tv The War Room Current April 8, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
celebrity. back to the drawing board. at this point kimberly disappeared and we didn't see her again. celebrities, is she with you? >> michael: coming up tonight is this the week we see the federal government make a decision on guns the deficit and other issues? we'll see. i'm michael shure. you are in "the war room." [♪ theme music ♪] >> michael: as we meet, president obama is speaking about gun control right now at the university of hartford. here is your president. >> obama: to prevent votes on any of these reforms.
think about that. [ shouting ] >> obama: they are not just saying they will vote no on most ideas that most americans support, they are saying they will do everything they can to prevent any votes on these issues. they are saying your opinion doesn't matter. [ chanting we want a vote ] >> obama: we need a vote. [ chanting continues ] >> obama: now, i have also heard some in the washington press suggest that what happens to gun
violence legislation in congress this week will be a political victory or defeat for me. connecticut this is not about me. this is not about politics. this is about doing the right thing for all of the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence. it's about them and all of the families going forward so we can preing event this from happening again. that's what it is about. it's about the law enforcement officials putting their lives at risk. that's what this is about. this is not about politics! [ cheers and applause ] >> obama: this is not about politics! [ cheers and applause ] >> obama: this is about these families, and families all
across the country, who are saying let's make at it little harder for our kids to get gunned down. when i said in my state of the union address that these proposals deserve a vote that familiar list of newtown, araurora, and people like gabby giffords deserve a vote. and now they are going to deny a vote? you deserve better than that. you deserve a vote. [ cheers and applause ] >> obama: now, look we new from the beginning of this debate that change would not be easy. we knew there would be powerful interests that are very good at
confusing the subject; that are good at amplifying conflict and extremes, that are good at drowning out rational debate, good at ginning up irrational fears, all of which stands in the way of progress, but if our history teaches us anything, then it's up to us, the people to stand up to those who say we can't or we won't. stand for the change that we need. [ cheers and applause ] >> obama: and -- and -- and i believe that that's what the american people are looking for. you know, when i first ran for this office, i said that i did not believe the country was divided as our politics would suggest, and i still believe that. [ applause ] >> obama: i know sometimes when you watch cable news or talk radio, or your browse the internet, you think, man,
everybody just hates each other, everybody is just at each other's throats. but that's not -- that's not how most americans think about these issues. there are good people on both sides of every issue, so if we're going to move forward, we can't just talk past one another, we have to listen to one another, that's why governor malloy and other leaders have been able to pass bipartisan legislation. >> michael: that is a very very passionate president talking to the connecticut state legislature, and america and the people right there. you know, you don't see him like that very often as president. you see him like that as a candidate pretty often. joining me to go over that and discuss so much more on this issue is los angeles "times" reporter mark barabak. he is here in the studio with us. mark thanks for coming into "the
war room." >> sure. >> michael: that was pat we're accustomed to seeing as candidate not the president. >> and what has going for him is the emotionalism of the issue. clearly it was a shocking thing that happened in newtown, there was a lot of momentum for some sort of gun legislation. he was in denver last week aurora, the site of another horrific hooting. >> michael: but didn't he also have gabby giffords as a colleague? he mentioned gabby giffords in that speech. didn't he have that already with gabby giffords? why now? >> that was like a couple of years ago or something? there was something qualitatively different about
newtown. look at john hooken looper, there was that horrific shooting in july and he said now is not the time. and he changed his mind after newtown. and i want to be very clear, i'm not diminishing the horror of any of those shootings, but there was something different about newtown. >> michael: i think congress is moving a direction they haven't. but do you think that harry reid is going to be able to take this to the floor and have enough votes to see at least background checks which 91% of the country wants? >> i don't want to present to be any sort of expert. i haven't been covering the congressional debate on a day in and day out basis. but after newtown there was a
lot of talk about assault weapons ban, limit on magazines that we have seen pass in handful of states those have been stripped from the bill because the support is not there. but background checks roughly nine and ten americans support it, and it is not a slam dunk. >> michael: and it's made even more difficult by these republicans. there are 13 of them who have signed a letter saying say what you will about where we are in this country -- you see them all there -- they are choosing to filibuster this instead of to fight it, but they are choosing procedural moves. how does that help them? >> it helps because there is a large segment of the republican party that are opposed to these
sorts of measures. gun-control is classic measure where action is derived by intensity. there are people who feel extremely strong about this. nine in ten americans support background checks, but these are people most of whom guns are a whole panoply of things they care about. so this is a case where really to go back to the whole squeaky-wheel analogy, this is the one whether the squeaky -- but you get what i'm saying? >> michael: yeah. i do. let's move from the federal government. you mentioned whent to colorado. he is in connecticut. places where the tragedy has occurred and places where the
state legislatures have made some changes. how important is what happens at the state level to this issue and sort of a federal way? >> well what is happening at the state level is interesting. i mentioned colorado connecticut, and gun safety measures in new york and maryland. but what is somewhat underreported is the fact there has been a lot of gun-rights legislation moving -- there are more states moving in the direction of making weapons more accessful than the opposite. again these states that are enacting these laws are getting a lot of at attention, but if you go state by state by state you will see. and michigan they passed legislation that make it easier
for out of state people to come in and get a gun. in ohio you had legislation. so it's not strictly a red/blue thing, but pretty much. republican governors and legislators are moving away from gun-control legislation towards gun-rights legislation. >> michael: all in spite of the fact that 91% of americans believe that gun safety laws have to be changed. one of the things we have learned as this debate has gone on is that louisiana has these really loose laws on guns. those guns make their way to chicago. so many of the guns found in chicago come from mississippi. so how are they able to control the flow of guns from one place to another it's similar to marijuana and similar even to abortion in some cases. >> that's one of the arguments, but spoke tos who are passing
these laws in these states say they reflect local customs and culture. in the story i did last week with a colleague, she talked to the speaker of the connecticut house, the day they passed those gun measures and he said you need the federal legislation because as you suggest if we have one state passing a law -- and we have a number of states, california and nevada right across from each other, have versusly different laws. and states who have more liberal or looser gun laws are right next to other states. >> michael: we started talking about the emotional i'm of this issue. we have gone to the legislation. i don't think the legislation gets anywhere without the emotionalism, and it certainly is so moving on "60 minutes"
last night. let's take a listen to some of the families. >> i just kept looking thinking when am i going to see dylan or any of the kids from his classroom. eventually they announced there had been a shooting and they told us that people had died and the room just erupted with anguish. but even then you still think, dylans okay. he has got to be okay. because this wouldn't happen to dylan. >> it's somebody else's town. it's somebody else's community, until one day you wake up and it's not. >> michael: that's dave wheeler previously was nicole hawkly. it's hard to imagine that you
can then walk into the senate and say we have to filibuster this thing because of the constitute. >> i think you are going to site come to a vote -- certainly in a number of legislatures that have acted. i think it will be come to a vote in congress. i'm not going to speak on either side of the gun-control issue, or speak for the folks who are going to do what they are going to do, leading a filibuster or whatever, they have their reasons for doing what they do? >> michael: but you think the emotionalism is a big part of why we're even on the cusp of this. >> sure. the democrats after al gore was defeated in 2000, there is a feeling -- and whether it is
true or not, in politics call them what you will build up and one of the ideas was that al gore lost in part because of gun legislation. and so every legislator then steered clear of it. and this wouldn't be happening i don't think if it wasn't for newtown. >> michael: thank you for being here. when we come back we'll talk about immigration reform. and head out to kansas and find out what it takes to set up a women's clinic. plus it's a tragic case of pick your poison ptsd suicide, or homelessness. our veterans are not getting enough help. later margaret thatcher proved
♪ >> michael: it looks like immigration reform is more popular than gun control on capitol hill. the team of senator known as the gang of 8 dispatched some members to update america on its progress. chuck schumer told "face the nation" that he is hopeful about optimistic about a deal. >> we hope that we can have a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive immigration reform by the end of this week. >> michael: end of the week. friday's beers are on me. but before we put friday on the calen lar, let's get lindsey graham's assessment. >> what stands in the way of a
deal? >> we have an agreement between business and labor, but we're hoping to get this done within the next couple of weeks, it's some issues by high-skill and low-skill workers. >> michael: he did give the bill a 70% chance of approval especially if marco rubio signs on. for more let's head to washington, d.c. sarlin. the "talking points memo" reporter is closely following the back and forth. bengie, how are ya? >> doing well. >> michael: bengie the gang of 8 already missed their march deadline, how close do you think they are? >> i believe they are very, very close. before this labor and business deal that you heard lindsey graham allewd to they were
saying they were 90, 95% done. that doesn't mean you would have a bill in three or four days because they still have to write the bill. they haven't translated the points into the legal language. graham mentioned revisiting the labor/business deal. there has been discussion between agriculture unions and biggal biggal -- big agriculture. and other issues. >> michael: marco rubio is setting him up to the savior or slayer of immigration reform. here is senator graham.
>> marco rubio has been a game changer in my party. if we get the 11 million right on our side it puts pressure on the democrats to come up with a workable discussion. >> michael: how much is his party looking to marco rubio for the bill specifics, and for leadership on this issue? >> he was certainly the very first big wing of the tea party wing to come over and openly embrace immigration reform. so the big thing here is as graham mentioned, marco rubio came out decisively saying there needs to be a path to citizenship for those immigrants living in america today. that is a big deal. before even rubio who is
considered this big moderate in immigration, even he was saying that shouldn't be on the table when he was first running for office. so he makes republicans feel a little bit more comfortable getting on board. so there's no doubt he is important to this process. >> michael: and are we watching candidate rubio or senator rubio in this case? >> i think it's a combination of both. people have been working in negotiations say rubio has been very active. in some issues he has really made a stand, but i have heard in some other areas as well where he has been constructive and he has been very actively selling this bill in places where the others can't really go. john mccain and lindsey graham don't have a lot of fans in right-wing media. marco rubio on the other hand
can say, you know i respect you rush here it is. but there is a lot of question about what would be best for him if he runs for president. >> michael: let's move from that, a battle as big as the budget -- as immigration would be the budget. it is the president's budget is expected to come out. do somethingives have a chance of winning some battles with the white house? >> their best friend in this case is probably just the house republicans in that the only reason that obama is suggesting this idea is to show he is willing to make this kind of deal if republicans agree to meet him halfway. but since they won't do that,
the social security cuts will probably never happen. >> michael: it could end up being just a piece of brilliant politics for the president if that happens. you wrote about bobby jindal. today he scrapped entirely his plan to replace his state's income and corporate taxes with a higher sales tax. what is the cautionary tax tale here for republicans, bengie? >> well let's put the lower taxes on rich people and corporations, and higher taxes on lower incomes. >> michael: yes, absolutely. >> so it doesn't help for house republicans that they have a governor of louisiana really pitching not exactly their plan but gets the same kind of principles the same kind of criticisms, and it has just gone down completely in flames, and
he finally scrapped it. that may be a cautionary tale for republicans who think their message is fine they just need to tweak around the edges a little. it could be that it is the economic principles that they are espousing that is the problem. >> michael: yeah, it didn't work for his approval ratings, so i think it is the most cautionary tail, but you think it has already been told before. benjy sarlin thank you so much for coming on the show. most of the world is talking about the death of margaret thatcher today and what an important role she played in empowering women in politics. but after this breaking story about the empowerment of women that will far less at attention. julie burkhart opened up a women's health clinic in kansas
>> michael: kansas is set to become the latest date to pass anti-abortion bills. last friday the house and senate passed a bill which prevents employees at abortion clinics from providing sex ed to schools. it also requires doctors refer patients to information about the potential risks of abortion including the myth that abortions somehow cause breast cancer, the governor is expected to sign it into law. it will become the 8th state with an anti abortion law asserting that life begins at
conception. pro choice supporters are concerned about this latest move in a state that is already considered ground zero at the level. dr. george tiller was gunned down in a wichita church parking lot in 2009. since then lawmakers have made receiving an abortion much more difficult. the enforcement of hyperstrikt zoning laws have an immediate impact on limiting women's access to abortion and other reproduct schiff services. but pro choice supporters aren't going to let these so-called trap laws stop them. they opened a brand new clinic on the very same grounds where dr. george tiller's clinic stood.
joining us via skype from wichita, kansas is burkhart, executive director of "trust women" and the newly opened south wind women's center, which will offer is comprehensive women's health services including abortions for up to fourteen weeks. thank you for joining us? >> thank you for having me on. >> michael: julie clinics must have locker rooms for their patients 324 square feet of janitorial storage, and 150 square feet so that's like half of janitor clinic. are you worried about that? and that they will impose more restrictions to drive you out of business. >> the first part of that question is no. that law has been adjoined since 2001, and we do not have a court
date for that law at this time. and yes, the legislation with our governor brownback in the governor's mansion, i am positive they will try to pass more rules, laws to drive us out of business. >> michael: you have been getting a lot of pushback from people like troy newman. he said quote . . . what have they been doing? >> well, they have filed complaints -- well, when we were under construction with the city inspector's office here in wichita. so we had multiple visits by city inspectors. we have had our final signoff
for the clinic. so they tried to stop us there. they were unable to. they also filed some complains with the board of healing arts. we have answered those complaints. so that is another obstacle that they seek to put in our way. frankly what they do is bury us in legal fees paperwork, and harass us out of business but -- but that certainly will not happen. >> and julie in thinking about what he said you are not opening a clinic like this because of economic feasibility. this is not about money at all, and how is that point missed by these people? >> right. no, it's not about money. it's about the 3,000 women in this area that have had to drive three hours plus just to seek abortion care. that's unjust and people in
this area deserve to be able to make decisions about their families and their lives. so that's what this is about. >> michael: julie it is such a knoble and courageous thing that you are doing, especially in light of where you are operating your clinic. how scared are you on a day-to-day basis? >> i have certainly taken greater precautions at my home for the sake of my family. i have a daughter who is in middle school and a husband and we have taken greater security measures at the clinic. so we do take these things very seriously. however, we are not going to let them bully us into submission and drive us out of business. so that's -- that's just a choice that i have made, and that the staff has made and, you know, that's what we are
living up to. >> michael: tell me, you know, going back to the law here and hearing you talk about that again, it's pretty inspiring, but we go to the law side of this. even if these new anti-abortion bills are signed do you see this as having a substantive effect on your clinic and women's reproductive rights all over the country? >> well, it certainly could. so that's a reality. we have looked at this bill -- we have had legal counsel look at this bill and we -- what we see is that it's unconstitutional, and so we are trying to decide as an organization what we are going to do about that. also -- you know, our physicians have first amendment rights. they have freedom of speech and they have the freedom to give
correct information to patients. that's -- that's one of the big glaring problems in the bill -- well there are several glaring problems but we are assessing what we might be able to do as an organization when that bill is signed. >> michael: and the bill itself also includes a provision that orders physicians to tell their pregnant patients that breast cancer is a dangerous being caused by abortion. >> yes. exactly. we are struggling with what are we going to force our physicians to say. physicians who took the hippocratic oath to do right by their patients.
is it right for a doctor to lie to their patients? so if we are forced to do that we will tell them our state-mandated piece, and then tell them the truth. >> michael: julie, thank you for being on the show. up next, the numbers, the statistics and our own eyes tell us we are not doing enough to care for our returning veterans. it's tragic and shameful, and we'll talk about it right after the break.
two brutal wars that brought havoc on our soldiers. much more difficult than blaming past leaders, however, is dealing with the disastrous consequences of their actions. particularly overhauling the system tasked with helping soldiers after they return home. most fingers point to the department of veteran affairs. the va has been criticized from everything to dolling out heavy drug prescriptions to his massive backlog in dealing with posttraumatic disorder. a full report was released on march 26th and it amounts to an indictment of the va and the
department of defense. joining us how largely unreported-on study that says we are doing a pretty half-assed job taking care of our service men and women. jason is also an iraq-war veteran. jason welcome to the show. what is the overall finding here? >> i think the overall finding is that we can and should be doing better. we see in this report that the standard of care and quality of care is just not up to, i think america's standard in how we could be treating veterans coming back from afghanistan and iraq, and it is got to get better. and it will be some time before we see truly the issues that veterans will be coming home with long term. >> michael: what is the va's biggest problem? simply that they are a huge slow-moving agency?
or does it go deeper? >> part of it is they are the second-largest bureaucracy and largest medical system in america. so that's part of the issue. you know it also comes down to -- they didn't -- they didn't plan properly to kind of address these issues that they kind of new were coming. after, you know, ten-plus years at war, we should have seen a lot of this coming down the pike, and they just didn't respond fast enough. >> michael: it also amazing nae a huge massive entity like the irs, they can do their job, it's a little frustrating that the veterans affairs can't do it. you joined the iava after a friend of yours returned from iraq and committed suicide. why are so many veterans
committing suicide? >> vets are very proud set of people, men and women alike. and a lot of them just don't want to accept that they are having issues and struggling with their transition home. i think that's a lot of the issue. >> michael: but you talk about them not wanting to seek help; that this is difficult for them but by the same token, the help that they seek isn't readily available to them. so is it a problem on both ends? >> certainly, and i think when you think about it and seeing that, you know, you have a group of people and -- and i think most human beings in general don't want to seek mental health, but also they know that the quality they get might not be up to the standard that they would want. you have both ends of the spectrum. why would people seek help?
but people should peek help. >> michael: yeah. let's listen to president obama >> obama: as long as i'm coming manneder in chief this country will serve their veterans because nobody who has fought for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. >> michael: nearly everyone is calling for more care. so where do you see the blame going? does it stop with the va or does it continue up to congress and the president? >> a lot of it has to do just with the va. you have seen the budgets in the va really expand, but they haven't been able to turn it around into quality care ending
the backlog and getting more veterans in. over 50% of this current generation is seeking help at the va but how long are they waiting, and what the quality of care is, is still a big question. >> michael: jason thank you for your time on this. coming up on the show legacy is all a matter of one's point of view, and with no one is that more true than with margaret thatcher.
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briton's first female prime min ter minster, she died today at age 87. she became prime minister in 1979. she was a divisive -- or she would say dee -- devisive. joining us now to look at how thatcher's regularly is being perceived today is kelli goff of "the root". welcome back, kelly. >> great to be back. >> michael: kelly should beconsider margaret thatcher a feminist when she is responsible for having said . . . >> it was so interesting because
i just got done watching tv on this fabulous documentary about women and women trail blazers, and it was so interesting because so many of the people featured, had spent so much of their living trying to rally against feminism were women who were beneficiaries of feminist feminist -- feminism. clarence thomas is a perfect one who checked a box for affirmative action in college. >> michael: why are there some high-profile women out there rejecting the notion of being a feminist. >> part of it is the label.
i wrote a piece last year about how -- titled it how gloria steinam forced me out of the closet. and a couple of my friends were like do you have something to tell us? and i said do but it's probably not what you think, but i am a feminist. and i did some soul searching about watching the documentary on gloria steinam that year and realized that i like other women -- some responsible res on feminist women. they did a great job opening doors, kicking some of them down for us but there has been this evolution towards narrowly defining feminism in a certain way, and if you don't agree
100%, then you can't call yourself a feminist. i'm a feminist can't have a problem with the comment and allowed the blowback to be if you are a woman and a feminist, you have to call the president out. and i don't agree with that. i felt like wait a minute you don't own the word feminist. i can define it on my own terms. >> michael: right. let's get to kamala harris in a little bit, but let's talk about feminism and margaret thatcher. there is this congressional district in texas steve stockman said . . . what are you doing -- he went on to say . . . what are you doing this morning to defeat liberal
politicians. >> let me say this as someone who has been to england a lot, i have a number of close friends who grew up there and know a lot about the political system. and the social issues do not define the politics the way they do here in america. i just don't understand how can some of you vote for someone and not know where they stand on abortion, and they come back and say kelly here we think of it as a private issue, but in england it is very different. but in terms of fiscal issues then, yes, i would say she has a lot in common with the current american conservative establishment. what have we heard about union busting here lately? and also really quickly, also being someone who came from a working class background herself
and took the attitude of pulled myself up everybody else should be able to no questions asked, that is very much a part of conservatism that idea is. >> michael: you look at the church of england having such -- sort of a wider presence in a country like the united kingdom, so it's easier to see how social issues might be discussed. but look at calling nelson mandela a terrorist, and other things, you wonder if that's the kind of woman people want to emulate -- >> she is a trail blazer if not role model. i said trail blazer doesn't mean role model. >> michael: all right. well, kick away.
kamala harris also a little bit of a trail blazer here. you mentioned it before the president getting a lot of grief by calling her quote by far the best-looking attorney general in the country. are you bothered about those comments? >> in a word no. and as i said in my piece this is something that really grates on me cause the only winner were conservatives who hate feminism. marissa mayer, the head of yahoo! said recently she wasn't consider herself a feminist even though she wants equality, because she doesn't have a chip on her shoulder. this is an example of having a chip on your shoulder. we should be talking about issues like not being paid