tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 29, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
but it is important to know this is what half the country is being told this is the news right now about the election. be mad about the low gas prices. they're hurting the economy. >> great show. i loved every minute of it, but it's very hard to top your last segment last night. rachel maddow shopping for pot in colorado. >> inexpertly. >> more of that, please. >> thanks, man. >> well, chris christie practiced campaigning for president today by once again insulting a voter in new jersey. can't wait to see how that plays in iowa. and "the washington post" has finally responded to my criticism of its reporting on the michael brown autopsy. but first, why new hampshire and alaska and every state between them with a senate race matters next tuesday night.
>> a lot of uncertainty in this final push. >> the campaigning is at a fevered pitch all across the country. >> several juicy subplots. >> maybe the most high profile race in the country. >> the question is, can she beat him? yeah! >> republicans are looking for six senate seats to take the ma jor pi. mark bagich is a few points within dan sullivan. >> causing a lot of people at the last minute to rethink alaska. >> they're definitely more prepared. you see the turnout game actually being implemented. >> right now, it really is the republicans' election to lose. >> the colorado senate race is basically a coin flip. >> jeb bush will headline a rally tonight. >> this is an historic election that's going to make a huge difference in the future of our country. >> governor christie has rivalled for the nomination. >> christie's impulse control, or lack of it, on full display today.
>> somebody like you doesn't know a damn thing about what you're talking about. sit down and shut out of play. -- shut up. >> new ads and new polls in key senate races with less than a week left in the fight for the united states senate. mark udall's latest ad continues to attack corey gardner's sponsorship of a person hood bill. >> as you're making your decision, remember -- >> a bill that everybody says is basically a person hood bill at the federal level. you're telling me it's not? >> cory gardner is still sponsoring the personhood bill in congress. his name is right there, but gardner just keeps denying it. his denials even failed the independent fact check. >> a less charitable interpretation is that you're not telling us the truth. >> whether it's with our rights and freedoms or his own word, colorado just can't trust the real cory gardner. >> and republican congressman
cory gardner released this ad. >> newspapers say mark udall is running an obnoxious one-issue campaign. >> trying to frighten voters. >> it's an insult. >> it's backfired. >> cory gardner made clear he won't support bans on contraceptions. in fact, he's a proponent of making the pill available over the counter. >> the country needs new leadership and fresh ideas. it needs colorado to elect cory gardner. >> the latest nbc news poll shows a tie in colorado but that's before michelle obama, hillary and bill clinton went to campaign in colorado. jeb bush went to campaign for cory gardner. >> there's a demotion for harry reid. he's no longer the leader of this country. if you believe, like i do, this is the greatest country, we need to prove it. we need to start fixing big
things so this country takes off. that's why this election really matters. imagine a republican controlled house of representatives and a republican-controlled senate beginning to paint what that agenda looks like. >> a new quinnipiac poll in iowa was released today. that shows joanie ernst ahead of bruce brailey just outside the margin of error. joni ernst canceled an editorial board meeting with iowa's biggest newspaper, "the des moines register." >> you have a lot to be proud of in this state. you test your candidates, you actually force them to be the best they can be. i understand that. and they have to be willing to answer the tough questions, which bruce has been willing to do and his opponent has not. it truly seems like it should be
disqualifying in iowa of all states to avoid answering questions. i think the editorials that i read before coming here kind of make that clear, don't they? >> another former secretary of state, contender lisa rice announced her endorsement of joni ernst for senate today. in a statement, she said, quote, joni ernst has dedicated her life to the service of others, bravely leading troops in iraq and safely bringing them home to iowa. we need more leaders like joni who understand america's role abroad and the threat posed against us. the only other senate candidate that condoleezza rice has endorsed is republican dan sullivan in alaska where some polls show democratic incumbent senator mark bagich with a lead. they will hold a debate later tonight. ted cruz and mitt romney are expected to campaign for dan sullivan in alaska.
and joining me now from anchorage, alaska, is a reporter from the alaska news. going into this debate tonight, what will be the key issues in this debate tonight? well, you know, from mark bagich, his campaign theme has been true alaska. so you will probably hear things pretty consistent with what he's being saying over the course of the last few months. you know, he's arguing that he's been sort of independent of the obama administration and harry reid fought for oil and gas development here. constantly working fwr the interest of alaska constituents and then, you know, you'll probably hear from dan sullivan that that's not true, mark bagich was the deciding vote for obama care. he decided with the president 97% of the time in his votes.
and that he needs to go so alaska can have a better representative in the senate. >> and you've got ted cruz and mitt romney coming up there to help dan sullivan. that seems to span the entire republican party to extreme right to moderate republican. >> yeah. i think it's a pretty good move for mr. sullivan. he was in a really, really hard fought primary. he was up against joe miller who got the republican nomination in 2010 and ultimately lost to lisa murkowski. he had a lot of support from the far right republicans and thing joe miller's campaign did some damage to dan sullivan's campaign. i'm seeing on the conservative
patriot facebook groups, they're incredibly excited to have ted cruz up here. and mitt romney will rally the base. it seems like this sort of pretty strong one-two punch. >> thank you very much for joining me from alaska. and joining me now is casey hunt who was at the jeb bush rally tonight. and i'm calling it the jeb bush rally because it looked like i was watching a candidate when i was watching jub bush. was that the buzz in the room tonight? >> it certainly felt a lit bit that way, lawrence. especially when he took the time to take a swipe at hillary clinton for suggesting that businesses don't create jobs. he said that businesses do create jobs. mostly noteworthy that he would get up here and say anything
about her, just because he's sort of viewed among republicans right now as maybe their greatest hope of beating hillary clinton. his speech here was pretty short. he focused on winning the house and the senate. >> casey, i want to show a piece of an interview you did with jeb bush where he's responding to something his sun said about the possible 2016 campaign. >> he's got an opinion, he didn't talk to me. when you have kids you'll probably have the same frustration. you love them to death and they have their own opinion, but i'll make up my mind just as i said at the end of the year. >> i don't think he's too frustrated with the way his son handled those questions. >> kids, they say the darnedest things. i think he's focused on not making news. you've seen him campaigning across all of these competitive
midterms. that's flown under the radar for now. he's focused on gubernatorial candidates. some who have adopted part of his education platform. i think this is a strong way for him to finish out this cycle. >> joining me now, msnbc's steve kornacki. you have the big board up there, the senate races. on election night, where are we likely to get the first sense of what's happening nationally? where will the returns come in that we can look at and say here's what's happening in this state and here's what it should tell us. >> sure. there are a number of poll closings at the 7:00, 8:00 hour
in the eastern time zone. but there's one we can pay particular attention to, the first in the nation primary state. the state of new hampshire. most of the polls will be closed by 8:00. it's a small state. we hope we can get a result announced fairly quickly. that's where jean shaheen is being challenged by the former governor of massachusetts. >> so steve, a shaheen win means what for the coverage going for the night in terms of other states? >> let's take a close look and see exactly why this is significant. this is where the race stands in new hampshire. this is the average of all the polling done in new hampshire to this point. it shows gene sha heen with a two-point lead over scott brown. the reason why new hampshire is so interesting, let's take a look at some of the most recent results from past elections. i'm still learning this board.
this is 2012. in new hampshire, it's a blue state. voted for barack obama by six points over mitt romney. also voted for barack obama in 2008. they voted for the democrat in two presidential elections. however n 2010, there really is no other state that went for obama twice where there was a wig bigger swing towards the republicans in 2010 than there was in new hampshire. an open senate race, kelly ayotte, the republican. this was a credible democratic candidate, a member of congress, was trounced. almost 25 points in new hampshire that night. so when you start to look at this, you start to say republicans are talking about, they think there's gong to be some kind of a wave here in 2014. they think candidates like scott brown running a few points behind right now, they think those candidates are going to catch up in the end. if scott brown goes over the top
after trailing by a fou point, that could be a seen it's happening elsewhere nationally. if jean shaheen wins, then that's an indication there may not be that kind of a wave. >> this is the most interesting state to me. we're always asking the question, scott brown coming up from massachusetts into new hampshire. is there a carpet bagger problem with him? this is the most heavily republican and densely populated part of the state. it's filled with people who are like scott brown. they left massachusetts for new hampshire for lower taxes. so the question is, what kind of a number is scott brown getting out of here? is he winning these and winning these big? conversely on the democratic side, you have to look at the connecticut river valley along the vermont border city where dartmouth college is and the seacoast like portsmouth. see how shaheen is doing there. this will give us a good sense early in the night about whether the republican wave that republicans say is going to be there. if scott brown is winning, there's probably a wave.
if he's not winning i'm not so sure about it. >> scott brown has been running against president obama not so much against jean shaheen. so if he wins that race, that would indicate there is probably some anti-obama fuel in the other campaign. >> absolutely. the entire message of the. brown campaign is if you're unhappy with president obama, don't re-elect somebody from his party, elect a republican. it's all based on that 2010 number we showed you there. that was there in new hampshire in 2010. republicans are saying brown. >> is a few points behind, but it's in the air, in the atmosphere. democrats are saying 2014 is not a great year for us, but it's not as bad as 2010 will be. new hampshire, because it move sod dramatically to the republicans in 2010 and against president obama gives you a good sense of that. >> you have less than a week to perfect that board. >> i couldn't do any of that stuff. thank you for joining us tonight. sit down and shut up was chris christie's message for new
jersey voters who criticized him today. and the nurse being told to stay in her house under quarantine even though she has no symptoms of ebola walked out of her house tonight. and in the rewrite tonight, "the washington post" is forced to rewrite its reporting on the autopsy of michael brown. ameriprise asked people a simple question: in retirement, will you have enough money to live life on your terms?
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esurance. insurance for the modern world. now backed by allstate. click or call. new jersey governor chris christie marked the tragic second anniversary of superstorm sandy by responding to criticism of his handling of millions of dollars of rebuilding funding this way. >> now listen, you all know me. so if we're going to get into a debate here today it's going to get very interesting and very fun. i would be more than happy to get into a debate with someone like you, guy. someone like you doesn't know a damn thing about what you're talking about except show up and stand up when the cameras were here. i've been here when the cameras were off. i'm glad you had your day to show off. but we're the ones here to actually do the work. turn around, get your 15 minutes of fame and then maybe take your
jacket off, roll up your sleeves and do something for the people of this state. >> [ inaudible ]. >> so we'll see. what we need -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> good. and there's been 23 months since then when all you've been doing is flapping your mouth and not doing anything. so listen, you want to have the conversation later, i'm happy to have it, buddy. but until that time, sit down and shut up. >> joining me now, a man who was there, wnyc reporter matt katz. you were up close to that one, matt. what did that one feel like? >> it was quite the extraordinary scene today, lawrence. the governor got out of his motorcade to show up at this event about a block away. he got applause, just a really warm reception at first. people were hugging him, thanking him for the work he did
for sandy and the aftermath. there were old women whispering in his ear tom run for president. and he sort of -- he got this hero's welcome and starts to talk about the recovery from sandy and this gentleman in a pinstripe suit, very eloquent, and a couple of other people stood up and raised signs above their heads. so the cops come over and say you've got to put the signs down. and that's when this exchange started. and the guy, listen, governor, you're not doing enough for us. there's a ton of out of their hopes. and the governor went off. he's still seen as this fully swearing sandy hero in some quarters. from his time after the storm, but other people still feel like they don't understand why they're not in their homes. a quarter of them, only about a quarter of the federal money that new jersey got after the storm has been spent. four out of five people who were displaced a year ago are still displaced from their homes. so there's a lot of pain still out there today.
that's what you saw from this guy and the governor responding. >> matt, two years after the event and 75% of the federal money that chris christie is administrating in relief of the that event has not been spent? >> that's right. there's certainly issues. the biggest contractor for contributing the residential money was fired halfway through, about six months into its contract. for not doing its job properly. whether the governor should have hired that company in the first place is the question. but the governor says listen, he was -- he said today, it was down in biloxi, mississippi. and he said it took eight years to get all of their money out to distribute to people to get them back in their homes. he said he's dealing with onerous federal regulations that were put into place after katrina to protect from fraud. and that's also been a problem. he's ham strung by the federal government here. he said they're doing everything they can to do this as efficiently as possible.
and he points to the fact that all the boardwalks that were destroyed in the jersey shore are back up and running. infrastructure is back, roads are back. but he says residential programs and getting residents back in their homes is just going to take the longest amount of time. they say poorer minorities have been neglected. they say the process has been politicized and hasn't been transparent. and at this point, it's really a war of words. you saw senator mendez a democrat coming out and blasting christie today. and christie firing back at home. it's gotten pretty ugly, the rhetoric around sandy recovery. >> my favorite line is i would be more than happy to have a debate with you anytime you like. and his entry into that debate is sit down and shut up. that was his version of that debate. >> that's the way the governor talks. it's pretty amazing the closer h
egts to making an expected run for president, the less he's changed the way he speaks. he still tells people who shut up who he doesn't want to hear from. when he was saying anytime, anytime. it sounds to me like he's saying anytime to fight. all right, buddy, let's fight anytime. that's what it came from. the cheers you heard, those are for the governor. people love this stuff. >> yep. well, i want to hear what kind of cheers he gets on the sit down and shut up tour in iowa once he's a declared candidate. i can't wait to see that. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> sure thing, lawrence. >>. co-ing up, the nurse who chris christie could not find a kind word to say about. the nurse who chris christie put under a quarantine, an illegal quarantine when she returned from africa. she now says she will not remain in a voluntary quarantine at her home in maine because she has no symptoms of ebola.
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than myself. a. >> that was casey hikcox. he has been moved from a tent quarantine in newark, new jersey, to a home quarantine in maine on "the today show" this morning, she said that she did not plan to stick to maine's quarantine guidelines. tonight, she says this -- >> it is not my intention to put anyone at risk in this community. we have been in negotiations all day with the state of maine and tried to resolve this amicably, but they will not allow me. i am frustrated by this fact and i have been told that the attorney general's intention is
to file legal action against me, and if this does occur, then i will challenge those legal actions. >> maine governor paula page had this to say about kaci hickox breaking that quarantine. >> she's abiding right now. and she's threatened, or she said she's not going to abide any longer, so we're preparing documents to go ask the judge to help us. about a 21 day incubation period, and i just want to protect maine from that. that's all. and if the court says not to worry, hey, don't worry. >> flanked by health care workers who have worked or plan to work with ebola patients in west africa, president obama said today that the country must encourage, not discourage, health care workers who want to volunteer to serve.
>> we've got hundreds of americans from across the country, nurses, doctors, public health worker, soldiers, engineer, mechanics who are putting themselves on the frontlines of this fight. they represent citizenship and patriotism and public service at its best. they make huge sacrifices to protect this country that we love. >> joining me now, two people who have spoken with kaci hickox. thanks for coming back on the program. what is your client going to do tomorrow? >> if we get the court order, we'll challenge it. there will probably be a hearing either next monday or next wednesday in maine. we'll fly up there and defend her. we'll argue that the order is unconstitutional.
there's no justification for the state of maine to put her in a quarantine. >> are there things she wants to be doing, needs to be outside of her home? >> she waps to get a slice of pizza or a quart of milk. she wants to associate with people that she knows in her community. and the state of maine is saying no. she is terrific. she's articulate, she's a people person. she knows this disease. part is to have her voice be involved in this public debate in this country. i praise the president today. he should take on some of these governors. don't be indirect. be direct. >> lawrence, the question i've been asking since this episode erupted is, why is the governor of new jersey, or the governor of new york, not trying to quarantine the medical personnel who walk out of bellevue every day now who have been treating dr. spencer there. some of them live in new jersey, some of them live in new york,
under the jurisdiction of these two governors. what would be the rationale for not quarantining every medical worker working on that case in new york. >> to quarantine one person and not quarantine another person who's got the same exposure, i think the public will just scratch their head and wonder. you know, remember, there are a lot of people going back and forth to west africa including u.n. diplomats and leaders and others. are we going to quarantine them all? the justification is very weak. >> and that's what makes it so clearly like political grand standing on chris christie's part. it seems to me he wanted this very much.
he wanted this kind of confrontation so he could look like the tough guy protecting new jersey and america from this disease. stupidly ignoring the fact that the frontline of this battle is in west africa. it's not at newark airport. >> i a gree with you. they want to look like tough guys that come out looking like dumb guys. and the bottom line is they're misleading their constituents. they're telling them certain things that are not accurate. they should be telling them how this disease is drans mitted and they should be able to say people who don't have the symptoms should not be guarantee teened. and there's an important issue here, and that is we have a history in america that if, in fact, the health decisions are merely based on fear, that is unconstitutional. we'll have to make that argument and through this case we'll have to educate the public about how ebola is transmitted and how america should deal with this issue rather than some of these
renegade states that are involved in putting quarantines in. >> health workers in america tonight thinking about going over. they know they're needed. if i take two weeks off and go over there, if i take three weeks off, they now have to look at their schedules and not be able to determine just how much time they have to carve out for this. >> the ironic thing is some of the governors think they're actually protecting the residents of the state, but they're putting them at greater risk because the only way he can protect america is by stopping ebola spinning out of the control in west africa. we have to really put this in impressive. the real fight here is in west africa. the suffering there ultimately, if this just rages in west africa more and more cases will come here. we want to protect america, we
have to deal with this at its source. this is just going to discourage people. these are heros who want to discourage these heroes. >> and there's another issue here, and that's following the rule of law. the constitution is sancrosanct. the factor here is they have to do whatever they're going to do consistent with constitutional principles. and that's a lesson that all of america should learn. >> go ahead, doctor. >> i was just going to say, you know, in fact, the supreme court has said that if you confine somebody who hasn't committed a crime in their words, a mass i have deprivation of liberty, you have to have good reason for it. believe me, i would support this if the public was at risk, but they're not. >> thank you both very much for joining me tonight. thank you. >> coming up, "the washington post" rewrites its terrible
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one of the country's most newspapers has a very important headline that it should rewrite. this morning, washington woke up to a front page headline in "the washington post" that is not true and was proven not true last night on this program at the very moment when that headline was actually being printed. >> it took "the washington post" one full week to respond to my criticism of their coverage of last week's autopsy of michael brown, leaked autopsy. last week's inaccurate and misleading front page story about the autopsy was followed today by a story on page 3 of "the washington post" under the headline, michael brown autopsy quotes were taken out of context expert says.
the expert the article is referring to there is forensic pathologist dr. judy melnyck who said her quotes were taken out of contest last wednesday at the very moment that "the washington post" was printing what she says were her out of context quotes. mere is the first sentence of today's washington post article. a forensic pathologist quoted in a st. louis post dispatch story about the shooting death of michael brown said, some of her statements concerning the autopsy were taken out of context. wow. so you would never know in that first sentence that she was quoted in if "the washington post," saying those same things out of context. so this story reads like it's about the "st. louis post dispatch" getting dr. melineck's comments wrong, not "the washington post." so why would "the washington post" be so excited? well, for the very few readers who made it all the way to paragraph 13, they discovered this sentence.
"the post's" article quoted from the post dispatch's interview with melineck. that was one of my primary criticisms that the offers of it irresponsibly lifted dr. melineck's quotes without ever calling dr. melineck and checking with her. if "the washington post" reporters had bothered to contact dr. melineck, she would have warned them from using those quotes. why "the washington post" simply lifted those quotes from the "post dispatch" without checking the source remains a mystery that today's washington post article very carefully refuses to address. "the washington post" did a very terrible job of reporting on that leaked autopsy, but they still can't bring themselves to openly admit that the way that the new york sometimes, for example, admitted it when i criticized a terrible report on the michael brown investigation
that ran on "the new york times" front page. the new york times graciously accepted that criticism of mine. "the washington post" actually runs an article today where they interview an editor of the st. louis post dispatch about why that paper quoted dr. melineck out of context, but no one at "the washington post" is interviewing in that article and requested why "the washington post" used that quote without checking with the source. it's a pathetic excuse by "the washington post" on a piece of reporting by "the washington post." they do not have the courage yet or the integrity to acknowledge what it did wrong in framing dr. melineck's comments for "the washington post" readers.
and the only reason "the washington post" ran this correction today is because i exposed "the washington post's" terrible reporting here on this program. we can hope that this is the last time i have to force one of america's great newspaper fos rewrite their reporting on the killing of michael brown. the reporters at "the new york times" and "the washington post" whose mistakes i've exposed who are exposed know a lot more than i do know a lot of things. i wrote a book about the illegal and legal use of police force. there is no subject that i know better than police use of deadly force. since "the new york times" graciously accepted my criticism of their reporting, i have not found fault with any of their reporting in the michael brown case. knowing that critics like me are looking over their shoulders has sharpened "the times" approach to the story. because "the washington post"
still refuses to come to terms with their faulty reporting, i'm not confident they even know how to sharen their reporting of the michael brown case. up next, a man who participated in one of the three autopsies of michael brown will give us his analysis of the most important part of the autopsy. the gunshot wound that killed michael brown. every month on the dot. you're like the poster child for paying on time. and then one day you tap the bumper of a station wagon. no big deal... until your insurance company jacks up your rates. you freak out. what good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? hey insurance companies, news flash. nobody's perfect. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
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indicated, in their language that michael brown this tlr many other possible alternatives that that finding was consistent with in terms of that. what i want to concentrate is not the first gunshots inside the car. but the separate incident. after michael brown has run away from the car and no one disputes he ran away from the car. he is shot then at some distance. and there is -- there's a -- there are two shots into his head including one shot very high toward the top of his head that goes straight down into his body. and one of the things i was pushing last week on the issue of the autopsy is what does the evidence of the autopsy tell us about that shot, which is the --
those two shots because those are the shots that killed him. and those are the shots that have to be individually justified. >> put your pen there. that far back on the skull? i'm learning that now. i thought fs inches from the hairline. >> no, no, what attorneys have called the kill shot. actually entered at almost the very top of the apex of the head. >> so his head had to be bent over much farther than i imagined it had to be bent over. >> correct. and to go with that, understand the shot was not actually going straight down in the head like
this pfs it was actually going at a forward angle like this. >> wow. and he is 6'4", so he really has to bend over. >> yeah, exactly. what it indicates is if he's charging at the officer -- and understand, this shot does not prove or disprove whether he was charging the officer or not. but if he's facing darren wilson and his gun is facing straight on at him, he would almost have to be bent over this far to get that angle. almost like a linebacker or a lineman coming off the line on a football team. it's more consistent with his head falling and the barrel of the gun pointing towards the grount and as it enters michael brown's head, the bullet is coming down and he's almost at or on the ground when it goes into his skill. the gunshot wound that actually entered above the right eyebrow
actually comes at a slightly backwards angle this way. and what that tells us is that it hit the skill prior to the bullet hitting the top of the skull because of different of the angles. but forensically, if you really look at this, what it tells us is that michael brown was already falling and almost at or on the ground when those two gunshots were received. >> and what officer wilson is going to have to explain is what was the threat that michael brown posed to him when his head was bent that far over down close to the pavement, it looks like, in that angle. what was the threat posed to him, at what distance before he put that final bullet into his skull. >> correct. you are absolutely correct. >> the wound trajectory, i just learned something that was not clear to me before you used that exhibit for us.
thank you very much. >> no problem. thanks for having me. >> now, we're going to have new video of that spacecraft that exploded last night. tonight, nasa completed an first that feeling of numbness. then hot pins. almost like lightning bolts, hot strikes into my feet. so my doctor prescribed lyrica. the pain has been reduced and i feel better than i did before. [ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda-approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eyesight, including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica.
can you start tomorrow? tomorrow we're booked solid. we close on the house tomorrow. tomorrow we go live... it's a day full of promise. and often, that day arrives by train. big day today? even bigger one tomorrow. csx. how tomorrow moves. dave, i'm sorry to interrupt... i gotta take a sick day tomorrow. dads don't take sick days, dads take nyquil. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep with a cold, medicine. i thought "so what?", but now "cai can't stop playing.rst that's not how it works. i mean it's so simple. it's like my car insurance. i saved 15% in fifteen minutes.
tonight, nasa completed an initial assessment after an unmanned commercial spacecraft exploded last night seconds after liftoff. the incident response team found some damage to the launch site and buildings in the immediate area. a journalist watching the launch last night took this video of the explosion. >> yeah. oh! >> whoa. >> whoa! >> oh, god. [ bleep ] oh, god. [ bleep ]. >> holy [ bleep ]. >> oh, my god.
>> joining me now is nbc news space analyst jim oberg a former nasa commission control operator. jim, there's some report today indicating that it is possible that the controllers of the flight actually brought it down, something -- they saw something going wrong, knew it could only get worse and they wanted to stop it in flight before it could travel into an area where coming down would do more damage. >> well, lawrence, that's their job and that's what they would do, but exactly when that order was given and when it was actually performed has to be determined. they have to do a time line of all these events. it looks to me like something was going wrong on the rocket about six seconds along with a lot of, what we call conflagration at the back end, not an explosion, but a burst of hot gas. it then settled back down again and disappeared fwh that cloud.
the explosion occurred about when the rocket would have reached the ground, or it could have been the explosive charges. we can't tell yet. >> and there's a lot of talk now about the old russian engines that were used on that rocket, rebuilt russian engines. what's your reaction to that? >> my reaction is that we can speculate, but the investigators can't. because they cannot se up theories going into the accident. they have to keep their blinds clear so they don't unconsciously bias their selection of clues that they detect. to me, as the rocket rose, and i watched this video several dozen times, it rose, hesitated, and then after the base of it became enveloped in flame, began to settle straight back down. and this suggests both the engines had turned off at the same time. otherwise it would have tilted or pummeled straight back down until it reason butt straight into the ground. that might suggest that there was a failure upstream of the engines.
again, we don't know yet. everyone is doing a rush to judgment on these engines. i think that's premature. >> jim oberg, thank you very much for joining us tonight. "hardball" starts right now. >> blood in the water. let's play "hardball." >> sproeb struggling to defend his ebola response. and all the sweet 16ers are in the water. christie, jeb and romney are attacking him with gusto with their eye on the poll and the noses sniffing the scent of human blood. here's the president whacking back. >> when i hear people talking about american leadership, and then, promoting policy that's would avoid leadership and have