tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 22, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
discussed. pope benedict was in kind of a different role, different point in history, different personality all together. and now we have pope francis, i said it before, i'll say it more times, 78 years old. generally in good health. he has expressed some c consternation and frustration that his love of ice cream has not abated during his papacy and there must be more of it around but he is -- he's said to as an aside that he is aware he's putting on some pounds in this job. he had his right lung removed as a young man but he -- i'll tell you, at high altitudes, at sea level, on what would be a gruelling schedule for anyone as they quite literally roll out the carpet to welcome the leader of the catholic church across the globe, he has done well at
all of it and this is what's required of the leader of the catholic church in the jet age. so the door will be popped open shortly. all eyes are on that front door. as you might have seen as we have shown our correspondents around the washington metro area there, there are some low heavy clouds there today, quite a wind. though veterans of that base will tell you that the airfield at andrews is about the windiest spot on earth. >> it's always windy there. >> even on calm days. but a light precip is falling, we're told, of the drizzle variety. we were buoyed here in new york when as long as-range forecasts made it look like it's going to be gorgeous when he's here. let's listen in.
>> you can see him there, of course, just behind those two men in the doorway off to the left there. he's trying to get his very first glimpse of the united states of america and advance people doing what advance people do, pointing a lot. [ laughter ] >> that's the white house photographer and the white house communications secretary that got that up close. >> that's the only place we'll get that version of the pope.
>> here's the president, first lady, their daughters, the president's mother-in-law. many members of the biden family behind them. they've been in a separate building normally used for the press corps at andrews air force base. they've been holding there. and clearty the wholly father is being told so where wait her. the president gets in place to welcome him and it will all happen and the crowd will explode as the cope copope come the air stairs. >> this must be pretty emotional for the vice president. he's in the middle of mourning his son, he's a devout catholic. this is probably going to be something none of us can understand except for what it means to him. >> it does sound like a notre dame game. the noise -- >> well, lately. they've been pretty good lately. and we'll get everything set.
anne thompson has presumably made her way down the rear stairs and is now watching this with us from ground level. anne, is that right? anne thompson? >> yes, i hear you. >> what are you seeing and where are you in relation to what we're watching? and this is the pope going down the greeting section of dignitaries? well, it worked before when anne thompson was on the aircraft. >> i imagine there's a lot of cell phone jamming going on right now in that area.
a lot of security. >> a lot of radar frequencies, too, at an air force base and we'll say along with a lot of people who are watching, yes, every time we see the obama daughters we all say the same thing, how beautiful they've grown as we've watched them in the white house all these years. >> imagine what a memory this is for them? >> oh, my, yes, absolutely. >> the rest of their lives. >> i was sitting here thinking well, i guess the school day is over and i guess they got permission to come out here. now let's watch this.
[ cheers and applause ] >> imagine being those little kids? the vatican selected four children, first, third, fifth, and seventh grades from seven catholic schools to greet the holy father. he was presented with flowers and that's the part of the security discussion we had earlier in our live broadcast here. he's -- you're going to see him if you watch parts of this trip closely, presented with so many things. he, of course, is forced to hand them to an aide, many of them religious in nature but people just want to express themselves and their joy over seeing him in their midst. >> you can see how he lights up
especially when he greeted the children. >> absolutely. >> he does have a per pitch wall smile on his face. >> does he? >> and he didn't always in argentina, he said. it's this role that he has really blossomed into and clearly enjoyed. >> walking slowly and casually with the president and first family into a holding room in one of the buildings. chuck, we've all been through there. they have art work of the various air wings they're proud of at andrews. >> it's a good old-fashioned terminal, actually. at. >> at the end of the day it's a terminal. >> and somebody is out there to catch a flight to go home. >> and i presume that is an interpreter between -- >> looks like it is. >> have we reestablished communications with anne thompson? no, but we are trying. chris jansing has watched this from her post high above the
riser there. chris, what did perhaps we not see in the television coverage of this where we are? >> well, there are two sets of risers and there's one to my right where the pope walked by. the folks on the left it didn't seem to bother them at all. i saw a group of school kids dancing with excitement when the pope was coming off the plane. you could see it from the look on his face, this was a pope in his element. the other thing i observed, which is unique in all of the events that i cover, many of them with obviously the president but in the past with this pope and others is there that there weren't the usual number of people holding up their cell phones or cameras, they seemed -- and this shocked me -- to be taking in the moment, to be enjoying the idea that they are here, that they are in this rare position, really, to be able to see a pope who is wildly popular, arguably
the most famous person in the world and they're continuing to stand on their feet and now taking maybe a few pictures of the honor guard and plane but during the event they and he both seemed to be soaking it in, drawing energy from one another. >> what a concept, chris. living in the moment and not photographing on your phone. >> imagine! >> imagine that. chris jansing with a better-than-average seat to watch what just transpired at andrews air force base. chuck todd, we keep saying this is in a political context because he's in the political capital of our country but it will be something to see him in the house chamber on capitol hill. >> it is. and he knows what he's doing. he knows he's inserting himself into a political debate and judging by his actions over the last few years he wants to. look at how he provided the back channel context for the cuba decision. this is somebody who doesn't shy away from politics.
i think the previous -- you could say one thing about the previous two popes, they did shy -- if they thought something was going to get too controversial they might back off. this pope doesn't seem to be that way. i think the message he's sends -- everybody's expecting climate change, what he's going to say on income inequality and abortion. the thing i think could end up being the galvanizer here is what he says about syrian refugees. this is something that there has been a lot of anxious inside that chamber about how many refugees should the united states let in? there's been people concerned who are we letting in. and he is -- i think that's probably where he has the toughest message for some of them to hear, what are you to judge? these people are refugees, you have to do something about this. you're the richest nation in the world. i suspect -- we're talking about other political items but that's something front and center that he himself is very concerned about. >> kathleen, from your vantage
point as an associate professor of american studies at notre dame, what is the level of interest and engagement by college students, that age group, in this pope? >> i haven't seen anything like it, brian. the millennials, which includes the college-age generation, really resonate with people who are authentic. they talk a lot about authenticity and this pope represents that to them. speaking about the refugee crisis, this is a pope who welcomed a refugee family into the vatican. he's not going to be asking americans to do anything he hasn't done himself. he strikes them as someone that practice what is he preaches, that leads by example and many of them -- and particularly -- anne brought up the issue of the collar and women and specifically not the ordination of women is something that's off the table and that's not really the issue for college age women in general. there are many, many ways women
can become leaders, women are leaders in the catholic church but millennial women don't always see them. sisters, for example, are not as visible as they used to be. so in -- one of the ways he could reach out to the younger generation is to appoint more women to more visible appointments. but i see excitement. there's eight bus loads of notre dame students making an overnight trip, giving up a notre dame football game, brian, to come to philadelphia. to sleep on a bus and they say most of them are coming they want to say thank you to pope francis for engaging them and making them excited about being catholic. >> and kate snow, part of what they're responding to is his personal style, the opposite of an ivory tower. give me the infirm, give me those with special pleadings and special needs all the better. i am everyone's pope. >> that's right. he's made a point of that. we said it a couple times here. he seems to seek out people who
might be on the periphery. people who are homeless. people who have lost their jobs. people who have, in the eyes of the church, sinned in the past, people who were divorced or women who've had abortions and this is a pope who has washed the feet of people like that. around holy week as i think a symbolic turn to show he cares about everyone and that he's inclues i have. that's not to say he's changing papal doctrine on all of these things. you could speak to that better but he at least wants people to know he cares and this he is compassionate. >> he's not danging doctrine but he's changing attitudes and asking. part of these issues is rooted in jesuit spirituality. jesuits believe you can seek and find god in all things and this dialogue is the way to find the answers so let's talk about these questions. what things can be changed?
doctrine can't be changed but what traditions can be changed? and i see that rooted in -- >> there's something about it that the catholic church -- for some of us it was always about what you can't do. who can't be -- if you do this you can't be involved in the church anymore and it feels like he is trying to turn around that like okay, you've sinned, we want you back. we will forgive you. he's emphasizing forgiveness again. >> that relates to young people and the papal plane. it was on rio on his way home to rome when he said why didn't you talk about abortion? he said young people know the church's teaching on that. we have to talk about things that are more positive. and that's one of the reasons he's succeeding in draw people to the church but he's not afraid to talk object those issues. >> father tim is still watching and listening with us. father, if we were to go to a parish monsignor in you name the community in the united states, buffalo, new york, cleveland,
ohio, what would they say has been the change in their parish in the era of the papacy of francis? >> i think they see a lot of people are talking about him. he's captivated the attention of old and young. people are asking what more than do for the church. if there's a fear pastors have, if there's a fear we have in the united states is that we're losing a younger generation. statistically the number of people going to church, identifying themselves as catholics is dropping so the image of pope francis and the witness of pope francis is a real symbol of hope and i think most pastors as well as all those who labor in the church see him as a great symbol of hope and an opportunity for their parishes and communities. >> this i believe is a live picture of the pope heading back out the other way of the small
brick terminal holding building with the first family and secret service. while he's on american soil he is a united states secret service protectee and while vatican security will be along with them and guide the secret service as to his tastes, he is part of the package as the secret service calls it and his every move has been scheduled in advance as best you can with an active "let me spend time with the people" head of the catholic church. anne thompson is now i am told in actual communications with us. anne, what else do we need to know about atmospherics on board the plane? >> he is walking his way back on to the tarmac. there's a little black chrysler fiat that will act as his
transportation here here in washington, d.c. we have the crowds in the stand chanting again. his cap on the back of his head is gone. it's wind yy and it's the first thing to go when he comes down the stairways. he's stopping to talk to president obama and mrs. obama, saying good-bye. she has a great big smile on her face that i can see from my vantage point. we have more school kids shougt. is he going to go over -- oh, i think he's going to say hi to some of the kids which would be just great. no, he's getting into the vie i can't tell now. but he loves to engage with people. he loves to go into the crowd. that's very important for him. he wants to be among his flock. he's urged his fellow priests to get out of the sacristy, to get
out of the church and have the smell of the flock on them and he demonstrates that on these foreign trips. he's always stopping the car. if there's a baby anywhere nearby and he sees it i can guarantee you that baby will get blessed or that baby will get kissed. today before he went into mass at santiago de cuba there were sick children outside the shrine. he stopped before going in the church to begin mass and talked to them and blessed them. it was quite a moving moment. it's something he likes to do because it shows him -- first of all as a pastor, it shows him as a priest and that's what he sees his job first and foremost. he is a pope but he would tell you he is a priest and demonstrating to other priests how to do this. one of the problems in the church today is that you have this face of pope francis, the face of compassion and mercy and the question is will that trickle down, if you will, to the local perish? if it doesn't, it causes
disaffection among catholics. especially catholics who have gone away from the church and may be interested in coming back because of the example this man is setting. >> we're smiling in the studio at the looks of this car. we are used to the big american dread naughts, the limousine, the chevy suburban and this is a mr. bean car by comparison yet it is italian and ride of choice and it will take him around town. >> but that's part of his environmental message in that little car. he doesn't need a big car. he doesn't need a gas guzzler. he just needs a car that gets him from point "a" to point "b" and that's what the fiat will do. and it makes his security people crazy. i'm sure the secret service, their headaches are just beginning and will last until sunday with this unpredictable pope but that's how he likes to travel. you can remember he had a
similar-sized car in brazil. when the driver took the wrong turn remember the crowds rushed him and everybody said "how could this be?" and the only american that whole motorcade who wasn't scared was pope francis because he said "i love this." he's very happy in that fiat. >> looks like they may splurge for air conditioning. oh, here it comes again. >> they're going to turn that into an ad. they have some quirky ads. >> fiat just spent a lot of money on an ad campaign introducing this line, the 500, in the united states to a domestic car -- >> they won't have trouble selling it now. we're just being suspicious here. >> st. louis, philadelphia has some high sales in the fiat. >> he's done a lot for the ford focus as well which for a time was his preferred ride. but it won't be tough to spot his vehicle next the big haunches and big shoulders of those suburbans that are going to flank it. >> it's remarkable when you
think of every other head of state that comes here. and he is a head of state technically. it's just -- what a message. >> yeah, there it is. >> a symbolic message. >> it's a symbol but it's also real. and this's his genius. >> there is the compacted motorcade. it goetzs tough to see now. >> you won't see that fiat! >> he's now the most conspicuous member of the heard. now the first family kind of mingling with senior members of the catholic church and the pope as i understand the schedule -- is kasie hunt still available to talk to us from the grounds of catholic university? kasie, take us through the day.
>> we've expected to hear the pope is heading off and he'll be at the white house first and make his way to the basilica which has been preparing to do this mass for 25,000 people. the pope's route is plotted out but he's known for going off script so while he'll be in the popemobile driving up here through the clouds it's unclear whether he'll stick to the route. is we were inside the basilica earlier and you can see where they've planned for him to walk through the church. they've marked off the door he'll walk through with caution tape and said this is not an exit today. he'll come out front behind me and give mass, communion, to 25,000 people.
as somebody familiar with that. they'll give the bread, the body of christ, to all of the parishioners here tomorrow. they'll reserve the wine, the blood of christ, for the clergy because it would take so long to give it out to everyone here, brian. >> kasie, let's talk about you. you're just back in from the trail. the crowds you're used to seeing are at political events and rallies. you're used to being lobbied and spun by the camps and this is just really building joy, about the visit of one man and that must be a certain dichotomy in your head. >> it is really remarkable, brian, this is something where even when you talk to political candidates -- i tend to cover republicans a lot in particular and chuck has been talking about how the visit has put them in a difficult spot. even they all stop to talk about how the pope is speaking to people in a way that's potentially transformational and different and bringing more people into the church.
there's very much a sense of history around his presence that transcends the political moment, if you will. we'll see if that last us there the joint event with congress. officials have asked for silence so that one side isn't standing up to cheer and not. but you've seen displays of religious bipartisanship. the catholic candidates are exciting. jeb bush and his wife are planning to be at mass. chris christie is planning to go to an event along the east coast. and all three senators running for president on the republican side are planning to be in the chamber for that speech. >> kasie hunt at one of the tallest points in washington, d.c., the shrine of the immaculate conception at catholic university's campus in the northeast portion of
washington. we have cameras as you might have seen there all along the motorcade route and the aforementioned fiat with the flags on the roof is very handy because it's proving -- we're able to track it and pick it out among all the other vehicles. kate snow, the joy is building in washington. it's really palpable. so many people have come such a long way. >> people have travelled in from all over the country. you heard tom kcostello saying many are spanish speaking, 40% of practicing catholics in this country right now, an estimated 40% -- >> i think a majority of catholics under 18 are latino. >> so i imagine we'll hear a lot of spanish being spoken and the pope will speak spanish at times, too. there's no way to overstate, i think, the history we're watching unfold before our eyes
here. i was just listening to kasie and people have been trying to put the pope in a box, republican, democrat. that's not what this is about. he transcends religion, he transcends politics. >> that may be our political season, that may be our view point right now. not the way he views himself. >> we sit here and put -- a lot of people want their faith leader to pure them to be better people in different ways and it seems that that's his attitude about it. i've seen it -- you were talking about people coming here, i was in st. louis yesterday, i met put nep people flying from st. louis. they didn't know where they were going to go to see the pope. they didn't have -- they were just knew they were going to washington. >> imagine what social media will do for that. "i have a pope sighting, meet me at this corner." >> people want to be close to him. i've heard people say -- if i could wave to him that would be enough to me.
just the idea of being in proximity, someone they already feel close to. the shrine, the our lady of the immaculate conception, he urged cubans to pray to mary, their national patroness of mary and our lady of the immaculate conception is the patron of the united states so he will talk about that as well. and the first canonization that will ever take place on u.s. soil in that basilica. >> i also heard a discussion this morning among people who were saying he's only going to get to see parts of the so-called amtrak corridor on the east coast. these three very urban areas and what would be your list of other places, majestic beautiful grand canyon, rocky mountains, the west coast, florida, gulf coast, northern plains. >> and previous pope, one of the most moving ceremonies that john paul did was in oakland, i believe, about a decade ago and
denver. i think that -- i am -- the one thing i am surprised about is how east coast it is. >> he'll cut back. >> he was fulfilling a promise made by pope benedict to attend the world meeting of families set in 2012 so -- and that was -- >> so the expectation is he probably comes back here in a couple years? >> we hope so. but we don't know. >> to hit denver and st. louis? >> the philadelphia world meeting of families governed this and here in new york they've been told again and again not to overshadow philadelphia which is hard for new york to do. >> it always is. >> i'm told anne thompson wants badly in on this conversation. anne, your wish is our command. >> thank you, brian. in part because the pope talked about that on the plane during the press conference. he said he originally hoped to enter the united states through mexico. that's how he wanted to come here. he wanted to go to mexico first but he said he couldn't go
without visiting our lady of guadalupe. he said not visiting the shrine would be a slap so as a result the cuba opportunity came up. but you're right. this is an east coast trip and that is why tomorrow he will canonize father junipero serra from california, a spanish missionary who settled missions starting in san diego and went up the california coast during the late 1700s. many of what today are the major cities in california. and he's doing that very purposefully to show that this isn't just an east coast event. it is a national event for this countr country. >> your camera crew, now off the plane, is showing thus video of what it looked like to you to have the pope in the press section of the aircraft. and when you cover the white house the term of art is the president's going to come back. meaning he's going to come back to the rear cabin on the aircraft and share a few words
with you. there are usually ground rules when the president comes back. but i keep wondering what it's like to see the presence of the pope in that doorway whether the curtain is pulled back and he takes the microphone and speaks to all of you. >> i think we're first of all just thankful because it makes our story so much better that we get a chance to talk to him. that we get a chance to hear from him. and the great thing about pope francis from a journalistic standpoint is that he speaks in the language of the common people. the tough thing for us english speakers is that he requests -- the ground rules here today were the questions had to be in either italian or spanish so what we do, brian, is we get together -- there are language groups and the english reporters got together, the italian reporters, french, german, and spanish reporters and we came up with three or four questions that our group would ask in case
we had a list in priorities if somebody else asked a question you'd go to number two, number three. it's very collegial. what you will laugh about is there was a big discussion among the papal press as to whether there should be an embargo on what he said when we got off the plane because some of the agency reporters wanted an hour or so to get their stories ready and for us american television reporters, we're looking at them saying "i can't get off the plane and say pope francis talked to us but i can't tell you about it for an hour." so we finally agreed there would be no embargo but i don't think it ever gets old. i've never covered the white house and i can give me a better perspective but i can't imagine it gets old when they say the president is coming back because to speak to somebody of that kind of authority, that kind of power, that kind of influence in the world is one of the privileges of our jobs and being
able to formulate a question, talk to pope francis, that is truly a privilege. >> it's one of those if my mom and dad could see me right now. and chuck todd is nodding. anne thompson, thank you very much. we must say good buy at this hour to nbc's kate snow. thank you, friend for your contributions. >> absolutely. >> our live coverage continues right after this break. hey babe, last one home cooks?
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we are back and we'll put it this way to our viewers in washington, d.c. -- if you see a small black fiat sedan with two flags on the hood, it's him. it's really him. it's the holy father, the head of the catholic church worldwide for over a billion followers, over 70 million american catholics and it's the old expression when in rome. when in washington, drive an italian import. so he is indeed in a fiat 500 sedan. the hulking american security vehicles all alongside him from the u.s. secret service responsible for his security while he's on american soil. he flies home sunday night but we have miles to go before we sleep. let's speak to someone who knows
the office of pope well. ray flynn, former mayor of boston, former u.s. ambassador to the vatican. mr. ambassador, welcome first of all and tell us what you know about this man and what excites you about this visit. i'm sorry he won't make it north to boston. >> i tell you, i had the privilege of this is that kind of a situation for the welcoming to the pope to the united states. the first time john paul ii came to the united states it was in boston. it's an exciting moment not just for an american but also for catholics. i see the expression on young people's faces. it's an amazing thing one people face. it's one thing to hear it in school or watch it on tv but to experience it and watch it, it's a very special occasion. today, this morning, my wife and
i were at st. patrick's holy cathedral, i thought i might be able to see my friend tim dolan. the place was -- there's so much excitement there, brian, people were just waiting, almost anticipated the holy father's visit the to united states. it's not about politics. i wish we wouldn't make it political. it is not. this is about a man that is going to inspire catholics and non-catholics and god knows we need it in america today. politicians aren't doing it. we need somebody who will do it. >> a friend of mine in the clergy who has a robust sense of humor said to me "this pope is good for business." and he meant that in the nicest way. in a non-cynical way. it's good for getting pri parishioners into pews, parishioners back to their religion where they may have lapsed. interest in the church and its good works, what have you?
>> yesterday i was in boston and people knew i was coming to new york and they assumed i would be in washington at the white house and they said we have to get him in boston and then i was talking to a lady outside of st. patrick's today and she was in buffalo where our old pal tim russert was from and she said "we've got to get him to buffalo because that's where he belongs." and you see the excitement of the latin american community in america with the visit here but it's more than that. it's all americans are proud to be latino today, hispanic today. this is america's day this is where pope francis belongs right here in the united states of america. >> we're joined by someone who has spent a long career in american politics, a lot of people know him as the former governor of new mexico. bill richardson comes on today to plead another theory and governor that is that you look at this holy father and you see
a man who could be so very good at what you've done for years and that is mediation. >> that's right, brian. here's a pope that has gotten involved in bringing the u.s. and cuba closer together. here's a pope that has put human rights on the agenda by talking about refugees and immigrants and the rights of poor people, the dispossessed. here's a pope that engaged in one of the, i think, most important national security debates today, climate change, the importance of saving and preserving our planet. and also as a hispanic american i'm very proud. i'll be at the white house with my wife barbara we'll be at the canonization of junipero serra. he's an argentine, a latin. yes, it's all american, all
roman catholics but a hispanic theme is important and my hope, brian, is that this pope continues this role as international peacemaker. we need that. we need that in the middle east. israelis, palestinians. we need that in north carolina. we need that in latin america and the pope's own backyard, venezuela, columbia, the disputes there and so i hope that he continues this message as a mediator, as somebody engaged in conflict resolution and bringing civilizations and people together. >> ambassador richardson, i'm not being flip when i say the bonus is his charisma, his charm, his personality that evident visually, say nothing of what people say he's like in person. >> well, i was watching your broadcast just coming off the
airplane into the tarmac and i got emotional saying my god, there he is, he's coming down, the holy father is here. it was like an inspiration of his charisma by him greeting the press and the religious leaders there and -- but most importantly greeting the people, the reaction he especially has among young people. and especially among latins, hispanics. i think this is a transformational figure. when we were invited, we jumped at being here. we want to be part of this as citizens. >> former energy secretary, former ambassador, former governor of new mexico bill richardson, thank you very much for being part of our coverage. ray flynn, there you have it.
that's the charisma that doesn't come from being a holy father but some have great, great charisma. >> it doesn't come with political power or wealth. society measures success by that or influence by that. what is his hallmark? his humilithumility. sincerity. it's being himself, a messenger of jesus christ. that's who he is. that is so refreshing because we don't see that in society today. we see power and money and influence. we don't see simple humble people. but you know what, brian? the people of the united states see it even if the rest of us don't see it. that's why he's special like john paul ii was special because they knew what he had to go through growing up in poland. naziism and communism and all of that. and they see in the pope francis
as well. he is touching the hearts of americans. >> this pope called himself a sinner as one of his first public utterances immediately following his selection by his peers. tom costello is somewhere in this increasingly noisy crowd. this is becoming real, tom. hey, tom? >> can you hear me, brian? >> yes, sir, go ahead. >> all right, well, listen, this has gotten so chaotic in the last few minutes my photographer has gone to one end of this mass of humanity here and i'm on the other side. we've now probably got about 500 to 600, 700 people now outside of the vatican embassy here in
northwest washington, d.c. and they are singing and they are clapping and they are waiting for pope francis and they are singing this "alleluia" over and over again and celebrating what they believe is the good news from pope francis and the good news of jesus christ but here in northwest washington, massachusetts avenue has been shut down because of the security perimeter. i want to bring in -- i'll tell you what happened a minute ago. they thought the pope was arriving so this huge mass moved over here and started looking at inunciath rur nunciature. ruben is here. you're from mexico city. why did you bring your children here and why are you here to see the pope?
>> it's a joy for us to see the pope again. especially this pope. >> the there something special about pope francis and his message? >> well, this time in another situation in my life when i see pope john ii i was single, i was very young. pope pen detective i had only two children, now i have four, we are expecting the fifth one and all this is thanks to the church. >> thanks to the church? >> yes. >> and the fact that he is a spanish speaking open from latin america? >> it's another reason to be here, yes. so we are -- i mean it's a double joy. >> thank you, muchas gracias. thank you, ruben. this is a joyful crowd, brian. 70% to 80% of them are spanish speaking, and they are waiting to see the pope arrive any minute. back to you. >> tom, it's a good way to
emphasize the personal power of this pope and what it means to all the people who have gathered excitedly in washington, d.c. where i see the weather has cleared up nicely and they'll get to see something. tom kcostello there. chuck todd, this is your adopted town we're talking about and all the things people say about washington, all the jokes about politics and it might be true that this could do something to the discourse, to the mood. >> even if just for two weeks, it feels like a palate cleanser. i don't want to say this is more exceptional than others but we have gotten in a negative place. look at the conversation going on about islam and all this. this feels like a pallet cleanser.
i worked concessions when john paul came to miami and you had this -- i think you can't underscore the power of the catholic church and the hispanic community. i remember people were cynical about miami back in the '80s and boy did it -- it was a moment of healing that miami needed at the time and john paul provided by that maybe in his own way francis will do that from washington. >> here's live heard video. >> i don't think they would face delays getting out of andrews. >> no, i imagine we didn't do any red light stopping. >> among those in the crowd we already invoked his family name once here today, luke russert, what can you see? what can you tell us?
>> if you want to give it a try, we can try. >> well, luke isn't talking to us. we gave it a try but -- >> hey, there, brian. i'm here in the middle of a very celebratory atmosphere. one thing i think we should tell our viewers is the amount of children here it's a very -- can you hear me now? >> oh, yes, we've been listening the whole time. >> we're here, it's a very celebratory atmosphere and one thing our viewers should know is there are so many children here. a lot of young kids, we have one girl here -- are you excited to see the pope? [ laughter ] a lot of young kids here, very celebratory atmosphere. hearing this music, this constant "hallelujah" it's been non-stop. part of a drum circle and guitar rhythm. for those of us of the catholic faith, we've seen our latino
brothers and sisters here. i would say the majority of this crowd is latino. speaking to a few of them in spanish, they said it was so important for them to see the first pope from latin america. they wanted the children to be here. we've seen children as young as infants to kids in high school. now, behind me i believe the pope is getting close. we're seeing the motorcade, as i'm sure you can, with the officers on the police bikes there and just -- i can't stress this enough, a sense of unity, a sense of joy and happiness that this pope is bringing to america. a person i spoke with said they had been here since 8:00 in the morning for this moment at 5:00. it shows you the power of how people want to feel in this moment of all ages and we've met a lot of non-catholics who said they wanted to see this for emselves. >> all right, luke, you get ready. the crowd will press forward and we have -- there is the black fiat sedan. >> fiat mobile.
>> chuck todd, you're right. this is a huge public relations weapon for fiat, i think. [ laughter ] those americans in the market for a small black four door sedan. >> well, it's chrysler. it's part and parcel. >> help the american autoworkers. >> it bears repeating here, all the security people you'll see, while a mixture of vatican and secret service, the pope as has always been the case is the responsibility of the veefs while he is here. and so there's not going to be a shortage of people around him. his personal secretary will walk with him, an interpreter, member of the clergy who will act as an interpreter. he always is self-deprecating about his english language skills. suffice to say he speaks english better than most of us can possibly navigate through spanish and there's no pride in
admitting that. but it's his most comfortable language having grown up in south america of italian immigrant parents. now he's making his way into the residence where he will spend the night and at aged 78 having covered so many miles, having started today in a tropical climate, several stops in cuba, then flown and dealt with the likes of nbc's anne thompson all the way and now landed, the man deserves some down time. i think he's going to get that. another big full day tomorrow and if he ever needs contact with people, he need only walk out the front door to say hello to them. well, professor, we've been covering the gamut today of how this is -- i've been most interested about how this is being witnessed back on the campus of notre dame. i imagine there are a lot of
folks sitting in front of tell vugss wishing they could be part of the buses coming east but if they can't they'll watch it on television. >> absolutely. in fact, brian, people said we have game watches all the time, it's time we have a pope watch. so there will be pope watches all over campus. it's interesting how often the word joy surfaced in discussions of the crowds. pope francis uses that word a lot. it was the title of his first apostolic exhortation, he speaks about joy all the time and i hope you're right, chuck. i hope this brings joy to us at a tomb when we badly need it. >> chuck todd, a final thought? >> like i said, he is going to have an impact on our political conversation ambassador, this isn't about politics but he will have an impact. it will be much bigger than we're anticipating. it won't be here today gone tomorrow, we're so used to that sometimes. i think he will have an impact and make voters think a
different way. >> and ray flynn, thinking about your life in politics and it's about electoral politics and the kind of retail politicking of running for mayor of boston but you've also had the great privilege of representing the united states at the vatican. you've had the great privilege of getting to know popes on a personal basis. that must be extraordinary. >> i've always said, brian, it's not the big things people do, it's the little things that make people great and by pope francis getting out of that car, going into the crowd, putting his hand, blessing a special needs child bless ago handicap child, hugging a mother or shaking hands with a father, those are the personal things that will be more lasting than addressing the congress, addressing the united nations and, all due respect, a meeting at the white house with the president of the united states. the little things that francis does will be the most memorable
thing we'll take away from this trip. >> a lot of people will concur with you. father you get the last word. do you concur with ray flynn? and we've lost communications with the father. oh, well. we've tried to show a broad reach here and covered a lot of ground. but for now the holy father, leader of the catholic church is inside what can best be compared to the vatican's embassy in washington, d.c. in a beautiful section of the city. his day is full and it's a long day tomorrow and we'll see more of the traditional pomp and circumstance of a welcome though in continuing a tradition started by president bush with pope benedict, president obama was sure to be there when this pope's feet landed on american soil at joint base andrews.
brought the entire first family, the bidens were there as well. our coverage of this day continues as we will all the way through the pope's departure from the united states on sunday night. coming up next, the news continues with kate snow. brian, i'm right here, i don't know if you can see me. >> hey there, kate snow. >> we'll pick it up from here, brian, thank you so much. we've just seen pope francis arrive at his residence, you watched it here live in washington, d.c. moments ago. just after he landed at joint andrews air force base in maryland pope francis departed the plane, he was greeted by president obama and vice president joe biden on this first day of his historic visit to the united states. we have a large team of correspondents picking up. we'll bring you the latest. first we'll go out to where we've been for much of the last hour. the apostolic nunciature, luke
russet is there on scene. look, what is it like there now. luke, can you hear me. >> it's a wild celebratory scene is the pope walked into the entrance with a thound rouse roar of applause from the crowd. people were able to make out his white robes from distance 206s, 30, 40 yards. what you're hearing behind me is a musical rendition of