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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 20, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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united states senate and offensive coordinator to defensive coordinator. >> i am the kentucky woman who my republican colleagues have so generally referred to as an empty dress. that seeks to retire mitch mcconnell. >> and mission impossible, the latest on the desperate hunt for the terrorists who abducted 276 nigerian school girls missing now for more than a month. and nbc stephanie gosk will join us with her report from the front lines. >> reporter: the border is so porous in places it's unrecognizable and the fear has been that boko haram could take the kidnapped girls over without being detected. in the time i've been talking, i walked from cameroon into nigeria.
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good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we're following the biggest contests across the nation in the most critical day of this primary season. voters in six states from pennsylvania all the way to oregon are at the polls right now weeding out candidates and senate and house and governors races as both political parties seek momentum for the race to november. joining me now on this critical primary day, chuck todd, political director and host of "the daily rundown" and jonathan martin and chris cillizza managing editor of chuck, let's rundown the key decisions in key states. >> you know what the beauty of today is, we get to say coast to coast. atlantic ocean to pacific ocean, we have it covered here. the big story of today is a big fizzle with the tea party, they
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could go 0 for 3 in big republican primaries, kentucky, you already previewed the show as a general election match-up looking forward to allison grimes and mitch mcconnell, six months ago we thought matt bevin it could be neck and neck. you can see the establishment struck back there and in georgia, everybody is battling to co-opt the message and he doesn't want to sound like he's a establishment guy. the ones that the establishment feared are trailing. that's definitely among the different storys. what else is interesting is it highlights the different themes this election season will have as well. the reliance the democrats have on women to save the senate. here are two today. you've got mary landrieu and incumbents that are big deals.
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republicans have a shot at putting together their list of pretty good woman candidates this year. they've got nominees already, in michigan and west virginia. karen handel and monica webby in oregon, are they able to get through? does that help the republicans with gender gap problems? that's something to watch there. the other part of today features all of very familiar names to you and i, andrea, both old enough to have covered their fathers and grandfathers, mark pryor and david pryor. when i started it was david pryor and jason carter, grandson of jimmy and michelle nunn, daughter of sam, allison grimes, that's just today. we don't talk about moon landrieu's daughter or nick beg ich's on. frankly a path for the democrats
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to save their senate. >> this is such an interesting path for the democrats, but they still have some challenges to overcome. jonathan martin, are the democrats hurting precisely because of the tea party weakness that some of those tea party candidates would have been weaker candidates for the republicans if they won or do win and we know what happened last circumstance cycle with those candidates make a difference and holding onto the senate. >> that's the story in georgia, it is who is not going to win there. democrats for some time now were anticipating that michelle nunn could make the race competitive, not because of her last name and ability to raise money, but they thought like the last two cycles the republicans would nominate one of the two fire brand house members, gingrey or paul brown. they are trailing badly in the
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polls and those candidates likely get the nomination or make the runoff in georgia are talking conservative but they are safer for a southern state in a midterm election year. that's going to be one of the challenges democrat face, not getting some of the -- they were hoping to get. >> chris cillizza, let's talk about pennsylvania. >> well, look, i mean, another sort of untold story here is emily's list, another one that could be -- emily's list, a pro-choice group a titanic force within democratic politics, you've got marjorie margolies and allyson schwartz we assumed would be the favorite. looks like she'll come short to tom wolf. >> poured $10 million? a state like pennsylvania. the philadelphia media market is
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so dominant in a democratic primary because of where the votes are. >> but that's her base, philadelphia. >> she's not run a terribly good campaign. one of my colleagues colby from -- worked in allentown, quoted ed rendell who we've had on many times, saying allyson schwartz ran a bad campaign, tom wolf ran a good campaign. i think schwartz will come up short. that's something to look at. whoever the democratic nominee is against tom corbett, the current incumbent governor in pennsylvania, has to be sitting pretty. his numbers are just in terrible shape. >> there are going to be some people questioning emily's list if margolies -- >> two women i think we expected to win. >> chuck todd, you talked about the legacies, you have a strong run by michelle nunn. jason carter has had problems along the way. >> he has, it's been interesting that there isn't -- i was
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surprised i had the mayor of atlanta on and the focus of 2014 and i brought up, you're not bringing up jason carter. well, look, the focus and what's important to atlanta is keeping democrats in control of the u.s. senate. i think there is a little struggle he's had in unifying the democratic party. how to walk the line of being a national democrat and at the same time staying electable enough in georgia that's culturely still conservative, struggled to answer the question whether he would be in favor of confederate flag license plates and issues with guns that turned out to some national donors and stuff. i want to pick out a point what chris was talking about in general, we talk about demographics a lot and all of these different big names. campaigns still matter, today is an example, a good campaign can
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overcome supposedly all of your demographic issues. tom wolf is example a in that. in the modern democratic primary, a businessman millionaire businessman white guy is not going to be able to win a democratic primary in pennsylvania. well, guess what, he's winning it and winning it big. not winning it small. identity politics didn't necessarily work there. he ran a smart early campaign but you could say the same thing, mike simpson in idaho. campaigns still matter. >> numbers they do -- should worry about is money because $10 million does give you the leg up at least. he came out strong and had a really big media buy that introduced him to voters and set him up well. i want to talk about mississippi, such a bizarre turn where thad cochran, the
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incumbent senator has had a truly horrible experience where a blogger broke into a nursing home and took pictures and posted pictures online of his ailing wife. and in fact there were some allegations that this blogger was connected to the opponent's race. tell us about that. >> senator cochran's wife has been in a facility for over ten years now. and what happened is that recently a blogger conservative activist who is a supporter of senator cochran's opponent broke into her nursing home and took pictures of her. they were briefly posted on the internet. now, the cochran campaign, the establishment and republican party has been furiously trying to link this to chris mcdaniel's campaign but he heatedly denies connection to this activity. what is striking about this, apparently came out yesterday
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the cochran knew about this for two weeks before telling the police which adds an interesting wrinkle. you have counter charges being hurled by mcdaniel and his backers and it's this sort of mississippi gothic tail in a pretty hard fought campaign that still has about two weeks to go. some polling showing a pretty competitive race there. >> and chuck, what surprises might you be looking for? what would we wake up tomorrow morning or late tonight and say, hey, we didn't see that one coming? >> i guess it would be if the tea party candidates turn out as low in kentucky. to me one of the unknowns here is now low turnout is going to get in a lot of these places. there hasn't been a sense of urgency and weird things happen. it's going to be a low turnout in kentucky and low turnout in idaho. when you have a low turnout, then all of a sudden that's when the weird stuff happens and
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anybody with an idealogical following is always going to perform better in a low turnout situation. so maybe the tea party is stronger than we think. maybe it's better than the polls show because turnout, which has been a trend for two and a half years now by the way, turnout has been falling all over the country in every election no matter what it is. >> and the turnout, chris, has really turned partly we think on polling showing that people are turned off by what's happening in washington. >> yep. >> and angry at their elected leaders. >> and one other thing to add, neither has solutions. phil rut ger and others did focus groups in iowa. what's interesting is the opinions about people like hillary clinton and president obama are very different. what's not different at all, washington is broken, neither side knows how to fix it, divided gridlock, that is quite
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strong and does add to why you see less turning out to vote. it has the potential for someone as we look to 2016, as we look for 2016, if someone can cast like barack obama did, in an outside the box problem solving putting partisanship aside, george bush and president obama did that. people say they would want it, but i don't know they would vote for it. >> you don't see the enthusiasm. last thursday in philadelphia i was at two ward meetings sort of city democratic organization meetings in philly. there were some democrats there but you could tell that the enthusiasm about this coming primary was not there like it has been in past pennsylvania campaigns. >> well, we're going to be watching the results. thank you for setting it up, chuck todd and jonathan martin. for the republican perspective on today's big races and what to expect this fall, i talk to haley barbour and republican chairman haley, great to see
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you. let's talk about what's happening with mitch mcconnell in kentucky. he's run a very good race against this challenger. do you expect he's pulling this one out? >> well, nothing is for sure in politics, but it looks like mitch mcconnell will win by a pretty good margin. he not only has run a good campaign but been an outstanding senator and mitch is worked hard at it like he's supposed to. i think this is a good race for mitch, but it's also a reminder, a lot of this tea party versus establishment is very overblown. a lot of it is being driven by political consultants in washington making a fortune off of this. a handful of national groups are pouring in all the money. you mentioned the mississippi race a while ago. two out of state special groups
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in washington have spent five times as much on chris mcdaniel's campaign as the chris mcdaniel campaign has spent. all of this money and much he has raised in spending his own campaign is coming from out of state. it's an unusual time but mcconnell has handled it well. >> and what do you look at when you look at georgia, for instance? do you have real concerns about michelle nunn who has run a much better campaign than most people would ever have expected for a novice? >> her father is a highly regarded man who is a great senator and he's highly regarded in both parties but the good news for rpz, he's not running. we'll see today -- we'll get an idea today who will be our nominee because it definitely will be a runoff for the republicans. i think accurately it was said earlier that the two people that are most identified as kind of tea party outsider candidate two
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congressman are not going to get into the runoff and the runoff is going to be between a businessman, former secretary of state who's a playlady and ther one congressman who could get in the runoff. but there's going to be a runoff in july. >> michelle nun has a lot of middle of the road support. she worked for years for george hw bush's points of life program. she's got friends in both party. she's a moderate georgia democratic candidate. tom corbett was considered a vulnerable governor but seems to be getting some more support. what is his strategy going forward? >> well, his numbers are improving. they were not good and they are improving. and as you all were talking about, sort of a surprise in the democratic side of the primary businessman, looks like he's going to win the democratic nomination. corbett has the advantage of a
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good record. he's not maybe not the smoothest greatest politician in history and not a great back slapper but he's been a very good governor. he has going for him one of the most powerful things in politics and that's history. in pennsylvania, for many, many years. the democrats have won the governorship and kept it for eight years and the republicans won the governorship and kept it for eight years. that has been going on for decades and so history tells us that normally and for many times in a row, pennsylvania give their governors two terms and then they give the other party a chance for two terms. >> i want to take you back to mississippi because the family, the children of thad cochran issued a statement about the invasion of privacy, no matter who was behind it, of what happened with their mother. and they wrote it is amazing and humbling to see how devoted his
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dad has been to mom's current state of hos pit case. he's a model of understanding for those losing their loved ones in this way. we're shocked someone is using our mother's illness for political purposes and our family is unified in protecting her safety and privacy and security. it does tell you, there's a human side, no matter who is -- who gains politically from it. this is a family tragedy. >> well, it's the sickest most disgusting despicable thing i've ever seen in politics. i've known rose cochran for more than 40 years. and she and my wife friends. but to do this to somebody who has -- as the kids said, she has total dementia, hasn't recognized her children or husband in years and years. but to inject this into politics, how low can you go,
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andrea? >> i know, and that was actually the first campaign i covered for nbc news when thad cochran was elected and i know rose cochran as well. one quick question before i let you go, you talked about republican consultants and strategists and the way they can take ugly turns. what do you think about karl rove and his injecting the whole age and health issue into the potential kand dacandidatcy of clinton yet undeclared. >> i wasn't there to hear what he actually said. but i've never known of a campaign where the candidate's health wasn't put out on the table and completely looked at, certainly i worked for ronald reagan and that was certainly the case. at one time i thought about running for president and before i did anything i went to mayo clinic and got a total checkup. if i ended up running, one of the first things we would have done is made that public.
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that's nothing unusual about that. you have to be 69 years old like reagan was or mrs. clinton will be for it to be an issue. we've always had transparency about presidential candidates' health and i think it's healthy that we do, politically healthy. >> haley barbour, thank you very much. >> thank you, andrea. >> now to moore, oklahoma, one year ago today a fierce ef-5 tornado ripped through the oklahoma city suburb in a span of 35 minutes it carved a 17-mile path of destruction. over 1,000 homes were destroyed and 24 people died including those seven children at plaza towers elementary school. with memories still fresh, the resilient town of moore, oklahoma is paying tribute to those lives lost. in today's memorial service. >> what makes me so proud is that we are a determined people,
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people of love and compassion of faith and player and resilience, we are oklahoma strong. >> the governor, of course, today there are also remarkable signs of recovery and renewal. these before and after photos show the striking difference just one year can make on the left, days after the tornado leveled several blocks of a suburban neighborhood, kevin kres letter picked up pieces of his home. he's standing in front of his new home. this photo shows rick brown putting on a pair of boots after finding them in his home. now brown says construction will begin soob soon on his new home. >> the students will enter a brand-new school after overcoming this unspeakable tragedy. aimmy simpson shared her memories with the seven students that will never be forgotten. >> how do you get your arms around something like that?
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the firing of jill abramson is sparking a larger conversation about women in the workplace. are women treated differently than men, especially in management roles? lynn povich, former senior editor at "newsweek" and author
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of "the good girls revolt." let's talk about the jill abrams dzon, we were both in new york and heard about the response and the new interview in vanity fair. am i happy i'm in this place? no. sulzberger use of we seemed strange until i realized it is the vanity fair piece. if he felt any vulnerability in the view of himself of gender diversity, he did not portray it. the paramount view was this was not a place that penalizes women. what is your takeaway from all of this? >> well, i think it has started a conversation because all of the initial conversation we had, she was paid less, she was
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difficult, fed into the kinds of discrimination that women in the media and workplace in general are often feel that they are generally paid less across the board and being a difficult woman and someone who asserts herself and stands up for herself, they are stigma tiesed for that. we know that. that's what sparked this enormous conversation which actually i think hopefully will be positive in the end. i think in this case, what we're now finding out as the story is developing, there are other issues about this issue between jill and her boss. they had a strained relationship, apparently it got worse. and all i can say is that three of the top women at the new york times whom jill promoted. jill brought many women into leadership positions and two of the people carolyn ryan, washington bureau chief and
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lydia pullgram, the assistant foreign editor and margaret sullivan, totally independent and can say anything critical she wants about the times, all three of them have said this was not a gender issue. so it's a complicated story but it started a conversation within the workplace among women because it so emphasized the issues that women face. >> i hear lynn, from people, is the way it all came about, the fact that when she was fired and she did not want to be part of some fake handoff, handing off of the baton, i understand that, that so little was said about the pulitzer and progress at the time, the paper is so much better in the years the brilliant editor with a in charge and it did create questions about whether women who are tough and aggressive are judged differently than the men.
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i've never known as "the new york times" as a happy workplace nor have her predecessors been known a congenial, easy going people. for to the contrary. this was arthur salzberger's first public appearance and chose that moment is a say anything nice of jill abramson. >> the men and women of the new york times. jill abramsson, a powerful and outspoken advocate for free press. she has been one of the most forceful voices about the obama white house and record number of criminal leak investigations. i will always honor jill's commitment to this issue and be grateful for her many contributions to the journalism of "the new york times."
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>> i think, lynn, if there had been something gracious in the statements afterward that perhaps there would have been less sting. >> yes, i mean, look, jill is a towering figure in our profession. i mean she's a brilliant journalist. and this historic appointment of her is to be the first female editor of "the new york times" was so significant, the "times", outside of the "times." and it's so sad it ended this way. and we don't know all of the details but there's no question that all of us feel it could have and should have been handled better. >> lynn povich, thanks for sharing. >> thanks, andrea. >> more fallout after the justice department charged five chinese officials with cyber spying. in beijing, angry official is
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welcome back, looking ahead, mitch mcconnell is facing his toughest challenge yet, the kentucky senator is expected to sail through today's primary but will likely battle allison grimes who hopes to become kentucky's first woman senator and end mcconnell's chances of becoming the majority leader. casey hunt joins me now from louisville, great to see you. tell me how this is shaping up. you spent a lot of time with both of them. >> reporter: this is the second or third time i've been here since the race got off the ground. mcconnell at this point is really turned to the general election, he was campaigning
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across the state yesterday and did a plane tour and is focusing if he were to be re-elected he would be one of the most powerle from kentucky in a long time and grimes is selling herself as the kentucky person in in race and also really heavy focused on the fact that she's a woman and reaching out to women voters and that's something that they view as basically the crux or a crux of their election strategy, turning out female voters for her. so there is some question about how much this primary has potentially damaged mcconnell, he's deeply unpopular and basically as unpopular as the president here in kentucky. it hasn't really budgeed his numbers very much. >> here's mcconnell clearly campaigning against grimes. that's what he's facing. this is mitch mcconnell on the campaign trail. >> my opponent, i certainly degree is a new face.
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but a new face for what? a new face for the status quo for the same majority leader, for the same senate agenda and for no change at all, new face for no change at all. so if you want to change america, you need to change the majority leader and change the majority in the senate. >> and of course elaine chow at his side, who is a former labor secretary in the bush administration, is certainly a key surrogate. this is what she had to say. >> mitch is a genuine kentucky conservative. and there is nobody capable of doing more for kentucky than mitch mcconnell. and this year we are one step away from making him kentucky's first majority leader since
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barkley. >> so casey, how much is that a motivator for people, for republicans to come out to the polls and looking towards the fall to think that kentucky could be a key race that brings them the senate? >> reporter: it's interesting for all of the discussion we've had about establishment versus the tea party and through this primary season the idea that the establishment was toxic, mcconnell has been running all the way along on this idea he's delivered for the state and he's something the state can be proud of. if you talk to experts down here, they'll say kentucky is actually -- they do feel a certain sense of pride in having somebody who is a top leader and as elaine chow pointed out, they haven't had somebody in that position of power for a long time. he clearly believes that's something he has on his side. >> as gender politics plays out we want to show you a little bit of grimes, who is a very
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effective campaigning. >> mitch mcconnell fails to realize that it's labor that has lifted millions out of poverty as he says no to collective bargaining and no to prevailing wage, you will have someone in the united states senate who says right to work for less is just another name for union busting and i will have none of it. >> certainly the case, the race to watch today. thank you so much casey hunt. >> reporter: thanks, andrea, great to see you. >> we go from the political battlefield to the baseball field where president obama made a surprise appearance at the little league game not far from here in d.c. one of the sluggers was jay carney's 8-year-old daughter della, gave her a high five and said he had to bring her dad to the game or he would have been late. the president threw out the first pitch. all in a day's work.
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as we continue our coverage of today's primaries, let's look at democratic opportunities in the face of national political head winds because of the president's sagging poll numbers. joining me now from capitol hill, congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz. >> of course. >> we talked about kentucky. but you've also got some cases where tea party candidates are not doing as well as some had predicted and if they do lose, you're going to have more mainstream candidates and won't have the benefit of the wild eyed republicans that have helped you hang onto the senate. you've also got some cases where
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there are strong republican women in michigan and oregon and west virginia who will create really good opportunities for republicans to pick up women's votes. >> let me just sort of steer you in another direction on the frame that you laid out electric on the tea party, the civil war raging in the republican party is over. the tea party has won it. and essentially they have swallowed the establishment. they've pulled all of the republicans in any primary field so far to the right they all embrace varying degrees of extremism and that's common stra tif in the agendas that the propose or supported as elected officials. the contrast with our democratic candidates, whether they are incumbents or challengers, is very clear. and you know, when it comes to mitch mcconnell, okay, so he'll win his primary. that is not a victory for the
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establishment. the least popular -- mitch mcconnell -- the situation he's in is that he's the least popular thing in america right now. a republican in congress. and there is a neck in neck difference between the secretary of state talking about the bread and butter issues that kentuckyans care about and mitch mcconnell who lead the charge on repealing the the affordable care act and distractions that are designed to take away the attention from the fact that the republicans have an agenda that americans simply don't support. >> i want to give you a chance to respond to the criticisms of hillary clinton this meet the press moments between reince priebus and david gregory. >> she's coming out with a book called "hard choices or
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something like that. she's made a series of bad choices. my view, given the month she just had, i doubt very much whether she will run for president in 2016. >> do you think given the month that hillary clinton has had that she would be deciding not to run? what's your guest? >> i think reince's priebus's opinion and evaluation of hillary clinton's performance as secretary of state and analysis of whether or not she's run is irrelevant. what he's continued to folk s on doing is distract from the fact that the republican party has not been able to win on merits and they've focused on distractions like a select committee on ben gazdy and focused on distractions like making sure they can shrink the electorate and make sure people who vote for democrats can go to the polls because they have an agenda that is so extreme and so off the mark that they've not been able to win elections. they are having to point in all different directions and reince
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preeber needs to focus a bit more on backing up his words with action and actually try to focus on bringing this country together and leading his republican party to focus on us working together. that's what the american people want us to do. that's what my constituents tell me when i go home and democratic colleagues as well. >> thanks so much. >> debbie wasserman shultz, thank you. >> i was at my alma mater yesterday, the university of pennsylvania for the 258th commencement where fellow alum, grammy award winning composer john legend was a instant hit. ♪ so over me ♪ tired of hearing that i went to penn ♪ ♪ why did they bring him back again ♪ that was my humble brag way of saying i have the biggest song in the country right now. [ applause ]
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>> and legend has a foundation that works on global education. he's been very philanthropic and went on to inspire the class of 2014 with a message of overcoming adversity in his own life counseling students and graduates to follow their passions and to love human kind. >> it means we don't see travon martin as a working stereo type, a weaponized human we see him as a boy that deserved to grow into a man. the 300 kidnapped girls in nigeria aren't just their problem, they are our girls too. . we're right where you need us. at the next job, next adventure or at the next exit helping you explore super destinations and do everything under the sun. 12 brands. more hotels than anyone else in the world. so wherever you want to be, whatever you want to do, chances are we're already there.
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in nigeria may have crossed the border, taken abroad. stephanie gosk joins me on the border of nigeria. you've seen how complicated it is to hunt for these girls, stephanie? >> reporter: it really is, if there's one headline from our trip up with the special forces boko haram is really a regional problem. this country has been criticized early on when the threat really presented itself three years ago for not paying much attention to it. they have according to one official done a 180 and now they say it's a priority. the president of this country saying declaring war boko haram over the weekend. we saw what they are doing, searching for girls and also searching for boko haram. we got a good sense -- for multimany factors, the group gets spoert from the local communities. they don't know how much that support -- be able to operate and hide in the houses, leading
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people to suspect and worry about the prospect that they must -- the other problem is that boko haram instilled fear. and one local expert told us that 20 people have been assassinated for going to the police with information about boko haram. just since the year began. so people are frightened and then there are those that support them. with those two things, boko haram finds plenty of places too hide here and in nigeria as well. >> stephanie gosk and the reports of two explosions in nigeria. we don't know who was responsible for those but it's a continuing battle against terrorists in the region. which political story will make headlines on this election day? in the next 24 hours, that's next here on "andrea mitchell reports." hi buddy. mom! awesome!
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make headlines in the next 24 hours? we're talking about primary election day. >> it's a great day. i'm excited. there's a lot going on. >> coast to coast. >> literally which is great. now, most people will be in bed on east coast but in oregon there's a really interesting senate primary happening, monica wehby, she's won great ads, butny done ads running against jason conger but republicans think wehby has a chance to put oregon on the map. i'll give you one on the east coast to pay attention, your early and late. in the early end look to see how big mitch mcconnell wins by. margins he's going shall very likely to be the nominee but look to see where he's weak and
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where he's strong and where matt bevin runs and no matter what he wins the primary by, he answers a general election tied in a best case scenario. >> and owes a lot for junior senator rand paul. >> endorsed mcconnell early on. he deserves credit. he's in many ways like harry reid. they take a lot of incoming from the other side. both men, reid in 2010 and mcconnell have won very good campaigns so far. >> thanks, chris cillizza i know you'll be up late. that does it for us and "ronan farrow daily" is up next. >> i'm bill karins, we're watching warm conditions finally reaching all the way up to the northern plains.
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warmest day of the spring, 80 in minneapolis today. unfortunately with the warmth will come a chance of thunderstorms late and a few could be strong, from iowa into areas of indiana and ohio. have a great day. where villages floated on water and castles were houses dragons lurked giants stood tall and the good queen showed the boy it could all be real avo: whatever you can imagine, all in one place expedia, find yours the was a truly amazing day. without angie's list, i don't know if we could have found all the services we needed for our riley. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most. join today at
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it's a giant hot mess. >> it is the closest thing we have this year to a super tuesday. it appears the establishment has the upper hand on the tea party and nowhere is that more apparent than in kentucky. >> same sex couples are now getting married in oregon. oregon is the 18th state to legalize same-sex marriage. >> a memorial service is under way right now to mark one year since a massive f-5 tornado tore through the town of moore, oklahoma. more than 1,000 homes and buildings were blown to bits. new york city mayor by him de blasio is defending his wife following a magazine profile where she discussed her struggles as a new mom. >> i think "the post" and daily news owe her an apology. a lot of women are afended. >> makes me mad as hell. >> your mad as hell face looks like we're out