tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC November 3, 2013 12:00pm-2:00pm EST
mitt romney disavows obama care. is it the same health care plan the former governor sold to massachusetts? i will talk to the architect of both plans in minutes. the president's meeting with the leader of iraq. exactly what kind of military help is that country seeking from the u.s., and will it happen? in office politics, down to its last days? i talked to cnbc's carl quintanilla about the problems with blackberry. and how much money could this work of art fetch? it's in today's list of number ones.
hello, everyone. it's high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." he's back with a whole lot to say. mitt romney on today's "meet the press," talking about the comparisons between romney care in massachusetts and obama care. >> and perhaps the most important lesson the president failed to learn was you have to tell the american people the truth. what when he told the american people you could keep your health insurance if you wanted to keep that plan, period, he said that time and again, he wasn't telling the truth. i think that fundamental dishonesty has put in peril the whole foundation of his second term. >> current massachusetts governor deval patrick was also on "meet the press." here's his take. >> it does a lot of good for a lot of people. that's already begun. it will continue. the website isn't perfect. that'll get fixed. i'm confident of that. the website at home in massachusetts when we first started implementing in 2007 was also imperfect. it got fixed.
and governor romney was right then when he said that if massachusetts succeeds in implementing health care reform there, it will be a model for the country and it has been. >> the former governor also implied the technical problems with obama's care launch might have been avoided if the white house had learned from his example. >> in massachusetts, we phased in the requirements so there was a slow rollout so you could test the systems as you went along. >> if there is one person who can tell you about the similarities between romney care and obama care and the way the affordable care act may work, it is m.i.t. economist jonathan gruber, the architect of the massachusetts health care problem and a key adviser on obama care. jonathan joins me now. welcome. glad to have you here. >> good to be here. >> you are obviously well aware of the troubles in the launch of obama care. the president has said no one is more frustrated about that than he is. this must be one of the most significant projects of your life. do you feel the same way?
when did you last meet with the president to discuss this rollout? >> i think that basically it is frustrating. we all wish it went better, but we have to recognize that we're not really up against the deadline yet. they opened the website in october to purchase products that are available in january. the relevant deadline is whether people can get online by early november, december to get those products for january. it is frustrating. i wish it went better. it's not a crisis yet. this is the period where they're working out the kinks. as long as they get it worked out by november, it will be. >> i read you called it a def con four level. i know you helped create two monumental programs. one is at the state level. now this one for the entire country. what is your philosophy on the issue? >> my philosophy on the ssh something we call incremental universali
universalism. that is, i think we can get to universal health care in america without disrupting the insurance people have and like. to build incrementally on what people like and move towards universal coverage in a way that helps out those less fortunate. >> okay. as you heard, the former governor romney criticizing obama care this morning. i want to play one more clip and get your reaction. >> massachusetts' experience was a state-run plan. the right way to deal with health care reform is not to have a one size fits all plan that's imposed in all the states but recognizes the differences between the states. states should be able to craft their own plans. >> again, you've seen this from the state and federal lovevel. does that withstand scrutiny? >> governor romney is being very disingenuous. the recent work to massachusetts was because the federal government paid for. . it's not a matter of saying the states go do it.
it's giving them the money to do it. obama care sets up the federal spending to make this work and empowers states to decide how they're going to expand their medicaid program and set up their exchanges. states have decided to defer that to the federal government. that's their decision. the notion this is a federal one size fits all is just wrong. the notion states could do this on their own is wrong because they don't have the money to do so. >> so the mitt romney that you're hearing talking about obama care, is this a different mitt romney than when you worked with him on health care? >> i like to call the mitt romney mach one and mitt romney mach two. mitt romney mach one is the hero of health care reform. mitt romney mach two is unfortunately walking away from that role. >> aside from the website, one of the most controversial elements for the white house has been one statement made repeatedly by the president prior to it the launch. let's take a listen to that. >> if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. if you like your doctor, you keep seeing your doctor. >> when you heard these words,
did you know that what the president was saying may not present the whole picture, and does it matter? >> i think that what the president was saying is the vast majority of the picture, it is not technically true for every person. i don't think it matters. the president, if he'd said by and large this is true t would have been more technically correct. but at the end of the day, the important point is that -- the important point he was trying to make, which is hard to make in a political sound bite, is for the vast majority of americans, this law leaves you alone. that's what critics of this law miss when they talk about a socialized takeover of our system. if you have employer insurance today or you get your insurance from the government today, you're left alone by this law. the law really only affects the minority of people who don't have insurance or who buy on their own. among those who buy on their own, some will be forced to buy more generous plan than they have today. that's because the plans they have today aren't real insurance and we're going to move them into real insurance. technically, yes, the president did not focus on the 2% to 3% of
americans who will have to buy up their insurance plans because of this law. i think in the ledger of political overstatements, it's a pretty small one. >> yeah, it amounts to about 9 million people, i believe, by having read a speech you gave. >> i would say it's more like 6 to 9 million people, depending how you define it. >> okay. "the wall street journal" is reporting that a former senior administration official said the president was warned ahead of time about speaking too broadly, quote. some white house policy advisers objected to the breadth of mr. obama's keep your plan promise. they were overruled by political aides. were you one of those advisers who raised objection? >> no, i was not involved in the communications strategy. by and large, the statement he's making it right. i think that the notion in some sense of focusing on the particulars of whether this applied to 100% of americans instead of 98% of americans misses the big point he was making, which is this law leaves most americans alone if they're with what they like. that was the main point he was trying to make.
>> we looked at some numbers that were released this week. it showed six people signed up for obama care on day one of the launch. less than 248 enrolled on day two. let's compare this to the launch of massachusetts health care plan where only 123 people signed up in the first month. by the end of the first year, 36,000 people. so bottom line, you want to reiterate that people just need to employ patience here? >> you know, i think we just need to not measure this in days and weeks but months and years. in massachusetts, i was on the board when we implemented the law. we only got a report monthly. i can't tell you how many signed up the first day. we had a three-year goal of ramping up to full implementation. it was going to take time to get there and ramp up slowly and it did. the key date to keep an eye on is march 31st. that's the day at which people have to be signed up to avoid the individual mandate. we found in massachusetts as that date approached, which in
our state was december 31st, 2007, you saw a huge movement of particularly healthy people into the health insurance system right as that date approached. i think you'll see a similar thing nationally. >> going back to that deaf con four versus deaf con one analogy, you said if we don't hit that mark, we will be at deaf con one. tell me what that looks like. >> basically, if we can't -- if we don't have a system which makes it easy to enroll by march 31st, the individual mandate is seriously in peril. you can't make people sign up for something they can't shop for or enroll it. >> or penalize them. >> let's be clear what that means. the website part is really about the shopping. you need the website to shop. you can't compare these complicated options without the web. but you can enroll over the phone. that means a functional website, which allows people to effectively shop across their insurance options and sufficient resources, they can get on the
phone and enroll once they've picked the ones they like. >> i think it's important to go over how many people are being affected. we have a graphic. i want to show people. overall, based on your estimates, this chart shows 80% of already insured americans, no change at all. largely those people have insurance from their workplace. most critically, you have 14% will be able to get the health insurance of which about 3% of americans may end up on the short end. will they lose their current plans? they'll have to pay for higher quality, more expensive coverage. is that what you're concerned about? >> what this chart really refers to is a more specific issue, which is who's going to be forced to buy up insurance that's more generous than they have today. the answer is no one who has employer insurance. the minimum standard set under obama care is less generous than virtually any employer insurance today. very few people with employer insurance will have to buy up. however that, standard is set to about the midpoint of the
existing individual insurance market. so about half of the people with individual insurance, about 2% to 3% of americans will have to buy up. these are people with plans which, for example, say if you go to the hospital, pay $500 a day and you pay the rest. that's not real insurance. we're asking them to buy up. i think that's a good request. >> what about some states? let's look at kentucky, for example. setting up their own health care exchanges, finding much greater success. does the success of this federal program hinge on getting more support from the states? >> i believe it does in one critical respect. that's the medicaid expansions. we can't emphasize this enough, alex. the absolute political malpractice that's being pursued by governors and states that will not expand their medicaid programs. let's be clear here. the federal government has said we will pay 100% of the cost of covering your poor citizens. if a state turns that down, they're hurting everyone. that is just outrageous.
that's, i think, the biggest state issue we need to focus on. >> jonathan, like all insurance plans, the obama care program can't succeed without young, healthy americans signing up. so if only the sick and the elderly sign up, the program is in serious trouble. are you worried that the image problems created by the troubled launch are going to keep healthy americans from even bothering to try to enroll? >> yeah, i'm not so worried about that. basically, remember, you know, once again, we're in a pre-period. the relevant period starts the end of november. as long as things are working then, these people can enroll. we just need them enrolling by march. that's the key date. i think we have to remember that insurance is something a lot of folks want. when they get on and realize how heavily subsidized it is, people will enroll pchl. >> jonathan, what a valuable conversation. thank you for your time. appreciate it. >> my pleasure. one week, 90 stops, and a lot of raised eyebrows about why
new jersey governor chris christie is campaigning so aggressively just days before a voet he's got locked up. christie's still on the move. nbc's kelly o'donnell is on the move as well, having interviewed christie on the road. she joins us in hamilton, new jersey. a good sunday to you. what is behind this tour? >> reporter: well, we've been traveling with the governor, talking to him along the way. he says the polls could do him a disservice because voters actually have to get there on election day and cast ballots. so he says he is trying to grind it out, push from town to town to connect with voters, to make sure they actually turn out. there's also the issue of how big of a margin might he have if he is, in fact, going to win, how big a win. and i talked to him about that last night. >> i'm not planning for it. i just think it's inevitable. you know, i think people look at elections and try to discern
things from them about what they mean at that moment and what they mean for the future. i think that what people are going to see is so unusual for what our party has created in the last couple years that invariably people are going to draw in. i hope they do. >> is the margin necessary so lay a future for your career? >> i don't think so. remember something, barack obama won this state by 17 points a year ago. the fact you're eastbouven talk a republican about margin rather than can you win or no is a good thing to have. >> reporter: we've also been talking to voters here. many of them are saying they are seeing the signs of christie's maybe next aspiration might he run for president. i talked to him about that along the way. he says he's thinking about tuesday but understands that that kind of conversation about what might come next has already started. there have been people who have been asking him to sign 2016 posters, that sort of thing. so it is a case of christie, who is a national figure getting national attention, and he knows
that the cameras are following him, voters are watching. so he's trying to make a big play to have a big victory in a blue state. this is a democratic place, and he says if a republican can do well here, it sends a message to the country. he also says that he's trying to show that while washington has been really the headquarters of some dysfunction politically, we've watched that and talked about that for quite some time. he says that new jersey is working. so that's the kind of pitch he is trying to make to voters here for tuesday but also certainly sending a message much beyond the borders of new jersey. alex? >> yeah, i think the term the boss certainly resonates with bruce springsteen nationally, but in the state of new jersey, i think chris christie gives him a run for his money. all right, kelly o'donnell. thanks so much. what iran's supreme leader said today could have a major impact on negotiations with the west. that's next.
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this is an american. he was a contractor. he was trusted. he stripped our system. he had an opportunity, if what he was was a whistleblower, to pick up the phone and call the senate intelligence committee and say, look, i have some information you ought to see. >> senate intelligence committee chair diane feinstein this morning emphatically rejecting the notion that nsa leaker edward snowden could be granted clemency. i want to bring in benjamin carden. senator carden, glad to have you here, sir. >> alex, good to be with you. >> edward snowden released what he called this manifesto for the truth. he says current debates about spying just prove his revelations are helping bring about change. what's your response to that? >> mr. snowden has caused real
damage to this country. the manner in which he has conducted these releases have compromised our national security. as senator feinstein said, there's a way in which a whistleblower can get information to us. we want to make sure there's adequate oversight on the powers of the intelligence community. we need the right balance to keep us safe and protect the rights of americans. so there's concern on how we collect data, but for a person who has been given that access and trust on his own to do this type of release is detrimental to our country. >> sir, as you serve on the senate foreign relations committee, i know you're privy to things we are not necessarily. do you believe what we know so far is merely the tip of the iceberg? >> no, i feel pretty confident that there is adequate oversight in place. do we have to make sure we do things it correctly? yes, absolutely. can there be abuse? yes. but in regards to the national
information that was released on the mass collection of data, it's all under court supervision and only can be used if there's credible evidence against someone who's a non-american trying to harm us. so there's adequate protections in place. we got to make sure they're enforced. >> moving to iran, senator, the supreme leader warned hardliners today, don't attack president rouhani over his attempt to mend fences with the u.s. and negotiate on nukes. do you believe there's genuine change in iran? >> there's no question iran is continuing on a path towards the development of nuclear weapons. it is very clear by their program. we hope that they will change course. we believe that the international community isolating iran has had a major impact not only on their economy but their politics. so there might be an opportunity for a change. and we'll gauge that by what we see in action. but at this point, there's no
question that iran is continuing on a policy of nuclear weapon and that's not acceptable. it's a game changer for the region and united states leadership in this regard is critically important. >> do you have any insight, sir, as to how long iran is from having a nuclear weapon? >> we get updates on that all the time. you know, we do have timelines. clearly, it's urgent that iran demonstrate that they are prepared to change course because they are clearly still moving towards the development of a nuclear weapon. >> let's talk about iraq. as you know, prime minister awlaki appealed for more help controlling the insurgents. will the united states offer at their request more weapons or man power inside iraq? is this furthering the concept of you break it, you bought it syndrome? >> well, clearly the iraqis have to take care of their own defense. the united states has made an incredible investment in helping
the people of iraq. they have to take responsibility for the defense of their own country. there is a role that the united states can play, but it's not going to be a military role. >> all right, senator. what about your position on the finance committee? i want to ask you about the impact of the food stamp cutbacks. one estimate indicates every dollar in food stamps leads to $1.70 in economic activity. aside from the obvious impact to the recipients, could cutting food stamps actually slow the economy? >> absolutely. this hurts our economy. we've already seen some self-inflicted wounds with the government shutdown and threatening our national credit. now with the food stamp program, recipients receiving less funds and even threatened further cuts, that hurts our economy. and it hurts people. it hurts people that are very vulnerable. the nutrition is critically important. it's important for young people. it's important for their ability to learn, for the principles of america. for all these reasons, the missing the deadline of november
1st to make sure that the funds are continued at the current level is something that has to be corrected. we have an opportunity to do that in the farm bill in the conference. i hope that we get it done. >> and senator, with regard to the future of the s.n.a.p. program with the two houses of congress divided on either a $39 billion cut or about a $4 billion cut, is there a way to reconcile those two numbers? >> let me remind everyone that the senate bill was a compromise, a compromise between democrats and republicans. it was a true bipartisan reform of the food stamp program. it's one that we thought the house should pattern its action behind. so i'm not so sure there's a compromise between the house and the senate. i believe the senate bill is the right bill. i think the american people want that type of policy in our country and we're hopeful the conference committee will bring out a proposal that looks similar to the senate bill. >> senator benjamin cardin, always a pleasure. thanks for joining me. >> thank you.
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carolina a&t state university last night. a lockdown on campus has been lifted. police are searching for four suspects. in wisconsin, two groups of sky divers are thrilled to be back on solid ground after a frightening incident 12,000 feet in the air. two planes carrying sky divers collided in midair sending up with plummeting to the ground. the second pilot miraculously landed his plane. everyone survived. healthcare.gov is back up and running today. the obama care website was taken down for several hours last night to fix problems with the site. joining me now, republican congressman of north carolina. welcome back to the broadcast. >> hello, alex. >> sir, i know that you've been quite a vocal critic of obama care. despite the recent website issues, there's a new poll out i want to share with you. it's by the nonprofit kentucky zer family foundation, which shows nearly half of all americans still want obama care to stay the same or be expanded. in fact, only 13% want it replaced with a republican alternative.
so is it time now for republican opponents to work with the president just to fix the issues with obama care instead of calling for its repeal? >> well, i think we've tried to work with the president on numerous occasions. we've offered many reforms. they've been very resistant to change anything with it as of today. i will say to you that with the estimates that have come from the congressional budget office that the cost is unsustainable. with companies that are not hiring right now, they're not wanting to hire full-time people. this is a major concern out there among the public. so when you look at the real impact of obama care and the premiums that are going up 200% to 300% and people's policies being canceled, 3.5 million policies already have been canceled, "the wall street journal" says by the end of december, there will be around 10 million policies canceled. those are real people with real needs and real families that are really struggling right now because they were not kept the promise that the president made. the president said, if you want
to keep your health care, you can keep it. there will be ultimately 15 million or more people who can't keep their plan. >> what about when your north carolina constituents call and say, sir, we're having problems signing up on the obama care website. do you discourage them from signing up? would you try to help them with the process? >> we stayed open during the shutdown so we could help them. we're there to help them. the problem is, it's been an absolute disaster for the public to engage it. they spent more on this website, the taxpayers did, than steve jobs spent on creating the iphone. it's been a total collapse. it needs to get running. this entire model is really not a model that's going to work. people don't really want or need to pursue health care to sustain the requirements for funding it unless they have a health issue. the only people right now that are pursuing the options in the website are people who have sickness today.
so that's why young people aren't pursuing it. that's why, as we look down the road, i think it's going to be very improbable that the funding component is going to be there. the insurance companies are certainly calling on that now. they're saying the fund willing not be there to allow for it to continue. >> but sir, when you look at the enormity of this project and you look at projects like this in the past the united states has undertaken, these things don't just happen overnight. and i will tell you that i spoke last hour with jonathan gruber, who was the architect not only for romney care but also as a key adviser to the president on obama care. looking at this chart, he absolutely agreed with it. it came from information he supplied where ultimately only about 2% to 3% of americans, which numbers it up to maybe 9 million, 6 to 9 million, are those who are going to have to buy potentially more expensive insurance than what they already have to meet the minimum
standards as set by obama care. if those are the numbers we're talking about, then surely the vast majority of people are going to be better off. >> well, as of today, you have enormous amounts of people signing up for medicaid and not obama care. in oregon, you have zero who have signed up for obama care. huge numbers have signed up for medicaid. as you look long term at the sustainability of this program, it's very questionable. max baucus has said, you know, is a train wreck. he's come out even more recently saying that it needs a one-year delay. this needs to be reviewed. these are important numbers. bill clinton said a few years ago the day and years of big government are over. this is the biggest government program we could ever conceive. there's a huge gamble the president has made that this health care is really going to
work. >> let's take a look at what's going to happen after the first of the year with the new budget deadline. mitch mcconnell says he will not allow another shutdown as part of a strategy to repeal obama care. so how might budget negotiations be different this time around? >> well, we need to be pursuing a long-term solution to our spending, whether you talk to peter orzak, who is mr. obama's budget writer at one time, or paul ryan or erskine bowles, whom i've known for 20 years. they will tell you that unless we address the long-term spending of this country, we will collapse like greece. that has to be on the table. that has to be a leadership issue. president obama, frankly, he never mentioned it in his inauguration or state of the union. when he came to meet with house republicans, we met with him an hour and a half and never brought it up. wi when we brought it up, he said, frankly i'm not concerned about deficits and debts. that's a difficult perspective. we need to recognize these
spending issues are important. we need to be on a balanced budget. we need to be focused on what's going to give a sound, fiscal opportunity for this country. >> but you have to look at issues as well. you cannot ignore the problems being imposed on families on a daily basis with the cuts to the food stamp program. look at your state alone in north carolina. 1.7 million americans rely on these s.n.a.p. benefits. economists estimate every food stamp dollar turns around and brings in $1.70 in terms of impacting the local economy, which means a total economic loss to your state of about $280 million in the coming year, money that's no longer going out to farmers or grocers or others. what's your reaction to that? >> if it was that good, we would have a robust economy. as it is right now, our economic growth is about 1.8%. unemployment is about 7.5%. we have about 170,000 new jobs
per month. that is very slow growth. you know, back in the '80s when reagan cut the tax obligation, cut the regulation, we didn't have this enormous, huge burden. we were creating 300, 400, 500,000 jobs a month. that's real growth. that's real opportunity for people's lives. right now we have 47 million people on food stamps in this country. we are trying to at least go back to what bill clinton and newt gingrich did in having a work program. if you're able-bodied and you don't have children to have to take care of, you should be able to provide some form of work. we also have eligibility issues. people are able to go and subscribe to food stamps without hardly any requirements on eligibility. that's not right. >> well, perhaps, sir, but with regard to the work requirement, you got to be able to find a job. as you well know, it's pretty hard in many, many parts of this country. but nonetheless --
>> the opportunity need to be there. >> i do appreciate your time, as always. >> thank you. it is a new book. did the president really want to dump vice president biden for hillary clinton? that's next. le a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease
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it's the final act for a number of businesses in cuba. the government has ordered the immediate shutdown of privately run movie theaters and video game arcades. many were operating under licenses for restaurants, offering basic food and drinks but using entertainment as their main draw. they also showed more hollywood blockbusters and were more popular as an alternative to poorly maintained state-run sin mas. the government says they were never authorized. new reaction from mitt romney and new jersey governor chris christie to the book "double down" that reveals secrets to the 2012 election. mr. romney was critical of governor christie's weight and decided against him because, quote, the garden state governor's background was littered with potential land mines. here's mr. romney on "meet the
press." >> well, i know the vetting people who went through that analysis and put together the report. but frankly, there was nothing they found that wasn't already part of the public record and hadn't already been dealt with effectively by chris christie. there was nothing new there. >> here's what christie said last night. >> when the romney team talks about maybe some land mines during the vetting process last time around, does that plant any seeds or concern? >> no, because any of that stuff that was in the book was all stuff that the litigated in the 2009 campaign and will be litigated again in the future. i understand that. the fact is these are just two guys trying to sell a book. let's not forget that. >> joining me now, washington bureau chief for the chicago sun times, lynn sweet, and msnbc political analyst, jonathan. >> you've put a lot of inside information into your book too. "double down" saying top obama
aides considered switching out joe biden for hillary clinton in the last go around. how much loyalty do you think the president has towards joe biden? >> i think he's got quite a bit of loyalty. you know, in the fall of 2011, both i and bill keller, who was the former executive heir of the "new york times," we both wrote columns saying that if obama's numbers did not improve, that joe biden very well could be dumped from the ticket. now, what "double down" -- >> hang on. is that the egg before the chicken or the chicken before the egg? were writers like you and bill keller putting that concept into the minds of people in the white house or is this all based on -- >> no, we were hearing this. what "double down" adds is that they polled on it. they had some focus groups on it. they poll in focus groups on many, many things. it doesn't necessarily tell you
that the president, you know, wanted to dump joe biden or didn't like joe biden. none of that is what this implies. what it does imply is that if you're running for re-election, you do what it takes to get re-elected. if they had polling data that showed them that hillary clinton would provide a greater advantage over joe biden and help obama save his presidency, they would have done it, but they did not get that from their polling. they did not find she would provide an advantage over biden. so it was never seriously considered. >> so jump ahead to 2016, jonathan. who does the president support? would he support joe biden or hillary clinton? >> i don't think it's going to come to that. if hillary clinton runs, joe biden won't run. in all likelihood, obama will do what chuck schumer just did this weekend, which is endorse hillary clinton. >> okay. what about what chris matthews told me yesterday. he said, look, joe biden is already putting steps in place because we don't know if hillary clinton is going to run.
what if ultimately she does not run? >> then you're talking about a very interesting situation on the democratic side. i think you'd see other candidates as well, possibly jerry brown after he gets re-elected by a large margin as governor of california. he's only a little older than hillary clinton. elizabeth warren would be under a lot of pressure to get in. i think she would do very well should hillary not run. of course, joe biden would be running as well be. but that's not the expectation right now. the expectation within the democratic party, and lynn may have better sources on this than i do, is that hillary clinton will essentially be kor nated as the democratic nominee. >> lynn, let's take a listen to part of andrea mitchell's report on the book. here it is. >> the book has new details on obama's edgy relationship with bill clinton. when the two tried to bond over a round of golf, obama couldn't even finish 18 holes, telling an aide, i like him in doses. and the author is right. after the famously talkative
clinton held obama captive during a campaign event in new york, they were supposed to share a one-on-one meal, but obama couldn't handle anymore undiluted clinton, so invited aides to join. >> so this from andrea's report. your latest article is on "double down." do you think this tells us more about president obama or president clinton? >> i think it tells us a lot more about president obama. cool, distant, gives more information about his dislike of the political process and how long it took him to warm to bill clinton and in the end how much he needed him during his re-election. the golf episode is interesting, alex, because it showed that obama just couldn't -- it wasn't enough to say, i want to not golf with him. he actually added extra people to the mix to make sure. that's what was fascinating. >> you agree with that? >> i have a portion in my book that also talks about this now
famous golf match. doug band, bill clinton's aide, was playing and the president had somebody with him as well. i think it was always going to be a foursome. one of the reasons they stopped playing before completing 18 holes is there was a wedding going on in the clubhouse at andrew's air force base. a couple of the last holes were occupied by the wedding party. >> so the full story has not been told here. >> that's what this is, mining down for details. it might not be history. you know, jonathan writes more what the history needs to figure out, what the obama presidency means. but you get some stuff about the behind the scenes. the idea that president obama even thinks of himself as too busy, too important, too whatever to have the sense that he has to, quote, kind of put up with bill clinton. that's just revealing about the man. >> and there's a wonderful quote
in this book. these guys are very good reporters. there's a wonderful quote of bill clinton saying how lucky barack obama was. it's an off-collar quote i can't say on television. >> oh, my gosh. has to do with male anatomy. >> i'm not even going there. >> it's actually funny. animal anatomy, a dog's anatomy. so it's humorous. >> it's very funny. >> off color, definitely. i'm blushing just thinking about it. >> it's been in a lot of news accounts. >> don't worry, anybody. i'm not going to blow it. it has to do with three of something. >> okay. can we quick -- let's get to something benign like obama care and the rollout. the issues here, lynn, the president has -- look, there have been a few apologies out there, but nobody's head has rolled. what has that said about his management style? >> it seems right now that's the only practical thing you could do with the big mess he has.
they deserve every bit of criticism you want to give them from the messaging to -- you know, the website malfunction is frankly the least of it. it was not preparing the government and the people for what the steps will be when you do roll out the obama care plan. replacing sebelius isn't going to fix anything right now. it would be a long, potentially contentious fight in the senate over replacement. he has bigger fish to fry right now, to get this thing up and running. >> can you explain, though, jonathan? you know this president from your books and the like. this is his signature legislation. how do you explain the problems with this rollout? >> there is no good explanation. they messed it up. the question is, what are the long-term kons questions, if any, of them having messed this up? we can't really predict that because that's predicting whether the tech people will get their act together or not. i don't think any of us are in any position to accurately
predict that. but we could note just again for historical context to put these events in context. when they rolled out the medicare prescription part d in 2006, big problems with that initially. when they rolled out romney care in massachusetts, big problems initially. nobody remembers those now because those programs ended up being implemented successfully. so if by early next year they've worked out a lot of the kinks, addressed the tech problems, this will be a bump in the road. >> one other quick point i want to make, where obama also is in trouble, and this could be messaging, not substance, if everything ends up working, is this promise he made repeatedly that nothing will change with this law for people who like their insurance. that's not the case. >> for 2%. >> a very small amount, but obama likes telling people stories.
he's ridden on that road for a while. now there are stories coming out and they're true. it's not for everybody, but for some. >> all right, guys. talk to you during commercial break. hold that thought. jonathan alter, lynn suite. a small business credit card with amazing rewards. with the spark cash card from capital one, i get 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. i break my back around here. finally someone's recognizing me with unlimited rewards! meetings start at 11, cindy. [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet? i need your timesheets, larry!
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defends it. plus, the early pick. hillary clinton is not in the running yet, but she just received a big endorsement for president. and office politics down to its last days. i talk to cnbc's carl quintanilla about the problems at blackberry and where google and apple are going next. hey there, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." here's what's happening now. nearly a year after his defeat in the presidential election, mitt romney is back blasting obama care despite comparisons between that law and romney care in massachusetts. >> why do you reject the comparison, the compliment from president obama this week when he says obama care based on romney care and that's the right way to go? >> well, i think the president failed to learn the lessons that came from the experience in massachusetts. first of all, the massachusetts
experience was a state-run plan. the right way to deal with health care reform is not to have a one size fits all plan that's imposed on all the states. >> the current democratic governor of massachusetts, deval patrick, also appeared on "meet the press." here's what he said. >> we've got a rollout problem. it's been, what, three or four weeks? it took us two years to get our website right in massachusetts. now we have virtually universal coverage. i and many others have been saying the president needs to be out talking about the fundamental good that the affordable care act does for people. this is provoking him to do so. i think that's a great thing. >> a bit earlier, i spoke with the architect of the massachusetts health care program and key adviser on obama care. here's his reaction to mitt romney's latest criticism of the affordable care act. >> governor romney's being very dis dis disingenuo
disingenuous. it's not a matter of just saying the states go do it. it's a matter of giving them the money to do it. what obama care does is it sets up the federal spending to make this work and empowers states to decide on how they're going to expand their medicaid programs and set up their exchanges. states have decided do defer that to the federal government. that's their decision. but the notion this is one federal size, you know, federal one size fits all is just wrong and the notion that statesing do this on their own is also wrong because they don't have the money to do so. >> meantime, president obama sent out his top adviser to defend his position on obama care. let's get right to the white house and nbc's kristen welker. good sunday to you. what's the latest from there? >> reporter: well, alex, the president's top adviser really playing defense on two points. first, the fact that the website is not working properly. secondly, answering questions about the fact that the president said if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. we now know that's not the case. so to take the second point first, alex, he said, look, president obama made that statement. he says it continues to be
accurate, pointing out that the vast majority of americans get to keep their health care plan. only about 5% have to change their coverage. those 5%, their plans don't adhere to the new federal standards, which now require basic coverage, things like mental health coverage, maternity health coverage. but he wouldn't answer questions -- or i should say wouldn't acknowledge the fact that what president obama said was incorrect and he said, look, he basically was making a broad statement that was accurate. to the second point about the health care website not working accurately, he said it will be working smoothly by the end of november. he pointed to the case of massachusetts saying, look, that state also got off to a slow start. take a listen to what he had to say. >> the good news here is the history of programs like this, like in massachusetts, is that most people sign up towards the end. massachusetts in the first month, 0.03% of the population
signed up. there's no question we have to get this done. >> reporter: bottom line, alex, that end of november deadline is going to be key because the obama administration needs about 2.7 million young healthy people to sign up to make sure that the policy actually works. that is going to be the next key deadline. until then, you'll hear a lot more of this type of debate. >> kristen, as you know, dan was asked about president obama possibly swapping out joe biden for hillary clinton. what did he say about that? >> reporter: they're down playing that. he said, it may have been a topic of conversation but certainly not a serious one. take a listen. >> this was never seriously considered, never taken on by the president. no one ever seriously considered this in any way shape or form. >> then why was the research done? >> research is done on a lot of
things. >> reporter: i've been talking to folks who are familiar with the way that campaigns are run. they say this is a part of the due diligence process. still, alex, it is certainly an interesting idea that they would even consider swapping out the vice president. >> yeah, it's making good talking points for a few days. that's for sure. kristen, thank you. be sure to watch the full interview with mitt romney when "meet the press" reairs at the top of the hour here on msnbc. as los angeles international airport returns to normal, disturbing new clues are emerging about the suspect. the gunman who opened fire inside terminal three was specifically targeting tsa agents. the suspect now faces federal murder charges. and nbc's miguel almaguer is at l.a.x. with the latest. what's new today? >> reporter: alex, good afternoon. it's right here at terminal three where the suspect allegedly walked through those front doors.
police say 23-year-old paul ciancia pulled out that rifle and targeted tsa agents. the first person he targeted was gerrardo hernandez. he was shot several times. when the suspect saw hernandez moving, the suspect walked back down the escalator, shot hernandez again, fatally wounding him. his wife spoke yesterday. here's what she had to say. >> we are all heartbroken and will miss him deerly. he was a joyful person, always smiling. he took pride in his duty for the american public and for president tsa mission. >> reporter: after hernandez was killed, the gunfire certainly was not -- the suspect went back up that escalator, shot two more tsa apgents who were both woundd and also shot a local high school teacher. those three men were wounded. the suspect then moved beyond
security, about 100 yards into the terminal, where he was confronted by police. he himself was shot multiple times, inclouding once in the head, it's been reported. he's been unresponsive medically. he should be charged with a federal murder charge of killing a federal officer as well as causing violence at an international airport, alex. >> which could bring with it the death penalty. all right, miguel. thank you. to pakistan now, a country on high alert as the taliban vows revenge and mobilizes to nominate a new leader. this after a u.s. drone attack took out their leader there on friday. he was responsible for the deaths of thousands in pakistan and has been linked to one of the deadliest attacks on the cia. let's get to nbc for the latest. who was this man and how are pakistanis reacting to news of the drone attack? >> there's been widespread anger among pakistanis, not just on the streets but also from political leaders.
the prime minister's office said it would be reviewing its relationship with the united states. they're angry because the government had been trying to enter into peace talks with the taliban. he was one of america's most wanted, feared for his ruthless and daring attacks. he was the leader of the pakistani taliban. the group's attacks killed thousands of pakistanis but he also targeted americans, believed to have been behind the failed car bombing in times square in 2010. and he was linked to one of the deadliest attacks against the cia. here he is with the suicide bomber who blew himself up inside a u.s. base in afghanistan, killing the station chief and six others. despite the terror he inflicted on his country, news of another drone attack has angered pakistanis and their government too. officials are drew to begin peace talks with the taliban this weekend. >> the efforts have been
ambushed. >> it further complicates the difficult relationship between pakistani and the united states, already strained after the covert raid in abbatabad that killed osama bin laden. less than two weeks ago, pakistan's prime minister urged president obama to end drone strikes in his country. meanwhile, the pakistan taliban has vowed revenge for the killing and is believed to be choosing a new leader. >> even though the killing represents a harder blow to the pakistani taliban, the war will go on. >> there now seems to be some internal debate among taliban factions about who to choose as a leader. one contender is thought to be a commander from the swap valley. alex? >> duncan, thank you. the last days of blackberry? and will google rule the world? those questions answered in this week's office politics ahead. mao the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened
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the next presidential election is three years away, but that's not stopping another high-profile democrat from endorsing hillary clinton. new york senator chuck schumer urged the former secretary of state to try again for the white house during the democratic party's an july jefferson-jackson dinner in des moines, iowa, last night. >> 2016 is hillary's time. run, hillary, run! if you run, you'll win and we'll all win. >> joining me now, contributing editor for "newsweek" eleanor clift and jim warren. ladies first, eleanor. what's behind his endorsement and what about the timing? >> he's just trying to catch up with all the female democratic senators who have written a
letter saying that they endorse hillary. that includes some potential presidential candidates like elizabeth warren and kirsten gillebrand of new york. so i think he just wants to get in early. you get some creds if you're one of the first ones out there. i think every day that it goes by that hillary thinks that she has time to make up her mind, she's basically saying yes. >> jim, you write about this in your latest article today. in fact, here's what mitt romney said about a potential hillary clinton run on today's "meet the press." take a listen. >> anybody can be beaten. she's a very well-known figure. obviously, if she becomes a nominee, we'll be taking a very close look at her record as secretary of state and what she accomplished. i think people will have to think the last four years, last five years have not been a great time for america's interests around the world. she's responsible for part of the that. >> okay, wait. anybody can be beaten. by whom and of whom are we
speaking there? >> yeah, you got to have someone to beat her, any other democrat. it's sort of a no brainer. no-risk move by a guy who loves being early to market. he may win a few points, particularly with women in his backyard. of course, there's a governor in new york, andrew cuomo, who presumably would love to run. but hillary has frozen the whole field. it's unlikely cuomo would run against her if she ran. it's a no brainer. if she doesn't run, he just switches allegiances and goes with someone else. but we've got three years to go. at the same point before the 2008 election, there was a guy who had been in the u.s. senate all of eight or nine months named barack obama. tell me the odds of him becoming true.
-- president. >> true. i want to talk about the obama care website. give me your assessment at how things have gone so far and take a look at the situation ahead. eleanor, sorry. >> i thought you were going to have a clip of somebody saying something dastardly about obama care. yeah, i mean, i think this is a terrible self-inflicted wound on the white house. "the washington post" has an interesting piece today where they examine the roots of the decision not to bring anyone in to act as a so-called czar to make sure this thing worked. the president early on put his full confidence in a very skilled white house aide, but she was doing lots of other things. so for all of the investment that he has in the success of this, it's really shocking that they didn't do a better job with the rollout. having said all that, i think if they get the 7 million enrollees by next march, this is on its way to being a success.
it should be a success. i think this will be forgotten. but this is a very rocky time for the president because all of these sort of miscues on other issues as well are sort of piling up and really pulling down his poll ratings at a time when he really needs to have some clout on capitol hill. >> jim, what do you think of the critical markers going forward? do you see this 7 million, you know, accessing that many people by march. do you think it's likely? >> i mean, i think it's possible, but i do think, all due respect, we're missing the forest for the trees. even if the website problems are ironed out and you're able to hit a key stroke here and there and get where you're supposed to, we're ultimately going to find out that the ultimate irony of obama care was that it was a series of dramatic compromises to on one hand attempt to increase access but at the same time to basically keep in place the craziness, the costliness of the private marketplace of health care that drives us all
nuts. you could go to two different hospitals in manhattan or one in manhattan and one brooklyn for the same procedure today and spend $10,000 more than you will at the other for the exact same procedure. i think that's a reality that's going to start donning on people down the road. that the essential craziness of the costs that we have to spend that sometimes are irrational was not really truly confronted in attempting to do what i think is very admirable, expand access. >> eleanor, overall when you look at the enormity of this whole undertaking, is it just a matter of time before it's all cleared up? >> if you look back at the prescription drug plan, which took two years, really, to get going, if you look at the massachusetts romney care, they're saying that took a while to get going. medicare, medicaid, they've all been stumbles. i essentially think this is the beginning of a correct program. it would be nice to get the insurance companies out of the
picture, but that didn't happen and it's not going to happen. so we can hope that increased competition, which is afterall the basis of a capitalistic society, will in the end work and drive those costs down. the congressional budget office has basically scored this bill saying it saves money over the long term. so it's a very important first step to getting the health care costs under control in this country and providing access. >> okay. eleanor clift and jim, always good to see you both. >> thank you. >> well, up next, carl quintanilla on google's mie das touch. r choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve.
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ringer because the stock came way down. they continue, though, to set the standard for technology and products, right? i don't know. do you have an iphone? >> i don't yet. i should pull out my blackberry. i'm made fun of constantly. i'm going to get one though, promise. >> we can't hold stock, so i'm not a buyer or seller of stock, but they continue to be the standard for innovation. they're playing a very long game. they're not here to satisfy, you know, shareholders quarter to quarter. they're trying to make sure in 10, 15, 20 years we're still talking about them as the product to have. and that's -- that takes a lot of discipline. >> okay. blackberry, since i own one. >> actually, i have some friends who work there. it's not good. they were on top of the world. remember a few years ago where all anybody wanted was a blackberry? >> yep. >> now they're really just sort
of dancing on what little they have in terms of selling to companies and some of their security infrastructure. they're not going to be a consumer name for probably much longer. and maybe some companies will nibble at buying pieces of them, but it's going to go down as one of the, i think, saddest stories in corporate america in the past 20 years. >> yeah -- >> going from such dominance to having so little. >> yeah, i'm going to have to switch. i know it. what about google? >> google is -- you know, you talk to executives about google, and they just shake their head. how do they do it? how do they make so much money? how do they invest in products that are probably not going to come to market for years? a self-driving car, google glass. incredibly inventive. they got youtube for a song, and that -- you know, people talk about youtube as the next cable company. i think they're so good and so smart they actually scare american business. they're going to be around for a
long time. >> you personally, carl, you came into the big nbc universal world via cnbc, your work in chicago, wall street journal, and then you jump ship and go to the network. three stories i associate you with the most, iraq, katrina, and election night '04. place them in order for me. >> you know, even though it was a horrible story to cover, it's hard to beat katrina because we were -- we got in before it actually hit land. we were there all night waiting for the rain to begin. then we were there for a month. to watch the story from beginning to end -- and just viscerally, you were surrounded by everything. the heat, the water, the people. it was just all consuming. we're so proud of our coverage from that time, the whole nbc team is. so i think that would be a career highlight, even though in our business our highlights are often other people's low lights.
>> absolutely. >> but to witness, it was powerful. i wouldn't change a thing. >> i would say my low light is being down at ground zero the entire week after that. i mean, it was one of those things. it's a highlight professionally and it's just a low light as well. >> right. >> with regard to what you do now, though, you're much more sedentary. you don't have to be globe trotting as much. but that works because you're the dad of ava and lily, little 4-year-olds that are probably rug rats. >> yes, probably in a halloween costume somewhere. i always say it's kind of like having a career and a family, you know, it's like trying to dance with two people at the same time. so you try to dance with this one, and then you go over here and try to dance with this one. finding that balance, i mean, we would love to take every assignment. we would love to go on every road trip. you can't always do that. so that's a tough one. a desk job does make it easier. you do know you're there to read
them "good night moon." you know you'll be there for bath time. >> you can catch carl quintanilla weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon eastern on cnbc. new twists in the case of a teen found rolled up in a school wrestling mat. was it foul play? drive" sales event is back. which means it's never been easier to get a new passat, awarded j.d. power's most appealing midsize car, two years in a row. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends december 2nd. for details, visit vwdealer.com today and you're not very proud of that. but tonight he made pizza... ...with johnsonville italian sausage.
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polls is so critical because the perception that he is ahead might actually tamp down some of the interest and actually getting out and casting a ballot. he said there have been people who said to him, hey, you've got it locked up, and he's trying to generate a lot of attention to make sure people turn out. he's also hoping to have a strong vote to get republicans to be in charge of the state legislature. that's something he's been stumping for here while out on the trail. undeniably, though, it is also about chris christie and his larger than life persona and the attention that it's getting. he is a capable retail politician in the sense of really connecting with people and that, of course, brings a lot of attention. with all that attention, there has been some new allegations made in a book that's coming out this week calls "double down." it talks about the vetting process during the mitt romney campaign of 2012 and chris christie was on the short list to be vp. in the book it talks about the fact the governor did not
provide all the information that the romney campaign wanted. so i asked him about that at a stop in sotoms river, new jerse last night. >> no, because any of that stuff that was in the book was all stuff that was litigated in 2009 campaign and will be litigated again in the future. i understand that. the fact is, these are just two guys trying to sell a book. let's not forget that. they sensationalize things and try to make money. i understand that. but it doesn't make it vad ill. nothing i'm concerned about. >> and today governor romney was on "meet the press" with david gregory and was asked about this as well. he said that chris christie would be a fine choice to be the republican nominee out front and that what the vetters and his team found was nothing that was not already in the public record. so romney was defending christie today. now, out on the campaign trail, there's been a lot of attention for chris christie. he's facing a democrat who's gotten a lot less support from the national party. that has been frustrating for
her, to be sure, in part because christie has been so far ahead. there have been some democrats who have just not put money into her coffers or lent their support in significant enough ways. that's something we've beening thatting it out here on the trail. >> absolutely. hard with his name recognition being so high, as you well know. thank you very much for the live report. pakistan is on high alert after a u.s. drone strike this weekend took out the taliban's number one in a very volatile region there. the success of the strike isn't drowning out increasing criticism of u.s. reliance on drones abroad and demands for more transparency from the obama administration. a recent article by a reuters foreign affairs reporter goes a bit further. it suggests america's obsession with al qaeda is worse than al qaeda itself. joining me now, david road, who wrote that column. david, glad to have you here. i want to go through what you wrote in the column, saying, 12 years after 9/11, the united states' obsession with al qaeda is doing more damage to country than the terrorist group itself. now, hang on. there hasn't been a successful attack on u.s. soil planned by
al qaeda in a dozen years. can you explain that? >> well, that's part of my point. we have in essence won this war. it's not over yet. there's still a threat to this country. but the president himself in a speech said this spring, you know, we don't want an analyst war on terror. we have to be on our guard but we have to kind of move forward and get past endless drone strikes. the nsa surveillance, which seems to be out of control, and keep this conflict and keep this threat in perspective. >> okay. krcritics are not questioning t results of the drone strikes abroad. it's the methods they take offense to. how legitimate are these strikes? is it a fair assessment there is, in fact, some it is a id approval to them? >> there definitely is. there was a great piece in "the washington post" last month that produced internal cia documents that show the pakistanis are cooperating with some of these strikes. but this is the problem. because we run this as a covert
program, we sort of cover up the fact the pakistanis are letting us do this. there's always these protests in pakistan against the u.s. government. pakistanis should be upset with their military. why are they allowing these strikes to happen? the pakistani military could shoot down u.s. drones at any time. one proposal that's been out there is turn over drone strikes to the u.s. military, make them public and do what the u.s. military does in afghanistan. if there are reports of civilian casualties, you look into it, and if proven, you pay compensation. that's a much more transparent, effective way to carry out these streaks. >> in terms of the collateral damage, if you will, florida congressman allen grayson was at a hearing on u.s. drone policy this week in which he says it violates the laws of war that every nation must adhere to. here's more of what he said. >> for the united states of america to disavow these rules unilaterally and engage in anonymous killing from the skies does not make us safer. it simply engages the world in
perpetual war. i can't think of any other type of human activity where we would accept the fact that 10% to 30% of the dead would be innocent. >> now, what i want top say is he was only one of five of our elected officials that showed up to this. apparently it was a committee hearing and not a full-fledged committee hearing. testimony there in another way. he's talking about the collateral damage. that includes the death of women and children. so what options are on the table for the u.s. when it comes to balancing the enormous pressures of keeping this country safe with accountability for these deadly attacks? >> again, i think drone strikes should continue. these are -- you know, they're very dangerous al qaeda leaders in pakistan and yemen. if we make them public, we'll have less of this problem where we don't describe, you know, why we care about this attack, who we think we got. we don't release videos that we have of these strikes. it allows the taliban and extremistst to claim that
everyone who was killed was a civilian. civilians are dying, but no one knows exactly how many because we cloak all this in secrecy. you know, i think that we just need to counter this negative propaganda that's out there. by being so secretive, we sort of give the taliban in a sense another advantage. an easy propaganda win. >> okay. david, i want to switch topics here and get your reaction to a developing story out of iran that was put out today by reuters in which it says, iran's supreme leader is essentially telling all the hardliners there, don't undermine president rouhani's nuclear talks with the u.s. is this just more talk, or is this for real? >> it's hard to know at this point. the only way to find out is to press ahead with these talks with iran to see if they're serious about making a deal. secretary of state john kerry is eager to engage and push forward in these talks. we have to see. there are domestic politics in iron just like this country. president rouhani is sort of the moderate. he's got hardline challengers in iran that want to say, you know, you can't negotiate with the
americans. they won't compromise. let's, you know, see in the next three to six months if rouhani and his backers in iran will compromise. that would really help stabilize the region. >> david, do we have three to six months? there are varying reports out there as to hoe close iran is to having a nuclear weapon. >> excellent point. they could be that close. what should not happen is the u.s. should not lift sanctions. the sanctions are punishing iran economically. that's one of the reasons rouhani won in the elections there. keep the sanctions on. potentially make them stronger. but see what happens in three to six-month period. i think we have three to six months to see what happens. >> okay. david, see us again soon. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> u.s. attorney just opened a federal investigation into the bizarre death of a georgia teen. an investigation that local authorities closed calling it a freak accident. >> we believe we conducted a complete and thorough investigation and we stand by that. >> i do this with an open mind,
neither accepting nor rejecting the opinions of anyone who has previously investigated the circumstances of his death. >> 17-year-old kendrick johnson's body was found rolled up in a wrestling mat at his high school gym. now, this inquiry by the fbi and federal prosecutors is a huge victory for the teen's family who have argued all along their son was murdered. >> we got to fight for him. if we don't fight, no one will. >> we want justice. we're not stopping until we get justice. >> karen desoto is a defense attorney and former prosecutor. welcome to you. what kind of evidence do federal investigators have to open this informati investigation? >> well, they have the autopsy report from the forensics that was done by the parents. they had the body exhumed. >> a second one? >> a second one, right. they felt confident their son was murdered and have been fighting all along. they got the body exhumed, came up, they did the autopsy, and sure enough, even though there's some bizarre facts about the body being stuffed with
newspaper, and that's another controversy, but according to that doctor, it was blunt trauma. >> okay. blunt trauma, as i understand it, to the right side of his neck. put that with the first report that was the straight autopsy in which it said he died as a result of going head first. so some sort of hit on the head trying to retrieve a shoe. couldn't that be one in the same? >> it could be. it could be. but the whole circumstance is even when you look at the picture of him inside the mat, there's something just very fishy. the shoe is on top. it just is a strange, bizarre set of circumstances. obviously, this was a teenage boy in perfect health, crawling into the mats. a lot of it just doesn't make sense. the parents feel strongly there was some fishy business going on here. >> what is it about his organs were removed and -- >> yeah, so the strange part was that after the autopsy, the boy
was sent to the funeral home. when he got to the funeral home, they filled the body with newspaper, but then there was this controversy. the parents didn't know that until the body was exhumed for another autopsy and they found newspaper where the organs should be. so they inquired and apparently the autopsy said that the organs were there when they sent it to the funeral home. the funeral home, it's been reported are as saying, no, they weren't there, that's why we stuffed the body with newspaper. so that is another bizarre fact that there was newspaper in there instead of organs. >> where are the organs? >> nobody knows. it's been reported the autopsy doctor and the funeral home are saying it was each other, and there's been kind of contradictory reports with that. >> that's weird. okay. there's been video released from cameras inside of the high school that show the last few hours of kendrick johnson's life. what does it reveal? anything at all that helps in the case? >> no, because it doesn't put it near the time of death. meaning, you can see him walking across the gym, but there's
no -- the full tapes have not been released. they're hoping maybe there will be others. because, of course, you're talking about a teenager in a high school. why was he alone? why did nobody recognize that he was missing? how come his other friends were around him? why was his shoe in the mat to begin with? there's a lot of unanswered questions here. why would the shoe be in the mat to begin with, and why would he jump into the mat to get it and how come nobody heard him screaming and noticed this was happening? maybe it was a prank. maybe somebody threw the shoe in there and he went to retrieve it. there's a lot of strange questions. >> bottom line, you think a federal criminal case is here? >> i think there needs to be some questions answered. my don't think his parents will stop until they get answers. >> karen, thank you. will ted cruz answer for insults remarks his father made about president obama? the big three is next. road closed? there's a guy... excuse me? glacier point? follow me! ♪
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three. today's topics, fight club, father knows best, and this week's must reads. let's bring in my big three panel. msnbc.com national reporter, suzie kim, robert traynam, and democratic strategist jimmy williams. hi, guys. good to have you with me. let's go to fight club first up. the upcoming book "double down" claims the obama camp considered replacing joe biden with hillary clinton on the 2012 ticket. here's what chris matthews said to me about it. >> i'll tell you what the big news in this book is, that joe biden is running for president and has been since 2011. joe biden will be running for president and will certainly have decided to run long before hillary clinton makes any public or private indication. so we're looking at a real collision down the road. we're going to have a gene mccarthy, bobby kennedy situation well before 2016. >> where does president obama's loyalties lie if both vice president biden and hillary clinton run in 2016?
who does he support? >> well, he has a current sitting member of his cabinet, the vice president, who if chris is right, and i think chris is right, i think the vice president is running and has been laying the groundwork this entire time. if that's the case, guess what? it will be very hard for the president not to support his sitting vice president. keep in mind also secretary clinton is no longer a member of his cabinet. i'm also -- and you and i have discussed this. i'm also not 100% sure like a lot of people in this town are that hillary clinton is running for president. >> i know. you have said that. we had jonathan alter on. he thinks hillary clinton is running and joe biden won't be. if hillary does not run, then there's this huge vacuum because we've all presumed she is and that's the one joe biden steps into, right? >> sure. listen, if hillary clinton does run, that's the biggest thing ever, right? >> right. okay. suzie, what's your take on all this? also, the position it would put
the president in, biden versus clinton. >> i believe it could be a very difficult situation not just for the president but other democratic leaders. what's interesting is this revelation comes as you hear senator chuck schumer, who is in the democratic leadership in the senate, saying that it's all about hillary for 2016. he's already thrown his chips in there saying that, you know, obviously she's from new york, he's on her team. so it's not just the president who's going to be in the situation but a lot of other major democratic leaders. we'll kind of see how those camps align. >> robert, this kind of matchup, is this what republicans would hope for, a hillary clinton versus joe biden, thereby spliting a lot of the party? >> sure, we love interim party fights. >> yes, you do. >> there's some historical data to support this in previous administrations. in 1987 when george h.w. bush was running, ronald reagan was reluctant to support his vice president because bob dole was also running in the republican
primary. in 1998, al gore was running in the primary against bill bradley, and bill clinton didn't come out to enthusiastically support his vice president. there's a little bit of history here. but i think the difference here is that hillary clinton is such a huge, huge personality and really the seas will part for her as was mentioned a few mentioned a few moments ago with ch chuck schumer and others. we also know there is a secret letter out there urging hillary to run. so this is different momentum on her side. >> i think skrjoe biden has a l of personality. but just saying. next topic, father knows best. mother jones posted video of ted cruz father saying this about the president. >> we have our work cut out for us. we need to send barack obama back to chicago and back to kenya.
>> he also compare the president to karl marx. is this just one horrible series of comments by one man or do you think it points to something bigger in our country these days? >> well, let me answer this way first. i've always said family is off-limits. moms, dads, kids, et cetera. but there is a limit. once you cross that line which is that person, rafael cruz, is out there saying pretty bad things and untrue things about a sitting president, that means you're now a political person and you deserve the scrutiny that anyone else would if they held office. that being said, this is it lead -- listen, he's not talking to people that didn't agree with him. and there are people all over the districts all over the country that believe exactly this. and they're called tea partiers. they're a fringe element, but they are real. listen, this guy has to stop doing this and if ted cruz has a brain in his head, he'll tell his father to pipe it down. otherwise it could really, really hurt his chances.
>> robert, you're a reasonable guy. don't you think stuff like this would cease and desist? >> absolutely. we've had this conversation about the birth certificate. he is an american just like you and i and everybody else that is watching this program. this is a bunch of poppycock. this is ridiculous. and this is one right wing person dealing with another right wing person in terms of being in the room. a preacher preaching to the choir. it is nonsense. it is not relevant to the political conversation today. let's end it. >> susie, quickly your thoughts. >> yeah, so i think what's notable is the fact that ted cruz's father is actively going out being -- trying to court tea party supporters. freedom works being heritage foundation, these folks that celebrate the fact that he's stepping in to the conversation. that's why his remarks are relevant. cruz spokesperson said his father doesn't represent his views, but he really does need to address this. >> ahead, someone on their way
we are back with the big three. susie, we'll start with you. what is yours? >> i would say the "washington post" story this morning revealing exactly what went wrong in the decision making process around unrolling health ca care.gov is a must read. it explains how just after weeks after the health care law passed, they received recommendations from outside folks that they really needed to bring in outside expertise and they chose to disregard that. >> robert. >> the "new york times" has a thoughtful read about george w. bush and how he really is becoming the model of how an ex-president should be. he doesn't criticize and even barack obama is on record saying this is pretty much how i would like to model my presidency when i leave office. >> and reflecting bill clinton, as well. jimmy, how about yours.
>> national journal has a great piece on gillibrand, how she went from being a conservative to a liberal. and i'm telling you, she's running for president. >> we'll take your word for it. good to see you all. thank you so much. that's a wrap of this sunday he had edition of weekend with alex witt. afghanistan in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. [ chicken caws ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums!
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