tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 12, 2013 12:00pm-2:01pm PDT
good sunday afternoon. i'm craig melvin, you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. we begin with the backlash from benghazi. >> how could you change talking points 12 times from what seems to be relatively right to what seems to be complete lly wrong? >> i don't think you can question that there was malevolence on the part of the president, on the part of the secretary of state, or anyone else. deadly september attack played high on the washington talk show circuits this morning and it's already becoming a hot topic for 2016. >> was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night that decided
they'd go kill some americans? what difference, at this point, does it make? >> and that is the line that you are going to hear repeated from the right. will it stall any ambition hillary clinton may have? >> it was a dereliction of duty and should preclude her from holding higher office. >> right now, this is the guy who sees his opening through the benghazi controversy. are we getting our first glimpse at rand paul's 2016 strategy? outrage is growing over mounting evidence the internal revenue service subjected conservative tea party groups to extra scrutiny and that a senior agency official yew about it as far back as 2011. the white house says president obama's concerned about it, means senator susan collins talked about it on cnn this morning. >> it's evident that some senior officials did know about it, and have known about it for some time. the allegations go back at least two years.
so that is very troubling. >> syria and the rebels released four u.n. peacekeepers, but a syrian official said that president bashar al ashaud's croups to enter the golan heights whenever they want. senator john mccain said president obama's stance on syria -- >> the president by saying red line, gave a green light to all those massacres and it's a shameful chapter in american history. and the administration continues to feel the brunt of last year's attack on benghazi. though she neither said president obama nor secretary hillary clinton acted with ill-intent, democratic senator dianne feinstein wishes the administration responded to the attack differently. >> the president, by saying red line -- >> quickly -- >> he gave a green light to all of those massacres and it's a shameful chapter in american history. >> joining me now, from the "los
angeles times," "the washington post," and msnbc contributor, and political editor for the grill. good to see you all. let me start, on "meet the press," darrell issa insisted the investigation into what happened in benghazi is not a witch-hunt. take a listen. >> hillary clinton the not a target. president obama's not a target. the target is, how did we fail three different ways? fail to heed the warnings of an impending attack. failed to respond properly during the attack, at least we certainly could have done bet around i think everyone knows that, and then fail to get the truth to the american people in a timely fashion? >> how accurate is that? >> the republicans have two motives here. i do think one is to get to the bottom of what happened here. you are seeing this week the white house's story about the notion they not involved in these talking points, it was probably not the most accurate one. i think republicans want to get to the bottom of that nap said, you saw in the hearing how many references they made to hillary
clinton. they are determined to make this about her, and they know this is as good strategy, you because you know when susan rice was talking about the secretary of state, mentioned her so much, for the president not have nominated her. attacking someone about benghazi, the stlalt rategy word they're trying to weaken hillary clinton by doing it. >> hillary clinton was in california wednesday night giving a speech about asia i understand you covered. happening the same day as the bep ghazi hearing on the hill will her name once again took a thrashes, at least 30 times. did she respond at all in california and how did she appear to you? >> no. she didn't respond at all. obviously, the speech in beverly hills was a couple hours after this hearing where her name was mentioned 32 times. she clearly has gone down a very apolitical track at this point, still deciding whether to run, and she obviously did not see any reason to talk about what had happened that morning, and,
in fact, though she did reference the partisan wrangling in washington, she tried to make a broader goal that everyone was kind of on the same side, standing up for rights and opportunities of people around the world. no reference specifically to benghazi. >> and at any point, should we, or can we, expect hillary clinton to wade back into any of this, or does she just sit on the sidelines? >> sure. i mean, she'll have to talk about this at some point. you know, as perry mentioned. the republicans are very determined to make this a 2016 issue. rand paul is already certainly making it an issue. and i think that the salient question going forward for republicans is whether they can make this about hillary clinton's oversight at the state department, whether there were enough resources for security. will we be talking in 2016 about who wrote the talking poibls on benghazi? i'm not sure. but a potent issue in 2016. >> david, republicans have been pretty relentless in a quest for
more information on benghazi to say the least. what's the gop's next move? >> they've asked for all this information and are asking now for the administration to make it public to the media, to the -- the white house is saying, we've given everything that congress has asked us for. in fact, they're suggesting that's how this story got out. that got leaked to reporters. you saw jay carney asked 46 times about benghazi friday. it really is disrupting the white house message. the president was trying to talk about health care. i think the republicans, as perry said, they'll keep at it. there could be more hearings. what struck me was the president's relying on some of these very republicans being the most critical, john mccain, marco rubio, rand paul, support his next big agenda, immigration reform. it's on the table now. how much can the white house fight back on these charges on one hand and not offend those they need to work with on the
immigrants and the budget on the other hand? >> and the white house has been encouraging cabinet members giving graduation speeches, commencement speeches to push obama care. bloomberg reporting, the white house told all cabinet members and senior officials to use commencement speeches to drive home for graduating students and their parents the benefits they gained from a provision of the law that allows young adults to stay on their family's insurance plan until they turn 26. what does this say to you about the popularity of the bill and moving forward with regards to implementation? >> well, i think that what it says is that the popularity of the bill is still an open question and the white house is very worried about it. you know, really we might be talking a lot more in the next couple of years about the implementation of obama care rather than benghazi. and that may end up being a bigger issue for hillary clinton even though she was at state and was not directly involved in all of that, and i think that the white house is -- >> how so? >> well, i mean, essentially,
is -- if she decides to run, is she going to carry all of the obama add main strigs's burdens on her back? if the implement angs doesn't go well, she might be the democrat answering those questions in 2016. >> perry, you've written about the extensive amount of p.r. the administration is pushing with regard to obama care. in broad terms how does that seem to be going? >> not great so far. you see the polls that show about 40% of americans don't know what's in the law. some don't even know the law is on the books now. it's not going particularly well. the administration says they haven't really tried this as much as they are. they're doing a ramp-up. starting friday whip the mother's day event, what they're trying to do in the next months, build support, among college students, among mother, women. they're going to use these next couple months to build it up and make sure october 1st everyone in america knows what this law is and ready to sign up. that's when open enrollments
starts. they really need people, particularly males under 35, pretty healthy. who might not have insurance now, they need them to sign up for this law. it's critical to making the pools work. that's the big target in the next few months. show people, mom likes the law, maybe i'll sign up, too. their big message. >> thank you all very much. thanks, guys. >> thanks so much. >> pleasure. for more on this i want to bring in congressman matt cartwright. congressman good to see you on this mother's day. >> happy mother's day to everybody, and nice to be talking to you from downtown s pennsylvania. >> another note to appeal obama care coming up this week. it will be somewhere between the 35th and 45th vote. this is what house minority leader nancy pelosi said about it on thursday. >> this is about the 40th time
they will do it. isn't it? 38, 39, 40, 41. somebody told me -- i don't know what the clam sir. seems a week doesn't go why in some version of it isn't there. >> again, we're all having a difficult time keeping track of the exact number. this one is going to be your first time voting on the bill. are you excited than or is this a waste of time? >> it's not only a waste of time it's a big waste of money. everybody knows that obama care is the law. that obama care is not going to be repealed. the senate is not going to affirm anything that the house does along those lines. so we are not only wasting time, we're wasting money. and there are a lot of other important things we could be doing, like focusing on the economy and bringing jobs back to the united states. >> have you guys already started to see the effects of obama care take place in your district?
>> well, we have, and what we're grappling with here in pennsylvania is the medicaid expansion, as you know, it varies from state to state. whether the governors are going to accept the medicaid expansion, and here in pennsylvania, we have governor tom corbett, who has stated publicly that he's still up in the air about whether he's going to accept the medicaid expansion. we very much hope in northeastern pennsylvania that he will, because i've talked to ceos of hospital companies that have told me, if the medicaid expansion is not accepted here in pennsylvania, they're going to have to close hospitals. >> on issues like immigration, for instance. we've started to see democrats and republicans work together, but when it comes to health care, a vote like this seems to show this irreparable divide. what does this most recent vote say to, say about how splinterrd
the house is right now? >> i think it shows more than anything that the republicans are splintered. because i think a lot of what's going on here, very hard right-wing, hard-liners who are insisting on repeating this repeal of obama care in the house. if it's 44 times, if it's 45 times. how many time doss you have to express your opinion on whether you like obama care? so to me, there are practical people in the republican party that i like to work with in the house that i know are against this, but there's another element that has to be appeased, and i think speaker boehner is doing just that. he's appeasing the right wingers. >> congressman matt cartwright, good to see you. thank you so much for coming on. >> my pleasure, craig. coming up, how one group of mothers are spending mother's day for a cause very close to their hearts. and this --
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as mothers, we have the right to -- accept that assault weapons will remain in the hands of our military and all civilians. preserve other children's innocence and shield them in threats in america real and scripted. >> the group moms demand action for gun sense in america reading the mother's bill of rights in the nation's capital yesterday
demanding at the very least, an expanded background check for gun buyers. all of this as another victim of mother's day is in the hospital. recovering from a gunshot wound to his head. his 8-year-old friend accidentally shot him yesterday. according to slate, 75 children under the age of 13 have died from gun-related violence since the newtown tragedy. after the shootings in newtown, holding rallies around the country to highlight how gun violence changed the lives of victims and their families. kim russell, national field director of that are group, and a familiar face good to see you both on this mother's day. thanks for coming in. >> kim, start with you. how did you get involved with the group? how was it born? >> the group was founded the day after newtown by a mother in
indiana. she just had enough. she thought to herself, there needs to be a mother's against drunk driving for gun control. this is preventible. we've got to do something. she started a facebook page and i found it two days later. >> so far how's it going? >> gang busters. apparently there are a lot of mothers who feel the same way. in five months we now have over 100,000 members. we have nearly 90 chapters in 40 states plus washington, d.c. >> barbara, how did you get involved? >> i'm here representing a slightly different organization, it's called the million moms march, and we're working together. and i got involved, because i met donna dees who is the chairman and president of this organization. the leader of the organization, and i hooked up with her. it's a long story, and so that's how i got involved, because the same way. after newtown, i thought -- i have to do something. >> you were at the rally in new york yesterday. >> yeah, yeah. >> how was it?
>> well, it was very emotional. it was very emotional. the mothers spoke who had lost their children to gun violence in the bronx. somebody said, somebody who really knows, said that every day in this country eight children are killed by gunfire. every day. and that really knocks me off my pin. then you think, really, we have to do something. that's what we're trying to do. >> kim, much has been made of the nra's influence, their ability to lobby gunmakers. have you had as much success lobbying lawmakers? >> we're getting there. actually, within 24 hours of the senate vote, 146 senators voted no for watered down backgrounds check bill, our membership shot through the roof. mothers were outraged. not just moms. everybody, fathers, too, grandfathers. we are in this for the long haul, and we are making a difference. since that vote we have sent
over 500,000 e-mails to senators across the country. we have written 4,000 letters to the editors that have been printed in 500 newspapers. we are letting these elected officials know that they work for us. and that our votes count. >> tell me the story behind the flowers. >> this is part of our mother's day campaign. we launched it a week ago. we had our members create these paper flowers, and our children were involved in this. we each carried eight paper flowers in honor of the eight children that die every day, in honor of the eight mothers who are going to lose those eight children. this was part of our campaign and we're sending digital photographs of these flowers to our legislators to say, enough is enough. >> barbara, what's the next step? >> well, i think that what's being done is really being done, there will about vote. they'll be another vote coming up, before -- dur, during august, and what we're trying to dobb is increase the pressure. one of the things we ask people to do is write personal letters
to senators. literally handwritten letters and say, enough is enough. i wrote 45 letters to the 45 senators who voted against, voting against the gun bill, and i think -- they're doing extraordinary jobs. million moms march is doing the same thing and we're all together. and i -- whatever the next step is, we're really doing it. >> kim russell from moms demand action for gun sense in america, and barbara berry, part of the million moms more. thanks to both of you for coming in. appreciate your time. >> thanks for having us. speaking out. a statement from the three women held captive in cleveland for ten years. >> over here. also, when ice attacks. how that happened, where it happened. next. oh, he's a fighter alright. since aflac is helping with his expenses while he can't work, he can focus on his recovery. he doesn't have to worry so much about his mortgage, groceries, or even gas bills. kick! kick... feel it! feel it! feel it! nice work!
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there it goes. >> oh, my god, their door's in. >> what you see right there, a wall of ice. about three feet high, moving as fast at two feet per minute. that ice went up to push against a row of houses even breaking through a glass door at one point inside one of those homes. pretty amazing. how does something as crazy as that even happen? for more we turn to nbc meteorologist dylan dryer. >> thanks, craig. yes, an interesting situation going on across the lake in northern minnesota. finally the eyesout happened. what's going on, winds have been so strong over that lake out of the northwest, up to about 40 miles per hour for a long period of time, and just like that would naturally make waves on the lake. instead of just making wave, the waves are now pushing what's left of the ice onshore, and it um cans through with such force, i've heard reports of people saying it sounded like cracking glass outside as those ice chunks continue to break away as they move onshore. they're moving at an incredible
pace. i mean, considering that that is ice moving closer and closer to these homes, off the shoreline there, and it actually was strong enough to break through some of the back doors of people's homes as it just had nowhere to go, except in to these people's homes, because instead of just water with the wa waves, it is full of ice. this is actually a typical phenomenon in the area. it's happening later in the season. with the stronger winds, obviously, it is just exasperated the problem, and has exasperated the problem, making things a whole lot worse out that way. melting is an issue and most likely a concern, but not as big an issue because winds are easing in that area. the strong winds really made that a lot worse than what they normally see, especially this time of year. we're see improvements. certainly an interesting phenomena. craig? >> like something out of a sci-fi movie. dylan, thank you. we are hearing from the
three cleveland women held captive and tortured for a decade. we'll have their message. also, if hillary clinton decides to run for president, what impact would benghazi backlash have? we'll talk about that. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. ♪ the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter. ♪ so today, i'm finally talking to my doctor about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents, for 24 hours. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or can not empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. get emergency medical help right away if your face, lips, throat or tongue swells. toviaz can cause blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness and decreased sweating.
for seeing your business's cash flow like never before, introducing cash flow insight powered by pnc cfo. a suite of online tools that lets you turn insight into action. a 37-hour stand justify in trenton, new jersey, ended early this morning. three children taken hostage friday are now safe and being treated at local hospitals, but their mother and 13-year-old brother were found dead inside that home. it looks like she died two weeks ago. the suspect, gerald murphy died from a gunshot wound he received during the rescue. i'm craig meg vin. other stories making news, nine people detained in turkey in connection with yesterday's car bombings. the blasts happened near the syrian border killing 56 and injuring nearly 100. raising concerns syria's
violence is now spilling into turkey. today turkey's prime minister said that his country will avoid being dragged into the "bloody quagmire in syria." another day in court for o.j. simpson. simpson will be appearing in a las vegas courtroom tomorrow. he is challenging a 2008 conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping. simpson says his lawyer was bad. he wants a new trial. and right now, britain's prince harry is in colorado at the paralympics-style warrior games for wounded warriors. last night he got in on the action playing sitting volleyball. today participating in a cycling race. he's a pilot, captain, in britain's army air corps. and seth meyers, the new host of e late night." taking over for jimmy fallon when fallon moves to "the
tonight show" happening when jay leno retires next fall. and gratitude on mother's day from the three women who spent more than ten years in the so-called house of horrors. >> amanda berry said, "thank you so much for everything you're doing and continue to do. i am so happy to be home with my family." >> gina dejesus says, "i'm so happy to be home. i want to thank everyone for all of your prayers. i just want time now to be with my family. michelle knight says "thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. i am healthy, happy and safe, and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time." >> that statement was read by a spokesman for the women. meanwhile, ariel castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping the women is in jail on $8 million bond. nbc's ron allen is on the ground force in cleveland. ron what more did we hear from
the spokesman today? >> well, craig, i think we now know that the women are getting a lot of professional help. obviously, a good, smart thing for them to do. there are a team of lawyers here, a firm helping in crisis management. they said they weren't going to do any interviews and the statements they gave, very brief, were obviously designed to fill the void and fill the enormous desire for some comment from them from the press who are here. they were also speaking not just to the media but to the community and to law enforcement as well 34-of-in expressing gratitude. the police and prosecutors who helped build the case against ariel castro. there was that. in recent days, the families have really stepped back. there were at a time huge displays of balloons, flowers and cards and so forth in front of two of the houses that the da jesus and berry homes. those, taken away. another clear sign they want privacy and want left alone. the attorneys who spoke for them
said they wouldn't make comments after after the criminal proceedings worked themselves out, which is could be a long time. we'll see if that happens. we understand that -- and it's safe to assume they are being offered all kinds of deals, book, movie deals. you name it, from people who want to talk to them about this incredible ordeal. so at this point, they are hungering down and asking for, the statement said, "pleading for" privacy. >> quickly, before i let you go. michelle knight, of course, the oldest of the three women who were taken. how is she doing? >> well, her statement said, precisely, that she is healthy and happy. that was important, because as you were indicating, her case is somewhat unique, because she didn't have a family to be reunited with. as far as we know, she's on her own and getting help from professional counselors i assume. not totally on her own, obviously, but her case is a
little different. estranged, was before all this happened and now continues to be. a special concern in the community for her, because of this unique and unfortunate circumstance. but, again, her statement, and there's every indication she is also getting the help and support of these lawyers and crisis managers. i'm sure they're helping her and perhaps an indication that all three families are pulling together to try and coordinate and work this out and be together. which seem as smart thing to do, because there are only three people in this world who understand what those women went through, and them, of course. and it's probably a good time to he help -- to be together and get through this best they can. >> ron allen on the ground for us in cleveland, ohio on this sunday afternoon. ron, thank you, sir. appreciate your time. let's go back to benghazi now. of course, the bud word zzword, cover-up. who knew what? when did they know it? take it to the war room, democratic strategies, working on john edwards presidential campaigns. a republican strategist and
former aide to president george h.w. bush. good to see you both. happy mother's day grchlts to be with you. >> happy mother's day. >> start with you, joe. congressman adam smith ranking house democrat on the arms services committee called a hearing on benghazi, purely political? >> i think this is just become a very, very partisan focused scandal focused attack by the republicans investigating this. instead of trying to figure out exactly what happened? >> what are republicans trying to get out of these hearings and what do they hope to learn going forward, joe? >> of course, americans deserve to know what happened, and it's always difficult -- >> but we know what happened, joe. >> we don't know everything. there would be no call for hearings we we knew everything. and likewise, susan rice, brilliant, very capable person who could well have been secretary of state lost the opportunity to be secretary of state because of what happened in benghazi. at the end of the day, it's still important for the administration to say, you know
what? because people make mistake, even when well-intentioned, people make mistakes. things go the wait you would not like them to go. there's come as time, in the event we misled you, so sorry. mistakes made, things happened beyond our control. we're making the necessary changes so that it doesn't happen again and then you move on. >> chris, is it possible for part of this to be a legitimate quest for truth, and for there still, also, to be a certain element of politicizing as well? >> sure. i mean, i don't question some of the republicans' desire to find out what happened. you had americans serving their country who were killed in a terrible event. and finding out what happened and what went wrong i think is a viable, it is an important, viable question. i think where people become frustrated, there's been an independent investigation. they found out there are, clearly mistakes happened. mistakes were made. they have to be corrected.
no one is suggesting there weren't. and get -- yet that's not good enough. seems they want more. i think what the republicans clearly dug their teeth into is this belief that there was some grand conspiracy to pervert the national security or election by changing talking points. now, you know, were some of the president's advisers maybe overzealous in terms of talking points drafting? yeah, having been in that situation drafting talking points, it's easy to second guess when you're in the middle of the situation figuring out what is right, but i don't know where the republicans want to go with this. at some point they need an end game. doesn't seem they do. >> that's all. >> what did you say, joe? >> just the truth. i think that people -- >> what do you think the truth is? >> i would like to think the truth is, there are people in the administration that would just come forward and say this is what happened. for many the question becomes timing, of course, and this was in the middle, sadly, of a very hotly contested presidential
campaign. people, as you said, chris, lost their lives. americans lost their lives, and it's always a sad thing when that happens. when americans lose eye lives. their lives. so americans and republicans are asking this over and over again. americans deserve to know exactly what happened. who knew what and when did they know it? if people are willing to say, you know what? i made a mistake. maybe misspoke, that's helpful. >> joe, people have made that statement that mistakes were made. again, if the republicans want to make this about how talking points are drafted, i guess they will score some political points. you know, i think they'll be some people on the president's staff or others that may kind of question how they went about their jobs, but that is not a scandal that rises to the president. >> i want to talk about 2016 a second, because obviously, if hillary clinton does run, this is something that is going to come up. karl rove's american crossroads group wants to make sure there's
no confusion over who's to blame for benghazi and its aftermath. this is part of a new political ad the group released. take a look. >> how could this happen? why did she plablame a video? was she hart of a cover-up? >> because of the protest or guys out for a walk that decided to go kill some americans? what difference at this point does the it make? >> the difference is a cover-up and four american lives. >> chris, is that line, is that emotional, not explosion, but that throwing up of the hand, is that going to come back to haunt her? >> well, i mean, i don't think so. i mean, i think -- i find it kind of odd and amazing that the republicans and karl rove are already starting to go after hillary clinton long -- you know, we're not even in election season, pre-election season yet. it tells you, i think, where they see hillary clinton being in terms of the front runner
that, the next presidential race. you know, listen, i think -- you know, secretary clinton made it very clear. mistakes were made. she holds herself accountable for that, and i'm not sure that you're going to get any kind of political leverage going after someone who overwhelmingly, the american people think did a very good and solid job as secretary of state, let alone in her prior position as a senator, and first lady. i just think it's a very questionable tactic by the republicans to go after her. >> joe, something else that's folks suggested might be questionable. the nrcc a couple days ago sending out a fund-raising e-mail and using the attacks in benghazi as fodder for a fund-raising request. >> well, for the most part, political parties want to win. and republicans want to win. democrats want to win, and the way they steek swin by reminding people, perhaps, of the mistakes that the other party's made. >> by exploiting tragedy?
>> well, it's a sad tragedy, nonetheless, a tragedy that cost the lives of americans. >> but, joe -- >> i think that secretary clinton for the most part did a great job as secretary of state. she was a very excellent u.s. senator. she has a record that's admirable. if she chooses to run for the presidency, she'll be a very strong candidate. certainly a formidable candidate for the presidency, but it's not wrong of republicans to remind people of what happened in benghazi. >> joe, it's not reminding. it's fund-raising. you can't sit there and say your pursuit is truth when you're, by desks, politicizing it by trying to raise money for your party. i mean, it actually -- it actually contradicts and undermines their whole point. that's the part that i think is even more unbelievable, that if you really are interested in finding out what happened, if you really think the people in the administration did mistake, that's a valid area of questioning. everyone has a right to do that. >> we're going to have to leave it there. joe, i'm sorry.
i'm sorry, joe. >> sorry, joe. >> that's all right, chris. joe, chris, always good to have you. see you soon. >> great to be with you. first lady michelle obama delivered the commencement address at a 2013 graduating class of eastern kentucky university last night and chose the school in part for its commitment to vet tins. take a listen. >> one minute you're wearing a rucksack carrying a firearm and facing gunfire in the middle of desert. the next minute you're wearing a backpack carrying a textbook and hanging out at powell corner. >> you all went through so much to make it to this day. the highs and the lows. the triumphs, the challenges, the celebrations. the devastations. and i'm not just talking about your love lives either. you hurt my feelings, todd.
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coolidge in 1938. accusing castro of developing germ weapons in these labs. a charge u.s. intelligence officials tell nbc news is not true. today castro invited carter to inspect for himself. carter plans to take him up on that invitation tomorrow. >> do you think you're going to get the access that president kes t castro promised you? he says he hopes so. andrea mitchell reporting in 2002 about president carter's historic visit to cuba. flashback to 1932. the landmark kidnapping, the crime of the century, took a turn. 20-month-old, son of the famous lindbergh found dead 4 1/2 miles from the home and off the side of the highway. the coroner determined died more than two moss and dnths and die
blow to the head. missing march 1, 1932 with a ransom note demanding $50,000. 12 more ransom notes would follow and a go-between named dr. condon paid a man by the name of john the ransom money. the final ransom money said the child could be found on a boat named "nelly," a search turned up no sign of baby charles. instead, he was accidentally discovered about a month later dead, 457 feet off a highway. for the next year, the fbi would track where the cold ransom certificates were deposited and spent, which led them to bruno richard hawkman. >> we have in custody the man who received the ransom money. his name is bernard richard hawkman. >> doctor condon positively identified him as john and also incriminating, experts found that hawkman's handwriting matched the writing on the ransom notes.
what he had to say. >> i am absolute innocent. i have told all i know about the crime. >> however, he was found guilty of murder in the first degree and put to death on april 3, 1936. this crime of the century spurred congress to pass the federal kidnapping act, otherwise known as the lindbergh law, and the law helps per sue kidnappers across state lines. the politics of rand paul. are we getting a glimpse of his 2016 strategy? we'll talk about it on the other side of this break. ♪ [ male announcer ] start with a dodge dart. now give it a "tiger shark" engine and 41 mpg. good. now add some of this. and that. definitely him. and her. a little more of her. perfect. time out. how we doin'? [ car accelerating ] okay, let's take it up a notch. give it a heap of this, one of those and that. got anything with grappling hooks and a plane?
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? i also think that as a party, we need to grow bigger, and that we need to attract a latino vote. this is a very practical thing, and i'm not ashamed to admit it. we need to attract the latino vote, we need to attract the african-american vote. it is somewhat of a gateway
issue. and we have to change the way we are talking about it and who we are if we want to attract latino vote. >> of course, this is kentucky senator rand paul in iowa friday, trying to broaden party base by coming out in support for immigration reform. paul toured iowa last week, and of course iowa, the hawkeye state, the first primary state. later this month, he'll be off to new hampshire. while he has not officially announced anything, his announcements continue to fuel speculation about a potential 2016 presidential bid. back with me, maeve ruston. let's start with you, perry. rand paul reaching out to hispanics and african-americans. last month he was at howard university talking to students. how is this outreach going to help rand paul? >> i'm not really sure, to be totally honest with you. i know he's doing it. his idea is to talk about how he wants to change the republican party. the comment he just made that you showed, craig, everyone
agrees with. i think these are both true, but ultimately, rand paul has to win the republican nomination for president first. and that's mainly, candidly, a mostly white voter's issue right now. i think he's trying to show that he can build a broader basis than his father did. his father were kind of like an idiosyncratic candidate, almost had no base. and rand paul is trying to show he appeals to a broader group of republicans and a broader group of americans overall. i'm not sure how successful he's been so far. the howard speech was panned by both republicans and democrats. >> maeve, a lot of folks got a fund-raising immediately from the senator this morning on behalf of the national association on gun rights, accusing the president of, again, this is according to the e-mail, of accusing the president of working with anti-american globalists. i would like to read a part of this e-mail for you. "i don't know about you, uh be watching anti-americaning globalists plot against our constitution makes me sick. ultimately, u.n. bureaucrats will stop at nothing to
register, ban, and confiscate firearm owned by private citizens like you. the fact is, the last thing the gun grabbers at the as you know and in washington, d.c. want is for you and me to have time to mobilize gun owners to defeat this radical agenda." well, now, maeve ruston, we knows that's not going to happen and we think probably deep down, rand paul knows that's not going to happen. what then becomes the purpose of that kind of rhetoric? what's the strategy here? >> well, perry talked about what the bigger task is for rand paul right now, if he does run in 2016, which is to really fire up his base. and i think that's what we're see heerg, is, you know, in the e-mail -- >> his base are crazy people? >> you know, those are your words, not mine. >> i don't know what to say -- who this e-mail would appeal to? >> well, i'm not sure, exactly, who the e-mail appeals to, maybe even not even some people within the republican base. but, the broader point here is
that rand paul is trying to fire up his audiences by talking about benghazi, which we talked about earlier, by going to iowa and taking on hillary clinton. and you know, that will be the bigger issue in 2016, is whether he can talk about both of those kinds of issues, immigration, to draw in a broader base, and then on the other hand, issues like benghazi and guns that fire up some of the most conservative elements of his base, and the people that he would be competing for, should he run. >> you know, craig, i think there is a bit of a logic to the e-mail he sent out. there are usually like three primaries within the republican primary. there's usually one primary between the moderate candidate. say, chris christie is probably jon huntsman. there's a little mini primary there. there's traditional republicans like marco rubio, like paul ryan. they're competing with each other. and rand paul is competing for the most conservative people. he's sort of competing with ted cruz, who has also made a few statements that i would consider kind of out of the mainstream, to put it mildly.
but rand paul wants to own the right of the right. that's what you're seeing here. this e-mail is not going to help him with moat voters, but help him own the right of the right. >> i love the fact you both choose your words so very carefully. >> of course. up next, more on the benghazi backlash. republican congressman adam kinzinger will join me. but first, president obama twee tweeted out this picture. the message, happy mother's day, show your favorite mom some love. happy mother's day to my mom. hey there, betty jo. we'll be right back. i'm glad . [ female announcer ] tampax pearl protects better. only tampax has a leakguard braid to help stop leaks before they happen. tampax pearl protects better.
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your day to unplug. with centurylink as your technology partner, our visionary cloud infrastructure, and dedicated support, free you to focus on what matters. centurylink. your link to what's next. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. . and a good sunday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. and we begin with the politics of benghazi. >> so, clearly politics was at play here. >> but, unfortunately, this has been caught up in the 2016 presidential campaign. this effort to go after hillary clinton. >> politics at play. the 2016 election and the
backlash against the deadly attack in benghazi ahead. >> he gave a green light to all these massacre and it's a sha shameful chapter in america history. >> and then there's syria and the question of how the united states is going to get involved without getting involved. >> we're really puzzled. and here we've spent weeks trying to figure out what do you call this. >> and if you're tech savvy, this former presidential candidate is asking for your help. why? we'll tell you in just a few moments. first, our political headlines on this mother's day. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg said yesterday while she supports a woman's right to choose, she does not necessarily agree with the way her predecessors handled roe v. wade. speaking to students in chicago last night, ginsburg said that the court's 1973 decision was too sweeping and gave
abortionists a target to aim at relentlessly. president obama and david cameron are set to meet at the white house tomorrow. the cameron's office says the main items on the agenda are plans for next month's g-8 summit and ending the bloody and brutal conflict in syria. and the investigation into what happened in benghazi last september 11th continues to dominate the sunday shows. it did so this morning. while some republicans insist, this is not about targeting former secretary of state hillary clinton, senator john mccain believes that she might have been had a role in tweaking those talking points that ambassador susan rice used while first describing the attacks. >> do you think she had a role in those e-mails? >> she had to have been in the loop some way, but we don't know for sure. but i do know that her response before the foreign relations committee, who cares, remember when she said, well, who cares how this happened, in a rather emotional way. a lot of people care, i say,
with respect to the secretary of state. >> with more now ton latest in the benghazi investigation, i want to bring in republican congressman, adam kinsinger, who is also an air force major who flew missions in iraq and afghanistan. congressman, it's good to see you, sir. >> great to be here. >> one issue that came up in the week's hearings on wednesday, whether the defense department could have been gone into benghazi after there was word of an attack. former secretary of defense, bob gates, he talked about that on "face the nation" this morning. take a listen. >> i think my decisions would have been just as theirs were. we don't have a ready force standing by in the middle east, despite all the turmoil that's going on, with planes on strip alert, troops ready to deploy at a moment's notice. >> this is a former defense secretary. congressman, do you think that enough was done to save lives in benghazi? >> no, there's two points here. number one, this was the anniversary of 9/11 and libya
was one of the hottest spots in the world. there should have been forces on standby. there should have been forces ready to respond, to anything that would come up. secondly, on top of that, you had the first attack, and then you had a seven-hour law between that and the second attack, which ended up killing more americans. i don't know why after the first attack, and the evidence that, look, this was a hot area, there's some stuff going on, whatever it is, fog alert, we'll see, but we need to alert every asset, whether it's f-16s out of italy, whether it's tankers out of england or out of turkey, to get everything in line to respond. and they didn't know that the next attack was seven hours later. it could have been eight hours. it could have been ten hours. but, yet, these forces were not alerted the to be brought in to save americans. >> on the "meet the press" this morning, democratic senator dianne feinstein, she admitted that it was fair to criticize the security in benghazi before the attack. she agrees with you. take a listen to what she said. >> you can say that the security was inadequate. it was. this was not a consulate or an
embassy, therefore it did not have marines. you can question whether it should have been there in the first place. but i don't think you can question that there was malevolence on the part of the president, on the part of the secretary of state, or anyone else. >> if most, including yourself, acknowledged that security was inadequate, who's really at fault then? >> well, look, the secretary of state and the state department really can determine what level of security they need. they can take from other areas that may be a lot more secure in europe, for instance, and put some of that money to libya. but the fact is, is this. we had an attack. i'm not blaming the president for the attack in libya. my concern is why didn't he respond quickly after that. as a military pilot, the first thing i was told in survival training, which is the worst train you can go through, but the first thing i was told is, have heart, because your country will move heaven and earth to come get you, and in this case, that doesn't appear that that that happened. so why didn't we react in time?
and why did susan rice go on television and say this absolutely was a terrorist attack. >> i think your first point, a lot of folks can get behind. the first part of what you just said made sense, to point out how inadequate the security was there. why is that second part so important? why the revision of the talking points? why is this such an important piece of business? >> to me the huge issue is not necessarily the revision of the talking points, but the fact that at the end of the day, for whatever reason, the administration was very set on not saying that this was a terrorist attack. in fact, hillary clinton, in a closed-door meeting with a bunch of cokemen i was part of, she basically yelled at a member of congress who said, this might actually be a terrorist attack. my question is, i just want answers, why is this something that we couldn't say that this was a terrorist attack. i think if the president would have came out the day it happened and said, this is a terrorist attack, and we're going to go after the people who did this to our ambassador, he'll probably gain three points in the poll.
>> i want to talk to you about the other part of this story. the fact that some folks seem to be politicizing part of it. the ercc e-mailed a fund-raising note two days ago. it's attached to the tragedy in benghazi. why politicize something like this? while would the nrcc try to use this as an opportunity to try to raise a few bucks? >> i can't speak for the nrcc, just like i can't speak for democrats on the ore side when president bush was in office. be i'm concerned about getting answers and hopefully let this whole thing settle out. but as we keep prying and trying to finder things out, it appears there was information withheld that congress has a right to know. i'm just trying to get answer for the american people. >> congressman, thank you for your time. with more now on benghazi and joined by a senior fellow at the brookings institution, she's also author of the -- he's also author of the upcoming book,
"the world through arab eyes," shibley, good to see you, as always. >> good to see you. >> how much is the rest of the world paying attention to this benghazi investigation in this country right now? >> well, i could tell you in the arab world, particularly, people are very puzzled by this debate. they don't really see it. they don't get what the issue is. and particularly, the issue about talking points. yes, they see it as part of american politics and they're puzzled by it. they don't see it as particularly consequential, either for american foreign policy or for american lives. >> on "meet the press" this morning, congressman darrell issa insisted that the benghazi hearings are not about a blame game. they are about how to protect americans going forward. i want to play what he said and talk about it on the other side. here it is. >> so when we look at what we know, the question is, how do we prevent a facility from being underprotected? how do we respond better if we have seven hours or more of an
attack? and how do we get the truth out? there's three sections, all of which the american people are entitled to. >> do you get the sense that the end result here is going to be better protected embassies around the world, better protected consulates as well? >> you know, there is certainly room for investigation. but i start with something that secretary gates said that you didn't play earlier. he called the idea that there could have been an effective response within seven hours cartoonish. and i think it is, at some point, there is something that is really, really depressing about the debate, because it is unreal about how things function on the ground. there are obviously ways to improve it. it should be used for that way. there should be an investigation, but i worry. i see what's happening in the state department. the assistant secretary of state is spending so much of her time worrying about what people are going to criticize for this or that personnel on security, rather than being focused on
major issues, related to foreign policy. so i worry about this being out of hand, because it is going -- blown out of proportion. so, now, still, i think it's a legitimate question. people -- i happen to have known ambassador stevens. i was saddened by it. at the same time, when that took place, one of my former students was a diplomat in libya. i was worried about it. i'm still worried as an american about the consequences. but linking this shall to the talking points is such a silly argument. >> the administration, and you just alluded to it here, and congressman kinsington just alluded to it as well. the administration did not label the attack an act of terrorism right away. >> but the president did. if you recall, the president made that statement very early on, called it a terrorist attack. now, we can go back, you know, i am not one who thinks that these statements are out of the political arena. we were in a presidential campaign. i would be surprised if politics didn't play entitle.
you know, it always does and certainly, when you're doing talking points and going on a sunday show. but to call it a cover-up is sting of an exaggeration. for a cover-up, you have to have a consistent policy. it's not about talking points, and you have to have a crime or responsibility with something you've done that's absolutely wrong that hasn't been proven. you have to prove intent, which isn't there. so i think that the whole debate is really political and i think, instead, we should focus on the real issues. >> the real issues being? >> number one, yes, we should act that question, can we protect the personnel better? was something done wrong because something could have been done better. that should be an investigation for sure. >> shibley, how much of this is purely about funding? how much of this is simply about spending a lot more money to provide the kind of security that would be necessary to make sure that all of our diplomatic outposts are as safe as they should be, especially in some of
the global hot spots? >> a big part of it, for sure. but you know, i have to tell you something. during the bush administration, i was appointed on a nonpartisan public diplomacy commission to deal with public diplomacy toward the muslim world. this is a commission that was asked for by congress. we ordered a report. during that commission, we went to visit some of the diplomatic missions of the united states in the middle east, including the consulate in istanbul, turkey. and what we wrote, it reminded us of these crusader fortresses. because what has happened, if you contrast the consulate of the united states in the middle of istanbul, mingling with people, the outreach to people in the reign, these protected missions that have become fortresses, there's been so much spent on security and protection that we're losing track of the game. i think, yes, security is a big part of it, but there's
something else going on here that we're not talking about. and that is, how do we do proper diplomacy without reaching out to the people in the region? >> shibley tlamy, that is a macro question and at some point i would love to have you back on to talk about that. love your insight. >> my pleasure. still to come, inside the question of what to do about syria. journalist david road just got back from a trip with secretary kerry to russia. that was at the top of the agenda. he'll talk to me about what we learned last week. first, though, new comments from the three women who were held captive in that house in cleveland for a decade. they're talking. this is msnbc. staples rewards program you get 5% back, on everything. everything. everything. everything. everything. everything. everything? [ all ] everything? yup! with the new staples rewards program you get 5% back on everything.
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thank you so much for everything you're doing and continue to do. i am so happy to be home with my family. gina dejesus says, quote, i'm so happy to be home. i want to thank everyone for all your prayers. i just want time now to be with my family. michelle knight says, thank you to everyone -- quote, thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. i am healthy, happy, and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time. >> the three women who were taken captive in cleveland have a spokesman now. he shared that statement with the media this morning. meanwhile, 52-year-old ariel castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping those women for close to decade, he could face the death penalty. he's still in jail. he's being held on an $8 million bond. our man on the ground in cleveland, ron allen, joins me once again. and ron, first of all, let's start with what's happening there right now, what's going to be happening there. and after that, i want to get into a larger conversation.
but what's happening on the ground? >> reporter: well, i think right now, craig, there's a lot of soul searching going on in this community as to how this could have happened. people lived in the neighborhood, as you know from being down here, are still puzzled and feeling some guilt, i might add, about having this going on in their neighborhood for the better part of ten years. the police are under scrutiny. there are these conflicting reports about whether the police went there, whether they were called or not. they say they only went a couple of times and they're being very defensive about it as well. there's that larger question of how could this all have happened. here today, the moment was the team that the women have assembled, the survivors have assembled, speaking out for them and issuing these statements to try to fill the void. there's a tremendous appetite in the media, the community, to hear from these people, to know what happened to these women, what their experience was like and just to connect with them in a way. and i think it's good news that they have hired this team of
professionals, crisis managers, lawyers, who are basically trying to speak for them and also to direct people to something called if cleveland courage fund, which is a legitimate fund that has been set up, that's accepting donations on their behalf, on behalf of the survivors and their families, because lord knows at this point, they could use all the help that they could get. >> ron, it to ask a question and i've gotten this question anytime someone wants to talk about the case. i know you've gotten it ad nauseam as well, since you've been in cleveland. this idea that something like this could happen in a neighborhood. i had a woman on the broadcast yesterday who essentially said, this would never happen in my neighborhood. can we answer that question? is there an answer to that question? how something like this could happen in a neighborhood with people coming and going on a regular basis. not so much, obviously, inside the house, but certainly on the street. >> reporter: well, yeah, there were people inside the house. there were relatives of ariel castro who said that they were in the house and he was a little bit weird about them going
upstairs or going downstairs. there were padlocks inside the house. there was loud music playing. so there were all those things. but all of this, of course, looks so much more vivid in hindsight, knowing what happened. and even though the neighborhood is urban, it's not that dense. the house where this happened, and then there are a number of abandoned properties on the aim side of the street, and across the street, there are a number of abandoned properties. behind the house, there's some kind of a smalltime factory that operates there on something of a limited basis. so the point is that even though this looks like a very busy place, it's not, apparently. and a city councilman there was pointing out that there are a number of active community groups in the area that are -- that go up and down the streets and are in touch with neighbors. and this block, apparently, does not have that kind of an organization. we also learned that the keownmkeow councilman at one point, had gone up and down these area trying to do an inventory of the abandoned buildings. these are classic urban issues all over america.
but the point is that this place somehow slipped through the cracks. and you had this guy, ariel castro, who was apparently very charismatic and visible in the neighborhood, friendly with the kids, giving them rides, when he was the school bus driver, and he was very -- nobody would suspect this guy. everybody knew him. and this whole cliche about how these things happened in plain sight, it really did. so as i was saying earlier, a lot of neighbors are feeling some guilt and some sense of responsibility, how could this happen? and people are blaming the police, but people are also blaming the neighbors. there's a lot of blame to go around and a lot of soul searching to go around, because it is an unimaginable set of circumstances that led to this whole thing. >> nbc's ron allen on the ground for us in cleveland. ron, thank you, sir, appreciate your insight. in philadelphia this afternoon, graduate students at the warden school of business at the university of pennsylvania were charged by penn alumists and our own andrea mitchell. take a listen. >> on this mother's day, i have
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miss arias, let's talk about the events at benghazi. when were you first made aware that our consulate was under attack? >> i guess this morning. >> i see. >> is it still going on? >> no, no, it happened last september. but -- >> who do you think did it? >> well, we know who did it. it was an sar al sharia. >> well, if you know who did it, then why are you holding these hearings?
>> "saturday night live" there, kbaning the biggest stories of the week in the same skit. it's pretty funny. into the political playground we go. former republican presidential candidate newt gingrich is very puzzled by the device that many call a cell phone. take a look. >> we're really puzzled here at gingrich productions, we spent weeks trying to figure out, what do you call this? think about it, this device is something new and different. i've been calling it a handheld computer, but i decided that really was misleading. >> well, we may have an answer for you. how about calling it, perhaps a smartphone. and then there's this from rand paul at an event in iowa friday. just listen to his call to engage the youth of today. >> we need the passion of patrick henry. give me liberty or give me death. we also need the passion of what young people have and what young people in love have.
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the other top staring making news right now. tight security at dartmouth graduation this weekend. an evacuation plan, extra police, bag checks, and no wrapped gifts. all of those extra cautions happening in the aftermath of the boston marathon bombing. suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev attended dartmouth. right now prince harry is at the warrior games for wounded veterans. last night he got in on the action, playing some visiting volleyball. prince harry is a captain in britain's army air corps. and chrysler, chrysler is recalling near half a million jeeps worldwide, including 295,000 here in the united states. the car company is reporting transmission problems with some models of jeep commanders and jeep grand cherokees. syria today denies responsibility for bomb attacks in turkey saturday that killed
more than 46 people. turkey believes the attack was carried out by a group linked to syria's intelligence service. turkey says it will take necessary measures to protect its borders. david road is a foreign affairs columnist at reuters. david, always good to see you. what kind of action is turkey likely to take, if it determines that syria is responsible for these attacks? >> it could step up its arming of the rebels inside syria. there was a turkish jet shot down by syrian forces earlier in this conflict. maybe they could bomb some targets inside syria. this is another escalation of how syria just will not go away. it's destabilizing its neighbors, turkey, jordan, lebanon, israel. there's been israeli air strikes, so this is a real problem for washington as well. >> and i understand you just returned from russia. you were there last week. a close ally of syria, russia. of course, the united states has been putting pressure on russia to put pressure on syria's president, bashar al assad.
you wrote that russian analysts think washington is kidding its itself if they think putin can create a quick and easy exit. >> i think they're sort of playing the russia card. i give secretary of state kerry credit for going there. it was a real up and down trip, wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. and putin wasn't ready to meet him, so the secretary of state went on this impromptu tour, walked around red square for a while. still, putin's not ready to meet him. in the end, kerry spent three hours waiting to meet vladimir putin. went back to his hotel and waited there. apparently putin does this to a lot of people. he made another man in the past wait 4 1/2 hours. kerry came out of these talks with a promise from the russians that they would co-host some new peace talks where there would be an effort to get the syrian
government and the rebels to name some kind of interim government. i don't know if that's going to work, but kerry has maybe bought the administration a little bit of time in terms of what to do next in syria. and maybe now, you know, the administration can push rush about really delivering. will they block a u.n. security council resolution, which they've done over and over again, and they can kind of test putin, is he really going to help or not. >> let's turn to the benghazi controversy in your new book, "beyond war," you examine america's role in a changing middle east. given the fighting in d.c. over foreign policy, how is the perception of the united states? how is it changing in countries like libya and like syria? >> i think the scale of the sort of political fight in the wake of this incident in benghazi, it emboldens islamists. if they kill a few americans on the ground in benghazi, it paralyzes our government, prevents our diplomats from going out there. i have less concerns about the
initial response to the attack. i don't think we had enough people on the ground. i don't think the military had enough people in north africa. i think there's questions now that these e-mails have come up about politically, what was the administration doing. we didn't have enough resources in the region. that's the problem, and we look weak now, where you can kill, you know, a handful of americans and paralyze our government. we've got -- we're going to lose diplomats. i with say that. politicians can't say that. we're going to lose more diplomats. we lost this young woman in afghanistan, no one's talking about that. and diplomats i talk to say, this is going to happen. we've got to be in these countries. we can't be so squared of losing people and having it just become a,, you know -- >> are we going to lose them, david, because we just simply can't afford the resources the to protect all of them? >> i think it's impossible to stop every single suicide bomber. it's impossible to stop every single attack. we should minimize them. i write in the book about our dependence on private contractors. that was an issue in benghazi. the libyan government wants
gadhafi filled. the new libyan government said, we don't want any blackwaters here, and we didn't have enough staff, state department security officers to put on the ground in benghazi. that's the problem. and there's blame for that in the state department, but congress wasn't funding it as well either. so, yes, let's spend more, but let's realize, we're going to lose diplomats. if we're going to have thousands of young soldiers lose their lives and lose their limbs, we've got to take risks and we're going to lose some civilians also. >> david, columnist and author, we always appreciate your insight and perspective, sir. thank you for your time. >> thank you. that takes us to the brain trust on this sunday afternoon. esther armah, rob frankin, and robert costa, washington editor at the "national review." good to see all of you on this mother's day. esther, i'm going to start with you. republicans continue to hammer on the changing of the talking points with regard to the benghazi attack. this is darrell issa on "meet
the press" this morning. let's take a listen and talk about it on the other side. here it is. >> was the response correct? could it have been better? why weren't things at least tried or revved up to be tried? those are important questions. and then, afterwards, how could you change talking points 12 times from what seems to be relatively right to what seems to be completely wrong? >> is this, esther, a beltway conversation, or is this something that john q. six-pack really cares about sitting at his house in kansas? >> i think it's absolutely about a question. i think there's different realities going on. i think there's always a separation between the issues that politicians are obsessing over in order to score political points, party against party, versus what the majority of american people can care about on the ground, which is the economy and jobs and the health care, and gun violence. but i think david road said it very well when the issue about not having enough money in the
region, which makes these attacks easier to happen, because there isn't the security that needs to be, is different than arguing about the talking points, which i think is a question about political want the republicans getting on the political train, to de-rail hillary clinton's 2016 potential presidential chances. two different issues. >> bob, is that all this is about here? has it all become politicized, or is there, at least on some level, still a search for truth >> who knows? but let's suppose, for the moment, that the charges are correct, that the republicans are involved in a witch hunt. the fact of the matter is, that sometimes, witch hunts find some witches. i think what's been happening thus far with the democrats is that they have been trying to parse their words. they've been trying to be too cute. i think that there are indications of that in these now-infamous talking points that we've been discussing. they have to know that they have
to let it all hang out. because there are members of the opposition who are going to be trying to find some real holes in the arguments that they make. and you have the reporters, also, that are jumping on everything. it's probably appropriate to remind everyone that the journalists' mantra on this mother's day, is if your mother says she loves you, check it out. >> robert, white house, of course, swinging back at republicans. this is jay carney from friday. >> ongoing attempts to politicize a tragedy that took four american lives, you know, we're now seeing it resurface togethe together, you know, political assertions by republicans. >> are democrats trying to play it too cute here, or what are the real issues at stake here? >> i think the real, legitimate issue was the breaking story of gregory hicks' testimony, who was on the ground in libya, when the ambassador was killed. so his testimony to the house was something that really
changed this entire story. >> in what way, for folks who haven't been following it, robert? >> it really changed the story, because we had somebody who was on the ground in libya, as the deputy chief of the mission, who was telling the congress in a non-partisan way that the state department bungled the response and that he has questions about how secretary clinton and other officials within the state department handled the situation. and you add the talking points at the white house to what gregory hicks was telling the house this week in congress, you have a situation that continues to unfold and i think that's where the question lies. >> and the trouble is the legitimate issue of those unfolding questions gets lost in the political thuggery and the political tomfoolery that the republicans are using to try and get at the white house. and that is the part that is dangerous. there are legitimate questions to the answers. but if they get lost in the political swamp, then what happens to the truth of what happens on the ground? >> robert, you were trying to say something? >> yes, indeed.
i think it's important to note that there is an important political context here, and that is that all of this was going on, what is now being called a cover-up, during a hotly contested election season. so i think that that makes this an important political story, as well as a substantiative story. >> all right. we'll take a quick break here. when we come back, i want to talk about the irs. my mother made the best toffee in the world.
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with centurylink as your trusted partner, it can. our visionary cloud infrastructure and global broadband network free you to focus on what matters. with custom communications solutions and dedicated support, your business can shine all week long. . folks, we need to tell you about some breaking news right now. there are some local news reports down in new orleans, several people have been shot, 12 people, according to local news reports, at least 12 people shot at a mother's day parade there. three of the folks who were shot are in critical condition. again, 12 people shot in new orleans at a mother's day parade. this is some breaking news that we're following down there. the youngest victim in that shooting, according to local news reports, the youngest victim, 10 years old. we'll continue to follow that story and we will pass along new information as it becomes available. the brain trust is back.
esther armor, bob franken, and the "national review's" robert costa is here as well. robert, let's go from benghazi to the irs here. another washington controversy. the fact that the irs singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny. this is maine's republican senator susan collins on cnn this morning. take a look and take a listen. >> it is absolutely chilling that the irs was singling out conservative groups for extra review. and i think that it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this. >> how much is this going to hurt democrats, robert? >> i think it's a very unfortunate story. it's almost a page out of a george orwell novel. to see the irs doing what the conservatives have always feared being targeted by the mrnobama administration, it's unsettling. perhaps the president will get pressure this week to step up a
little more, make his views on this more public. >>esther, one of the things that struck me about this story, whatever your politics, i contend that this is one of those stories that it gives the crazies o oy ies out there, ande a lot of them, this gives them fodder when they talk about the government coming after their guns and we don't trust the government. this is one of the situations they can point to now and say, look, i told you so. >> absolutely. that is that story. the story that all the crazies are -- there you go. we told you the government's coming after us and they're targeting us and they're targeting conservatives. every line that the far right-wing republicans have uttered in terms of the government coming after you, you have legitimate concerns to be not just fear-filled, but to arm yourselves against that fear is manifest by virtue of this story. and the thing that's disappointing is that when you look at the weeds of the story, the detail of it, it really is not as bad as is being articulated, but it's not going to matter, because you're going to hear it ratcheted up over
these next few days. >> not as bad? really, not as bad, bob? >> at the very least, it's going to show again in our government, we have some real doofuses. and by the way, the plural is not doofi, it's doofuses. >> there's a "washington post" report come out which talks about an original proposal to target, quote, political action-type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government education on the constitution bill of rights, social economic reform movement. that's pretty scary, to be very honest with you. now, it could have been just some overzealous bureaucrats, but that's what's going to be finding out. what's happening is, you have that story and the benghazi story and you're starting to see some sort of water torture on this administration. and you know that the republicans are not going to let this go. >> i think you're going to remember, you know, the
conservatives and arms of the republican party, targeted organizations like a.c.o.r.n. and success actually brought them down. which is very different than this. but i think the trouble is, the nature of the political climate that we're in right now makes this story particularly dangerous at this time in the midst of the benghazi hearings. it's the context and the climate within which it happens. >> i think that's a little much. when you compare, when you say conservatives went after a.c.o.r.n., that's quite true, but this is the government, the supposedly non-partisan irs targeting conservative groups. and that's much more unsettling than having a conservative group unaffiliated with the government going after a target. this is the government going after private groups, and i think that's what raises a lot of eyebrows. >> i do want to go back to what bob just -- the point that bob just raised about this second term curse. "the washington post" story that you mentioned, bob. there's an excerpt from it. white house officials acknowledge, acknowledge now, that the history of modern second-term presidencies is a sobering one, replete with
scandal and failure. sth sther, what's the president going to have to do to get around the second-term curse. >> i don't know that he can get around the second-term curse. i think this story in no way helps that second-term curse. but i think given the reality of the republicans' treatment of his presidency, you have on the one hand a nation celebrating milestone and progress with the first african-american president. and on the other, the kind of far-right base being ratcheted up and extremist groups rising and going back to some of the who's elements of that history. how do you beat those two realities? i don't know that you do. but i think pursuit of his agenda in the way that he is doing matters. but i think he's going to have to address the irs story. >> bob, are you surprised that we haven't heard from the president yet on the irs story? >> i'm extremely surprised. it would seem to me that he needs to get as angry as he's gotten when the gun control bill went down in the senate.
this is -- he doesn't take my advice, of course, and i wouldn't be offering it, but i think that there's a real vacuum here. this is hugely significant, or at least potentially significant, and not only that, but it undermines an agenda that includes raising taxes at least on the rich. now people can say, you know, we hate anything that has to do with taxes. look at those thugs at the irs, look what they're trying to do, so don't even talk to us about raising taxes. talk to us about getting rid of taxes. >> and robert, again, also, the fact that this irs story just sort of plays into the idea that a lot of folks have that you can't trust government. you just can't trust government to do anything, you can't trust government to be responsible, you can't trust government to act objectively. >> that's right. it doesn't just play into the idea, it's evidence of the idea. and a lot of people are very frustrated with the government. they're out of work or we're continuing to be in a recession. and as much as they my respect the president, they're probably worried about the bureaucracy within the administration, not
having much oversight, or having some corruption within the ranks and how they're going after certain groups. i think this is a different -- if the president sees this issue, he probably finds some respect from voters who are moderate and conservative. because they want their government to work, regardless if they support the administration in power. >> and here's the other thing. had it been any other agency beside s the irs, they might hae gotten the pass. that's one thing everybody can agree on, how much we hate the irs. a sneak peek at next week's political headlines, we'll do that right after this. come back. [ female announcer ] can a body wash go beyond basic cleansing?
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the brain trust is back. guys, benghazi obviously dominated washington this past week. let's get your predictions for the headlines that we are going to see next week. robert costa, we start with you, good sir. when is it? >> my headline, obama allays push back. i think after the republicans went after the obama administration in the house, you'll see democrats this week start to defend the action of secretary clinton and others
involved. >> you think they step up. >> i think so. >> how about you, bob franken, what's yours? >> well, mine would be something along the lines of, republicans continue to charge benghazi cover-up, white house continues to duck for cover. >> you don't think benghazi is going away? >> oh, my, no. it's not going to go away. as a matter of fact, i think that you're going to have, according to the chairman of the house intelligence committee, you're going to have, quote, more whistle-blowers coming forward. >> but, bob, you've been around d.c. long enough to know that stories like this, they have legs for a while. but a week from now, ten days from now, we're talking about something else. we're talking about the next scandal. what makes this one different? >> well, i think this is the kind of thing that people can understand, or at least misunderstand. i mean, i covered the whole white water mess, which was a nonstory from the beginning. but it was a nonstory that got prominent coverage for several years. >> esther, what's your headline? >> well, i think there's a divide between how the politicians think and the people
think. mine is benghazi or bust, a loss of hearing for the gop? >> so you also think that benghazi will be around for a bit? >> i think it will be around a bit for the politicians. for the people -- >> that's the thing, bob. you mentioned white water. and i think you're right. this is along the lines of white water. i don't know if john q. sixpack sitting in his house in iowa knows or cares a lot about this story. i know it sounds -- i know how it sounds, but -- you disagree? >> first of all, john q. sixpack forms impressions. and i think there's going to be relentless raising of the issue. it's going to be something that reporters aren't going to let go and something that members of the opposition party aren't going to let go of, and it's going to sort of have this erosion in credibility for the white house, quite frankly. >> bob franken, esther armor, robert costa, thank you all for joining me.
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now where's the snooze button? good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. if it's sunday, you know john mccain is running his mouth about benghazi. congressman darrell issa wants to take everything behind closed doors now all of a sudden. and a former bush secretary of defense sets the record straight and comes forward and has some interesting words to say about hillary clinton. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> look at the mouth on this one. >> no kidding. >> i would call it a cover-up. >> i think that's nonsense. >> it just doesn't seem like there is a cover-up. >> and i think the american people will think it's nonsense. >> i would call it a cover-up in the extent that there was willful removal of information. >> our intelligence committee will have a report and i hope we will put some of these things to rest. >> it's really about one thing and one thing only. >> secretary clinton -- >> secretary c