tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 23, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT
tonight on "all in" -- attack in ottawa. shots fired at the national war memorial and inside the canadian parliament. one soldier guarding the memorial is dead tonight. and one suspect, too. tonight, questions remain. >> we don't yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting, whether this was part of a broader network or plan or whether this was an
individual or series of individuals. >> we'll go live to canada for the very latest. then, new details from ferguson. we now have the official autopsy for michael brown, and a cascade of leaks from the grand jury. what is going on? plus, midterm turn around. democratic funding heads back to kentucky as the race tightens up. we take an in-depth look at the republican governors in blue states up for re-election. "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we're awaiting an address from the prime minister of canada tonight as that country reels in the wake of a deadly shooting in the nation's capital of ottawa. at this hour the shooter has been identified as michael zehaf-bibeau, formerly michael hall, a 32-year-old canadian who is a convert to islam. the canadian broadcasting corporation reported he had a criminal record. including drug related offenses.
the lone victim has been identified as 24-year-old corporal nathan cirillo, guarding the war memorial, seen here on the left. where the shooting began. and kevin vickers is the man who shot and killed zehaf-bibeau where the melee came to an end. the hour's-long chaos and the lockdown of the canadian capital as well as a wide range of precautions taken in the u.s. began at 9:52 a.m. this morning when police received 911 calls of shots fired at the war memorial. corporal nathan cirillo was shot, rushed to ottawa hospital, where he was pronounced dead. multiple witness accounts say the shooter carrying a long-barrelled weapon ran toward the nearby street. there's also amateur video purporting to show the gunman getting into a car by the national war memorial. authenticity of the video has not been verified by nbc news. members of canada's parliament
had just started caucus meetings when at approximately 9:56, four minutes after the shooting at the war memorial, shots rang out inside the halls of the parliament building. a reporter for "the globe & mail" captured the moment that happened. [ inaudible ] [ gunshots ] >> as that incredible footage indicates, there were multiple rounds fired inside the parliament building, although unclear which were from the gunman and which are from those trying to apprehend him the shooter, identified as michael. >> he half bibeau, was shot and killed by kevin vickers,
sergeant-at-arms, a former member of the royal canadian mounted police. canadian prime minister stephen harper apparently was in the parliament at the time and was hustled out by security. police rushed to evacuate the building, secure the site. some parliament members reacted to the shooting by piling chairs against doors, according to nbc news, s.w.a.t. teams methodically escorted people to safety, and while police ultimately secured the site, part of the initial chaos centered on concern over possible multiple shooters. there were also reports of shooting at a third site, a the rideau centre, a shopping mall, police later said there was no shooting at that third site. three people were admitted to the hospital with minor nonlife threatening injuries related to the shootings. they have all been released. after the shootings and ever widening lockdown of downtown ottawa ensued, police fanned out across ottawa, and there was a manhunt on the presumption there might be more than one shooter amid a situation that ottawa police describe as fluid and ongoing. part of the context for the canadian reaction was the fact that canada had elevated its
terror threat level just last week. and two days ago, a radical jihadist, also a convert, ran over two soldiers at a suburban mall in montreal, killing one of them. it's been declared a terrorist attack this afternoon, president obama called prime minister harper to voice america's solidarity with canada and later had this to say. >> it emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism. and i pledged, as always, to make sure that our national security teams are coordinating very closely given not only as canada one of our closest allies in the world, but they're our neighbors and our friends, and obviously there's a lot of interaction between canadians and the united states where we have such a long border. >> immediately after the incident began today, the north american aerospace defense command was placed on high alert. the u.s. embassy in ottawa was placed on lockdown, security was increased at the tomb of the unknown soldier in washington.
canadian interests in new york and washington were also reportedly provided extra security. joining us now from the scene is vassy, correspondent for "global national." my understanding is that you were there this morning. what was the scene like? >> reporter: i was. our studios, actually, chris, are just above the war memorial. and we had a bird's-eye view of what happened. i heard one of my colleagues shout out, someone say someone's being shot. and i literally immediately went down on the elevator and got outside. i think i was outside about two minutes after the actual shooting. the scene, i can tell you, was, you know, it's a very public area. it was just before 10:00 this morning. there were a number of passersby what witnessed what happened, had eyewitness accounts really. they were stunned, they were shocked. a number of them went toward the victim, started performing cp rchlt after that, within minutes, police had arrived. a huge police presence. they started, you know, making up -- backs us up, cordoning off
the area. and from then, you know, the situation kept unfolding. and as you mentioned earlier, it was a very fluid situation. >> there was -- there were reports earlier of possibility of two shooters. that there was one at each location. it's a little unclear in the subsequent events of the days that played out. and we've heard from police authorities and canadian authorities whether there remains an active manhunt or an active search for any possible accomplices. what's the latest on that? >> yeah. that's a great question. and it's one that's being asked continually throughout the day. because i can tell you that even though once we had confirmed that the one shooter was dead, the one suspect was dead, much of this area was still under lockdown. in fact, i've just received word that lockdown in parliament has finally been lifted. but just even 45 minutes ago, we were told, no, if you're in downtown, stay where you are. the situation is still very fluid. so, there has been no confirmation that there are other shooters or other suspects, but, you know, the situation wasn't totally resolved when the first shooter
was shot dead, which led many to wonder whether there are other suspects. rcmp never confirmed that specifically. it's clear they were looking for more. we don't know at this point if more suspects have been arrested. but perhaps the prime minister who is expected to address canadians very shortly will be able to tell us about that. >> yeah, we're getting word, actually, that prime minister harper is just about to address the nation. thank you for being here. that is prime minister stephen harper. he's been set to address the nation tonight. and he is about to speak after the shooting today. there he is. >> my fellow canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil. today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of corporal nathan cirillo. corporal cirillo was killed today, murdered in cold blood,
at that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so we can live in a free, democratic and safe society. likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of the officer killed earlier this week by an isil-inspired terrorist. tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks. fellow canadians, we've also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many canadians. like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid for corporal cirillo as he fought for his life. and, of course, the members of our security forces. who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack. fellow canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any
accomplices he may have had. but these week's events are a grim reminder that canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world. we are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, our society, on us canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. but let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated. canada will never be intimidated. in fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and re-double our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep canada safe here at home. just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and re-double our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize
those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. they will have no safe haven. well, today has been without question a difficult day. i have every confidence that canadians will pull together with a kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. together we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us. for now, lorraine and ben and rachel and i, join all canadians in praying for those touched by today's attack. may god bless them and keep our land glorious and free. [ speaking in french ] >> all right. that was canadian prime minister stephen happen er, addressing te nation of canada today after the attack in ottawa. defiant, saying the nation would not be -- referring to the attack as a terrorist attack. he is now giving that same address in french.
and joining me now is chief political correspondent for "global national," tom clark. we learned an hour or two ago, the name of this individual identified as the shooter who was shot and killed by actually the sergeant-at-arms of parliament, which is a pretty remarkable wrinkle here. this individual zehaf-bibeau, that is not his given name. what do we know about him so far? >> well, we know he's known to police, chris. because he's got a long criminal record. possession of marijuana, pcp, for which he served 60 days. that was in vancouver. and the other end of the country in montreal, he was arrested for robbery. he was arrested for what's called uttering threats. i think he served a day for that. and then he sort of went underground for about three years, lost track of him. but here's what else we know about him, chris. is that the security services in canada known as csis had their eye on this person for some time. they were so worried that he was radicalized and may go over to
syria and iraq to join isil that they lifted his canadian passport so he couldn't travel. we also know that the person who ran over those other canadian forces members just yesterday was also on that watchlist and also had his passport taken by our security services. so, he wasn't a complete surprise to authorities. they had their eye on him. but there wasn't much they could do. >> so this is interesting to me. there has been a lot of talk about isis, people being radicalized in the u.s. or canada, australia or -- a number of places and going to join isis. it seems canada implemented a policy in which they have sorted preemptively disallowed travel by people they feel are possible threats. but there is no crime to charge them for which puts them in what appears in the last week a strange space in which you're -- you have people that you've kept
in the country, who you view as possible threats, and then it seems in the span of a week two of them have actually gone on to commit pretty heinous acts. >> and that's going to be looked at, chris. i mean, that very question that you raise. because we know there are 88 of them. now, we've got to start looking pretty quickly at the other 86 whose passports have also been lifted, who are also on the watch list by csis, because is there a connection between these two things? but, you know, it's kind of like that movie "minority report," you try to prevent a crime before it actually happens. and that is fraught with all sorts of difficulties and problems. however, at the same time, these people were prevented from going over to the middle east to create atrocities over there. unfortunately, they committed atrocities here. >> so, do we know any more -- obviously, it's an early stage of the reporting. we have the name of this person. i haven't even seen news outlets
with a confirmed photo of him. there was an isis account tweeting a photo they said was of him. do we have a back story about this individual's conversion, his influences, his motivation, anything like that as of yet? >> no, we don't. and i'll tell you why. it is that when he sort of submerged for three years. now, he did, supposedly, convert to islam. but -- and that could have been the thing that brought him to the attention of authorities. but clearly it was his criminal record. i mean, here's a guy who's been known to police since 2004. they know this is a bad guy. and now this extra layer came on and he changed dress, he changed demeanor, and that's what brought him to the attention of authorities. but beyond that, we really don't know. is there another gunman around ottawa tonight? the authorities don't know. they knew that there were two people -- or like eyewitnesss said, there were two people in that car that rolled up to parliament hill and they haven't
found the other one yet, which is why even though the lockdown -- supposed lockdown is over. what's really happening is they're evacuating women and children from the centre block, the main building on parliament hill first. others will then be allowed to go. but it's part of an evacuation of parliament hill because they are going to go office by office, nook and cranny, by nook and cranny, just to be absolutely sure there is no second accomplice still on parliament hill. >> tom clark, thank you very much. more on this breaking story to come. today's incident was the second time this week the muslim convert killed a canadian soldier. what happened in canada on monday ahead.
moments ago reporters and photographers were on lockdown at the white house after yet another person jumped the fence. officials tell nbc news tonight the jumper got 20 to 25 yards from the fence before he was tackled by officers and dogs. he is being treated for his injuries. no word yet on his motive.
ottawa's parliament this morning, mcsweeney was on the phone with his editor when shots rang out. here's what he recorded. >> i don't know. there's a bunch of gunshots. >> there's a guy with a shotgun out there. >> a guy with a shotgun? >> yeah. i you sa him come in. >> go over there. >> go outside! go outside! >> get out! get out! >> where do we go? where do i go?
this way? >> yeah, outside. first door on your left. go down the stairs. >> okay, cashner thank you. yeah. are you rolling on me right now? okay. i'm in -- i'm in a security office right now. apparently somebody has walked up to the front steps of parliament hill with -- a single guy came in with a shotgun. >> the attacks in ottawa come amid a heightened alert of the threat of islamist terrorism. zehaf-bibeau is the second muslim convert to kill a canadian soldier this week. just two days ago, a lone assailant in quebec rammed two service members with a car in a hit-and-run killing one in what officials are considering a terrorist attack. >> what took place yesterday is clearly a link to a terrorist ideology. i am horrified by what took place here. this is a terrible act of violence against our country, against our military, against
our value. >> the assailant, martin rouleau, who was fatally shot by police after a high-speed chase became radicalized after converting to islam about a year ago. according to canadian authorities, rouleau was stopped at the airport while trying to leave for turkey. lacking evidence to charge him, the rcmp released rouleau and edding him to a list of 90 people with ties to terrorism. canada has been on alert discussing potential isis-inspired knife and gun attacks against u.s. and canadian targets inside canada. that discovery coming shortly after prime minister stephen harper's announcement earlier this month that canadian warplanes would deploy to fight against isis. last month, an isis spokesman explicitly called on followers to launch their own attacks on civilians in the west. quote, if you can kill a disbelieving american or european or an australian or canadian or any other disbeliever from the
disbelievers waging war, including the citizens, then rely upon allah and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be. yesterday the canadian government confirmed it had raised its own domestic terror level late last week from low to medium. not a response to a specific threat, they said, but to, quote, an increase in general chatter from radical islamist organizations. joining me now is laith, nbc news counterterrorism senior analyst. so -- we don't have all the details at all about this individual michael zehaf-bibeau. it appears he's a convert, he converted and became radicalized and undertook this. we do know it appears that a twitter handle associated with the islamic state, with isis, was tweeting out congratulations and/or a photo of him. you're seeing that -- the photo they've been tweeting out. what do you make of all this? >> this photo was actually tweeted out by a canadian-french
language news outlet and isis supporters took that and ran with it. however, after the monday incident ramming the two soldiers, islamic state canadian fighters in english went on to their twitter accounts and started tweeting messages in celebration of the monday attack. one actual isis canadian fighter said, i don't care if my parents get killed because they are infidels. so, he encouraged attacks to follow suit, basically. the -- today's attack, we don't know if it's associated with the monday attack or if it's even inspired by the islamic state, but what it appears is this individual was somewhat radicalized he converted to islam recently. and that probably put him on the watchlist of the canadian forces. >> we've now seen a situation in talking about monday's attack in which we know a bit more, right? we're seeing a situation in which you have a certain segment of people, very small in number, right? in absolute number. we're talking about a tiny segment of people.
but some people from australia to france to canada to the u.s. are being kind of caught up in this isis propaganda. many of whom are converts. they're not even born to the faith, it's not their tradition. and they are being stoked into perhaps committing these lone wolf acts. >> indeed. as a matter of fact, the islamic state featured a canadian muslim convert, a few months ago killed later in battle. he was killed in aleppo. and it featured them in an official video. he spoke in english. he spoke directly to brethren at home. he said, i used to be just like you, i played hockey, i used to fish, but now i found the truth. so join me in the truth, whether in the region or in the ranks or do it at home. if you adhere to the ideology >> there is this kind of cult-like quality to this. i was reading some of the twitter feeds of english-speaking isis folks, some of whom have joined isis, who have come from abroad. it reminded me of the kind of --
the manson family, the manson trial, this sort of world that has just become complete and whole, this cutting off all ties with people in the past. this kind of deranged sociopathic view of the world. >> except that they find a sense of belonging in this group. so, as you said, it's everywhere around the world. they're finding this group to be very attractive. i think it's more than just a cult or the way they see it or the way we should be viewing it, you know, i think this announcement of the caliphate has really created this euphoric feeling around the world among many radical muslims, thinking this is, indeed, the return of the caliphate. this is the true islamic state. so, there's a lot more acceptance to this islamic state than any cult that we've had in the united states. >> in terms of the broadness of it. >> broadness of it. so it really reflects on the global aspirations of the islamic state itself. >> one of the operational questions. one level people find the idea of these lone wolf attacks terrifying because it seems there's no rhyme or reason, right? random attacks on random
locations. at the same level, seems to me from everything i've read, isis doesn't have anywhere near the operational command and control and sort of logistical sophistication that al qaeda had, for instance, pre-9/11. are we seeing a change in tactics or a demonstration that isis doesn't have the infrastructure in place to carry off something larger and more coordinated? >> well, isis as the islamic state of iraq and syria, which later became the islamic state, from 2013 until today is considered a new entity. but as -- as the islamic state going back to 2003, it's not a new entity. so it has a lot of seasoned fighters. it has a lot you power. the united states and the west generally speaking were not its main focus. however, starting with the attacks on iraq and syria, now the united states and other western allies are being at the top of the helm of the priority list to target. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. there's an incredible bit of footage from ottawa worth taking a second look at given some of the images we've been seeing at home this year. that's next.
one of the most remarkable moments from the tragic shooting in ottawa earlier today is when we watched live police evacuating people one by one from the post office in down found ottawa. seven heavily armed officers escorting civilians out of the office and into a police vehicle then crouching down and looking upwards. apparently fearing live fire, then fouling back to their original position, preparing to ferry the next person to safety. meanwhile, another woman walks out, holds back for a few seconds and is rushed into the car surrounded by several
officers. in the picture, you see police, some in face masks, bullet proof vests, guns pointed upward and the police vehicle where people are being evacuated, too. if this looks familiar to you, you're not alone. we've seen variations of this police vehicle on the news played over and over again in ferguson brought out by police tactical units trying to contain what were largely peaceful protests. it's those images of those military-style vehicles on the streets of ferguson that stunned america. so in that context, it was striking today to see the armored vehicle in a totally appropriate situation. well, in this country what has become a sign of police militarization, police use of force against the people they're sworn to protect. today, its use in canada was a reminder these type of military vehicles can serve a purpose under extreme circumstances, as today unquestionably was. that's what they were built for and that's what they should be used for. and only used for. there is news from ferguson,
more big news today out of the ferguson grand jury, which we'll bring to you in a moment. but before we get to that, it is worth starting by reiterating what the purpose of a grand jury is, because i think a lot of people, heck, even most people, have quite a bit of confusion. it's important to note, a grand jury's job in the judicial system is not to determine guilt or innocence. whether someone committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. that's what a trial is for. a grand jury is convened to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to indict a person and then that indicted person either pleads or goes to trial where guilt or innocence is determined. and the bar for indictment is far below beyond a reasonable doubt. in the vast majority of cases, cases i've covered as a reporter, particularly, prosecutors go before a grand jury and present their evidence, and only their evidence, for why the person should be indicted. it's the prosecution's side of the story. and the grand jury weighs that evidence and then decides whether it should proceed to indictment.
from day one, st. louis county bob mccullough has taken a different approach. which is fairly unusual. instead of presenting the prosecution's case seeking indictment, he's decided to present what he says is all of the evidence. as it becomes available, essentially leaving it to the grand jurors to sort it out. he has said he's decided to do things this way, quote, because of the interest this case has generated and the concern it has generated in the community. and over the last few days in a series of leaks from unnamed sources to a variety of media outlets, we have basically been given accounts to appear to back officer darren wilson's side of the story from the grand jury testimony. a few days ago, government officials said the "new york times" -- what government officials gave the "new york times" what they called the first public account of officer wilson's testimony to investigators. stating he told investigators he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with mike brown. and today, citing a source with knowledge of wilson's
statements the st. louis dispatch posted what they're calling the most detailed version to be made public, which comes on top of the paper releasing a copy of mike brown's entire autopsy report and a medical examiner, who is not part of the official investigation, told "the dispatch" the autopsy shows mike brown was shot in the hand at close range instead of, quote, does not there was significant altercation at the car. then there was a "washington post" story today in which the report states that according to people familiar with the investigation, more than half dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a st. louis county grand jury that largely supports wilson's account of the events of august 9th. this steady stream of leaks has turned what is supposed to be a secret proceeding, driven by the prosecution, into a public proceeding taking place in the media that seems far more beneficial to the defense. it appears that a certain group of people are determined to get this information out to the public. perhaps to prepare the people of ferguson and greater st. louis
for the coming announcement expected some time in the next month or two of whether or not the grand jury will indict officer wilson. joining me, defense attorney julia quan. julia, i wanted to set this in a context. you defend people for a living. >> yes. >> okay. what is it normally like -- someone gets picked up for assault or a shooting. the indictment process usually plays out quite differently than this in terms of the grand jury, right? >> absolutely. so, what you said before is absolutely true. normally, a prosecutor will present the evidence against the accused that normally is beneficial to the prosecution's case. >> and they have no obligation, right? there's no legal obligation for them to say, well, also, there's these people who say he didn't do it. >> well, they don't have to at that point present exculpatory evidence. >> right. >> especially if there is evidence supporting the people's case, which is that the defendant -- >> right.
>> -- should be charged. >> right. >> and that a grand jury can find that there's sufficient evidence to charge the defendant. so, they don't have to present other accounts or other evidence if it does not support a charge against the defendant. now, there's some certain circumstances in which a defendant who is accused has a right to testify in the grand jury. and in that kind of situation -- for example, in this situation, the officer is permitted and has a right to go before the grand jury and tell his side of the story. >> and how common is it that you have the accused testifying before the grand jury? obviously, you know, there's a fifth amendment and there's a reason that often you would hold back your client from doing that. how common is that? >> it's pretty uncommon. however, it seems, and i've -- and being that i've been doing this work for over 20 years now, usually whenever you see a police shooting, oftentimes
officers do testify in the grand jury. sometimes the grand jury will hear that testimony and credit the officer and not vote to indict. and other times, they will. but that simply just says there's sufficient evidence to charge the police officer with a crime. >> if you were representing a police officer in a situation in which they had shot and killed someone on duty, what would be your advice? i mean, if you were -- take darren wilson's case. would you advise him, get on the stand, get your story in the hands of the grand jury because you're a police officer and you're going to be -- presumably they will view you as credible? >> well, i think it always depends. there's no black and white. but in a situation like this, i could see why a defense attorney would have his client, the police officer, testify. i have put clients who are not police officers in the grand jury where i think that they're very credible, they're very believable, and a grand jury will not indict them and then end the case early. >> how often do you get out of a grand jury without an
indictment? i mean, my experience when i've covered criminal justice, the prosecutor wants an indictment, they get an indictment >> well, the phrase, the grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. that's absolutely true. most times the grand jury will dieted any case that's presented by the prosecution. and the reason -- >> let's keep in mind also, they're working together every day. grand juries are impanelled for long periods of tile. it's the same person coming before them day in and day out. i've got this case, i've got this case, boom, boom, boom. here are the facts, indictment, here are the facts, indictment. >> that's right. so the grand jury is supposed to be independent. however, the way it works -- >> in reality. >> -- in reality, they see prosecutors time and time again, day in and day out. usually grand jurors sit for a lengthy period of time and sometimes it's a month, sometimes it's longer. and they will hear the evidence from just the prosecution's side. so, they oftentimes rarely hear any evidence from the defense. >> what we are hearing, what we are seeing play out in this process, something that looks a
lot more like the actual trial. it seems to me this grand jury's been presented with evidence that's exculpatory, testimony from the officer involved, there's forensic evidence. basically, this is a weird kind of pre-trial trial happening in secret with a lot of leaks, julia quan. >> yes, does seem that way. thank you. >> in a handful of blue states, time to go to the polls to decide whether to re-elect republican governors. so far, it's actually looking pretty good for democrats. plus, the worst political candidate i think i have ever seen, also a governor ahead.
a single ember that escapes from a wildfire can travel more than a mile. that single ember can ignite and destroy your home or even your community you can't control where that ember will land only what happens when it does get fire adapted now at fireadapted.org all right. when people talk about midterm elections, they usually focus on who is going to win control of the house and especially the senate. and that's understandable. it's a national story. it's easy to grab on to. it's undeniably important. but when people go to the polls for midterm elections, they end
up casting a whole bunch of votes in a whole bunch of different races. and one of the big reminders we got in 2010 is midterms are much bigger than washington, d.c. republican wave that year. it didn't just give us a republican-controlled house of representatives. it also resulted in a ton of republicans taking power at the state level. state legislature, state senates and gubernatorial races. and that had huge implications. look at a state like maine where tea party-backed paul lepage. vetoed legislation in april that would've provided health insurance to tens of thousands of people through the medicaid expansion as part of obamacare at no cost to his state in the first year. that's one example of the policies republicans have put in place after they won elections in blue states during the 2010 wave. well, it's been four years, and that means those blue state republican governors are up for re-election. and the news there looks a lot better for democrats than it does right now when it comes to the senate. our own steve kornacki is here
to break it down. >> yes, as you've said. there are nine blue state republican governors here. and the big question is. these are states that obamacare carried twice, republicans carried as governor in 2010. how many of them can survive? and as they're up for re-election this year. nine of them on the board. we've ranked them in order of vulnerability. basically, the safetiest ones we're going to list first and what we think is the most vulnerable governor will go last. let's start going through the list here. we consider this the safest blue state republican governor. brian sandoval, republican in nevada. this is -- numbers you're seeing here, the average of all the polls taken. >> cruising to re-election. >> harry reid has given up on goodman. safest one there. next safe es, a surprise. at the start we would have said john kasich --
>> 12 months ago. >> well, ed fitzgerald has run a disastrous campaign. to call it a campaign when some of the top people quit in the middle of the campaign tells you there was a personal scandal about revelations of him being found at 4:00 in the morning in a car. never really explained that. second safest of the blue states. terry branstad in iowa, his sixth term, a record, two different stints, one in the '80s and '90s, and again in 2010. he's well positioned to win again out there. new mexico, susana martinez, a little closer. she's gotten a little bad press but double digit lead. >> martinez, sandoval, latino, both viewed as rising stars. blue state governors, a lot of eyes on their state. >> exactly. this is where you can draw a big line between number six and number five. you're looking at something a lot more competitive. snyder, the republican, a little more than four points ahead in the average. we talked about medicaid expansion. the interesting thing here is rick snyder went to war with the republican legislature in michigan to get the expansion. took a lot of heat from his own party. helped him with the middle of the electorate. this is one -- it would be an
upset if democrats were to pull it off. it's not out of reach but very shaky. >> kasich got medicaid expansion and also had it in new mexico and nevada where might be polling well. >> and they do not now. here's a state where they don't. wisconsin, now, this is interesting. the average of all polls. democrats in 2010, scott walker got in there, had the war with public employee unions in 2011. the recall attempt in 2012. now they are back to taking another shot at him. this is very interesting. the average of all polls, the volatile race, but the average of all polls shows right now mary burke, the democratic challenger, ahead of scott walker. barely. this is a dead even race and the stakes here are higher than wisconsin, of course. scott walker is a 2016 prospect. if you're a democrat and stop him here, you are stopping a republican presidential candidate, as well. moving on to the third most vulnerable republican incumbent, rick scott. now, there's been movement here because if you looked at this a month ago, rick scott would have been ahead in this average. he's now fallen behind. the story here is rick scott spent $25 million this
summer/early fall when charlie crist was not on the air, savaging charlie crist. he pulled ahead by a few points. now charlie crist has a slight lead. the second most vulnerable. lepage, he's actually a little closer. >> he's got the three-way race again. >> exactly what it is. the reason why we say he's more vulnerable even though he's closer than the other republicans is the assumption is 38.5 is about as high as he's going to get. that's the ceiling. the question is, how split is it going to be between it have democrat and elliott cutler, the republican. he lost by a point to paul lepage. is he going to fade out or climb and get paul lee page re-elected? and then the most vulnerable. >> the biggest train wreck of the class of 2010 in blue states, i would say >> yeah, vulnerable's not the word here when you're an incumbent and down. when your opponent's over 50% on the average, you don't want to say any race is over, but he is in dire, dire straits right now.
she could go forward with her political fund raising? >> you can answer that, governor scott. >> she asked me to delay it because it didn't work on the dates she thought it was going to be on. >> did you know it was for a political fund-raiser? >> charlie, she apologized. she apologized. >> i didn't ask about her. did you know it was for a political fund-raiser? >> she apologized -- >> he doesn't answer questions. >> all right. we're back with our own steve kornacki. rick scott. so, obviously, put my cards on the table. obviously my politics are different than rick scott's. i think, you know -- i have a lot of problems with rick scott substantively. but putting that aside, i can recognize political talent when i see it. chris christie, enormously gifted politician. i think that's true of rand paul, ted cruz and a bunch of other people. every time i see rick scott, i cannot believe this man has been elected just in the basic kind of interpersonal attributes he has. the way he reads is so strange and different than any politician i've ever seen who has managed to ascend to the level that he has. >> well, you know, and i think there are politicians like this in both parties.
you end up looking at and saying they are perfect symbols of the year in which they were elected. >> right. >> and that is the story with rick scott. in the story of 2010, the story of the rise of the tea party, rick scott was running against a very establishment republican, bill mccull lom in the primary, in 2010, and in any other year, he would have lost that primary. but in the tea party uprising, he wins it. >> and spent a ton of his own money which did not hurt. >> and in any other year with his background, as it was, he nearly lost, but because the tide was so strong for the republicans in 2010, he wins by a fraction of a point in florida. he gets elected governor. and the question then becomes, okay, sometimes politicians will luck into victories because they're in the right place at the right time. is he going to take advantage of having the office, having incouple beency, of having the platform? the thing about rick scott, the momentum to this race to the extent there is any seems to be with charlie crist right now. but this is closer than you -- >> observation, my god, absolutely.
rick scott looked like tom corbett to me a year and a half ago. i thought, oh, this is corbett, the other sort of class 2010 person who got elected and then, i think, the voters, pennsylvanians are going to send him packing, it looks like. >> the story in florida, the reason he's recovered enough to be competitive in this. there's two things. one, obviously s money. but the second thing is, is voter optimism. optimism among residents of florida about the economy and where it's going. it's improved in florida, and a way that's helped him. >> fascinatingly, a big part of that has to do with the latency of the amount of excess inventory. in florida in particular in the housing situation. it took them a longer time to dig out. and as they come out of it, they actually accelerate faster because such a huge part of the macro economic problems they had in florida was around housing. >> and there's another example of the right place at the right time. >> that's exactly right. dsdc announced they're packing up, getting out of the kentucky race. allison lund gren -- allison lund gran grimes. everyone was telling me it's over, it's over, you're a fool.
and the polls don't make it look over. they're going to drop $650,000 in the race today. >> well, we'll see. again, the polling average you were doing last time. if you look at the states where democrats are trying to take republican incumbents out, they're trying, georgia, and kentucky. kentucky's definitely number three -- >> of those three. >> i think there's an attempt here, obviously, to look like you have some confidence, look like you have some momentum. maybe they can peel it off. mcconnell has never been that popular there. but kentucky is definitely a significantly longer shot at this point for democrats than georgia and beating pat roberts with independents in kansas. >> it'll be interesting to see. i keep thinking about the fact that mcconnell has watched two elections where republicans probably would've taken the senate majority. he's watched tea party candidates just screw him over, screw him out of being majority leader, and christine o'donnell and he had sharron angle. >> right. >> sure. >> well, imagine the sort of tragic shakespearean irony, if this is the year they take the
majority and mitch mcconnell loses and doesn't get to be majority leader -- >> we always say, he's never -- he never wins big in kentucky. always -- >> just gets by. >> but the thing he always says is, i've never lost. >> just like the bar exam, you've got to pass. steve kornacki, thank you very much. can you catch steve's show on weekends on msnbc. "the rachel maddow" show starts right now. >> that is the political equivalent of an action movie. watching steve do that and seeing you guys going through all of those races. it's phenomenal. so exciting. thank you. and thanks to you at home for this remarkable footage shot inside one of canada's main parliament buildings in ottawa. just truly shocking first person close-up video of that horrendous fire fight with dozens of shots fired inside the parliament building. the reporter who shot