tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 26, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST
from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> good sunday morning. big week coming up here in washington. one of those moments when the president has a huge audience and a clans to speak directly to the audience with his state of the union address. my big question through all of this is, how much political clout does he have left? the outspoken republican senator rand paul will talk to me about it, and speaking of republican politics, there's been a lot of discomfort this week about comments made by former presidential candidate mike huckabee over what he describes as his war for women. we'll talk about the future of democratic politics. it seems to be all about hillary clinton.
there's a new, provocative "new york times" magazine article out this morning asking whether she can be seen as a candidate of the future and not the past. first a little bit of news. the latest on that deadly shooting at a shopping mall near baltimore. police are still trying to determine the motive as a man carrying a shotgun opened fire at a mall in columbia, maryland, yesterday killing two employees at a skate shop and then himself. panicked shoppers ran for cover. police say the gunman was also carrying explosives. the roundtable is here with me this morning. nbc's chuck todd. former head of the federal communications commission michael powell. our friend from the west, republican strategist mike murphy is here. california democratic congress woman loretta sa sanchez and carolyn ryan. you were installed in november and covering politics a long time. chuck todd, what a difference a year makes. this awful incident in columbia. a year ago at the state of the union it was all about gun control. it's going to be a different story this year, right?
>> it is. the keyword the white house is trying to put out there is opportunity, a word borrowed from the clinton years. it used to be an obsession, particularly in the second term of bill clinton. it's interesting "the new york times" this morning previews the state of the union and says it's going to be a modest state of the union which is exactly what the white house fears people will view the state of the union as, this is a modest moment. they see it actually as their last state of the union that can have an impact. when you look at the next two, 2015 and 2016, we're going to be in the middle of a presidential campaign. everybody's going to be looking ahead. they know -- they believe that this state of the union is sort of their last one to get something done. it is modest as far as what they're going to ask congress to do, but they know this is maybe their last opportunity to have an impact. >> what do we think? how much persuasive power does he have left? >> i agree with chuck. this is like the shot clock, the last one.
i think there's probably been a lot of quiet tension over the last month or two as they plan this between the political hacks very worried about the midterm elections, the president's numbers are very low, harry reid is probably going crazy every day on the phone. give me wedge issues, attack. use the state of the union as a political club and then you have the president thinking it would be nice to have some legacy rather than my rather disappointing outcome with obamacare. there are some openings to the republicans, maybe legal status, things like that. i'll be interested to see how they thread the needle. when in doubt, politics will win and the president will be in campaign mode. >> i don't think so at all. i think a president has every single day of his presidency to look forward. i remember when i was the national chair for the democratic party under clinton and the gore political season going on. and president clinton was working so hard. i know because we were out there and we were with the people. i said to him, don't you ever get tired? because we would go till 3:00,
4:00, 5:00 in the morning campaigning. he said, loretta, i'm going to sleep the day after i leave the presidency. >> i don't know if that's president obama though. right? >> there was work to be done. i still think, when i look at immigration reform which i believe we'll see something happen this year, at least an effort to try to move it forward on the floor, we have got small things, the debt ceiling we've got to get past right now. we've got tax reform. my michigan colleague, the chair of the ways and means, david camp, is anxious to do this. bacchus is anxious to do this. >> let me interject. pure politics here. this is also a chance for him to say, this is what democrats are for, you know, income inequality, raising the minimum wage. he's going to be thinking about helping democrats. >> absolutely. he's thinking about the senate midterms which the outcome of those races is far more important than the speech. but just to take a little bit of issue with the idea, the
question is whether does obama still command the stage. you have at least some people in the political world including his own party seem to be moving beyond the obama era. you have this kind of remarkable stampede of people signing up to be part of the 2016 hillary clinton election campaign and the president has three years left. so the question is, is he still relevant? can he command the stage? can he move the country? >> we'll hear from all of you as we move forward. i want to turn to kentucky's republican senator, senator rand paul who joins me now. senator, welcome. >> glad to be with you. >> let me pick up on this point. you have questioned the president's moral leadership at points along the way. is there an area where you feel you can work in common cause with him this year? >> well, you know, i think the thing we make the mistake up there, we try to agree to too much. i'm the first to acknowledge the president and i don't agree on every issue, but if you took ten issues i think there are two or three we agree on and we may agree firmly on and why don't we go after the issues we agree on
like immigration reform for example. we don't agree on the whole comprehensive package for the democrats but i'll bet you about half of it we agree on. the question is, are we willing to narrow our focus and go after things we can get done or stay so polarized we always have to have our way or the highway. when i was at the white house a couple weeks ago, i said to the president, i want to increase infrastructure spending and i know you do. let's let companies bring back their profit from overseas at 5% and put it all in infrastructure and i've been talking with senator durbin, others in the senate on the democrat side. i think we could agree to that tomorrow, but we have to narrow the focus and not say, oh, we're going to do overall tax reform because we don't agree. >> the future of the republican party, and frankly, your place in it is a big story. just this morning, the front page "the new york times" has
this headline "rand paul's mixed inheritance," senator looking to move libertarianism from the fringe to the mainstream. how big of a hurdle is this for you if you're going to run for president? >> you know, i think there always are perceptions of what is extreme versus what is mainstream. i've always said, you know, spending what comes in, balancing your budget is actually the very reasonable sort of proposal and spending a trillion dollars you don't have is an extreme proposal. so really it's a matter of getting our message out. but i think it's also -- we've been talking a lot about poverty. it's about debating not who wants to cure poverty, republicans want to help people who are unemployed and help people get jobs but it's about what policies work. the reason we don't think grants work, we spend $1 trillion in the stimulus. they said it was $400,000 per job because you give it to the wrong people. nine out of ten businesses fail. so if government picks who they give the money to create jobs, nine out of ten times they're
wrong and they pick the wrong person. what i would do, what i asked with my economic freedom zones is dramatically lower taxes but give it to the businesses that are already started and the consumers have already voted for, but that's different than what we've been doing in the war on poverty for 50 years. >> it's interesting the role of government, you've often referred to the tyranny of the federal government. again, it comes down to mainstream versus extreme. fellow republicans and maybe he's one that will run against you for the republican nomination, ted cruz, has described your strident libertarianism of your father as an issue that will always be a shadow over anything you try to do. >> you know, i think one of the things, and you know, don't be trashing my dad too much. that's my dad. you know? but the thing is, i would say that my dad was extraordinary in washington and in being genuine, being really liked by people on both sides, being close to people from the conservative
wing of the party, but also, very close to the congressional black caucus, as well. he went to berkeley and had 7,000 kids on their feet. he went to liberty university and had 7,000 people, 7,000 conservative christian kids on their feet. so that's a rare figure in politics, and i would say i'm proud of my dad and what i would say i'm trying to do is to try to bring that message to an even bigger crowd. >> but senator, do you think -- >> i think there's a lot to be said for him. >> is the federal government guilty of tyranny? >> well, you know, montascue talked about when the executive branch tries to assume the legislative powers, that's a form of tyranny. so yeah, there are times when when we lose our checks and balances, when government grows and when government's not obeying the rule of law, that that is a form of tyranny. tyranny is a strong word but it makes people sit up and take notice. but i would say that there are times when we are going beyond what we should be doing when we're exceeding the restraints of the constitution that there
is a form of tyranny and we need to be aware of that. >> but it is interesting. the issue of edward snowden has been very much in the news this week with calls potentially for a deal with the united states government. you've called him a hero. you've said that perhaps he would face penalties that would be too harsh and that's why he's not returning. "the wall street journal" editorial -- >> actually, actually -- >> go ahead. >> i was just going to say that's not exactly what i've said. i've said i have sort of mixed feelings. i think he's brought to forward something and i think his motives are noble in the sense i think he believed the government was doing something unconstitutional and bringing this information forward. i don't think we'd have any of this debate over the nsa had he not done it, but i've also said what he did was against the law and we do have to have laws to protect national secrets, you know, captains in the military, sergeants in the military, we do have to obey orders and we can't reveal secrets. i haven't said he shouldn't be punished. i've just said the death penalty is excessive.
life in prisonment is excessive, and he has brought an important debate. and that's the constitutionality. >> what would you call on the attorney general, the president to do in terms of fashioning some kind of plea with him? what would be appropriate? >> i'm not sure what the answer is. i've been responding not so much in a legal fashion but i'm responding to some i think overheated rhetoric by people saying, let's string him up, let's shoot him. he's a traitor, this and that. i don't assign bad motives to snowden. i think his motives were good. i'm not sure he did the right thing or did it in the right way. i also don't assign bad motives to james clapper but he did break the law and he is exposed himself to five years in prison for perjury. so you can't have it both ways. you can't say we're going to throw the book at snowden and we're going to ignore perjury to congress by james clapper. i think they both -- if you want to apply the law, it has to be
applied equally. >> about what your colleagues the chairs of the intelligence committees, namely mike rogers in the house strongly suggesting on this program last week that snowden was a spy for the russians, that he had help from the russians that he went into the open arms of the russians to seek refuge there? how do you react to that? do you think that's fair? >> you know, i don't have details to know what the situation is there. i think it's complicated the way history will treat him because it's a little hard to be over there in russia talking about privacy and the bill of rights in a country that has persecuted journalists and doesn't really have the same degree of freedom we have in our country. so it has complicated it. but i don't know whether or not what his release and exactly what they're referring to. >> let me ask you more about some of the debates within the former candidate mike huckabee, former governor of arkansas got in hot water this week with comments he said.
he talked about a war for women. here's what he said. >> the democrats want to insult the women of america by making them believe that they are helpless without uncle sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they can't control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government. so be it. let us take that discussion all across america because women are far more than the democrats have played them to be. >> is this helpful? >> well, you know, i think we have a lot of debates in washington that get dumbed down and used for political purposes. this whole sort of war on women thing, i'm scratching my head because if there was a war on women, i think they won. you know, the women in my family are incredibly successful. i have a niece at cornell vet school and 85% of the young people there are women. in law school, 60% are women. in med school, 55%. my younger sister is an ob/gyn with six kids and doing great. i don't see so much that women are downtrodden.
i see women rising up and doing great things. in fact, i worry about our young men sometimes because i think the women are outcompeting the men in our world. >> but my question whether you think it's appropriate for the party, key figures in the party to be talking about women, women's health, women's bodies and the role of the federal government related to those things. >> i try never to have discussions of anatomy unless i'm at a medical conference. what i would say is that we didn't start this sort of, i think, glossy and sometimes dumbed down debate about there being a war on women. i think the facts show that women are doing very well, have come a long way, and you know, like i say, i have a lot of successful women in my family and i don't hear them saying, whoa is me, this terrible, you know, misogynist world. they look out and they're conquering the world. the women in my family are doing great.
that's what i see in all the statistics coming out. i have, you know, young women in my office that are the leading intellectual lights of our office. so i don't really see this, that there's some sort of war that's, you know, keeping women down. i see women doing great and i think we should extol that success and not dumb it down into a political campaign that somehow one party doesn't like women or that. i think that's what's happened. it's all been for political purposes. >> elsewhere in republican politics, chris christie, of course in new jersey is facing troubles over the bridge scandal there. and you've had your own feud with him. here's a little bit of tape that brings people up to date on that. >> this strain of libertarianism that's going through through both parties right now and making big headlines i think is a very dangerous thought. >> if he cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn't be in this gimme, gimme, gimme all the money you have in washington. >> maybe he should start look at cutting pork barrel spending he brings home to kentucky but i doubt he would because most washington politicians only care
about bringing home the bacon so that they can get re-elected. >> this is the king of bacon talking about bacon. >> i understand you two have been working through some of your feud. but my question for you is, do you think that chris christie could get the republican nomination? >> you know, i think that's yet to be determined. the nomination goes through some very conservative primaries. i think there's room for more moderate republicans in the party, and i really am a believer that we should have an expansive and diverse party idealogically and diverse in many ways but the primary is a very conservative process, and the -- my understanding is it will be more difficult for a moderate to make it through because we truly are fiscal conservatives in our party. if we are going to spend something on such as sandy, which is i think something the country was going to take responsibility in, we think we should pay for it. i offered an amendment on sandy to take the money everyone
foreign aid and say, look, we don't need it. if we're going to repair bridges in new jersey, i'm fine with that. if we're going to repair houses and roads, but let's not take it from repairing roads in pakistan because there's a limited amount of money and really we're borrowing about a million dollars a minute a lot from china and japan. i don't think we should do that and we need to set priorities and say if we're going to help new jersey, it ought to be paid for. but that's why i think that there was a debate over him sort of lecturing congress and saying gimme, gimme, gimme all this money. all i was asking for and many other republicans were asking for is it ought to be paid for in spending cuts through overseas is spending. >> whoever the republican nominee is there's a good chance as we look at it now one within candidate on the democratic side will have a lot of momentum whether she gets the nomination or not, we don't know, is hillary clinton. an interesting profile in
"vogue" magazine including this analysis. while her husband jokes, meaning you, that his gut feeling is that hillary clinton will not run for president, is a good thing since all the polls show her trouncing any opponents, kelly the wife of rand paul practically cuts him off to say clinton's relationship with monica lewinsky should complicate his return to the white house. are these issues something that you think will be fair game and an appropriate part of a campaign should she be the nominee? >> you know, i mean, the democrats, one of their big issues is they've concocted and said republicans are committing a war on women. one of the workplace laws and rules that i think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office. and i think really the media seems to have given president clinton a pass on this. he took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. there is no excuse for that. and that is predatory behavior and it should be something we
shouldn't want to associate with people who would take advantage of a young girl in his office. this isn't having an affair. i mean, this isn't me saying he's had an affair. we shouldn't talk to him. someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office? i mean, really. then they have the gall to stand up and say republicans are having a war on women? so yes, i think it's a factor. it's not hillary's fault. >> but it should be an issue. >> but it is a factor in judging bill clinton in history. >> right, but is it something hillary clinton should be judged on if she were a candidate in 2016? >> no, i'm not saying that. this is with regard to the clintons and sometimes it's hard to separate one from the other. but i would say that with regard to his place in history, that it certainly is a discussion and i think in my state, you know, people tend to sort of frown upon that. we wouldn't be -- if there were someone in my community who did that, they would be socially -- we would disassociate from somebody who would take advantage of a young woman in the workplace. >> senator rand paul, a lot of ground covered, a lot of ground
still to cover. hope to have you back. senator, thank you as always. >> thank you. i want to turn now to the assistant majority leader in the senate democrat from illinois, dick durbin. welcome back. i certainly want to talk about the state of the union. i don't want to let that go. as a democrat, somebody squarely behind president obama when he ran, if hillary clinton is the democratic nominee, are these issues about the former president relevant to her? is it an appropriate area of scrutiny you think in a 2016 campaign? >> listen, david. hillary clinton has established her own reputation, her own name and her own basis for running for president should she choose to do it. the issues raised by my colleague senator paul have been litigated in the public square for over a decade. for goodness sakes, let's judge hillary clinton based on her talents and her vision of america should she choose to run for president. >> hard to separate one from the other he just said.
>> you've got to be honest about it though. i mean, there are people who believe that though he pay have done the wrong thing, he paid a heavy price for it in terms of the impeachment trial and beyond, and you know, there was an organization created called moveon.org and the reason was the american people said, we get it. it was wrong. now let's move on and talk about the future. what are we going to do about the future of america? if the republicans like my friend and he is my friend, senator paul, want to dwell on these chapters in the past, i don't think it's going to have resonance. >> i want to ask you about the nsa. what, firstly, should happen to edward snowden? what would call on the attorney general to do to get snowden back to the united states and perhaps do a deal with him? >> i think snowden has to answer for having violated some of the most basic laws in our country and costing this country billions of dollars. now, that's a fact. did he also bring out in the public eye a lot of programs that we have been talking about in congress in the most veiled terms?
now do we know much more about them? are we debating them? it's true. don't overlook the fact that this man was entrusted with an awesome responsibility, entrusted with the most serious information. i don't know why, incidentally, when i look at his background, how he got this information. but he it had and he took an oath that he would not disclose it because he knew it would make america more vulnerable to attack and he did it anyway. that's a fact and you can't overlook that. >> all right. but on this program last week, the chairman of the house intelligence committee suggested he is a spy for the russians. is there any evidence to corroborate that, to validate making that kind of charge? >> i haven't seen any. >> do you think there's an effort on the part of some lawmakers to try to smear him publicly? >> i can't say that because mr. rogers is the republican chair of the house intelligence committee and yet a person i have great respect for. i think he's professional, a former fbi agent. i take what he says very seriously. i've not seen any evidence to suggest what he said. >> the future of spying in america is going to be something that congress is going to take up.
how much authority these intelligence agencies should have. do you think these programs that allow the government to collect the mulling metadata, should they be here to stay? >> we have to change these programs. the president challenged us to do it. i have spoken on the floor of the senate for years about this program. but only in the most circumspect way. i couldn't be specific or tell the details we now know. but the fact is we have to change them. if we have a suspicion of a person in area code 312 in chicago connected with terrorism, we don't need to collect all the phone records of every person living in the 312 area code. that's just unacceptable. the government shouldn't hold that information. the president has challenged congress and the attorney general to come up with an alternative to keep us safe but to not create an opportunity for the government to overreach. >> accountability time for president obama. tough year in 2013 at the state of the union last year. what were the big issues? it was gun control, immigration, raising the minimum wage.
didn't get any of those. what's different in this year? i think -- i hope that what we saw with the budget agreement at the end of last year and the beginning of this year is an indication of a new bipartisan spirit. we need it on capitol hill. paul ryan, republican from wisconsin, patty murray, democratic senate budget committee chair, sat down and hammered out a budget and then barbara mikulski and congressman rogers put together the spending bill, an amazing break through. and at one point, speaker boehner will to stand up to his tea party republicans and say, i know it's a compromise, we're going forward. if he continues in that spirit, maybe we'll get a farm bill after waiting on the house for two years. >> do you get an increase in the debt ceiling without a fight? >> i'm not going to speak for the party. the president's position is clear. we should not play russian roulette with america's economy. we shouldn't jeopardize this economic growth and kill off
jobs because of another political squabble. we went through the eight 16-day government shutdown because senator cruz and a lot of right wing republicans thought that was a good thing to do. it was a disaster. i hope they don't repeat it again when it comes to the debt ceiling. >> senator durbin, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you, david. coming up here if you haven't noticed, there's a lot of talk about hillary clinton this morning. our roundtable weighs in on what "the new york times" is calling planet hillary. plus, edward snowden, the u.s. says it may be willing to make a deal. is he ready to talk? we go live to moscow to speak to within of his top advisors. and tennis legend billie jean king is a trailblazer once again as she heads to the winter olympics in sochi. harry smith with a revealing profile. >> it's horrible to be outed in the first place. i was so publicly outed, i lost all my endorsements in 24 hours. it's not a good feeling. yeah, he's clean, boss. now listen to me, duck. i have an associate that met with, uh, an unfortunate accident. while he's been incapacitated,
somebody's been paying him cash. now, is this your doing? aflac? now, if i met with some such accident, would aflac pay me? ♪ nice. this is your stop. [ male announcer ] find out what aflac can do for you and your family... aflac? [ male announcer ] ...at aflac.com. for you and your family... aflac? i'm bethand i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can.
the fcc. mike murphy and congresswoman loretta sanchez. michael powell, wow, a lot there with rand paul making it very clear that bill clinton is an issue in in hillary clinton's campaign should it happen. >> it is fascinating to me because this is the week of talking about spouses, right? >> yeah. >> who knows what the specific issue is? but i do think spouses can play a role politically if you look at governor mcdonnell. these issues shouldn't matter. the country needs answers to really critical problems including the economy, and you know, the clintons certainly are an intergalactic force of nature and have a powerful people surrounding them. i don't think we should treat that machinery as invincible. i mean, we saw that in 2008 when people were sure that was an unassailable machinery and it failed and i think it's important for her to not have an air of entitlement around her potential candidacy.
>> did you just say -- this is the cover story "the new york times." michael powell set it up. it's planet hillary. we'll put it up on the screen there. >> i think he said it better than you guys. >> how do you react when you hear what senator paul said? >> first of all, both bill and hillary have been in the public eye for such a long time. i really do believe that that is in the past. meanwhile, hillary has proven herself over and over and over again. >> hillary clinton won't have to answer for this. >> no, look what hillary did. she's a great senator. she really was liked by both sides. she worked hard. and she did what a new senator was supposed to do and she passed laws for new york. secondly, as a secretary of state, she brought diplomacy back into the arena. she did -- i worked on something called the new star treaty. hillary was the one that got
that going and got it done at a time when the russians weren't even allowing us to land our planes in russia. >> here's an issue though. >> around sanctions. that was incredibly important to get to the point where we are today. she has done a great job. and she is different than her husband. i think, by the way, her husband is a very positive in many ways. >> but one of the issues that's raised in this piece in the "new york times" magazine is this. this may represent, "the times" writes, hillary clinton's biggest challenge for a hypothetical 2016 campaign. how it can clinton who is 66 make american voters think about anything other than her fraught political path and present herself as someone hungry to serve rather than someone entitled to office? >> this is a central question for her. she has this sort of dysfunctional dynastic family. but the question is, to what degree is she really in touch with what's going on in her party now. when you think about where the excitement and energy is at the
democratic base, it's around be people like elizabeth warren and economic populism and elizabeth warren kind of created this prairie fire of excitement. you saw that with deblasio. the clintons have never really stood for economic populism. there are a lot of people out there, democrats, ordinary democrats angry at wall street, angry that people were not criminally prosecuted, angry with economic stagnation. these have not been central clinton issues. there's a big gulf between where she is and where the party is. >> i totally agree. i think she is perceived to be invisible, which is a terrifying place to be in early presidential politics but has three great challenges. the first challenge is that. she has an impressive story but it's kind of a backward story. and the best thing in politics is new. i think elizabeth warren could give her a hell of a race in the primaries. the second problem is that story. this is like the third story we've read about potential political dysfunction. her problem is she's got a thousand generals and no sergeants.
we can have 100 pages about it. that's a problem. that's been a problem before. maybe they can fix it, maybe they can't. third problem is bill. i agree she ought to be judged on her merits. but out in real voterland, it's part of the calculation in people's minds. he brings a lot to the campaign. he brings a lot of legacy to the campaign. you can't just say, i wish mitt romney tried to say bain capital is in the past. we're not going to talk about it. >> they're going to bring everything back. >> here's the thing. i think in a larger challenge what's going on inside her party. the larger challenge think about 2016. we're going to have 24 straight years of polarization. bill clinton, george w. bush, barack obama promised they were the ones that were going to change washington and get us out of this gridlocked mess. we're now a generation. the voters are going to be hungry for this. are they going to say somebody with the last name of clinton is the person to break the polarization? i don't know. look, i've viewed her candidacy this way. hillary could be unbeatable.
clinton is a terrible idea for '16. she has to epitomize both and be more hillary than clinton. if she's clinton she has a harder time winning. if she's hillary, she's going to be president of the united states. >> hillary showed in the senate she could work with both sides and get things done. she showed in the state department having done there when she was so in a race against obama to go over there and to really suck it up and to get things done. i mean, american people have seen that. she is very competent. and she's probably the best thing that we have going with respect to someone who can work across the aisle. >> her competency to me is unassailable. the issue for me is how effective she'll connect with the modern voter. after four years of being in the foreign policy apparatus, she really has been away from the defining domestic issues many of which have leaped tectonically over the last couple of years,
nonwhite involvement in politics. legalization of marijuana, gay marriage. there are a whole set of emerging issues that i haven't seen them associated with. their need to find connections with the voter that's about the future i think is the real challenge. >> how do you generally sum up -- mike, what's going on on the republican side? we talked about mike huckabee and rand paul trying to bring bill clinton into that equation. what are all of -- how do all of the pieces in the republican party start to fit together here that tells you about who has an edge as you think about 2016? >> yeah, i think it's challenging when you listen to some of the crazy stuff you hear coming out of some of these conferences. i think this is why i find christie a compelling figure. because i think it's interesting in the piece last week on obama when they -- there's always this constant comparison to lyndon johnson and the need to be down and dirty, rough and capable, a technical expert in the legislative process to make change happen.
i think the very things that get governor christie in trouble are the things that are extraordinarily appealing to the public from the perspective of maybe someone not just talking about change but has kind of the roughness and the lyndon johnson-like qualities to make it happen could be attractive. >> christie's great strength is when everybody hates politics, he has a persona of hating politics. he hates politics too outside washington, tell it the way it is. on the other hand, is that perceived by some people as too much and the scandal is the narrative of too much. you know, i don't think he knew. but we're going to have the mother of all investigations and going to clear him and he's going to be back in a strong position, not a lock by any means. he's underrated now but he'll be a player. >> mike, you did a lot of work in new jersey though. >> yes. >> are you shocked that things like this take place in is new jersey politics? >> this is a culture of new jersey that you get the sense that he participated in. >> which undercuts politician fighter. >> let's back up to your
question about polarization. why was a democrat so daunted or worried about chris christie? why did they want to see him damaged? it's because he was able to transcend party. you look at the new jersey results. he attracted people from traditionally democratic-leaning groups and registered democrats. now when you look post scandal, where is the softening of his support? it's among those groups. democrats, independents. >> also, i want a moment of levity. as we look at the future, we think about the past. mitt romney coming to a place with the new documentary where he also slow jammed the news with jimmy fallon. >> better than the documentary. >> inject health care into the fight. can we just show that clip? >> of course, the president will also be discussing his health care plan with many hoping to hear his solutions to some of the issues that have affected its rollout. such as lower than expected enrollment and employees getting dropped from their existing plans, not to mention an obamacare website that has been riddled with technical problems
and glitches. >> glitch, please. >> that was a pretty edgy bit they did. where was that mitt romney? right? >> he's a very funny guy in real life. i encourage people to see the netflix movie. >> it's a great movie. >> you get a three-dimensional picture of him. these guys are never the caricature that the campaign makes them on either side. the movie is a good example of how buyer beware of the narrative you're often forced by coverage. >> bob dole in '97, that was the problem. 1997 bob dole. >> it also shows how difficult politics on the family in particular on the family. i have a thick skin. i've been called everything in the book. it's my mother that you know, calls up and says, why did you not show up? i'm like, mom, i have a 97% voting record. what are you talking about? so it really is the family that suffers. it's a tough thing to go through a campaign.
>> i was lucky enough as a cub reporter 1994 to cover the mitt romney/ted kennedy race and you got inside that family in a very different way and you sort of saw that droll kind of self-mocking sense of humor and that sense of perspective that's very unusual. that's the first time in that documentary where i've seen it again. >> when i spent time with romney on the campaign trail, what came through to me is how tough this was for ann romney. she had been through it before but she really felt stung by this. you can't overstate how tough it is for the people who love these men and women who are running. >> anybody thinking about running for president, you should watch the documentary. it's more important for a candidate, prospective candidate to understand what they're about to go through. >> romney gossip out. he loves the movie "o, brother where art thou?"
we did a rally in the campaign as kind of an homage to the movie. he's a very fun guy in real life. >> thank you all very much. interesting discussion today. coming up, edward snowden's next move. would he make a deal with the u.s.? did he act alone? i'll go to moscow to speak with one of his legal advisors and get insight from the former head of homeland security, michael chertoff, head of the criminal division for the justice department coming up after this short break. [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again.
coming up here, what's in store for edward snowden. we go live to moscow up next. now it's your turn to bring something to the table. here's today's question. weigh in now at facebook.com/meetthepress. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! this is the creamy chicken corn chowder.
i mean, look at it. so indulgent. did i tell you i am on the... [ both ] chicken pot pie diet! me too! [ male announcer ] so indulgent, you'll never believe they're light. 100-calorie progresso light soups. [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see? ♪ the billions of gallons of fuel that get us to work. ♪ we'd see all the electricity flowing through the devices that connect us and teach us. ♪ we'd see that almost 100% of medical plastics are made from oil and natural gas. ♪ and an industry that supports almost 10 million american jobs. life takes energy. and no one applies more technology to produce american energy and refine it more efficiently
than exxonmobil. because using energy responsibly has never been more important. energy lives here. ♪ we're back. now to the debate over edward snowden. attorney general eric holder now says he would be willing to discuss a deal for him to return to the united states but no clemency. so is snowden willing to talk? i'm joined from moscow now by one of snowden's legal advisors jesselyn radack, the national security and human rights he director of the government accountability project. with me here is the former head of u.s. homeland security, head of the criminal division of the justice department michael chertoff. miss radack, welcome. we've got a bit of a delay on the satellite. i want to play a bit of eric holder's interview on msnbc and get your reaction to it. listen.
>> clemency, a simple, you know, no harm-no foul, i think that would be going too far. but in the resolution of this matter, with an acceptance of responsibility, you know, we would always, you know, engage in those kinds of conversations. >> so miss radack, what about mr. snowden? does he want to enter into those conversations? >> sure. we're always glad to entertain conversations, and we're glad that holder made that statement. it's a little disheartening that he seemed to take clemency and amnesty off the table which are two negotiating points. but again, none of us have been contacted yet about restarting negotiations. and also, i think that no harm-no foul is not apt. i mean, there has been plenty of suffering on the part of edward snowden. he's been punished quite a bit already.
and while we are glad to dialogue be an negotiate, he's not going to come back and face an espionage prosecution. >> what's the punishment he's endured? >> he's endured having to basically give up his entire life and be rendered stateless by the united states government. revoking his passport while he was here in russia. he has been granted political asylum by four different countries because they all found that he had a valid fear of political persecution based on the very espionage act charges that he's facing in the u.s. >> on this program as you know, last week the head of the intelligence committee mike rogers suggested that he had help from the russians, might even be a russian spy. how does he respond to that? and does he think that's part of some effort to smear him? >> it's obviously part of a
smear effort. it shows to me that the government is getting really desperate. the evidence against nsa continues to mount, most recently with privacy and civil liberties oversight. board chewhich echoed. a judge and the white house's own recommendations that the surveillance program is illegal and ineffective. and so then the spy allegation resurrected itself again and unfortunately, dianne feinstein and mike rogers had a platform to smear the whistleblower with baseless innuendo without a scintilla of evidence to back up their allegation. moreover, mr. snowden went publicly chatted with the u.s. this week to deny being a spy. but if people don't want to take my word for it or mr. snowden's word for it, you can ask the fbi which decided and still believes
that he acted alone. >> all right. jesselyn radack in moscow for us today, thank you very much for being here. i appreciate your time. michael chertoff is here, as well. former head of homeland security and also head of the criminal division under president bush which is particularly relevant here. good to see you here. welcome back. >> good to be back. >> how would you handle this question? you heard the attorney general. what do you do to get snowden back? >> well, you know, we have done deals in the past with spies but they've always been a deal where your take a very heavy prison sentence. when i was head of the criminal division, we made a deal with robert hansen. he agreed to give us everything he had given the russians but what we did is we put him in prison for life instead of the death penalty. >> is it irresponsible to call him a spy? is there any evidence to back that up? >> i think legitimate questions have been raised. i don't know what the facts will show. if you look at his behavior, the fact that he systematically went and collected information about a wide range of programs, techniques that are used to penetrate for intelligence
collection and then he goes to russia of all places. it certainly raises legitimate questions, who benefited from this, how did he know where to go, how did he know to go to hawaii to find a place there was vulnerability? how did you know where to look? all of these i think are things which as chairman rogers said we ought to explore. >> he's been punished enough is essentially what his legal advisor is saying. i mean, this is a -- there's a lot of sympathy for snowden and hatred for snowden. that will be viewed different ways. >> i think that's preposterous. he is the one who fled. he left at the point at which he announced what he had done. he took himself out of the country. he exiled himself. he then went to russia. he is now regaling world with interviews and other kinds of public relations things. as far as i can tell, i haven't seen any evidence he's incarcerated. and they keep saying we're going to give him asylum as long as he wants. this is not a person who's being punished.
he has the spotlight and he's using it. >> is there any reason for him to come back to the u.s. and think that "a," he can get a fair trial or that there's the potential for a reduced sentence that makes sense? >> well, i think he can certainly get a fair trial. the question is, is he going to get a trial in which he gets convicted? there's a high likelihood he will. if he decides he wants to come back and wants to tell the u.s. government everything he stole, which is important, he might be able to bargain for some kind of a reduced sentence. but again, going back to the hansen case, i don't think we're talking about amnesty. we'd be talking about maybe life in prison, maybe 30 years, maybe 25 years. but not something that would be a slap on the wrist. >> the sochi olympics, you know this well. at a time when the russian leader is seeking to embarrass the united states with edward snowden, there's a real question about whether the russians can secure these games. if you're head of homeland security right now in the united states, what are you worried about?
what are you thinking about? what do you want to know? >> what i'd like to do is have a level of cooperation with the russians that allow us to give them the benefit of our intelligence and our capabilities but also have visibility to what they're doing. that's what we did in 2008 with the chinese in the run-up to the beijing olympics. >> do you think we have that cooperation? >> according to what has been reported, there is some cooperation but perhaps not quite as much as we would like. i don't know that they fully invited us or accepted our offer to give them a lot of assistance. we have warships offshore in case there needs to be evacuation. i would hope there's a plan in place with the russians if god forbid we need to do it to take people out. >> you talk about counterterror and making targets hard, hard to attack. this is a pretty hard target, is it not? >> well, the core event probably is a pretty hard target. they have a lot of troops there and a lot of capability. but as we saw today in maryland, have you soft targets at the periphery, restaurants, hotels, and depending how far you want to extend the perimeter out, you
can even talk about moscow as being a target. >> back home in that mall shooting, does there have to be a national effort to harden these soft targets, schools, malls, places where these attackers know they can really get a lot of coverage and a lot of acclaim for these kinds of attacks? >> i think there has to be planning and preparation and part of what that means is training people about what to do when there is an event. one of the things that happened here and also happened i think in other occasions is it was a swift response. that mitigates the damage. that's very important. in schools, for example, people have to know how to shelter in place. teachers have to have clear instructions about how to protect kids. you can't make it a fortress but you can do things that will minimize the threat and mitigate the amount of damage. >> mike chertoff, thank you as always for your perfective. on a wide range of matters here this morning. when we come back, switch gears a little bit. we're still you can talking about the olympics. tennis legend billie jean king. harry smith has a revealing profile, her triumphs, her tough
here now some of this week's images to remember. ♪ >> hockey at dodger stadium. >> i meant to watch it last night. forgot to watch it last night. nbc sports network by the way. >> this week's images to remember. coming up next, harry smith with a special look at tennis legend billie jean king coming up after this break. cold and flu liquids don't unstuff your nose. they don't? alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms,
plus has a decongestant. [ inhales deeply ] oh. what a relief it is. over the pizza place on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ with a little less than two weeks to go before with a little less than two weeks to go before the olympics in sochi, we wanted to bring you the inspiring story of billie
jean king. breaking barriers has always been a part of the legendary athlete's life. she's now headed to sochi as a member of the presidential delegation to the opening ceremonies. our harry smith has this revealing profile. >> billie jean king knew she wanted to change things from the time she was a kid. >> when i was 12, i had an epiphany about tennis that everybody wore white clothes, white shoes, they played with white balls. everybody who played was white. so i asked myself, where is everybody else? and that starred me thinking about just our tiny universe of our sport. my sport. but i also knew i was going to dedicate the rest of my life to equal rights and opportunities for boys and girls, men and women. >> reporter: first, she spearheaded the formation of the women's pro tour which fought for better prize money, better venues, better everything. back then, that made her arable rouser. >> i don't believe it. >> i had a dream.
now the players today are living the dream and that's what we waned. >> when billie played bobby riggs in the battle of the sexes in 1973, america was in a heated argument about the equal rights amendment. the match was a spectacular combination of hype and hope. could a woman really beat a man? she did, quite handily. >> the women, oh, they go i went the out and asked for a raise the next day, their self-esteem went up. >> in 1981, king was outed by her former lover and assistants. it cost her everything. >> i feel i've always tried to be honest. >> it's horrible to be outed first of all. i was so publicly outed. i lost all my endorsements in 24 hours. it's not a good feeling. and yet, that process started me getting to my truth, which was huge so it does in the end it sets you free. >> that freedom has contributed to the enormous impact she's had on sports and equal rights. king was awarded the medal of freedom. she's an icon. a pioneer.
>> i don't really think about it that much. unless someone like you, harry, asked me the questions. when i wake up i'm really happy i've got another opportunity today to go out and let's go for it, you know. >> you're all fired up here. >> i am totally fired up. it's all your fault. you get me fired up, harry. >> king is definitely fired up to be in the u.s. olympic delegation along with other openly gay athletes, brian boitano and caitlin cahow. they head to sochi soon in a russia that is anything but friendly to diversity. >> is there a message inherent in that? >> visually there's a message. just showing up there yees's a message. when you see us stand there and you know we're openly gay but more importantly we're athletes. we are athletes. >> do you have security concerns about going there? >> no, i think there will be ample security for us, and i think we need to be alert. i've thought about that. i get a little stressed out if i start thinking about it, i have
to go. >> you've seen so much dramatic change in your lifetime. will there ever be a woman president? >> from your lips to god's ears, please, harry, before i'm out of here, please we have to have a woman president. >> will there ever be an openly gay president? >> not in my lifetime. i think there will be some day. >> king still thinks there are plenty of fields that need leveling like equal pay or representation in congress and she feels it's better to try than to stand by. >> there's two ways to look at risk. not to do it sometimes is a bigger risk than to do it. i'd rather take the risk. if it can help move us all forward, great, that's what i want. you just learn to stay true to yourself is what you do. when you stay true to yourself, you'll make it. i'll make it. >> billie jean king. that is all for today. we'll be back next week. tune in tuesday night right here for nbc's coverage of the president's state of the union address. if it's sunday, it's "meet the
press." . if it's sunday, it's "meet the if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we do have a report of an active shooter in the mall. >> it was just boom, boom, boom. and people just started screaming and running. >> male and female were shot inside. >> why he would take two lives and then his own. >> we have a lot of work to do, a lot of interviews to do. >> searching for a motive in a deadly mall shooting. police released the gunman's identity as the investigation enters into day and stunned survivors return to the scene. we are there live. good sunday afternoon to you. i'm t.j. holmes. craig melvin is off today. also ahead, industrial espionage. edward