tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC November 21, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST
a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome, everyone, to "alex witt reports." we're beginning this hour with two high profile trials that have brought race and justice into focus. kyle rittenhouse was acquitted, found not guilty on all charges. >> it's hard to reconcile the verdict with the experience that we as african americans have faced over the last several decades. this trial for us is a warning shot that vigilante justice is allowed in this country or in particular communities. and tomorrow, closing arguments are expected to begin in yet another murder trial dealing with questions of self-defense. a nearly all-white jury will hear closing arguments in the trial of three white men charged with killing ahmaud arbery while he was jogging through a georgia neighborhood last year. nbc's stephanie stanton is
following the story from georgia. welcome, stephanie. what can we expect from closing arguments tomorrow? >> reporter: good afternoon, alex. as you said, closing arguments starting tomorrow. and depending on how things go, the jury could get this case in their hands possibly by late afternoon tomorrow. you know, the mood here in georgia is quite different from what is happening in kenosha. although this is what many are killing a racially charged case. last week travis mcmichael, one of the main defendants in this case, took the stand in his own defense. he said he wanted to, in his own words, explain what happened. as we know, mcmichael, alongside his father, gregory, and another man, william bryan, were following ahmaud arbery because they believed he was responsible for at least one burglary in their neighborhood. upon following him, at some point mcmichael testified that ahmaud arbery came at him. and that's when he claims that
he fired in self-defense. but during some pretty intense cross-examination, we saw the prosecutor poke holes in that assertion and essentially laying out a case that showed mcmichael as the aggressor. after that testimony here outside, on the courthouse steps, we saw wanda cooper jones, speak to the crowd. she said among other things that she believes there will be a conviction in this case. take a listen. >> i think his testimony was -- first of all, i want to say i appreciate his testimony because it gave my family and i some insight on what he was actually thinking. mr. travis mcmichael killed my son, all on assumptions. you had no real facts, where ahmaud was coming from, what ahmaud had done. he just took actions into his own hands. >> reporter: and we also saw
mcmichael testify that he, alongside his father gregory, and that third man, william bryan, did not make it clear to arbery during when all of that happened back in february of 2020, that they were in fact attempting to make a citizens arrest. again, this case has been ongoing. some pretty intense testimony that we heard last week. and closing arguments are set for tomorrow, alex. >> okay, stephanie stanton, thank you so much, appreciate that. let's get more on this, and to do that i'm joined by msnbc legal analyst barbara mcquade. okay, we're going to look at both, as i think you for being here, my friend. we have juries in brunswick and kenosha hearing a similar story of men who have taken up guns allegedly to protect the public and they end up killing unarmed men. they claim self-defense in doing so. rittenhouse, as you know, walked away a free man on friday. do you expect a similar outcome this week in the killing of ahmaud arbery or are there different variables here? >> well, every case is
different, alex. and jurors are asked to look only at the facts of this case and not the larger societal context. i think there are some differences here that could bode well for the prosecution in obtaining a conviction. number one is a ruling that came on friday. these men claimed they were acting under a then-existing georgia statute that permitted citizens arrest if a crime was committed in the presence of the defendant or immediately before that. and what the judge ruled on friday was that the jury, to have this defense available to them, the jury would have to find that the crime occurred immediately prior to that altercation, and there's simply no evidence of that. with that off the table, the question goes to self-defense which is unavailable to the initial aggressor. the testimony seems to suggest it was the mcmichaels who were the initial aggressors here. >> to that point, we know he
took the stand this week facing pretty pointed questioning from the prosecution. let's listen to one of those exchanges. >> did he threaten you in any way? >> no. >> didn't verbally threaten you? >> not verbally, no. >> didn't swear? >> no. >> did he pull out a gun? >> did he not pull out a gun. >> he turned around and ran away? >> to your earlier point, do you think it was a good point to put him on the stand? >> i think that it was an effort by the defense, just as we saw in rittenhouse, to gain some sympathy and connection to the jury. here is a person who found himself in a bad situation and did what he believed was reasonable under the circumstances. i think there are some differences here and i think the prosecutor really did some damage with that cross-examination because, as we said, it all comes down to who was the aggressor.
based on the video and based on this testimony, i think it is quite likely that a jury will say ahmaud arbery was running, he turned around, saw a truck with a guy with a shotgun and when the gun was pulled on him, only then did he act. i think it will be an uphill battle for the defense here to show their client wasn't the aggressor. >> and there's an undercurrent we have to discuss, that is race. one of the trucks that the men were in had a vanity plate with a confederate flag on it. and yet race has hardly been mentioned inside the courtroom. do you expect the prosecution to more closely address this in closing arguments? >> i doubt it. i think that that is a dynamic that exists in the room and i think it is one that every juror must be able to observe. what's interesting in this case, i think, is that the judge allowed the defense to strike every potential black juror except one. so we have a jury with 11 white jurors and one person of color.
i think that to the extent our experiences are reflected in the race of our jurors, that can come into play in terms of the way we just perceive and experience the world situation. so i do think that race is an unspoken but powerful variable that exists in this case. >> also the citizens arrest situation, that has now been repealed, correct, in the state of georgia? wasn't it a civil war era law? >> absolutely. it has been repealed as a result of this case, which i think is a good move. that doesn't benefit the prosecution in this case, because the defendants are entitled to the law that was on the books at the time they acted. but a great move to see this, it would be great to see other of these citizens arrest statutes around the country to be repealed because, as you said, these are civil war era laws. these were designed to capture fugitive slaves and it allows white people to engage in lynching. that's what this is, really, a
modern day lynching. so i think it's a great move in georgia that it's off the books and it would be great to see it removed off the books elsewhere. >> citizenry armed with guns blurs the legal lines of when it's justified to defend yourself and when a citizen is allowed to step in as an aggressor. at what point do you think brandishing a gun contributes to the volatility of any situation? >> i think tremendously, especially in the rittenhouse case. i think the fact that he showed up with a weapon of war during a street protest absolutely provoked the attacks he experienced that night. i think in this case, the prosecutor did a very effective job in her cross-examination when she pointed out that he wasn't wearing a uniform, mr. mcmichael, he wasn't wearing a badge. in no way did mr. arbery perceive him to be law enforcement. and that's the danger of that's so-called citizens arrests. how do i know that he's
effecting a citizens arrest versus just some crazy guy with a gun who is trying to hurt me? so it's a very dangerous thing. police officers are trained, they're experienced, and they're held accountable when they make poor decisions. members of the citizenry are none of those things. >> okay. we'll see what happens in this case. barbara mcquade, happy thanksgiving to you and thanks for your insights and expertise. the day's other major stories this hour, new reaction today. democratic lawmakers are expressing optimism about passing the president's build back better legislation before the end of the year. but the road ahead still a difficult one as it moves to the senate where it needs all 50 democratic votes. last hour congresswoman maxine waters discussed what the bill could look like when it comes back to the house. >> i'm looking for some compromises that may take place on the senate side. but we're going to pass the bill. the senate is going to pass the bill. s.a.l.t. is a little bit of an issue. parental leave, family leave is
a little bit of an issue. but there's a lot of room there for compromise and i think we'll work it out. today the biden administration is addressing the rising costs americans are facing. president biden's talk economic adviser defending the build back better bill against criticism it could worsen inflation. >> experts across the board have looked at it and have concluded it won't increase inflation because it's paid for. when you pay for investments, you don't actually add aggregate demand to the economy. what it will do is it will lower costs. this bill is going to be the biggest cost kufgt cutting bill in this country. it will go at costs that are persistent problems for american people in their lives. meanwhile, a brand-new report sheds light on president biden's political future. president biden and members of his inner circle have reassured allies in recent days that he plans to run for reelection in 2024.
however, interviews with 28 strategists and officials show the assurances have not stopped the internal debate on whether biden will appear on the ticket. tomorrow marks the deadline for a requirement for all tsa employees to be vaccinated against covid, at the start of a busy travel holiday people. today transportation secretary pete buttigieg alleviating concerns that this deadline will impact americans traveling for thanksgiving this week. >> i have seen no indication that vaccine requirements are going to impact travel in any way, certainly in terms of our ability as a federal administration to provide the services that are needed. i can tell you, my agency, we see numbers approaching 99% of people have gotten it per the requirements. >> let's go to capitol hill with nbc's julie tsirkin joining us again. julie, there is still gop backlash for those lawmakers who supported the bipartisan
infrastructure plan. what's the latest on that? >> reporter: alex, as the build back better plan faces a long and winding road in the senate to get across the finish line, lawmakers are hitting the road to sell the bipartisan infrastructure plan to their voters. 13 house republicans broke with leader kevin mccarthy in supporting that bipartisan hard infrastructure bill, roads, bridges, highways, money for broadband, in the house. that of course came with backlash for some of those 13 republicans including congressman fred upton who actually received death threats for his vote, supporting a policy that the majority of americans overwhelmingly support. i was in the chamber this past wednesday for paul gosar's censure vote. he's that arizona congressman who tweeted a violent animated video showing him killing a progressive member of the house. the reaction could not have been different. he was walked out of the chamber by fellow republicans, all but two of them patting him on the back, smiling, laughing, have a
different reaction completely to these two issues. now, last monday, president biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure plan into law, making it official. of course you have some republicans who are touting this bill back home, even those who haven't voted for it. one of those senators who voted for it, one of 19 only who voted for it, kevin cramer, he supported the bill, he helped write the bill, he was part of that group. he spoke to our chuck todd and answered if his vote would have been different now, knowing the criticism he would have received from the former president. take a listen. >> i happen to be the ranking member of the transportation infrastructure subcommittee so i helped write a good part of this bill. i was advocating for it long before mitch mcconnell announced his support for it. so he didn't induce me in any way. president trump and i had a pretty healthy conversation about it after a previous national television appearance where i talked about the merits of the bill. yeah, i would have. i don't make my decision on
legislation based on whether it hurts or helps donald trump or whether it hurts or helps joe biden. >> you see what's going on in the house, they want retribution to people who voted for this bill. what happens to governing in america if essentially each party punishes anybody who votes with the other side? >> yeah, no, what happens is you'll have a whole bunch of reconciliation bills. >> reporter: cramer was elected in 2018. he rarely ever broke with the former president. in fact he credited his win, he flipped his seat, in part to the former president, so always on his side. but you heard him there saying he didn't take into account whether this helps trump, whether this helps biden. it's just a good bill for his constituents and has a lot of good policies in there. but still, cramer, like a lot of republicans who supported this bill, didn't attend the signing ceremony at the white house, so optics is clearly a big issue for them heading into the midterms. >> imagine that, just considering the content of the
bill, i say sarcastically. joining me now is raoul ruiz, chair of the congressional hispanic caucus. congressman, it's good to have you here, thank you for joining me. let's take a look at part of the build back better bill. you have led efforts to include protections for immigrants in the package. "the hill" says what's included in this is the most extensive immigration reform package reviewed by congress in 35 years. share with us some of the details and how it would impact undocumented people here in the country. >> thank you for having me, alex. first of all, the build back better plan is a rocket boost to the economy and will launch american families by putting money in their pockets, with middle class tax breaks, and lowering the cost of three of the most expensive elements of a household which are childcare, health care, and housing. and immigration in that will also boost our economy, because
by providing work permits and protections for about 7 million essential workers for five years for those who can apply, the criteria are anybody who have been here over ten years by january 1, 2011, will be able have peace of mind and contribute to our economy for five years and then reapply for another five years for a total of ten years. >> okay. i want to talk about the senate parliamentarian. first of all, are you confident that this bill will be approved by the senate? when it comes to the parliamentarian, that person can reject other proposals and has done so, a path to citizenship has been rejected, green cards have been rejected. what's your plan if the senate parliamentarian what has already been approved in the house? because it could happen. >> i think the better word, other than confident, is hopeful. i am hopeful that the parliamentarian, based on her
previous rulings that said that because of the policy impact that was not temporary or finite or because it was focused into a small, targeted groups, that this does not have those elements. so i'm hopeful she will rule in favor. but in addition to that, there are senate rules where the chair could also give their ruling or their opinions and there is a process in which they can continue to move forward with those protections. and we're hopeful to see it across the finish line, because it's going to benefit american families. it's going to increase jobs by over millions of new jobs. it's going to increase to our gdp by about $1.5 trillion over a decade. that's why this is going to benefit all american families. >> this immigration provision, is it a must-have to get your final vote? what happens if the senate
strips it from the final version? >> i'm going to restrict my language to getting to yes rather than getting to no. we're going to really push to get immigration in there to make sure we put money in american families' pockets with middle class tax breaks and lower the cost, because american families are struggling at the gas tanks and at the grocery stores. this is a bill that's going to boost our economy, that's going to lower the cost, that will help the middle class families get ahead. >> i love your optimistic approach. let me ask you if it exists with the other major provision of the bill, the expanded child tax credit. how much will this impact hispanic families still covering from the pandemic? >> look, alex, this bill is going to help hispanic families most, because hispanic families have been devastated by the pandemic the most. there is it no doubt that latinos, latinas, especially latinas, have beared -- bared
the brunt of the pandemic, paying for childcare, for elderly care as well. this bill is going to expand that child tax credit. i'm very confident it will remain. it will lift millions more children out of poverty. it's going to help with childcare, which is going to enable latino and latina parents to go back to work. and it's also going to help lower the cost of health care for those that fall within the medicaid gap. that will be critical for the american family. >> what do you think is key to taking this legislative victory and selling it to hispanic voters in a broadway? how do democrats turn this into a win next year in the midterms, especially as republicans are expanding support within the latino community?
is build back better going to bring hispanics back to the democratic party? >> it will be a big step towards that, including the already-accomplished historical infrastructure law that we just passed. it's going to fix our roads, build our railways, fix our bridges, provide clean water and energy and deal with climate. these are accomplishable wins that people feel in their pockets, people will talk about these things. when parents are having dinner and they're worried about needing to go back to work because they can't afford childcare, when they know that kids do better in school and in live when they're able to go to preschool, and this bill is able to provide expanded preschool for 3 and 4 years old, when their elderly parent or grandparent is starting to have hearing problems which can expedite alzheimer's and dementia if they don't take care of it, now they're able to
provide hearing aids, these are tangible, life-improving elements from the build back better act that is going to boost our economy, it's going to help bring relief for the costs that are going up. this is why i think the senate has an enormous opportunity to understand that and get this done for the american families. >> okay. keep on keeping on, and happy thanksgiving to my fellow californian. >> happy thanksgiving. breaking news to share on the seeming disappearance of chinese tennis star peng shuai. the president of the international olympic committee has issued a statement in which he said he has spoken with peng. it happened in a video call earlier today. joining us now with more on this breaking news, nbc's raf sanchez. raf, a lot of people have been waiting for this. fill us in. >> reporter: yeah, alex, this is a call that may raise more questions than answers. here is what we know. in the last few minutes, the president of the international olympics committee, thomas bach,
put out a statement where he said he was on a 30-minute phone call with peng shuai and he seems, from the readout from the ioc, to basically accept the line that chinese state media has been putting out over the last couple of days, which is that everything is fine and that there's nothing to see here. i want to read you a little bit of this statement. it says, peng shuai thanks the ioc for its concern about her wellbeing. she explains that she is safe and well, living at her home in beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time. now, there's a couple of things to note here, alex. the ioc president was not alone on this call with peng shuai. also on the line was the vice president of the chinese olympic committee. so viewers at home can make their own minds up about how free or not peng shuai may feel
to speak given that there is a senior chinese official on the line. it's also important to note there is no mention of the sexual assault allegations that peng shuai made against a former communist party official right before she disappeared for the last couple of weeks. the ioc doesn't make any call for those allegations to be investigated further. it doesn't say whether thomas bach discussed those allegations with her or not. and the other thing that's worth noting is that the winter olympics in beijing are just a couple of weeks away at this point. so the international olympics committee are coordinating extremely closely with the chinese government to get those games going and may have an incentive to try to stay on the right side of the chinese government at this point. so that's what we know. this is the first known call
that peng shuai has had with anybody outside of china since she disappeared three weeks ago, alex. >> i appreciate your context and your perspective, and reporting the facts as we know them at this point. raf sanchez. we'll talk about this with our colleague richard lui in the next hour for a deeper dive. thank you so much. republicans doubled down on trump's big election lie in a battleground state. why the election system is coming under attack, next. (calls dog) buttercup... (whines) ♪♪ ♪ ohh ohh ♪ bipolar depression. it made me feel like i was trapped in a fog. this is art inspired by real stories of people living with bipolar depression. i just couldn't find my way out of it. the lows of bipolar depression can take you to a dark place... ...and be hard to manage. latuda could make a real difference in your symptoms.
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nbc news is now projecting joe biden is the apparent winner in the state of wisconsin. ten electoral votes. that was an important prize in the democrats' blue wall. >> our colleague there lester holt, anchor of "nbc nightly news," more than a year ago, reporting on that very important wisconsin win for joe biden. that win was challenged by then
president trump and a recount was ordered. 16 days later, this was the headline. completed wisconsin recount confirms biden's win over trump, winning by some 20,000 votes. didn't stop trump from later suing to overturn the victory. the state supreme court upheld the results. one year later, an audit of the 2020 vote found the elections there were safe and secure. now there is a sobering effort under way. "the new york times" reporting republicans in that state pushed to take over the state's elections. joining me now, wisconsin state senator. she serves on the judiciary and public safety committees. welcome to you. first of all, the attack on the bipartisan wisconsin elections commission. i want to point out, that's an agency that republicans created half a decade ago, pre-donald trump, or at least when he was beginning to get into the public atmosphere politically. >> that's exactly right.
the republicans several years ago, when they had complete control of government, they dismantled the nonpartisan agency and replaced it with the wisconsin elections commission. now they've decided that because they're not able to guarantee themselves a win every single time, they want to throw that in the garbage as well. they have really stepped up their attacks on our democracy. >> i guess not being able to guarantee their win every single time because maybe democrats outvote them? i mean, come on. it is very dramatic, this whole thing. "the times" says a trump-supporting sheriff is recommending felony charges against five of the six elections commission. the wisconsin elections commission responded by simply saying, to put it simply, we did not break the law. where did this accusation come from? >> that particular sheriff is rogue, hard-core right winger. as an attorney i can say there is really no legal basis for his
claims. and that's why the elections commission members have not been charged. there are three democrats and three republicans on the elections commission. the decision to allow people in nursing homes to vote absentee was made by all of them. and to come in now after the fact, when republicans sat on their hands and did nothing to help people vote during a deadly pandemic, because the elections commission ensured that people could exercise their right to vote, is the height of hypocrisy. >> how did it get this far? >> well, unfortunately in wisconsin, we have seen a march over time from the republican party away from democracy. you know, it started out with gerrymandering and voter suppression laws, changing the campaign finance rules to benefit republicans. they wanted to tilt the playing field in their favor. that's why even though wisconsin is a very purple state, we have senator tammy baldwin and senator ron johnson as our u.s.
senators. we go back and forth. but we've been a deep red state in terms of the legislature because they've been able to gerrymander that i way into permanent power. but they've apparently decided that's not enough for them. they want to make sure we never have a democratic governor elected again, like our current governor tony evers. they want the power to overturn elections and the power to run federal elections to be seated with the legislature, which of course is controlled by republicans. >> senator ron johnson, who we should note is up for reelection next year, said this week, state lawmakers should unilaterally assert control of federal elections. he told "the new york times" it's because, quote, democrats cheat. we've reached out to him for comment on this story. we have not heard back. but what is your response to that? >> this is outrageous. and we are in such a perilous moment for democracy right now.
i think that so many of us breathed a sigh of relief when trump was unable to try to steal the 2020 election. and after january 6th, was not successful and we did not see the kind of successful overturning of the government that i think many of those planners wanted to see. but unfortunately, the republican party and the wisconsin republican party is no different, has become probably the most serious threat to american democracy. if you think that having free and fair elections is part of the core idea of america, there is no greater threat to america today than the republican party. and that is a statement that i don't make lightly. when they abandon democracy and the mechanisms to keep us having fair and free elections, they are a danger to our democracy and our country. >> unfortunately, i'm going to add, it is not a statement i have not heard spoken several times on this broadcast before. so that ideology is in the water
cooler, shall we say. meantime, wisconsin state senator, thank you so much for joining me and speaking about this, appreciate that. despite the polls, reports indicate president biden wants four more years. but is it a sure bet that he's actually going to run? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ with chase security features, guidance and convenience, banking feels good. chase. make more of what's yours.
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president biden is asking democratic lawmakers for one big christmas present this year, that is for his social spending bill to be on his desk for a signature. but that may be easier said than done, as the legislation now faces an uphill battle in the senate with progressives and moderates still at odds, and provisions like paid family leave, higher s.a.l.t. deductions and funding immigration reform all potentially on the chopping block. joining me now our good friend jeff mason, white house correspondent for reuters. hi, jeff, thank you for joining me. >> hi, alex. >> getting the bill through the
house was one thing, getting it through the senate may be more challenging where joe manchin being the biggest obstacle with kyrsten sinema right behind him. does the white house think it's realistic for this to be on the president's desk at the end of the year? >> they're optimistic, they believe they're going to get this done. they've obviously shown a willingness to compromise. the president wants the things you just referred to, especially paid family leave, but they are willing to do whatever they need to to get it across the finish line. >> i've got to say, every lawmaker i've had recently has had that same optimistic tone. i feel like it's changed, almost. before there was a little consternation, it will be tough, but now they say it looks like it will happen. the challenge then will be selling the bill to the american people. but it's coming, jeff, at a time when inflation is at a 30-year high. how much does that affect
biden's messaging for this bill? >> it adds some pressure for him personally, because the inflation being at the level you just mentioned has hurt him politically, it's hurt him in the polls. and that takes away a little bit of political capital as well. i'm not sure that the white house sees a connection there. i think they probably see an opportunity in some ways, because getting him out on the road to talk about what is now going to be one of his signature achievements with the infrastructure bill and potentially with the build back better bill as well is an opportunity for him to show the american public that he's at least from their view coming or following up on, delivering on promises that he made during the campaign. and that is true. i mean, he did make these promises during the campaign. and he has been able to get of them through legislatively. but it is not paying off for him politically so far, and a lot of that is because, a, not everyone is aware of what's in the bill, which raises the question whether they've sold it well
enough to the public before now. that's something they can change by getting out and selling it now. and b, concerns about inflation and the economy that people are absolutely feeling when they go to the gas station and go to the store. >> you make really good points here, because the president's approval rating has sunk down to like the low to mid-40s at this point, and yet americans are on board when they are educated as to what's in this bill. so there is a disconnect thus far. i mean, it has to be a full-court press, pull out all the stops to try to tell people on behalf of the white house, here is how it's going to benefit for you. is that the game plan? >> well, and i think you're right to use the word "disconnect," because i think it's very true. and yes, i do think, to answer your question, alex, it is a full-court press that they have planned. that is not only to sell the infrastructure bill but also to highlight and put pressure on the senate to pass his build back better bill, because these
are key, key elements of his agenda, and all of this, as your viewers know, is under the deadline of, he's not going to be able to get some of these things done in another year if the democrats lose control of the house and the senate. so they've got all of that against the backdrop of having something pretty close right now to get across the finish line. they need to make sure people understand what's in it and they need to get that part of the bill passed. >> i've got to ask you about this pretty big headline, new reporting from "the washington post," you know what i'm going to ask you about, biden and aides are telling allies he is running in 2024 amid growing democratic fears. the message is aimed in part at tamping down the assumption among many democrats that biden may not seek reelection given his age and waning popularity while effectively freezing the field for vice president harris and other potential presidential hopefuls. are you hearing about this from inside the white house? >> well, look, i do think this is an interesting story. and yet we're also only, what, nine, ten months into his, so
far, first term. yes, people are concerned about it. that is something i've heard. yes, i've also heard there are some democrats who want him to run again simply because if it does end up being a competition against donald trump, former president donald trump again, they think biden is best-placed to win. i think that the white house may be frustrated that this is even a discussion yet. but it is, because of his age. you have to ask the question as to whether or not he would run for a second term. he also did, as a candidate, call himself a transitional figure. but i also think it's important to remember, he was asked about this at the first press conference that he gave as president at the white house. to the chagrin, i might add, of some of his aides who thought the question was not fair, whether he was going to run again. and he said yes. so that's not a change in messaging, the story you're referring to. that's what he's been saying all along. >> yeah, you make the nine or ten months point.
but remember donald trump, didn't he file like on inauguration day or the day after saying, yeah, i'm running again? oops, he didn't win. >> it seemed really unusual at the time, because it was. but you're spot on, alex, campaigns for president in this country start very early and seem to start earlier and earlier every year or every cycle. >> i'll keep the fact that you said i'm spot on, i'll stop right there before i do anything to change your mind. all right, my friend, happy thanksgiving, you know how much i appreciate you. meantime, they're ideas that become laws and can change the lives of millions. next, what the build back better bill will do for america's cities. you'll hear from someone who knows firsthand. ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work?
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some new insight now as the senate gets ready to debate that $1.6 trillion build back better act. key provisions like paid family and medical leave could be axed, would would reportedly benefit millions of workers a year who do not get paid for leave. joining us, the author of "the deeper the roots." can i just say, i love the picture of you on the cover of this book. it's like you're on your -- i don't know, tonka trike, it's so cute. but as build back better stands now, michael, how satisfied are you with this legislation,
knowing the impact something like this could make on america's cities. >> we know that perfect can be the enemy of good. we also know that in our system, we'll never get everything. but what's in this bill are significant investments in childcare. as a new father of two, i appreciate the president and vice president prioritizing child care, bringing those costs down. the child tax credit, which is essentially a guaranteed income for families with children. you have the earned income tax expansion, significant investments in climate change. things for older americans, including covering hearing. you have more expansion of health care, and bringing down the costs. it's a real forward-thinking vision of what our country should be, after what this pandemic has taught us. and it has taught us that we have to do a better to do a better job of having our citizen's backs. and this build back better does that. it's through the moon and i can't wait to see it pass through the senate. >> as we drill through some of the details here, adam schiff says that 420,000 california
families would gain health insurance. 850,000 children would get universal preschool, and ,500 tax credits will go toward low-wage workers. what do you think would make the greatest direct impact? >> the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. particularly in this time when there's economic anxiety. when people are concerned about the cost of goods. and the investment through the child tax credit, giving $300 to american parents to do what they need to do to provide for their children, doing the same with their earned income tax credit and honoring our essential workers is monumental and puts down a good foundation of how much we can build. and if i can add another one, the universal preschool. the universal preschool is so important, because it's an investment in child in terms of allowing parents to go to work, but also an investment in our future to make sure kids born in
poverty or kids born during this time have the right start needed to reach their full potential 10, 20 years from now >> yeah, 100%. >> you were elected mayor in -- you were only 26 years old there in stockton. you were the youngest. you were the first black mayor in the city's history. during your time in office, something we talked about a few times here on the broadcast, you implemented a host of policies that included a universal basic income pilot program. and now you see other cities following your lead. do you think universal basic income could work on a national level? however could it potentially go to create better equity in this country? >> well, that's why i'm so excited about this child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. because literally giving cash, giving an investment, giving the tools to family and essential workers to do what they need to do to persist through this pandemic, to support small businesses, to maybe go back to school, to start their own businesses. and it's essentially a
guaranteed income for parents, which is a huge deal and something aisle really proud of. and once we see it works, once we see that people aren't going to protest getting checks. once we see people are healthier, more productive, and better able to be good citizens and good parents, we will want to get it to everyone. i'm through the moon about the child tax credit, a huge first step towards basic income in this country. >> you're definitely singing that tune again and again. it's important to you. let me ask you about the book, you chronicle your remarkable rise from childhood to the success story you clearly are today. and you describe your book as a love letter to the three mothers who raised you, your mother, your aunt, and your grandmother. can you share some of the advice that they gave you that you hope would inspire others? >> the biggest thing they taught me was that i was somebody. they taught me to always be excellent, to work hard, love god, love your neighbors, and never take "no" for an answer. to be determined. and they also taught me that
sort of the circumstances, sort of the outside things, outside of my control, didn't define who i was. that i had the power and the agency to define who i was, if i was mad at something, i had to do something about it. and those lessons have served me well throughout my life and very thankful to them. >> 100% those lessons have served you well. the book is, the deeper the roots, memoir of hope and home. it's a great book. thank you for sharing it with us. and i suggest all of our viewers take a look at the nonprofit that you're starting next year. it's called "end poverty in california," and that's pretty cool. go online, folks, and check that out. thank you, michael tubbs. good to see you. >> always good to see you. thank you for having me. a new concern about worker shortages at the airport right before thanksgiving. why one government official says, though, don't be worried. says, though, don't be worried it always feels a little out of reach. but it's all about the baby steps. maybe it's a jump or eating something green. or taking mom to get that vaccine. ♪ healthier means bringing stuff to the folks ♪ ♪ that really need it. ♪ ♪ like help at 2 am or care that's right at home. ♪
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will be shopping over this thanksgiving weekend, but 46% say they started shopping earlier than usual this year. some may be shopping flush with cash this year, report that americans socked away $2.3 million more in their savings since the pandemic, but 58% will be hitting the store for deals they think are too good to pass up. >> you can throw the ultimate holiday bash with barbie. >> are you shopping for children? the survey says barbie is still the one, the most popular gift for girls and boys, it's legos. and to make ends meet, 60% with consumer debt say they're willing to put more on their credit cards if need be to make holiday purchases, but that may not include the 21% of those who say they're actually going to spend a little bit less than last year. twisted tale of what's happening to a missing tennis player in china takes a new turn and it's not putting any of the questions about her to rest.
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and a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome to "alex witt reports." we begin in washington where president biden's build back better act is headed to the senate and it's sure to face an uphill battle, as moderates and progressives remain split. today, democrats are seemingly confident they can come together while republicans are