tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC September 25, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
the majority on it, both sides, 1:00 today, and after that's over, we'll follow the rules of privately, democrats say they love this. the senate. but my goal is to get this to let ted cruz as long as he can the house of representatives as because then they can stick the quickly as possible. government shutdown solely on >> the gentleman from texas him. you saw harry reid making the point, i want to get this over predictably reacted with his to the house as quickly as signature brand of righteous possible to figure out a solution here. democrats are more than happy to indignation. >> if the majority leader is going to cut off and muzzle us say the obstructionist ted cruz delayed the funding of the government all in the name of in another 24 minutes, then at trying to defund a law that's this point i don't feel it is going to move forward. they love this. appropriate to allow the republicans i've spoken to, majority leader to consume that majority of them can't stand time. >> after nearly 1300 minutes of this. you're setting up a civil war talk time, having covered moon landings, darth vader, and within the republican party. you have mitch mcconnell, who's actively been trying to court ashton kutcher, senator cruz is the tea party his entire re-election campaign in direct still standing. hour after hour and through the opposition to ted cruz. night, ted cruz and his faux yesterday it went pretty filibuster crew of tea party unnoticed that the chairman of the rnc sent out an e-mail backers bloefuated to a nearly saying, stand with ted, make empty chamber about the evils of d.c. listen. you had the head of the rnc next a law designed to help sick to ted cruz opposing mitch people. beyond providing confirmation mcconnell. ted cruz is a big fan of ted
that's very bad optics for a lot of folks in the republican cruz, the speech will do party. absolutely nothing. they don't want to see that. they make the argument this is it will not delay the vote this all washington insider stuff. it won't spill out. afternoon to fund the democrats say, look, every day government. it will not defund the nation's we're talking about ted cruz and government shutdown and not talking about the health care health care law. it will not truly be considered law, which we acknowledge has a filibuster because ted cruz is not actually blocking any not polled well throughout the country, is a day we're more legislation. really, at this point, what's than happy to peg the republicans as stopping any type the point of asking what's the of positive legislation. point? so it's a fascinating day on in the hall of mirrors that is ted cruz's psyche, the only capitol hill. i'll leave you with one image, the only answer, the only interesting anecdote that i truth that exists is ted cruz, a think you'll appreciate. i spoke to one gop earlier today, and they said that ted senator so hell bent on cruz was the gene simmons of the self-promotion, so uncompletely unconcerned with good governance or governance of any kind, that united states senate. >> more like the richard it only took him 25 minutes to simmons. >> well, kiss has a cult begin comparing the rollout of a following, alex. they're not known as a great national health care plan to the rise of nazi germany. rock bound around the country, >> you go to the 1940s, nazi but they have a cult following. that's what ted cruz is. germany. look, we saw in britain neville he's got a cult following. but they're never going to get in the rock and roll hall of fame to the level of the chamberlain, who told the beatles. >> or like richard simmons, he's british people, accept the a ridiculous showman that just can't stop exercising his own
nazis. yes, they'll dominate the jaw. >> very good. >> pretty fast. >> good one. continent of europe. let's appease them. that was not in your notes. i suspect those same pundits who >> just sparked in my imagination. chairman, on a day like today, say it can't be done, if it had are you happy to be a been in the 1940s, we would have republican? or would you like to join the listened to them and it would other side? have gotten on television. >> check, please. it would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and letters and no, i -- >> what is happening? >> look, i'm happy to be a they would have gotten on tv and would have been saying, you cannot defeat the germans. republican every day. >> indeed. irrespective of all that. if the american public learned anything in these last 24 hours, you have to separate the, you it is just how fascinated ted know, what you're seeing here being played out to what folks around the country are really cruz is with ted cruz and all thinking in terms of the republican party, what we should the mundane, hilariously beside be doing. i think, you know, the drama of the point predilections of ted this is nice, but again, even with mitch mcconnell in the cruz. >> i'll confess, i don't go to a house leadership, what's your whole lot of cocktail parties in counterproposal? at the end of the day, you have town. i'll credit my father. to come back to the table with he invented -- this wasn't for something for the american the restaurant, but he did it people. it's not enough to have a faux anyway -- he invented green eggs and ham. filibuster. as a kid, it was my favorite it's not enough to rail against obama care. book. some time ago i tweeted a speech the american people, as luke just note d. that ashton kutcher gave. such a terrific speech. i like their little burgers. i get the drama of this.
i'm a big fan of eating white it's nice and fancy. castle burgers. at the end of the day, you're for many years, when i was in going to end up in the same spot. private practice when i was >> i don't think it's nice and solicitor general, i wore a fancy. on some level, david, this seems particular pair of boots, my like a piece of progressive argument boots. performance art. this is, as one of our senior they're black ostrich boots. producers said, ted cruz could i'll embarrassingly admit that i be andy kauffman. took the coward's way out and this has exposed, as luke points purchased some black tennis out, major rifts within the shoes. actually, i think they're the republican party and is same model that the senior literally the congressional expression of a clown show. senator from utah wears on a >> i suppose he could be regular basis. defecated on the law itself, to so i'm not in my argument boots. be like downtown performance i'll confess, i really do feel art. he hasn't reached that part. embarrassed by that. i want to point out just a few >> thank you for painting that image. words of wisdom from "duck >> i'm glad our friend michael here is still happy to be a republican. you're a republican on planet dynasty" that are probably good earth. the problem is most republicans for all of us to hear. today are on a completely different planet. willie observed, you put five >> no, most republicans -- red necks on a mower, it's going >> no, no, no. to be epic. >> let's separate most republicans from congressional >> seconds ago, senator ted cruz republicans and senate republicans. >> wait a second. the reason you have people like ted cruz -- wrapped up his marathon session >> no, no. you need to accept that point, of self-service and is now david. i'm not going to let you sit here and -- expected to leave the floor of >> wait, wait. let's have peace.
the united states senate. go ahead. joining me today, former rnc >> the reason why this is chair michael steele, washington bureau chief of mother joenlz, happening is because a lot of republican voters are electing david corn, and special kompbt for the daily beast, michael tea party members to the house, tabaskian. and now the same type of yahoos joining me from capitol hill is into the senate. the senate always moves slower nbc's capitol correspondent, than the house. we see the tea party in the senate happening now. luke russert. harry reid just said at the it was rand paul earlier in the year. conclusion of that almost now ted cruz has filibustered 22-hour session of bloefuation, over him, though this was a faux i don't think we learned anything. did you learn anything, luke? filibuster, as you pointed out. this is what it's about. has anyone on capitol hill learned anything? >> yeah, this is something, the tea party tail is still alex, that everybody has an opinion on, but if you talk to wagging the gop dog. poor mitch mcconnell doesn't know which way to turn. the head of the republican party is on the side of ted cruz, as was just pointed out. you have republicans in the real world like you and a lot on planet bizarre. >> i'm not usually one to come to mitch mcconnell's aid. mitch mcconnell made a decision. >> he's getting hammered for this. >> he decided to air on the side
of actually legislating as opposed to ted cruz. michael, alex altman says a senator standing in washington is inversely proportional to his reputation back home. suffering the slings and arrows of critics in the capital is a good way to win the appropriation of the people who matter. does he end this filibuster in better standing nationally than when he started? >> with the hard right base, i would say probably yes. it's going to be interesting to see. the natural inclination is to think, of course, he's going to be their martyr. he's going to be their hero. i could see the alternative argument, which would be that he led them down the primrose path. he made them think it was possible to defund obama care. then it turns out not to be possible. they may be disappointed. it depends on their critical faculties toward ted cruz. i'm not sure. my guess would be he's probably
going to come out of this well. the other point i make quickly is all these senators denouncing him, they're going to essentially, when they cast this vote, they're going to vote the cruz position. >> right, right. >> if they wanted -- they should vote for the clean continuing resolution. if they're against defunding obama care right now, if they're against shutting down the government, they should vote for harry reid's resolution, but they're not. they're going to vote the cruz position. >> luke, what is the view amongst republicans right now as far as -- now this is over. the interesting sort of political kabuki theater of harry reid saying i just want to get this back to john boehner's table so the house can make a decision, that's not really factually accurate. i think probably senate democrats would love for this to play out as long as possible and give john boehner the tightest window possible to negotiate a settlement with his own caucus in the house of representatives. >> yes, harry reid wants to send this over to john boehner as
late as possible because then it puts a ton of pressure on boehner. say it goes over on sunday night or monday to make it either a clean vote -- they change so much as a comma on what the senate passes, the way the parliamentary procedure works is it will take time and you'll inevitably have a government shutdown. when we have this whole song and dance play out, where the real interesting story is going to be is once again for the fourth time since republicans took power, fifth time, john boehner will be faced with this extraordinary decision of does he put something on the house floor that's going to pass in order to avert a financial acast if i? we don't know the answer to that right now. it will be a fascinating conversation come monday. >> luke, isn't it true that whatever he puts out will need democratic votes? we don't know what it's going to be, but it's going to be something like the senate bill if not exactly the senate bill, and there's no way that he can get his republicans it all behind that. so he will have to turn to the
democrats for something. >> there's talk of getting rid of the medical device tax. there's talk of getting rid of health care for the folks who work here on capitol hill. we don't know what he would attach to it. if he attached something that was really conservative, presumably -- >> luke, what is that? there's been so much stoking of the flames around defunding obama care and the only metaphor i can use is they've been promised a steak dinner and they may get a bunch of donut holes at the end of the day. i don't see anybody saying, oh, medical device tacx, yes, we'll go for that. >> what they feel is a good card for them is delay the implementation of the law for a year. the president gave that ability to large businesses. it's an argument they feel they can go on the campaign trail with. the president gave businesses a delay of a year. the american people should get the same right. that's a fight they want to
have. that's where they're unified. that's something they could get out of the house. ted cruz does this, they deponent have that opportunity. if they do that argument come monday, alex, democrats will stand in opposition in the senate and get the shutdown, and is the shutdown worth the one-year delay of the president's health care law? they say they're happy to have that argument because then they can win the 20 house seats they need. >> michael steele, are we going to have a government shutdown? i don't see how we don't. >> on this timetable, i would say if luke is right, i think, yeah, you probably will have a 24-hour to 36-hour window where the government will shut down and that will be a nail in the republican coffin, i think, with the public. they're going to get blamed for it. there's no way they get around that. ted cruz, all of that combined, there's no way you get around it. boehner, to your point, has a real narrow window to work with right now, even if he gets something from the senate tomorrow. he has a real narrow window to work because he has to sell it
to the caucus. they're not buying what the senate is saying. >> can john boehner make a donut hole look like a filet mignon? luke russert, we look forward to future dispatches. take care. >> it is a pleasure. be well. >> after the break, as kenya begins three days of national mourning after the deadly terrorist attack, the militants behind the maul siege make a chilling claim. we'll get the latest live from nairobi. that's next on "now."
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attack, i have declared three days of national mourning. >> that was president uhuru kenyata addressing the people of kenya following the to you afou terrorist attack that ended yesterday. nbc has obtained exclusive video showing the chaos at the mall shortly after the shooting began. in one case, a family with a young child was forced to lie motionless, pretending to be dead until help could reach them. joining me now from nairobi is nbc's -- what have you learned this morning? >> reporter: the details are still very, very murky here. government officials admit they need more time to investigate. that might take more than a week, if not several weeks to really figure out what happened. there is unconfirmed reports within local media as well as unconfirmed reports coming from kenyan officials as well as foreign officials about what may have happened. how did the terrorists get
inside? were they possibly able to rent a shop within the mall? that's some of the unconfirmed reports coming out, which means they could have stockpiled weapons and could explain as to why the attack lasted four days. how were about a dozen terrorists able to continue fighting the kenyan defense forces for four whole days? alex? >> atia, two questions. one is, do we have anymore information about the identity of the attackers, and do we know anything about what happened to the hostages that were being held up until what we presume to be the very end? >> reporter: two very good questions, alex. two questions that we're all waiting for as well. in fact, the interior minister held a press briefing where he spoke to journalists saying that the investigation will include dna testing, forensic testing, fingerprint testing of the dead terrorists. they say they killed at least five terrorists. they've attained ten others. from that dna testing and forensics that will be taken, they say they could possibly figure out their nationalities. they're not admitting right now
whether americans were involved, which several days ago those rumors spread as well, that possibly americans of somali origin may have been part of the terrorist organization inside the mall. as for the hostages, it's still not clear if that collapse in the building that killed more hostages. that all said and done, government officials today say they don't expect to find that many more civilian bodies within the rubble. they actually expect to find the bodies of dead terrorists. >> nbc's atia abawi. thank you for the update. coming up, ships passing in the night. sort of. we'll look at the handshake that wasn't and president obama's near miss with the president of iran. that's next. my customers can shop around-- see who does good work and compare costs. it doesn't usually work that way with health care. but with unitedhealthcare,
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eagerly awaited historic handshake that never was. president obama and iran's president hassan rouhani both spoke at the general assembly yesterday but never spoke. we indicated the two leaders could have had a discussion on the margins if the opportunity presented itself. the iranians got back to us. it was clear that it was too complicated for them to do that at this time, given their own dynamic back home. the administration says diplomatic talks will continue between secretary of state john kerry, iran's foreign minister and the u.n. security council. after the break, protesters are gathering outside the white house and calling for a wage increase for federally contracted workers. we will talk income inequality and the fairness doctrine when congressman keith ellison joins us next. ♪
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new york mayoral candidate bill deblasio won a primary by positioning himself as the most progressive candidate in the field. but framing new york as a tale of two cities has prompted sharp attacks from republican opponent who said on monday, quote, mr. deblasio's class warfare strategy in new york city is directly out of the marxist play book. loda won praise for his recent stint running the city's transit system is cohoping to capitaliz. ahead of the november 5th election, the question is whether new york is a tale of one or two cities and if so which candidate divides and which united. while loda would position himself as the ladder, his
opponent says pointing to economic disparity is hardly class warfare. >> i think it's divisive to not talk about the problems we're facing. we had a city government study, a new york city government study two months ago that said 46% of the people in the city are at or near the poverty level. it's divisive not to bring that out in the open and talk about the inequalities that the city is facing right now. >> joining us now is new york city's republican candidate for mayor and former chairman of the mta, joe loda. thanks for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> we talk a lot on the show about income inequality. i'll quote some stats from the census bureau. 21.2% of new york city residents live below the poverty line in 2012, which is up from 18.5% in 2007. it's undeniable there's a discrepancy and a large one between rich and poor. i wonder why you think mr.
deblasio's attention on this qualifies as marxist. >> i'm putting forward proposals to deal with the issues. bill is not. i'm talking -- what he wants to do is talk about the tale of two cities and it ends there. what we need to do is expand our economy, create jobs. the only way known by mankind to deal with income inequality is to get the people who are unemployed employed and get the people who are underemployed employed into new jobs. we need to expand our economy. we need to do a lot of things. raising taxes does not work with income inequality. people can walk with their feet and leave the city of new york. we're the highest taxed city in the country right now. we cannot afford to do that. what we really need to do is to develop an economy that continues to grow so that those folks who are unfortunately are unemployed or below the poverty line can get above the poverty line. >> but part of that taxing is to ensure universal pre-k. that's one part of the systemic failure in and around poverty.
when you talk about mr. de blasio talking about it and not doing anything, his proposal is as kron crete as we've seen from the left in some time. insofar as it's out there -- >> you got to know the facts. i've proposed universal pre-k. bill's tax will raise about $550 million. it's less than 1% of the entire city budget. when i was the budget director of the city, i use tord provide for the mayor and the speaker a 4% and 5% savings within the budget without cutting services so that they can provide programs like universal pre-k. it's absolutely needed that we get our children at a much earlier age on a whole host of reasons. >> i would say your embrace of universal pre-k, your position on same-sex marriage, you've been called a sensible centrist. we just spent the top of the show looking at the republican party, which seems to be in tatters at the national level. i wonder what you make of the
discrepancy between your version of republicanism and their version of republicanism. >> i'm a new york republican. look, i'm very progressive on social issues. i always have been. i'm very fiscally conservative. you know, there was a time when the republican party had many of the same views that i'm talking about. you know, the candidate in '64 actually was pro-choice at the time. he was pro-gay rights at the time. it's evolved over time. i guess i haven't evolved with the party. there are a lot of rules in the republican party i would not be allowed into. it doesn't bother me. i want to be the mayor of the city of new york. >> do you think that there's a residual sort of backlash that you get by being a republican affiliated with a party that is in a specific place nationally right now? >> sure. i think my opponent and his surrogates will pigeon hole me. i fully expect to be brandished everything that i'm not. i'm prepared to answer the questions. the fact of the matter is, i have been progressive on social issues for quite a long period
of time. they're never going to find a place where i wasn't pro-choice, wasn't pro or in favor of major equality. i've even gone so far as to say we need to legalize marijuana. it really kicks me out of a lot of rooms in that party. >> i would say on that issue you have some weird bipartisan agreement in other parts of the country. in terms of your appeal to the city, new york city is now a majority minority city. bill de blasio has built a broad coalition. how are you going to appeal to blacks, latinos, asians, women? right now the group you are winning is white catholics. that's the group you have. that's the only grun you're leading in compared to de blasio. >> there's not a community i won't go into, first and foremost. you go to the communities, listen to them, talk to them. i'll talk to them about my agenda for growth, what i'll do about creating jobs, my vision for reforming the public school system, my vision on public safety. believe me, it wins today. last week i went to see the reverend sharpton.
we agreed on more things than we disagreed on. >> do you think there's a measurable difference between your position on stop and frisk and bill de blasio's position? both of you said you'd keep some parts in place. >> there's no doubt, i don't want to get rid of stop and frisk. we need to do two things. one, we need to have better community relations. we need to go into the community and explain to them what the federal government, what the federal law as put forward by the supreme court allows cops to do nationwide. but let me also start with the -- i should have started off with, there is no room at all for racial profiling in new york city. none whatsoever. quite honestly, we need to have it stop, question, and frisk as a tactic. we need to continue to use it. we need to communicate a lot more with the community. and we need to have a lot more interaction with the community. >> where do you situate yourself on the post-bloomberg axis? are you more like mayor
bloomberg or less? >> you have to go issue by issue. there are a lot of issues i'm completely opposite on. >> what are you most opposite from him on? >> his view that government can tell people what to do. the idea that, you know, immediately out of the box he reads a report from johns hopkins medical school that soda is causing inner city obesity. his first reaction is let's ban it. the first reaction should be what the mayor of baltimore did. let's start an education program, teach the children of our inner city why sugared soda is so bad for you and have a really vivid education program to understand that. they've started to see a decline in baltimore. here's the bottom line. government should tell us what to do. government should educate us. we make up our own mind. that's my core philosophy across the board on political issues. government shouldn't tell you what to do. it should educate you. >> i guess i would say when we're talking about mayor bloomberg, it's interesting to me you choose the bloomberg restrictions on soda.
>> want one more? >> sure. >> mayor bloomberg stopped having town hall meetings in every community in the city of new york. he's the first mayor in my lifetime to stop having community meetings. here's what i will do. i will reinstate it again, once a month, go to one community board as it's defined geographically every single month of my first four years. god willing, my second four years. and bring all of my deputy mayors, all of my commissioners, spend 2 1/2 to 3 hours in an open meeting, not with tickets. anybody from the community will come in. they will be able to ask me and my commissioners any questions whatsoever. the most important part of that is not just listening to their questions, it's giving them real, solid answers. if we don't have the answers, somebody has to follow up and follow up quickly because that's what the public deserves. we need to have the mayor in the communities a lot more. we need to have the mayor outside of manhattan a lot more. >> are you going to ride the subway to work? >> sometimes. not all the time. sometimes the subway doesn't go
where i need to. >> the new york city residents will hold you to that. >> i take it all the time. >> you know something about it, having had the experience you did with the mta. joe, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, alex. great to be here. coming up, congressman keith ellison weighs in on the minimum wage and what president obama can do about it. that's coming up next. building animatronics is all about getting things to work together. the timing,
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so you can fully enjoy the dairy you love. lactaid®. for 25 years, easy to digest. easy to love. ♪ now you can give yourself a kick in the rear! v8 v-fusion plus energy. natural energy from green tea plus fruits and veggies. need a little kick? ooh! could've had a v8. in the juice aisle. low wage workers are taking their case to the white house as part of an ongoing series of strikes to push for a living wage. federally contracted employees marched this morning to the gates of 1600 pennsylvania avenue. the strike comes after fast food workers organized strikes this summer in more than 50 cities to press for better pay. according to a new report by demos, government contractors ploy more than 2 million workers, making $12 an hour or less. that adds up to just over
$24,000 a year for a 40-hour workweek. though, many workers don't have full-time hours. put that into perspective, the federal government indirectly employs more low-wage workers than walmart or mcdonald's combined. those workers include construction crews on federal grants, security guards at public buildings, and vendors at the national zoo. because these workers are on the federal dime, president obama can raise their wages with an executive order. as "the new york times" editorial board wrote last month, a new executive order could ensure that the awarding of contracts is based on the quality of jobs created, challenging the notion that the best contractor is the one with the lowest labor costs, which would seem like a very good idea, especially for someone like president obama. >> whatever executive authority i have to help the middle class, i'll use it. >> joining us now is democratic congressman from minnesota's fifth district, cochair of the progressive caucus, keith ellison. thanks for joining us.
on a day where not enough attention is being paid to what you're doing there at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, are you optimistic about the white house moving on this? >> yes, i am optimistic. you know, we got 49 members of the house, 15 members of the senate standing with federal workers saying, look, people have got to be able to make a living wage. it's not right for the federal government to be among those employers who could pay or could have workers get paid more but who won't. the reality is 2 million workers could have their pay increased with an executive order. we're asking president obama to do that, which is something that we believe he should do and can do. >> do you think part of the reason he hasn't done it is just lack of public pressure or public awareness that the federal government employs more low-wage workers than mcdonald's and walmart combined? >> you know what? i think the president wants to do it. i think the president's heart is in it the right place.
we just have to get his pen in the right place on the executive order. the fact is, you've got support in congress, you've got support in the senate, you have support all over america to help federal contractors do the right thing by their employees. we're talking about american icons like the smithsonian. we're talking about the air and space museum. we're talking about union station where the folks who come through there every day are looking at workers who don't have enough money to even buy the chicken that they're frying. that's wrong. we got to do something about it. >> congressman, i'm just going to open this up to our folks in new york. michael, we just talked to mayoral candidate joe loda about income inequality in this country. president obama endorsed bill de blasio yesterday, had a sort of on the margins meeting with him yesterday while he was in new york. i thought that was really fascinating, given the fact that the white house usually maintains they don't get involved in local races. i saw it sort of as a distinct
effort by the part of the president to burnish his credentials among credentials and in some ways endorse a more progressive tax code and sort of -- at least an addressing of the question of income inequality. >> yeah, i think it was. his standing among democrats right now isn't that great. i just happened to read this morning, 78% approval rating among democrats. that's pretty low for an incumbent president. it should be up there in the high 80s. >> it should be 101, given the current climate in congress. >> exactly. it should be in the high 80s. he's got some repair work to do on that flank. i don't understand why he doesn't do this. an important point about this, this affects private sector work too in a lot of localities. contractors who are building a government contracted building, a facility for the department of energy, well, competing contractors have to pay that same wage. it has a lot of positive effects. >> ripple effects. >> an interesting thing in the
state of the union which, you know, we tend to forget a day or two after, maybe 20 minutes after it's delivered, you know, the president talked about raising the minimum wage and talked about universal preschool. issues that bill de blasio are raising explicitly at the heart of his campaign. this gets to the promise or at least the intention he raised in the state of the union speech. i think the president's there. again, we've seen distractions, intentional or not. syria, budget showdown, so on. we haven't had that laser focus as bill clinton would say on the economy, on jobs, or on income levels. >> and you would think, michael steele, that given -- ti mean, t does not look good in terms of collaborative bipartisan legislation coming out of the congress in the next four years. the president is going to be largely relegated to executive actions, executive orders and foreign policy. this would seem like regardless of whether you agree with him on
it, a no-brainer as it were, and there are not a lot of those left in politics. >> a deliverable. >> as michael points out, this is something that automatically raises wages for millions of workers and you don't have to negotiate with congress. >> you don't have to negotiate with congress, but congress asked the question, who paying for it? congress ultimately is going to have to write the check. this is a great idea. i agree with the idea of increasing the wage to a livable wage, but at the end of the day, the president is still having to recognize he's got to balance that against the realities of working with the congress, house, and senate that's going to come back with that question. >> there you go again being reasonable. stop it. >> i'm sorry. i think that's really what the motivation is behind the president's hesitancy to jump into this. >> congressman, what do you think of that? are we going to look forward to more progressive priorities in the next coupling of years given the president's lack of a
discussion and dialogue with republicans? i'm not putting the blame on his shoulders. i just mean given where the gop is at, will the president return to his roots, as it were? >> i certainly hope so, but i want to tell you this. i think it's a great fight to have. there are people doing low-wage work for federal contractors all over this country. republican districts too. if we're going to do something about income inequality and actually help boost this economy because low-wage people with a little bit more money will spend that money and help the general economy, i think it would be tough for republicans to stand up and say they're against that. so i think it's a good move for the president. it's a good fight to have. and president johnson just about 50 years ago said if you're a federal contractor, you may not have a contract if you discriminate. now it's time to say you may not have a contract unless you pay a livable wage. >> you know, congressman, it's worth pointing out if you look at the ratio of ceo to worker pay in 1950, it was 20 to 1. in 2013 it is 204 to 1.
if there's a question about who has profited in the last 50 or 60 years, the answer is right there in black and white. >> federal contracts are lucrative. they fight for them. if they want to keep them, they ought to pay people a livable wage. >> congressman, keep up the good work. we look forward to more updates. >> thank you. >> after the break, john mccain just responded to ted cruz's speech on the senate floor. the saga continues. we'll check out his remarks next on "now."
nazi germany. >> i guess the kindest thing i can say was extended oratory that took place for many hours on the floor of the senate, which is the right of the senate, any senator to do. i respect that right. but during the course of that discussion conducted by my friend from texas, he said, quote, if you go back to the 1940s, nazi germany -- i resoundingly reject that allegation. that allegation, in my view, does a great disservice, a great disservice for those brave americans and those who stood up. >> michael steele, if you doubted how much john mccain does not like ted cruz, it's like all there. >> a little bowl of anger. >> it was a moment, yeah.
that's the senate courtesy, my friend. it's a very different attitude off the floor. but i think, you know, john mccain coming out and doing what he needs to do right now, we were just talking about the conflict that john mccain must feel sometimes. on the one hand, you know, he wants to move the president's agenda along and be the bipartisan deal maker and the loyal opposition. but then he recognizes he's got to deal with, you know, his friend from texas. >> this was a setup, by the way. remember before the show began, harry reid came out and he asked ted cruz, will you kindly let john mccain talk for 15 minutes? why? so he can rip you a new -- >> rip you a new one. >> and go after some analogy -- and be the guy who defines where ted cruz went too far. >> and i think that is actually a role mccain relishes playing,
being the lone statesman in a group of rebel rousers, whacko birds, whatever you want to call them. >> and he's probably one of the few that will vote for harry reid's clean continuing resolution. and he likes to be the historical guy too. nevill chamberlain got a raw deal from ted cruz. >> all right. moving on, the cheney clan does not let any good deed go unpunished. alan simpson reportedly received a tongue lashing on saturday night from liz's mother. quote, i was surprised at her intensity, simpson told "the huffington post." it was eyes flashing and pretty intense. simpson has known mike enzi for over 40 years and was one of the first to encourage him to get involved in public life. i mean, the cheney saga, david, is just like -- i mean, on one hand for the people of wyoming,
i'm sorry for them that they are living through this. on a national level -- >> i mean, the bushes have gone kind of quietly into the night. the cheneys keep giving, giving, giving. i have to say, anyone who's lived with dick cheney that long, i would expect their eyes to be flashing. >> i would also say to our earlier point, i mean, the notion -- alan simpson, he works in a bipartisan fashion. he's an old-school kind of guy. here he is -- >> he's a loyalist. >> and looking at lynn cheney, who's been a party insurrecti insurrectionist. >> and she's been really awkward so far. against gay marriage with her sister there. her sister came out on facebook and denounced her. a cheney against military strikes. it just didn't make any sense at all. >> where do you think -- you think there's a cheney 2.0? like the dynasty lives on. does it live on like the bushes
lived on? >> i don't think so. you've got someone like simpson who's an old-school conservative. i think the response by conservatives around the country to her campaign give you a very strong indication that there's not a lot of there, there. so yeah, this thing is going to play out. she's not going to unseat mike enzi in this race, i don't think. i think that really irks a lot of cheney loyalists, especially mom. >> especially mama cheney. all right. that's all for us. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern when i'm joined by ben wallace wells, howard fineman, and snl cast members. "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. [ male announcer ] what's important to you?
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