tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC January 7, 2013 7:00am-8:00am PST
chuck hagel fans. that said president obama has picked hagel. he likes hagel. they're friends going back to their senate tenure. it's hard to imagine if obama really wants hagel ten democratic senators will vote against him. i find that hard to believe. second thing is president obama wants to push for cuts in defense spending. their view is there's no better advocate for it, no better voice for cutting the pentagon that a provincial vietnam veteran like chuck hagel. >> i want to play a clip of what former general stanley mcchrystal said on the "today" show this morning. >> if president obama trusts him, i think senator hagel has the experience. he's certainly got the quality as a person. the real matter is whether the president has that level of trust. that level of trust and relationship between those people and with other members of the cabinet are the most important. >> matt, to perry's point, is a big part of this about the president just likes him? they've gotten along for many years now? >> yeah. he has a very close relationship with vice president joe biden as well from their work in the senate and a bunch of other
things. perry's exactly right. we have fights coming up. the sequestration cliff is on us on march 1st. we still haven't sorted that out. so, you know, in many ways military spending has been one of the third rails of washington politics for a long time. so from obama's point of view, it's a great idea to have someone who has gone out there and talked about the necessity of cutting that spending and who's also a republican that can take flak in a different way than a democratic pick could. >> republicans, many of them, have turned on hagel. when he retired, mcconnell called him a great statesman. a clear voice. not hearing that now. here's what senator chris murphy said just this morning. >> republicans are spoiling for a fight. i think they recognize that this guy's coming into his second term with a head of steam. that he's very well regarded on issues of foreign policy. the republicans are used to holding an advantage on that mantle, have lost it to an extent. so they just want to pick a fight. >> so what do you think, perry? you know, at what point does
this become very serious? i mean, we're reporting this morning possibly as many as ten democrats who are considering whether to vote for him. >> i think that a number of democrats will be different when the hearing actually starts. after that i actually don't think this is about obama particularly opposition. a lot of republicans don't like chuck hagel. chuck hagel for years now has criticized the iraq war. he's criticized virtually every view john mccain has had about foreign policy. and john mccain's a leading figure in the republican party on foreign policy. so it's not surprising to me. what you have to see is how well the white house defends this pick. right now this is a pick that doesn't have a lot of friends on either side of the party. ultimately democrats are going to listen to what barack obama says about his own cabinet. another thing important to mention here is like matt was saying a bit is, take the john brennan pick. the john kerry pick. obama's trying to surround himself with people he really is friends with and likes. the first term was people like hillary clinton, jim jones, bob gates. they're big names. those aren't necessarily obama
allies. brennan, hagel, kerry, susan rice, these are really people obama knows and is close to. that's what he's trying to build for his second term. >> i want to bring in congressman adam schiff, democrat from california. always good to see you, congressman, good morning. >> thank you. good morning. >> do you think if this fight if it does materialize over chuck hagel could have the effect of taking the focus off of other things that need to get done? things like the debt ceiling? >> well, i don't think we could afford to let it get in the way of debt ceiling. we only have two or three months to get that done. that fight is getting frankly much more difficult than the fiscal cliff was. we have the debt limit which the president quite rightly has said he won't engage on that. we can't hold that kind of a revolver to the economy that way. but, nonetheless, the gop can shut down the government if it chooses. we have the sequester. so we have to deal with those issues. >> is that where we're headed? because there's been at least one suggestion by one republican that maybe a government shutdown is just what we need. >> well, i don't know. it didn't work out so well for
the gop in 1994. i don't think it's the right thing. i would hope instead of looking forward to government shutdown we would be looking forward to finding a new way to work together in this new year. that's really what the american people are asking for. it's not too much to ask. but it will be interesting. i think that chuck hagel is going to be a challenging choice in terms of the confirmation process. clearly, a combat vet. well regarded. mine, the man has shrapnel still in his chest. it'll be very helpful in terms of the drawdown in afghanistan. at the same time, legitimate questions about iran, about israel, a lot of concern, legitimate concern over the comments he made about hormell. he has a lot of serious questions to answer. looks like a challenging couple of months ahead of us. >> if you had a vote do you know how you would vote? >> don't. i would really want to hear what he has o to say about the i yan/libya sanctions act. some of the comments he's made about the pro-israel lobby as well as the very concerning comments he made about mr.
hormel. so those are legitimate questions. he's going to need to have very good answers to them. plainly on the positive side he would be of enormous value to the president in the drawdown from afghanistan. in the reduction of the defense budget. having an ally that he trusts on both those questions. and the american people would have confidence in. could be a real asset. but these questions that have been raised are quite legitim e legitimate. and i want to have the answers myself before i take any position on his nomination. >> and you mentioned the debt ceiling. but there's another potential big fight shaping up. another item on the agenda. you are part of a congressional task force on gun violence. can you give us a sense of the specific initiatives you think are important right now? and you have seen the white house is looking at much more than just the assault weapons ban. they're talking about things like background checks and tracking the sales of weapons through a data base and strengthening mental health checks. >> well, i think probably one of the most significant issues is the background checks.
because people are under the impression that that really only applies -- the problem only applies to gun shows. the reality is, though, that the background checks are only required of the retailers. all other transactions, whether they're in a parking lot or a private home or a gun show, those don't require background checks. it's an enormous loophole that really has to be closed both in terms of keeping guns out of the hands of felons but also out of the hands of the mentally ill. that i think is a very big and hard to move piece, but an important one. the mental health piece is enormously significant, important. the assault weapons ban, i'm going to be focused on another piece, h is that the gun industry enjoys an immunity that no other industry in america enjoys. it can act in a negligent way and have immunity whereas no other industry has that immunity from responsibility. >> congressman adam schiff. it is always good to have you on the program. happy new year to you. good to see you. >> good to see you, too. let me go back to the debt ceiling for a second.
republicans are saying no more revenue. only cuts. then listen to this. >> is the revenue side of it taken care of yet? >> no, it is not. the president had said originally he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue. he took it down to $1.2 trillion as a compromise. >> certainly underscores the voracious appetite for more taxes on the other side. the tax issue is over. we resolved that a few days ago. >> can the democrats go back and say we're not done with taxes? >> they can try. what they'll try to go after is deductions, right? there's an offer by john boehner previously and mitt romney was talking about this, let's limit deductions of people of a certain class or certain wealth so that we can take some of that revenue back. i presume that's what the president will go after. i don't think he's going to get very far. the republicans have more leverage in this debate than they did in the previous one. because they do have to approve raising of the debt ceiling. they don't want to shut down the government because they will be
blamed, of course. but, still, they do feel like we talked about taxes. we're done with that conversation. let's move on. i think taxes are probably going to be off the table. and that also means tax reform is off the table which is a shame. >> the president has also said, perry, he won't even talk about the debt ceiling. won't negotiate over paying bills that, you know, money we've already spent. so when do they start talking? and what do they start talking about? if the lines in the sand are being drawn this way. >> this is how negotiations start. we're not going to talk about this. we're not going to talk about this. the reality is the president is going to talk about spending cuts. we can call it negotiating or what have you. he's going to have some spending cuts in exchange for the debt ceiling going up. and the president even before the last deal was signed had a big speech the republicans criticized in which he over and over again said i'm going to push for tax increases as part of any revenue -- as any part of any deficit reduction agreement. so you're going to have some deductions or some kind of tax increase. you're going to have spending cuts. we're in the posturing stage
right now. >> a tax code overhaul? dare we even say that phrase? >> within two months, no chance. >> the tax code is being gradually overhauled, yes. i don't know that there'll be a big deal on taxes the way we were talking about last year but i think there'll be some tax changes as well. the details of those, matt's in the right direction, upper income americans, making sure they can't deduct as much money i think is where we're headed. >> we're going to start with these confirmation processes. how quickly can this stuff get going? >> who knows. i think there are some people spoiling for an intellectual fight over american foreign policy on both sides or on all sides of the issue. and hagel might be kind of the excuse to have that fight. if that's the case, then that can stretch out weeks. >> all right. matt welch, great to see you. perry bacon, as always, thank you. victims of hurricane sandy will finally get some financial relief from congress. president obama signing a bill to pay for $9.7 billion in flood insurance claims. those are for new york, new
jersey and connecticut. another bill that would provide comprehensive $51 billion in aid is expected to be put to a vote sometime next week. [ male anno] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
is chuck hagel the right choice for secretary of defense? it's certainly not the easiest one. the president's expected nomination has already been drawing fire from lawmakers and it could be a tough confirmation battle. the 66-year-old former republican senator is a decorated vietnam veteran but he broke with his party over the war in iraq. he's also facing tough criticism from members on both sides over his stances on israel and iran and decades old comments about -- and a decade-old comment about a former ambassador who was also gay. joining me now, former state department officer joel ruben who worked closely with hagel
both when he was in the senate and at the anti-nuclear weapons plowshares fund. good to see you, joel. good morning. >> great to be here. >> besides republican opposition, capitol hill sources tell chuck todd there are as many as ten democratic senators who could vote no. why do you think the president has decided to nominate chuck hagel in spite of the fact that it looks like there could be a fight? >> well, chris, chuck hagel is a great pick. he's in the mainstream of american foreign policy. he has a very strong record. as you mentioned, i served in the senate alongside as a democratic staffer alongside him and his staff. we worked closely at the staff level on veterans bills, on military bills supporting health care for military servicemen and women, and his word was his bond. a very effective legislator. really someone the president can trust to guide us in the next four years. this a very difficult period for our country. national security challenges are strong overseas. we have a fiscal dilemma here at home. he can address both those
issues. >> so as somebody who knows him very well, when he sits down, and obviously a lot of the folks he knows and has worked with who will be saying yay or nay on his confirmati confirmation, but, for example, senator john cornyn of texas told the daily beast that hagel, quote, the worst possible message we could send to our friend in israel and the rest of our allies in the middle east. how do you think he will respond to critics who say that he is not strong enough on the relationship between the united states and israel? >> these are charges that we just heard in november. leveled against president obama saying that he would throw israel under the bus. the american jewish community in commit polls voted 70% for obama. they didn't believe those arguments. there are a variety of former american ambassadors to israel, leading israelis, leading jewish commentators. i myself write for a jewish newspaper at my hometown. there is significant support for
chuck hagel and his positions. these are really not fair charges. he has a track record of supporting sanctions on iran, tough diplomacy with iran. >> in addition gay rights groups have also expressed opposition because of the comments he made just a little over a decade ago about american ambassador to luxembourg james hormel who is gay. i know he's apologized for these comments. what are your thoughts about that? there are still a number of gay rights advocates who have serious concerns about chuck hagel. >> this is a watershed moment in our country where the don't ask, don't tell policy has been repealed. chuck hagel has recognized the wisdom of that. came out forcefully with a response saying that he rejected what he said in the past. and has been accepted by griffin and others, steve clemens who's notable in washington on foreign policy has argued that hagel is progay and very committed to these issues. this will, again, wash out in the discussions. likely this is going to be a
touchstone in the near term. but hopefully as the commentary goes forward, people will see that chuck hagel is the right man for the job. >> we talked about the democrats who have some concerns of their own. there's the new political article that cites a senate democratic official as saying this. quote, i don't think dems just fall in line. ultimately he may be confirmed. at this stage his fate is totally up in the air. he will really have to work hard to overcome some of his previous statements and positions. if you take us inside that confirmation room, for most americans who may not know chuck hagel very well, who's the person they're going to see? what will be his demeanor when he's answering some of these tough questions? >> they're going to see an american hero. someone who won two purple hearts. an enlisted man in vietnam. a man who has shrapnel still in his chest. they're going to see someone who speaks truth to power and is very frank. he received an 84% rating from the american conservative union. very conservative. very republican. they're going to see him as an independent thinker.
really it's to show that president obama is serious about having a bipartisan inclusive foreign policy. that's what americans want to see. >> joel rubin a good friend clearly to chuck hagel. good of you to come on the program. secretary of state hillary clinton, meantime, is back at work today just days after being released from the hospital for treatment of a blood clot. clinton is in her final days at the state department. she had been sidelined for four weeks due to a stomach virus, suffering from a concussion. clinton is said to be raring to get back to work and this week that includes a sit-down thursday with visiting afghan president hamid karzai. ♪ ♪ ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot.
...i'll look back on this day and laugh. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away. tamiflu is prescription medicine for treating the flu in adults and children one year and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing. have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion or abnormal behavior. the most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting.
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task" comes out today. he devotes less than two pages to his resignation. >> did you want to stay in the job? >> i wanted to stay in the job. but i wanted to do what was best for the mission. senator rand paul's son william hilton paul was arrested over the weekend. the 19-year-old charged with three disdemeanors at the char lot airport. disortderly conduct, underage consumption of alcohol and being intoxicated and disruptive. senator paul's office released this statement. senator paul is a national public figure and subject to juteny in the public arena. however as many parents with teenagers would understand, his family should be afforded the privacy and respect they deserve in a situation such as this. chicago's mayor rahm emanuel pushing for legislation to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses. he rallied support for his plan at a latino church yesterday. and actress ashley judd might be thinking about a run for senate against republican leader mitch mcconnell. but he's not too worried.
yet. >> look, the election's going to occur in 2014. in the meantime i've got my hands full trying to deal with all the issues that we've been discussing here this morning. we'll worry about the election in 2014. if you read only one thing this morning, my must-read today is something to look forward to. michael j. fox has signed a deal for his own sitcom. he'll play a news anchor who quits because of parkinson's disease but then has a comeback. such a great comedic actor. such an inspiration, too, to so many. that story is up on our facebook page at facebook.com/jansingco. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. that's the power of german engineering.
i think what washington needs is more common sense and more principle. >> i keep saying to my republican friends, take back your party. this isn't the grand ole party that did so many things for america, that commanded so much respect. this is really the over the edge crowd. that's the way i see it. it is dominated by an element that are anti-government ideal0s and committed to not cooperating with this president. it's hard to understand. >> let's bring in republican strategist and former santorum senior strategist. also former democratic senator from arkansas, blanche lincoln. >> happy new year to you. >> happy new year to you. john, let me start with you. i want to get your reaction to what you just heard from leader pelosi and this over the edge crowd that she says is really pushing the republicans away from what the grand ole party has been. what do you say? >> i do think the democrats and the president have been just great masters at positions us as
just fighting for tax breaks for the wealthy and not caring about everybody else. i do think we need to change that. republican principles are based on two promises. number one, to every american, if you get up and you work hard and you follow the rules, you're going to succeed and do well in this country. number two, that we will always leave this country better for the next generation. a promise we're now set to break because of the ridiculous spending and the out of control debt. we've got to remind people what we're fighting for, not what we're opposed to. >> obviously, a lot of criticism comes from people who think that the most conservative portion, most conservative wing of the party has undue and disproportionate influence on republicans overall. senator lincoln, you faced backlash in your career certainly from liberals, moderates, even conservative leaning folks for some of your positions. i thought it was interesting this weekend, i don't know if you saw in the sunday "time"s magazine jon huntsman was interviewed about his, you know, criticism over the last year or
so about his party's shift to the right. here's what he said about his primary loss. quote, michael moore, bill clinton and jimmy carter coming out and giving you kudos as a sane republican doesn't play so well in the primary phase of iowa or south carolina. can you be a, quote, unquote, sane republican these days and be successful? >> well, i think that the most important thing for us all to remember is that we are americans first. and we need to be democrats and republicans second. >> it's easy to say. everybody says it. but in practice, nothing's getting done. >> but you're right. and if you look at what happens in primaries now, which pushes so many people either to the far left or to the far right. but you look at what huntsman did. what huntsman did was he looked to where his commonality was with president obama. that's what he did first. he went to the common ground first. and when he realized that there were things that they had differences on and he chose to step out there and he wanted to
run himself for the idealins th he had that were very reasonable in most instances, he did a very thoughtful and well mannered thing. which was a thank you letter to the president for the things that they agreed on and the opportunities that were availed to him. that's something another mother would want of their son. to be that thoughtful and good mannered. >> he was heavily criticized. >> you're right. he was cite sized for being thoughtful and well mannered. it is important for us to find the common ground and work out from that. figure out where we can solve problems together. and then, you know, after we start doing that, there's an opportunity to look at the differences and see where we can all give. but if people come to the table, and everybody should come to the table with all their ideas. but if you come to the table with the idea that everything you're going to, you know, offer is going to be accepted or that you're going to get everything you want, it's just not going to happen. >> let me get your take on where we are.
obviously we know that there's this chasm between some republicans and democrats on many of these fiscal issues. but there are increasing reports about problems within your own party. roll call reporting this atte t attemptattemp attemptattemp attemptattemp attempted coup was larger than thought. if the conservatives were more organized than originally thought, what does that mean for the fights ahead? and are you concerned about divisions within your own party? >> there's a big question that we're addressing right now. are we going to be the party about ideas and principles or are we going to be the party about elections? we came off an election where we didn't do well. and so all the sudden there's some in our party saying, well, the democrats did well. i guess maybe we should start acting a little bit more like the democrats and we'll win the next election. truth of the matter is i think most in our party think that's a mistake. that we need two parties, but we need one who believes in smaller government, more freedom and giving people more opportunity. we just need to do a much better
job messaging out there. but for us just to start acting like democrats, i think, is a huge problem. >> well, senator lincoln, a part of it obviously always is with the political ramifications in mind of any decision. former pennsylvania governor ed rendell was on cnbc this morning. here's what he had to say. >> we need people on both sides of the aisle to be willing to accept flak. we're not going to get this done without taking a lot of grief from a lot of different interest groups. >> how do you do that? how do you say i'm going to move forward. i'm not going to worry about the flak. i'm not going to worry about the pressure. >> i think, again, you have to be focused on what is the real, you know, objective here. and it is to be americans and to solve the very real problems that we have. but the fact is, is i think the american people and the voters are tired of elections right now. and the idea that we're already talking about 2016, that even 2014, you know, these are things -- they want real leadership. they do want people that are going to be willing to come
together and figure out where the common ground is and start solving some of these problems. you know, john boehner is a good listener. you know, i found that when i worked with him. and i think that's an important quality in leadership is being able to listen to all those sides of everybody at the table and then trying to take those steps forward. >> former john blanche lincoln, john brabender, good to see both of you. making news this morning as well, a hearing in colorado for the movie theater shooting suspect james holmes begins with prosecutors outlining their case in detail for the first time today. holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 others when he allegedly opened fire on moviegoers back in july. legal experts say that because the evidence against him is so strong, holmes may take a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. federal health officials say the flu is now widespread in at least 41 states. that is the earliest and most active start to the flu season in more than a decade. the major strain circulating this year is making people feel
especially sick. doctors say it's not too late to get the vaccine. prince charles giving a rare interview, telling a british tv show he'll have to answer to his royal grandchild about the state of the environment. >> i'm going to be confronted by my future grandchild. why didn't you do something? so clearly now there is a -- we'll have a grandchild, it makes it even more obvious. to try and make sure we have -- leave them something that isn't a totally poisoned chalice. >> prince charles revealed he does worry about his son harry serving in afghanistan. forking over some serious dough for wonder bread. cnbc's mandy drury is here with what's moving your money. reports two bidders have emerged in the hostess bankruptcy talks to buy the bread part of the business. >> that's right. flowers foods and grupo. two names thrown around before reportedly in discussions to
acquire pieces of the bread business as hostess is basically selling off assets now in a bankruptcy court auction which could be as soon as this week. there are reports of other interested parties. those two are supposedly the opening bidders. as for how much they might have to fork over, you've got the bread business and it's got lots of brands. things like wonder bread, nature's pride, butternut, home pride. according to one person it could all fetch more than $350 mill n million. as for the cake business, that includes the twinkies, that expected to be sold later on this year. we're watching for this week. >> big develops related to the foreclosure fiasco. >> we're talking about a multibillion dollar settlement and the negotiations over this have been going on for some time. the sentiment is over claims of foreclosure abuses by 14 banks which would include jpm, chase, b of a and citi. b of a, bank of america, meantime, is going to pay out $10 billion to fannie mae to settle mortgage claims resulting
from the housing crash over allegations mortgages were improperly handle. it's going to pay $3.f billion to fannie mae, buy back about $6.7 billion in loans that it and its countrywide banking unit sold to fannie mae over an eight year period. which does include, by the way, chris, about 30,000 loans. we're talking about quite a lot of loans here. >> to put you on the spot, do you ever think about retiring? i know it's 40 years away. retiring somewhere other than the u.s.? maybe going back to your native country? >> yes. >> you do? >> i think about going back to australia all the time. don't get me wrong. i love america. i've chosen to live here. it's a great place. but i do think about retiring to australia all the time, chris. >> but it didn't make the list. i want to show you my list today for people who are thinking about retiring abroad, mandy. internationalliving.com looked at factors from the cost of living to friendliness. here are the top five countries for retiring in 2013. costa rica is number five.
mexico, number four. the number three slot, malaysia. >> malaysia? >> yeah. number two, panama. you want to guess the number one? i never in a million years would have guessed this. ecuador. >> wow. i guess, you know, it's sunny. it's warm. >> right now that sounds pretty good. >> cheap. what's not to like, right? >> right. mandy drury, thank you. we'll be right back. >> thanks, chris. sorry. sore knee.
it's the one you store in the freezer. same medicated pain reliever used by physical therapists. that's chilly. [ male announcer ] new bengay zero degrees. freeze and move on. new reports that the white house wants to go big on new gun control measures in the wake of the newtown, connecticut, shoot ppgs "the washington post" reporting vice president biden's task force is considering several new measures beyond reinstating the assault weapons ban and banning high capacity magazines. they include rerequiring a universal background check for firearm buyers. tracking the movement and sale of weapons through a national data base. strengthening mental health checks. and stiffening penalties for
carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors. at the same time, business is still booming at gun shows. including this one at the ontario convention center over the weekend. where buyers said they're buying because they're worried about new legislation. joining me now is white house correspondent for the "washington post," phillip r rutger who wrote about this. you point out these proposals are far broader and more comprehensive than what we might have expected. here's what democratic senator heidi heitkamp of north dakota is saying. >> i think you need to put everything on the table. but what i hear from the administration and if the. "washington post" is to be believed that's way in extreme of what i think is necessary or even should be talked about. and it's not going to pass. >> give us a sense, phillip, of how the white house is gearing up for this fight, what their strategy is. >> in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in newtown last month, president obama tasked vice president biden with leading an interagency working
group. they've been meeting with a lot of key stakeholders, law enforcement leaders, faith leaders, various gun control advocates to develop their recommendations. they're still in that process. and the proposals that we reported about over the weekend are just things that are under consideration. it's not clear yet whether that's going to be a part of the final legislative package. but people who've been involved in those discussions say the white house is very much looking at a broader, more ambitious agenda than just the assault weapons ban which had passed in 1994, of course. but it expired ten years later in 2004. that's one of the key legislative proposals under consideration up on capitol hill now. >> of course, there are a lot of people weighing in already. both new york senators kirsten gillibrand and charles schumer sent vice president biden a letter. you write, quote, in addition to potential legislative proposals, biden's group has expanded its focus to include measures that
would not need congressional approval and could quickly be implemented. what are you talk about there? >> there are some executive actions that they could take that they could kind of do immediately. it's a little bit unclear what they could do to actually restrict access to guns through executive action. but they could do things in certain agencies like at the atf, they could work on some mental health programs through the department of health and human services. there are things they can do outside of congress to start to begin to curb the nation's gun violence. these recommendations have not been developed just yet. >> in the meantime there have been ten new bills proposed in this congress. eight restricting, two expanding gun rights. at the same time, the fbi reported that 2.78 million firearm background checks were conducted in december. that's the highest monthly figure since routine background checks were required way back in 1998. so let's talk about the opposition. is there any indication of
softening there, particularly in congress where obviously these bills would have to be passed? >> well, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, we saw some key moderate democratic lawmakers like joe manchin come out and say he was open to this conversation. he was open to having a debate about gun control, considering some of these measures. it's unclear whether that's going to be dissipate at all now as we've had more time elapse since the shooting and that emotional momentum may have slowed a little bit. we also see the nra. they're very powerful. still powerful. and they have a lot of allies in congress, not just among the republicans, but also with some democrats. the new senator from north dakota who was out over the weekend certainly doesn't seem open to a lot of these proposals. so it's going to be a legislative challenge for the white house to push forward whatever proposals they develop and get those passed in congress. >> are there people in the house and senate who have sort of cred on both sides they think they can use. we have heard a number of gun
owners, people who have ratings with the nra saying things like you don't need an assault weapon to go duck hunting. >> you know, there are some. i think we're going to see them emerge and play sort of a leadership role once these proposals are developed. the president himself is going to try to make a public relations push to generate public support out in the country for these proposals. the white house is talking with some people who are advisers to michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york, who's been a key gun control advocate and is probably going to emerge as a big s surrogate for the effort going forward. >> phillip rucker, good to see you. thank you. today's tweet of the day. "new york times" assistant managing editor jim roberts. that quote i just mentioned from congressman rick nolan. i'm a hunter, believe in second amendment rights. i don't need an assault weapon to shoot a duck. ly absorbed in l continuous amounts. citracal slow release
it is the first full week of business for the new congress. and it is making history. nine lawmakers have returned to the house after previously losing re-election battles or retiring from office. that's the highest number of former members to return at the same time in modern history. i'm joined by one of those comeback kids making a return to politics. 32 years after he was first elected, minnesota congressman rick nolan. good to see you, congressman. congratulations. >> well, thank you, chris. delilgted to be here with you. >> how does it feel to be back? >> i feel a litle bit like rick van winkle in some respects. >> you look much better than that. >> well, thank you. thank you. at times it feels like, you know, i was in the congress. i took a nap. and i woke up and here i am. i'm still in the congress. i'm delighted to be here. >> when you woke up, were you discombobulated? how different is it? >> well, you know, chris, it's dramatically different. i think that's the heart of the
problems that the country's facing today. you know, you hear the statement that everybody's campaigning and nobody's governing. it's like literally true. i had my staff do some research. my first term we worked 48 out of 52 weeks. and most of those were four and five-day weeks. we were in committee. we were all fully engaged, getting to know one another. this past congress and the current congress, they're scheduled to work 32 out of 52 weeks. and most of those weeks are, you know, not much more than a couple of days. >> so why would you want to come back to that? you know that the approval rating of the congress has never been lower. you know that last year they got less done than ever recorded before in terms of the number of bills that were passed. so what were you thinking, frankly? >> well, you know, that's a good question. in some respects i backed into it. i started out trying to recruit a candidate. and we identified a number of
young mayors and senators and representatives. i suppose you might argue they were smarter than i am. because they declined. >> what were they saying to you? because i've heard this from people who have tried to recruit women candidates, for example. part of the problem is that people who are used to getting things done, who are successful, don't want to be put in a position where they feel like they're going to be knocking their head against the wall. >> well, and, you know, there's that old saying. you know, the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result. i'm here because this country's been so good to my generation. the country is in trouble. i feel like my previous experience in legislative politics and the last 32 years of experience in business and community service, i feel better prepared than ever before. and i want to make a difference. we need to change the way we do politics. right now members of congress are expected to spend, you know, 30 hours a week in call time dialing for dollars.
my congressional race cost over $20 million. that's time we used to spend in governance. now, literally, members of the congress are busy campaigning. we just got sworn in on thursday. that was a formall day. we had a couple of votes on friday. and then we go on a two-week vacation. you can't run a country that way. you can't run a business that way. we need to take the toxic influence that money's having on campaigns and elections, and we need to go to work four and five days a week like everybody else in america does. >> i've only got 30 seconds left. given that reality, what does that mean for the three major debates ahead? the battle over the debt ceiling, sequester, the continues budget resolution? >> that's to my point. right now all the committees of congress should be meeting. the people on agriculture should be saying what can we do to make cuts here and make some changes there? the defense appropriations committee should be meeting. the housing committee should be
meeting. all the various appropriating and authorizing committees should be meeting. and be involved in this process instead of leaving it to the last minute to three people. you can't run a country that way. like i said, you can't run a business that way. if i spent as little time running my business as the congress does conducting its business, why, we would have been out of business a long time ago. >> minnesota congressman rick nolan. again, congratulations. and come back and see us again. thank you so much. >> thank you. delighted to be here. that wraps up this hour of "jansing & co." coming up next on the agenda, the political calculations of picking senator chuck hagel to be the secretary of defense. while both sides of the aisle are coming out swinging against this decorated vietnam war vet and former nebraska republican. will he sail through his confirmation hearings or not? we'll talk with former senator judd gregg and on the opposition the log cabin republicans. the battle over the debt. will republican leaders hold the
debt ceiling hostage to get the cuts that they want? we'll be joined by the independent senator of vermont, bernie sanders, to join me on that topic. secretary of state hillary clinton returning to work. what's the very latest on her bill of health as she finishes out her last days as the country's top diplomat? that and much more coming up at the top of the hour. you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. ♪ [ male announcer ] it started long ago. the joy of giving something everything you've got.
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i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. tomming the agenda today, ready to rumble. today president obama announcing two of his choices for his second term candidate. one of which is all but certain to propel the white house into a full scale dukes up confirmation fight. the president expected to nominate chuck hagel, a vietnam vet as his next defense secretary and current counterterrorism adviser john brennan to lead the cia. nominating hagel, a former republican senator from nebraska is president is signaling he's ready to pick a fight. the backlash is coming from within hagel's own party. >> he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in your face
nomination by the president. >> if hagel is nominated, it is very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which i could support his confirmation. >> i think it would be a lot of tough questions of senator hagel. and -- but he'll be treated fairly. >> hagel's nomination also meeting resistance from the left. the president defending hagel on a recent appearance on "meet the press." >> my number one criteria will be who's going to do the best job in helping to secure america. >> anything disqualify him? >> not that i see. i served with chuck hagel. i know him. he's a patriot. >> at this point, what can the white house do to break the opposition and install hagel in the pentagon's top spot? >> he's an impressive guy. he's got tons of support as andrea said. he's going to have to win over -- >> what's better for democrats politically? if barack obama gets his republican secretary of defense or if republicans who after deep sixing an african-american woman for secretary of state now turn
and savage one of their own? >> from hagel to the other name on everybody's lips in dc, john brennan. a member of the president's inner circle brennan was up for the job of top spot four years ago but bowed out amid questions of ties to enhanced interrogation techniques used during the bush administration. hagel and brennan would join senator john kerry already nominated to lead the state department in shaping and rounding out the foreign policy of president obama's second term in office. let's dig in right now. joining me is former new hampshire senator judd gregg. also cnbc contributor who served with chuck hagel in the senate. great to have you here with me this morning. as we put your qualifications out there as someone who served with hagel in the past, i want to play for you and remind everybody what senator lindsey gr graham had to say over the weekend in reference to the fact that the service of hagel, while honorable, might be questioned now in this new post. >> i like chuck hagel. he s