tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 7, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EST
will get his back on this fight and creates an incentive stem where he is bold on every single fight. we're going to be there getting his back every step of the way. >> adam green, thank you so much. that's "the ed show" show. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> good evening. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour, where we have breaking news. breaking news about a story we have been covering in detail all this week, and frankly, for a lot longer than that. tonight for the first time, more than a year after its existence was first leaked to "the new york times" after rejecting multiple freedom of information act requests, which eventually became lawsuits demanding its release, after more than a year of refusing to officially either confirm or deny its existence, tonight the president of the united states has ordered release to congress his administration's legal reasoning for why the administration believes president obama has the power to order the killing of americans in counterterrorism strikes around the world. look at this.
ever since anybody knew such a document existed, this is how the administration has been coping with requests to see this document. this is a letter from the justice department telling the aclu that they neither confirm nor deny the existence of the documents described in your request. quote, the fact -- excuse me -- the very fact of the existence or nonexistence of such diagnostics is itself classified. that's what they've been saying for more than a year. but now as of tonight, the administration admitted that that legal reasoning memo exists. the associated press first breaking the news late tonight. nbc news confirming it. the president has directed the justice department to give the memo to the intelligence committees in congress. it is the first time that this will have been seen outside the administration itself. now, the administration has openly in speeches and in public comments asserted that it believes it is acting within the law when president obama or some other administration official directs that even an american
citizen can be killed. they insist that neither the fifth amendment right to due process, nor the u.s. law against killing americans abroad, nor the u.s. law banning assassinations, nor just the law against murder, nor the laws of war broadly legally constrain the president from ordering the type of assault that killed american citizen and prominent al qaeda figure on war al awlaki in yemen in 2011. al awlaki's son was also killed a couple of weeks after his father was killed. between those two killing, charlie savage at "the new york times" reported on the existence of a legal memo that the government was relying on to claim that the attack was legal. that memo is what is being disclosed to select members of congress tonight. it follows by two days the scoop by nbc news investigative correspondent michael isikoff, who this week on this show disclosed a white paper that was based on the reasoning of that
secret memo. tonight's disclosure follows increasingly intense questioning of the administration on this matter by senate democrats, particularly by senator ron wyden of oregon, who today told reporters that while he understood that operations needed to be confidential, laws in this country and their interpretation, laws are not supposed to be confidential. ron wyden and a bipartisan group of ten other senators wrote to the president this week asking him to please clear the way for this memo to be released to congress. and then tonight we are told that the president called senator ron wyden himself and said okay, we're going to let you see it. after all this time, we're not only going to admit it exists, we're going to let you guys on the intelligence committee see this memo. it happens the night before the president's nominee to run the cia will appear before the intelligence committee in the senate for confirmation hearing, congressional oversight on national security and war. the executive branch recognizing that this is a rest of the
government too, even on national security. oh, what a feeling. joining us now is andrea mitchell, nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent and the host of "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. thanks very much for being here. so why now? how big a change in course is this for the administration? >> dianne feinstein, the chair of the committee yesterday still saying yesterday they wanted the original documents. then today on our program at 1:00, the house chairman, who carries a lot of weight about and has is very supportive, a former fbi guy, a republican, though, said he also thought the original memos should be turned over, that the white paper that had been turned over to them last summer that michael isikoff uncovered and reported first on your show was not good enough. that it needed to finally be the actual legal guidance that was turned over to the oversight committees. and we're talking about the two intelligence committees, rachel, who handle classified
information all the time. and there haven't been any leaks out of those committees. so they were facing a confirmation hearing that was potentially contentious. and also, other answers were given to the committee that were revealed today from john brennan. we can talk about that after a moment. they knew that there were other issues they were going to have to deal with. they needed to get this off the table. >> well, in terms of releasing to the intelligence committees, it's a very good point about who this is going to. this is not the same as releasing this memo publicly. we presumably will still never know what is in it, just as members of the public. but andrea, do we know enough about what the administration
was concerned about in this document, that worried them so much that before tonight they wouldn't even show it to the oversight committees in congress in a classified setting? do we know what they saw as so potentially dangerous releasing even that far? >> i'm not sure what they thought was so dangerous initially, other than they believe there is a precedent that this is basically a legal memo, an advisory memo. and others have been released in the past on other, you know, on technical and intelligence issues. they were arguing this is the equivalent of a lawyer's advice to client from the department of justice to the white house. and that, according to most people i talked to in the intelligence committee community was really a stretch. the argument is based on their concern, also because of what is in it. the bottom line is they were arguing that imminent danger could also be interpreted very, very broadly to mean an ongoing, continuing involvement in al qaeda and plot formation, not an imminent specific threat. and that is according to a lot of legal experts a real stretch. and there is a lot of concern even from the white paper that michael unveiled. that's why this has become so controversial. this is a hearing where the last thing they wanted was this much controversy and argument over these issues on the eve of the confirmation hearing for john brennan.
>> do they think that they are essentially ensuring that the confirmation hearings aren't going to be all about this? because at least the senators will have confidential access to classified information that the public doesn't have, and so that will be discussed in closed session. the public session there can be about more public matters, something other than this? are they trying to clear this off the decks for the public hearing? >> absolutely. they're trying to take this out and take some of the sting of the hearing. there are going to be some other issues. he answered questions they has posed, and today revealed he has twice been a witness, a witness, not a target, of investigations into leaks. one into a bombing plot in yemen, and another the leak of information about the cyberwar against iran. so this has been a very aggressive posture.
this administration has investigated more leaks to journalists than any of its predecessors. and as you know, there is also the very controversial drone policy. that is going to be front and center at the hearing, because the drone policy has been increased some 700% by this administration over its predecessor. >> this is going to be fascinating to watch. andrea, just one last point on john brennan. because so much of what he i guess represents in politics is stuff that nobody else gets to discuss, stuff that is discussed in politics because so little is known about it, do you think there is a chance tomorrow that the hearings are essentially going to be a trial for the administration's drone policies and a trial for the administration's counterterrorism policies more than they are going to be a vetting of john brennan the man, john brennan the potential cia director? >> well you could argue that they are one in the same since he was the architect of it. but he will also be asked about enhanced interrogation, because he was a part of that.
he is a veteran of the cia. a lot of people argue from inside the intelligence community that he is the perfect head of the cia because he is well respected and has, you know, a life-long career there. he is very close to the president. and you can really see the body language when the president was nominating him, just how close they are. this is a friendship. this is not just a working relationship. so it will certainly enhance the cia's clout inside the white house to have him as the head of it. there is a very highly regarded acting director, mike morel, who could have been nominate in order post as well, and is staying at the agency. so the agency is in very familiar hands right now while we go through this process. but this hearing, remember, is in front of the intelligence committee. ron wyden is something of an outlier in that the intelligence committees are pretty much very much in sync with what the administration warrants on the war on terror. this is the first real rebellion. >> fascinating stuff. i think that last point that you were making there about the closeness between the president and john brennan and what that might mean about the relationship between the cia and the rest of government moving forward if he is confirmed is underappreciated and super important.
andrea mitchell, host of "andrea mitchell reports" at 1:00 on msnbc. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, rachel. >> andrea's reference to what happened on her own show with mike roger, the highly regarded republican who heads up intelligence matters in the house, that is absolutely typical of the contribution that the andrea mitchell television show on msnbc, 1:00 eastern here on this network regularly contributes to what is going on in breaking news, particularly on national security. nobody breaks more news on a regular basis on any television show, network, or cable, anywhere in america than andrea mitchell, 1:00 eastern here on msnbc. i said it before. you didn't believe me. it's true. in terms of the context here, the importance of this breaking news tonight, consider this date. consider april 29th, 2003. that's when our relationship with one of our most important allies in the middle east changed forever. >> we had had discussions about
our ability now to rearrange our forces in this part of the world. by a mutual agreement, the aircraft that had been involved will now of course be able to leave. and they'll leave with our grateful -- with us grateful for the support and cooperation that the kingdom provided. >> grateful for the support throughout the operation that the kingdom provided. that was then defense secretary donald rumsfeld announcing that u.s. troops would be leaving the kingdom of saudi arabia, would be closing our military bases there. that was april 2003. the u.s. had had troops in saudi arabia dating back to the 1950s. but in 1990, during the first gulf war, the number of u.s. soldiers we had in saudi arabia skyrocketed. we had hundreds of thousands of american troops in saudi arabia during that first gulf war. and after that war, some american troops stayed behind. they stayed permanently on bases in saudi, partly to help monitor
saddam hussein's activities next door. but from the very beginning, the fact that american troops were maintaining essentially a permanent military presence in saudi arabia, that was an unpopular thing among some citizens of that country. many saudis did not want a permanent u.s. military presence in a country where two of islam's most sacred sites are located, mecca and medina. the most notorious opponent of u.s. troops being stationed in saudi arabia, the most vociferous opposed is osama bin laden. bin laden sited the u.s. military presence as one of his justifications for the 9/11 attacks. he demanded that u.s. troops leave saudi arabia. and then right at the beginning of the iraq war in 2003, the bush administration announced in fact that we would be pulling our troops out of saudi arabia. it was a huge deal that we decided to do that. i've always been surprised that it's not a bigger part of what we remember as the legacy of george w. bush's presidency. no more bases in saudi arabia.
now, though, that has sort of been reversed. at least a little. today "the new york times" reports that some time after 2009, so some time during the presidency of barack obama, the cia built a new base in saudi arabia, a base for u.s. drones. the "times" reporting that we use that base to launch drone strikes in yemen. the paper has known about the secret cia drone base in saudi arabia for years, but they kept it a secret until today's paper. "the washington post" apparently also knew it existed. these news organizations kept this base a secret for years at the request of u.s. government officials. but the times did make it public now. they chose the timing for making it public now. and according to the managing editor of "the new york times," the reason they decided to make this public today is because of john brennan. quote, because the architect of the base and drone program is nominated to head the cia. and of course when he will have his confirmation hearing in the senate tomorrow.
he will face the senate intelligence committee as we were just discussing with andrea mitchell. and the lead-up to these confirmation hearing has been absolutely fascinating if you care about this part of u.s. policy. i mean, it's not just that "the new york times" published this previously secret, previously closely held information about a drone base in saudi arabia tied to john brennan's confirm hearing. also tuesday we saw the publication of a more than 200-page report on the cia's rendition program, the secret program in which the cia is alleged to have kidnap and detained and tortured or arranged for the torture or facilitated the torture of terrorist suspects all around the world during the george w. bush era. the timing of that report, the release of that report also seems to have been deliberately timed to coincide with john brennan's confirmation hearing tomorrow. he was a deputy executive director of the cia during the george w. bush years.
and the day before we got the rendition report on monday, nbc news michael isikoff broke the story of the justice department white paper, addressing the legal implications of the u.s. government in some way targeting u.s. citizens with drones. and now tonight the new breaking news that this classified memo justifying the legality of those strikes, this memo that the administration would not even cop to the existence of before tonight, tonight the breaking news that the president himself has ordered that justice department memo disclosed to the intelligence committees in congress. every day this week so far we have seen just an outpouring of new information that we didn't have before. about the most controversial, most secret actions and secret legal reasonings of this administration all leading up to john brennan's confirmation hearing here. it's almost like with john brennan set to testify before the intelligence committee, tomorrow might be the only chance we get to see somebody from the obama administration have to go on the record, have to answer questions on all of these secret things that we know our government does, but we never get to hear anything about. terms of the big picture here,
though, can bit a thorough, appropriate, and fair vetting of john brennan as an individual candidate to run the cia if he also effectively has to serve as the spokesperson for all counterterrorism policies under president barack obama? and even in some cases counterterrorism policies under the bush administration. if he has to be the point man on all of those policies for both administrations, are there things that we will be missing? should we worry about missing things that are important about him as an individual potential leader of the cia if we simply use his confirmation hearings as a stand-in to interrogatory all of president obama's counterterrorism policies, forgive the pun. are there more specific questions we ought to be asking him as an individual about him and what he sees as the future of the cia? for example, if john brennan is confirmed and becomes head of the cia, do we know whether he is going to actually have more power than he has now? right now he is the president's counterterrorism adviser. everybody knows that he and the president are unusually close.
will he have more power running the cia than he has right now within the obama administration as the president's counterterrorism adviser? what will he be able to do at the cia that he cannot do now? also, if john brennan is confirmed, would he have the power to get the cia out of the secret drone strike business altogether? he has suggested that that job should be returned to the military, where oversight is a more traditional and transparently structured thing. he has said that he wants to do that. will he be able to do that if he wants to? could he have had more power to do that in the white house than he'll have at one of the two agencies affected by such a change? tomorrow is a big day. it's complicated stuff, and stuff that our administration does right now that is the biggest ratio between controversy and how much we know about it. tomorrow is a big, big day. verify and lock. command is locked.
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he went first. mr. jindal still sort of recovering from that. in 2010 they went with governor bob mcdonnell of virginia, who they staged to make look tres presidential. bob mcdonnell had only been in office as governor for about five minutes by the time they had them do this. he went on to become nationally famous for something that honestly did not come up in that speech, and thank god. in 2011, it was congressman paul ryan, who was then nationally known mostly as the kill medicare guy. he went on to remain the kill medicare guy who is also the one who came in second place for vice president. last year the republicans chose to go with the guy they were marketing as the adult in the room, indiana governor mitch daniels. governor daniels has since left public service and is now the president of purdue. so it's not exactly the "sports illustrated" cover curse, but from jindal to governor ultrasound to paul ryan to who now? getting tapped to give the state
of the union response has not been a surefire ticket to stardom for republican politicians in the obama era. so who is up next? who gets to risk it this time? senator marco rubio, do you have presidential aspirations? please proceed, senator. please proceed. msnbc's coverage of president obama's 2013 state of the union address will start next tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and that of course will be followed by the official republican party response, which we learned today will be delivered by senator marco rubio of florida. good luck with that, sir. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains. that's why i recommend polident. [ male announcer ] cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. i've been using crest pro-health for a week. my dentist said it was gonna help transform my mouth. [ male announcer ] go pro. for a clean that's up to four times better, try these crest pro-health products together. [ sara ] i've been using crest pro-health. so far...it feels different. [ male announcer ] crest pro-health protects not just some, but all these areas dentists check most. my mouth feels healthier. it feels cleaner.
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the 1970s were an -- an exceptionally -- i can say it. the 1970s were an exceptionally paranoid moment in pop culture history. did you ever see the 1978 movie "capricorn one." there is a manned mission to mars and the astronauts are sam waterston, the "law & order" guy, and james brolin, the barbra streisand guy, and o.j. simpson, the o.j. simpson guy. only the whole thing is a fake because of budget cuts and a corrupt profiteering government contractor. and also because of hal holbrook, because it's the 1970s. anyway, the landing occurs on a totally faked mars, which is actually a tv studio on an old military base in the desert. and nobody knows about it being a fake. and nobody would have ever known about it being a fake except for charming dishevelled 1970s leading man elliott gould. he is a journalist who figures it all out there. are chase scenes, and there is a crop duster and telly savalas and brenda vaccaro. even attack helicopters, because you know black helicopters.
but elliott gould survives it all, and spoiler alert, the truth is revealed. journalists it turns out are heroes. yay, 1970s. see the crop duster and the attack helicopters together in the estimate shot, i know, right? "capricorn one." right. tonight we have a debunction junction. elliott gould already debunked it in the movie. about a real life totally faked thing by the government. and there totally is an elliott gould journalist debunker character in this story who is sticking to her story, even as everybody else tries to say it's false. crazy, right? that's coming up. i'm lorenzo.
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medal is the second highest civilian honor this country, second only to the presidential medal of freedom. it was created in 1969. the first person to win it didn't win it in 1973. the first presented was by richard negatives and awarded posthumously to the great baseball player roberto clemente. his widow accepted it on his and a half. he died the previous year when he was only 38 years old. he died in the crash of a cargo plane he was in that was flying to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in managua. he had helped collect $150,000 in cash and literally tons of clothing and food donations. "the new york times" reported at the time that roberto clemente had insisted on being aboard the cargo plane himself along with all of the donations because, quote, he suspected that relief supplies were falling into the hands of profiteers. so he insisted on making the trip himself with the supplies to make sure those supplies got
into the hands of the people who really needed them. oh, and he also won the national league batting championship four times, was named to the all-star team 12 times, was named mvp once, and was only the 11th player in baseball history to get 3,000 hits. roberto clemente was an exceptional citizen. and on may 4th, 1973, roughly five months after his death, his widow accepted the very first citizens medal on his behalf. next friday, president obama is going to present that same citizens medal, against posthumously to the newtown teachers who died trying to protect their students at sandy hook elementary school. the announcement by the white house is jet another point of focus on gun violence. bringing the issue to the front of the news again. but that's been happening a lot these days. in fact, i think it is an important salient political
point to note just how many days there have been since the mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school in which gun violence, gun policy, gun reform in one way or another has been a huge part of the day's news. it's not an accident that guns and gun violence have stayed in the news so much. it is very much by design that this is happening. the common wisdom, particularly the beltway common wisdom is that reform on the issue of guns is hard, if not impossible, to achieve. and that's in part because we'll get bored of even talking about this as an issue. it will fade away. what happened at sandy hook was terrible, but it will go down as just another one on a list of horrible gun massacres that have happened in the u.s. and yes, they are terrible and horrible and tragic and heart-wrenching, but ultimately they effect no significant change because they are eventually forgotten about. here is a sampling of that common wisdom. it holds that as of christmas,
we as a country were basically over gun control already. that this time the aftermath of this shooting is no different than any other time. it's not a watershed moment. gun control is losing steam in congress. obama is losing on gun control. gun reform, period, is losing steam. that's the common wisdom, right? and this is not to single out any of these prognosticators or pundits as unusually wrong or unusually cynical about this country. they're basing this on what has happened in the past. because in the past, even after mass shootings, efforts at real serious meaningful gun reform have failed, or at least they have fizzled out. for the people who are pushing for reform on this issue right now are also aware of that past history of failure. and they are determined evidently by how they are behaving to break that pattern of failure this time after this massacre. and here is how you can tell. if you have a vague feeling that there has been a qualitatively different reaction to this particular mass shooting as compared to others, you are correct in feeling that way. look at what has happened. the shooting at sandy hook happened on december 14th, okay? on december 16th, two days
later, the president travelled to connecticut to speak at an interfaith prayer vigil at newtown high school. the same day on the 16th appearing on "meet the press", dianne feinstein of california introduced plans to introduce a new assault weapons ban in the new congress. then the next day, december 17th, a new group called newtown united, which has since been renamed the sandy hook promise, they held their first meeting to talk about ideas for addressing gun violence, and for keeping their town's tragedy in the news until change was made. then two days later, december 19th, president obama announces the formation of a white house gun violence task force and puts vice president biden in charge of that effort. the next day, december 20th, vice president biden already gets to work, already meeting with law enforcement leaders in washington. and we get the photo op to show he is doing it. that same day, mayors against illegal guns makes news with data shows major gaps in the background system. the very next day, december 21st, president obama observes a moment of silence at the white house that they allow to be photographed to honor the
victims of the sandy hook shootings. that same day the nra breaks its silence on the issue since sandy hook. they call for armed police officers to be posted in every american school. that leads of course to a cascade of more than 24 hours of outraged and almost uniformly disgusted response to the nra as a national spokesperson -- as a national spokes organization on this issue. then we have christmas. and the day after christmas, on the 26th, arizona's attorney general proposed not armed guards at schools, but arming a principal at each school to defend against potential shooters. that same day, thousands of people lined up at a gun buyback event in los angeles to trade their guns in for grocery store gift cards. then in january, the issue does not die down, even as everybody says oh, it's over now. no. on january 2nd, wednesday january 2nd, gun violence victim
gabby giffords meets with new york city mayor and gun reform advocate michael bloomberg. they talk about efforts to reportedly pressure the president and congress to act on gun reform. they allow themselves to be photographed meeting. january 4th, two days later, we learn that the police chief of waterbury, connecticut, which is near newtown, has issued a moratorium on gun shows in his town after the sandy hook shootings. and he says why he is doing it. just a few days later, january 8th, gabby giffords, her husband astronaut mark kelly launch a new anti-gun violence group. that same day, a group called the coalition to stop gun violence launches an ad, a political ad targeting newly elected north dakota senator heidi heitkamp for her criticism of potential gun reforms. on january 9th, the very next day, vice president biden meets with gun violence victims groups. they allow themselves to be photographed for meeting. the same day, new york governor andrew cuomo in his state of the state address promises to push for the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation, period.
it will not be long before he has got it. the next day, january 10th, vice president biden again allows himself to be photographed, makes the meeting public. he is meeting here with gun rights groups. january 11th, the next day, new york city mayor michael bloomberg pledges to be a counterweight to the nra. pledges to spend some of his considerable pile of money to balance them out. he tells the "washington post," you can organize people. i can write checks. the following monday, january 14th, vice president biden meets with house democrats. and again, allows the meeting to be photographed to show this meeting happening to talk about gun reform recommendations. the same day, a new gallup poll comes out showing the number of americans who think gun laws should be stronger is up very sharply from a year ago. also that same day, maryland governor martin o'malley says he plans to push for strict new gun laws for his state in the new legislative session. january 13th -- on january 15th, new york governor andrew cuomo signs into law the first state gun reform to be passed since the newtown shootings. told you that one was quick. that same day the nra releases
an ad criticizing calls for gun reform and targeting weirdly, the president's own children in the ad. on january 18 -- excuse me, january 16th, president obama reads allowed from letters that he received from children urging him to act on gun reform. and he releases the recommendations from joe biden's task force, calling on congress to require background checks, to ban assault weapons, and to limit high-capacity magazines. that happened really fast because that happened early. he said he wanted it by the end of the month. joe biden got it to him by the 16th. the same day announcing 23 executive acts on the issue of guns and mental illness. and he announces his nomination for a real permanent atf director, which the agency had not had since 2006. the next day for good measure, the president writes an op-ed outlining all the stuff he had just done for the connecticut post. it's not an accident that it's connecticut, right? the same day new jersey's republican governor chris christie announces a task force to study ways to reduce violence in his state. he calls the nra's latest ad, the one that targets the
president's kids, he calls that ad reprehensible. the same day vice president biden addresses the u.s. conference of mayors. the topic? gun violence proposals. the next day, january 18th, the attorney general, eric holder, addresses the same group, in part on the same topic. january 20th, the day that president obama was officially sworn in at the white house for his second term, thousands of obama campaign alumni meet in washington, d.c. across town. remember this? under the banner of the obama legacy conference. the topic of discussion that day, helping the president advance his gun safety reform legislation. then of course the 21st. what happens that day? inauguration. president obama himself cites gun violence and the need to address it during his second inaugural address. three days later, january 24th, vice president joe biden participates in a google hangout with people across the country to discuss the administration's gun proposals. january 26th, thousands of demonstrators, including people from newtown, connecticut, gather on the national mall in washington, d.c. to publicly call for gun safety legislation.
organizers plan similar events in about a dozen other cities. two days later, january 28th, the president, the vice president, the attorney general hold a high profile meeting at the white house with local police chiefs and sheriffs. that meeting includes the police chiefs from aurora, colorado, and oak creek, wisconsin, and newtown, connecticut, communities that have all felt the effects of mass gun violence just in the past six months. two days later, january 30th, the u.s. senate holds its first hearing on gun legislation since newtown. that hearing in the senate judiciary committee includes an emotional statement at the top from former arizona congresswoman gabby giffords. she encourages congress to be bold. january 31st, the vice president personally attends the senate democrats' weekly policy luncheon. the vice president attended in order to help coordinate the push for the administration's gun violence proposals. then it's february. february 4th, the first monday in february, monday this week, president obama takes the push for gun legislation on the road. he goes to minneapolis, minnesota, to give a nationally televised speech on gun safety
reform in front of a tableaux of law enforcement. the president surrounded by local law enforcement officials as he delivers that speech and praises minneapolis as a model of how realistic gun reform can work to reduce gun violence. then tuesday, yesterday, the push for gun safety reform gets bipartisan. republican senator dean heller of nevada comes out for universal background checks. the number two house republican, eric cantor, also comes out for a beefed up background check system. and a bipartisan group in the house, republicans and democrats, outline their proposals for some gun safety reforms that they think can pass even the republican-controlled house. and that brings us to today. just about an hour ago, vice president joe biden attended the house democrats retreat in virginia. the topic he came to discuss? gun violence. and here is part of what he had to say. >> when people tell me that you can't prevent these kinds of occurrences, that doesn't mean
we can't do something to god forbid if it happens again diminish the carnage. it matters. it matters. folks, you agree with me i'm sure. enough is enough is enough. we have to stand up. >> the common wisdom that nothing can be done on guns in this country is based on the premise that what happened in the past will happen again. it's based on the fact that in the past nothing has been done. the common wisdom is that nothing can be done, period. yes, this is awful. we feel bad about it in the moment. but you wait long enough, which is not very long, and we'll forget about it, go back to normal and stop talking about it. that is not happening this time. it is known and understood not just by the pro-gun side, but also by the gun reform side of the debate. and recognizing that, what we
have seen over the past two months is what constitutes a full-court press and a determination that will that will not happen again. and that is what makes this a qualitatively different matter in american politics than it has before. and here is what that looks like in the form of a bar graph. public policy polling just released data this week showing more americans now see an nra endorsement of a particular politician as a negative thing than those who see it as a positive thing. an nra endorsement in america today is more likely to lose you voters than it is to win you voters. the gun debate is not like we're having in other years. something new is happening. we'll have more on what the new and what happens next, coming up. [ male announcer ] 15 entrees under $15! it's our new maine stays! seafood, chicken, and more! ooh! the tilapia with roasted vegetables. i'm actually looking at the wood grilled chicken with portobello wine sauce. that pork chop was great. no more fast food friday's. we're going to go to red lobster... [ male announcer ] come try our new menu and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99!
it's not acceptable for us to do anything other than try to do all that we have to do, all that is reasonable. since that day 54 days ago, 1,600 americans have died at the end of a gun. >> vice president joe biden addressing the house democrats retreat tonight, taking some time to mark the days since the mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. and to push his own party to move on reform. joining us now is steve kornacki, the co-host of msnbc's "the cycle." he is a senior writer for salon.com. good to see you. >> good to see you too. so i was trying to make the case there in the previous segment that the volume of political action to keep gun reform in the news and viable shows that they are cognizant, that reformers
are cognizant of the way it's petered out in the past. they're trying to do something qualitatively different. do you think it's qualitatively different? >> i think it's quantitatively different, too. if you look at mentions of gun control in news articles, what you see in the past is after mass shooting tragedy, after a week, two weeks, it's gone. still more than 50% more than a month of this, that's different than in the past. if you look at tracking social media, tweets involving gun control, second amendment, nra, things like, there they actually have been spiking weeks out from sandy hook. january 9th when obama announced the task force, january 16th. these terms are trending now. that suggests there's engagement here but it's also among the masses, people who are watching,
news consumers, voters, are they generally interested in it. there's an appetite for it, too. >> those after-the-fact spikes in interest is the political action in the wake of the tragedy that is working to corral that consider? >> or the memory of the tragedy, it spurs a desire for action so, okay, what are we going to do about this now? >> what do we no from modern history about the effect of meaning transforming desire into concrete political action? what has to happen if. >> the last time there was real
movement on gun was 20 years in the early 1990s. back then it was a high crime rate, high murder rate. new york had 2,000 murders in 1990. what that all did is it finally created a public appetite that something had to be done. there was brady bill, the five-day waiting bill and the assault weapons ban which passed in '94. what is interesting to watch for is what happened then politically. in november 1994, democrats suffered an absolute wipeout in the election. you could blame that on the tax hike, health care. whether it's valid or not, they chose to take that the push on guns had turned off a will the of voters. they shut down guns for the rest of the clinton presidency, including after columbine.
then kentucky, west, virginia, states that clinton had carried before, that really reinforced the '94 message for democrats. it's a warning an opportunity, it's the 2014 mid terms. there's probably going to be some sort of legislative action now. i think this is a long-term thing. if can you go into the 2014 mid terms and you have the president engaged, the democrats engaged and for instance, mayor bloomberg, if he throws himself into this financially and politically, if the message that democrats and republicans take out of 2014 is the opposite -- >> don't be on the wrong side of this -- >> right. there's momentum to really do more after 2014. >> that's fascinating. it could disproven this year. we'll be right back.
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>> debunktion junction, what's my function? >> when reporters ask the white house what's with all the construction, mostly the white house says they can't talk about it for security reasons. last week a reporter from a web site called real clear politics reported on very specific construction plan tess white house. quote, this summer there will be two oval offices in the white house complex. two? in preparation for a major renovation of the west wing, the government is undertaking extensive work to complete a new
executive office for president obama. that comes about a year after nor washington magazine "the washingtonian" said the president will have to be moved. a replica oval office, a second oval office in addition to the real one, a copy where the president will look like he's still working in the real one but he'll be in the fake one. today the white house press secretary was asked about the story for the third time since it was published last week. and here's where he shut it is down. >> i can say the reports of a
replica oval office are false. no one is moving from the west wing, certainly no decisions about that have been made and not in any time frame that -- >> you said moving from the west wing, including the president? >> including the president. >> and renovations may be made? >> for what kinds of -- you guys have looked around and seen there's constant work being undertaken but i don't have anything specific, because of the description of an alleged replica oval office, i can tell you that is false. false, he says. in other words, false. now, problem or at least complication. the reporter for "real clear politics" is sticking by her story. she said the only reason the without is calling it false is because they object to the word replica. which is it?