tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC November 2, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
so you should watch. now it is time for "the last word." alex wagner sitting in for lawrence tonight. good evening did, alex. lessig will join me for an interview after ending his presidential campaign. and jeb bush says he can fix the country in he can fix his presidential campaign as one conservative voice says he hopes bush stays in as long as possible to create more havoc for the republican establishment. >> i can fix it. >> the jeb bush reboot. >> i've gotten a lot of advice lately. more than enough, thank you. >> he's down in the polls. >> i can fix it. >> they need to clamp it down and fix it. >>edded up taking one little shot at marco rubio. >> the challenges we face are too great to roll the dice on another presidential experiment. >> this reboot also coincides with the release of his new e-book "reply all." >> elderly woman in south florida sent me an e-mail saying, governor, i've got a raccoon in my attic.
>> we heard all along that he was the smart bush. i don't think there really is such a thing as a smart bush. i don't. >> carson seems to be solidifying his place as front-runner. >> carson greeted his fired up fans. ♪ i don't listen to a word they say ♪ >> jumped out in our poll to a six-point lead over donald trump. >> did i seem as though no matter what mr. trump and dr. carson says, almost bullet proof. >> you can't just tell congress you're fired and go to commercial break. >> fix it! >> i can fix it. >> i want it to be fixed. good evening. i'm alex wagner in for lawrence o'donnell. as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. and if it is broke, then by all means, fix it.
that seemed to be the message from the bush campaign today as its candidate tried to pressure supporters and donors and really anybody who was listening, that, yes, jeb can fix it. >> i can fix it. i can fix it. i can fix it. >> this week bush will tour florida, south carolina, and new hampshire to make his case. as part of the new fix it strategy bush is releasing an e-book titled "reply all." it's filled with old e-mails from his time as florida governor, to draw contrast between himself and potential democratic nominee hillary clinton. so far, bush's sales pitch needs some fixing. >> here's my shameless plug. the book is called "reply all." it's out today. you can get it on amazon.com. it's pretty cheap. i hope you enjoy it. >> clinton wasn't the only adversary on bush's mind today. he also took on marco rubio, donald trump, and ben carson without exactly mentioning their names.
>> this won't be solved with more talk. the answer isn't sending someone from one side of the capital city to the other. the solution won't be found in someone who has never demonstrated the capacity to implement conservative ideas. and you can't just tell congress you're fired and go to commercial break. the challenges we face as a nation are too great to roll the dice on another presidential experiment. to trust the rhetoric of reform over a record of reform. >> and bush took on the fixing of his debate fail from last week. >> as you may have heard, last week i was in colorado for the third republican debate. if you watched the debate, you probably came away thinking that the election's about sound bites or fantasy football or which candidate can interrupt the loudest. i'm here to tell you it is not. this election is not about a set of personalities.
it's about a set of principles. >> but the one thing jeb bush cannot seem to fix is the polls. including a new nbc/"wall street journal" poll that puts him in fifth place. ben carson has 29%. donald trump is in second with 23%. marco rubio is in third with 11%. ted cruz gets 10% and he is followed by jeb bush at 8%. over in new hampshire, the state in which the bush campaign is spending the most money, jeb bush is in sixth place according to a new monmouth university poll. bush's florida rival marco rubio has tripped his support in the state since last week's debate. trump still leads the pack in new hampshire with 26%. carson has 16%. rubio at 13%. kasich at 11%. cruz at 9%. and jeb bush is at 7%, which is
exactly the same amount of support he received the last time this poll was taken september 10th through the 13th. joining us now is katie parker, former deputy campaign manager of romney 2012. mark caputo, senior writer for politico who covers florida politics. jonathan, i want to start with you. there's a choice quote where in alex carp says, jeb bush's campaign has been a study in incompetence that has mainly dramatized the candidate's sense of entitlement. your thoughts, can jeb bush fix this? >> i don't think he can fix this. if this is his campaign, i don't think he offers anything to anyone in the party that they really can't get from somebody else in a more attractive package. marco rubio is also from
florida, also can help their chances of stopping the bleeding with latino voters. conservatives have just as many problems with jeb bush as they have with any of the other mainstream establishment republican candidates. so who wants to vote for jeb bush except for people who are intensely personally loyal to the bush family. and that's a small group of people. >> i believe smaller than a polling margin of error. katie -- >> absolutely. >> -- let me get your thoughts on the utility that some conservatives think jeb bush plays this this race. this is conservative talk show host on msnbc earlier today. let's take a listen to what he said. >> he's doing conservatives a favor by staying in and stopping the establishment from coalescing between marco rubio sooner so i hope he hangs in there a little bit lodger. >> katie, do you think that's right? >> you know, iler certainly don't think that's the motive that the bush campaign is pursuing. he's a tremendously accomplished governor. i think the challenge that they've got is that this electorate is really a changed
electorate and it's maybe something that they can't really fix. is the mood of the electorate is for something new, something different, and we're seeing that in the kind of support that ben carson and donald trump are getting. i do think ultimately it will be a nominee that doesn't come from those ranks in particular but it will be somebody that represents a change and something new for the republican party. i don't think a lot of republicans look at somebody with the last name bush that way. >> so, mark, let me ask you. in terms of the establishment candidates who remain in the race, bush and rubio seem like they have been warring overtures thus far. bush was asked again about rubio i believe yesterday and this is what he had to say. >> marco rubio? >> no. >> political -- and the rift, if you will, of florida floridians going at it? >> i'm not frustrated. he's a great guy.
he's a good friend. he's a gifted politician. i just had the leadership skills to solve these problems. we have a little disagreement on that. >> mark, two floridians going at it. that was bush today, actually in fact. are we going to see more fighting between these two as the campaign goes on? >> jeb's campaign is certainly telegraphed that. there's a reason that jeb stood on stage and decided to challenge marco rubio and made the mistake of not realizing, oh, no, marco rubio can respond and hit me back. that's why jeb is currently in this situation which looks like a tailspin. what katie said earlier about this being a change electorate or election, one of the big problems with jeb is just as broad messaging. he's coming across and saying i'm the disrupter. i'm an outsider from washington. you know, the grandson of a senator, so of a president, brother of a former president, doesn't really sound like an outside washington character who is a disrupter. and then we talk about the jeb can fix it slogan, if you look on twitter it's trending worldwide. i not trending on worldwide because people think jeb can fix
it. it's trending worldwide because people are making fun of jeb bush. when you become the object of mockery in a campaign and you look silly, that's really tough to overcome. i quote the jack walsh character from "godfather," a man in my position cannot afford to be made look ridiculous. right now jeb bush looks ridiculous to a lot of people in both the political class and broader social media. that's a huge problem for him. >> in all fairness, jonathan, i think a lot of people acknowledge that one of marco rubio's greatest weaknesses as an establishment candidate, if you will, his role in the gang of eight and bipartisan immigration reform and if, in fact, this is a change election, the right wing base is not enamored of anyone who wants to conduct bipartisan immigration reform and yet marco rubio has not been attacked on this subject. one can only expect as the race goes on -- >> i don't know about that. >> among his fellow republican presidential candidates it's basically donald trump is the
only person that's really brought it up. >> that's absolutely right. but keep in mind in 2012 i expected the rest of the republican field to just tear apart mitt romney for romneycare. he invented the idea for the law, they decided was going to destroy the foundations of american freedom all together. but no one really had the chance to stand up and just go after romney. he managed to kind of slick his way through that whole question and avoid it. it's conceivable that rubio will manage to do the same thing on immigration reform, especially because the law never was enacted into law. he gave up and he turned against it. and now he's saying he won't do it again. so he may manage to muddle through on this. >> katie, let me get your thoughts as someone who worked on the romney campaign. do you think this is an issue -- do you think immigration reform is a liability for marco rubio? >> my firm did a let of research on this in early primary states just this summer. and we found that really only about, you know, a fifth to a
quarter of republican primary voters in early states are particularly exercised about that issue. the vast majority of republican primary voter s do support some kind of reasonable movement to allow these folks to have legal status. as long as there's border security, as long as there's stipulation to that. so the voters that are really, really energized about that are largely already in donald trump's camp. but that leaves 75% to 80% of republican primary voters sort of in the pond to fish from. the other candidates that do have a reasonable approach like ted cruz, marco rubio, jeb bush, and some of the other candidates as well, do have some opportunity to grow with that pool of voters. >> mark, quick, in terms of reaching out to his panic, jeb bush said today and publicly he wants nbc telemundo debate to move forward. he is making a strong play for hispanic-americans. do you think this slice of the electorate has basically been forsaken by the republican party? do you think there are inroads they can still make at this point?
>> there's only so far you can fall. mitt romney was pretty low. and certainly jeb bush and mork corubio my general experience with them and looking at the polling they poll well among hispanic voters i'm not sure that telemundo or television is a make all break all for republicans. however, you do see the republicans are slowly inching toward estranging or infuriating spanish language media. that can translate into a broader crowd and people can think, well, this party is still not interested in communicating to me. one of the problems that republican have is forget about immigration reform. polls generally show they support mandatory minimum wage increase and medicaid reform, medicaid expansion. republicans don't support that. that's a problem going forward getting the hispanic vote. >> the curious disconnect of voting patterns. mark caputo, thank you for joining us tonight. coming up, lawrence lessig ends his presidential campaign saying the democratic party won't let him be a candidate.
does he trust bernie, hillary, or martin o'malley on the key issue of campaign finance reform. and who will get his vote? lawrence lessig joins me next for an exclusive interview. later, ben carson broke a record in the 2016 presidential race today. plus what president obama says about boots on the ground in syria. new comments from the president tonight to nbc news. y brad, wane all day relief of two aleve for six tylenol? what's the catch? there's no catch. you want me to give up my two aleve for six tylenol? no. for my knee pain, nothing beats my aleve. hey! how are you?g? where are we watching the game? you'll see. i think my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast. once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪
tune in to msnbc this friday november 6th when rachel maddow moderates the first in the south candidates forum with bernie sanders, hillary clinton, and martin o'malley. the forum will cover all the important issues from the economy to policing to the state of democratic party in the south. you can watch it this friday on msnbc starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and coming up, amid all the talk of republican debate drama the democratic party had some of its own today. >> it is now clear but the party won't let me be a candidate and
i can't ask people to support a campaign that i know can't even get before the members of the democratic party. >> lawrence lessig joins me next. your credit is in pretty good shape. chuck, i know i have a 798 fico score, thanks to experian.com. kaboom... get your credit swagger on. go to experian.com. become a member of experian credit tracker and take charge of your score. watching fis great...ether ...but i think women would agree... ...huddling with their man after the game is nice too. the thing is, about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction.
well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra. now available in new single packs. today the field of democratic nominees for president lost one more candidate, harvard law professor and campaign finance reform crusader lawrence lessig. while lessig didn't have the same polling numbers as candidates named clinton or sanders in the 12 weeks of lessig's campaign he racked up some moderate successes. withen the first three weeks of the campaign he had crowd funded more than $1 million.
his campaign was running tv ad buys in the key states of iowa and new hampshire. his one issue platform, campaign finance reform, had broken on to the main stage at the october 13th democratic debate. but he had not. in fact, lessig blames the dnc and the several times it changed the rules for qualifying for the debates as the reason that he is calling it quits. >> it is now clear that the party won't let me be a candidate and i can't ask people to support a campaign that i know can't even get before the members of the democratic party. i must today end my campaign for the democratic nomination and turn to the question of how best to continue to press for this reform now. >> joining us now for an exclusive interview is harvard law professor lawrence lessig. professor, thanks for joining me on this very big day. >> thank you for having me. >> it seems like the dnc kind of changed the rules on you here. for those that aren't aware of
the exact situation, can you explain it to us? >> yeah, it's pretty simple. until this week the rule that the dnc had announced, a rule that the chair had posted on a blog post on medium was that you needed to get 1% in three polls, quote, in the six weeks before the debate. so that means that between now and the debate i would have to rack up three polls at 1% and we were on our way to getting that. every poll that had my name since monmouth poll was finding me at 1%. but at the end of last week my campaign director was informed by the dnc that the rule was now three polls, finding you at 1%, at least six weeks before the debate. which means that we would have already had to have qualified and everything we've been doing for the last month was for no reason at all. so under that rule there's no way we would qualify and there's no way we would be in the debate. >> and as you point out, in
three recent poll, monmouth, nbc poll online, and u yougov poll, you would have qualified port debate. do you think there's a motivation here in not having you on the debate stage i'm given the exit of two candidates, jeb webb and lincoln chaffy in recent weeks? >> i'm not sure the motivation. the frustration is, you know, there is an issue that is not on that debate stage, that none of the people are talking about the debate stage. when you into deuced me tonight you said i wanted to talk about campaign finance reform and that's certainly the way people understand this campaign. but it's actually something much more fundamental. what the issue is that i want to talk about is the core corruption, the crippled and corrupted institution at the core of our democracy, which is congress, which makes it impossible for these candidates to be able to do any of this things they're talking about unless we find a way to address that crippled and corrupted institution.
campaign finance is one part of it. but it's not the only part. and what i wanted to do was to begin to have a conversation to begin this focus because literally not once was the recognition of this elephant in the room, this fact that we have the core institution of our democracy failing, even acknowledged in that debate. and we have to find a way to talk about it if we're going to have a way to solve it and be able to get any of the issues that we care about addressed by this government. >> are you at all confident that either one of the former congress -- well, one is presently, senator sanders and former senator clinton are going to bring this issue up at all, are capable of talking about it? senator sanders have brought up the issue of citizens united and campaign reform. does he have your vote as someone who might carry the banner on this? >> there's no doubt that senator sanders and hillary clinton, i think, have the right policy selected. but the question is, have they
committed to getting these policies actually enacted first to make it possible for our congress to actually do anything? that's the critical difference here. these issues that i'm talking about which include campaign finance but also the way we gerrymander districts to create this radically polarized, completely dysfunctional house of representatives, these issues require an attention and a focus to bring the american people around to recognize why we have to solve this problem first. and what i'm concerned about is that it's very uncomfortable for politicians to talk about the problem, the problem child in the room, which is congress, to talk about how this institution has failed and will continue to fail unless we bring attention to how it needs to be reformed. and so that's why i don't think literally anybody mentioned the problem of this institution separate from refrigeratoring to the problem of billionaires and the problem of campaign finance.
but those are separate issues. we've got to find a way to restore a representative democracy if there's any chance for us to get the reforms they're talking about, whether it's minimum wage or whether it's single payer health care or taking on the banks or dealing with wall street. all of these are impossible if we don't get a representative democracy back. >> so given where you think we are on that issue, i mean, how -- what is your correspondence been like with the chair of the dnc, debbie wasserman schultz, have you pushed back on what appears to be some criteria change for the debate rules? >> of course we pushed back. steve, the one running the campaign and the one who has been meeting with the dnc, was quite shocked that the very same person who had uttered the earlier version of the rule flipped and then in almost an orwellian like way, said, no, this has always been the rule.
he posted on his blog post in huffington post the evidence of this transition and, you know, the frustration at recognizing that as the political director put it, these are the rules that are being handed down from the top of the dnc. but what i'm hopeful about, you know, okay, it's not the end of the world that i've been forced out of a campaign. because this is not about me. what's important here is this issue that the democrats are not willing to address. they're not willing to talk about. they're happy to talk about the problem of billionaires and the problems of citizens united but neither of those two ways of talking about this willing actually get us any real reform. what we've got to begin to talk about is how we're going to change the way campaigns are funded. and that means using words like public funding of elections. citizen funding of elections. a word which was not uttered once at that debate even though bernie sanders, hillary clinton, and martin o'malley all have endorsed these type of proposals.
but if we don't explain it to the american people, if we don't show the american people why these changes are necessary, they will never happen. it will be exactly like barack obama who made this a fundamental issue all of the way through april 2008 and then when he got to washington, of course, he made no effort to bring about a change in the way campaigns were funded or the change in the corrupted system which he had identified and campaigned against. >> given where you think the party is on this issue are you prepared to make an independent run? >> i'm not ruling out anything. i don't want to make an independent run right now. but what i want to do is to find the best way to put this issue in the center of this debate. because what i found when i was out on the campaign trails, and it was an amazing experience. it was the happiest work i've ever done, to meet voters and to talk about this issue. what i found is that people are passionate and so frustrated with the corrupted government that they think they've got right now.
and when somebody talks to them about how it could be fixed, not by pointing to constitutional amendments which nobody thinks are going to happen but actually bring about real change, then they are incredibly passionate. and what i hope is that we can find a way to get our leaders to lead on this issue, because i think there's an incredibly untapped energy out there that would actually transform this election if, in fact, someone were to talk about it openly and strongly. >> lawrence lessig, thank you for join welcome us tonight. >> thank you. coming up, the republican response to the u.s. policy shift on syria. >> this is a failure on all fronts. >> i think it's a good idea. >> either do it or you don't do it. >> so what is the republican strategy on syria? that's just ahead. up next, what ben carson said today about republicans. gigs for the price of 10. that's 5 extra gigs for the same price. so five more gigs for the same price?
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ben carson is leading donald trump by six points in the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll but the good news for the doctor does not end there. carson is the second choice of 20% of republican voters in the poll meaning he is leading that category. that makes dr. carson the first candidate to get 50% support from republican voters as either a first or second choice. donald trump gets 35% combined support. today in florida carson was asked about his surge in recent polls.
>> when you look at the polls and you see your name at the top, you see trump's name at the top, how does that tell you how voters feel about politicians? >> it tells me they are a lot smarter than anybody thinks they are and that they recognize that if we continue down the path that we've been going, be as democrats or republicans, it doesn't matter. if we continue down the traditional political pathway, we're going to get more of the same and more of the same will take us across the brink and we will have no return. >> carson also continues to receive strong fund-raising support. yesterday his campaign tweeted, in the month of october, we raised $10 million and today we'll receive our 800,000th donation. joining us now is josh barrow, correspondent for the "new york times" and msnbc contributor. katie packer and jonathan chait are still with us. josh, looking at these numbers, consistently every time a new poll comes out, carson or trump at the top, it feels to the establishment and the media, it's going through the looking glass.
i mean, this is counter to all the narratives we hear. this week it's marco rubio but you look and it's ben carson getting 50% of the vote. >> yes, so it's 52% when you add it together the support for donald trump and ben carson, then you have ted cruz even though he's a u.s. senator, obviously not an establishment candidate. and people say, well, it's been like this before. herman cain led the polls in 2012. the combined totals for the candidates are so high and the combined totals for the establishment candidates are so low. i do think there's a correct thing in the narrative which is there is this silent prior to be the establishment candidate and that's not going to show up in the polls. it's going to show up in fund-raiser, endorsements in elected officials that they can call in later when there's an ability to consolidate that establishment support. i do think there's been a real swing in that support from jeb toward marco rubio. but if the rules have all been thrown out in this campaign and
the establishment candidate is not going to be able to bring along the voters like they did in the last few campaigns, all that stuff won't matter. i think the other thing missing from this campaign is mitt romney. people forget mitt romney was actually really good at a lot of aspects of politics. he was never super charismatic but he was very on point in debates, he was very good at identifying his opponent's weaknesses and pointing them out to voters and getting the better of them. you might remember the exchanges with newt gingrich. he beat newt gingrich badly in the debates. none of the establishment candidates here have that level of skill, especially not jeb bush who has been super -- >> marco rubio, i think, if we're going by the last debate performance made a forceful showing. to josh's point, katie, let us talk a little bit about dr. ben carson. i think a lot of people don't understand. one of the senior advisers today or adviser to him said today that he thinks dr. carson and mr. trump are almost bullet proof. there's really nothing that can be done to topple them in a way.
i guess i wonder what is your take on that and what is the establishment missing about the narrative in this case? >> well, i think that there's a lot of misunderstanding about who the voters are that are supporting these candidates. the notion that ben carson and donald trump sort of represent the same kind of voters is i think the faulty. you know people that are supporting donald trump already know everything there is to know about donald trump. the people that are supporting ben carson are still kind of learning about him, the rest of the electorate is learning about him. he's attracting a different kind of voter. he's attracting the strong evangelical, christian conservative voter. that's a really different kind of voter than what trump is attracting. so they're not really one in the same. and frankly the notion that donald trump is an outsider thanksgiving is a guy that's grown up driving in chauffeured driven limousine, living in manhattan his whole life, access to power. bill and hillary were at his wedding. the idea that he is not part of the establishment and he's some kind of outsider is something
that i find a little bit laughable. >> to that end, jonathan, ben carson tackled the subject of evolution at the cornerstone church in nashville, tennessee, yesterday. this is what he said. let's play the sound. >> listen. carson, you know, how can you be a surgeon, a neurosurgeon, and believe that god created earth and not believe in evolution, which is the basis of all knowledge and all science. well, you know, it's kind of funny, but i do believe that god created us and i did just fine. so i don't know where they get that stuff from. you know, it's not true. and, in fact, the more you know about god and the deeper your relationship with god, i think the more intricate becomes your knowledge of the way that things work. including the human body. >> and that basically proves katie's point, jonathan. this is -- he's going or an evangelical audience right
there. >> he is. but i also have to say i don't think he's running for president. i think he's trying to use the forum of a presidential campaign to build a brand that he can monetize. i think one person who is much smarter than people give him credit for is ben carson. i think because of his soft-spoken exterior people don't realize that i think what's underneath that is a real smart shark who understands that he's got a situation here that he can leverage. he's using the money he raises to just build a bigger and bigger and more lucrative list. he's not really doing a lot of the things you would do if you want to become president. but he's going to make himself very rich out of this. >> well, so, and we're brought full circle to donald trump, josh. the person who everyone thinks is in it for the business and brand awareness. maybe it's actually ben carson. >> cow can do both at the same time. great double play. become president. if you don't, build your brand.
i'm sure ben carson would happily accept the presidency if it were handed to him. i don't think there's a pure brand play for him. but i would note about the impressive fund-raising totals we've seen there and impressive numbers. two caveats about carson. "the new york times" poll that came out last week, 80% of carson voters said they may end up vote for someone else. raised $20 million last quarter but it cost him $11 million to raise $20 million. he's doing a lot of advertising, direct mail, et cetera. that number is not as impressive as it looks. >> thank you all for your time. >> thank you. up next, what president obama said today about american boots on the ground in syria.
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and really this is just an extension of what we are continuing to do. we are not putting u.s. troops on the front lines fighting firefights with isil. >> the president's explanation is unlikely to sway any of the republican presidential candidates who began criticizing the white house move this weekend without offering much of an alternative. >> i think we have a president that just doesn't know what he's doing. you either do it or you don't do it. 50 people. puts 50 people. >> this a failure of all fronts. 50 american special operators are going to go in to a very bad spot with no chance of winning. and at the end of the day, this will not destroy isil. >> i think it's a good idea. i actually agree with that but i think that's only a small part of it. >> i don't think it makes sense to send a hand full of ground troops into harm's way when there's no plan for them to win. >> i do applaud him foreign gaugement with the special operators but we can't get into a quagmire. this should be a real strategy to take out isis and to take out assad.
>> i don't have a problem with the tactics of it and the numbers might have to be larger at some point but i think the bigger issue is can they arrive at a strategy. >> to date there are nearly 4.2 million registered syrian refugees. more than 11 million syrians have been displaced from their homes. and more than 220,000 people have been killed since the syrian civil war started in 2011. joining us now is molly o'toole, political reporter for defense one. molly, let me just first politically get your thought on what's happening here. rand paul was asked about the president's recent syrian strategy and says on saturday, he's not ready to send our sons and daughters back into a war but not completely doing nothing to fight this islamic state. i guess i wonder on this right, among conservatives, which wing do you think is ascending, the isolationist wing or the wing of the hawks? >> i certainly think we've seen that it's the wing of the hawk that sort of having a resurge gent here. i think it's as much about anxiety prompted by rise of the islamic state particularly the beheadings we saw of the
american journalists. they managed to tap into that and have a resurgence after that wing of the republican party sort of quieted down after the bush administration, they're tapping boo that. the hawkish wing is ascending. people thought this would be a moment for rand paul, that he was going to tap into that war we'riness but with the rise of the islamic state we've seen the rhetoric favor the candidates who say they're strong on defense, that we should do more in the islamic state fight, although as you pointed out we haven't seen a lot of specificity. they focus on the obama administration doesn't have a strategy. this is too little too late. we don't have specific recommendations from them as of yet as to what they would do differently. >> to that end the president said tonight in an interview with nbc this is basically an extense of what we are continuing to do. this is the way, and i think that is a view that in some circles widely shared. this is now how we don't wage but sort of engage in -- overseas, which is to say limited, special ops, elite command units go in and where we
can use -- where we don't have to use american boots or american treasure, drones, we use those. that's increasingly the way wars are fought. i guess i wonder do you think that sort of -- that strategy, that calculus changes if another party controls the white house? >> no, i don't. i think that that's the difficulty that the republican candidates have had when they are more specifically asked about what they would do differently. this is sort of the way that a wars will be fought by the united states. i don't think any republican candidate thinks -- although lindsey graham has gone the furthest to say 10,000 to 20,000 u.s. troops but as part of a coalition on the ground in syria. i think even the republican candidates acknowledge the american public is not going to be supportive of the kind of large-scale, ground combat deployments that we saw in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. and we'll be much more support i of more akin of what the obama administration has done, focus on counter terrorism operations, special forces for select
missions, the war against islamic state has been fought primarily from the air, and with very -- with less, much less of a u.s. presence on the ground but it's somewhat disingenuous for a way for the president to suggest this isn't a change in strategy at all. we have explicit statements from the president as recently as 2013, more recently than that, that he would not put any u.s. boots on the ground in syria. so there's a bit of disingenuousness there as well in suggest that this isn't a shift even for president obama. >> molly o'toole, thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you. coming up next, what jeb bush said about abraham lincoln's beard. don't miss that. it's more than the cloud. it's security - and flexibility. it's where great ideas and vital data are stored. with centurylink you get advanced technology solutions
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jeb bush. spent part of his reinvention speech tort la meanting the fact that everybody everywhere seems to be telling him he needs to change something that no great leader like, say, abraham lincoln had to face in his day. >> if lincoln were alive today manage anyone the foolishness he would have to suffer. think about it. advisers telling him to shave his beard. cable pundits telling him to lose the top hat. opposition researchers calling him a five-time loser before he was 50. >> but lincoln actually did have people giving him advice on his appearance. in october of 186011-year-old grace wrote this letter to then candidate lincoln. dear, sir, my father has just gotten home in the fair and brought home your picture. i have got four brothers and part of them will vote for you anyway. and if you let your whiskers grow, i will try and get the
rest of them to vote for you. you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. all the ladies like whiskers and think would tease their husbands to vote for you, and then you would be president. my father is going to vote for you and if i was a man, i would vote for you, too. signed grace bedel, westfield, new york. four years later she received a response from mr. lincoln. as for the whiskers, he wrote, having never worn any, do you think people would call it a piece of silly of affectation? on his inaugural train ride from illinois to washington the president elect stopped in her hometown and asked to meet her. she later said that president lincoln told her he had been growing his whiskers for her. coming up, the latest on the mystery of the airliner that may have exploded over sinai peninsula. we have new information to share with you tonight.
tonight president obama took the stage on broadway. the president spoke to democrats at a fund-raising performance of "hamilton" at the richard rogers theater. >> every one of these candidates say, you know, obama's weak. putin is kicking sand in his face. when i talk to putin he's going to straighten out. just looking at him, i'm going to -- he's going to be -- and then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of cnbc moderators on a debate. if you can't handle those guys, you know, then, i don't think the chinese and the russians are going to be too worried about you.
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detected a heat flash in the vicinity of the metro jet crash at the same time been u.s. intelligent analyst believes a fuel tank or bomb could have caused an explosion on the plane. investigatoring have recovered the plane flight data and cog hit voice recorders. tonight, experts are examining a number of possibilities of the crash. metro jet's deputy director said they ruled out human area reporter and technical problems and the only possible explanation is external impact on the plane. but the head of russia's federal air transportation agency says the claim is premature and isn't based on any real facts. and then there is a local group affiliate with isis that claimed it downed the plane. egypt and russia have dismissed that saying islamic militants in the air don't have the military capability to shoot down a plane flying at that altitude. the u.s. has not ruled out terrorism but intelligence analysts say there is no indication that a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane. we do know that investigators are looking closely at a
previous accident in 2001 when the plane's tail hit the ground and dragged along the tarmac and was subsequently repaired. joining us now msnbc analyst and cofounder and director of middle east and north africa research and analysis for flash point. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> let's start first with the idea of isis affiliate in the area. what do we know about this local group that's claiming responsibility? >> so, it was established somewhere in the sinai -- north sinai peninsula shortly after 2010. it started right before the revolution in egypt and it began operating in the sinai. most operations were directed to israeli cities. we saw most of the operations get directed to egyptian security forces. and of course with pledging allegiance to isis it started training militants that isis trains fighters on various factions.
>> there's been dismissal for them being responsible for this because they don't necessarily have the capabilities to launch a surface-to-air missiles. what about bomb making? is that in the repertoire of their training? >> we know that al qaeda attempted to down an airliner over detroit at the end of 2009, what we know as the failed underwear bomber who smuggled unconventional explosives that would have air in igniting on the plane but could have actually had devastating outcome. so terrorist groups have attempted that. groups have things that can down helicopters, for example, but only a maximum of 16,000 feet but they don't have anything more powerful to that. >> to the bomb making though. al qaeda is known to be a more organized, coherent, hierarchy structure.
we know there's a split between al qaeda and isis. >> there is a split. it is very far fetched for al qaeda to be involved in this attack unless somebody is inspired by it, smuggled on ied onboard, operative of some sort. unconventional explosives could have passed through the scanning machines that cannot detect these type of explosives. to shoot the plane down while it's in the air using man pads or surface-to-air missiles is going to be pretty impossible for them. >> really quickly. how confident are you that we're going to get full transparency from the russians on their findings in the investigation? >> very little. very little. they have not been trans important in most of their operations. they have not been transparent in their intervention in the middle east generally speaking. i don't think we're going to get transparency on this issue. i think it's going to come
through investigators who are assigned from the egyptian authorities and others. >> a lot of eyes on this case. thanks for your time. >> thank you. republican free-for-all. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. they were once the dignified party. ronald reagan would never enter the oval office without wearing his suit coat. never take it off once he got there the first george bush said in answer to a reporter's question, the greatest thing about being elected president was the honor itself. with that party, the grand old party of fiscal responsibility, restrain in foreign poll signed good manners has been upended by a romper room of party crashers, tea partiers, pushing and