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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  March 1, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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republican jim bunning from kentucky force 2,000 workers to take furlough and hold up benefits for millions more? we'll have governor haley barbour. we begin today with the very latest from chile. food and drinking water reportedly in very short supply in concepcion, ground zero for the 8.8 quake. survivors under the rubble, rescuers communicating with victims trapped inside a fallen apartment building in concepcion. mark potter joins us live from the capital of santiago. what's the latest? >> reporter: hi, andrea. that's a little bit of good news in an otherwise bleak environment. in that apartment complex, they've already pulled 25 survivors out and eight people -- eight bodies, people who did not make it. that building collapsed during the earthquake. they heard some tapping inside
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and they're now digging toward it to see if they can rescue even more people from that complex right now. that earthquake was so massive, andrea, that even here in santiago, 200 miles away from the epicenter, the power of that earthquake could be felt. damage here in the capital city is not that great, you can see an example of some of it, though. this building behind me, an apartment building that's leaning forward. they've knocked off the foundation by the earthquake. the building will be condemned. residents can't live here anymore. firefighters are having to go in to get valuables for the residents. it's a bad situation but much, much worse along the southern coast of chile, concepceon, costitucion can be described as devastated, catastrophic in that area, hit very hard not only by the earthquake, but by tsunami-type waves. there's a lot of desperation down there, as you go block
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after block, finding houses and buildings destroyed for hundreds of miles. a very tough scene. the military has been called in to bring order, andrea. >> as we've been pointing out, chile was really so much better prepared than the poverty-stricken haitians were, the construction there so much better for this kind of a disaster. but still, it's going to be an enormous effort to rebuild and locate all the survivors. thank you very much, mark potter. we'll be looking for all your reports today. and the president has a major decision to announce later this week on health care. first today, he tackled education. the high school dropout epide c epidemic, joining colin and alma powell, co-founders of america's promise to announce new grants for the lowest-performing schools. melody barnes, the president's domestic policy adviser at the white house. melody, what is the urge ency here? i know it's $900 million for the 5,000 most at-risk schools.
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that's not in massive education terms a huge amount of money. what does he hope to achieve? >> as you say, this is a critical moment. every single day there's about 7,000 students who drop out of school. that's about 1.2 million students every year. perhaps there was a time when you could leave high school and make sure that you had a secure, economic future. but we know today isn't that time. so we have to do something about it. we have to turn this around. in the stimulus bill, the president actually worked to make sure we have tools that we can hand over to states and to local districts to make sure that they can work with their students, work with their schools to try and turn this around. so, we're supporting them in that way. in fact, you've probably heard about actions that were recently taken at central falls in rhode island, where we -- the local unions were working and talking to the local school boards.
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and, eventually, had to come to terms with a tough solution to make sure that students, those who are not able to pass their state math test, who are not able to go on and graduate -- in fact, they have a graduation dropout rate of below 50%, that we are able to turn that school around, working with parents and working with the locals. we have to take measures all over the nation, not always that drastic, but we have to work with teachers, parents and local school boards to make sure that they're able to stem the tide on this dropout rate. in fact, students can graduate from high school and go on and be prepared for college or go on and be prepared for a career. we're also particularly proud that we were working with general powell and alma powell today to talk about these issues. they are so committed to them. we think this is an issue that crosses partisan lines that we can all work on together. >> indeed, america's promise has been an extraordinary organization. i know something about it from working with the powells.
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that was a very drastic step in rhode island that rhode island officials were willing to take on the teacher's union and basically fire the whole lot. >> well, andrea, as i said, there are different kinds of tools that schools can use all over the country. what we've said is, states, look at your lowest performing, 5% of your lowest performing schools in your state and choose from among these tools, do what you think is best. work with your parents. talk to your teachers. talk to the teachers' unions. but you have to do something about it. we can no longer afford to fail our children. they have to be first and foremost. they have to be our first, second and third priority. >> let me also turn you to health care. we know that the president this week is going to basically announce the new strategy. we've all seen the setup, the health care summit and the reaction to the republicans really sets the stage for proceeding, at least in part, through this 51-vote strategy reconciliation. this is what mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, had to say over the weekend.
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>> there are a number of other democrats who do not think something of this magnitude ought to be jammed down the throats of a public that doesn't want it. this is really the democratic majority ain, frankly, an arrogant way saying we're smarter than you, americans, and we're going to give it to you whether you want it or not. >> how did the president react to that republican take? >> first of all, no one is jamming anything down their throats. health care can come to the american people and we know the american people desperately want health care reform. they want costs to be lower. they want greater competition. they want to make sure if they have a pre-existing condition or their child has a pre-existing condition that there are fair rules of the game so that they've got insurance coverage. these are the elements that they have expressed overwhelming support for, and we know that a majority of americans want us to do something.
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so, the conversations that started last week and that we want to continue, the president working in a bipartisan manner with the house and the senate to come up with a proposal that can be passed and that we can deliver this to the american people. there's nothing arrogant about that. that, in fact, is caring about the american people. that's also caring about small businesses, caring about individuals who are struggling right now, either because they don't have health care or their health care priced premiums are going up and up and up. >> speaking of health care, the president's health, he got a good bill of health. has to do something about the cholesterol, maybe fewer burgers. what about that smoking? this was the president during the transition, just before he took office, with tom brokaw on "meet the press." >> have you stopped smoking? >> i have, but what i said was that there are times where i've fallen off the wagon. >> well, wait a minute. then that means you haven't stopped. >> well, the -- fair enough. what i would say is that i have done a terrific job under the
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circumstances of making myself much healthier. >> now, as the leader of the nation and commander in chief, and the father of two, he does a very good job of not letting any of us seen him smoking. i take it some of you have seen him, on occasion, with a cigarette? >> andrea, i have not seen any of that. i will leave that to the first lady. the president's first job right now is making sure that all americans have access to the kind of health care they need to make sure they can lead healthy and productive lives and that they don't have to worry if they get ill, if they have a chronic disease or if they're worried about their child that they're not going to have the means to be able to cover it and pay for it. >> those of us who have been through this route, and millions and millions of americans have, wish him all the best on this with the nicorette. thank you, melody. >> thanks, andrea. up next, nancy pelosi's road
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to 216 votes. how does the speaker bring them on board? we'll help you keep score. 2,000 transportation workers forced on furlough after kentucky's jim bunning single-handedly blocks benefits. [ lighting a match ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you've wanted to quit smoking so many times, but those days came and went and the cigarettes remained. ♪ today's a new day.
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so-called nuclear option may be the only option left. all indications are that later this week, president obama will signal his support for a majority vote on the health care bill. joining me now, chuck todd, nbc news chief white house correspondent and co-host of "the daily rundown," politico jonathan allen and "new york
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times" white house reporter gel zeleny. thanks to all of you. first to you, chuck, they're obviously going to spin this against what the republicans are claiming, that they're jamming it down their throat. we heard melody barnes just now. how does he persuade his own democrats that this is the right approach? >> reporter: look, when the president rolls out his strategy publicly on wednesday, this is about getting nancy pelosi to 216, which, by the way, is down one for her, thanks to a republican house resignation today in georgia. 216 is that new magic number for her. she needs to get that wavering democrats, dennis cardoza, democratic member of congress who is on the fence. they need to see the president publicly put one final piece of skin in the game type of thing. and that's what wednesday is about and show he will have a full shoulder in on making sure not to let up on the senate, that they will cut their deal.
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ultimately, it does look like the house is going to end up going before the senate in this sort of two-prong strategy. remember, the senate is not voting on the sboentire health e bill. what the senate is doing, via reconciliation is the so-called fixes, what would have been done if this had been a conference committee, if there had been an old-fashioned conference committee between the house and senate, what they would have negotiated on. now it's going to be in a separate budget bill. >> jonathan allen, let's talk about the house senate combination. what pelosi has to deal with is a lot of democrats who don't trust that the senate will come through with those fixes, getting rid of the cornhusker deal and louisiana purchase and all the other things that they said that they were going to negotiate out. they just have taken so many hard votes and waited and waited and waited forever for the senate to follow. >> that's right, like many past house mantles, they've stacked up a lot of bills at the senate's door and i don't think there is a lot of trust right
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now. we're not just talking one bill, senate health care bill, but the reconciliation bill, sidecar bill with changes in it and possibly even a third bill that house members are going to have to trust the senate will take up. there is a trust issue there. the president, as chuck suggested, putting some skin in the game at the end is something that's meant to help the house feel better, that he will actually push the senate to act. >> jeff zeleny, who are the key groups that we need to be watching in this coalition that pelosi needs to put together to get to 216? >> reporter: perhaps the most important coalition are the democrats who might likely lose re-election anyway. this is a hard argument, i guess, for the white house to make, but there are a handful, maybe 10, 12, 15 democrats, who are in very tough seats. mary jo kilroy from ohio, for example, is one example. if the white house is able to make an argument, sort of do this on behalf of legacy, do this on behalf of something bigger than you, who knows,
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maybe this could end up being a more positive argument than they could even imagine in the summer. the people i'm watching for are the arm-twisting of members who are in very dire political circumstances anyway. >> let's talk about some of the action on the republican side. john mccain with david gregory this weekend on "meet the press." let me play the tape of what he had to say when asked about whether or not he was misled by republicans, particularly the bush white house treasury when he ended up voting for t.a.r.p. for the bank bailout. let's watch. >> we were all misled. we were all misled. i mean, he said that they were going after the toxic assets. the toxic asset is, were, was the housing market. he testified to that. we were all misled. so, what did he do then? they started pumping money into the financial institutions. >> now, i've got to remind you all of the september 26th debate
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in mississippi when john mccain said this isn't the beginning of the end of this crisis. this is the end of the beginning. if we come out with a package that will keep these institutions, these financial institutions stable. what did he think, chuck, that he was voting for? >> reporter: that's what's not clear. he is in the middle of a republican primary. that bailout is very, very unpopular with conservatives d and, you know, there's plenty of people accusing him of rewriting history. that could be the way he remembers it now. in hindsight, the fact is the explanation for the t.a.r.p. did change a couple of times at that time, if you recall, andrea. they didn't even know -- we've learned this over time in different reports. the $700 billion figure was kind of pulled out of thin air, if you see some of the reports of neil kashkari and these folks involved in that minute-by-minute, day-to-day
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decisions at that time. that's where john mccain says, hey, we were misled. the question is, were you intentionally misled, did you -- everybody seemed to hear what they wanted to hear during this debate, not just john mccain, but what treasury was saying to the white house, was saying to the two presidential campaigns at the time, was saying to congress. in defense of john mccain, i think it's clear that it was confusing, but also it does seem as if, looking back in hindsight, it's hard to -- we knew there were multiple reasons why they wanted that money. >> jeff zeleny, i didn't run for president. i didn't have decades in the united states senate. i'm not sure saying that i was confused would be the best answer to give to the voters even now, in arizona. besides which, he halted the campaign, came back. had the meeting with the president in the roosevelt room, was undecided whether or not to even go to the mississippi debate, the big debate, you know, having suspended the campaign. he made a big deal out of this at the time. >> he did make a big deal out of
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this at the time. and what i think this sort of signifies is what some folks at the treasury department were telling us privately at the time, that john mccain just does not have as good of a grasp on the economic situation and the prescribed fixes as senator barack obama at the time. i'm with you on this, andrea. i think it just shows that senator mccain is really trying not to flail too much in this republican primary. and these voters -- him saying he was misled, it almost makes him sound that he was a little confused. i don't know how well this is going to play in this republican primary. his age could be an issue. i was surprised he said it yesterday and i don't think -- it's just one more indication we're seeing a new john mccain. >> jeff zeleny and jonathan allen and chuck todd, thank you all so much. be sure to watch chuck and savannah guthrie on "daily rundown," weekdays at 9:00. and he's back, return of
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ahmed shalabi. why team obama is so worried. michael isikoff has in next. what's it called? the dunking oreo cakesters in milk is awesome group. it's for people who think dunking oreo cakesters is awesome. well, i'm gonna start a facebook group called the dunking is for oreo cookies only and is even awesomer... group! [ beeping ] uh...okay, uh... how do i join facebook? or you just automatically in it? how does that work? [ male announcer ] dunk or don't dunk. choose your side. that keep you cool and dry have now inspired stayfree® to create a whole new level of comfort when it comes to your period. only stayfree® ultra thins have thermocontrol™. designed with the comfort of athletic fabrics in mind, stayfree® with thermocontrol™ quickly wicks moisture away for exceptional dryness. so you stay incredibly comfortable
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one of the most controversial figures from the run-up to the iraq war is back on iraq's political scene, ahmed shalabi, running for parliament in sunday's elections. the u.s. believes shalabi is trying to sabotage iraq's elections to promote iran's interests. michael isikoff, senior investigative reporter for "newsweek." how do you get rid of shalabi? i just mean in a political sense. >> this is a guy that doesn't go away. sure. elections are coming up this sunday. crucial for what iraq is going to look like and whether we can maintain the administration's
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hopes of withdrawing troops and who is the fly in the ointment from the u.s.'s point of view? ahmed shalabi, the same guy who was the darling of the bush administration, the guy they thought would lead a free iraq. and you had this extraordinary talk that general odierno gave saying that chalabi is clearly influenced by iran, meeting with the head of the revolutionary guard, kuds force. for what purpose as head of the accountability commission, chalabi and his aide have been disqualifying hundreds of sunni candidates. >> how do they have that power? >> in the election. making the charge that they are former baathists and, therefore unthe iraqi constitution cannot
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serve in the iraqi government. now, what the u.s. believes is these are bogus charges in many instances and what's really going on is that chalabi is trying to get rid of sunni candidates who can pose a threat to a shia-backed -- iran yan-backed shia alliance that chalabi can then head and perhaps even become prime minister. >> of course, we have all the fissures with malaki on the line as we head into these election. >> sure, malaki's fate is very much up in the air. what's interesting about the chalabi story is john mcguire who said on the record, ties to the iranians going back 15 ye s years, hard intel intercept showing he was in constant
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communication with iranian intelligence officials in tehran. in fact, they even suspected one of the top inc guys, who was part of that u.s. information-funded program to provide intelligence was, in fact, an iranian agent. and raising the specter, whether some of that intelligence that the u.s. used was, in fact, iranian disinformation. >> or whether or not the administration, previous administration was willing to ignore those iranian ties because they wanted to use them against saddam hussein. >> exactly. and it fell on deaf ears, the warnings that the cia tried to sound about ahmed chalabi through all those years, the bush administration never wanted to listen to. >> fascinating stuff. the election is sunday. we'll be doing more on that as we lead up to the election. declassified is the blog. up next, mississippi governor haley barbour, chairman of the governors association and he says that governors should have been invited to last week's bipartisan summit on health care.
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barbour eyeing a white house bid in 2012? we'll find out what he has to say next. and in our factories. to find cleaner, more efficient ways to power flight. and harness our technology... for new energy solutions. around the globe, the people of boeing are working together, to build a better tomorrow. that's why we're here. ♪
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while washington lawmakers try to figure out a way forward on health care, the nation's governors are the ones on the front line, battling, among other things, increasing medicare costs. mississippi governor haley barbour, chairman of the governors association, and former national chairman and served as president reagan's white house political director. you know politics. you know washington. you know what's going on around the country. you actually have to face, as do all governors, the real crunch when it comes to medicaid costs. what do you think should have been done with this health care summit, governor? >> well, first of all, you know, andrea, they're going to add -- in the president's bill, they want to add 15 million people to medicaid. that's half of the increase of the people who would be covered where everybody knows that medicaid budgets are already
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terribly stressful, that many states have had to cut other spending. we're cutting medicaid because of so much financial pressure on us, yet the president's bill would add 150, 175 million dollars a year to mississippi's medicaid bill. that's money we don't have. we've already cut our budget nearly $500 million this year. that is effectively a tax increase, because once we have to start paying that, we've got nowhere to go for it except raise taxes. medicaid is not the right vehicle. besides that, if the federal government wants to have a big federal health care reform, why should the states have to pay for it? the federal government ought to pay for all of it. >> but the federal government would -- i mean, their whole proposal does include new subsidies for people, to help expand insurance. so, there are ways where this would be paid for under their proposal, they claim. >> no, ma'am. under their proposal, the number
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of people on medicaid would increase by 15 million. in mississippi, under their proposal, the number of people on medicaid would go up by 50%, by half. and the states, while we would not have to pay as large a share as under the regular medicaid program, we would still have to pay for part of it. and that's money that my taxpayers are going to have to pay in extra tacxes. that's before you ever consider how it will clobber small businesses, how it's going to make health insurance more expensive. that's not what haley says. that's what the obama administration's experts say. health insurance premiums would go up under these proposals. >> well, what they say is that health insurance premiums would go up for some people who have very expensive care, but for others it would come down. that being said, let me share with you an op-ed from ross
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duthout in "the new york times," generally viewed as a conservative writer and he does say that the democrats have a health care plan that may turn out very, very badly and that the republicans, for all their protestations don't really have a plan at all. the forum exemplified why americans have every reason to hate washington right now. the first five hours revealed a majority party whose health care bill probably deserves to be defeated but the sixth one exposed a minority party that deserves to lose as well. at that summit, he says republicans said let's start over, do a couple of things on tort reform and anti-trust exemption. >> this is a very serious question. the obama administration says all or nothing. all or nothing. >> and the republicans say nothing. >> i'm sorry? >> don't the republicans basically say nothing? they say start over. >> no, ma'am. >> which is tantamount to
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nothing? >> no, ma'am. that's what i was about to say to you. republicans say what the bipartisan national governors' association says. there are a number of things we can agree on. let's do those. you don't have to have all or nothing. all or nothing is a dead dog loser, andrea. despite what somebody has told you, the congressional budget office says that health insurance premiums will go up under the obama plan. the department of health and human services offices of the actuary, obama administration's own people, say health insurance premiums will go up. that's before you ever figure into the fact that every insurance policy within a few years would have to be approved by the united states federal health care commission. and i will guarantee you, they will load those policies down with mandates so that health insurance premiums will go out of the ceiling. >> how do you compare the 3 million people who would be
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getting health care, people who didn't have it before, under the republican plans, versus the 30 million who would get it under the democratic plans. >> well, i would say this to you. we're going to have some number of people in the united states who are uninsured. and if you can knock 3 million off that total to start with on your way up, great. 30 million people knocked off that all at once still leaves about 16 million people who are not covered. so, there are going to be people not covered either way. the question is, do you think it has to be all or nothing now and forever more, no turn back? most americans do not like many of the things that are in this bill. they don't like the way it's going to cut medicare spending. in fact, a lot of them believe that's phony. they don't believe medicare spending will actually get cut that much. the idea that president obama says if you like what you've got, you can keep it, we know right off the top medicare
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advantage, the democrats are going to cut federal support of that by $150, $175 billion. and those people that have medicare advantage, about 10 million people in the united states, are not going to be able to keep what they got. they're going to see a huge increase in their premiums and they're going to get less coverage. the american people saw through that to start with, before somebody ever had to explain the details. >> now, how do you explain jim bunning going up against mitch mcconnell, fellow kentucky leader, republican leader? one man standing against the entire senate, in fact the entire congress when it comes to extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed? you have people being furloughed. how do you justify that? >> well, i don't. let me just say that not the only time a senator has stopped something from happening. >> no, democrats do it as well as republicans. >> i can remember when trent
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lott was the majority leader and a democrat would stop something from happening. good news is that for people who are long-term unemploy ed, in a matter of days, the senate will pass a bill to extend unemployment benefits for those who are long-term unemployed, as republican senate whip john kyl said on your network a while ago. >> the last time i had the good fortune to sit down with you, john mccain had briefly suspend ed his campaign, come to mississippi finally and did do the debate. he did seem at the time to understand that t.a.r.p. was going to go to the banks. now he says he was misled. >> well, i have no idea of any of the details, but i can tell you here in real america, on main street, the t.a.r.p. program was great for wall street. it was great for the big financial institutions. but none of that money ever came
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down to the regionals or particularly the smaller banks. so, small businesses and medium-sized businesses in the united states, not just mississippi, we can't get credit. this is one of the things the president and governors talked about last monday at the white house. i was pleased to hear the president say that he recognizes that. but if that's what senator mccain said about t.a.r.p., that he didn't see it coming, i will confess, i didn't see that coming either. i assumed if trillions of dollars or hundreds of billions of dollars got given to these financial institutions, there was some sort of assurance that that money would be loaned out. it would go down into the economy. instead, these big, big new york financial institutions traded assets, bought and sold. if you look at their profit and loss income statements right after the t.a.r.p., all of them made all of their profits buying
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and selling, virtually nothing lending. of course, we just saw last week that in 2009, we had the largest drop in commercial lending by banks since 1942, the year world war ii started. that's incredible, when we know in 1942, months after pearl harbor, all the liquidity in the country went to the defense industry. and yet we had the biggest drop since then last year, despite all this t.a.r.p. money being handed out. >> governor, it sounds to me like you've got a whole platform put together. i know you said during the can governor's conference to some reporters that if we all saw you lose 40 pounds it either meant you were sick or you were running for president. have you made any decisions with regard to 2012? >> i made fun of that question with reporters because you get tired of being asked the same
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question over and over and over again. i'm familiar with these issues because we governors have to deal with these issues. we have to have balanced budgets and cut spending and live within our means. this year, to the degree i've got political time and energy, i'm going to spend it with elected republican governors. if it seems there's something we need to think about after november, we'll think about it then. until then i'm focused on november 2010, like every good republican needs to be. >> leaving the door wide open. haley barbour, thank you very much. good to see you. >> thank you, andrea. good talking to you here. coming up, we'll take this health care debate to the strategists, bob shrum and pat bui buchanan. trouble from the left from conservative democrat blanch lincoln of nebraska. chris cillizza is joining us next. high quality ingredients like wild alaskan salmon
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just days from now, president obama is expected to announce his strategy, going forward for congressional action on health reform. despite bringing republicans to the table last week, it looks like they will be forced back out. here with us now, democratic strategist, bob shrum and msnbc political analyst pat buchanan. welcome to both of you. >> thank you, andrea. >> bob, pat and i were talking through the break. sounds to me like haley is taking a look at this, 2012. >> i think he's taking a look at it, very faithfully reading those republican talking points, andr andrea. fact, 95% of people, their premiums stay the same or go down in this plan. medicare advantage is nothing but a flat-out give away to insurance companies that i think haley used to represent when he was a lobbyist in washington. listening to him, he will be a pretty effective candidate. >> he is a very effective governor. we know that after katrina, mississippi was light years ahead of louisiana in pulling -- it wasn't this badly damaged but
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they had huge damage on the coast and he did a terrific job down there. he also knows politic. >> haley former chairman of the republican party. as you know, andrea, he was in the white house as our political adviser to ronald reagan when i was in the white house. >> back when republican chairmen knew how to -- >> are you making a disparaging statement against michael steele? >> no, no, i didn't even mention michael steele. >> outstanding governor. if he wants to run, he ought to run. terrific career. it's tough for me to see how he does well, especially in iowa, if you have mike huckabee and sarah palin, getting the evangelicals. i think he has a right to take a look at it and i wish old haley well. tough road there in iowa. >> bob shrum, when the president comes out on wednesday, how does he sell reconciliation? it sounds complicated and the republicans have said it's ramming it down their throats.
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does he make an appeal saying this is a simple majority, majority rules, make it sound like motherhood and apple pie? >> he ought to call it mantle rule. the country, i think, believes in majority rule. the republicans have a completely phony argument here. this affects one-sixth of the american economy. i went back and looked what the reagan people were saying about the reagan economic program in 1981, saying this was going to transform the entire american economy and passed it through a process called reconciliation, which is majority rules. whether you like what reagan did or not, there's ample precedent for going down this road when the other side is standing in the way. blue dog democrats who are afraid they'll be a lot better off when people th bill is in effect when people find out there's no rationing, there's no death panels, premiums are not going through the roof and, in fact, they're getting a lot more protections they don't have today than they are if they're
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out there trying to defend a phantom. >> brother buchanan, you did it for ronald reagan. why shouldn't rahm emanual do it for barack obama? >> i don't object to obama doing this with reconciliation. i don't think the american people understand this, or filibusters. republicans in the senate, there will be tremendous bitterness. about the house democrats, they don't have the stupak amendment, right-to-life amendment on the house bill. make those guys right the plank on this bill which has lost the majority of the american people with no right to life plank, you will kill those bluedog democrats and i think they know more about what is in their interest than bob shrum does. that's why it will have real trouble in the house. >> before you jump on that, bob, i want to bring up jim bunning, an all-star pitcher. let's look what joe biden had to say about senator bunning today. joe biden in florida. >> one of bill's colleagues is standing on the floor of the
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united states senate as we speak. he's standing there and he's preventing the senate from being able to move forward on doing the kind of thing we're doing here today. what's that mean? 400,000 people will be kicked off the roles this month if he has his way. >> big, fat target. not running for re-election, fighting with his own party, fighting with his own fellow kentucky senator, the leader of the senate, mitch mcconnell. >> well, look, this is a disaster for 400,000 people that are going to lose their benefits, also a potential political disaster for the republican party. they know it. that's why they're going to stand up this week and try to do something about it. although the fact that they ever let him get way with this in the first place is unbelievable. number two, pat, i used to represent a number of blue dog democrats and they won. the way they won -- i tell you, chuck robb won in 1994 when everybody, including you, thought he was going to lose. you know why? he stood up and fought for what
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he believed. at some level, that's what people want. democrats have to prove they're a mantle party, governing party that can do something, not put their names on the office wall and spend time there until the republicans come back. >> andrea, the republicans have been ignoring have been ignoring advice now for six months and winning every single election they are involved in. they have come back from the dead a year ago. we were dead 20 years. now they are back, rolling, will do well in november. >> pat, do you ever respond to an argument on the merits? do you ever respond on the merits? >> what do you do with a guy like jim bunning who predicted terrible things would happen to justice o'connor with her cancer. he has a track record of saying terrible, terrible things. >> jim bunning, i don't agree with everything he's done.
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he's been an outstanding senator, a hall of fame pitcher, a terrific guy. i don't want any democrat -- you and shrum disagreed with ted kennedy on some issues, andrea. he's an outstanding republican, he's retiring. i wish him well. as shrum said, they will probably deal with the problem at the end of the week. >> he's not retired. he's getting pushed off the plank by fellow republicans who unlike you think he's a whack job. thank you very much. up next, what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours. [ children laughing ] suitcase? huh? ♪ where do gummy bears hide? under the seat. look! yeah! ♪ [ telephone rings ] [ male announcer ] the all new chevy equinox. [ man ] guess who? dad! [ man ] enjoy the trip! okay, daddy! [ laughter ] [ male announcer ] a consumers digest best buy.
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and what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? chris cillizza, "washington post" reporter and author of "the fix" joins us now. let's take a lo at two states, arkansas and texas.
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what's happening to blanche lincoln in ark. >> she wasn't in good shape, may be in worse. a sitting democrat said he's going to primary her. lincoln has gotten it from both ways, liberals don't like because of the public option, republicans don't because she voted for the health care bill. the one i'm most excited about, tomorrow is primary day. rick perry is facing off against kay bailey hutchison, the senator returning to her race to run. perry is favored. the thing to look at is, can he get 50% of the vote. if he does, he avoids a runoff on april 13th. there's a third candidate, debra medina, benefiting between the back and forth between perry and hutchison is nasty. she's in mid double digits. the higher she gets, the more chance of a runoff.
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>> she has tea party support, perry hoping to avoid the runoff, perry hoping to put it into play. read more from chris on his blog. that does it for this addition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow on the show, "time" magazine contributor yo klein, tamron hall takes over. a live report out of chile where rescuers are finding signs of life days after the devastating earthquake. you're watching msnbc. and with 7,000 boomers a day reaching retirement age, the need for help has never been greater. a merrill lynch financial advisor can help you plan, invest, and manage your assets, which could make your second act better than your first. merrill lynch wealth management. that keep you cool and dry have now inspired stayfree® to create a whole new level of comfort
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and i said, "what the heck, i don't need these..." ...i said, you know, "bye, i don't need you anymore, you're not my crutch, i don't need a crutch." (announcer) talk to your doctor about chantix and a support plan that's right for you. some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in behavior, thinking or mood that are not typical for you, or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. talk to your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which can get worse while taking chantix. some people can have allergic or serious skin reactions to chantix, some of which can be life threatening. if you notice swelling of face, mouth, throat or a rash stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away. tell your doctor which medicines you are taking as they may work differently when you quit smoking. chantix dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. the most common side effect is nausea. patients also reported trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams. until you know how chantix may affect you,
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use caution when driving or operating machinery. chantix should not be taken with other quit smoking products. with the chantix and with the support system, it worked. it worked for me. (announcer) talk to your doctor to find out if prescription chantix is right for you. i'm tamron hall. developing right now on msnbc news live, a race against time. the search under way for a 13-year-old boy who disappeared on a cross-country ski trip sunday. we will talk to the boy's mother about the rescue mission under way right now. plus, more confirmed deaths in chime after the massive 8.8 magnitude quake. workers are rescuing trapped
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survivors while police are arresting looters. primary challengers after health care stands even though reform itself is in doubt. "huffington post" ryan grim joins me with details. russia's worst olympic performance in years and russia's president is pointing the blame. that's not all. wait until you hear what else he is doing. right now, as we mentioned, rescuers are combing building after building in a search for survivors after saturday's devastating earthquake in chile, at least 25 people have been pulled from a collapsed apartment building in the hard hit building . 2 million people are homeless and growing increasingly desperate for food. nbc's mark potter joins us on the phone from the capital of can't