Skip to main content

tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  September 17, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EDT

9:00 am
well, the tea party's newest sensation, christine o'donnell, makes her washington debut today as she tries to woo the establishment. hurricane karl now expected to become a rare category 4 storm at landfall. and did a tornado touch down in new york city? plus as huge crowds turn out in scotland, five men are under arrest in london, accused of plotting against the pope. it is friday, september 17th, 2010. 46 days, savannah, until the november elections. i'm chuck todd. >> but who's counting. i'm savannah guthrie. good morning, everyone. let's get right to the rundown. at the top for us what some are calling the new sheriff on wall street. after months of speculation and rumors, the president will make it official today naming elizabeth warren to help start up the new powerful consumer bureau. she's the darling of the left, but conservatives were ready to fight her nomination tooth and nail. the president is moving to effectively sidestep the senate with the way he is handling this
9:01 am
announcement. mike is live on the white house north lawn. so she's going to be temporarily advising the president. explain, this mike. >> reporter: well, she could serve conceivably about midway into 2012. that's the way this is set up in the law if you look at the language involved here. you're right, if they make it official today, savannah, kind of, she's being appointed in this advisory role to sidestep the senate confirmation process that would have been problematic. she's essentially walking in the side door of this house that she herself created, her own brainchild. this consumer protection bureau that was part of that fraud financial reform package that passed congress and was signed by the president earlier this year. now, earlier today, elizabeth warren posted a blog on the white house website where she says the new law creates a chance to put a tough cop on the beat and provide real accountability and oversight of the consumer credit market. the time for hiding tricks and traps in the fine print is over,
9:02 am
it's time for all of us to pull up our socks and get to work she continues. and she says she enthusiastically agreed with the way the president is going about this, not appointing her and nominating her as the head of this bureau but in this special advisory role. >> mike on the very noisy white house north lawn. >> reporter: what's that? >> exactly. what? you say something? we know that rose garden ceremony at 1:30 should be interesting. now to the other 2010 upset, remember that one in alaska? that was our obsession a couple of weeks ago. today alaska senator lisa murkowski who lost the nomination to tea-party backed joe miller may jump back into the race as a write-in candidate. mark, it seems like the republican establishment in washington is bracing for this news, aren't they? >> absolutely, chuck. she announced earlier this week, senator murkowski, said she'll decide today whether to mount a
9:03 am
write-in bid for the alaska senate race. of course joe miller defeated her in an upset a few weeks ago. and murkowski has been mulling her options. last night the republican senat senatorial campaign committee said if she would do the right thing it would be endorse joe miller and not mount a write-in bid so certainly the republicans are a bit worried what she will do. if she decides to mount a write-in bid it only only intensify the republican ideological civil war we've been seeing play out in alaska and also this week in delaware. >> mark murray, thanks. now to that dangerous storm that seemed to come out of nowhere and hit new york city hard yesterday. 100-mile-an-hour winds and torrential rains sent people scrambling for cover as the storm stripped roofs off houses and pulled trees from city sidewalks. an apparent tornado was spotted on this video shot near staten island.
9:04 am
peter alexander joins us live from queens, new york. peter, good morning. >> reporter: savannah, good morning to you. it's going to be up to the national weather service to make the official determination today if a tornado hit in new york city. if it did happen, it would be the second one in three months. but before that it had been three years. let's give you a sense of what some of the damage this morning looks like. ronnie, if you push the camera in, this is the top floor of a three-story apartment building that was really just knocked by these powerful winds in queens yesterday. you can see where the roof was literally peeled off, like the top of a sardine can. a short time ago i spoke to julio, one of 24 people that was forced to relocate from this building after the fact. he told me that he was in that apartment with both his wife, who is seven months pregnant, and her mother. that he was knocked bia table. he was has a big scar on the front of his head where he was hit. fortunately the only injuries throughout this area, with the exception of one death, a woman who was 30 years old, police
9:05 am
believed she had pulled over to the side of the grand central parkway when a tree crushed her car. today a significant cleanup process is under way. believed to be 25,000 plus people still without power. >> unbelievable. peter alexander in new york city, which doesn't get tornados and things like that, amazing stuff. thanks very much. well, let's stick with weather because there are two big hurricanes brewing on the atlantic side of things and in the gulf while that third hurricane, hurricane karl, might slam into mexico. nbc news meteorologist bill karins joins us. you're tracking all of this. let's start with karl because this one suddenly is getting much stronger than even what you said that forecasters were saying yesterday. >> oh, yeah. i was saying category 2 at most and now it looks like there's an outside chance of a category 4. we only have probably five or six hours before landfall. you can see the storm here had a well-defined eye. now it's a little bit disappeared. it may be interacting with the land a little bit. this is dangerously close to veracruz, a resort town right in
9:06 am
the southern gulf of mexico. let me show you what the concerns are with karl. now it's a strong category 3. this happens to be a nuclear power plant that is supposed to be about only ten miles from the eye when it comes onshore. that's not what you want to see. otherwise it's a very rural area. until you get up into the mountains. there's a city that's the capital of the state of veracruz has 400,000 people that live there and it would probably be a category 2 by the time it got there. they're at the elevation of 5,000 feet and winds will be much stronger at the higher levels than they are at the coast. so that's the danger and where the horrible pictures will come out of as we go throughout the day today and tomorrow. as far as the forecast, it will be long gone by the weekend. once it hits the mountains, it will dissipate by tomorrow. the other huge storm, when i mean huge, this is one of the biggest hurricanes we've seen in a long time. it's going to head for bermuda. it's on that slow track. sometime sunday night they'll have to deal with a category 3 or category 2. those large waves are already arriving on the east coast, so be careful if you're at any of the beaches.
9:07 am
the rip currents will be very dangerous right into the weekend. so it's karl today and then sunday night for bermuda, they'll deal with igor. back to you. >> all right, bill karins watching all of those storms for us. thank you. in britain, police have arrested five men linking them to an alleged plot against pope benedict, who's there for an official state visit, the first to britain in 500 years. nbc's stephanie gosk joins us live from london with the latest. stephanie, what was this plot all about? >> reporter: hey, savannah. we're being told that the threat emerged overnight. obviously with the pope in town they're taking an abundance of caution with anything that they're learning. they moved in early this morning, just after 5:00, 5:30. they went into an area of town in london, westminster, where the pope is actually scheduled to speak later on today. they arrested these five men at a business and took them to a london police station where right now they're being questioned. so far they haven't been charged with anything and they haven't found any hazardous materials or anything at this business. but again, moving on an
9:08 am
abundance of caution, they felt that it was necessary to arrest these men. the pope has been told about the threat and so far hasn't changed his busy schedule. we saw a bit of some of the intense security surrounding him this morning at the first location, a university that he went to just outside of london. we were trying to get into the university about half an hour after he arrived and were told they weren't allowing any foot traffic whatsoever on the grounds after a certain point in time. they aren't really taking any risks when it comes to his safety on this trip. savannah and chuck. >> i bet not. stephanie gosk in london. for what is still an historic visit by the pope to great britain. thanks very much. >> thanks, stephanie. well, coming up, this would be awkward, christine o'donnell comes to washington face to face with some of the very establishment republicans who dissed her. up next the daily rundown interview with john cornyn. >> who may be having a meeting with her. plus natalee holloway's
9:09 am
mother sneaks her way into the peruvian prison to surprise joran van der sloot behind bars. what was said during their jailhouse exchange. first a look ahead at the president's schedule today. the big news, of course, is the announcement of elizabeth warren to help set up this new consumer protection agency. here's a mini prediction, you're going to see a lot of elizabeth warren on tv over the next 12 hours. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. boss: our breakout session is gonna be great. got the gecko t-shirt... "4 million drivers switched!" gecko water bottle... notebook... chamois... gecko: sir, i feel a little bit uncomfortable with all... you know... with all this. i mean, it's not about me. should be about how geico's the third-largest car insurance company in the nation. things like that. boss: oh, of course! we're not gonna get carried away. gecko: uh...yeah... all right as long as we don't overdo it. vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
9:10 am
what i wouldn't do for a do-over. [ female announcer ] neutrogena® clinical skincare helps restore collagen depleted skin to undo the look of a year's worth of skin aging in just 4 weeks. clinical skincare. neutrogena®. [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever. [ tires screech ] [ engine revving ] [ drums playing ] [ male announcer ] 306 horsepower. race-inspired paddle shifters. and f-sport-tuned suspension. all available on the new 2011 lexus is. it isn't real performance unless it's wielded with precision.
9:11 am
9:12 am
and i understand she has promised a smackdown. that is what she said. and, look, there's no doubt i can see how somebody who's been in professional wrestling would
9:13 am
think that they're right at home at the united states senate. >> that was president obama last night in connecticut campaigning for a democrat, dick blumenthal who is running against one of those unconventional republican candidate that we're seeing pop up all over. this one of course is linda mcmahon, former executive, former head of the world wrestling entertainment. it's all seems to be redrawing the political landscape this year. >> joining us to talk about that, senator john cornyn. these are interesting times for you, i'm sure, sir. i have to ask you on the heels of what happened in delaware just looking at this primary season, what do you make of the fact that in seven or eight cases the candidate that you, the establishment, the republican senate senatorial committee supported was rejected by voters. >> savannah, i never considered myself part of the establishment
9:14 am
but i guess i am for present purposes. certainly we've seen an influx of voters. i think four million more republican primary voters than we have democratic primary voters and a lot of enthusiasm and intensity. and i have to tell you that if people think that they have -- there's been a lot of turbulence in the republican primaries, which thankfully now are in the past, just wait until november the 2nd. i think this is just the tip of the iceberg, not to mix my metaphors too much. >> did you make a mistake backing charlie crist, backing mike castle, we can go on and on. did you make a mistake in how hugh handled this now in hindsight? >> well, i've always said, chuck, that we respect the right of the primary voters to make that decision. >> that's easy to say, i know, but in looking back was it a mistake that maybe you overdid it and maybe hurt those candidates in hindsight? you actually hurt trey grayson or mike castle because it was -- you were supporting them, the
9:15 am
d.c. establishment? >> well, as my father liked to say hindsight is always 20/20. let me just explain. you remember january, 2009. prospects for republicans were very, very dismal and we encouraged people to run and some jumped in the race and later as prospects improved, other people got in the race. it didn't mean we were picking sides, we were just trying to get a viable candidate to run. and in delaware, for example, mike castle was clearly the strongest candidate leading into the november election. primary voters have a right to make their choice, we respect that choice and we're supporting christine o'donnell and every other republican nominee going forward. >> but, sir, take the truth serum. are you concerned that republican primary voters have in some cases picked nominees who are less electable and, frankly, breathed some life in democratic campaigns in delaware or some say that's the case in nevada. are you worried about this? >> well, i have to tell you that a lot of these candidates who are supported by the tea party and other people who have never
9:16 am
been really particularly party people are leading in places like kentucky and places like colorado. sharron angle is in a dead heat with harry reid even though they have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at her with every kind of negative ad you can imagine. i think there's going to be a lot of people surprised with what happens november the 2nd because i think we're into a wave election, and i think it's going to be a reaction to the overreach, the spinning and the debt and obviously high unemployment across the country. >> senator, what's your advice to olympia snowe, susan collins, scott brown, even maybe orrin hatch, bob corker, guys that are going to be running in 2012, who have worked with the other side or maybe even voted for some things that democrats have voted for that a majority of republicans haven't voted for. is there room for them in your party? >> absolutely. people have to understand that
9:17 am
this country is a big, diverse country and not every region, every state is the same. for example, i'm a conservative coming from texas and you wouldn't expect otherwise, but i think i'd have a hard time getting elected in maine or massachusetts or elsewhere. >> you seem to understand that, senator. i understand that you understand that. look, that's why you went and got mike castle in delaware. i get that. but that isn't what the primary voter in these states seems to understand. so what do you tell olympia snowe how she should handle this rise of the tea party that, frankly, in maine could probably make her life politically miserable? >> well, i think what matters is what the voters in maine, what the voters in the individual states think about the senator or the candidate and not what people in washington, d.c., frankly, think about them. and so my suggestion is everybody needs to stay in touch, they need to go home every weekend, they need to listen and they need to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents. if they do that, i think they're
9:18 am
going to be fine going into the 2012 election. >> sir, as you know, a lot of the energy in the republican party, some of the animating issues have to do with deficit and spending, and i ask you given the concern among republican voters about deficit spending, how is it that republicans can get behind allowing the bush tax cuts to go forward for the wealthiest americans, something that will cost $700 billion borrowed money deficit spending. how do you square that up? >> well, savannah, it doesn't make any sense to raise taxes in order to keep current tax policy in place. i think frankly that's a false choice. my preference would have been to make these tax rates permanent, but we didn't have the votes to do it so they're temporary, they're going to expire. >> that will be deficit spending, right? it is deficit spending? >> i think that's a false construct with all due respect, because these are current tax rates. we're talking about the largest tax increase in american history. and particularly democrats and i think republicans are looking
9:19 am
now to say, you know what, even if we're for raising the marginal tax rates to what they were in the '90s, the worst time to be doing this is during a time of fragile, economic recovery so i hope we can come together and stave that off, because i can't think of a worse anti-stimulus at this time than this huge tax increase. >> senator, you just said you hope everybody can come together. mitch mcconnell, your leader in the republican party, has said there is no room for compromise, extending them all or nothing on this front, but there is a group of republican senators led by bob corker, judd gregg of new hampshire, who are saying, hey look, maybe an extension of two years or three years on the wealthiest that that can be done. are you open to a compromise here if it means getting those middle class tax cuts passed? >> my position is we need to maintain current tax rates as long as possible, and that's going to take 60 votes. i understand that neither party can do it alone, and i hope that we stave off those tax increases.
9:20 am
my preference would be permanently, but if we can only do it temporarily, then, you know, i'm for doing whatever will keep the economy moving and put people back to work. >> all right, senator john cornyn, good to have you with us this morning. thank you, sir. >> nice to see you, sir. >> thank you very much. up next, in decision 2010, i can't believe i have to say this, move over, john madden. we've got a new gadget to play with. we are going to roll it out and we'll tell you this, one knee equals two senate seats. no, i'm kidding. we'll show you the new senate rankings and do so with a new toy. >> i get it. stay tuned for that. first let's do our washington speak. jirga, this is one of our favorite afghan words that refers to a gathering of a few or a large number of people. you know, there are different kind of jirgas in afghanistan. this weekend the white house will keep a close eye on the parliamentary elections there. the candidates will be running for the so-called wolesi jirga.
9:21 am
these are the first afghan-run elections since the fall of the taliban in 2001. >> it's also wrong to get jiggy with it but we're doing it. >> if you have washington speak, you'd like us to clarify or apparently make fun of, let us know. dailyrundown@msnbc. we'll be right back. [ rattling ] [ gasps ] [ rattling ] [ laughing ] [ announcer ] close enough just isn't good enough. - if your car is in an accident, - [ laughing continues ] make sure it's repaired with the right replacement parts. take the scary out of life with travelers. call or click now for an agent or quote. words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers
9:22 am
who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right.
9:23 am
♪ [ mom ] game time is all about the traditions. it's all about the tackles and the touchdowns... and watching my boys do what they do. but for me, it's even more than that. game time is about our time. together. [ female announcer ] get low prices on all your favorites for the game. save money. live better. walmart.
9:24 am
we really could use decision 2010 music right now. it's friday. 46 days till election day. senate seats most likely to switch parties this year. after tuesday night the playing field is set, but now we've got something fun to do. let's take a look at the map and it's a new ipad app that we're doing here. here are the democratic targets that republicans are doing. these are 13 democratic-held seats. ten of the 13 are in our top ten most likely takeovers. let's go through them really quickly. we know this, north dakota is
9:25 am
one, arkansas two, indiana three. that's not a surprise to folks. we've got pennsylvania at four and we have illinois at five, at six is nevada. this is where we start getting to our toss-up races that are pure toss-ups. colorado at seven, wisconsin at eight and then the last two here, california at nine. actually washington state at ten. as you can see, what we don't have in our top ten are the other three, delaware is a big drop here, the tiny little state here, dropped out of our top ten. and then yesterday you saw president obama was in little connecticut over there. we'll see if that inches into the top ten. not quite sold there. and then there's the very red state of west virginia. democrats of course have a very, very popular governor running in joe manshun. will they put the money in that they need to win those races.
9:26 am
one other thing republicans have to worry about, let's take a look at our map here where the democrats are targeting a few of these republican seats. there are five here that are sitting here. and of course three of them are still seats that democrats are trying to win. you've got missouri. they're spending real money there. they really think robin carnahan can beat, we'll see, not quite sure but it is a red state but it is a red state that robin carnahan very popular, raised a ton of money. kentucky, the first tea party victory was rand paul. democrats still believe that he is too weak to win that seat. we shall see. he's been leading in all the polls. jack conway has yet to be able to take a lead there. the third seat that's sort of sitting there ends up being florida. we're going to close there. take a look at this, what charlie crist said yesterday. he's now the independent, that whole maybe the very first tea party victim being charlie crist chased out of the party. well, he had a little interesting interview yesterday
9:27 am
with a south florida reporter in the "miami herald" where they were saying he may end up talking about party purity and he made a dig about accusations that marco rubio made personal charges on his credit card. take a listen. >> do i believe in tax cuts? hell yes. do i believe the government ought to be in your bedroom? hell no. they sort of put up different tests if you're a good enough republican. the first test is are you conservative enough. you know, that test was brought to me and i'm a pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax republican. that used to, you know, be like an "a" on the test but no more. when it comes to spending or different issues that we'll get into soon, i'm sure, i'm going to tell the people where my opponents are, because they have a right to know the truth. >> you're referring to the credit card spending? >> that's probably part of it. >> what do you think people need to know about marco's credit card spending? >> what all it is. what he spent it on.
9:28 am
what it was spent for. you know, if he double build the taxpayers of florida and the party for flights. you know, to say that you're mr. fiscal conservative and have all those kind of financial issues, you know, is stunning to me. >> well guess what, savannah, charlie crist said those yesterday to this "miami herald" reporter. they have a debate later tonight, their very first three-way debate. charlie crist said he was going to run a pretty positive campaign. i think tonight's debate will not be positive. it's on univision, the number one rated tv station down in south florida. he went pretty negative there which tells you one other thing, marco rubio is leading in the polls. do you like the toys? >> yeah. >> maybe we can bring it back up real quick. oh, look, hey, hi, sav, i like it. >> now i feel bad because i was
9:29 am
going to make fun of your handwriting and then you're nice. >> it's hard. this isn't the easiest thing but it's better than be doing this. >> we're into the gadget re. coming up, a stunning confession from the woman who claimed a stranger attacked her with acid. why she's now telling police she made the whole thing up. plus how did natalee holloway's mother sneak in to see joran van der sloot in prison, and why? plus delaware's christine o'donnell set to make her washington debut at the nation's biggest gathering of conservative voters. and, yes, there's an elephant in the room in more ways than one. first today's trivia question from the almanac of american politics. which senator once dated actress carrie fisher and bianca jagger, the ex-wife of mick jagger. the answer and more straight ahead on "the daily rundown." hey. what are you doing up? i thought i'd take a drive before work. want to come? [ female announcer ] or make his day. yeah.
9:30 am
[ female announcer ] maxwell house gives you a rich, full-flavored cup of coffee, so you can be good to the last drop. ♪ now the healing power of touch just got more powerful. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast for relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol.
9:31 am
9:32 am
stay twice... earn a free night! two separate stays at comfort inn or any of these choice hotels can earn you a free night -- only when you book at until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
9:33 am
bottom of the hour and let's take a look at what's driving the day. >> well, this afternoon president obama will officially name elizabeth warren as a special adviser overseeing the new consumer financial protection bureau. in that capacity warren will not be subject to senate confirmation. in fact that's ruffling some feathers on capitol hill. sarah palin is keeping speculation about a possible 2012 presidential run alive. she's heading to iowa to headline the state republican party's biggest fund-raiser tonight. and senator lisa murkowski of alaska is expected to announce today whether she will run for re-election as a write-in candidate. last month murkowski lost the state's republican primary to the tea party-backed joe miller. other stories making headlines on a friday. hurricane karl is barrelling towards mexico. it could reach category 4 status before it makes landfall north of veracruz later today. workers in the gulf of mexico are on the verge of
9:34 am
permanently ceiling that broken oil well by pumping in mud and cement. it the should happen by sunday. a woman in washington who claimed someone threw acid in her face now admits her injuries were self-inflicted. police say bethany storrow confessed after they began questioning details of her account. the newest star of the tea party movement is of course christine o'donnell. she's front and center today at one of this year's biggest gatherings of social conservatives, the values voters summit. >> the summit is already under way. we can hear folks talking behind you. so christine o'donnell, the newest political sensation in the republican party, is a late add and will be there, right? >> reporter: that's right. she'll be here this afternoon. she'll be expected as kelly o'donnell had reported, no relation there, that it's not going to be a grandiose speech, it's just going to be a lot of what she's already been talking about. now, this morning we've already
9:35 am
heard from mike huckabee who had lots of rhetorical flourishes as he was well known for in the 2008 campaign. took a couple of shots at barack obama and the democrats who said we survived the recovery summer and are looking forward to the recovery fall. said that we should convene those death panels and offer a lethal injection to congressional arrogance. took a shot at jeremiah wright. one topic that's really interesting that they're starting to talk about more here is fiscal responsibility as a moral issue. we heard senator jim de mint talk about that this morning as well. he'll also speak here. it's interesting because the republican party is usually a three-legged stool, fiscal, social and national security. if they are marry those three, you have a real recipe for unity there. >> all right. at the values voters summit. it is coming at an odd time. i say this because they really are trying to downplay the social conservative policy that say some of these more conservative candidates are for.
9:36 am
you heard jim demint doing it and christine o'donnell, no, no, no, i don't want to talk about fiscal stuff. how long can they get away with that and will that alienate some suburban swing voters. >> and interesting the point that they're trying to sell fiscal responsibility as moral responsibility. >> this summit comes at exactly the wrong time for the republicans because they want to be talking about fiscal issues. this summit was designed to talk about social issues. anyway, christine o'donnell makes that appearance at the values voters summit fresh off another star turn last night at her first forum as a general election candidate in delaware. >> nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell joins us now. she's been following this story and watched that town hall. kelly, it seems that she was asked about some of these controversial past statements that, let's face it, democrats have been flying around putting it through e-mails, inboxes of reporters everywhere, really trying to call attention to. >> reporter: there is an all-out search party going after all the things that christine o'donnell
9:37 am
has said, things that might be eye-popping or controversial, old tv clips because she did make so many appearances over the years working as a -- kind of a media consultant, a public face for some nonprofit, socially oriented groups. so she was at this forum with all kinds of statewide candidates in delaware and yet, of course, there was a lot of attention focused on her and the senate race. now, there had not been a great deal of vetting. the usual examination of her background because she was considered such a long shot so a lot of this is happening now. we've heard about comments that she's made. some of it was religiously based with views on abstinence, on abortion, on things like that. she was asked about this at the forum. most of the talk was about jobs, taxes, general questions. this was put directly to her. >> you have taken a strong stance in the past about people's private sexual behavior. what do you think is the role of government in regulating these
9:38 am
matters? >> that's personal. >> i agree with you, it's personal. these questions come from statements i made over 15 years ago. i was in my 20s and very excited and passionate about my newfound faith. but i assure you my faith has matured and when i go to washington, d.c., it will be the constitution on which i base all of my decisions, not my personal beliefs. >> and i've talked to christine o'donnell about this a few different times. she is surprised by all the attention that has been focused on all these things that she has said, all these old tv clips and quotes. and she said she was a pundit then and never expected it to examine back to haunt her. and sort of turning it to try to fashion it in the kind of tea party mode of today. she says it proves she's a citizen politician because she never expected to be running for office and, therefore, would not have said things that could be so controversial. so that's the spin she's putting to all of this. chuck, as you mentioned, definitely trying to distance herself from some of the more heated social issues.
9:39 am
>> absolutely. kelly o'donnell reporting for us from our washington newsroom downstairs. thanks very much. i have to say, savannah, i think the next level of scrutiny is going to be on her personal finances, what is she doing, is she living off the campaign, things like that. that is a more relevant topic probably than 20 years ago. >> it's current, it's not 20 years ago and it goes to the heart of her platform. let's face it about fiscal responsibility. >> exactly. >> got to begin at home. we'll see if she gets that scrutiny. we'll move on and yet another twist today in the joran van der sloot saga. the man long suspected in natalee holloway's disappearance got a surprise visit in jail this week from none other than natalee's mother, beth twitty who went to peru and confronted van der sloot face to face. michelle kosinski has the story. >> reporter: when we heard about this we thought what? but five years ago when natalee holloway disappeared in aruba, her mother vowed to never give up, to use all of her energy to
9:40 am
find out what happened. well, she has kept that promise. traveling down to peru now where joran van der sloot is held in a prison awaiting trial for murdering a young woman down there, and she confronted him face to face. we recently heard this interview done behind bars with joran in which he tells a dutch tv reporter that life behind bars isn't that bad that, he's been teaching the guards english in his private cell and now claims he knows nothing about what happened to natalee. well, beth holloway's attorney said she had simply had enough hearing this. she went down there, teamed up with a dutch tv crew, got inside that prison and let joran have it, telling him that the united states has not forgotten about him, that whatever happens in peru, he still faces an indictment for extortion here and that if he knows anything about what happened to natalee, he should say it now. not ten years down the road, but right now. she also told him that she holds no hate in her soul for him, but he said he couldn't talk to her
9:41 am
and gave her the phone number for his attorney. when prison guards realized that this might be part of some type of television event, they hustled beth and the camera crew right out of here. here's what her attorney said on "today" this morning. >> but i do know that she saw him. the substance of the conversation or who said what, i can't share. this was just a mother acting on her instincts not thinking about what the legal repercussions would be, which would be none. >> reporter: beth holloway might have felt like this was her only chance. aruban investigators have been in no hurry to talk to him as they originally wanted to because now they feel it's very unlikely joran will tell them anything. >> all right, what a story. >> i tell you this, i assume it's made -- not for tv news, it's made for a tv movie like again tomorrow, the sequel. >> i think anybody can understand the motivation to go down there. >> what mother wouldn't. now, bringing the camera crew
9:42 am
was sort of odd, but yes confronting him, why wouldn't you. let's do our trivia. which senator once dated actress carrie fisher and bianca jagger, the ex-wife of the rolling stones legend mitch jagger. >> i would have gotten this one wrong. i would have gone with john kerry back in his days of sin e singledom but it was connecticut senator chris dodd who at one time was a legend. let's leave it there. coming up, tea, taxes and the midterm elections. how did this week's primary wins change the landscape, 2010, 2012. the weekly radar with washington veteran, retiring democratic senator evan bayh. coming up this sunday on "meet the press" david gregory is live with form el president bill clinton and former secretary of state colin powell. that's this sunday on "meet the press. ". we'll do the white house soup of the day. a common friday offering, cajun gumbo.
9:43 am
>> you say that almost disparagingly. i'll be honest, gumbo is something i wouldn't mind a couple of times a week. >> there's certainly at the white house mess. >> that's right. >> be right back. words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations
9:44 am
of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right. ♪
9:45 am
[ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? ♪ intrucing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid, specially formulated to fight morning pain and fatigue. ♪ so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever.
9:46 am
this date in 1787 the u.s. constitution was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the constitutional convention in philadelphia. so apparently everybody wants to go back to 1787. >> signed, sealed and delivered. well, this week we saw a big tea party win that could help democrats hold the senate this fall. that's what some are saying but they have been wrong before. >> the party is divided on a key issue, the future of the bush tax cuts. now with us democratic senator evan bayh, not seeking re-election, ending a 12-year senate career. >> that's why i look relaxed here this morning. >> you know what, you're liberated, sir. go right ahead and say whatever you want.
9:47 am
>> let's start immediately on the issue of the tax rates, raising the tax rates, letting it expire. you know, yesterday the census came out and said one in seven americans are living below the poverty line. do you look at that story today, you know, you open up your "usa today" and see that story and see that washington is debating the tax rates for the wealthy, and you sit there and say isn't that a disconnect in america right now? >> it is a disconnect, chuck. what we need to be focusing on is growth. how do we create jobs, how do we expand businesses. that needs to be job one right now. all these other issues involving, oh, fairness and things like that can wait. it's a lot easier to be fair and equitable when your economy is growing and incomes are rising than it is when things are stagnant the way they are today. i think we need to focus on jobs and growth. >> what do you think should happen with the tax cuts for the wealthiest americans? obviously the president thinks that they should not be extended because it's too expensive and would cost $700 billion. a lot of people, including some of your fellow democrats, say,
9:48 am
look, this is no time to raise taxes. let's face it, effectively that's how it would feel to folks. it's not going to feel like a tax cut. it's keeping the status quo and if it expires, it feels like taxes are coming up. where do you come down on this? >> not only feel like it, they would go up. i'm in the second camp but with a caveat, i'll explain. that 2%, those are the people who make the hiring decisions, who make the investing decisions, who account for 30% of consumption. we want them doing more hiring, more investing and at least hanging in there from a consumption standpoint. raising their taxes right now when the economy is this week, that's not the smart thing to do. but let me just finish. we've got a huge deficit problem. once the economy is growing more robustly, then we can pivot and if democrats agree to restrain spending, then look at those rates but that's how it ought to happen. >> it's interesting to hear you say that because it's a democratic talking point that those tax rates affect only 2% or 3% of small businesses. do you disagree with that?
9:49 am
>> directly. but those are the people i said who make the majority of the hiring. can i afford to hire more people? do i want to make these investments? if we add to their burdens, it increases their uncertainty and anxiety, they're less likely to do the things we want them to do, hire people, invest and continue to consume. so now is not the time. if the economy is growing 3%, 4%, then we can have a debate. but if i can make one political point, as democrats we should care about the deficit. but just to go out and say our only answer to solving the deficit is just to raise taxes, i think that plays into the republicans' hands. we need to show we're for spending restraint too. >> but president obama does seem to be -- he is indicating, look, he has talked about entitlement reform. >> no one is saying that, chuck. on the table right now, that's all we're doing. if we combined allowing these rates to go -- this is not the time for it in any event. but if the economy was growing robustly and we combined this with spending restraint, then you've got a case you can make and that's what's driving the independents. >> i have to ask you about the
9:50 am
$700 billion, though. even though the white house likes to say, hey, we have a deficit problem, we dn't want to spend this on tax cuts, the are saying that they will spend that revenue on something else, it's not like they're putting it away in the bank and not going to spend it. doesn't that deficit argument fall flat kanyway? >> i think we ought to lead with spending restraint. people understand that. then if we get the into this debate senate, will it go to reduce the deficit or not? a lot of the people i talked to who would be affected by this, look, i'm patriotic, i want to help the country. if my taxes go up and goes to more spending i don't agree with, that's a different equation for them. >> you're not running and you're not on the ballot this year, brad ellsworth is and a lot of democrats struggen in these red leaning states. give some advice. what do you do now? you know the cards you have been dealt. what do you do between now and
9:51 am
election day to at least make it more competitive? >> in our state? >> yes. >> brad is doing what he ought to be doing, which is running as a sheriff. every race is local and he needs to contrast his profile with that of his opponent and ask the people of indiana who really can take on business as usual. >> national advice, focus on the jobs, jobs, jobs, chuck. a lot of the narrative is written here and we can only affect that at the margin. you were talking aboutdle earlier, focus on opportunities because this broader theme here is baked in the cake. >> indiana senator evan bayh, great to have you with us. >> thank you very much. look out lady gaga. we have been doing a lot of lady gaga lately. someone is trying to upstage his meaty fashion statement. we'll head to the shallow end, next.
9:52 am
trying to delay action ande polluters free reign to keep dumping toxic pollution into the air. the air our children breathe. letting big oil lobbyists get their way again, and again, and again. it's a last-minute bill, written by special interests, looking for a payback. washington politicians need to get off the dime, and not let corporate polluters off the hook. rheumatoid arthritis going? they're discovering the first self-injectable ra medicine you take just once a month. it's simponi™, and taken with methotrexate, it helps relieve the pain, stiffness, and swelling of ra with one dose a month. visit to see if you qualify for a full year of cost support. simponi™ can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious and sometimes fatal events can occur, such as infections, cancer in children and adults, heart failure, nervous system disorders, liver or blood problems, and allergic reactions.
9:53 am
before starting simponi™, your doctor should test you for tb and assess your risk of infections, including fungal infections and hepatitis b. ask your doctor if you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, or develop symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start simponi™ if you have an infection. [ female announcer ] ask your rheumatologist about simponi™. just one dose, once a month.
9:54 am
9:55 am
before we go, let's take a dip in the shallow end or the lady gaga end as we're calling it. we already told you about her back and forth with senator harry reid on twitter. now, of course, she's taking on senator john mccain and his reluctance to repeal don't ask, don't tell. he is reluctant. she told her 6.3 million followers, we're jealous. "senator john mccain is attempting to stop the don't ask, don't tell repeal vote this tuesday with the filibuster." she gave a little social studies lesson "a filibuster is a way to disrupt the senate floor from discussing or voting on a given law to hijack our debate." twitter silent on the subject from senator mccain. seems even hollywood stars can't let go of the meat dress.
9:56 am
actress kate walsh who gave out a shout out to gaga. she showed up on "tonight show" wearing an asomble made out of sushi. >> is that lol? >> i guess it is. >> i don't know who she is. >> i don't either. we need to get out more. >> i think she ought it be invited by the uso. that will be fascinating. get lady gaga, on the u.s. tour. coming up chris jansing. >> then at 1:00 don't miss "andrea mitchell reports." boss: our breakout session is gonna be great.
9:57 am
9:58 am
got the gecko t-shirt... "4 million drivers switched!" gecko water bottle... notebook... chamois... gecko: sir, i feel a little bit uncomfortable with all... you know... with all this. i mean, it's not about me. should be about how geico's the third-largest car insurance company in the nation. things like that. boss: oh, of course! we're not gonna get carried away.
9:59 am
gecko: uh...yeah... all right as long as we don't overdo it. vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. tmy name is...peggy.g you have problem? peggy? ok, i've been waiting for fifteen minutes for someone to pick up. you're tenacious like bull. i like. please hold. no, no, so pretty. anncr: want better customer service? switch to discover, where you can talk to a real person in less than a minute. it pays to discover. a plot to harm pope benedict in london. five men arrested on terrorism charges and the investigation continues. dangerouses and violent storms descend on new york city. the big apple is cleaning up today after getting hit