tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 16, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
emmet says please, please, leeson do not let it be the end of justice for trayvon. well, i've said from the beginning we must pursue until the end. we're only to plan b. federal will be in 100 cities saturday. but we must also deal withstand your ground. so that we don't have more trayvons. we must deal with the bigger issues to deal with the problem that creates this recklessness. and i'm committed to doing that until we stop. these big problems legislatively from being in place. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. and this program note. tomorrow night i'll be joined by rachel jeantel, a key witness in the zimmerman trial. "hardball" starts right now. >> inside the jury room. let's play "hardball."
good evening. i'm chris matthews in san francisco. let me start tonight with this. a juror speaks. juror number b37 said there was a difference in the initial vote when they started deliberations last friday in sanford, florida. not all of the six women had the same judgment on what they heard during the many weeks of trial of george zimmerman. one of the jurors, according to juror b37 wanted to convict the defendant of second-degree murder. two of the jurors were ready to convict on manslaughter. so this raises the question. at least to a degree of whether a stronger prosecution case or a weaker performance by zimmerman's high quality defense team would have made the difference late in the day. well, the questions people are focusing on deal with this the ability of this particular jury to understand what it's like to be a black youth in today's america. to use that familiar phrase, do they get it? do they know what it's like to have people suspect you of the worst because of what you look
like, what you're dressed like, or some combination. and are people making their judgments about this case looking at the narrower question of guilt or innocence that the jury was asked to decide, not what has happened in this country over the centuries and decades, not what happens every day today on the highways, on the streets, and in the stores of america, where young african-americans get singled out and often humiliated. but what happened in those very few moments or less when the tragedy reached its climax. as i said last night, we need a larger jury to see the larger pictures. and to make the larger judgment. does anyone disagree? billy martin is a criminal defense attorney. "the washington post" jonathan capehart is of course an msnbc contributor. gentlemen, thank you. i want to hear all your judgments. i have my own. i want to hear yours. this is my listening time. i'm learning a lot about america the last few days. let's look at this right now. one of the six jurors, as i said, folk spoke out for the first time last night on cnn. she didn't identify herself. but she did speak openly about
the case, apparently candidly. who knows. she said she didn't think race played a role in zimmerman's thinking that night. in his thinking. let's listen. >> why do you think george zimmerman found trayvon martin suspicious then? >> because he was cutting through the back. it was raining. he said he was looking in houses as he was walking down the road, kind of just not having a purpose to where he was going. he was stopping and starting. i mean, that's george's rendition of it. >> was that a common belief on the jury that race was not -- that race did not play a role in this? >> i think all of us thought race did not play a role. >> well, she also said she thought zimmerman was well-intentioned that night. let's watch. >> i think his heart was this the right place. it just went terribly wrong. >> do you think he is guilty of something? >> i think he is guilty of not
using good judgment. when he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn't have gotten out of that car. >> do you have any doubt that george zimmerman feared for his life? >> i had no doubt george feared for his life in the situation he was in at the time. >> billy martin, you're a skilled trial attorney, one of the best. tell me what i don't think about that comment. what does that tell you about the case, the way it was fought by the prosecution, the way it was defended by the defense team? >> hey, chris. what that juror's comments mean to me and what they signify to me is that she did not get it in terms of understanding race relations and race in america. i start at the beginning. you have a young 17-year-old kid who happens to be african-american who is walking through a neighborhood coming from a convenience store, and he is followed. that kid probably had real fear in his life when he tried to lose mr. zimmerman, and he could not. he was frightened for his life. and to hear her say that she
didn't say race played a role, as a black man, as a father of a young black kid, i would think that what first came to my mind is i'm in trouble, and i'm running for my life, or i'm trying to lose this kid. and i think that the prosecution did not put on a very good case. and i think that the prosecution allowed the defense to talk about george zimmerman's story. you hear this juror, and you see the familiarity with george zimmerman. >> yes, she called him george. >> she calls him george. she calls him george. and you can see that she bought george's story, and george zimmerman never testified. i think the prosecution made a colossal mistake, a biggest mistake in this trial when they allowed george zimmerman's statements to come in, and their case in chief threw the detective and then through his friend, i think it was a big mistake. >> i also the fact, and you have to love the fact, there he was sitting several feet from her
for all these week. maybe she did develop some identity with this guy. who nose. here is a large -- it's not a larger question. it's my only question. do you think there was a way for the prosecution to skillfully and effectively present the experience as they understood it to be of trayvon martin in those critical moments? in other words, infused with the knowledge you have just given it in terms of social reality in this country, racial reality, how could they have presented in court a sort of virtual picture of what this young guy was going through right up until he was shot? how could they do it? was it impossible? >> i don't think it was impossible. i think what the prosecutors had to do here was make it simple. keep this case very simplement he was following the evidence. show that george zimmerman called the police to show he was following this young man and the police told him not to. we don't need you to do that. that he was carrying a gun. that at some point that gun came out. if they had kept that simple
without putting his statements in, i think the jurors would have been confronted with a different case, and george zimmerman would have been forced to take the witness stand to tell his story directly and been subject to cross-examination. >> jonathan, let's go to the political part, you and i are more familiar with. you are more familiar with this. have you ever been bothered by police? have you been bothered by people in a way that you could describe they're just looking at me as black man, no matter what i've done in school, how well i've behaved in my life, they're looking at me in profile terms. >> oh, sure. i've never had a situation with the police, but i've had the more mundane in other ways more corrosive interactions from not being picked up by cabs in new york city. >> oh, yeah. >> years ago. and there i am standing with an l.l. bean tote bag and dressed in a jacket and tie, and cabs wouldn't stop. and i had to come up with my own ways of getting cabs in new york city. and just recently, my mother and i, mother's day, we went into a local store right here on 14th street, and, you know, we were
greeted at the door by this young person. we said hello. and we kept walking around the store, looking around. and every time we turned around, there was this guy. and my mother felt so uncomfortable, she said let's get out of here. every time i turn around, he is under foot. >> unbelievable. >> so those are the situations that i have to deal with still to this day. >> how does that influence rather -- inform you as to what you saw. i'm not going to put words in your mouth. did you see something in that trial that these mostly white women, five out of six with the hispanic woman didn't see in terms of the testimony? the actual hearing of the evidence. >> chris, there is not enough time in your show to go through all that. but i think there are two reasons why probably race didn't come into this, into the trial as prominently as i think a lot of people thought. it goes down to two rulings against the prosecution by judge nelson. one, she said that the prosecution could not say in its
opening argument that trayvon martin was racially profiled. she said that they could say he was profiled and people could make their own inferences from that. the other thing -- the other ruling that she made against the prosecution was saying that all of the nine -- all of george zimmerman's 911 calls could not be played in court, only some of them. if all of them, and i think they numbered more than 25 or 30, if they were all played and the jury could hear over and over and over again george zimmerman saying that the people he is talking about are black males, african-american males, black teenaged males, that i think the conversation might have gone a whole lot differently, and most certainly race would have had to come up in that jury room. >> look at what eric holder had to say addressing the naacp down in orlando late this afternoon where he talked about the trayvon martin killing. let's watch. >> i'd like to join president
obama in urging all americans to recognize that, as he said, we are a nation of laws and the jury has spoken. i know the naacp and its members are deeply and rightly concerned about this case as passionate civil rights leaders, as engaged citizens, and most of all as parents. this afternoon i want to show you of two things. i am concerned about this case. and as we confirmed last spring, the justice department has an open investigation into it. now, while that inquiry is ongoing, i can promise that the department of justice will consider all available information before determining what action to take. >> attorney general holder also spoke about the trayvon martin case in personal terms. let's listen to more. >> for all the progress that we have seen, recent events
deteriorate th demonstrate that we still have much more work to do and much further to go. the news of trayvon martin's death last year and the discussions that have taken place since then reminded me of my father's words so many years ago. and they brought me back to a number of experiences that i had as a young man when i was pulled over twice and my car searched on the new jersey turnpike when i'm sure i wasn't speeding, or when i was stopped by a police officer while simply running to catch a movie at night in georgetown in washington, d.c. i was at the time of that last incident a federal prosecutor. >> well, the attorney general also said that trayvon's death caused him to sit down with his own son to talk about the issues of being a black man in america. pretty strong stuff. let me go back to billy martin in this. in your sense, let's get to the question of the attorney general here. he is definitely in the determining seat here, not just the hot seat. he has to make a judgment call
whether there is a good case to be made about a civil rights violation here. what do you see? >> chris, i had the pleasure of serving as a federal prosecutor with the attorney general. i know the attorney general. i know that he will look at this. he and his staff will look at this to see if zimmerman's prior statements, his prior positions brought race into it. and they can show that he was, in fact, violating trayvon martin's civil rights. he'll look at it. it did not come in this trial because of some of the rulings of the court. >> yeah. >> but the totality of the circumstances will let him decide if george zimmerman actually profiled and stalked trayvon martin, and that leads to civil rights violation. should it be investigated. >> let me get down to the narrow point here. i don't want to say anything that offends somebody, but i'm trying to find out the law here. if he says in the tapes that you have evidence now with the dispatcher, does he ever say that there were african-american kids before, young adults who had been involved with burglaries? did he have an identification of
previous people involved or suspected of committing these crimes in this neighborhood as african-americans does that cute profiling to meet that description? billy? >> i'm not sure, chris. jonathan may be a better source for that. i don't know the previous 911 calls. >> jonathan, do you have any knowledge? i'm just asking the political -- rather, the logic question. if you're looking for particular suspects like two irish guys are involved in some i.r.a. spi incident. you know you're looking for a particular description. >> right. >> is that profiling? i wouldn't think so. if that's the case. >> well, in george zimmerman's calls, he does identify the people he's alerting the police to or complaining about to the police. my question is do all of those calls rise to -- meet a legal standard for the justice department, or at least as part of a legal standard the justice
department can use to prosecute george zimmerman? that is what i'm not clear on. >> well, i trust the attorney general. i hope he makes the right call. and i hope it ends up being the right one in terms of how the case turns out. i think to bring a case and fail wouldn't accomplish anything. billy martin, it's great to have you on, and jonathan, as always. people like me need to hear that stuff. i've been hearing them the last few days. i'm kind of amazed because friends of mine haven't told me this hasn't been happening to them right through their adult success. it doesn't seem to help to succeed. sorry for us. sorry for you too, jonathan. >> thanks. >> witness for the prosecution. when rachel jeantel testified many thought she damaged the prosecution's case. many did. last night we got another side of her all together. why didn't the prosecution do a better job of preparing this young woman for her day in court? also, some of the mud atop bob o'donnell is finally starting to fall on the republican who wants to succeed him, ken cuccinelli. what a race that is going to be.
and look who is joining kirsten gillibrand in her effort to combat sexual misconduct in the military. rand paul and ted cruz are joining the good guys on this one. finally, let me finish with the memories of another case like this, the o.j. case. i covered it every night for a year. this is "hardball," the place for politics. if youthen this willbrids arbe a nice surprise. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max come. c-max go. c-max give a ride to everyone it knows.
c max has more passenger volume than competitor prius v and we haven't even mentioned... c-max also gets better mpg. say hi to the super fuel efficient ford c-max hybrid. the senate has pulled back from the brink, reaching a deal that avoids changes to the filibuster rule. after months of republican obstructions and filibusters to block president obama's executive branch nominees, democratic leader harry reid had threatened to change senate rules and allow a simple majority to confirm those picks. it's called the nuclear option. today the two sides reached a deal to allow most of the president's contested nominees to be confirmed. it all come downs to whether this president or any president deserves to have his or her team in place. and while today's deal turns the heat down for now, it doesn't preclude future filibusters of obama's executive nominees. and we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." trayvon martin's friend rachel jeantel was a major focus of george zimmerman's trial. but how did her testimony play to the jury? well, according to the juror who spoke out last night on cnn, jeantel's message simply didn't come across as credible. the jurors said her poor communication skills played a role. and the fact that she used phrases that the juror herself didn't understand ultimately, the juror said she felt sorry for the 19-year-old witness who clearly didn't want to be there. also last night, jeantel spoke out for the first time since the trial saying she thought things would have been different that night in trayvon had been white. >> let's be honest, racial. if he was -- trayvon was white and he had a hoodie on, would that happen? because that was around 7:00 or something.
that's around people walk their dogs, people sit outside. you tell your child when you see a grown person follow you, run away and all that. was you going to stand this? you're going to tell your child to stand there? if you tell your child to stand there, we going to see your child on the news. >> she also spoke about zimmerman's injuries. >> when somebody bash somebody like blood people, trust me, the area i live, that's not bashing. that's just called whup [ bleep ]. >> was jeantel able to express herself better on tv there? and what does that say about the prosecution? did they fail to better prep her for the trial and for her testimony? with me now is seema iyer, and keshia heaven was a prosecutor. thank you, ladies, for coming on tonight. >> thank you. >> i want you to stick to the trial, what we missed, what failed, what succeeded, what the
jury should have seen and didn't see. let's keep it in the legal framework, not the social framework, although that might be relevant. let me no. we'll start with you, seema. i get the feeling watching her she had an attitude about being there that could have been based on anything. but it seems like she just didn't want to be testifying in that case. and i think that hurt the prosecution. >> chris, she didn't want to be there. she showed that she was recalcitrant from the minute she walked in. and who do i blame? not this 19-year-old young woman. it is the prosecution. now, you asked us to keep it legal. chris, this is what we do, and as -- i'm a former prosecutor. as a criminal defense attorney, you woo your witnesses. you court them. you keep in touch with them. you make them comfortable. you make them believe in you and believe in the case. and you make them feel welcome from the moment they walk in. she was not prepared. and why? we know she wasn't prepared because, for instance, with that letter that they were trying to
get into evidence, clearly the prosecutor did not know that ms. jeantel could not read cursive handwriting, and instead she was embarrassed. the prosecution could have prevented this embarrassment by stipulating to the letter in evidence with the defense. i can go much more further with this. but you can also see my article on this case, msnbc.com, chris. >> okay. so basically, they made a lot of technical mistakes in asking their witness, their witness for the prosecution, if you will, to read a letter they hadn't even gone through with her. i remember from the testimony she is i can't read cursive writing. in this case, it may have been somebody's particular cursive writing. but what about this? would an african-american associate in that prosecution team have been more helpful in being a liaison between the prosecution boss, whoever it was, and the witness? would that have helped? >> you know, i don't think that's relevant, because any trial attorney is going to prepare their witness for trial. as seema said, it's very clear
that the prosecution did not sit down with miss jeantel. they did not go over question with her. they did not make her feel comfortable. they did not prepare her that she would be there for a long time, and to remain calm when she cross examined. i i go through each question and make sure they feel comfortable. credibility is key in any juror trial. unfortunately, i think the prosecution blew this case. >> let's get into particulars here. seema, what could the witness there for the prosecution, could she have said rachel jeantel, could she have said to that jury of six women that would have altered their judgment? >> with a she could have done is her demeanor was off and presented the inconsistencies that frankly were trivial to the relevancy of the case. and, again, i just -- chris, i'm
sorry. i put this on the prosecution. there were so many questions that don west posed to ms. jeantel about trayvon martin, what was he thinking and why was he doing certain things. chris, that is legally objectionable. you cannot ask a witness on the stand about what someone else, someone else who frankly is dead, what they were thinking and what they were doing because you did not observe it, and that is state of mind. so i put this on the prosecution. >> and i also agree that with ms. jeantel's demeanor and her somewhat aggressiveness, it kind of put in the jurors' minds, okay, if she has this type of attitude, is that what trayvon martin had? >> that's right. >> is that why -- >> what about the cracker comment? i'm a northerner. cracker is not a word i hear from black or white. it must be a local term, southern, i guess, certainly southern. what did you make of it? didn't seem to bother her as an ethnic term of drigs? >> i think it was an ignorant
term. i think her being 19 years old did not think of the consequence of using those types of terms. i think it did hurt the prosecution to bring out that type of mentality. >> but it also went to how authentic rachel jeantel was. and, again, tieing this back into the case, during summation, the prosecution did not vouch for rachel jeantel enough, did not promote how authentic and how honest she was about her observations during the incident. >> let's take one last look at this. here last night, the juror, and she was quite effective with a lot of people last night on cnn. she was asked about jeantel's testimony. actually, let's watch what she said last night. >> i didn't think it was very credible, but i felt very sorry for her. she didn't asked to be in this place. she didn't ask -- she wanted to go. she wanted to leave. she didn't want to be any part of this jury. i think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills.
i just felt sadness for her. >> seema, and then kisha, both of you, my reaction to this juror is not good. everything she is saying is filtered through a pc, politically correct, say the right stuff, you're sympathetic to everybody, and you didn't think race had anything to do with this. it's so antiseptic, i don't buy it. your thoughts first. >> if we didn't think race was involved in the case or involved in the verdict, we certainly do now after hearing from her. chris, let me remind everyone. her husband is an attorney. so that type of sanitary or sanitized interview may -- that's where it may have come from. frankly, she was completely patronizing in saying that rachel jeantel was inadequate or felt inadequate because she was uneducated. she is 19. give her a chance to get an education. >> i know. i agree.
>> kisha, your thoughts on the jury speaking out. apparently a book ready. >> i think that juror did use the political correct lingo. and i think there was not any sincerity in whether this woman felt insecure or felt some type of way about her education or her ability to communicate. i think the juror was patronizing. and i think it showed that the juror did not give this woman any credibility whatsoever. and just basically wrote her off to be someone who just didn't know what she was talking about, and, you know, didn't give it much help for the prosecution's case. >> i think if you're prejudiced in favor of george, you probably like to see the failure of that witness to do as badly as she did. i get the feeling there is some of that here. we're all human. i'm watching. thank you, great witnessious two were. seema iyer, thank you very much. don't laugh when i say it. kisha, thank you too. we'll be right back.
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back to "hardball" now. the sideshow. the kremlin is turning back the clock. in a move that seems reminiscent of soviet era bureaucracy, the agency responsible for russian security is ditching their computers and resorting to typewriters in order to prevent the kinds of computer leaks that have recently embarrassed our own nsa. well, they're reportedly spending the equivalent of $15,000 on a new set of old-fashioned devices to make the switch. and while it's hard to envision russian usuals using such an anti-kuwaited relic such as the typewriter in the electronic age, photo shop makes it possible to imagine what they would look like. here is a mockup, if you will, of russian president vladimir putin typing away in a meeting in the kremlin. and another of putin taking notes at a summit with obama there. and last, but certainly not least, here is an obligatory shot of putin on horseback, of
course, shirtless as well. next, president obama honored former president george herbert walker bush at a white house ceremony yesterday, commemorating the former president's work with the points of light foundation. as usual, the former president, who turned 89 last month, was wearing a pair of attention-grabbing socks. there they are. and following the event, he presented obama with a pair of his own. but this isn't the first time bush's socks have turned heads. here he is with the houston texans cheerleading squad last month. >> we have a special guest tonight which i'm very honored, president bush. >> we went to visit president bush in december when he was obviously in the hospital. we went and delivered him cookies. >> thank you so much for coming. thank you. >> they call me and said president bush wants to come to trials. that okay? well, like i can say no! >> to see him in such high spirits, giving roses to all the new 2013 cheerleaders was great.
>> we love your socks too. >> yes. >> i'm surprised you noticed them! >> so that's what it takes, socks. anyway, it looks like he is having fun there, the former president. the daily show is back last night and john oliver didn't seem shy about the subject on everyone's minds these days, the zimmerman verdict. here he is weighing in. >> this is an awful story, and it is hard to make a case for it not being at least partially about race. it definitely has some racial undertones, if not racial only tones. is there anything that we can learn from this terrible tragedy? let's hear from george zimmerman's defense attorney. >> the prosecution raised this question about whether the outcome would be different if the races of the defendant and the victim were different. >> i think that the things would have been different if george zimmerman was black for this reason, he never would have been charged with the crime. >> yeah. as opposed to the one thing that our justice system is notorious
for how lenient it is on black people. up next, virginia's republican governor has been rocked by scandal, and now it's rubbing off on the republican in the race to succeed him. ken cuccinelli. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. who can't pud because of a migraine. so they trust excedrin migraine to relieve pain fast. plus sensitivity to light, sound, even nausea. and it's #1 neurologist recommended. migraines are where excedrin excels.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here is what is happening. nsa leaker edward snowden has applied for temporary asylum in russia meanwhile, putin has said it's time for noe snowden to leave. an autopsy on cory montieth revealed the actor died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol. zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. back to "hardball."
back to politics, and welcome back to "hardball" there are two marquee races in this country. and this year new jersey governor and virginia governor. and in virginia, the consequences of a swing state going democratic makes the stakes in this contest even higher. that's why the investigation of current governor bob mcdonnell for accepting lavish gifts from a donor is being watched closely for a ripple effect. ken cuccinelli, a real right winger who has had interaction with the same doaner in question, although not on the same scale as the governor, is being dogged on the campaign trail as we speak with questions about the investigation. the virginian pilot newspaper online says it all. mcdonnell's woes a topic of cuccinelli town hall. today's daily beast headline reads scandal spills over to cuccinelli. cuccinelli has been a tea party favorite for some with the extreme views. he supports personhood, which gives legal rights to fetuses at
the second of conception. he altered the virginia state seal for modest city. there he did. the original seal shows the bare breast of the goddess of virtue. when he had lapel pins made, the goddess's breasts were covered. and he discussed concerns about getting a social security number for a soon to be child. catch this wacko. >> our seventh child on monday, if he is not born before. and for the very concerns you state, we're actually considering, as i'm sure many of you here didn't get a social security number when you were born. we're -- you do now. we're considering not doing that. and a lot of people are considering that now because it is being used to track you. >> well, he should be equally paranoid about his friends as he is about the government. despite all from this guy,
cuccinelli is in the race for governor of virginia. msnbc contributor of great report. and margie o'mara is a democratic strategist. you don't have a chance, margie, against this guy. let me start with you. can the democratic problems leverage the current problems of the governor to winning a seat this november? >> well, so i think ken cuccinelli has a variety of things that make him vulnerable. it's not just the bob mcdonnell scandal. he has to run from his own record. he has to run from the record of his lieutenant governor candidate who has even said even more extreme ideas. and you see it right now. he is vulnerable. he is losing in the polls. he is being outspent. and every day that all of these scandals are in the news is more time that he is not getting his own message out. >> okay. tie him to the scandal. >> time for the scandal? >> can you do that? can you tie him to the scandals of mcdonnell? can you do that? >> absolutely. well, first, it's not just about
bob mcdonnell the scandal. ken cuccinelli also had undisclosed gifts and undisclosed stock investments from with the same donor. he had the same exact problem. he also in the chef who is also part of this scandal, the mansion chef came to cuccinelli and said there are some problems going on in the governor's mansion. he did nothing for almost a year. so it's not just bob mcdonnell is the governor and so these problems are also ken cuccinelli's. they are also ken cuccinelli's own problems. he has the same problems in addition to all the other things that made him a weak candidate to begin with. >> do we get any stock tips from that guy? get the $4,000 advantage there he pickedquickly on a very small investment? >> yeah, i don't think i would be taking a lot of tips from ken cuccinelli, personally. >> but do you think he got a stock tip? because that's the issue here. >> i don't know. i think the one issue for voters is not necessarily the stock tip, but he is just not disclosing this information. he is not disclosing. he is not following the ethics law that exists.
and he is trying to pretend that, you know, he just did it inadvertently. >> michael steele, it looks like this race is going to size up roughly there is going to be a debate tonight or tomorrow whether he can debate a seasoned pro. but it's cuccinelli's culturalicultura culturalism against a seasoned governor. your thoughts. >> i think that there is a little residual drag on the cuccinelli campaign. nothing damaging or earth shattering at this state simply because we're at the end of july in the middle of summer. polls out this week show him only four points down in that race. you know, voters haven't focused in on it. i think one of the things the cuccinelli campaign has to do is to very appropriately address as many open questions with respect to his campaign and his personal relationship with this individual, irrespective of the governor as much as possible before you get into that labor day window where voters do come
back in. they start to focus on the campaign and begin to make up their mind about the next leadership of the state. i think cuccinelli can do that. he's got the room to do that. and i think a lot of this is a lot of whistling past the graveyard for democrats thinking okay, this is a moment to pounce. but i would be very careful here. four points down in july is not earth shattering. >> let me ask you. >> the movement, there is a lot of fast movement. mcdonnell's numbers have dropped 12 points in just a month. >> that's great. but mcdonnell is not running for governor. it's totally irrelevant. >> we'll be back on this one. by the way, nobody -- actually, every single candidate who won since jimmy carter's day has represented the party not in the white house. so it's obviously a cuccinelli advantage historically here, because that's the way it always works in virginia. they love to react to what is going on negatively in the white house. thank you michael steele. thank you marjorie omero. kirsten gillibrand's effort to change the way the military handles sexual assault gets a big boost from the tea party.
rand paul and ted cruz strange bedfellows here. kirsten gillibrand joins us next. this is "hardball," the place for politics. n path? who can build you a plan, not just a pie chart? who can help keep your investments on course, whatever lies ahead? that someone is a morgan stanley financial advisor. and we're ready to work for you.
divide the state's deep red republicans. enzi today announced he is running for reelection. and many republicans say he hasn't done anything to warrant stepping aside. but that's not stopping cheney. by the way, it is cheney. and he is about to take one on the cheney. another left his shoes on the plane. his shoes. and a third just simply doesn't want to be here. until now. until right... booking now. planet earth's #1 accommodation site. booking.com booking.yeah congestion, for it's smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the busses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution to the earth. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment.
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and a junior senator from new york, she has been whipping up her colleagues to fight for the support. today a big victory in getting closer to the 51 votes she needs to force one of the biggest changes in the history of military justice. tea party senator rand paul and ted cruz joined in gillibrand's fight as of now. >> i thought the motive was good for the bill. but i think the bill is even stronger. i see no reason why conservatives shouldn't support this. the only thing i think standing in the way is sort of the status quo. and senator boxer was actually right. everybody says they're against sexual assault. why don't we, if it appears as if there is some deterrence to victims reporting the crime, why don't we fix it? i see no reason not to fix it. i'm glad to be part of the process if i can. >> if gillibrand does score a victory in getting it passed, the support of cruz and rand paul could be a big part of that to winning over the republican-controlled house of representatives thereafter. senator gillibrand joins us now, along with her colleague, the great senator from california, barbara boxer. senator gillibrand, you're going to rewrite the history books on
how to deal with these people. you have two fringies here, and you managed to get them to join a mainstream good bill. how did you do it? >> well is, this is a common sense loougs solution to a very, very tough problem. we have 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact, abuse, and rape in the military today, but only 3300 are actually being reported, and only one in ten are going to trial. so what the victims have told us is they want objectivity, the chain of command is the problem. they're not seeing justice being done, and they want us to take it out of the chain of command. both senator rand paul and senator ted cruz believe in a solution, a solution that is common sense. and frankly, it's not a democratic idea or a republican idea. it's just a good idea. >> let me go to senator boxer, who has been in this fight for a long time for sexual equality and respect, i should say. are you amazed that these two guys on the far right who may well will leading the band in 2016 on the republican side for president are joining in what you i believe think is a good cause? >> this gives me renewed faith
that we can take an issue that makes sense, and we can take it to the liberal wing, the moderate ring, the right wing, the left wing, we can take it to everybody. to everybody. partnering with kirsten as i have, and we have many other republicans and democrats working with us. such as senator grassley, who was at the press conference today. i think what people want to see us do is just this. work together. chris, we have a 90% problem. what do i mean by that? 90% of sexual assaults are not reported. only 10% are reported. and the reason is very clear. over 20 years, the military has been promising to take action on sexual assaults. they've done literally very little to make it go away. we have thousands of felons walking around the military because frankly they got off scot-free, no one ever reported them. i'm so proud of senator
gillibrand. we are working together, and i will tell you, it's cooperation all way, with female and male senators from both sides of the aisle. >> let's talk turkey about getting this into law, senator gillibrand. you have to get this on the floor. you have to pass it on the floor, get the amendment brought up and taken over. are you going to face opposition from senator levin, the chair of the committee? >> well, senator levin doesn't support this amendment, but there are many, many senators who do. and we are working our way to getting the 51 votes we need to pass this amendment, to change how these cases are dealt with. we want the decision-makers to be objective, trained, military prosecutors, not the chain of command where there could be bias, where there could be a lack of training of lack of ability to understand what these cases are about. >> how many votes you got? >> we have almost 51. >> how close? >> very close. >> close enough? >> not yet. we will get there. >> we're very close. >> my goal, chris, is to spend the next several weeks talking
with our colleagues, one-on-one, about their concerns. everyone in the senate wants to solve this issue. they don't want sexual assault or rape in the military because it's undermining our military readiness. it's undermining foe ining good discipline. if we want the best fighting force in the world in future, we have to make sure our best and brightest can serve and not have to have victims suffer through the crimes without being able to get the justice that they deserve. >> you know, senator boxer, i've known you a long time. wroun you know what i didn't know about? these aren't about office mismanagement or bad words used or hey, sweetie, nice gun or something. it was about criminal actions. we're talking assault. we're talking rape. they're getting away we it. also it affects some men. men-on-men cases which some weren't even aware of. your thoughts? >> chris, half of the victims are men. let me just tell you, you're exactly right. we're talking about violence. this isn't about, you know, somebody looking at someone and winking at them. this is about serious violence.
men-on-men. men-on-women. this is what we're facing. 26,000 of these cases. i'll tell you one extremely fast story. i stood next to a woman named stac stacey. she joined the marines when she was 19. a sergeant took her out for a drink. he dropped her in front of the bar at 4:00 a.m. you know what happened? all the facts were in evidence. nobody disputed it. the commander said, you know, he said to the guy, you just leave the military, that's your best deal, before you get into any trouble. so he got out scot-free. and they investigated her for drug use because of that night. and she was drummed out of the military. finally ten years later, as a result of this legislation, she's come forward to tell her story. we need the support of the american people. i hope they'll weigh in. and let all of our colleagues know to get on that bill, the kirsten gillibrand bill. i think it's such a good bill. >> senator gillibrand, who should we write? who should people who watch this show write you? in opportunities in the senate
who should be talked to by the people watching this show, women especially perhaps? >> my view is, let your member of congress and your senator know how you feel about this issue. we need to have justice done for victims. we have to listen to victims. they're the one who's saying we don't trust the chain of command. the chain of command aren't taking these cases seriously. interestingly, among the people who do report these crimes, 62% are retaliated fwe ed against f reporting the crimes. every senator should hear from their constituents about why this is so important. it's essential that the american people are heard on this issue. >> it's great to hear from you. the only thing i got a problem with, i think it may be a weird problem but it may be a good thing. i think you guys unintentionally are pushing rand paul and cruz, ted cruz to the front of the republican party and if those guys, either one gets the nomination in 2016, hillary will have a cakewalk. anyway, thank you, kirsten gillibrand and senator barbara boxer for joining us. i'm sure that's not your intention. when we return, let me finish with lasting memories of another celebrated case.
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let me finish tonight with this. i imagine, maybe i'm wrong, that some people like me have found their mind bouncing back this week to the o.j. simpson verdict. i covered that trial of simpson for double murder in its entirety. every night i watched it as it ranged widely to questions of evidence custody, to something called contamination of blood
evidence, to what a police officer said in an interview for a movie script, to the glove, of course, in whether it fit. went on and on and grabbed the attention of the country. i thought o.j. did it. i still do. i believe prosecution case of marcia clark and christopher darden. the jury didn't. to the surprise of a lot of people including some sitting right near him that night, that day he was acquitted and set free. again, i was stunned by the verdict. especially after hearing that it had been arrived at after just two hours. i never changed my mind an what happened that night in los angeles. mr. simpson got convicted of that other charge out in las vegas, i figured it brought with it compensating justice, if you will. i don't hold it against people who don't like verdicts. my father was a court reporter for 30 years. if you're guilty of something, get yourself a jury. if you're innocent, try to get a judge to hear the case. he or she will be your best bet to see the truth of what actually happens. so we're at it again. questioning a jury's judgment.
i always thought that a judgment in the o.j. case was really about the bad old history of the l.a. police. hopefully it did some good, that judgment. the verdict i didn't share. maybe this one will achieve the same in the end. a good result. at least for the future. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. and we've got a packed show tonight. the reverend jesse jackson is here. senate majority leader harry reid is here. senator elizabeth warren is here. candidate for office of new york city comptroller eliot spitzer is here. there is a lot to talk about tonight. first, the anger and frustration following the verdict in the george zimmerman case is being channeled into organized action. this is not a one-day thing. demonstration are expanding.