. after one year, skin looks ageless. high performance skincare™ only from roc®. the next great trip. got to study those tripadvisor reviews carefully.
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presidential campaigns. right now this crowded field of republican candidates is hoping a win in one of those early states will take them from 1 of 16 to potentially the nomination. consider it a tale of two republican brackets, if you want to call it that. at this early stage, this is less about polling than the types of voters these candidates are targeting. there are the new hampshire or bus candidates from chris christie to john kasich george pataki to lindsay graham. the so-called moderates hoping they can beat jeb bush in the granite state and take off down the road. then there is the iowa or bus crowd. if scott walker loses in iowa his campaign is in big trouble. ted cruz, ben carson, donald trumps, rick santorum mike huckabee, bobby jindal. marco rubio, rand paul, carly fiorina fall into crossover candidates. they think they can do well in both states. one of those candidates in the iowa bracket is ted cruz. he's out with big fund-raising numbers.
he raised $14 million over the last three months with an average donation of $81. his super pac raised three times that amount giving him a total haul of $51 million to spend on behalf of his campaign. i met up with cruz friday in atlanta in between stops for his new book, "a time for truth," about re-igniting the american promise. i began asking him about the recent supreme court decisions on obamacare and same-sex marriage that he compared to some of the darkest days in american history. >> in a period of 24 hours we had two decisions in the supreme court where a majority of the justices violated their judicial oaths and one, they ignored the text of federal law, they rewrote obamacare forcing that failed law on millions of americans. then the next day five justices disregarded the text of the constitution and purported to strike down the marriage laws of all 50 states. py agree with justice scalia who said in two powerful dissents -- i would urge everyone of your viewers to read justice sclal yaalia's
dissents. five unelected rulers declaring they are the rulers of 320 million americans. i believe in democracy and the constitution. i think when the supreme court violates their oaths and undermines the constitution that is a great threat to our nation. >> let's go to the issue of marriage. the minute the federal government gives tax benefits based on marriage doesn't it make marriage suddenly a federal decision that the supreme court does have to make a decision about? >> of course it doesn't. from the beginning of our country literally from the first days of our country, marriage has always been a question for the states. you know, the question of gay plarnlg and the policy issue, reasonable minds can disagree. i am a strong supporter of traditional marriage, between one man and one woman. you and i may disagree on that but under the constitution there was a mechanism for us to resolve our disagreements. which is if you want to change the marriage laws of your states
the constitutional mechanism is to convince your fellow citizens to change the marriage laws. what that might mean is some states, california, new york, maybe they'd go one way, and other states like texas and florida may go another way. it is profoundly trouble interesting when you have supreme court justices not following their judicial oaths and taking the role of policymakers and legislators rather than being judges. >> you want to go another step further. you want to make them part of the political process. you want o have them deal in retention elections. doesn't that politicize the court more? any state that has elections for judges, they're raising money, it's -- it weakens the judiciary branch. does it not? >> it is the justices who have politicized the court. they are the ones who have stepped in to try to resolve every policy matter. they shouldn't be rewriting obamacare. chief justice roberts famously used the analogy of an umpire calling balls and strikes. they stopped being an umpire. they became a player on a team. they put on an obama jersey they got out the eraser, they
erased terms in the statute and rewrote it joining the obama administration. that was wrong. that's why i reluctantly called for a constitutional amendment for periodic judicial retention elections. >> bring up donald trump. you've defended him. your former governor rick perry has criticized him. you've had an experience with plenty of mexican immigrants in texas. are these immigrants that are coming in texas, what donald trumps describes, are they drug dealers rapists and such? >> listen. i am a passionate advocate for legal immigrants. i am the son of an immigrant who came legally from cuba and i'll tell you, from the day i started campaigning i traveled the state of texas talking about how all of us we are the children of those who risks everything for freedom. that that immigrant experience of all of us is what makes us americans, because we value in our dna liberty and opportunity above all else. now when it comes to donald
trumps i like donald trump. he's bold he's brash. and i get it that it seems the favorite sport of the washington media is to encourage some republicans to attack other republicans. i ain't going to do it. i'm not interested in republican on republican violence. >> doesn't rhetoric matter? >> i salute donald trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. the washington cartel doesn't want to address that. the washington cartel doesn't believe we need to secure the borders. the washington cartel supports amnesty and i think amnesty is wrong and i salute donald trump for focusing on it. . he has a colorful way of speaking. it is not the way i speak. but i'm not going to engage in the media game of throwingttacking other republicans. i'm just not going to do it. >> what about immigration? >> it is an interesting thing in washington. that is the question that both president obama and democrats love to focus on. how do you solve the problem? su focus on areas of common
ground. i am long-term optimistic and short-term pessimistic. long-term i'm optimistic because there is a lot of bipartisan agreement outside of washington on immigration. there's overwhelming bipartisan agreement that number one, we need to finally do something to stop illegal immigration. >> what do you do with 11 million people? send them back or give them a way to get legal? >> chuck i don't accept the premise that you have to solve every aspect of this problem all at once. president obama and the democrats focus on that issue. because the question you're asking is the most divisive partisan question in this entire debate. and i don't believe president obama wants to solve this. >> i understand that it's divisive. but it's still ôe@problem. >> but you don't have to solve every problem at once. look, here's the problem. >> that's fine. but explain how you do it. >> i am explaining how. the last time congress passed immigration reform was in the 1980s. >> right. >> and congress came to the american people with the
following trade-off. congress said that with 3 million people living here illegally, congress said we will grant amnesty to those 3 million. in exchange we're going to secure the borders, we're going to solve the problem so that the illegal immigration goes away. well we all know what happened. the amnesty happened. and the border never got secured. and here's the sad truth. a lot of republicans of the washington cartel they're all for amnesty too. because from the perspective of the chamber of commerce and wall street, it's cheap labor. >> you still didn't say what you'd do with the 11 million. >> well, my view is first we secure the borders and solve the problem of illegal immigration and then i think we can have a conversation about what to do with the people who remain here. i don't think the american people will accept any solution until we demonstrate step number one, we can secure the border. >> so anything's on the table. potentially deportation or not deportation or anything's on the table for the 11 million? >> i think we should secure the border around then have a conversation at that point. stop using the washington approach of "i'll glad you pay
you tuesday for a hamburger today." the american people aren't going for it. >> you write something interesting in your book about your cockiness. it is a frequent topic when people want to discuss you. you're brash, you're ambitious, you're in a hurry. and you yourself say it's an issue. explain where you thought your cockiness cost you a job in the bush administration. >> well look. i discuss the time i spent back in 1999 and 2000 on the bush campaign. i was a young man in my 20s. i had enjoyed a lot of success. almost everything i'd laid my hands to had gone well. and i was far too cocky for my own good. and as a consequence, coming out of the campaign, i desperately wanted to have a senior job in the white house. frankly, i wantsed to be -- i know you're a political junkie, i wanted to be michael j. fox's character in "the american president." young, idealistic staffer in the white house, in the oval office, saying, "mr. president do the right thing." and that didn't happen.
and it became clear it wasn't going to happen because i had burned too many bridges. >> how did it change you? >> it's interesting. my wife, heidi, thinks that it changed my personality in a very fundamental way. and one of the things i talk about in the book is -- terrific country and western song some of god's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. i'm convinced if i had gotten what i wanted, a senior position in the bush white house there's no universe in which i'd be a success. here's the simple reality. if you run a grassroots campaign -- our campaign for the senate, we were opposed by all of money all of the donors, all of the establishment. it came from the people. it came from young people and hispanics and republican women. it came from hundreds of vfw halls debnnyiesdennies, ihops. you can't run a grassroots campaign if you're an arrogant little snob. as i discuss in the book, i needed to get my teeth kicked in. >> youjeff patterson wants me to
ask you this -- what issue or issues that you voted on in the senate would it most surprise people to know that you are actually in philosophical agreement with president obama? and what do you most admire about president obama? >> i'll tell you i admire that he's a true believer. the second part of the question i can answer. there are some people in the grassroots who view him -- ascribe bad motives to him. i will often dispute that. i think he believes in all of his heart in his principles. i think he fights for them. relentlessly. if i were a leftist, i would love barack obama because he has advanced the left wing progressive agenda more than any president in history. now i think the problem is the ideas he believes are profoundly dangerous, that millions of americans have been hurt by exploding government regulations and taxes have taken away jobs and opportunity. but i admire that he stands and fights for his principles. >> senator cruz i got to leave
it there. we could have gone another half-hour just on foreign policy so i'll have you back. >> excellent. >> senator cruz, thank you. >> you got it. >> there is a lot more on my sit-down interviews with ted cruz. on nbc.com, you can see the full unedited interview there. coming up, even donald trump admits he's hurt is his own brand but is he hurting the republican party's brand even more. >> announcer: "meet the press" is brought to you by morgan my cut hurt. mine hurt more. mine stopped hurting faster! neosporin plus pain relief starts relieving pain faster and kills more types of infectious bacteria. neosporin plus pain relief kills the germs. fights the pain. available at walmart.
you may have missed it, though. former virginia senator jim webb has entered the race via a press release. in a tweet from our pals at the washington post, we were reminded about the history of the democratic field. which wasn't always so democratic. jim webb was secretary of the navy in the ronald reagan administration. ber in i sanders is not a registered democrat. he was elected mayor of burlington vermont four times in the '80s as a socialist. lynn lincoln chaffee was senator as a republican and elected governor as a democrat. only governor mark o'malley has gone his whole political career acting as a registered democrat. then there's hillary clinton. before she became the leading candidate for the democratic presidential nomination she got involved in politics for the
there are now 14 declared candidates officially in the republican side of the presidential race. with two more to come, at least. so it is no surprise some are struggling to stand out from the crowd and poll well enough to make it into the early debates because of that criteria that, unfortunately, was used. but, love them or loathe them, a lack of publicity has never been a problem for donald trump. the property mogul is reveling in the limelight after his outspoken comments on immigration garnered national headlines. but many are wondering whether his candidacy and comments have already damaged the republican party's chances of wirnnning the white house's chances next year. >> donald trump. >> donald trump. >> reporter: donald trump is
blanketing spanish language television. controversy has gotten the attention of big business and, for a republican party dsesperate to improve its image with lass know voters, it may be a fatal blow. for two weeks donald trump has defended these comments -- >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime they're rapists, and some i assume, are good people. >> reporter: and he just can't stop talking about it. >> well's who's doing the waiping? who's doing the raping? >> what he's say something so offensive, i mean this is the number one issue right now in spanish language media. >> reporter: since univision announced last week it would no longer broadcast trump's miss usa pageant," nbc universal, from macy's to nascar are telling them "you're fired." other republican candidates are now beginning to condemn these
comments. >> to make these extraordinarily ugly comments is not reflect of the republican party. we're going to win when we're optimistic and big and broad rather than grrr, grrr, just angry all the time. >> the comments were inappropriate and they have no place in the race. >> reporter: but candidates eager to win's trump's voters once he either drops out of the race or simply falters have been sigh lentz or even defended him. >> i salute donald trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. >> reporter: so far, the republican national committee has taken a soft approach publicly. >> not every comment's helpful. but you know what? i don't agree with my wif on everything either. >> the problem with a lot of republicans is silence. they may be more immigration, they may believe in immigration reform. but if they remain quiet, then the only voices that hispanic voters are going to hear are voices like trump. >> well, the panel is here and, of course we have a former
chairman of the republican national committee. michael steele, this is a tough call for reince priebus. i don't envy him. on one hand he wants to play referee. you know on one side he'd like to totally denounce but they can't alienate the party. >> i would have a slightly different approach. look, you've got to have that sister soldier moment with the party where you have to be honest and call it what it is. >> you right now as the chairman would aggressively criticize one of your candidacy. >> i would have said sooner this is not the tone this is not the effort. we have an autopsy report that says one thing you are running counter to that. you've got to stake that claim. you've got to be authentic. people are sophisticated enough to know when you're just full of bs. fact that you're not coming out -- everyone in the country reacted to this and you didn't the party didn't, and those who want to be president didn't -- until what? this week. that's a problem. it's a problem of authenticity. it is a problem of legitimacy
when you're going to go speak to that community. what do you say to them? oh, i'm sorry we just figured o you the how we feel about this. not the place you want to be. >> i want to play a little bit more from jeb bush yesterday on donald trump. >> he's not a stupid guy so i don't assume he's like -- he thinks that every mexican crossing the border is a rapist. so he's doing this to inflame and to incite and draw attention which seems to be his organizing principle of his campaign. >> so really takes a shot at him there. the toughest shot. chris, the trump folks have decided to respond to jeb here. he said this this is what comes from the trump campaign. today jeb bush once again proves that he is out of touch with the american people just like the simple question of jeb asked on iraq where it took his five days and multiple answers to get it right. he doesn't understand anything about the border or border security. in fact, jeb believes illegal immigrants that break our laws when they cross our border come "out of love." trump loves being jeb's foil. by the way, i think jeb loves
having trump as his foil. >> i certainly agree trump loves being anyone's foil because we're talking about it. this is a car accident candidacy which is donald trump. there is a car accident, everybody slows down everybody looks, and there's always traffic. that's donald trump and he revels in it. i think to chairman steele's point, i think even the slow reactions -- yes, jeb has come out forcefully now. but you cannot be afraid of the party's base! you will not win that way. and this sort of dancing around it if you say, look donald trump has his views. they are not my views and i believe they are out of step with what this republican party is, what it was, and what i want it to be. yes, are you going to lose some people? sure. but no one wins these things in a 16-candidate field with 95% of the vote. right? if you do, more power to you. >> kathleen, let's do the larger question that i posed at the
beginning here. which is has he already done the damage? these donald trump comments -- has he already todd aikens the immigration issue for the hispanics with the republican party in the fall of '16? >> i think that's a big possibility. that's the harm he brings to the gop because they already have trouble convincing americans and particularly hispanic voters that they are friendly to other folks who are not part of the party at the moment. and once you get that kind of quote out there, then the democrats can seize upon that and then use it to their advantage. but i would like to see here all of these candidates being much more forceful in saying this has nothing to do with us! this is donald trump's crazy fles. >> >> what do you make cht ted cruz's decision to defend him? >> i think he's not eager to offend that base and those voters. he's sorpt of applaudt of applauding the brash fles. i brash fles. i think that's a nis take.
>> i cannot emphasize enough what spanish language television is doing with this. this is the biggest story bar none. >> when you're behind a mattress company, that is not a good thing for a party. that's true. later in the broadcast -- all right. thank you. serta. later on the broadcast this independence day weekend, how independent voters are changing american politics more than you think. but first, race in america with one of the leading voices on the subject my advice? look on the bright side... with aveeno® skin brightening scrub. it has moisture rich soy and gentle exfoliators for brighter more radiant skin. aveeno® naturally beautiful results®.
the rapid retreat by many politicians over the issue of the confederate flag and the aftermath of the tragedy in charleston last month highlighted the influence of a new generation of civil rights and social rights activists who are in no mood to compromise. my next guest from "the atlantic monthly" magazine doesn't reach wide markets but he is widely read by those who do and he's followed by twitter. one of the most influential voices in the discussion of race in the 21st century today. he is new author of "between the world and me." a memoir of his message to his son on race in america. welcome to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me, chuck. >> before i get to the book's message itself, the confederate flag. three weeks ago. after watching this for 20 years, watching what georgia and south carolina went through. i didn't think i'd see a day where perhaps the confederate flag is being buried.
how surprised are you, and how significant? >> i was shocked. i didn't believe it. even after the unfortunate deaths in the church i didn't necessarily think this would be the end result. i think one of the good things, for even skeptics like me, is the response to the forgiveness that some of the families have. i think the way they pricked the consciousness was really big. unlike some of my fellow travelers, i think this is a huge deal. i think symbols matter. i think if you're somebody who has to walk past the confederate flag on the capitol of south carolina in charleston every day that sends a message about what's acceptable and what's not. children growing up today will not see the symbol of an empire of slavery as now acceptable in the state. i think that's really, really significant. >> you think it takes the next step and actually changes the way we teach the civil war? i mean i think about how we're taught the civil war in sort of main public schools. you think we change that conversation a little bit so that it is a little more honest? >> a little bit. a little bit. yeah. the struggle will continue. we talked before we came on air
about what seems like the sudden reaction to the confederate flag before a lot of people it wasn't sudden. some historians have been fighting this battle for 50 years. other activists. this is a long, long struggle. as we move into the sesquicentennial for reconstruction, obviously related to the civil war and the confederate flag, that battle continues. maybe in another 50 years we'll have that right. >> 50 years. let's go to the book itself. it is a memoir to yourself. that's how it turned into that. i want to talk about real reform when it comes to racial, social justice and race relations. you write this. you may have heard the talk of you write this. you may have heard the talk of diversity sensitivity training and body cameras. they understate the task and allows the citizens of the current to pretend there is a real disas it between their own attitudes and those appointed as ones to protect them. this is increasing scrutiny of police brutality against african-americans. a conversation african-american
fathers have to have with their sons a lot but you're not comfortable with the conversation that's happening now even as we acknowledge the problem. >> no, i'm not. because i think people focus on the police as the problem and i think that allows us to avoid our responsibility as citizens living in a democracy. in each of these disturbances in ferguson in baltimore in charleston, south carolina, but inwalter scott who was shot in the back you can see policy behind each and every one of those instances. i think we needs a discussion about policy be it in south carolina with walter scott, in terms of how we deal with child support payments, in terms of in baltimore how easily we allow people to arrest other people. is it ferguson we need to have a conversation about how municipal governments fund themselves. the police are not some independent organization operating as a result of a military military junta. we get the police departments we deserve. we are a democracy.
i think citizens need to take responsibility for that. >> two issues impact this issue, staten island at the incidentsurancecidence in north carolina with walter scott. are you happy that you have a republican party now talking about criminal justice reform a topic they wouldn't have talked about ten years ago? >> quite frankly, i was most heartened to see republican presidential candidates like rand paul come out and say that the flag -- whatwas a racist symbol. it actual actually stands for something, it is really bad, that we should be embarrassed. that was heartening. >> do you think this conversation republicans are having is an honest discussion? >> i don't know, to be honest. i hope so. >> because you were skeptical of rand paul when he went to harvard? >> yes i was. i don't think that was particularly honest. >> sounds like you're more impressed with him. >> yeah. i think it is one thing saying i am doing this to be polite to you. that's one thing. but to say no that's what this actually is. so, yeah i was impressed by
that. >> i want your response to how president obama talks about race. i want to put up two different ways he's talked about race in the past few years. take a listen. >> we've got no time for excuses. nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned. for too long we've been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty. or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for jobs or career. >> the first was a commencement he gave at morehouse college. he were very critical of that speech in 2013. the president has changed how he talks about race in the last two years. i think it is attributable to people like yourself, the black lives matter movement. what do you think it is? >> i don't know that he's changed. i think it would be very difficult after the killings down in charleston to go up there and give a pull up your
pants and boot straps speech. py expect if you talk to him in privately he still believes what he believes. i have no problem with the message of personal responsibility. that's the message i give to my sons. but president obama says he's the president of all of american people, he's not the president of black people. i think with that comes certain burdens. i don't think telling black people they need to give more effort when you're the president. >> i'll do a lot more in a separate insurance view in "press pass" and talk more about the book itself. congratulations and your success in the book itself. thanks for coming on. >> if you can't catch "meet the press" live on sunday mornings. no worries. we're always available on demand. do whatever your dvr tells us to do. watch us on your schedule, not
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independents. the growing number of voters who don't affiliate with either major political party is reshaping our political system, perhaps more than you may realize. how? take a look at this. the largest political party in the united states is no longer a party at all. in fact, check out this stat. 45% of americans now identify and independent. according to our latest polling. that compares to just 27% who call themselves democrats and 20% who say they are republican. what does this mean across the country? take a look at this. the number of unaffiliated reblg registered voters has grown rapidly. in states where voters have to pick a party when registering to vote unaffiliated or no-party voters are now the leading political party in 12 of those states. in a few of them they are a majority of all registered voters. take a look at one swing state in particular the state of florida. it is perhaps the most crucial battleground state in 2016. the number of voters who now register as "other" has grown by
1 million in the last ten years. compared to the democrats who only grew by 300,000 and the republicans who grew by just 200,000. but even as the number of americans identifying as independents has grown, we haven't seen a jump in the number of independent candidates. certainly none that are gaining traction because there are none in the race. let me bring in the panel to discuss it. chris, you and i have ferocious debates about what the independent number means and all this stuff. fact of the matter is i do believe it is a -- it is voters -- even if they agree with the left or they agree with the right, they don't like to belong to those two parties right now. >> i think especially now because they see the two parties essentially engaging in a prolonged foot fight with one another. peen if you identify with the principles of one party or another -- this excludes the bases of both party -- sort of a loose partisan? you don't like the tactics of either party. one thing i'll say not to rain on this parade like it did yesterday on july 4th, but most people like to say they are
independents. most people when they vote burrvery traditionally vote for one or the other. how big are they? it's not 45% of the public. >> we have more people wanting to run for president than ever, obviously. >> apparently. i'm running, actually. >> i am stunned there hasn't been a semi-significant independent candidate. bloomberg is not really flirting with it. howard schultz, the ceo of starbucks i think would like to be recruited to do it. i think he is sort of semi-interested. but there isn't a ross perot. there isn't somebody i thought given this political environment would show up. >> you would think so given the number of them who identify as independent. even though a person declares himself as independent, they still typically vote one way or the other. they typically lean to the democratic party or lean to the republican party. >> i want to move to bernie sanders crowd sizes. should we care?
>> absolutely. i think the clinton people care, even though they might play it down. i think -- >> i think the fact that they actively try to play it down -- i noticed that. no, no. we're not counting crowd sizes. why are you telling me that? >> what does bernie sanders offer that hillary clinton can't right now? authenticity. a sense of a message that feels unleashed and uncalculated in a lot of ways. and she's really struggling to contend with it. now i do think to give them a little credit i think they are glad right now that it is bernie sanders that is drawing those crowds and not that those crowds are luring another democrat with more stature to get into the race. >> michael, the question is nobody believes that hillary is going to lose the nomination. but pat buchanan made george h.w. bush weeker. rick santorum make mitt romney weaker. sarah palin made john mccain weaker. >> you use the word "fight."
i don't see this as so much a fight between bernie and hillary. >> she's not fighting back. >> there's not that level of engagement. there was the more of tit for tat between bush and buchanan and so forth and reagan and so forth. but in this case hillary keeping her distance. she's watching what's happening with the numbers but she's not going to engage with him directly the way we've seen in the past. i think that's been helping her so far. >> i thinkly see trump and sanders as sort of mirror images of each other in that they represent the extremes of the debate. >> i would like to end -- i'm going to try to end the show here on a unifying note. it's been a long, strange trip obviously to get to this point but i want to end on a unifying note because tonight is the final concert for the grateful dead. >> at soldier field. >> here's what i found amazing, that to our friends at public opinion strategies a democratic/republican polling
firm. this he decided to test the grateful dead and how popular they are by party. guess what? the grateful dead unifies america. look at these favorable ratings by republicans independents, and in fact the dead has a higher favorable rating among republicans than democrats! how about that. >> they're older. >> why don't more people know them? they're such a huge unknown. >> dude. dude. why don't people know them? because uncle jeff's band happened a long time ago. any dead hl headsheads here? >> my son is the biggest deadhead i know. >> i have many friends who are at the final shows. >> well it's time for us to go. that's all for today. enjoip the rest of your holiday weekend. by the way, let's go, america! win this world cup final this evening! we'll be back next week because, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." it's monday july 6th. right now on "first look," the american team stuns defending champion japan by dominating every aspect of the match. to greece voters celebrate a victory for no as their financial future remains in dire straits. massive blaze at a florida resort has crews battling the flames while 500 rooms are evacuated. the pope kicks off his south american pilgrimage. some racing fans deny nascar's push against the confederate flag. a busy july weekend.