tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 8, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
well, uh, well there's this one. best insurance mobile app? yeah, two years in a row. well i'll be... does that thing just follow you around? like a little puppy! the award-winning geico app. download it today. good day, everyone. i'm kate snow. and here's what's happening right now on msnbc live. shocker on capitol hill. kevin mccarthy dropping out of the race for house speaker. it was unexpected. it has everyone talking about what happens next. trump headlines vegas. stumping for support along the strip and he's reacting to the mccarthy news. we'll take you there live this hour. we're learning russian missiles landing in iran, not syria. we're live at the pentagon. with ybut we begin with th m
bombshell from capitol hill. kevin mccarthy unexpectedly dropped out of the race. it was one of those jaw-dropping moments that no one really saw coming. he announced the news in a meeting with house republicans this afternoon around lunchtime where he was expected to be officially nominated. >> we've been going through this campaign talking to a lot of members, but the one thing i've always said to earn this majority, we're servants. we should put this conference first. and i think there's something to be said for us to unite we probably need a fresh face. i'll stay on as majority leader, but the one thing i found in talking to everybody, if we're going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that. so nothing more than that. i feel good about the decision. i feel great to have my family here, my colleagues. i think we're only going to be stronger. >> that news came after a late push by the conservative freedom caucus to oppose mccarthy and it
follows that controversial comment linking the benghazi committee to hillary clinton's falling poll numbers. mccarthy says he intends to stay on as house majority leader. jason chaffetz, one of mccarthy's challengers for the speakership, is vowing to stay in the race. >> 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. 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. >> meanwhile, house speaker john boehner, who was scheduled to appear on "the tonight show" with jimmy fallon tonight has canceled that appearance. kevin mccarthy is out of the
speaker's race. luke russert is on capitol hill. it's changing by the minute. who have you got with you? >> it's changing by the minute indeed. i have a republican conservative from texas. and before i interview him, i just want to tell you about comments that kevin mccarthy made to "national review," the conservative publication saying the reason why he was not able to move forward as speaker is because he could not make the concessions that conservatives were demanding. he was not able to get a pathway to 218 votes on the house floor, also saying that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom in order to get back up as well as saying that he did not want to put members through a tough vote in their district to support him. and congressman, we were talking off camera, you said this was a selfless act by kevin mccarthy. why? >> listen, my facebook, twitter, town halls, phone calls have all been blowing up saying kevin mccarthy is just john boehner 2.0 and we don't want that. but i can tell you that kevin showed today that he's an
honorable man. he put the country in front of his own political ambitions. and i'm proud to call him a friend, and i think he made the right choice. and it's going to really open up the race. and i think we're going to see some new faces develop over the next 24 to 48 hours. >> congressman, you talk about how constituents were angry at the possibility of mccarthy, we saw the tea party handing out t-shirts that said mcboehner. who is somebody that could make your constituents happy? is that person out there? >> i think there may be a texan out there. we're going to wait and see. i think there's a great opportunity for someone to heal the party and to actually be able to work with both the conservative and the liberal branch of our party and even reach across the aisle, a new personality, a uniter. i think we can find somebody. >> this idea of an interim speaker that's being floated
around, what are your feelings about that, someone to serve out the remainder of this congress? >> horrible idea. the american people are tired of congress kicking the can down the road. there's a false narrative of a do-nothing congress, this congress hasn't gotten everything done that conservatives want but getting somebody as a place holder sends the wrong message. we're not ready to go address the problems facing this country now. >> kate, that just showed you how difficult the job will be for whoever wants to be the next speaker of the house. there's a lot of speculation that perhaps a place holder to get through this congress, but as you just heard from congressman farenthold, not a lot of an appetite for that. we can tell you that john boehner has agreed to stay on as long as necessary. and it might have to be past that october 29th deadline that he originally set. >> luke russert stay on it for us, go do some more reporting and come back for us. i want to bring in chris matthews and steve kornacki. you just heard congressman
farenthold say maybe a texan. we both got a look on our face. who are their real prospects right now? who could they call on to fill this job? >> this is the thing. every name that you can think of is being floated around right now. but the closest parallel to this situation that's useful to look back at is what happened during the clinton impeachment saga at the end of 1998, bob livingston from louisiana, was all set to become the next house speaker. came out that he'd had an extra marital affair, he goes to the floor and abruptly resigns. it's complete chaos. there was one potential heir apparent there, tom delay. he was not acceptable to the whole congress. before that nobody outside of capitol hill had ever heard of, and it was dennis hastert. he was known as a uniter within the republican conference. he had good relationships across the board. he had been close to tom delay. he became the consensus choice that emerged from that. that's one direction it could potentially go here. it's a name you don't know right
now. when you look at what the freedom caucus, the far right of the republican conference is looking for her, the fact that kevin mccarthy was unacceptable to them despite the fact he's been in congress for less than ten years, you know, he was somebody who was out there recruiting -- >> relatively new. >> he recruited a lot of these freedom caucus members to run. he campaigned for them, supported them. he still had the stench of the establishment sort of hanging on him just by the fact that he had that title, just by his proximity to boehner. you start to look towards somebody who doesn't have any connection right now, any clear title connection to the leadership, somebody there -- i don't know who it is, but i'd be curious if it will be another dennis hastert. >> we've been talking about this bombshell, but i wonder some republicans seem to be pushing back and saying, don't make too much of this. it's not really emblematic of the state of the party. what's your read? >> well, that's all nonsense. in fact, it's not a hill story. it's not a happening hill story,
not a personality story of leadership, finding the right person. it's much different than that. this is about a political party coming apart. if you watch what was reported today, the fact that they want 247 members agree on the next leader, they want the tea party people to agree on the next leader. the tea party people have made their own demands. they want the speaker to use the debt ceiling to get certain things done, stop the government if necessary, deal with the planned parenthood demands. this is a real mutiny in the republican party on the right insisting that they have the veto power over the rest of the party in terms of picking a leader. this is big time. it's big casino. it is exactly the same thing happening in the presidential race where you see the three top runners for the republican nominations for president having no role in politics outside of the business world or the medical world, in the case of dr. carson, this is a revolt against the republican establishment. it's for real. and it's not going to get healed because there's a difference in the two points of view. one believe in government and
co-governing with the democrats, in a compromise situation, the way the u.s. government has performed in the past, when it has performed. the rejectionist, the republican right, does not want to go along with that any more. their people back home don't want them playing ball. as congressman farenthold said you don't want to go back and say and i voted for mccarthy. you have to say the person's name. this is going to be a mutiny full force for the next couple of weeks, then it's going to be more of that coming in december when we see the government shut down because the people who are shutting down this guy, larry mccarthy, which they did today, will shut down the government. >> chris, you worked in politics a long time. you worked in the speaker's office for tip o'neill. historically speaking, where do you rank this incident today? >> i just did, kate. this is a revolt. this is a mutiny, this is a breakup of a political party. this is not business as usual. if the political types come on this show and try to cover it
over and say, no big deal, are the ones that go along with the business. i've watched them all afternoon try to cover this thing up. the people on the hard right, their way of dealing with this is saying we're going to win. we want 247. look at the math. if you want all 247 republicans to vote for the next speaker, you have to have the hard right agree to thenext speaker, then you'll have the veto right. that's what they're saying. they want the new speaker, if he's going to get the job, to agree up front he's willing to shut the government down on matters of principle. you may step back and say is it a political party any more if it can't pick a leader? i'm either right or i'm wrong, if they cover this up and it's no big deal other commentators will be proven correct. i think it's big time. >> from this afternoon, charlie dent was here and take a listen to what he had to say. >> the challenge for our conferences is quite simple,
that we need to send bipartisan coalitions to pass any legislation around here. we may have to assemble a bipartisan coalition to elect the next speaker of the house. >> a bipartisan coalition? >> this is something you hear in state legislatures. the most telling thing on that front that we got so far is nancy pelosi put out a statement. she said, house republicans will choose who their next leader is. translation -- guys, don't look for us to form any kind of a coalition here. she sees the sorts of things chris matthews is describing and she's content to see them go through this and reap the benefits. there is a scenario where you could end up with a republican speaker who is relying on democratic votes to get through these must-pass pieces of legislation, whether we're talking about the debt ceiling or keeping the government open. the s
john boehner says he'll stay on as house speaker until a new speaker is picked. that that's going to be extended more than the three weeks he'd been planning for. here's what we also know about john boehner. he was prepared to retire last year. he was shet to go, then this shocking upset where eric cantor, his deputy, his number two, lost his primary in virginia in the middle of the last year. nobody saw it coming. john boehner said because of that i decided i'll stick around through 2015. it is not implausible to me that if nobody can get to 247, the way chris is describing, john boehner says, we're not having another election, i'm sticking around as speaker. and he puts these must-pass bills on the floor and relying on democratic support to pass them. >> i want to bring in peter welsh of vermont. a close friend of kevin mccarthy's, recently travelled with the congressman to russia. congressman, thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> you're friendly with kevin mccarthy even though you're in the opposite party. did you get any insight as to why he made this decision?
did you have a chance to talk to him beforehand? >> it was shocking but i actually think not surprising. i think chris has the analysis right. we can search all we want for a person, but until there's a political decision made about tactics, we're going to get nowhere. we're in a legislative body that doesn't legislate. like you being in a news organization that doesn't report news. what you have on the republican side right now is broad agreement on policies, low taxes, low spending, light regulation, but bigger division about tactics. you've got a narrow group that has a veto power and is embracing the nuclear button issues or tactics of shutdown and default on our debt in order to get their way. it might be to repeal obamacare or it might be about planned parenthood, but that is a decision the republicans have to make. they have to rip that asunder because you cannot have a governing majority when you are embracing tactics that it's my way or the highway even if we bring down the institution and even if we do enormous damage to
the country. so there's going to be a lot of turmoil ahead. charlie dent has got a point, by the way, whenever we've made progress in congress there's always an inability to get democrats and republicans on a major bill. we don't have a budget, we don't have a highway bill, an export/import bank and we haven't had an opportunity to vote on these. this is extremely serious because this institution is being pulled down by some folks who think that it's okay to tear it down unless they get their way. >> what do you think in this moment, congressman? do you think they will come up with someone more moderate or, as you stand there at 3:14 eastern time, what are you thinking? >> what i'm thinking is they've got a lot of inner turmoil there. and what's happening is that, politically, the talk radio hosts terrified some of the members when they vote for a person who becomes vilified like mccarthy was, but they have to make an existential decision. if they give veto power to 40 or 50 members whose support they
need in order to pass a budget or that's going to be shut down, then it's going to be stall speed and a grinding -- a grinding failure. so at the end of the day, they're going to have to decide whether to cut those folks loose and say we just can't use tactics that have so much damage into the american economy and to the political system, and frankly, they've got to make a decision whether they want to work with us. congressman peter we much, thank you for your time chris matthews, back to you for one final thought? >> sure. >> where does this leave us in terms of the bigger picture. we're in the middle of an election year. can you make that link for us sth. >> sure, if you look at all the ways we look at pub lib opinion. nine out of ten people don't like the way congress -- what it is, they don't like it. they think it's a disaster. that's one way of looking at it. look at how we're picking the republican nominee for
president. just looking at the polls. the top three who basically grab all the support, the majority of the support from all the people questioned are people totally without any government role in their lives. they're untainted by government service. that would be trump, dr. ben carson, and carly fiorina, never really worked in an elected position, never took the oath of aus, never had to serve at the will of the american people. they're clean, in other words. that reflects the mood of the republican caucus. it's easy to be a protest candidate, to be donald trump is a lot of fun, let's face it. who wouldn't like to have the fun of a guy that just criticizes everything else and enjoys it like a pretty good showman? but if you get the majority vote, you have to run the place. you have to pass a budget. you have to pass the debt ceiling bill every year. you've got to do things like deal with planned parenthood which is a sticky issue. you've got to govern. it's different than protesting. so trump if he were actually elected president would have to be commander in chief, head of
the armed service, head of the executive branch of the government, run everything, the national institutes of health. the whole thing would be under him. it's hard to imagine, isn't it? because we're really in a protest period right now where we're picking candidates. how do you run a protest period of time politically if you're also actually supposedly running the government and the house of representatives? that's the republican party problem. they're in a protest mood but they also have their hand on the helm. they've got to steer this country. they're not really good at doing both. i don't know that anybody could ever do both. they're not able to do it. >> chris matthews, thank you for your insight. >> thank you. >> steve kornacki, we'll be back with you soon. more on reaction to kevin mccarthy dropping out. we'll go to the white house from reaction on there. plus donald trump live in las vegas. we'll take you there. and after taking down a suspected terrorist aboard a train in france, spencer stone, you remember him, an american hero, was stabbed overnight hoer at home. we'll stel you about his condition up next. hold the phone. because at&t and directv are now one!
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looking at live pictures now from las vegas where donald trump is holding a campaign event. he just moments ago commented on kevin mccarthy withdrawing from the race for house speaker. he seemed to take credit for mccarthy quitting. let's take a listen. >> kevin mccarthy is out. you know that, right? and they're giving me a lot of credit for that because i said you really need somebody very, very tough and very smart. you know, smart goes with tough. not just tough. i know tough people, they're not smart. that's the worst, okay? that's the worst. you got to be smart. but we need smart, we need tough, we need the whole package. like me, thank you. i like that, i like this guy over here, whoever he is. but it's bedlam in washington
right now, bedlam. it's a mess. i've never seen anything like it. >> joining me now, republican congressman from new york, peter king. congressman, good to see you again. >> kate, how are you? >> i'm well, thank you. donald trump, i don't know if you could hear that sound that we just played? >> i do. >> he just commented on kevin mccarthy, basically taking credit for him. he said that washington is bedlam right now. >> donald trump is a funny guy, he's a great new yorker, and unfortunately, he's accurate this time, except it's really not funny. i mean, this is serious business. speaker is second in line to be president of the united states. we have to get this resolved as quickly as possible. we can't allow a small minority in our party to be hijacking the party and blackmailing the congress. >> you were a fan of john boehner, the current speaker. i understand that you earlier today at a gop meeting said that you're dealing with a banana republic. were those your words? >> what i was saying is that if we continue to, first of all,
force the speaker to resign, then we reject kevin mccarthy because 30 people are going to vote against him, that we are going to give the appearance of being a banana republic because what we've always had is stable governments in this country. it's not like countries with parliaments overthrow their leaders. fact is you're in for a fixed term of two years. for john boehner to have a step down and kevin mccarthy apparently not being able to run because 30 people said they're going to withhold their vote, this goes against the basic rules of a representative democracy where you abide -- unless there's a serious moral issue, that's the way it's always been. now 30 people want to hold the house hostage. >> what happens now, congressman? i'm sure you've been in meetings all day or running into colleagues in the halls. what happens now? >> actually this is all just in the last two or three hours. most of us ping-pong going back and forth. we are have to find a candidate
soon. first of all, john boehner said he would stay on as speaker. john can stay on and he'll be free to really make whatever agreements he can with the house republicans, senate republicans, with the president and move forward. we have to have a speaker. other candidates i would propose and someone like paul ryan or tom cole who are both very solid conservatives, they haven't burned any bridges. and they certainly would be very formidable candidates, but we have to get it done. we can't allow any group to be -- to hijack or basically be able to blackball. this is wrong. >> i know you've been in votes. you probably haven't been watching msnbc, but paul ryan has already said he's not interested in the job. >> i've heard that, but again maybe we can persuade ball. he's the real conscience of the party. i can strongly support paul. i know many people have said that, but i can understand why if he says he does not want to run, but again i can tell you
there's a lot of support for paul and also i've mentioned for tom cole and then others are mentioned john kline from michigan who is stepping down at the end of next year and perhaps have him in there and john again is a very solid guy. >> in an interim sort of guy. are you just looking for someone to take charge at the moment? >> no, i'm not. but i'm saying if we can't get a long-term candidate to come in and if we are talking about someone who will just be there for the next 15 months, someone like john kline would be a good choice. i agree with you, for a person to be speaker, he has to have the clout, he has to have the power to get things done. and when people see you as being a lame duck, it makes it harder to get them to follow you and to get done what has to be done. >> congressman peter king. thanks for joining us on a very busy day. >> thank you, kate. let me turn to steve kornacki on that. he mentioned a couple of different names. we were writing them down.
john kline of michigan. >> one jumped out at me, tom cole. he was elected in 2002. he's respected by the republican establishment. as you can see peter king, he ran the congressional campaign committee. his name is getting floated a lot for a role as interim speaker. tim huelskamp is one of the republicans the reason that kevin mccarthy is not running. he was asked about that prospect of tom cole. he said tom cole has attacked conservatives at every turn. tim huelskamp making it clear they'd block him, too. it raises that question, if kevin mccarthy who had these close personal relationships with members of the house freedom caucus, these are people he recruited, campaigned for, raised money for in 2010, had close relationships that boehner didn't, that wasn't enough, i don't see how somebody like a cole can get those kinds of votes. >> stay with us. we'll need your help for the
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right now. bedlam. it's a mess. i've never seen anything like it. >> that was donald trump speaking just moments ago at a campaign event in las vegas. joining me now katy tur who is at that rally in vaug and steve kornacki is here. let me start with you. we just heard him on kevin mccarthy taking credit for his downfall. i guess this plays with his crowd, i'm sure. >> it does play with his crowd, but i'm not sure that he can take all the credit. but certainly a lot of the forces of what's going on out there in the field right now can. when we're talking to voters -- and i've been on the trail for 105 days, and you talk to voters what they're looking for, especially conservative voters who show up for the trump or rubio rallies, they're looking for someone who can go into washington and change things up. they don't feel like they have been represented. in fact, when we were at values voter a couple of weeks ago when john boehner stepped down, there were cheers.
we're getting the same sort of reaction for this mccarthy stuff. they're not looking for a moderate to go in there and bridge gaps, they're looking for a conservative that will represent their values. donald trump among the other candidates are tapping into that vein, that idea they're go in there and get rid of obamacare and planned parenthood will go away and all the ills they've seen created over the last few years are going to be magically disappeared if they can get him in power. whether or not he'll be able to do that remains to be seen. congress in washington is a complicated animal. donald trump is making very big promise, but they're promises that are resonating with people. caucus-goers, are they people who are going to show up in iowa on february 1st or later in february here in nevada? a lot of them say they've never been to a caucus. a lot of them don't know how a kouko caucus works. there's still concern for this campaign. what they're seeing are people who are entertained by him and
like his ideas and will vote for him but won't do the complicated caucusing that will need to get him on the ballot. it would get him to the general election so they could eventually vote for him. we're here in nevada, we're in las vegas, a lot of the people we're talking to aren't from las vegas. he's drawing big crowds. whether they're people who will actually put him into power remains to be seen. >> the atmospherics this that room, we can only see the podium in the shot, a large crowd but a lot of tourists? >> a large crowd. some tourists, some locals. but we're in las vegas. you're going to get a lot of tourists. but they're raucous, they're excited. the same crowd we see at pretty much all of his rallies. they're desperate to hear what he has to say and they're desperate for change. when donald trump goes up there and takes credit for kevin mccarthy stepping down, they believe he has something to do with it. and he does to a certain extent. yesterday we were talking to the family leader shed vanderplots
and he said that it was a resignation of donald trump tapping into that anger of the electorate. he's not the typical evangelical vote. he's been divorced, pro abortion rights before he was against them. and vanderplotz told me that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. donald trump for all of his ills at one point or another with the evangelicals, is still their savior in a lot of ways because he's fighting against the people they're fighting against in congress and that includes speaker boehner and mccarthy. >> steve, four months on the top of the polls for donald trump. is there anything that can knock him off his perch? >> knocking him off his perch is one thing but there's the question of up side here. right now 21, 22, 23% in the polls is enough to put him in first place. at some point this field is going to narrow considerably. if donald trump survives that narrowing, he'll have one, two, three opponents. what becomes interesting then is an nbc news and "wall street
journal" asks this in our polling. we ask republicans, could you see yourself voting for this candidate or not. mb like ben carson, like marco rubio, like carly fiorina, overwhelmingly they say, yeah, we could see ourselves voting, even jeb bush. look at donald trump. more republicans say they could not see themselves supporting him than supporting him. so that's the challenge for trump. it's not just holding on to the 20, 25%. it's when this narrows can he build on that 20 to 25. that poll right there is telling you he'll have trouble with that. >> steve kornacki, katy tur, thanks so much. after the break we'll go to the pentagon for more on that breaking news out of russia -- ute of syria involving russia. life can be. these kids were headed to their first dance recital... ...when their windshield got 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.
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their syrian targets. the officials say the missiles landed in a rural area inside iran and there were apparently no casualties. on wednesday, russia launched 26 missiles from the caspian sea at targets near aleppo, syria. these new cruise missile hs a range of over 900 miles. this is the first time the russians have ever used that type of missile other than training exercises. this news comes as syrian troops launched a new wide range ground offensive on forces wide fooiting to remove president assad today. let's turn to chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. bring us up to speed. >> as you said, these four cruise missilesm malfunctioned after being launched from warships in the caspian sea. instead of making their way from the caspian sea all the way to syria, they crash landed in iran. now, according to u.s. officials there appear to have been no casualties on the ground.
but what is most disconcerting to u.s. officials is that the russians launched those missiles some 26 to 30 of them across iran and through iraqi and then syrian air space where u.s. and coalition aircraft are conducting those combat air operations every day. and they did it without informing the u.s. or any coalition forces including iraq in advance. so that's disconcerting. also on their radar is the fact that some of those 3,000 russian troops on the ground continue to move further east out of the western part of syria and they're taking with them rocket launchers, artillery and advanced equipment in an effort apparently to attack the moderate rebels that are opposed to the assad regime. there is really no evidence -- now some of those air strikes around aleppo could have hit isis targets.
that's a possibility. but so far no indication that the russians are really focusing on isis. now officials here also point out that since four of those cruise missiles malfunctioned, that those miss ool systi'll sye not not as developed as they should be and there are a few of the cruise missiles left actually to conduct any more assaults. all that's well and good, but quite frankly, the russians continue to operate freely without immunity from the land, air and now the sea, kate. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon, thank you. >> you bet. spencer stone, one of the three americans who helped foil a terror attack on a french train last august was stabbed in sacramento, california, last night. a u.s. air force spokesman confirmed to nbc news stone is in stable condition. police say stone was stabbed multiple times in the torso after a physical altercation, and this incident is not related to terrorism or to the incident that occurred in france.
let's turn to jacob rascon. he's been following that story from los angeles. >> the good news is that he's in stable condition after being stabbed and surviving yet another knife attack. it happened just after midnight outside a bar in sacramento and we're told that it started as a verbal argument between groups of people and then escalated to a brawl. and the brawl was actually caught, it appears, on some surveillance video. but what we're told by police and the air force as well is what happened is that he was stabbed at least four times, possibly in the chest, as he fought with this group of people. a police cruiser arrives and breaks up the fight, but no arrests were made. of course, we'll remember spencer stone from that attack in august. he is credited with americans and others with thwarting what might have been a massacre on board a high-speed train on its way to paris. he was awarded france's highest medal, the legion of honor. of course, he was welcomed home as a hero and then to this,
another knife attack at home. we know that on that train in france he was cut several times in the head and in the hand and other places with a box cutter and attacked again here at home. good to know that he is surviving. kate? >> very good news that his conditions a improved. jacob rascon, thank you. straight ahead, reaction to kevin mccarthy's decision to drop out of the race for house speaker. we'll go to the white house up next. proud of you, son. ge! a manufacturer. well that's why i dug this out for you. it's your grandpappy's hammer and he would have wanted you to have it. it meant a lot to him... yes, ge makes powerful machines. but i'll be writing the code that will allow those machines to share information with each other. i'll be changing the way the world works. (interrupting) you can't pick it up, can you? go ahead. he can't lift the hammer. it's okay though! you're going to change the world. more data means more freedom to do..whatever.
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it is always number one. we leave out poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat and soy. and, we own where our dry food is made - 100%. can other brands say all that? for grain-free nutrition you can trust, does your food go beyond? learn more at beyondpetfood.com the white house has reacted to congressman kevin mccarthy dropping out of the speaker's race. here's josh earnest. >> republicans have to make some decisionss about how to lead their conference. 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 news correspondent ron allen joins me from outside the white house. ron, they have to work with whoever the next speaker is. >> they do. so they're being cautious -- well, they're not going too far in expressing too much dloeligh and political glee in watching this chaos happening down the street. the word "chaos" was used a dozen times during the briefing at the white house. the white house is saying essentially that this shows deeper problems in the republican party that they've been complaining about for some time. they blame this on what they call a small group of id idealological extremists who are only about their self-interests and not the interests of the
country. they say it shows a rupture in the republican party that threatens their ability to win national elections, that it shows the american people that they have difficulty, that they would have difficulty governing. that's all going down the road a bit, the short-term problems are, of course, the debt ceiling has to be raised and there's a spending bill that has to be passed in order to keep the government going this year so there are practical problems. but the white house is taking advantage of this moment to try to make political points to raise longstanding grievances with the republican party. they do have to work with whoever the leader is who emerges. so some delight but not going too far for now. >> ron allen at the white house this afternoon. watching it all. thank you. new details on the oregon shooter's past, plus in washington, a new push for gun safety reform. the details from a senator involved up next. and it's the big news today in politics. we've been saying it all hour. kevin mccarthy dropping out of the race to replace john boehner as house speaker.
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more now on the breaking news we've been following all afternoon. kevin mccarthy dropping out of the run for speaker for house speaker. i'd like to bring in congressman steve israel of new york. thank you for being patient with us. i wonder from your perch as a democrat. who can you work with? we've heard a lot of names as who could become republican speaker. are you hearing that you think could cross and work with democrats? >> first of all, the republicans have proven their are the caucus of chaos. that's for the congress and country. as to who we can work with. we have demonstrated as democrats we will work with anybody who has two fundamental skills, one an ability to negotiate. two, an ability to compromise. the problem is, that you've got a tea party caucus, this freedom caucus, that is adamantly opposed to any speaker who has
those two skills. and so i am not optimistic about what's going to happen until the republican party can get its act together. do their jobs. come to the table. elect a speaker who can negotiate not based on pandering to the crowds, but by helping to create progress for the american people. we'll continue to have the caucus of chaos. >> are you optimistic things get resolved quickly? >> they have to get resolved. we have a highway trust fund that's going to expire. we have construction workers who will lose their jobs because the republicans haven't been able to pass a highway bill. we have markets that are jittery because republicans have been focused on their civil that they're bringing us to a fiscal cliff. this is inside people's paychecks. this is inside their pocket books. we need the republican party to take back their party. get a speaker and get back to business. we're ready, willing and able to
negotiate with whoever they produce. so long that person has the skills. >> thanks for your perspective. senate democrats unveiled a major new push for gun safety reform in the wake of last week's shooting in oregon. the package includes closing loop holes. expanding the background check data base and cracking down on the illegal gun market. joining me now senator richard blumenthal of connecticut. you represent newtown connecticut. we have spoken about what you tried to do a couple years ago. you're trying to go further. what makes you think you can get legislation through? >> the public reaction. horror, and terror as a result of roseberg. 142 school shootings since new town. 30,000 deaths a year.
have sparked a seismic shift in public opinion. what we're trying to do now is ignite and activate that ground swell. so that congress will hear it. because congress has been complicit. almost aiding and abetting, enabling the kinds of shootings that we've seen across the country. and individual deaths that we've seen in places like new haven and hartford. >> given what's happening right now though in the house with the leadership battle and republicans in control of both the senate and the house, how do you actually get that legislation through? do you have allies? >> our allies are the people of the country who are going to demand action of the congress. and what we're trying to do really, is to harness that public opinion, 90% of the american public the vast majority of gun owners and nra members are for the common sense sensible reform. we're playing the long game here. there's the immediate chaos.
you hear that word again of the republicans divided against each other. eventually, congress is going to have to govern. that's what we want to see. >> quickly, support for gun control, sir, has declined from 67% in 2000 to 50% this year. those are people supporting what you're looking for, more gun control. how do you -- if you're saying you're asking for help from the american people. the poll number looks like that, what do you do? >> polls are a snap shot. we can educate. we can mobilize. and the nation faces a public health crisis. if we were facing a contagious or infectious epidemic like flu or tuberculosis or ebola, the country would be aware. >> senator richard blumenthal. thank you for your time. we'll be right back with more msnbc.
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good day, everyone i'm kate snow e. here's what's happening right now. shocking development, congressman kevin mccarthy drops out of the race for speaker. plowing the fields of iran. that's what one u.s. official is saying about the cruise missiles that were meant for syria but landed in iran. viva las vegas. donald trump is live in vegas. what he's saying on the strip. of course we're continuing to follow that shocking news from capitol hill today. house majority leader kevin mccarthy dropping out of the race to become the next speaker of the house. mccarthy had been seen as the overwhelming favorite to succeed house speaker john boehner. >> we've been going through the campaign. talking to a lot