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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  February 2, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST

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this super bowl sunday mitt romney gets out just as he was being pushed. >> i decided it's best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee. >> with romney out, the republican field is now set. which candidates benefit from the romney departure? i'll be joined by mitt romney's 2012 running mate, congressman paul ryan. plus, isis executes a second japanese hostage. former defense secretary robert gates joins me on the fight against the terror group. also, are the big hits the fans love jeopardizing the future of football? >> i wasould forget things, i would forget places. i would have this erratic
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behavior towards my child. >> what more does the nfl need to do to protect players from brain injuries? and how young is too young to let your child play football? finally, how athletes are like politicians, and why this -- >> i'm here so i won't get fined. i'm here so i won't get fined. >> -- reminded us of this. >> there is no controlling legal authority. there is no controlling legal authority. >> i'm chuck todd. and joining me to provide insight and analysis this morning are cnbc's jim cramer, savannah guthrie of the "today" show, kath line parkleen parker and mark halperin. well, it is your pre pregame show here on nbc, home of super bowl xlix. all joking aside we will talk about the game about head injuries and the future of football. let's start with the most
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important matchup of all, for other people at least next year, that's the 2016 presidential race. the republican field is now set. mitt romney deciding not to run for president a third time. republicans had been full of praise for another romney run. right up until the point when mitt romney actually considered making another run. then former romney supporters decided they really didn't want to take yes for an answer. in fact, here was a typical example. >> there is not a lot of good press in it for somebody losing the election and coming back four years later and becoming a nominee. thomas dewy is the best example in our party. didn't work out too well. >> who better to join us than congressman paul ryan, mitt romney's running mate from 2012. also chairman of the influential house ways and means committee. in fact, ryan may be the most important republican in washington these days because if president obama is going to get deals done with the new republican congress, most of them are going to be brokered by ryan. in fact, ryan surprised many when he signaled his willingness to work across the aisle, at
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least on taxes, when he praised president obama the morning after the state of the union. >> we'll see if we can get a tax reform package done. i'm glad that he sort of held back on the partisanship in the demagoguery. i guess i would say in his speech he dialed it down a bit from what he -- we're used to seeing it more divisive partisan speeches from the president. he didn't do that as much. i think that's a good thing. >> and >> oh, sure. it is bittersweet to me in that sense. it is a perfect style of mitt
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romney zigsdecision. country first. he did what he decided was best for the country. the statement he made reflects that. he's a class act. >> does this mean it makes it easier for you to support your home state governor who is likely a presidential candidate. >> as you know it was two weeks ago i was named the chair of the trust helping reince priebus. i'm helping with the general election for the eventual nominee. that means i need to be neutral in this. had mitt jumped in, that would have changed circumstances. but since i'm the chair of the trust chair of the funds to get ready for the eventual nominee, that requires my neutrality. scott walker is a great governor, good friend of mine, a reform governor, he's done amazing things. we like it say in wisconsin, he's so good he got elected four years. >> are you also -- would you be willing to go through the vetting process again to be a running mate? >> i haven't given any thought to that. i've been through that --
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>> that's not a no. >> i haven't been asked that before. i haven't given any thought to it. i decided early on in this year to pull myself out of this presidential contention because i want to focus on my job as chairman of the ways and means committee. i think i can make an enormous difference for our country, where i am, and help our party put together an optimistic agenda for the country to show how to restore a healthy economy upward mobility, all of those things. that's where i'm focused now. that's what i'm focused on. i haven't even been -- i don't think it is worth discussing. >> let's move to that. it was interesting in your book, you wrote this, you've got to be willing to take criticism even from your friends and trust that the people will understand that governing requires trade-offs. you sounded like somebody that wanted to make a deal with the president right at the state of the union. one of the few republicans that didn't criticize his state of the union. does that mean you are ready to be a compromiser with the president when it comes to tax reform? >> if we can find common ground the answer is yes. we got to go the economy growing. we have had such a stagnant economy the slowest recovery
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since world war ii, middle mmc income wages are stagnant. we have to break out of the slog. i believe there are things we can do hopefully in the next year to get this economy growing faster. >> you believe the tax code is a way to do that? >> absolutely. we really believe that we should reform the entire tax code for all people individuals families, businesses, simpler, the whole thing. but it is pretty clear to us that the president doesn't agree with that on individuals. so the question is, which i don't know the answer to, is there common ground on aspects of tax reform that we think can help grow the economy? for us, small businesses have to be a part of that puzzle. we'll find out. >> let's get into some specifics. a couple the tax cuts the president is proposing is expanding the earned income tax credit, for working families that don't have kids. >> childless adults. >> yes. and expanding the child care tax credit. what do you think of those? >> i think -- i actually endorsed the idea of the eitc -- >> first one. >> the first one. i think that's something that actually pulls people into the workforce. it is one of the more effective
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welfare reforms we had. that's something that i think with we should work together on -- >> child care? >> child care. child care or -- >> child tax credit. >> child care tax credit. that's something we're going to have to look at and see if there is common ground. what i want to make sure is we don't impact -- put in place the rest of his agenda which are tax increases ease ez ss he's calling for. >> you talked about lowering the tax code but getting rid of loopholes, some call them loop holz others deductions. the president wants to get rid of the trust fund loophole, the idea you can tax up inheritance. >> democrats in congress quickly rescinded. it destroyed family farms. i think it is a bad idea. you're actually making it really hard for a family to pass on a family business to the next generation. so what i think the president is trying to do here is to again exploit envy economics. this topdown leadership doesn't work. we have been doing it for six years. it may make for good politics. doesn't make for good economic
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growth. >> the full budget comes out later this week. when will you put out a tax plan? >> we have jack lew coming tuesday on the ways and means committee. then we want to see if there is common ground. we want to work with the administration to see if we can find common ground on certain aspects of tax reform and exhaust that possibility. if and when that possibility is exhausted then we will put out what we think ought to be done. so we fully intend in the ways and means committee of showing what full comprehensive tax reform for everybody, individuals and families alike looks like. >> okay. >> when, i don't know the answer to that. right now we want to exhaust this possibility of seeing if we can find common ground with the administration. >> something you said right after the election in 2012 about the president and the economy. here is what you said. >> it is true that president obama won re-election. and i congratulate him on his victory. but on january 20th, he'll face a stagnant economy and a fiscal mess. you might even say he'll inherit these problems.
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>> now, a little graphic here, december 12th, unemployment rate 7.9%. stagnant gdp, dow sitting at barely 13,000. look where we are two years later, unemployment of 5.6%. gdp, 2.6%. the dow up 5,000 points. is that the definition of an economic policy that hasn't been working? >> we're under 3%. we have 90 -- tens of millions of people not working or looking for work. they're not even counted in that unemployment statistics. we have 35 million people living in poverty. we have middle income wages that are stagnant. so, yeah that is not economic success. are we better than where we were before? yeah, but we got a long ways. the big beef i have with the president's state of the union, which -- and i -- you talked about how i talked about the state of the union, is he gives a lot of happy talk about the economy. it is not as if there is a mission accomplished speech. it is not mission accomplished. we have a long ways to go. people are hurting and we have
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to get back to work to fix this. >> quickly, is it appropriate for congress to invite a world leader to address them without telling the president? do you think the netanyahu thing -- you to think this was getting involved in foreign policy in a way that maybe the legislative branch -- >> look at the constitution. there are three separate but equal branches of government. we don't subserve one to the other. >> hasn't happened before. >> well, i don't know. you could probably go back in history and maybe find an example. do i think it is wholly appropriate that the speaker of the house of a separate but equal branch of government is free to invite a foreign leader to address us? absolutely. >> to antagonize the relationship between the two sides, is that worth doing? >> i don't know if i would say it is antagonizing. we would like to hear from the leader of israel about his thoughts on iran. by the way, the president's policies with iran have bipartisan concern. huge bipartisan majority in both the house and the senate are very worried about the handling of these negotiations.
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iran playing us and the delay of the negotiations. so i would argue that there are -- there is concern on both sides of the aisle about how the president is handling this situation. i think it is totally appropriate that we have netanyahu, the prime minister of israel, come and address us with his thoughts. >> are you going to enjoy the super bowl? can you root for the seahawks after what they did potthe packers. >> we're big russell wilson fans where i come from. >> at the end of the day -- >> in this case we're rooting for the seahawks because of russell wilson. >> paul ryan, enjoy the game. >> thanks. >> you got it. well we're going to stick to a 2016 theme. as if on cue, romney gets out and our friends at bloomberg come out with a one year from now iowa caucus poll. let's look at it. here is the big surprise here. look who is in the poll position. scott walker with mitt romney in the race. scott walker 15, paul 14 romney, 13 huckabee, 10. and ben carson at 9. we'll let you know what candidate is not in that top
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five. and then our friends at the des moines registrar were able to reallocate romney second choice supporters. here is what it is without romney. walk, 16, paul, 15 huckabee moves up the most with three points, to 13. carson, 10. and, oh look there is an establishment candidate, jeb bush in there at 9%. mark halperin, you were behind this poll at bloomberg and the des moines registrar. scott walker in the poll position. how about that? that's your headline. that was an oh wow, how about that? >> strong performance. now an opportunity for him, mitt romney leaves a huge vacuum in the establishment lane, scott walker as you and i discussed, plays in both lanes. he can be a grassroots activist kind of candidate but also establishment candidate. he would be smart right now to not let jeb bush and chris christie lock up the establishment donors from the romney world. he can be the winner of iowa and the second best candidate this year. if does he that, he's right in the game. >> kathleen it was interesting, when romney got out friday, it
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felt as if he launched the starting gun. now we know the field. we know who is there. we know that -- we know everybody else is running. there is no more dominos to fall. >> that's right. i think one of the things that romney set out to accomplish, besides removing himself from what i think amounts to personal reasons, he wanted to set an example for the rest of the field. and in other words, he wanted to show you can do this thing without ripping each other apart. he really did -- yeah -- >> really? and mitt romney didn't do that in '08? the toughest negative ads were mitt romney against newt gingrich. >> we're in a period of reform. so maybe this applies to mitt romney as well. >> you know, savannah, what interests me now is watching jeb bush, i saw a washington post clip here jeb bush has become the gop front-runner for 2016. now what? i'm going, since when do we have a front-runner who doesn't lead in any polls? >> when romney was still polling, he had much better
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numbers than jeb bush does. i think that's interesting. establishment people who cover washington think jeb bush is a formidable opponent and he may be in a general election. but when you look at grassroots republicans he doesn't even make it to the top five of the des moines registrar bloomberg poll. >> he's not going to play well in iowa. but cramer, i think about your audience, about the business audience i'm guessing they love jeb. what do they think of scott walker? >> look, they're not pro union. when you -- >> they're going to like scott walker. >> he's good for higher stock prices. >> where does the wall street money go? does it all go to jeb and christie first and then walker gets to play in it? what happens? >> there are some christie fund-raisers, this man who started home depot may be the most powerful fund-raiser and everyone takes his call and you tend to do what he wants. >> okay. that's christie. how many more people are going to follow ken lingo? >> surprising number because he's so boisterous and because he really has on his roleodex the
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s&p 500. new jersey has the highest debt service of any state. it has not been a banner time to be a jerseyite. >> i don't know how chris christie sets himself. he's got to me a lot of challenges, but he may be able to raise a bunch of money. back to the jeb comment. you wanted to jump in on that. jeb is not front-runner but sort of front-runner. >> he's not front-runner in iowa. he didn't go to iowa. he has a lot of problems with the base, as you know. his immigration position is problematic as is his support of common core. those are surmountable obstacles for him, i think. one of the things that scott walker has in his favor he's already, you know, jeb has to sort of prove he's a conservative to the base. and scott walker has already done that. he's already identified himself as one of them and he can appeal both to the grassroots and to the more establishment people
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and he's not crazy. >> jeb bush has a great story to tell about being a conservative in florida and biding his time to tell it. he can consolidate a lot of support. we may wake up by november 1st and jeb bush raised around $100 million and no one else is over 25. >> but he can raise all that money and still not be in the lead in any of the early states. >> it never happened in the republican party. they always nominated since reagan the person that raised the the most money the year before election. he may raise a lot more. he has to perform. if does he not perform as a grassroots candidate, people talk about the issues to me it is more aboutexcitement. i haven't met a single voter outside cramers viewers who aren't super excited about jeb. what does he stand for? what does he mean for america? he needs to demonstrate that. >> i want to quickly on tax reform, you think we'll get something done? you watch this? you don't buy it? >> never. >> wall street think it? >> nothing. nothing is going to happen. >> you have no expectations? >> absolutely zero. no corporate tax lowered no meeting of the minds. there is just -- no one is even counting on it. it is a draw.
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the state of the union was colossally just misplaced in terms of the 529, in terms of the notion of the step up in base which would help the middle class more than anybody. >> good to know that people outside of washington are as cynical as we are in washington? they are -- they're more down on us than we are. pause. we'll be coming back to you guys in a little bit. coming up, though, isis executed a second japanese hostage. going to talk with former defense secretary robert gates about what the u.s. needs to do to win this fight against that terror group. and with the nfl's biggest game just hours away we're your free pre pregame show. the nfl faces a big problem in the future. how should it tackle brain injury? let me get this straight... [ female voice ] yes? lactaid® is 100% real milk? right. real milk. but it won't cause me discomfort. exactly, no discomfort because it's milk without the lactose. and it tastes? it's real milk! come on, would i lie about this?
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welcome back. president obama has condemned the murder by isis after another release of the video by the terror group appearing to show the beheading. this comes a week after another hostage. jordan has announced that it's
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still willing to hand over a militant in exchange for a pilot who is also being held by isis. to discuss the strategy i am joined by robert gate who served as secondary of defense and secretary gates, welcome back to meet the press. >> thank you. >> let's talk about isis. is it fair to say that we're though the winning this battle against isis? >> i think that's correct. i think that we have made some steps to contain it but in the same time isis has reached the natural limits to where they would have the sympathetic people people, but i think that the air strikes have contributed to containing them but we're in a long way to roll them back or push them out of iraq. >> so how do you -- you said
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that you dpelt that the president is making a mistake by saying no boots on the ground because by the end of the day you think that some boots are necessary. how does that square with west point that anybody that's advocates for ground troops in the middle east ought to have the head exam. >> well i said a large land army. the notion of the alternatives of being what they are now and a reinnovation of iraq if you will with large ground forces is a false set of options. i think that there are other options, and i think that it will be very difficult to roll isis back without forward air colors and spotters and imbedded trainers with the tribes and iraq army and the kurds and some limited use of special forces.
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what i am talking about here is a few hundred troops. not thousands or tens of thousands. the president has set an ambitious and i think undercurrent circumstances unrealistic goal when he talks act our intent being to destroy isis. with the means that he has approved so far, that's an unobtainable on apologetic tif. >> yeah, we have killed a lot of radicals but we do not seem to defeat it? should we stop saying that you're going to defeat? because once you get rid of another group, another one pops up with another name but the same radiology. >> when we say that we're going to destroy the taliban and going to destroy al kie die, we have been at them with all the resources and jell bence
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committee for 14 years now and have not destroyed it. a different kind of strategy in how do we contain them and how do we limit their ability to carry out the attacks and to occupy territory. it seems to me with president to isis our objective is to deny them the ability to hang on to territory because that gives them a base from which potentially to plot against us and against western europe. >> i was thinking here and looking that we have problems in iraq afghanistan and syria and yemen. all of these places that they maybe a safe place for radical terror groups. we don't have stable partners on the ground. we may have partners but not stable partners that can build up the governing part of it. how much do we throw military at this if we do not have a
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governing partnership? >> well you have to step back and look at the challenge that we're facing. first of all we have four colon flicks going on andize lam i can verses sec la riss and then the artificial countries like syria and libra can go. that's a generation all conflict. at the same time you have what appears to be the beginning of the falling apart of the entire state system. you have a half dozen. >> we're going to go back to trabl. >> we have a half different countries like libya and iraq where the central government does not control the country, the country side fully in their own countries, and there are other countries as well. these are huge problems that are going on and we're so preoccupied with dealing with
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the crisis that we have not stepped back and saw what kind of a long term strategy do we have and what are the tools that we can use? the military is clearly one tool, but it's by far not the only one. >> i want to go to another crisis and that's russia. i want to put up a graphic here and it's down 50 percent since last year and sugar the cost of it up 40 percent and bread 20 percent. this is a case where combined with oils cratering has created potential for a catastrophe in russia. i have people thinking that they're too bad and in a weird way can occupy putin. >> well you have to see what putin is putting out to russians on what he -- on the now state controlled media. this is all a conspiracy by the west to break russia and deny
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them their weapons and to make sure that they do the bidding on the left. he is making the argument to the russian people. we have sacrificed, and we will do it again. he is saying that it will take a couple of years to do it through. his popularity is in the high 80s. >> well, nobody -- would you change the posture here? they're causing pain, but they're not getting him to change the ways. >> look. the key issue here is that there are areas that we have a commonality with russia. dealing with i ran is one and so the question is does this blow them to ukraine. is ukraine the the major difference with russia and what's the outcome that you went. what's the realistic outcome. this is another area that we're dealing with the situation
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day-to-day but we do not have a broader strategy in terms of what we want out of the russians and what are they willing to agree to that perhaps leaves ukraine not in the west and not in russian hands, but calms this thing down so that we do not ends up with a cold war with the russians. >> let me ask you something. if you could ask question question that will kons vince you that they're ready to be commander in chief, what's the initial question? >> the question is what kind of people do you want around you to advise you? i think that the -- there was a great quote fromle oliver wednesdayle and when he said that he had a second rate intellect but a sbemperment. if you look they were people that had a first class temperament. they never considered themselves
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the smartest guy in the room, but they wanted the smartest people around them and then they could take their advice and shape it on their own instincts and you views, so i think the kind of people that a candidate wants advising him or her is critically important. the rest of it is i think, you know you can not predict the problems that a president will face. >> all right. robert gates former secretary of defense, thanks for checking in. >> my pleasure. >> are you ready for nerd screen football? we will plit size everything [ high-pitched ] nailed it! [ normal voice ] you're right, that was really easy. i know, i told you so. on progressive.com you can compare our progressive direct rates with our competitors' rates, so shopping is easy. you don't sound like flo. [high-pitched] yeah, i do. [ clears throat ] who you talking to? [ normal voice ] what?
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nerd screen time. the super bowl is hours away. as we promised we'll politicize your snack food. that's right. so what's in your refrigerator and what could it say about where you live and your political leanings? we'll start with what you drink.
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which fans do you think will be drinking more tonight? well, if you're a patriots fan, and you're in new england, there are going to be a lot of beer at your super bowl party. on average, people in the northeast drink about 6% more beer than the country at large. that said, who do you think drinks more beer? liberals or conservatives? well when you split it up by political leaning it is liberals who are 32% more likely to drink beer than conservatives. and their beer of choice? well, liberals are 52% more likely to be drinking one of those craft beers than the average american. so, combine the northeast, liberals and a patriots fan base it is safe to say that today a lot of sam adams is going to be consumed. conservatives, when they do drink beer, they tend to go domestic. and, remember of all the big beer brands an american brand named coors who produced a candidate for the senate. what about snacks? liberals, they tend to lean toward things like pita chips.
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they eat 30% more than the average american. conservatives, pretzels is what they prefer. and what about those folks that consider themselves middle of the road, or swing voters? i'm not making this up. it is a chex mix. that's right. your party mix for your swing voters. there is one snack apparently we all agree on. liberals and conservatives, that is a big bag of corn chips. fritos tostitos. what are your political leanings of the fan bases of the two super bowl teams? well, two republican strategists crunch the consumer data and found out on a liberal to conservative spectrum patriots fans are solidly blue. that shouldn't be a surprise. they're from liberal new england. so you would think the seattle seahawks would be just as blue right? it is seattle, not so fast. don't forget the rest of the northwest is not as blue. the seattle fans tend to be more purple. and teams by the way, with purple fan bases they have done more winning in the super bowl in recent years. think about that vegas. by the way, the most liberal fan base in the nfl, the oakland
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raiders. and the most conservative? john mccain's arizona cardinals. you had fun with this? you can find out where your team stands and much more about your football snacking and the politicizing of it all on our website. coming up on this super bowl sunday of "meet the press," head injuries in football.(sternly): where do you think you're going? mr. mucus: to work, with you. it's taco tuesday. man: you're not coming. i took mucinex to help get rid of my mucusy congestion. i'm good all day. [announcer:] mucinex keeps working. not 4, not 6 but 12 hours. let's end this
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as popular as the game is, the nfl had a rough year off the field. from the ray rice scandal to deflategate, the league has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. but none of those controversies seriously threaten the future of the league. what does? football related concussions and brain injuries. with an increasing number of former players becoming seriously ill. it's not just a contact sport it is a collision sport. violent and unforgiving. that explains its popularity and its peril. boston university neurologist ann mckie directs the largest brain bank. >> cte is a neurodegenerative disease that affects individuals who have been exposed to repetitive brain trauma. >> i could go out and hit somebody that hard that could cause me could be concussed or perhaps even laid out cold on a football field. >> reporter: leonard marshall
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has been diagnosed with cte. when did you sit there and go, what's wrong? >> i would forget things. i would forget places. i would have this erratic behavior towards my child for no reason. >> did it scare you? >> scared the daylights out of me. and i started talking to people and i started to figure out i'm not in this by myself. there is other guys like me. >> researchers have discovered the signs of cte in the brains of dozens of former players. dave durdson who committed suicide, jevon belcher who killed his girlfriend before taking his own life and junior seau who killed himself in 2012. this weekend he was voted into the hall of fame. >> the late great junior seau. >> the nfl released new data this week showing a 25% drop in concussions last year in regular season games. >> we spend a great deal of time on player health and safety. we want to make this game as safe as possible for them.
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>> commissioner roger goodell promised to hire a chief medical officer to oversee the nfl's health policies. mckie, a green bay packers fan, says the game needs more fundamental changes. >> i'm concerned about the number of hits. some of those are asymptomatic none concussive hits. to me, looking at the concussion rate really doesn't tell me much. >> should the nfl permanently be taking care of your health care? do you think -- >> i think they should. you told me about everything else, but you didn't tell me about the risk associated with traumatic brain injury. >> do you think they knew then? >> they had to know something. >> you do? >> chuck, they had to know something. >> i think it is bull. >> not all players agree. >> i think when you sign up this is a violent sport that's what we sign up for. you think of a boxer going in the ring saying he doesn't expect to have a problem after boxing. you're getting punched in the head. >> while fans love watching the game, they're beginning to wonder whether it is safe for their kids to play. nearly 4 in 10 americans say they would encourage their child to play another sport because of
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concerns about concussions. we found some of those parents in pine crest, florida, suburb of miami, on the soccer field. >> the reports are kind of scary, but i still want to play. >> i think that it serves a great purpose for a lot of kids. just not my kid. >> participation in youth football has been declining. and this week, researchers from boston university published a study that found former nfl players who started playing football before age 12 had a higher risk of developing cognitive problems than those who began playing later. and even some former players are wary of letting their kids play football. >> i would be real leery of him playing. and that sounds -- in some respects i'm almost glad i don't have a son. >> do you believe football can be safe enough to play in the future? >> i think -- i think it can. but i think it is going to take an overwhelming and alarming thing to happen for there to be
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change. >> i'm joined now from outside of the university of phoenix stadium, site of the super bowl, by demaurice smith executive director of the nfl players association. welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you for having me chuck. >> you just heard in that piece, mostly leonard marshall some other former players brett favre, being concerned about the safety of the game. you represent nearly 2,000 players on any given day as executive director of the nfl players association. do you believe this game is as safe as it can be on the field? >> i don't think we will ever be content that the game is as safe as it can be. chuck when i took this job in 2009, it sounds a little bit like the punchline of a bad joke, but when i took this job in 2009, the head of the nfl concussion committee was a rheumatologist. so over the last five years, we have done things to revolutionize not only the way in which fans enjoy football, but trying to make the game
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safer. there are sideline concussion experts for first time. there is limits on the amount of contact for the first time. we have eliminated two a day practices for the first time. and all of those changes didn't come about because the national football league suddenly got an issue of a conscience. all of those things came about because organized labor and our union made decisions that we were going to make the game safer. >> have you done -- do you feel like you've done everything you can? i heard from a lot of players that don't like thursday night football, this don't like those short weeks, that don't like the idea of having an 18-game season and yet you have sort of -- you've agreed to for instance thursday night football being year round. was that a mistake? >> no. and i don't believe that the evidence right now indicates that was any sort of mistake. you know, you remember, chuck, we went through this it was a national footba league that wanted us to play 18 games. we said, no. the changes that we made in this
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game i think are always going to evolve. >> let me move on to the personal conduct policy that the nfl has unveiled and i know where you stand on it as far as how it was unveiled. let me go through it and tick through it here. the new personal conduct policy would include league investigations, paid leave if formally charged with a violent crime for any player the nfl's special counsel hands out the initial discipline, a player can appeal tt initial discipline but the commissioner would have final say on that discipline. what issue do you have with that proposal? >> well, chuck, it's the process by which the proposal was implemented unilaterally by the national football league. one thing you didn't mention all the way through the litany of the issues there is we have a commissioner who has been overturned twice on personal conduct policy, first time he was overturned by the former commissioner, the second time he was overturned by a neutral
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arbitrator. one thing that is not in that proposal is a neutral arbitrator to hear these appeals. so we have issues with a number of the individual issues, but i honestly believe that we should be working together to make an overall policy fair for both players and owners. >> before i let you go you're a big fan of the washington redskins. where are you on the name change? >> no no. hey, let's -- let's keep it straight pal. i grew up a redskins fan, but i'm a fan of the players now. and -- >> do you think the name should change? >> well i think that for all of the fans who love that team, they love that team because of the art monks and the darrell greens and the sonny jergensons and buddy gillmore. we need to sit down with the fans and talk about what we love about that team and if it is in best interests of everybody that we not offend anybody, let's
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make that change. >> demaurice smith, enjoy the super bowl. >> happy super bowl. >> you got it. in a few minutes, we'll talk to a representative of the nfl. but, first as you saw earlier i sat down with former new york giant leonard marshall, who despite rule changes to the game still doesn't believe professional football is safe enough today. take a listen. would you be comfortable playing under these rules? >> i want it to be safer. they have to do something to take the helmet out of the game, somehow. i don't know what that is. >> and now representing the league, i'm joined by jeff pash general counsel for the nfl. welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you, chuck. i appreciate you having me this morning. >> let me start with that basic question. do you feel as if the game is as safe as it can be for the players of today? >> i think the game is safer than it has ever been. and the progress that is being made means it is going to be safer in the future. and i think if you look at what has been done during commissioner goodell's tenure, whether it is in the context of
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prevebt preventing concussions better equipment and teaching safer tackling techniques, better medical care for the players with the use of independent neurotrauma consultants and negotiated return to play protocol with the nflpa and the research being done in conjunction with the nih, general electric, international sports federation i think there is a tremendous amount of progress being made and i would say to people the game has never been safer. the statistics show that. the fact is that helmet to helmet collisions, which have been the biggest cause of concussions in the past those helmet to helmet contact is down by more than 40%. so we're definitely making progress, but there is more work to be done and we want to work with the players and the coaches to continue that culture change and foster that culture of safety. >> some of this culture of safety may go all the way down to youth football. we saw the new york times story about this initial study, preliminary, a very small
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sample, do you think we should have an age, a floor for tackle football that maybe 12 is the floor. there is a lot of studies that say the brain isn't fully formed until at least 12 years old. >> i think the authors of that study themselves have highlighted some of the questions about it. and it is clear that more work needs to be done. we promoted safe play, whether in the context of tackle, or flag football. and it is, again chuck, let's look at action. through our efforts there are youth concussion laws passed in all 50 states. through work with professional athletic trainer associations we put athletic trainers on the playing fields for thousands of children across the country. that program is going to double for this year. not just football, but all sports. we have worked with the consumer product safety commission and its past two chair men to bring safer and newer equipment to youth programs across the country. >> could you envision a day where the nfl says, you know what, we support the idea of no tackle football until 12? >> i think you've got to have
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the facts and you've got to see what the alternatives are. i don't know if that's a practical solution or not. but we support kids getting out and playing, whether it is flag, tackle as safely as possible. that's our goal. >> let's go to the player -- this personal conduct policy that you released. i just talked to demaurice smith head of the nflpa. and he seems to have less issue with your proposal and more of an issue that it is not being done in a collective bargaining situation. you wouldn't impose drug testing without the nflpa negotiating it. so why are you imposing this without the nflpa in the room? >> we have numerous meetings with the players back as -- as far back as 2007 and over the course of the six or seven years. and the personal conduct policy that was implemented in december was implemented only after extensive discussions with the players. so i think there has been a lot of common ground and players want high standards. they want a personal conduct policy that holds them up as the
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men they are. >> it feels like the beginning of a dickens novel for the nfl, the best of times on the field financially, but it has been a pretty -- the worst of times offer the field this last year. how would you describe this last year for the nfl? a good year, a bad year or a learning experience? >> it was challenging. it was a learning experience. but i think like any strong organization, we have great leadership in our commissioner. we have great leadership from our ownership. and we have great partnership with the nflpa. we accomplished a tremendous amount together. and i'm confident that we'll take the learning we have from this year and we'll have a better game and when we get together to talk a year from now, you'll have seen a lot of positive change. >> jeff pash, happy super bowl. enjoy the game. >> thanks, chuck. you too. >> you got it. don't go anywhere. in less than a minute, the [ male announcer ] you wouldn't leave your car unprotected. but a lot of us leave our identities unprotected. nearly half a million cars were stolen in 2012,
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welcome back. we know we'll be rolling into the bob costas coverage here soon. we'll talk super bowl with the panel. let's get a little serious. jim cramer you deal with a lot of ceos. roger goodell is a ceo. it has been a tough year for him. as a politician, i can see of him being forced to resign i can see shareholders having demanded his head back if he was dealing with shareholders. how did he survive this? >> he was great for tv deals. that's where the money is. he was a between the lines commissioner where you had to be outside the lines within a 16-game period. he was able to go outside the lines, which was major. i think when he lost espn, he realized he had changed. and he didn't bring in the best minds. i was listening to secretary gates. bringing in the best minds that's what he did. by the last game of the season i think he had it. people knew he was a go-to guy who had changed a lot of people in the nfl. successful season for him. >> it is funny, mark. i think you and i would look at the problems he faced almost like, how would a politician have handled this? and even the worst politician would have handled it better than he did.
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>> without a doubt. teams now understand they have a problem which is the first step in solving it. every problem they have from the off field behavior, outrageous behavior, to questions about cheating, drug use, concussions, every one can be solved without damaging their bottom line of the game. they have to recognize that they put some resources into it. put some pr into it, put some substance into it. and we can all love the nfl without concern? >> it is interesting to me that they have eventually do the right thing. look at what they're doing on doemestic abuse. if they did nothing, everybody would say why aren't you doing this? when they play catch up, they throw a lot of money at the problem. >> absolutely. i think they are doing the right thing both on domestic violence and concussions. it will become the clearinghouse for the latest progressive ideas toward helping to combat domestic and new scientific strategies on concussion. it is a win-win at this point. but they looked bad for a long time. >> you're a new mom.
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you have a daughter. but it is a conversation that my wife and i with our son -- just what is your reaction to the game? >> whether or not -- >> would you feel comfortable? >> i don't know. first of all, i do have a daughter and if she has any athletic skills of her parents, we won't worry too much about this. i think a lot of parents have the soul searching conversations with themselves and the question for the nfl is whether it can do things that preserve the integrity of the game, the fun of the game what people love about football, but also acknowledge that there is a real problem here. for the nfl, the concussion thing is potentially an existential crisis. they have to get out ahead of it. >> lighter note on football, with super bowl media day, i wish we had a political equivalent, right of politics media day. but nobody stole the show like marshawn lynch and it did get us thinking that he kind of reminded us of somebody else. here is a little marshawn on media day, which players are required to do as he made it very, very clear based on every single question that was asked of him.
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>> i'm here so i won't get fined. i'm here so i won't get fined. i'm here so i won't get fined. i'm just here so i won't get fined. >> he sort of reminded us of one of my favorite moments from the '90s, here is al gore having to deal with an interesting political problem he had, campaign finance issues, illegally raising money out of the office -- the official office of the vice president. here was al gore and this infamous press conference from 1997. >> according to my count there is no controlling legal authority -- there is no controlling legal authority that says this was any violation of law. no controlling legal authority -- no controlling legal authority. >> just so you know we're bipartisan here. here is republican congressman mike hoffman who was asked to clarify his comments about the president not being an american citizen. >> i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize.
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i stand by my statement that i misspoke and i apologize. >> is there anything i can ask that you would answer differently? >> i stand by my statement and i misspoke and i apologize. >> who did it better? >> i'm a big fan of lynch. i love what he -- look, i think -- he doesn't want to speak to the media, don't make him, right? >> fair enough. a new definition of beast mode, right? >> there is going to be something on youtube very soon where they sync those words. >> what is it when you -- it can make it into a song, what is that auto tune? shouldn't we be auto tuning marshawn lynch. >> already done. do it with a wink and he did. >> that's all for today. stay tuned, of course, to nbc for -- there is a sporting event that takes place sometime this afternoon. there is a more important event right before it. savannah will be live it's rare that he does live interviews. a lot more tomorrow morning on today's show. >> we'll do a live interview
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then sit down and do a longer interview. >> if it's the sunday after the super bowl it'll be "meet the press." we'll see you next week. good monday morning, right now on "first look," the northeast braces for another winter wallop. this same storm slammed chicago with up to 15 inches of snow, closing schools and forcing the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights. super bowl stunner. a super comeback for the patriots and the seahawks catching heat for giving up a touchdown. plus a gun-wielding toddler wounds both his parents. "american sniper" sets a super bowl record and the advertiser winners and losers from last night's game. good morning, happy monday to you. i'm betty nguyen. here we go again. a wicked snowstorm slamming parts of the u.s. right now the northeast facing snow, sleet and freezing rain. millions bracing for a messy

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