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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  December 16, 2013 6:00am-7:01am PST

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time. instead of "ferris bueller's day off". >> decade off. >> j.b. you're the j.b. of msnbc. >> what does that mean? >> john beale. >> i could take a decade off as well. i learned mike barnicle's excuse to get handicap parking at fenway park has been called out. you need to call and say you actually did not get malaria in vietnam. >> i am limping. >> may have been john beale's worst excuse. if it's way too early, mika, what time is it? >> it is time for "morning joe." but now it's time for "the daily rundown" with chuck todd. have a great day, everybody. with a budget breakthrough under their belts, could congress actually find agreement on some other pending issues? say, like, immigration? we'll talk to an independent -- really votes with the democrats
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most often, a senator who's not afraid to deal. maine's angus king. senator john mccain shows his sport for pro-european protesters in the ukraine. hear what he told msnbc that might trigger the u.s. to get involved. 2016 news. what's going on with chris christie and the george washington bridge? in a hypothetical world where hillary clinton doesn't run, would democrats and republicans underestimate joe biden at their own peril? good morning from washington. it's monday, december 16th, 2013. this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd. right to my first reads of the morning. the senate is poised to pass the two-year budget agreement hammered out by congressman paul ryan and senator patty murray. does that mean new momentum for an immigration overhaul or minimum wage hike? or will washington in 2014 look a lot like washington in 2013? a city ham strung by
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bipartisanship and gridlock whose chapter title should be embrace the suck. the senate expected to vote to end debate on the budget bill on tuesday morning. with a vote on final passage likely by wednesday evening. this morning new york's senator chuck schumer said he thinks it's a totally done deal. >> i think it's a pretty safe bet it's going to pass. after what happened in the house, where so many republicans voted for it, i think mitch mcconnell, the republican leadership, knows they can't let it go down. >> and they're not going to let it go down. there's 53 democrats, with 2 independents that usually vote with the democrats. they're likely to keep open debate on the bill. democrats need just five republican votes. it looks like they have them. here are our numbers. we've got mccain, flake, collins, burr and ron johnson who've all voindicated they're going to vote to move the bill forward. at least four other senators are willing to vote to advance the bill if necessary.
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>> i hope it'll pass the senate. i'll do anything -- not anything. but we must not shut down the government again. we can't do that to the people of this country and my state. >> here's the question now. will republicans, particularly republicans in the house led by speaker john boehner, make the political calculation that the dividends that health care can pay them as a political story are worth avoiding other fights with democrats? particularly fights on immigration and the minimum wage. which democrats would like to exploit as wedge issues in the months before the election. on "meet the press" sunday paul ryan defended his bill from republican criticism by arguing that ideal allows republicans to do just this. focus on health care. >> government has to function. and we saw the specter of two possible government shutdowns in 2014. one in january and one in october. i don't think that's good for
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anybody. we also don't want to have shutdown drama so that we can focus on --e iing obamacare. focus on better ideas. >> over the weekend "the wall street journal" reported that errors continue to plague the health care website. "washington post" reported on saturday that enrollment records for close to 15,000 enroll lees were not initially transferred to the plans they selected. hhs argues the vast majority of the errors have been fixed but these are just the sorts of stories republicans want to keep alive. democrats, especially democrats in tough 2014 races, would rather focus on anything else. look at this democratic superpac ad that was released over the weekend targeting louisiana republican congressman bill cassidy who would like to be the republican nominee to take on democratic senator mary landrieu. expect to see a lot more ads like this. particularly against house republicans trying to run for u.s. senate seats. >> in louisiana, we expect leaders to solve problems.
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not become part of the problem. cassidy voted 16 times to shut down the government. 16 times. that's congressman cassidy's record in the house. he hurt us even more in the senate. >> by the way, to get to 16, democrats are counting the series of many continuing resolutions that house republicans passed to try to avoid looking unreasonable on issues like the national parks, veterans' benefits and cancer research. but to believe that congress may make small legislative deals in 2014 you have to make the assumption that boehner has broken or is in the process of breaking some of the rank and file conservatives' reliance on interest groups. yesterday ryan tried to defend boehner. but also tried to soothe the tea party. >> i think john just kind of got his irish up. he was frustrated that these groups came out in opposition to our budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement. i was frustrated, too. but i think these -- these are very important elements of our conservative family. i would prefer to keep those
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conversations within the family. >> the fact is, ryan for the first time used his considerable political capital with conservatives and without him this deal probably wouldn't have passed as smoothly as it did. while there has been a ton of focus on speaker boehner speaking out against some of the conservative groups, realize ryan's thorship on this deal was probably more important in getting a majority of the gop conference than boehner's fighting words against heritage or the club. will ryan use this clout, say, on immigration in the months ahead? that's a whole other question. oklahoma congressman tom cole, a close boehner ally, told the a.p., maybe it's the budget deal that it is something that we can build on. success begets success and trust builds trust. pete sessions says this. i don't see this is a clear channel for us to move to immigration. and i don't think that's what this was about. democrats and republicans will also have to strike a deal over the next two to three months to raise the debt ceiling. on sunday ryan said stay tuned for some republican demands on that. >> we as a caucus, along with
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our senate counterparts, are going to meet and discuss what it is we're going to get out of the debt limit. we don't want nothing on this debt limit. we're going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of the debt limit fight. >> we talk here about their committing suicide by not passing the budget. and it will be double suicide to default on the debt. i don't think they'll do either. >> well, there you go. joining me now, it's monday. so we've got "the washington post" chief correspondent dan balz here. susan page, politico's senior political correspondent. manu raju. dan, let me start with you. it's interesting. this year ends to me in the same way -- a little bit in the same way post deal with the tax deal 2012 ends. with the asusumption of, okay, e got through this. this means we might have a productive six months legislatively. well, to 2013 was not productiv. let's not pretend that it was. does this mean 2014 will see some deals on immigration, minimum wage, stuff like that? >> chuck, i think history says
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no. we had a flurry of activity after the 2010 mid-term elections in which the president had quite a good lame duck session and came out of that thinking maybe in 2011 we can get some things done. they couldn't do that. last year and the fiscal cliff. prelude to this year. i think we should not overread end of the year agreements. >> susan, are you there on this? >> i am filled with the christmas spirit. and i think that -- i don't think an immigration bill -- i mean, i think that goes too far. but could we have an easier deal on the debt limit? could they finally pass the farm bill? could they do some small things that make them look not totally dysfunctional? i think that's possible. >> manu, this issue on the debt ceiling. i just -- i guess the question is, how committed are republicans to believing that health care is their ticket to ride. >> it is 100%. >> if that is the case, then doesn't that actually oddly give leverage to those that want immigration reform? want the farm bill? want a debt ceiling smoothly?
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>> republican leadership does not want a fight over the debt limit heading into the election. remember, that's what got us out of the government shutdown was the fear of a possible default. so when we're heading into an election, you can see them trying to take that off the table if the conservatives listen to them. does that open up possibility of doing a farm bill? yes. potentially. because remember last year, last election cycle, house republicans didn't even take up the farm bill. they got killed in all of these rural states and districts. i don't think they want to make that same mistake again. you may see some sort of farm bill. >> you think there is some -- >> something on a farm bill, yes. immigration, i don't see that happening. >> "new york times" did an interesting analysis of the workweek congress had. different ways. we've all done various stories about how unproductive this congress has been. but they did it by the hours. so 942 hours, not counting those pro forma sessions. fewest hours in a non-election
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year since 2005 when this was first recorded. far fewer than 2007. 1350 in 2005. 1,200 in 2011. these ads write themselves. you, dan balz, have to work 40 to 50 hours to make ends meet in this tough economy. congress is barely putting in -- not even putting in 30 hours. >> yeah. >> i mean, is that an incentive to move, though? boehner's very sensitive to these hits more so than i think people realize. >> certainly it's an incentive to make it look like they are on the job and trying to do something. but if you -- one, the number of things that they actually might do. i mean, we've ticked through a very short list. there's not a lot of other things of significance that we know of that they're going to take up. there's only so much time you can devote to those. as we saw in the budget agreement this was a two-person deal. it's not like the whole congress was sitting there trying to figure out and debating this budget deal. that's part of the reality of the way the congress is working.
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>> that's remarkable about this, sus susan. in that before the criticism has always been no back room deems. patty murray and paul ryan did a back room. they cut out the -- i love there have been other people coming on that were all part of the budget conference. they weren't part of this. it was a two-person deal. >> back room deals are good. earmarks now look like a critical part of getting anything big done because it gets you the final votes you need. so, you know, a changing perspective may be on how congress ought to work. i think the number of hours they meet is a delicious story around this table. i don't think americans care how many hours. >> oh? wait till you see those tv ads, though. i'm telling you. >> what do you think they've done that fix health care, create jobs, do something for people's lives. that seems to be the thing that has political -- because they haven't done those things. >> you're on the hill more than any of us here. the conservatives, how are they handling what heritage and the club are saying versus what ryan
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and boehner are saying? >> i think most of them on the hill probably would side with ryan and boehner. you do have that outspoken group of folks who tend to drive a lot of the decisions with the conference. >> we know who they are. we know that number. those 60 -- what was it? 62 that voted no. >> that's right. >> those are the guys. period. >> those are the guys. they're the ones that drove the october strategy over the shutdown fight. those are the ones that, you know, boehner's frankly trying to dissuade the rest of the conference from joining them and siding with him. i think there is a palatable frustration among republicans from these groups scoring these guys' votes every time they do something that may even be a whiff of compromise. they get whacked back home. there's some relief that finally the leadership is attacking these guys. but the question is whether that's going to be effective or not. >> that's what i wonder, dan. is this -- it was interesting. you have boehner. he wants to go and as paul ryan
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was saying, oh, he got his irish up. ryan wants to try to cool things down a little bit. but, you know, i wonder, is it more effective, do you try to -- what is the more effective strategy? do you try to keep everybody in the tent or actually do you break them? >> i don't know john boehner has a clear strategy in mind. as i understand it, what he did as ryan suggested was kind of a spontaneous -- he was just irritated. >> this was two days in a row. >> i understand that. >> to me one day is irritation. one day is watching jerry jones have a horrible press conference talking about jason garrett. or mike shanahan have another horrible press conference. >> as opposed to a couple weeks' worth? >> two days in a row, whoa, there's something going on here. >> the question is paul ryan certainly didn't sound as though he's going to be at the barricades day after day after day. >> that's to me -- >> i think that that limits what john boehner's able to do. i think that boehner's frustrations were very clear and maybe, you know, they were so deep that he did it two days in a row. but what does he do to follow that? >> it's interesting. i hear a lot of this frustration actually goes back to the farm
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bill. forget the shutdown here, susan. that the farm bill where they -- where basically house republicans are going, you begged us to decouple food stamps from the farm bill and we did it and you still said vote against the farm bill and you still whacked us for it. what are you guys for? that's where boehner's -- >> i wonder if there's a little bit of a turning point. or a potential turning point here. we haven't seen boehner be quite this harsh. maybe ryan didn't use harsh rhetoric yesterday but he did make a deal. they sold it on the house side. maybe there's just -- not that the tea party is not still very influential in the republican party. but maybe this a little bit of a turning point for the willingness to push back. >> it's mcconnell, too. i mean, mcconnell pushing back against the senate conservatives fund. really this is the year they want to kind of teach these guys a lesson. if you're going to come after us, we'll defeat you. send a message to their donors, too. >> they also found out, though, that there is no -- you can be with them 90% of the time and you're not going to get rewarded. >> that's right. >> so there's better -- anyway. you guys are going to come back. we'll talk a little 2016 later in the show.
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up next, a reality tv star may effect real change to a state law. we'll see what the federal government has to say about this. a federal judge rules parts of utah's anti-polygamy law to be unconstitutional. the latest change to some of the country's long standing rules on love and marriage. we've got more first read ahead. who's the most popular of the potential 2016 presidential candidates in the most important state. and what washington insider has outsider credibility? first a look ahead at today's politics planner. there's a lot more holiday stuff going on. look at this. 6:30 a boston tea party anniversary re-enactment. what will they be throwing into the boston harbor? you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. other than figure heads of the miami dolphins since they're frustrated. or rob gronkowski's x-rays. ♪
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a federal judge in utah has struck down a law used to ban polygamy. it's a decision that could open a new chapter in the fight over alternative forms of relationship. the judge ruled the law against so-called plural marriage is unconstitutional because it violates freedom of religion. now, the challenge was brought by cody brown. the star of tlc reality series called "sister wives" about brown, his four wives and their 17 children. now, the mormon church abandoned polygamy in 1890 while utah sought statehood. brown belongs to a fundamentally offshoot of the mormon church which still practices polygamy.
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the family fled utah last year to avoid prosecution after filing the suit to challenge the state law. >> there are those that keep wanting to place the stereotype back on us. and keep wanting to say, hey, you believe in a faith that is faulted. you're weak women. you're a controlling man. you're all these things that people want to stereotype with the lifestyle. they will not validate that we are having a good experience. and that in our culture, people have a good experience. >> well, the utah decision, this is what they struck down. it's the portion of the state law that made it illegal for people to be married and simultaneously cohabitate with another adult in a marriagelike relationship. that language is used to prosecute polygamists and is much broader than laws in other states. it's still illegal to hold multiple marriage licenses. brown himself is only legally married to one of those four women that you saw sitting next to him just now. but the judge said barring consenting adults from living
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together makes no sense. particularly in this day and age. and he wrote this. the court feels compelled to identify an absurdity in the state's position against religious cohabitation. at a time of much discussion in society about problems rising from the decline in rates of people marrying or the increased age at which people decide to marry, the statute penalizes people for making a firm marriagelike commitment to each other. pete williams is nbc justice correspondent. he's live at the supreme court. we are expecting potentially some decisions this week. but, pete, what next for this suit? this is one federal judge making one decision. we know that's never the end of anything in things like this. where does this go from here? >> reporter: well, the governor has said he's looking at the decision. it's very likely the state will appeal. whenever a federal judge strikes down a state law, that's a -- that's a red flag to a bull to challenge the decision. so i think you could expect the state to appeal. the essence of the decision
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here, chuck, is that what the judge said is, utah is not criminally punishing adultery. people who have mistresses, for example. people who cohabit. it's only when they claim it as a religious practice that the state has been prosecuting it. that's why the judge said it amounts to religious discrimination. >> utah had more aggressive laws on this than other states. which i think is something the judge pointed out, too. because that was part of the deal when they were trying to join the union in the first place. so it was interesting to go on this -- i mean, i guess the question, then, becomes does this become a slippery slope? is that the -- is that the state government's argument to this federal judge? >> reporter: to some extent. i guess the question is slippery slope to what? the judge leaves no room here for ultimately striking down the law against polygamy itself. that is to say, being legally married to more than one person. every state bans that.
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but utah did have this odd thing that said, that's illegal. so is professing to be married to more than one person. that, the judge said, is the part that's unconstitutional. that's unique to utah. where this goes from here, there are probably about 40,000 or so families that are polygamous. mostly in the west. utah, arizona. so i can't imagine this is going to -- there'll be a widespread demand for this nationwide. it does seem like it's confined to those states. especially utah specific because of the unusual nature of their law. >> and, look, the court in the past has put limits on what you can do under the umbrella of freedom of religion. i mean, it's -- you know, animal killing, things like that. there are limits. there is -- there is limits of courts done on this before when it comes to people using freedom of religion as an excuse to,
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say, do illegal things. >> reporter: right. and the supreme court in, i think, 1879 upheld state laws against polygamy. the utah law specifically. but, you know, this whole question of what the state can ban and what people -- what the state must permit people to do in the name of religion is a very hot issue now. it's before the court this year. >> right. >> reporter: the question about whether obamacare can compel businesses to provide contraceptive care. it's sort of the leading edge of now opponents of gay rights are using these laws -- or this claim to say, we shouldn't have to serve gay people. photographers shouldn't have to photograph their wedding. bakers shouldn't have to bake them wedding cakes. inkeepers shouldn't have to allow them into their homes. that sort of thing. >> very quickly, if you're standing in front of the supreme court it means you think we're getting some decisions this week. what should we expect this week? what are you waiting for? >> reporter: we know we're going to get decisions one day this week. that day is today. now, we don't know what they'll be.
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among the cases that are argued and sort of maybe ready to be decided is for your audience, i think the most interesting one, would be this challenge to the aggregate contribution limit. this is a man who's challenging not the individual limit on how much you can give to an individual federal candidate, but there's a separate law that says once you get to a certain amount, adding up all the candidates you've given to, that's your limit. you can't give anymore. there's a challenge to that. there's another question about whether a state can ban affirmative action by constitutional amendment. we're waiting for that one as well. >> both would be big, big news in the political and policy world of washington and beyond. pete williams at the court. thank you, sir. >> reporter: yes, sir. up next. a megaprotest. a megacomeback. and, well, the megamillions. it's all coming up in a mega data bank. first, today's trivia question. of the 15 members of congress who are mormon, how many of them are democrating? first person to tweet the correct answer to @chucktodd and
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back now with your monday daily rundown data bank. today we're going around the world. and we're wishing we had bought lottery tickets. and we're just happy. whenever the cowboys lose. especially to the packers. first up, 1st. as in the secretary of state and vietnam veteran john kerry's first trip since taking the job. he toured the mekong river delta. to talk about climate change. at one point while surveying the scene along the river kerry said, it hasn't changed all that much. next up, 26. as in the 26th day of protests today in kiev, ukraine. european union has now suspended trade talks with ukraine. arizona senator john mccain traveled to the country to show his support along with democratic senator from connecticut. he fired up the protesters with
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this rallying cry. >> the free world is with you. america is with you. i am with you! >> mccain was -- is traveling to ukraine with chris murphy. democrat from connecticut. by the way, he also had this to say to nbc about what he thinks the u.s. might do next if these protests continue. >> i think what would provoke even more concrete action on the part of the u.s. congress, if there's any brutal repression of these demonstrators. that would be unacceptable, i think, in congress. >> ukraine caught in a cold warlike back and forth between the eu and russia. next up, 21. that's how many times lottery officials have tried to find a winner for the $550 million megamillions jackpot. there's still no winner. the more than half a billion dollar prize would be the second largest jackpot ever.
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a lot of possibilities out there. basically i think you can get struck by lightning four times before you could have a shot at winning this megamillions. finally, 1. that was the margin of victory for my packers yesterday over the dallas cowboys. but here's the more important part. they trailed, 26-3 at the half. green bay wound up winning 37-36. it was their biggest -- matched their biggest comeback in franchise history. more importantly, they did it in -- wherever they play in dallas. not really dallas. the megaplex there. they did it on that field. in that stadium. against that team. for packer fans, for me, i think it's more important to beat the cowboys than the bears. believe it. we got more first read coming up on 2016. plus, spies and lies. the intelligence community is facing new scrutiny this morning. we're wondering if any oversight actually is done anymore on the intel community. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ coughs, sneezes ]
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back now with more first read. an uptick in the kind of 2016 posturing that we care more about than anybody else. there's no better place to start than iowa. when you've got the des moines register poll, not just any poll, not some crappy robo poll, but the des moines register poll on insights on who's up and who's down it's worth spending time on. on the republican side they told us paul ryan is the surprising front-runner garnering the highest favorable rating among republicans. 73 rs 73%. all coming simultaneously as he was brokering the budget deal with patty murray. this poll mostly was conducted before that deal was announced, by the way. it is a reminder how much credibility ryan has with the republican base and how much strength he has inside the house of representatives. a few -- one of these beltway guys that's got insider credibility and outsider credibility. question, of course, is whether ryan can maintain that strength over the next few years. on "fox news sunday" ryan insisted only a conservative can get the country back on track.
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>> we're going to have to win the senate. and we're going to have to win the white house to truly fix this country's fiscal problems. because i don't believe this white house and this senate, i don't think they're willing and able to do it. >> right behind ryan in the poll was another surprise. that's a former iowa caucus winner. mike huckabee who came in with a 66% favorable rating. a reminder of just how strong evangelicals are in the state of iowa. we told you last week there is room for an evangelical christian in the republican primary. huckabee may be that guy. he won the caucuses in '08 and has already started meeting with potential donors and supporters. he'll have to deal with an old adversary. conservative for -- conservative club for growth which opposed him in '08. boy, within hours of huckabee saying he was interested in running again they put out their old talking points about huckabee's economic record as arkansas governor. he had raised a few taxes when he was governor of arkansas. rick santorum, rick perry and rand paul rounded out the top five. scoring in the 50s in terms of
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favorability. meanwhile, new jersey governor chris christie checked in with a 51% favorable rating. not wrong with that. ranks well among iowa voters overall. he's got home grown controversy to deal with these days. what started with a local story about lane closures a t the george washington bridge could end up having national implications. two of christie's representatives a t the port authority have now stepped down amid accusations they somehow intentionally created traffic jams to punish a local mayor for not endorsing christie's re-election. christie dismissed the allegation out of hand but accepted the resignation. >> i don't get involved in traffic studies. i don't get involved in lane closures. i didn't work the cones. all the rest of the stuff is politics. you know, on the legislature's part. they're just looking for something. you know, that's what they do. >> again, if there is no there there, then why did the governor end up accepting those resignations? keep an eye on this. it's a scandal in quotes.
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may not linger. it's worth watching to see how christie may handle this going on. because it plays into one of the stereotypes that are fair or unfair about christie the bully. one last mention on the republican part of this poll. the two lawmakers everyone seems to be talking about for 2016 were at the bottom of the pack. marco rubio and ted cruz checked in with a 46 favorable rating among republicans. at least a third of republican vote rs in iowa weren't shou how they felt about either of them. on the democratic side, hillary clinton got an 89% favorable rating among democrats. vice president biden was next with an impressive 71%. while hillary is a strong front-runner and in many ways biden is the good backup for the democrats, there's a big problem if neither decides to run. take a look at the huge dropoff from clinton and biden to the next level of potential candidates. in this poll the next two candidates were former maryland governor martin o'malley and former montana governor brian switser. neither cracked 20%. the gaggle is back. dan balz, "washington post." politico's manu raju.
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susan page. we can get all the caveats out of the way. it's early. it's des moines register poll. there's something about these favorable ratings. they did this before. they were telling. first time we got a hint that mitt romney was going to have issues in iowa. and it was a premonition of the problems he was going to have with conservconservatives. one thing i didn't mention, christie had the highest unfavorable rating of republicans that were tested. >> iowans pay a lot of attention to politics. it's not like it's two years out in a place like my home state of kansas where people do not pay attention day in and day out. it reminds us paul ryan pays no price for being on a lose k ticket last time. no losing taint. it tells you not only christian conservatives are important with huckabee and santorum. also personality mattering. people in iowa are so very courteous. i'm not sure that chris christie's manner is one that wears well in that part of the country. >> or ted cruz. i've always thought both of them
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have that personality that does not fit with iowa nice. >> you got to be a retail politician in a state like that. yeah, you can go over the air waves and make big speeches. if you come across as a genuine politician shaking hands and doing that kind of work on the ground, you could do well in a place like iowa. i'm not sure if cruz can do that. we'll see if chris christie can do that. go into iowa and do that. i also thought marco rubio taking a hit for immigration was intere interesting. >> it is fun anyhow this year began. this year began with marco rubio, dan balz, as the guy, the intelligence in the invisible primary as it begins always so early. sort of the early money was on him. as this year ends, he's kind of an after thought. right now. there's always time to come back and all this stuff. but he really did not -- somehow he didn't -- however he handled immigration, it did not go well with conservatives. >> no question about that. he's in a much worse place today than he was a year ago. but as you say, it's very early. these things -- we've been through and we've talked about this before.
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we've been through ups for candidates and then downs. i think one of the interesting things about this is ted cruz. because the reports when he went out there were that he was wowing iowans. >> he spent more time out there. >> right. >> arguably than anybody else on that list. >> that says he's talking to a very small circle of people who are enthusiastic about him. but when you broaden that out -- so the other question is, you know, paul ryan at the top of this. is he going to run? we don't really know. >> i assume he doesn't. you don't know. >> mike huckabee who, you know, brought people down to little rock last week to tell them, you know, that he was seriously thinking about it this time. we don't know whether he'll go through with that. people at the top of that list may not even be in the race in a year. >> it is. but i do think the most important number is that christie number. that 30%. in fact, i want to stick with christie a minute here. this bridge concontroversy. it seems small and petty. it seemed the conspiracy theory was ridiculous. except he didn't handle this press conference very well on friday. he only sort of fed the
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conspiracy a little bit. >> not a scandal. a scandalette. >> that's a good way of describidescribe ing it. >> it's not going away. don't you think there's going to be, i hope, more inquiry to see if there is any there there? did they do this? exactly why did this happen? we talked about iowa nice. iowa doesn't actually have big bodies of water. not so many big bridges. >> don't tell that to those cover bridges of madison county. come on, now. >> the idea a politician would -- this would happen on behalf of a politician? >> the '40s and '50s this probably would have happened all the time. i expected that. >> that will not play well. >> manu, quickly on the democratic side. it is always fascinating to me. i sort of called out my friends on "morning joe" this morning. there's this automatic decision that if there is no hillary, oh, my god. the field's wide open. no, it's not. >> right. >> joe biden is, like, he's going to be the front-runner. and he's going to be -- it's going to be joe biden and somebody. is it -- is he as powerful as hillary clinton? of course not.
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but he's going to make the finals of the democratic -- >> the base loves joe biden. >> they love barack obama. so they really like joe biden. >> that's right. he's got the gregarious personality that democratic voters have come to enjoy and know over the years. that poll really reinforces that. 71% approval rating in iowa. i think if biden's in there he's going to be the prohibitive front-runner. the field would be a lot more crowded than it would be with just hillary. >> dan, you've experienced this longer than i have. the political intelligentsia at any given moment always is more dismissive of sitting vmts than t -- vice presidents than the electorate. >> george h.w. bush. al gore. part of it is familiarity. part of it is people are looking for the next generation to come forward. but as manu says, he's got not just the obama connection, he's got 30-plus years of connections within the democratic party. >> oh, by the way, he's a good come pa
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campaigner. >> democrats are going to be perhaps ready to move past barack obama in 2016. hillary looks like -- in some ways like a fresher face than joe biden possibly can. >> there's no doubt. but if not her, that's the point here. if not her. i got to stop this. for now. no offense to you guys. dan pabalz, susan page. breaking news out of harvard university. this is what they're telling nbc news. school buildings are being swept all across campus because there are unconfirmed reports of explosives at four separate sites. the university's twitter account sent out an alert to students just after 9:00 a.m. warning them to evacuate thayer hall, seaver hall, emerson hall and the science center. those buildings have been evacuated out of an abundance of caution. all of this is unconfirmed. authorities on campus aric ta g i -- are taking it very seriously. up next, angus king.
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plus has a fast-acting antihistamine. oh, what a relief it is! 2013 has been a year of record gridlock and inaction. we just told you about a whole bunch of stuff. our next guest campaigned on remaining, quote, as independent as i could be as long as i could be. assuming the senate passes a two-year budget deal this week, does that mean more compromise next year or not? joining me now is the independent senator from maine, angus king who is on the budget conference committee. good morning to you, sir. this budget deal, everybody thinks it's a done deal. it feels like a done deal. it's going to get through. does -- is this just about the budget deal or are we going to see more action in the first six months of next year? >> well, unfortunately, chuck, the first thing i have to say is it's not a done deal. it's going to be very close tomorrow. i think there's going to be a cloture vote tomorrow morning. i think it's going to be close. i think -- i've heard a lot of republicans saying they're not going to vote for it.
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now, some may vote for cloture and against the bill. >> right. >> you know, like any other compromise, there's something in this for everybody to hate. and, you know, there's some unease about it. i really hope it makes it. but it's not a done deal by any manner or means. but i do think there is some hope here, particularly paul ryan really stepped up and said, okay. i'm going to try to do something for the country here. and make an agreement. he could have been just totally intransige intransigent. we wouldn't have gotten anywhere. john boehner basically said, we're going to look at this on behalf of the country. i'm not just going to play to one part of my caucus. so i think that does portend, perhaps, some progress on other issues. >> let me ask you this. you know, one of the ways you justified your candidacy in 2012 was that you were -- you know, obviously there had been a lot of fights, partisan and polarization fights in 2011 and 2012 in those congresses.
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in many ways you were trying to reflect, try to be an antidote of that. great this first year, though. this hasn't been a year of much progress, has it not? >> no. it's been tough. and i didn't have >> no, it's been tough. i used to say in my campaign i didn't expect harry reid and mitch mcconnell to put their arms around me and tell me, hey, angus, tell us how to do this. but we have had some successes. i think getting the immigration bill through the senate with 70-plus votes. we did a serious compromise on the student loan issue and got something done, actually passed a bill that the president signed. so there have been little bits of progress and maybe we can do some immigration in the house. we've got a farm bill through the senate. i'm not going to say this has been a great year by any means. and then, you know, i told some people at home over the weekend if we can get the budget through this week and the national defense bill this week i'll feel like it's a pretty good year. >> why should we consider you an independent? you voted with the democrats 91% of the time in your first ten months of the year.
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that doesn't sound like an independent, that sounds like somebody that's a democrat. why not just switch parties? >> well, one of the analysis groups, there's some gov track or something like that that analyzed by co-sponsorship of bills, which i think may be as good a measure and actually i was i think right over in the center where i want to be. and in terms of those votes, if you take out the votes on nominees, and i voted for cloture and just about all the president's nominees because i think as a former governor, i think that's -- i would do that if it was a republican president. i think the president ought to get their nominees. so if you adjust that, i've cast some votes that have irritated by mooi colleagues. i'm going to call them as i see them. if i think the democrats are right, i'm going to vote with them. if i don't, i'm going to vote the other way. >> i want to update folks on what's going on at harvard. i think you understand that. >> of course. >> angus king, thank you very
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much. let me give you more word out of harvard. at least four buildings have been evacuated on the campus of harvard after unconfirmed reports that explosives were planted in those buildings. campus police and cambridge police are now sweeping the buildings one by one. our nbc affiliate, whdh is reporting that the state police bomb squad and canines are now on the way. the buildings include severe hall, a classroom building, emerson hall, the philosophy building and thera hall, a freshman dormitory. all of them surround harvard yard. in addition, the science center has also been evacuated. we will continue to update this as we go to break. quickly a trivia question. 15 members of congress are mormon. how many of them are democrats? it's three. jim matheson and senators harry reid and tom udall. by using one less trash bag each month, we can. and glad forceflex bags stretch until they're full.*
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my takeaway today, a look at the broken trust between the intelligence community and congress. it's been ten years since the biggest intelligence failure of this decade, when the u.s. failed to find any weapons of mass destruction in iraq. now whether it's the nsa or the cia, america's intelligence apparatus is coming under more fire in the wake of revelations about robert levinson's role as a cia contractor. but it's bigger than that. the u.s. government has denied to this day that levinson was working for them. it's been revealed, of course, that he was a cia contractor. but it now raises all sorts of other questions. you've got the government's story on alan gross, the usaid worker detained in cuba, of course being accused by the cuban government of being -- of doing espionage there. and of course you have what's gone on with the nsa. but the bigger issue here has to do with the fact that congress feels as if they have not been told the truth, whether it's by the cia, you heard john mccain talk about that when it came to
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levinson, or the nsa. and the fact is the oversight system works. i can tell you why. these intelligence communities tell the bare minimum to congress. they come up with the reasons boy claiming it's because congress will leak. but you know what, it's bogus. the oversight system is broken and it needs to be fixed. that's it for this edition of "the daily rundown." coming up next, chris jansing. she'll have the latest about what's going on on this scare on the campus of harvard. we'll see you tomorrow. became big business overnight? ♪ like, really big... then expanded? ♪ or their new product tanked? ♪ or not? what if they embrace new technology instead? ♪ imagine a company's future with the future of trading. company profile. a research tool on thinkorswim. from td ameritrade. you can fill that box and pay one flat rate. how naughty was he?
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breaking news. four buildings on the harvard campus evacuated after unconfirmed reports of explosives. police are on the scene. in the fight over the health care law, this may be a new low. a north carolina lawmaker comparing obamacare to the nazis in a tweet. could edward snowden get amnesty and come back to the united states? >> this is analogous to a hostage taker taking 50