tv Up w Steve Kornacki MSNBC September 20, 2015 5:00am-7:01am PDT
we needed short-term funding. fast. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. you can't predict it, but you can be ready. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself. realize your buying power at open.com. is the united states ready to hear the pope's political message? good morning, thanks for getting up with us this sunday morning. i'm richard wolf sitting in for steve kornacki. pope francis gets ready to bring his message of change to the you state, including to a joint session of congress. but will his audience on capitol hill be ready to hear what he has to say about things l climate change and income
equality? so this actually happened, donald trump was the star attraction last night at a high school homecoming in iowa. more on that in just a moment. plus, what would happen if a democrat dare to suggest america isn't great and we needed to make america great again? michelle obama could tell us a few things about what that feels like. and it's the ballot question that's almost always a winner, did the republican field just pave the way for an explosion of ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana in 2016? this morning, pope francis is spending his first full day in cuba after greeting thousands of cubans shortly after his arrival in havana yesterday afternoon. not long from now he'll be conducting a mass in havana's revolution square, one of many services and speeches on a packed schedule throughout this coming week as he sets out on an historic nine-day swing through cuba, and the eastern united states. for more on today's event we
have nbc's claudio lavanga, live from havana, cuba. claudio? >> reporter: richard, hi, good morning. tens of thousands of cubans started to line up the streets and fill up the square of revolution square since the very early hours of this morning. of course this is a very special and popular pope, he's the first pope from in aive america, his native language is spanish and played a key role in the relations between the u.s. and cue with a. upon hayes rifle yesterday in havana airport, he said that brings up a lot of hope to the world, even hailed the process as an example of reconciliation to the world. he did not say anything about human or civil rights, even though he said he's going to pray for cuba to travel the path of peace, justice and reconciliation. the mass starts in about an hour. it will last about two hours,
meet with president fidel -- sorry, president raul castro but the big highlight of the day may come if and when the pope meets with his brother, fidel castro. it's not on the agenda, not on the schedule but the vatican said it may happen and if it does happen, it will happen today, richard. >> claudio, do you think the pope can help cuba in this transitional phase, particularly with the united states? >> reporter: well, we will have to wait and see whether he does mention the embargo at the congress. of course congress is the only one that can lift the embargo outright. now, the vatican said this is not a political trip. this is not a diplomatic trip. this is pilgrimage so he's not expected to say that but what he can do is put pressure on congress in other ways, for instance, by talking about it here and that's what he's already doing. of course he's already played an enormous port in receiving delegations from both countries
in the past year to, he sent personal letters to obama and raul castro to urge them to find reconciliation and that worked clearly and they both praised the pope for the role that he played. now that he's here, even the fact that he's here is one more step towards his work in convincing congress to lift the embargo all together, richard. >> fascinating story developing there in havana. fascinating pictures, too, thank you, claudio lavaga, in havana. when pope francis addresses a joint session of congress on thursday, the first pope ever to do so, he will be entering a deeply divided chamber. the pope's outspoken views on climate change and income inequality are not always palate able to the republicans on capitol hill. for example, here are some of the responses he received in june after attributing "the majority of the global warming in recent decades to human
activity." he called it the moral issue of our time. jeb bush said i don't get my economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope. rick santorum said he believed "we are better off leaving science to the scientists" and a new msnbc poll shows 49% of americans want pope francis to talk about social and economic policy while in the united states. is it a message the republicans who invited him really want to hear? one republican member already saying he is boycotting the address, citing the pope's "leftist policies." here to discuss papal politics is e.j. deon, "washington post" columnist and msnbc contributor. e.j., good morning. >> good to be with you. >> e.j., i want to start off with some poll numbers about americans' views of pope francis. 51% positive, 9% negative, and if you dig into it a little more, i wonder if we can pull up
these numbers as well, latinos 49%. positive versus negative feelings, 51% positive, 49% latinos have positive attitude to this pope. the political impact among latinos in this country of this pope's visit, how do you foresee this playing out? >> well you know, there were so many different dramas to this visit, one is indeed among latinos, a lot of latinos both in the united states and in central and south america have drifted toward protestantism, particularly evangelical protestantism, and so having a latino pope is very important to the church itself, in trying to hold those latinos. they have perhaps to win back some of the latinos who have moved away but politically more broadly try to think about what
would have happened at last week's republican debate if someone had shown up there, speaking spanish, and most of the pope's speeches will be in spanish, and in spanish talking about the need to deal with climate change, the need to welcome immigrants and refugees, the need to deal with economic injustice, a critic of capitalism, imagine how welcome that person would have been at last week's republican debate. and so i think another of the dramas here will be how much of the pope's talk here will be about issues that put him essentially on the left side of the center, and last thing is, the message he will send by where he's going, he's visiting the largest jail in philadelphia, in washington he's visiting the needy people who are served by catholic charities. he's meeting migrant workers in upstate -- or north of new york city. just what he is doing, forget
any words he says, will send a very powerful message as well. >> e.j., you're far more expert than i am but where would you place this on social issues? we've talked about climate change and inequality but he's still the pope when it comes to abortion, reproductive rights, where would you place him on the spectrum? >> i suppose it depends on what spectrum you're talking about. if it's the american political spectrum and you would place him right of center in the sense that he is very strongly opposed to abortion, but if you place him within a catholic spectrum, it's not so clear he's all the way over there. in an important gesture, he announced for example that women who have abortions no longer have to go to their bishops to get forgiveness. it was seen as a movement in that direction, and i think the key thing is he's gone out of his way to say he's the
anti-culture war pope. he's gone out of his way to be welcoming to gays, for example, gays and lesbians, to say that the church has spoken so much about abortion and gay rights and other social issues it deemphasized its message on economic justice and issues of that sort. so that he is actually pulling the church back to where it was some time ago, which is yes it's very pro-life, anti-abortion but it also has a very strong voice on issues of social and economic justice. so he's shifting the priorities. >> let's open this up to the panel, joining me today evan santoro, white house correspondent with buzz feed, amy holmes, anchor of the blaze hot list and mike doappelganger. welcome to you all. >> thank you. >> amy, i want to start with
you, let's project out to the pope's speech. >> um-hum. >> how does the republican congress react doto what the po has to say? >> they'll react respectfully. they intend to. we have the republican congressman who is boycotting the pope, catholic congressman who disagrees with the pope's positions on those you would say social justice or economic justice issues, being to the left of the congressman, but a lot of republicans there on the record of saying this is a great honor, they look forward to the pope's visit, they look forward to his talk, and it's not clear that he will actually be getting into any policy specifics. if he does that, i think there will be a stony silence from those republicans, but it's actually not expected that he's going to be lecturing or hectoring the united states on what our policies should be vis-a-vis the issues. >> david, are the democrats hoping for too much? it's a pope, fairly mild, as we heard from e.j., there are indications he may be moving on some of these issues, and
democrats then to jump up and cheer, but is he really going to -- is this really an endorsement? >> i think the republicans will not be calling a bebe netanyahu here, the cheer. the republicans will not greet him the way they greeted netanyahu. the democrats on the other hand may do that. i think there is -- i'd be very surprised if the pope doesn't talk about climate change, and economic justice, social justice, and dealing with poverty. i mean, he has said very blatantly in other speeches that dealing with the poor should be a number one priority. he's not in fair of letting markets dictate the way of the world moves, and i don't see him -- >> broader philosophic strokes, not specific policy detail, that we ought to have carbon -- >> carried interest for hedge
fund managers. >> or cap and trade. >> i think he will talk about the imperative of dealing with climate change which right there will be against any republican policy, and in talking about putting social programs ahead of tax cuts, which he's talked about, again, that will be at odds with republicans and how they react to that will be interesting. >> particular terms for presidential candidates, evan, some sound from jeb bush on pope francis. he has a particular challenge here. hear what jeb has to say. >> pope francis is an amazing man. he speaks with such elegance and simplicity with things that are really important and i think the decisions he's made as it relates to providing showing mercy for people, women that have had abortions or divorce is making it easier for people to absolve themselves from that, and traditional catholic way. i think he's going to lift people's spirits up and here is a man who comes with a gentle soul and i think it might be
really healthy for our country to hear someone speak the way he does. >> evan, the republican candidates clearly have grounds to make up with latino voters. jeb bush says he'll not take his policies from his pope or bishop but going to play nice with the pope. how do the republican candidates deal with a pope from latin america who is concerned with people at the lower end of the economic scale? >> you can see the message is evolving on this. when the pope first came around and started talking about economic issues, the famous quote from paul ryan he grew up in argentina and understands communistic economies, understands capitalism. they've dialed that back a little bit now. the thing that rick santorum said about scientists, he dialed that back a little bit so what bush is saying is what a lot of people are going to say, this guy is a good-hearted guy and a smart guy and he's going to come over here and tell us some of his ideas, but i agree a little bit that you said earlier talking to david about what democrats are expecting. there's a little bit of a
patrolling aspect among democrats. if the pope was really in the united states running for the democratic nomination, he would have not been doing very well. you talk about stuff he's still the leader of the anti-abortion at least strongly skeptical of gay rights. i mean so there is a factor that like what you think about the pope more than a lot of other than we've seen in the past he's come here to sort of taking on a kind of general spirit of talking about poverty and things like that, that puts a lot of politicians on edge in a lot of different ways but i do think that republicans are clearly trying to not run afoul of it as much as they did before. >> there's picking and choosing on both sides. democrats ignoring the fact he opposes homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, contraception, major party playings and the republican side, respectful silence to the pope enumerating his more
leftist parties. you can regard this pope as the left's pope john paul. >> the pope running for president, e.j., i think he's going to blow my head apart. where do you think he fits into the presidential race? >> he probably doesn't fit into the presidential race, except it's going to be very difficult for donald trump in particular and all of the restrictionist candidates on immigration, and so that's where he might have some immediate effect, but the other thing this goes to what the panel has said, there's been a lot of talk among democrats about the dangers of politicizing this visit, because they really do want to stand up and cheer a lot and they will in congress, when he talks about climate change or economic justice, but they know that in a sense, they reduced the currency here. they sort of would cause themselves more trouble if they actually politicized this. you're going to see democrats walking a very careful line, too. lot of republicans will say we love the guy for being
spiritual, outside the catholic church on the conservative side, you're going to have people hitting him hard on his economics like that congressman, like george wheel and his column in "the washington post" this morning, but the catholics will be very careful as catholics typically are with popes. >> e.j., thank you. we're watching live pictures of the pope in havana, cuba, as he prepares for his mass in revolution square. stick around, e.j., you'll be back later in the hour. still ahead, the suspect in the arizona freeway shootings speaks up, what he says about the charges against him. and next -- >> who would you rather have negotiate for you? hillary, ay, or trump? argh! >> what happens when donald trump comes to your high school homecoming? find out right after this. bring us your aching... and sleep deprived. bring us those who want to feel well rested and ready to enjoy the morning ahead
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if you have kids in high school and i do, you know how important homecoming weekend can be. now imagine that weekend if donald trump showed up. it would, of course, be huge. that's exactly what happened last night in iowa, where trump appeared at a high school right before its annual homecoming dance. it was one of two appearances the donald made yesterday in the hawkeye state. nbc's halle jackson is live in des moines. good morning. >> reporter: hey, good morning, richard. we were there for the big pre-homecoming rally. donald trump came out and addressed the students almost in a quasi-commencement speech. he said stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, follow your heart and work hard. the students part of a government class pushed for any candidate to come, they reached out to a number of candidates.
the teacher told hee they heard a day from bernie sappeders the day before expressing his regret he wouldn't come up. donald trump came through and spoke to them. he didn't dance in case you're wondering but made news earlier in the day at the faith and freedom conference. he spoke to this conservative christian audience, he brought his bible and he addressed this controversy where he as you know failed to correct a questioner last week who claimed incorrectly that president obama is not a christian and was not born in the united states. trump unapologetically read a series of tweets, says he's not morally obligated to defend the president when people say nasty or troecontroversial things abo him, defended what he didn't say and made some news along the way. >> hallie, i understand why he's doing the faith and freedom piece but the high school i'm struggling with. you could ask this about everything donald trump does on the campaign trail. why did he go? >> reporter: he says he came because the kids were so
passionate about it. the students really wanted to, presumably it's because he was nearby for the faith and freedom conference anyway. the kids had really gotten a lot of attention for drawing sidewalk chalk outside his iowa headquarters, et cetera, so they really made a strong push to get trump to show up. he joked i get millions of dollars for speeches, and i'm doing this one to are free. what am i doing, making a bad deal? he wanted to come to talk to the kids. they're not old enough to vote yet all of them but some are. i said how are you leaning? the homecoming king and queen i talked to said we're not sure how we'll vote but it's good to know we can hear mr. trump speak at school. >> the homecoming king and queen even then playing politics. thank you, hallie jackson, that was great. >> before the big homecoming dance, trump addressed a very different audience, one comprised of people probably old enough to vote at a forum sponsored by the faith and freedom coalition. he tried to make a good first impression, walking on stage with as you heard a couple of
props, his bible, and a picture from his confirmation in his hand. trump once again defended his decision not to correct a supporter at a town hall last week who claimed president obama was muslim and not an american. he was also critical of john mccain, who corrected a woman in 2008 who said that barack obama was an arab. >> you remember the famous thing where john mccain just ripped that microphone out of the woman's hands and -- i don't know, i thought it was a little bit harsh, to be honest with you. does anybody agree with me? that was harsh, wasn't it? they gave him so much credit. not me. i didn't give him a lot of credit. >> i want to bring back our panel here. >> donald trump objecting to someone being harsh? low energy, high energy. he's permanently the critic of other people's campaigns but amy, i guess there's no real downside for donald trump or any other candidate to go out there
and defend president obama. i mean there's no upside, only downside in going out there saying yeah, i'm going to protect the public opinion around president obama. so does it matter if he goes out and intervenes in these questions? >> not in a gop primary but the upside is leadership and the first half of what that man said in his question to me was really the even more problematic one which is we have a problem in this country in america and it's muslims and that i think is where donald trump should have cut him off right there, just said okay, enough of that, we're not going to be talking about that right now and move on, and i think that his response was actually reflective of his inexperience and that he's pandering to his audience as we saw at that high school and that he actually was uncomfortable taking control of the situation shutting that person down and moving on. >> also trump is america's most prominent birther. this is completely on brand for him. i was quite surprised at the controversy around this whole thing. how could trump have not -- this
is what trump really believes. he's being saying this for years. >> we don't know if he really believes. >> it's what he says routinely over and over on he had him on chuck todd and said the same thing. >> it's very convenient because 54% of republicans nationwide believe barack obama is muslim, and a third of all republican iowa caucus goers believe obama was born in kenya, so if he were to take this on, he's going against his own base. >> hold on, how do we square, how do we square all of that, questions of leadership with what he's done with birtherism, with this sound when he answers a high school girl's question about having a muslim in his cabinet. let's play that sound. >> so i consider muslim americans to be an important asset to our country in society. would you consider putting one in your cabinet or even on your ticket? >> you consider what? >> putting with unin your cabinet or on your ticket, a muslim-american. >> muslim? oh, absolutely.
no problem with that. would i consider putting a muslim-american in my cabinet, absolutely no problem with that. >> absolutely no problem with that. >> that doesn't surprise me. he's not going to come out and say i'm a bigot, so i won't put a muslim in but pushes the buttons the other ways. going against obama, birtherism is a bigoted racially tainted enterprise. >> whispering campaign on the -- >> whoa, whoa, let -- >> the birther issue served both sides. president obama did not release his long form birth certificate. >> oh, here we go. >> david, it's true and raised a lot of questions. >> why should he have? >> why should he? he enjoyed having this issue surrounding him. it raised him a lot of money and discredited hadis opponents. >> rather than talking about the incumbent, whatever we think president obama did or did get out of the birth certificate issue i'm trying to understand
where donald trump thinks he's going. is president obama a separate zone around issues around being muslim or who is american and who isn't. muslim-american in your cabinet is being inclusive for donald trump. >> it's an interesting parallel to all of this 2012 a forgotten story line, herman cain said a lot of things about muslim-americans and islam and asked would you put a muslim in your cabinet he said i would have to take special precautions, make sure they're not terrorists and that became a huge problem for him briefly and he went to a mosque in the d.c. area and apologized to muslim leaders there. so trump is sort of like a little bit smarter. part of this thing that we're watching in this whole package you guys put together, this is a republican candidate going out and appealing to youth voters and going out and trying to really prove his worth on evangelical scale, people skeptical of him. he's not a dumb campaigner.
he's pretty smart and he's doing a better job than her man caman did. >> your presidential candidate latest, live in havana, pope francis, look at the pictures here, about to give a mass to thousands of cubans on day one of his nine-day trip to the island nation and the united states. of course he's not running for', that was my flip line on my part. we'll watch the pictures out of cuba, the crowds are phenomenal. still ahead the movement to legalize marijuana took a huge step forward at wednesday's debate. we'll tell you why. and next -- the suspect charged in a string of shootings in phoenix, arizona, speaks up. that's coming up. stay with us. play awesome party song. ♪ (phone ringing) what's up mikey? hey buddy i heard you're having a party. what? if i was having a party, i'd invite you. would you? yeah. (phone ringing) oh! i got another call. adam: i'm not having a party!
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every morning, i give each one of my customers a call to give them a closer eta. and when i called this customer, i discovered that he was deaf. then i thought of amanda. i've known american sign language since i was about 8 years old. it's like music for your eyes. and i thought that was an amazing gift to have, to be able to communicate with the deaf. my friend kanyon asked me to help him explain how today's appointment will go. he was nodding his head and giggling a little bit. i earned his trust that day, i guess. the man taken into custody late friday night in the string of shooting incidents on arizona interstate i-10 now faces 28
charges including four counts of intentional acts of terrorism. authorities say leslie merritt jr. is forensically linked to four of the 11 confirmed shooting incidents. merritt maintains that he is innocent of any crimes. nbc's gadi schwartz is live in phoen phoenix. >> reporter: good morning, this is the first chance we got to see the suspected i-10 shooter up close in court. in court he seemed incredulous telling the judge he had nothing to do with the shootings. the 21-year-old suspect leslie alan merritt jr. is a local landscaper, now facing a slew of charges including those four counts of intentional acts of terrorism, as well as four counts of drive-by shootings. he's also facing a slew of other charges. now bail has been set at $1 million. investigators say they've linked merritt to at least four of the shootings from a gun he sold to a pawn shop. but merritt says it wasn't him,
and he hasn't had that gun in months. >> all i have to say is that i'm the wrong guy. i've tried telling the detectives that. my gun's been in the pawn shop for the last two months. i haven't even had access to a weapon. i could never afford that bond though. i got two kids, you know? >> reporter: when asked about merritt's defense and his claim he didn't have a gun for months, police would not elaborate or comment only saying that forensic evidence linked him to at least four of the shootings but there is still 11 shootings so seven other shootings remain unsolved. investigators asking people to keep calling in tips and to remain vigilant. richard? >> thank you, gadi. gadi schwartz there. still ahead, could a democrat get away with donald trump's campaign slogan? we will dive into that. here's another look now of the huge crowds waiting to hear from pope francis in havana, cuba, part of his nine-day historic trip that's just kicking off. stay tuned.
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there's been no shortage of controversy over what donald trump has said on the campaign trail. there hasn't been quite as much uproar over his slogan "make america great again." >> you're hard working people that really don't want anything. you just want to see this country be great again. and that's what i'm going to do. i'm going to make this country great again. >> but this idea of making america great again, one baseball cap at a time is of course a statement that america isn't really great right now. the kind of suggestion that doesn't seem to be prompting much outrage from voters and activists in either party. but what about when michelle obama said this when her husband was first running for president? >> for the first time in my adult lifetime, i'm proud of my
country and not just because barack has done well, but because i think people are hungry for change. >> michelle obama merely suggesting that she hasn't always been proud of the united states, that america wasn't always great, was of course pounced on by conservatives. frankly, it's hard to imagine a democrat, any democrat ever adopting a slogan that blatantly proclaims america isn't already at her best. so why is donald trump getting a pass? e.j. deon of the. is back with us and of course our panel, too. e.j., for michelle obama this was the formative experience, trial by fire. how come there's one standard when michelle obama says something like this, but for donald trump, it is a statement of the obvious? >> well, i think there is a double standard, but let's look at a couple of things. first, ronald reagan first used the slogan about making america great again. secondly john kennedy ran to get
the country moving again, jimmy carter promised a government as good as the american people, a nice way to flatter us all, but i think that the conservative side has always had a kind of ownership on the definition of what it is to be an american. we had a committee in the house, the house committee on un-american activities, that committee whether democrats or republicans, controlled the house was dominated by conservatives. if you remember back in the george w. bush years, there was the real america, which tended to be the states that voted republican, and then there's this other america that didn't seem to count, and then lastly, i think you're seeing on the conservative side a kind of definition of the values that count as american. this is also not new in our history, and they are not comfortable with the america that is becoming both in terms of values, in terms of the
makeup of the people of the new america. so i just think there is a double standard, although democrats find other ways of saying they're going to make america better than it is, when they are out of power. >> i want to bring in amy holmes here. amy, are republicans uncomfortable with i guess the demographic direction of the united states right now? is that what we're hearing? >> i don't think that's what the statements are about, and there is a substantive difference between what michelle obama said twice and scripted on a campaign trail versus donald trump's slogan. she said she had never been proud of her country until this moment. donald trump is harkening back to some bucholic area where we'll go to the future and be great again, implying we were once great, which means prior to president obama. this is typical campaign rhetoric. you see bernie sanders talking about america is not where it needs to be, the unemployment
rate doesn't reflect the true unemployment rate, underemployment, people who dropped out of the workforce so i'm not trying to accept the premise of the discussion that there's a double standard when both sides do it, and michelle obama, her statement was very different. >> just to be clear she didn't say she had never been proud. for the first time in my adult life. >> presumably when she was in elementary schoolchild she was proud of her country. >> there's a difference. anyway, david, i want to play you some sound of what hillary clinton said yesterday in new hampshire. she actual lay dresses what donald trump has been doing in terms of making america great again directly. let's listen to hillary clinton. >> when you hear mr. trump saying he wants to make america great again, respond "america is great. we just need to make it work for all the people in our country again!" >> so david, can we expect hillary to use more rhetoric like this? >> i think so. her main rhetoric is making america work for everybody, middle class, not just for the
top 1%, seeing the income gains. it feeds into what her strategic message is. i will say over the past eight years we've seen many republicans in many different ways all suggest that barack obama, michelle obama by extension, don't understand america, don't get america. are not really americans, you know, even people like john sununu doing the mitt romney campaign, surrogate for him, says he doesn't really understand america so it's true that there is somewhat of a double standard that republicans often slam democrats, particularly barack obama for not being a real american or really getting america or understanding american exceptionalism. i don't see any democrats saying that about republicans. there were other reasons to attack or critique. >> president owe pa ma compared republicans to iranian ayatol h ayatollahs. are you kidding me? president obama often talks about that we have to subscribe to his values as americans, this is what america is about.
>> it's two different kinds of rhetoric, in both parties. the idea is that obama ran a positive campaign message of hope and change and all that and bernie sanders is saying america needs a revolution being taken over by the oligarches, it's doom and gloom all over the place. hillary says america is great, and the same thing on the republican side. saying make america great again and other candidates more positive message. it's positive versus negative. >> and drawing contrast. >> i want to thank e.j. dionne of "the washington post." >> good to be with you. is there a possible lesson from the animal kingdom? a female snake in missouri did something quite unusual on her own. we have details ahead. next, why a big moment at
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and a relationship built for the unexpected, she could control her cash flow, and keep the ranch running. chase for business. so you can own it. governor christie recently said "if you're getting high in colorado today, where marijuana has been legalized, enjoy it until january 2017, because i will enforce the federal laws against marijuana." will you? >> i don't think that the federal government should override the states. i believe in the tenth amendment. >> i agree with senator paul, i agree with states rights. >> what goes on in colorado as far as i'm concerned that should be a state decision. >> wednesday night's debate no less than three republican candidates said they approve of allowing the states to decide whether or not to legalize marijuana. it's not quite the same as declaring yourself a proponent but a stance that could have huge ramifications in 2016 and beyond. recreational marijuana use is
currently legal in four states and the district of columbia and several states are expected to impart legalization to their ballots next year. an interesting tidbit making marijuana a ballot issue, giving the decision directly to the voters. such measures are almost always successful. so did the gop field just open the door to a spate of pro-marijuana ballot measures in 2016? joining me is msnbc reporter tony dekoppel who recently published an awesome article on the msnbc.com for the one and only msnbc.com. thanks for joining us. >> glad to be here. >> it did strike me as surprising to have three republicans, if not fully embracing marijuana, at least inhaling or not inhaling, a little bit. >> this is a very big deal if you're in favor of marijuana legalization because currently the obama administration is taking a hands off approach. it had been unclear until this past week what a republican president might do, would they
rush in or would they keep a hands off approach. it seems to really be breaking toward hands off approach. they value states rights and state autonomy more than they hate marijuana. so what you'll see is a continued march. there could be 12 ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana in the next election cycle. ohio has one in six weeks. >> energized voting block. people show up to vote on this issue. >> they do. republicans are by and large against it, 39%, only 39% support legalization, but for a long time, although national polls showed a majority support for legalization, all that support was clustered on the coasts, but what we've seen is states poll by poll, state by state showing majority support. 25 states where a majority of the people support legalization, that is waking up the republican candidates. >> i want to bring in national, you talk about state by state but national numbers of how attitudes changed from 2006 to 2015, this year the poll shows 53% of americans for marijuana
legalization, 44% against. in 2006, it's really flipped over, 32% said yes, 60% said no. attitudes are changing very, very rapidly on this. >> extremely rapidly, but if you're a big fan of legalization, you should still be a little bit worried, a little bit paranoid because the country is given to vast swings in their opinion about marijuana. senate committees voting in favor of decriminalization in 91907s and less than ten years later reagan and the poll numbers have again. so support goes up and gets cut in half, support goes up and cut in half. >> civilization has not ended in the states where it has been legalized. doesn't that cement the changes? >> unfortunately not. we saw that at the debate. the candidates struggled to speak intelligently about marijuana and other drugs as a separate category. they lump it together in a massive heap. >> medicinal marijuana, too.
>> you don't believe in that, do you? >> governor cuomo i think does. whether the democrats, republicans are, david ware, what's the democratic path through this jungle? >> it's interesting, we haven't heart hillary clinton talk much about it yet. i think it would be from her interspective a centrist democrat, let the states decide and not talk about -- and being in favor of medicinal marijuana, legalization of use and recreational marijuana up to the states. it's probably the democratic path through all this and interesting thing in the ballots, there will be 12 ballot initiatives in the states, maybe swing states. i assume that brings out probably more democratic voters, and overall more democratic voters. is that true? >> i think so. hillary is not so progressive and no one has come out in favor of legalization. hillary said she won't take money from legal pot businesses even. that's a hands off approach that
suggests she thinks this say crime. rand paul the big progressive on the republican side on this issue. >> but he didn't inhale. >> i wonder if with same-sex marriage the political debate is somewhere behind the public attitudes here. >> that's probably true, take a few cycles to catch up. but as you legalize this stuff, it's really going to be hard to go backwards, and i think of the medicinal front that debate more or less has been won by the science and policy will be catching up to that probably quickly. >> in the case of colorado, the jury is still out because it's a new experiment on the effects of marijuana use on teenagers, if it is a gateway drug for younger people, how it affects the adolescent brain and also something a big concern and among conservatives there's never been an unanimity. national review is pro-legalization, while you have conservatives who are against it. >> thanks to the panelists, tony, thank you for joining us today.
>> glad to be here. still ahead we'll go back to havana where cuban said media is reporting over 1 million people are expected to attend today's open air mass in the pla zaf the revolution. and next, starting next year, you're going to need more than just a driver's license to fly, if you're from one of these five states. more on that ahead. please stay with us. ♪ when is your flu shot more than a flu shot? when it helps give a lifesaving vaccine
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there's a huge amount going on this morning. we'll get caught up in a lightning way on some other headlines making news this today's panel. we have to go through this quickly, driver's licenses from new york, louisiana, minnesota, american samoa and new hampshire will no longer be enough to get on a neck commercial flight considered noncompliant because they don't require proof of citizenship or residency, the rule will go into effect 2016. this is a nightmare nfor new
york. why do you have to be a citizen to get on a economic flight? >> evan? >> i want to get to this lady snake, bear with me lady snake gives birth after being alone for eight years, doesn't need men. second year in a row the yellow bellied water snake managed to give birth. the snake may be the first of a species to experience a virgin birth. what could be better to talk about. >> does maureen dowd know about this? >> what does that have to do -- >> the book "what good are men?" >> this is frightening a woman could wake up one morning pregnant. >> there's a back story the snake is not telling us. >> maureen, he didn't mean anything by that. stay with us for another full hour of politics. hey, how's the college visit? you remembered. it's good.
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♪ good morning, thanks for staying with us this sunday morning. i'm richard wolffe sitting in for steve kornacki. islamaphobia is alive and well. clbt clinton came alive this weekend in ham happen. you wouldn't know it from the thousands cheering her on she's been struggling in an area of the country once dubbed clinton country. we'll assess the democratic field after this weekend's big convention. speaking of which, president obama shares the spotlight at last night's congressional black caucus gathering with the democrats who are trying to replace him. and is donald trump a democrat pretending to be a republican? that's what a prominent conservative group is saying and backing it up with $1 million.
but before we get to any of that, we want to bring you some more pictures of havana's revolution square, hundreds of thousands are celebrating a sunday mass led by pope francis. remember this is just day one of pope francis' nine-day papal trip through cuba and the eastern united states. we'll wribring you the latest throughout this hour. back to politics and the thread running through some of the biggest stories of the week. there's ahmed miu had, the 14-year-old boy arrested after he built a clock and brought it to school to show his teacher. authorities somehow believed he'd made a bomb. here is ahmed in his own words with chris hayes. >> i felt like i was a criminal. i felt like i was a terrorist. i felt like all the names i was called. >> what do you mean all the names you were called? >> i was called in middle school
i was called a terrorist, called a bomb maker, just because of my race, and religion. one of the officers did comment on me walking in the room. >> what did he say? >> he got back in the reclining chair and relaxed and he said, "that's who i thought it was." >> the #istand wiwithahmed went viral on social media. hillary clinton and president obama showing support for ahmed. he scored an invitation to the white house, and then just one day later, there was this exchange at a donald trump rally in new hampshire. >> i like this guy. >> problem in this country called muslims, you know our current president is one. you know he's not even an american. >> we need this question? >> but anyway, we have training
camps -- we're going to be looking at a lot of different things, a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there, looking at that and plenty of other things. >> september 2014, a pew research survey found that 50% of americans believe that islam encourages more violence, encourages violence more than other religions. when broken counsel by party, 67% of republicans and 42% of democrats believe this to be the case. now granted this comes in a year dominated by the growing power of isis. reports of beheadings and other horrific massacres becoming far too commonplace. it's also true anti-muslim sentiment continues to persist in the west and not just in the united states. take a look at the migrants crowding europe's borders clamoring for enter into a better life.
joining me now is james zogby, founder and president of the arab-american institute. good morning, james. >> good morning, richard. >> james, i'd like to sort of track if we can attitudes, american attitudes to muslims and arabs over the course of the time since 9/11. have they got better or worse? are we more or less understanding of muslims in this country? >> we clearly have gotten worse and one factor that you have not mentioned is the election of barack obama. republicans saw this, some elements of the republican party saw this as an opportunity to conflate the president, his blackness with his foreignness and islam, so they brought them all together. it is not surprising that a majority of republicans today, 54% of republicans feel obama is a muslim. 66% of trump followers believe that obama is a muslim, and what
this means is that when donald trump is speaking, before an audience, his crowd believes what that guy was asking him about, and so those who said why didn't he repudiate that man, he would have to repudiate two-thirds of his own constituency, and that's not likely to happen. this is a creature created by the republican party and donald trump is riding this wave and that's the tragic thing that's going on right here. >> this isn't just a political debate about where people position themselves with regard to national figures, because as we've seen, it trickles down to a school level. >> yes. >> in irving, texas, where there's an assumption that someone who is muslim may have some terrorist sympathies or intent. >> sure. >> when it really comes down to a science experiment or an invention that a school boy wants to bring in to show his teachers. >> george w. bush, for all of his flaws and there were many, pursued a policy that said to
americans, muslims are not the enemy. >> right. >> he defended american muslims even though while at the same time unleashing profiling and a whole body of procedures that actually made life hell, but he spoke out against islamaphobia. the current republican party does not speak out against it. in fact in 2012 five of the presidential aspirants said they wouldn't allow a muslim in their cabinet. 2010 newt gingrich and the republican congressional committee ran a national campaign against building a mosque in new york in southern manhattan, not near ground zero but they considered it that for the emotional impact it would have and the result is that the tea party, the birther movement, and this islamaphobic movement all converged around a theme of fear and insecurity that republicans have used partly against the president, but also partly to mobilize their base and like i said, donald trump is
riding that wave right now. this is not about donald trump. this is about the platform republicans have created and it's a danger. it's a danger not just to the american muslim community. i think it's a danger to the country. >> okay, james, i want to bring in the panel back in. we have been focusing on donald trump with republicans. politics of fear is something democrats have played with as well. it was the democrats in congress who voted against closing guantanamo bay because they thought, you know, there was popular support against having any transfer of these high value detainees to the american mainland. so aren't both sides guilty of a failure to lead when it comes to the politics? >> harry reid led that fight against closing guantanamo, but i thought also because they were worried that the republicans would use it as a campaign issue
against them. >> that's not leadership. >> no, it's not leadership at all, but it's a lot different than getting out there and either encouraging or playing footsy with people who believe the president's a secret muslim or a secret socialist, that he wasn't really born here. i mean, the democrats have not been out there out front pushing back on some of this stuff but they haven't been fueling it the way that i think republicans have, and i thought there was a lot of it in the campaign in 2012 against barack obama from high profile republicans. remember, in the middle of the birther frenzy that donald trump was leading back then, the birther movement had died out and he blew his hot air on the embers and sort of blazing once again and while that was going on, who sought his endorsement and stood side by side with him? mitt romney. and so republican leaders have really played footsy and tried to rope that support in from
that base much more than the democrats have, and they haven't disavowed it and even on the stage in these current debates, you don't see any republicans turning to him. but jeb bush did say the other day obama is an american, and he's a christian. we'll see how far he gets with that. >> aimamy, the birther debate bn in the democratic party, hillary clinton raised the questions from the viral e-mails. >> started in the democratic primary. hillary clinton facing a tough competitor when she was asked directly if president obama, then senator obama was a christian, she said well, as far as i know. it's putting a big question mark over it because it was serving her political purposes. in terms of islamaphobia, i think mr. zogby is correct to point out president bush went out of his way over and over and over to remind americans islam is a religion of peace, we should be generous to our muslim
neighbors and trying to keep anti-or islamaphobia at bay and keep a tamp on it after 9/11 because things could have been much, much worse. >> we haven't done that since then, evan. this is having an impact on the debate about the refugees. america hasn't taken many refugees to date from syria. i want to play sound from congressman pete king, always out there on issues of terrorism threats. he said this week about talking about refugees, let's take a listen. >> allowing 10,000 people in from syria that we have to assume that somebody is going to make it through and in this day in the post 9/11 era, we always have to assume the worst and it's a very good chance the worst will happen. >> we have people in urgent need, america has traditionally been a haven for refugees from around the world and yet this what you call it islamaphobia or people having this politics of fear around terrorism, is having a real impact on how the world
is dealing with refugees. >> we've seen this argument fundamentally through the immigration debate, if it's not the syrian refugees it's akrocr the border from mexico, terrorist also come in. we don't really know what party the teachers that went after ahmed and prosecuted him at his school work. that poll number you show is most important thing about the high numbers of too emwho still have fear of muslims in this country. i always think back to what colin powell said on "meet the press" around the time this all was going on with obama and mccain and he's an arab thing. powell talked about how serving in vietnam, being in the military, plenty of muslims have fought own died for this country and are just as important as anybody else and the problem is we have to sort of get back to that understanding of it, as opposed to the remaining i think bigotry that goes through i think large swathes of the whole country. >> i think it's unfair to say that nervousness about having a large group of people coming to
the united states and not necessarily properly vetted, migrants moving through europe are not going through the normal refugee process, hundred xwar germany is trying to impose it. isis posted photos they infiltrated. isis recruited from the united states and western europe and certainly those things need to be taken care of. it's a national security issue and legitimate one and when you talk about islamaphobia not a single gulf nation has taken one of the refugees. >> we should take the policy being inclusive from middle eastern nations? >> i'm saying where -- >> they're not known for their inclusiveness and openness. >> the rejection of these refugees obviously is not based on islamaphobia it's based on concerns of tribal politics. >> and there are elements within the conservative movement who have actually believed that george w. bush was soft on islam
because of the steps he took. >> i'm sure there are. president obama is not throwing the doors open either because he doesn't want to risk national security. >> one at a time. james, people said the same about east european refugees immigrants to america, saying t anything in terms of the political debate that will tilt this back to where president george w. bush was, closer to muslim and arab americans? >> only if there's a courageous republican to buck his party's base and challenge him on this. i have not seen that courage to date. with regard to some of the nonsense that i just heard about the syrian refugee situation, we're not talking about migrants. we're talking about people vetted by dhs, we're talking about getting more funding for the department of homeland security so that they can vet and we're looking at the families that have been recommended by the united
nations, high commission on refugees, most of whom are headed by women, have lots of little children. >> you recommended them. >> listen, we've heard you for a minute. you don't know anything about the syrian refugee situation so just be quiet. >> please, sir, a little civility. >> wanting to come to america some of whom joining families here in america to seek refuge for their families to support them. we're not looking at people who are terrorists and we'll have the ability to properly vet them. they're coming through the proper channels, we cannot raise the limit because there's bigotry and fear against syrians coming into the country. that's wrong. we need to challenge it. >> you're confusing two separate issues. you have the migrant crisis that is sweeping -- >> the migrant crisis for america comes from the south. >> hold on, please. >> we have to deal with that. >> you're confusing two different issues. you're looking at the way we look at the migrant crisis sweeping over europe, even the u.n. refugee agency says half
are from syria, other countries, pakistan, iraq, bangladesh et cetera. as the european leaders are trying to deal with the issue it is how do we properly vet the folks as they are coming over. when we look at how do we take these people in, we have to have a proper process and to say where should this leadership begin in the person who sets that policy is president obama. >> and the president has said we will accept 10,000. here's the point. we're not talking about people coming over on little boats or people coming over on trains or taking cars across the border to hungary. we're talking about people getting on a plane, there is a vetting process before that occurs. what republicans refuse to -- >> i i think everyone is saying needs to happen. >> the dhs process to vet people before they get on planes so we can raise the limit to 10,000 and be a humanitarian refuge for the families who need some support. >> okay, sadly we have to leave it there. thank you, james zogby from the arab-american institute. still ahead, the tea party
and the republican establishment has been fighting for many years, but one man seems to be bringing them together. we'll explain all of that. and next, cheering crowds and controversy at new hampshire's biggest party convention in history. please stay with us. you can move the world. but to get from the old way to the new, you'll need the right it infrastructure. from a partner who knows how to make your enterprise more agile, borderless and secure. hp helps business move on all the possibilities of today. and stay ready for everything that is still to come.
the new hampshire democratic convention got off to a raucous start yesterday. committee chair debbie wasserman schultz repeatedly interrupted by chants for more debates. while she tried to keep the focus on trump and the republicans. >> in rochester -- >> we want debates! we want debates! >> one of his supporters in the audience called president obama a muslim. >> we want debates! >> my friends, what's more important, drawing a contrast
with republicans or arguing about debates? let's focus on our mission and the task at hand. >> i think they wanted the debates. the mood at the convention hall turned jubilant once the candidates took the stage. >> who watched the republican debates the other night? oh, you gluttons for punishments, you. 15 candidates, five hours, not a single fighter for the middle class. >> now over the last four weeks we have witnessed not one, but two unanswered rounds of nationally televised republican presidential debates, led by that racist anti-immigrant carnival barker donald trump. >> when we talk about the economy, all of you know that throughout this country, there are millions of americans who are working for wages which are
just too damned low. >> tyke to bring back our all-star panel. evan, hillary clinton -- sorry? >> who was the second guy? >> oh, that's rough. okay, clbt clinton is she getting her mojo back? >> the speech yesterday she definitely has plenty of mojo to go around. the universal phrase is one of the best things she's done on the campaign trail so far. i think that the first video that you show with debbie wasserman schultz and the dnc is an underreported story because it has been a mark o'malley campaign message pushing debates but i was also in minneapolis at the democratic convention there, and debbie wasserman schultz is having kind of a rough run right now as the democratic party chair. i think that that video may be more interesting down the road as we go into the iowa/new hampshire caucus and primaries. >> amy, when you stack up the two parties against each other, republicans are taking all of the oxygen here, and that's got
to be good, even though you got donald trump out there, and there are all sorts of, you know, land mines from that whole debate there, but just having these debates, good for republicans, aren't they? isn't it better to have debates than not have debates? >> i think so for the democratic process and the republican party but first fox debate getting 24 million viewers, the cnn debate getting 23 million viewers, these are people who are going to watch these ideas being debated and bandied about on stage and i thought it was incredible that debbie wasserman schultz was like he don't need to debate mox ourselves. we should be debating the other party. no, there's still a primary and bernie sanders is ahead and i'm sure he'd like the opportunity to face off against hillary. >> i want to bring in poll numbers from the new hampshire primary. just to show there is a live debate going on between the democratic parties. bernie sanders 35, hillary clinton 31, joe biden 14 and martin o'malley >> oh, there he is.
>> but this is ripe for a democratic debate. isn't it? it needs to be hashed out. >> i think there are six debates scheduled. after watching the last republican debate which ran five hours with the kiddie table debate i'm not sure we need more than six more republican debates. >> 20 milliondi disagree with you. >> if you took donald trump out of the equation, what would the second have gotten? i bet half that. i think right now for hillary, i mean, having the focus on the republican debate and basically on donald trump, is not a bad thing. >> good for hillary. >> there's several months before any voting and over a year before the general election, and part of her problem is that she, you know, has just like a speech to give. she's not doing anything. there's not much to sort of focus on her about except with the e-mail controversy so with the attention on quwhat is a
republican party going to do about donald trump? that's not bad for the democrats right now. plenty of time for primary and general voters to hear the debates. >> would anyone watch if donald trump wasn't on the debate stage? you said half. 10 million is still pretty good. it certainly wouldn't be as high. i don't give donald trump full credit for the high numbers for the republican debate. >> he takes them. >> he certainly takes them but why should the democratic party be hiding from debate? >> they have debates coming. >> those of us not in charge of scripting candidates and making sure they stay on message, i.e. those of us in media and voters should want more debates all the time, longer, more, constantly. >> they used to go on for days in the 1800s. >> bring that back. last man standing or woman. >> we had the segment here looking at the republican party talking about marijuana and looking at the republican party looking at the issues candidates do not want to talk about on the campaign trail. >> and disagree with one another about. >> for someone like hillary
clinton facing this problem with bernie sanders this would be a good moment for both of them. she certainly needs to show that she can stand up to him and he needs to sort of get out there and say he's a little bit more than just a white progressive. >> it has a metric system. >> that was a pretty good debate. bringing back the 800s. still ahead the latest attack from the right against donald trump. coming up next the sad and staggering new numbers about those wildfires that are still burning in northern acalifornia. through elkhorn ranch, the sudden loss of pasture became a serious problem for a family business. faced with horses that needed feeding and a texas drought that sent hay prices soaring, the owners had to act fast. thankfully, mary miller banks with chase for business. and with greater financial clarity and a relationship built for the unexpected, she could control her cash flow, and keep the ranch running.
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migrants have sadly died after their boat collided with a ferry off the coast of turkey. the collision happened near the turkish port of canakkale. eight people have been rescued and the coast guard is searching for more victims. more than two dozen migrants are also missing after their boat sank off the greek island of lesbos. the suspect in a series of shootings along a phoenix interstate says police have the wrong guy. leslie allen maerritt court jr. appeared in court hours after police arrested him. >> all i have to say is that i'm the wrong guy. i tried telling the detectives that. my gun's in the pawn shop the last two months. i haven't had access to a weapon. i could never afford that bond. i got two kids, you know? >> authorities say shell casings and bullet fragments from four
of the shootings along interstate 10 came from merritt's gun. in northern california, two wildfires have now destroyed more than 1,000 homes and more than 6,000 other buildings are still being threatened. those fires have killed at least five people. this has been one of the most destructive wildfire seasons in u.s. history. almost 9 million acres have been burned and about 3 million acres were burned about the same period last year. still ahead, what impact did wednesday night's debate have on the republican field? we'll have new post debate poll numbers on the other side of this break. and the conservative group that calls donald trump "the worst kind of politician." you're watching "up with steve kornacki." stay with us. [ school bell rings ]
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health care and the wall street bailout? it's donald trump. >> in many cases i probably identify more as a democrat. >> conservative political action committee, the club for growth is spending $1 million on two new ads in iowa to attack the gop front-runner as a phoby conservative, more liberal they claim than some of the democrats in the running. it's no secret that the gop establishment has been blind-sided by donald trump's rise to the top of the field for the republican nomination. he is the outsider everyone wanted to dismiss as a joke. there's no greater sign of that than the club for growth forking out $1 million to call donald trump a democrat in elephants clothing although that elephant is wearing a business suit. yes, donald trump holds conservative views on issues like immigration and abortion, but he also wants to do things like close tax loopholes and supports eminent domain.
>> trump supports eminent domain abuse because can he make millions while we lose our property rights. trump, the worst kind of politician. >> we're joined by steve moore of the heritage foundation and co-founder of the club for growth. thanks for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> so what upsets you about donald trump here? obviously you're going after him in a big way but is he that threatening to your agenda? >> i do z found the club for growth, haven't been involved the last ten years but there's a lot to this. look, trump as an economic conservative has taken positions that are just contrary to the mainstream of where pro growth republicans are on taxes, he said higher taxes, on trade he's talked a lot about protectionism, on immigration, he says he doesn't just want to give out illegal immigrants but legal immigrants, eminent domain talking about this off the air, but look it's not just that he's for eminent domain. he used eminent domain to
promote his own financial self-interest. those are problems, and they are contrary to where i think most republicans especially conservative voters are right now. >> i guess it's come to his defense although he's more than capable of coming to his own defense, donald trump would say he's just evolved. right? >> it may be. he hasn't come out with his tax plan yet. i've been in touch with their campaign and they're talking about some tax rate cuts and so on that could be very pro-growth. i think he's still a work in progress. he always is. but those positions on immigration, trade and taxes are difficult for a lot of republicans to swallow. i'll say this, though, having spent a lot of time in the last number of weeks with conservative activists around the country, they don't really care so much what donald trump is saying. what they love about him is taking on washington, he's taking on the corruption and incompetence and that he's taking on the republican leadership of congress which they feel isn't standing up for the values they want to see
promoted. >> but in that case isn't it dangerous to have these ads? doesn't it seem like the establishment is going after him? >> well, that's a good question. we'll see whether or not, but look the club for growth has always been about how do we make america a more prosperous place. there is a danger there. every time the republican establishment attacks donald trump what happens to his numbers, they go up. >> we know what he said this week about it, he said club for growth, losers, they came to me wanted $1 million i said no and they come out with ads. you raise a good point, steve, people are responding to him not on the basis of his policy prescriptions, not that he has any, but on the fact that he's venting, he's showing some type of anger and being upset at the system and all sorts of things and they're responding to that, and the republican party has always had this populist strain doesn't like immigration, doesn't like fat cats and the republican establishment has been able to convince them to vote for republicans. >> look, you're exactly right.
>> he wants control of the space and he's come in with sort of hostile takeover. >> all right, i think there's a lot to what you say. in response to that there's a debate going on among republicans whether donald trump is a force for good or evil for the party, and the case that he's promoting the party is that you had 25 million people watch the debate the other night and i'd say a good portion of them -- >> trump really wants that. >> a lot of them watched that debate to see donald trump so it's abadvertisement for what republicans are saying but you know, he has positions that are crazy i think on immigration and trade, and they're very economically harmful. >> evan, there are new poll numbers out about who won that debate earlier this week. donald trump still ahead, 24% over carly fiorina who -- >> he's down. >> he's down but you know, carly fiorina has risen up into second place, at 15, just ahead of ben
carson. evan, he's down but he's still the front-runner. >> yes, look, he's incredibly good at being bombastic and grabbing media attention. he had this bad debate and there he is talking about obama and the muslim thing and going to the high school and everything like that. i don't want to be the cliche guy on tv that says this thing everybody else says but looking at the poll number it shows outsiders ruling the republican primary. fee flee jumps carson, trump, fiorina carson and below that, you know, sitting governors and long-term establishment republican picks. the other guys can't get out of the basement. >> the other thing you've got going here is two of the three front-runners, a republican woman and a republican black candidate, those are nightmares for the democratic party. >> hold on. >> biggest nightmare for democrats is a conservative black republican. >> i'd love to hear your thoughts about hot off the press numbers we have, nbc, online survey with our friends and partners at survey monkey here,
this is just, just been released, donald trump at 29%, ben carson at 14%, carly fiorina 11%. with the online surveys, we're talking about a much larger group of people taking part. >> not really scientific surveys. that's the problem. >> certainly has a great track record but ben carson showing great longevity. >> he is. >> and stamina here, in terms of his base of support as well. >> i got to make a prediction to you, though. i think as these polls roll out over the next week or two what's going on in the republican party among the grassroots is carly mania. i will make a prediction to you she is in first place within two weeks. >> wow. quite a prediction. steve, we'll have you back. >> that's a way to get back on the show. >> if i'm right, have me on. >> steve moore thank you for talking with us. still ahead, president obama is having some fun with first ladies michelle obama and hillary clinton at last night's congressional black caucus gala.
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it's a mockery of our economy when black women make 30 fewer cents for every dollar a white man earns. that adds up to thousands of dollars in missed income that determines whether a family can pay for a home or pay for college for their kids, or save for retirement or give their kids a better life, and that's not just a woman's issue, that's everybody's issue. i want michelle getting paid at some point. we've got to -- an outstanding former secretary of state here who is also former first lady, and i know she can relate to michelle when she says how come you get paid and i don't? >> that was president obama at the an um conference of the congressional black caucus last night. he's had the spotlight at the black tie gala nearly to himself
but this year as candidates jockey to replace him, other prominent democrats in the crowd, hillary clinton mingled at last night's dinner and held a private afternoon reception but she adid not give a people s and vice president joe biden stopped by the prayer breakfast as he still considers whether to launch a run himself. joining me now nbc senior political reporter perry bacon jr., who was at the cbc gathering yesterday. good morning. >> good morning, richard. good to see you. >> perry, joe biden, did he sound like a candidate? >> he didn't speak so i don't know what he sounded like but he acted like a candidate. the prayer breakfast was three hours long. he stayed there three hours. he didn't get a chance to give a speech but shook hands, took pictures and i asked one of the members of congress you think bide be is running they were like of course, it's a :30 in the morning breakfast and he's here for three hours, he's think being it. >> maybe he wanted a cup of joe. this is the first cbc conference since the black lives matter
movement has really come into force here. did you see its influence? did you see members of the congressional black caucus paying some respect to black lives matter? >> sure, at the gala i think several of the speakers there were a lot of awards given last night and several of the speakers used the phrase black lives matter directly, talked about having a new civil rights movement in the country, talking about how there's energy around it for the first time. i was meeting some of clinton's campaign aides, the fact there's a movement of african-americans really strong right now and talking about how do they turn that into something in terms of their campaign as well, build on that in terms of winning the election. >> i want to bring in our panel here, david, how did do these other democratic candidates try to extend the energy and enthusiasm that barack obama as the nation's first african-american president brings to the democratic base and specifically the people represented by the congressional black caucus. >> i think it's difficult.
obama can't snap his fingers and just transfer that support over to them. we've seen with bernie sanders and with hillary clinton, and martin o'malley, you remember martin o'malley. >> who? >> lincoln chafee. >> we see them try to deal with black lives matter initially and have some bumps. it's a grassroots movement not designed to be an electoral movement but how to get some of the energy and speak to those people on issues of police issues and criminal justice reform, all things that some are better and worse than others in talking about and it will be a moving target for a lot of democrats. i think interesting that joe biden was there. joe biden told me the other day until he makes the decision, don't believe what anybody says. because it could go either way at the last moment, he may not make a decision for weeks to come. but he's someone, too, who has been talking about criminal
justice reform trying to get in that lane a bit. >> evan, does bernie sanders have anything to say to this kind of audience? does very an impact here? >> his campaign and bernie-isms have worked hard to reach out to black lives matter, and you can see the message i was with him at liberty university, even there, he really has actually embraced a lot of what black lives matters movement talks about and founded his own record and story about this a few weeks ago, from when he was mayor in through being a senator, parts of his record that connect very well with that movement. the question is, can he sort of spread it out to voters inside the african-american base. that has not so far become totally obvious in polling although the campaign says that look he's got low name i.d. among the people and plenty of time for him to expand his name i.d. and that expands support for him. that's the question of legitimacy for his campaign.
you cannot be a democratic candidate if you can't get strong support among latinos and strong support among of aconditi aafrican-americans. >> even with ben carson in there, it's hard to square the sort of rhetoric that people have been using widely about ab obama with an appeal to african-american voters in this cycle for republican candidates. >> it's a challenge. i know that the rnc, orlando watson, for example, is working very hard to try to expand the republican brand and the african-american -- in the after c african-american community and also latinos. it is obviously an uphill battle for republicans but there is no obvious reason why hillary clinton should have more of a connection to african-american voters than bernie sanders. i think she's borrowing from her husband's legacy in large part for those voters. we've also seen president obama's base is not easily transferable to other candidates. we saw that in 2010 and again in
2014 in the mid-terms. even when president obama went to wisconsin to try to campaign against scott walker in that recall, he failed. >> back in washington, did you see -- you talked to any of those cbc members about how they felt in terms of transferring their support to any of these democratic candidates who are running in 2016? >> so far more than a dozen members have already endorsed hillary clinton. a lot have endorsed her in 2008 as well. one dynamic that was interesting, i talked to people who right now have said they're for clinton but said if biden enters the race they will be odevelop to thinking about supporting him. that was the dynamic of the weekend. a lot of people were excited about the idea of biden running and the idea being that hillary clinton was polling about 50% among african-americans before the iowa caucus. once obama won a race or two, he won 82% of the black white.
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let me ask you the question this way. should a president's faith matter? should your faith matter to voters? >> well, i guess it depends on what that faith is. if it's inconsistent with the values and principles of america, then of course it should matter. but if it fits within the realm of america and consistent with the constitution, no problem. >> so do you believe that islam is consistent with the constitution? >> no, i do not. i would not advocate that we put a muslim in charge of this nation. i absolutely would not agree with that. >> that was republican presidential candidate ben carson kicking off our "catching up" segment talking just now to chuck todd this morning on whether or not there should ever
be a muslim in the white house. help me out here -- i'm a recently naturalized american citizen and i swear in the citiz citizenship test under the constitution and bill of rights it says you are free to have any religion in this country o or no religion at all. >> we do have separation of church and state. we were discussing earlier about the pope and he doesn't dictate u.s. policies. i disagree obviously with ben carson. think it is unfortunate that he said that and every candidate should be judged based on their values and their leadership. >> this reflects a strong strain within the republican and conservative base that goes beyond that. but that's where it is most prominent. that's why donald trump doesn't correct people when they make cracks about muslims. >> but donald trump did say that he would happily appoint a muslim to his cabinet. >> this is a party that supports religious freedom. >> ben carson is the evangelical hero candidate as well. this is -- that kind of talk from that wing of the party is
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do republicans know the real rosa parks? plus, an update on the hunger strike in chicago. and -- tv is now in color. but first, last night's epic intersectional speech by president obama. ♪ good morning, i'm melissa harris perry. last night president obama addressed a packed ballroom on the final night of the annual sledge legislative conference of the congressional black caucus. this is the sixth time that he has spoken