tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 21, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT
and a good monday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin live at harold's cave creek corral. for more than 80 years, folks come here for the country music and legendary food. more on that in just a bit. but right now, president obama continuing his historic trip to cuba. the first sitting president to set foot on cuban soil in 88 years. we will bring you live coverage of the welcoming ceremony in havana later this hour. but back here in the united states, tomorrow, another big voting date. democrats will caucus in idaho. both parties have contests in utah. but the main prize right here where i'm sitting. arizona. of all the states voting
tomorrow, the most delegates up for grabs. 58 for republicans. those are winner-take-all. if it's truly such an important state, why aren't any of the candidates here right now? well, all but one of them, bernie sanders, attended the aipac conference trying to win the pro-israel group. that will be a major test for one candidate in particular. donald trump. and more specific about the foreign policy positions. >> we need someone what's no sa thing and means it. everything's negotiable to him. israel's security is non-negotiable.
>> at this hour, donald trump is meeting with republicans in washington. the actual list of attendees isn't even entirely known to this point but we've seen congressman tom reeve and newt gingrich, senator tom cotton attending and nbc's luke russert has been all over this story for a couple of hours now joining me from dc. what have you been hearing about this meeting, luke? do we know any of the other attendees? >> reporter: yeah, hey there, craig. this is a very interesting meeting because of the degree of secrecy surrounding it. usually at this time in the process when someone amassed so many delegates and the tried and true gop front-runner on their way to becoming the nominee, members of congress usually trip over themselves trying to actually get in a photograph with them. this is different though, because it's dump. going into this meeting, we've seen tom reid, as you mentioned, of new york, and scott dejarle
of tennessee and former house speaker newt gingrich who knows something about running an insurgent republican campaign and what the real motive is behind this meeting, congressman was kind of in the dark about it and that he could expect to see other types of lobbyists and republican operatives there. i can tell you that the conservatives who do not like donald trump are here to keep an eye on him. one #nevertrump sticker and i can tell you within the conservative community, sort of publications, there's been a real effort to out anybody who attends this meeting. obviously, some of the members are public about it. but if there are lobbyists and communications professionals, people who try to do work in and around washington, dc, some want to out them and sort of blacklist them, i think, is appropriate to say by meeting with trump.
that just shows you the degree to which there is such a divide within the republican party over donald trump. now, what does this mean for his campaign moving forward? is he going to try to give marching orders that are receptive towards him and embraced him, perhaps. but right now, it's unclear what the whole big purpose of this was besides perhaps, getting to know him more. the players on the other side, paul ryan and mitch mcconnell are not meeting with donald trump. >> it is fascinating and curious to say the least. we'll come back to this just a moment but luke, thank you. let's turn to katy tur covering donald trump's policy speech later today. that decision by aipac to even invite donald trump caused a bit of backlash. katy, what's the controversy and what's the likelihood that we could see some protests at impact today.
>> reporter: there's a strong likelihood we'll see protests. we're told the planned protests outside of the venue and within as well a number of rabbis plan to protest by sigh lenltly wsil when they speak. this, of course, would be a different version of that. while protesters in arizona and utah try to disrupt things, these protesters say they either will listen quietly, not react, or just literally walk out of the room. as for donald trump's remarks themselves, the campaign is as they always are being tight lipped about what to say. they have not released prepared remarks for this evening's speech. they never do that sort of thing. but this is a very big and very important address for donald trump. the last time we spoke in front of a group was in december. that was littered with jewish stereotypes and a number of gaffes. it feels not well received in the press afterwards.
it was moderately received in the room but when it came to the issue of jerusalem being the capital of israel, he didn't know and got boos in the room. talking to aipac will be a chance for him to set the record straight and to address his words on the israeli palestinian conflict. in the past, he has said that he believes he's going to stay neutral on it because he thinks in order to broker a peace deal and negotiate a peace deal, you can't tip your hat to one side or the other. he has said repeatedly, he hopes to be able to do that. it would be the greatest deal he's ever achieved in his lifetime. we'll see how he addresses that. it would be a chance to come out and show he has depth on foreign policy. he's been criticized a lot for not really knowing what he's talking about when it comes to foreign policy, not having platforms, not being clear about it. he's been asked numerous times who he speaks with when it comes
to military advisors, foreign policy advisors. he hasn't given names even though he's repeatedly said he would be giving names soon, and that was weeks and weeks, and weeks ago. he did say the other day he primarily consults with himself because he has, i think the quote, a very big brain and a lot of ideas and he said a lot of things. he's been criticized for not being specific. and this will be his opportunity to come out and prove his detractors wrong, craig? >> katy, a few moments ago, afl krirks cio announcing own anti-trump campaign that just happened a few moments ago. at this point, i know it's early. what more do we know about that? >> well, to give you an idea, one of the biggest union groups in the country, the 56 unions. over 12 million workers. donald trump, what they're trying to do is paint him as anti-union. there's attack ads on facebook
and a couple of other social media outletletoutlets. there's unions and trying to stop his workers from forming a union there and protesting him. i'm not entirely sure how they'll play out through the entire country and it has really resonated with blue collar workers, with factory workers and steel towns. those who are not benefitting from the economy going in more of a technical direction, so when he talks about trade deals and jobs being moved overseas, that's sort of the message that resonates with the american workers, the ones who like donald trump. it's not clear if the union attack will be effective intensity against him. it will be effective in the more liberal circles but on the more conservative side, donald trump is generally pretty well received. craig? >> katy tur in washington this monday afternoon. bookending donald trump's aipac speech in just a few hours,
speeches from the other republican candidates. john kasich and ted cruz. kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill for us. kelly, also at the conference, we should note here. the aipac conference. why aipac? we know the acronym stands for american israel public affairs committee but for listeners and viewers, what's the significance of this conference? >> reporter: we're at the verizon center where this conference is going on. and it is, of course, for the pro-israel lobby and the big speeches today are one part of what happens here when you have thousands of attendees who come together for a variety of different sessions and meetings, talking about all kinds of different policy issues that affect the relationship between the u.s. and israel. and sort of the big marquee events today include the four or five presidential candidates, bernie sanders choosing to stay out west where he's campaigning and deliver a foreign policy speech instead of coming back here to do it in person.
for john kasich and ted cruz, since katy talked a lot about donald trump, i'll fill you in on those two. for kasich, expect him to talk about something that in many ways has not been as popular in this election year and that's experience in government. john kasich is someone who has worked on foreign policy issues and is in congress before ohio's governor and he's been to israel going back to the 1980s and try to connect on that. for ted cruz, who's new to the senate and newer to national politics, he is also very well known for being on the real hard line side that would match up with some of the most conservative views in israel with respect to things like iran and the nuclear deal. expect him to talk a great deal about that and what he would do if elected and perhaps both will try to distinguish themselves from donald trump in terms of their commitment to israel and their clarity on their points.
>> thank you. robert acosta has been doing exhaustive reporting. i understand you've got some news about donald trump's foreign policy advisors. what can you tell us? >> reporter: great to join you, craig. donald trump stopped by "the washington post" to meet with the paper's editorial board and in the meeting revealed part of his foreign policy advisory team and outlined an unabashedly non-interventionist approach to world affairs and some of the names, especially who follow those in conservative politics, george peppadopalis and these are some of the names that trump shared this morning during a meeting in the "washington
post." >> based on the names given, what can we gleam from a donald trump presidency with regards to foreign policy? how will donald trump interact with our friends and our enemies? based on this list of advisors. >> the word that comes to mind is unique. he does not fit into a traditional box in foreign policy. not necessarily a realist out of the reagan mold and a hawk in the george w. bush mold. he's picking bits and parts of the republican party and there are people who are giving him advice, briefing him, he said, almost every day, at least at weekly conference calls on foreign policy, but they're not about going to intervene around the world and in an aggressive way. he has an unabashed approach that's not interventionist. when it comes to sending troops abroad, having a lot of military forces abroad, he's just not as supportive of that as most
republican major contenders have been in the past. >> is that what the meeting was about today? the meeting with republican leaders there in washington, was the meeting about his foreign policy advisory team or more to it than that? >> trump's had quite a busy day in washington. he began the day by coming to the "washington post" to meet with the editorial board. we were able to get an audio of that meeting and report on how he shared his foreign policy advisors and then headed to jones day law firm right near the capital. many members of the house as luke russert has been reporting as well have been attending that. newt gingrich has been there and while the editorial board was about a foreign policy discussion, the meeting at jones was to introduce himself to official washington and the long-term players like gingrich, to members of congress to get the republican establishment, which has been very wary of
trump, to try to if not coalesce but get to know him more. this comes ahead of his speech to the israel public affairs group tonight at the verizon center to further outline his foreign policy and his world view. >> one of the hardest working journalists on the trail. robert costa, thank you so much. let you get back to it, sir. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, we check on the details. hillary clinton already addressed aipac in washington but bernie sanders will be delivering his big policy speech tonight in salt lake city, utah. it's the final push ahead of tomorrow's races. polls open here in arizona at 9:00 a.m. eastern/6:00 a.m. local. more live coverage from harold's cave creek corral, straight ahead.
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we think as the process continues and have progress, we think we have a chance to pick up a whole lot of delegates. >> we are back live here in cave creek, arizona. we are at a fantastic little joint called harold's. the lunch crowd is starting to pour in, believe it or not. [ crowd cheering ] >> they're getting a little rowdy here as well. spending more time talking about the folks here. that was bernie sanders you saw here talking over the weekend about the contest ahead. tomorrow, democrats head to the polls here in arizona, idaho, and utah. a total of 149 delegates here and bernie holding events in
idah idaho, utah. kristen welker is on the phone for us following the clinton campaign in phoenix. roughly 45 minutes south. what are we hearing from clinton a day out from tomorrow's contest here in arizona? >> well, first, craig, to those comments she made earlier today at aipac, really some of the sharpest attack lines yet against donald trump. >> she tries to draw sharp distinctions on israel. we need steady hands. not a president who says he's neutral. that is a reference to some past comments donald trump made on the issue of israel and the middle east. that's what we hear from her. that's a preview of what to expect from her in the general election. i've been talking to the clinton campaign officials who said they wa weighed a number of different options. they believe the best way to go after him is on policy issues. so you can expect to hear more of this from secretary clinton,
particularly, if she does face off on a host of issues from immigration to fighting isis but first, she has to win the nomination. she hasn't done that quite yet. her campaign believes they have almost achieved an insurmountable delegate lead and that's where the focus is today. arizona. that's the next battleground. secretary clinton right now has a big lead in the polls. 50% to 24% but bernie sanders has been vigorously campaigning in this state, outspending her in the state and we learned that he actually outraised her in fund raising last month. $43 million he brought and secretary clinton, $37 million. >> kristen welker, not far from here. getting hillary clinton expected later this evening. thank you. msnbc's kasie hunt following the sanders campaign from boise,
idaho. it's a little rowdy there, kasie. it is a foreign policy speech in salt lake city. what can we expect from that speech and where you are right now? >> reporter: sorry, we're running behind you there. but sanders, right, about to speak to this huge crowd in idaho. one of the states voting on tuesday. of course, this is a little bit of an area for him, at times struggled to talk about who advises him on middle eastern policy. flag raised among the pro israel community in washington on this.
sanders himself actually the first candidate ever to, at first, jewish candidate to win a presidential primary election. that happened of course, won outright in this contest. he has credibility on that front. we're still waiting to see what the details of that speech might entail. of course, sanders keeping up an intense campaign schedule. you heard kristen talking about this a little bit. he is hoping to notch wins, particularly in idaho and utah on tuesday and then on to caucuses that vote on saturday. washington state, hawaii, and alaska. one tricky place for him could be arizona. hillary clinton is leading far in the polls. sanders campaign working hard to try and court latino voters. particularly, young latinos. that's the group to help them close the gap, excuse me, with clinton. sanders is set to end a long campaign day in flagstaff,
arizona, with a rally very late into the night, eastern time. craig? >> kasie sanders, thank you. kasie hunt, i apologize. the biggest delegate of the day. 58 delegates, republicans. for voters in both parties, immigration a major issue. up next, jacob soboroff taking us inside this controversial tent city jail with chef joe arpa arpaio. woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track. and through it all, my retirement never got left behind. so today, i'm prepared for anything
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the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon... then quickly fell back to earth landing on the roof of a dutch colonial. luckily geico recently helped the residents with homeowners insurance. they were able to get the roof repaired like new. they later sold the cow because they had all become lactose intolerant. call geico and see how much you could save on homeowners insurance. welcome back to cave creek, arizona. you can see, 1879.
a brunch crowd. some of these people have been drinking. no, i'm kidding. i'm kidding. the horse back riding, of course, a huge part of this country, and so is, joe arpaio. not shy about his support for donald trump these days. he said what he thinks and he likes trump because he does the same and they both have a hard stance on immigration. you can see jacob soboroff who's been crisscrossing the country. you spent time with joe arpaio. >> interesting guy. i love cave creek. got to come back here. sheriff arpaio put together this prison in maricopa county. he's the sheriff.
some say it's inhumane. over 130 degrees in the summertime. we got to go behind the scenes to see what it's like a day in his life. take a look at this. >> okay. all right. we have some sort of technical issue there with the piece. >> well, let me tell you about what sheriff joe has undergone. he has supported donald trump and people saying he's almost the original donald trump in terms of the type of character. he said what he feels and doesn't listen to political criticism. over six terms in a row, won. and based off of this political behavior. >> spent time with some of the undocumented immigrants in these cities, these jails. what did they tell you?
>> first of all, it's surprising. some will say to you that the conditions there are not as bad as they look. that's exactly at odds with number one and at tent city a few days ago. ambushed by the sheriff on her visit there and said number one, number two, i should say, the food stinks at this place, the conditions sometimes intolerable, particularly in the summertime and an adversarial relationship with the sheriff. >> what lands someone in one of these? >> it's a great question, craig. because sheriff joe has been called out by a federal judge for racial profiling. some people, his critics in particular, would argue that what lands people in these prisons is not the crime they commit and i talk to people in there for dui and some people are conspiracy and some people for forgery fraud. some say they could be in there because of their race and that's what a federal judge ruled when they showed sheriff joe arpaio.
>> fantastic work. hopefully, we can get this on at some point. thank you for being with us. the state of arizona also a must-win for ted cruz who hopes to hold donald trump below the critical delegate threshold going into the gop convention. this is what senator cruz had to say at a rally in peoria, arizona, yesterday. take a listen. >> now this race has effectively become a two-man race. donald is in a difficult position. he has a hard time breaking 50%. our path forward is to win primaries going forward. and amass the delegates and we have a straightforward path to get to 137 delegates and secure the republican nomination. arizona is a critical battleground to making that happen. >> joining me now here in cave creek, chair of the arizona republican party, robert graham. >> good to be here. >> cave creek, this is fantastic. >> one of our little gems up
here in the north part of maricopa county. >> there were snowflakes falling and here, it's like 90 degrees. >> it's perfect. >> let's talk about the race tomorrow. any bold predictions at this point? of course, donald trump pulling far ahead of the two counterparts. >> but it's a closed primary. ted cruz performed very well in republican closed primaries. it's one of these things where it's too tight to really call, even given the polling numbers but i would suggest they work hard to make it happen. >> why do you think that is? why ted cruz has managed to do better than donald trump in the closed primaries. >> it's one of the things where it's tightened up. and in our state, frinls, anybody that wanted to vote in this closed presidential preference had to reregister as a republican by february 27 and other states left it open where independents can participate. we've had a big rush of people to reregister to participate but at this point in the last few weeks, they haven't been able to do that, to reregister.
that's where we see trump's got an interesting momentum but cruz, enough people probably haven't reregistered to make an impact. >> there are a number of state leaders that are split on who they support. a handful of them supporting john kasich. a number of them supporting ted cruz and the party has to remain objective. at least in public. assuming donald trump does pull out the nomination, do you think everyone in arizona coalesces around the gop nominee? >> it's interesting. because i can watch a lot of districts and work in the community events and people have said who their favorite candidate and is a lot of people who said trump isn't say they want to win the election. they don't feel comfortable with hillary clinton or bernie sanders. they want to coalesce and get together and then work hard to make sure that the republicans take arizona and deliver arizona. one of the biggest issues is the supreme court justice nominations. and we want to protect the supreme court and making sure it's balanced and fair going
forward. >> john mccain said he doesn't think the senate should take up hearings on the ground but something else that's going to be a big issue here in arizona and the general election. in regard to the hispanic population. hispanics making up more than a third of the population in maricopa county. recent gallup poll found trump support with latinos met favorability. negative 65%. that's a hard number to turn around in six months. what's that going to mean for the hispanic vote in arizona? >> in arizona, we didn't just start and we're not today and hoping to going forward. we hope in the latino community across the state bringing people across 30% of our population with latinos and more than 50% of them are less than 18 years old. it's working within the community as a community party
and making sure the party is much larger than just one candidate. >> but if that's the candidate who's at the top, what's that going to mean for those efforts? >> we have to step it up, get out there, and reinforce the republican principles and values to make sure they understand it's not just vote for donald trump but a vote for all of them to get people and such and our community knows that. the hispanic community is comfortable with the elects given the prior history. >> when you have a talk about building a wall, what's been the response to that here in arizona? >> i think it's been pretty interesting. i met with the dreamer coalition, for instance, and met them what they thought about the wall and they said that they support a wall. they say, hey, if you look at the wall. what the wall does is it protects our borders. the interior enforcement is an issue that they were worried about and that they have to play out legally both through the congress and the president. yun lat unilateral unilaterally, they can't make the decision. >> thank you, good to see you.
>> thank you. >> lunch is on us, by the way. . >> thahow they are reacting to historic meetings and the relations. we head live to havana as we wait the president and raul castro's joint address coming up. out on the town or in for the night, at&t helps keep everyone connected. right now at at&t, buy the new samsung galaxy s7 and get one free.
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this is a sign of the changing political climate here in miami. it's through the crowd and a generational shift. there are some people here that feel like the obama administration should not be headed to cuba but at the same time, some younger americans think it's not such a bad idea. i'm here with rick. sir, you're waiting in line for lunch. what do you think of the trip? >> i don't think it's a bad idea. i also feel that it's not going to change anything with the government. the people are not going to see any advantage of the new businesses that go to cuba. the government will become richer. and it's just not going to change the freedom that cubans have. none of that is going to change. >> you have a little bit of mixed feelings. >> i do. >> reporter: something needs to change but not sure if this will
make a difference. >> that is correct. the embargo has been on since 1961 and it hasn't changed a thing. we're still in the same way. so i don't feel badly with obama trying to do something different. you know? you keep doing the same things over and over again, and that's not going to work. >> reporter: what do you say to the critics and the protesters out here today who argue, look, the obama administration has been rewarding the castro government now without concessions when it comes to human rights? what do you say to those, chris? >> that's a touchy subject. because these people, the cuban government has been in power for so long, they have outlasted any u.s. government president. and they are still in power. they're very slick. they know what they're doing. so i mean, he's trying. he has good intentions and i have nothing against him for trying. >> reporter: if you pan the camera over here, this is where the protest happened earlier
this morning. 10, 20, 30 years ago, we would have seen hundreds of people here and yet, we don't see that anymore. what do you make of that? >> well, it's my generation that, you know, i came when i was 7 years old. i'm 54 years old. and i see it's time for change. it's time for change. >> reporter: thank you. i appreciate you talking to us. craig, i'll send it back to you. >> all right there. a fantastic restaurant too. been there a number of times on my visits to miami. microsoft pulse up and running right now. we're asking a simple question. should the united states lift the cuban trade embargo? you can head to pulse.msnbc.com. let us know where you stand. we'll have an update on your votes coming up in the next hour. again, we are awaiting president obama and cuban president raul castro in havana. this, as you know, a historic meeting between the two leaders. brian williams will pick up our
complete coverage of their statements, plus some analysis after a quick break. this is msnbc. a quick thank you as well to our friends here at harold's corral. and really appreciate the hospitality. and we appreciate it so much. we'll come back and be here at 3:00 eastern, 12:00 on the west coast. more from arizona. stay with us. so i'm gonna take this opportunity to direct. thank you, we'll call you. evening, film noir, smoke, atmosphere... bob... you're a young farmhand and e*trade is your cow. milk it. e*trade is all about seizing opportunity.
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brian williams back with you from new york and we can show you a room in havana with two podiums set up. we have no idea and no guidance when we're going to see both leaders. the president and the cuban president have been talking for some time. it believes they had a working lunch. this is the president greeting raul castro earlier. and we also don't know what to expect here other than opening
statements. we don't know if there's been a deal hammered out whether to accept questions from both press corps. working for the home team and the american press corps will be traveling with the president from the states. so while we look at that room and while we try to glean any clues we can, for example, will remarks be brought out to the podiums prior to the arrival of both leaders, we will bring in our guests. ian bremer is here, the founder and president of yeurasia group. he has made the grave mistake of being a journalist for much of his life and in recovery from that. and former founding chairman of agenda council on geopolitical risk for the world economic forum, next to him is
christopher scabatini. social inclusion and violence in central america and an adjunct professor at columbia university. gentlemen, welcome to you both and we'll start with you. what do you make of this trip, since we're all approximately the same age here and this has the same break-through meaning to most americans. >> it's a huge win, of course, for the obama administration. they've been looking for him in foreign policy. 80 years since an american president made it. game closest to blowing itself off of those waters, but look. this is a very different environment. the cubans have no protectors and no economic supporters out there. so the union is no more. the chinese don't care that much and venezuela, which had been
providing subsidies is falling apart. so the cubans had nowhere else to go and the americans were smart enough to take advantage of it. the question is how long can this cuban. >> all the americans making noise about going to cuba or making plans to go to cuba are going to encounter what is for a lot of them a shockingly poor country. up until very recently, you would arrive, get off the plane and your smartphone would become a brick, a doorstop. it was nothing in, nothing out. it's changing but slowly. >> it is. but i mean, if you have air bnb opening up homes to americans coming through and google starts opening up internet, it's not going to take long to recognize that life is very, very different indeed and not in terms of another country away but they're going to have the personal interaction. we've already seen tourism start to spike. it's just hard to imagine the
asymmetries and size between cuba and the american economy. only 90 miles from one another. even though the cuban government is going to maintain a lot of regulatory road blocks that will make it harder for sort of the dam of investment and have a boycott that can only be chipped away and consistent executive orders, it's hard to imagine it is not the beginning of truly tend of the communist regime. >> also, it's not hard to imagine the four seasons hotel folks looking wondering if it wouldn't make a beautiful co-branded property on the wall there. >> it would have to. starwood announced they are doing three hotels. the chinese were going to buy starwood. that would have been an irony after all of that but looks like marriott has overbid. everybody is going to be going to cuba and i think it's interesting. despite the fact we've talked, you and i talked about foreign
policy failures over the course of the past year, when you look across the middle east and latin america has been an area of singular american success. in part because kirchner is gone in argentina and the kurds have power over the argentine government, now you have an opening with cuba. the washington consensus is kind of coming back in latin america, and the obama administration is trying to take an interest in that. >> do you concur? >> i do. i would actually attribute part of the success also to the fact they waited. this administration didn't pick fights with former leader of venezuela nick chavez, and ultimately their bad economic policies came back to bite them. and also it is confronting its own failures and it doesn't have a benefactor anymore.
it still gets about 100,000 barrels of oil a day from venezuela which it sells half on the retail market, but as oil declines, it's worth a lot less. you only need to look across the caribbean at venezuela and realize this is an entity that can't afford to give it away anymore. the president sees this as a victory lap sort of going back to his speech in 1999 saying he will extend his hands to a village that is unwilling to unclench his fist. castro is unclenching his fist, his brother fidel is going to be 90. cuba likes to claim they have a little bit of success in this because they forced obama to recognize that 50 years of isolation and petty fights so obama's traveling to cuba is
a powerful moment at a time when a lot of people like to pick apart his initiatives. if you're just joining us, on the left is the scene when the two leaders met and shook hands and with assistance for national security and with translators sat down amid what could be the entire foreign population of cuba and started their talks. those talks go on on the right si -- go on. on the right side of your screen is the venue for a statement. we don't know if they're going to take questions. it's possible the american president would take questions while the cuban president would not. we just don't know. we also, you'll be comforted to know, have zero guidance on when this is going to begin. in lieu of that, chris jansing in havana. do you have any feel for how
things are going and expectations from the two leaders? >> reporter: here's what we know, and that is that communication coming out of that location is very difficult. you are talking about google coming in, and that announcement that came just over the last couple of hours, a lot of excitement about the idea that an internet cafe is going to open was greeted no more by the cuban people than it has been by journalists who have been having difficulty getting some of what -- as you know, brian, what we call pool notes -- coming out of those locations, have been delayed quite a bit. i did have an opportunity to talk to a couple members of the congressional delegation a short time ago who have been traveling with the president who said that he has assured them that he does intend to push raul castro very hard to get him to answer questions, that the american public will be watching, that there will be a lot of press coverage of this. as you know, there definitely will be. that is one of the key things that we're watching for.
and i do think, to pick up on what your guests have been saying, talking to people here from members of the administration to members of the congressional delegation to people who are here from the united states who have an economic interest, a business interest here, there does seem to be this air of inevitability, and you see it rolling out already with the hotels and with the airlines and now with google, and all the other ways in which the americans are going to come in and the market is going to open, talking to members of congress who, something i hadn't heard before, tell me they're getting questions in their congressional offices about what the rules are and when can they come here, and the enthusiasm to get here in spite of the fact that, frankly, at this point, for all the promised changes there is not an infrastructure that can support the kind of influx that we may see from americans. so these are key topics that are going to be discussed between
these two men. we know they both went in very specifically talking about their agenda. the president, human rights. they say it's going to be a key part of his speech tomorrow and it was going to be a key part of his message sitting down with raul castro. castro of course wants the embargo list, he wants guantanamo bay, two things that are not going to happen under this president. but great expectations for this meeting, great expectations for the speech tomorrow, and we're really looking at, you know, a couple of hours in realtime for these couple of things to kind of roll back or at least make a profound change in something that has been going on for decades. so there's been a lot of caution coming out of the white house as well over the last couple of hours, saying, look, all of this is going to take time. don't necessarily expect that something is going to come out of either this conversation, that it is going to change the
world. having said that, they've been working on this very hard for 15 months. the president went in feeling very optimistic about this, and i think that we are waiting with great anticipation to see what he will say, what raul castro will say, by the way, in spanish through an interpreter, and of course, as you pointed out, brian, whether or not he's going to take questions. going in, the officials that i talked to still did not know whether or not that was going to happen, only that the president was going to press him on it, brian. >> chris, while you've been talking, that's been clarified. i just received a note saying the u.s. embassy says there will be no questions. so this will basically -- >> not surprised. >> this will basically be statements from both leaders in bremer. it will be interesting to see if the castro statement measures up to u.s. expectations. >> it can't, and look, the americans have nothing to lose here. the cuban government has
everything. they recognize how much of a threat they're hanging on bon by, by allowing the americans to come in, baseball games and big expectations, president obama happy and charismatic to be there. this has the potential for castro to be very damaging on the streets, even potential violence. he doesn't want that, so he needs to remain as locked down and controlled as humanly possible. they'll make it hard for the americans to simply come in and say, okay, you're now the 51st state. >> christopher? >> it's funny, i speak with a number of cuban officials and they are very nervous. they claim they wanted the embargo lifted for a long time, that's been their talking point. i could see the fear in their eyes on december 2014 when suddenly they got what they wished for. it wasn't the whole embargo, but
they got, more or less, the whole enwhich i laudchi lauwhic. that is quickly slipping out of their hands. they survived 50 years of isolation, bang the drum of anti-americanism, and suddenly you have the rolling stones, you've got businesses, you've got tour groups, you've got all sorts of groups flocking down to cuba that are interacting with cubans, engaging in exchange. you have an african-american president in a predominantly afro-descendant cuba who is going to speak to the people. this is quickly slipping out of their hands. >> a point you made, when i returned from there, my most recent trip was probably 13, 14 months ago. i came back thinking, they're not ready for this. this is just the infrastructure is not there. they're not ready for the influx of people. wherever you go in america,
people of means, people who are travelers who know you've been all say to you, i just can't wait to go. we're going to go to cuba, we can't wait to get to cuba. you feel like cautioning them, just maybe hold on a little bit, or go with no expectations and be pleasantly surprised, perhaps. >> well, part of the problem that they're going to face here, and everyone i've talked to who is in business has discussed this with me, is that there is this urgency among a great number of travelers in the united states that they want to get here now before things change. they don't want to wait for the fancy renovation of the hotel, necessarily. they're afraid that they're going to come here and the cars that are here now that have been repainted many times and that, you know, a guy has been driving or sharing it as a driver or is maybe a tourist, he's got a
convertible, a 1957 convertible, and he's using it to make a little money when people come in and they get their picture taken in it. people are afraid back in the united states that those things are going to go away. they're afraid that these big high-rise hotels are going to go up on the beachfronts. they're afraid when they go to the old cafe that ernest hemingway used to go to, that it will be very different or taken over by some american chains. so i think there is an urgency in that sense that as more americans are able to come over here, they're going to want to come very quickly. there is a certain level of traveler who doesn't necessarily want the luxury as much as they want this experience, that this is an area that is sort of trapped in time. so that's one problem with this equation. the second issue is you have people who are doctors who are driving