tv News Nation MSNBC February 18, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
reaction from senators inside the immigration 8. marco rubio warned if proposed, the president's bill would be dead an arrival in congress. and arizona senator, john mccain, who suggested the white house has a greater strategy at play. >> leaks don't happen in washington by accident. does the president really want a result or does he want anoth another -- to beat up republicans? >> the president's new chief of staff is defending this back-up plan saying the administration is only doing what it promised to do from the very beginning. >> we're doing exactly what the president said we would do last month in las vegas, which is we're preparing, we're going to be ready. let's make sure it doesn't have to be proposed. let's make sure that that group up there, the gang of eight, makes a good progress on these efforts, as much as they say they want to. >> all right. so if the leak proves anything, this president and the white house is working on an immigration reform plan. joining me is texas democratic congressman henry quayar.
some saying the legislation is half-backed and seriously flawed and would make our immigration problems worse. from what you've learned about what the white house has crafted, this rough draft, what's your first initial reaction? this is not anything new. again, we've been hearing about this since the president's first policy speech. >> yeah. and i don't think there's anything new. i think it has to do more with the process. it's not what's in the content. but i think the legislative body is just a little jealous of making sure that the -- that congress works this first instead of the president moving on this. but if you look at it, at the end of the day, we do pass an immigration reform. a lot of the concepts are going to be very similar, both in the house and the senate. and what the president has been thinking about doing. >> when we look at what the white house immigration plan is specifically calling for, it is applying for a lawful perspective immigrant visa, permanent residency in an eight-year time frame. more border security funding,
requiring businesses to check immigration statuses. sir, since you are a representative in texas, explain if you feel that it's necessary for border security to be tied in as a caveat to immigration reform for the 11 million-plus currently in the country. >> keep in mind, and i'm actually just a few miles outside of the border, really, about a mile away from the border right now. keep in mind that every immigration reform bill has to have three things. one, border security. two, guest worker plan that works. and number three, we've got to talk about what do we do about the 11 or 12 million undocumented aliens. keep in mind also, out of the 11 or 12 million undocumented persons that we have right here, 40% of them did not cross the border. they actually came through an airplane or some other legal method. they came in through a legal permit. so we can talk about border security like we did in 2005 and 2006 when bush was talking about
immigration plan. but we just cannot keep moving the goalpost and talking about border security. we've got to do it all together, and i'm looking forward to working with my republican friends to do a bipartisan plan. >> all right. so you bring up bipartisanship here. let's take a listen to some oh of the reaction we're getting from both representatives in it congress as well as different senators. take a listen. >> leaking this out does set things in the wrong direction. this particular move, very counterproductive. >> this is the president torpedoing his own plan, and shows me he's really not serious. when they come out and adamantly say my way or the highway, and if congress doesn't ask, i'll put it on the desk and say pass it now, that's no way to get it done. >> sir, is this strictly because president obama's name is attached to it, and it doesn't have the -- the white house nudges, so to speak. but because this comes strictly from the president, is that why people are rekoilg from it?
>> without a doubt. the process, very protective of the process, legislative process. and i think the republicans want to make sure that at the end of the day, that it was something that they were actively involved. they crafted the piece of legislation. and they don't want to be seen this is something the president forced upon them. there is a lot of republicans that i've talked to that are willing to do something that they don't want to come up with a plan and say this is president obama's plan. and they supported it. it has to come, originate from -- both from the senate and house. and that's why it's so protected. they're very protective of the process. and i can understand them. i'm actually one of those democrats that, you know -- i want to thank the president for being a leader on immigration reform. but this is something that he can back up, let the process work, let us work something out. and if it doesn't work, then he can come in. because there's a lot of sensitivities right now from the republicans, and we've got to give them the due process here, let them work with us, let them
come up with a process, and then we can get it done. >> all right. representative cuellar, thanks for your time. i appreciate it. we have nbc latino contributor, reyes, and an msnbc contributor. and acknowledging politics editor for "roll call." great to have you here. and "usa today" getting the scoop over the weekend about the immigration leak. but let's take a listen to congressman castro of texas talking specifically about the leak, and the white house's reaction as well. >> remember, this was leaked. so it's not something that the white house rolled down. and it's also clear, it's incomplete. there is a silver lining, which is that there are a lot of commonalities between the two plans, including a path to citizenship, so there is a lot to work with. >> looking for the silver lining, as we try to do. the fact that there is a path to
citizenship. however, the biggest contrast is the time line, where as we learned from president obama, the white house's leaked version, within eight years, 96 months, someone could think they could be here legally. and the other plan, there is not a drafted time frame. >> right. so far, marco rubio has been somewhat vague. he is definitely pushing for a longer time line. but he has been vague about what that's going to be. he says eventually. and the white house proposal i believe is eight years. it looks like charles schumer has said the gang of eight, the senate proposal, is going to be ten years. but one thing i think important to remember, they're talking about the time line. in this instance, to get a green card. eight years versus ten years. so become a citizen is another five years. so what we're looking at is really 13 years versus 15 years. and that's a significant amount of time to have to wait. and also one thing i am afraid is getting lost in this policy debate is some of the practical terms. both sides agree, they're -- the undocumented immigrants are
going to have to pay fines, back taxes, fees to apply. but these are people who are earning wages far below subsistence levels. where are they going to get the money to make this -- to apply numbers large enough to make this a successful policy? that's something they're going to need to debate further. >> sure. as we're hearing there from representative cuellar, about the fact maybe the president needs to take a step back. and that was probably some pretty forceful language, saying the president needs to get out of this and let us figure this out and give republicans an opportunity to come forward. i had an opportunity to speak with congressman garcia during my hour earlier today. and, again, they're coming up with this same theme about the fact that just because the president's theme is on it is the reason why people on the right are pulling away. take a listen. >> everything the senator has been talking about is in this plan. you know, you literally -- you're tough on the border, you have a pathway forward. we get this done. we fix immigration and we have a verification system. it's all in there. so, i mean, the only thing that's in this plan that marco
rubio doesn't like is obama. >> so he's talking about the immigration 8, the senators there. and let's remind everybody, the chess game, how it's playing out on january 28th that the immigration 8 unveiled their plan. the day before the president went to vegas to have his first major policy speech of his second administration. so here it is with the leak from the white house now with their -- they're working on it. it's coming. is this just a way to smoke out those on the right that are apprehensive? >> i think that's the best-case snore with that story, whether it's purposefully leaked or not. i think when the president comes out with this kind of thing, giving republicans like marco rubio a lot of cover to go in the other direction, and knock it down even if what here's talking about now that this bipartisan group and the senate comes up with are not that different in the end. >> michael, i want you to take a listen to this, though. basically, newt gingrich has -- i guess explained it perfectly for all of us to understand, to
abc news. take a listen. >> an obama plan, led and driven by obama in this atmosphere, with the level of hostility towards the president and the way he gods the hostility i think is very imagine -- his goal is going to pass the house. >> if the president proposes legislation, do you think it will fail? >> of course. of course it will. and that's why we are working together, republicans and democrats. >> so for no other reason, we started out with newt, we finished with john mccain just saying of course it will fail. with no other explanation given, other than because it's from president -- of course it's going to fail. it's just ridiculous. >> well, there's another aspect of this that occurred to me while i've been sitting and listening to the commentary and to the public officials who have weighed in. thomas, you and i would probably address this subject in a different context, if he hadn't brought forth a plan. because then the criticism would
be, can you imagine this president? he's yet to even give us a plan for immigration. he's dammed if he is it, and he's dammed if he doesn't. >> no, it's a great point. because now that this has come out, it does give the white house, an opportunity to see where the temperature of the country is right now, as we get to talk about this. and more voters get to be informed about where both sides are. but michael, are you surprised at the republican backlash to this, or is it just another day at the office, so to speak? >> i am surprised, because i don't think there's really anything new here. maybe the eight-year time period is new. but that doesn't seem like that's out of the range of what has been discussed. so i've been analyzing this story since "usa today" broke it over the weekend, and trying to determine, where is the new data that has everybody upset? and thomas, i don't think there is any new information. i think it's a written articulation of what he has been saying, most notably, in that las vegas speech. >> yeah, really is not a lot of
new things. and the point you made, michael, the same thing that robert begins said this morning and i believe it was on "the daily rundown." >> the president has said all along, if congress won't act, he'll have his own plan. and you remember not too long ago republicans were saying the president hasn't led on this because he doesn't even have his own plan. >> is that true? damned if you do, damned if you don't. and this goes to show that the white house is following up, you know -- it's not just in words. but in deed. that the speech in vegas, it's not just to push, you know, the immigration eight. it's the fact that we're going to work as well and get something done. >> yeah, but i think this time is a little different. immigration is a little different. it was a group of senators, a bipartisan group of self-starters in the senate, who took it upon themselves, worked very quietly for several months, saying, hey, white house, we got this. you don't need to encroach on our turf. we're working on this. it's just a different case. that said, the president -- the rap on the white house these
days, he does not communicate with congress at all. but this leak is not considered a communication with congress. i think probably the more productive thing for the white house to do would have been to make a few phone calls, invite a couple people up for beers and nuts, that type of thing. >> is this fulfilling a process four years later, the fact the president promised comprehensive immigration reform after being elected the first time. >> right. >> and now the people that got him back into office, they expect something for promise that wasn't fulfilled in the first four years. >> absolutely, latino voters across all affiliations are following this issue very closely. and we have this unusual situation where the president is really -- it's a conundrum. as you mentioned, he's called upon to lead. if he stays back as he did in the early stages of the health care debate, he's going to be criticized for not taking part. and yet with the house republicans we have, once he jumps in, anything that goes to congress with his fingerprints on it, they will not vote for it. so i think he almost has to do these leaks and almost has to keep the outside unofficial pressure on the republicans in
order to nudge them along. you know, it's a very tricky fine line he's on but i think it's necessary. >> and while we talk about the leak over the weekend from "usa today" and marco rubio's reaction, he was a big-time star saturday night on "snl" appearing there. but the interesting thing, while he's been tweeting about this, we've been looking at his twitter feed, he has gone to the middle east. tweeted good morning from eamon and a picture. and has now moved on to israel where he's going to have a meeting with benjamin netanyahu, and rubio set to visit jerusalem. michael, i want to ask you. this is all basically, if we're looking at the sea, looking at the waves like surfers, this is 2016, lining it up, foreign policy experience, sitting down with bb, the whole thing. >> well, it's true. and there are a number of boxes that one has to check if they're going to head in that direction. and i might note, on the democratic side of the aisle, here's the former secretary of state now going off on a limited speaking tour.
so it seems perhaps that they're at logger heads, and time will tell. >> it's an interesting time, though. but a lot of press from marco rubio this weekend. that's for sure. thanks for joining me. president obama is expected to go all-in to help elect house democrats come 2014. politico describing the president's early commitments as, quote, unprecedented and transformational. coming up, more on the democrats' possible plan to retake the house and what republicans may be doing to make sure they stay in control. plus -- >> i could not believe that he would say something like that. and to a baby. or about a baby. and then to hit him was just -- i -- i felt like i was in another world. i was shaking. >> have you heard about this story? that's the mom talking about the moment a man allegedly slapped her toddler on a plane, and used a racial slur against him. the passenger now charged with assault, but should he have been fired from his job, as well? it's our "news nation" gut check for you. join our conversation on twitter
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so the new congress was just sworn in last month, but already the democratic and republican battle plans for the 2014 mid terms are more clear. a memo from chairman obtained by politico promising fellow lawmakers president obama is all in to win control of the house. the memo says the president has already made early commitments unpre unprecedented and transformational. on the republican side, a rift has become nasty and public. at the center, karl rove, whose new super pac called the conservative victory project, has angered tea party republicans. they say rove means to squeeze
them out by supporting only established candidates. here is rove's explanation of the group's mission. >> our object is to avoid having stupid candidates who can't win general elections, who are undiscipli undisciplined, can't raise money, aren't putting together the support necessary to win a general election campaign, because this money is too difficult to raise to be spending it on behalf of the candidates who have little chance of winning. >> all right. so among those angry republican governor bran standard who said i basically told karl rove he needs to stay out of it. joining me now is jonathan allen, senior washington correspondent from politico. also democratic strategist and cnbc contributor, david goodfriend joins the conversation. gentlemen, good to have you here. i start with you. based on governor branstad and what he said, targeted conservative congressman steve king, likely to run for the next open senate seat next year, what
do you think karl rove will make of the way the governor has responded to him? do you think it will fall on deaf ears? >> i think these guys are talking past each other. i think there are a lot of republicans who believe that karl rove is after an i ideologically pure centrist establishment party, when he's trying to prevent stupid candidates from winning in the nomination in their party. and what he said -- the word "stupid" is pretty subjective but they have had problems with candidates who don't have the mechanics down to win a general election. and they've seen a lot of senate seats slip out of their hands that way. talking about delaware in 2010. you talk about nevada -- you saw that happen in missouri with todd akin. they have a lost candidates getting to the nomination and unable to pull it off. so i think these two guys are talking past each other. if you're iowa governor
branstatistic, you're sitting in a place where your own constituents, your own republican voters, will support a steve king candidate, and therefore you want to be in a position of -- >> it's more than that. >> cancel out. >> i'm sorry to jump in. but, john, it's a lot more than just mechanics and who is a good candidate. it's about ideology, positioning. mr. aiken was somebody who believed there are examples of legitimate rape, something paul ryan, a vp candidate for the united states embraced at one time. these are ideological issues. the republican party really has shifted so far to the right that somebody like karl rove, who is used to winning national elections, sees the writing on the wall. if the republican party doesn't change, they'll be a minority party pretty much forever. >> it's one thing to look down the line and try to pick winners and losers. and one thing we've got from congressman tom price who gave a response to this at the national review breakfast saying, quote, we have lost seats we should not have lost because of a failure of communication is a failure of
message, a failure of coherence. clearly, we can't continue the same processes we've had in the past. so david, you have to admit that, you know, while they're looking at what karl rove is trying to do, basically it is. it's like trying to bet on the right horse. >> well, there's no doubt about it. they want candidates who can win. but i'm pointing to a larger trend here. i would like to see a strong, vibrant republican party, frankly, even though i'm a democrat, just because that's good for our democracy. what there doing right now, as the last election shows, narrowing their appeal and there are those who think they should narrow it further and become more conservative and pure in their messaging and what have you. that's just sending the republican party over the proverbial cliff. they've actually got to make an effort to come more to the center as a matter of policy. if they want to win national elections. if they want to win statewide elections. i think that one thing they do have going for them, though. and this is something that i think goes to mr. -- congressman israel's memo, republican state legislatures have managed to redistrict house seats in such a
way they've stacked all the democrats off in minorities into one democratic district, or two democratic districts, making the republican districts that much safer in the house. and that's how they're really trying to lock in their electoral advantage in the house of representatives and try to preserve a republican majority in the house is through redistricting. and is i think that's actually quite ominous. and republican-led state houses, with the power, they get to draw the map. but we hear from tea party favorite rand paul over the weekend talking about the fact he thinks more people involved in elections is a good thing. the more the better. meanwhile, rove, karl rove, is trying to trim out the fat of tea partiers, and the fact they've weighted down the republican brand. but take a listen to rand paul's reaction. >>el well, you know, elections are a free marketplace. and everybody has a right to participate in primary elections. what i would say, though, primary elections need to not be selected by the party. so what i would say is, let's
have healthy primaries, if people want to contribute on all sides, let people make voluntary contributions and we'll see which way it goes. but i think competitive primaries, you end up getting a good candidate, typically. >> jonathan, so is that in reference to the fact the tea party has used primaries to oust candidates from the right, and use the threat of putting in a tea party candidate? is that where rove is trying to head things off at the pass? >> look, in some cases, the candidate with the -- the more ideological candidate is also the better candidate. and we've seen that. rand paul won a primary in kentucky. mitch mcconnell, the whole republican party in washington thought my god, rand paul is going to be a terrible candidate, not going to win the general election. no problem with that. jerry moran of kansas, same thing, establishment candidate in kansas ended up winning the election. i think this is about controlling the message and making sure you don't end up with candidates on the ballot in november that just can't win. that said, a lot of times those
candidates that just can't win are these ideological candidates, as david points out. you have a todd akin that says something that is not only, you know, unsupported by most american public but wildly or simply not supported by science. so if they get in those discussions, they're going to have a problem. i think one place where david is wrong, i think there is not a push in the republican party to find a smaller piece of land on which to stand. in fact, what you hear from the interest groups is, they're trying to train a candidates better, the ideological candidates better to talk more at least to the middle and concentrate on issues that the middle cares about. one good example is the susan b. anthony list, which supports anti-abortion candidates. they've been talking about a candidate training school for the candidates who agree with them so when they get into those general elections, they know what they're supposed to -- what they're supposed to be talking about, how they're supposed to be talking about it. >> how they're supposed to craft their brand. >> exactly. >> we all know it's about the benches, the deep benches and
trying to have talent that you want to come up that can actually, you know -- as david points out, the ideology in place, and jonathan, as you want to point out, you know, the history and the experience in place to be able to swim through these shark-infested waters. as we talk about the president, though, investing in 2014 and steve israel putting out that memo, israel touts that democrats, their recruiting efforts are very strong but also says the unconventional wisdom the president's, you know, second midterm election is usually bad for his party. he's saying that this six-year itch is going to be unfounded. david, are you surprised by the fact that the president wants to put up that much collateral, put up that much political capital to see 2014, maybe swing a different way against the six-year itch? >> i'm not surprised at all. don't forget, i worked in the clinton white house in 1998, when for the first time in roughly 70 years, the party that held the white house actually
picked up seats in a second-term, mid-term election. and the reason was, if you think back to '98, it was because president clinton was under siege by house republicans looking to impeach him. and the american public basically said, you know what, that's just gone a little too far. and they went and rallied behind the president and his party. i see a parallel this time around. we still see republicans beating up on the president, no matter what he does. and i think there's going to be a backlash against that again. just like we saw in 1998. and i think there is reason to believe that the midterm elections for the house this time will be like 1998 for the democrats, where we will see democrats even in an incumbent president's second term, mid-term election, picking up seats. and that has everything to do with president obama's legacy and treatment. of course he's going to want to support that. >> time to party like it's 1998. okay. still ahead. thanks, guys. the hagel hold-up, our conservatives using recess to dig up more dirt on the
president's choice for defense secretary. white house reaction to the delay and hagel's kompl medication. plus, hillary clinton expected to be one of the highest paid in the field. how much would it cost to book the world's most admired woman? that's just one of the things we thought you should know. ♪ [ engine turns over ] [ male announcer ] we created the luxury crossover and kept turning the page, writing the next chapter for the rx and lexus. this is the pursuit of perfection. writing the next chapter for the rx and lexus. all stations come over to mithis is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.
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even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply. so chuck hagel's nomination to become the next defense secretary is in limbo after republicans delayed an up or down vote until congress returns from recess coming up next week. but despite the holdup, hagel's opponents are now conceding he probably will be confirmed. >> i don't believe he is qualified. but i don't believe that we should hold up his nomination any further, because i think it's a reasonable amount of time to have questions answered. >> the obama administration, mean while, pushing back against claims the political fight over the nomination will permanently damage hagel, even if he does get that job. joining me now live from the white house is nbc's peter alexander. peter, it's good to have you
with me. in that interview that david gregory did with john mccain over the weekend, it got a little feisty. and i want to play another portion where they talk specifically about was this payback to chuck hagel over something long in the past. >> is that to say, senator, it's payback time for chuck hagel, that's what this process has amounted to? >> of course not. 99% of it is to do with the positions that senator hagel has taken. >> so this is in reference to when we talk about payback time, peter, the fact that the -- at the time, that senator hagel didn't support the iraq surge. and now john mccain denies that that has anything to do with it. what is it today that we're hearing is where the -- where the votes stand? because it seems to be the confirmation is going to happen. >> yeah, tom. a good question. administration officials still feel confidently that about a week from tomorrow, the 26th of this morning shortly after congress will be back in session, they will be able to
remove that last procedural hurdle that's existed, this closure vote. they needed 60 votes from the senate as opposed to just a simple majority to get chuck hagel pushed through. they think, as given by what you heard from john mccain, a short time ago, that will happen next week. they note that the republicans got what they wanted. this is the first time ever that a defense secretary ever needed to get those 60 votes. effectively being filibustered in a situation like this. a hold being put on it. but the administration also says one of the biggest frustrations they're dealing with now, is later this week in brussels, the 21st and 22nd was supposed to be the nato foreign ministers meeting. many people presumed to be chuck hagel's first opportunity as the person who will be representing the administration and this president on foreign policy issues, to meet with america's allies overseas, as he'll be the one implementing the president's position regarding afghanistan. that would have been his opportunity to have that conversation face-to-face with our allies. instead that conversation will
be held by leon panetta, who as the administrationinis insists d much rather be on his nut farm in california or in brussels rather than here continuing his job. >> stuck on his nut farm. yeah, he did make a reference to the nut farm in his outgoing speech. let's talk about real quickly, the ten-day recess. is it true, because the "new york times" was saying that the right conservatives were hoping this breadth time would give conservatives an opportunity to dig up stuff to tank hagel. >> well, you know, obviously remains to be seen exactly what we hear from this congress when it returns and what statements are put out over the course of the period of time that they are gone regarding chuck hagel. obviously, immigration is now dominating a lot of the conversation in the absence of congress right now with that leaked document, that proposal from the president first reported by "usa today." there is no indication of anything in particular they're continuing to try to pursue in terms of chuck hagel. as the white house said,
president obama, during a google plus hangout said they're running out of questions to ask. that's the position of this administration. and as given from what we heard from john mccain and from others on the sunday shows, it appears that as best possible, they've asked the questions that they want. they may be dissatisfied with the answers. but as mccain noted, they don't intend to hold up this confirm medication much longer. >> nbc's peter alexander, thanks so much. appreciate it. come up, marriage equality supporters in illinois have declared a hurdle after a state senate approved a same-sex marriage bill. but the issue heads to the divided house. we'll take a closer look raging in the land of lincoln. first, a lot going on today. here are some of the things we thought you should know. former secretary of state and potential 2016 democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton is joining the lucrative speaker circuit. the harry walker agency confirms it will be representing her. it already represents her husband. meanwhile, politico reports mrs. clinton will earn, quote, well into the six figures for her
speeches. but also speak for free for causes that she believes in. former south carolina governor, mark sanford, is up with a new tv ad in his race to fill a vacant congressional seat. in that ad, he touches on the extra marital affair that got him ousted from office. >> i've cut spending, reduced debt, and made government more accountable. more recently, i've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. in that life, i humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing washington. and florida senator marco rubio has hauled in some serious cash since his water-sipping moment since last tuesday's republican response to the state of the union. rubio's reclaim america pac has raised more than $100,000 from get your water bottle today promotion. the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪
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equality. the state house of representatives is expected to act on a bill that passed the democratic-controlled state senate valentine's day. democrats also control the house. and the governor, pat quinn, has promised to sign that measure. but there is still some opposition from republicans, as well as religious leaders. the bill does protect churches that don't want to perform same-sex marriages. joining me live via skype, ray long from "the chicago tribune." good to have you here. let's talk first where this stands. they promised to make a move valentine's day. it moved that way. but what are the biggest hang-ups, biggest obstacles moving forward? >> one of the big things here in illinois, is that in the house they have a whole new set of lawmakers, as you know, after reapportionment, remapping, and all the very states. illinois is the same. they have dozens of new lawmakers. they've got to figure out who is on which side. that is one of the hurdles. it's also a controversial vote in itself, so therefore there
will be some pushing back. there was in the senate, but the illinois house and the illinois senate have expanded their democratic majorities. therefore, it has looked like this will be a better shot this time. it was, of course, the first time that it passed the senate. this would be the first time it could pass the house. >> talk to us about the back room politics associated with the republican party chairman, pat brady, who announced his support for this, and then republicans more conservative than he tried to oust brady from his role. that failed, correct? >> right. correct. pat brady is the party chairman who suggested that republicans should get on board with the gay marriage issue. that brought the upheaval that you see a lot of times across the country in the conservative versus the more moderate wing of the party. so in illinois, we saw the more conservative elements of the
party trying to oust brady. brady is still in midterm. he survived that. it did not amount to a major coup or anything. so he's back in there. republicans are now trying to figure out how they can best pull together themselves into this debate over gay marriage and try to look like a more moderate party. >> and ray, last but not least, the fact that just like in maryland, and other states, this legislation would be crafted so that religious institutions that would have objections would be protected from having to offer their houses of worship if they didn't want to. >> that's right, thomas. and one of the things that's brought up here too in the senate debate is that a lot of the senators don't believe that this will actually put the clamps on all of these possibilities that they're worried about. like facilities at churches. like parish halls, et cetera. that those indeed will be protected also, and that they
won't be forced to go into marriage ceremonies for gay marriages and same-sex marriages, of course. so one of the big issues here is whether the letter of the law will hold together. but the democrats are confident that this will. republicans are seeking to poke holes wherever they can. >> ray long from the "chicago tribune" joining us. thank for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you, thomas. >> absolutely. oscar pistorius will be back in court to him for a bond hearing as all these new details have started to emerge about the way his girlfriend was murdered. we're going to bring you the very latest from south africa. but first, with the ten-year mark of the u.s.-led inn in iraq, we want to bring you "hubris" selling the iraq war. and how faulty intelligence was held up as hard fact.
here's a sneak peek. >> simply stated, there is no doubt that saddam hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us. >> i had a seat at the stage next to the lectern where he was speaking. and i literally bolted at that. >> with our help, a liberated iraq can be a great nation once again. >> vice president dick cheney's speech to the veterans of foreign wars is the opening sal very of the bush administration's effort to sell to the american people what white house insiders call "the product." >> thank you very much. >> it was a shock. it was a total shock. i couldn't believe the vice president was saying this. in doing work with the cia on iraq, through all the abbreviation i heard at langely, i never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program. and that's when i began to believe, they're getting serious about this. they want to go into iraq. but i'm still stubbed up.
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as the national debate over immigration reform unfolds, there is a small town in the rural midwest that we'll be watching very closely. how the debate ends will have a direct impact on many families there, and their employees. with more, nbc's mark potter. >> reporter: in a state where only 5% of the population is hispanic, tiny west liberty iowa stands out. 52% of its residents are hispanic. mostly mexicans. for decades, they've been drawn here by jobs in the town meat packing plant. mayor chad thomas moved here 13 years ago. >> we like the fact that there was a fair amount of diversity in the community, which is not something you normally get in iowa. >> reporter: in a town with fewer than 4,000 residents, the biggest melting pot is the school system. [ speaking in spanish ]. >> reporter: where students in grades k-12 voluntary to take part in a dual language program. for half a day, all their classes are taught in spanish. >> they're sprouting. >> reporter: for the other half, everything is in english.
>> so they're going to be able to go just about anywhere and be able to be, you know, employed and successful. >> reporter: for fifth grader haley lehman and her friend ashley, whose parents are from mexico, the dual-language program opens up doors. >> i'm meeting a lot of people that i never thought i would meet, because i've been speaking spanish. >> reporter: in the business district, many of the restaurants, offices and stores are either run by or cater to hispanics. half the staff at jeff's market speak spanish and half the products are geared toward hispanics. >> we try to reflect in the store the population that's in the town. >> reporter: given its make-up, west liberty is closely watching the national debate over immigration reform. town leaders say at least some of the hispanics living and working here are undocumented. jose zacarias, the only hispanic city council member, believes a path to citizenship will en
power more hispanics to help run the town in which they are the majority. >> maybe in our generation more will be integrated and established in this community. >> reporter: two communities in one, trying to grow together. in a changing world. mark potter, nbc news, west liberty, iowa. coming up, a lot of you have already been commenting on our gut check question about the delta passenger, that one right there, charged with slapping a toddler, who wouldn't stop crying on a flight. and it's not too late. you still have time to cast your vote about that. also, be sure to like the "news nation" page on facebook at facebook.com/newsnation. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen.
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amputee and olympic hero accused of killing his girlfriend valentine's day. south african media widely reporting new evidence, including an alleged bloodied cricket bat. pistorius' family continues to deny charges against him. rohit kachroo continues to bring us the latest. >> reporter: the investigation continues here as oscar pistorius spends a fifth night in custody and prepares to go back to a courthouse in pretoria for a bail hearing in the morning. there is a great deal of speculation about what will emerge there, and about what happened on valentine's morning. what is the relevance of, if any, of this blooded cricket bat that was reportedly found at his home? what will the relevance be of phone records? there is a great deal of speculation about the role they will play in the case of state prosecutors. he will be laying out his defense against what state prosecutors say should be a denial of bail to him, given the seriousness of the charge.
he goes to court first thing in the morning. thomas? >> time for the "news nation" gut check. an aerospace executive has been fired after being accused of slapping a toddler on a minneapolis flight. this is joe hundley, sitting next to the child, smacked him in the face, called him a racial slur. his mom said he appeared to be intoxicated and lashed out at her son when he started to cry. . >> i could not believe he would say something like that. and to a baby or about a baby. and then to hit him was just -- i -- i felt like i was in another world. i was shaking. >> hundley was not arrested at the time of the incident, february 8th, but days later charged with assault. his attorney says hundley will plead not guilty. his company says his alleged behavior is offensive and
contradictory to its values. what does your gut tell you about this? do you think joe hundley should have been fired, even though he wasn't on the job? hasn't been convicted of a crime just yet? you can raise your voice on facebook.com/newsnation to cast your votes there. that's going to do it for this edition of "news nation." tamron back tomorrow. don't go anywhere. "the cycle" comes your way next. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation, so i used my citi thankyou card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness,
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for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. right now in "the cycle," presidents' day. the highest office in all the land. will they honor its commitment to immigration reform? >> should the next pope be a nun? new calls for radical change to the church. we'll dig deeper in the guest spot. >> today's "spin cycle" is nothing to oink at. i think we might be going somewhere with this. >> forget al capone or j