tv Politicking With Larry King RT September 19, 2013 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT
will this week's major shooting at the washington navy yard revive gun control legislation in congress democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut joins us plus can a government shutdown be averted if it's all coming up next politics with larry king. now from capitol hill democrat senator chris murphy the genius senator from connecticut the tragic masher to at sandy hook elementary school in newtown connecticut twenty children six adults step members were killed made gun control a priority on his political agenda he's grappling with that issue again following this week's massacre at the washington navy yard what do you make of this one
senator. well you sort of have to wonder you know what can actually change people's minds here we're working real hard to see if we can get an additional five or six votes on the senate floor following this latest mass shooting but you know this is unfortunately becoming routine i mean we're almost becoming numb as a nation to the fact that every couple months we're going to have a dozen or more people killed in the fact is that we can change that you know what we already know is that this guy tried to buy an assault weapon and a law stopped him from doing it so for all the folks out there who say the laws don't matter this is an incident in which despite the destruction that happened at the navy yard it could have been worse if he had gotten his hands on a much more powerful weapon so you know we've got a whole bunch of newtown families down here coincidentally this week who are walking from office to office trying to make the case to senators that this is going to happen over and over and over again if we don't do something if we don't pass it very at the very least the outlines of a background check bill that can make this country our streets
a little bit safer. this is so pleasant and. why is this brief note i'll tell you i interviewed the head of scotland yard some years ago who could not believe that americans could easily buy guns it was beyond belief to him why it why is this so hard to deal with well i've been asking myself his well because you know on this one you've never seen a bigger disconnect between where the american public is and where the senate and the house are i mean ninety percent of americans say that it's simple if you want to buy a gun go ahead and do it just prove to us that you're not a criminal that you haven't beat up your spouse before you do it and the fact is that even though ninety percent of americans want that we only got fifty five percent of the senate and we probably have only about fifty percent of the house maybe a little bit less and so i say so why is that so one you can attribute some of it to the power of the n.r.a. they've built up this tremendous political operation and they clearly have legs we're building up like a oppositional force in favor of gun violence legislation but it can take us
a while the second this sort of new tea party crowd that's here you know that i call them gun control darwinist they really believe that the best way to take guns out of the hands of bad guys is to just give a whole mess of guns everybody and hope that the good guys shoot the bad guys and that sounds absurd but that's actually what a lot of these guys think and that is kind of a new wave of you know very very conservative laissez faire libertarian thought that's that's that's sort of the rule in washington these days there is the answer to more guns is more guns yeah i mean that's what the n.r.a. said about newtown you know i was walking out of a funeral for one of the little girls and i got handed to me the statement from wayne la pierre who essentially went on the air a week after the shooting and said you know the way that we solve the problem in newtown is put more guns in schools and you know teachers you know principals know that that's not being answered the american public gets that but that the organization still has a lot of influence here senator president obama said that he's concerned that
there's now a kind of an i want to get this right in american ritual that whenever there's a mass shooting everyone its residents are everyone abrasions the family and nothing gets done. yeah you know speaker pelosi in the minority leader now said today she said every time we have one of these shootings the house observes a moment of silence and she said she just doesn't feel right any longer having news moments of silence because what you really need to have is a day of action you need to actually do something about it to prove that you're sincere and if we had doubts about what we needed to do that the one thing but the american public knows what we need to do have background checks make gun trafficking illegal put more money into the mental health system get these dangerous military style assault weapons back in the hands of the military there's a broad consensus out there on those things it's the only place where that's an argument is in the united states and in the house and it may be that will have to go through some elections and till we clear out some of the folks that just don't
listen to their constituents doing interviews on this fee is senator i know very well adam and maybe twenty years ago on this topic and what hard to fathom is why it is the n.r.a. which basically is financed by the gun manufacturers why are they so powerful why why yeah it's a good question i mean i think in a lot of parts of the country for whatever reason you know an endorsement from the n.r.a. is kind of a proxy for something else for whatever reason is kind of been a signal to their constituents that you're a real conservative but it shouldn't anymore because you're right the n.r.a. is change that used to be in or is a membership organization it's not any longer members still pay dues but a bigger portion of their funding than ever comes from the industry and the industry has changed used to be to the industry sold guns to lots of americans over fifty percent of americans in the seventy's own guns today that number is only about thirty three percent and so the industry makes money by selling lots of high
powered expensive weapons to a small number of people and so the n.r.a. has to sort of create this paranoia about government that incentivizes those. survivalists and constitutionalists to buy lots and lots of weapons so the n.r.a. has a very different business model today than it used to and we've got to get that word out better. how do you regard the president's actions in all of this he made a major speech if the navy yard shooting at me also included the economy and the country what do you rate him on this topic. well i've i've frankly given minae i mean i understand that the president can't be talking about the gun issue every day he's got to manage an economy he's got to be you know a major player in world affairs he can't dedicate every day like those of us who come from newtown do but he's been consistent i watched the president come to newtown i have seen personally how he's been affected by this he said to us in newtown and to the world that the worst day of his presidency was december
fourteenth and he's not going to rest until he gets something done here but i think he recognizes right now that it's tough to get those last five or six votes in the united states senate but i think he's done a great job of trying to rally the american public to this cause and we know the shooter in the navy had mental health problems some suggest broader control maybe dealing with mental health issues should that end to this it should and i think there's some legitimate questions being raised about you know why his various interactions with the mental health system didn't raise to the level of being described of him being disqualified to own a gun i think it is a legitimate conversation to sort of say ok is the level we have now which is essentially that you have to be adjudicated by a court as so mentally ill as to be unable to possess a weapon maybe that bar is a little bit too high maybe we need to lower it but we don't want to get to a point in which you are suggesting that anyone who has mental illness or a history of mental illness is thereby going to start shooting in fact the opposite
is true if you are mentally ill or have a mental illness you are much more likely to be the victim of gun violence and you are to perpetrate a crime but we should have a discussion about whether the bar right now is not set exactly the right place you know obama care is going to help a lot of the mental health area do you think this might affect this movement against it. well i doubt it i mean i think the folks that are lined up against the health care initiative you know have their own reasons it is don't want the government involved at all in trying to get you know more equity into our health insurance system and frankly i think there are a lot of people that are opposing obama's efforts on guns simply because they want to oppose president obama and i think if there was a republican president in there you would see a lot more republican senators and republican house members endorsing concept background checks for gun purchases that supported by ninety percent of their constituents so a lot of the agenda the health care law a lot of the agenda on guns is just about opposing anything that president obama is
for and that's too bad i know democrats did a little bit of that when bush was in office and neither party should do it but that's that's that's a lot about what this is about to be a couple of other areas want to cover and thank you for being with us since opposing the president was something you just mentioned you opposed him on the senate foreign relations committee you were three democrats to vote against the resolution to authorize the use of force against syria are you happy with this agreement they worked out now i'm very happy with this agreement i think i was one of the democrats that opposed the military strike and even if we had struck syria with missiles we were never going to completely dislodge the ability of assad to use chemical weapons we're going to hope that the attack was so tough on him that it would deter him from using them in the future this really gets what we wanted which is to stop assad from being able to use chemical weapons and you know creating a line that if you do this you are never going to be able to use those weapons ever again so obviously
a lot of steps to get from here to there the russians have to force this guy to actually give up the weapons but this is a much better resolution and frankly a lot of us were very reluctant to go down the military path because we thought there was more diplomacy to go and clearly there was. on the world stage polls is that kind of a difference as polls in europe suggest that obama has not lost his popularity or credibility there yet others say that putin kind of leveraged him badly in this whole dispute where do you stand well i love this notion that we somehow empowered putin here you know russia is the patron of assad there was no way to do anything meaningful in syria either with respect to their chemical weapons or an ultimate political resolution without going through russia and so you know russia didn't fill a vacuum here they were always the most important player from the very beginning to try to get some movement on the ground in syria so there was no way around putin
when it came to trying to negotiate a settlement with respect to chemical weapons or the political or military situation on the ground in syria and frankly i don't care who gets credit for the fact that chemical weapons are never going to be used again in syria i don't care if it's putin or it's obama the job is hopefully going to get done and that's what we should care about. you only have a minute left to fear a shutdown of the government next month yeah i do i fear a shutdown of the government i fear that we may stop paying our debts why because we've got a group of tea party republicans in the house who actively want to burn down the institution of government from within alternately i think that john boehner and the house will be able to reach across the aisle and get a deal done with democrats but it's probably going to be pretty painful to get from here to there is no way to run a railroad and ultimately hopefully some of these extremists who think compromise is an evil word will get run out of town but it may take another election or two for that to happen thanks chris i hope to meet you next time we're in washington
love to do that thanks larry. thanks to senator chris murphy for its time today coming up more politicking with d.c. reporters niels was wednesday from roll call and n.p.r.'s yuki felty don't go away . plenty plenty. plenty of lives they lead very hard to make going to lead to get along here the club has never had sex with the earthquake there's no lives let's limit.
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capitol hill they'll meet their nails less new ski who covers the senate for roll call and keep elderly. are high this week shooting rampage we just heard from the senator kneels what's what's your reaction is it becoming commonplace. we've gone through this routine all too together too many times now probably most people would would say and now we're at the point where as i think you probably talked with the senator just a bit we don't even expect anymore that we're going to see votes in the senate least on background checks or anything like that that the votes are so well established that there aren't the votes needed to break a filibuster that we won't even see those votes take place in the weeks ahead give me what about the idea lindsey graham supports this of metal hope legislation to deal with this that people with mental health problems should have waited they
could get ammunition you know there's been so little support for anything having to do with guns larry. mental health you would think would be the easiest possible thing to pass and was likely to happen is that the more money for mental health but whether it's attached to actually getting a gun any kind of restrictions i'm sure that the gun lobby is going to see that is stepping in the way of the second amendment you know i spoke yesterday with dianne feinstein who of course author of the assault weapons ban back in ninety four and have had another measure that actually got a senate vote earlier this spring voted down forty to sixty and she talked i asked going to introduce it again given the shootings down the street and she said you know it's heartbreaking basically you know i don't want to do it if i there's no chance of i'm going anywhere. neal the new york times a c.b.s. poll from early june fifty one percent of americans favor stronger gun regulations forty seven percent want it to stay just as it is i think swearing that well
there's always the question particularly in the senate where you know every with every state having the same number of senators regardless of population someone like senator feinstein even though she held from the populous state of california has the same amount of clout is someone from say wyoming or montana and it's not even so much a partisan issue when you get into into rural states where we're guns are just viewed very differently than they are say in washington or where you are in los angeles. the entire house of course comes up next year and a third of the senate two states senators in colorado were kicked out of office for voting in favor of new gun control laws do you think that's cares people in congress you bet it does and actually i think even the money scares them even more when you see how much money was put forward it's interesting in california as you know out in the inland empire mayor bloomberg in new york came up with i think it
was a million dollars plus by and he basically defeated a democratic incumbent joe baka had been in congress for years and years and years and he was replaced by another democrat and basically the only reason he came into the race was because the n.r.a. gave her a higher score than baka on gun control so it's the money that really drives these these issues right now a lot of politicians are looking behind their back to see where that n.r.a. money is coming into the race do you think sequestering meals are something to do with. the problems of the navy yard the cut down on expenses there well there's always the possibility that in some way that it might be involved what we're more hearing about though on on capitol hill right now is concerns about the way the system not the background checks for buying guns but the background check that this contractor had to go through in order to get this. to maintain the
security clearance and get this job having access to the navy facility given his military record his own military record in his own past run ins with law enforcement there's going to be a lot of questions i think more than anything else on capitol hill about how the defense department and other federal agencies issue these clearances. switchgear is kitty i know you cover politics and of the shenanigans in washington is that right i do sir picking up on that word do you expect the government shutdown on october first this senator says that's likely you know it was so interesting watching you know larry you talked about syria earlier and when you talk to people members of congress when they were coming back it was so sincere people were speaking from their heart they weren't just reading the talking points that they get well we're back to talking points because that's all you heard from democrats and republicans
today they all almost said exactly the same thing republicans will not accept any kind of continuing resolution that does not defund obamacare and then you heard from the democrats we will not accept any continuing resolution that continues the sequence duration cuts and you heard this from everybody today and they're going to play this out until we get to the very end of the week eric cantor's office said you guys maybe work on saturday if we can't get the vote through by friday night so it's going to be a long week of you're going to hear the same thing over and over again and i think shenanigans quite frankly is a great word to describe it out there theater uses i remember it well the last time we had the shutdown clinton came out on top the public blamed congress what will happen now will obama get the blame or congress well there's really no reason to see this one playing out any differently than that shutdown did although i will say that the the republicans in the senate who are pushing the idea of the either
defund obamacare or shut down the government line are at least trying to make the argument that if the house passes something that then the blame would fall on president obama now it's tough to see that happening and in fact just within the last couple of hours senator ted cruz the texas republican who's sort of been leading this effort is already basically conceding that harry reid in the senate democrats will have the vote to strip the language deep. undoing obamacare out of the bill on the senate side but not on the house side you're going to see all of those republicans in the house voting for a measure that does include defunding obamacare right and then what happens is what cruz is already saying is that when it gets ping ponged back to the house the second time that they should go ahead and defund obamacare again which brings us even closer to september thirtieth it seems we don't want health in america anyway just a little comment call rave says that obama wants the shutdown because it rescues
him it will swing independents into the democratic column in the elections next year you buy that no i don't and you know there's a real you know we're playing games here quite frankly that is exactly what is going on in capitol hill and fiscal markets you watch what happens to the stock market to a lot of the other financial indicators as we get closer and closer to friday without any kind of a deal if the financial markets think that congress is not going to come to some common a resolution we're going to find it out in our pocketbooks that's what we're going to see the reaction long before we ever get to the polls. what happens neal is on the meals with the debt ceiling well that's the that's the other that's the other question there's been a group of republicans who were pushing to push off the fight over obamacare until the debt ceiling but that generated the response from from democrats that seems well reasoned that you know that's an even trickier game to play than the debate over shutting down the government because if you start not paying debt servicing in
the federal government defaults then when you're in a situation where we really have no idea how the markets or anyone else in the world might respond and there's some talk that john boehner may open the florida just about any amendment that comes forward from house members so for example tom mcclintock from california has a measure that would say the federal government is allowed to pay interest on its loans the interest on the debt and nothing else so if you're a federal employee you won't get a paycheck if you're wishing for social security you wouldn't get that check so i mean that's again the gamesmanship that is attached to something so serious you know trying to fund the u.s. government it's it's kind of amazing it's kind of amazing to watch it happen one meals is there you're there on the scene every day why is this so much acrimony. well you know in some regards it's because we go back to the money like we were we were saying earlier with the n.r.a.
money in the money on the gun issue the other thing is that a lot of these conservative outside groups are easy to raise big money off of this whole defund obamacare or this threat of a government shutdown to the extent where we actually saw the editorial board of the the wall street journal save the other day that who is sort of on the institutional side against shutting down the government and the like make the point among others that really what a lot of this is for these outside groups is a is a way of raising money and that their influence is. more on the outside than on the inside and as long as members are listening to these outside groups in particular we're going to see more of this and i think neil has a good point in the old days you would have someone like speaker boehner or nancy pelosi who would have their leadership funds and those were the big dollar pockets and they could do all those dollars out to members of congress and to help them out in their races while their leadership pacs are just minuscule compared to the
amount of money that these outside groups can now raise and so the power that you had in leadership on the democratic and republican side really has dissipated in the last few years. obama having problem with his with his left side well the problem with the left side i think is we had some of that with syria we're seeing quite a bit of that on issues like the n.s.a. . and the actions that are being taken sort of in the foreign policy and intelligence arena is but in this regard the left seems to be on board as far as anyone can tell with the way that the federal spending debate is going with obama and with the senate and house democratic leaders there seems to be relative unity at least this point on those issues. kitty wise was this such strong opposition to larry summers. well a lot of democrats particularly those in california and in other states that were
hard hit during the housing crisis they really blamed him in his office on not doing enough to try to help homeowners who were underwater going into foreclosure etc etc a lot of that was left over from there so i and liberals just prefer a yell and they just they just have all the way along and it was i think it was surprising to see summers sort of be the ballot out he didn't bow out that he was bowed out of of trying to get that position it's kind of surprising i don't know mills to think it was surprising i was a little bit i was a little bit surprised but remember that we actually got to a point late last week where it seemed like that mr summers could theoretically lose the vote in the banking committee not even necessarily make it to the floor terribly easily because there were a number of democrats who sort of had rebelled who were sitting on the committee and so i think that that was a vote that no one necessarily wanted to see but i agree totally with this idea
that he was bowed out this was an announcement that came on a weekend afternoon this was not something that was wanting to be leading the news cycle you know both insiders who's the next chairperson of the federal reserve. you're not asking me the right for is and you're out asking the right person on that i don't know i honestly don't know males you have to do any maims i mean the names circulating meal i mean yellen is the obvious you know she's the obvious name that's circulating although i was i was talking to someone a couple of days ago who actually threw out the idea which i thought was kind of the way this the d.c. work sometimes might not be as crazy a thought as it sounded when i first heard it which is that maybe ben bernanke he backs another term out now i can't see that that's actually going to happen but and i don't know that yellen there may be a lot of opposition to her on the ryan i don't i'm not quite sure how that's going to coalesce the next few days or looking ahead we're going to get immigration
reform. it's very interesting to watch how this has happened you know over the august recess you had democrats and republicans actually meeting together to talk about this there seems to be more public opinion to push this forward and there are big meetings this week mark zuckerberg is on capitol hill to talk about immigration the head of the a.f.l. c.i.a.o. richard trumka is on capitol hill this week to talk about immigration there's a great the chamber of commerce wants to see it happen and there's a lot of very high powered groups from all over the place who really want to see this happen but nothing is going to happen until they figure out what to do about both the c.r. and the debt ceiling i think. has to be mentioned in closing pinion from both of your meals is that we're going to run. hillary's making all the all the sort of moves it seems behind the scenes to run it least and you know it remains to be seen i guess whether
a nigel i actually do it but i would if i were if i were just placing a wager on it i would say yes simon going to wager that she would thanks to both of you very much look forward to having you on again thanks you're very welcome here thank you guys thanks to our guest senator chris murphy of connecticut and rolled scoll roll calls kneels less new skete along with keith l.b. of n.p.r. and also thanks to you for joining us don't forget probably on twitter at kings things see you next week for another edition of politics. could you take three. three. three. three. three.
videos for your media project c.e.o. don carty dot com. what's going on guys i'm abby martin welcome the break and so if you haven't heard back from general david petraeus has a new gig as a professor he sits in public policy at the city university of new york and i put it lightly students aren't exactly happy to war criminals now lecturing them on conflict resolution and fact over the past few weeks dozens of students have protested as crossover and academic can. be put. on a warm well deserved welcome from mr betray us and just last night students held another demonstration against the retired general calling his arrival at cooney a move to militarize.