tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 24, 2014 3:00am-6:01am PST
a bit of a tech mismatch. we have john tower reading your tweets. >> got a few facts. art >> you're so cheap. you would make a nice iconic stamp. >> we were able to figure out that was a record in 1937. that does it for this edition of "way too early." "morning joe" starts right now. good morning. it's monday, february 24th. a live look at new york city with the sun. mike barnicle is joining us and michael steele and msnbc and "time" magazine senior political
analyst mark halpern and fourteen magazine's leading editor lee gallagher and in washington, katty kay. good morning, all. >> welcome back. >> it's good to be back, i think. >> show us your tattoos. >> i got them in a slum in sochi. no. it was a good trip. it was cool. i think the anticipation going in was all of these security problems anticipating it wasn't going to be great and it actually, they did a good job with security. they did a good job with transportation and venues were nice and doesn't mean there weren't a lot of problems in sochi but they went off and thank god they did. >> it was interesting seeing you in 60-degree weather and going up to the bobsled races in the mountains. >> we had the coastal cluster down by the water and the mountain cluster up top. it was 60 degrees and the venues are indoors. it was cold enough in the mountains to operate although
sometimes the snow got a little slushy. it was strange looking at palm trees where you were standing and then seeing the snow capped mountains behind them. it was a weird pair a dox but it was good on. i got back late saturday night and ready to go. >> we had you covering the winter olympics and katty kay was in rio last week. give us a take on rio. >> rio wasn't quite like sochi, actually. i think i got the slightly better beat, don't you think, willie? that was the view from my hotel. i think somebody had to take on the hardship assignment and volunteer themselves to go down to rio de janeiro for a week. that is what i had to do last week. i did it with a lot of grace and i hope courage and sat on the beach a little bit. >> suffered for your craft. >> i suffered for my cause. >> what did i miss? >> i went to worcester, massachusetts. >> how was the beach up there? >> it was beautiful!
>> it is, actually. it's good to see you all back. a lot going on. big news. i know ukraine is the focus of the world's attention again. >> it is amazing over the weekend how fast things have been moving in ukraine. arrest warrants issued for the former president who, for now, still claims he is the man in charge. on saturday, victor yanukovych fled the party. his whereabouts remain unknown. meanwhile parliament took emergency action yesterday restoring the government and giving its new speaker the power of acting president. the country's military has vowed to stand behind and support the new government. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel looks back at the dramatic events. >> reporter: the revolution began with a fire miscalculation by the government when, last tuesday, riot police tried to storm a 3-month-old protest camp
in the center of kiev. the determines held their ground setting bomb fires to keep the police at bay. police couldn't take the square and by the next morning they were reduced to throwing stones. the police didn't have much shelter or food either. we saw them exhausted and sleeping on the streets. by day bthree, protesters felt they had the upper hand and charged the police lines and then the government made a secretary tragic mistake. riot police opened fire, killing nearly 80 demonstrators. in minutes, volunteers converted a nearby hotel into a field hospital. >> yanukovych with support of russia tries to kill ukraine. >> reporter: the u.s. and other nations threaten sanctions and under pressure from europe, ukraine's pro moscow president
yanukovych agreed to hold new elections by the end of the year. the protesters sensed a weakness and chose to push on. starting with the presidential offices. police abandoned their posts. >> so is today your liberation day? >> i hope so. >> reporter: yanukovych fled from eastern ukraine and demonstrators entered his chalet. kiev fell without a shot. hungry for information, people pressed their faces to the gates of parliament for updates broadcast on loud speakers. parliament was taking over the government. for the demonstrators, yanukovych was a russian puppet. >> i'm not against russia. just i'm against putin. maybe he wants to return -- >> reporter: this week, vladimir putin's application met fris th
the start of a new spring? >> richard engel reporting to us from ukraine. we are joined live from london, nbc news foreign correspondent, ayman mohyeldin. >> there is reports yanukovych is hiding out in a part of southeastern ukraine. that is the only part that is ethnically majority russian there. there is no word or confirmation where he is but that is an area very important because that is where the russian navy maintains a very large fleet on the black sea and an area thousands of people over the weekend were called to join these types of unofficial brigades to protect them in the event the situation escalates and could be further
escalation of violence and violence between the eastern part of the country and the western part. >> ayman, there seems to be a question here in the west as to what putin's next move might be this week now that the olympics are over. is there any emerging consensus options that he might take to prevent ukraine further slipping to the west? >> reporter: that is the million dollar question. the president of russia putin has seen ukraine as a part of his fear of influence. they can make the argument they have valid reasons to protect the minority russians that are in ukraine and perhaps use that as a pretext for some kind of involvement militarily. there is a large russian fleet in ukrainian waters off the coast there but they can make the argument this is in russia's interest to protect the minority and they will send in troops. russia has not been shy sending
in troops where it has a sphere of influence. we saw it in georgia where russia sent troops and fought a war there for several weeks. it is a possibility we could see russia escalate this further. they have cut off some of the major loans they had promised the president or ukraine as a result of him stepping down. you can imagine that russia is, if not militarily, in the coming weeks and months punish ukraine for the decisions it has now made. russia is an important trade ally of ukraine and they can push up the heat on ukraine by cutting off a lot of the major export and import relationships that they have. >> isn't there a chance the eu is stepping in now that the russian deal is off and there is clearly a severe gap to fill here. the ukraine's economy was spiraling well before this happened. the finance policy chief of the eu is in ukraine today. is there a hope that there might
be some savior coming from the european side of things? >> reporter: that is the tone coming out of the eu. they are saying that ukraine's future is in european tradition and open the door for ukraine perhaps join the european union. important to keep in mind that is not an easy road for a country that is historically very socialist and state oriented to shift its entire economy to be one similar to european countries. one of the major sticking points that made president yanukovych change his mind going down the road of european integration it would make it difficult for the european economy to make it a free market economy and that is going to have hardships for the people who depend on the state for so many types of subsidies and other benefits. that is a major condition of the european union. if you're a part of europe economically and take our money they make it a condition they have to change their economy.
it may look as a short-term solution but in the long term it won't be as easy as it sounds. >> ayman, thank you very much. russia was able to pull off the most expensive olympics ever without incident but the situation in ukraine is unstable at best. susan rice was asked if russian president putin still sees the world from a cold war point of view. >> he may. if he does that is a pretty dated perspective that doesn't reflect where the people of ukraine are coming from. we have called him on it and the president is forceful in his dealings with putin but it's not necessary, nor is it our interests to return to a cold war construct which is long out of date and doesn't reflect the realities of the 21st century. >> susan rice talking to david growing on "meet the press." yesterday, john mccain weighed in. >> what does putin do here? i think the message has to be sent to him, let the ukrainian
people determine their own future and a partition of ukraine is totally unacceptable. if i were vladimir putin today at the end of the olympics, i'd be a little nervous because the people of russia have watched this transpire and they are tired of the crony capitalism that governs russia today. if i were him, i'd be a little bit nervous. >> ask you how the obama administration has played this the last few weeks but also what is at stake? not for the obama administration but for america here. >> the russians have basis there so putin will face a lot of pressure to try to do something. if that happens i think the administration is in a much different territory. up until now i think they have done very well. i think we always win when the american government talks about freedom. yes, the economy is bad in ukraine and cronyism and corruption but there is a vibrant opposition a charismatic opposition talking about freedom and i think the administration
is in a fine place but it changes if putin uses military force. if that happens i think one of the biggest military crisis the administration faces because no obvious solution and what can the u.s. do at that point? it's tough. the focus has to be on things like loans now and rhetoric to try to intimidate putin or at least give him pause. the bases are so important. where america has bases around the world it has putin for his own interest think about military action. >> it's going to be interesting to see if and how the gop, including several leading potential republican candidates for president, can pivot from obamacare to something truly globally serious. >> globally serious and much more substantive in terms of it hits on economic interests, as well as foreign policy interests. so i think -- i think mark is right. right now, the administration is in a good position. i think john mccain has struck
the right tone as the opposition party to see, you know, and put some pressure on putin to do the right thing and listen to his people and follow that trend line. i think more domestically the question a lot of republicans are going to ask themselves is this another situation where we leave the folks in kiev on the vine, dying on the vine as we saw with the arab spring. certainly in iran with the movement there. gave response to it and did not do a lot to push that effort. this is another situation, another test and i think a lot of republicans are going to see how the republican plays it sow very quietly at first. to your point it becomes military they will step up for sure. >> in the middle east as well, the more countries have turned this way, the better for the united states and i think the president sees that and there
will be criticism no matter what but i think they are doing pretty well so far. >> we know putin is not finished with this story yet. see what he does post-olympics. another story, huge news not just in mexico but the united states. >> it will put a lot of focus on officials here in the states. homeland security is prussiaing to push the most drug lord after authorities teamed up over the weekend to track him down. nbc's mark potter has the story. >> reporter: the arrest this weekend by mexican marines of joaquin guzman ends his year-long rein as the man to be the most powerful and prolific drug trafficker in the world. authorities say he and the drug cartel which headed were infamous for their levels of brutality throughout mexico and along the u.s. border. >> when most of america thinks of organized crime they think of john gotti and even guys like al capone.
but the reality of the situation is joaquin guzman made those boys look like boy scouts. >> reporter: authorities say the cartel has long been mexico's largest drug trafficking organization and supplying the united states with most of its marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine. >> maybe 90% of the drugs that came into this country loonged to guzman. >> reporter: officials say guzman was arrested here in this condo and he offered no resistance and no one was hurt. sources say u.s. agents from the dea, ice, and the u.s. marshal service helped to lead to the arrest. in addition to facing charges in mexico guzman is indicted in a half dozen u.s. cities as far north as new york and chicago where he was named public enemy number one. in addition to his reputation for extreme violence, especially
while seizing drug routes from other cartels it is known for tunnels to sneak tons of drugs under the u.s. border fens. guzman was named as one of the world's richest men and he spent millions of dollars a years to corrupt officials in the mexico and the united states. >> he has turned more on our country to corrupt law enforcement on our side of the border and our judicial system. law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and prison officials. >> reporter: after guzman escaped from a mexico maximum security prison 13 years ago by hideing in a laundry truck, he then built his cartel in the rugged mountains and his exploits became legendary. ♪ >> reporter: were even celebrated in songs. >> mark potter reporting there. i think it's amazing most people did not know the power of these drug car tells to actually corrupt officials on this side of the border, as well as in mexico.
lee, i want to ask you about this because every time we have one of these high profile arrests, the assumption is that somehow the drug situation coming out of mexico is going to improve. but actually it just seems there are people who pick up the trade and it carries on as long as there is a supply here in -- the demand here in the u.s. >> that's true. there is no doubt this is very symbolic and many other things but, you know, this cartel was so strong and robust and a lot of the day-to-day management was already falling to some of his subordinates. some are saying it may be business as usual. of course, there is always the threat that other car tells might come in and there might be uptick in violence to try to compete now that they might sense some weakness but it's possible this doesn't bring a huge change that we might expect. >> you hear mexican experts say he may escape again depending on where he ends up in jail. >> it has always been amazing to me, and i don't know about you guys, our neighbor, mexico, the country right next to us, with
thousands upon thousands of people killed, hundreds of public officials corrupted by money and drugs on both sides of the border and the amount of coverage that it has received in this country is minimal compared to its danger, its lethal danger to us in so many different ways. >> and it impacts so many people inside this country every day. we will see what happens. coming up nbc's chuck todd and ronan farrow ahead of the launch of his new show today and our conversation can mike rowe with "the dirty jobs" host is saying about the walmart ad he lent to and has so much criticism. along with temporary branstad will be joining us. first, here is bill karins with the forecast. >> we are dealing with the polar vortex that is not heading into the u.s. and never does but it sends more arctic air along our way. the blue is the coolish air and
the purple is the bitterly cold air. the polar vortex thing is located north of the hudson bay. this week, it drops south and the end of the week it will be east of the hudson bay and that will keep the cold air open from canada. a freezer door is open. whatever cold air is out there is heading south. we track it through this week. the white is the bitterly cold air. tuesday over the top of the great lakes. it reinforces itself and comes back thursday and by the time we get to the weekend it's still over but this is an extended period of cold. negative 20 windchills in north dakota. winter's chill returns in a big way, folks. east coast, i hope you enjoyed your beautiful warm weekend. probably another one to two weeks before you feel any spring warmth like that again. reagan national airport, what a beautiful sunrise. enjoy your day. you're watching "morning joe."
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welcome back to "morning joe" on a monday morning. let's take a look at some of the morning papers. the telegraph, the oldest living holocaust survivor passed away at her home in london. she w a film based on her life entitled "the lady in number 6 music saved my life" is nominated for best short documentary at the academy awards this weekend. she was 110 years old. >> so she made it for a long life but what a life she had had. from our parade of papers. the "los angeles times." a mysterious illness has affected assess many as 25 children in california. young children across the state are reporting difficulty breathing and the inability to move their arms and legs. while the children don't have polio, the symptoms are similar to that illness. public health officials continue to investigate the cause of this
new syndrome. the omaha world herald. the pentagon may move forward to shrink the size of the u.s. army. chuck hagel introduced a proposal to reduce the army to 450,000 members and the smaulllt size since world war ii. it is expected to be announced later today. comcast and netflix are coming together. netflix has agreed to pay comcast to assure faster service for its customers. the news comes just ten days after comcast purchased time warner cable for $45 billion. the financial terms of the netflix deal were not disclosed. "the new york times." it's premiere night for seth myers on late night tonight. he will welcome amy poehler as one of his guests tonight and
tomorrow night seahawks quarterback russell wilson. the show airs at 12:35 in the morning. couldn't be a better guy in our business to wish huge luck. >> absolutely, absolutely. >> fallon is off to an incredible start, by the week. week one and week two he brings seth into the mix. >> jimmy fallon is amazing. >> he has been doing that for five years in late night. >> i'm willing to say better transition than conan. >> that is the fair. jimmy has been doing their act for so long, there is no transition. he is doing the same show he has been doing for five years. >> they have the pr and set the and bookings. >> the last show with the muppets was unbelievable. >> seth tune in and watch him. our jimmy fallon is with us right now. the chief white house correspondent for politico mike allen always puts on a great show. >> welcome back. we are here with the series of
the rap six. >> i would love to see that! you guys have a big piece up right now. the man credited as the architect of president obama's re-election campaign is now being called the democratic party's version of karl rove. a guy a lot of people around this table know and have dealt with quite a bit. tell our viewers about jim messina. >> here is the fascinating part he is following. very similar to karl rove in that they are finding the power and the money in politics is outside the traditional system so outside the political parties of the campaigns. you have jim messina is now chairman of both organizing for action, president obama's nonprofit, which he is speaking to tomorrow, he is chairman of a pro hillary superpac priorities usa. it consults to groups like american gaming association and messina gives speeches $50,000 each to groups like the american
petroleum institute. this is a former capitol hill staffer seeing his first real money in his life and, all of a sudden, working on all of these different fronts. he says that all of his gigs are vetted by bob bauer, the long time democratic lawyer and robert barnett who knows every game in town. this is the new model to succeed and make big money after winning such a big race. >> mark written two books about the president's campaigns and few people filed into the obama than you are. how important is messina in that world? >> he doesn't have the longstanding ties that david axelrod did or robert gibbs but he was helped in the first campaign to manage the second one. he taking advantage of what we used to call a rolodex. younger viewers won't know what that is. he is taking opportunity to make money for himself. karl rove has made a lot of money too but jim is building
the party. he cares about the democratic party and he cares about the races not just to help the president because he is a democrat and he cares about this stuff. it's a little bit of a dangerous game. a, he can get overextended and, b, he taking on a lot of good things with a lot of cross currents and potential conflicts. >> but not every democrat is loving what he is doing either. it's the same thing the buzz saw that rove ran into. it's money and influence and power shifted away from the infrastructure of the party. started under my watch at the rnc with rove and that crew decided we can take the big dollar donors and move them over here into these silos that have been created by the supreme court's decision citizens united. messina along with other democrats have moved into that space as well. he is doing it like you said very much like rove but they have to keep in mind the base of the party is still the controlling x-factor here. as we have seen with tea party activists and the gop you can
see that same kind of noise emanating from the democrats particularly when you get beyond 2016 and the field is much more or closer to 2016 the field is much more wide open for presidential nominee. >> there is a little subplot here also which is his lean towards hillary clinton the most prominent obama person to basically anoint her. you have to think what joe biden thinks about that and the base of the party, some of whom aren't really to anoint her. >> mike allen, thanks. 20 years after her brutal attack, i sat down with nancy kerrigan. my interview with her is next. we will be right back. ♪ rap like i can i'm emcee go to the water
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gay player to play in the league last night in louisiana. he remained without a team until signing a ten-day contract with brooklyn over the weekend. the nets owner mikhail prokhorov ran against vladimir putin in the russian presidential election. the nets hope collins will add size to their lineup as they make a push for the playoffs and sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the eastern conference. he played well and got five fouls and played 7:00 in the fourth quarter but happy to be back in the middle of the game. >> five fouls in 7:00? >> five in the whole game. >> oh, o.j. okay. >> which is sort of his wrap. he is not a scorer but a bruiser and gave them good minutes. the nfl combine, mike sam, pro football's openly gay draft prospect is expected to be picked somewhere in the middle rounds of may's draft but no team asked about his sexual orientation during workouts but the main topic during yesterday's media interviews.
>> i wish you guys would say, mike sam, how is football going? how is training going? i would love for you to ask me that question but it is what it is. i just wish you guys will see me as michael sam, the football player, instead of michael sam, the gay football player. >> this guy has handled this so well. i don't know how you feel about it but he has been incredible. johnny manziel at the combine. top performers in quarterbacks amongst every category. 4.68 in the 40 and fourth fastest quarterback time. i was at the olympics last week. last night, the documentary "nancy and tonya 20 years after the attack "ion all around that. i had a chance to sit down with nancy before i left sochi. she had just come out of seeing this documentary for the first time and hadn't talked about this in 20 years. this is her reaction. you just got a chance to see that for the first time. how was it to watch that?
>> i don't know. surreal maybe, to watch 20 years of your life unfold in an hour is a little strange! to some degree, at this point, it doesn't feel like it's me. like that is so long ago and so much has changed in my life that, i don't know. it's just a whole different time period and it's bizarre. >> reporter: at the time, were you aware of how big it had become? clearly when you get to the olympics and every person in the world is standing there with a camera wanting to talk to you. >> yeah, i had a very different olympic experience. i would go to the cafeteria to eat and people looking around the corner to look at me and i thought, do i have three head or something? why are you staring? and it was very uncomfortable and strange. i'm like, i'm just like you. i worked hard to get here and it was sad because i didn't -- i remember my practice, having hundreds of cameras for the first practice that we had
together and thinking somebody is competing now, like go cover the competition. >> reporter: there is another scene in the film i had not seen before where you're sitting for a team picture. >> yeah. >> reporter: this is a couple of days after the incident, i guess? as you're sitting there next to tonya harding, had it crossed your mind yet at that point she could have had something to do with this? >> no. i truly wanted to believe that she had nothing to do with it at all because how could that seem possible that someone you know and, you know, we are competitors but we weren't, i wouldn't say, friends. we never like trained together or anything but we were friendly. so to think that anyone you know would turn deliberately try to hurt you is -- yeah, too bizarre to understand. >> so then what was your reaction when someone told you definitively she, her friends, her husband were involved? >> i don't know.
i think disappointment, sadness. >> reporter: she still maintains to this day she had nothing to do with it. do you believe her? >> i don't, but because, you know, why would -- why would the people around her want to hurt me? like what did they have to gain? i guess she was the only one that really had anything to gain, i suppose, if there is a gain by her. but what would they? so i don't -- and i was told that, you know, i know we can't prove it, but, you know, this is what we do for a living and, you know, we are telling you -- i hated hearing it because it stinks. it's sad. the whole thing is sad on so many levels, you know? >> reporter: you sound like somebody who has moved on and who moved on a long time ago from this. would you say you've forgiven her?
>> i don't know. i mean, i don't think about it really. i mean, when i read transcripts with the fbi, they planned to kill me at one point! that was one of the options. to kill me over a sporting event! i'm like, what? it's crazy! and there were all of these other brutal options that they were thinking about doing to me, so i don't -- i mean, i don't know if -- like you said, i've moved on? i don't know if i think about it in forgiveness. i just i hope she is happy. i understand she has a child of her own and a husband and i hope she is move on. >> clearly she doesn't like to talk about it and hasn't for 20 years and talked to us about 45 minutes. what i took away from it, she is everybody wants me to be obsessed with this and think about this every day and to define my life.
she said, i don't think about tonya harding ever. she has three kids. i'm taking kids to gymnasts and ballet and everybody else. i hopeful won't have to talk about it again. >> she looks remarkly similar to the way she did 20 years ago. >> i want what she is having. she looks fantastic. >> she looks great. watching the documentary it jarred my memory to all of the things that transpired during that time especially the olympics after '92 had separated into doing every two years so we got that burst going back to the winter olympics so quickly in '94 and that jarred my memory to all of this. i remember being in college and absolutely enamored by this story and every little inch of it that we could get more of and the fact that nancy kerrigan, the good girl, tonya harding, the bad girl. as she points out, what did, you know, the people in tonya's life, her divorced husband and all of these goof balls he was
hanging out with, what do they have to gain by doing this? it was tonya had a lot to gain bying doing this. did they come up with this idea on their own? i don't know. >> tonya maintains to this day, they did it on their own. wrong place, wrong time. i'm grateful for nancy kerrigan the time she gave me last week. we are joined with the interviews of the u.s. candidates in kentucky. why republican mitch mcconnell might just hang on, despite some tough poll numbers. don't go away. more "morning joe" coming up. there's this kid.
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casey hunt joins you on a new project we call states of play and spotlighting the most contentious races across the map. >> reporter: we start with a closely watched senate races of 2014 involving one of washington's most republicans. mitchell mcconnell of kentucky is facing challengers in all sides in a race that could reshape the senate. it's been almost 30 years since kentucky voters were represented by someone other than mitch mcconnell in the senate. now the minority leader is being squeezed by both the left and the right. >> there are a bunch of people around too long and out of touch with who we are and don't seem to care. >> reporter: matt bevin is a tea party favorite and mcconnell's primary challenger. bevin boasts an impressive resume. father of nine. four of his children are adopted
from ethiopia. he is furious at washington and comparing it to the movie the "hunger games." and much of his anger is aimed at the republican leadership. >> this isn't how our government is intended to work. it's not supposed to be people groomed up and built into to be the replacements of people who finally decided to step aside at some point. >> reporter: people say bevin is trying to have it both ways. t.a.r.p. is still one of his main attacks against senator mcconnell. >> after pushing the bailout, mitch mcconnell bragged. >> this is the senate at its fi finest. >> i didn't write these and he knows i didn't write them. >> reporter: do you feel you benefited financially from the bailout? >> i don't know that i did. i mean, i invested in many mutual funds, as are you and
anybody who has any money saved in a 401(k). i don't know that anybody has ever really been able to go back and parse out exactly what contributed to what, so it's a good question. i don't know that i have a good answer to it though. >> reporter: since he was first elected, none of mcconnell's primary opponents have gotten better 13% of the vote but bevin supporters say they are ready for a change. if you had to use one word to describe mitch mcconnell, what would it be? >> untrust worthy. >> you look at the votes he has taken, personally, i believe he has gone too astray. >> reporter: why did you switch to come to work for matt bevin? mcconnell's levels are at historic levels and with support from rand paul mcconnell seems eager to take on bevin and the national conservative groups who are backing him. >> i've been a pretty solid conservative throughout my career. i don't think there is any particular reason for conservatives to be upset about
my performance. >> reporter: allison grimes is the bigger threat. >> it's hot in here! i tell you, there must be some women about ready to make things happen! >> reporter: she is secretary of state and comes from a powerful political family. she is a pro labor democrat who wants to raise the minimum wage and she is energizing women who she says mitchell mcconnell has left behind. are you prepared for the scrutiny? do you feel like you're ready for it? >> for the past seven months we have endured $6 million worth of negative nasty attacks. if anything, i think it's shown this home-grown kentuckian is ready to go to battle. >> reporter: i'll ask you about president obama. would you want him to come down and campaign for us? >> this race is about putting the people of this state first and i speak for miyself and dont need anybody to do that. i stand in stark contrast to the president in many of his ideas and platforms. >> reporter: national republicans have cast you as
obama girl and one of their national spokes people refer to you as an empty dress. do you think those are appropriate? >> it's about as accurate as mcconnell be a chippendale dancer. >> she hasn't proven she is ready for prime time. mcconnell is the one driving this race. all of the news is about mcconnell. bevin is chewing on his ankle in the primary. grimes really hasn't taken many strong issue positions. she's almost painfully cautious. >> reporter: and alison grimes got a huge shot in the arm tomorrow when former president bill clinton comes to campaign with her in kentucky. >> her answer whether she would want the president of the united states come down, she almost mouthed no before she gave her answer. mark, size up this race for us. how big is the threat to mitchell mcconnell? >> he could lose. he is unpopular in the state and not clear why.
he is a cagey guy. it is still kentucky. if there is a national republican tie, i think it's hard for him to lose in the general election but if the democrats fight back and she proves to be a strong candidate and some moments in that piece she looked very strong and others she looked a little bit like she couldn't stand up to him. i think there is a chance there, but in the end it's going to take a lot of lucky breaks for her to win. >> the rand paul effect/impact on this race? >> it's hard to overstate it. mcconnell was very smart in sort of while rand has not exactly been his most aggressive defender but is not working against him and that makes a huge difference. rand has also been stirring up a little bit of trouble. he had some interesting comments about bill clinton and woody allen both of whom are spo supporters of grimes. take a listen. >> it concerns me. i think workplace violence is a serious thing. think about your network. fountain president of your network had relations with a
20-year-old girl who was there from college, i think the president of your network would be fired. we don't accept that in the workplace. and so if that is what bill clinton, you know, did multiple times, really they ought to be concerned about, you know, being associated with him. i mean, also kentucky, we're not quite hollywood as far as accepting sort of different kind of things like that. woody allen apparently is a big contributor of hers too. woody allen has now been accused of, you know, having relations with his children. the thing is that is not really acceptable in kentucky and i think she has to decide whether she is representing kentucky or hollywood. >> we asked grimes about both of those accusations. she sort of dodged and said she is excited to have bill clinton come down and it's for the legal system to decide whether woody allen or his daughter are correct. >> your party, mike. >> i think she hit it right about rand paul. he has been appropriately supportive of mitch mcconnell but the back channel noise
certainly a lot of the bevin supporters is kind of tepid and that is going to be interesting to see how it plays out in the primary. i think this primary is going to be a lot tougher for mcconnell once it really gets going. and kicks in full steam. and i think what you're seeing is just a warm-up for what will be fireworks later on. i think going into a general, if he survives the primary he is going to be a little bit beat up and mcconnell is going to have a real challenge for her because i think grimes is going to bring a game he hasn't seen in a while in a state like kentucky. >> she pointed out too that she has a profile that mcconnell has never faced before. she is 35 years old and she is young and fresh face and woman. many republicans have sort of stumbled over this, the national spokesman called her an empty dress. i think they are going to run into some potentially rocky ground as they try to run against her. >> as mark just pointed out, 27% favorable rating for mitch mcconnell in the blue grass state. >> that is is not fabulous. we saw the role that
particularly single women voters played in the virginia governor's race. how much can grimes capitalize on that movement out there in kentucky? >> she certainly basically entirely focused at this point on stoking the gender gap. we went to an event she was gathering with business women in kentucky and i think, you know, as she tries to run against someone what she casts as being out of touch, too old, someone who first was elected in 1984 when big hair and cutoff sweatshirts were cool. you hear a lot of that. >> wait. those aren't cool any more? i got to write this down. >> especially the big hair part. >> no more cutoff sweatshirts. what is the next stop? >> we got back from arkansas and talked to mark pryor and saw the family farm and hopefully more from down there next up. >> what will i do with my sweatshirts? >> the cutoffs ones? the belichick with the no sleeves? swap meets. they were not working for you, especially the midriff.
>> luckily, you don't have the hair issue. >> be sure to check out mojo msnbc.com for much more including the top quotes from the candidates and more reporting. terry branstad joins our conversation. he says republicans need a fellow governor to lead the party in 2016. more "morning joe" comp. this is the first power plant in the country to combine solar and natural gas at the same location. during the day, we generate as much electricity as we can using solar. at night and when it's cloudy, we use more natural gas. this ensures we can produce clean electricity whenever our customers need it. ♪ if it doesn't work fast... you're on to the next thing.
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i think the message has to be sent to him lieutenant tet the people determine their own future. if i were vladimir putin today at the end of the olympics, i'd be a little nervous because the people of russia have watched this transpire and they are tired of the crony capitalism and democracy that governs russia today. if i were him i would be a little bit nervous. >> welcome back to "morning joe." still with us, mark halpern, michael steele, thomas roberts, and katty kay. joining the table the host of msnbc's brand-new show "the reid report" joy reid. in washington, host of "the daily rundown, chuck todd. >> all rise! >> katty, how are you this
morning? >> i'm not going to talk until i get cheers too. >> yea, katty kay back from rio, looking tan! >> let's begin in ukraine where the former president is now a wanted man even though he still claims he is in charge. on saturday, victor yanukovych fled the capital as his own party denounced his actions during the past week. his whereabouts remain unknown. parliament took emergency action yesterday restoring the government and giving its new speaker the power of acting president. everything moving very fast in the country. the country's military has vowed to stand by and support this new government. nbc's chief political richard engel takes a look back at these dramatic events. >> reporter: the revolution began with a fire miscalculation by the government when, last tuesday, riot police tried to storm a 3-month-old protest camp in the center of kiev.
the demonstrators held their ground setting bomb fires to keep the police at bay. police couldn't take the square and by the next morning, they were reduced to throwing stones. the police didn't have much shelter or food either. we saw them exhausted and sleeping on the streets. by day three, protesters felt they had the upper hand and charged the police lines and then the government made a second tragic mistake. riot police opened fire, killing nearly 80 demonstrators. in minutes, volunteers converted a nearby hotel into a field hospital. >> yanukovych, with support of russia, tries to kill ukraine. >> reporter: the u.s. and other nations threaten sanctions and under pressure from europe, ukraine's pro moscow president yanukovych agreed to limit his authority and hold new elections by the end of the year.
the protesters sensed a weakness and chose to push on. starting with the presidential offices. police abandoned their posts. so is today your liberation day? >> i hope so. >> reporter: yanukovych fled from eastern ukraine and demonstrators entered his chalet. kiev fell without a shot. hungry for information, people pressed their faces to the gates of parliament for updates broadcast on loud speakers. parliament was taking over the government. for the demonstrators, yanukovych was a russian puppet. >> i'm not against russia. just i'm against putin. maybe he wants to return -- >> reporter: this week, vladimir putin's politique met is this
the start of a new spring? >> richard engel reporting for us from ukraine. we are joined live from london, nbc news foreign correspondent, ayman mohyeldin. we don't know where yanukovych is at the moment but a tendency the past few days here to see as putin the bad guy, russia the bad guys and the west, the good guys. actually, in ukraine, it's a bit more complicated than because there are millions of ukrainians who like russia, right? >> reporter: absolutely. ukraine is a country, ethnically diverse in some parts of the country and large part if not the full out majority of certain regions are ethnically russian and have strong allegiances to russia but ukraine is an important industrial base for russia. as a country, russia has an importance in that country.
a lot of russia's industries rely on imports from ukraine. there is no doubt that there are legitimate numbers or population centers in ukraine that are loyal to russia but, at the same time, over the course of the last several years, there has been a shift in the country to a return to authoritarian rule that makes it difficult for people across the divide, regardless of the ethnic competition, to do what russia is trying to do right there. >> all of this has been playing out since we watched the olympics unfold and the pageantry that goes along with that. this has been such a tragedy to watch as it's unfolded and the escalation that happened but we know the president then had that conversation with vladimir putin and basically all of these struggles go back to who the ukraine and its people want to be governed more in line with. is it the eu? is it russia's stake or western influence? explain that phone call between obama and putin. >> well, look. the phone call was about as much
about ukraine as it was about syria. don't forget there was a syrian resolution having to do with humanitarian aid. you heard john mccain who almost believes that the united states needs to realize that putin does view all of his delgs with the west with a cold war mentality. susan rice saying we are not having a cold war mentality and not horse trade ukraine for syria and things. i am curious the challenge it seems for me the west putin who does want to deal with ukraine in a very black and white way, which is you're either with russia or you're with the west, that there is no in between. you have the west, including the united states saying, hey, you can be both, have a relationship with europe and a traditional cultural and economic
relationship with russia but it seems as if putin is not going to allow that. >> we have seen in the past -- ayman? >> that seems to be the choice that is being put forth by the western countries but not so much by russia and russia has made very clear that it feels that it has a strategic interest in ukraine and what we saw back in 2008 when a similar situation happened in georgia, russia sent in troops by the thousands to protect what it felt was its strategic interest. throughout the course of this standoff, over the course of the last three months, russia rah heal been using a carrot and stick approach with the ukrainian government. at times they would offer the ukrainian government billions of dollars worth of loans and they would offer them financial incentives to turn away from europe but once they felt ukraine was moving or indicating it wanted to go towards europe, russia would punish them by cutting off the economic incentive. they are using a very strong approach to make sure that the
ukraine is punished, if you will, some of these actions. rush has ucla will use its economic influence over ukraine to make it very costly for ukraine for toppling a pro moscow president. >> joy, we have seen some times during this administration foreign policy stuff gets a lot of air time. the president wants this to be a year of action. how worried do you think the white house is about this story taking up not just the news but the president's time? >> i mean, i think perhaps less than we think. i think the american people are a lot more focused, obviously, on domestic concerns and this is russia's fear of influence. russia has a lot more at stake here in terms of what happens with ukraine than, obviously, the united states and second would be the european union. it's an important issue. it's something that has to be on the table. it's parts of what is on the plate of an american president but this really is about russia and it's fear of influence which for us it's, obviously, important. they are central to what we are trying to do in terms of bringing iran to the table. they are central to trying to
stabilize syria. any kind of destabilization within the russia sort of world concerns the u.s., but i think primarily, the president has to keep his eyes on the domestic concerns on the american society. >> every in the white house very clear that they don't want this to get back to a head-on conflict with russia. that serve's no one's interests, they think. let's turn to politics. governor scott walker in washington for a meeting. but the republican says the recent release of some 25,000 pages of e-mails is simply old news. they are related to investigation from when he was a county executive. the e-mail suggests walker knew of a secret e-mail system in his office that was used to avoid public scrutiny. it is a bit complicated. the governor declined to give specifics on the case and accused democrats of playing politics. >> you had a democratic district attorney spend almost three
years looking at every single one of those communications, interviewing people, talking to people, and closed the case last march. >> a private e-mail account? >> no. it's one of those i point out the district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues. >> you're not answering my question. >> i'm not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information. it's one of those things they want to keep pushing this issue into the forefront because in the end the folks running against us can't counter or positive message when it comes to the economy. >> six people connected to governor walker were convicted of doing political work on county time. governor walker was never charged, though, with any wrongdoing. michael steele, once people get beyond the intricacies of this, how much damage is there here for governor walker? >> i'd say on a scale of 1 to 10, probably about a 3. this thing really doesn't amount to nothing much more than a lot of noise. you know, this is when he was county executive, not when he
was governor. there has been a whole lot of time that's elapsed and a whole lot of folks have vetted this guy, particularly in the hey day and the heady days of trying to unseat him as governor, you would think that something like this, if it had real power, would have been used. chuck, i want to ask you, though. i think this is much to do about nothing. i think, by and large, the republicans that i've talked to on the ground certainly in wisconsin but even in the washington sphere see this as not much about anything. what are you hearing? what is the real feel behind the scenes here? is this something that scott walker needs to be worried about? this doesn't rise to chris christie level noise for most, but is there some inkling this could be yet another presidential candidate, republican candidate gone the way of the scandal? >> i think it's more about you got to understand wisconsin's culture and they have a culture of intolerance on stuff like this. he was doing what many
politician has done in many other states, but in wisconsin, this stuff is illegal. it's taken more seriously what is unethical in some states is a criminal act in the state of wisconsin. so i do think in wisconsin, the way he ducked those questions yesterday, i don't know if he can get away with that. he still really hasn't directly responded to why is it that six people that worked for you, governor, even while you were county executive, why did they end up getting charged some of them in jail? he still hasn't answered that question. i think this is a bigger problem for him in his re-election bid assuming the voters of wisconsin give out their verdict in november and if it's a verdict of re-election, then i don't think this is a problem for him at all going into '16, but i don't underestimate this as an issue in wisconsin which is a very much -- they have a
distaste for sort of the everyday politics that we may be used to in chicago, new york, washington, things like that. that doesn't play well in wisconsin. and that is why i think that this could be more of an issue for him in his re-election but i'm with you, it's not -- i don't think if he gets past it, i don't think this is something that hurts him in '16. >> gang, let's turn our attention to texas. brand-new polling on the gubernatorial race there. joining us is the editor and chief and ceo of the texas tribune, evan smith. great to have you with us. >> thank you. >> bring us up-to-speed on the new numbers come that have come on that is showing the gap being created between abbott and davis. >> a widening gap. in november we found this tock a six-point race abbott over davis with 25% undecided and now 11-point race. what has happened is her celebrity from the filibuster last summer has dissipated a little bit and people gotten to
know her and a bad couple of months and abbott a good couple of months. the race has reverted to type. this is a very republican state. no democrat elected for 20 years here statewide. 11-point race is probably right. a lot of time left to turn that around and we will have to see what happens. >> you say a bad couple of months for wendy davis because of her politics or the personal attacks? >> i think the personal attacks on her have probably taken some toll. if you're wendy davis you rather that happen right now so you have nine months before the general election and time to reset the conversation but no question she would rather it focused on policy discussions with greg abbott than a discussion who she is and how she got her and what biography is. we were polling before the stuff broke, greg abbott has not made many mistakes and cautious on the campaign trail. in a cautious race, a republican is always favored in the state that is republican as much as texas is. >> we are going to talk about
that ted nugent stuff in a minute. in politics if you're explaining, you're losing. with wendy davis being on the defensive of having to explain some of those hiccups in her history, that let her lose traction how she could be out trying to advance her message? >> it appears to me this is a campaign that is still playing catch-up operationally with the momentum that she had with her own name i.d., the sort of the fast rise, the amount of money they were able to get that, but you do feel as if the infrastructure of the campaign is trying to catch up to where the momentum and the money is. but, evan, i have a question for you. >> yeah. >> we have seen a lot of focus on wendy davis and, frankly, of a campaign trying to get up to snuff and right now it looks to me they are not quite there yet but i have to say, it doesn't appear that greg abbott, he seemed a little rusty. this whole ted nugent business seemed to be like an unforced
error. are they a little cocky? do they assume texas is playing its type and wendy davis is a one-issue candidate on abortion and we don't have to worry about her too much? that is the impression i'm getting from the abbott campaign. >> certainly no question that the abbott campaign has confidence given the math and why wouldn't they? people can't figure out why he played the nugent card now at a time when he really didn't need to do it. he had on to know it would attract controversy and have support for davis a little bit more than coming together. we are all a little mystified about the abbott/nugent thing right now. is he too confident? that remains to be seen. he has a lot of room to be too confident before this becomes a real race. >> evan, i wanted to ask you about rand paul's comments when his suggestion the state was moving blue within the next decade or so. is there something that a potential democratic governor
like wendy davis could do to accelerate that shift or is this a question the democrats having to wait out the demographics? >> the big problem for democrats has not been there aren't enough democratic voters if they all turned out to win a statewide election. if the democratic turnout in core constituency groups like the latino community that turnout is down and not the level of the turnout of the anglo community so the democrats need to get their people out. 2.8 million democrats turned out in the primary in 2008. there hasn't been anything like that kind of a democratic turn-out in a primary in years since. democrats need to just get their voters out and for the state to turn blue, they are going to need people to show up at the polls. what rand paul is doing is what every republican does these days. well, it could turn blue so let's not take our eyes off the ball. the reality is democrats have a pretty big ball to push uphill here if they are going to make any kind of change any time
soon. >> joy, as evan so clearly point out, it has to be frustrating for the democrats to see this rolling out and not just in texas but throughout the country, not responding to a democrat's call for office in any state and not going out to the polls and, thus, they lose elections they could potentially win. >> i think it's important to point out that 2008 primary. i think what happens to state parties that have been out of power a long time is the mechanics of them become more of it. you think about the republican party in california which is not a crack operation and i think the same is true for the democratic party in a lot of ways in texas. they lose that momentum unless a national race is sort of self-galvanizing the way hillary clinton versus barack obama primary was. without that force a lot of parties get rusty. i think the fact that the latino vote in texas undervotes its population share is a huge problem for democrats and without literally latino on the
ticket and something to galvanize that base the party mechanically needs to get its act together. the wendy davis campaign i think has made early mistakes but a lot of of it this is a female candidate i think is scrutinized in ways a male candidate would not do over issues of her marriage and things are a problem of the way we treat female candidates. i think it's a state party problem and i think a campaign problem for the davis campaign but i think it's also partly a woman running for office problem and they have to get that together in like nine months. >> mr. smith, one more number from your poll on the texas senate race. john cornyn seems to have a healthy lead. when stockman got in i thought he would give cornyn some trouble why is that not a race at this point? >> in part cornyn is much stronger than he appeared to be only by the standards of texas in 2014 could anybody call john cornyn a liberal. that is exactly what is happening at least from the stockman end of this race. but the stockman campaign has
also been to put it mildly, bizarre. like an andy kauffman prank. nobody can figure out what this guy is doing or his campaign is doing and i think that has absolutely hurt him even many of the baes tea party republican guys don't support stockman. cornyn is going to walk away by all accounts in this poll with this primary, no runoff. >> texas tribune editor in chief, evan smith. thank you for joining us. >> thanks. chuck, thanks. see you coming up on "the daily rundown." joy, we send you off with the best of luck. >> i liked the comment about andy kaufman. i'm interested. that could explain everything steve stockman is up top. he is andy kaufman. there is another conspiracy he is alive! this is now around -- >> into a tizzy because they are going to have a new lead at 2:00 p.m. about andy kaufman still being alive. >> we have to book the ghosts of andy kaufman. >> you don't have to book a ghost, joy! >> there you go. >> the best tease.
>> joy, best of luck. >> thank you. >> you are fantastic, so everybody tune in. we love joy reid. terry branstad is standing by. we will have more "morning joe" after this. ♪ ...return on investment wall isn't a street... isn't the only return i'm looking forward to... for some, every dollar is earned with sweat, sacrifice, courage. which is why usaa is honored to help our members with everything from investing for retirement to saving for college. our commitment to current and former military members and their families is without equal.
well, it's all right ♪ >> here with us now from capitol hill in washington, republican governor from iowa, governor terry branstad. i understand you're going to be meeting the president later this morning as part of your meetings here in washington. >> that's right. >> what are you going to talk to him about in terms of the affordable care act and the effect it's ofg ioey having on democrats around the country. >> first of all, i'm co-chair of the governors advisory council
to the pentagon and the homeland security. the message from all of the governors of both parties is don't cut the national guard. we know there is going to be reductions in the army. there has been a big buildup in the army since 9/11 and now the army is recommending major reductions in the national guard instead of the regular army and we think that is a big mistake and that is the message i will bring to the president if i get an opportunity to ask a question. >> governor branstad, i'm looking at the list of politicians that have floated in and out of iowa and plan to float in and out of iowa for the assuming future. rick perry and ted cruz speaking on march 18th and rand paul on the lincoln day dinner and rick sanatorium has scheduled a trip. how often do you wonder to yourself is there any way i can get to lincoln, nebraska, for the weekend? >> listen. i love iowa and i'm proud to be governor of iowa.
hey, listen. i love nebraska too, but i'm the governor of iowa and i'm really proud to welcome them. i want them to feel welcome. i say, come early, come often, spend a lot of money and go to all 99 counties. that is the way to do things if you're running for president. start early in iowa and come early and often. >> i know the caucus is around the corner. handicap the field. who would you put in the top tier today the three or four people most likely to win the caucuses today? >> we had a better turnout than expected and we are working to revitalize the party and we have focused on 2014. i'm very encouraged about the candidates we have running for u.s. senate, for congress, for the legislature. i'm running for re-election along with kim reynolds, our lieutenant governor. we think it could be a great year in 2014. way too early to think about 2016, but the caucuses will be held in february, not january 3rd this time.
we think that is good. we want the candidates to come early and often and spend a lot of time in our state. but it's too early to handicap the field for 2016. >> governor, it's willie geist here. good to see you. i yo you don't want to give a list to mark halpern who is best for iowa in 2016, but as you go to coffee shops and town hall meetings and things like that around iowa is there a name or two that comes up more often than the other ones? people that iowians are excited about? >> first of all, i lop governors and republican governors have led the way in the economic revital saigs and bringing jobs and reducing taxes. i think we are going to see a lot of governors potentially running and i want to welcome them all to iowa and we are really proud of the progress we have made in our states and iowa, we brought the unemployment rate down from 6.1 to 4.2 and we are the fifth lowest in the country. we are one of the best managed states. we have eliminated the deficit and we have a large surplus.
we have restored all of the money in the cash reserve and economic emergency account so we are in a strong position. many other governors have done the same thing. governor walker from wisconsin. the michigan governor, rick has done a great job in his state. governor perry has in texas. i think is there a great story to be told and republican governors are leading the way in terms of the economic revitalization in this country. >> governor, this is thomas roberts. i wanted to ask you about the comment you made in reference to governor chris christie who is the chair of the rga right now. you said i think he is a real good retail politician and handles town hall meetings a little well but wouldn't hurt him to be more mumbhumble. what did you mean that chris christie's demeanor that wouldn't jibe with epeople from iowa? >> he has been a strong leader for new jersey and he won a dramatic re-election by over 60%
of the vote. but in iowa, you know, we like hard working and humble politicians. i think one of the reasons why i've been successful is i go to every county every year, i listen to people, and i try to really be a strong representative for agriculture and renewable fuels and the things that iowians really care about. >> does that mean you think chris christie's style is a little too aggressive for the people of your state to connect with? >> no. my advice to him is be a good listener and be humble and come to iowa. he made a great impression when he came to campaign for me in 2010. i would certainly welcome him and any other republican governor to come and campaign for me and to support our republican ticket. >> governor, you say jersey attitude like it's a bad thing but those of us from jersey like that jersey attitude. >> as i say, you can love it and that is fine. i appreciate it. i have actually a brother-in-law that is married to an titalian
and lives in new jersey. i understand it's a little different in iowa but we welcome all to come to iowa. >> your brother-in-law called in earlier this morning, governor. he is stuck in traffic! >> that is the problem between new york and new jersey versus iowa! in iowa, we don't have those problems. >> i know. lack of water really helps. >> we have snow actually. >> they do make good brushutto. >> we do have a great brshutto company in iowa. susan rice talks about her aftermath in the benghazi attack. her return to "meet the press" and the criticism that followed. more "morning joe" next. ♪ captain obvious: i'm in a hotel.
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what is this place? where are we? this is where we bring together the fastest internet and the best in entertainment. we call it the x1 entertainment operating system. it looks like the future! we must have encountered a temporal vortex. further analytics are necessary. beam us up. ♪ that's my phone. hey. [ female announcer ] the x1 entertainment operating system, only from xfinity. tv and internet together like never before. welcome back to "morning joe." national security adviser susan rice is standing by her account of what she knew in the hours after the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. she was then baambassador of united states says she has no
regrets going on five sunday talk shows on 2012 and blaming the attack on an anti-islam video. >> what i explained to you is what we had at the moment. it could change. i commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning, was provided to me and my colleagues and, indeed, to congress by the intelligence community and that has been well validated in many different ways since. and that information turned out in some respects not to be 100% correct, but the notion that somehow i or anybody else in the administration misled the american people is patently false, and i think that has been amply demonstrated. >> republican senator john mccain who has frequently criticized the obama administration over the attack says he is outraged by rice's response. >> i'm almost speechless, because it's patently obviously first of all, that susan rice had no reason to be on the
program. she had no involvement in it. second of all, she read talking points that we are now beginning to believe came from the white house which were absolutely false for susan rice to say such a thing, i think. it's a little embarrassing, to tell you the truth. >> john mccain almost speechless there. this is the first time that rice had appeared on "meet the press" since that appearance in 2012. the attack in benghazi left four americans dead, including the american ambassador to libya. mark, i wanted to ask you. obviously, john mccain, still very upset about this and he is going to make hay from this kind of appearance. we knew that was going to the happen. how much is this still broiling the right in the republican party? how much of an issue is benghazi still? >> it broils the right wherever i go in america. people bring it up all the time. is there a motion to it and some questions they still want answers to. i think as a political issue in 2014 and in 2016, unless hillary
clinton is a democratic nominee, i just think republicans spin themselves up on something that the country has picked over a fair amount. there are still questions to investigate but the degree to which they are emotionally invested in it to some extent i think limits their ability to think clearly about the way to use it as a political issue and how much to use it as a political issue. >> i don't think susan rice appearance yesterday with david gregory is going to put any of that to rest. coming up the tanning of american. vh-1 is out with a new documentary based on steve stoute's best seller that is out. he joins us next with a first look at the project on "morning joe." aflac.
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breaking down the racial barriers that were up. >> i like it so i can get brown. >> the reality for americans is more tolerant and hip-hop led the movement to brown america. >> the world is changing. it's tanning. >> that was part of the trailer for vh-1's "the tanning of america." with you is the founder steve stoute, the ourauthor of the bo called "the tank of america." steve, welcome back. always good to see you. >> i love being here. >> first of all, let's explain what the tank of america is. you coined this term. what did you mean by tanning of america? >> i think the last 30 years we have seen a generation of growing up and they don't see the world any more through stereotypes. say if you're african-american, you do this and if you're
caucasian, you like this. no longer does a person's ethnicity value what they do and i call that tanning. >> the part you focus on here is music. you and i have talked a lot about this. >> yes, we have. >> i grew up in the suburbs of new jersey late '80s and early '90s when hip-hop was first leaking out to the suburbs and it became our sound track and our music and the music for white kids all over the country and our first relationship with urban and hip-hop culture and we have carried that with us now for a generation. >> you grew up on. . i speak to more about the culture the culture that was adopted like in the music, the music videos. i think it did a lot. i think it brought people together in a way that hadn't been done since dr. martin luther king of bringing people together in that way. >> absolutely. i absolutely agree with you. a period of time ago 10, 15 years ago you had all of these white milk bottles in suburban america sitting out there that hear rap or whatever.
>> they start running, yeah. >> now have you justin timberlake performing with jay-z and this is great. >> we have seen this happen. look. people tend to shy away from things they don't understand initially and over time, you get used to it and you understand the lyrics and the intent. and the result is everybody gets invited and they party and start dancing and going too far. >> what is the reason for this? is this because the there is some kind of shift in the millennials psyche or the diagram graphic boxes are changing or the work coming from the artist? >> i think it's all of the above. i think you have these numbers now where 1 in 7 marriages are interracial. 1 in 7. that's coming back from the census bureau and that is full marriage, i mean, between dating and married there is a lot of other relationships that is taking place and kids are be born as a result of this, understanding. but you also have music in
general just bringing people together because the one thing hip-hop music did that is very important is it celebrated having nothing. i mean, guys stood out and said i have nothing and i'm proud of it. you know, a lot of people around the world can relate to it whether they understand the language or not, they actuallynd the sentiment of representing coming from nothing. if you do that well, you're going to have people bond around that message and i think that is what the american dream is about initially, right? coming from nothing and making something. i think hip-hop represented those values, those culture values. >> that is the piece i want to pick up on. the one aspect of hip-hop for me that i thought a lot of folks missed was something you focused on and that is the new economy. the ability through hip-hop for these artists to take ownership and build empire around their talent area their skills and to create an economy of that is definitional. when i was lieutenant governor i had a chance to do an economic
summit with russell simmons and unheard to get african-americans at morgan state university to not talk about the music on but what you can do from the economy of the music. expand on that and why is that so powerful right now? especially given what you've just said about than millennial generation and the breakdown culturally how does being break up for empowerment? >> i think it taught us first of all, to be resourceful. being resourceful and not making excuses is what it taught. guys who grew up in the business such as myself. i went to five colleges in two years. it was because of the music or hip-hop, the industry itself, that i got in and i figured out how to do a lot of the skills that i have today, you know? i turned that into a great advertising company. in fact, i figured out i could actually put something on this show i can contribute to. you guys don't have a sponsor any more in the coffee room.
>> what you got for us? >> you used to have starbucks. >> what you got? >> i have to get you in contact with somebody. you need coffee. and "morning joe" is not sponsored. you need something. >> we need some stoute. >> you do work with big companies all the time. are they getting this? what does it take for a big company to get this transition? does it take a great cmo? >> that's a really good question. early on in the beginning when i first started the company ten years ago and was speaking about this phenomenon like don't just target people through color any more, but find the commonality and mindset and shared values in order to market, and it only worked when the ceo had like a teenager at home who would be like -- he would be like my daughter said that. so i thank all of the ceos who have teenagers at home. that is what it was. that is how it started ten years ago and now, you know, the
results are in. you are realizing what is the general market any more and what is african-american versus general market versus this expanding and latinos market and what is general market? general market is a shared mental complexion all of these different groups and i think that is where the sweet spot is and what the book is about and the documentary is about and that is the philosophy i believe in. >> few people understand what is happening in this country better than you do, steve. the first episode of "the tanning of america" airs on vh1 tonight at 11:00 p.m. eastern and 10:00 p.m. central. steve, thanks. >> thank you, guys. tomorrow's show russell wilson, the super bowl champions of seattle seahawks, will be with us on the show. you're watching "morning joe."
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[ laughter ] >> it's easier that way, right? so the oscars are less than a week away, but if you're looking for an informed opinion about who should win, you may really need to ask around on this one. there's a new poll from reuters finding two-thirds of americans have not seen any of the nine movies nominated for best picture. leading the pack, 15% of respondents, say they have seen tom hanks in "captain phillips." >> i've seen all nine. >> you're really good. sandra bullock's "gravity" not too far behind. it's gotten 14% viewership, according to this poll. respondents are excited about the host ellen degeneres. she scored 60% approval rating, beating out billy crystal and tina fey. the academy awards are sunday night. should be very exciting. an arrest warrant for the country's former president. and what the developing situation in ukraine means for both europe and russia. more "morning joe" after this.
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>> welcome back. >> thanks. it was a good trip. it was cool. i think the anticipation was all of the security problems, and it wouldn't be a great. and actually, they did a good job with security. they did a good job with the transportation, venues were nice. it doesn't mean there aren't a lot of problems in sochi and in russia. >> it was disconcerting seeing you standing there in 60-degree weather, and going up to bobsled races on -- >> yeah, we knew that going in, that down by the coast -- the coastal cluster done by the water. the mountain cluster up top. it was 60 degrees, it was 65 degrees. but all of the venues, they're indoors, obviously. when you got up in the mountains, it was cold enough to operate, although sometimes the snow got slushy. it was strange looking at palm trees where you were standing, and then seeing the snow-capped mountains behind them. it was this weird paradox. but it was good. got back late saturday night, and away we go. >> we can do a doubleheader now.
we've had the winter olympics, with you covering the winter olympics, and katy kay in reo. >> yeah, it wasn't quite like sochi. i got the better beat, don't you think? that was the view from my hotel. >> it's probably fair, yes. were you doing some scouting? >> -- hardship assignments. >> yes. >> and volunteer themselves to go down to rio de janeiro for a week. that was the then i had to do last week. dy it with a lot of grace, and i hope courage, and sat on the beach a little bit. >> suffered for your craft, isn't that what you did? >> i suffered for my cause. >> so what did i miss? >> i went to worcester, massachusetts. >> oh, yeah. how was the beach up there? >> yeah, it was beautiful. >> it is actually. it is. well, good to see you all back. there's a lot going on. big news, katy, i know ukraine is the focus of the world's attention. >> it's been amazing, all over the weekend, how fast things
have been moving in ukraine. we begin there where an arrest warrant is now issued for the former president who for now still claims that he's the man in charge. on saturday, viktor yanukovych fled. his wheres about remain unknown. meanwhile, parliament took emergency action yesterday restoring the government and giving it new speaker the power of acting president. the country's military has vowed to stand behind and support the new government. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel looks back at the dramatic events. >> reporter: the revolution began with a fiery miscalculation by the government when last tuesday riot police tried to storm a three-month-old protest camp in the center of kiev. the demonstratorings held their ground, setting bonfires to keep the police at bay. police couldn't take the square, and by the next morning, they were reduced to throwing stones.
the police didn't have much food or shelter either. we saw them exhausted, sleeping on the streets. by day three, protesters felt they had the upperhand and charged police lines. [ gunshots ] then the government made a second, tragic mistake. riot police opened fire, killing nearly 80 demonstrators. in minutes, volunteers converted a nearby hotel into a field hospital. >> yanukovych, with support of russia, tries to kill ukraine. >> reporter: the u.s. and other nations threatened sanctions and under pressure from europe, ukraine's pro-moscow president, yanukovych, agreed to limit his authority and hold new elections by the end of the year. the protesters sensed weakness and chose to push on. they occupied kiev. [ chants ] starting with the presidential offices. police abandoned their posts.
so is today your liberation day? >> i hope so. >> reporter: yanukovych pled for eastern ukraine and demonstrators entered his chalet. kiev fell without a shot. hungry for information, people press their faces to the gating of parliament for updates broadcast on loudspeakers. parliament was taking over the government. for the demonstrators, yanukovych was a russian puppet. >> i am not against russia, just i am against, you know, putin. maybe he wants to return to style -- >> reporter: this week, the real politique met tahrir-style siege demonstrations came to moscow's doorstep, making russia wonder will there be more? is this the start of a eurasian spring? joining us now live from london,
nbc news foreign correspondent ayman. ayman, do we know where yanukovych is? >> not yet. there have been reports he's hiding out in a monetary in crimea, the only part ethnically majority russian. there are some that say that's where he is, that's according to ukrainian media. there's been no word or confirmation as to where he is. that's an area very important, because that's where the russian navy maintains a very large fleet on the black sea. so it is also an area where thousands of people over the weekend were called to join these types of unofficial brigades to protect crimea. >> ayman, there seems to be a gnawing question in the west as
to what move putin's move will be this week. is there any emerging consensus on options putin might take to prevent the ukraine from further slipping to the west? >> that's the million-dollar question. the president of russia, vladimir putin, has also seen it as part of his fear of influence. they can make the argument they have valid reasons to protect the minority -- minority russians in ukraine and perhaps use that as a pretext for some kind of involvement militarily. as i just said, there is a large russian fleet in ukrainian waters off the coast of crimea. more importantly, they can make the argument to protect the russian minority, and send in troops. russia has not been shy in sending in troops where it feels it has the sphere of influence. we saw it in georgia, where they fought a war there for several weeks. so it is a possibility that we could see russia escalate this further. they've already cut off some of
the major loans that they had promised the president or ukraine as a result of him stepping down. you could imagine that russia is going to, if not militarily, at least economically in the coming weeks and months try to punish ukraine for the decisions it has now made. russia is a very important trade ally in ukraine, and they can definitely turn up the heat and pressure on the ukrainian economy by cutting off a lot of the major export-import relationships that they have. >> ayman, leigh gallagher, isn't there a chance the e.u. will now step in now that the russian deal is off and there is clearly a severe gap to fill here? the ukraine economy was spiraling well before all of this happened. i know katherine ashton, the finance chief of the e.u., is on her way to ukraine. is there some hope of savior coming from the european side of things? >> well, that's the tone that's certainly coming out of the european union. they are saying that ukraine's future is in european integration. they're going to open the door for ukraine to try and
economically and ultimately politically perhaps join the european union. but it's also very important to keep in mind that's not going to be an easy road for a country that has been historically very socialist, very state-oriented to suddenly shift its entire economy to be one similar to european countries. one of the major sticking points that made president yanukovych change his mind from going down the road of european integration is it would make it difficult for the economy to decentralize, to open it up, make it a free-market economy, and that's a lot of hardships for the people who depend on subsidies and other benefits. and that's a major condition of the european union. if you're going to be a part of europe economically and take our money, they make a condition they have to change their economy. so it may look as a short-term solution, but in the long term, it won't be as easy as it's been. >> amman, breaking down a complicated story. thank you. russia was able to pull off the most expensive olympics ever without incident, but the situation in ukraine is unstable
at best. national security advisor susan rice was asked if russian president vladimir putin still sees the world from a cold war point of view. >> he may. but if he does, that's a dated perspective. we have confronted him and we do call him on it, and the president is very plain and very forceful in his dealings with putin. but it's not necessary, nor is it our interests, to return to a cold war construct, which is long out of date and that doesn't reflect the realities of the 21st century. >> susan rice talking there to david gregory on "meet the press." yesterday, senator john mccain weighed in on russia's next move. >> what does putin do here? i think the message has to be sent to him to let the ukrainian people determine their own future and a partition of ukraine is totally unacceptable. if i were vladimir putin today at the end of the olympics, i'd be a little nervous, because the people of russian -- of russia
have watched this transpire, and they're tired of the crony capitalism a isism that governs. >> mark, i'll ask you how the obama administration has played this over the last few weeks, but also what's at stake, not for the obama administration but for america here. >> the russians have bases there. and so putin is going to face a lot of pressure to try to do something. if that happens, i think the administration is different territory. up until now, they've done very well. we always win when the american government talks about freedom. we're lucky in ukrainian. yes, the economy is bad, a lot of crony capitalism and corruption. but there's a vibrant opposition, a charismatic opposition that's talking about freedom. and i think that in the short term, the administration's in fine place. again, totally changes if putin uses military force. at that point, it's one of the bigger military crises that the administration faces. what can the u.s. do at that point?
it's tough. all the focus has to be on things like loans, things like rhetoric to try to intimidate putin or at least give him pause. again, those bases are so important. you think about where america has bases around the world. that to me make it is tough for putin not to, for his own interests, think about military action. >> michael, it will be interesting to see if and how the gop, including several leading potential republican candidates for president, can pivot from obamacare, constant beating of obamacare, to something truly globally serious. >> globally serious and much more substantive in terms that it hits on economic interests as well as foreign policy interests. so i think mark is right. right now, the administration is in a good position. i think john mccain has struck the right tone as the opposition party to see, you know, and put pressure on putin to do the right thing, to listen to his people and sort of follow that trend line. i think more domestically, the question that a lot of republicans are going to ask
themselves is, is this another situation where we leave the folks in kiev on the vine, dying on the vine, as we saw with the arab spring. certain will i in iran with the youth movement there. the u.s. gave tepid, you know, response to it, ultimately did not do a lot to push that effort. this is another situation, another test, and i think a lot of republicans will see how the president plays it out very quietly at first, but to your point, it's because military did, it will step up for sure. >> coming up on "morning joe," the pentagon eyes a plan to drop the number of army troops to the lowest level since before world war ii. plus, politico's mike allen reports on a democrat's answer to karl rove. how jim messina is affecting the political landscape. first, bill karins has a look at the forecast. >> good monday morning to you, willie. across the country, people are ready for the warm to return. we had a nice break from the harsh winter. this time, we get the cold, but
not the snow, thankfully. so i think many of us can deal with that. it's here to stay for one, two weeks. right now, the worst of it coming down from canada. the freezer door is open. we are at minus 22 wind chill fargo. minneapolis minus 17, and now showing in chicago. the wind chill of 2. all of cold air traveling across the country. as i said, the snow really doesn't come with it. there will be snow in the northern rockies, mountains of california get needed snow over the next couple of days. but no snowstorms heading on the eastern sea board or through the great lakes, so that's good. as far as the temperatures go out there, a high today of 10 in billings. there's two numbers on this map. the red number shows you how warm we should be this time of year. the white number's how high it will be. so, in other words, it should be about 38 in chicago. but it's only going to be 22, and tomorrow's not much better. as i mentioned, the cold air in the midwest, great lakes, ohio valley, northeast is here to stay. at least through the first week of march. i think the coldest day is going to be on thursday.
that's the high temperature in minneapolis. negative 6 degrees. that's an ouch. as far as the west coast goes, we'll get you some rain by the end of the week. l.a.x., even los angeles, has a chance of rain by friday into the upcoming weekend, and we so desperately need it. you're watching "morning joe." are you ready grandma? just a second, sweetie.
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this weekend at her home in london. she was one of less than 20,000 people freed from a czechoslovakian concentration camp in 1945. a film based on her life entitled "the lady in number 6" is nominated at the academy awards this weekend. she was 110. >> she made it for a long life, but what a life she'd had. from the parade of papers, "the los angeles times" a mysterious illness has affected as many as 25 children in california. young children across the state are reporting difficulty breathing, and the inagent to move their arms and legs. while the children don't have polio, the symptoms are similar to that illness. public health officials continue to investigate the cause of this new syndrome. "the omaha world herald" the pentagon may move forward with the plans to shrink the size of the u.s. army. chuck hagel has introduced a spending proposal that would reduce it to 450,000 members,
the smallest size since before world war ii. it would eliminate an entire fleet of air force aircraft. "the philadelphia enquirer" comcast and netflix are coming together to improve streaming quality. netflix has agreed to pay the country's largest cable and internet provider to ensure faster service for its customers. the news comes just ten days after comcast purchased time warner cable for $45 billion. the financial terms of the netflix deal were not disclosed. "the new york times," it's premiere night for seth meyers on "late night" tonight. he will welcome amy poehler and meyers old castmate will appear, fred armonson. couldn't be a better goo i in our business. >> oh, absolutely. absolutely. >> yeah. >> fallon off to an incredible
start. week one, and now week two, bring seth into the mix. >> jimmy fallon is amazing. >> he's been doing that for five years in late night, and now so many more people are seeing it. >> a better transition than when we head to conan. >> that's fair. the thing about jimmy, too, he's been doing his act for so long, there is no transition. he's doing the same show he was doing for five years. >> the mek chanics right, the p. >> the last show with the muppets playing -- it was unbelievable. incredible. >> yeah, he puts oen a great show. seth tonight. tune in. meanwhile, our jimmy fallon is with us right now, mr. mike allen, always puts on a good show. he has look at the "playbook." good morning. >> good morning. welcome back. we're here with the history of "rap 6." >> you and vandehei doing the history of rap. oh, i'd love to see that. let's talk about, you guys have a big piece up now, the man credited as the architect of president obama's re-election campaign is now being called the democratic party's version of
karl rove. he's a guy a lot of people around this table know and have dealt with quite a bit. tell our viewers about jim messina. >> yeah, well, here's the fascinating part about the path of jim messina is following, very similar to karl rove, in that they're finding the power, the money in politics is outside the traditional system. so outside the political parties, the campaigns. so jim messina is now chairman of both organizing for action, president obama's nonprofit, which he'll be speaking to tomorrow, he's chairman of a pro-hillary super pac, priorities usa, the messina group consults to groups like the american gaming association. messina gives speeches, $50,000 each, to groups like the american institute so. this is a former capitol hill staffer seeing his first real money in his life, and all of a sudden, working on all these different fronts. he says that all of his gigs are vetted by bob bauer, the long
time democratic lawyer. robert barnett, who knows every game in town. and this is the new model to succeed, make big money after winning such a big race. >> politico's mike allen. thanks. still ahead, ronan farrow will prehere his brand-new show. plus the host of "dirty jokes," mike rowe, why some of his biggest fans aric thatting issue with his latest ad. first, states of play. we'll have exclusive interview with senators mitch mcconnell and the candidates trying to replace him. "morning joe" will be right back. when you order the works you want everything. an expert ford technician knows your car's health depends on a full, complete checkup. the works. because when it comes to feeling safe behind the wheel, going the distance and saving at the pump
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♪ we're now a couple of months into an election year. control of congress hanging in the balance. kasie hunt spotlights some of the most contentious races across the map. good morning. >> good morning. we start with one of the most closely watched senate races of 2014, involving one of washington's most powerful republicans. mitch mcconnell of kentucky is facing challengers from all sides in a race that could reshape the senate. ♪
it's been almost 30 years since kentucky voters were represent ed -- >> there are a bunch of caustic curmudgeons who don't really seem to care. >> matt beven is a tea party favorite and the primary challenger. beven boasts an impressive resume. army veteran, evangelical, successful businessman and father of nine. four of his children are adon'tadon't -- adopted from ethiopia. he's furious at washington, comparing it to the movie "the hunger games" and much of his angle is aimed at the republican leadership. >> this is not how our government is intended to, would. it's not supposed to be some preselected little handful of people that are then groomed up and are put in to be the replacements of people that have finally decided to step aside at
some point. >> reporter: but critics say he is trying to have it both ways in his opposition to the bank bailout. t.a.r.p. is one of his main attacks. >> mitch mcconnell dragged -- >> this has been the senate at its finest. >> reporter: when he ran an investment fund in 2008, bevin signed documents praising the bailout, but he said the forms were only a formality. >> i didn't write these, and he knows i didn't write them. >> reporter: do you feel you benefited from the financial bailout? >> i don't know that i did. i am invested in many mutual funds, as are you, as in anybody who has any money saved in a 401(k). i don't know that anybody has been able to go back and parse out exactly what contributed to what. so it's a good question. i don't know that i have a good answer to it, though. >> reporter: since he was first elected, none of mcconnell's primary opponents have gotten better than 13% of the vote. but bevin's supporters say they're ready for a change. if you had to use one word to
describe mitch mcconnell, what would it be? >> untrustworthy. >> it's a bad thing when you look at the votes he's taken. personally, i think he's gone too astray. >> reporter: why did you switch? >> as much as i love working, you know, for rand, i love the constitution and the bill of rights much more. >> reporter: mcconnell's approval is at historic lows, but with support from his colleague rand paul, mcconnell seems eager to take on beven and the national conservative groups backing him. >> i've been a pretty solid conservative throughout my career. i don't think there's any particular reason for conservatives to be upset about my performance. >> reporter: allison grimes is the bigger threat. >> it's hot in here! i tell you, there must be some women about ready to make things happen. >> reporter: grimes is secretary of state and comes from a powerful political family. she's a pro-coal, pro-labor democrat who wants to raise the minimum wage, and she's energizing women who she says mitch mcconnell has left behind.
are you prepared for the scrutiny? >> for the past seven months, we've endured $6 million worth of negative, nasty attacks. and if anything, i think it's shown that this home grown kentuckyian is ready to go to battle. >> reporter: i want to ask about president barack obama. would you want him to come down and campaign? >> it's about putting the people of this state first, and i speak for myself and don't need any other surrogate to do that. i stand in stark contrast to the president in many of his ideas and platforms. >> reporter: national republicans have cast you as obama girl and one of the national spokes people refer to you assen empty dress. >> yes. >> reporter: do you think those are appropriate? how do you respond? >> it's about as accurate as mcconnell being a chippendale dancer. >> reporter: but observers say she's got to show she has to take what to win. >> mcconnell is driving the race. all the news is about mcconnell. bevin is chewing on his ankle.
grimes really hasn't taken many strong issue positions. she's almost painfully cautious. >> reporter: and allison grimes get as huge shot in the arm when former president bill clinton comes to campaign with her in kentucky. >> her answer to the question, about whether she would want the president to come down, she almost mouthed no before she gave her answer. size up the race. how bhig is the threat to mitch mcconnell in. >> he could lose. he's remarkly unpopular in the state. democrats want to try to pin him down and make him have to worry about the race. he is a cagey guy. it is still kentucky. there's a national democratic or republican tide, it's hard for him to lose in the general election. if the democrats fight back, and she proves to be a strong candidate, there were some moments in that piece she looked strong, and others where she looked a little bit like she couldn't stand up to him. so i think there's a chance there. but in the end, it will take a lot of lucky breaks for her to coin.
>> kasie, the rand paul effect on this race. >> it's hard to overstate it. mcconnell was very smart, and while rand has not exactly been the most aggressive defender, he's not working against him. that makes a huge difference. rand has also been storing up a little bit of trouble. he had some interesting comments about bill clinton and woody allen, both of whom are supporters of grimes, if you want to take a listen to that. >> you know, it concerns me. i mean, the then is that i think workplace violence is a serious thing. think about your network. if the president of your network had relations with a 20-year-old girl who was there from college, i think the president of your network would be fired. we don't accept that in the workplace. and so, if that's what bill clinton, you know, did multiple times, really they ought to be concerned about, you know, being associated with him. also, kentucky, we're not quite hollywood as far as accepting sort of different kind of things like that. woody allen's apparently a big contributor of hers, too.
woody allen's been now accused of, you know, having relations with his children. so the thing is, that's not really acceptable in kentucky. and i think she has to decide whether she's representing kentucky or hollywood. >> we actually asked grimes about both of those accusations, and she dodged. she said she's excited to have bill clinton, and it's up for the legal system to decide woody allen. >> you can see more of the interviews online at mojoe.msnbc.com. up next, ronan farrow joins the table. he's set to kick off his brand-new show today at 1:00 p.m. "morning joe" will be right back. this body made two amazing little human beings --
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what they do because that's who they are. especially, like, i think people use the -- how we were racist, abusing black culture, but i have little people, ashley, on stage with me, seven feet tall. not using them because we think -- >> do you worry, though, as you design the show, do you worry about exploiting them? >> no, they're not being exploited. >> they're sexual, and beautiful, and if you met brittany, one of the amazing people that's with us, she is, like, we always are about lifting her up and making her feel so sexy all the time and having her dance. because she's, like, actually an awesome dancer. >> that was part of ronan farrow's exclusive interview with miley cyrus, what you'll see on the brand-new show, "ronan farrow daily." good to see you, sir. >> thank you. we'll have that later in the week. we'll be rolling that out. there's a lot of ukraine news and a lot of the elms of putting
questions to the crowd that i'm excited to roll out. >> that's the dessert people will have to work for. >> yes, we'll get to miley. >> we talked about this before your show ever got off the ground, but your interest in wanting to mobilize people, and to give people news you can use and then stuff you can actually utilize to get your voice heard. explain the call to action. >> that's the idea. every week, we want to take one of our big news stories and actually look at different faceting of it throughout the week, and then put it to the people. we'll talk to the experts. we have a lot of people with gravitas and experience in the trenches of this week's issue. we've got michael steele on the show today. i'm excited about that. but then, we'll also take the extra step of putting the question to you at home. so we will give you a couple of things that can you do throughout the week, and then at the end of the week, look how we're capable of pushing forward the issue by using the crowd. >> one of the things you're talking about is student loan debt, an that's something that a lot of us, we come out of school, we don't know how we're
going to defer the loans, most likely, because we don't get jobs right away, and then saddled with that. explain what you want to do -- >> that's the idea. this is a story i've been reporting on for dot-com and different platforms and people are so passionate about t i've talked to schoolteachers who are making half of what they have to pay every month on student loans. and who won't be out of debt for 20 years and they're frightened for whether they can support their children. this is something that has a huge effect on the economy, because people are, you know, going into adult life, sort of crippled and unable to buy houses and unable to support their families. >> it's the only kind of debt that grew throughout the recession. >> that's right. and more than $1 trillion. >> it's unbelievable, a real problem. what are you finding are solutions? i know we'll tune in and learn more. what are some of the ideas that are emerging? >> to start out. we want to get a picture of what the situation is and what that crippling burden looks like. so starting today, we're going to -- starting right in our own office and extending around the country, turn it over to people in the audience and say, take a
picture of yourself with your name and the amount of debt you owe, or the length of time it will take for you to pay it off. we'll get a sense of exactly the scope of the problem, put a face to it, and then we'll look at different potential solutions over the course of the week. senator gillibrand has introduced legislation, that would allow debtors to refinance at a lower rate. that has some potential. you know, elizabeth warren has a proposal. we'll go through this and talk big names about how we can get action. president obama has promised but hasn't really pushed it forward. >> and when will you get to the rising unstoppable -- seemingly unstoppable tuition costs? >> that's a huge problem, too, and part of the problem is that federal aid to colleges hasn't been contingent on any kind of metrics for success. >> right. >> one of the big proposals in last year's state of the union was that we change that, and that president bottom institute this ratings system. it's been very controversial with the college market, understandably. they don't want to give up that
money. but he was actually going to peg that aid to affordability. i think that needs to happen. a lot of people on the hill thinks that needs to happen. he actually dropped that proposal in the state of the union. nothing's come of it yet. so that's something we'll watch closely, too. >> michael, are you nervous? >> this guy bring as lot to the table, and i'm excited to be a part of the launch. not just the message, but the foreign agenda. you'll be covering it all. >> we're going to be covering it all. a lot of devastating news out of ukraine. we'll have big guests on that. of course, twerking with miley, which i'll get -- >> there you go. well, i got a take on that one. >> in the words of joe biden, this is an rfd. ronan farrow daily. great to see you. congratulations. i know you'll knock it out of the park. our conversation with mike rowe of dirty jobs and the fame he has garnered from that. the unique take over the backlash on the new commercial for walmart, and he has a book to talk about, as well. we're back after this.
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and he took pride in the things i made and my belts whired and my engines cranked. i opened my doors to all. and together, we filled pallets and trucks, and then one day, the gears stopped turning. but i am still here. and i believe i will rise again. we will build things and build families and build dreams. it's time to get back to what america does best. because work is a beautiful thing. >> so that ad announces walmart's prom toys put $250 billion to create new
manufacturing jobs in america. and yet, it has caused a stir among some pro-union forces. here with us now, the voice of that walmart ad, former "dirty jobs" host mike rowe, author of the book "profoundly disconnected, a true confession from mike rowe." great to have you here. >> great to be had, thank you. >> we know the dulcetones of the ad, mike rowe, but the actions you've gotten with aligning yourself to walmart and it created a backlash for you. why? >> yeah, backlash -- i asked for it a little bit, i checked out facebook. and there was some chatter. it wasn't all pretty. >> what were people angry about? >> the shrinks would call it cognitive dissonance, when somebody does something that you hate, it takes you a minute to
kwet get your head around. it's easy to punish the messenger, scream about it. especially if you're home with your libation, and, look, you're a broadcaster. >> it's not unionized and -- >> the anger was i -- >> you. >> -- came out and said a thing that somebody -- i shouldn't have said. >> so it was -- you used to be our guy. >> yeah. >> the fact you're working for walmart. >> and now, you, you turn up doing an ad for the big guys. >> right. >> for walmart, selling chinese goods in their stores, and you were our guy -- >> that's right. >> so boom. >> you're not doing that for lexus. walmart is about as middle america -- i'm not understanding the anger -- >> okay, jobs, right, made in the usa is the initiative that walmart right now is looking at, you know something, we will write a p.o. to the united states of america for $250 billion, and during that time, we pledge to buy goods
made here, because they're challenging the suppliers in a way few companies have done. this sounds great in a vacuum. people get upset because historically walmart hasn't done that. i stepped in and said, look, whatever, we can spend all our time on this segment or any other segment talking about what walmart has done, or we can talk about the fact that in my field they just kind of set a really interesting bar. so i'm making the rounds saying, look, i don't much care what side you're on or how you feel about a big, giant retailer, but what would happen in the country if other major retailers, other major companies said, okay, in relative terms, we're there, too. we can't do $250 billion, but what can we do? look, i'm not an economist, but, man, wouldn't something extraordinary happen in the fortune 500 said, okay, let's follow suit as best we can, not challenge the consumer, not beat up on the consumer for not buying american. that's too easy.
challenge suppliers, motivate them with longer contracts, and see what comes out the other end. >> do you think there's an issue with capitalists not paying american workers the waej that they deserve? as you say, this is a challenge thrown down to other businesses to invest in american-made products, so we have the gap come out saying they'll raise the minimum wage of their worker to $10.10. walmart workers that are fighting for a living wage, where some of them are on federal assistance, that we pay for them. food drives for themselves at christmas and holiday time. do you understand where people would say, well, why doesn't walmart instead of investing in this ad ploy, invest in the actual people that work for them with the money that they deserve for a living wage? >> i understand if we're talking about cars. you can focus on power steering, brakes, undercarriage, interior, pick your conversation. that's a fair conversation to have and half the country right now is having it. i'm telling you, we no longer have the will or the skill to simply fill the jobs that are created. the skills gap's real.
you have 3 million jobs right now that for whatever reason people aren't jumping up and down to get. you might make the point that, well, if they were more attractive, more people would want them. frankly, i think it's a tertiary issue, an important one. but the fundamental issue is we don't have the capital over here right now in skilled labor -- >> there's a whole other playing field of highly skilled well-paying jobs that nobody ever talks about to young people just embarking in the job market -- plumbers, electricians, carpenters. you make a terrific wage, and they seem to be a forgotten minority in the job component. >> sure. i've spent ten years crawing through -- crawling through sewers, every single state, every single employer told me the same thing. the single biggest challenge for them, finding people who are willing to learn a useful skill, show up early, stay late, and work their butts off. i've heard it in every state,
mike. i'm telling you, it is a massive disconnect. you asked about vis-a-vis education. there's no better example. you have a trillion dollars in student loans now on the books. we hold the note on that, by the way. you have a few million jobs, nobody seems to want. real shortages in states right now where things are at crisis level. we're still pushing a four-year education like it's the best path for the most people. we're still lending money we don't have, to kids who will never be able to pay it back, to train them for jobs that no longer exist. that's nuts. but that's what we're doing. and with respect, tom, what we do while this is happening, is we step back and go, well, let's talk about how we can increase the outcome we want as quickly as possible. look, i just think it's a sucker's bet. i would go back to every lesson i learned in the dirt. and maybe i'm spoiled, but my bias is the people i've been working with, there's no such thing as a bad job. they roll their eyes and laugh when you talk about bad jobs.
they're, like, whatever. whatever. 45 people on "dirty jobs" over the 300 i met were millionaires. you never would have known it, because they're covered in crap. that's not the point of the show. but the opportunities that existed in the country were put right in front of me, day after day, week after week, and so to bring this back to the beginning, when walmart said, look, we don't care how you feel about us, what do you feel about american manufacturing, i said, guy, i've been with you since 2008, how can i help? that's why i wanted to come here today, too. i bet you can help. i bet your viewers can help. lean on companies. get home depot, lowe's, all of them. >> i do work with community college systems, and they feel like the ugly stepsister, but they're training people for the jobs. >> that's my whole deal. we do work ethics scholarships. not scholastic, athletic, not need-based scholarships. we reward work ethic and the
willingness to learn a new trade. that's where the disconnect is. we're still in a word -- we're still a country where we want to pay the absolute lowest price for the best possible thing, and to your point, tom, go to bed at night, warm in our cocoon of knowledge and happiness, knowing that every worker is being paid a living wage. those two things are both well and good. but which one do you really want to talk about, because to have them both overnight, i can't even begin to imagine how to pull that off. but $250 billion is a big number. >> you hit a nerve. mike, thank you. "morning joe" will be back after this.
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♪ the phenomenally talented jimmy fallon, who also happens to be one of the world's greatest guys -- not here to tell us what he learned today -- but we're here to tell you what we learned today. what did you learn? >> i learned a lot of thing, but most importantly, the programming notes about ronan starting at 1:00, and friends tamron, adrian. >> and i learned being in the company of good people. that's what it's all about. >> what about me? >> you too. >> and i learned i need hip-hop education and i'll tune in tonight for the four-part series "the tanning of america." >> and here's what i learned. let's sing a quick happy
birthday to rochelle. ♪ happy birthday to you happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ happy birthday rochelle >> all right. and every day is reilike your birthday, because right now, it's time for the greatest chuck todd and "the daily rundown." chuck, take it away. >> and remember, you have to charge barnicle for singing "happy birthday" on the airwaves. time for sunshine. we're kicking off a year-long look at the state of politics in all 50 states and this week this week we'll focus on is florida. from this year's marquee match-ups to demographic dynamics to presidential puzzle pieces, past and future. meanwhile, a new chapter begins in ukraine as its ousted leader is on the run and its former leader is out of jail. national security advisor susan rice returns to the sunday show circuit, the reaction to get an earful from senator john mccain. also this morning, less than a week away from the biggest night in