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tv   Smerconish  CNN  April 11, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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the bleacher report all access at augusta, hosted by rachel nichols, set to air today at 2:30 eastern. hope you can be here. we'll see you back here at 10:00 eastern in the cnn newsroom. >> smer koencone issue starts right now for you. >> i'm michael smerconish. welcome to the program. hillary clinton is running for president. we're hearing more about her plans to make it official. she'll jump into the race tomorrow with a video message on social media. it's already been shot and the first campaign stops are already planned. clinton will be the first democrat to officially declare candidacy. the pollsters have already been very busy. let's bring in cnn chief national correspondent and host of "inside politics," john king. john it's early. but who among the gop field is polling the strongest against hillary clinton? >> let's look at that question. answer is rand paul michael.
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we asked this question last week. rand paul is pulling the closest. he is 11 points behind her. we saw say in presidential politics ignore the national polls. if a candidate has a 10, 11 12-point lead you do pay attention. it's very early. rand paul is down 11 points. she beats marco rubio by 13 mike huckabee by 14 bush by 15. assuming she is the democratic nominee, republicans have work to do. that's nationally. i will show you a couple of other "polls. in colorado recent quinnipiac shows paul within the margin of error. he beats her there, and another state, iowa they're in a tie there. at the moment rand paul has some issues with the republican field. one thing he can say is i run the best against hillary right now. >> john, part of me thinks we could run this race tomorrow and
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get the same result we will ultimately get in 2016. there seems to be so few undecideds when the subject matter is secretary clinton. >> that's the challenge for her campaign. nobody close to her thinking about running for the democratic nomination. double-digit lead against any republican right now. that doesn't mean -- look republicans will spend money attacking her, go after her record as secretary, benghazi et cetera. people do think they know her. let's see in six months if republicans can change her identity for the worst or if she can fortify her reputation for the better. >> my home state in blue for 2012. no republican running for president has won the state of pennsylvania since george her better walker bush in '88. your thoughts on p.a.? >> let me bring up another map to talk about that. romney campaign early on thought
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they might win p.a. this is what i call the blue wall. this is the last six presidential elections. any state shaded in blue. home state of pennsylvania is one of them in the last six presidential elections has voted for the democrats. george w. bush won in pennsylvania twice. i remember it very closely, talking to him about why he thought he could win it. romney thought he could win it. this has gone blue. so have all these other states. that's the great democratic/potentially hillary clinton advantage, michael. in these states that are blue for six straight presidential elections. if republicans can't change any of the blue all hillary clinton or any democrat would have to do is just win florida. that leaves virginia colorado new mexico nevada. the advantage used to be when i was starting in politics republicans had an advantage in the electoral college. because of pennsylvania and other big blue states the democrats do. >> it is election night.
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2016. you're on that same set. you're there with wolf blitzer, jake tapper. if i play my cards right, i might be on the panel. >> you'll be right here. >> myself. what is the one state john king would say tell me how it turns out and so will go the nation? >> the easy answer is ohio. republicans have never won the presidency without ohio. i won't come to work that night unless they bring you down michael. that's my promise to you tonight. i will say this. one of the states with the big latino population. we could say florida, nevada or new mexico. if republicans cannot improve their standing among nonwhite voters -- i know you asked for one. big state it would be florida, a smaller swing state nevada or new mexico. if the republicans forget who is running, mickey mouse as the democratic nominee will win unless republicans improve their standing with nonwhite voters. >> john king thank you as always. let's bring in one of the preeminent journalists of our
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time. carl bernstein wrote a book about hillary clinton called "a woman in charge: the life of hillary rodham clinton." i took note of staff her chief of staff, john podesta invited journalists into his home cooked them a meal on thursday night. is that part of a typical roll out or does she have a problem? >> of course she has a problem. look she's going to be running against the press and the press is going to be running against her. the press is probably her biggest impediment. >> why do you say that? >> if she wins the nomination she will have defeated those candidates. the press is still going to be there. the press is very cantankerous with her they can be thoughtless. occasionally they can be very thoughtful. there's been a lot of bad reporting on hillary clinton and there's been a lot of good reporting on hillary clinton. she has little respect for most of the, quote, mainstream media. and with some reason. >> conservatives right now are falling off their sofas saying wait a minute carl bernstein is
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saying they as they would put it lame-stream media is going to go rough on her? she's their candidate. >> first of all, that's not true. everybody loves a good story. problem about our politics and political coverage it doesn't go deep enough generally into the issues doesn't go deep enough into the real character of the candidates. i would hope that people would read including fellow colleagues in the media, "a woman in charge" to learn about hillary clinton's whole life. learn about her childhood. learn about her father. learn about her period as the wife of the governor of arkansas. learn about her time in the state department. really go into it beyond benghazi. this is a woman with a full record that needs to be looked at and not through the lens of conventional washington or journalistic wisdom. >> if she doesn't have a primary opponent does the role of the media change? >> there is going to be a primary opponent. i would not dismiss anything because she is a lightning rod.
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who knows what the hell is going to happen. could o'malley beat her? who knows. could lincoln chaffey beat her? they're long shots but the fact remains it's interesting and they're going to be going after her. the real issue that she is going to try to raise in this campaign are the republicans. what do they represent? most of the people in this country agree with her on most of the issues. and that includes in the key states where -- that she needs to win. polls don't mean anything. they're just snapshot ss. we're still a long ways out. she has a lot going for her in terms of the general election and also the conduct of the republicans over the last eight years. that's going to be a big issue that the democrats, in particular hillary clinton, is going to make the centerpiece of her campaign. >> in your book "a woman in charge" you said she and president clinton share a
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symbiotic relationship that they make each other whole. is that politically speaking personally speaking or both? >> i think all together. despite everything that's happened this is a lifetime love affair between two people. they have shared their aspirations, their dreams their hopes. look theirs was a co-presidency. the clinton presidency was a co-presidency. she is the essential part of his process and he is the essential part of her process. if she wins this election it will be to some extent another co-presidency. he is going to figure in it. and he is brilliant at many many things including policy. so we have to factor him into the equation. this is a very unusual election in every regard particularly if jeb bush were to become the nominee. and his conduct as governor and his brother as president become issues. you end up with these two,
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quote, dynastic notions in opposition. >> in your biography, you portrayed her as being funny, spontaneous and enthusiastic. that's not the version of secretary clinton many watching will say they've seen on the campaign trail or while governing. are we going to see a different, the type you wrote about, candidate in this cycle? >> i think the way she is in private is very difficult for her to accomplish in public. she's never been able to do it. she's never been able to really project that comfort and warmth. we haven't seen it yet. perhaps she'll be able to this time around. i don't know. and many of her friends say if only she would be herself, and we would see her. the other real question about her candidacy is as i put it at the end of "a woman in charge" her difficult relationship to the truth. and this is -- >> what does that mean her difficult relationship with the truth? >> meaning the things that have been hammered at her about
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obfuscation, about being on the tarmac and face inging unfriendly fire, about the e-mails, et cetera. it's a question though that you also need to look at the viciousness of her opponents and why she might not want to open everything up. so again, i think that one of the things that we need to do in the press this election cycle is to really look deep. let's really look at the whole life and why she acts the way she does. if you don't like the way she acts fine. but look at the reasons behind it. same with the other candidates. i think we've got to get beyond conventional reporting in this election cycle. >> are we going to be hearing about whitewater again? are we going to be hearing about monica lewinsky again, travel
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travelgate? >> let look at whitewater. the stupid thing that the clintons did was, indeed -- there was nothing there. there was absolutely nothing there. >> has there been a watergate since watergate? >> no. >> nothing that compares? >> watergate was about a criminal president of the united states whose criminality began in the first days of his administration and extended until his resignation. you hear him on the tapes, president nixon saying i know this would be illegal, setting up an illegal mechanism for wiretapping and burglary, et cetera, in the first days of his presidency. but he goes ahead and does it until j. edgar hoover tells him he can't do it. that persisted, that illegality and criminality. there's never been anything like it. hopefully, there won't be again. >> carl bernstein, thank you so much for being here. coming up dash cam video from the police shooting in south carolina is raising even more questions about the events leading up to the fatal encounter.
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including the question should officers be pulling people over for broken taillights? i'll be speaking to the man joining forces with the white house to change policing in the minority communities. ♪ ♪ the pursuit of healthier. it begins from the second we're born. after all, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned... every day... from the smallest detail to the boldest leap. healthier means using wellness to keep away illness... knowing a prescription is way more than the pills... and believing that a single life can be made better by millions of others. healthier takes somebody who can power modern health care... by connecting every single part of it. realizing cold hard data can inspire warmth and compassion... and that when technology meets expertise... everything is possible. for as long as the world keeps on searching for healthier... we're here to make healthier happen.
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it's never too late to learn a foreign language! welcome back. by now you've seen the tragic video of a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man in south carolina. the cell phone, no doubt, played a significant role in a decision by authorities to officially charge officer michael slager with murder. the release of the dash cam video raises more questions about exactly what happened before the fatal shooting. charles ramsey philadelphia police commissioner and co-chair of the task force the white house has created on community policing. chief, all americans are paragraphsparsing those videos. we lack your training. what are you seeing as you go through each frame of the videotape? >> the initial stop i didn't have a problem with.
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there was a brake light that was out. that was the initial stop. what surprised me was the demeanor of the officer when he approached the vehicle, looking at it from the end of the scenario the first tape we saw the actual shooting. you would think that perhaps the contact initially would have been more agitated but it wasn't. it was very very typical. let me see your license. do you have insurance? do you have registration and so forth. it didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary at all. >> with regard to that initial traffic stop people are seeing it two different ways. i've heard some say well this is the broken windows strategy sound strategy of good policing. others say, no, it preys on minorities and the economic less fortunate. >> i don't agree with that. i mean, if you're going to drive a motor vehicle, it should be in good working order. that means your taillights, brake lights headlights all those things should be in good working order. that's for your protection and
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the protection of others on the roadway. so if you're going to drive, you should have a car that actually is functional. >> a police officer such as we see in that videotape, who shoots an unarmed man in the back as he's fleeing, is that a bad seed? or is that bad training? >> it's just a bad shooting period. i don't know of any department that trains that way. i mean listen i've read a lot of the accounts and seen the video. at the time the shots are fired, i didn't see any justification for the use of deadly force. this individual didn't appear to be armed. he didn't seem -- he was not a threat to the officer. there was no immediate threat to anyone else in the neighborhood. it's a foot chase. maybe radio in a description of the guy and catch him at a later time. but certainly deadly force was not appropriate. >> but it seems it's such horrible judgment. and that's even being kind. i'm wondering can you impart can you teach sound judgment to
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an individual such as we're seeing on that videotape? >> well one of the things we addressed in the president's task force, we looked at this very issue. reality-based training where we take officers and not just for target practice which tends to be typically what happens in a lot of departments. but put them into scenarios where they actually have to exercise judgment. they have to use their deescalation skills. they have to use less than lethal weapons if the weapon is needed. those kinds of things to make people think, to show whether or not they do exercise good judgment. and if they don't, take the appropriate action. either retraining or perhaps it's just not a business they need to be in. >> is your presidential task force looking at the possibility that there's uneven policing in the country? meaning that the recent incidents we've been focused on -- i'm thinking of ferguson and now i'm thinking of this event -- are not indicative of
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your major police force in new york l.a. but rather something has gone wrong when the departments are smaller? perhaps they lack the training that you would have in philly. >> i think even the larger departments have to take a look at how they train. more importantly, the relationship that they have with communities. there are some communities in philadelphia in new york. you name the city. where you're going to have tension between police and community. and that tends to be in your poor more challenged communities in terms of crime. we can't ignore that. a friend of mine ron davis, head of the cops' office uses the phrase all the time that you know the truth hurts. but selective ignorance can be fatal. he's right. if we ignore this issue, if we don't do something aggressive to deal with it, then it's only going to get worse. it's not going to correct itself. >> i know that you're a propoen enter of body cameras for law enforcement. how might this have changed this fact pattern in south carolina? >> it would have been helpful in
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terms of the investigation. what often happens -- you saw it with the first video that came out. something occur that is draws an individual's attention. by the time they pull out their phone and begin to record a lot of what led to that incident has already transpired. you don't get the full picture. if you had a body camera though you would get it from start to finish. and that would be a lot better from an investigative standpoint to know exactly what led up to the situation that you are watching on the video as opposed to the shooting itself. you would have captured everything. >> finally, chief, where would we be in this case without the video? some have suggested the forensics would, nevertheless have been very damning for the cop. >> the forensics would have been damning but, quite frankly, there's no telling what the outcome would have been. that's one of the problems we have to tackle should we investigate our own when it comes to these serious incidents like this? an outside agency should really
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do it we concluded. it's the perception that the public has that it's going to be fair objective, you're going to let the cards fall where they may. i think that's very important. when you've got just the word of a police officer, the suspect is dead so you don't have anyone else around to be a witness. odds are it's going to go in the favor of the officer. the more evidence we have the better. and most cops do their job, do it very, very well even when they have to resort to deadly force, it is justified. but i think we've had enough incidents now where we do need to rethink how we go about investigating these cases. >> chief we're fortunate to have your expertise on a saturday. thank you so much charles ramsey. >> thank you. >> coming up the shooting in south carolina has sparked national outrage and debate. tavis smiley joins me next to weigh in. the most prominent gay politicians in the country, barney frank is here to talk about his revealing new memoir.
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and harry truman called the white house a great white jail. michelle obama calls it a really nice prison. what's life really like in the presidential palace? a new book takes us all inside. let's take a look at your credit. >>i know i have a 786 fico score, thanks to all the tools and help on so how are we going to sweeten this deal? floor mats... clear coats... >>you're getting warmer... leather seats... >>and this... my wife bought me that.
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welcome back. pbs host tavis smiley has used his position to spark conversations. he is also a best-selling author. in his new book "my journey with mi maya," he pays tribute to maya angelou. congratulations on your new book. it's excellent. first i want to ask you about this shooting incident in north charleston. it occurs to me there have been
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no protests. is that as a result of there having been an instant arrest of the officer unlike, say, ferguson? >> as much as we are troubled and quite disgusted, frankly, michael, i think everyone in the black community is in concert when we say that it is a unique development here that the authorities in that town moved so swiftly to fire this officer, to charge him with murder. i think you're absolutely right. we will see -- i mean being charged is not the same as being convicted. for the moment the reason you're not seeing those kinds of protest sincere because it didn't take all that have to get such quick action in this situation. trayvon martin would never have come to light if people hadn't been protesting. same thing in ferguson. this is an example to the nation of what happens when people see at least a quick moving toward some kind of justice. >> are you troubled by the car stop itself? the car stop meaning the two of the three brake lights were functioning. one was not. within the parameters of the
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law, the officer pulled him over. some of my radio callers say, michael, if it were a guy who looked like you pulling that mercedes he probably wouldn't have been pulled over. >> i was brought to tears when i first saw this videotape and heard this story. i am 50 years old right now. i have been pulled over for a taillight that was out. i wondered -- i think so many black men see these kinds of cases and wonder what might have happened to them had they been in that situation at the same time. clearly, one cannot justify his getting out of the car and running away from the cop. but one can also not justify his being shot at in his back eight times. and one cannot understand how, as he is face down on the ground there's such a lack of respect for his humanity and for his dignity that after he's dead and not breathing, face down on the ground you still feel the need to handcuff him. so the whole thing, beginning to end, is disturbing to answer your question.
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>> some say this is an example of broken windows theory of policing. it is good police work progressed to no insurance, lack of state inspection. others say no this is preying on minorities and the less economic fortunate. how does tavis smiley see it? >> humanity and dignity of certain fellow citizens f your starting point is that this lightlife has less value or this person ought not be respected or don't run away from me. i'm the law. as opposed to engaging in a foot chase -- officers we hope are in good enough shape to run down suspects who try to get away from you. this brother wasn't usain bolt. he's not an olympian. he wasn't running that fast with an officer in good shape could not have tracked him down. to stand there -- it's lazy policing for me michael, to pull out your gun and shoot somebody eight times rather than attempt to go in pursuit of him. it's sickening all the way
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around. it begins and end with his me whether or not as americans in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic nation ever we will ever get to the point of not just respecting but reveling in the humanity of all fellow citizen. >> secretary clinton makes it official this weekend. you have said a coronation is not in her best interest. >> i love her i respect her. i think she will be a formidable candidate. it's an election. it's not an auction. we're going to see that this race will in part be about who raises the most money on either side. i hate these auctions as opposed to elections and i hate coronations as opposed to elections. it's bad for the party. it's bad for the people. ultimately it's bad for her, the candidate f she's tested the way barack obama was tested she becomes a better candidate in the general, number one. secondly michael -- i don't know how you feel about this. but when there's nobody running
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for the nomination of the democratic party to the left or right of hillary clinton for the democratic nomination that means the media focus on her, which is already extremely intense, is going to be more intense. because there's nobody else to talk about, nobody else to look at nothing else to dig into. from now all the way to the white house, assume sheeg gets there, the media skrutcrutiny on her will be that much tougher because there's nobody else on the left to talk about. >> it's 1993. you're 21 years old. she would regard you young tavis smiley. maya angelou never got tired of referring to you in that way. how do you get to carrying the bags in ghana? >> it's one of the blessings in my life. it's about how we model what it means to be a mentor. i had run for city council, michael, and lost t seems laughable now that i could have thought my life was over, all i ever wanted to do was to be a public servant. i'm glad i found my way of doing that with the platforms i have
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now. in your 20s, when you run and lose the one thing you thought you were born to do, called to do you feel like your life is crushed. in that moment i get this invitation to go to africa basically, to carry the bags for maya angelou for two weeks. i jumped on the opportunity. the lessons, conversations, love and affirmation. this life-altering, life changing experience allowed me to find my voice. i go back to the story we were just talking about. it means something to young black men in this country when someone of maya angelou's stature or anybody, quite frankly, says your life matters, your future matters. you have to find your voice. as she said to me we find our path by walking it. tavis, i can't give you the answer. you have to walk your path. i started doing that. with her support, eventually i found my voice. i found my way. >> when you came home from ghana, by your count, three years went off the clock before you spoke again. she saw you on television being somewhat schooled by russell
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simmons and all of a sudden your phone rings. >> it rings because maya always seemed to show up michael, in those moments where my soul required repair. i don't know how it was, but something magical, mystical or spiritual -- whenever i needed her, she was there. my very first night, hosting my own show then on b.e.t. long before pbs, russell simmons called me a house on the air. he called me a house two times. i was stunned iech was embarrassed. he had put this stain on me this russell simmons king of hip hop on me that i couldn't get off me for two years miechlt first night that's how my career starts. i get back to the hotel. my phone ring and heard my voice and i said how did you find me? see said i have my sources. she was calling me to let me
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know it was going to be all right. someone of her stature had no reason to take the time to embrace me, love me, engage me. she did that. if we do that for young folk today, god knows what can come from these young people if we love them and serve them properly. >> nice work with the book. thank you for your time tavis. >> appreciate you, michael. thank you, sir. hillary clinton's big announcement could mean a return to the white house. what was the clintons' life like at the palace in the first go around? america's version of "downton abbey." author joins me next with the juicy details. people with type 2 diabetes come from all walks of life. if you have high blood sugar
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white house, or any other first family. the new book has it all from the gipper in his birthday suit to after-hours bowling with the kitchen staff. the book is called "the residence: inside the private world of the white house." kate joins me now. ivanez silva is turning down the reagan's bed one night and gets quite a surprise. what happens? >> maids are in the private living quarters, inner sanctum. she was up there around 5:30 in the afternoon and she went into the sitting room attached to the bedroom and president reagan was sitting there, naked, with a bunch of newspapers around him. and she blushed and ran out of the room. and then later on she saw president reagan and said who was that guy, as a joke. yeah president reagan was really funny with the staff. some of them told me they would duck and go into rooms when they
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would see him coming down the hallway because they didn't want to get trapped in a conversation for 20 minutes. he would chat them up constantly. once he went into the can kitchen and told them we were just going about to bomb libya and nancy reagan had to go and take him away because she was always protective of him. and, actually this butler said that's very nice mr. president, but when would you like dinner? they don't really get involved these staffers these butlers, maids, florists. they're not involved and even interested in those issues. they're just there to serve the first family. >> you tell the story of president clinton running into a bathroom door quote unquote, conveniently at the same time of the lewinsky scandal coming to light. what happened? >> staffers told me when you're somebody's domestic you know what's going on. they don't mind being called domestics. they take pride in that. they found blood on the bed and the president said he had walked into a door in the middle of the night. but they all, you know thought
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that she had clocked him with a book. during the lewinsky scandal, it was a roller coaster of emotions in the white house. hillary clinton was nowhere to be found when the florist would try to talk to her about floral arrangements. she obviously was going through a lot. she would call the pastry chef on particularly stressful days and ask for the pastry chef to make her favorite mocha cake that night, which is kind of a humanizing look into her as a real human being. there's another story about her asking for some time alone by the swimming pool that one of these staffers made happen for her. she was just very thankful to him that she let her have some time with a book by the swimming pool. >> richard nixon bowl wth kitchen staff. what's your story? >> i'm glad you're doing all of these. it does cover every administration since the kennedys. there's a story about president nixon after dinner one night going into the kitchen. there was a guy there named frankie blair acres pot washer in the kitchen. president nixon asked him if he
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wanted to go bowling. he had a one-lane bowling alley installed in the white house. the two of them bowled until 2:00 in the morning that night. frankie said my wife is never going to believe that i was bowling with you this late and the president said walk with me. they went into the oval office and the president wrote a note explaining to frankie's wife that he was, indeed bowling with him. another colleague said there may have been a bottle of scotch involved too. the carter boys had a penchant for bongs? >> well one of the staffers told me -- again, this was on the record. a lot of these people spoke on the record. that he would regularly have to move bongs in the white house on the third floor, the three carter sons were staying there in the '70s. again it just shows that they're really human beings. >> i'm looking at a picture in the book. tell me about doorman wilson german. >> he has been there since the 1960s and i mean he even remembered hearing the sounds of
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the horses as they were leaving the white house with jfk's casket. the incredible thing is that these people stay on from administration to administration. there's a photo in the book where he is there with the obamas. is he funny because he told me -- he was very reticent about talking and said he would tell his friend he worked at 1600 pennsylvania avenue and most of the time they had no idea what this was. these people don't brag about their jobs. >> kate there's a particular fondness that those who work in a domestic capacity -- you said they're all comfortable with that word -- for the obamas for those who are african-american themselves this was a proud moment. not that they're democrats more than republicans but this was a moment of pride when they saw this first family come in the door. >> and a lot of them said they never thought they would see the day when that would happen. a butler who is still there that
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i interviewed for the book said that he would continue to work as long as he could because they were there. michelle obama asked the florist to label all the flowers in the floral arrangements so that she and her daughters could learn the proper names. she asked another butler from haiti, who spoke fluent french to speak in french to help her daughters learn the language. i think it show that is they come from more of a middle-class background. i think they had a more difficult time dealing with having staff around. and it kind of makes you relate to them in a way that you wouldn't before. >> there's a great deal i learned in the book just about in the way that the white house functions. they really do have to pay -- i thought the first families didn't have to pay anything. most importantly, kate you tell us that you can order out for pizza. it's a great book. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. >> kate anderson brower. the white house is slamming a controversial therapy aimed at gay youth.
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former congressman barney frank has an opinion about it. he will join me to weigh in on that subject and a lot more, next. this is no time for lollygaggin', lad. but we love lollygaggin'. we do. but it's a battlefield out there! you know the chickweed is surrounding yer sidewalk and the dandelions are stealing precious nutrients! now's the time to send in the scotts turf builder weed and feed, man! it kills weeds while it feeds and strengthens your grass. that sounds easy. get scotts turf builder weed and feed. it's guaranteed. feed your lawn. feed it! and to clean your outdoor space without harming your grass get scotts new outdoor cleaner plus oxiclean.
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. welcome back. this week president obama called for an end to so-called conversion therapies that make baseless claims of curing gays by turning them straight. the move was in response to a transgender teen who committed suicide after religious therapists tried to convert her back to being a boy. my next guest was the first member of congress to voluntarily come out. barney frank spent more than three decades on capitol hill and he's written a book called "frank a life in politics from the great society to same-sex marriage." barney frank is joining me now. hey, congressman, i want to read aloud the first program of your book. you say in 1954 i was a fairly
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normal 14-year-old enjoying sports unhealthy food and loud music. but ivan then i realized there were two ways of which i was different than the other guys. i was attracted to the idea of serving in government and i was attracted to other guys. what would have happened if someone offered you repairtive therapy when you were 14? >> i would like to think that i would have been strongly rejecting it because i now know it would have been an absolute at best a waste of time and might well have led to emotional damage. i have to be honest and say in 1954 universal contempt for homosexuals, as we were then called as we called ourselves, were so deep and my own self-hatred was such i can't be confident in how i would have reacted. i know as i said from fairly soon as i lived my life that it would have been a disaster for me but i'm not sure at 14 i would have known enough to
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resist it. >> the president took a position on that issue this week which is why i raise it with you. how would you feel about an adult, a man, a woman, they're 30 40 50 and they wish to seek out that kind of therapy, would you be okay with that? i know you're a libertarian? >> as i said i am a libertarian and if an adult wants to try that as long as he or she has not been given demonstrably false advertising that's their money. i would take that back. if it is their money. i would not at this point allow it to be paid for by public funds and i think insurance companies ought to say no to it. i think the third-party payers have a right to say pal, you do what you want but i'm not paying for that nonsense. >> when you arrived in washington on ronald reagan's watch you are out only to other lesbians gays and transgenders not to the public or your colleagues. do you think a significant number of your colleagues knew nonetheless? >> a few did at first.
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what i did find, though is i was protected by the stereotype. to be honest i'm a nervous eater. i eat a lot during campaigns. by the time i got to washington i did not cut the slim elegant figure that was prevalent in people's stereotypes. a reporter during my campaign said i was wearing an ill fitting suit. i responded in defense of the tailor it was a well fitted suit i didn't happen to be the person it fit. i smoked cigars. that protected me. on the other hand a lot of members of congress had a large number of gay and lesbian staffers. washington is a good place for younger gay people to go kind of and hide. more than people realize, congress is a meritocracy. members of congress are smart enough to hire very good people to work for them because it's important to their own careers and so increasingly the word began to spread. so by the time i came out i was
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being approached by liberal friends, colleagues certainly very supportive but were saying to me please don't make it public. we hear you're thinking about it. if you do you will diminish your ability to work with us on these issues on economic fairness racial relations and foreign policy and my answer was you may be right, i hope you're not, but i'm driven by my own need to harmonize my life to go ahead with this. >> a final question. secretary clinton makes it official this weekend. we live in very tolerant times but i'm wondering if you nevertheless are keeping a mental scorecard as to when people came out in support of gays and lesbians their rights and same-sex relationships and i obviously have her on the brain when i ask that question? >> oh, yeah. and she scores very well. look people running for president are, obviously somewhat constrained and i say to some of my friends on the left we're great supporters of democracy. we can't object when people
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running for office pay some attention but give you an example, when in 2004 when george bush sponsored a constitutional amendment to revoke the same-sex marriage rights we had then gotten in massachusetts, hillary clinton voted against it. so every time it has come to a vote her vote has been on the sides of fair treatment and equal treatment for it. i remember marching in the gay pride parade with her when she was running for the senate in 2000 in new york and i have never before or since seen a more enthose assic reaction because she had been a friend and supporter and people knew that. >> congratulations on your memoir. i thought it was a terrific read. >> thank you. >> i'll be right back. okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals antioxidants and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™.
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. john king carl bernstein, karls ramsey tavis smiley kate anderson power and barney frank were excellent.
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thank you to my staff. thank you so much for joining me. follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish. see you next week. dash cam video from the fatal police shooting in north charlton shows the passenger who could possibly explain why walter scott ran from police who is he and where is he? those questions coming as the town holds a memorial in less than one hour from now. a controversial police beating caught on tape some say is so bad, one person's characterizing it as worse than the rodney king case. >> the handshake between two world leaders that has us talking this morning. president obama and cuban leader raul castro could this encounter begin easing tensions between the two countries that have lasted more than half a century. what's