tv Meet the Press MSNBC March 9, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
ide effects include nausea, trouble sleeping, and unusual dreams. my quit date was my son's birthday, and that was my gift for him and me. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. breaking news this sunday morning. terrorism concerns and that missing malaysian airlines jet with 239 feared dead. the latest from the white house on what the u.s. knows. from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> and good sunday morning. such a difficult way to begin the program this morning. more on the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of that plane and the questions about foul play given two passengers were traveling on stolen passports. a pretty rare occurrence. the new reports that the plane may have tried to turn around. plus, the latest on the
crisis in ukraine with russia tightening its grip on crimea another week of diplomacy that's frankly gone nowhere. the parliament is calling for a referendum on joining russia. president obama has to consider whether vladimir putin has already won this standoff. so how does he prevent the russian president from going even further? i'm going to be joined by one of the president's top foreign policy advisors in just a moment. then i want to talk about the pope francis effect. this week marks his one-year anniversary. now that he's captivated the world and the world is listening, what will the pontiff do with his remarkable influence? cardinal timothy dolan, the archbishop shop of new york has views on sexual abuse and same-sex marriage. plus, the fight for the control of the gop. interesting politics this week. rand paul wins a straw poll of conservatives this weekend after declaring it is time to elect lovers of liberty. can he unify the party and take his message to a run for the white house? i'll be joined by our
roundtable, and they're already here. nbc's andrea mitchell, national journal's ron fournier, ralph reed founder of the faith and freedom coalition and karen bass, democratic congresswoman from my native california. i want to go to the latest on this horrible crash on then malaysian air flight. tom costello is with us with the latest on the investigation on the malaysian airliner. what have you learned? what can you tell us this morning? >> night has now fallen in malaysia. authorities there have suspended the air search. the malaysian military says its radar indicates the plane may have attempted to turn back early saturday but there was never a distress call. authorities are also consulting with the fbi looking closely at the entire passenger manifest to see who was on this plane and what were their true identities. yesterday, we learned two europeans, austrian and italian, were listed as passengers on that plane but, in fact, when were safe and sound on the ground. both reported their passports
stole in thailand over the past two years or so. this morning we learned there may be and i underscore two more passengers who were traveling on false documents. meantime, 40 ships and 22 aircraft including ships and planes from the u.s. are converging on this area near the gulf of thailand and the south china sea, the plane's last known location. on saturday, the vi vietnamese military spotted two large oil slicks on the water. it's not known if those are connected but it's all they have to go on at this moment. the search is concentrating in that area. three americans are among the 239 passengers and crew members, including philip wood, an ibm executive from texas. the plane, a boeing 777 series nearly 12 years old, in august of 2012, that very plane lost a
tip of a wing after clipping another plane on the ground in shanghai. now, while that wing was repaired, investigators will want to know whether that repair in any way contributed to the crash. clearly, this is eerily similar to the air france flight 447 which disappeared over the atlantic in 2009. while search teams did find pieces of the wreckage, it took two years to find the body of the plane on the ocean floor. but that, of course, was a airbus a-330. this is a boeing 777. the last time the only other fatal crash involving a boeing 777, the asiana crash in san francisco. investigators believe that was a result of pilot error. this morning, we still have no idea where this plane is, no signs of wreckage. it is dark again and now nearly 48 hours since plane went missing. >> a lot to learn. tom costello, thanks so much for the latest this morning. more on this story and also the crisis in the ukraine. i'm joined by president obama's national security adviser tony blinken. he's been with president obama. miami this weekend. he's been involved in major foreign policy decisions for two decades.
president obama determined the u.s. response to the crisis in ukraine. welcome to "meet the press." >> thanks, david. good to have you. >> let me start on the malaysian airliner. are you worried this could be terrorism and what fuels that worry? >> david, first of all, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and those who've lost loved ones in this accident and this incident. we have three american citizens who were on board, many chinese, taiwanese. second, we're actively looking into all the questions that this raises. fbi, the national transportation safety board, the federal aviation agency all are heading to the area to help in the investigation. lots of questions have been raised. we don't have the answers yet. we'll get them. >> the stolen passports, the fact that there were two of them on one flight, if you're hearing this at home, that's got to be a red flag for the government, for investigators. >> it certainly raises concerns.
that's why we're actively looking into it. there could be different explanations for what's involved. we don't want to get ahead of the facts. we need to get the facts and that's what the investigators will do. >> talk about the crisis in ukraine. since this starred, the president and his top officials have issued it seems like line after line and putin seems to have crossed them all. why does this president and the united states generally have so little influence over him? >> david, i think what we've seen is the president mobilizing the international community in support of ukraine to isolate russia for its actions in ukraine and to reassure our allies and partners. we have seen the president put together a major international support package. he's invited the ukrainian prime minister to consult with him. and in terms of isolating russia, what we've seen as a result of the mobilized support is that the financial markets in russia have hit lows. the ruble has hit a low. investors are wondering whether to get involved in russia because of the instability. all of that is exacting a real
cost and a real consequence. now, the question is -- >> i just want to challenge you on this point because my question is, we've said don't do this or else and president putin keeps doing it and more. why doesn't the president have a greater ability to influence what putin does before he does it? >> the president's made clear and so have leaders from around the world including in europe where we're closely coordinated that russia has a choice going forward. it can continue down the path it's on and face much greater isolation and much greater cost, or it can take the opportunity to resolve this diplomatically in a way that addresses its concerns but restores ukraine's sovereignty. that's the choice before russia. >> he's not listening. i think people watching this want to know why it is that the administration can't exert greater pressure on him to stop him before he does something. >> the cost is already significant, first of all. second, the president's made clear that going forward in coordination with our partners and allies, we have in place a mechanism with sanctions to
raise the cost significantly. but this is really a choice for the russians to make. they have to decide whether they want to resolve this diplomatically or face growing isolation and growing economic cost. right now what's happening is that -- >> i'm sorry. you finish, i'm sorry. >> right now, what's happening is that secretary of state kerry is engaged with his russian counterpart foreign minister lavrov. european leaders are engaged with president putin. the president spent the weekend on the phone with chancellor merkel of germany, president hollande of france, cameron of great britain, the italian prime minister renzi, bringing together, marshalling the work of the international community to continue to exert and increase the pressure on russia to do the right thing going forward. >> "the washington post" lead story this morning about how now russia is saying if you're going to sanction us economically, we'll stop inspecting nuclear weapons in russia. that's part of an important nuclear treaty. how seriously do you take that threat?
>> look, we've seen those reports. the russians haven't said anything to us about that directly. we haven't seen any change in their practices. obviously, that would be a serious development. inspections are an important part of arms control agreements. we've had armed control agreements with the russians and with the soviet union for decades and throughout the ups and downs of the relationship, each side made good on its commitment. >> here's the reality. that is that crimea is a week from today going to vote on joining russia. if the crimean people speak and they become part of russia, is the incontrovertible fact that russian aggression into ukraine will stand? >> david, first, if there is a referendum and it votes to move crimea out of ukraine to russia, we won't recognize it and most of the world won't either. that's fact one. second, were that to happen, the isolation of russia, the cost it would pay would increase significantly from where they are now.
you have to step back and put this in a larger context. what's happened is this. russia had a government in ukraine that it supported and that started to take very aggressive action against its own people. that government is gone. the government more oriented toward the west is in place. and so, what you're seeing is i think putin acting from a position of weakness, concerned that ukraine was leaving russia's orbit. the bottom line is it doesn't have to be in anyone's orbit. if ukraine succeeds economically, politically, integrated with the world, that would be good for russia and good for ukrainians. >> the question though is whether all options even military options are on the table should putin go further. there are a lot of baltic states part of nato. other form soviet republics in this region who are scared who think putin is doing what he wants to do because he perceives is weakness from the west, particularly from president obama. are all options on the table? are you saying to president putin, go no further or else military options are on the table?
>> david, what we're doing is bringing the world together to exert significant pressure on russia and to exert significant isolation on russia. understand this. when putin thinks about maximizing russia's power, what he's interested in making sure that it has economic influence and global influence, and his actions and the actions we have taken in response are undermining that influence, undermining its economic influence, undermining its geopolitical influence. if the only way you to have to exert your influence is through coercion and bribery and forcing people, that isn't going to be a way to extend your power. what you'll see in the days ahead as this moves forward is tremendous solidarity in coordination led by president obama among the international community to exert a price and a cost if russia continues to move forward. but it does not need to be that way.
there is a clear off-ramp for russia that will get the international inspectors in, get russia and ukraine talking directly and head toward elections may 25th. russia says it has concerns about the legitimacy of the government in ukraine. that can be answered with the election may 25th. meanwhile, the president is mobilizing international support for ukraine and working to isolate russia if it persists in this course. >> tony blinken, top national security advisor to president obama, thanks so much for your time this morning. >> thanks very much. >> let me bring in peter king on the homeland security committee in the house, of course. i want to get to the questions of terrorism in this flight. congressman, i'm still not getting an answer from the administration on what the best offense is at this point against russia to stop him in his tracks, him being president putin. he's already crossed the line. there are people in the region worried about him doing more and he may just annex, he may take crimea back into russia. what does the u.s. do about it? >> we have to be clear there will be firm sanctions. i think we should freeze assets
of any russian oligarchs in this country. increase military support for the baltic states, increase military support for poland and hungary and make it absolutely clear the sanctions will be in force. we have to make sure the allies are working together. tough ironclad sanctions on russia. there's no silver bullet. we have to sustain it and keep it going. i think the first thing to hit home will be to freeze the assets of russian oligarchs and top russians in this country and throughout the western world. >> is our energy policy our best offense here? do we say to europe, look, we're going to lift restrictions on exporting natural gas? we want to become a bigger partner to you in terms of where you get your natural gas instead of russia. do you think that's how to apply pressure on putin? >> david, that has to be an integral part of it. we have to increase exports of liquefied natural gas. these countries like england and others and germany cannot be forced to rely on russia for the lng they get.
the natural gas has to be -- we have enough to supply so many countries in the world. and we should right now start lifting restrictions. we should begin exporting as quickly as we can. that's not going to work in the short term but it can relieve some of the pressure and it can help these countries set their long-term policy to realize they're not going to be bound to russia for the natural gas. >> let me turn to questions about this missing malaysian air flight. you spent a lot of time thinking about and investigating acts of terror and americans' response. you heard tom costello. there's evidence, obviously, that can go in either direction. we don't know. you do have a red flag here. you've got two passengers with stolen passports, maybe it's more than that. that has be a red flag for you. >> david, it does. i mean, first of all, we don't know, but you're right. this is a real red flag and there's a number of other factors. the fact that the plane has disappeared. that there was no distress call,
no mayday, there was no signaling at all of any trouble. the fact that it came out of malaysia which has been a hub for al qaeda activity. the -- prior to the attack on the "uss cole," there was a meeting in malaysia. virtually -- so many of the 9/11 hijackers went through malaysia. you put all that together and have you two people traveling with stolen passports on the same plane. this has to be looked at, and i can assure you that our intelligence people, our counter-terrorism people are scrubbing, going through all the databases trying to get the identification of those two who were traveling with the stolen passports. my understanding is we do have a facial identity but we don't have the full identity yet. all of that has to be run to ground because again, there's no -- we can't make any conclusions but considering what's happened in the past and considering where this occurred
and considering the stolen passports, we having to consider the issue of terrorism and exhaust every possible investigative technique. >> congressman, when i first heard this, the thing that occurred to me all these years after 9/11, we have a much more integrated international system of checking identities and passports. when you put your passport through the scanner before you get on a flight something would ping and say, hey, this isn't right. do you worry that malaysia is not in sync with those protocols the way a lot of other countries are? >> david, there's a concern that, unfortunately, a number of countries are not as strict as we would like them to be. my understanding is, again, i don't want to prejudge this but that malaysia does not have the same security protocols that we have and this question of whether or not they even screen the passport here. also a question of whether or not the stolen passport was
adequately reported if it was, whether or not they checked against the interpol listing. without scaring people, i can tell you there are a number of airports around the world which do not have i believe adequate security procedures. >> let me -- i just want to ask you one question about politics before our roundtable talks about the future of the republican party. you've been outspoken talking about rand paul who won the cpac, the straw poll which is not that meaningful in the scheme of things but gives him a little bit of a bump. in the past, you've been krit krall of him saying he apieces to the lowest common denominator in the party. do you think he's a more viable candidate for the presidency in 2016? >> the concerns that i have are still will. he's a person who said we're more concerned about cia killing americans with drones as to having coffee in starbucks, who said that the director of national intelligence should be in the same jail as snowden. i mean, to me this is scaring americans. our real enemy is al qaeda. we have to be concerned about russia. he was being critical of americans several weeks ago. he said we tweak the russians
too much. when i say he's appealing to the lowest common denominator, he's trying to somehow tell americans we can retreat from the world, that america is an imperial power. if we retreated the world would be safer. nothing can make the world more dangerous than if america did go back into isolationism. this is not the days of charles lindbergh. we have to be a strong and viable nation, and we can't allow isolationists to take over the republican party. that would be damaging not just to the party, more importantly to the country and the world. >> peter king, congressmanman, thank you so much always appreciate it. coming up on the program, pope francis and the francis effect. he's going to mark his one-year anniversary this. coming week. next my interview with archbishop timothy dolan of new york, the surprising word that pope francis might indeed meet with sexual abuse victims in the church. >> hope he does. lord knows i have and i think most bishops and pastors did. benedict did. i would anticipate he would, as well. [ telephone rings ] [ shirley ] edward jones.
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welcome back. what a year it has been for pope francis as he approaches his one-year anniversary as leader of the catholic church. the pope created some controversy a few days ago when he said no one has done more than the vatican to address the abuse scandals that have plagued the church for years. he also said the portrayal of him as some sort of superman, a star, is offensive i sat down with timothy dolan and his revealing interview.
he spoke his mind about the pope, the abuse scandals and same-sex marriage. >> thank you for having us to your home. >> david, you're always welcome here. thanks for taking me seriously when i said come on in. >> we're here, and what a year it's been for the catholic church and pope francis. what a reception one year later. pope francis giving an interview this week saying, look, it's been a great reception but i'm not superman. he almost found it offensive. yet at the same time, that reception is certainly something he would like to use for the benefit of the church, wouldn't he? >> he's a good teacher. you're right. he knows the power of symbol. he knows the power of audio visual aids as any good teacher does. i think he's shrugging and saying, look, i'm no better than anybody else but if this attention is coming my way, i'm going to use it and turn the attention to jesus and his church. i think he's doing a splendid job of it. >> it's not just the faithful but the pope as a political influence around the world and in america. i'm curious to know what the
agenda is for him, now that he's had his first year, where he would like to dig in and have influence. there has been some criticism coming his way where he might say things that stir the masses worldwide begging questions about what he means and then there's a clarification. >> uh-huh. >> is there a plan of action to that? would he like to get some of these debates particularly over social matters started? >> i think he would. once again, that might be part of his shrewd strategy. if he leaves people wondering and guessing, a good teacher does that, too. we've all had good teachers that almost tease us to say, i wonder what he meant. i hope he clarifies, gets us asking questions and probing. i think that's part of his strategy. >> but conservatives in america, some of the headlines, conservative u.s. catholics feel left out by the pope's embrace. increasingly fret over the pope's style. one conservative commentator i read say the pope is sowing seeds of confusion among the faithful.
take the issue of xwai right -- gay rights around the world. he opened the door to the idea of accepting civil unions. is that something you can see the church supporting? >> i, for one, i haven't sensed that too much bristling among the conservatives. they honestly will say his style is a little different and might periodically cause us a little angst, but in general they too seem to be rejoicing in what you might call the evangelical fervor, the good interest in the life of the church. i haven't sensed a lot of massive discontent among the conservative catholics. he, as you know, pope francis, has tried his best not to let there be a cleavage between him and pope benedict because there might be the tendency in some to caricature each of them and almost set up a bit of an
anti-thesis. he keeps saying how much he loves pope benedict. he quotes from him. he's a shrewd man. you know what his name is, pontiff, that's what we call our pope which is the latin world for bridge builder. he's a pontiff par excellence, a bridge builder. >> there be a point at which there would be an expectation of action, not just debate but to say he seems to be setting a course for the church that makes the church open to certain changes? >> uh-huh. >> maybe not doctrinal changes but certain changes, be inclusion of women in the hierarchy of the church, changes with regard to the view of divorce and taking communion and even gay rights. >> uh-huh. there are some who have said that. you are right. there are some even his admires who have said holy father, be careful. there seems to be a huge sense of expectation among catholics. we're a little worried their hopes might be dashed. i think, though, we've got a pope that does not think in terms of winning or losing. i think we've got a pope who says i want to ask the right questions. i want to point people to the
right place where they can get the answers, namely not me, the pope is saying, but the church's teaching, our tradition, the bible, what god has told us. let me ask the questions, let me get the interest going. and then let's try to revive god's people to passionately reclaim the truth that god has revealed. i think this is his pastoral strategy. >> do you imagine the church might open the way to accepting civil unions? >> he mentioned -- i'm as eager as you are to read the full extent of that interview. if i saw the reports accurately, he didn't come right out and say he was for them. once again in an extraordinarily sincere, open, nuanced way, he said, i know that some people in some states have chosen this. we need to think about that and look into it and see the reasons that have driven them. it wasn't as if he came out and approved them. but he just in the sensitivity that has won the heart of the world, he said, rather than quickly condemn them, let's see if -- let's just ask the
questions as to why that is appealing to certain people. >> would that make you uncomfortable? >> the civil unions? >> yeah. >> it would in a way, david, because i don't think marriage between one man and one woman forever leading to life and love, that's not something that's just a religious sacramental concern. you bet it is that and we -- that's how god has elevated it to making a sacrament, but it's also the building block of society and culture so it belongs to culture. if we water down that sacred meaning of marriage in any way, i worry that not only the church would suffer, i worry that culture and society would. >> the issue of sexual abuse within the catholic church is still a big issue. the pope this week said the catholic church is perhaps the only public institution that has moved with transparency and responsibility. no one has done and yet the church is the only one to have been attacked.
a lot of people sense that was defensive because it was also the church that was responsible for covering up this sin, for hiding priests, for failing to report, for introducing priests with a past pedophilia into parishes around this country among others. was that overly defensive? does the church have to do more? >> oh, the church will always have to do more as humanity has to do more. we're part of humanity. i was cheering the pope on when he said that. you'll find, david -- look, i'm with people a lot. catholic people, there are three things that really tick them off about the sex abuse crisis. first of all that a priest who would dare claim to be an agent of god would act in such a nauseating and hideous manner. number two, the bishops would have not reacted with the rigor and the scrupulous action that was necessary. there's the second. but thirdly, catholic people say, but why is it the church alone that is being kicked around?
this is a societal problem, a cultural problem. it afflicts families, every institution, every religion. we're rather grateful that our church, which was an example of what not to do in the past, in the last 12, 13, 14 years has become an example of what to do and why does the church keep being picked on? i was glad the pope said that. i think he's right on target. >> in the '50s and '60s child abuse claims were being investigated and prosecuted when at the same time this was happening in the catholic church was hiding it. the power of symbol here is to meet with victims. the pope has not done that. should he do that? >> he probably will. i would not be surprised if he would not. hope he does. lord knows i have and lord knows most bishops and pastors have. benedict did. i would anticipate he would as well. >> the other area of great potential influence is thinking about capitalism in the world. to meet with president obama and it's interesting that in this regard, the pope and the president have been speaking about income inequality in the
world. the president focused primarily in america. there are conservatives in america who say, no, no, no, there's not an income inequality program, there's an opportunity inequality problem here. rush limbaugh even calling the pope a marxist. how does he respond to that? how do you respond? >> he responded very charitably as we've come to know and love in him. i don't know if i would have that much charity. i think that was terrible hyperbole to refer to the pope as marxist and very inaccurate. what we try to do, david, and the catholic wisdom is always right smack down the middle. we're always concerned about excesses on the left, which is collectivism, socialism, communism and excesses on the right which is unfettered cutthroat capitalism. somewhere in between is the middle which will come to a fair, equitable, just economic system. different popes have corrected either side. john paul as you might imagine coming from where he did, he was
he was a bit more sensitive to the excesses on the left. francis is more concerned about the excesses to the right. that's fine. i think they're both pointing us to a balance, a prudential way that allows freedom in the marketplace, economic prosperity, people to take care of themselves and their families. but yet, protects the rights of the poor and those without. somewhere in between those two there's the answer. he's shrewd enough to know i'm not an economist. my job is to preach the gospel biblical values and be a prophet calling people somewhere between those two excesses. once again, i think he's doing a masterful job. >> the culture wars are raging in different ways, whether it's contraception, abortion, gay rights. we've seen it come to a head in arizona recently where there was a debate about whether the government can force a nonreligious corporation to acknowledge certain rights even
if they have different views, religiously. >> sure. >> where do you stand on that, on this question of the balance between civil liberties and freedom of religion? do you think there's an imbalance in our country right now? >> yes. i'm afraid there may be. keep in mind the distinction is a false one, right? as you would be the first to know because high among those civil rights would be freedom of religion. once again, we've got to achieve this balance. now, what we've heard, david, in the recent rush to what you might call more liberalizing laws on social issues, whether that be abortion, whether that be redefinition of marriage, you will hear the people immediately say don't worry. we will never impede religions from the complete freedom that they need to exercise their faith and even bring their values into the public square. so don't worry. we're not going to impede you or
intrude. we hold our breath and say, we're afraid we learned the hard way what becomes tolerated quickly becomes obligatory for everybody, and we feel frozen out. whether that's happened yet, i wouldn't go that far. i would have to admit a certain amount of trepidation that perhaps we're now moving in that direction. >> michael sam from your home state, football player, revealed that he was gay, first in the nfl. you saw the celebration from the president, the first lady and others saying what a courageous step that was. how did you view it? >> good for him. i would have no sense of judgment on him. god bless you. i don't think -- look. the same bible that tells us that teaches us well about the virtue of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. so i would say bravo. >> on the issue of same-sex marriage, you said the last time we spoke you felt the church was
being out marketed. do you feel that it is, that views are changing so rapidly, that the church is going to feel the power of that change? it must change if it's going to keep people seeking god through the church. >> here you ask a good question. you phrased it well. when you say seeking god and church, when people seek god, they want to know what god has taught. all right? the church's sacred enterprise is not to conform its teaching to the values of the world. all right? as rapidly as they're changing. the church's sacred tack is to call us to conform our behavior to what god has revealed. that is tough especially when the tide of public opinion is against us. it's against us in a lot of areas, as you well know. you're right, from the more left side of society, we may be taking some sucker punches because of our views on the redefinition of marriage and the sacredness of human life in the
womb. we're taking it from the other side to the rights of the poor, and the church more or less shrugs and says, look, we don't take our agenda from the polls. our agenda is given us by the god who made us. we must be faithful to him instead of what we're hearing from the world. that having been said, a shrewd pastor will know yeah, but one of the ways we more effectively pass on god's teaching and god's revelation is by being somewhat sensitive to what the world is saying, what the world is feeling, and so. francis reminding us look, if we come across as some crabby, naysaying shrill, we're not going to win anybody. if we come across as a loving embracing mother, holy mother church who says, come on in, we love you, we need you, we want you, and once you get to know us, then maybe we can invite you to the conversion of heart at the core of the gospel and then maybe we can talk about changing behavior. that's a very effective pedagogy.
>> final question, beyond this first year, what must this pope do to help the catholic church remain relevant? >> yep. >> particularly in america and throughout north america at a time when there is a big secular push around the world? what must he do? >> what he's got to do, david, and he knows it, his first year has been good, he's got to restore the luster of the church. for us as catholics, our core belief and where we differ from others is that we believe that god is revealed himself in jesus and that jesus remains alive in his church. people today say, we like god and jesus. we don't need the church. saying, that's not how we for us as catholics we're saying, that's not how we understand god's design. pope francis is saying we've got to the restore the luster, the appeal, the intrigue, the mystery, the romance, the invitation to the church, and he's doing it on steroids.
that's his major agenda, i think. >> your eminence, i always enjoy talking to you. >> happy st. patrick's day. >> thank you. >> all right. and you can see more of my interview with cardinal dolan including how the pope plans to strengthen the faith of catholics and noncatholics alike on our website at email@example.com. coming up, paul palin, christie, santorum, will one of these names be on the republican ballot in 2016? our roundtable weighs in with their insight and analysis on the fight for the soul of the gop. >> you may think i'm talking about electing republicans. i'm not. i'm talking about electing lovers of liberty. >> "meet the press" is brought to you by morgan stanley. you probably know xerox as the company that's all about printing. but did you know we also support hospitals using electronic health records for more than 30 million patients? or that our software helps over 20 million smartphone users remotely configure e-mail every month? or how about processing
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america is counting on the gop to get it right. and that's why the establishment can't blow it. >> that, of course, sarah palin the keynote speaker last night at the cpac, the conservative political action conference here in washington. now to discuss all the week's politics, i'm back with andrea mitchell, ron fournier, ralph reed and congresswoman karen bass. welcome to all of you. they did a straw poll. i should talk about this first. we want to talk about the future of the republican party and the gathering of cpac in washington is a big deal for a lot of us who cover politics because we're trying to gauge to what extent
the party is rebuilding and what the personalities say, what the messages say about where the party is going. so here's the results from the straw poll as you look at ted cruz. rand paul on top again, 31%. ted cruz second. ralph reed, what does this tell us about where the party is? >> it tells you they want somebody who is going to be an unapologetic defender of unalloyed, undiluted conservative. what concerns them about for lack of a better term the establishment. i'm not a big fan of that term. but certainly, the elected official wing of the party, the consulting class is that they sometimes unintentionally, sometimes intentionally, view the core principles of the party limited government, stronger families, a forward-leaning foreign policy and national defense posture, lower taxes, economic growth as somehow a liability rather than an asset. sometimes they treat it like an albatross.
you know, sometimes, david, when you see some of these leaders on programs like this, and they get asked about why the republican party stands for the dignity of every individual, including the unborn, why they believe in the sanctity of life, it's like they get a hunted look in their eyes. so i think some of this is stylistic. but if the party is going to win, you're going to need to have two wings to fly. you can't just do it with one or the other. >> i think i noticed ralph taking notes during your interview there. i think he laid out, the cardinal laid out the recipe for the republican party. the catholic church, the pope is trying to show how you can change a dying institution and revitalize it with symbolism, empathy and humility and you can expand a religious tent, a political tent without undermining your core base. this is something you and i have talked about. can the republican party expand itself without turning off the base?
>> but if you look at the list of candidates in the straw poll, i don't think that's expanding the base at all. if you look who attended cpac, there's a lot of work that needs to be done. >> exactly. >> there's still such a fight over what it means to be a conservative. so you mentioned the establishment. these tea party folks are saying, look, the establishment is still too -- is clinging to compromise and the size and scope of government in a way that turns us off. >> i think rand paul among all of those who were present has expanded his base. he has a younger generational base, as well, partly inherited from his father but he is broadening his message. so i think he had really improved his message. chris christie was invited. last year he was not. he is invited now as the head of the republican governors but he's not a player in that part of the party. i do think there's one person to pick up on ron fournier's analogy with what cardinal dolan was saying about a pope who is sticking to core principles but
presenting a different, more humble and more broader and more inclusive image. that could be jeb bush. ralph and i were just talking about jeb bush has that different approach on immigration and education. >> rand paul just to follow up on andrea's point, cpac came out at the same time the pew research center did a good report on millennials, this rising generation. they don't fit into either party. they really don't like either party. tend to be libertarian. they have a problem with barack obama on the nsa stuff. they want a government more tech savvy and not impinging so much on civil liberties. i think rand paul can connect with that. >> they're also more pro-life than older americans you see this cpac. >> that's not true. you're going to see it as this field begins to shake out through 2014 and 2015. a lot of this is about connecting with voters and constituencies that haven't always felt welcome in our ranks. my good friend, the late jack
kemp used to say people don't wear what you know till they know that you care. the republican party's got to do what francis is doing with the catholic church. francis is putting the poor and care for the poor and emulation of the poverty where it belongs which is at the center of the gospel. if people who are lower middle class who are struggling, who are poor, wanting to climb that ladder of opportunity but they're having a hard time grabbing that first rung, if they don't think conservatives and republicans have a vision for the future that includes them, their message will be badly damaged. >> but i do think if we look at republican policies, if we look at the budgets over the last couple of years, there really isn't anything there that says we're going to reach out to the middle class. i mean, in fact -- >> that's not true. >> -- we didn't even extend unemployment insurance. if you look at the diversity at cpac, there are 163 speakers. 35 were women. >> they don't want government to be leading the way.
this is really about the size and reach of government. that's what the debate is about. >> right, it is. but you have to look at the room that they had which was talking about diversity. in that room, it was virtually empty. there were hundreds of seats. there was really no one there. >> can i point out one thing? in fact, the most successful anti-poverty program since the great society is the thousand dollar child tax credit. that was part of the contract with america. we advocated it when i was at the christian coalition. in 2011, the last year for which we have data available, there were 9 million people lifted out poverty. that's a fully refundable tax credit. that was our policy. bill clinton vetoed it three times it was vetoed three times and when mike lee just announced his tax reform package, i guess yesterday or the day before, what did he propose? taking that child tax credit to $2,500, making it fully refundable. what you do, david, you get rid of the bureaucracy. you get rid of all this panoply
of government programs which are inefficient and you give the funds directly to the people. >> i want to ask questions about politics. chris christie, is he done, ron? or do you think the big money is looking at him and saying, he's got time to come back? >> it's early to say that anybody's done. the golden brand of someone who is a nonpartisan or at least could work across party lines, who was incorruptible, who was politics unusual, that is very, very damaged. it is hard to see -- his road to the presidency is much tougher than it was. it was never easy because his brand didn't fit neatly into the republican primary. ironically, he might have done himself some good with the republican primary audience because he now can beat up on the media. it's hard to see, harder to see him become president than it was six months ago. >> thank god the media is still here. what he would they talk about at cpac? if we weren't here to kick around. we've got a couple minutes left.
i want to address the crisis in ukraine. andrew yeah, you first. this question, how do you make putin stop? do you think the administration has figured out the answer that? >> not at all. putin has not agreed to direct talks with the ukrainians. that's why the ukrainian prime minister is coming here. >> he gets love here. >> he's getting love here but he can't get a meeting in moscow. the other thing is, there are reports that russia is attacking the kiev government with cyberwar. very sophisticated stuxnet type cyberwar. that is going to completely potentially cripple their attempt to revive their economy an their infrastructure. you've got military moves. crimea is effectively gone. i don't think germany and the rest of the europeans will help the u.s. isolate putin economically. and there is lobbying, intense lobbying from american business who have huge deals in russia worried about the blowback from sanctions, sanctions against russia will hurt them.
the president doesn't really have a play and lavrov according to some really well sourced supports, lavrov the national security council and economic advisors were clueless about putin's decision. putin made that decision with three old buddies if the kgb days of the '70s and '80s in leningrad. who's he listening to? >> karen, do you think the president is playing this right? that he's going to have to ultimately accept the status quo of crimea? >> i this do think he's playing right. russia's economy is particularly fragile. i know as soon as the decisions made around the executive order, we saw a drop in their stock market and so i think what came out of congress with us passing the billion dollar loan guarantee with the unity amongst the european nations, i do think that the president is playing it right. i think his leadership has been strong. >> ron? >> we were caught flat footed. one, this was the second successive president that has viewed russia the way they want it to be, not the way it is. specifically putin. we can talk about president bush year one.
secondly, where was the cia, our intelligence community? why didn't we know about this sooner? >> divided. >> i'm wondering if our intelligence community should be spying more on russia and less on american people. >> we're going the take a break. we'll be back more with our roundtable. first a "meet the press" moment from 2001 when joe biden praised george bush's meeting with vladimir putin, then a relatively new figure on the international scene. >> the president did, i think, two very, very good things by going to europe and by meeting with putin. by his engaging europe the way he did and engaging putin the way he did, it made clear to europe that we are going to remain a european power, as well. but when we start worrying about tomorrow, we miss out on what matters today. ♪ at axa, we offer advice and help you break down your retirement goals into small, manageable steps. because when you plan for tomorrow,
it helps you live for today. can we help you take a small step? for advice, retirement, and life insurance, connect with axa. i wanted to take 2 i wanted to take a minute to share good news about our friend and colleague tom brokaw. he received a 2014 lifetime achievement award at the jefferson awards this week. america's most prestigious honor
for public service. he was honored for his work on american journalism and his involvement in so many charities and causes he cares about so much. way to go, tom. we'll be back with more from our roundtable and our images to remember in just a minute.nts ea lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line, anytime, for $15 a month. low dues, great terms. let's close! new at&t mobile share value plans our best value plans ever for business. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. [ m'm... ] great taste. [ tapping ] sounds good. campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good.®
this week's images to remember. coming up next, dr. nancy snyderman joins me from lebanon on the third anniversary of the syrian civil war. some special coverage from nbc news up next. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
this week marks the third anniversary of the civil war in syria. one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time. dr. nancy snyderman joins me now from lebanon with a preview of forgotten, syria's children of war as nbc news devotes 48 hours to understand the impact of this crisis. nancy, good morning. >> david, there are over 5.5 million affected children from the syrian crisis and over 500,000 of them have landed in lebanon.
right now we estimate that there are 450 makeshift camps like this. and the problems are real. nod enough food, not enough nutrients. premature delivery, and obviously, very little education. i spent the morning at a hospital and i saw in the span of two hours more birth defects than i saw in an entire four years of my pediatric training. the health crises here are real. this next week we're going to be talking about the faces of the syrian children because they have been easy to forget. the fact that for most of us, our goals are very simple. shelter, food, education and health. and we're going to focus on those four things this week, david. >> all right. nancy snyderman, thank you so much joining us this morning from lebanon. and i should point out the reports from forgotten, syria's children of war begin on tuesday on "today" and "nightly news with brian williams" and nbcnews.com.
back to our roundtable now. i ask all of you to think about what's happened on the program this morning and tweet those thoughts during the program you've been hearing as you've heard the conversation. the #is mtp. we talked about ukraine. karen, when you look at syria and the impact on children, the catastrophe that is this story, is john mccain right, are future presidents going to have to apologize for our unwillingness to intervene. >> i don't think so. if you left it to john mccain, i think we would have troops on the ground in 15 different nations. >> ralph, you tweeted the obama administration has no real answers on the crisis in ukraine. putin is laughing at the u.s. what if he ends up being more ice located at the end of this? do we get the last laugh? >> no, i think he will trade isolation for crimea first, maybe eastern ukraine, and more importantly, the ability to intimidate the other baltic states. and i think, look, i would acknowledge obama's options are limited, but he better figure out which he's going to pursue,
do it robustly and project strength. that's not happening right now. >> andrea, as you were watching tony blinking concluded, he says obama's isolating putin been see tremendous solidarity of the allies but germany is not fully on board. it undercuts the strategy. >> germany's not fully on board. i think american corporations are not fully on board. i'm not sure that isolation strategy can work. back to syria when i was watching dr. nancy's report, think we're relying on russia to be our partner in peace talks on syria? russia is rearming assad and not a partner on foreign policy. >> i was thinking a lot about cardinal dolan. i tweeted he points to the shrewd strategy of the pope, says by asking pointed questions he gets people thinking about church's meaning. ron, what's interesting to me, you could almost apply this to politics and how he strengthens people's faith, not just catholics, but non-catholics. come closer, he says. get closer to god, strengthen your faith. and it doesn't mean compromise but it means a changing tone. >> it's interesting. this is something ralph and i
have talked about. if you look at the republican party, there's examples of them pulling this off. you had mcdon knell actually got more evangelical voters as a guy from the middle. >> thank you. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." our main effort is to find the aircraft. it will help us to establish what exactly has happened. >> the mystery around the mising malaysia airlines flight. good afternoon. you're watching msnbc. more than 36 hours after it vanished, the search for the plane may be turning up some new clues but there are lots of questions about who was on board. this is the responsibility of the russian government. >> the pme