tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC March 20, 2013 6:00am-7:00am PDT
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about my viewing has bebits. >> keep it to yourself. what did you learn, mike? >> the president lands in israel with some important conversation there. but we have to keep an eye on syria. >> yes, we do. 70,000 dead and counting. it's way too early and "morning joe." right now we have luke russert and chuck todd with this very special "daily run down." they're going to do some diving. you be the judge. see who does it better. we'll see you tomorrow morning. mideast mission with high enthusiasm and low expectations. president obama arrives in israel for his first visit there as president. we'll go live to jerusalem in just a few minutes. back here at home, some republicans recoil at the party's plans for the future. the chairman is in the hot seat. he'll be here live to counter his critics. plus, senate leader harry reid says democrats will not have an assault weapons ban in their new gun regulation bill. and that is not sitting well with one of the top backers. good morning from washington.
it's wednesday, march 20th, 2013. the first day of spring. come on, you like this tie. it's colorful. this is "the daily rundown." i'm luke russert in for chuck todd who is in israel for the president. he'll be joining us from there in a few moments. president obama has arrived in the middle east to begin i had four-day tour of the region. but it's not all pomp and circumstance. difficult issues loom as the leaders prepare for meetings later today. but publicly, the focus is on what president obama called the eternal bond between the two nations. >> the united states of america stands with the state of israel because it is in our fundamental national security interests to stand with israel. it makes us both stronger. it makes us both more prosperous and it makes the world a better place. >> in an unstable and uncertain middle east, the need for our alliance is greater than ever. >> the president's historic trip began a little more than two hours ago when air force one
arrived in tel aviv. he was welcomed by israeli president shim own perez and prime minister benjamin netanyahu. along with hundreds of guests and vips. before he left the airport, president obama was shown an area displaying israeli air defenses including the so-called iron dome. then the motorcade saided to jerusalem where the pred will have a little down time before meetings today. our own chuck todd is in jerusalem. he joins me now. chuck, looks like to be a rather pleasant day at least weather-wise. what is going on in the holy land? >> well, mr. russert, it is unbelievable weather here greeting the president. pretty much a perfect spring day, if you will here in the holy land. what was interesting is the first thing the president said as he got off and there were microphones everywhere, i don't think he knew he was on, he said it's good to be away from congress.
also that chitchat as making his way through shaking hands with various dignitaries, he and netanyahu were heard joking about difficulties in the budget process that both leaders are having in each of their countries. but, look, this event, you set it up well. this trip is heavy on symbolism, going to be somewhat light on substance as far as what, you know, what is he going to take away? what are the take aways? there are important issues, iran, sear yashgs the peayria a process. but this last one, the amazing miss, if you will. president obama when he started his first year in office, he said the peace process with the palestinians was going to be a priority and launch the effort far sooner than either bill clinton or george w. bush did in their administrations. then it fell flat quickly. what was interesting to hear what the president said when he arrived formally as to why he made this his first trip of his second term.
>> across this region the winds of change bring both promise and peril. so i see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate america's unwavering commitment to israel's security, and to speak directly to the people of israel and to your neighbors. >> and he's going to be going to ramallah meeting with the palestinian authority there, the head there, abbas in the west bank. he's meeting with jord ab's king abdullah on this trip with mubarak not in egypt anymore, the single most important arab leader in the peace process if something happens. now president perez, he spoke about the peace process after the president spoke. >> we long to see an end to the conflict with the palestinians, to see the palestinians enjoying
fraed freedom and prosperity in their own state. we extend our hand in peace to all countries in the middle east. >> fact is we're a long way away from this peace process jump-starting at allment we have to figure out who speaks for the palestinians. that's giant issue, number one. and then there is domestic political concerns for netanyahu. the issue that may dominate the rest of the day to day though, luke, is syria and these reportsmereport reports. we have israeli government officials saying they do believe chemical weapons have been used in that conflict. the united states didn't confirm that. but here's what jay carney said yesterday about the definition of red line which he really didn't give full definition to. >> substantial assistance has been and will continue to be provided to the syrian opposition. that assistance remains nonlethal. with regards to the opposition.
but we are evaluating our policies and programs of assistance regularly. >> the question is, does the president make new policy while he's on israeli soil as it has to do with syria? that might be unlikely. but he needs to probably give some better definition to the red line issue when it comes to chemical weapons. what does it mean? that usually means some form of military intervention. is that a no fly zone? is that troops on the ground to secure the chemical weapons? none of that is clear from the obama administration. and they probably don't want it to be clear because they're trying to have syria's assad hear all of that as a possibility. i expect to hear a lot of questions to the president that when he has a joint press conference with netanyahu. >> chuck, no doubt a very busy day ahead for you and president obama and israel. thank you so much for that report. we'll see you later for an in-depth look at the famous iron dome. so stick around. >> you got it, buddy.
three months after the newtown shootings, the white house and congressional democrats are pushing new limits on guns. the most ambitious of those proposals has for all intents and purposes been tabled. harry reid told reporters on tuesday that senator dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban will not be part of any gun bill he brings to the floor. >> right now her amendment using the most optimistic numbers has less than 40 votes. that's not 60. i'm not going to try to put something on the floor that won't succeed. i want something that will succeed. >> i asked him if this could be part of a package. he said no. this is very important to me. and i'm not going to lay down and play dead. >> we're going to work on thisment we're going to find the votes. it deserves a vote. see if we can get it done. >> nbc's senior political editor mark murray is here with the morning's first read. he joins me now. mark, you know this is interesting. for those of us who watch
politics, the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. it hasn't really been too much of an issue since then. came back to the forefront with newtown. but it didn't really have pathway forward. there is a lot of red state democrats that were uncomfortable with this vote and even harry reid who had a strong nra backing in the past making a move to pull it out saying don't let the perfect get in the way of the good. >> the luke, the politics were never there as harry reid mentioned. it had about 40 votes. not only do you have to have a majority of support, it didn't have the 60 votes that ended up stopping a republican filibuster. so the game all along has been background checks. and that might not be as interesting or striking to the media as the assault weapons ban. but most gun control advocates always saw this as the most realistic chance for big time reform. and that's the thing to watch as we look forward. it's still unclear if harry reid is even going to have the gun check part in his overall legislation. his folks are saying that it's
likely it will be in there. but that is the game to watch. assault weapons ban never had the votes. background checks potentially. >> background checks and straw purchases, new federal guaranteed sentencing for that for those who buy guns from somebody else illegally. interesting to see if this gets out of the senate. it doesn't face a easy path in the senate by any means. south carolina, the state that keeps on giving, yesterday governor mark sanford won or was in the top two for his primary on the gop side. stephen colbert's sister won the democratic side. but mark sanford yesterday, no guarantee he can wheat this guy curtis bostic who came in number two or larry grooms. it's going to be quite a fight for sanford going forward. >> he has a very tough path. he got 37% of the vote. that means 63% voted against the person who they probably know the best. he was their former congressman, former governor. he has perfect name id in that district. but where he actually caught a break is the fact that curtis
boss toik seetic seems to finis. it's not a done deal. there could be an automatic recount to see who is the number two. and the runoff is less than two weeks away. so there is that uncertainty there. there is the fact that bostic doesn't live in the congressional district which could give mark sanford and his folks some firepower to hit back at bostic. so in some ways if i'm the mark sanford folks, i'll feeling good. >> he still has a lot of money left over from the gubernatorial war chest. mark murray, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> we appreciate it. next, republican party chairman on what went wrong in 2012. he says the problems are about process not policy. but would fewer debates and earlier convention really fix what is wrong with the gop? plus, we'll go to jerusalem for more on the president's meetings today and learn about israel's iron dome. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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this week there was a detailed autopsy in what went wrong in 2012 complete with 289 recommendations on what the gop needs to change to be kpetive in 2014 and 2016. from party messaging and outreach, focus groups were told if the gop is scary, narrow-minded, out of touch and a party of stuffy old men. the rnc chairman joins me now.
thank you so much for being on the show. >> good morning. >> something you said in your report on page six is "it is not just the tone that counts, policy always matters. the perception of the gop does not care about people as doing great harm to the party and candidates on the federal level, especially in presidential years. it is a major deficiency that must be addressed." house republicans tomorrow are going to vote on the ryan budget, soming that even the u.s. catholic conference of bishops came out against last year saying it did too much for the rich and at the expense of the poor. how is voting for something like the ryan budget going to change the image of the republican party for a lot of those that feel it is the party of the more wealthy folks in this country? >> well, first of all, luke, paul ryan has an important job to do which is to understand the numbers, understand where we're at with our debt and with our spending issues. look, we are not losing the issues on the math.
we're not losing the issues on spending and debt and jobs and the economy. those are total winners for us. what we found in the election is while we're winning the arguments on spending and math, we're losing sort of this emotional cultural vote out there in presidential elections. and it didn't just happen overnight, luke. i mean the fact is our parties have a tough time over the last 24 years winning decisive presidential elections. and it's our job as a party to get to the bottom of why that is. and that's what we're trying to do. so, you know -- >> okay. let's talk about that emotional cultural vote. your predecessor said this this morning on "morning joe" about the issues you have in minority community. >> how does he reconcile his agreement with voter registration policies that many in the black community view as anti-black, racist? you can show up any time. it's what you say and what do you when you get there that matters most to people. >> so the former chairman steel
is attacking you right there saying that you're not doing enough in terms of minority outreach, that it's not a real serious plan on your guys' part because of the voter id law supported a lot of swing states that this report shows will effect minority voters. what is your response to him? >> i'm not going to engage in an argument with michael. the fact is that you have to have the resources to be able to have an effective ground operation in minority communities. one of the things that we've done at the rnc and i don't think anyone argues with this is we brought our financial condition back in order so we can hire hundreds of people across america which is what this plan calls for. i'm not looking to hire two people down the hallway and call it inclusion. i'm looking to get in the communities by the hundreds with paid people to make the case for the republican party. look, i think that's really the heart of what we're trying to do at the rnc. we're not competing the dnc, luke. we're competing with president
obama's organization that is a granular community based organization that is perpetual in its nature and the fact is we have to get with it and do the same thing and try to do it even better. and so, look, if you are going to market and brand your party on a regular basis, i think you're going to continue to have problems. and that's a big piece of what we're trying to do here. >> there has been some criticism from folks within your own party regarding these ideas, the national review sort of would say the mouth piece of the professional right says the action items recommended to address these issues are heavy on committee formation and tokenism. where the report does get into policy most notably on the issue of immigration reform, the analysis is shallow and the recommendations opportunistic. this comes on the heels of some republican senators saying that immigration reform could possibly take a few years. that should be the time frame. what is your response to national review and should immigration reform be expedited? >> well, that's interesting you
chose that one column. i just read a national review column this morning that praised the report and the headline of the article is that the rnc shows up. so i don't know which article you're referring to. but, you know, 90% -- >> that is from the editors of the national review, mr. chairman. >> okay. there are other good ones. let me tell you, luke, we have to focus in on the areas that the rnc has most control over. and where we have most control over are things like the ground game, mechanics, our data and digital technology, our primary system. certainly we took a lot of steps forward in the report calling for comprehensive immigration reform. i'm not retreating from that. just like rand paul yesterday agreed that there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform. our party generally agrees with that. now what the details of that are is not something that we do at the rnc. we don't write up the
legislation and talk to bill drafters and insert provisions. these are things that i think -- i don't think you can deny it, leaders from all part of our party are talking about comprehensive immigration reform. and what we found is by talking to over 50,000 people across the america that this was an important step forward for our party and in order for us to reach the depth and level that we need to to be competitive and presidential elections. and that's the facts. i'm not backing off of it. but i'm trying to explain it in a way that makes sense to you. >> in terms of being competitive in presidential elections, i want to turn to the issue of gay marriage which new polling indicates is really an abrupt shift from what we saw the last few elections in the earlier part of the century. "the washington post"/abc news had a poll that showed 58% of americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married. but while we see those polls, the house gop is operating entirely differently, mr. chairman. house republicans, i want to put
this quote up on the screen, they tun to spend millions of taxpayer dollars defending the federal ban on same sex marriage in court. most recently committing to dish out three million. do you think it's a good idea for john boehner, eric cantor and kevin mccarthy whose names are on the court case from the house representing the house gop and the bipartisan legal counsel to continue this fight, $3 million of taxpayer money to oppose doma? >> well, look, this is a position of our party. but, you know, our point in the report, luke, is that, you know, when i was asked at the national press club i think one of the reporters asked me and he said are you still going to fund, you know, rob portman? my response is, of course we're going to help rob portman. he's a good conservative republican. my appointment, luke, i'm not going to get into this sort of back and forth with leadership, but what i will tell you is i think our party needs to have the attitude that if i disagree
with you on one issue, it doesn't mean that you're a lousy republican. it means that you're a good republican. it means we agree on most issues and we need to unite our party. we can't build our party if we're going to cut out certain pieces and certain parts that we may not agree on 100% on but we have to grow. so we have to grow through additional -- >> mr. chairman, you're a relatively young man, 41 years old. do you think the republican party -- >> i'm pretty young. >> are the next elections afterwards on gay marriage, do you think it's inevitable? do you think by the time you're 50 the parties will say we're'going to say marriage is between a man and woman wholeheartedly? >> i don't know what's going to happen in nine years, luke. i know what our principles are. i know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman. i also know we have a party that is going to be inclusive and is going to listen to people and is going to allow differences of opinion in our party and we're going to move forward and build. and that's what i know. that's what i believe. and that's the type of party
that i want to continue to build. >> chairman priebus, we thank you so much for taking the time with us this morning. keep shawn spicer in line, sir. >> i will do. >> take care. up next, gunning for change. the fight raging between democrats on the hill over how much is too much to push for on gun legislation. congresswoman jan shakowski joins us on that. but first today's trivia question, how many u.s. sitting presidents visited row malla? the first person to tweet the correct answer gets an on air shoutout. yeah, you want one of those. the answer and more coming up on "the daily rundown." do not go anywhere. my mother made the best toffee in the world. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long
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strip down gun control bill after the easter break. it likely won't include key measures banning assault weapons or high capacity magazines leaving many gun control advocates disappointed. joining me now is illinois democratic congresswoman jan shakowski. thank you for joining us. i want to ask you as someone from illinois, obviously a huge problem with gun violence in and around the chicago area, what are your feelings as very much progressive liberal that harry reid seems to have gotten the good, not getting the -- the perfect not getting in the way of the good, essentially taking out this assault weapons ban to try and get background checks for straw purchases legislation? >> progress is progress, luke. and while i'm disappointed that we won't have a vote on the assault style weapons, i'm really glad and many of the advocates believe that the most effective piece of legislation would be universal background checks. because we have to remember that includes all weapons, handguns
and rifles as well as the assault style weapons. and so i think that would be a huge step forward. although as i said, i would prefer a vote on all of it. but if we can move on that and on gun trafficking, i think that we'll be on our way toward serious reform on gun violence. >> they say they won't guarantee to send any bill to the floor. knowing how the house operates and how the gop leadership moved on certain issues in the past, are you confident that a bipartisan bill could even get an up or down vote on the house floor? >> it's at their peril. i believe the republicans would hold back on even allowing a vote. the president in the state of the union said give them a vote. when you have 91% of americans believing that there ought to be universal background checks, i think it's pretty hard to say no and then it becomes a different
calculation when people vote, particularly women. there's a huge gender gap when it comes to support for gun violence regulation. >> another interesting thing that is developing on the hill this week is there is a desire among house republicans to possibly use the debt limit extension that needs to come on july or august to force entitlement change from democrats, sort of trying to use that as leverage. as a proud liberal, do you see any chance that the president could go for that and still have the support of a lot of house democrats? >> well, the president has made it very, very clear that if the republicans are not willing to close one single loophole, not a dime's worth of loophole for the wealthy corporations and wealthy individuals, he is not about to even have a conversation about any entitlement reform. and i understand that completely. you know, is it going to be
hedge fund managers or is it going to be medicare and social security? really? and so i think that the idea of some sort of forcing a grand bargain by saying we won't pay our bills as the united states of america is not going to fly with the american people or with the administration. >> and lastly, i understand that house democrats led by you are introducing a new program to sort of go up against eric cantor's former you cut program. that is the public would pick a program to cut. what is the democratic response to that going to be? >> well, we've launched today a #youchoose an opportunity for americans to say, you know, which is it? is it head start or is it hedge funds? is it going to be vaccines for children or is it going to be tax breaks for wealthy insurance companies? and i think that americans are not, you know, they're for
balancing the budget, perhaps, but they're not for cutting programs that are really going to help the middle class and those who aspire to it. >> it will be interesting to see. balancing the budget is so popular with all the focus groups. but you're attempting to show what it really would mean literally. congressman jan schakowsky, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> up next, chuck joins us again from jerusalem for a deep dive into the millions of dollars the u.s. is spending on israel's state of the art air defense system. >> reporter: i'm not sure how many rockets are being fired now. but the iron dome one, two, three, 4 iron dome rockets are exploding. nbc's resident iron dome expert and probably the best script writer at the network, martin fletcher will join chuck. [ female announcer ] birdhouse plans. nacho pans.
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today a deep dive into israel's iron dome. this morning president obama got a first-hand look at some of the hardware and had a chance to greet the crew that runs it. the system has been credited with knocking out 80 to 90% of the rockets fired at israel over the last two years. it may not have been possible without american assistance, a point that prime minister netanyahu made this morning. >> thank you for unequivocally affirming israel's sovereign right to defend itself by itself against any threat. thank you for enhancing israel's ability to exercise that right through generous military assistance, revolutionary missile defense programs, and unprecedented security and intelligence cooperation.
>> the pentagon set aside $211 direct funding for the iron dome system just this fiscal year. ready for this? that money is subject to the sequester cuts nearly 8% or about $17 million. there is some efforts in congress to try to exempt iron dome funding. not sure where that's going to end up going. i'm now joined by nbc's martin fletcher. he's here with me in jerusalem. you are our eyes and ears on the ground here. iron dome, you saw firsthand, we were playing some of your report. are you surprised at how effective it is? >> i was surprised at the time because isies didn't know. they put -- they rolled out the iron dome defense during that mini war with hamas a few months ago. before they knew it was really ready. i think the israelis were surprised, too. >> so that was a test. and they hadn't really done it in real time? >> it was a real live test. they say they knocked out 84% of the rockets fired in. >> we can't necessarily check that. but it's clear just on where
rockets landed that it was very effective. what does this mean? >> i think it means several things. strategically, what is so important during that real live testing is that not only was it -- was i claimed to be so effective knocking out 84% of the rockets fired from gaza into israel, not only did it save many israeli lives, but strategically, it was important. if israel had lost a lot of lives, if one of those rockets really had hit a school or killed a family of 15 people or whatever, is woiz harael would to respond. so it not only saved lives immediately but it also saved lives in the long term in the sense that israel didn't need to launch a much greater attack on gaza. >> this has been tested against hamas and their rockets which are frankly relatively weak. hasn't been tested against what hezbollah has been which is a much different store ji. >> that's certainly true. hamas fired i believe 4,000 rockets from gaza in a month.
if this really does end in a fight with hezbollah in lebanon, hezbollah allegedly has at least 50,000 rockets, much better rockets, too. >> and iron dome could not handle 50,000? >> no way. no. it will help. i think there are 5 iron dome systems in place active at the moment. their goal is to create 13 iron dome systems. it will help a lot. but hundreds of rockets fired a day. it apt going to do that much. >> does this set back peace though in an odd way? if you can build fortresses for israel, then what is the incentive to do a two state solution? >> one of the issues of iron dome, one of the reasons that part of the military was against the iron dome is it was considered to be a defensive weapon. and israel, the military crowd is an offensive army. so they said we're spending money in the wrong place. we shouldn't be worried about defending. we should be worried about winning by creating attacking weapons. so the relevance it has for the
peace process is as i said, it buys israel time when there is an attack. but in the long term, in a sense it affects the peace process. the more invulnerable israel feels, the less urgent it is to reach a deal with the palestinians. i always felt that there would be a peace agreement between israel and the palestinians is when both sides realize the limitations of their own power. >> george mitchell said that the worst thing that may happen, he says it's a horrible thing to say, the worst thing is there is going to be a sense of security, lulled into a false sense of security by both sides and the palestinians feel the same way that there is no sense of urgency. >> that's right. israel has this sense of military superiority. the palestinians have the sense that time is on their side. so there is no real urgency to sit down and actually negotiate a real peace. there is an urgency not to be seen as the side had a is saying no to a peace process. but no real urgency to solve peace. >> this iron dome, is this a weapon that we're going to see on the coast of california to,
you know, in -- is this a type of technology that the united states is probably testing theer use elsewhere? >> well, they certainly are testing it. they're being very serious analysis done by american professors of rocket science who say the iron dome was nowhere near as effective as israelis claim. >> martin fletcher, our man in both tel aviv and jerusalem, thanks for the wonderful weather. i know why you never want to leave here. thank you, sir. all right, mr. russert, it is back to you in the studio. i'll see you tomorrow, my friend. >> chuck, take care. we wish you had some aviators on right there. remember that nbc news and msnbc will have full coverage of the president's trip throughout the week. you don't want to miss that. our hump day gaggle will be here next. but first, the white house soup of the day, coconut shrimp. that is more summery in my opinion. don't forget to check out our website. we'll be right back. it's a brand new start.
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all right. this is neat. daily flash back to this day in 1997 when president clinton arrived in helsinki in an unusual fashion. clinton in town for a summit with russian president boris yeltsin and was recovering from a knee injury after he suffered at greg norman's house. he was lifted off air force one by an airline catering truck and then wheeled on to the tarmac. what an entrance for bubba there. harry reid will bring a weakened version of the gun control bill to the senate floor that will not include an assault weapons ban in the coming weeks. the news prompted a powerful reaction from "the new york daily news" which features pictures of the children killed in the newtown shooting on the cover. let's bring in our wednesday gaggle michelle bernard, illinois democrat lieutenant governor sheila simon, and senior political reporter for the huffington post, john ward.
lieutenant governor simon, i start with you. obviously you're from a state that has a horrific problem right now with gun violence and gun deaths. what does it mean for you on the local level, the federal government is essentially washing its hands in assault weapons ban saying we're'going to make any move on that right now? >> well, i'm disappointed with that. i am, though, encouraged because one of the big problems we have in chicago in particular is gun that's come in from other states. >> the small purchases? >> yeah. we have regulations in illinois. we require fire arm owners to have an identification card and a background check through our state police. we're pretty thorough about that. it's real easy to get to indiana and by a lot of guns that don't have any requirements like that. >> in terms of the politics of this, i mean this is not necessarily something that is a slam dunk for democrats. harry reid had heavy nra backing the last few campaigns. is it really that surprising
that they pulled it at this stage? >> yeah, to me personally, it really is. i would have thought after what we saw happen in connecticut that it -- that there would have been -- it would not have been as difficult. if you're sitting back and watching this and you look, for example, at the headline that you just showed us earlier with all of the pictures of those children that were literally slaughtered, most numbers of the american public have to be saying this is an absolute travesty. what is so difficult about this? why is it that there is a belief in our country that you need to have these type of weapons at home? quite clearly this person could not have slaughtered all the children if you didn't have an assault weapon. >> the politics are very tough, john. you have red state democrats in louisiana, arkansas, alaska, they don't want to touch an assault weapons ban with a ten foot pole. >> and i think it was a big part of the democratic strategy in '06 was to get pro gun democrats elected in the senate seats. i think at the end of the day, you know, if you look back to a year ago or even six months ago if you said that there would be
any gun legislation passing through congress there would have been little prospect of that. i think even for gun control advocates, it's not a total loss. it's a disappointment. but more than they would have been expecting even a short time ago. >> let's wrap up the gun talk with you, lieutenant governor simon. how much can you guys really get at the local level from the federal government right now? i mean, is there -- i guess would the most important thing be the mandatory sentencing guidelines for straw purchase goes to zero to 20, 25 years? >> i think the straw purchasing regulations tightening that up is going to make a big difference in the supply of guns. if we make a big difference in the supply of guns, the guns that go to people who own them illegally, the price is going to shoot up. that's a good thing. so anything that we can do in that direction along with i think the other important part is changing the culture and our approach to violence as a state, as a nation.
we need to focus on that as well. >> now someone who is a big proponent of gun rights, who is a failed gop presidential candidate back in 2016, rick perry, his spokesman said this about a possible run. he said that he will first make a decision this summer about running for re-election as governor then sometime later on in the year he'll make a decision about 2016. could this be perry's year, john? you spent a lot of time on the campaign trail. >> i think he's quite an outsider at this point. i think his only calculus could be that circumstances somehow change dramatically and that the other frontrunners somehow are all taken down. he doesn't even have the consultants that helped him run this campaign this past cycle. dave carney in new hampshire and him have had a complete falling out from what i understand. and so he's -- it does seem like a little bit of a pipe dream. >> he has tried to lead on immigration in the republican ranks. do you think he can use that to his leverage?
>> i think rick perry has seen his best days as a presidential conditioned da candidate are behind him. he could be an important voice but other than that, i don't see anyone actually taking him seriously as a presidential contender. he just -- there were so many mistakes that were made in the last campaign. he doesn't have the infrastructure. you hear his name and you just can't help but giggle. i mean that's just not the person you see running in 2016. >> and i would assume to believe that chris christie or marco rubio makes you more fearful in a republican administration than a rick perry? >> thinking of rick perry, one of my barometers is my husband and i have two daughters, 18 and 23 years old. the rick perry that caught their attention and that they forwarded to their friends was a very anti-gay commercial that he ran in iowa. it was disturbing enough to them that they spent a lot of time saying, look at this. can you believe this? he's from the past. >> trivia time.
we'll be right back with our group. but how many sitting u.s. presidents had visited ramallah. the answer is one, george w. bush. congratulations to today's winner, peter wesley. u.s. sitt presidents, one george w. bush. congratulations to today's winner, peter wesly, i hope i pronounced it right. in the december of 1998, bill clinton became the first u.s. president to visit the palestinian authority, but it wasn't until ten years later that a u.s. president set foot in ramallah. met with president abbas in january 2008. if you've got a political trivia question, e-mail us at msnbc.com and we'll try to get it up here for you. and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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obama will deliver statements. we'll bring you that live when it happens. we always like to see an american president plant a tree. great tradition abroad. let's bring back our gaggle, lieutenant governor sheila simon and john ward. and we want to talk about somebody else in the governor's ranks and that's charlie crist who is going to be running for governor, it seems, in florida. poll numbers show he runs pretty well against governor scott who has been under water recently. and i've got to ask you, lieutenant governor simon, do you welcome charlie crist back or into the party as a full-on democrat? >> i think you have to, yeah. yeah, thanks for seeing the light. join us. we're a good bunch. >> easy enough. pretty amazing that charlie crist who some folks thought could be the gop nominee in 2008 a while back now going to be the nominee for governor in florida. >> it's amazing. his numbers, i think he's polling at about 50% right now, it's one of those things where you say who would've thunk it.
and this is great for the party. >> and you spent some time in florida. what do you think it means for the politics of the state in terms of presidential and all in? >> well, if crist became governor, it would be more difficult for republicans to win the state. i think of charlie crist, i think of the time he went back to the pizza owner that obama got that hug from, asked him to pose for the same photo. do you remember that? >> yes. >> he's one of the most transpare transparently political guys. >> indeed, lastly, shameless plugs. let's go around the table. michelle, start us off. >> i am going to give a belated congratulations to howard university. >> governor? >> watch illinois, very soon, we're moving towards marriage equality. >> interesting. >> and my son jethro is with me today, shout out to him. >> my shameless plug will be -- what do we got?
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