tv MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts MSNBC October 21, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm PDT
first more on the breaking news we are covering. hastily arranged announcement in the white house rose garden. the technical crews were given very little time to set up. we knew it was going to be an announcement from vice president joe biden. we just didn't know what it was going to be. and, indeed, he made his intention clear not to get into the race, but then went on to give, if not the very same speech he would have given when announcing, at least the major elements of it dealing with justice and immigration and health care. the fight against cancer, comparing it to a mission to the moon and on and on and on, including education. andrea mitchell watching along with us in washington, andrea, let's talk more about this in the context of the next 24 hours. you have former secretary of state hillary clinton going before the committee in the congress tomorrow to talk about benghazi. so all eyes will be focused on
her tomorrow. today the vice president got a chance to dominate the conversation. >> indeed. and just imagine, hillary clinton and bill clinton, as of late yesterday, are in their washington home. that's where they have set up a war room. that's where you have cheryl mills and all the other attorneys and friends and advisers preparing her for this testimony, which the clinton folks have said all along was more important than her debate performance. she's done debates before but she has not always done that well in testimony. we saw what happened back in 2013 when she appeared before the senate committee on benghazi. and that's that moment when coming off of what has been a bad fall where she had a concussion, she was recovering, she had bad vision, and that's when she said, what difference does it make? and kind of lost her cool. so her prep paying is to keep her cool. and here they were probably gathered around the television watching all of us as we all
watched vice president buy biden make his announce. me ment. last night when i was with h her -- members of her party, they did not know what he was going to say. it was his last chance to run for president. so all this takes place in the framework of the democratic primary race where in all our polling, joe biden was taking more from hillary clinton than bernie sanders. this makes it a two-way race. so this is a very big test for clinton. she survived and, in fact, aced the exam at the debate. now she's got to do it again at a committee hearing, which is a committee, which is badly diminished by kevin mccarthy, by richard hannah, by these comments from republicans that it was politically motivated if not created for the express purpose of taking her down.
and this is a committee that has signaled this hearing tomorrow that will go for eight or nine hours without even counting the breaks. so it's going to be tough. they are going to be, i think, much more subdued. that's their strategy. they are not going to come on, they know she'll seize on any opportunity. we saw the way she teamed up with savannah guthrie three weeks ago at the town hall meeting, maybe only two weeks ago where in new hampshire she, you know, seized on the kevin mccarthy comments and said, this is political from the beginning. they have not called david petraeus or any of the other officials, so they are being widely criticized for not calling the major players surrounding benghazi, just zeroing in on hillary clinton and her closest advisers. this is a big test, but right now the polling and every other indicator is she is poised for success against bernie sanders and other challengers,
principally bernie sanders if not in iowa and new hampshire, but down the road she's got all the organizational factors in place. she's got the money. sanders is giving a much harder fight than she might have anticipated, but with biden out of the race, you can expect her poll numbers to go up. >> andrea, with all that in mind, we'll talk about the varied land mines and biden's remarks aimed at hillary clinton. if you assume that no one in public life says anything by accident, and if you assume that they were meant for her, joe biden saying he traveled a million, 100,000 miles to contrast her million miles in the job as secretary of state. joe biden pointing out the hours per day, the access he has to the president. notably during the raid to get bin laden. on and on. do you think that was passive aggression? active aggression? do you think it stops now?
>> i think it's active aggression. i don't know how you take it back. if he had said it once yesterday, maybe slightly accidental. but he said it twice. and he said it in exactly the same terms. and he signaled it again today by talking, not about that but by talking about the fact that you can't go after republicans and the country has to come together. so he is certainly taking her on on a number of things, including her joking, saying the republicans were among her enemies, the nra and republicans. he said he would be a better candidate. he believes this. he would be a better general election candidate. what she said about republicans may play in the primary, it doesn't play in the general election. she needs republicans and independents. she needs those swing states. so she's going to have to take that back. there are land mines, exactly what you said. i have reaction from bernie sanders. joe biden, a good friend, has made the decision he feels is best for himself.
sanders' statement reads, his family and the country, i thank the vice president for a lifeline of public service and for all he's done for our nation. and i look forward to continuing to work with him to address the major crises we face. they need to look into climate change, the need for publicly funded higher education, those are the words from bernie sanders. aga again, hillary clinton and her poll numbers were hurting with joe biden in the questioning. with joe biden now not in the race, i think that she has a much better position, but we don't know what is going to happen tomorrow during the benghazi hearings. that is the unphoknown. >> chris matthews, can you still hear us, brian? >> yes, i can, brian. >> what further thoughts do you have on joe biden's departure?
>> well, i think that his role as he just described it and defined it for the next few months until january 2017, is to make sure that no one deviates from it, he's talking about hillary clinton. even calling the iranians enemies, i begin to think, why would you say that about a people we'll have to deal with for the rest of our lives. you call the people of iran enemies. that's a problem. especially after the iranian nuclear deal has been struck and we hope it is held to. i think calling republicans enemies is a real problem, too, because richard nixon had an enemies list. we don't like that kind of talk. although you can say it is facetious, she said after the fact it's on the tape. also, she has to make a new tape. what difference does it make who is in the republican campaign against her next year? she has to create a personal narrative of how to try to save her friend. when she heard the first time
she heard that chris stevens was under attack, every step she took, every route she followed, every person she called, every string she tried to pull to save him, she should dramatically put that on videotape in the airing tomorrow, no matter what the questions are. it's a character of question she's being threatened with. it is not about running the state department, the charge against her implicitly from the beginning is she's not a good person. she didn't look out for her friend and do everything necessary. and i think she has to put that on tape, her whole narrative of what she did in the tragic hours and has to make it clear to the country that she is a good person. >> chris matthews, thanks. we'll hear more from you tonight. of course, on msnbc. ed rendell is still with us. and ed, as a former party chairman yourself, you sounded pretty confident earlier that this tweaking, this back and forth, these embedded comments in joe biden's remarks will come
to an end. >> sure. because joe is the ultimate team player. he's always been the democratic party first, the nation first, but then the democratic party second. and i think he had stuff he wanted to get off his chest. but now i think he realizes that hillary clinton is going to be the standard bearer. and the protector of the obama/biden legacy. so i think he will fall in line, you know, i don't think he's going to be a critic of anything hillary clinton says or bernie sanders says. i think these going to be supportive of the democrats throughout the primary season. that's who joe biden is. >> what are your fears, if any, about tomorrow and what is going to be a long day of hearings for hillary clinton on capitol hill? >> well, i think hillary's ready. i think she got a tremendous boost by, of course, the comments that the two republican congressmen made. if they go after her too hard and too viciously, it just confirms the fact that this is a
political witchhunt. if they back off, i think hillary can handle herself. i think what chris said is good advice. if i were hillary, i would repeat, she's often said that she was the one who appointed ambassador stevens. he was a personal friend of hers, and i think she should demonstrate really angst over what occurred. because i know she felt it. and that would be good advice. so i think democrats will call and fall in line. i think bernie sanders in the debate signaled that we're a party that's going to be unified no matter who the nominee is, and it's probably going to be secretary clinton. >> former governor, former major, former chairman of the democratic national committee, ed rendell. >> a lot of formers. >> well, it's about the future as we learned today. thank you for helping as a member of our team. also, another veteran of hill politics turned television host has gotten in touch with us, and that's lawrence o'donnell.
lawrence, we haven't heard from you yet on this interesting scene we witnessed in the rose garden today. >> well, it was, brian, one of the great last hurrah moments. and that phrase "last hurrah" was a book about a politician's last campaign. and here we saw a classic irish politician's last campaign ending in the exploratory stage. never quite getting to the official candidacy level. and as is not uncommon in politics, concession speeches, the final speech of the can date who doesn't win in a campaign are often the most eloquent speeches by such politicians. and this is not a loser speech, but this is a speech in effect dropping out of consideration for this possibility of running. and it had those elements. it had those elements of
finality. in this case, great poignance, but this is not a person who has another chance down the line. this is the final consideration for joe biden of running for elected office in his life. and his life has been running for and holding elected office. so it becomes difficult to imagine the post-vice presidential years for joe biden. more difficult for me than for anyone else i've seen in this position, because no one has been, no vice president has been at this longer than joe biden. and so, i'm beginning to wonder if he might find a form of obama partnership continuing in the post presidency and whatever the foundation work is that barack obama ends up doing. but it was just a day filled with poignance. 14 minutes of drama in the rose
garden. >> and lawrence, as you look at the near future in the democratic party, you think the glass is half empty or half full? >> the democratic party, if you look at the polling has been in a very strong position all the way through this, as much as people want to talk about the big donald trump poll numbers, the hillary clinton poll numbers in the democratic party have always been double the trump poll numbers. you have much stronger support for the frontrunner on the democratic side than you do for the republican side. the republican side can be described as -- with a bunch of words that aren't of victory, like chaos and really total disorganization on that side of it. brian, if there's one note i could add about biden that's personal, that i think might help explain notes that rachel has added about how well liked he is, i would just like to take
a minute to do that. and that comes from having worked with him in the senate. and then in that room where no reporter has ever been, which is in the closed door room where the governing is done, whether that's in the committee chairman's office or the majority leader's office or the oval office or the cabinet room, politicians are usually different in that room than on public display. joe biden is the most dramatically different characterer in the closing door room, because publicly he is among the most verbose of politicians. when it was a senator, he would take to the senate floor, everybody knew we were in for at least an hour of probably 45 minutes of which wasn't really necessary. but when you closed the door, joe biden was one of the least talkative people in the room because he was there to listen, he was there to support the objective. he would add only what was
necessary to advance the objective. and so he was always one of the most efficient players in the actual governing room in the room where the door is closed where the job is getting done. and he was always differential to everyone else's opinion in an extremely respectful way. and that is the thing that is most prized by people working in government. and that's why you saw all those west wing staffers out there in the rose garden and why we heard chris jansing talk about how beloved he is. you don't get beloved in the west wing if you are not, when the door is closed, in the meetings that really matter, one of the best players in the room. and he always has been that. >> lawrence o'donnell, thank you for being with us by telephone. we have been watching, as lawrence has been speaking, the kind of greatest hits videotape
of this event in the rose garden within the past hour. and one of the shots showing the gallery, the audience, the press corp., you see in the distance, the flat screen television, there was indeed a teleprompter for the vice president's remarks today. steve kornacki has been with us all the way through and watching and listening and offering his services. steve, as we look at the career of vice president joe biden, once we get past the fact that you, the president and vice president all were wearing versions of the same neckwear today, you mentioned what happened to him as a hot oriter, as the young senator in the democratic party. he also had a problem way before there were social media take-downs. he had a problem with his own words. and he had a problem appropriating the phraseology of
the british politician, neil kinnick. people of a certain age can still recite it, why am i the first biden and generation of bidens. and a lot of the times when it came to a crux moment for him, there was a faltering. >> i think that's definitely part of the pattern. i mean, we say it, in 1987 when he dropped out of the presidential race, he was just about to become the front-runner on the democratic side. and really one of the reasons he was the front-runner was taking the lines from neil kinnick. the thing about that was, he has been taken by this television ad that neil kinnick had run in britain. biden saw the tape and was so taken by it he started to incorporate it in his speech but also attributed to it in his speech. he was at the state fair in iowa in august of 1987 in the democratic field back then, there were seven democrats running and no names. they were known as the seven dwarfs. nobody has broken out in the field. the big frontrunner was gary hart who dropped out because of a sex scandal.
who is going to emerge from the field and go down the line for closing statements. it is michael dukakis and al gore, they are the most boring closing statements you can imagine politicians giving and then come to joe biden to finish up the debate. the audience is half asleep and he delivers almost word for word what neil kinnick says in the television ad. why am i the first in a thousand generations to go to college? not because my family was not smart enough or didn't work hard enough. you can go back to watch the tape to this day, the audience comes back to life. when he finishes, there are rousing cheers. and from that moment, joe biden became the hottest thing in american politics until somebody says, wait a minute. after doing it correctly ten times before, he failed to attribute it this one time and that was the demise of joe biden's campaign in 1988. and then, of course, you had so many other opportunities, he was a 2004 -- he could have run and waited. in 2008 he started his campaign
early. on one of the first days of his campaign, he gave an interview at "the new york observer" to my colleague at a diner in delaware, met up with him and asked him about his opinion on barack obama. and he called him a clean and articulate -- it was what sort of stereotypes was he evoking here. and the whole campaign was sidetracked from day one about his comments he made about barack obama. that's the most ironic partnership with barack obama now. the beginning of the 2008 was joe biden saying something artful about barack obama. and you could see there seemed to be tension between them in the early debates. by the end, barack obama was impressed by joe biden he saw on the campaign trail and impressed by the debater and put him on the ticket. when beau biden passed away and you saw barack obama at the funeral, we talk about the closeness of the presidents and vice president. this is one, i can't think of one, where the two individuals
are personally as close as barack obama and joe biden are now. so all this talk we are hearing about how he'll be the defender of the obama legacy, i think part of this is, obviously it's joe biden's life's work in a way, but a guy personally he feels very strongly about. >> all of it part of the arc, the personality life story of joe biden, a man who has enemies, who has detractors, but also has enjoyed a long lasting popularity as one of the elder statesmen now in the democratic party. announcing today that the race for president would not include him. our coverage will continue, thomas roberts taking you the rest of the way, right after this break.
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you've been watching breaking news right here on msnbc. the confusing waiting game is over. with the president and his wife by his side, he said he would not challenge the democratic nomination. >> i believe we are out of time to mount the necessary campaign for nomination. but while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. >> during that 14-minute speech, biden turning things personal, talking about his family and the recent death of his son beau. >> as i have said many times, my family has suffered loss and i hope there will come a time, and i have said this to many other families, that sooner rather than later when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. >> the vice president then made the case for the role he plans on playing in the months leading up to the presidential election.
and a message to hillary clinton. >> while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. i intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as i can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. i believe that president obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery. and are now on the cusp of resurgence. i'm proud to have played a part in that. this party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the obama legacy. the american people have worked too hard and we have come too far for that. democrats should not only depend this record and protect this record, they should run on the
record. >> now, just a short time ago we had hillary clinton getting on the record tweeting her reaction to this saying, @vp is a good friend and great man today and always inspired by his optimism and commitment to change the world for the better, signed h. nbc news correspondent chris jansing has been following this story closely and is joining us now from the white house to talk more about the stage craft that went into this. a lot of speculation about how the rose garden was going to be used by the vice president and the vice presidential seal. no one thought this was actually setting up for joe biden to really say, you know what, i'm in it. >> yeah, nevertheless it was highly unusual. and he talked about the timing, that time had run out. that obviously addresses a political reality, which is that even though there was a biden movement and he had the vocal support of a union, you need fund-raising and an organization on the ground, you need infrastructure, all things that
vice president biden didn't have. but there are a couple other aspects to timing that i think are worth mentioning. one was the pressure that was building on him to make a decision, that this was leaving so much uncertainty and that he needed to make this decision. a couple prominent members of congress saying it was time. james carville saying it was time. and there's also, i think the timing of hillary clinton having her benghazi testimony tomorrow and him doing it before she makes that critical testimony. many people see it as very gracious. there was other political realities as well, thomas. we had seen since the last or the first democratic debate that hillary clinton was generally judged to have done so well. her poll numbers had climbed in most cases. she had broadened her lead. and so the clock was ticking there as well. the second part of this is what this frankly means for the white house. we know what it means for the
race for president, but for the white house, this is somebody who has been a strong defender of this president. we saw so many members of the senior staff out there in the rose garden. the president by his side. a relationship that frankly has changed and developeded over the years. you know, this is kind of a classic relationship of opposites attracting. some people have described it as fire and ice. joe biden who is so fiery, the president much more reserved. a man who loves to campaign. the other, not so much. very different personalities that have come to be very close over a shared set of priorities. and so this also means that as we heard from joe biden, he's going to move forward for the next 15 months and making the president's legacy and this administration's legacy and seeing it brought to its final fruition, his priority, thomas. >> this was about biden spelling out the fact that his window has closed but also did not use the
opportunity to endorse a hillary clinton or a bernie sanders. but as we look closely at the language, we can find of pick apart who he was talking about in certain areas. and it seemed like shots at hillary clinton about the language she's been using about not being able to have common ground with republicans. >> reporter: well, you know, yesterday when the vice president was at that event for the former vice president, vice president mondale, there was a lot of speculation at the things he said then that might be indicating he was ready to jump into the race. you now, differentiating himself when she had said in the debate that the republicans were her enemies and he said, well, we are going to work together. and him making the point that he spends five to seven hours a day with the president. and that he was the one, not the former -- current and former secretary of state, who when they go with a foreign leader, that they speak for the president. so many people were reading that as somebody who is going to jump
into the race. i think what we look at now in hindsight and what we heard from him today is somebody who, yes, indeed, plans to be a player. and i agree, ed rendell was on earlier talking about the fact that he's the constant democratic politician that will be out there supporting the nominee. but he's also going to work very, very hard to see that the legacy of this administration is continued and preserved, thomas. >> yes, yes, yes. i think a lot of people will see joe biden and love him a lot more after today and the message that he imparted. he's not going anywhere. chris jansing, thank you so much. msnbc political reporter kasie hunt is joining me from the washington burro. we'll start with the front-runner of the gop side, donald trump. what is he seeing? >> reporter: donald trump is getting into what is becoming sort of a theme of the presidential statements, talking about -- excuse me, gop statements, talking about the fact that this is actually
better for him because it means he gets a chance to run more likely against hillary clinton. there's some discussion that joe biden would have been the strongest general election nominee. and therefore they will have an easier time. i would push back against that a little bit. i mean, this is definitely the republican party putting this spin on there. the reality is had joe biden decided to jump into this race, it could have created a potentially very nasty primary between clinton and biden, which we know. but one thing about that that republicans were privately talking to me about is this idea it would have made the democratic primary much more about president obama. and you were talking a little earlier with chris jansing, one thing i was hearing from people on the democratic side going into this is that something that was really spurring joe biden to think about this was how much he wants to defend the president. and the more chatter that there has been about whether or not hillary clinton is going to distance herself from president obama, she already has in some small ways, the keystone
pipeline, for example, and others. if that was going to be something they was going to do aggressi aggressively, that was really motivating for joe biden. and you heard it in that speech that he gave today in the rose garden. him talking about how republicans are not our enemies. it's pretty clear that he wants to be the enforcer to step up and strongly defend this administration and its policies. and that if hillary clinton was going to be prepared to put distance between herself and the president, he was going to be ready to step into that space. so i will say, also, biden is somebody who has been a deal maker on capitol hill over the course of the past few years. he and mitch mcconnell cut a major deal to revert going over the fiscal cliff. so she does have some experience to back up that rhetoric, thomas. >> kasie hunt, thank you so much. joining me from wilmington delaware, tom gordon is a long-time friend of the vice president. tom, from how you understand it, how hard was it for joe biden to surrender to this decision? it's obviously that it was a major fork in the road.
>> having worked with his son for a few years and knowing him all my life, i know he had to be truly divided, if his son had not gotten sick, i know joe would be in it. but i didn't think he would be able to recover as quickly. you never see a bond like that. >> when we look at the bond that was demonstrated by the president, being on joe biden's right and dr. jill biden being on his left, how do you think that this sets up a forecast or a vision of the future for what the vice president wants to do beyond the white house? >> well, i think he's one of the greatest vice presidents. i'm partial. but be you look at him, he's the person that's loyal. he would go in with the president, give his opinion and come out with the president's opinion. you never heard once that someone who met joe didn't like that decision. you never know what dezicision made or the president made based on his opinion.
that's the loyalty. >> do you think this is a burden lifted and that the vice president can now focus on other passion projects? one especially in light of losing his son beau, as he said, if he could be anything, he would like to be the president to find the cure for cancer? >> other than probably his sister valerie, we in delaware are all saddened by it. and i think the country will be hurt by it. because this country -- there's nobody better to know the different prime ministers and presidents than putin, and they can put this all back together again. but i was impressed by his loyalty to the president. >> tom was a long-time friend of vice president joe biden. thank you for making time for me. i appreciate it. we'll have much more on our breaking news coverage here of the vice president's decision not to enter into the race of 2016. and the other breaking news from washington today has to do with congressman paul ryan and the requests he has made to get a collective republican party
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so we are back with more of our breaking news coverage about vice president joe biden and the decision he made roughly after noon eastern time to say that he is not going to seek the democratic nomination for 2016. msnbc sara dallop is gathering reaction from wilmington. what are people telling you about this decision that the vice president is not going to go for it? >> reporter: hi, thomas. it's coming as a surprise to a lot of people. biden represented this state for more than three decades in the u.s. senate and a lot of people feel they know him on one level or another. there has been a lot of disappointment, multiple people telling us that basically he already had their vote or they would have considered him a very serious contender and would have looked at him more closely moving forward in this election, that is his stance on certain
policies and platforms. now others we talked to said it wouldn't have been a good fit, whether they themselves or republican or would like to see the political establishment shaken up a bit by voting for bernie sanders, but everyone we talked to really seemed to relate to vice president biden on a personal level, that is the comments he made about the grieving process for his son beau, one man telling us delaware's family, excuse me, biden's family is delaware's family. so a lot of people really are relating and understanding why at this point he is stepping out of the spotlight, making that decision not to run in order to be with his family and continue to grieve the loss of beau biden. >> i have mixed reactions. i mean, he's done so much good as just the different offices he's had. so i'm happy for him and what he's done and maybe he's just decided this is it and just wants to relax from it. on the other hand, i think he would have made a wonderful president and would have liked to see him move forward.
>> hillary, joe, all part of the established democratic machine. >> if he would have run, would you have voted for him? >> no, i'm a registered democrat and will be voting in the delaware primary and my vote will go to bernie sanders. >> reporter: and so there you have it, reactions all over the map to the news that joe biden will not be seeking, entering the presidential race, thomas, come 2016. back to you. >> sarah dallof reporting there for us in delaware. and now we have chuck todd joining me. chuck, were you surprised by this decision, once we saw the setup in the rose guard and knew how the stagecraft was going, did you anticipate what was going to happen? >> for three weeks we had not gotten any leak to say he's hiring this person. he's setting up this website. this domain name was written.
this fund-raiser has been put on. there had never been any of that. people i talked to him very closely said if he's running, you'll hear that first. if you're going to hear from him, it mean he's not running. so i think from what i understand, he was -- remember what he used, he didn't say he didn't want to run for president, he just said simply the window has closed. he regrets not being in the democratic debate from people i have talked to close to him. i think if he could have bought another month, if everything were a month sooner, joe biden would be running. >> so as we look at the reality of the calendar and what today's date means as opposed to hearing from joe biden tomorrow, what is the significance of that? >> he was doing hillary clinton a favor. look, getting this out of the way, there is every chance, we are going to look back on the ten-day period starting with the democratic debate and going through saturday night's big jj
dinner in iowa, the kickoff of the caucuses with benghazi in between, hillary clinton is being handed an opportunity to put this nomination away based on her own performances now. now the one child cawild card i the way. now it is on her. she passed test one with her debate performance. test number two is tomorrow. test three will be on saturday night, have they cracked the iowa code after messing it up eight years ago. certainly now it is all in her control. the uncontrollables -- one thing is not in her control right now, whatever the fbi is doing on her server. beyond that it is now in her hands. and she has every opportunity to put this thing away. >> all right. so as you talk about that, bernie sanders did put out a statement, joe biden, a good friend made a decision he feels is best for his family and the country. i thank the vice president for a lifetime of public service and all he has done for our nation. it goes on. so what do you think is next? what is the next chapter for joe biden who loves his public
service role? >> look, i think joe biden is going to regret not running. i think we are going to hear story after story, he's going to hate sitting on the sideline. it's going to bother him sitting on the sideline. and i wouldn't rule out the idea, let's say she hits a speedbump and it's a bit of a pothole. i wouldn't rule out that you'll hear chatter that he's the backup plan, still waiting in the wings, because you never know. look, he can't run the viable campaign. he's right. he made the head choice. that was not the heart speaking, that was his head speaking when he made the decision that he made today. but look, i think he's going to be frustrated sort of being on the sidelines here. and i wouldn't be surprised if he tries to find a way, at least to be a part of the conversation. >> and in true biden-isms, when god closes a door, he opens a window. >> this has been a tremendous -- the opportunity in front of hillary clinton, you can't under
estimate it. she has every shot in the world to really solidify her status, not just as frontrunner but as nominee. >> chuck, thank you so much. see you this afternoon at 5:00 for "mtp daily" and this sunday on "meet the press." we are moving on, we have patrick kennedy here, former pennsylvania governor and former dnc chair ed rendell. governor, let me ask you first, as we heard from chuck, do you agree that this is something that the vice president is going to regret sitting on the sidelines watching all this play out? >> well, i think he'll be frustrated but i don't think he'll regret it. if you look at the poll numbers, the vice president has been riding a wave, a wellspring of good feeling in the country. everyone really likes joe biden, they like his family, they empathize with them over the loss of beau, and yet in the poll numbers in state after state after state, he polled third. now, normally people say, well, he has not announced yet, but he's a vice president.
everyone knows who he is. and i think the path for him politically was pretty much closed. bernie sanders' supporters are going nowhere and will stick with bernie sanders until the bitter end if there's an end. hillary clinton solidified her supporters. there was no path for joe to go, number one, and number two, his only opportunity would be to get in there and really run a difficult and personal campaign against hillary. and i don't think he wanted to do that or had the heart to do it. so i don't think he'll regret his choice because i think joe biden knows it would have been a very long shot to win. and a third loss might have tarnished his reputation, which i think is as the best vice president in our history or at least in the history since i've been alive, so i don't think he'll regret it. will he be frustrated? sure. thomas, i'm frustrated every day. >> that's just the human condition, governor, that's just the human condition. >> absolutely. >> patrick, you and your family obviously know a lot about the
toll a campaign can take. how difficult do you think it was for vice president biden to surrender to this decision and knowing what it means as someone who has devoted his life to public service? >> well, thanks, tom. i think governor rendell will join me saying, obviously, joe biden is the happy warrior. he thrived just like my late father on going out there and mixing it up and being amongst the democrats and fighting the cause of social justice. i think, ironically, his decision comes at a point where the president was going to speak today on the epidemic of addiction in this country. and tragically timing being what it is, his announcement steps on that important public health address. i just hope, because i know joe biden cares about addiction as well as cancer, that he'll join us in the remaining months that the president has in office to help enforce the mental health parody and addiction equity act, which is going to be so profound
in making sure insurance companies follow the law and cover substance use disorders in the same way they would cover cancer, diabetes or any other physical illness. >> gentlemen, thank you for joining me. i appreciate your patience with our role in coverage as we continue on our breaking news. the decision came shortly after 12:00 that the vice president will not be throwing his hat into the ring. my thanks to governor ed rendell and congressman patrick kennedy. up next, reaction from capitol hill as hillary clinton preps to testify before the benghazi committee tomorrow. stick with us. special olympics has almost five million athletes in 170 countries. the microsoft cloud allows us to immediately be able to access information, wherever we are. information for an athlete's medical care, or information to track their personal best. with microsoft cloud, we save millions of man hours, and that's time that we can invest in our athletes and changing the world.
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attack. on the committee for the first benghazi report and joins us now. sir, it is good to see you. keeping in mind the new poll we just mentioned, we'll talk about the secretary in a second, but what's your reaction to joe biden and not making a run for 2016. do agree with that? u i respect joe biden. i think he is a great american. on the intelligence committee we work with a lot of sensitive issues and he was the go-to guy in the obama administration from my perspective. he had relationships. he knew what politics should be about, relationships and trust. he was able to have trust on both sides of the aisle to do what the american people want us to do and that's get things done. >> with your reverence and respect in speaking about joe biden that way, would you prefer that he is running or do you support hillary clinton? >> oh, i support hillary clinton. i think that joe biden had to
make a decision one way or another and, you know, let the chips fall where they may and the facts are he made a decision not to go and i think that is the decision first based on his family, ump situation with his son beau who he loved so much and whatever that decision is, he made it. let's talk about the future. >> we know that this clears a potential hurdle out of the way of a hillary clinton campaign tomorrow being the benghazi hearing where she will be testifying and we have now hillary clinton releasing the campaign first tv ad ahead of tomorrow's testimony. take a lock. >> okay. >> as secretary of state, she stood strong for america, traveling almost 1 million miles, never backing down, but now, republicans are playing politics over benghazi. >> so with that out, congressman, do you think that hillary clinton and her supporters and those of her campaign appearing as if she's playing politics with the loss of four americans in libya?
>> absolutely not. let's talk about the facts. i know when i was on the intelligence committee, i've been termed out now. we did an investigation. that was the intelligence committee republicans and democrats. we -- the committee came to a conclusion and rendered a report. that report was unanimous. republicans and democrat. republicans in the majority. there were two republicans who did not vote who didn't appear at the vote. and that was unanimous vote that there were no intelligence failures and that there was no stand down order that one of the major allegations that was made so that's a factual investigation. and that's important and there were other investigations. what bothered me more about the benghazi committee here we are on the intelligence committee oversee the intelligence agencies and it's a dangerous world, and yet, that committee budget was larger and this is comments made by the media, larger than the intelligence
committee budget. i can't tell you what it is because it's classified. that really concerned me but then the fact that is started to come out and follow the facts in these situations. mccarthy, other people, who have said that this was more political. whatever those comments were, a republican investigator who's a self declared conservative republican, let's get over the issue that's followed the facts. let the public make a determination. i respect hillary clinton. we have lot of threats out there. serious threats and whether it's russia, china, whether it's isis, whatever that may be, she has international experience and she is smart and knows what she is doing. we need someone to be strong to lead the country because we have a lot of dangerous issues throughout. >> hillary clinton faces a big challenge tomorrow. thank you for your time. >> good, okay. florida congresswoman debbie
wa wasserman-schultz joins me now. >> thank you, thomas. >> you have been taking critical talk of the nomination and this is a gift for biden not getting into the race to hillary clinton. did the dnc have any outreach to the vice president and consult with him at all about the inclinations of running or not? >> well, during the vice president's deliberations, like any candidate that was declared or potential candidate as the vice president was, you know, our staff met with his staff to make sure that they were up to speed on all of the requirements and dead loans and things to know. that was the extent of our involvement with him as a potential candidate. of course, we interact with the vice president at the national party and his team all the time because he's the vice president of the united states and, you know, he and, of course, most importantly, president obama,
are the leaders of our party and so we have multiple ongoing interactions with the vice president and look forward to continuing to do that. and i will -- it is just such an incredibly important day for him and conclusion that he reached, there's a reason that president obama has said the best decision he's made throughout his tenure is when he asked the vice president to join his ticket. >> congresswoman, do you think, though, i know you run parallel tracks here with your positions, do you think this was the right choice for what the democratic party needs? >> i think it was the -- you know, it was the right choice for joe biden because he's been through a horrific family tragedy. one that he went through and put his family first as he has always done throughout his adult life.
his decision and the way he made it, thomas, classic joe biden. putting his family first. taking the time he and his family needed to grieve and to also at the same time work through, you know, the most significant professional decision he would ever made and ultimately deciding for him and his family and for the health and strength of our party that the time had expired for him to make a run even where knowing joe biden, he felt he could make a strong run and have a pathway, you know, he put country first and his and president obama's legacy first what we have come through and the progress that we have made i know that he believes that whoever our eventual nominee is, is ultimately going to be the best way to continue the progress that we have made under their administration. >> and the vice president's own words, referring the window, he said it's closed. this is our window.
it is closing. i have to run. >> okay. >> thank you for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you. at the top of the hour, more reaction to the news that the vice president is not making a run for the 2016 democratic nomination and includes what the draft biden movement is now saying about that. that's the group urging him to run for months. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months?
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families sooner rather than later when you think of your loved one it, brings a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye. while i will not be a candidate i will not be silent. i intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as i can where we stand as a party and where we need to do as a nation. this party, our nation will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the obama legacy. >> democratic front-runner hillary clinton tweeted her reaction to the announcement writing, the vice president is a good friend and a great man. today and always, inspired by his optimism and commitment to change the world for the better. signed h. and donald trump said i think joe biden made the correct decision for him and his family. i would rather run against hillary because the record is so
bad. joining me, nbc news senior white house correspondent chris jansing, steve kornacki and jared bernstein. chris, let me start with you at the white house. the reaction there to the vice president's decision in the halls where he is much beloved? >> reporter: thomas, just getting confirmation from the white house that throughout this process that was so long and so difficult for vice president biden that the president served as a sounding board, that he was there to give advice throughout the process although the decision ultimately was made by joe biden and presumably by his family. but just yesterday, we know that the president and the vice president had what is a weekly lunch and that politics was, indeed, on the menu. having said that, these two are very close. it didn't start out that way but they have developed an incredibly close friendship and
a deep respect for each other's politics. and the president now believes that now that joe biden made the decision it will be easier for him to get through his agenda. he has a laundry list of items and they hear the clock ticking here to things done on things like climate change and decisions that have to be made and talking about the window that closed, the vice president saying that the reason he wasn't going to run was because the window to get together a campaign that could win has closed. there's another clock that's ticking here and it's clear from what we heard from the vice president today that he heard that ticking here, as well. one more final thing. the president is not expected to make an endorsement in this campaign. he says that he is going to vote in the primary in illinois and that that ballot will be private.
thomas? >> chris, thanks very much. want to bring in msnbc host and correspondent steve kornacki. bernie sanders is here in new york city at 2:45 and we expect a public statement about this announcement. he said joe biden is a good friend and understands the need to rebuild the middle class, climate change, racial justice, and the need for publicly funded higher education. what did you hear in his speech shortly after noon that seems to lock up what chris is saying, of understanding his clock is ticking down and he needs to strike while the iron is hot to get what he wants done? >> well, i heard more than just somebody who understands the clock is ticking down on this administration, on this particular job, on being vice president. i think this is somebody and i think why it seemed like it was such a difficult announcement to make, this is somebody who feels the clock ticking down on his career. he wasn't just saying no to
running for president in 2016 today. he was basically giving up a dream today, a dream he's held for decades. you can go back to christmas of 1983. think of how long ago it was. christmas of 1983, joe biden went off with his wife to think about, gee, do i want to run into the 1984 race for president? that's how far back the idea of joe biden and running for president go. he doesn't run in 1984 and then started to run in 1988. ran into problems with a plagarism scandal and got out of that race. he looked at it in 1992. said no. he walked up and said no and this is a guy always had another campaign to look ahead to. today, though, in saying no, there is no campaign to look ahead to. >> all right. so steve, thank you very much. i want to move on to jared bernstein and joining him is michael steele, former republican national committee chairman. jared, let me start with you. your reaction to joe biden not
going for it and like our chuck todd said earlier, this is something he predicts that joe biden might regret. >> i don't think so off the top of my head. i actually never thought that the vice president was going to get into the race. i said that many times so i'm not predicting it after the fact. and i think part of that had to do with the fact that there really isn't a tremendous amount of policy space between him and hillary clinton. he's another establishment candidate which distinguishes him from, say, bernie sanders and as you heard today, he got fairly policy wonky and talked about college affordability, the importance of helping middle class families pay for child care and talked about 28% rate of deduction for high income people on write-offs they take on the taxes and interesting he's thinking of policy and it's also i think important that he
will very much with b a presence in this campaign. i think he is going to inject the kind of ideas very strongly in the campaign on behalf of who becomes the ultimate front-runner. >> michael, reince priebus said he was the formidable general election candidate the democrat could have fielded and his decision greatly improves our tanss of taking back the white house. donald trump with a tweet. i think joe biden made the correct decision for him and his family. personally, i would rather run against hillary because her record is so bad. explain what your gut feeling is about how good of a decision it is by joe biden for republicans. >> well, you know, i appreciate all of the fawning and loving that joe is getting and it's well deserved for a man with a distinguished career but the reality and part of the calculation was the day after he is announced for the presidency would have been the last day he would have enjoyed all of that love and joy.
the clinton campaign is clearly irritated with this sort of, you know, hamlet-like approach to whether or not he was going to run for president and made it clear either do something or get off the pot. so i think that there's that piece of it. in terms of how we look at this going forward, clearly hillary clinton as chuck noted earlier, had obstacles. but the space is clear. there's no one to take this away from her. despite the angst of proszi i progressives it's not happening. the lines have been clear. she is the person we're going up against. my one caution is the party cannot think they run against hillary clinton circa 1992. that candidate no longer exists. what you saw on the stage last week at the democrat debate was someone smart, prepared and
ready to engage. the gop had better be, as well. be careful what you wish for. >> do something or get off the pot, that's all i heard from michael steele. but so yesterday it was all about jim webb dropping out. curiosity today is whether or not biden gets in. tomorrow it's all about the hillary performance. bernie sanders called joe a good friend and martin o'malley reacting and still in the race. we haven't heard from lincoln chaffey yet. nbc news/"wall street journal" poll found 38% of democrats didn't want biden to run. do you think that could change in polling because the effect of what he did today and looking like the senior statesman stepping out of the way, do you think that could change? >> no. i mean, i think when he says i will not be a candidate, absolutely take his word for it.
he is clearing out of that part of the race but he also when he says i'm not going anywhere and i plan to play a significant role in this campaign, i also take him serely on that point. i mean, look. i saw joe biden in action close up in two presidential campaigns and he really brings it and what he brings to the table is a kind of connection with middle class economics that frankly every candidate on the democrat side is running on. and i thought mike steele made some excellent points right there in terms of pretty polished hillary clinton who is also very much hitting on not only middle class economics but some of the very issues you heard the vice president talk about today including college affordability, balancing work and family, trying to do something about excesses in financial markets, more progressive taxation. there's actually i think the vice president made a good decision today down to the benefit of democrats.
>> michael, i'll give you the last word on this with the hearing committee tomorrow. do you think it's undermined? >> no, i don't. they have to complete the thought. they have to finish the effort they have begun. trey gaudy, a koconsummate prosecutor brings it to closure the right way. he's not happen the i with the republicans getting out and undermining his effort before in his view it begins. there's witnesses to call and questions to ask. i think he reframed how he does that. i don't think it's a buck wild opportunity for them to go and charge headlong into hillary clinton and think they'll get away with it. i think you see a much more subdued, more thoughtful and calculated questioning of her than you probably would have
otherwise seen. >> gentlemen, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> thank you. we want to find out from you, did joe biden make the right decision deciding not run? the pulse is live for a little while. see what you have to say. reaction to this so far -- 27% of you say, yes. 73% of you say, no. go check out the pulse at pulse.msnbc.com. cast your vote and we'll track that for the remainder of the hour. other big story today, congressman paul ryan telling fellow republicans he'll run for speaker if they meet his demands. the question now, will they accept?
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paul ryan telling his party he's ready to run for speaker if they meet his demands. >> first, we need to move from an opposition party to being a proposition party. second, we need to update our house rules. needs to include fixes that ensure that we do not experience constant leadership challenges in crises. third, we as a con froens should unify now and not after an election. last point is personal. i cannot and i will not give up my family time. >> ryan giving republicans until friday to agree to those terms or move on. leaving his divided party with a big decision to make. current speaker john boehner meeting with the congressman of wisconsin and setting votes for next week. >> hopefully, by the end of the week we'll have a nominee. i think paul is going to get the
support is looking for. >> luke russert is on capitol hill. first, the calendar. we look ahead to i believe it's the 29th to know about the votes. talk about the house freedom caucus and reacting to stipulations of paul ryan. >> reporter: sure, thomas. the 28th the caucus will vote and then goes to the house floor on the 29th and the majority would like to see paul ryan be that man but he still has to convince the house freedom caucus to come on board. he has a meeting with them scheduled today at 4:00 p.m. and their initial reaction to the demands he put forward last night was resistance saying, look, we're uncomfortable with three things, specifically. number one, this idea that paul ryan wants to amend a motion to vacate the chair. that is the procedural thing to go after john boehner, essentially anyone can bring it up. 218 votes on the house floor and get rid of the speaker. we're being told is maybe ryan
will offer something that says, hey, i'm hoopen to that being a mechanism. number two, comprehensive immigration reform. we expect ryan to make that commitment. and then number three, does ryan have enough time to do the job if he doesn't want to work weekends? he conveyed to them, look, i have done this in the past. don't worry about it. i was willing to run for vice president and retool the position. those are the concerns of freedom caucus has. so far, they say they're not sold on paul ryan. we'll see what they say after the meeting today at 4:00 p.m. >> do cooler, conservative minds about the stipulations think that this is smart on paul ryan's part or do they think it's self indulgent? >> reporter: most everybody i have spoken to within the conference aside from the freedom caucus thinks it's a brilliant move on his part to put the onus on the freedom caucus and we don't talk about
the rest of the conference enough, thomas. think, there's 40 or so in the freedom caucus and over 200 that don't like everything the kauai sus is doing and think they're moving the party in the wrong direction. i think in this respect ryan is touching on a nerve that many me believes are happy to have to change the conference rules and have it be a conversation that's conference wide and looks good for him becoming speaker. if the freedom caucus comes out today or tomorrow and says we are not going to endorse him and sticking behind daniel webster, ryan more likely than not takes a pass on the job. he doesn't want to come under the gun like boehner and mccarthy did. >> luke, great to see you, sir. thank you. >> reporter: thank you. hillary clinton is set to appear on the hill tomorrow. expected to testify against the house benghazi committee. i'll talk about what she needs to say tomorrow with a former
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so as we continue to follow this breaking news surrounding the vice president's decision not to enter the presidential race, we look ahead to democratic front-runner hillary clinton's public testimony on the benghazi attacks. that's coming up tomorrow and this is where clinton faces the house select committee again amid an escalating feud. representatives have a full transcript of testimony by a top aide to the former secretary of state cheryl mills saying the 307-page transcript includes no evidence to support claims by some republicans that clinton personally denied requests for additional security for the team there at the embassy. ambassador wendy sherman was secretary at the state department and a cam pin supporter of hillary clinton. now, it's greet have you with
us, ambassador. secretary clinton praised vice president biden about being a good man, she was quick to get out publicly about what his affirmation of not getting in the race means. but talk about what the testimony tomorrow and the not audition but the public scrutiny that hillary clinton will be under tomorrow in front of the american voter, what it means to her campaign. >> thanks very much, thomas, for having me, first of all. we, all of us who worked with the vice president know what a tremendous leader he is, a terrific public servant he is and i join secretary clinton thanking him for everything he's done and the optimism and leadership of the democratic party and of our country, quite frankly. and i think tomorrow we're going to see secretary clinton be who she is which is a very strong advocate for the security of our diplomats around the world.
she insisted this be public testimony so that everybody could hear the questions, she could give the answers and she can continue this really important fight. you know, every day as the undersecretary of political affairs i began by figuring out where the diplomats, the citizens might be at risk and all of our ambassadors do that every day and that's in large part because of the leadership of secretary clinton, of the accountability review board, the 29 recommendations, all of which have been implemented and i'm looking forward to see whether $5 million can provide any additional recommendations none of which we have seen yet because the colleagues want to make sure we have the resources to harden embassies, fight violent 'em treatmevie
extremism and that's what we'll hear tomorrow. what does it take to do the job? >> you make a great point of the american taxpayer invested in trying to find out what happened and the voter is interested because 44% are not satisfied with hillary clinton's testimony and response to benghazi. how do you think that this is an opportunity not only to get to the truth and expose what's been going on not only about the investigation but the loss of four american losses and how secretary clinton can turn around that perception of americans not satisfied with her response? >> well, i think there's been a lot of disinformation out there as you well know, thomas. i think tomorrow she will be forthright, very calm, very serious. she takes the loss of american life diplomats, individuals, anyone incredibly seriously. you know, we live in a world where i think americans know that all kinds of challenges
come at us. when a young woman diplomat whom i know personally goes to deliver books outside of kabul, afghanistan, and is blown up tragically by a suicide bomber, we know that we cannot protect every single person every single day. our diplomats put their lives at risk every single day. secretary clinton is committed to make sure such tragic circumstances like benghazi quite frankly and kenya and tanzania in 1998, like all of our diplomats face daily do not happen and tragedy does not occur. that's what she is about and will be talking about tomorrow, what she's done, what she would do as president of the united states. >> thank you for your type. i really do appreciate it. >> thank you. we are following this developing news coming out of west virginia.
president obama is expected to host a discussion in charleston this hour on prescription drug abuse and the heroin abuse. they'll discuss efforts under way at the state, local and federal levels and looking at joe manchin of west virginia, the senator about to introduce the president. we'll be right back. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost®. (vo) wit runs on optimism.un on? it's what sparks ideas. moves the world forward. invest with those who see the world as unstoppable.
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delaware for more than 30 years in the u.s. senate. he used to take the train between here and washington, d.c. so he could fill those dual roles as the politician and of father. so a lot of people felt like they could relate to him, a likable guy, a lot of disappointment here on the streets and also people that say he wasn't the right fit. here's what people on the street had to say. >> he would have been a good president and but i can understand why he didn't because it's a tough time for him and his family with the loss of beau and maybe wanted to run because of that but it really would have uprooted his family life and whatever they have become accustomed to so it's probably the best decision for him but probably not for the country. >> i think it's hillary's time to shine. he is going through tough times. maybe next election?
but there's a whole age debate thing whether or not he's too old for that. if he still has it, he could run for that. >> reporter: so you're hearing several sides of that of those arguments there but one thing people seem to agree on is agreeing to put his family's health ahead of the campaign and grieving for beau biden and served as del we are's attorney general and passed away this year after a battle with brain cancer. a person put it that that the biden family is delaware's family, thomas. back to you. >> sarah there in wilmington for us, thank you so much. the vice president's decision not run is a focus of the bing pulse question today and we wanted to know if you think that the vice president made the right decision. 68% say, yes. 32% of you say, no.
the pulse remains live. check it out. a day after congressman paw ryan threw down ultimatums never heard before on the hill it remains unclear if he'll fill the hole in leadership. the demands have gotten washington buzzing. he won't run for speaker unless he's got support from three major groups inside the republican conference. but it was this pledge that may have drawn the most chatter. take a look. >> i cannot and i will not give up my family time. i may not be on the road as often as previous speakers but i pledge to try to make up for it with more time communicating our vision, our message. >> joining me now to talk about the stipulations surrounding work/life balance is christin row fink-biner. i think for a lot of people out there, here's a political leader and probably should be applauded
for wanting to be a good dad and wanting to be home with his kids, most likely, though, that's not happening because we look at a contrast if it were a woman making that statement about wanting to be at home with the kids, she might be perceived as less than. how do you think that your organization can use the congressman's own statement as an opportunity to talk about the glaring differences in work/life balance between men and women? >> well, we were delighted to hear representative ryan have a condition on his leadership being able to spend reasonable time with his family, not only because it's the right thing to do for many people and the smart thing to do. studies show that spending time with family increases productivity in the work force. but the important thing here is that this is paul ryan valuing his family. it's time and leadership position to see how he values
the families of america and the families of america are struggling. only 13% of people have access to some form of paid family leave. 5% of low-wage workers do and most every other nation in the world has a critical policy in place and time to make sure representative ryan values his family and the policies that match the modern labor force and 50% women for the first time in history and boost the families and the businesses and boost our economy. >> there are american luxuries that someone like paul ryan is just privileged to be born into. straight, white male. they block president obama's attempts to make paid family leave a law. how do you use his words as an opportunity to find that consensus from the left and the right to have a better american work/life balance? >> well, we're seeing an advancing consensus of
candidates across all parties and amongst all people in the united states of america that we need modern policies like paid family leave, like access to child care because the repercussions are extreme. a quarter of young families are living in poverty and being a mom right now is a greater predictor of wage and hiring discrimination than being a woman. so what happens is that when you have a baby in the united states of america as a woman you hit a profound maternal wall and takes passing policies like the paid family leave policy, like the healthy families act like child care policies and like the fair pay act to address the policies that we need so that we can truly have businesses, families and our national economy thrive. >> you may have a new top dog republican ally on your side.
from moms rising.org, thank you for your time. >> thank you. coming up, a developing story in missouri. a string of church fires with a disturbing connection. i am totally blind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. ♪
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so this afternoon in new mexico, authorities will be holding a news conference on the hunt for the suspects responsible for the death of a 4-year-old girl shot and killed yesterday in an apparent road rage incident. nbc's jacob riscone has the story. >> reporter: a search for suspects is under way after police found this red truck pulled over on the highway. three people inside including a 4-year-old girl who was shot in the head. >> the 4-year-old child has passed away. >> reporter: authorities blame road rage. janelle says she saw it happen. >> the truck was literally going across several lanes. and just to avoid this vehicle to pass. >> from we understand, the cars
moving. one car pulled up and firing rounds into the vehicle. >> reporter: according to the national transportation safety administration, over a seven-year period, road rage led to 218 murders and 12,000 injuries. in new mexico, the local sheriff says this latest incident is disturbing. >> this is one of those crimes which is unexplainable. it's 100% preventable. it did not have to happen and we need to rise up as a community and say, enough is enough. >> reporter: conflicting witness reports make it difficult to describe the vehicle that got away. >> we are begging for the community's help. >> reporter: the search still on and an innocent life taken as aggressive driving once again turns deadly. >> and that was nbc's jacob riscone reporting for us. and now an alarming string of fires at churches in st. louis. federal authorities are hunting
for the suspects in the area. my colleague frances rivera with more on that story. >> no word on the motive. investigators with the atf say that this was meant to send a message and not saying what that message was. take a look here. investigators are trying to find out who's responsible for the six fires at churches in st. louis over ten days. all of the churches have a predominantly african-american following and within predominantly african-american neighborhoods. >> we have come together as a church to address the sin of hate that is driving this individual whether this is a white individual, a black individual, a hispanic individual. this spirit of evil has no color preference. >> someone set the fires at the doors of the churches which are all located in three miles of each other. no one has been hurt and the atf is offering a $2,000 reward for
information leading to an arrest and the st. louis fire department is offering a $5,000 reward. now jeff mittman, the executive director of the aclu of missouri. jeff, we appreciate your being with us. i want to bring this in. you call the fires domestic terrorism. and so arson against mostly black churches is a tool of white supremacy. you're still convinced they're racially motivated. >> what's important to note is a history in this country of those who oppose equality of african-americans using arson to instill fear and terror. we must remind americans of the history so anyone knows this is not acceptable. >> want to ask you especially given the region, a time that's sensitive to the tensionless over the course of last year and the progress made and what many in the community say the progress that needs to be made,
what if anything are the fires doing the those efforts and changing the community so many say is needed? >> what we hope in speaking up and asking others, elected officials, to speak up is to spend a very clear message. as you note, there is a history of racial discrimination here in st. louis in our country. we must come together and stop it. we must fight for equality. we must stand with our african-american community friends and neighbors. >> given that history, may i ask you if you see any progress being made, what has been done in the past few months, the past year since ferguson? >> we see the young people in the community have stood up, the black lives matter movement, the young people coming together and demanding equality. bills introduced in jefferson city to end racial profiling. the aclu lawsuit against the voting rights act and the school district. it's so important to speak out against any effort to stop those
important movements going forward. >> you say it's important to speak out in efforts. meanwhile, you have a community here that's just anticipating, worried and watching, chunlg goers, community members to be vigilant to make sure it doesn't happen again. what needs to be done to make sure it doesn't happen again and there isn't a seventh church burned? >> what needs to happen is the community knows that we are all united, black, white, hispanic, we all stand together and agree that it is important that we end racial discrimination, that we will not accept anyone trying to instill fear, trying to use domestic terrorism to tell those who are fighting for equality they're not able to do so. >> will you be successful in that or at least going in that direction if some time passes and we may never know the motivation behind the fires and a suspect? >> we see movements of the
community coming together, standing together, people speaking out. advocacy on the ground. whenever the community stands up and says, we believe in racial equality, we believe that persons of color, the african-american community is entitled to equal treatment under the law, that's progress. >> hopefully that's the case in this instance with that sixth being the last. jeff, with the st. louis aclu, appreciate the time and your spending it with us. >> thank you. >> hopefully they find the person or persons responsible for that. coming up next, great scott! we're taking you back to the future. the kids are asleep. look what i got. oh my froot loops! [sniffs] let's do this? get up! get up! get up! get up! loop me! bring back the awesome yeah! yeah! yeah! with the great taste of kellogg's froot loops.
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4:29 p.m. on wednesday, october 21st, 2015. >> 2015? >> yeah. 2015. guess what. today is it. it is back to the future day. the day iconic movie character visiting traveling back in time in "back to the future 2." directors could only guess what technological advances there would be in the future. the marvel that is we would hold today. how did they do? you know what is this they got a lot of it right with a form of hoefrboards and video chats and they bot casting right and believe it or not, they had some controversy. a new documentary is shining a light and the original cast was not michael j. fox but actor eric stoltz. >> i was given an ultimate tum if i didn't start on a specific day they weren't going to make it. my first choice for the part was
unavailable because he was in a tv show so eric is a really good actor and i made the decision to put him in the movie but it turned out that his instincts and the type of comedy gnin tha film we were doing wasn't gelling. >> jason is behind the documentary about the movie. so good to meet you in person and the fascinating work you have done to put together the documentary and the nuggets of information. i never knew eric was cast as the original marty mcfly. >> six weeks of shooting. they had him on set and just wasn't working. as robert describes so well in the clip, they realized they never needed a change. never shut down production. they brought the cast in, told them eric was out. >> you see him by the clothesline and the clothes that michael j. fox gives him. but i mean, she didn't know it was her son and amazing and the
hair slicked back. and this morning the stars stopped by the "today" show. michael j. fox said he had a good feeling when he took over that role. take a look. >> how much of the skateboarding did you do? >> i did quite a bit. i mean, when they asked me to do the movie and i saw skateboarding, guitar-playing, girl chasing guy, i kind of went, okay, i have this locked up. >> so really amazing to think that this almost went to another actor. when's the favorite part of the documentary you put together to you? who is the most cherisheds a snekt. >> just making a documentary and meet everyone, cast and crew. it was an amazing opportunity. >> when was the premier? >> last night. and now on itunes, available today. >> i thought these were -- these are normal glasses and i love
them. congratulations on the film. we have to get the story. breaking news out of new york city. we have bernie sanders speaking of vice president, the decision not to run. take a listen. >> okay. thank you all very much for coming. i just wanted to say a brief word on joe biden. joe biden is a man who has devoted his entire life to public service. and to the wellbeing of working families and the middle class. he made a difficult decision based on the needs of his family and his view of his future and i respect the decision he made. i want to thank joe biden and president obama for the work that they have done over the last seven years in making very
significant improvements to our economy. obviously, we have a long way to go. but because of joe biden, because of president obama, we have seen significant progress in the last seven years. let us not forget that seven years ago we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. seven years ago, the world's financial system was on the verge of collapse. and we were running the largest deficit in the history of this country. >> there we have bernie sanders giving remarks of biden, the first one to make it to a camera. hillary clinton is preparing for the benghazi testimony in washington and tweeted a statement of what a good man joe biden is. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. kate snow picks up the coverage next. a lot of breaking news and back to the future star leah thompson in the 4:00 p.m. hour.
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hi, everyone. i'm kate snow f. you're just tuning, in big news. he is out. vice president biden officially ruling out a 2016 run. we have every angle on that political story covered today. the reaction on the trail, what it means for the race and he will run but how are paul ryan's demands met by the freedom caucus and when's speaker boehner saying today? also going back in time and we are not talking about 2008 or 2012. we are talking about "back to the future" mania taking over this october 21st, 2015. but we begin with the news that we have been awaiting for months now. vice president joe biden officially making it final that he will not run for president. >> i've said all along what i've said time and again to others, that it may very well be that that process by the time we