tv News Nation MSNBC February 12, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
learning more about the speech, especially when it comes to the economy. white house aides tell nbc news all the president's initiatives will try to answer three different questions. one, how can the united states create more jobs at home? two, how does the country get its citizens the skills they need for these jobs? three, how does the nation help those working hard to make a decent living? all themes the president outlined in the re-election campaign. >> goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs. >> top republicans including senator mcconnell already critical of the speech. >> i strongly suspect the white house will subject us to yet another campaign blitz. frankly, i could write the scripts myself and will be told the president's hands are tied by the sequester he proposed,
signed and refuses to get rid of. >> we learned the president will make a major announcement of afghanistan announcing that 34,000 u.s. troops will return home from the region exactly one year from today. that's about half the troops there now. joining us now, maryland congressman chris van hollen, ranking member of the house budget committee. thank you for joining us. >> great to be with you, tamron. >> first, what are the expectations for the president tonight? >> well, i think as you said the president's going to lay out his plan for xik growth, for job creation but focusing on the fact it is not good enough just to have economic growth for the folks already at the very top. that we need broad based economic growth where wages and middle class americans go up, where their incomes go up so that we can all participate in growing the economy and we've made progress. we've had 35 straight months of job growth over 6 million jobs created but i think the
president would be the first to say that's good but not good enough and going to talk about how we really lay the foundations far long term job growth and strengthening the middle class. >> you heard the remarks of senator mcconnell saying he can write the remarks and saying that the president will say the hands are tied by republicans and agreeing to the sequester and that looms over all of our heads. >> well, tamron, it was disappointing to hear the republican senate leader. mitch mcconnell who in president obama's first term said it was his number one priority to defeat the president. not to get people working or the economy going. i hope he gives the president a chance tonight. the president's goal is to lay out a plan to grow the economy with respect to the sequester. the president's been very clear it would be irresponsible and reck tols allow the sequester to take place. we now know from the budget
office it would cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs if we don't find a smarter way to reduce that deficit over a longer period of time. democrats in the house have put forward a concrete plan to substitute for the sequester for the remainder of the year. unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to vote on it over here but hopefully the president's speech tonight will lay out a plan that some of the republican colleagues will agree to join with us in trying to pass. >> and then last hour, as you well know, the rally outside of the capitol, number of union workers we're told roughly 300 supporters joined in chanting sequest tradition's got to go. and hands off medicare. in addition to perhaps giving jagged pill to the republicans to swallow, we understand the president will discuss entitlement reforms, the same deal on the table back in december. we understand still on the table. but you have some progressives who are concerned about the middle class or those who are in
need the most and may again have to take, you know, take a hit here. >> well, tamron, the reason the president has insisted all along on taking a balanced approach to reducing the deficit is in order to make sure that the middle class does not take the burden, does not take the hit. if you pursue the cuts only republican approach, that would mean big cuts to medicare and to important social safety net programs. but if you take a balanced approach and you begin by closing some of these tax loopholes and tax breaks for special interests, that means that the burden is not only on seniors or on the middle class. and so it's unfortunate that our republican colleagues continue to fight the idea of closing tax breaks, for example, for big oil companies in order to help reduce our deficit. if they would come to the table and take that kind of balanced approach, we could reduce our
long-term deficits in a sensible manner. as you know, it would be a big mistake to do deep austerity cuts now and that's why allowing the sequester to take place would be very bad. we have seen in places like england and other european countries that tried that strategy. it tipped them back to recession. >> congressman chris van hollen, thank you for your time. hope to see you soon. >> thank you. >> thank you. let's bring in the political panel. democratic strategist chris kofonis. shar ra totlis and aaron blake. thank you for joining us. aaron, you are the newest, i think, to the "news nation" panel. the expectations for the president as we know, he plans to talk about immigration we form and the situation with guns, as well. but this outline if you will that three-point questions of what the white house wants answered seems a daunting task for the president because we have seen jobs bills come and
go, die and go by the wayside and because of the republicans being obstructionist. >> yeah. we'll see same things we have seen. we have been seeing the president deliver speeches now for more than a year because of the re-election campaign so the big challenge for him today i think is to say something new, novel that people are going to be talking about. especially when it comes to jobs, we seem to be kind of repeating the debates of the past and so i think people are batching out for that new thing he says in the address and that will be the big story tomorrow. >> chris, what could that one new thing be for this president? as aaron pointed out. and perhaps in a more skeptical way, mitch mcconnell, a lot of this we have heard before. how does the president as the first read team indicates use this last big chance before people get caught up perhaps in will run for president the next time around, the big chance. how does he take advantage of it? >> well, in terms of the one big thing, i'm not sure it's one big
thing to focus on. >> one new thing. let's say one new thing. >> i don't think it's one new thing but laying out the vision for where he wants to take the country. obviously it's about the middle class and going to paint a very clear picture on different facets, on the economy and jobs and investing in education, talking about the deficits, debt in a responsible, balanced way. talking about guns and how do we come up with common sense reforms and then on immigration, how do we finally deal with the intractable problem we have ignored? i think that's a powerful vision. in terms of the -- >> what is the powerful vision coming to jobs, though? >> well, i think -- >> that he can lay out. >> he can talk about key investments to make to put the country on a path to create more growth, more jobs. we have created over 5 million plus jobs since the recession has been over. that's a significant
accomplishment. but more needs to be done. you can't just snap your fingers and say invest in one area and create millions of jobs but paint a broader picture and do the most difficult part which is how do you work with a republican congress that seems unwilling to make any deal or any compromise on any area that the president believes is right for the country? so that i think is the most interesting for me at least, what does he say to republicans to motivate them to move them to finally realize, you know what? you have skin in the game, the skin in the game is the direction of the country. we all rise and fall together. it's not just one party. >> right. i want to get you guys to hold on for a second and your thoughts and bring in quickly here live from the white house, director of the white house domestic policy counsel. president obama's point person on immigration reform and outreach to the hispanic community. thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you. >> we just heard chris point out when we're talking about budgets
and jobs how the president can bring if you will republicans in to the fold of his agenda to get people back to work. we're seeing a different kind of discussion coming to immigration. colorado republican congressman kaufman said a year ago opposing birth right citizenship and now supporting a pathway to citizenship for young illegal immigrants. eric cantor now indicates he's willing to support the dream act. you are seeing some republicans come in to the fold if you will on the conversation of comprehensive immigration reform. do you believe that the president will have a successful agenda relating to that issue? >> well, this is exactly what we're hoping will happen, not just on immigration but jobs and the economy. if you heard the president talking about immigration reform, we placed it squarely within the economic vision to grow the middle class, to create ladders of opportunity for people getting the middle class and focused like a laser on growing the economy, creating
jobs after the 6 million jobs created over 33 months. so the fact that there's signs of bipartisanship on immigration, very good sign that, you know, folks in congress may be willing to stand up and work together to do the people's business and must begin and end with the economy and jobs. >> not all flowers ian sunshine here. you have speaker boehner saying the thing he's most concerned about with immigration reform is the president is getting in the way. he says sometimes i think he'd rather have an issue than a solution. also, "the washington post" has this headline, what president obama should and should not say in the state of the union. according to their new poll, with obama mentioning citizenship, path to citizenship, 59% of the people favor this. without the president mentioning or the president's name, 70% favor the path to citizenship. the implication with this poll, obviously srks that when the president comes out in favor, there's some kind of repelling
force, if you will, for people. what do you make of speaker boehner saying the president is in the way and at least one poll indicating people are in favor if the president doesn't mention it? >> one way or the other, majority of the people favor the kind of proposal that the president is putting forward. he is making room for the bipartisan process that started in the senate to work its way through the process and not waiting forever. we don't want to wait six months or a year to get to the people's business. he wants to make sure to get from bipartisan conversation which is good to action which is even much better so on issues like immigration, the proposals talking about tonight, to grow the economy and create jobs, we want to work in a bipartisan way. the end of the day, the people should be measuring the policy makers based on the results we produce. >> you heard her say that the people should measure the politicians on what they're able to get done. with that thought in mind and
the president's address and we're posing our "gut check" question to the viewers, do they believe that the president can bring congress on board for big things to happen? how would you answer that? >> it is going to be very difficult and the success with this kind of thing in the path is not very good. the makeup of congress generally did not change too much. democrats hold the senate. republicans hold the majority in the house. that continues to be the recipe we have been tasting for last cycle or so and stalemate. it's very difficult. but i do want to say if there's one thing the president might mention in terms of plans to stimulate the economy, bring up infrastructure. presidents often bring it up in the state of the union address and usually makes viewers' eyes roll over and for democrats, investment. for republicans, they see dollar signs and spending and i bet we'll see pushback of republicans on this. >> regarding the sequester, aaron, public opinion obviously against the automatic spending
cuts. i believe 700 billion for domestic programs. 500 billion for defense. both sides agreed to this deal and we were talking yesterday perhaps this is another example of i think how people are baffled by washington, d.c. you agreed to it and now with the days away, no one wants to do it but no one has a solution. how does the president address this properly in the speech tonight? >> well, there's not a great way to do it. the problem is that whatever cuts that would be proposed in place of the sequester also terribly unpopular with the american people so proposing an alternative to this is not going to erase the opposition to what's going on. i think the president sought to get out in front of this a little bit proposing the temporary solution to the sequester situation and expect him to push that and say let's give ourselves some more time and the history of the situations in past couple of years have shown that the
american people are open to kind of these temporary measures for a short period of time. >> and transitioning to the republicans, you have the gop response, rubio, the tea party response with paul. many believe that this is another indication of a divide if you will within the republican party. i want to play what senator paul had to say on marco rubio. let's play it. >> there's a lot of energy from the tea party and consider themselves mostly republican, they will chastise even the republican establishment so they want an independent voice. i don't see it as necessarily divisive. i won't say anything that marco rubio is wrong. this isn't about he and i. this is about the tea party. >> so he won't say marco rubio is wrong but he might not say he's right. so here we have the second story line. >> exactly. >> of the night here. is this, though, really a rubio
versus rand paul? >> i think it could be a foreshadow of something in four years to tell you the truth. no. i think at a time when republicans really needed to show a unified front, this is doing exactly the opposite. i think a lot of people in washington, i know a lot of journalists will tune in to -- >> we just lost her mid sentence. let's bring in chris. there was an article yesterday that the president sees the republicans as divided and vulnerable and that will give him an opportunity if he is if you will going to go big as the first read team. this is the opening with the fractured republican party who could have decided i assume to have one face but that is not the road that they have chosen for tonight. >> well, yeah. i mean, they're pretty divided party and see that seemingly every day. i'm going to be optimistic for once in terms of the direction of the country politically speaking. i think there's potential real
progress and on immigration i think republicans got a wake-up call from the last election and the country is definitely, you know, eager for some kind of real significant policy change and that's good and also on guns, we may not get what a lot of progressives and others and myself may like but we may get background checks and a significant step forward and where the problems begin -- >> jobs. >> where you talk about deficits and debt. absolutely. >> for example, marco rubio in his comments, they want to offer an alternative, they say, not just a critique. but that government or big government is part of the problem. and that i believe falls in with stimulus and some of the other things that democrats believe if they'd gone big would perhaps have helped the economy. that's fundamentally against what rubio and republicans believe. it is the economy and spending but it is also related to jobs. >> yeah. i think that's absolutely right and i think the problem there is you have a republican vision,
one -- we had a referendum on that. it's called the last election in terms of vision of tax cuts and greater growth and jobs and still stuck because that's a mindset as a party. the problem i think that they have not come to terms with is the country is facing real big problems. how do you create long-term growth? and the president i think goes out there and says very clearly, listen, we have got to make investments today. it is not just spending for the sake of going to debt. it's spending in order to put us in a stronger footing for the future and good for the middle class and the country. >> chris, aaron and shira, thank you all for joining us. see you soon. msnbc's special live coverage of the state of the union begins this evening 5:00 eastern with "hardball." how would you finish this sentence? the state of our union is -- take a picture of yourself holding up your answer. that's me with my answer. resetting is what i put.
facebook.com/msnbc. coming up, overnight, north korea conducted a third nuclear test. the white house says president obama will definitely address and respond to the developments in his state of the union address. plus, last year rocker or former rocker ted nugent was a focus of a secret service investigation after saying he would either be, quote, dead or in jail if the president was re-elected. now a year later, he will be attending the state of the union address as a guest of a texas congressman. we'll look at nugent and the other guests lined up for tonight. join the conversation on twitter. aw this is tragic man, investors just like you could lose tens of thousands of dollars on their 401(k) to hidden fees. thankfully e-trade has low cost investments and no hidden fees. but, you know, if you're still bent on blowing this fat stack of cash,
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the white house says the president has just adjusted tonight's state of the union address to send a stern message to north korea after its bold nuclear test today. the president already called ate threat to u.s. security and international peace. north korea says the test was, quote, a first response to u.s. threats and hostility. a short time ago the u.n. security council and north korea's only major ally china condemned the underground test in an emergency meeting and considering further sanctions. >> countries around the world including every member of this security council agree that this test was an extremely regrettable act, that further undermines international peace and security. >> nbc news pentagon krontd jim miklaszewski joins us live. we just got a note secretary
kerry was informed just before 11:00 p.m. yesterday and he is also spoken with the chinese foreign minister wels japan foreign minister on this issue. what are we likely to hear and see next? >> reporter: the focus is on china. even though china may have joined in condemning the act, the proof is in the pudding. they will have to step up and actually join in enforcing stricter, tighter sanctions against north korea. all this time, while the international community particularly the u.s. has been ratcheting up those sanctions against north korea, china has continued to provide oil and other critical supplies to north korea ignoring the international sanctions. so it really falls on china at this point. if they're really serious and in any kind of condemnation against north korea for this nuclear test to step up and join in
these international sanctions, tamron. >> you have mentioned in your prior reports today, mick, this was an eye opener for anyone who belonged that kim jung un was different from his father. >> that's absolutely right. he was educated in switzerland. had wide exposure to the west and then when he returned he has been much more public than his father ever was. so there was some optimism that perhaps kim jung un was not going to be a cookie cutter dictator type of his father kim jung ill but it was the missile test in december that was very provocative and, in fact, the first successful launch by the koreans to put an object in orbit and then this what everybody thinks is a nuclear underground test and by some
estimations three to six times larger, more powerful than any previous test by the north koreans. all this proves apparently in some people's minds that un is going to follow his father's footsteps trying to make the north korean nation a super nuclear power that poses not only a threat to the region but perhaps the world. >> mick, thank you very much. >> reporter: you bet. >> the president adjusted the speech tonight to include a reference to north korea and a stern warning as it's been told to us that. a senate committee will start to debate and then vote on chuck hagel's nomination as the next defense secretary. this is a first vote. we have a live report from capitol hill and we could see fireworks yet again surrounding chuck hagel. plus, police make an arrest in the murder of the chicago teenager who performed at the inauguration. this arrest happening just before her parents are set to
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always good to the last drop. well, we have been learning more throughout the day about the guest list for the state of the union address. there will be at least 20 survivors of gun violence invited by members of congress and former arizona congresswoman giffords a surprise guest last year will attend with her husband mark kelly and guests of senator john mccain and former aide congressman ron barbara. the parents of hadiya pendleton will be among the guests of first lady michelle obama. she attended hadiya's funeral on saturday and police lieutenant brian murphy hit by 15 bullets responding to the temple shooting last august in wisconsin. newtown victims and first responders also there tonight including a teacher wounded but that survived and rocker turned
activist ted nugent who was investigated by the secret service after telling an nra convention, quote, if barack obama's elected i'll be dead or in jail next year this time. he'll be the guest of texas congressman stockman and steve gutierrez a leading voice of immigration reform bringing undocumented immigrant, the south carolina husband and father of two where citizens and fighting deportation and speaker john boehner's guests are a small business owner and an ex-bat boy for the cincinnati reds. mark murray joining us. a guest list says a lot about anyone, having a party at the home or a state of the union. here we have the more controversial guest on the list, i think most people would agree is ted nugent. texas congressman who decided to invite ted nugent. how's this playing out among other republicans? >> one of the messages the republican party's trying to get across is highlighting one of the newest, freshest faces in
marrow rubio giving the republican response to the state of the union address and the ted nugent story is a distraction for the republican party and a lot of ways having him attend the state of the union is incendiary given the comments of president obama. no doubt that the debate over guns is very divisive. heated on both sides but this is become a distraction for the republican party, tamron. >> and which if it is seen as a distraction by most republicans, why aren't we seeing perhaps a push back? was there no one available to convince steve stockman this is -- you can have another voice, perhaps not person who was investigated by the secret service last year. you can be a differing opinion but not to this degree. was there no one to convince him otherwise? >> we are talking about texas congressman steve stockman so -- >> yes. >> he is someone who had said that president obama should perhaps be impeached, suggested impeachment for some of the
executive actions president obama was taking after the newtown, connecticut, shootings regarding gun violence but i think the biggest story here to me is traditionally the first lady's box, the place where you have guests at the state of the union address. and they typically emphasize points the president makes. this is the first time i can remember where the guests that members are taking, members of congress, steve stockman's guest or john mccain's guest of gabby giffords, that is an interesting development for this state of the union. >> it plays in to the ted nugent thing. here's why i think, mark. you have independents or people who believe that you should be able to have a gun in the home and on the fence about the assault weapons or high capacity magazines and see survivors of newtown, gabby giffords, for example, the family -- mother and father that just lost their 15-year-old child coming to the table as part of what is said to be a common sense reform that's the title that people put on it.
countered to the message from this republican of ted nugent. it all does play in to together. optics. we know whether it's right or wrong people talking about the optics of that and that is a powerful message. ted nugent, if you will against the people with the first lady there and factor in independent voters on the fence here. >> tamron, you bring up a very good point on the optics and something that the national rifle association struggled with in the aftermath of the newtown tragedy. and of course, this is a -- all playing out with the republican party as we mentioned before and the nbc/"wall street journal" poll showing the republicans with the highest unfavorable poll numbers in a long time and has to ask whether this is the best way to win the swing voters back and a fascinating story as the gun debate plays out. >> fascinating guest list. obviously, as well. beyond those invited as a part
of the dwaebt over gun control. great pleasure. >> thanks. up next, former white house speechwriter john lovett and his thoughts. but first, there's a lot going on today. here's things we thought you should know. hundreds of people stood in the rain to pay respects for the former navy s.e.a.l., an escort led the body of kyle -- began on a 200-mile journey of dallas to austin. he was shot and killed by a fellow serviceman suffering from ptsd at a texas gun range. after the lengthy funeral procession, kyle will be laid to rest at the texas state cemetery. my mother made the best toffee in the world.
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correspondent kelly o'donnell joins us now. a little delay. >> reporter: they're voting, yes. >> what's the set-up here? >> what we expect is the committee that has to make its first recommendation to the broader senate, after doing the intense work of the hearing that we all watched and tals behind the scenes vetting of any candidate so this is a crucial step for chuck hagel. it is expected to pass through the committee in part because there are more democrats on the committee than republicans. where it will get sticky is once the committee sends it to the full senate and harry reid just a couple of minutes ago said he'd like to take the vote this week but the republican leader says it is possible there could be some delays to give opportunity for more information. sort of a slow walking. it's not a filibuster threat just yet. it's unclear how it will go. they don't want to show their hand but some of the resistance of republicans is they don't feel that chuck hagel explained enough about the financial
arrangements since he left the senate, concerns about his views, concerns about the performance at his nomination hearing where he had some, you know, rough back and forth that we all watched. so the white house has told us that they believe the numbers are there for hagel to get the job at the pentagon. but there are a couple of steps that need to go forward, a critical one this afternoon likely to pass the committee. the rest of the story on hagel unfolding in a few days but we don't know what republicans will do. >> all right. kelly, thank you very much. we'll bring the audience the update as soon as they start to debate and vote. more now on tonight's state of the union address. "the new york times" notes that many people watching for the signs of the state of brahm back himself. quote, with the crisis that defined his first term, the legacy minded mr. obama seems almost liberated at being given more time for unfinished business like immigration and new issues of gun safety and
joining me now coexecutive producer of nbc's 1600 penn, john lovett. thank you for your time. >> hi. >> hi. we know from the white house the president made a last-minute adjustment to the speech to include the events overnight with north korea. what kind of pressure does that put on the president and the team actually to adjust what has i'm sure been a speech done now for days to react to the events of overnight? >> usually they have a foreign policy section and i think they'll add it. and, you know, usually they find a way to work in foreign policy and go in that section and it's -- you know, these speeches are, you know, the structure of them is done a long time in advance but they'll still being worked on until the last minute. >> absolutely. and also, we know through the latest developments today, the president will announce 34,000 troops leaving afghanistan, as well. another part of the puzzle if
you will of us learning when's in that speech. what i'm curious about your opinion on, our first read team says there are three economic questions that the president will perhaps answer tonight. one of them is how can the united states create more jobs at home. when the speech outline is happening, are you guys talking about these are the questions people are asking at home. mr. president, this is how to answer. is it that kind of set-up? >> well, you know, usually you start out i think by, you know, the president and his speechwriters and advisers will get together and start thinking about the broad outlines of what the goals of this speech will be and, you know, the good thing about this president is you know in advance sort of where his heart is at because it doesn't really move around. i mean, you know, what we saw in the inaugural, the general themes of the inaugural replayed in the state of the union and the state of the union will follow quite naturally of the state of the union and the other speeches the president gives all the time. i mean, you know, it's a chance
to reach a lot of people with a message but it's not -- there's not a big debate about what's important and what he wants to focus on. the president's talking about the importance of jobs and the middle class to the economy for as long as he's been running for office. >> as you well know, the reviews of his inaugural address last month, people feel indicated a bolder president emboldened by the election. all of these things, next mentioned in an inauguration same-sex marriage and how does the president appear making sure that each of these items from immigration reform to gun safety, for example, are measured and the words carefully selected so people at home don't glaze over thinking this is a list of things that may or may not get done here? >> yeah. well, you know, the inaugural, the -- some of the things that the president mentioned in the inaugural may not have been things the president mentioned
in that forum before but things that barack obama talked about years before in the campaign. >> absolutely. >> as to preventing state of the unions as being a laundry, i don't think anybody's cracked the goal yet. it may seem like a laundry list to people who follow politics every day and on television to people at home, this is a chance to check in and, you know, 45 or whatever millions of people watch these things and these are issues that people care about and they get a good sense of the overall agenda of the president and then maybe they turn off politics and don't tune it back in for another year. >> and watch your show. >> somebody should. >> a lot of people do and c congratulations on the show. i watch it. >> very good. thank you. >> congratulations. up next, learning more about the two men arrested in the murder of hadiya pendleton, the chicago teenager who performed at the inauguration. the arrest on the eve of
hadiya's parents attending the state of the union as guests of the first lady. we'll have the latest. ?2v.ac=u) try charmin ultra strong. it cleans so well and you can use up to four times less than the leading value brand. oh! there it is. thanks son. hey! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra strong has a duraclean texture that can help you get clean while still using less. and it's four times stronger versus the leading value brand. charmin ultra strong helps keep you and your underwear clean. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra strong? we all work remotely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later?
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[ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right. in the last hour, a chicago judge ordered that the two suspects arrested in the murder of hadiya pendleton be held without bond. the chicago teenager gunned days after performing after president obama's inauguration. today hadiya's parents are in washington, d.c. this morning, they attended a hearing on gun safety chaired by senator dick durbin and tonight the first lady's guests at the state of the union. the chicago tribune is reporting that one of the suspects 18-year-old michael ward arrested three times on probation and probation officials failed to notify prosecutors of the arrest. kevin tibls is in chicago with the latest. i understand there's a confession according to police? >> yes, police are saying that. and the interesting point here
is that the chief of police here in chicago essentially says that if this city had stronger gun control legislation that mr. ward would not have been on the streets because he had already been on parole for gun offenses. and that had chicago, had illinois had tougher gun controls he would have been behind bars and not out on the street two weeks ago in order to commit the crime. >> obviously hadiya's parents thankful that there's been an arrest and charges here but, kevin, what else can you tell me about this other individual arrested and videotape statement according to police? >> well, the other individual williams really was not the shooter here. it is ward who's the one that police extracted the confession from and they have been held -- are being held without bond as you said. they appeared in court this morning. but what this case really does
once again in chicago, a system that -- a city that the entire country is talking about because of this murder, is that this is a city that has tried to enact gun legislation. there are no gun shops in chicago. it is against the law to sell guns in chicago. but as the chief of police and the mayor has mentioned, so many guns are coming in to this city from other places and the police basically have their hands full with the illegal gun trade on the streets of chicago and what is apparently becoming a tremendous gang problem here. >> thank you very much, kevin. greatly appreciate it. the president will be in chicago on friday and we'll cover, of course, his visit to his hometown in the middle of a gun crisis and a gang crisis. that's been going on far too long. new information about pope benedict's health tops the stories around the "news nation"
today. the pope fitted with a pacemaker and that its battery replaced three months ago in the secret operation. the spokesman said it was routine and played no part in the pope's decision to step down. people take a look at this. a bolt of lightning striking st. peter's basilica in a storm hours after the pope made his announcement. this is not photo shopped, doctored. not a movie. thousands of passengers stranded on a cruise ship in the gulf of mexico slowly heading back to the u.s. coast guard tugboats are towing the vessel and 3,000 passengers to mobile, alabama, but are not expected to get there until thursday. passengers on beboard described deteriorating conditions. sewage coming down the walls. no air. the toilets also not working. ugh. and our "news nation" "gut check" is next.
nbc's first read team said tonight is president obama's first chance to push congress to do something big. for bill clinton, education reform. do you think president obama will be able to persuade congress to push his agenda forward? important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers.
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update tonight -- now, tonight's state of the union, nbc's kristen welker at the white house. the president made ajudgments to the speech regarding north korea and soldiers in afghanistan. what else can you tell us? >> reporter: tamron, in addition to talking about north korea and drawing down troops in afghanistan, we're expecting the president to announce to draw down troops in the next hour and the speech to focus largely on the economy and his domestic agenda. i think you will hear president obama emboldened by the re-election, map out the vision for getting the middle class back on track and the balanced
approach including increasing taxes on wealthy americans and intfr infrastructure, education, clean energy. has to strike a balanced tone and entering some delegate negotiations with congress over immigration, gun control and, of course, the sequester. those fiscal fights on the horizon. republican sources tell me they'll be listening closely to see if there are any olive branches in the speech if the president does strike a bipartisan tone. john boehner saying he doesn't think the president has the guts to take on deficit reduction and the republicans listening to tone and the democrats. >> all right. thank you very much. time now for our "gut check." it is on the president's state of the union address. and what you think he'll be able to accomplish in a second term. our first read team puts it this way. you have a narrow window at the beginning of the term to persuade congress. for ronald reagan, it was tax reform which he achieved.
for bill clinton, it was education reform and failed and for george w. bush it was social security reform which crashed and burned. what does your gut tell you? do you think the president will persuade congress to push the agenda forward? go to facebook to cast that vote. that does it for this edition of "news nation." tomorrow reaction to the president's state of the union address, historian doug brinkley and the daily beast michael tomasky, both join us. "the cycle" is up next. . that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you.
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until you know how lyrica affects you. those who've had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. to hear more of terry's story, visit lyrica.com. a great cup of coffee should be easy as one, two... well, just one. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. you're now in "the cycle" and starting with the hague el vote and north korea. first, former senator chuck hagel, the senate armed services committee about to vote any minute now on the nomination to be defense chief. hagel will face a full senate floor vote later this week where he faces strong opposition of the former colleagues on iran, iraq and nuclear weapons. and speaking of