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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  April 29, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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the "the new york times" says it is a three way competition with relatively little known candidates in a race analysts say is difficult to poll because so few republicans are likely to vote. obviously massachusetts had a lot to contend with in recent days, politics may not be number one on people's minds, but tomorrow is primary day. polls open at 7:00, open until 8:00. we promise to let you know what happens. now it is time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." 12 years as an nba with a secret. with 12 words, jason collins made history. i am a 34-year-old nba center, i'm black, and i'm gay. >> big news now out of the nba. >> historic day in american sports. >> jason collins. >> 12 year nba veteran. >> the first american athlete in a major sport to come out. >> jason collins announced he is gay. >> we view it as another example of the progress that's been made.
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>> this is the way social change tends to happen. now we have the first team sports athlete. >> first pro athlete to come out. >> the gates have opened. >> it is unprecedented. >> one word, gravitas. >> not that much taller than i am. >> completely gravitas in that situation. >> south carolina's first congressional district. >> former governor mark sanford and democrat elizabeth colbert busch. >> sanford will debate busch. >> let's have that conversation that's vital. >> he gets to debate someone, not a cutout of nancy pelosi. >> if you have an idea, i have an idea, at the end of the day. >> he is embarrassed us on many, many occasions. >> if at the end of the day -- how you doing, appreciate it, thank you. >> mark sanford is in serious trouble. >> how you doing. preaching it. thank you.
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i am alex wagner, in for lawrence o'donnell. today for the first time in our nation's history, a male athlete on a major sports team is openly gay. jason collins writes in this week's issue of sports illustrated i am a 34-year-old nba center, i am black, and i'm gay. collins a 12 year veteran of the nba, from los angeles, played for stanford university and most recently the washington wizards. he writes the more that speak out the better, gay or straight. starts with president obama mentioning the 1969 stonewall riots that launched the gay rights movement during his second inaugural address. here is what president obama said that day. >> we, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebearers through seneca
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falls, and stonewall. >> this afternoon, president obama called jason collins to express support. said he was impressed by his courage. first lady tweeted so proud of you, jason collins. this is a huge step forward for our country. we've got your back. jason collins' announcement nearly one year after president obama became the first sitting president to say this. >> for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same sex couples should be able to get married. >> according to the latest nbc news polling, 53% support same-sex marriage and 42% oppose it. as recently as october, 2009, only 41% supported same-sex marriage and 49% opposed it. in 2008, president obama said this. >> marriage is the union between a man and a woman. now, for me as a christian --
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>> jason collins writes i'm glad i'm coming out in 2013 rather than 2003. the climate has shifted, public opinion has shifted, and yet we still have so much farther to go. joining me now, reverend al sharpton, host of msnbc politics nation, and wade davis, lbgt surrogate for president obama and former nfl player. he publicly revealed he was gay last year. chris clue ee, minnesota vikings punter, marriage equality activist who jason collins praised writing i am impressed with the straight pro athletes who have spoken up so far. today, rush limbaugh speculated he came out so if a team doesn't sign him, he can sue for discrimination. rush mentioned you. let's listen to what he said. >> the nfl draft, vikings in fifth round took a punter.
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well, guess what, there's already buzz, that they took a punter because of kluwe's off the field activism. it is already being whispered. not whispered, being shouted. the vikings don't want that kind of distraction. if he is going to talk about gay marriage, fine, not on our team. this kind of stuff is already alleged. >> if you are not the starting punter for the minnesota vikings, will you blame it on activism as rush limbaugh suggests you might? >> no. i mean, for me it is the team, you know, if they decide to move that direction, that's their choice to make. all i can do is punt to the best of my ability, let my body of work stand for me. i think i punted pretty well. >> wade, i want to go to you as someone that's come out as a professional athlete. there's a lot of talk about how difficult this is admission to make not only in the sports
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community but the african-american community. and jason collins touches on that in his sports illustrated op-ed. i will read an excerpt. says my maternal grandmother was apprehensive about my plans to come out, grew up in rural louisiana and witnessed horrors of segregation. during civil rights movement saw bravery among the ugliest aspects of humanity, thinks i am opening up to prejudice and hatred. i say in a way it is preemptive, shouldn't live under the threat of being outed. the announcement should be mine to make, not tmz'. is that stuff you thought about coming out? >> definitely. i am glad jason reframed it in such a way. i think there's an overwhelming notion that the african-american is homophobic. i think we're seeing jason's family that's african-american is loving him, that nba players from kobe bryant to paul pierce give him overwhelming support, so it reframes the idea that the african-american is homophobic because it is not true.
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>> you have been very out front on this issue, there's talk about gay rights being a civil right. do you think the black community and athletic community is out of place, where they're ready for equality on every level? >> i think a lot of both communities are. what jason did today brings don't ask, don't tell to another level, around this country. we look up to athletes and artists. in 2003, i came out saying people should be able to marry no matter what. big reaction differently. now they say people have the right whether they agree or not to live their lives. you cannot have civil rights for one and going to oppose it for others. if you intolerant of anyone, you justify intolerance of everyone. i think what jason did today was heroic. he knows that he is going to face some flack, but i think the wind is to his back, history is
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on his side. >> the fact that the president and first lady came out, we played the tape from a few years ago when the president couldn't say he was a supporter of marriage equality to today, where he is roundly applauding an athlete for making a very difficult decision and not worried about the political calculus around it. >> and the president took flack when he brought it up. certainly was something he could have waited until after re-election, he didn't. i think that when you see people like chris, like jason that will take the risk, that's when you make progress, and i think that it is for the rest of us to stand with them and say wait a minute, they don't need your approval, we just need to have a society where everyone can be who and what they are. >> chris, one of the things that's been i think powerful about this announcement is the combatting of stereotypes, especially in the athletic community. jason talks about, quote, unquote, being a gay athlete, going against stereotype. i will read an excerpt. i go against the gay stereotype
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which is why a lot of people are shocked. that guy is gay? i have always been aggressive player, even in high school. my motivations like my contributions don't show up in box scores and frankly i don't care about stats. winning is what counts. i want to be evaluated as a team player. how important do you think those words are for other athletes that may be gay and still in the closet? >> i think they're very important. what it shows not just to other athletes but also to team managers and executives that a gay player can play well, play at a high level, at the highest level. and one thing struck me from jason's piece, he talked about i feel like i have been baked in an oven 33 years. think about how much potential possibly was lost because jason collins couldn't be who he was. if you're an executive and looking at that, you think why
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am i squandering my guy's abilities when they could play better if they're more comfortable in their own shoes. >> wade, that op-ed is beautifully, movingly written, it is emotional, goes deep into what it is like to be on the sidelines when the supreme court is debating critical issues for the gay community, what it is like not to march in a pride parade, how hard it is for him as an athlete where it is about unity and teamwork. how is it for you? >> it was very similar. the thing that jason said that i related to the most was that when he was with his teammates, he felt safest when there was a lockout, he didn't have the distractions of playing a sport to keep his mind from the fact that he was living his life in the closet. it was the same for me. when i was in the locker room playing football in the weight room, i was safe. i never worried about my teammates treating me differently. it was when i was alone in my silence, i am not living in my own truth, how can i get to the point where i'm loving myself
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enough to own it. >> rev, you know there's been a lot of positive reactions to the statement but also have been some negative once. chris brussard personally i don't believe you can live openly gay life-style like between heterosexuals. if you're openly living that life-style, the bible says you know them by their fruits, that's a sin. as a man of the cloth, what do you say to folks who put forward that argument? >> i say we live in a democracy, not a theocracy. if we are going to judge people by the bible, let's have the whole bible. see people that do anything against the bible shouldn't be allowed to play sports or do other things. i have debated this issue, reverend al, you're straight, we're straight, marriage is sacred. well, if marriage is sacred, why don't we just allow marriages in the church? why do we let justice of peace
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do it? he may be an atheist. why don't we have divorce in the church. why doesn't that become sacred. and child support and divorce. it is absurd. go back between civil and sacred. people have the right to live their lives. i have the right to preach and convert you, but i do not have the right to force you to believe what i believe. >> a modern sermon for a modern era from a modern reverend. al sharpton, wade davis, chris kluwe, thank you for joining me. the low down on the show down in south carolina, the debate between elizabeth colbert busch and former governor mark sanford. and what texas senator said about squishes on gun control. up later, the comic in chief delivered saturday. what his one liners tell us about his presidency. that's next. in a whole new way.
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add one chapter to the stacks. sandra day o'connor now wonders whether the high court should have taken the case of bush v gore. last week she told the chicago tribune editorial board maybe the court should have said we're not going to take it, good-bye. obama said that is stirring up the public. it turned out the election authorities in florida hadn't done a good job there, kind of messed it up, she said, and probably the supreme court added to the problem at the end of the day. o'connor's vote in that decision gave george w. bush the victory over al gore. up next, debate night in america. elizabeth colbert busch versus mark sanford. [ tires screech ]
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after weeks of campaign back and forth, former republican south carolina governor and app latch and trail enthusiast, mark sanford with elizabeth colbert busch. he tried to link his opponent to nancy pelosi which sort of but not really explains the bizarre performance is the art of him debating a cardboard of nancy pelosi last week. tonight's real debate, colbert busch ha an advantage in the latest poll. 56% in the poll, sanford lower
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at 38% favorability. elizabeth colbert busch brought up his travels to argentina. sanford suddenly had difficulty hearing his opponent. >> when we're talking about getting our fiscal house in order, we need to look at everything from cutting spending to what are our costs. so during the time when we're having all this fiscal spending, fiscal cutting, back to the days everybody had a furlough in the state, everybody was losing their jobs and we were pulling our belts in, when we talk about fiscal spending and we talk about protecting the taxpayers, it doesn't mean you take that money we saved and leave the country for personal purpose. >> she went there, governor sanford. >> i couldn't hear what she said. >> but later in the debate, mark
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sanford used the public humiliation resulting from his 2009 affair to explain why he would be good at compromising with democrats. >> you don't go through the experience i had in 2009 without a greater level of humility. >> yes, that actually happened. voters in south carolina go to the polls next tuesday. looking ahead to the last few days of the campaign, colbert busch topped him in latest round of fundraising by nearly a half million dollars. sanford still has more cash on hand for the final week of the race, topping colbert busch by nearly $30,000. nationally, republicans have avoided sanford like that hiking trip, he will be joined by south carolina governor nikki haley at a fund-raiser wednesday. joining me, nia malika-henderson and dick harpootlian, chairman of the south carolina democratic party. dick, i want to go to you first. nancy pelosi references were
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flying on the stage tonight. mark sanford really making attempt to tie colbert busch to nancy pelosi and unions and national democrats. she repeatedly pushed back. let's take a listen. >> first of all, i want to be very clear, mark, nobody tells me what to do except the people of south carolina's first district. if you have been looking at the commercials, i am fiscally conservative, independent, tough business woman. if you notice one last point, i push back on the obama budget, so let's talk about independent reach across the aisles and being reasonable. i told you no one tells me what to do. i am an independent business woman and i will reach across the aisles. [ applause ] >> dick, i thought she might reach across the debate stage and knock one on sanford's chin there. she was not pulling any punches, not tying herself to nancy
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pelosi. elizabeth colbert busch was channeling the fighting spirit of nancy pelosi. what did you make of that? >> i think it is fascinating to me. mark sanford, i counted, mentioned nancy pelosi's name 16 times tonight. he's clearly obsessed with the wrong woman, again. this guy is just amazing because he thinks the public is so stupid, they don't understand. he wants to talk about nancy pelosi, he wants to talk about anything about his record as governor, his record with the argentina trail. huge impact is the deepening of the charleston port, which sanford voted against any federal funding for that when he was in congress before, voted against funding for the rabenow bridge. she hammered him against it, saying i was against earmarks. this is ridiculous.
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he is a man of principle and his principles trump our needs, and that was clear tonight. he was cut unaware, flat footed. i think she beat the doo-doo out of him. >> nia, what did you make of that exchange, mark sanford saying he couldn't hear what elizabeth colbert busch was saying. does that pass muster with south carolina voters? >> you know, absolutely not. it was like ten seconds of hearing loss there, very strategic hearing loss. i thought she was brilliant and brave with that statement. it was like she was going on this whole rant about spending, then out of nowhere brings up the issue of his infidelity. he must have debate practiced known this may come up, and this is what he was going to plan to say. but clearly he heard what she was saying. i think part of her whole
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message, a, it is about she represents the future. she's a business woman. also the people of south carolina can trust that she means what she says and trust that she's going to follow through. i think in that moment he very much came across as somebody that was a little shifty, sort of, you know, you couldn't really trust him, a little slippery. clearly everyone on that debate stage and in that debate hall heard what she said and he was pretending in that moment that he didn't. >> shifty is not the way you want to be described if you're mark sanford, dick. one of the craziest exchanges was over the issue of gay marriage. we have been talking a lot about that today, given jason collins coming out, subject of marriage equality on the front burner. let's hear what each candidate had to say about gay marriage. >> i am a supporter of full equality.
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this is a matter of civil rights and equal protection under the law, that's what this is. quoting dick cheney, freedom is freedom for everyone. >> marriages have historically been the purview of states, and the idea of letting states decide what they do or don't want to do to me is consistent with federalism and consistent with the 200 year tradition of this country. >> dick, elizabeth colbert busch quoting dick cheney there in support for marriage equality. i don't know, what did you make of that answer from mark sanford? >> i mean, mark sanford is basically saying we ought to allow states to violate people's civil rights, do it state by state. that is something that mark and his ilk want to go back to, that would be prior to 1865, state by state they decided civil rights. sanford is afraid, he couches everything in that principle when in fact he's afraid to
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speak his mind. he's against gay marriage, he's said that on many occasions. he's against equal civil rights for gay couples. he's just afraid to say that. in charleston, there's tremendous huge gay community, many of whom vote republican. let's not forget, this district voted, gave 20 points, 20 point victory to romney over obama. it will be a tough race for elizabeth, but i think she's going to pull it off. >> after that, mark sanford was asked about the vote and doma, whether he would take that vote again. he channeled the spirit of bill clinton, said do you think president clinton should be condemned based on a mistake he made. he keeps going back to the forgiveness notion as a canned answer, rather than go on the record with an actual opinion it seems. >> some of those ads were about wrapping up himself in the idea
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of redemption and christianity. when you look at south carolina voters, i think they're going to ask themselves are they sick of mark sanford, are they sick of having to even think about this or, you know, some of the things that have come out about him showing up at his ex-wife's house. there's sort of a rule in south carolina, keep your dirty laundry to yourself. he hasn't been very good at that. for voters, that's something they have in mind when they go to the polls tuesday. >> nia malika-henderson from "the washington post," and dick harpootlian, chairman of the south carolina democratic party, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, joe biden is still bullish on gun safety reform happening. and new details about dna found on the boston bomb fragments, what it means to the investigation. the latest from pete williams and michael isikoff next. ♪ [ harrison ] is there anything you would not do for your family? punch it. ♪
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in the spotlight tonight, the latest on the boston bombings. it has been two weeks since two bombs at the boston marathon killed three people, injured more than 260. only 23 patients remain hospitalized tonight, and for the first time since the bombing, none of the patients are in critical condition. and this evening, investigators announced that female dna was found on at least one of the bombs used in the attacks. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams has the latest. pete? >> reporter: alex, good evening. legal sources say tonight
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prosecutors and lawyers for the surviving bomb suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, he could give a full accounting to the fbi in exchange for the death penalty. in rhode island, an fbi team conducted a search at the house where tamerlan tsarnaev's widow katherine has been living since the bombing. she says she was shocked by the attack, had no idea he was planning it. law enforcement officials say they took a sample of her dna to compare to female dna found on a piece of the pressure cooker from one of the bombs, but caution it could have come from employees at the stores where the parts were bought. u.s. officials confirm reports that it was a russian wire tap of tamerlan tsarnaev's mother in which she spoke about jihad that prompted the russians to ask the fbi for more information about him two years ago. some members of congress say the russian intelligence service should have been more explicit. >> if the russians had given the
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fbi the information they had regarding the mother and the son and their views on the mother's radicalization and son's radicalization, it would have dramatically changed the investigation. >> reporter: tonight, u.s. officials say they doubt it would make a difference. it was clear two years ago they thought his mother was becoming extremist, but she spoke about jihad only generally. the fbi is looking at whether tamerlan met in dagestan. one was a boxer from canada, killed by russian special operations forces in july in dagestan. the other was killed in another russian operation last may. back home, law enforcement officials say they found nothing in local landfills, but are searching garbage containers thinking someone may have carried something out of the college dorm room a few days after the bombings. authorities say it is not clear whether whoever may have done so
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knew evidence could be destroyed or did something just to a friend. late today the judge in the case approved a request from dzhokhar tsarnaev's public defenders to add an experienced death penalty lawyer, judy clark, of california, to his legal team. she recently represented jared loughner. >> joining me from boston, nbc news national correspondent michael isikoff. thanks for joining me. how important is the new information about the female dna found on at least one of the bombs? >> i don't think we know yet. i think this is a sort of standard investigative technique the fbi would go through, as pete pointed out in the piece, it could have well have come from the employee where the pressure cookers were sold. the larger points is in many respects, the needle moved in
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this investigation. last week, the general tone you were getting from the fbi is it was these two guys, we found no evidence of any outside accomplices, no indication of ties to international terror groups. the case is moving towards rapid closure. i think now the tone and what you're hearing from investigators is somewhat different and somewhat nuanced. this is an open question. there are some large unanswered questions here, six months in russia, large time particularly in dagestan that ties to this radical mosque. did tamerlan tsarnaev visit that mosque. did he meet with some of these radicals. that mosque and area in dagestan is a hot bed for islamic
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jihadists. it seems more and more something would have happened there that would have helped radicalize tamerlan and also may ha have encouraged him. it is no coincidence within a month of him returning to the united states last year after that trip, he sets up that youtube account where suddenly you're seeing all these postings from the radical preacher in australia, fie ez muhammad, and vide videos, a sign his radicalization has progressed much further. you put it together with what we are now learning from the russians about the transcripts they had in 2011 with his mother discussing jihad, not information the russians provided earlier. and questions about time earlier in the united states, whether
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they could have made these bombs themselves. >> to that point, piecing together what happened in dagestan when tamerlan tsarnaev went back to that region, as pete williams mentioned in his piece, russian special ops killed two men considered radical muslims who apparently con sorted with tamerlan tsarnaev in some way, one was a boxer like him. do we know anything about the auspices under which they were killed? >> well look, one of the issues here, there was perhaps the original russian report wasn't taken as seriously as now in retrospect people should have been is that there's a general sense that the russians tend to view any insurgents, any opposition to the putin government as terrorists and so therefore the russian request may not have been about
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genuinely finding terrorists who we would worry about but more about finding political opponents to their regime. that's been the dilemma from the beginning. the fbi without more information was a little skeptical about that original russian report. >> michael isikoff, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. coming up, the nra may love them but the senators who voted against gun safety last week are losing support from voters. and ahead, what the president's jokes at the white house correspondents' dinner told us about the president. vo: from the classic lines to the elegant trim in each and every piece,
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oh, boy. [ groans ] ♪ ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ six months ago today, new jersey, new york and connecticut woke up to the devastation caused by superstorm sandy. 72 people were killed in that storm. congress approved $60 billion in aid for sandy victims and their communities in january this year. even today, much of the damage has not yet been repaired and there are still people who have not returned home. today, new jersey governor chris christie appeared on morning joe to talk about the cleanup and about whether or not it was a good thing for him to tour the
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damage with president obama. christie says he has no regrets, that it was about doing what was right for new jersey and not about presidential politics. >> the president's kept every promise he made, and the fact is that that's what i was saying at the time. what i was saying at the time i was asked about how was the president doing, i said he's doing a good job, he's kept his word. so everybody knows that i have about 95% level of disagreement with barack obama on issues of principle and philosophy, but the fact is we have a job to do, and what people expect from people they elect is to do their job. up next, the damage done to senators who voted against gun safety. thonly thing we'd ever grown together
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very logical thinker. (laughs) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. i think this will pass before the year is out withi this congress and the reason i think it will is because the public has changed on this. >> that was vice president joe
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biden's bold prediction about expanded backgrohecks after the bipartisan legislation failed in the senate. public policy polling has been tracking support for expanded background checks in states whose senators voted against them. in arizona, where 70% of voters support expanded background checks, no vote jeff flake has a 32% approval rating. in alaska where 60% of voters support background checks, no vote lisa murkowski has 46% approval rating. in ohio where 72% support expanded background checks, no vote rob portman has a 26% approval rating. but republican senator ted cruz doesn't look at the polls and think it is reasonable for republican senators elected to represent and serve t people to, you know, consider the will of the people. as he told the tea party summit in texas, that's something only
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a republican squish would do. >> i don't know that there's an issue that has generated more heat internally in the republican conference. we've had probably five or six lunches with a bunch of republican senators standing up, looking at rand and mike and me, yelling at the top of their lungs, really upset. said look, why did you do this? as a result of what you did, when i go home, my constituents are yelling at me that i've got to stand on principle! i'm really not making that up! and i don't even bother to argue with them, i just sort of let them yell, say look, you know, vote your conscience. and there are a lot of people don't like to be held accountable. here was their argument. they said listen, before you did this, the politics of it were great. the dems were the bad guys,
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republicans were the good guys. now we all look like a bunch of squishes. well, there is an alternative. you could just not be a bunch of squishes. >> joining me, richard wolf. ted cruz calling members of his parties squishes. >> not a squash, a squish. >> on some level, does the angst of the gun safety reform, does the fact that turng republicans inside-out mean that actually the tide may have changed? that there's trouble inside the party? >> well, it certainly helps, if it can be sustained. i think that's the big if here. you know, poll numbers that have changed, is it just the vote? people that in tune with the vote, or is it the ads? is the bloomberg group, are they going on the offensive, stay on
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the air, push this forward. if they are, this kind of turmoil will play on people's minds. if they drop it, however, if the public moves on, forgets about it, goes on to debt ceiling crisis, immigration reform, they're all going to be squishes together. >> to some degree, does ted cruz force lisa murkowski and kelly ayotte to go further right or does it give them space to go to the left? >> i think if you are looking for moderate support, and most of these people are in states where they actually need to have statewide support, right, and even in texas, even in texas, there are democrats that need to be a bit more, this may be herre is sy, that's how you build the coalition. not like a house race. if the pressure continues, then ted cruz will be out. >> i think when you see
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republicans double down on why it is good to support assault weapons, it is a testament to the fact they think it might be a controversial issue. the nra launched a new channel to appeal to women we know are probably swing voters on this issue. let's take a listen to some of the audio and video from that. >> they want everyone to be afraid of firearms, they're not focusing on a woman being able to protect herself. >> we've always come back, say why do you need this, why do you need this, why do you need this, they're not assault weapons, military style weapons, that's terminology somebody else developed for the gun. what it is, it is a sporting rifle, self defense rifle, a hunting rifle, and there are so many of them in existence. >> richard, it is a kinder, softer, gentler assault rifle you can fire in the video with a manicure. does this work for moms that remember newtown? >> no, it doesn't at all. i guess again if you could forget newtown, if it was that easily displaced by something
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you could focus group nicely, they're attractive people, speaking in convincing ways. if they weren't holding a military style assault rifle, i mean, don't trust your lying eyes here, listen to the nice people talking on tv. if you could forget all of that, forget what you're looking at, forget pictures of the families from newtown, then yeah, it could work, but that would an alternate reality. >> joe biden thinks 85% of people that support background checks are not going quietly into the night. we shall see. richard, thank you for your time. >> thank you. the mad comedic skills of the commander in chief. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ge has wired their medical hardware with innovative software to be in many places at the same time. using data to connect patients to software, to nurses
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comedic timing on point, president obama delivered a lot of memorable one liners at the white house correspondents dinner. this joke elicited response afterwards. >> some folks still don't think i spend enough time with co.ngss why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell, they ask. really? [ laughter ] why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell! [ laughter ] today, mitch mcconnell senate campaign tweeted this picture of the senator, sitting at a bar with a beer, next to an empty
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school and glass of red wine with the caption greetings from coal country, hazard, kentucky. one republican strategist had this advice for the president. i had a beer with mitch mcconnell, had a good time. i would encourage him to give it a shot. >> joining me, krystal ball. i saw you in the hallway at the dinner, there were a lot of chuck else. it was revealed by the cracker jack white house team, president obama had a hand in writing all of the jokes. >> i believe it. >> script writers, as well, inherent sense of humor. what struck me the most about the evening, how willing he was to be the butt of his own jokes. we have a little montage. let's play it. >> said i should start with some jokes as my own expense. just take myself down a peg. i was like guys, after four and
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a half years, how many pegs are there left? these days i look in the mirror and i have to admit i'm not the strapping young muslim socialist i used to be. i know republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities. and call me self centered, i can think of one minority they can start with. hello! >> president obama can laugh at himself. >> he is great at that. that is one of my favorite moments, he was laughing at himself, he was laughing at the republicans, republicans were laughing at themselves, newt gingrich loved it, which we love. you don't want to overstate these things. in all honest e,his side of
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the president, his ability to be funny, relaxed, personable is as important, was as important to his election as anything else. people feel like he has a sense of humor, can look at himself critically, let's things roll off his back, and we like to see that in a president. >> we also like to see bipartisan laughs. so little happens in bipartisan fashion in washington, it is nice to see republicans and democrats laughing. >> it is one of the good things about this night. >> brings them together or us. wonderful. look at who is not laughing, sarah palin who attended the white house correspondents' dinner, i remember being in the same room with her, tweeted that was pathetic. the rest of america is out there working our asses off while these d.c. assclowns throw themselves a #nerdprom.
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assclowns, what do you make of that. >> that's a great word, i give her credit there, but i also love that she says we're out there working our asses off. what is she working her ass off doing again, i have forgotten. >> hash tagging. as if the president isn't working his ass off. >> clearly, obviously, in fairness, the dinner has gone way downhill since sarah palin stopped going. together, making it as holding worthwhile. >> i think this block was an excuse for you and i to say assclown as much as possible. >> thank you, sarah palin. >> we have something to thank san for. krystal, you get the last word tonight. >> thanks. >> catch me on "now" noon eastern, monday through friday. chris hayes is up next.
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the first male athlete in a major american professional sport came out of the closet today. we'll talk to dan about that. and six months after superstorm sandy, there were more stunning reminders in the midwest today about the dangers of extreme weather and new reports on just how much money it's costing you. plus, the latest in the fight over fixing the sequester cuts, plus click 3, of course. but first, there's brand-new data out today that has completely altered how i understand the politics of guns and more broadly the potential of the obama electoral majority. it's new polling from one of the most accurate polling firms in the 2012 election cycle and paints a picture of the aftereffects of the gun safety