tv MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts MSNBC October 8, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm PDT
speaker a tough one. i don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes. i think the best thing for our party right now is to have 247 votes on the floor. if we are going to be strong, we got to be 100% united. i think you know what, let's put the conference first. look, i have been talking with a number of members. we have been thinking about this throughout the week, trying to see if we can get there. i just think it's best to have a new face. >> how much did your comments about benghazi last week play into your decision to step aside today? >> well, that wasn't helpful. yeah. i could have said it much better. but this benghazi committee was only created for one purpose, to find the truth on behalf of the families for the four dead
americans. i should not be a distraction from that. that's part of the decision as well. >> thank you very much, guys. >> there have been some rumors a letter put out saying that -- >> no. >> can you put a rest to that right now? >> no. come on. [ inaudible question ] >> i think the conference should be able to decide. thank you all very much. >> that sounds like a man who felt like a certain burden had been lifted. we have to take part of that at his word. chris matthews watching with us. he said he didn't want to win with 220, a 218 threshold vote. but this guy is by profession over the last few years a nose counter. this guy also made a big mistake after a question from sean hannity on live television and it was just repeated and repeated and was going to have a long shelf life. may still. >> yeah.
i think both are true. as i said, i think that comment he made about the real strategy behind the benghazi committee is going to be hurtful. he was quite honest about that saying it didn't help. he also said it was a distraction and would be a distraction down the road. i also think that's very interesting that he and huelskamp, a member of the freedom caucus when he was with luke a moment ago, both said 247 which they mean to say they're not going to go anywhere without the freedom caucus, the most right wing 40 or 50 members of the caucus, with them. in other words, they have a veto power. that's exactly what he just said. the right wing of the party now has a veto power. every one of them, they have to have aborted any coalition so this is going to be a very tough new speaker if they can find one, someone who is willing to stop the government, probably, or plausibly, someone willing to say principle matters more than leadership thinking. it will not be the republican thinking, it will be grassroots thinking. if you talk grassroots, that's a code word in the republican party right now for very hard
right tea party thinking. so i think by saying 247, that's code for they're going to have a veto over who the next speaker nominee is and they will have either a deal from that new speaker about what they are going to do about government shutdowns and debt ceilings and continuing resolutions and all this stuff we're used to in shutting down the government. so this is going have been very difficult going for the next couple months, next couple years, i think, if the republican caucus picks somebody hard right enough to satisfy the ever-growing demands of its grassroots. i think it will be tough to find a speaker. maybe paul ryan will be dragooned into this job but it will take an impressment gang to bring him aboard this ship. >> sounds like that's what it's going to take for him to move off the dime. notably, mccarthy said i will remain as majority leader. that was going to be the next interesting vote in the house certainly. steve schmidt is with us by
telephone. msnbc political analyst, ran the mccain campaign. perhaps the quote from the gop leader in congress, leadership is lost in the house whachlt . what do you make of the developments? >> significant developments for the presidential race as well. there are two types of political parties just like there's two types of churches. there's the type of church that hunts heretics and the type of church that seeks converts. the republican party is in the full season now of hunting heretics. when you have a member of congress like huelskamp on the program talking about we have to get rid of mitch mcconnell, we have to get rid of kevin mccarthy, they have to be exp expurgated from leadership from the house, that it signifies a civil war inside the republican
party and an intolerance. we are not a party that's focused right now on growing a majority. we are focused on kicking out people who through some prism are deemed to be impure. it's a big moment here. last night, kevin mccarthy's team believed they had a hard whip count of about 200 votes on their way to the necessary 218. clearly this morning, after a caucus meeting, they saw there was no path to getting the votes necessary to be speaker. i think also today, you have an astronomically greater likelihood of government shut downs, of possible default on the full faith and credit of the united states. this will have pretty profound implications for a party that is seeking the white house after having lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections. >> despite john boehner's virtual guarantee the government will not be shut down. steve, do any names come to mind?
the gop caucus you describe sounds ungovernable but do any names come to mind at all? >> well, chris matthews talked a moment ago about paul ryan and the impressment gang that would be needed to be there to dragoon him into service. could be a very difficult job for whomever has it. you have a minority of the republican caucus that in fact is holding hostage the majority of the conference. so that speaker by definition will be a weak speaker because that speaker's actions are constantly subject to being vetoed by a minority of the republican -- by minority of the republican conference. it's not clear at all who the next speaker will be. there are no immediate names that would come to mind that have the ability to forge that consensus.
the other thing i think that bears mentioning, speaker of the house is number three in line of succession to the presidency. this is not just a person leading the house of republicans. this is a person who could potentially accede to the office of the president of the united states. there should be qualities about the speaker of the house presuming to be commander in chief of the armed forces of the united states should that contingency or eventuality ever happen. >> this is indeed serious business. steve schmidt, thank you very much for joining us by telephone. we have already heard one gdp member of the house say in effect that this minority in the party has now cost the gop not one, but two speakers. boehner stepping down from his post and now mccarthy deciding he can't stand for his. luke russert is standing by with yet another member of the gop
caucus. luke? >> reporter: hey, brian, i'm here with charlie dent, republican from pennsylvania, definitely more moderate. what happened today? >> it's pretty obvious what happened. members wanted to take down john boehner, i always said would try to frag the next guy. they just did it to kevin mccarthy. kevin mccarthy had a strong majority of votes among the house republican conference. did he have 180 votes or something closer to 210 votes. he did not have 218 votes. the concern was that if kevin were to go on the house floor, present himself as a speaker candidate, that he failed to get 218 points and would obviously be embarrassed and humiliated. i think that's what largely drove this decision today. i didn't speak to him prior, i didn't know he was going to do this. i was just as shocked as anyone. but the challenge for our conference is quite simple. we need to assemble bipartisan coalitions to pass any important legislation around here. we may have to assemble a bipartisan coalition to elect
the next speaker of the house of representatives. >> reporter: that would be a wild development. let's talk about that in a second but i want to ask you, have the 35, 40 conservative members, because if mccarthy was over 200, have they hijacked the conference? >> well, i have said that whoever's going to be the next speaker should not appease this group of rejectionists who have no interest in governing. they can simply not get to yes. the perfect will always be the enemy of the good to them. we just have to deal with the reality as it is. >> reporter: could the next speaker be a compromised candidate between republicans and democrats? >> at this point, anything is possible. i think it's just as likely we could see an interim speaker, who could maybe take us through the end of this congress. that's a very real possibility. but it remains to be seen who it will be. i think paul ryan could secure 218 republican votes. he doesn't want the job. i think tom cole, friend of mine, he could be terrific. he's probably mad i said that on television. >> reporter: people have said they don't want the position or i know paul ryan has said that.
what happens now for the republican party? because people will see this and say they can't keep their own house in disarray, how are they supposed to lead a country and become president? much less stay in control of congress. this has to have long-term ramifications for the future of the party. >> there's no question about that. i was in the republican conference meeting this morning to talk about these issues. 91 of us last week, 91 of us last week voted for a continuing resolution to keep the government running. there are over 218 republicans who supported that continuing resolution but only 91 voted for it. we need to have this honest conversation about governance and who can step up and lead. that's the problem we're facing. we need to stop these members who hope yes and vote no. we need to get them to vote yes. >> reporter: is this the end of the has tetert rule, that you o go to the floor of the majority with the majority because it seems impossible to get there? >> last week we did not violate the rule. over 218 members supported what we did, but only 91 voted for it. >> reporter: we got to go.
thank you very much. we have jason chaffetz, who is challenging mccarthy, at the podium. >> i'm here with my wife, julie. absolutely stunned. did not see that coming. kevin mccarthy is a very good man. he has always been one that puts his country before everything else. so he and i stand shoulder to shoulder with the same goal and desire and that is to unite this party and take the fight to the president, to the senate and to the american people. i really do believe it is time for a fresh start. that was the whole genesis of my campaign. but we need to have a lot more family discussion because we need to find somebody that our whole body can unite behind and do what we were elected to do. so i was absolutely stunned, surprised, and shocked that this happened, but our conference is going to have to do a lot of deep soul searching and we'll
see what happens. >> are you still a candidate? >> yes. i said that i would support the nominee on the floor but we don't yet have a nominee. so the fact that it's delayed, i will continue to campaign. yeah. absolutely. >> reporter: sounds like you don't like your leadership. >> i think we have a lot of internal fracturing that's happened and we need to figure out a way to unite the party. that's what kevin mccarthy wants to do. it's what i want to do. i think that's what john boehner wants to do. yes? >> reporter: there's already a lot of talk about temporary caretakers. why is that not a good idea? >> i think the conference has to unite behind a plan. we'll have those discussions in the coming weeks but ultimately we're trying to build consensus here that can get us to the numbers and get us back to the work that we were all elected to do.
we'll continue along those lines. thank you. appreciate it. thank you. >> jason chaffetz, who was standing today for election as speaker of the house, woke up this morning not thinking he had the numbers or the votes, was prepared to support mccarthy. in washington we have chris matthews and andrea mitchell, whose time slot this broke on. chris, first to you. the democrats, if you look at life in terms of the political conventions when you and i were coming up, they were the ones always kind of with the disorganized tag. the republicans' mantra was never let them see you sweat. the republican leadership in the house, think of it gerry ford, bob michael of illinois. now this is busting out all over. >> it's interesting that charlie dent used the used frag to
describe what happened here to kevin mccarthy. frag is a term that was enlisted men in vietnam who were very down on the war itself, were killing junior officers with grenades, fraging them. >> fragmentation grenades. >> right. interesting metaphor. what we are seeing is a party in revolution. look at the three front-runners in every poll. none of them have any government experience, trump, dr. carson and carly fiorina. none of them ever elected or ran for anything before, killing anybody who has ever had elected office. today if you have a political resume, it's a rap sheet. the voters especially on the right wing side of the country, conservative grassroots side, are so turned off to government, period. look at the numbers on congress. the american people, something like 9 out of 10 do not approve of congress. well, that's reality. if you look at the grassroots meetings that these republican people, these members have to go home to, they call it town meeting, 200 people show up.
the guy in the last row raises his hand and said you sold us out, you voted for this guy kevin mccarthy, a partner of john boehner, you sold us out. and everybody boos and cheers and the guy says wait a minute, i'm in trouble at home. so i think if you look at guys like chaffetz, who is fascinating because he's been dying to run against orrin hatch in the senate and mike lee pulled an upset by knocking off bob bennett in utah. grassroots in utah are red-hot, ready to knock off all the old bulls. chaffetz is a perfect example of a young gung-ho guy who is ready to do this. sounded to me like he wants to go for the roses on this and try to get the speakership. he may well do it if he keeps up this luck he had today and he had some great luck today. >> chris matthews in washington. steve, you know, we heard steve schmidt say remember speaker of the house is third in line to the presidency. to chris' point, we are talking
about the presidency being fought over by two political novices. >> it's interesting the idea that was floated by charlie dent from pennsylvania, moderate republican from pennsylvania, he was saying maybe instead of having to rely on these 25, 30 very conservative members to unite the entire party, maybe there's a coalition, something you see in state legislatures. i just got a note from a democratic aide on capitol hill responding to that who put a lot of cold water on it and basically said democrats feel they are in a pretty good position if a republican wanted to come to them with some idea like this, the kinds of concessions that democrats would demand from that republican would be we are going to have immediate votes on comprehensive immigration reform, immediate votes on raising the minimum wage, immediate votes on all sorts of issues, guns, that republicans have not wanted to touch with a boehner as speaker, they haven't had to touch. short of getting that which is very hard to believe any republican speaker would agree
to, democrats feel they can sit back and sort of watch the republicans go to war with each other for the next few weeks and score political points off of that. >> with the republicans calling this kind of a family meeting, this is fairly open-ended. i'm thinking about who has control of the political calendar. >> john boehner, you know, said initially for three weeks. as i say, it may be the situation here where he's the speaker for a lots longer than he planned to be because the idea of getting anybody to 247 right now, the whole thing with kevin mccarthy was mccarthy, the difference between him and john boehner was supposed to be relationships. these are people he campaigned for in 2010. the idea of kevin mccarthy as this entrenched insider and symbol of the establishment that the base wants to rally against, kevin mccarthy has only been there since 2006. he would have been one of the shortest tenured members ever to ascend to the speakership. he was part of this movement in 2010 called the young guns movement. he helped coin that term.
the young guns are a lot of these people in the house freedom caucus who are now saying no to him. so the idea that kevin mccarthy could find himself sitting three, four dozen votes short of what he needed potentially, if he couldn't do it and if paul ryan refuses to do it, there is a huge vacuum there. >> chris matthews, we talk about your line about how a political record has become a rap sheet. look at what the american people see of their congress. >> well, yeah. i think something happened back in the '90s. i never like to blame, you know that, anybody can blame everything on anybody else but newt gingrich with his successful revolution, the contract with america, there were parts of it that may have laid some of -- planted some of the seeds for this kind of revolution. he said, he made sure the members of congress had enough money, travel money to get home every weekend. every weekend. so these members instead of having a fish fry or barbecue together or go to a movie
together over a weekend, go home and are close to their grassroots so they don't forge relationships that matter as much as they used to in the old days. secondly, gingrich said take your press secretary which is very important to your future, and put that man or woman back in the district. don't bring them to washington. have them tied in with the local media, local newspapers and tv stations or radio stations. keep yourself, your political soul at home with the grassroots, not with your fellow members. don't get tainted by washington. there were a lot of technical things that seemed unimportant at the time but they really gravitated the members of congress like huelskamp, like everybody we heard from except charlie dent, who is a moderate, it makes them more home-grown, more home-focused. so when they hear, you know, i really like kevin mccarthy, they would never bring that up at a town meeting at home, say he's a nice fellow. the people would boo him like mad. that's part of the washington problem, ayou're all buddies.
by killing the idea of congress which means coming together, they don't come together anymore. there isn't congress. they come in, they might as well send their press releases in from home. which they do in many cases send them out from home. they might as well call in their votes, e-mail their votes, because they don't become part of a washington culture of let's find a deal here. so they really are spokesmen for home. they are very much not burks, not here to think better than the people at home, to think larger or come up with compromises they wouldn't have come up with at home. they are there to reflect the impulses of the people at home. you can argue it's not -- it's republican with a lower case r. they're angry, the member's angry. they vote in polls against the leadership, the member of congress votes against the leadership. it's replicative rather than representative. >> chris matthews in washington.
joining us, rachel maddow. just learned we will probably have a few members of the press corps in our lobby here tonight. speaker boehner, outgoing speaker boehner is going ahead with an appearance on the "tonight show with jimmy fallon" in this very building. we're in that strange circumstance where we might get a fresh lead on this story after 11:35 tonight. >> you know, it's incredible to think that the consequence of this might be that john boehner is not allowed to quit, or that the conservatives who toppled him and toppled kevin mccarthy will not be allowed to fire him because the prospect of having to elect some sort of interim speaker or the prospect that steve and luke were describing that the house republicans might have to get votes from democrats in order to bring on some sort of bipartisan approved speaker, that's going to be so unappealing to house republicans that i can't see any other
immediate outcome than them just keeping john boehner on. so that is going to be remarkable to see that, to see a late night comedy show making that kind of news tonight. i will say, one sort of big picture piece of this really sticks out for me. and that was that it was -- there is something unusual about them having chosen kevin mccarthy in the first place. kevin mccarthy would have been the least experienced speaker of the house since the 1890s. there hasn't been anybody since the 1800s who has had as little experience in congress and who has been elevate tod the speakership. kevin mccarthy has never i know chaired a house committee. he's passed two pieces of legislation, one of them renamed a post office for the great country singer buck owens, another one renamed a research facility in his district. he's got nothing in his record that shows any congressional achievement other than moving up through leadership. he's not a great public speaker.
we have highlighted it on my show over the last couple weeks sort of uncomfortably that he's given not just to gaffes like with benghazi but he's just a very bad communicator and i think that may have been part of the issue here. that's certainly part of how jason chaffetz has been making his case for why he should be speaker instead. on the same lines, it should be noted that jason chaffetz has been in congress for even less time than kevin mccarthy has. >> it's wide open now. chaffetz of course has found himself at the center of the secret service controversy. he wanted very badly to be at one point in his life an agent. that didn't happen. he has been leading the investigation of the secret service. then it was revealed the secret service was -- some agents were involved in skullduggery or attempted or contemplated skullduggery against him.
rachel, to your point about experience in office, doesn't this throw open the doors to, we could be looking again as steve mentioned, this is how speaker of the house hastert happened. couldn't we be looking at a name that sends people scrambling for their biographies on the house? >> sure. absolutely. i see this as sort of a hybrid between what steve was talking about and what chris was talking about in the sense that i do think we should look to that sort of history in terms of all the obvious choices being non-viable. where we are right now is that it is not viable for kevin mccarthy to be speaker of the house. he can't get 218 votes. there's nobody else who is viable either. that means it's got to be a name we don't already know if they are going to pick somebody new from within the conference. when chris matthews says a political record is a rap sheet at this point, he's absolutely right in terms of the mind of republican elected officials and republican voters, and so
there's always been this sort of fantasy prospect that the house could pick somebody who is not actually a member of congress. you don't have to be a member of congress in order to be speaker of the house. it's possible that they could throw a huge hail mary and pick somebody they could all agree on, but who isn't a member of congress. that's always one of these fantasy ideas in politics. today it seems more probable than a lot of other more mainstream options. >> those of us who love studying american government also know you don't need to be a lawyer to sit on the supreme court but we are still waiting for the modern era version of that. rachel maddow, thank you for calling in. on this busy news afternoon. those just joining us, this was supposed to be a more or less pro forma day for the gop caucus, the controlling caucus in the house of representatives. kevin mccarthy, one of the closest lieutenants to the outgoing speaker of the house,
john boehner, was among those making his three-minutes pitch this morning and it was believed he was the leader in the race for speaker of the house of representatives. then just after noon eastern time, came word and not all of his members heard it, because of an apparently weak sound system in the room, after the republicans had lunched together and prayed together and said the pledge of allegiance, mccarthy got up and announced he was pulling himself out of the race for speaker of the house and would remain in his job as majority leader. chris matthews has been alternately shaking his head and looking generally in disbelief during our coverage. chris, anything you want to add at this point? >> well, first of all, this is news. this is a big news day. this isn't toilets overflowing on the carnival line. this is serious business. this is about the rupture in one of our two historic political
parties. it's a serious rupture. it's reflected in the presidential polling we have been getting. it's reflected in the fact that republicans especially do not trust the federal government. they don't like people who have been in it, they don't like leaders. it's real. i think we're going to see something evolve out of this. we will say this was the day it really did explode. they can't pick a leader. if a group of people can't pick a leader they are not a group of people anymore. there may be a real breakup in this party. i don't know what charlie dent has in common with the people in the west and southwest and the south who basically believe they have to say no to everything in government. we have these fights coming up which could stop the government, could stop the american economy as andrea mitchell pointed out. we could have a serious economic problem in the next couple months if we can't do a debt ceiling or get the government budget approved. these are real challenges that go beyond the political pages, beyond politico and the political pundits. it gets to the reality of what
kind of country you want to live in. do we want a federal government or not. a lot of people in the hard right are very much against the notion of federal authority. they don't like the word washington no matter who is calling the shots. so it's a fascinating day. anybody could pick up the pieces in the short run. i do jason chaffetz is a comer. a little tidbit under the heading of seven degrees of separation from kevin bacon, he's the son of kitty dukakis' first husband. shows you what a small world the political world is. >> i'm trying to diagram that out. thanks, chris. let's hear from a democrat in the house of representatives. congressman frank pallone, a democrat representing a jersey shore district of mostly monmouth county. last time you were in the news was earlier this week, seems like a year ago, your request that sports betting sites like fan duel be looked into, perhaps referred to the ftc. well, here we are looking at a
house of representatives without a clear front-runner for speaker of the house, controlled by the other party. what do you make of just what went down in the gop caucus today? >> it's good to see you, brian. i think it's just very unfortunate and indicative of the fact that with this chaos that the republican majority in the house just can't run the government. as chris said, we have very important business to do here, whether it's investing in the economy, in jobs and infrastructure and instead, we just, the republicans are embroiled in this race where we can't even seem to pick a leader. i would argue with you that because the right wing, the tea party element, whatever you want to call them, just keeps insisting that the new speaker vote their way and that means more government shutdown, more inability to govern, that they are just holding the day here and it's very unfortunate
because what we should be doing is democrats and republicans should be getting together, working on important legislation, getting the government running again and making sure that we create jobs and grow the economy. none of that is going to happen likely with any of these republican choices that keep being mentioned for speaker. >> when you take the train north and go home to your home district, the jersey shore, what are you hearing from people about your job, about our elected officials in general? >> well, they don't have a lot of faith in us because they see this chaos and they figure that we're not working to accomplish goals that are important to them. people still talk to me about jobs. people say they are unemployed or not making enough money, they are worried about make ends meet. obviously when you're at the shore they talk about things that impact the shore. but in general, it's the economy that people care about. they just don't see washington or congress addressing the concerns of the middle class.
>> congressman, do you see a role for democrats to play here in what is a gop race, a family matter for speaker? do you put anything in this talk of a coalition? >> i mean, i certainly would like to see a coalition, only because i believe that we need to work on a bipartisan basis and i would love to see either republican speaker or some kind of coalition speaker that would work with democrats to try to get things done. but i just find it hard to believe that the republican party which is so dominated now by the right wing would ever seek to elect a speaker that would work with the democrats. i would like to think that. maybe there's an opportunity for it. i certainly would support some kind of coalition government that would elect a speaker that would work in a bipartisan basis but it's hard for me to believe with the right wing sort of
controlling what's going on now in the republican party that that would happen. but certainly would be a good thing. >> i've got to say listening to you and chris matthews, the question occurs how are you guys ever going to pass anything ever again? >> well, it's kind of unfortunate because to be honest, in the first part of this year we actually did do a lot of legislation on a bipartisan basis. a lot of it, some of it came out of my committee. i'm the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee. but now that sort of effort to move in a bipartisan fashion has clearly fallen apart. i really blame the right wing in the republican party. not all republicans are like that, but this sort of tea party element i call it seems to be calling the shots right now. that's very unfortunate. >> congressman frank pallone, veteran democrat from the jersey shore for the other party's view of all of this today. congressman, thank you for your time and for being with us. >> thank you, brian.
chris matthews, you heard it. the answer to the question how are you ever going to pass anything, it kind of coming off your comments and his, it looks a little bleak at this hour. >> i think the headline for today is the center cannot hold, the center is not holding in american politics today. the center right isn't holding. we'll see if hillary clinton and the center left are still there as well. it seems like the polls are winning. the polls at either end, right and left, are winning the arguments, getting the press. the fact that trump is on the television set every night free media, the fact he is the best show in town is really a reflection of the fact the house of representatives, particularly, has dropped the ball. they could have passed an immigration bill and stopped all this talk about walls and sending people home and deporting 11 million people if they had just put together, actually they had the bill from the senate, a compromise bill that was tough on illegal immigration, tough on illegal hiring, but gave hope to people who have been here for decades. it was a reasonable solution.
most people would say in both parties there has to be a compromise. they never passed that bill. so instead of passing a bill and reaching a compromise and making the country a better america, they have left it open to the chaotic forces we now face. the chaotic forces of today's vote down or rejection basically of kevin mccarthy. the incredible excitement about three people running for president on the republican side who have never been near a government post, never taken an oath. don't know what it means to meet a public responsibility ever in their lives, are beating people who have done it all their lives. this is a failure of the center, failure of boehner to stand up to the people on the far right and face them down, perhaps like an okay corral situation, i will leave if you don't do it my way. way too late for that now. the center didn't hold today. as a result, the forces of the right and the left have begun to look interesting. i think that's a problem. >> we are normally during this hour watching and listening to thomas roberts. today because of this breaking news, we have been encroaching, rolling over part of his
broadcast. all is not lost as thomas is with us with part of the coverage on this story. thomas? >> so a lot of interesting things have happened so quickly since we watched kevin mccarthy come out and address the cameras there starting out with the statement i think i shocked some of you, huh? well, absolutely he did. we have been getting reaction from the white house. we have not heard directly from the president but just a short time ago, josh earnest during the white house press briefing gave reaction about what this means and how serious it truly is. take a look. >> republicans have to make some decisions about how to lead their conference and it certainly is easy to poke fun at the chaos, but the fact is the challenge that is facing the next republican speaker of the house regardless of who it is, is the same challenge that john boehner faced, is the same
challenge that kevin mccarthy would have faced and that is simply to unite a divided republican caucus. >> so joining me right now on set is mark halperin, managing editor of bloomberg politics. one of the things we learned out of the press briefing is that the president hasn't yet talked with minority leader pelosi. i just got an e-mail from my point of contact from her office asking to speak with her or get reaction and it is sorry, she's booked with meetings, et cetera. we will wait to try to get something more affirmative back on reaction from her. what do you make of this and how quickly it fell apart from 8:00 a.m. to lunchtime? >> i think there are three tracks to follow, that washington will follow and we will follow here. one is why mccarthy actually did not run. there's a lot of speculation this might have had more to do with things outside of his professional life that would have kept him from running. we will see about that. it almost doesn't matter because mccarthy is not going to be the speaker.
the second track is this is chaos in the house. if it was happening at any time, it would be interesting, important political story. it's happening on the eve of potential government shutdown and potential debt ceiling fight that could ruin the credit of the united states. whoever wants to be speaker is going to try to solve that problem within the politics of the republican party on capitol hill. it was going to be tough for boehner, super tough for mccarthy. 25 times tougher for whoever becomes speaker. >> we know it is a thankless job, one that john boehner has been helming for awhile. he put out a statement saying after leader mccarthy's announcement members of the house republican conference will not vote today for new speaker. i will serve as speaker until the house votes to elect a new speaker. we will announce the date for this election at a later date. i'm confident we will elect a new speaker in the coming weeks. our conference will work together to ensure we have the strongest team possible as we continue to focus on the american people's priorities.
do you think that he'll extend and not retire? >> he might have to but i don't think he wants to. again, the debt ceiling and the shutdown are coming. he doesn't want to deal with that. the third ring of this circus is a fight for the heart and soul of the republican party playing out in the house conference. will they nominate someone for speaker. will the republicans pick someone who can actually govern and that's going to be a tall order given that a lot of members of the house are not as interested in governing right now as they are in making a statement and picking a fight with the democrats, including the president. >> thank you, sir. brian, we wait to see if some of the obvious choices will bubble to the surface and if they are viable or not, or as we heard before, if somebody like denney hastert comes on the scene and takes over. >> thomas, thanks. mark, thanks. we have debra wasserman schultz on the phone with us. happens to be running the democratic party these days in addition to serving in the house from the state of florida. congresswoman, what do you make of today?
>> well, brian, and thomas, it's obvious that the republicans are absolutely in utter disarray, that the tea party has a complete stranglehold on the republican conference, on the republican party, that they not only have been willing to shut this government down over defunding planned parenthood but now are willing to hold essentially the entire country hostage to ultimately get their way on some of the most extreme policies that voters and the american people and even some in their conference have rejected. it's stunning and for us, it is an opportunity to continue to draw a contrast, a clear contrast between the chaos that's going on on the other side and how extreme they are and our candidates up and down the ballot who focus on helping make sure that everybody in america has an opportunity to succeed, and to join the ranks
of the middle class. the other thing, though, that was really disturbing that i think in part led to this and mccarthy admitted such is he exposed the truth about the origins and creation of that benghazi select committee. as he said on fox news a few days ago, that was very specifically designed to take hillary clinton down. that dishonored the four patriots that died serving their country and you know, was absolutely emblematic of the goals and the outrageous intentions of the tea party controlled republican party today. >> but congresswoman, beyond partisanship, how's anything ever going to get through congress? to serve those american people? >> that's what's so important. i heard my colleague charlie dent who also sits on the appropriations committee with me, who is a republican from pennsylvania, one of the more
moderate republicans, and he said what the majority of my colleagues, almost all of my colleagues on the democratic side agree with. that is that in order to make decisions, we need to work together. we need a governing majority of the house. the republicans need to reject passing legislation only with a majority of the republicans in congress. we can find common ground. we should reach across the aisle. in fact, with congressman dan webster, one of the candidates for speaker, he and i don't agree on almost anything but we have hosted bipartisan dinners and those have been designed to get to know one another across the aisle, to make assumptions that if you know a little bit more about somebody personally, you probably are going to have an easier time working with them. trying to work together and make sure that the my way or the highway politics that the pea partiers in congress have engaged in is set aside, has just been dealt a huge setback
today by the republican disarray that's on display. >> congresswoman, thank you very much for joining us by telephone. let's get the view from the other side of the aisle. a big day for them. marcia blackburn, republican representative from tennessee. congresswoman, your reaction to what has happened there today? >> well, everyone was caught off guard with leader mccarthy's remarks. he will continue to be the leader of the house majority. he felt he was not the one to bring everybody together. we have two other candidates that are running for speaker. i'm certain you are going to see another one or two jump into the race. but i see this as the way the house majority is speaking for this time we need a leader who can accomplish some of these certain goals. and they want to see a more inclusive conference. they want someone who is going
to reach out to the tuesday group and to every faction, the freedom caucus who had introduced mr. webster, the liberty caucus, some of the conservative groups who had endorsed mr. webster. they want someone who is going to bring everybody together and work to accomplish the things the american people have sent us here to work. kevin mccarthy is a very good man who has done a great job as the majority leader and i have always found him to have an open door policy. congress is about relationships and being able to work toward the things that are for the good of the country and to represent your district well. >> congresswoman, you spoke about how you view this as kind of the voice of the majority. we are speaking about his role as majority leader. what is the house republican majority? how do you define it as we sit
here today? >> the house republican majority is a big tent majority, quite frankly. you have so many different groups that come from all over the country, that come from so many different thought processes, and bring those to bear. you have people that have worked in small businesses. you have people that have come out of the classroom who have been teaching, people who are health care professionals, people that choose to give up a part of their career and come here because they love this country very much. they are willing to leave their homes and come here and fight for freedom, free people, free markets. it's a very talented and very robust conference. indeed, there's a lot of unused talent in our conference, people that want to jump in and be a part of solving the problems that face our nation. look at what has happened through the obama years with the
economy. the stagnation with wages, the stagnation in the job market. look at all of the political candidates right now that are running for president. number one issue, national security. our standing in the world and the need to address foreign policy, the need to have an aggressive plan, and we feel congress needs to assert our role and our position in so many of these issues. we have seniors who are saying the issues of retirement security need to be brought to the table. tax reform, it needs to be brought to the table. repealing obamacare so people can afford insurance. that needs to be on the table. they are wanting to see us work a lot more aggressively and i know we've got about 300 bills sitting here in the senate waiting for action, but the house republicans, the conservatives are continuing to push forward to deliver for what
the american people want to see. >> congresswoman, none of those things you mentioned are going to move an inch without a speaker. who would you like to see as speaker of the house? >> we will let the house work its will on this. as i said, you have two people that are announced and running. i'm certain that by the time we get to this time tomorrow you will see a couple more people that are in there and we will see where it takes us. >> congresswoman marcia blackburn of the state of tennessee, seventh district, thank you very much for being with us. let's swing back over on the other side. a veteran democratic member of congress from the bay state of massachusetts, barney frank with us, from of all places, dallas, texas. congressman frank, you have been watching and listening. what do you make of today? >> well, it is obviously very surprising. i got to say i'm tempted to rewrite a title of a book once written about the gallo mob,
called "the gang that couldn't shoot straight." the house republicans appear to be the gang that can't shoot each other straight. while it's got an amusing aspect for democrats, i'm not surprised you haven't been able to get policy from her. she's a very well-mannered person. i think she was taught gloating is not something you should be caught doing. i gets more profound than this. we have a serious issue here. a substantial part of the republican party, this is manifesting itself both in the presidential primary race and in the house, literally does not understand the importance of governance. i think to be honest, the house republicans for all they talk about the constitution, don't understand it. in england, if you win an election, the next day you are in charge of the whole government and you get to name the prime minister and you can run things. that's not the way the american government was set up, like it or not. at any given time, america is governed by the last three elections, senators elected in 2010, the president in '12,
members of the house in '14. that makes compromise not a personal choice but an institutional necessity. so you combine those two. a failure to understand the inherent limitations, you got to win two or three elections at least to be in charge of the american government. these people on the right don't understand that. ironically, since they call themselves constitutionalists. it's also the case that they only really don't believe in governance. that's when the problem is. john boehner was convicted of conspiracy to commit government. as long as you have a substantial number of republicans who are going to object to what you have to do to govern, i don't see how this ends. >> congressman, all today aside, i'll mention a few fellow bay staters. this is the gavel of mccormick. this is the gavel of o'neill. this is as no one needs to remind you, such serious business, third in line to the
presidency. do you believe at the end of the day the republican caucus will come up with a good name, a suitable name, a compromise name, a uniter? >> well, i think it will be interesting. paul ryan is obviously going to be under a lot of pressure to take that job. i understand that he doesn't want anything to do witness. it's difficult. your previous interviewee, congresswoman blackburn, very carefully avoided answering your question about who she's for for speaker, saying it's up to the house as if she isn't a member. here's what i think may have to happen. i think the democrats, if i was still there, i would say look, let's tell the republicans that we will provide the votes for a conservative with whom we disagree on most issues, but one who understands the importance of governance with one condition. we won't ask for a commitment on any particular policy being enacted but here are the things we believe the new speaker should agree to put on the floor to be subject to a majority vote. that may be the way out. namely that a republican becomes
speaker with democratic votes agreeing that he, the speaker, or she, less likely, will oppose these things but will put votese these things. short of that, i do not see what happens and i will say this. this crisis, we make it a patchwork as john boehner may be forced to stay in. it's kind of interesting. we announced that the federal government was releasing 6,000 yesterday but apparently we're taking a new one, john boehner who is going to be locked up in the speakership. but what i think may -- this is an issue that goes before the electorate. this is a fundamental question of the nature of governance in america. this will not be resolved until the voters decide on these competing factions a year from now. >> the veteran from massachusetts, niece dthese dayf the game and in dallas, texas. congressman barney frank, thank you for being with us today.
chris matthews, i had the unique pleasure, as they say in the house, watching you watch the interview with barney frank. i have a bit of news. this story will not be one of those that is helped along by late-night comedy shows as speaker boehner has announced he will not be planning -- he will not be appearing on "the tonight show" with jimmy fallon tonight. so that's a reversal. what do you make of what barney frank just said? >> well, it was great to listen to him. he's so smart and he knows how to put sentences together. he does not have kevin mccarthy's problem, that's for sure. both parties are facing a lot of tumult right now. not anywhere near symmetric. but when you think about the established party, the whig end, bush family and jeb bush who is
not doing anything in the poll. there you have a self-proclaimed socialist who has never been a member of the democratic party who is doing very well in the polling for new hampshire and iowa and in the early goings around the country. no one said, you have to join the party, no one dares to even do that people are criticizing him because of his ideology but here we see the polls pulling. hillary clinton coming out against the cadillac tax which is one of the fiscal underpinnings of the obama health care program. this serious business. $250 billion isn't going to be there if this thing goes down. financing a very important legacy measure for president obama. then, of course, on the trade bill yesterday, after 35 times we were told she's come out for the trade bill which is the president, one of his legacy positions, she's come out against it obviously under some and probably a lot of pressure from richard trumpka, head of the afl-cio.
the center is not holding. the days of a bill clinton presidency are distant now, the days of compromise are distant, even the kinds of compromise of the days of ron rald reagan. the democratic party isn't going as far left unless barney frank -- unless bernie sanders wins the nomination which i think is still highly unlikely. it won't go that far. but the idea of a donald trump nomination is not beyond imagination now. it's not beyond imagination. it is, in fact, somewhere out there between possible and plausible. it's certainly not probable. that's a rock 'em sock 'em change in american politics. i go back to my point. you're on today, brian, appropriately. this is real news. this is something we're going to be talking about a long time from now, the rupture in the republican party, perhaps something like a breakup of the republican party.
because i don't see, short of finding paul ryan on a ship out there willing to lead this ship of state politically, they don't have an answer. >> chris, it is big news. and chris keeps saying steve kornacki, this is serious business. that's exactly what this is. the "tonight show" has put out a statement saying john boehner will not appear tonight. he'd been their long scheduled guest. that's not a venue we'll be hearing from him. leader pelosi just deflected a few questions on capitol hill. serious business indeed. >> yeah, i'm just trying to track sitting here getting e-mails from a bunch of people the names being floated right now and some of the responses they're generating. one of the ideas that's being floated is the idea of a sort of caretaker house speaker. the name that was put out there by some is tom cole, tom cole from oklahoma has been around 14 years in the congress. he chaired the republican national committee a few years ago. he has a lot of respect from the party establishment. the camp that you had on earlier
part of this hard right resistance to john boehner, said that tom cole has attacked conservatives at every turn. seeming to shoot down that trial balloon. you look at the chaffetz/web sister dynamics, the two candidates left. ch chaffetz sought and did not get the endorsement of the committee. the interesting thing on dan webster, despite the fact that the establishment views him suspiciously, that in his home state of florida is ensnared in this legal legislative mess over the fate of his house district. his house district right now is a fairly republican one, but there's a new map that is set to go into effect for 2016 that turns it into a pretty democratic district and endangers him. the odds right now of him remaining in congress past the 2016 leaked are not very good. >> you can have a speaker without a seat. in congress, an unusual turn of events. we'll hand the coverage over
after a break to thomas roberts. we have run right into his shift on the air today. but that happens when you have breaking news of this size. mccarthy will not be the next speaker of the house. it was all set to happen today until his stunning announcement just after noon in front of his fellow republicans. importantly our msnbc live special coverage of this story and the rest of the day's news will continue right after this. t cracked... ...but they couldn't miss the show. so dad went to the new safelite-dot-com. and in just a few clicks, he scheduled a replacement... ...before the girls even took the stage. safelite-dot-com is the fast, easy way to schedule service anywhere in america! so you don't have to miss a thing. y'all did wonderful! that's another safelite advantage. (girls sing) safelite repair, safelite replace. if you struggle you're certainly not alone.
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hi, everybody. good to have you with me. i'm thomas roberts right now on capitol hill. more of this breaking news as we learn about the race for speaker of the house, which is the third in line to the presidency. it has been thrown into chaos. the favorite among republicans to win the party's nomination stunned his colleagues just before a closed door vote today. majority leader kevin mccarthy of california is out, and here he is after making the bombshell announcement to party members
about whether his recent gaffe regarding benghazi and hillary clinton ultimately hurt him. >> your comments about benghazi last week played into your decision to step aside today? >> well, that wasn't helpful. yeah, i mean, i could have said it much better. but this benghazi committee was only created for one purpose, to find the truth on behalf of the families for the four dead americans. i should not be a distraction from that. and that's part of the decision as well. >> the news caught everybody by surprise including the two men in the race against him. both of whom say they are still in the race for the nomination. that has been postponed for now. but here's congressman jason chaffetz of utah speaking after mccarthy. >> i was absolutely stunned, surprised and shocked that this happened, but our conference is
going to have to do a lot of deep soul searching, and we'll see what happens. >> what this means for the future of the republican majority is difficult to assess. for instance, john boehner, who is despised by many in the ultraconservative part of this party, stays on, but for how long? and who will be acceptable enough to take over after him? regardless, it does mean soul searching for the republican party as a whole. and here's a member of the conference speaking to nbc's luke russert last hour about whether the far right has hijacked the gop. >> how the 35, 40, conservative members because mccarthy was over 200, have they hijacked the conference? >> well, i said that whoever's going to be the next speaker should not appease this group of rejectionists who have no interest in governing. they can simply not get to yes. the perfect will always be the enemy of the good to them. so we just have to deal with the reality as it is. >> could the next speaker be a
compromise can't dade between republicans and democrats? >> at this point anything is possible. >> interesting result there following the events on capitol hill, correspondent luke russert. walk us through what happened. if i heard correctly, you were the first reporter to get out a question to mccarthy asking specifically what happened between 8:00 al this morning and noon time. >> that is the big question, thomas, that we still have not gotten a clear answer to. this morning, the house gop conference had a meeting at 8:00 a.m. in the basement of the capitol where candidates for speaker were to come and give their case why they should be speaker. mccarthy went into that meeting, told the press he was feeling great, gave a wink and a smile. every member in there said he did a great job. he expected him to get well over the needed votes in conference, possibly even 200 votes. then around 12:20 a representative by the name of tom costello of pennsylvania walks out, the press goes over to him saying hey, what's going on there. i can't believe this, kevin mccarthy said he doesn't want to
be speaker any more. he's not going to run. and there is shock in the press corps and shock in the room. i'm told by people who were in that room that at first people thought mccarthy was joking, he has a wicked sense of humor. they thought this is him just bringing some light sense of humor to the room, but it turned out to be very true. boehner then said that the le s election would be put off. i'm told there was crying in the room, a sense of disbelief. and for a short time a sense of panic. what are we as a party, as one member said to me. another member saying we feel unmoored right now. the question is where does this conference go forward? clearly the 35 to 40 conservatives have taken a control to such a degree that somebody who had 200 votes sewn up does not feel he can be representative of them in the entire conference. so what i'm hearing from my sources is that more likely than not you're going to see some sort of compromise pick till the end of this congress because
they're just so divided. i've also spoken to a few conservative members who said, hey, we weren't big on mccarthy, but we can't have this constant chaos. we have to find someone who can steer this ship through the end of congress. paul ryan, he's the natural choice for this job. he's already put out a statement saying he does not want it. it's unclear where the conference will go. but i can tell from aides that i've spoken to, boehner will stay on as long as he needs to until this is figured out. it's a very important job. you're second in line to the presidency, they continue wadon play with that. >> so wait to find out the real motivation behind mccarthy dropping out, but the other obvious choices being here dan webster and jason chaffetz, are they not viable? >> well, webster is viewed very suspiciously by a majority of the conference because he was the nominee put forward by the house freedom caucus, that conservative group. so a lot of the centrists as
well as a lot of the boehner people, they're not going to go for somebody like that. chaffetz is also viewed very suspiciously because he was at one point a very close friend and ally of mccarthy and a lot of members view him as an opportunist. you have two people in the race who are immediately thrown out. mccarthy is going to stay on as majority leader, but what does that mean for the current whip steve scalise, he was going to get there, although he had a difficult pathway. he's a possibility for someone who might go for speaker, but then again no one seems to be able to get the 218 needed on the floor. and from what we've heard from democrats and nancy pelosi's spokesperson, democrats won't throw republicans a lifeline. they have to decide who the speaker will be. maybe there's a compromise candidate. democrats don't want to do that right now. they think letting this play out in the house is beneficial to their electoral prospects. i've been talking to you on tv about the house of representatives for six years
about i've never seen anything like this. everybody was completely shocked. in this hyperconnected world in which we live in, mccarthy kept this very close to the vest. something happened in the four hours from 8:00 a.m. to noon today where he said maybe i'm not up to this job. maybe steven colbert ribbing him about how he speaks english last night. countless editorials. maybe he didn't want to put his family through the pressure of the job that would come to him. he's going to stay on as majority leader which is number two and he seems happy to be there. >> in the last hour you had that great interview with congressman charlie dent who made that comment they just fraged kevin mccarthy, which is a reference to something that happen in vietnam. someone tweeted me about the fact that mccarthy just got underwooded, a reference to "house of cards." this is an amazing thing we don't get to talk about on a regular basis. things like this just don't happen. luke, i'll let you get back to work and stand by. virginia congressman and republican dave brat. when did this all fall apart?
>> it's a shock to most of us. we just found out the big news in the meeting itself today. >> what was your first reaction when you heard? were you originally supporting kevin mccarthy for this role? >> no, i went in with daniel webster and so -- but yeah, we just thought we were going to have a normal conference meeting and have the vote and see where the numbers led us. it's interesting, i heard some of the prior comments about underwood and all that kind of thing, and i hope the reporters get to kind of the hard news and not the op-ed pieces, because i'm not aware of any of that and i'm a member of congress. so i think when you say someone has 200 votes or this kind of thing, if you can report on that, that's great. but that's all news to me. >> let's just stick to the hard news then. >> great. >> explain what happened between 8:00 a.m. and noon, a four-hour window, where everybody anticipated going into this with kevin mccarthy as a lock and now we get an announcement right before lunchtime that he's
actually dropping out of this race. this is going to be postponed. >> yeah, not that -- right. >> and speaker boehner is left in the balance with wanting to retire from this post but there's no one that your caucus can coalesce around to take over. >> well, you don't know that. again, that's kind of op-ed stuff. i don't think anyone that does any vote counting thought that any candidate had a lock. there were numerous groups and numerous people who named -- numerous people who named other -- and you need 218 for the win today. and so, just as a matter of fact, i think it's for the press to get the story straight without all the acreme owny. i notice a lot folks were calling names about this group and the 30 and 40 members who were in charge of something and this kind of thing. that's just kind of nonsense. last week you had 153 republicans vote against the cr. that's the main number, right? that's the number that can have some big sway in the conference
and so when you have 153 republican members voting against the budget of the united states and voting against the leadership position, that's the number that the press ought to focus in. the group of 30 to 40, we put up dan webster, he doesn't have the highest conservative score. he was speaker of the florida house, and he's a process guy. and all we want -- and the whole conference was making huge progress last week after jaurn boehner stepped down in moving toward regular order. and that's not a household term, but it just means you follow the democratic process, you less chairmen run their committees and let members bring bills up, you're not punitive toward members for votes one way or the other. that's all our group was interested in. it's ironic if our group had its way there aren't rules to take down any more, we would actually lose votes in the democratic process. so 30 to 40 principal guys are moving toward a process that will actually hurt us in a vote sense but we're doing it for the good of the conference and for
the good of the country. >> how would you characterize gop leadership right at this minute in the house? >> gop leadership is just what it was a day ago or a couple days ago. the speaker stepped down and we have a democratic press. we're a nation of laws, not of men, not of individuals. this city and the press loves the horse race between individuals that drives ratings. but we're a nation of laws. to the extent we follow those laws and that process, we're in good shape. it doesn't have to be dramatic if we follow the rules and know what the rules are. and i think the american people are looking for that, right? you got on both sides, the democrat side and the republican side, outsiders are winning disproportionate numbers never seen before in american politics signaling they're more worried about the external word. 19 trillion in debt, their kids can't find job, russia's dropping bombs on syria. they want security and they want an economy that's moving. that's what the american people are worried about, and to the
extent that congress has not involved some of those issues this year or over the last few years that led up to 19 trillion in debt, that's what the average person wants to see fixed. so i hope we're going to move in a position that fixes those big real world problems that people care about. >> when it comes to what you've been able to do in joining political leadership, representing virginia, a lot of people know that you upset the balance of power by being able to beat eric cantor. a lot of people thought would take over for john boehner. do you feel satisfied that you have come in with the ripple effects that you wanted to see a change with gop leadership and how things are done in congress? or is this the consistent instability that we've seen all along that just leads to more gridlock? >> no, i'll be happy if we solve some of the real world problems i just mentioned. i ran on six principles in the republican creed of virginia. the free market system, equal treatment for all people under
the law, fiscal responsibility, adherence to the constitution, strong defense. those are just american principles. to the extent that we're not following those up here, the country's off course. i'll be happy when we solve real problems for the american people, get small business cranking again, get the next generation of kids a great education and some jobs. that's when i'll be happy. the political process is secondary to solving those real problems for the american people. >> so just moving forward on the record, you say that you would like to see representative webster take over as speaker, correct? >> yeah, that's right. >> okay. republican congressman dave brat of virginia, thanks for making time for me, sir. i do appreciate it. >> you bet, thank you. >> our pulse question is live. is the gop-led house capable of governing? the pulse is live. join the conversation. pulse.msnbc.com. we'll have results coming up later in the show. up next we get reaction from the
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welcome back, everybody. a very fluid afternoon here as we continue to get the ripple effect from this breaking news about kevin mccarthy dropping out of the race to take over as speaker. that vote and that nomination process now postponed. the white house lost no time reacting to the news that mccarthy had dropped out. and there's now this full-blown battle for who is going to replace boehner. here's josh earnest and what he had to say about it a short time ago. >> republicans have to make some decisions about how to lead their conference, and it certainly is easy to poke fun at the chaos, but the fact is the
challenge that is facing the next republican speaker of the house, regardless of who it is, is the same challenge that john boehner faced, is the same challenge that kevin mccarthy would have faced, and that is simply to unite a divided republican caucus. >> nbc's ron allen was in that briefing. he joins us now from the white house. what more can you tell us about this and what more did we learn about how the president reacted and any calls that he may have made over to, say, nancy pelosi or someone else in the house? >> we don't think he's called nancy pelosi yet. that's what josh said a little while ago. they have a candidate in the race. the white house is taking some political delight, you might say, in watching the goings on down the road and poking fun at the chaos as josh earnest just said. and to be more specific, he and
the white house blame this all on what they describe as a small vocal group of extreme ideologues in the republican party. and they use this occasion or the chaos down there to make broader points as well. they say that it suggests that the republicans are showing the country that they don't have the ability to govern, that it threatens their ability to win national elections. so the white house clearly sees a political opening here to make points or to score political points, if you will, because of what's going on down there. but of course there are more serious issues that can turn the white house and the country generally because there's a november, november 5th, a deadline to increase the debt ceiling and later on in december there is a deadline to pass a spending bill to keep the government running. so there are those real concerns that the white house has about trying to keep the government functioning while all this is still going on in congress with the republican congress. at this point, they're taking the high road, but clearly enjoying what they're seeing for
the moment down there. thomas. >> ron allen at the white house for us. ron, thanks so much. for more now i'm joined by msnbc's steve kornacki who is on set with me. we've been watching the reactions coming from the left a tornado right on th on the right from this. donald trump sent out a tweet directly to kevin mccarthy. great, kevin mccarthy drops out of the speaker race. we need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job. then we have jeb bush who gave his reaction on camera a short time ago. take a look at that. >> i'm most surprised. i think kevin mccarthy was a -- was a good person and a good man. i'm surprised that he dropped out. i don't follow that that carefully. i'm not going to interject myself into a political vote inside the house caucus. >> that was him in iowa, jeb bush, speaking a short time ago. i think he followed up a little bit more, but that's just me.
what do you thing thk this does the ability to win general elections. the ripple effects this has to show instability in republicans leading the way of governing. >> sure, well, first of all, one of the ideas, there's all sort of scenarios floating around about where do they go next, does john boehner stick around, can paul ryan be coaxed into doing this, will there be a caretaker. nancy pelosi was asked to weigh in. and she sh a simple statement. the statement was it's up to house republicans to pick their next leader. translation, don't look to us for any votes. if you want to cut off the 30 or 40 hard right members that are giving boehner and mccarthy a long time, don't look to us. pelosi is content to sit back and watch the republican party fight with itself and reap some political benefits from this. this should come with an asterisk or a note of caution. think back two years ago at this
time, the government was shut down because this same group of republicans on the right had insisted, if you can't get obamacare basically taken off the books, the whole government should shut down ppt it shut down. polls show voters overwhelmingly blaming the american congress for this. the ratings for the republican congress and the republican party were low. fast forward to a year after that shutdown and republicans had not only a very good leaked night in 2014, they actually reached the highest number of seats they've had in the house of representatives since world war ii. that's the level they're at right now. so there's a lot of negative stuff going on here from a public relations standpoint for the republican party right now. i don't see an obvious or quick way out of this for them. so this is a mess that could play out for a long time. you got to keep the example of that government shutdown in mind. because we all thought when the government was shut down in the fall of 2013 and you look at the poll numbers, my god, there's going to be a price for them to pay at polls next year for this. there was in the end no price
they paid for it. >> steve kornacki, stand by. former republican congressman tom davis. he's joining us from capitol hill. he's also the co-author of the book "the partisan divide ", congress in crisis." was your party hijacked today? >> no, look, it's a coalition. you have elements of the coalition that i don't think like the speaker designate who the caucus was likely to nominate. but we've been here before. this reminds me of bob livingston resigning saying he didn't want to take the speakership after he'd been nominated by the party caucus back in 1998 and the party had to scurry very quickly, they came up with denny hastert. >> right. >> as steve just said, a year is a long time in politics. we're going to go through a presidential race that will suck all the oxygen out of the air away from congress pretty shortly that i think will lay the atmospherics for next year's race. but the sooner the republicans get to some resolution, the better. i just note that in 1998 we had
a six-seat majority. we had to pull together very quickly. we did. i think we can pull together again. they've got a much larger majority this time. so this is hardly the demise of the party, but the quicker they get this resolved the better. it will have to be a consensus choice. it wouldn't be a freedom caucus choice, it won't be establishment. it will be somebody that is acceptable to all the dirt wiff wings that can move ahead. you have issues with many looing deadlines such as the debt ceiling. i also note that for the freedom caucus, the end result of what they've done here is probably have speaker boehner sitting there to resolve debt ceiling and some other issues in a way they might have had their hand strengthened had they moved ahead with the speaker's race. >> very interesting. certainly a big development. but we all know that democracy is chaotic, a little bit messy, and today we're seeing how it all is still a little bit messy and trying to make it all work.
former congressman tom davis. we appreciate steve kornacki as well. kevin mccarthy taking himself out of the race to be the speaker of the house. we'll look at reaction from the presidential campaign trail. we've got a lot of candidates that are weighing in about whether or not mccarthy made the right move here. what this all means still remains to be seen as the vote has been postponed. when you're not confident your company's data is secure, the possibility of a breach can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. at at&t we monitor our network traffic so we can see things others can't. mitigating risks across your business. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. like limiting where you earn bonus cash back.hings.
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videos appear to show staff talking about the cost of fetal tissue. these tapes were edited. planned parenthood denies the allegations and says the videos were heavily edited to put them in a bad light. terry o'neill is president of the national organization for women and joins me now. so terry, this is the fourth hearing focusing on the organization's medical tactics. what do you think will come of it? >> i think what they're trying to do is deprive millions of women of basic reproductive health care. i don't think they'll be successful. at the state level, a number of states have very loudly done these investigations of planned parenthood and every single one has determined that planned parenthood did nothing wrong. the videos are faked up, they're no more than propaganda. they're basically not much more than hoax videos. and i think what's really happening, thomas, is that women, republican women, independent women and certainly democratic women are turning
against these republican leaders that are so adamantly going after a beloved institution, namely planned parenthood. >> what do you make about the latest investigation about planned parenthood to move forward even though republicans, they say the organization didn't break any laws, this was during wednesday's debate. so why do you think this lingers? >> well, i think that the arch conservatives in the republican party and by the way, these are the men and almost all men, who want to take over entire leadership, the entire republican party, they're determined to shut down women's family planning clinics, not just planned parenthood but all of the federally funded family planning clinics. so -- and they're prepared to shut down the united states government over this issue. i can tell you that they are, by singling out women's health care, they're really walking into a -- i think a political storm that they're going to face
in 2016. this is a renewed war on women, women view it as a renewed war on women, and people -- you know, i had an activist in oklahoma who was talking to me saying these guys going after planned parenthood, they're promoting policies that kill women because when women don't get reproductive health care maternal mortality and infant mortality rates go up sharply. so that is how women out in the united states are looking at these hearings. and i'm glad we have champions on this committee. i think it's absolutely regretful that we have these committees going after women's reproductive health care. it's completely outrageous. >> you talk about a political storm. we all know republicans and democrats spent about five hours questioning cecile richards, the head of planned parenthood, the organization's political activities also calling into question her salary. representative jason chaffetz
was pretty bold during that testimony with his questions, his statements. what do you make, terry, of what we're watching today, the disarray for republicans in trying to find a person that is their leader? >> yeah, i think, quite frankly, that if there are any moderate republicans in the house, they have been completely cowed by the extremists. and it's a real shame. you know, there is nothing wrong with doing business with democrats. the republicans actually have the ability to do that. it's called parliamentary procedure. and if they just don't have the political courage to reject the most extremists in their midst, then i feel sorry for all of us in the united states. and by the way, if i may, back in the 2014 elections after which you had an even larger republican majority in the house, the reality is most americans voted for democrats in 2014. it was only because of the gerrymandering of congressional
districts that we have such a strong republican majority. and look where it has landed us. we've got to do something to get the big money out of politics and we've got to stop this very cynical redistricting, gerrymandering that has been done. >> terry o'neill, the national organization for women, terry, thanks for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you, thomas. >> absolutely. so still ahead we have a lot more reaction to this big news today about kevin mccarthy. he is stepping out of the race to become the next house speaker taking over for john boehner. we've got all of the fluid details straight ahead. then one week after the shooting at oregon's umpqua community college, a group of senators unveils new gun control legislation. >> these mass shootings have increased such that we have witnessed more than one per day. congress has done nothing. not a single hearing. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
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how do your comments about benghazi play into your decision? >> well, that wasn't helpful. yeah, i mean, i could have said it much better. but this benghazi committee was only created for one purpose, to find the truth on behalf of the families for the four dead americans. i should not be a distraction from that, and that's part of the decision as well. >> so if you're just joining us, a major stunner. at lunchtime here on the east coast, congressman's kevin mccarthy's decision to drop out of the race. withdraw his name to be the next speaker of the house. my colleague frances rivera is here with a look at some of the other candidates that are in contention vying for the speaker's seat, but it seems as if they aren't the lead and people want other people to have options about. >> whether the republican democrats from what we're hearing at this point. but these are the guys that i
guess declared even before this stunning announcement by kevin mccarthy earlier today. one of the faces out there, names out there, we saw them speak up at to podium right after the announcement of kevin mccarthy, that's representative jason chaffetz from utah, 48 years old. here he is again. he came out and said he was absolutely stunned. he didn't see it coming. when asked if you are still a candidate for speaker, he said an emphatic yes. i'd support the nominee on the floor but since we don't have a nominee, i will continue to campaign. a little about him. even before mccarthy was talking about wanting a new face and that being one of the reasons why, representative chaffetz actually put himself out there as somebody who can be the new face. the american public wants a change, wants a new face, and that's what he was saying that he could present even more. when you see him, you all know that he was highly visible in past weeks, especially when it came to the hearings with planned parenthood, with that five-hour grilling of cecile
richards. and then we saw a lot of chaffetz when it came to the secret service when he used his post in launching that investigation. we know what came out of that, the secret service when he was having intentions of wanting to join the secret service, those documents of his background was leaked as well. certainly a name and a face that's out there. daniel webster from florida, 66 years old. but from what luke russert was reporting before, you can take that with a little bit of suspicion because he does have the backing of the conservative freedom caucus as well. in january he received 12 votes as part of the failed attempt to oust boehner from the job at this time. he has the backing from the former speaker of the house in florida. he can transform the way the house does business. these are the two that we knew that were kind of in the running before this shocker came this afternoon and again whatever happened between 8:00 a.m. breakfast time to lunch time to change that. we'll see if these guys remain or if somebody else out there
that we're not talking about right now. >> congressman marshall blackburn was on in the 1:00 hour and saying she didn't have anyone to throw her support behind just yet and may anticipate a couple more names revealed by tomorrow. so a lot of people are circling their wagons figuring out exactly do they want to try to do after this job or could they end up like kevin mccarthy, too, thinking they can have it and knocked out of the race? frpts and paul ryan saying, nope. >> don't draft me. we'll talk again here shortly. we have other breaking news for you this afternoon. this from the pentagon. u.s. officials confirming several long-range russian missiles were fired at syrian targets. they landed in iran. chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins me with more on this. what's the update? >> this was part of yesterday's russian surprise cruise missile attack in syrian when russian warships launched cruise
missiles that flew ver low over the terrain, first iran, then iraq and finally into syria. according to the u.s. officials, four of them crashed in a rural, remote area of syria. there were apparently no casualties. as one u.s. official put it, the russians helped plow the fields of iran. now, what's particularly disconcerting to u.s. military officials is first that the russians didn't inform us of attack and those missiles, which again are low flying, flew through iran and syrian air space where u.s. and coalition aircraft are conducting daily combat operations. now, there's no indication that the missiles came anywhere near any of those aircraft, but there's always the possibility of a miscalculation here, and that's what has officials concerned. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon for us. mik, thank you. appreciate it. we'll be back with much more as we get more reaction to kevin mccarthy dropping out of the
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liberty mutual insurance. welcome back, everybody. as hillary clinton today deals with new headlines over her private e-mail server that it faced hacks from china, south korea and germany, there's another big headline still grabbing attention. and that's what's being called clinton's biggest policy break yesterday with president obama. the former secretary of state now says she opposes the administration's signature trade agreement, the transpacific partnership. an agreement involving 12 countries from around the pacific rim. according to the white house it writes the rules of global trade that will help increase made-in-america expoerts, grow the american economy and strengthen the american middle class. a deal clinton helped craft. >> so are you saying that as of today this is not something you can support? >> what i know about it as of today, i am not in favor of what
i have learned about it. what i know -- and again, i don't have the text. we don't yet have all the details -- i don't believe it's going to meet the high bar i have set. >> so bernie sanders, hot on her heels in the democratic primary, was quick to respond. >> i'm delighted that secretary clinton is on board opposition to the tpp, to be very frank with you, it would have been more helpful to have her on board a few months ago when the fight was 60 votes. >> joining me now from washington, msnbc political reporter alex seitzwald. any reaction on this breaking news about kevin mccarthy dropping out of the speaker's race? a lot of people would say this is all because of that catalyst statement he gave to sean hannity on fox news about what the benghazi hearings were about. >> right, thomas, hard to overstate how much of a gift that comment was to the hillary clinton campaign. and they have put that to very
good work using it in videos, tweets, statements, all kinds of different ways of exploiting that. so far the only response from hurricane h's campai hillary clinton's campaign is a tweet and she floated the name of a different kevin mccarthy, a kevin mccarthy who lives in iowa who starred in that video where he complained about getting hate tweets that were directed at the other kevin mccarthy who withdrew from the speaker's race today. i expect we'll hear more from hillary clinton about this. >> when we talk about what's going on with her position on the break with the white house and the transpacific partnership and we see the interview with judy woodruff there, what is she trying to say about the details? what does she feel is so different today as she was trying to make that the foundational reason for why she's opposed to it? what is different today about these details that are not a part of what she helped craft? >> weright, well, we don't real know entirely because the full
text has not been released to the public nor to hillary clinton. in her defense, she did step down from the secretary of state in 2013. there's a lot that could have changed. we don't know the details. at the time she was helping to negotiate it, she called it the gold standard of international trade deals. in her book, she wrote that it was a key economic pillar of u.s. strategy towards asia, but you know, why come out with it now? well, she's said for months that she would wait to take a position on the tpp, hugely controversial until the negotiations were complete. they just wrapped up on monday. then also i think the big thing politically on tuesday we have the first democratic debate. if she went into that without having a position on this, you would be sure she'd get bullied by all the other candidates and possibly the moderators. she has to go in having a position. >> what about having this huge contrast with the white house? what's the up side, the down side of that? >> this is one of the few places where she's broken with the obama white house. there's been a couple other areas like on the syrian no-fly
zone. but one thing that's looming over the entire democratic race is vice president joe biden, who by virtue of being in the white house, he supports tpp, he's gone to capitol hill to lobby for tpp. so what she does effectively is isolate him. he's the only candidate now in the democratic field who supports this deal. he is going to have to be taking a position that opposes basically all of organized labor, which could be a big source of support for him that opposes a lot of the leadership on capitol hill. so whether this was her intention or not, it has the effect of put joe biden on an island unto himself in the democratic party. >> his shadow will certainly be felt at the democratic debate, but he'll not be there as an official candidate. alex seitzwald, appreciate it. still today marking a week since the shooting at umpqua community college in roseburg, oregon. now sweeping new gun control legislation. >> enough is enough.
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welcome back, everybody. a really wild fluid situation on capitol hill and the development that kevin mccarthy withdrew his name to be the next speaker of the house. it was highly anticipated that he would be a part of that nomination contest that would go forward today, but they have postponed it now due to the fact that he dropped out. we asked you in our pulse question, is the gop-led house capable of governing. 93% of you are saying no to that question, 7% of you say yes. the pulse is live, go check it out. i want to turn to the other story today. this is the heroic story of chris mintz. you'll know that name. he's one of the surviving victims of the shooting in
roseburg, oregon. he's been released from the hospital. the 30-year-old let go last night after being in the hospital almost a week according to a friend who asked not to be named. president obama will head to roseburg, oregon, tomorrow to meet with families of the victims. in the aftermath of that shooting in oregon, senate democrats are unveiling new gun control reforms. they gathered this morning on capitol hill to outline the proposals. and they include closing background check loopholes, expanding the background check database and tightening regulations on illegal purchases. their message -- it's time for action now. >> enough is enough. this may be the moment, i hope and pray, when i can turn to my daughters and andy parker can think about his lost daughter alison and say, you know what? the people called for action and congress responded. >> joining me from washington is colin goddard, senior policy
advocate for every town for gun safety and a survivor of the mass shooting at virginia tech in 2007 and he attended that news conference this morning. colin, it's nice to see you. let's talk about this because we've been on tv to talk about this before. democrats have tried this once before. why do you think this is different? >> i think americans, by and large, this summer where we've seen mass shootings in schools, movie theaters and churches, have grown entirely fed up with absolutely nothing being done in congress. and they've been calling on congress to do something for so long. finally we have some leadership where practically every member of the senate democratic caucus gathered together and put forth a comprehensive plan to address gun violence in our country and heard our cries have asked us to continue calling on elected officials, everyone who was not there with them that morning and holding them accountable for their inaction. and if they still don't do something, hold them accountable at the ballot box when the next election cycle comes.
that's what we have to do. >> is that the biggest message to republicans who oppose these reforms, basically if this is your district and this is your elected leader, pay attention and don't vote to have them return? >> yeah, if we can't change laws with this congress, we have to change the members of congress. it's that simple. >> a lot of this has been headlines for campaigns and presidential campaigns of ben carson and donald trump, carson making a statement that he said, you know, people should gather together and try to take down a shooter and some people then thought, well, is he victim blaming or shaming here. what would you say to ben carson, as you yourself, being a survivor, facing down a shooter on the campus of virginia tech? >> i would call his comments incredibly insulting. and he should say that to someone who has been in a situation like that and has been shot. ben carson himself even detailed a scenario when he was at
popeye's and someone came in and stuck a gun in his rib cage. and he said, i think you want the guy behind the counter. so it's really now dr. ben do as i say but not as i do carson who is not even fit to lead a little old lady across the street let alone the united states of america. >> tomorrow we understand the president is going to be going on to roseburg, oregon, meeting with some of the families. there's been some resistance and some people have said they would prefer the president not use this as an opportunity to push any type of gun legislation agenda. what would you say to that? >> i think the president is going there to show that community that he cares and he's someone whose heart is broke with that community. he has empathy for those people who have been living there and have gone through such a horrible experience. the president himself has experience in this, he has dealt with victims of trauma and traumatic shootings before, right? he understands what is
appropriate to say and do at that point, and i think his visit to that place is appreciated. >> colin goddard with every town for gun safety, thank you for your time. thank you at home for your time. that will wrap up today's show. i'll see you back here tomorrow. kate snow picks up our coverage. is that you can create wealth through capital appreciation, and this has been denied to many south africans for generations. this is an opportunity to right that wrong. the idea was to bring capital into the affordable housing space in south africa, with a fund that offers families of modest income safe and good accommodation. citi got involved very early on and showed an enormous commitment. and that gave other investors confidence. citi's really unique, because they bring deep understanding of what's happening in africa. i really believe we only live once, and so you need to take an idea that you have and go for it.
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