tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 3, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST
this afternoon the president will launch a new pr push on the positive benefits of his health care law. will that be enough to get the health care rollout off the critical list? >> the president's health care law continues to wreak havoc on families, small businesses and economy. it's not just a broken website. this bill is fundamentally flawed. >> our republican colleagues have focused so much attention, in fact, obsessed in killing the affordable care act they failed to focus on real needs of americans. >> smashing the speed limit. investigators say derailed commuter train traveling three times the legal speed heading into that dangerous curve 82 miles an hour. still unknown was the crash that killed four passengers caused by mechanical failure or operator error. >> for the train to be going 82 miles an hour around that curve is just a frightening thought.
>> we showed you amazon's delivery of the future but drone delivery raises important questions. we'll have more. >> what could go wrong? >> good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in new york. the obama administration trying to get past disas true rollout kicking off a new campaign promoting benefits of the health care law. robert gibbs msnbc contributor and former white house press secretary during the president's first term and dr. zeke emanuel msnbc contributor and former special adviser on policy to the obama administration. welcome both. first to you, robert, if you were behind the podium today, what would you be saying about
healthcare.gov? >> i think what they have said yesterday and clearly with the president being out there today, there is a subtle message that the website is functioning in a much better place because they understand that if they do an event that draws attention to health care and the website that traffic will greatly increase. so they clearly are demonstrating with today's events the necessity, i think, of today's events the digital architecture of healthcare.gov is greatly improved because they have confidence they can talk about the website and it won't crash. >> but zeke, what about the possible pitfalls down the road? should they be seriously worried? the lead story in the "washington post" is that there are enrollment errors people don't even know about and this starting january 1st when they think they are going to get health care could become a problem if they don't have insurance they think they have enrolled in. >> well, i think getting those
so-called 834 forms from the website to the insurers and getting them with no errors is obviously important. they say they have identified a bug and presumably are going to identify other bugs causing errors. again, that is a technical issue. it's something that is solvable. they have a month now, literally a month in which to get it right. there are, i think, almost inevitably going to be cases where people thought they got insurance, somehow the form didn't get passed. that happens also, we should remember, with employers and with others going on. i actually think i've talked to them and i've also used the website mostly to shop and compare. it definitely is much better. it's more stable. it gives you the pass through, the number of screens you have to go through last. there's still a bunch of glitches and more screens than you should want. i think all of this will be
rationalized over time. i think actually, andrea, the most important thing they said yesterday was when jeff zients leaves at the end of the month, they will have another person who will be the ceo to run this thing. i think that's a very positive direction, and i think it can give people confidence assuming this person is competent and really will have the authority to see this thing through for the next two, three years. >> robert, that raises the question of the competence of the people in charge. jeff zients probably shouldn't leave until they have his replacement in place, because he's made a huge difference. one has to think, what if he had been in charge from the beginning or someone from his caliber in charge from the beginning and why that didn't happen. >> no doubt about it. jeff zients has done a remarkable job. i think it was important for the white house to have a fresh set of eyes that went over to hhs and cms to figure what happened. obviously clearly important to
bring in people from the private sector that have a lot of experience in high-traffic ecommerce and commercial websites. it will be, as zeke said, crucially important that somebody is there to ensure that this continues. look, there are going to be bugs and glitches going forward. every time that happens, it will be a big and interesting story. this is not going to solve itself, it's going to take days and months for it to work itself out. it's not a task that was done over the weekend. it will continue literally through the end of the enrollment period in march. >> and zeke -- >> lets be clear. google has tens of thousands of people, facebook tens of thousands of people working constantly to make sure their site is stable, upgrade their site, constantly improve it, see where problems are.
this needs the same 24/7 attention by people to make sure it's not only working well and continues to work well but constantly improving and actually doing things better, giving a better shopping experience for people. you cannot say it's solved in some ways. it's a constant upgrade, constant improvement activity. that's the psychology we need going in in the management side of things. >> zeke, people have to -- the white house has to stress the benefits. the bottom line republicans have no alternative they have suggested. they can criticizes this as much as they want. it's a target. change the benefits those people will be getting from health care. >> over the last week, we've begun to hear stories, people who went on websites, whether state website or federal website and found good deals. people who didn't have insurance or woefully underinsured or
paying an exorbitant rate now having options they didn't have before that are quite reasonable in price and give them good preventive care for free. i think that's the story, that's the understanding we're going to have to get out more and more. i think the one worrisome sign there, although about 37% of people in a recent kaiser poll of young people weren't included in about the health care reform and stuff. getting to those young people is going to be key. >> obviously key. >> i expect that the big sort of publicity surge over the next few weeks will heavily target that. remember, all of this is sort of -- we keep looking at the pot and wondering if it's boiling. the real numbers are going to be down april 1st, 2014, when the early enrollment period ends. then we'll be able to see. >> show improvement earlier than that to stop democrats on the house side from panicking and
putting more pressure on the white house. before i let you go, proud auburn alum, robert, wondering first of all we've seen incredible shots on youtube. is that what your house looked like? i guess you were at the game, right? >> i had my 10-year-old section 28, row 13. we were doing a lot of that with 84,000 of our closest friends on saturday night inside the stadium. i will say this, i may need zeke to schedule a heart appointment for me after watching these games. >> what are you going to do saturday? you need somebody to lose. are you rooting for michigan state, ohio state, florida. >> i'm the biggest michigan state fan you'll met this weekend. >> okay. >> even i who is not a big football fan thought that was truly amazing. >> that's not the way he was
monday morning at 6:00 a.m. thank you very much, robert. go auburn. >> thank you. war eagle. >> thanks, zeke, good to see you, too. this thursday we have an msnbc exclusive chris matthews with president obama. chris will be interviewing the president as part of the "hardball" college tour thursday on msnbc. new details now emerging about the driver who was in control of the train that derailed north of manhattan killing four people, injuring dozens more. engineer bill rockefeller told ntsb investigators he, quote, lost focus moments before the crash. reporting his shift changed to early mornings a few weeks ago. as ntsb continues their investigation, there's little doubt that speed contributed to the crash. data from the two black boxes showed the commuter train was traveling at 82 miles an hour. that's nearly three times as fast as it should have been going. ntsb looking into the issue of
equipment failure. u.s. congressman, member of house that committee joins me now. congressman, thank you very much. this tragedy, four people dead including a member of the nbc family, "today" show audio engineer and three other people and their families, an accident that should not have happened whether equipment error, operator error, how do you explain 82 miles an hour going into that spuyten station. >> the engineer may have been asleep, lost his focus. we have to look at the brakes. first indication they seem to be okay. we have to wait for national transportation safety investigation board to conclude and figure it out. one thing we will see, a couple things. number one, this shows the
accessibility or advisability putting into place positive train control equipment congressman dated placed all over the country by 2015. that would have automatically slowed down or stopped that train if the driver lost control, if the engineer lost control or even fell asleep. clearly it would have prevented the accident. metro north is now in the process of ordering the equipment and installing it. they are probably a year or year and a half away from doing that. that would have stopped this accident. the second thing, metro north, i spoke earlier with the chairman of the ntsb, and she reminded me four active investigations by the ntsb of accidents on the metro north line since may. there seems to be something perhaps wrong. >> four investigations since may alone? >> none for a long period before that. four since may. one fatality before a track
worker was killed when a train was released by the dispatcher to go into an area which it shouldn't have been released to go into. there was a derailment because of a track problem. four incidents they are now investigating, two of which involve fatalities since may. something is wrong there. >> is there some procedure where the ntsb or some other authority would supervise in a special way until we find out what's happening? >> no. the ntsb -- >> postaccident investigative. >> they report what happens, make recommendations what to do. clearly we have to put some more attention onto metro north right now. let me just say this. i know that track very well. i take that train very often. it was a great tragedy obviously. we were lucky it happened sunday morning 7:00 a.m. instead of a weekday morning. it would have been multiple
fatalities. one is too many and railroading is statistically a very, very safe way to travel. but we obviously have problems in metro north right now. >> congressman, thanks very much. i know you're going to stay on that. motor city, detroit, was given green light to move forward with the largest public bankruptcy in u.s. history. federal judge determined that detroit had met the conditions necessary to be in bankruptcy allowing the city to come up with a plan to get rid of $18 billion in debt that largely involves pensions. protesters outside the court echoed the argument for unions and retirees with deep cuts in their pension as part of any bankruptcy plan. at least one union announced the plan to appeal the decision. detroit's mayor kevyn orr said detroit has lost nearly 1 million residents since 1960, a chance for a fresh start. >> none of whom by wait filed objection to our eligibility. but equally important, our labor
partners to come forward with us and to take this opportunity, even in the process of litigation and appeals to try to get at the sorely needed reform that this city has got to achieve so we can move forward into a new day. o big. too small. too soft. too tasty. [ both laugh ] [ male announcer ] introducing progresso's new creamy alfredo soup. inspired by perfection. i remember thinking there's a lot i have to do... check my blood sugar, eat better. start insulin. today i learned there's something i don't have to do anymore. my doctor said with levemir® flexpen... i don't have to use a syringe and a vial. levemir® flexpen comes prefilled with long-acting insulin taken once daily for type 2 diabetes to help control high blood sugar. dial the exact dose. inject by pushing a button.
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welcome both. susan, are they beginning to get around the initial rollout problems? have they turned the corner? >> they have certainly turned the first corner. i don't think this is the last conner on the track. they have now succeeded in alleviating those incredible concerns we saw in october when the site clearly wasn't working at all. it now seems clear they are on their way to making the consumer part of the site work. we still have big questions about the back end of the site as with that "washington post" story who said a third of people enrolled have problems with the information their insurance companies or intended insurance companies have gotten. this is a good first step on what's going to be a long road for the white house. >> ron, you've written you think the white house needs a reboot, second term reboot. explain. >> he's had a miserable year, one of the worst years you can imagine for second term president. to begin with aca, with obama care that's been a disastrous capstone. we have a president whose staff
really isn't serving him very well. some of the heavyweights from first administration are all gone including previous. a president who came to office with a lot of management experience, this is a management breakdown. he needs people around him to help him run this beaurocracy, change the way he's leading to be honest and walk in the oval office and say, sir, this isn't working. here is what we have to do. >> susan, in the president's defense, shouldn't he be able to expect the experts at hhs and various agencies working on this had it under control since they were being asked on a daily basis, do you have it under control? >> certainly there are people below the president who bear responsibility for the catastrophic rollout of the affordable care act and website. in the end he's the president. you know, the buck stops with him. it's really his management responsibility to have made sure that was working. one of the frustrating things for supporters of this law is
that these were foreseeable difficulties. if the system had been working some time ago, they would have recognized some of the problems and addressed them before they were laid bear for the whole world to see. >> i want to ask both of you about education initiative, the studies out today, every three years global testing of teenagers, 15 years old. what we found, for all the money spent by bush administration and before this the obama administration, race to the top, all of the advancements we've been expecting, that american students have moved downward in these testings. we now rank below what we rank before. we're mid-range. actually rank below vietnam on math and reading scores. vietnam, which is not considered like shanghai and singapore, some other leading asian countries has now moved up. ron, you've studied a lot of this. you've covered all of these
issues. what's going on here with our inability to make any headway on what is arguably a national security issue, the fact our kids are falling behind on math and science. >> you're exactly right. it is a national security issue. i would step back and put the education system in that big bucket of national institutions that are failing to adapt to the times. just like our other institutions letting us down right now. we have our leaders on the national and local level instead of getting together and figuring out what needs to be done, how do we modernize and transform our education system, they are fighting with each other and finding scapegoats. i have a personal interest there because of family members. i think teachers, for example, are not paid in this country and getting too much of the blame for what's going on. instead of scapegoating, instead of fighting, we need to have some serious conversations about how can we do things differently than we have for the last 150 years because the times have changed and our systems needs to as well. >> susan, from what i've learned
from education nation at msnbc, no single solution is going to work. there isn't a single bullet. there's a range of things. it is true we have to value education, parental involvement and teachers far more than we do already? >> that's certainly true. there's not a silver bullet that's going to take care of the education problem, what's discouraging about the report, a lot of communities have been trying it. more charter schools. we've certainly done more testing in the last decade in an effort to push kids and education systems to work better, yet we get this report that shows almost no change over the past decade in the united states not even hitting the midpoint when it comes to mat and science education. that's one of the things fueling this debate over common core standards. that's the newest things a lot trying in an effort to make the system work better. >> something arne duncan has been pushing hard indeed. >> one thing asking ourselves, have are we changed our system to teach kids how to take the
test and not how to learn. >> be conceptual. thank you so much ron fournier and susan page. amazon has thought of everything. almost. their plan to use small drones to deliver purchases to your doorstep in 30 minutes or less in the future raises questions. don't worry brian williams and steven colbert are on the case. >> don't take my word for how simple it is when there's this carefully produced short film from amazon. there's the drone picking up the package and flying out of the warehouse navigating through parts of america with no trees, phone lines or building, then landing on your doorstep while your family cowers inside while the blade wielding copter leads. >> big story all over this amazon idea and we've been testing it ourselves, home delivery by drone. whether it's a new book or a dozen eggs, as long as it's under 5 pounds. what could go wrong? if i can impart one lesson to a
new business owner, it would be one thing i've learned is my philosophy is real simple american express open forum is an on-line community, that helps our members connect and share ideas to make smart business decisions. if you mess up, fess up. be your partners best partner. we built it for our members, but it's open for everyone. there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does.
almost a year since the sandy hook elementary school shooting in newtown, connecticut. last year adam lanza entered the school and took the lives of 26 teachers and students including nicole's 6-year-old son dylan. since then hockley has become a strong advocate controlling nationwide for better gun control legislation. nicole joins me from washington. nicole, thank you for being with us. we're so sorry for your loss. i know the anniversary will only make it more difficult. how is your work going? there's been no progress on background checks, any of the important gun initiatives from what the white house was pushing and you and other parents are hoping for. >> right from the beginning we knew legislation was not the only answer here. while it was disappointing
background checks did not pass, it certainly made us more committed to make further changes happen and look to our communities. this isn't just about legislation but hearts and minds of people and people want change to happen. we have to look to our communities to make things happen first. >> is there anything more you think joe biden or the president or any supporters in the administration are doing? >> as long as we have the conversation and keep things going, i'm encouraged to see the white house and senate are continuing conversations on mental health as well because this isn't just about guns, it's about the causes of gun violence which include mental wellness. that's important legislation on the table right now which we support. >> the house is expected to vote on the plastic gun ban, which expired december 9th or will expire december 9th unless renewed. what is your position on that?
that vote is, i think, this afternoon? >> we fully support it should not be allowed to expire. it's been in place 25 years and it should continue. >> the 911 calls are due to be released tomorrow. is this going to only cause more pain for you and the other families? how does that impact your quest for gun legislation? >> we don't feel that the 911 calls should have been released but that decision has been made now. and it will affect our community certainly, and it will affect our families. i think as parents it's down to us to ensure our children and families are protected from hearing those for as long as possible. >> i want to ask you about reports on -- from the investigating group on adam lanza's mother and the fact that she was getting him another gun, he was apparently such a mentally challenged child, young
man, and that her way apparently it's hard to tell. there were no survivors here from that family. her way of reaching out to him was to communicate through his love of guns. what does that say? the background checks would not have prevented her from buying the guns. she was the enabler apparently. >> it would not have prevented her from purchasing the guns but i believe she could have been more responsible with gun ownership and kept guns locked up. clearly there were a lot of problems in that house. clearly he had mental illnesses that required intervention which did not happen. the safety nets failed him and he had access to guns. so it was a perfect storm waiting to happen and unfortunately had incredibly tragic consequences including the loss of my son. we have to learn from this and ensure we prevent tragedies like this from happening again. >> nicole, we can only say thank you for your activism, courage in the face of your tragedy to try to turn it into something
positive and prevent further tragedies like this from happening. thank you so much. our thoughts are with you. >> thank you. >> and in tokyo today, vice president joe biden attempting a balancing act between two nation's disputed airspace, china and japan. vice president joined in tokyo by new u.s. ambassador to japan caroline kennedy greeting crown prince. he later met with shinzo abe tryi trying. today biden tried to gloss over that. >> we, the united states, are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the east china sea. this action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation. >> biden in the white house
emphasizing u.s. military jets still going into that airspace and not abiding by china's restrictions. biden's next stop is beijing where he'll have to confront this issue head on. ♪ ♪ by the end of december, we'll be delivering ♪ ♪ through 12 blizzards blowing ♪ 8 front yards blinding ♪ 6 snowballs flying ♪ 5 packages addressed by toddlers ♪ ♪ that's a q ♪ 4 lightning bolts ♪ 3 creepy gnomes ♪ 2 angry geese ♪ and a giant blow-up snowman ♪ that kind of freaks me out [ beep ] [ female announcer ] no one delivers the holidays like the u.s. postal service. priority mail flat rate is more reliable than ever. and with improved tracking up to 11 scans, you can even watch us get it there. ♪ medicare open enrollment.us of year again. time to compare plans and costs. you don't have to make changes. but it never hurts to see if you can find better coverage, save money, or both. and check out the preventive benefits you get after the health care law.
america is the world's leader in wireless. let's keep it that way. free up licensed spectrum today, so wireless... can do more for america tomorrow. breaking news right now. jay carney at the briefing on health care. >> we'll talk about pre-existing conditions, slowing health care cost, data that demonstrates for the past three years the growth in health care cost has been the slowest in half a century, the three years since the affordable care act was passed. i think that conflicts significantly with opponents of the affordable care act. a significant story in the "new york times" today business section about the fact costs of affordable care act are coming
in below estimates. this is just a sample of the kinds of things we want to talk about as the month progresses and as obviously millions of americans are shopping for health insurance and enrolling in plans. >> what can we expect -- how frequently can we expect. >> where are you going to go and what events. >> crucial period, lost a lot of time, december 23rd, people need by january 1st, should we expect to see him frequently talking about health care? what are you planned for him in these weeks, a crucial period. >> if i told you now it wouldn't be a surprise when it happened, mara. we're going to be engaged, the president will be engaged. he's kicking it off today. point to you his remarks, a preview of things we'll be talking about and focusing on. we plan to use different venues to push this message to the public. press events, digital media. >> and in fact president obama is going to be playing "hardball" on thursday. our own chris matthews is going to have an exclusive interview,
american university part of "hardball's" college tour. chris matthews joins me now. chris, thanks so much for being with us. big get, huge exclusive. i'm excited to see -- i don't want to take away any thunder or surprise, obviously going to have to talk about the health care rollout and how he's pog to t -- going to try to turn the page. >> i'll say from the white house, if you watch "hardball," handle issues and other issues, put our focus, i'll be doing that thursday night. i'll be talking about executive accountability and the strange way of this rollout as it has occurred. i think i would compare it, andrea, to a brilliant writer, perhaps, with a great theme who turns in a paper with a lot of misspelling or bad handwriting. it's a bad way to roll out something. with all the great strengths potentially of a national health care center along these lines the way it's rolled out hurt it.
it's given the other side a lot of talking points to use against the president generally in terms of his competence. i'm going to ask about that and focus on the things we have, also talk about political dysfunction in this country and the inability of the two parties to work together. i was dismayed by the speaker's comment the other day picked up in the post, "washington post," that the reason we can't get anything done is we have divided government. hell, we're going to have divided government for years ahead. if they grab the senate, they won't have the 60 votes in the senate. that's the excuse. we can't get anything done because we have divided political parties that fight with each other, we'll never get anything done in this country. i think there's a failure at the top. i don't think you can blame is on the fact american people haven't made up their mind, one political party to run the country. they haven't decided that. they want both political parties to work together. i want to talk about political
dysfunction, executive accountability and the questions of how we fight our wars with drones or ground troops. that kind of questioning the president has to deal with in terms of moral principle. it will be the big issues. >> we talk about this divided government issue, you and i both covered white houses and you've been part of tip o'neill's team on the hill. we've both seen you worked in the jimmy carter white house as a speechwriter. we've seen divided government work. sometimes it doesn't. worked during parts of reagan's term, parts of bush 41's term, a budget deal. bill clinton had ups and downs with divided government. impeachment was no walk in the park but he still had a lot of stuff done because people on the hill willing to work with him. newt gingrich worked with him. >> they balanced the budget for three years. look what they did. i think grownups. i gave a speech on this book tour, i've been on this book
tore twor the last couple of weeks or two months now. what gets the biggest applause, we don't need more democrats or republicans, we need more grownups. everybody seems to know what that means. a grown-up makes sure there's food on the table, lights go out at night, makes sure there's heating, make sure bills are paid, is responsible. i think that's what people want in government is responsible leadership. it's pretty basic. >> that's why people are reading and buying "tip and the gipper." you're on this book tour. that's why people are relating to it, it's exactly about the paradigm of people working across party lines. arguably this white house has not found partners on the hill to work with. >> i don't know, sometimes i feel as i did for many political leaders, i feel empathy, i watch speaker boehner, when he gets home at night and perhaps he talks to his wife or close friends, what does he deal with in terms of leading that party to agreement with the other side
on difficult questions? i wonder how complicated that is for him. perhaps it's mystify to him. i think the democratic party is sort of a mild version of european social democratic party, not hard left, moving left like some people are saying. pretty predictable. they like things like social security, medicaid. they want a program. that's been part of the party mantra since i was a kid. you remember that. it hasn't moved much. there's a dynamic in american politics, which is unstable. i saw a poll we had it on last night. for the first time in recent history the american people's number one concern isn't the economy. it's political dysfunction. the inability of the government to do what it's supposed to do, work out problems. >> chris matthews, thanks for being with us. chris, we'll be interviewing president obama, part of the "hardball" college tour for american university thursday 7:00 eastern right here on msnbc. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] we give you relief from your cold symptoms.
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we have a lot of strong support. when you don't know where your husband of 56 years is, you don't know his health, you don't know when he'll be home with us, it's not an easy situation. >> that was the wife of the 85-year-old american citizen and korean war veteran detained in north korea since october 26 for alleged hostile acts against the state. this past weekend north korean state released this video in which he's reading a letter of apology for killing soldiers and civilians during the war. there's no knowing if he wrote the letter or reportedly signed it. ambassador was granted access to newman over the weekend. he was in a hotel. he confirmed he was in good
health, being fed, getting his medicines. he's appealing for release as well as other detained u.s. citizens. former ambassador to the united nations bill richardson negotiated release of several americans held in north korea. good to see you, governor. thanks for being with us. first of all, what is your sense seeing the so-called apology, confession, whatever you want to call what they allegedly had, now that that has been done and swedish ambassador has seen him, he's not gone to a prison, in a hotel, are you hopeful this could be the first step towards releasing mr. newman? >> well, in the past with kim jong-un's father, i would have been hopeful. with this new leader, it's uncertain what they are going to do next. it's totally unpredictable. it's bizarre how they treated mr. newman. they took him out of an airplane. he was heading home. he was there legitimately. now he's incarcerated with
kenneth bay, the other american detainee. he was in north korea and an american envoy was going to take him out but then the north koreans said, no, we're not going to negotiate for his release. in the past the north koreans have used the american prisoners as bargaining chips. in this case nothing has happened. kenneth bay has been incarcerated for a year. it's bizarre. another factor is this is a korean war veteran, you recall you visited north korea with me at a time when the north korean military turned over remains of american soldiers fighting in the korean war as a gesture of friendship, yet they are turning against a korean war veteran. it seems no one is in charge. it's very bizarre what's happening. you can't predict what's happening next. hopefully it will mean a
release. a confession usually follows some kind of pardon. in this case with this new young leader, it's uncertain where they are going to go next. >> one complicating factor, is it not, his war record apparently did involve training partisans. that has at least been one of the issues the north koreans are now pointing to, he had this role in the war that was not straight combat role. he was working mostly covertly. >> that seems like an excuse. i think we have seen areas of cooperation in the last 15 years. it's between the north korean military and american military and the recovery of remains. so what somebody did 60 years ago in a war is something that is part of a war effort. for the north koreans to point to that as the reason for his
detention after having allowed him in in a legitimate tourist visa with a legitimate tour group, somebody who even appears to be sympathetic to their point of view is bizarre. it means that they are trying to maybe get another bargaining chip besides kenneth, maybe they want another envoy to come. maybe they are sending a signal, hey, we're around. everybody focused on iran and other crisis but we the north korean leadership is around. this new young leader has been sending these signals throughout his short tenure he's somebody to be dealt with. >> the other fact kim jong-un's uncle purged, executions, he's been removed from power. do you think there's a shake-up
with that regime? >> this young leader, kim jong-un is a lot more political than his father was. he's removed key members of the military, put in some of his when he came into office, the word was the uncle would be the real power. now the uncle has been removed for whatever reason. so it seems that kim jong-un doesn't want any word that he is not firmly in charge. and that seems to be happening. and this is interesting because this young leader we still don't know where he's heading. he's unpredictable. but he seems to want to be in charge. he's acting totally differently than his father, which was reasonably predictable when it came to these american political prisoners. they detained somebody. they asked for negotiation. an american president or high level person goes to negotiate
the release and there's a pardon of some kind. but in some case with these two americans kenneth bay and merrill newman, it seems nothing is happening and they are not sending signals as to what gets them out. the administration is playing it right, asking for the release, trying to marshall international support and maybe get the chinese involved to help get korean war veteran associations in the united states, very effective, to use their contacts. again, this is a very tragic story for the 85-year-old man with a heart condition, korean war veteran detained and right now we know very little of what's going to happen next. >> it's a terrible situation. thank you very much bill richardson. it has been four years since government contractor allen gross was imprisoned in cuba. gross's wife judy called on the president to get personally
involved in securing her husband's release. >> i stand in front of the white house today to make sure that everyone, including president obama, hears alan's voice. alan went to cuba on behalf of our government and it is up to our government to secure his release. please, mr. president, don't leave alan to die in cuba. >> and in a letter to the president alan gross writes he fears the very government i was serving when i began this nightmare has abandoned me. white house press secretary jay carney said the president has personally engaged foreign leaders to use their influence to urge mr. gross's release. he was charged with crimes against a cuban state for distributing communications equipment to jewish groups in violation of cuba's laws. ♪
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tomorrow on the show, debbie wasser man shultz and tom daschle. >> developing news, president obama set to speak this hour on health care law the beginning of what's described as a full-court press to get people enrolled and turn the page from the flawed rollout. has the white house truly turned the corner? we'll talk with top democratic leader james clyburn. more news on the train derail xt in new york. the train engineer recently started a new early morning shift. plus, sources tell nbc news the engineer said he may have zoned out just before the crash. a winter storm has already blamed on several deaths now pounding much of the nation, ice, snow and possibly some of the coldest temperatures we've seen in years. this is all coming up next on
hi, everyone, i'm tamron hall. the full-court press to turn the page on rollout of the health insurance website. within this hour the president is expected to speak at the white house touting the improvements made to the site while also highlighting the benefits of the law. it's the start of a new campaign being launched by the white house and democrats to get more americans enrolled. the administration plans to hold an event every day until december 23rd, the enrollment deadline for coverage by january 1st. as politico puts it today the fresh push is an attempt to get back to the plan they wanted to pursue. whether or not the at mrgs has turned a corner, tha