tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC October 1, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
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plus in indonesia and american samoa, the earthquake death toll keeps rising. >> this is the first i have seen like this, so dangerous. >> in 24 hours there were three earthquakes, including one near peru. all were roughly along the same latitude. a seismologist will explain what it means. later -- the campaign donations are pouring in for democrat alan grayson. >> remember the republican plan, don't get sick. and if you do get sick, die quickly. >> as the left calls grayson a hero and republicans condemn him, house speaker pelosi today weighed in. >> apparently republicans are holding democrats to higher levels than they hold their own members. and you don't have to imagine anymore. cat poo coffee is for real. >> $20 for maybe a lifetime experience. it was worth it. good stuff. >> all that and more -- >> meow! >> -- this hour on msnbc. good afternoon, everybody
good afternoon, alex. i'm live in washington. >> hello, i'm alex witt in new york. tamron hall has the day off. >> alex, in "the big picture," a construction beginning with iran. that's how the president summed up dramatic developments today involving iran's nuclear program in face-to-face talks with the united states. earlier this morning following the talks in geneva, iran agreed to allow in international inspectors. iran also said it would consider having its uranium enriched by an outside country to assure the peaceful purposes. less than an hour ago, the president spoke about these developments. >> the iranian government heard a clear and unified message from the international community in geneva. iran must demonstrate through concrete steps that it will live up to its responsibilities with regard to its nuclear program. in pursuit of that goal, today's meeting was a constructive beginning, but it must be followed with constructive actions by the iranian government.
>> the very fast pace of developments with iran come at a very busy time for president obama. just a few hours, he will board air force one for a quick trip to denmark and back as part of the attempt to convince the international olympic committee to award the 2016 games to chicago. also on the president's agenda today, what you are seeing right there, the war in afghanistan. earlier, of course, there was a speech to the governors' association. on afghanistan, the president is weighing a request by the top u.s. commander in afghanistan to send more troops. and on capitol hill, members of the obama team are helping out and senate lawmakers push forward with health care reform, a key senate committee led by democrat max baucus, met again today to mark up and add amendments to a proposed bill. but you're looking at pictures there of the president's national security team. in the midst of all of this, republicans seemed to be saying no at every turn. on health care the republican leader mitch mcconnell said that it doesn't matter what's in the reform bill, the gop will not support it or like it.
>> the core point is this, whether at the end of the day the government plan is either in the bill or out of the bill, whether they will be able to argue successfully or not whether tax funds are going to be provided for abortion, whether or not they will be able to argue at the end that dollars for health care for illegals is in or out, what we do know is what the core of the bill is going to look like. we know that for sure. it's going to be a trillion dollar bill. >> on the house side, meanwhile, republican minority leader john boehner again stood by his comments that the president should not be traveling to denmark to push for the olympics. >> two weeks ago the president said himself that he would not be going to copenhagen because he had other priorities that were more important. >> and back to iran.
republicans have harshly been criticizing president obama for engaging his administration in those direct talks with iran like those today. nbc's savannah guthrie joins us now live from the white house. savannah, is the white house paying any attention to the republicans and their criticism or sort of moving through and trying to focus on the bigger story, such as what looks like an parent breakthrough with iran? >> oh, yeah, they feel like this issue was fully mitigated in the campaign as the american people by voting for the president accepted his theory of engaging, and this is really where we're seeing the fruits of that. this is the first in time in 30 years that the u.s. has sat down with direct talks with iran. i thought the tone from the president was one of caution. i think they're feeling that there was some productivity coming out of these talks. at the same time, they want to see action. we heard that over and over again from the president today, that talk is no substitute for action. so, of course, as they're encouraged that iran has agreed to let inspectors come in to see this site but they want to see how cooperative, how fast this
will be. what that cooperation will mean. does it mean access to people, documents? they want to make sure iran is putting its money where its mouth is. >> nbc news correspondent savannah guthrie. thanks for the update. >> sure. in "the big picture," is the gop strategy a wise one? the party of no image get them anymore or should they try a more positive approach? nbc's washington chief mark whitaker joins me live. mark, thanks for being here. >> good to see you. >> when you think about this, the party of no versus trying to work together and do is something, i want to get a real perspective s. this truly the party of no? >> it depends which republican you're talking to on which issues. i guess truly for criticizing the president for going to copenhagen, if there were medals given out in the knee-jerk category, that would win one. it's only 24 hours. if we do get the olympics, i think that's going to create jobs and so forth. i think i have been talking to republicans who think it's silly
to be focusing on that. i think the other two issues, health care in iran, there are serious disagreements about policy and about approach. >> okay. but, mark, when we get to health care, have you house minority whip eric cantor. you also have republican charles boustany saying republicans are really agreeing with about 80% of the health care proposals out there. so that's not really the party of no. what is it that's making up this image of party of no versus saying, you know, we're on with you for about 80% here? >> well, that's true. and there are some republican ideas that are in most of the bills. they have not all been reconciled yet. but i think it's pretty clear that the majority of the caucus, republican caucus, has decided and already made up its mind it's not going to support a final bill no matter what it has in it. on the other hand, you've got to remember, though, that it's still the administration thinks it's still very important to try to get at least a couple of republicans, first of all, because of the whole filibuster issue in preventing cloture so they can actually have a final
vote. but also to get some of the moderate blue dog democrats in the house and moderate conservative democrats in the senate on board. they want some cover of at least a few republicans. so i think that's why they're continuing to reach out. >> mark, on the issue of reason, obviously, we have to wait and see how thing plays out over the next two weeks as to whether iran does actually allow these inspectors, but just as late as last week the republicans were aghast at the idea that the obama administration based on this new disclosure about a -- about a nuclear facility, would have any face-to-face talks with iran. politically, does not now cut against the gop if in fact progress has been made? >> we'll see. i'm reminded of ronald reagan's old adage, trust but verify. and we're going to have to see whether the iranians make good on their promises and houfw muc we can find out. but i think what people in the administration are saying, what is the alternative right now? even if ultimately the iranians don't follow through, they still have to get through this
diplomatic phase right now if the next phase is going to be sanctioned, and to keep the europeans on board and to have any hope of getting the russians and chinese on board for tougher sanctions. so i think at this phase is really the only approach that they can be taking. >> okay, mark whitaker, thank you so much for joining us. >> good to see you, as always. and, dave, i want to let all of you know we have a market alert. the dow has closed down a significant amount wednesday. look at that, 203 points there on the nose. why is that significant? the last time the close was this low, it was july 2nd, and that is really the date before which all of these perhaps incremental but nonetheless some substantive rallies upwards were beginning. so we've actually taken a pretty big step backwards now, 203 points down on the dow. this is all led by jpmorgan, chase, dupont, bank of america. they led declines in 28 of the 30 stocks in the dow. and we're saying this is a gage of manufacturing, really
unexpectedly falling. also about rather 17,000 first-time jobless claims, which was more than what they had expected this last week. so, david, that's the status right now. >> a lot of anticipation about another series of jobs reports due out tomorrow, and some fears that the economic indicators tomorrow will be worse than expected. so that may have been bleeding into the market late this afternoon as well. >> yep. alex, the latest now on those two major disasters halfway around the world. the death toll from the powerful earthquake that hit western indonesia yesterday is now nearly 800. the magnitude 7.6 quake flattened hundreds of buildings in the island of sumatra and it was followed by another 6.6 quake today that caused more damage. it's believed thousands of people may have been trapped in the rubble. rescuers have been able to reach some survivors from the debris. a 30-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed home today. she was taken way by ambulance after being freed. you can see the video there.
meantime in the south pacific, the death toll is nearing 400 from the tsunami that slammed into america samoa and samoa. four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet high crashed into samoa. the waved swept away people and homes. the tsunamis were triggered by a magnitude 8 earthquake that struck the ocean southwest of american samoa. the powerful earthquake that rocked indonesia and the south pacific and another one that hit peru yesterday all struck within the so-called pacific ring of fire. that is a horseshoe-shaped area in the pacific region where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. as you can see, it includes the west coast of the united states. joining us now via skype is dr. peggy helwig, a seismologist with the university of california berkeley, size ma logical lab in california. we had four major earthquakes in three days in the ring of fire. it looks like, if you look at the latitude, they're almost roughly on the same latitude if you draw the line from peru to
american samoa and indonesia. what's the connection? >> i think in fact there's not any connection between them. we have a lot of earthquakes on the ring of fire every day. chances are on some days there will be a couple good size ones. it's just, you know, you could draw a different line through the earth and you might find two or three earthquakes on any given day any other time. so as far as -- >> is there any direct -- >> -- we know, there's no connection. >> what do you make as far as -- a lot of us, of course, pay attention when people are killed by earthquakes. you mentioned earthquakes every day but the severity of these earthquakes, can we read anything into that, that they all seem to happen, as least the ones in the western pacific ocean, seem to be so strong? >> the fact it's -- there are regularly strong earthquakes in the western pacific ocean and actually the eastern indian ocean, sumatra earthquake was at the border of the indian ocean. there are strong earthquakes there fairly regularly.
the one in sumatra is probably, and if have you noticed over the past five years, there's been a sequence of earthquakes slowly progressing along the boundary of the place between the indian ocean and asia, which is marked by where the sumatra earthquake happened and by sumatra. and over the past few years we had a sequence of earthquakes so what happens in a big earthquake is you -- you leave the earth stressed where the quake happened but you stress the region around it and very often then a sequence of earthquakes can occur at the boundary of that earthquake at the edge. so this earthquake near there was one in that sequence. the earthquake near samoa as far as we can tell is a completely separate event, where a lot of earthquakes happen on their own the rest of the time. >> all right. dr. peggy hellweg, seismologist from the university of
california-berkeley. thank you for clearing that up. alex, of course, the seismologist look at the tracking data. our thoughts and prayers and relief are going to indonesia and american samoa to help. >> growing up in southern california, i learned a lot about earthquakes. we talk about plates and they're 50 miles thick, okay, about that much and they sit on top of the hot magma there at the core of the center of the planet. you know how fast they move and what causes an earthquake? they move about the pace each year of how fast your fingernails grow, okay? very little is all it takes. and then they move and shift and that's what can cause the earthquakes, and in some cases tsunami, depending on the three different ways they can break down. i'm not a seismologist. i pretend to be one on tv, though. >> sounds good anyhow. >> it is what it is. coming up -- will more troops lead to victory in afghanistan? what general petraeus told our very own brian williams. also in just a couple of hours, president obama will fly to europe to lobby for chicago
as host of the 2016 summer olympics. can his personal appeal make the difference? also, jon plus kate equals hate. the ugly back and forth surrounding the hit reality show. you're watching "the big picture" on msnbc. a child with diabetes, i'm nervous about her going away, but i know that she wants to be able to do things on her own. (sunny) the bayer meter helps me become more independent. (announcer) only bayer's contour meter has programmable personal high low settings. (sunny) the hi/lo settings gives you a good idea of where your blood sugars' at and what you need to do to control it. the bayer meter will give me peace of mind. i want you to be happy. don't cry. my name is sunny and independence is my simple win. (announcer) the contour meter, only from bayer. new aches and pains, ...and new questions about which pain reliever is right for your body. tylenol 8 hour works with your body, with one layer that dissolves quickly... ...one layer that lasts all day
the hero of the hudson pilot, that is captain, rather, sully sullenberger, who has successfully made that trip from newa newark's laguardia airport to charlotte. us airways flight 427 which successfully landed. last time he attempted that flight was, of course jarngs 15th when a flock of geese struck that airbus. you're seeing pictures of the aftermath 90 seconds into takeoff and the engines lost all of their thrust. sullenberger had to land in the water, icy waters of the hudson river. 150 people on board and every single one got off safely. that was the heroics of the captain and co-pilot, the two of them back in the air again for u.s. air having completed that flight and very happy to have done so. well, david, speaking of dynamic duos, the dynamic duo of oprah winfrey and first lady michelle obama met with the president of the international olympic committee today in the ongoing effort to land the 2016 summer olympic games for
chicago. >> yeah, alex, the lobbying doesn't get more interesting than this. and with less than 24 hours before a host city is announced, the first lady also had lunch with the queen of denmark in advance of president obama's arrival friday morning. both oprah and the obamas call chicago home and each lady spoke glowingly about their favorite city today. >> it knows about sports and the hospitality is like no other in a city that works really well. >> this city really gave birth and life to me. my greatest successes came from this city. >> barack obama, he is the key part in this thing. >> he's our team captain, yes. >> but as the president plans his print to copenhagen and back starting this evening, not all windy city natives thinks hosting the game is such a good idea. a new poll by "the chicago tribune" shows windy city natives split down the middle, 45% favor hosting the olympics and 45% against it. president obama leaves washington at 7:00 p.m. eastern
and will spend friday morning meeting with olympic officials before returning to washington tomorrow afternoon. for more, let's go to nbc's jim maceda, who's in copenhagen. jim? >> hi, alex and david. greetings from copenhagen, and it certainly seems like the fist lady and who somewhere calling the second lady, oprah winfrey, are getting top billing here by the danish media. i mean, every single step they take in public has become big headlines here. i was standing last night outside of the rope line with a group of danish spectators who were there to see vips, but really when you ask them who they really came to say, they all said to a man and woman, oprah winfrey and michelle obama. but whether these two mega stars will have any affect, any ability to sway the opinion not of the public but of the ioc votes that are needed by the chicago bid team to win, that remains to be seen. of course, president obama's
arrival tomorrow, friday morning, at least for the chicago bid team, could be a game-changer. they certainly see it as such. but amongst the danes, there seems to be a mixed feeling. many of them see -- are excited really about the arrival of the u.s. president. such a transformational u.s. president as barack obama, making history, as they say, in copenhagen because he would be the first american president to really enter the fray in terms of olympic games bargaining. but there are some, not a few, who call it arrogant on the part of the leader of the free world and a super power to think he can come in here in a very brief period of time, only four hours and maybe 10 and 15 minutes, and change the world, if you will, in terms of olympic -- the olympic games. but make no doubt about it, barack obama is popular. he's a star among all of the big guns that are coming in from the four finalist cities, but if
copenhagen is any indication, oprah winfrey still trumps them all. alex, david, back to you. >> nbc's jim maceda in copenhagen, thank you. alex, even if the president can convince just a couple of votes, it looks like that may be the difference. that the tote tomorrvote will b close. >> i was in chicago for the first time in years, in flying to work this sunday, great, great city. it is beautiful, great, clean streets, great restaurants. i looked at that city with all of this in the back of my mind, i thought, nice place to have the olympics. hope we get it. >> indeed. those midwesterners, can't beat them. >> are you one of them? perhaps so. up next, david, here it is, three words, are you ready? cat poo coffee. >> yeah. it is apparently -- it's apparently good to the last drop. and it's one of the stories that makes us say, no way! sfx:racking of a taillight. female valve: hahahaha...i am strong like the ox.
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there are a lot of things that could be considered news in this world. >> but, you know, there are only a few stories that make us say "no -- >> -- way"! alex, i thought you would be more entergetic on that. they shut down production of "jon and kate plus eight" after saying crews were forbidden from entering john gosselin's home. it was reportedly made tuesday, the same day the announcement was made that the show was being renamed "kate plus eight." that would focus on kate plus the kids. of course, the gosselins filed for divorce in june. next up, my favorite story of the day. a coffee house near ft. myers, florida, is brewing up a buzz by selling cat poo coffee. >> please. >> copy luca comes from the
indonesian sa bet that resembles a cat. the cat eats cherries which ends up in the cat's feces. the feces are sifted by hands to get the coffee beans and as a result the coffee bean somehow is considered a delicacy. if you don't mind the smell. customers pay $10 for 4 ounces and $20 for a 12-ounce cup. alex, this means if you ever felt really sorry for the people who have to pick coffee beans, feel sorier, because there are some people out there who have to pick them out of cat feces. >> when i first saw this story, i was like no way, that's so not even true. remember the movie "bucket list," if you saw it? if you didn't, that jack nick nicholson character, he was all about this coffee and kept talking about it. i don't know if he drank it in the movie but i do it. who's going to drink it? >> not i. coming up -- florida house majority leader and lecture ele lecture is calling for an
apology from also grayson but not for die quickly legislator reason. and coming up, brian williams talks to general petraeus. will more troops lead to victory in afghanistan? really bad. then we learned that a flu shot can reduce the risk of getting the flu by up to 70%. we got our flu shots at cvs pharmacy. best thing we ever did. yes, indeed. [ laughs ] come in to get a flu shot today and get a $100 coupon book just for stopping by. go to cvs.com to find a flu shot location near you. cvs pharmacy.
welcome back. i'm david shuster live in washington. >> and i'm alex witt live here in new york. in "the big picture" this hour, the president's decision on the war in afghanistan. president obama held what was described as an intense, three-hour strategy meeting with his top advisers wednesday at the white house. he is facing a split among his inner circle about whether or not to send up to 40,000 additional u.s. troops to afghanistan or whether he should draw down troop levels in order to focus on more targeted attacks on al qaeda. the associated press reports secretary of state clinton is said to favor general mccrystal's call for more
troops, while vice president biden is urging a pullback. and according to "the wall street journal," secretary gates remains, quote, on the fence. today general mccrystal said there's more to the war than fighting the taliban. >> at the end of the day, we don't win by destroying the taliban. we don't win by body count. we don't win by number of successful military raids or attacks. we win when the people decide we win. >> meanwhile, senator john mccain angrily called for the general to come to capitol hill and testify. watch this. >> it's okay with the administration for general mccrystal to go on "60 minutes," it's okay for him to give a speech at the institute for strategic studies in london, but the administration does not want general mccrystal and general petraeus before the senate armed services committee. how does that work? >> the amendment voted on today would have called on mccrystal
to testify on capitol hill before november 15th, but it failed to pass by a count of 59-40. alex, in "the big picture," the anchor and managing editor of "nbc nightly news," brian williams, is in washington, d.c. as part of a two-day forum sponsored by the atlantic. general petraeus, the commander of the u.s. central command, you heard john mccain make the reference there. general petraeus made some news today by contradicting reports he has endorsed the call for more troops to afghanistan. >> it is always appropriate to go back to what's the mission, and what is it that we want to accomplish? and that is what is being discussed right now. we're not yet at the point of talking about resources or numbers or what have you. in fact, i have not yet endorsed the resources. that is something that i can assure you has not leaked and is exceedingly closely held, although that is about to be introduced into the equation.
>> "nbc nightly news" anchor brian williams joins us live now. brian, i'm so curious to hear about the followup question to that. as you know, if general petraeus is not ready to go along yet with more troops in afghanistan, that's a pretty big deal. >> it is. david and alex, you can go a little blind trying to read the tea leaves. at so many levels, petraeus, west point class of '74, mccrystal, two years behind him, class of '76, same class as general odierno. this is the post vietnam generation of four-star military officers, and they've been called in, along with civilians. the president wants to review everything. and beyond that statement saying, look, i haven't agreed to anything, and if i have numbers, they haven't leaked. it was tough to get the general to commit. these are very, very serious talks. he said today the president will have few more serious decisions during his time in office than
this decision. do you go big? do you go small? do you keep it the same? what's the mission and what's victory after all? >> brian, i'm so intrigued by what my producers are telling me at what point today you asked the general how he would react if president obama came to him and said he wanted to go small and not send more troops? the general answered by stressing the importance of not rushing into this decision. watch. >> this is why this is a hugely important and hugely valid conversation to have, and that is what we spent three hours yesterday doing, several hours the day before doing, and we will do some more of over the course of the next week or presumably more. >> so cautious. brian, what did you make of it? >> the old cliche, everything seems to be on the table. and at the end of the day, those four stars on his shoulder mean he reports to the commander in chief, and if the order is to go small, meaning let's stop being
coy, drones from above, bombers from above, perhaps, and special forces on the ground, much smaller footprint, less of a conventional war, that will be it. by the way, i asked him about osama bin laden. interesting quote. he is of enormous iconic importance, said petraeus, enormous operational importance as well, and, quote, an awful lot of folks are involved in looking for osama bin laden. so still out there as an individual, an icon and as an issue for the armed forces. >> so interesting. brian, before we let you go, i have to ask you about the big developments today involving iran. iran is apparently going to agree to allow inspectors in to examine the sites. the president said they have got to be in there the next two weeks. what's your take away from the progress, or at least it seems like progress today? >> it seems like it and we're trying to figure it out for our own broadcast tonight. reputations have been born and
have been died based -- have died based on assurances and broken promises from the iranians. so it seems to be the headline is, it's a start. that's also what general petraeus said about today's developments. >> brian williams, anchor of "nbc nightly news." brian, a pleasure, as always, having you on. we appreciate you coming on today. >> appreciate pleasure's mine. thank you, david. you can watch more of brian williams monday through friday on "nightly news." check the local listings for the time in your area. switch to allstate, and your new agent will... help tell your old insurance company goodbye. saving you that uncomfortable breakup moment. and serious cash. drivers who switched saved an average of $396 a year. $473 if they dumped geico. breaking up is easy to do. ♪ remember when that's allstate's stand. are you in good hands? ♪
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several republicans asked me to apologize. well, i would like to apologize. i would like to apologize for the debt, and here's why. according to this study, health insurance and mortality in u.s. adults, which was published two weeks ago, 44,789 americans die every year because they have no health insurance. apologize to the dead and their family that's we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in america. >> that was democratic congressman alan grayson and his so-called apology for his comment that republicans want you to die quickly. but now some jewish lawmakers are calling for an apology for that comment, including florida house majority leader adam house ner, a republican, who says it is offensive to compare the health care system to the murder of 6 million jews during the holocaust. state representative, i think a lot of people would agree with
you the basic point while the congressman was right on all of the facts to essentially invoke the holocaust diminishes the significance of the holocaust? >> well, the comment itself is indefensible but regardless of your position on health care reform, to compare america's health care system to the systematic murdering of 6 million jews and millions of others, it is outrageous and congressman grayson should go back to the floor and apologize for those offensive remarks. >> i agree with you on that. i wonder then for people who want to suggest that maybe this is politics on your part, would you like to take this opportunity to demand that rush limbaugh apologize for comparing the democrats to nazis or glenn beck, who at one point suggested we're on the road to hitler. those were both outrageous, weren't they? >> the rhetoric that is going on in washington now has certainly reached an all-time high. but for congressman grayson to go to the floor of the united states congress to make these
comments is simply unacceptable. and what we have called for is for all of the jewish lawmakers and really i'm offended, i'm jewish, but i think every reasonable american is offended by these types of comparisons. >> but congressman -- representative, you're not alone in being offended but, again, were you also offended when rush limbaugh compared the democrats to nazis, and would you like to take this opportunity to insist that rush limbaugh apologize? >> well, again, rush limbaugh is a radio talk show host. >> but, it's equally offensive, isn't it? >> but there's a distinction between a member of the united states congress going to the floor of the house and comparing america's health care system to another member -- >> sir, let's stick to politicians then. in march 2of 2004, representatie tom cole, a fellow republican, said the re-election of president bush is like supporting adolf hitler. that was offensive and representative cole should have apologized in 2004, right?
>> representative cole's comments did not come on the floor of the united house of representatives, where there is a level of decorum that must be met. we can't have the hypocrisy. if a republican had made the comments that congressman grayson made, i could just hear my colleagues, whether it's congressman shultz coming unglued. i think these statements were over the top and outrageous. congressman grayson should heed the advice of when you're in a hole, quit digging. >> senator phil gramm in september 2002, the democrat attack plans are right out of nazi germany. i'm asking if you agree any time there's a attack of comparing the holocaust and nazis diminishes what really happened. i want to be clear you're consistent in condemning everybody who would do this. >> david, it's not just an issue of condemning. it's an issue of the fact that the statements are inappropriate
and congressman grayson is comparing america's health care system to the holocaust. that is the systematic murdering of over 6 million jews and millions of more people. you can't compare that to america's health care system regardless of your position on health care reform in our country. and that's simply the point. i'm from florida. congressman grayson is from my home state. i'm offended. i think every reasonable american is or should be offended. quite frankly, he should go back to the floor and make that apology and let's move on. let's get to the debate on the issue and let's quit this name-calling and let's focus in on -- on the issue of health care reform and making sure that we don't have a government takeover of health care. >> well, except there's no government takeover planned in the bill that is under way here in washington. but that's a separate debate. florida house majority leader adam hausner, republican from florida. representative, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. do lawmakers need to tone
down the rhetoric of this health care debate? house minority leader john boehner thinks so, and here's what he said when asked if congressman grayson should apologize for his die quickly comment. >> i think it's time for democrat leaders and the speaker of the house herself to rein in some of the rhetoric that she decried just several weeks ago. and if he's not going to apologize to the american people and to republicans as he should, really, it's the democratic leadership's responsibility to have a conversation with their own member. >> well, here's what house speaker nancy pelosi said about it this morning -- >> apparently, republicans are holding democrats to higher levels than they hold their own members, because you have seen the statements that are regularly made by the republicans on the floor about issues that relate to death. >> well, joining us now to face off, mark walsh is a democratic strategist and co-host of "less
jab" on sirius/xm satellite radio and a republican strategist. thank you for joining us. mark, i will ask you first, how is this different than what representative joe wilson did when he shouted out the "you lie" comment during the speech by the president, in terms of the democrats coming after him after the fact and saying you must apologize on the house floor. this was unforgivable. you owe an apology to the president. you owe an apology to your fellow congress people. i mean, how is this different? >> it's different in a lot of ways. i almost can't believe we're spending air time on this. david, i want to thank you for asking the representative from florida to deny the other statements, which i noticed he did not do. here's the difference, joe wilson screamed an insult to the sitting president of the united states in the middle of an address to the combined entire houses of congress and the senate. number two, what mr. grayson did was read the republican bill. if you recall, he read the entire bill, the ones they were waving around when republicans was speaking, which i thought was pretty disrespectful as
well, and he said this is my interpretation of the bill. just like i would argue falsely, republicans have gone into the well and said that the democratic bill includes death panels. this is an interpretation of a bill that congressman grayson sat out and said a comment about and why is that different from all of the other comments that republicans make in the well of the house, false comments in my opinion, about the democratic bill. this is tit for tat. welcome to the club. i can't believe bluntly the grass balls of john boehner to stand there and say this guy should apologize for his interpretation of the bill. they are totally different situations. joe wilson, who by the way never did apologize on the floor of the congress for what he did. >> congressman grayson has yet to apologize as well. >> he's not going to. >> so to you, brett, equal opportunity offenders? all of this rhetoric that's out there in congress, you know, mark made a good point, why are we having a talk about this when there are so many important issues out there? what is the goal? what is the point of all of this? is it all politics? >> well, congressman grayson,
just to the last point that mark just made, congressman graysonese not goigrayson e 's not going to poll guise because he's going to try to use this. last night he was doing online fund-raising based on his comments of the floor of the house, which were false. just like joe wilson. >> i think there's a great deal of difference separating and setting aside the appropriateness of the comments mr. wilson made in terms of when he made them. people can debate that ad nauseam. we had a congressman go on the floor of the house saying fellow americans wanted other americans to die. it was absolutely totally false. it's really ridiculous on its face and mr. wilson's comments, which were pointed out by first read at msnbc and others, were actually partially true. not all of the house bill -- >> i want to ask you this point, mark. if you got now, joe wilson, he's going to hit the campaign trail for some of his colleagues, roy blunt from missouri. he will be out on the campaign trial because he will now be a rock star.
he's brought in how much money, over $1 million for his own campaign? >> two. >> right, over $2 million. do you think this will be the same fate for representative grayson? is he now because he had this kind of rhetoric on the floor, is he now going to be a rock star? is it all about raising money? >> no, it's not. look, you just heard the typical republican mean, which he he said the congressman said people should die. that is not what he said. he said his interpretation of the republican bill is people should die quickly. that means the republican bill will not support the cost of medical care for people getting older or difficult financial or health conditions. he didn't say they should die, but die quickly. that's his interpretation of the republican bill. don't fall for this republican mean. that is not what he said, point number one. point number two, of course politicians have to raise money. congressman grayson is now a hero to the democratic party -- not democrat party, like boehner says, because he spoke truth to power. he interpreted the republican bill for exactly what it is. it is a giant no to american
health care. >> just to be clear on what he said. here's what grayson said, and the quote s. mark, if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this, die quickly. that's right. the republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. let's be clear, that is indeed what he said. >> correct. >> brett, what's your reaction? i will let you wrap it up. i'm out of time. >> the fact of the matter is these comments were outrageous. it's not surprising. they will do anything they can to pass this bill, which the american people do not want. it's one more indication of how far they will take this thing. >> mark walsh, brett, thank you both very much. up next -- things david and i thought you should know. >> alex, that's right. john mccain talks about sarah palin's memoir and hillary clinton talks about being president. and then on "hardball" with chris matthews, more on today's seemingly breakthrough with iran. a big deal in terms of the talks with iran. chris will break it down. "hardball" starts in eight minutes. we know why we're here. to stand behind all who serve.
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there is a lot going on today. here are a few more things we thought everybody should know. >> david, it looks like john mccain will be reading sarah palin's book "going rogue." during an interview at the atlantic first draft of history event, nbc's david gregory asked the arizona republican which part of his former running mate's memoir is he most looking forward to reading. >> the part i'm looking forward to most is the part where it energized our campaign and it put us -- her selection put us ahead in the polls.
the part i'm looking to forward least is some of the disagreements that -- that took place within the campaign. >> you mean like, i don't know, over the clothes? i don't know. >> remember that. that's right. 400 pages, i think he's going to have an eyeful for sure. alex, hillary clinton likes being president, even if it's just for a little while. the united states holds its rotating presidency of the u.n. security council this month, so the secretary of state chaired yesterday's session and drew laughter and applause from members at the end of her speech. watch? >> thank you so much. i resume now my function as president of the council. i kind of like being a president, so i -- this may go on a little longer than anticipated. >> yeah. madam president sounded pretty good right there for her.
>> yeah. and it was even funny through the translation devices they have. >> everyone was laughing. and those are the things david and i thought you should know. jobs remain a top issue for americans, but are things getting better or worse? let's get to our next read on politics with the stories we will be watching heading into tomorrow for you. nbc political reporter for nbc news, awhat do you have for us? >> thank you, alex. we have been talking about diplomacy. the top issue has been jobs. tomorrow we let a fresh look where unemployment stands when the latest jobs report comes out. also, the president has gone all in for his appeal for chicago to get the 2016 olympic games. he travels to copenhagen late tonight, joining first lady michelle obama and oprah, from touchdown to takeoff, the president will spend just four hours in denmark. the white house hopes that, that will be
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