tv Jose Diaz- Balart Reports MSNBC December 10, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PST
together. >> michael beschloss and garrett haake, thank you so much, as we wait for that casket carrying the body of bob dole, from the place where he served for nearly three decades to take it to the washington national cathedral. jose diaz-balart is here to pick up our coverage right now. jose? >> and good morning. it is 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i am jose diaz-balart. right now, we are looking at capitol hill, the hears carrying the flag-draped casket of former senator bob dole. any minute now, it will arrive at the national cathedral, where friends and loved ones will pay their respects to the world war ii veteran. we will bring you live coverage of his funeral service later this hour. but first, the fda has just paved the way for millions of american teenagers to get that third dose of covid vaccine before christmas. we're also following the latest out of that tragic truck accident in mexico.
more than 50 people were killed, most of them believed to be migrants from central america. and breaking news. this morning, wikileaks founder julian assange is one step closer to being extradited after the u.s. won an appeal at a uk court battle. and on the economy, consumer prices are up a staggering 6.8% from last year. that's the highest increase in nearly four decades. and let's go with pete williams. there is a supreme court decision. okay, i'm being told now that there is -- we are looking now at -- i'm sorry about this. there's some breaking news that we're going to be covering, but this is the moment that the coffin that's carrying senator dole leaves the capitol after being in the rotunda for the
ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step, ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. >> and we have breaking news this morning. we understand that the supreme court has a decision. pete williams is with us. >> texas could not simply on its own ban abortion of six weeks of pregnancy, because that would violate the current supreme court rulings that say that you can't ban abortion before the age of viability. that issue, by the way, is what's being debated now in the mississippi case, but the court hasn't ruled on that, so the law of the united states right now is you can't ban abortion after six weeks.
so what texas came up with was a novel plan to allow outsiders, anybody else, private citizens to file lawsuit. so the question for the supreme court was, can lawsuits go ahead, challenging the structure of the texas law and the supreme court has just said "yes." and i'm trying to decide now what the outcome of the court is. but it's going to take a while to figure out what the vote is here, lester, but the bottom line is that these lawsuits can now go ahead in texas. >> that's pete williams with the supreme court decision on the texas law. maya wiley, this is breaking as we speak. we don't know the exact details yet of this court decision, but it is on the texas abortion law.
what are the repercussions of this? >> as pete williams said, you heard him say it there, it's very clear, that means that the providers, the people who are providing for reproductive services to women in texas can challenge the state, even though the state is saying, look, we're not doing a thing. we just have a law that lets private citizens bring lawsuits. and what the supreme court was saying, and we heard it in the argument was, like, well, aren't you really creating -- finding a clever chink in the armor of the law to do something that we have long said in this court that you cannot, which is find way to prevent people from vindicating their constitutional rights, being able to go to court to get a remedy if they think their constitutional rights were violated. so it doesn't answer the ultimate question about sb-8. it does say, yes, you can go to court, yes, you can bring this
law. yes, you can challenge the state, even when the state tried to bulletproof themselves from this kind of lawsuit. and just force folks to have to do one case at a time. and found each individual bounty hunter. >> so maya, again, just to kind of broad picture this, the texas law is not a direct attack on roe v. wade, like, for example, mississippi law that the supreme court is considering. it's kind of, as you say, looking for chinks in the armor of this. what does that in real terms mean? for texas, what does it mean in real terms? >> in real terms, remember what happened after this law became the law of texas was abortion providers, all of these doctors, all of these clinics, not enough
of them for the women that needed them, but were making health care accessible to them, suddenly stopped. it's 85% of women who wanted and desired to have an abortion and could constitutionally have one under roe v. wade and casey, that they simply didn't have a place to go and had to leave the state to simply take care of their own reproductive health choices. now the fact that this has been challenged may open up more providers to be able to provide those services now. it opens up something that is critically important for the health and well-being of girls who have been trying to get the reproductive health care that was their constitutional right to. >> so a lot has to do with precedent, right? the law of the land, as many of the magistrates that are currently in the supreme court
said on both sides when they were going through their confirmation process, that it was already established law. this texas precedent, right, do you think that this tell us anything about the court vis-a-vis the mississippi case that they're considering? >> that's a really important question, jose, and the answer is, it doesn't tell us a thing. because they weren't deciding -- what texas was doing was really right to make an end run around the supreme court to bulletproof their law that would make it near impossible for a woman to get an abortion, so they didn't have to deal with the issue of whether or not abortion wouz constitutional, whether or not they could regulate her right to choose her bodily autonomy before a fetus was 27 weeks or viable. what that means here is only -- but it's important, i don't want to lose this point. it is important.
it doesn't say anything about whether or not mississippi and every state that wants to do what mississippi is doing can roll back abortion rights. but what it does mean, and one of the things that the justices were very concerned about in oral arguments and rightly so, was how many other constitutional rights could you expend this strategy? so, you don't want people to have a constitutional right to do certain things, you can just say, we the state will just say, we'll create a civil law that says, anybody for any reason can bring a $10,000 damages clause against you for doing this thing we don't want you to do, even if the supreme court says it's constitutional. >> and that could be anything! that could be any number of things, right? >> it could be any number of things. i'm just making this up, but if we took it to its logical conclusion, if this stood, you could have a state saying, you know what, we won't say you don't have a right to
contraception, to condoms or other forms of contraception, but what we will say is, anybody can sue you for selling them. >> i want to go to pete williams, who has been carrying this breaking news for us this morning. pete, what else do we know? >> i don't know what else you've said, because i've been serving some of my other masters here, jose, but this is a decision that says a couple of things. number one, the abortion law remains in effect. the supreme court did not lift its earlier stays that allowed the state to continue to enforce the law. so the law is still enforced. secondly, it does allow lawsuits to proceed against the state by abortion providers. now, remember, the issue here before the supreme court was not the constitutionality of this law or whether it violated federal statutes. it was simply the structure of the law.
the supreme court wasn't being asked to overturn it. the only question before the supreme court is whether two lawsuits, two kinds of lawsuits could proceed in texas to challenge the law. one was one filed by the biden administration. the supreme court says, no, that one can't go ahead. the second one was lawsuits brought by abortion providers in texas. the supreme court says, yes, that can go ahead, but it ties one hand behind the backs of the abortion providers, because it narrows down the universe of people they can sue. ultimately, that may not matter if they can get a decision even with those defendants that the law is unconstitutional. the reason here there's some optimism for abortion providers in texas is that the if the law or the structure of the law is determined to be unconstitutional because it
would violate existing supreme court precedents, that's good news for them. but it does make it a little harder for them to prevail in their lawsuits in texas, but the lawsuits can go ahead. it's a mixed victory for abortion providers in texas. >> pete williams, for not having heard me before, you answered everything that i had to ask you. that's why you're the greatest. pete williams, thank you very much. let's go ahead outside the u.s. supreme court. ken dilanian there. what's the latest there? >> reporter: just expanding on what pete was saying, one of the defendants that the -- that is not allowed to be sued is the state attorney general of texas. but there are other defendants who would be involved in enforcing this law, or at least processing the lawsuits that would process this law, they can be sued now. it absolutely is a partial victory that allows these lawsuits to go forward, challenging this law and if the judge in texas adheres to the current precedent of the land,
which is that abortions cannot be curtailed until viability of the fetus, then that's bad news for this law. but of course, we have another case pending in the supreme court that could change all of that, that we don't know the outcome of. but in terms of where things stand right now, this is a pretty substantial partial victory for abortion right supporters in texas. >> ken, thank you very much. i want to go back to maya wiley. our nbc news legal analyst. now that we have more of an understanding of some of the details behind this decision, how do you see it? >> so i have to roll back what i said then about some of the implications of the decision, which i haven't read. if the law stands and, obviously it does not create more access to full reproductive health care for women. but it is important outside of abortion so, the problem here is
from what we know from the arguments in mississippi, in the dobbs case, it does not sound like this is a supreme court that are going to do the right thing by women. we don't know for sure until they make that decision. but as you and jose and i and others were watching that argument, it certainly wasn't going well, for folks that care about the constitutional rights of women. now, that said, it is critically important that the lawsuit can proceed, because so much more was at stake for people's ability to get to court to vindicate their constitutional rights and it's interesting to me that they're saying that you can sue the clerks who are taking the complaint, you can't sue the attorney general. that, i will be looking forward to reading the opinion to understand how they came up with that and their logic there. but it does matter that the
supreme court is signaling to other states, not only texas, that are trying to find end runs around federal court and people's ability to go and challenge laws that may, in fact, violate their constitutional rights. that they are not allowing that. they're sending the signal, we're not going to allow you to just do that whole cloth and avoid -- >> and i think, maya, it's very important that we kind of hone in on this, because as you were just telling us earlier, this pattern could have been used in many other cases and many other issues. and you spoke about some. there's some that talk about the second amendment, for example. and what states could and could not do on that nature. but being such a, i guess, limited in scope, right, the supreme court's focus on this case, the fact that they're letting it stand, but saying
that the federal government and others can take a stand on this, does, i think, make a substantial difference. >> you know, it makes a substantial difference for states that are trying to do with justice kagan called finding the chink in the armor of previous supreme court cases that said that you can't deny people the ability to sue the state in order to be able to vindicate their constitutional rights. but, i'm a little worried, until i read this, i'm worried. >> maya wiley, thank you so much. i appreciate it. and i'm sure that we get more details and we're all able to bear into it, we will have more information. stay with me, maya. i want to go to morgan chesky. he is in dallas, texas. morgan, what's the reaction there? >> reporter: yeah, jose, we are monitoring the social media of governor greg abbott, attorney
general ken paxton who were staunch advocates when this law went into effect on october 1st. we haven't heard from them just yet, but they will be weighing in. this has become a highly contentious issue here in the state of texas. sb-8, very polarizing across the entire state. after it went into effect back if early september, an abortion rights group did a study across the state and found that abortions fell by about 50%. and just down the road from us in ft. worth, texas, there was a clinic that averaged about 60-plus procedures every day. that number dropped to 11. that is the impact of this law, essentially the harshest abortion law in the nation that in a lot of cases, forced many women to travel across state lines, to have procedures done. and the concern from abortion rights advocates is that many of these women come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. they do not have the means to
travel. it could potentially put their health at an even greater risk. and because this sb-8 law, this ban, bans abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks' time, that's before many women even know they're pregnant. and that's been one of the arguments against it. we did hear from a district judge just yesterday, jose, whose argument calling this unconstitutional was in the enforcement angle, saying this gave private parties too much power to enact the law. because what this sb-8 did, is that anyone could sue an abortion provider or someone who aided in the process of an abortion and in an extreme case, an extreme potential was given that even an uber driver who drove a woman to a clinic could theoretically be sued under sb-8. and if it was successful, the person who filed that lawsuit would get $10,000.
so those are just some of the things at play right now. legal challenges can, of course, continue here with the supreme court decision today. abortion rights advocates here calling this just the next step of many, but for them, as of this point in time, it's a hopeful sign. jose? >> and morgan, as of right now, as you were saying, no reaction in any way by any state official? >> reporter: we're keeping a close eye, but as of right now, there's not, jose? >> morgan chesky, thank you so much. let's go back outside the supreme court. ken dilanian is there continuing to read through today's decision. ken, what are you seeing? >> reporter: just that they narrowed the list of defendants who can be sued. the more you read this, the more you realize it's not as great a victory, perhaps, of the opponents of this law than maybe it first appeared. not only can't they sue the
attorney general, they can't sue the court clerk or some justice gists. they can sue some life officials, who may be involved in helping enforce part of this law. so we'll really have to see how it plays out in the texas courts. but the important thing is, they can sue and they can make the argument that this law violates existing precedent, which is roe v. wade. and of course, we know that roe v. wade is itself in question in another case before the supreme court, the mississippi case, that will be -- that we'll see a decision on later in the term, perhaps a few months from now. but for right now, the opponents of this law in texas can go forward and can ask a judge to rule it unconstitutional, jose. >> i know this is just happening on live television, but do we have any idea how the justices voted or decided this? >> it's really difficult on this one to discern that, because there are so many -- there are disagreements on particular parts of gorsuch -- conservative
justices neil gorsuch announced the opinion, but i'll have to appeal to my colleague, pete williams about what exactly that means. there's a number of disagreements on different parts and it's really hard to see how the vote shook out until we go through this some more, jose? >> thank you so much, ken clain dilanian. melissa murray is with us, our analyst. what's your reaction to this decision today? >> i think we're getting a strong sense that the court was really fractured and divided. as the analyst just said, this was a really infrastructured decision. justice gorsuch issued the opinion for the majority, but excepted himself from one part of the decision. justices sotomayor, kagan and breyer issued an opinion. so we see the hard-core conservative block of the court standing firm together, as to
most of this opinion. the chief justice somewhat in the middle, drifting to his liberal colleagues, and the liberal colleagues concurring in the judgment, but making some real reservations known in their concurring opinions here. so, again, a court that continues to be very fractured on the question of abortion. and as we know last week, we heard oral arguments in the mississippi case, and i imagine that fracture will persist in the discussion of that challenge, as well. >> so, melissa, tell us, if you're reading the tea leaves of today's decision and it's clear that there was some fluidity as far as what magistrates or what justices went one way or another depending on the aspects of the law. but if you're looking at the tea leaves on this, how do you feel? what do you think this says? >> i think the real tea leaves were to be read on december 1st, when the court heard oral argument in that mississippi case. and there it seemed that a strong majority of the court was in favor of either overruling roe v. wade and planned
parenthood versus casey entirely or severely limiting the reach of those opinions and the three liberals really were by themselves. this case doesn't really change my mind about that. this was, of course, just a jurisdictional question. the question before the case was whether these matters should be in federal court in the first place. and the court made clear that they were not taking up the substantiative question of whether a pre-viability ban on abortion was constitutional, under roe and casey. and of course, that is also the main question in the case that was argued last week. and a decision holding that pre-viability bans are permissible going forward would, of course, encompass these texas cases, as well. >> so what do you think this means in the state of texas? >> reporter: well, what will happen in texas is that this law continues to -- will be adjoined as to its operation right now. and that sort of pulls it in advance, as this challenge goes
forward. but again, there's already considerable confusion on the ground in texas. some providers have already stopped providing abortion services and they may not be able to come back online. so i think that this law accomplished its purpose, which was to arrest the exercise of this constitutional right for some period of time in texas. and it certainly did that for two months. >> and i'm just wondering, if this -- and i know you just talked a little bit about it. it really can tell us very little about how the supreme court may be thinking in total on the mississippi case. >> well, i love the use of all of the latin here. i think we did get a sense of where the court is going in that mississippi case. i think the real question is how those decisions will write as the court deliberates over the next couple of months. and an opinion in the mississippi case is likely to come down at the end of term in june. but what we saw on december 1st was a strong conservative core of the court that is very
skeptical of abortion rights. and i don't think that this decision today alleviated any of that skepticism. this was simply a case about whether or not these challenges can go forward in federal court and the court dismissed the united states' department of justice case, but of course, allowed this other case against the individual licensing officials to go forward. >> and i'm just wondering, when you look at justice roberts and how he was, as you were saying, kind of going between one and the other, depending on the specifics, i'm thinking of the key role that he played on obamacare, right, at the supreme court. do you see there any pattern emerging on roberts? >> i think the real question here is whether or not chief justice john roberts is chief justice in principle, as well as name. obviously, the court and the affordable care act cases was a very differently constituted court, where there's a 5-4 conservative majority, and you had justices like justice kennedy, for example, that often turned back and headed with the liberals. this is not that same court.
this is a court with a 6-3 conservative super majority and the chief justice is probably of the conservatives, the least conservative, although he himself is quite conservative. so the question here is, how can he rein in that hard-core conservative bloc of the court. and it seemed obvious last week in oral arguments and this week in terms of how these opinions written and where the chief justice finds himself is that maybe he's having a hard time keeping all of the conservative bloc in line. >> melissa murthy, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you so much for being with me this morning. we're also following breaking news out of mexico. at least 55 people died, dozens more were injured in a horrific tractor-trailer truck accident yesterday. we should warn you that the images you're about to see are, indeed, disturbing. officials say the truck crashed while carrying at least 152 people, mostly migrants from guatemala, hon duras, and el
salvador. witnesses say the driver was speeding around a bend when the trailer overturned and collided with a bridge. i warn you, these images are strong. the driver fled the scene. telemundo spoke with two crash survivors. >> joining me now from the san ysidro point of entry along the u.s./mexico border, is guad venegas. good morning. give us the latest on what caused this horrific accident? >> reporter: good morning, jose. like you said, horrific. it's incredible to see those images of the survivors standing -- or that were sitting right after that accident. so what we know is that these migrants, the president did send a message last night through social media to the families and
he did say that these are migrants. they were traveling from the mexico/guatemalan border, assuming that they were trying to get to the u.s./mexico border going north. now, what's happening in the southern part of mexico is that many migrants will cross the border into mexico, and they try to look for ways to make the way across the country. many of them hiring smugglers that will then put them in vehicles, because they want to avoid mexican immigration officials. in this case, we know that more than 150 were crammed into the back of this semitrailer. this happened in the southern state of chiapas. for now, we know that there's no information of the driver of this vehicle. it is common in mexico, it's very common that wherever there's accidents like these, the drivers usually leave the scene. so what we know now is that these were migrants. we know the high number of them that were inside that semitrailer. and we're still waiting for more details from the mexian
government. and i should add that officials from nicaragua have sent the message saying that some nicaraguans were inside there. and this is happening as we've seen more and more migrants trying to make their way to the mexico/u.s. border, with a change with mpp, remain in mexico policy implemented this week. unfortunately, there has been misinformation making its way through mexico and through central america, where many of the migrants think that it is easier to seek asylum in the u.s. i've been told by an official, a state official here at the border, that sometimes it's the smugglers that tell the migrants that now it's easier to get to the u.s., hoping that this way, they will make more money by transporting them in different ways. and as we can see, many of them risking their life in the process, jose. >> guad venegas, solid reporting from san ysidro, thank you very much for being with me. and thank you for the privilege of your time. that wraps up this hour for me. i'll see you on "nightly news"
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. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. as the nation's capital and the rest of the country are mourning and celebrating the extraordinary life of an american hero and patriot, robert joseph dole. second lieutenant in world war ii, severely disabled, but conquering his injures every day for the rest of his life, to become a senate leader. an advocate for the malnourished, the disabled, and all veterans, and his party's nominee for president of the united states. live pictures there of his casket, coming out of the hearse, having coming from the capitol this morning. we ask you to join us as senator
dole is remembered by tom daschle, who worked so closely with dole on capitol hill, and president biden who spent more than two decades benefiting from senator dole's mentorship across party lines in the upper chamber. always with him in life and now, his wife, former senator and cabinet member, elizabeth dole. grieving at his casket just yesterday in the capitol rotunda. among the other guests at today's memorial service in the national cathedral, former vice presidents dan quayle, dick cheney, and mike pence, and former president bill clinton, who defeated dole in the 1996 election, and thern then honore with the presidential medal of freedom just two months later. after this morning's service, boal's body will be driven to the national world war r memorial which senator dole played such a critical role in
creating and frequently visited weekly to greet former veterans of that world. and live pictures now as the honor guard removes the casket from the hearse, approaching the bishops awaiting him at the top of the steps at the national cathedral. >> ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. forward march.
>> that was, of course, senator elizabeth dole and his daughter from his first marriage, robin dole. the survivors, members of the immediate family, you see them there, following the casket up the steps. >> ready, step. ready, step. ready, step. center face. >> the congregation may stand as you are able. with faith in jesus christ, we receive the body of our brother, robert joseph dole for burial. let us pray with confidence to god the giver of life that he will raise him to perfection in
the company of saints. deliver your servant bob sovereign lord christ from all evil and set him free from every bond, that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations, where with the father and the holy spirit, you live and reign, one god, forever and ever, amen. >> let us also pray for all who mourn, that they may cast their care on god and know the consolation of his love. almighty god, look with pity upon the sorrows of your servants for whom we pray. remember them, lord, in mercy. nourish them in patience.
>> you see bill clinton, vice president mike pence, the former leaders, dick cheney, i believe dan quayle next to cheney, our own savanna guthrie, very close to the dole family. she will be speaking leader at the world war ii memorial. tom hanks, who has been so active in helping create that world war ii memorial. of course, democratic leaders, with whom he worked closely, schumer and pelosi, speaker of the house. >> kelly o'donnell joining me from the cathedral. kelly, you were so close to senator dole, covering his campaigns. talk to me about what is so
memorable to you about covering this remarkable man. >> what an extraordinary life. and what an example he offers. and in so many ways, andrea, when we look at the life of bob dole, it encapsulates a time in our history where there are many lessons. he served his country in world war ii. he did so heroically. he was injured and i was always struck in the times that i covered him and the times spending time with him in the year since, by how those injuries never left him. he carried those wounds of war all through his daily life. he experienced pain and hardship, all through his life. he never fully recovered. those disabilities he experienced inspired him to serve others, in ways that many americans see and feel and experience if their own lives today, with the americans with disabilities act, with
international treaties that support people with disabilities. that's a very real legacy of bob dole, born out of his service to country, his sacrifice, and his commitment to giving something back. i'm also struck by seeing president clinton there in the front. they worked together when bob dole was majority leader, and of course those were times when they clashed over politics and they certainly were clashing in the 1996 campaign. and i remember being in the room when dole conceded that election. and it was painful. he had tried to become president three times. he also was on the ticket with gerald ford in 1976. he had big ambitions in politics. and those were unrealized when it came to presidential politics. but he spoke of bill clinton after a fiery and certainly contentious campaign that he was not any enemy. he was any opponent. and he congratulated him and he
promised to work with him for the good of the country. if you look back on that moment and then you see bill clinton in the audience there today, in the congregation today, it says a lot about the time, it says a lot about our politics, and it is a lesson of american civility. andrea? >> kelly, thank you so much. and i want to bring in our panel. "washington post" chief correspondent, dan balz. "usa today" washington bureau chief and native kansan, susan page, and "washington post" columnist, eugene robinson. welcome, all. dan balz, as we think pack of the bipartisanship that bob dole did represent, working in 1983 with pat moynihan on the social security compromise, working with george mcgovern on nutrition and agricultural help, the food lunches. working, of course, with tom
harkin from iowa on the americans for disabled act, a time long gone. >> andrea, it certainly seems like it is a time long gone. bob dole was a combination of many things, as a human being. he was certainly a partisan, a partisan republican, but as a senator, he knew that the role of people in politics was to try to make life better for people who needed that and he was prepared to work across the lines of politics in order to get those things done. and that is quality that is missing. and on a day that we remember bob dole's service, not just as a presidential candidate, but as a veteran, it behooves us all to think about whether there is a way to get some of that back
that we have lost. susan page, what does this mean to the man who returned to ruffle, kansas. he had been, as tom brokaw described him in "the washington post" today, an adonis, a high school athlete, a star, wanted to become a surgeon, and then, of course, disabled for life, two weeks before the end of the war in europe. and finding himself alongside a bed in the veterans hospital with danny inouye, who later became senators. >> a great honor to be this -- to have this service at the cathedral, as it was yesterday, when he was lying in the place of honor in the capitol rotunda,
but i have to think that the service would have been meant the most to bob dole is the one at st. mary's church in russell on saturday morning. bob dole had a certain sharp edge, he could be pretty caustic, but he would be moved to tears, even in the final years of his life, remembering what the people of russell did for him, when he came back to war with such as grievous injuries, 39 months of are habilitation. they took him back in, they elected him to local office, they sent him to congress, they participated in sending him to the senate to remember kansas and i remember his first announcement of his first of three presidential bids in russell, what an emotional occasion that was. nearly everybody in town came out to send off bob dole. >> and we've seen the bipartisanship, you know, we see that chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell sitting next to each other, because of protocol there
in the senate, now in the cathedral, with speaker pelosi. just yesterday at the capitol rotunda, nearly touching tributes from both mcconnell, understandably, from his party, but from chuck schumer, eugene. and now we see dick cheney in the cathedral with dan quayle and bill clinton. >> right. >> but they could not be further -- farther apart in politics. >> it seems like another time or another country, maybe both. it show how much things have changed. and frankly, how much the republican party has changed. it is a different party. it's a party that right now has no legislative agenda. no legislative proposals at all. it has -- it had no platform for the last election, at all. i mean, it -- it's a party that used to have a set of beliefs that bob dole shared deeply and
fought for, fiercely, and it's a very, very different party. it's a very, very different time. and it's hard to imagine leaders behaving this way. >> you know, watching these images of the cathedral, i was there last sunday and having attended so many of these funerals and memorial services, i was there with my husband, because the national cathedral is a treasure in washington, and it's so suiting. there's richard shelby, of course, of alabama. so suitable that it is there for these moments of state, but also for the community, obviously, for religious service but also for the glorious music. we see ted cruz next to amy klobuchar chatting, and then that's jackie clegg, next to chrissed to as the camera pulls
back. and we hear some of the hymns. you see mitch mcconnell in the front row. >> so do demonstrations of national unity like this help moving forward, or do they just remind us of what we've lost? >> i want to ask you, because i think it was bob dole's last comments were in usa today. you were the bureau chief, and reflect on some of his thoughts about the bipartisanship that we've lost. >> well, i interviewed bob dole two days before his 98th birthday in july. one of the last interviews he did. i'm not sure if it was the last one or not. and he was number one, in great mental shape. very interested in what was going on. but alarmed by the direction of our politics. he stood up for trump. he went to the cleveland convention for trump. one of the only former presidential nominees to do so. he voted for trump again for
reelection, but he told me he felt trumped out. and i think worried about the direction the party was going. and he specifically took trump to task for arguing, making the false argument that the election had been stolen from him, the 2020 election. he said dole said there had been no evidence of fraud, and that giuliani and trump failed to provide evidence of that. that was a break with trump. that he had not, i think, made clear before. >> in fact, my last interview with senator dole was at the republican convention in cleveland, and he was defending president trump and there had been so much controversy, and there were the never-trumpers who tried to block the nomination. even after the access hollywood tape was revealed in october of the year, there were even some last-minute attempts to take the nomination away from him. but the fact that he stood up for trump up to the end, and in
a previous interview in 2015 was one of the first times he said he was going to support donald trump, and i remember being in his office here in washington and interviewing him from my program here, and how surprised i was, dan, that he was standing with donald trump and so many more traditional republicans were not. dan? >> it is a bit of a conundrum. i think it goes back to the issue of the makeup of bob dole which is he was a loyal and partisan republican throughout his life, even as he was able to work with democrats and people with whom he disagreed. people with whom he disagreed with within his own party. in the year that he became the republican nominee, 1996, he had gone through a period in which newt gingrich and the rebels in the house had essentially taken over the republican party, and in many ways bob dole was a bit
of an outcast even though he was the nominee of the party. i remember traveling with him in 2014 when he went back to kansas to say thank you to people. he went to every county in kansas to say thank you to people. and we talked about his relationship with gingrich. he acknowledged that it had been difficult, but he said, you know, i called him at one point and said let's bury the hatchet. we need to get over this, but his support for donald trump, i think, flowed out of that belief that he was a republican and a republican was loyal and a republican supported whoever was the nominee. i think it's very important what susan said about the interview in which he made a break with trump over the false claim of a stolen election. i think that was an effort on his part basically to get on the right side of history on that question. >> and, in fact, that partisan side of bob dole which we need
to acknowledge was when he was so partisan richard nixon chose him to become head of the republican national committee when richard nixon was embattled, and as the rnc chair, he was one of the last in this party to come to terms with the fact that nixon had to step down even after barry goldwater and senator scott went to the white house and said you're going to be impeached and you're going to be removed in office, convicted in the senate if you proceed. you have to resign. >> yes, that's true. you know, he's played so many roles within the republican party over the years. but i want to go back those kansas roots. because i think on a day like this, it's important to remember the sacrifice that bob dole made for this country. not as a politician, but he did, but as a soldier. and the sacrifice that he lived
with through his entire life. i mean, i think of bob dole certainly as a politician, but i think of him as a patriot. and someone with incredible courage. i mean, to think about put aside the injuries that he suffered in world war ii and the life-changing factors that created. but to go to russell as many of us have, and see where he grew up and how he grew up, and to think about how far he traveled, and then to add onto that, the 39 months in a hospital recovering from his wounds, and the drive and the determination, i remember one thing that has always stuck with me in his rehabilitation, he put ropes and pullies on the back of his house to build up his strength. in 1996, when we went back during his announcement for
president, we went to see the house, and that contraption was still on the back of the house. and you can't look at that and not think about what he survived and what he overcame through a lifetime of determination and courage. >> well, those of us who knew him on the hill and knew him all those years, here he was a political figure, a politician, who could not button his shirt because of his injured hand. he always kept a pencil or pen in his injured arm, in his hand, in his fist, susan, so that people would not reach out to him to shake hands. >> you know, this -- this injury that he suffered in world war ii, it's not distinct from his political career, because he, of course, grew up as a fiscal conservative. and a conservative republican as are so many in kansas, but he understood that life could be unfair. and that you could face the kind of crisis that meant you needed help. you needed help from the people
of russell who raised money. you needed help from the v.a. it gave him an understanding about -- a sense of a role of government that not every conservative republican has. and part of that is the empathy he gained from his own experiences with that. >> that's why people like pat and others appreciated bob dole so much. >> another reason people in washington appreciated bob dole is that he was so funny. he could be so funny. he was so quick. he coined so many memorable lines. i believe it was dole who coined the line about the mustang place in washington being between chuck schumer and a microphone. and you know, he could have been a standup comic had he decided. that's something he worked on, actually. he didn't necessarily come naturally to him at first, but he was so funny. >> in fact, chuck schumer even mentioned that in his remarks in the rotunda yesterday. look at this extended
conversation between bill clinton and i believe that is dan quail sitting next to vice president cheney which something that bob dole would have loved. his sharp language as tom brokaw points out today is let me quote, he had been a young adonis, three-sport great athlete. he once his said his outfit stopped fighting on the day they heard franklin died. when combat resumed the next day, he was wounded trying to rescue fellow americans. he often wondered what if fdr had not died that day, but the man from kansas didn't give up. his long life of service, his kansas values, his love of country, they were all great gifts to his and succeeding generations. wonderful words from tom brokaw. and that sharp language, by the way, he went onto write, was not
reserved for democrats alone when he shared power with newt gingrich. when he took over as speaker, it changed the nature of the house of representatives from his predecessor. the speaker's office had several big file cabinets and one tiny one for gingrich's good ideas. that is the way he talked. there's another reason why. this is similar to john mccain, another wounded war veteran. that -- dole on a campaign would talk to us the way reporters loved as mccain did on the straight talk express. they'd be so honest. they wouldn't say well, this is off the record or on -- they just would say it. >> one of the reasons he was such a bad presidential candidate. he would also talk in capitol speak, like we've sent that to committee for markup, when he was
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