tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 7, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
this sunday, breaking news on two fronts this morning, the crash landing in san francisco and the chaos in the streets of cairo as president morsi pushed from power. >> we've got a 214 heavy san francisco tower. >> a pilot distress call as asiana airlines flight 214 crashes upon landing at san francisco international airport. we talk to the top investigator who arrived on the scene just hours ago. plus, the unfolding crisis in egypt. deadly clashes in the streets, and now confusion over who is in charge. we veal the latest from the ground in cairo. plus, america's role now in the spotlight as president obama walks a fine line between promoting american values and
protecting american interests. we'll hear from the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, new jersey democrat bob menendez. plus, our political roundtable on the fights back home. the obama administration decides to postpone a key part of the president's health care law. critics claim it's the latest evidence that the law should be repealed. and the fight over immigration reform now moves to the house. i talk to a key republican lawmaker involved in the negotiations, congressman raul labrador of idaho. good sunday morning. we want to go to our developing story this morning. tom costello covers aviation for nbc news. he's got the latest on the tragic crash landing in san francisco that claimed the lives of two chinese citizens and sent 182 passengers to area hospitals. tom, as you have done some initial reporting, what is what they know tell us about what happened?
>> reporter: this is asiana airlines flight 214 coming from seoul in south korea, 10 1/2-hour flight into san francisco airport, and on approach at about 11:27 yesterday morning on runway 28 left, apparently by all accounts this plaenl came in a little low and a little slow according to eyewitnesses and literally the tail slammed into the sea barrier wall just before runway 28 left begins. the plane then slammed down onto the runway and skidded down the runway before then going into a grassy area. immediately the emergency chutes deployed. there was an evacuation of all 300-plus people on board this plane. unfortunately, as you reported, there were a couple of fatalities. the investigation is now going to focus on why this happened, of course. was it pilot error? was there a mechanical issue? was there some sort of an avionics issue? it is interesting that the president of asiana airlines this morning said he does not believe that there was an engine problem. now, the ntsb investigators have really not spent a whole lot of time in those engines yet, so
what does the president of the airline know that perhaps investigators haven't yet ascertained? has he been speaking with his crew? has the crew already suggested what the cause of this was? was it crew cents a share that's going to be very much the focus of the investigation. the ntsb has already now recovered the black box and the cockpit voice and flight data recorders. they'll be on their way to washington, d.c., and they hope they'll learn from those what was being said and discussed in the cockpit but also what was happening on all those avionic flight data screens in front of them in the cockpit. >> tom costello starting us off this morning. thanks very much. the chairman of the ntsb, who is on the ground in san francisco, debby hersman joins me now. chairman, you've said this morning off lot of good information to start going through. describe what that is. >> well, we have a good number of survivors, and i think we're very thankful that the numbers were not worse when it came to fatalities and injuries. it could have been much worse. we have crew that survived that we can interview. and significantly, we have
cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders that have been recovered, went back on a red eye last night under federal escort to d.c. we hope to audition those in our headquarters in the next 24 hours. >> i know you have an opportunity with investigators to actually go through that burned-out fuselage. those pictures are dramatic of you, also the aftermath of this flight. the bit of information that you do have, no distress calls reportedly from the flight crew, and as tom costello mentioned reports from the airline that there was no engine trouble. i realize you can't make conclusions. what does that lead you to believe, though, at this point? >> you know, we have a lot of information to go through, and i think at this point everything is still on the table for us. we have to not only identify what we're focused on but also to rule things out. to do that we need good evidence, we need to document that. we need to corroborate that with information from air traffic control teams, radar, flight
data recorder information, vok pit voice recorder information. we'll have our first full day on scene and our team will be very busy. >> anything at this point you've been able to rule out? the weather, terrorism, other aspects of the crash? >> we have no indication that there was a criminal act involved here. but i can tell you we have an excellent working relationship with our law enforcement counterparts, particularly the fbi that supports us in our work. we will continue to work with them. no indication of a criminal act at this point. good weather conditions. vfr, good visibility. we know that. we will be look at all of that information as part of our investigation as we begin to comb through all of the data. we're looking at hundreds of parameters potentially on a flight data recorder. that will gives us a lot of insight into this aircraft and what was going on. >> chairman debby hersman, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. now we turn to the developments in egypt. chaos on the streets. the big story of the weekend was
that mohammed elbaradei was to be named the interim leader of the country. then that was walked back. and just hours ago, dr. elbaradei canceled his appearance with he here on "meet the press." i was able to reach him by phone. he said he had laryngitis and a fever and under doctor's order for no television interviews, but there's a lot of confusion about what's going on and whether the opposition to him being an interim leader is what was really at work here. he told me he expects to be named as early as today firmly the leader of egypt, but he also said, his words, that the country is falling apart. now to our correspondent on the ground in cairo. this protest you're seeing today, amen, pro-morsi backers trying to get him reinstated. >> reporter: that's correct. in fact, there are rival demonstrations that are being held across the country. but for the past several days supporters of the ousted president have been holding sit-ins not too far away from
the republican guard headquarters where they believe the president to be held. at this point they are demanding that the president be reinstated as the leader of this country. now, the military, which attributes its ouster of the former president to a popular revolt, says that it is trying to quickly put a civilian government here in place. they've already appointed an interim president to run the country. but more importantly, a lot of controversy surrounding who will become the country's interim prime minister. effectively running the day to day affairs. as you mentioned, dr. elbaradei was the name floated around yesterday. his office confirmed that he would be the prime minister. but late last night, initial reports suggest that some of the more conservative political organizations here objected to having dr. elbaradei serve as the interim prime minister. and so as of right now there has been no appointment and this country right now remains without an effective government to run the day-to-day affairs. why that's so important, because the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate as these rival protests have shown over the past several days. when opponents and supporters of
the president get together, it becomes very violent. we've seen more than 100 people killed in the last week in terms of clashes and that is why many are afraid without an effective government this situation can continue to worsen. david? >> amen month ha dean on the ground for us in cairo. thanks very much. let me turn to the former egyptian ambassador to the united states. mr. ambassador, welcome to "meet the press." there are reports you would become the foreign minister in a new government that would be formed on this interim basis. but my question to you this morning, sir, is who is going to be in charge of egypt and how does anyone govern egypt at this particular moment? >> let me start by saying that, as you said, we do not yet have a prime minister. consequently, we don't have any nominees for any of the cabinet posts, including that of foreign minister. we are trying to establish a government that the interim president is consulting to try to get the widest possible support for the new prime minister, and hopefully he will
announce the prime minister's name within a few hours or a day at most, i hope. once that's set, you will also have a roadmap set out by the president how to return to the constitutional discussions and two settles of elections for parliament and for president. >> the question about the muslim brotherhood and the islamists is a really important one. dr. elbaradei told me this morning that he likened what many people call a coup to an impeachment process. the reality is that the egyptian military had to force out the government and the president was democratically elected. will you not as an opposition reform figure come to rue the day you had to rely upon the egyptian military to achieve this kind of change? >> i think it's important to look at the context. you have 20 million to 30 million people out on the street. the military has a choice between intervention and chaos. and they had to respond to that.
as the president responded to the people. 20 million to 30 million people on the streets here is equivalent to 50 million to 60 million on capitol hill. your president would have responded to the people there in one political form or the other. there was no response. so i think the military acted in response to the people, not their initiative. they did oust the president, that's true. but then they handled over government immediately to the interim president. so the fact they seized power or wanted to seize power is frankly incorrect. >> but why wouldn't this happen to the next administration against whom there might be popular dissent? i mean, the template here is for opposition in the streets to ultimately force the military's hand to change the path of democracy. >> when you're looking at the numbers here, 20 million to 30 million people, that is more than half of our political constituency. any president who has that kind of opposition has to understand he has a problem, he has made mistake, and he has to respond to them.
had the president responded to the people, he would have been able to find different ways to do this. this is not about what the military did. we are looking for a democratic process that's inclusive, that's transparent, that's accountable, that includes everyone. >> well, you -- >> and islamists. >> what is the role of the muslim brotherhood now moving forward? will islamists now not believe that democracy is available for everyone except them? and what are the consequences of that? >> no. every effort has to be made to include islamists. they are part of egypt. the issue is not including them. the issue is neither side can have exclusive control over egypt. so i'm fully supportive of including them, and we intend to work toward that objective. >> finally, ambassador, there is a question for a lot of americans about the safety of egypt right now. there are a lot of visitors from this country who go there. the pyramids themselves are just ten minutes in guiza from cairo.
before the revolution, you had some 270,000 americans who travelled there on some sort of holiday. at this particular juncture, are you prepared to say to americans that it's safe to travel to egypt? >> needless to say there is tension and turmoil. i still believe it's generally safe. but one of the reasons why the military intervened was to try to prevent widespread chaos and move us into a political transition. so i would hope tourists feel comfortable in the near future. >> ambassador, thank you very much for your time this morning. i appreciate it. >> you're welcome. >> we'll get reaction now from a terrific roundtable. joining me, senior fellow with the woodrow wilson center, robin wright, columnist for "the new york times" tom friedman, columnist for "bloomberg view" and also with the "atlantic" magazine, tom goldstein, and from nbc news our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell and our political director chief white house correspondent chuck todd. welcome to all of you. tom friedman, you wrote this morning, can e egypt pull
together anyone who has followed these politics knows this is a region where extremists tend to go all the way and moderates tend to just go away. >> yeah, david. i put this in the context of several such surges by moderates over the years. uprising, the revolution in lebanon. they take it, take it, take it, and finally push back. i was in egypt a few weeks ago and that's what i saw happening. the ambassador alluded to it, can you get a national unity government? if you look across all these arab awakenings, there is one principle that has to be applied -- no victor, no vanquish. anyone who thinks you can rule egypt alone, syria, lebanon, the list is so heavy. they are in such a deep hole that unless they can mobilize their populations together to lift them out of this hole, they're all heading for human development disasters.
>> jeffrey, you wrote morsi was freely elected, that these demonstrators could have exercised their right at the ballot box but they didn't want to wait. ultimately, it was the military that intervened. >> right. look, the simple truth of the matter is is that this was a -- the events of last week are a victory for progressivism in a kind of way and a defeat for democracy. >> what do you mean by that? you wrote that. >> obviously the muslim brotherhood is a totalitarian party fundamentalist party, anti-christian, misogynistic party. let's not kid oufrss about what they are. their removal from power is good in that country for christians and other minorities, but it also reflects a defeat for democracy in the following sense. we know that this is not going to be the last time the military intervenes in this process. and if there had just been some level of patience on the part of liberals, the muslim brotherhood might have imploded on its own
accord. now they're put in a position to be martyrs and move more radically and possibly get involved in terrorism like we see in egypt. >> that's the big question. if you look at the history of the muslim brotherhood, the intellectual fathers coming out of the brotherhood with al qaeda, what does this por tend that democracy is not for them? >> this is a big challenge. what happens in egypt has an enormous impact on what happens across the region. this big question of whether islam and democracy are compatible. the lessons for some of those who are taking to the streets in support of the muslim brotherhood and the only civilian democratically elected president in egypt's 5000-year history, is is there a place for them? can they be part of the process? a coup is a coup is a coup. the military acted in a way that sends a strong signal that if they don't like who's in power then they're going to move in. that's not a good precedent for egypt. >> look, they took over but they gave power back right away, the
ambassador said. that's hardly comfortable for democrats. >> one of the big lessons here is that free and fair elections, as this was deemed by all outside observers, including the united states, does not mean democracy. what morsi was running was not a democratic system. it was majoritarian, not inclusive. and that was eating away at the core of what we call democracy. it's a lesson we've seen before. we've seen it with hamas in gaza, that elections are one thing, but that does not mean a democratic outcome. >> chuck todd just back from africa with the president. this administration again, as it was a couple years ago, seems bike a bistander, not a real actor. >> they do, but that is the one lesson they'll take away from what went wrong in the transition to morsi. the united states, president obama involved in pushing mow move bark out, then hands off, let morsi go. not this time. this time the plan is you will see the obama administration, the obama government more involved in building the democrat -- because it goes to
andrea points. elections are not enough for democracy. you have to learn how to govern, too. this time the u.s. government is going to be more hands on, helping them build all parts of this new government both in the interim basis and helping them hold this election, realizing the president owns this, whether he likes itover not. there's no more sitting back. >> confident in the military, confident they'll give power back right away, that this could actually turn out well more in america's snaifr. >> i think it's hopeful. there's a wonderful little detail in some of "the new york times" reporting today which said at a key moment when morsi was being pressed by another foreign minister to back off and try to salvage this, he was told when he refused to bring more people into his government that mother says this will not continue, mother being the united states. the fact is that america has been very involved in this. they took that lesson as chuck was just saying. and patterson, the ambassador there, criticized for sticking with morsi too much from the
street. >> you bring up our ambassador patterson, ann patterson, tom friedman, she said this weekend in one of the statements that raised a lot of eyebrows, let me be clear, military intervention is not the answer, as some would claim. neither the egyptian military nor the egyptian people will accept it as an outcome. some interpreted that as support for the morsi government. secretary of state put out a statement saying that's absolutely not the case. the administration refuses to call this a coup. what is the role of the administration at the moment? >> there are so many things that are not being answered. morsi being elected and then ramming through a constitution pro-islamist without the rest of the country really getting a say, that also was not really a smart thing to do. so everyone has behaved badly here. you know, to pick up a point jeff said, one of the problems in all these countries, they are pluralistic, but they have no pluralism. we just re-elected a black man whose middle is hussein who
defeated a woman running against a mormon. no one does that. we are freaks. the only way these kun trips are going to be able to govern horizontally -- for all these years they've governed vertically, from the top down with iron fists. the colonial powers are gone. now the iron fist in generals are gone. the only way they can be governed is horizontally. can they right writhe a social contract for how they live together with their pluralism? that's what's at stake. >> can we talk about elbaradei? is he if the future? >> he may well become is brim prime minister. there's still a sense the job may become him oom oop. he's probably more attractive to the outside world more than he is known inside of egypt. he did work for the international atomic energy agency for which he won a nobel prize, but he also boycotted the three democratic elections inside egypt. he was calling for another one in what were supposed to be upcoming parliamentary elections.
if you're going to believe in democracy, you have to participate in it. and this is where we're getting into this period that you think the last year wutz tough, wait till the next year, because of all these natural divisions. i think egypt is a very pluralistic society in that they're a huge array and not even all the islamists are united. >> just lacks pluralism. that's the point i'm making. that's the problem. it's deeply pluralistic but it doesn't have a pluralistic effort. >> all these divisions i think will make the transition very difficult because it's not just who is ruling egypt but how it's ruled. they have to decide on the basic problem of the constitution. it's been suspended. do they amend it, rewrite it? last time around they put it to a referendum and 77% of the people supported it. >> comment here? >> look, it's a very interesting thing because this was the muslim brotherhood's big chance. they've been waiting 08 years to take over egypt and they blew it. they put a bump kin in charge, a guy who was in over his head, who while over his head pretty much tried to seize absolute power. there was a coup in november
when basically morsi tried to put himself beyond judicial review and tried to take over absolute rule. that's when things turned south for him. they have blown it. tom is exactly right. they have not shown themselves to be ready to be leaders of a pluralistic society. >> another aspect of the u.s. response, congress. joining me now is the chair of the senate foreign relations committee, democrat from new jersey, bob menendez. senator, welcome back. >> good to be with you. >> let's talk about the u.s. response. you said back in march that american security assistance to egypt cannot be a blank check. do you think the administration failed to exert the pressure, a billion and a half in u.s. aid, to egypt to put more pressure on morsi at a time when he was becoming a wayward leader? >> well, i do think that the reality is that this is a very nascent democracy. this country doesn't have a history of democracy. what we expect of democracy overnight is not something we're going to see here. we were trying to nurture along
a path that would move the what really needs to happen, which is they need to get an egypt for all. that's the only theyway they succeed. that means participation in the government of all different sectors of egyptian society. and so, the reality now is what do we do and using our assistance as leverage at the end of the day -- >> how do we do that? >> i'm sorry? >> how do we use that leverage now? >> look, i think first of all we have to make sure that the military gets the very clear message we want to see a transition to a civilian government as quickly as possible. i think we have to get a process in which we urge all of the parties to participate together, that we come to an election as soon as possible, that that can be put together, that we look at the possibility of a new constitution, and at the end of the day, you know, while we have already made some obligations on that $1.4 billion by no means
have we made the overwhelming amount of that obligation. this is an opportunity to have a pause and say to the egyptians you have an opportunity to come together, you have to have the military understand that that's what we're looking for, a transition right away, as soon as possible from any efforts. they have shown themselves not to be interested in power directly because, just as in the mubarak uprising -- and these demonstrations were bigger even than the mubarak uprising -- they moved towards a transition to a civilian government. we just have to make sure that the transition this time is much better, more pluralistic, and that brings an egypt for all. >> chairman, you follow these issues closely. this is a bad day for political islam, not just in egypt but elsewhere. the turks apparently very unhappy about this and a lot of people are watching including an expert at brookings who knows the muslim brotherhood very well. this is something he wrote. he said 2013 with will stand as an historic moment in islamist
lore, shape fugue chur generations of islamist activists and deepening their already powerful narrative of persecution, repression, and regret. america is blamed enough as it is. no reason to add another reason to the list. the obama administration would be use wiese to distance itself from the army's actions and use its leverage particularly to promise financial assistance and respect the rights of islamists. how important is it to keep the muslim brotherhood in the fold here unless they separate and even take up arms struggle? >> it would be much preferable had president morsi called early elections and subjected himself to elections and shown whether he had the support of the nation. that didn't happen. of course an egypt for all includes in my mind participation from the muslim brotherhood. but, you know, president president morsi himself acted rather dictatorially back in november when he said these decrees were not something subject to judicial review, when he said the constitutional assembly was not subject to judicial review.
so at the end of the day, while i would have liked to have seen early elections and then see him test his support among the people and the people would have had a choice and therefore less likely to have them be further -- be radicalized, at the end of the day, that's not what happened. so now the question is can we bring everybody together to create a more inclusive society in terms of the representation that it has in government? if we can do that, then egypt has a possibility. i agree with tom friedman that if, in fact -- if it's not an egypt for all, then succeeding in the future in addition to the political issues, the tremendous economic challenges that exist. but we have vital national security interests here. we care about transit to the suez canal. we care about the sinai. we care about not having attacks on gaza into israel. these are all -- we care about terrorism. so these are all critical issues in national security that we have to look at as it relates to our own engagement moving
forward. >> senator, let me ask you about another national security concern. that is nsa leaker edward snowden, still stuck at a hotel in this transit zone in russia's airport in moscow. he's been offered asylum now by venezuela. there are other countries in latin america including bolivia and nicaragua offering him asylum. chairman of the foreign relations committee, what are the repercussions? what should the repercussions be for those countries if they grant him asylum? >> well, clearly it's very clear that any of these countries that semisnowden offer him political asylum is taking a step against the united states, making a very clear statement. i'm not surprised by the countries that are offering him asylum. they like sticking it to the united states. i think, you know, you have to look, you know, whether you look at trade preferences that may exist with these countries, other elements of our policy, our aid, our trade.
you have to look at it and decide, in fact, if any of these countries actually accept snowden and he gets there, then you're going to have to decide how you react. but clearly any such acceptance of snowden to any country, any of these three or any other, is going to put them directly against the united states. and they need to know that. >> senator, quickly, before i let you go, one domestic question. that is the fight over health care. the administration saying this week they're going to delay the employer mandate, a key part of the health care law. how concerned are you that the administration has just sparked a new fire among critics of this health care law who say that it's unworkable, it was not well thought out and ought to just be repealed? >> well, david, if ten angels came swearing from above that this is the best law for the country's health there would be opponents who would say the angels lied. the reality is that this is an opportunity to get it right. 96% of all companies in america weren't subject to the mandate
because they're under 50 employees. those who are subject to the mandate, 95% of them already offer insurance so, we're talking about probably 1% of the american workforce that works for a company subject to the mandate that didn't get insurance and will be able to get it in the health exchanges that open up in october. so i think getting it right is important, and that's what the administration was trying to do. opponents will take any movement. had they not taken the time, they would have criticized them for not giving them the right type of regulatory framework for the reporting to take place. so the reality is i think the criticism would come no matter what. >> senator menendez, thank you very much. i appreciate your time. we're going to take a break here. andrea and chuck will stick around with us. jeff, tom, robin, thanks for your insights. coming up, did the obama administration give political ammunition delaying that key part of the reform on health
columnist eugene robinson and still here andrea mitchell and chuck todd. i want to switch gears from foreign policy to domestic policy on a lot of fights back at home including, david brooks, health care. i talked to a business leader about a week ago. he said still couldn't understand why the administration would pass a health care law and execute on a health care law the impact of which was so uncertain. he said we would never do that in business. and here was another example of that. explain what's happened and the impact. >> what they're trying to do is regulate 17% of the u.s. economy, roughly the size of the economy of france. that's bound to be a problem. that's bound to go through messy things. the employer mandate which is delayed is the smallest foothill of the problems. the biggest problems are the exchanges, where young people don't have incentive. those will be big and messy. whether you support it or oppose it, you have to be ready for the messiness. the crucial thing for us is how does that messiness interact with the political system. we could be at p moment of peak
messiness just as the midterm elections come around. so the administration is concerned about that intersection and one of the things they did with this employer mandate is pushed it back until after the midterm elections. i personally think if we could just have mells siness, work it through, somehow they'd fix it. but when the political system comes in the middle, that could throw it off. >> the political system, e.j., is house republicans thinking back to the glory days of 2010 when republicans took the house based on health care, and eric cantor tweeting this week, why does president obama think businesses deserve a delay from the man dailts in obama care but you don't? it's time for a #permanentdelay. >> one of the things i tell that businessman is a lot of people in business that made a lot of money by taking chances. it's not as if trying to do something new is easy and trying to do something new is often the right thing to do. and i think in the case of that health care law, david's right, there is a clash with the political system because in the past, in many cases, we've always passed complicated laws that congress went back and they could fix it.
and the republicans in this case say we're never going to fix this. we're going to let it run forward. we fix social security over and over again after it passed to make it better. this has been a bad week for obama because the last thing they wanted to do is say these mandate -- this mandate won't work as well this way and we don't want to -- they don't like that. but the big tasks are due do these exchanges, these marketplaces where people can find insurance work? do they sign up young people? and will there be states throughout that actually make this thing work so that the obama people and supporters of reform can say, look, this can work if states put their shoulder to the wheel? >> eugene robinson, beyond exactly how the exchanges are going to work, but i don't understand all the ins and outs of the employer mandate and how that works. but anybody who gets a paycheck in this country understands one thing, that there's a new line item and it says medicare surtax. so the tax part's working. you're paying more taxes for obama care. that part's working.
it makes a lot of people mad. >> yeah, look, but let's back up for a second. this fight really is wholly political. obama care is not going to be repealed. they're not going to have majorities in either house to repeal it and in fact president obama would never sign that. soilt's going to be messy. it's going to be politically contentious. but in the end it's going to work out the way it works out. and, you know, if it's a big bust, then there's political problems down the road. but it's going to happen. >> but for it to work, the exchanges have to take place, and state after state now, run by republican governors and republican legislatures are trying to roll back or have rolled back or saying that won't participate. and you have to have a certain coherent whole for this to work economically. you can't nibble away at it. in fact, these are big bites out of it. i think also in the reporting losing that mandate is such a concession, it may not be the biggest piece of it, but it's a concession to the critics that something needs to be delayed, that something's not working. i think that's a politically
damaging moment. >> they'll admit that the business mandate was poorly written, that they normally would have sought a legislative fix, what e.j. was talking about. but they can't get a legislative fix out of the house. but the bigger issue here i think for the administration is that they don't seem -- they've got to build all this, they know that -- they thought that republicans after the election would basically concede this is going to be the law of the land and they would be in the mode of, okay, we he'll try and fix it, try to get as much as we can to change it in ways that we think business wants to change or change in ways we think will make it a little less bureaucratic and things like that. but they're not getting them. you could argue that there are some republicans that are trying to sabotage the law, that they're hoping to not get it off the ground and then they can suddenly make the case, see, we have to get rid of it. and they've got some state governors that are openly trying to sabotage it. look what mcconnell and cornyn did. that was a shakedown. that was a threatening leader by the two leaders of the senate
republican committee saying if you help them try to enact this law of the land, be careful, there's going to be political repercussions. >> they would say -- the republicans would say we're sabotaging a goldberg device that wouldn't work any way. surely there is republican opposition, but this is an incredibly complex law doing a lot of things it probably shouldn't do. we probably shouldn't have employer insurance at all. >> chuck is right, the nfl thing was really unseemly and i don't think they needed to go there. but what you do have if the states don't participate is that the federal government steps in and creates those marketplaces. that's also going to be an interesting challenge. can the feds show that, a, maybe a national law would have been better in the first place, all these concessions to states' rights were an effort to get it passed. >> let me bring in congressman raul labrador of idaho, conservative in the house, tea party supported. welcome back. let me have you weigh in on this particular issue. why shouldn't this be seen a different way, which is the
obama administration making a real and credible concession to the business community to make sure that this is implemented in a thorough and effective way? >> well, that's what the obama administration wants you to believe. i think they want you to think that they're listening to the business owners. and i think you can give them a little bit of credit for that. but the question is what part of obama care actually works? because if you look at -- they've already had to concede on other points that obama care is not working. now they have to do it on the employer mandate. and pretty soon i think they're going to have to have some questions about the political mandate. there's nothing about this law working in the united states. all businesses are concerned. it was interesting to listen to senator menendez say that this portion of the law was only going to affect about 1% of the businesses. why is it that democrats of this administration thought that it was necessary for them to create a law that was actually going to affect 1% of the businesses when most businesses with 50 people plus were actually providing
insurance to their employees? >> let me ask you about immigration. president bush, former president bush, is expected to speak out about immigration reform this coming week. he could be a very strong voice within the republican party after the senate has passed immigration reform to put pressure on the house. how will you respond to that? and do you think we're going to get a bill in the end out of the house? >> you know, i hope we're going to get a bill. i think immigration reform is necessary. as you know, i have been negotiating on immigration reform now for some time. my concern with the senate bill is that they put the legalization of 11 million people ahead of security. the legalization happens first, and then the security happens second. and i think the american people are not going to stand for that. in fact, if you look at this obama care debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. and that's what some of us in the house are concerned about.
if you give to this administration the authority to decide when they're going to enforce the law, how they're going to enforce the law, and you tell them that it's okay if they decide if there's going to be 20,000 troops or if there's -- i mean 20,000 border patrol agents or they get to determine when the border is secure, i can tell you that janet napolitano has already said that the border is secure. so what's going to happen is we're going to give legalization to 11 million and janet napolitano will come to congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen. >> eugene robinson, take this on. you've got john mccain, who just a few years ago is doing campaign ads saying secure this darn border first, who's saying that congressman labrador and anyone who cites insufficient security at the boarder is looking to kill the bill and it's not a credible opposition. >> if you look at what's been going on at the border, the border is much more secure than it has been in the past.
and there are those who argue it will never be -- there will never be an impregnable fortress wall between the united states and mexico. it's 2,000-mile-long border. and what the house republicans seem to be demanding is something that no one can deliver. so what's the point of that? i think -- look, this is -- it seems to me a pretty good compromise from their point of view because they do get 20,000 new border patrol agents and a lot of bells and whistles that weren't there before. >> and a long path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. it's a pretty arduous process. >> they are here. i've seen a lot of intellectually weak cases in this town. i've rarely seen one as weak as this. the congressional budget office says they want to reduce it from a third to a half. they want economic growth. top economists say lit do that. they want to reduce the debt. cbo says it will.
all the big major objectives republican stand for the senate immigration bill will do. the other things they're talking about are secretary, tertiary issues. compared to the thing this bill does, they're minuscule. that mystified me. >> congressman, respond to david brooks on that. >> i'm sorry, but what i just heard was totally ridiculous. if you listen to what the cbo said, they said it's going to be a third and 50% reduction in illegal immigration. that means that every five year wes ear going to have to do another reagan amnesty. what the american people want is a secure border. they understand that there is going to be economic growth. and i agree that there's going to be economic growth when you have immigration reform, that's why i'm a big proponent of immigration reform, but for somebody to sit here on national tv and say it is actually a weak argument for us to argue that we want something like 90% security, i think it's actually beyond the pale. what we need to do is look at one thing. there's two components of the law that we need to change.
for example, the i.c.e. agents have told us if they could work with the local community, the local law enforcement agents, they would be much more effective in securing our interior. the democrats do not want any local enforcement of immigration laws. we do it with drug laws. we do it with all ease other things where we have these task forces between the federal and state and local agencies, and the democrats do not want to deal with immigration. we could do that and we could curtail a lot of the illegal immigration. there's a lot of other things we can ekd do to make the law stronger. >> david, respond to that. >> the cbo said it would reduce it by a third to 50%, and the congressman won't support it unlessitis 100% because we'd have to do a reagan. >> that's not what i said. don't put words in my mouth. >> the current law produces x much illegal immigration. this law cuts it significantly. it's better than the current law. generally when something is
better than we have, you want to support it. >> let me take a quick break and come back and talk about the politics of this impacting the house members, even the senate supporters of this as well. back with our roundtable after this. i want to make things more secure. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there. call us. we can show you how at&t solutions can help you do what you do... even better. ♪
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this was the scene during the african trip. president obama and former president bush dedicating the memorial there, laying a wreath at the site of the terrorist attacks back in 1998. chuck todd, the pure politics of immigration, i mention president bush because he'll speak out about this, he's been reluctant to do so. he'll put more pressure. a republican congressman, conservative columnist arguing the merits of this. this is a big debate in the republican party. >> huge debate. the question is does president bush's voice enhance the argument of sort of the business wing of the republican party, which is the ones that are pushing to get this done in a pragmatic way and those who look
at this issue with hispanics and say let's just get this behind us, or does he make it worse? one of the reasons he's slowly gotten back into positive territory in his poll numbers is he's not gotten involved in politics. this is a step. something else, david, the white house have been so confident they were going to sign immigration reform this year. for the first time i'm hearing that there is some doubt seeping in, that they think maybe the house won't act. what they need is something to sort of force boehner like at the last minute bring it to the floor the same way the fiscal cliff deal happened. the problem is there is no trigger at the end of the year, there isn't this congress. i don't know how this happens at the end of this year and suddenly now the white house doesn't see a path. >> fires all around them, no real second-term agenda when they have to deal with all these problems. >> immigration was going to be the one thing they could have pointed to. i think that conversation with john boehner and the president, the president don't have a whole well of trust in boehner saying, you know, hang with me, i can get this done by the end of the
summer. boehner still doesn't have the support and you heard what congressman labrador has been saying, they don't have a marco rubio on the house side who can try to work around this and bring it together. >> it was supposed to be paul ryan -- >> and he's gone silent. >> paul ryan has never been brave on the political front. always on policy but never on politics. >> there are republican constituencies out there, the business community that are pushing for immigration reform. and you have to imagine that the house republicans, even the tea party-backed republicans are going to hear from people in their district and people for whom they raise funds. well, and congressman, there is you, somebody who's been pushing -- you're an immigration lawyer. you've been pushing for reform. i'll paraphrase something you were quoted as saying in june in the "national journal," that we've got to fix the system and that hispanics have essentially stopped listening to republicans. isn't that a bigger concern than some of these policy differences that you have with david brooks or others who would support the
senate legislation? >> actually think if we don't do it right politically it's going to be the death of the republican party. if we do it right, i think it's going to be good for us, but if we don't do it right, what's going to happen is we're going to lose our base because we're still going to have a large number of illegal immigrants coming into the united states, and the hispanic community is not going to listen to us because they're going to always listen to at this point to the people that are offering more, that are offering a faster pathway to citizenship, all those things. so i think we lose on both groupds if we don't do it right. if we do it right, cut down illegal immigration by a large percentage, do it in a way that actually brings more legal immigrants to the united states -- one of the problems with the senate bill that we haven't talked about is that the non-ag guest worker portion of the senate bill is actually -- starts out at 20,000 guest workers per year. think about that. i've had some congressmen say do you mean 20,000 per county?
20,000 per state? and it's not. it's 20,000 non-ag guest workers per year for the entire united states. you're not going to cut back illegal immigration by only bringing 20,000 guest workers to the united states. >> there was another moment of the week that before i run run out of time i want to get to. it had to do with two first ladies, a current and former, talking about life in the white house, michelle obama making some comments. here's a portion of it. >> i've just found it just a very freeing and liberating opportunity. >> not a prison? >> there are prison elements to it. but it's a really nice prison so -- >> with a chef. >> can't complain. but there is definitely, you know, elements that are confining. it's a great privilege. so while people are sort of sorting through our shoes and our hair and whether we cut it
or not, you know -- >> whether we have bangs. >> whether we have bangs. >> who would have thought. >> andrea, the white house is prison. >> and i'm so glad you played the whole thing because it was cokie roberts quoting from martha washington, i believe she'd written a book on first ladies, described it as a prison, and that's what michelle obama swuz responding to in that way and also giving some serious thought to how it's such a privilege to be first lady. and of course the, you know, glog sphere, the conservative blogosphere took off on michelle obama describing it as a prison, which is not what she did. >> she said it's a very nice prison. that was an honest answer. >> the chef said -- >> i thought it was only supposed to be us reporters that complained of the prison confines of the white house. look, i do think it was interesting to see the two of them. you know, michelle obama has never been ecstatic about how life is like in the white house. this was a professional woman, had her own business career and all this stuff and suddenly it's
gone. but she's gotten more comfortable. >> quick break here. my thanks to congressman ♪ [ male announcer ] harvey's i'm so happy you're home dance. that's real love. and so is giving him real tasty food. but some leading dog foods add sugar, dyes, or even artificial preservatives. [ dog whimpers ] but now there's new so good! from iams. with 100% real wholesome ingredients and none of those other things. now that's real love. so is that. new so good! see what's really in your dog's bowl at iams.com.
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