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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  January 25, 2013 1:00am-2:00am EST

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this congress on the point was outraged treadmill, it seems impossible that washington could be the means by which a problem is addressed in a practical way, but it worked. maybe it can work for all >> john kerry began his confirmation hearing today with absolutely no intension of embarrassing the republicans in the foreign relations committee. so, they had to embarrass themselves. >> the american people deserve to know answers. >> we were misled. >> what difference does it make? >> by the competitive nature of politics. >> i'm happy for you. >> they determined an effective representative. >> my senior senator and my friend, senator john kerry.
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>> suddenly i'm feeling a lot of sympathy for the folks who sit down here. >> some things don't change. >> if you are trying to get some daylight between me and secretary clinton that is not going to happen here today. >> we do know what happened. were you at the briefing with the tapes? >> that is not going to happen here today. >> republican reset. could there be a war on the republican party. >> here it is again. >> what do you think the party must do better. >> coordinated effort by republicans. >> to change the rules for electing a president. >> they have no choice. >> what do you think the party must do better. >> we're listening, we're listening. >> another day, another hearing
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in which a senator gets to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is in competent. >> will you work with me so that we can find out what actually happened and then we can move beyond that. >> well i think, senator, in all fairness, i think we do know what happened. i think it was very clear. >> were you at the briefing with the tapes? >> no. >> there was a briefing with tapes which we all saw those of us who went to it. we sat for hours with our intel folks who described to us what we were seeing and we saw the events unfold we had a complete description. >> that was john kerry humiliating senator johnson. he received the most impressive
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bipartisan introduction that perhaps the senate at ever seen. >> i'm very pleased that john will be given the chance subject to confirmation to continue the work of a lifetime on behalf of our country. >> let me thank you on behalf of the committee for all that you have done. there is no one in the senate that has spent more time than you have on issues of importance to our country. >> one say historians will judge his senate years much the same way some recognize senator ted kennedy's impact. >> but that didn't stop the republicans from trying to turn the hearing into episode two, into why did they conspire to hide the truth from the american people?
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>> the world is a dangerous police when america is not leading. we had a hearing yesterday about libya but we didn't talk about the conditions that led to the consulate. >> i think this is important and trying to get to the truth in the matter of benghazi do you agree with hillary clinton, that that is yesterday's news and let's move on. >> if you are trying to get some day light between me and secretary clinton that is not going to happen here today. >> john mccain could not reserve the going back to yesterday's news. >> i didn't want to bring it up, but since it was just brought up i'll have to respond again.
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we do care why the american people were misled. some of us will not give up on this until we get all of the answers. >> i don't want to go on about it, but i didn't suggest and i don't want to suggest nor do i believe that secretary clinton was saying that people don't care about knowing what happened. >> there is no exam for being a united states senator. >> it is a matter of tricking enough voters. >> the bar is in the ground. >> what an amazing day two on the failure to unearth the conspiracy of how to lie to the american people. >> he is like a human whack-a-mole. ron johnson gets too close to him and your brain cells die. this is like the legacy of ron johnson. he attributes the warming of the
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earth to sun spots to gee logical spots of time. he is convinced that there is a conspiracy and there is none there. nor is it with hillary clinton saying it doesn't matter. he is obsessed with you know, he is obsessed with suspects who are no longer being examined and we know who did it. but he is following vapor trails to nowhere. >> i thought marco rubio did well i wondered if ron johnson was part of a one-two punch. he was going to really try to be -- men al migitry. >> it was striking to me. the sense of and this is
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bipartisan. the sense of paranoya anxiety that permeates every discussion of america's role in the world and foreign policy. you would think we are consumed by constant threats and occupiers. i'm nervous about this and anxious about this and i think it was a striking moment. it gives you a sense of what the cost of trying to maintain this presence and project is. >> and the difficulty of articulating a strategy. >> speaking of costs. and speaking of senator johnson. i don't mean to pick on him. he did ask an interesting question that i believe has never come up in a confirmation hearing. that is what are you going to do about the debt and deficit?
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>> let's listen to that. >> you utilize your position to work with the president to solve the debt and deficit issue. >> i'm not here to go through the details why we didn't. there was a very, hard line position that prevented us from being able to come to an agreement which we just came to. but we came to it with far lesson the table and far less accomplished than we would have had if we had come to it a year ago >> and that is the most diplomatic answer than we had. >> well, it is telling that this is sort of the default position
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on anything. >> you got me on benghazi now debt and deficit. >> but this is the position of the republican ares on any kind of big picture item. we are outraged on his speech because he didn't talk about the deficit. >> what would he talk about? there is nothing else they have to wave. >> that is one issue where they have a political traction. there is a majority on americans. but they have made the calculation. there are a whole bunch of issues where they are not on the right side. most issue. >> they are trying not to talk about those things. they are thinking we can get to 55% if we talk about this.
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we can alienate young voters if we talk about this. i want to watch hillary clinton first. >> for me, this is not just a matter of policy, it is personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers the sisters and daughters and the wives left alone to raise their children. >> now, of course, people who believe that john boehner is the greatest speaker of the house criticized that saying there she is trying to bring emotional testimony into that. i don't know how you describe that scene without some emotional expression. >> i think the outcry, imagine
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if the tables were turned and there was a republican secretary talking about that and did so with the emotion that hillary clinton did and there was an outcry that it was fake and it was hood winked. >> let's take a look at john kerry. if you confirm me, i would take office as secretary proud that the senate is in my blood. but equally proud that so too is the foreign service. my father's work under presidents both democrat and republican took me and my siblings around the world for a personal journey and sacrifices that the men and women make every day on behalf of america.
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>> no criticism for that. >> the criticism about secretary clinton that i thought, here she was clearly taking responsibility. i think the reason that she teared up is that she feels responsible. as the moment that she takes responsibility they go after her for it. >> thank you for joining me tonight. >> coming up. >> how soon will be hearing the words senator barney frank? after the landslide. republicans are trying to rig the electoral college of course and the most important testimony given at the senate foreign relations committee was given by john kerry 42 years ago.
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history made today and later, joy read joins me. that is coming up. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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that is going to be changing soon. >> that was president obama in texas. knowing that he couldn't win it. all of texas' 34 electoral votes went to mitt romney and he was playing the long game. and the democrats believe those votes will be worth fighting for in the future. team obama's field director jeremy burd has decided his next job will be turning texas blue. he told politico: as democrats are looking to expand the map, republicans are deciding if you can't beat them cheat them. they are moving forward with a plan to change the system from
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winner take all to congressional districts one. in november in virginia, president obama won 51% of the popular vote and received all 13 in the system. now here is what would have happened under the proposed 47 plan. president obama would have won 51% of the popular vote but just 4 of those votes. mitt romney would have received the other 9 votes. under the proposal mitt romney would have won 47% of the actual vote but would have been avoided 69% of the state's electoral votes.
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if you can't win honestly go this way. it is fascinating to me what he was doing in texas this summer knowing that he wasn't going to win it. and knowing what they can do with the changing demographics of the state. i think texas is a longer term process. democrats are blowing it out. if you look at the population in the state it is not matched by the registered voter pool. that is going to help you a lot. the problem is if you look at east texas and west texas we have heavily white populations,
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where race is the sole predictor. if you look at mississippi and alabama, these are states where he gotten percent of the white vote. so the problem is, if the white vote in texas continues to trend toward the deep south it is not going to be in the next decade. but it might not be for another decade. this is the long-term strategizing. in virginia, they are inviting a constitutional challenge. that will be taken up by the supreme court. >> the weird twist there is, you have the maine and nebraska models in effect now. and the winner of the popular vote gets the two at-large
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votes. and there has been that split in 2008. the twist in virginia is it is the winner of the most congressional districts. it is a strange move. there is sort of an admission here by republicans that there is a threat here that if this gathers steam, if the big blue states, if you had that basic maine nebraska model, the vote
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would have been 276 romney and 262 obama. it is that condensed. in a few numbers of districts and in the state. the democrats have the numbers but republican ares have land mass and that is where it kind of shows. >> the next big election massachusetts senate. john kerry is day as way from confirmation. and they have to have an interim senator appointed the official position of this show is go with experience and go with barney frank >> it was big of you to take yourself out of the mix. >> i decided to go with more experience. >> you know, it has been fascinated. my sense of the situation is that he was looking to appoint
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somebody out of the box. and bar knee frank i think picked up on that. he has created a situation here if patrick does not give it to bar knee frank the question is going to be that he has tremendous liberal based support. i'm not sure how much experience the government has with dealing with that demand for somebody. >> i'm not sure how this is playing with pa track. it is the psychology of one guy and who can get in his head. >> steve, thank you for joining me tonight. coming up. the military will open up comeback positions. and in the rewrite tonight why the testimony john kerry gave today and every time he appears before the committee as
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secretary of state will never be as important as the first time he testified to that committee 42 years ago as a war protester. . [ coughs ] [ baby crying ] ♪ [ male announcer ] robitussin® liquid formula soothes your throat on contact and the active ingredient relieves your cough. robitussin®. don't suffer the coughequences™.
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he led the military transition out of don't ask don't tell and today lifted the ban on women in combat and joy reid is here on the latest in
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gun control. and in the rewrite tonight why john kerry's place in history was locked in 42 years ago the first time he testified at a senate hearing before he ran for senate himself. you need to see this video. that is coming up. i think it is super. the right thing to do, i support [ engine revving ] ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪
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i think it is super. the right thing to do, i support it. i want to make sure the standards are met so that the combat efficiency of the units are greater. it is time to do that. the women have proven the contributions that they have made and i support it. >> that was senator john mccain's response that the ban on women in combat is over. >> senator leon panetta lifted the ban opening positions to women soldiers and marines. >> it won't happen right away. the first plans aren't due until may of this year and special exceptions can be requested by each branch for jobs until 2016. but more women who have served in iraq afghanistan.
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nearly 1,000 have been wounded in action. one of those is now a democratic congresswoman from the state of illinois. she can tell you that combat is already a reality. >> i did lose my legs in a bar fight. i was sure i was in combat. >> joining me now retired army general. what is your reaction to this latest development?
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>> i think it is a great initiative and long overdue. and i'm kind of curious, i'm very curious about the timing of it. and the implementation. they need to make it retro active back to at least 2002 when women were already serving. there was no question about physical capabilities then as they were attaching women to these fighting units. but waiting for three years what happens in thee years that has not happened in the last 7 or 8?
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they need to recognize them officially that they served in combat. and move ahead from here. there are certainly men who won't pass the qualification tests as there will be women who don't pass the tests. there will be women who excel and men who excel in these situations. maybe there have been situations in placing them in combat training situations first. >> i want to tell you about the qualifications. >> it is another thing to be out there on a night raid against al qaeda. but the fact is that this is a -- i support this decision and i think that woman are fully qualified to carry out that mission but i want to see the same physical standards and requirements. >> what about that? as i said, there are men who cannot qualify. that has never been a point.
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mostly because it is how it was related to how the american ment uses the draft. every man that was drafted was drafted for a combat position and there were other positions that became available. but there was never a discussion about are all men qualified for combat now there is a discussion about whether women are qualified for combat positions. but in 2003 there was no discussion about deploying women to iraq for this combat situation about whether they would be physically capable because they would be physically attached. i don't think it is fair i do
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think there has to be an evaluation. but it must include every entry at every rank in the military system. >> general, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> coming up. you have seen the moment when you ask the question, how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam? he had so much to say i believe it saved thousands of hives by getting the united states out of vietnam sooner. i'll show you more of what he had to say that day and what president obama nixon said about his testimony you have got to see this in tonight's rewrite.
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joy reid is here with the latest and next you will see the remarkable and moving video of the day john kerry became a hero in the senate at long before he was a senator. well, i say to them tonight, you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me. thought i had it in the blizzard of '93. ha! never even came close. sometimes, i actually think it's mocking me. [ engine revs ] what?! quattro!!!!! ♪ using cloud computing and mobile technology, verizon innovators have developed a projective display for firefighters.
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america there is the united states of america. >> we can thank john kerry for that. and we can thank john kerry for a lot more. he made that happen. he chose barack obama a then unknown 42-year-old senate candidate to give the key note address the most important address at the democratic national convention. barack obama couldn't get the credentials to get into the last
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convention made that speech. we had seen the person who could be the first african-american president without that speech, it is very hard almost impossible to imagine barack obama launching a campaign three years later. today barack obama made this happen. >> i know there is a lot of ground to cover. i look forward to that dialogue. >> john kerry's place to history is almost already assured. his contribution occurred at that seat 42 years ago. long before he actually ran for senate he testified to the foreign relations committee as a leader of vietnam veterans against the war. he was decorated in saving the lives of men who came forward to tell their stories, but he saved many more lives than that.
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he saved thousands and thousands of lives when he testified on april 22nd, 1971, 56,000 american soldiers had been killed in vietnam. in each of the years he was in vietnam, more american soldiers were killed there than in the entirety of both wars in iraq afghanistan. it was a death toll that is unimaginable to any one who didn't live through those years. richard nixon had won the presidency on the lie that he had a plan to end the war.
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john kerry gave us more young americans including nixon knew was a lost cause. it was personified then by hippies. kids who were experimenting with new ways of living and dressing and the attitude that they had no duty to serve in a american war. the anti-war movement to be successful needed john kerry. it was as if he was a character delivered to us by a novelist. he shared john f kennedy's initials and some of this accent and was a decorated navy war hero. he was clean-cut for a hippy. he didn't have a stragley beard. but no other man appears before the committee had long hair covering his ears. he had a choice to make. he could have gotten a haircut dressed like a senator.
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he chose to look like a war protester against the war. the senator had never heard testimony like that. as did the white house. the day after his testimony. president nixon had this
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conversation with his chief of staff who would later go to prison. extremely effective. was nixon going to do that? i doubt it. not as fast as he did it. more than 2,000 americans were killed after john kerry's testimony. that number was going to be higher, much higher but it was going to be higher. if john kerry hadn't become the most extremely effective war protester in american history. the only war protester who the war president richard nixon thought was what he called extremely effective. there are men alive today in this country thanks to john kerry and they don't know it. i have brothers who are alive
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today thanks to john kerry. because of john kerry. didn't play it safe when he testified against the war. he personally attacked by name the defense secretary along with the other democrats in the johnson administration who failed the country and the world so miserably. on april 22nd, 1971, at the age of 27, he assured his position in history. and that is war hero. the hero who saves lives by helping to end the war. >> each day to facilitate the process by which the united
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states washes her hands of vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the united states doesn't have to admit something that the world already knows. someone has to die so that president nixon won't be the first president to lose a war. and we are asking americans to think about that. how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam we are here to ask and ask where are the leaders of our country. where is the leadership? we are here to ask where are
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bundy, gilpatrick and others where are they now that we the men they sent off to war have returned. these are commanders that have deserted their troops. the army says they never leave their wounds and the marines never leave their dead. they have retreated and left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching hind them in the sun. and this administration has attempted to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country. they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served. we do not need their testimony for ourselves we wish that a
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merciful god to wipe away our own memories of that service. but all that they have done and can do by this denial, is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbarick war. to conquer the hate and fear of this we're. so in 30 years when our brothers go down the street and small boys ask why we will be able to say vietnam. not an obscene memory but mean instead the place where america finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning. thank you.
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weapons designed for the military to kill large numbers of people in close combat are replicated for civilian use. the common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition magazine. >> that was california democrat feinstein today that would ban magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition. it would prohibit modifications to funs that would make them act like semiautomatic weapons. senator feinstein's bill would
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protect 2200 sporting and hunting guns. and continuing his role as the most effective vice president in history he rebranded it. >> i view it as gun safety. it ranges as making sure that you keep your weapon out of the reach of kids to making sure that we are able to make sure that bad guys get in the registry so they can't buy a gun. >> what we are interested in is
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how many rounds can they fire? the 100 gun round used in colorado. >> it was interesting how they staged this. diane was surrounded pie police officers. it made the point when police officers go into a home and they have to respond to the 911 call, well the police obviously can deal with that. but when you have people i know dealing with traffic stops. where the person can take down a swat team that is a the need between someone being able to lay down cover fire like they are in the covers of vietnam and take down a movie theater full of people in seconds. >> police pay benefits and that sort of thing it is fascinating
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to me that they aren't more powerful as lobbyists on this issue. it is amazing that they lost these arguments. there was a debate as to whether cop killer bullets should be legal. which is the only purpose for an armor piercing bullet. >> they keep changing the technology to get around the description you have made of what is banned. >> right. we know what they are going to do, their lobbyists are going to go in and not want to call these assault weapons they would rather go with a semiautomatic weapon.
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and they are trying to carve out exceptions. >> i'm less concerned quite frankly about what you call an assault weapon than i am with a magazine and the newspaper that can be held in a magazine. >> i agree. >> and you saw in the aurora and the sandy hook chuting it is the ability to empty 30 to 100 rounds. if the person has to reload, then that good guy can stop them.
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>> and we see joe mansion from the nra, saying things like it is nonsense. back ground checks, that seems to be the spot where there is the most likely opportunity. >> lawmakers say look, if the senate can get through a bill that is something that can work. the nra is in a marketplace. part of the reason they satisfy such an extreme position. there are other groups competing for the same money. >> then gun owners of america