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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  October 31, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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because it's going to take awhile to fix it. but there are other projects going forward and this design, this approach is a very promising one. >> all right, james oberg and all of our guests this hour, thank you so much. and for those of you at home, this is msnbc's rolling coverage of the crash of virgin galactic spaceship 2 that happened in california. tom costello and the entire nbc team are investigating. alex wagner leads the next hour of coverage. that starts right now. we are following breaking news this afternoon. the county sheriff's office says one pilot was killed and a co-pilot injured when virgin galactic's spaceship 2 crashed over the mojave desert. at this time the cause of the crash is unknown. virgin galactic said it suffered
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an anomaly today. virgin galactic's partner scaled composites conducted a test flight of spaceship two earlier today. it suffered an anomaly resulting in the loss of our vehicle. our first concern is the status of the pilots. we will work closely with the relevant authorities to determine the cause of the accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so. nbc had agreed to air its first flight. we're awaiting more information at a mojave air and space news conference which is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. eastern. joining me now is msnbc correspondent tom costello. tom, i know this is a fluid situation. you've been giving us great updates but do we have anything new to update the status of the second pilot? >> we are seeing one report that he is alive and suffered some injuries. th that, i must say, is good news.
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many people were concerned that a parachute drop or deployment from a high altitude at least 45,000 feet that that could be a very, very risky proposition. so the fact that one of them is alive is certainly good news. unfortunately, we've now learned that one of them has not made it. eyewitnesses of nbc news have spoken to on the scene there is debris scattered across a very wide area. when you've got a debris area that is two miles across, that tells you it was very high altitude. as you see, it does look from some of these images we've seen thus far that there seems to be burn marks on the wreckage. so that would be consistent with the description of some event happening as they were firing the rocket. they dropped from the mothership at 45,000 feet. they were about to fire the rocket that would take them to a
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higher altitude. as high as 70,000 feet, perhaps. then something went terribly wrong. we don't know what, of course. no official comment from richard branson yet. as you might expect, this is a huge setback to virgin galactic and a terrible blow to them to see their colleagues, their friends, whether they are virgin galactic employees or employees of the company that makes this vehicle for virgin galactic. i've been there and these companies work hand in glove and they are quite literally sharing buildings and are next door to each other. to have this happen to your employees or your close friends is a huge setback and a huge blow. we wish them well. i met many of them myself. as for where the investigation will go, as you might expect, they will get some stance from the federal government to try and investigate the cause of this accident. this was a test vehicle using a new engine and a new fuel mixture. they had the last test run that
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they did back in january they're trying to improve upon. and so today's test flight was trying to put those new test engines and fluids to the test. one interesting point here, and that is that when i was out there at the engine test firing range in mojave, i was actually able to see the test firing platform, if you will. but richard branson was not able to see that. why? because he's not an american citizen. this is still considered to be proprietary not only for his company but also for the country. and you have to be an american citizen to be able to see some of what they're working on. and so even though richard branson owned the company, he couldn't actually see some of that and could not see -- and could not be privy to all of the latest that was in terms of the pushing the envelope with the science and technology. he wasn't actually privy to all of that or hadn't seen it first hand himself. i found that to be absolutely fascinating.
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>> tom costello, thanks always for the updates and information. joining me now by phone is retired nasa astronaut captain mark kelly. i actually interviewing richard branson earlier this year about the virgin galactic program and there is something and i know you can speak to this better than i, something about space travel that speaks to american optimism and hope in the way not many other programs do. and so when there is disaster and tragedy in space, i think it hits us collectively in a different way than anything else in aeronautics. >> i agree. it's the last frontier. and it's what people do. people explore and i think especially americans, we like to push the envelope and advance technology. when things happen like the challenger accident in 1986 or the loss of space shuttle columbia in 2003. i mean, it's something i think all americans relate to.
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and -- go ahead. >> let me ask you, in terms of someone who has been to outer space, give us a sense of the suborbital area. 75,000 feet above the earth's surface. that is sort of the target range for this program. and the likelihood that these pilots -- we don't know the details on the crash -- but that they may have parachuted down. the safety there and what measures and training they would have had to undergo to even take on a test flight as risky as this. >> well, first of all, i think the target altitude for this test flight where they're testing the hybrid rocket motor was about 75,000 feet. for passengers and the parabolic trajectory that they'll fly, that'll go up to nearly 70 miles. and 70 miles is closer to 400,000 feet. so these are, like, two different things. you know, the training that these pilots would undergo, i know some of the pilots there.
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we don't know who was involved, you know, with this accident. the ones that i know are very experienced test pilots. you know, the specific training for them for these missions is going to have a lot to do with the profile they're going to fly. i imagine that virgin galactic has a simulator where they can practice flying spaceship two and rehearse specifically what they would be doing on this flight and other flights. >> captain kelly, let me ask you, this was a test for space tourism. and one could imagine beyond the technology that obviously needs to be fixed. we need to find out exactly what happened. there is the psychological of the vulnerability of going into space, having something like this happen. i am sure this sets that program back. tell us a little bit about the effect of, you know, catastrophe in space and the effect it has on programs moving forward after those tragedies. >> well, simply it will slow
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things down. they've been experiencing some problems with this new motor. i mean, they're trying to go to this hybrid liquid solid rocket motor from which is different than the engine than they used on spaceship one. when you have this catastrophic accident, it makes you step back, re-evaluate if this is the right approach. at a later date, they might decide that they need a completely redesign of the engine. or they might determine there is a fix that they can do. so from a business standpoint, you know, it sets the company back. but everybody needs to understand that this is incredibly challenging. we don't send people into space every day. and this vehicle is designed to take passengers into space. and it's a new vehicle. and they're not developed overnight. and, you know, you got to foresee there will be
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challenges. >> thank you for joining me and thank you for your time and thoughts. we are, of course, continuing to follow the latest details out of california and the crash of virgin galactic spacecraft. we are also four days away from the election that could determine president obama's legacy. we will break down the closest midterm races coming up. and later, the white house is saying no. john kerry is not sandra bullock from "gravity." if you're clarifying that, you've already lost the fight. i will ask jen psaki all of that ahead on "now." uhhh. no, that can't happen. that's the thing, you don't know how long it has to last. everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the exclusive.. confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor can get the real answers you need. well, knowing gives you confidence. start building your confident retirement today.
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it's a fresh approach on education-- superintendent of public instruction tom torlakson's blueprint for great schools. torlakson's blueprint outlines how investing in our schools will reduce class sizes, bring back music and art, and provide a well-rounded education. and torlakson's plan calls for more parental involvement. spending decisions about our education dollars should be made by parents and teachers, not by politicians. tell tom torlakson to keep fighting for a plan that invests in our public schools. this is a live look at raleigh, north carolina, where president bill clinton is about to appear at a campaign rally alongside kay hagan. with just four days to go, there
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are four races that can determine the makeup of the supreme court, the future of the nation's health care law, and whether or not ted cruz gets more sanctimonious by next year. these are the races which will determine who controls the u.s. senate. let us take a look at them. first there is iowa where hog castrating conservative joni ernst leads bruce braley which is well within the margin of error. but the rest of the make or break contests are in the red state south. take louisiana. democrat mary landrieu hung onto her seat thanks to unprecedented turnout from african-americans in her state. it will be hard to replicate that in a midterm, but right now polls show her just over four points behind challenger bill cassidy. over in north carolina, democratic incumbent kay hagan is betting on a growing latino
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population in her state. thom tillis is responsible for some of the most unpopular right wing legislation in the country. hagan currently has the narrowest of leads at one and a half points. and in a set of races nearly impossible to pick, there is the wild card. the last time the sun flower state of kansas and anyone other than a republican to the senate was in the year 1932. and it has never in 150 years elected an independent. in four days, all of that could change. independent businessman greg orman currently has a thin edge of one point over senator pat roberts. meaning a tradition that stood for a century and a half could be broken on tuesday night. joining me now is the host of msnbc's "up" steve kornacki and
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howard fieinman. steve b i want to ask you a question. the question of a split ticket in terms of you vote for a democrat for governor and maybe a republican from the senate. that happens, i guess, in kansas. >> it may. although to the extent it does, it's going to be very limited. i think the logic behind it would be it's a republican state. it's a state that voted for mitt romney. such a republican state that how many times can these republican voters, these republican friendly voters bear to leave the republican column when standing in the -- >> polarizing in the state. >> he is also in trouble. so there are actually three competitive statewide elections where republicans are in danger of losing. i think most people are going to make it in the first two and maybe in the second race where they're going to, you know,
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they'll go either all republican or all democratic. but to the extent you do have crossover stuff happening there, i think it's that. it's republican who is in many cases never checked off a democrat's name in their life. to do it even once is going to be a lot for them. to do it three times on the same ballot, that could be a lot. >> howard, you know what stuns me is almost $3.7 billion have been poured into all of these races. here we are going down the list, these races are split by percentages that are well within the margin of error. you are a seasoned political reporting and that is nothing but with the highest compliment, have you seen a midterm race election season like this in the modern political era given the amount of money that has been spent here? >> it's basically $4 billion being spent over judges. >> right. >> because that's what this comes down to. look, the senate's going to be
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gridlocked regardless on just about everything. no matter who's in charge on a lot of issues. but where this really matters now that it takes 50 plus 1 to confirm a judge to the federal bench let alone a supreme court nominee, that's sort of what this is about. as you point out, a lot of money has been spent on razor thin races. i think the number one race in terms of spending especially outside spending is north carolina. and the number one target of that outside spending has been thom tillis, the republican candidate, the house leader in north carolina. he was battered and bashed by outside forces. but then now lately so has kay hagan. i think what happened there is they drove thom tillis' negatives into the ground but he's had enough time and enough support from other outsiders to
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bring him back. other states with huge amounts of outside, iowa to take another example. that's a key example. and there the outside money is even. i think a lot of it is canceling itself out. i think this is about microtargeting, it's about sophisticated use of vote operations both in an absentee ballots and early voting. and then on election day. what they used to call vote hauling down in louisiana, it's now computer assisted. that's where the money really matters. >> yeah, in terms of what this is all about. she writes, in a campaign devoid of policy prescriptions but with plenty of free-floating range at washington, joni ernst may be
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expressing what voters think. it may be the most vivid metaphor that wins elections. the kind of awe shucks veneer of politicians in these particular races. and the lack of real dialogue. do you think this is the most substance-free race of them all? >> in a way, it is. in a literal sense you can make that argument. i think there are significant things happening just watching how this iowa race is playing out. in all these places you can find stories like this. when you strip away -- you talk about the literal policy stuff and talk about how she is positions herself and how bruce braley, how he came across with that video about some forming running the judiciary committee. it's exacerbating this divide between rural iowa and a growing sort of more metropolitan iowa. iowa is a state, you think of this sort of monolithically white state in the middle of the country.
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there's a quickly growing latino population in iowa. especially the eastern half of the state where you have cedar rapids, the university, bigger cities, bigger towns around there. red's defines itself against blue. and she has been hey, i am the face of this red iowa. you know, and i'm not blue iowa. and the guy who looks down on farmers, he's blue iowa. >> the big chief has been on the campaign trail. i love talking to you about -- >> which one is that, alex? >> exactly. the big dog, bill clinton, who is right now in north carolina is going to a michelle nunn rally in georgia. he was at an alison lundergan grimes event in kentucky. i mean, i've always known bill clinton to be a work-aholic. he is not shirking that
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reputation at this moment. let me ask you about how much of a powerful surrogate he is at this present day. given all the distance democrats have tried to put between themselves and the obama administration. >> well, it's interesting, in kentucky mitch mcconnell's line has been there's not a dime's worth of difference between an obama democrat and a clinton democrat. >> you channel mcconnell so well, howard. >> but no, the point there is -- two points there. first of all, he's using george wallace's old language about a dime's worth of difference. and second, it's a tribute to bill clinton in mitch mcconnell thinks he has to smudge bill clinton with the barack obama, you know, reputation at this point. i think the key thing about bill clinton is this. he knows better than any
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democrat how to explain what government can do for you, not to you, but for you and explain why government is on your side and why that is a reasonable thing that independent voters should also support. that's now bill clinton got elected. that's what clinton is amiss. and that's what he's trying to do around the country. >> steve kornacki and howard fineman, no two better guys to talk the horse race politics with. thank you for your time and thoughts. >> thank you. >> remember of course to catch "up" with steve kornacki 8:00 a.m.s here on msnbc. and in maine, will kaci hickox have the last word? that's next. are feeling the love, too. by offering things like on-the-spot data upgrades -- an idea that reduced overcharge complaints by 98%. no matter how fast your business needs to adapt, if hp big data solutions
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fear and most importantly as we end the outbreak that is still ongoing in west africa today. >> that was nurse kaci hickox just hours ago making her first public comments since a maine court rejected the ebola quarantine. because she is asymptomatic, the judge concluded the quarantine was unnecessary. right now hickox is scheduled to have a court hearing on the matter next tuesday and wednesday, but hickox and her lawyers have a press conference planned for this evening. we also have news this hour about new york ebola patient dr. craig spencer. according to new york city health officials, dr. spencer remains in serious but stable condition. just ahead, it may be one of the greatest political challenges in half a century. but democrats are going for it. i'll tell you what it is next on "now."
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it is a dream that burns big and bright for democrats but one that can also seem out of reach. last night jon stewart put it like this. >> democrats in texas are like the drunk guy at the bar that won't stop hitting on a girl even though he knows she's a lesbian. no, no, no, dude. trust me. i can flip her. i just need time. >> part of the reason for that skepticism is the question of turnout. and part of the question of turnout is the impact of republican-backed voter i.d. laws. my colleague ari melber went down to texas to check out the fight for the right to vote. >> we have to fight hard in texas for voting rights. >> reporter: meet collin allred, a former tennessee titans linebacker who left the gridiron for the ground war. he's hoping to help wendy davis
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win against greg abbott. this is the second most expensive governor's race in the country. in one critical campaign home stretch from late september to october 9th, republicans spent more than $5 million to run tv ads over 10,000 times while democrats spent about $2.5 million to run ads over 4500 times. it's a widespread trend. this is the most expensive off-year election in american history with congressional races topping $4 billion. it's funding an unparalleled air war. >> greg abbott. he's not for you. >> a recent investigation finds that democratic candidate wendy davis didn't always recuse herself. >> greg abbott fought to cut $5 billion from education. >> protecting and defending insiders. >> reporter: yet all those ads can reach a saturation point. bishop t.d. jakes head of the potters house in dallas thinks
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voters are tuning them out. >> it isn't always a matter of who spends the most money wins the election. at a certain point when you keep seeing ad after ad after ad your mind goes numb to the process anyway. >> reporter: in fact, that's the new theory trying to nudge texas in a blue direction. when you look at the millions being spent on tv ads, does that make that kind of ground game less important? >> if anything, it makes the ground game more important. >> reporter: the group has been working since last year recruiting everyone from data and technical experts. collin uses his to volunteers crafting neighbor to neighbor efforts from their kitchen table. >> i had. how are you doing? >> reporter: to field organizers seeking votes the old fashioned way. one at a time. do you think that kind of door to door neighbor to neighbor contact can be more impactful than tv ads? >> absolutely. >> reporter: why? >> because you do something when
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somebody asks you to. no one goes to a party no one invite yous to. >> reporter: and democrats want to re-energize their prospects in this stronghold from the ground up. >> growing up here, there are a lot of folks who didn't have their voices heard. i really do think that texas is changing. and that we're a part of that. and, you know, whether it's this election, the next election, or the one after that, we're going to be here and we're going to make sure this state gets the reputation it deserves. >> joining me now is ari melber and founding partner of 270 strategies and senior adviser of battle ground texas, jeremy bird. let me start with you, ari. if we look at the latest polling, webb i did dafs, greg abbott, he has t a 20-point lead. explain to me the disconnect between the increase in the early numbers and what we're seeing. >> that "new york times" poll from mid-october showing a
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serious deficit there. and republicans doing well there across the board. in fact, haven't had that in years. it is actually a counterpart to some liberals. we have the tea party, what do we have. what jeremy can talk about and what he set up with other folks was the idea of ground game playing the long game right and going in earlier even if that means building over several election cycles. >> jeremy, let me ask you, understanding this is is part of a longer term strategy are you dismayed where we are days ahead of the gubernatorial elections? >> no, i'm not. i'm actually very encouraged. if you go around texas now, you're meeting some of the most amazing volunteers. we have 33,000 volunteers who have been out knocking on doors, having phone calls, registering
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folks. and it's showing results. right now we just heard in terms of voter registration, we're now over 14 million texans that are registered. it's one of the few states that saw an increase between 2012 and 2014. so i'm very encouraged by the grassroots infrastructure being brought across the counties of texas. >> what about, ari, the issues and the way the candidates are connecting with their voters on the issue. assuming they will get hispanic votes especially in a place like texas. wendy davis is famous for her stance on reproductive rights but among hispanics in texas who are catholic and believe that abortion should be restricted or perhaps outlawed in some cases, they have gone to greg abbott. and there is perhaps an overconfidence in estimating that the minority vote will overwhelmingly be democratic. >> i think you're putting your finger there on an important thing. people say the demographics are good long-term in this state. but hispanic voting has been
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lower. but it's not clear at all at this point from what i saw that wendy davis has electrified those communities. for grateful dead fans out there, they used to say -- >> there are a lot that watch the show. >> -- every silver lining has a touch of gray. i saw that gray when i was going out seeing the black churches in dallas and ft. worth. they were talking about voter i.d., voter suppression, the jobs agenda, things they want and getting out to vote. i didn't hear anyone in those crowds, name check wendy davis. let's be clear. in politics it doesn't matter if you're getting out. but at the persuadable level and bringing out the new voters, all the lingo we hear about, it's not clear they have someone at the top of the ticket who's electrified them. and we reserve judgment until election night where we'll find out real answers. but i definitely did detect that and wrote about that for
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msnbc.com, a certain lack of enthusiasm. >> having a more representative democracy, i would say. and yet i wonder why there hasn't been more of a concerted effort in southern red states where ben jellis did a study and said you could change the balance of power in eight states if we had people come out. so hagan and landrieu wouldn't have to have convoluted messages as they do. they could just win a posed to catering to an increasingly shrinking portion of older white voters. why is that part of the country not seeing the same efforts as a place like texas? >> i think they have. if you look at georgia right now, just an amazing drive this cycle. you've seen a lot of great work. there are places where they're putting effort into that. what we're trying to do to make
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the electorate look like that. i actually give her a ton of credit in terms of her outreach. if you look at the organizers, we were down in bear county. 35 organizers on the ground there, her campaign has invested in those folks. she showed up. you know what? it's incredibly courageous for her to be out even running in this race. a lot of people said when you have an opponent that starts with $20 million in the bank, when you have years of not winning elections, very few people were courageous enough to step up and she did that. and i do think you see that in georgia and you're seeing that in carolina and other states. >> on that point briefly, jeremy knows better than anyone for running for barack obama's campaigns, you can't do it on tv ads alone when you're in places where you've been historically losing. so it did change the turnout universe in north carolina, in
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indiana. and had district level swings that we hadn't seen in decades. so i don't know. i think it's a fascinating political experiment. i don't know that this is the right mix of candidates and issues in this off year to do it, but it certainly as we showed in the video there, it has to be more than tv ads. it has to be on the ground. >> jeremy, let me ask you one more thing before we go. you know what drives folks to register and get them out to the polls. in a climate like this, what has been the most effective driver to get people excited about politics? >> i mean, the thing that i saw the most when we were looking at texas and the poll i always go back to is right after 2012. latino decisions did a poll of hispanic voters across the country. they asked the question, did a campaign reach out to you to try to bring you into the political process either to register you and get you to vote. in places like colorado and florida, those were about 70%.
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they said i was engaged by a political campaign. they came to my door and bring me into the process. in texas, those numbers used to be in the 20s. so the biggest thing is to show up. if you want folks to vote for you. if you want them to participate, you've got to show up. that's what the davis campaign, battle ground texas, the texas democratic party are doing this cycle. which is showing up and showing those voters, getting them registers, talking about how to vote. that will make a big difference b. >> saying hello matters. ari melber and jeremy bird, thank you for your time. you can catch ari on "the cycle" on msnbc. coming up, we'll have more on the breaking news this hour of the virgin galactic spacecraft that crashed in california. we'll bring you the latest just ahead.
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o . a day after israel closed down access to one of jerusalem's holiest sites, tensions in east jerusalem remain high. israeli police reopened the site today for prayer, but thousands of police stayed on the scene. despite the restrictions, some 15,000 palestinians showed up today for noon prayers at the mosque and the dome of the rock.
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the closure came after israeli police killed a palestinian man. and in the same week that israel announced its decision to accelerate planning for a thousand new settlements in east jerusalem. john kerry said yesterday he was worried about the escalation of tensions, but those remarks came after a week of crisis in american/israeli relations. on tuesday jeffrey goldberg published a piece saying the obama and netanyahu governments move towards a full broken crisis. describe netanyahu as reactionary, obtuse, blusering, pompous, and most famously chicken stuff. those damning words sent officials rushing to do damage control. >> we condemn anybody who uses language such as used in this article that does not reflect
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us. it is unacceptable, damaging. >> the vip not in crisis. the relationship is actually fundamentally stronger than it's ever been. president obama and prime minister netanyahu have a constructive relationship. >> joining me now is state department spokesperson jen psaki. >> hi, alex. >> thanks for coming on. let's first get your reaction to the news that benjamin netanyahu is ready to, quote, write off the obama administration. >> well, certainly that is not reflected by the fact that secretary kerry had a lengthy conversation with him just last night. they have a strong relationship. we have a strong security relationship with israel nap will continue. that doesn't mean there aren't ups and downs in relationships. that happens with any important diplomatic relationship around the world. but we know we're going to get through this. and we feel confident that we have a lasting relationship with israel. >> i understand, jen, that most
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relationships have ups and downs, but recalcitrant, myopic, blusering, pompous, i won't even get into the chicken stuff. that seems down. >> anonymous quotes, they're not new in washington. they've been around for decades if not longer. they don't reflect how the secretary feels. they don't reflect how the president feels. there are certainly moments, alex. there's no question where we disagree with what israel is doing and what decisions they've made. like the recent settlement activity. and we talk about that and we speak about that vocally. but we don't hold back on that. but that language and those words just don't reflect what our view is and we find it unhelpful when people speak like that. >> let me ask you to that point about whether you think public sentiment even in certain circles that have been long stalwart supporters.
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the jewish week says is it fair to ask who is just more detached from reality these days. the president of the united states or the leader o after small country totally dependent on american support. that seems to be a fairly searing look at the israelis. and i wonder if the point you think about them being delusional has some credit. >> there's no question there are countries around the world, there are certainly leaders who are frustrated by some of the decisions that have been made. including the settlement announcements. when you have a country and leadership that say they want a two-state solution and take steps like that. it's contradictory to their over-arching goals. there's some countries who have taken steps to recognize the palestinian state. you see some frustration in the lack of movement towards a two-state solution. and you're seeing that in many different avenues. >> let me ask you about the
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import of the temple noble sanctuary not debate what but is happening over there. does the united states think it could be another uprising. >> certainly we don't want to make that prediction. but we are concerned about the tensions on the ground. john kerry spoke with netanyahu last night and president abbas this morning. we want to see a return to what the policy was in the past which was allowing muslims to go worship, allowing non-muslims to visit. and that's what we want to see it return to. we are very concerned about the tensions we're seeing on the ground now. it's a cycle we've seen happen over and over again. that's why we need a two-state solution in the region. >> do you think -- you mentioned palestinian state hood. do you think other countries will recognize the state of palestine?
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>> we'll see. i think there are some countries -- we remember what happened a year or so ago when the european union wanted to put in place certain kinds of actions that they felt would hold israel accountable and recognize the palestinian state. our view is that we certainly support the aspirations of the palestinians to have a state nap is the objective and a goal of a two-state solution. it's something that has to be done through negotiations. >> jen, just to shift gears a little bit. we know it's halloween. i see you orange and black. >> yes. i did it by accident. >> happy accident. there's been some talk about the secretary of state being compared to sandra bullock in "gravity." is that going to be his halloween costume? can you tell us about his reaction to those assertions in "the new york times." >> well, toif say, i've talked to the secretary about this. his overall view is the person who was quoted certainly has more time to watch movies than he does and do analogies from movies than he does. you've seen dennis mcdonough of
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the white house speak to this. it's not reflective of his experience, the secretary has been asked by the president to be the leader on issues from iraq to afghanistan to isil. >> so he'd rather have someone like kevin costner play him in a movie than sandra bullock? >> i haven't asked him. they have to have a big head of hair. >> that is the requirement. jen psaki, thank you for your time. >> my pleasure. coming up, we'll have the latest on the crash of a virgin galactic spacecraft in california. stay with us. like, away away. road trip? double wings, extra ranch. feels good to mix it up. the all-new, fuel-efficient volkswagen golf tdi clean diesel. up to 594 miles of adventure in every tank.
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miles of terrain. moments ago virgin galactic richard branson tweeted messages of support and says he is flying to mojave immediately to be with his team. today's test flight was the 55th for the spate rocket. it was designed to give tourists a thrill ride for the ticket price of $250,000 each. it is unclear how today's crash could affect spaceshiptwo's future and the quest to open up space to the paying public. joining me by phone is space consultant and nasa mission controller james oberg. in terms of setting the clock back on this, what's your expectation here? >> this certainly is serious because the engine itself was giving them trouble in the past. they actually had so change out one fuel mixture for a new fuel mixture. even though this may have been the 55th test flight, it was the first attempt to light this new engine in flight. so if, in fact, the engine
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itself -- if the failure occurred at the moment of ignition, that's a big indicator where the trouble is. they're not going to concentrate on that entirely because it could be something else independent. but this is -- if it is the engine, then they have trouble for years and haven't been able to clear it up. they're worse off now than before. this is a major delay for them. other people are moving forward with the same kind of low space access. and it's not just a matter of joyrides. about half the flights are turning out to be the kind of scientific research that founding rockets used in the past. so there is far more of a business plan for this kind of capability than just rich people. >> james oberg thank you for your time and thoughts. this is a fluid situation. we will continue to give updates as we have them. that is all for us at "now" today. i'll see you back on monday.
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"the ed show" is coming up next. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york .we are following breaking news in california today. nbc news confirms one fatality and one injury from the experimental space vehicle's crash. we are awaiting a press conference at any moment at the mojave air and space port where we'll hear the latest on this accident. and the virgin galactic spaceshiptwo was on a test run when it lost contact with ground controllers at the mojave space port. the spaceshiptwo separated from the vehicle carrying it aloft and threw flew under rocket power as planned. moments later they reported an in-flight problem and, quote, loss of vehicle. two crew members were aboardhe

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