tv MSNBC Post- Address Special MSNBC February 28, 2017 7:30pm-8:01pm PST
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. with apologies because i got behind on time and did not give the governor the intro or the event, the set up it deserved. that was former two-term democratic governor of kentucky, steve bashier speaking from a diner in lexington, kentucky. having said that to steve schmidt, what do you make of the event as the democratic response? >> extraordinary. the democratic party is at its lowest point of power in this country since the 1920s, and the democratic response was made by a 72-year-old retired two-term governor from kentucky, not by kamala harris, not by kristin jillebrand, not by the castro brothers, not by anyone who has a future in the actual
democratic party. just amazing ineptitude for a party out of power like the democrats are. on the personal note, i do wish the hostages behind him well. >> there were a number of mannequins with him. >> it was the cast from "west world." >> i mean i think the response is always trouble, it is always bad. i think -- i hear you on this. i don't think had this sinks to the level of bobbie jindel but there have been good ones. one was when bob mcdonald gave the first response like five minutes after he was inaugurated as governor of virginia to one of barack obama's speeches. it was a formal-looking speech. whenever you try to do something stunted and small, think it ends up looking stunted and small. >> let us bring in congressman
chris collins, republican of new york who has been known when he is introduced on shows like this for the last couple of months by one title, the first member of the house of representatives to support donald trump. we heard him audibly thanked for that as the president made his way out of the chamber. congressman, let's talk about your district in upstate new york. let's talk about the region of upstate new york. the president was fond of saying on the campaign, and he was right, the economy was especially cruel to that part of the world. where is a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending, something akin to eisenhower's interstate highway system, where is that going to come from? >> well, as far as where the money can come from, there's a few options. one is getting fundamental tax reform with repatriation of the dollars overseas. that is certainly a possibility. he also spoke about a p-3, public/private partnership. these are private dollars,
coupled with government dollars on some of these projects. could be highways or other types of projects. so the details still have to be filled in. but, you know, that's one he got a standing ovation by both the republicans and the democrats. i spent a lot of tonight looking over at the democrat side to see where they were applauding, where they were actually standing up and applauding, and i've got to give our president credit. i think many of us were afraid there would be disruption both in the gallery and in the chamber. there was none. the democrats showed great respect for the president, applauding certainly as he came in, as melania came in. i'm very, very encouraged by what i saw, and the president did reach out time and again, calling on both sides to work together and certainly understanding the differences. i will just tell you i was very proud of my fellow democrat members in their response. we didn't expect them to stand
up and applaud with the enthusiasm we did, but i'm going to hold out just a little nugget of hope certainly on infrastructure being one that we will work together, and to get there if it is fundamental tax reform, maybe that's another place we may be able to work together as well as education and some of the other issues he brought up. >> back up to the finger lakes region of new york, one of the prettiest parts of our country, and, again, a place where the economy has been cruel. to your constituents who make up donald trump's base, when the president says, as he did tonight, dying industries will come roaring back to life, how? what can you promise the folks at home? >> well, again, some of this comes back to it is putting america first and, as the president said, fair trade, free trade but fair trade. pulling us out of tpp. a great thing. again, a lot of applause from the democrats, in fact perhaps more applause from the democrats than the republicans on that,
even though i've been a strong supporter of getting out of tpp. going to be new by lateral trade agreements with canada, with mexico and with other countries, and i think, again, putting america first. if we get into tax reform and we have what we call the border adjustability tax of 20%, which is going to put american jobs first, building products in america, i think that could also be a part of bringing our jobs back. you could call that a tax, a tariff or a surcharge on goods made overseas. 20% is a very good start to level the playing field. so a lot of these dots have to be inner connected, and i think as they are we are going to get jobs back in western new york. we certainly have the empty factories that can house these workers again. we have certainly reliable power and educated workforce, plenty of fresh water. so we're ready and waiting for these jobs to materialize. i think they will. >> well, my dad used to work
down the road in corning so i know what you're talking about. congressman chris collins, 27th district of new york where you will find many more bills fans than giants or jets. thank you very much. we will have you on down the road. >> good to be with you. >> eugene, your impressions coming out of the speech? >> el with, ywell, you know, wh president of the united states you can't be graded on a curve, right? so the fact that it was a pretty normal sounding speech, it sounded -- it wasn't a state of the union, but it sounded state of the union-ish, that's all well and good. but i think you had to listen for substance, and we did not hear, to my ear at least, movement on immigration, of the kind that was hinted at earlier in the day. apparently by the president. >> zero, no move at all. >> he did mention the word reform in connection with immigration, so maybe that's kind of -- but he didn't talk about what to do with the 11 or
12 million people here without documents. he didn't talk about that. i did hear him as he detailed his healthcare plans. it wasn't very specific. he said it has to be awesome basically, it's got to do everything, but he did mention tax credits, expanded health savings accounts, flexibility for the states with medicaid funds. all of these are things that are in the republican framework that paul ryan talked about two weeks ago. so in that sense i think it gives ryan ammunition to say, look, the president is with us on this as he moves forward on trying to get something with post-obamacare, the replace part. the other thing i heard though was very different from other states of the union, which my job is not to represent the world, my job is to represent the united states of america. that part of the speech in which he basically said -- let me
rephrase. what he did not do in that part of the speech was present american ideals, american idealism, american aspirations as a model for the world. he didn't -- >> or american leadership. >> exactly. the way that former presidents have. and if you contrast that, for example, with george w. bush's state of the union speeches, that's something he really believed in. this was very
different. this was more of a nationalistic speech. >> it was literally a nationalistic speech, indubitably. >> let's go to chuck schumer, standing by to talk with us. senator, what did you hear that you liked, what did you hear that is the root of future cooperation, something you guys could pass and get out of the chamber? >> well, let me say this, brian. the speech and reality have never been more detached than a
presidential speech. it doesn't matter what he said. it is like the campaign. he says one thing, but as he governs it is another. let me give you a few examples. he talked in the speech a lot about infrastructure. we democrats put out an infrastructure plan over a month ago. we haven't heard a peep from him about infrastructure. he talked about he wanted to change our trade laws. now, tpp he said he pulled back from, but mitch mcconnell pulled back from it before he was elected. he had had an opportunity, for instance, to deal with china currency. said in the campaign over and over again that he's going to declare china currency manipulator on day one. hasn't done a thing. he talked about education and there was touching stuff on medical research. his budget that he proposes is going to slash those things. this idea we spend $6 billion overseas, now we have to bring the money back home is the exact opposite of the budget he proposed, and he said he was going to clean up the swamp and reform things.
well, his government is filled with, if you will, swamp creatures, bankers, wall street people, washington old hands. so this speech, like his inaugural speech -- it was similar to the inaugural speech. it is sort of forgotten because everything he has done has been different. the people are not looking for a speech. they're looking for real accomplishments, and the kinds of accomplishments he has are not helping the working people but helping the people who already have great advantage. so i don't think it is going to be very -- it is not going to serve him very well. >> governor schumer, rach rachel maddow in new york. i want to ask you about one of the things that's unusual about this administration and continuing, it is the process of this president staffing up his cabinet. >> yes. >> he has withdrawn his nominee for labor sec, we saw him withdraw his nominees for secretary of the army and secretary of the navy. there's news that his deputy
secretary of commerce may also withdraw. we have seen the national security adviser fired. there's been high level changes, high level withdrawals and a lot of delays of these cabinet nominees, mostly orchestrated by you and your caucus. what should we expect as he tries to fill the rest of his cab et in and staff up the rest of his administration? >> rachel, you are bringing up a good first point. we haven't seen many nominees into these. it is a month into his inauguration, three months after he was elected, and most of the major positions below cabinet we haven't even seen nominees. even on two of the cabinet positions they haven't submitted their papers yet, the new labor fellow and agriculture. so what we're seeing here is they don't know how to govern. and when they do, they choose a hard right policy that is exactly the opposite of the speeches he gives. that's why he is having such trouble. >> senator, we have a good bit of optimistic news coming out of the briefing for anchors today
at noon. you probably got a drift of it yourself. >> yes. >> trump was going to go ahead and offer basically a chance for people who came into the country without papers, without documentation to if they weren't felons they could stay here legally. that was a big development. it turns out he couldn't do it tonight. he couldn't say what he said he was going to say. what do you make of that? >> no. chris, three weeks ago he said it and then his government, the people around him, the right wingers said you can't say that and backed off. from what i'm told they're already backing off what he said this afternoon, and that's the whole problem. what the president says and what the president does are almost at opposite ends. what he says, he's trying to the talk to the working people of america. what he does favors the special interests and does noting fhing the working people of america, in fact goes in the opposite direction. that's why he's had a rough month and why he's going to have a rough six months. even on obamacare, what is his proposal? his proposal on aca would cost
the average person more and give them less benefit. you know, it may help the insurance companies. it fits their, quote, free market ideology, but it is the opposite of everything trump talks about. >> senator, with respect to the former two-term governor of kentucky, why didn't you give the democratic response? it's been said time and time again the resistance is going to start in the senate with you. >> well, i have plenty of time to address the american people. the governor of kentucky did a fabulous job, i thought, tonight. his speech shined, and i think was a much better speech than donald trump's. we chose him because in kentucky, a very conservative state, aca has been a big success. everyone is for it. many people have been covered. it has been done well and cut costs, as the governor said. the governor, coming from the heartland of america, also talked about how donald trump is
breaking his word to working people. so having other voices, i get the opportunity to speak to you folks all the time. i think made a great deal of sense. >> senator chuck
schumer of new york, the minority leader in the u.s. senate. thank you very much for being part of our coverage tonight. >> nice to talk to you folks. thank you. >> senator, in keeping of this segment of only talking to people named chuck, chuck todd, our political direct wror, is standing by in washington. chuck, we haven't heard from you yet. we just lost chuck todd so we won't still hear from chuck todd for another minute or so. rachel, on senator schumer's last point, aca and otherwise known as obamacare, it has been surprising i think to both parties how much it has been the igniter of so many events around the country. >> that's right. these town halls, and when we were talking with congressman chris collins one of the things i have been tracking with him is the number of his had constituents who have been
literally contacting msnbc trying to get us to persuade him to do a town hall with them. >> yeah. >> because they want -- mostly because they want to talk about aca, although there's a lot of things driving those activist movements, the invisible group movement we have seen around the country. the thing that happened with the aca is the president came in and said he was going to repeal it day one. >> right. >> and then when the house and senate republicans came out and said that they wanted to sort of go slow, maybe repeal it, have a little time to work on it, remember the president's response to that was, no, i think we can do this in a week. now we've got constituents flooding into their member's offices both by phone and with in-person events, and we have them facing the real difficulty of what it would mean to replace this thing. we have the president just this week acknowledging the complexity. >> it is complicated. >> it is complicated it it turns out. nobody new, he said, how complicated it was. here is the thing. tomorrow mitch mcconnell is going to hold a meeting where he brings together all of the senate republicans to try to
harden the republican party's resolve on this issue. we actually told people we were going to do something on this issue. we've got to do something. but what they've floated thus far is dead in the water. there are enough republicans, just republicans against what necessary floated this past friday that it is dead and that's their best effort at a compromise measure to bring together even just their own caucus. they are nowhere near being able to repeal let alone replace the affordable care act, and it is getting more distant with every news cycle. >> despite the millions who may beg to differ, the president has only called obamacare a disaster, and that's a word he repeated tonight. i am told we have reestablished communications with washington d.c. and chuck todd. chuck, we want to get you on the board, on the record following the president's speech. >> oh, look, it was in some way the same speech he gives that we're all familiar with as far as the substance was concerned. obviously the most striking thing is the much different
tone. what i am wondering is, imagine if the tone he used tonight was the tone he used in the inauguration or the tone he used even in the first 30 days of the administration where he might have -- look, this is a tough -- he has a tough agenda to sell. this is not an easily popular agenda. it is not easy to sell. his base loves it. swing voters are very hesitant about it. but if you sell it in a softer way, swing voters, folks in the middle might give it a lift. the question is, is his tone changed tonight only? what happens on thursday when he leaves washington and does a rally of sorts? is he back to the old version and suddenly all of that tonality, new tone and good will is gone? was it a change in tone just for tonight or is this a sort of reset at least as far as washington is concerned? look, on substance, again, this is still the steve bannon agenda
with perhaps the reince priebus tone, right? it is sort of saying, hey, you got to soften this edge, you got to round it over here. you can still push the same stuff. so i do think that that's -- i don't know if he accomplished -- if we heard anything new come out of his mouth. and then to go to some of the specifics on the issues, he didn't give any direction on healthcare. but if he did do one thing on healthcare, is i heard him suddenly use paul ryan talking points and house republican talking points in particular when he said, we mant want to m sure people with preexisting conditions have access to insurance, that is a much different pledge than making sure insurance companies can't deny you for having a preexisting condition. if he leaned anywhere with healthcare tonight, leaned
toward the republican plan. >> chuck, let me ask you about, we got used to in the general election campaign, is that we all thought we knew what to expect from trump and then he would give a teleprompter speech and we would report it as a teleprompter speech because when he is on prompter it is going to be a different thing that you hear. we all saw him get better with the prompter over time. on the issue of tone, he opens up tonight with a reference to black history month, with a statement of regret, i thought a very appropriate statement of regret about the murder that appears to be a hate crime murder potentially in kansas city, and a reference to the jewish community centers getting bomb threats. this happens in an appropriate tone at the top of the speech, but within 24 hours on the jewish community attacks and jewish cemetery attacks he was describing those as potentially a false flag being committed by political opponents to make him
chris murphy from connecticut. senator, thank you for being a part of our coverage. when your constituents in some of the towns not doing so well in the nutmeg state, what do you tell them to expect? >> well, i think that they expect at some point president trump will recognize that being president means not just giving speeches but actually proposing policies to do the things he says. the fact of the matter is that we are, what, now five weeks into his presidency and he has yet to propose one piece of legislation to congress to enact. all of the world changing policies that he says will come true under his presidency, and that's remarkable given the fact that eight years ago the recovery act was actually already signed into law at this point. so, you know, for my constituents, those that voted for donald trump, they're
starting to scratch their heads because they've heard this speech a bunch of times before. often it sounds crazier than it did tonight, a little more unstable than it did tonight, but it is the same policies and same promises, and the question everybody is asking is, well, okay, when does the meat come? when do i actually get to see the legislative proposals that are going to do the things that you said? they're just not there yet. >> senator murphy, rachel maddow in new york, it is good to have you with us tonight. i want to ask you because of the district you used to represent in the house and because you represent connecticut as a senator now about a piece of legislation that the president did quietly with no cameras present, he did sign today. it is interesting because he signs so few things other than these executive orders which are more or less consequential depending on the individual one, but today he signed a bill to make it easier for -- specifically for people with serious mental illnesses who cannot manage their own affairs because of their serious mental illnesses, he made it easier for them to buy guns.
this was a republican priority, it was an nra priority. the president signed it today with basically no attention to it whatsoever. what is your take on that? >> again, it is to the point of the president saying one thing that is a repetition of his campaign speeches and either doing nothing or doing the opposite, right? how can you come before the united states congress and talk about your concern for the murders that are happening in our cities, for the incident that happened in kansas city, and then sign an act into law that allows for people with serious mental illness to get dangerous assault weapons, right? at some point your concern for the rise in gun violence that's been happening across the country has to equate into action. he is doing the exact opposite, right? he made the country can railway less safe today by signing an nra-endorsed piece of legislation into law that will will allow for potentially thousands of people with serious mental illness to be able to buy weapons.
he did it why? because the nra expected something from him because they supported him in the election, and it is going to make the country less safe. it speaks to this discontinuity between everything he is saying and then what is actually happening inside the white house. >> senator, one last question for you based on your perch on the senate foreign relations committee. one of the things that we heard leading up to tonight's speech was that the new national security adviser, general h.r. mcmaster, specifically advised the president he shouldn't use this term, radical islamic terrorism which the president campaigned on so aggressively. purportedly the message from general mcmaster is that it is counter productive, and that he we should be supporting a moderate version of islam that reject that as part of the faith. the president pointedly rejected that tonight and went out of his way to say those words with the same emphasis he always does tonight. are you -- are you heartened at
all by the people he has brought on to his national security team? do you think they may have a moderating influence with had him on some of the more extreme stances he has taken on foreign policy issues? >> i think the answer is clearly no, right. i mean people voted for kelly to head homeland security because they thought he would moderate his immigration position. they supported mattis because they thought he would give him a better idea how to protect the nation. none of it has worked. i don't know how it came across on tv, but the words in the chamber, he relished saying those words just to stick it to islam, to make sure that they knew that they were all a danger to the united states. the irony of it all is that he talks about making this country safer, and every time that he marginalizes muslims like he did tonight he is giving them bulletin board recruitment material for lone wolf attacks here in the united states. he says one thing in these speeches but doing something different. >> senator chris murphy,
democrat from connecticut. thank you for being a rt pa of our coverage tonight. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> kelly o'donnell is standing by with a special guest who was present for the speech tonight. kellie. >> good evening, brie. we are with president trump's ambassador to the united nations nikki haley who one year after gave the republican response after president obama's final state of the union speech. tonight, madam ambassador, the president is talking about trying to relate to the world. this has been a job you have been almost the most visible member of foreign policy for this administration in the early days. are things on track? you have talked about the relationship with russia. is there any question in your mind about where the president is with respect to russia? >> not at ul, nor with any of the other countries. you know what i can tell you is that he very much wants us to have the backs of our allies, but he also wants our allies to have our backs as well. if there's someone that is challenging us, we're going to call them out on it. if they're with us, we're going
to work with them. he has not given me any directive. he has allowed me to have the flexibility i need to, and what he wants at the end of the day is america to lead again and be strong again. >> when he talks about the potential for new alliances, what he is suggesting there? >> i think with every member state when we see if there's a possibility for alliance we should try to get one, whether it is russia, israel, france or germany or anyone else. but what we're saying is when we see something wrong we're going to call it out, but we very much want to be open to alliances. we need friends wherever we can get them. >> and you need partners at the department of state and there seems to be a delay in selecting someone to work with the secretary of state, to fill out key roles and to be more engaged publicly. we haven't seen that much from the department of state yet. why do you think it is going so slowly? >> i'm not sure about what is going on at the state department. i can tell you secretary tillerson has been great to work with. we touch base every week on what he is doing and i tell him what i'm doing and it is a great
group on the national security team. they're on focus, very much ready to make sure we are protecting america again and being strong again. >> just one year ago you gave the response. a lot has changed in your life and in the life of the nation. how big of a pressure is a night like this? and you have seen president trump in many instances and many campaign-related events. was he different tonight? >> what a year, what a difference a year makes. what i can tell you is i was proud to see him tonight. the tone was spot on. what he did was he talked about the fact he will be a president of action. he is going to make sure he cuts through the regulations and the red tape so we can get our services faster. he will make sure he builds up the economy so more people go whack to, would. when it comes to foreign policy american will lead again, our allies will know where we stand. i think he hit the right tone and i think he wants to get a lot done. what we hope is that the democrats will come on board because this is good for all-americans. >> we so appreciate you taking time for us. thank you so much. ambassador hailey.
bryan. >> thanks to nikki haley and to kelly o'donnell in statue area hall tonight. those with motorcades have left the building. who were there tent for president trump's first address to a joint session. we have just passed over the top of a new hour of our coverage. welcome to all. it is not too early to announce that chris matthews has a broadcast plan for later tonight, which should probably violate anti-trust laws because it is the largest assembly of big-name guests really anywhere in the united states. >> i think colbert is worried. >> yeah. justifiably so. >> we've got bill maher on, michael moore will sit right here with us, kathy griffin. we'll have to be careful with some of the language. >> seven-second delay. >> it's going to be a hell of a group. >> all of