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tv   MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts  MSNBC  September 25, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm PDT

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they're not able to do enough about it. i understand that, but i also understand why it's very difficult to bring satisfaction to those new young guns who want to make some changes. >> former head of the gop, former ambassador to the holy see, former veteran secretary, jim nicholson, good to talk to you again. thank you very much for being patient with us and listening to and watching all these developments today. >> good to be with you. which brings us to andrea mitchell at the united nations. here in the studio, a veteran political reporter and contributor around here at msnbc. andrea, to you first. before we hear from speaker boehner, how do you put the state of things at that building behind you today? >> well, the state of things very much in confusion and disorder. you have 170 leaders converging on this place. the pope set the tone but then
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on monday, you are going to have president obama, president rouhani from iran, raul castro speaking for the first time at the united nations and vladimir putin. putin trying to set the stage with sort of a charm offensive. he even called elton john after there was a prank caller to elton john claiming to be vladimir putin to discuss their differences over gay rights. when that came out and elton john was fooled by it, putin actually went ahead and called elton john. this while, of course, so that nobody misses the other point, the larger points, russia building up its military in syria to prop up assad. things are so confusing here. we know now that the white house and the iranians say that rouhani will not be meeting with the president. maybe there will be a handshake. i along with some other journalists had breakfasts with president rouhani today and he was very conciliatory, suggesting that there could be a lot of benefits as this nuclear
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agreement goes forward if it is implemented, but then in answer to question from one of our colleagues, absolutely flatly denying that assad is barrel bombing his civilians, saying that's not happening, that's a media fiction, that's what you are all saying but that's only, if anything, a bombing of the terrorists, the isis terrorists, in other words, and the american jets are also doing bombing of isis. so there is a denial of reality there. i asked him about what happened with the continuing chants of death to america, death to israel, why should america trust iran going forward. he said the iranian people don't believe those things. he said very frankly, there are many in iran who take a look at what -- the speeches we hear from your senators and some of your congressmen with the same kind of anger and to us, it's crazy and comedic if i may use that word, said he. still, a lot of differences there and not going to be resolved easily here at the united nations. >> andrea mitchell across town
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from us at the united nations general assembly meeting goes on, one of several tableaus we are covering. to the other one, the expected remarks in a few moments from the now outgoing speaker of the house, john boehner. as i said, steve is here in the studio with us. what do you make of this news? we haven't caught up with you yet. >> i'm as shocked as everybody. i talked to somebody this morning who knows boehner very well who saw him just on monday, said had absolutely no indication on monday that something like this was coming. the latest that i'm hearing just calling around talking to republicans down there is the expectation right now in terms of where the house republicans are going to be going from here, it's quickly coalescing around kevin mccarthy. he's currently the number two republican, the majority leader. the idea that's starting to take shape is he may not have much of a challenge in terms of moving up and taking boehner's spot as speaker but where the action really would then be is in that race to replace kevin mccarthy as the majority leader. there are now four, five, six
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names of republicans out there who are apparently already starting to make calls, already starting to put the word out there that their names should be in the mix for this. we could have a very intense race for the number two spot but there's an expectation, especially when paul ryan took his name out of the mix earlier today, paul ryan was seen as sort of the only other one who could compete with mccarthy. he's out of the mix. >> ryan's statement said i'm not an empty nester, meaning it is an overwhelming job, especially as you heard our conversation with secretary nicholson, the job description has changed in the modern era. >> it's interesting, he used the term young guns there. young guns refers specifically, these are the republicans who were elected in that wave of 2010, the tea party republicans. this has been boehner's problem. he's tried to do their bidding, tried to take their desire to sort of have an all' out confrontation over issue x or issue y. he's tried to carry it out as far as he could. what he never had with the young guns was the basic credibility
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that they believed he was one of them. that may be the key difference with kevin mccarthy. kevin mccarthy much newer to the institution of congress, much newer to washington than boehner. he was out there recruiting, campaigning for, raising money for the young guns back in 2010. in fact, mccarthy is one of the people who helped popularize the term young gun. the question is the next time you get into one of these situations where the young guns are out there saying we don't want to fund government unless you de-fund x, will kevin mccarthy be able to go to them and deliver the message with credibility that boehner never could. >> chuck todd is with us as well for our conversation. he opposite t he's on the north lawn of the white house. on the other side of that structure the president is still at the news conference with the president of china. chuck, you have been listening to our conversation. any contribution or counterpoint? >> well, i would just say this. basically, this is where i think the conservative angst isn't going to disappear with the election of kevin mccarthy, because by the way, i can't
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imagine there's anybody else, paul ryan is the only other republican that could i think beat mccarthy. i agree with steve on that. the difference between mccarthy and boehner right now with the conservative groups and conservatives who want a little more -- want tougher fighting, tactical decisions, is that kevin mccarthy will return their call. john boehner got tired of returning their call. that's the bottom line. boehner was sort of -- think about just three weeks ago, he referred to ted cruz as a fund-raiser as a jack you-know-what. i will try to keep it clean for cable. boehner's office was sort of, it was an overheard comment. when boehner's office had a chance to knock it down, they didn't. it was pretty clear what he really thought of ted cruz. he was sort of tired of it. mccarthy has sort of become this, he was the customer service department for these conservatives. he listens to them. so they believe he will be somebody that will listen to them. but i'm with steve.
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when push comes to shove, he's still going to have the same tactical challenges that speaker boehner had and i think conservatives are going to find themselves disappointed unless mccarthy is willing to do things like shut down the government or try to play tactical games. there isn't enough -- there are enough conservatives to disrupt the way the house works. there are not enough of them to lead it. until the party comes to some sort of gentlemen's agreement that that's the world they live in, they are going to be stuck in this i think recurring fight. >> chuck, while you're talking, we're showing the last time we saw speaker boehner, this is now probably an hour old, he was going through the tunnel in the capitol building making his way to the elevator. what i would like to switch to is a shot of the empty lectern flanked by the flags. that is because we have just been told of the presence of
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speaker boehner. let's listen in. >> my oh, my what a wonderful day. listen, my mission every day is to fight for a smaller less costly and more accountable government. over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. we're now on track to cut government spending by $2.1 trillion over the next ten years. we made the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades. and we have protected 99% of the american people from an increase in our taxes. we have done all this with a democrat in the white house. so i'm proud of what we have accomplished. but more than anything, my first job as speaker is to protect the institution. a lot of you know that -- now know that my plan was to step down at the end of last year.
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i decided in november of 2010 that when i was elected speaker that serving two terms would have been plenty. but in june of last year, when it became clear that the majority leader lost his election, i frankly didn't believe it was right for me to leave at the end of last year. so my goal was to leave at the end of this year. so i planned actually on my birthday, november 17th, to announce that i was leaving at the end of the year. but it's become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreperable harm to the institution so this morning i informed my colleagues i would resign from the speakership and resign from congress at the end of october. now, as you have often heard me say, this isn't good me. it's about the people, it's
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about the institution. just yesterday, we witnessed the awesome sight of pope francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world. i hope that we will all heed his call to live by the golden rule. but last night, i started to think about this and this morning, i woke up and i said my prayers as i always do and i decided you know, today's the day i'm going to do this. as simple as that. that's the code i have always lived by. if you do the right things for the right reasons, the right things will happen. and i know good things lie ahead for this house and this country and i'm proud of what we've accomplished, especially proud of my team. i have been here, my 25th year here, and i have succeeded in large part because i put a staff together and a team together, many of which have been with me for a long time, and without a great staff, you can't be a
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great member and you certainly can't be a great speaker. i'm going to thank my family for putting up with this all these years. my poor girls, who are now 37 and 35, their first campaign photo was in july of 1981 and so they've had to endure all this. it's one thing for me to have to endure it. i've got thick skin. but you know, the girls and my wife, they've had to put up with a lot over the years. let me express my gratitude to my constituents, who have sent me here 13 times over the last 25 years. you can't get here without getting votes. but i said this often. people ask me what's the greatest thing about being speaker or about being an elected official.
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i said it's the people you get to meet. i met tens of thousands of people in my own congressional district that i would never have met other than the fact that i decided to run for congress. over the years, as i traveled on behalf of my colleagues and the party, i have met tens of thousands of additional people all over the country. and you meet rich people, you meet poor people, you meet interesting people and probably a few boring ones along the way, but i can tell you that 99.9% of the people i meet on the road anywhere could not be nicer than they've been. it's been -- really, it's been wonderful. it's been an honor to serve in this institution and with that, all right, junior, go ahead. >> speaker boehner, you were noticeably overcome with emotion yesterday. >> really? what a surprise. >> i'm curious, if you reached
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this decision last night if the grace of pope francis led you to this decision. >> no. no. yesterday was a wonderful day. it really was. was i emotional yesterday? i was really emotional in a moment that really no one saw. as the pope and i were getting ready to exit the building, we found ourselves alone and the pope grabbed my left arm and said some very kind words to me about my commitment to kids and education. and the pope puts his arm around me and kind of pulls me to him and says please pray for me. well, who am i to pray for the pope? but i did. >> if it wasn't the pope, then what was it?
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>> it's -- it's never about the vote. i can survive the vote. but i don't want my members to have to go through this. i certainly don't want the institution to go through this. especially when i knew i was thinking about walking out the door anyway. so it's the right time to do it and frankly, i'm entirely comfortable doing it. >> mr. speaker, i have heard you say before that a leader who doesn't have anybody following him is just a guy taking a walk. >> that's right. i got plenty of people following me. but this turmoil that's been churning now for a couple of months is not good for the members and not good for the institution if i wasn't planing on leaving here soon, i would not have done it. >> if i may continue, there are people who are on the right in your caucus and even outside of this institution who have been wanting you to step down for some time who feel they have a
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victory today. do you feel you were pushed out? >> no. i'm glad i made this announcement at the conference with all my republican colleagues, because it was a very good moment to help kind of rebuild the team. listen, i feel good about what i've done. i know that every day, i have tried to do the right thing for the right reasons and tried to do the right thing for the country. >> mr. speaker, how can this not be a moment of turmoil? you said you thought about leaving two years ago but at the time it would have pitched the house in turmoil. you have to keep the government open in a couple days, debt ceiling. >> i'm going to be here for another five weeks. i'm not going to leave, i'm not going to sit around and do nothing for the next 30 days. there's a lot of work that needs to be done and i plan on getting
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as much of it done as i can before i exit. >> as a result, does that make it easier in some ways to make tougher decisions, maybe relying on democrats to keep the government open next week? >> i will make the same decisions i would have made regardless of this. >> you made no secret of your frustration with some members of your far right flank and some outside groups, using words like knuckleheads and some other words we probably can't use on television. >> probably. >> have you just had enough and how will anything be different for the next speaker? >> let me tell you, i would not describe it as having had enough. that's not it at all. when you're the speaker of the house, your number one responsibility is to the institution. and having a vote like this in the institution, i don't think is very healthy. so i have done everything i can over my term as speaker to
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strengthen the institution and frankly, my move today is another step in that effort to strengthen the institution. >> but won't the next speaker face the same things? >> hopefully not. >> that's my question, mr. speaker. how will washington be different because you leave this institution? what should people watching this expect the house and congress to do going forward if you're not here? >> well, if the congress stays focused on the american people's priorities, there will be no problem at all. while we have differences between democrats and republicans, the goal here as one of the leaders is to find the common ground. listen, i talked to president bush and president obama this morning. i have talked to all my legislative leaders who i have a very good relationship with all of them. at the end of the day, the leaders have to be able to work with each other, trust each other to find the common ground to get things done.
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and so the congress stays focused on what is important to the american people, they will get along just fine. >> can you tell us how your conference reacted to the news? >> oh, i'd say they were shocked. surprised. >> can you elaborate a little more on that? maybe how the leadership itself reacted? >> i told mr. mccarthy about two minutes before i spoke what i was going to do. i had to tell him five times because he didn't believe me. i said you better believe me. >> could mccarthy be the next speaker? >> listen, i'm not going to be here to vote on the next speaker. but that's up to the members. but having said that, i think kevin mccarthy would make an excellent speaker. >> who is the first person you told and what did they say? >> i told my wife. >> what did she say? >> she said good. i told my -- my chief of staff
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and i talked late yesterday. i was thinking today might be the day. i told him i'd sleep on it. before i went to sleep last night i told my wife i might just make an announcement tomorrow. what do you mean, what kind of announcement? tell them it's time to go. so this morning i woke up and woke up to starbucks as usual, got my coffee and came back and read, walked up to pete's diner and saw everybody at pete's, and got home, and thought yep, today's the day. so my senior staff was having a meeting at 8:45 and kind of walked in before i opened the house and told them this is the day. it's going to happen some day, why not today. >> do you know when the next election might be held? >> no. paul? >> what advice will you give kevin mccarthy based on your five years?
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what advice do you give him to avoid the same pitfalls that you have come across? >> well, i'll tell kevin if he's the next speaker that his number one responsibility is to protect the institution. nobody else around here has an obligation like that. secondly, i would tell him the same thing i just told you. you just do the right thing every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. you all know me. my colleagues know me. i'm always straight with them. they may not like the answer they get but they'll get an honest answer every single time they come to my office. it's just an easy way for me to do my job. >> you originally planned to announce this on your birthday? if it wasn't the pope, what factors weighed in on your decision to do this now? >> just all this stuff i read about in the paper. i really don't want the
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institution hurt and i don't want my colleagues hurt. i don't want to put my colleagues through all this. for what? yes? >> what are you going to miss? >> pardon me? >> what will you miss? >> what will i miss. well, of course all of you. i don't know what i'm going to miss because i haven't missed it yet. i'll certainly miss the camaraderie of the house. let me tell you another story. it was really kind of interesting. maxine waters and i, democrat from southern california, came here 25 years ago in the same class. now, you know, there's nothing about my politics and maxine waters' politics that's even anywhere close. yesterday, about 5:30, she called my office. i got a note she called so i called her back. and she said you know, i've
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watched you for 25 years here, we came here together, i watched your career, and watched you today and she says i just want to tell you something. i'm really proud of you. you know, listen, i've got the best relationships on both sides of the aisle because i treat people fairly and treat them honestly and i'm going to certainly miss my colleagues. yes. >> to go back to this theme of trying to take turmoil out of the house and stabilize the institution, how do you think that it will become more stable? some republicans i talked to today said they don't think a new speaker will mean any new outcome, especially with an untested leadership. how could it become more stable? >> as i mentioned earlier, the fact that i did this with my colleagues this morning, then we proceeded to have an hour and a half conversation, i thought was
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a unifying moment. between that and the pope's call for living by the golden rule yesterday, hope springs eternal. >> can you talk about what you think your legacy is as you're leaving? what are your most important accomplishments and what are you going to do on november 1st? are you moving to florida? >> i was never in the legacy business. i'm a regular guy with a big job. i never thought i would be in congress, much less ever be speaker. but people know me as being fair, being honest, being straightforward, and trying to do the right thing every day on behalf of the country. i don't need any more than that. >> you seem very relieved. >> zippity-doo-dah!
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>> what are your plans next and also, have you talked -- have you spoken to -- >> when you make the decision this morning, you really haven't had any time to think about what i'm going to do in the future. i have no idea. but i do know this. i'm doing this today for the right reasons and you know what? the right things will happen as a result. thanks. >> with that, he was gone. he entered singing zippity-doo-dah and exited singing again. the man third in line for the presidency. i made some notes as he spoke. he seemed to say in no particular order, paraphrased, who needs it, i was leaving anyway, why not announce it today. it seemed like a good day. who am i to pray for the pope. and again, zippity-doo-dah.
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it may be true that politics as practiced by john boehner is not the practice of the moment anymore. he called himself a regular guy with a big job. steve karnacki in the studio, chuck todd with us on the white house lawn. what do you make of that? >> i have never seen a political resignation, i'm trying to remember and maybe you can remember, where you felt as if the person who was resigning was incredibly happy. that seemed like a joyful -- that was the john boehner that many of us, you have had private moments with him, i have had private -- that was the john boehner that is one of the most enjoyable people to be around, the affable guy, the one that everybody just enjoys whether it's golfing with him, having a glass of wine, sneaking a smoke with him or whatever. i just can't get over how -- i had assumed he would be relieved and happy but he was so comfortable expressing how
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relieved and happy he was. he clearly believes that he has not done the wrong thing, that look, he did save his party. he took one for the team, he put party above himself for now. i think they avoid what could have ripped the party apart, maybe even put the house in play. in three months we could be back here again. that's always possible. but wow. i'm just sort of -- that's the part of this i'm absorbing, how comfortable he is publicly celebrating that he's done. he almost like dropped the mic. i'm out of here. >> you're absolutely right. wai it was the furthest cry from "you won't have nixon to kick around anymore." it was the happiest. you could almost sense his body lightening as the load -- >> yes, like the load is gone. that was something else. look, we shouldn't get the big picture lost here, which is we
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have been talking about this presidential race for months and trying to explain the trump and carson and fiorina phenomenon. let's just remember, the same fervor that essentially drove boehner to make this decision and say you know what, i'm out of here, that's the dividing line inside the republican presidential primary except there are a lot more conservatives voting in primaries than there are sitting in the house of representatives. that's why the conservatives don't have enough votes to take over the speakership. they have enough votes to disrupt it. they do have enough votes potentially to decide who the whom kn nominee is going to be. >> he doesn't have to insist he's a regular guy in a big job. it's clear when you spend time with john boehner he's a regular guy in a big job. >> it's interesting, it struck me listening as he talked about the totality of his career, his political career, going back 35 years, he spans two very different eras of american politics. i think there's a great irony here of how he's going out.
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he's leaving overseeing, presiding over the largest republican congressional majority that's existed since world war ii. it's a group of conservative insurgents who have just made his life as speaker so difficult, who are basically making him so happy to leave right now. if you go back to the beginning of john boehner's political career, his path to washington, he was the conservative insurgent, part of this group in the 1980s when the congress was known as the permanent democratic congress. i had been four decades at this point since republicans had run congress. republicans who were in washington had stopped believing it was even possible. this guy, it was newt gingrich who at the time was a back bencher in the house, put all these cassette tapes together and gave them out to state legislators in the midwest tosh to county commissioners down south, they drove around and listened to the tapes and the tapes told them this is how you talk to an audience about what it means to be a republican, what it means to be a conservative, what a republican congressman means. john boehner is one of the guys who took those tapes and drove around ohio, internalized the
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message, came to the house and became part of that leadership wave. >> kelly o'donnell was in the room. she has been wired up to join us. kelly, even john boehner's fiercest political critics have always found it endearing that this is a guy who could get choked up ordering lunch. he is just the most emotional fellow. it was on display again today. he leaves kind of as he arrived, a guy who feels how did i get so lucky representing a congressional district outside cincinnati as the son of a tavern owner. >> reporter: it is so striking, because we have had conversations with john boehner over the years. i have asked him about his teariness and he has told me it embarrasses him, it's uncomfortable but it's involuntary. when the emotion wells up in him it comes out in teardrops. so he's uncomfortable showing it as much. over time, because it has been
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so publicly a part of the conversation with him and so many images, he talks about it a bit more and i fully expected the tears would come today. i was struck in the story that he shared, because a lot of people who criticize john boehner don't know about the quiet work he does for small kids in school in d.c. and he has for years. that's something very close to his heart. so of course, when the holy father talked about it and touched him on the sleeve and said pray for me, that really was a moment for john boehner. i think one of the striking things here, too, is he is saying that by stepping aside, something he has told us he had planned to do for a long time, so in that sense it's not a surprise, but the timing, having his own moment, aware of the turmoil in his conference, by being able to sort of reset the stage, where house members will have to vote for a new speaker, and turn the page, that that he hopes would quiet the sort of turmoil that we have seen brewing throughout his speakership. will it change anything?
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i think that's very hard to predict right now. the hard right of the republican conference simply does not have the same focus. john boehner does not want to shut down the government, even over an issue he cares about as closely as he does, and that is protecting life. anti-abortion view. dose not want to close the government in a fight over planned parenthood. there are many republicans willing to do that. so by stepping aside now, perhaps quieting some of that turmoil. stunning some of those members. will it change anything? we will watch that closely. but i think his view about the institution is something we hear him talk about privately all the time, that a speaker has to protect this place. so he is stepping out of the spotlight and hoping that those who remain will be able to change the tone. so in some ways, looking back, i think the moment with the pope was a very big clue. >> you're right to hone in on that distinction. he made the distinction he thinks he would survive the vote easily. i think he said.
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but he also figured this was going to be a bruising period for the institution and the party. >> reporter: very much so. we have seen when he has been elected to be speaker twice, there was a small number who voted against him and more recently, there was a move to try to vacate the chair which is the term of art around here to get rid of the speaker. this has been brewing. it may be something that conservatives outside cheer today. members of the house will be able to kind of regroup and figure out who will be the next speaker. he endorsed kevin mccarthy. we have to see if that makes sense. kevin mccarthy is very much like john boehner. so will that change anything? hard to imagine. >> kelly o'donnell, thanks. also on our team at that press conference, the opening question went to luke russert, who is now wired up. luke, it sounds like to your question, the pope's visit while it wasn't the catalyst for his decision, probably played a role in the speaker's decision to
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wake up this morning and decide today was the day. >> reporter: certainly, brian. i asked the question because of a "washington post" report that a colleague robert costa did that talked about how last night, john boehner left the capitol, he was very emotional. he put his arm around bob costa, and another reporter from politico, jake sherman, and re-enacted the entire moment of when the pope walked down the hall with him and recounted the story about how the pope asked him to pray for his holiness. i asked john boehner whether or not it was in fact the grace of pope francis that led him to this. he didn't say it outwardly but i got the sense from covering boehner for the last six years that the pope's visit really put everything in perspective. john boehner is one of 12 children. he came from running ohio, i have seen his house, he was in a room with his brothers and sisters, his parents slept on a pull-out couch. never in a million years did he think he would graduate from college, be a successful businessman, get to congress,
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much less become speaker of the house. for him to have the pope next to him, i personally think from reading him for awhile, that was the highest of high and he saw what was on the horizon for the next few months. he could get through it if he wanted to but he would put a lot of his friends through difficult votes if they were to end up supporting him in one of those vacate the chair elections and thought this was the right time. he's not a legacy guy as he said today. i'm going to be very interested to see what he does after his time here in congress. i suspect he will go to his favorite pursuit which is golf. he's giot a very good handicap. he's got the place down in florida. but quite a striking turn of events. what's going to happen next, kevin mccarthy looks to be the shoo-in for speaker. i have not heard rumblings that they would sack mccarthy. he has very good personal relationships with the members, they trust him, he does fund-raisers, they are tight, so to speak. the big battle royale will be for the majority leader position. that's where you will see
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conservatives try to run their candidate. you will have the establishment run their candidate. everything in between. so that's the one to keep an eye on. today was john boehner's day. he said he came to the decision last night and everyone was shocked. i will throw this last thing in there. the staff today, we heard rumblings about the possibility after the "washington post" piece, the staff did was shocked. they were solemn but at this press conference they smiled because they knew as one told me when i left, that this was the decision that john boehner was finally at peace. he was at peace with this after the holy father was here yesterday. he knows his legacy is secure in his mind so there's nothing else he can do at the house of representatives. >> luke russert on the hill for us on a busy day in washington. luke, thanks. just a reminder to our viewers, it's one of so many fronts we're covering. general assembly at the united nations, heard from the pope this morning. we have just heard from the pope at the 9/11 museum. he is on the go in new york again. he has a stop at a parochial
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school in harlem. then a motorcade through central park, of all things, followed by, culminating a day where he will say mass in madison square garden here in new york. the president has been holding a bilateral meeting with the president of china. they have since held a news conference in the rose garden. as you know, as we have been covering, as you have heard, the resignation suddenly announced today by speaker of the house john boehner. to continue our coverage for the next several hours, we will give way now for msnbc's tamron hall. we have breaking news that we continue to follow as mentioned. house speaker john boehner's surprising resignation. boehner held that news conference announcing that after more than four years in that role, 24 years in congress, he is leaving. boehner said it's been an honor to serve. that decision was not about him
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and this the turmoil over the leadership would do quote, irreparable damage to the institution. he would not speculate on who may be the next speaker. >> my plan was to step down at the end of last year. i decided in november of 2010 that when i was elected speaker that serving two terms would have been plenty. i decided you know, today's the day i'm going to do this. as simple as that. that's the code i've always lived by. if you do the right things for the right reasons -- listen, i'm not going to be here to vote on the next speaker but that's up to the members. but having said that, i think kevin mccarthy would make an excellent speaker. >> and at a news conference moments ago at the white house, president obama called speaker boehner a good man. >> it took me by surprise and i took the time prior to this
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press conference to call john directly and talk to him. john boehner's a good man. he is a patriot. he cares deeply about the house, an institution in which he's served for a long time. he cares about his constituents and he cares about america. he's somebody who understands that in government, in governance, you don't get 100% of what you want but you have to work with people who you disagree with, sometimes strongly, in order to do the people's business. >> we have a number of people joining us, including in a second democratic congressman john lewis as well as republican congressman luke messer, the fifth ranking member of the house leadership. let me start with my colleagues, kelly o'donnell and nbc political editor, mark murray. kelly, let's start with some of
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the reaction. i know we can reflect on the career of speaker boehner and we will do that, but some of the reaction coming from the most conservative within his own party. shocking, including applause when the news was announced by senator rubio. >> reporter: that wasn't on capitol hill. that was at a gathering of the most conservative members at what's known as values voters summit. it's an event here in washington which is a day-long opportunity for very conservative activists to hear from leaders in the party. no surprise that at an organization like that, this is a change in what's happening that is worthy of cheers. also when ted cruz talked about it at the same event, he said yesterday john boehner was speaker of the house and he won't be because that group of people came to town. boy, did that go over well in the room. so outside of capitol hill, there has been a lot of anger. we have seen it play out, anti-leadership, anti-establishment mood in the
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country. certainly the backdrop here. on capitol hill, a stunner for different reasons. those who are allies of john boehner are surprised and those who have been sort of mounting the effort to unseat him will now have to take a look at what goes forward. one of the things that we asked the speaker today is how does his leaving congress change anything when you're talking about the same 30 to 40 members who have been most angry at when he has done, and they will still have to be part of this institution and the likely successor, we'll have to see how it plays out. but it's very possible kevin mccarthy becomes speaker. will anything change. so for the general public watching this, conservatives in the country, this is a big day. here on capitol hill, a lot of steps need to be worked out. >> let's talk about some of those steps if you can stand by as well as mark with us now, democratic congressman john lewis of georgia. congressman, thank you so much for your time. my colleague kelly o'donnell just made the point with speaker
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boehner resigning, does that change anything, or does it make it perhaps even more dicey territory moving ahead with some of the most conservative now making their push on the other side of the aisle? >> well, i'm afraid it may make things much worse. john boehner is a good and decent man. i have known him since he's been in the congress and he's tried to do his very, very best. i think part of what has happened, his dream came true yesterday. he had been wanting the pope to come and address a joint session of the congress so his dream was fulfilled. i think he just made up his mind, he had an executive session with himself, said i'm not going to take it anymore and decided to leave, to give it up. >> in his statement, he said it was about protecting the institution and that when you do the right thing for the right
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reasons, things happen. his move here to protect the institution at a very critical time as we know, the government spending, the battle over planned parenthood and the impact all of this could have on the next presidential election. what is the state of the institution if you can say honestly on both sides? >> we have members here on both sides, the democratic side as well as the republican side, who love the institution. the institution was here long before any of us became members, before any of us were even a dream, even born. so speaker boehner has taken a step, maybe just maybe for the greater good. >> if you believe that he was a person who perhaps could meet democrats on certain issues, even though i think a lot of people would certainly debate that there has been movement with both parties supporting on key legislation, with that said,
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if his moving out of the way improves the path ahead, how is that possible with again, some of the most conservative making their push and even celebrating his resignation? what makes you feel that the end or the near future is better without him? >> well, i'm not so sure. we have to wait and we have to see if mccarthy, leader mccarthy becomes the speaker. we don't know. we don't know what is going to happen. we are in the minority. they're in the majority. >> let me ask you about yesterday. you referenced one of the speaker's goals was to have the pope there. he hosted the pope for a joint session of congress. the pope taking time out twice in his visit to mention dr. martin luther king, jr. he also mentioned those like yourself who put your life on the line for the civil rights movement in this country. you were particularly moved by
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his words. take me back to that moment when you heard that recognition from this holy man. >> well, i was deeply moved. i was moved to tears when he mentioned martin luther king, jr., mentioned unbelievable people like dorothy day and thomas merton. when i'm marching across the bridge in selma, i had a copy of a book by thomas merton. someone that i admired. for the pope to mention abraham lincoln, martin luther king, jr., dorothy day, thomas merton, people who have changed america and helped bring about what i call a non-violent revolution, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas, i cried. i really cried. i felt more than lucky but very blessed to be there in his
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presence. >> it's been an incredible few days. we greatly appreciate you, of course, joining us and your great sacrifice for this country that you continue to make. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. we will take a quick break. we'll come right back with our continuing coverage of john boehner's resignation including an interview with one of the speaker's long-time advisors. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit because you never know when it will happen you've decided to work in a cubicle. this cubicle. being irregular is the worst. get more fiber with chocolaty-chewy fiber one bars. feeling good can taste great
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welcome back. we continue to follow breaking news here on msnbc. the resignation of house speaker john boehner and joining me now by phone, david winston, a long-time advisor to speaker boehner. we also have with us kelly o'donnell and mark murray. i would like to start off with you, david. when did speaker boehner share the news with you or how did you learn the news? >> i learned it from staff shortly after he had told them this morning and then obviously, he went in and there weren't a lot of people who had a lot of
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advance warning here, obviously. >> obviously the speaker discussed early on knowing that the end would be near for his political career in this form, but obviously as well, the news comes as a surprise today. he wanted to end last year but decided to stay around to try to firm up the party. right now, he's saying this reason behind the resignation is the institution, to protect the institution. take us inside his thought process from what you know. >> this is the way he's always been. the role of speaker is to represent the institution and his line was always to make sure the members' will was heard. part of that again was his focus on governing, moving things forward, trying to always sort of define progress and how do we get things going. once he felt clearly this is the conclusion he got to that he had been thinking about this anyway and given the fact that he could
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be a distraction from that, his viewpoint at that point was it's time to put the country and the institution first. it's not about me. it's about the country. then he made up his mind and co up his mind and decided to step up. >> there's interest iing polls. voter approval, 72% at the time said that they were dissatisfied with the job. my colleague chuck todd reported that some of the, again, more conservative within the gop grown frustrated with speaker boehner not returning their phone calls, in a sense to the end of the road appeasing them or making them happy on just about anything. >> well, first of all, i would argue any member to talk to him, the speaker was always willing to sit down and discuss, they may not necessarily be happy with the answer the speaker had but i think there's another element here and this is i think there's a general frustration on the republican side from some
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that don't simply deal with the fact that, look, mcconnell's got to get 60 votes, the president decided to veto something, it requires a majority. there's a hand that's the process that the founders established and so, you know, i'm sure there are lots of things that the speaker would like to get accomplished but he's got to real istically map out what's doable and not doable and to a large degree successfully with for example, again, refusing the deficit. passing the tax cut that helped small businesses. entitlement reform. he was talking about the things he got done and this's the way he viewed things. it was a responsibility to make sure accomplishments occurrd and make sure that the will of the house was heard. >> david, thank you so much for your time. let me bring in colleague mark murray. mark, you and the first read team do an excellent job of analysis and kelly is with us here, as well. it is one thing to focus on one
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individual but we need to take it to the broader conversation of capitol hill and bigger than speaker boehner and the question is, what happens next? >> tamron, that's the great question. i think what happens next in the immediate term is the potential for some productivity and one of the reasons why john boehner was in such trouble and why some house conservatives were rebelling against him was that to be able to get the government open knowing that the republicans and conservatives didn't have 60 votes and the senate to defund planned parenthood, knowing that president obama would veto such legislation as president of the united states, given that, he would need to have to work with house democrats to get any kind of legislation through for the simple reason that 40 to 50 house republicans have said that they wouldn't sign anything, even keeping the government open for a month or two unless it defunded planned parenthood and now with john boehner set to exit, there's an idea of a
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continuing resolution and then team up with nancy pelosi or the obama white house for long-term funding issues as much as he can and john boehner and the news conference today said he's hoping to get a lot done in the five weeks and then the long-term situation and has been mentioned and if you have 30, 40, 50 house republicans that really are unwilling to even go, you know, 15 pr%, 20% of the wa with the obama white house and the recognize the high hurdles in the senate, it is very difficult for the next republican speaker of the house and that is the situation. so i think short term, there is the potential for some productivity. long term, i think the next speaker is facing the same dynamic that john boehner got fed up with and decided to resign from today. >> mark, you reference nancy pelosi. let me play her reaction to the news a short time ago.
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>> speaker announcing his resignation, that resignation of the speaker is a stark indication of the disarray of the house republicans. demonstration of their obsession with shutting down government at the expense of women's health. and a sign of the failure of the house republicans to be willing to engage in dialogue for the good of the american people. and for us to move forward. this resignation, as significant as it is, and it's seismic for the house, does not undermine or diminish the afterglow of his holiness pope francis' visit to the congress yesterday. >> kelly, we keep hearing the reference of pope francis being there. we know the special meaning it had for speaker boehner and reference ed their private meetg together.
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nevertheless, the language she used about the house republicans and to me and i think many people watching, this sets the stage for what could be an even worse climate dare i say than we have seen at least as mark pointed out, you have a short-term goal list and then the long-term picture here. >> it's going to be a challenge. and there will be democrats who will in essence claim a victory in saying that this is an indication of the poisonous politics. you have outside skets who will claim a victory with the r resignation saying they put pressure on washington and the numbers don't change. there are some who say boehner held on and a republican president, then you have got the two chambers here on capitol hill in a republican president and then you could get some different things done. there are ifs, thens and maybes to try to make that work. the hard thing now is will the fact that boehner stepped aside change the volume on some of
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what those most conservatives feel or will they feel that they have moved the sort of conversation forward? i just don't see how they will change their views. i think john boehner has to broker some deals with democrats for the time ahead in his remaining days to get those things done. i think stepping aside does give a moment of pause and then when there's that election, tamron, these members will have to vote a new speaker and rally around that new speaker. and that may quiet some of this down. >> thank you. mark, thank you, as well. it is scrambling required to get this going and we appreciate it. much more on today's breaking news of speaker boehner's resignation. i'll talk live with luke messer, fifth ranking member of the house republican leadership. also ahead, we continue our coverage of pope francis' visit to new york city following that emotional service that we witnessed this afternoon at ground zero. a mass is set to take place
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tonight before 20,000 worshippers. also, i'll talk live with the queen of soul, aretha franklin, set to perform for the pope tomorrow in philadelphia where the pope's u.s. trip will end. we'll talk with aretha franklin about the special present she plans to give the pope. stay with us. selling 18 homes? easy. building them all in four and a half months? now that was a leap. i was calling in every favor i could, to track down enough lumber to get the job done.
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good afternoon, everyone. i'm tamron hall. we continue to follow today's big breaking news. a political bombshell hit washington, d.c. this morning. john boehner's resignation as role as speaker of the house. he made that announcement minutes saying he was leaving the post to protect the institution. >> end of the last year, i decided in november of 2010 that when i was elected speaker that serving two terms would have been plenty. and but in june of last year
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became clear that the majority leader lost his election i'd frankly didn't believe it was right for me to leave at the end of last year. this morning, i woke up and i said my prayers as i always do and i decided, you know, today's the day i'm going to do this. as simple as that. >> joining me now, nbc's political director, moderator of "meet the press" chuck today. four magazines saying the planned parenthood just cost john boehner his job. nancy pelosi on the other end saying that house republicans are in disarray. is the only winner and if you can categorize it that way, john boehner seeming quite happy with his decision? >> reporter: that's the part of this that is on a personal level. i have witnessed plenty of political resignations in 25 years. i have never seen somebody do
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their resignation and look so happy. he seemed relieved. i think the pope coming yesterday was the equivalent of his drop the mike moment. he's leaving as best he can on his terms. it is not on fully his terms. but he put his party ahead of his sort of personal power here. he could have survived this vote. it would have made him a lame duck speaker, even that much more hard tore get anything done for 15 months. but he could have survived but it would have taken democrat votes to survive and he chose that that wasn't the path he wanted to do. but you need to sort of understand where we are big picture here. look. nancy pelosi wants to say they're in disarray. the party is still in somewhat of a fight. we're seeing it play out in the presidential campaign trail between the outsiders and the establishment which is, you know, who's blaming washington. all of these conservative groups today, they're celebrating. it is amazing to see how openly they're celebrating the demise
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of john boehner but things aren't going to change all that much with kevin mccarthy in the chair. there's a majority of the house republicans essentially the establishment. okay? there is enough conservative grassroots-type of elect eed officials to cause disruption. on the presidential trail there's conservative grassroots anti-john boehner. you have seen the poll. three quarters of republican primary voters are dissatisfied with john boehner and mitch mcconnell. the votes are there. this fight continues now on the campaign trail. we thought it was going to disrupt a little bit in the house this month. it's delayed. we won't have a government shutdown and punting the fight and the fight now remains front and center in the primary. >> absolutely it does. i want your insight on something you pointed out. obviously, the conservatives know the numbers in the house.
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they know that their role will likely continue to be that of disrupt disrupters. with that said, what is the immediate goal you see for those who are inspired, for example, for ted cruz and numbers not showing up in the category he'd like to in the presidential race and even today as you pointed out, a celebratory tone walking into the key meeting of conservatives happening. >> reporter: nobody gives voice to this group than ted cruz. >> right. >> reporter: ted cruz frequently meets, you know, he doesn't have many allies in the senate these days and talk to some senators and i don't think he has even one ally anymore. used to have mike lee of utah standing with him and now he doesn't have him with him on some issues. looking for outsider allies, he goes to the representative caucus and think near a good
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position and they clearly have enough influence to gum things up but not enough influence to dictate the terms of the debate. >> so then how is it a win for them? why the victory lap already from some of these people? >> reporter: well, and this is why i think it's a short-term victory but they need to figure out the plan. this is what boehner's allies trying to say for years which is, we agree with you. but the tactics you're suggesting aren't going to work until you elect a republican president and ultimately i think what mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy try to do and assuming he's the speaker, to try to spend three months convincing them, put your energies in electing a republican president. if you care about the planned parenthood issue, elect a republican president because there is no other way to do
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this, no matter how much you jump up and down, yell and screamjust not there and maybe now that boehner sacrificed himself ultimately on the altar, maybe they get that message. look. mccarthy, i think, has some sway with this group for one reason. he returns their calls. john boehner was so frustrated with this group of conservatives gumming things up he was done with them. it was about six weeks quoted calling ted jack you know what. you can finish the phrase. the office -- he never denied he said it. that's how he felt. kevin mccarthy does take their calls, meets with them. it's possible to buy time. that's about all he can do. >> thank you so much. we can't wait to see you this sunday on "meet the press." a lot more to talk about and presidential candidate hillary clinton's and carly fiorina will join you and appreciate you joining us. >> you got it.
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>> let me bring in republican senator luke messer. congressman, thank you so much foryour time. >> thank you. >> let's get your gut reaction. when you originally heard the news early this morning that speaker boehner was resigning. >> just the first reaction was wow. but, you know, as you think about it, a little longer, i think today the american people are seeing why agree or disagree with john boehner, his colleagues all love him. he's a good man. somebody that has always tried to put his country and institution of the house first and clearly he did that today. >> it's clear all the colleagues don't love him. there's a resolution in july to remove him as speaker f. you're speaking as love of a respectable man, that's a part of the conversation and as a leader of that party, it's clear that there were more than a few you were unhappy with him.
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>> well, sure. there are folks that disagree with john even seeing him as a good man. bottom line today is john boehner has given us an opportunity to come together. you know, we may have a new speaker but you are still going to have president obama in office, a significant minority of democrats that have power in the senate and we have to stand together as a caucus. wherever you come down on any of these issues and plans moving forward, our only opportunity to make a difference as a conservative caucus is together. >> let's ask you, for example, if mccarthy is the new speaker, what changes? >> well, i mean, some of it is we have all seen in life in other places, often leaders end up leaving their job and it's not fair that they have to be put out and some circumstances beyond their control. i think this all gives us a fresh start, an opportunity to try to reach out across our caucus, come to consensus and stand together as conservatives. >> but again, do you believe,
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let me ask you this. do you believe he will be the next speaker? >> kevin is in a strong spot, great job as majority leader. we have a responsibility to listen now, listen to the colleagues. see who steps forward but kevin niece a strong spot. >> does he have your sup snort. >> he will have my support. >> with that said, if others fall in line and not meaning in the sense of sheep but fall in line of support, someone when's already an established leader, when you look at his record, versus speaker boehner's, some of very same decisions likely to play out. as you know, the math, the number of conservatives within your party does not increase their power so when you hear the title of basically those who will be the disrupters of your party, again, i ask, what changes? >> well, i don't think this is a time for any touchdown dances and i don't think it's time for our colleague that is are frustrated with some of that to be pointing fingers either.
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we are what we are. the republican majority in the house and the senate but not a super majority. we have to come together where we agree and stand up to this president and to the senate minority leadership and harry reed and our only real ability is together. it is not an easy job. john boehner's had one of the hardest jobs in washington. the next speaker will continue to have a hard job but an opportunity for a fresh start. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. well, news of john boehner's resignation was loudly cheered in washington, d.c. this morning. thousands of social conservatives erupted into applause when senator rubio broke the news, prepared remarks to deliver the news. you heard them cheering and standing. that news came from rubio. came from as well as strong comments from ted cruz who has been, of course, one of the most vocal critics of speaker
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boehner. >> yesterday, john boehner was speaker of the house. y'all come to town and somehow that all changes. my only request is can you come more often? >> let me bring in "the washington post" columnist dana mill bank and former white house director for george w. bush, matt shlat. let's process what we witnessed there, a very happy ted cruz and that crowd on their feet hearing the news of the resignation. >> yeah. >> just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of pope francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world and i hope we'll all --
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>> i apologize. i'm not exactly sure. i guess it's mercury in retro grade. i don't know why that popped up. but nevertheless, that gave you time to process your opinion of really what played out there. >> okay. so basically, you know, it's not a surprise to me to see the response from that room and my travels around the country i have been getting similar responses and some ways not fair. it's a tough time to be a republican leader in congress because conservatives are just so damn mad at everybody in washington, especially because they see what president obama has been able to do with his agenda. they've been able to see what he has done in a second term when presidents are usually handcuffed. obama on full tilt and conservatives are really fired up and angry about it. >> which is so interesting, dana, to bring you in, because the demise of president obama's administration, we'd heard so much being lame duck, ineffective, none of the things on the final agenda would ever
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be checked off and the republicans were in i think they call it a catbird seat and now quite the opposite of that. >> well, to some extent that's true. the president isn't getting any of his legislative agenda through. the republicans are able to stop that but not no bit of their agenda through. now, you know, i'm sure the people at the values voters summit figuring they have got john boehner's scalp now and not clear that anything changes, particularly if it's kevin mccarthy. whoever it is, they're going to face the exact same dynamics if there are enough hardliners in the caucus to prevent them coming to agreement from striking dealing with democrats but there aren't enough hardliners in the caucus to have something of a governing majority so boehner wasn't really the problem there. he was faced with a no-win situation. mccarthy faces the same
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situation or whoever they put in the job and the dynamic is exactly the same. >> you heard me i'm sure pose that question to congressman messer. what changes? he could not answer that question other than to say it's a fresh start, dana. >> a fresh face i suppose. but if anything, look at kevin mccarthy, aimable, hi's very well liked and if anything he's weaker than john boehner. he is not a very strong speaker. very hard to see him, you know, cobbling together some sort of big yort to get some sort of legislative agenda through there. politics is full of surprises but this dynamic is very stubborn there and very hard to see. they could go with a real hardliner but then you lose the establishment republicans who break off to the democrats. >> to your point, the other names on the list jeb hersarling
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of texas and paul ryan and being the other side of the party being more conservative. >> let me jump in here. >> to go ahead. >> i don't think the sfeeld set but the way the leadership elections work, they're trying to be respectful but the name first is going to be the leader in this race and the members of congress that say that they're looking at it, thinking about it, they're already losing the race. that's been the way leadership elections have gone. one other thing. yes, the dynamics are the same in the sense that the conference is the same but there's one big change and that's this. if the president wants to bust the spending caps on the cr and the republicans put out some policy goal that they want, i'd love to see them be able to work together to get something but it's unfair to say that republicans shouldn't ask for anything. they should. this's the way negotiations work. >> well, and i think, dana, i
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don't believe that it's been said that you should not put everything on the table but it was and seems the headline that the conservatives saw the word compromise as the dirty word. >> right. and so, okay. so john boehner departing, in doing so, they've been able to punt the government shutdown until we get to december. we'll deal with the government shutdown possibility, we're going to deal with potentially another debt ceiling crisis and that is i'm thinking if it is kevin mccarthy, poor him. how do you deal with that situation? offend the same people who are claiming john boehner's scalp and make a deal with the democrats or you actually stick to the hardline and get blamed for a government shutdown and then your majority potentially goes up in smoke so that's the very difficult situation. he's going to confront within the first few weeks of his leadership. >> what a day. thank you both for joining me. greatly appreciate. pope francis, he is in new york.
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and we'll end the weekend in philadelphia at a concert fit for the pope. queen of soul aretha franklin set to perform. we'll find out which songs and how excited she is yet again, another glorious occasion and the voice is aretha franklin. plus the white house reaction to house speaker boehner's surprise resignation. the possibility of a flare swas almost always on my mind.
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welcome back. right now, we are waiting for pope francis to resume his busy day here in new york after a short rest. the pope will visit a catholic school to be followed bay motorcade through central park and then celebrate mass at madison square garden. the day started this morning at
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united nations greeting staffers while being driven through the halls and then addressed the general assembly. >> translator: any harm done to the environment therefore is harm to humanity. government leaders must do everything possible to ensure that all can have the minimum spiritual and material means needed to live in dignity. and to create and support a family. >> the pontiff paid an emotional visit to ground zero, first stopping to pray at a reflecting pool. he also met with families of some of the nearly 2,800 people who died in the 9/11 attacks. inside the 9/11 memorial, the museum memorial, the pope also led a multi-faith prayer service. >> yes, your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all
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who died here. strength has in hope. give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a work of peace and love, friends among all nations and in the hearts of all. >> tomorrow, pope francis arrives in philadelphia, william of the biggest events on the agenda is world meeting of families and sparked the visit to the u.s. more than 18,000 families are expected at the celebration of faith and prayer along with several performers. among the select group performing for the pope, queen of soul herself, 18-time grammy award winner, aretha franklin. i'm honored to have her join us by phone preparing for another
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performance. thank you so much for calling in. >> it's my pleasure. good afternoon, miss hall. >> thank you, miss franklin. you have performed for president obama, queen elizabeth, the list goes on and on. how does this performance feel different? >> well, it -- it's a performance, certainly, for the highest in the catholic faith and at this juncture in my career just before i retire because i'm pulling back, next year, starting next year. and it's just -- i'm truly blessed. what can i say? i'm truly blessed. >> the world is blessed with your voice and we'll have to talk about this retirement in a second. reverend al sharpton is here with me. nearly fell out of the chair. because that's a big announcement i wasn't prepared for. i was ready to ask you what songs you would be performing for the pope. i read that one will be "amazing
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grace." >> that's right. the other -- i'm not going to say. i just want it to be a very nice and pleasant surprise. >> why did you select "amazing grace"? >> i selected "amazing grace" because it's universal, because it is loved by all faiths and revered by all faiths. and so, i felt that would be most appropriate for the audience saturday evening. >> tell me a little bit about the present that you plan to present to pope francis and its special meaning. >> the gift that i'm going to give the pope is a box set of sermons by my dad reverend c.l. franklin who was a pastor for 38 years of the new bethel baptist church and a theologian himself and some of the sermons that i'm going to be giving him, one that was his most famous, the eagle
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stireth her nest, 23rd psalms, a third dry bones in the valley, that was one of my favorites. and jacob wrestled with the angel. are some of the sermons. >> to share something so personal and so precious with this pope, it leads me to believe that you see in him what so many others have and that this is a warm man and a man who has opened his arms to all of us. >> uh-huh. i am impressed with his humility. i'm definitely impressed with that. the fact that he remembers his father as he refers to himself being the son of an immigrant. and that just tells me that he remembers his humble beginnings, he honors and reveres his father and that is golden, that is one of the golden rules, honor thy
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mother and father. so i'm also just most impressed with his compassion for people, for the issue that he speaks of, his love for children and the people, the people adore him. and he adores the people. >> and i think that people certainly by now realize that while you have this gift of this voice from god, you have this compassionate heart and you are very aware of what's happening in the world. you stay engaged with the news, social issues. the list would go on and on. and to say that you're retiring and that you could be taking this gift from us at this time, i know you work very, very hard but tell me how you came to this decision and why now. >> well, not altogether retiring. just pulling back. and doing less concerts. yearly now. not as many as i used to. i want to spend time with my grandchildren now. and jordan, my grandson, is
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going to be going to the school of the arts. he's been accepted there. and victory who is -- who will perform for me on the b.e.t. honors going off to college and my little granddaughter gracie is a gymnast and she is mentored by debbie douglas. that's her mentor. she is not mentored by debbie but her mentor and gracie says, one day i'm going to be right up there with that gabby douglas. i said, gracie, that's it. you just keep thinking like that and follow that. and you will be. and you will be. >> all she has to do is look at her grandmother and knows that you can be anything that you want. well, it is always an honor. we cannot wait to see your glorious performance in philadelphia on saturday. a great pleasure to have you on with us, queen. >> thank you so much, tamron. >> thank you. >> hello, reverend al.
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do you have your red socks on today? >> this is not a roast, miss franklin! it's now -- >> i understand that, but reverend al knows. i kid him about his red socks and red tie. >> well, miss franklin, no. i wore more -- let's say more subdued colors because i was down with the pope and i didn't want you to get on with me i was dressed. >> okay. you have the class colors on today. >> that's right. >> all right. okay. >> thank you so much, miss franklin. turning to reverend al sharpton, one of the clergy there with the pope at this multi-faith event, also with us, raul reyes along with father john bambrick in new jersey. raul is an attorney and con t b
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contributor for >> sometimes you need faith to put on your socks. >> yes, you do. every day you do. let's talk about this emotional gathering, this multi-faith, i refer to "the new york times" article that quoted a hindu woman running down to washington, d.c. just to catch a glimpse of this pope, not because she is one of the followers of the catholic church, but because she is a follower of hope and compassion. >> yeah. i think that several things came to mind. you know, i was a very impressed with this pope, though clearly i'm not catholic, but i was very impressed from the beginning with he stressed about poverty and about the arms race and about climate change and social justice. and then, when he came first time he had come to this country, both for the white house speech and address yesterday, quoting dr. king and
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you know organization he founded is where i had my birth as a civil rights activist but today was special because i think what people don't understand to sit there where they kill people based on religion and the pope sit there with muslims and jews and shaikhs and business hiss and to go to the scene where this happened and to show we will not give intolerance the victory was more moving than i expected because he had on the stage representatives of every religion which is the exact opposite of why that site became such a site of man's depravity and for the pope to do that i think was an exclamation point that needed to be made that i think in terms of world stature, the only one to make it. >> father, you know, it is interesting, as well, to reverend al's point last night, watching the evening prayer and
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i thought to myself, there's no better television on in this world, whether you are a believer or not, and the pope has also acknowledged the non-believers, those who have not embraced a religion or a spiritual path and still want this world to be a better place. >> today was classic francis. we talked of the united nations and said reminded us of our human fraternity and he's calling us to solidarity and then act it out at ground zero and people of all faiths and no faith and calling everyone to the solidarity, not asking to look at the differences but what we have in common and dialogue and what he said to congress, look into the face of the stranger and won't be estranged to you anymore. listen to their story. bond with them. they have the same hopes and aspirations that you have. that's what my mom said to me. everyone loves the pope because he speak it is aspirations of every human heart. >> he used that same tone with
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congress and then transitions to the u.n. general assembly with the same message. by the numbers, 3 billion people living in poverty worldwide. 1.3 billion in extreme poverty worldwide. now, a billion children living in poverty, father. we saw him feed the homeless in washington, d.c. >> yes. here in our own country. 67 million people below the poverty line and $27,000 a year for 4 people. who lives on that? no one. that's not a just wage and the holy father wants us to elevate these people. to work on it. he broke up the memory of a person who said that the road to holiness passes through the world of action. and the pope is calling us to action. he said, put your papers away, your studies, your lists and do something about this. >> the ej dionne is standing by. it would be easy to ask reverend
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al this question but i'll ask you. the pope is visiting harlem. we have seen presidential candidates not visit urban clusters and here he is finding his way to harlem to meet with school children there. >> well yeah. you're really hearing themes of racial reconciliation and opposition to racism in this speech and not only martin luther king here in the first address at the white house, but in his speech to congress, he used, you know, he made king one of the heroes, white house he talked about martin luther king's reference of climate change and dr. king talked about it in terms of equality. and it's not surprising that he is doing this. one senses he may do smr visits a prison, a jail. in philadelphia.
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and his whole appeal around issues of economic justice, they clearly transcend the lines of race and we know that african-americans have been -- have suffered particularly from economic injustice and i think it's worth remembering that a very significant percentage, 10% of american catholics are african-american and important parishes in harlem that are african-american and he hasn't forgotten this. >> one really cool one in ft. worth, texas, where this kid went to school. our mother of mercy, let me say that. we have to bring up, ej, a person who tweeted out that pope francis basically retweeted black lives matter. pope francis didn't mention the black lives matter movement in the speech before congress on thursday but the feelings on the fight for racial equality were loud and clear. >> well, i think there's no question about that. i mean, in his speech at 9/11, he was obviously talking about
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religious diversity. by the way, it is worth mentioning he made a really strong plea for religious freedom and against persecution both at the 9/11 site and at the u.n. but he told us to say yes to a diversity accepted and reconciled at the 9/11 site but zoo this is clearly a pope who is very concerned about racial injustice and discrimination and he talked about it with respect to native americans, partly given the controversy around the sanctification of junipero serra. >> viva sophie cruz. people focussed in on the 5-year-old girl that kicked things off with the full day. first full day in the united states and washington, d.c. have we heard enough i guess of a challenge to the people
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regarding what to do with religion and taking in a syrian family? are we hearing enough this time around? >> it remains to be seen and one thing that obviously this pope has tremendous resonance of the latino community because of his background but he niece our country at a time, you could say he is the anti-trump. inclusive message for pope, peace, justice. it's nice that he is acknowledging latino families and immigrants and not using this type of divisive rhetoric and the ugliness and remember -- >> the pope would not use that language. >> not at all. he is in the church at a time when really the american roman catholic church is going back to the immigrants' roots. 25% of roman catholics are foreign born. 15% have at least one parent born overseas and the growth in the church is largely fueled by latinos and immigrants and the community has much in common with him and just the fact that
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the pope with k speak in the united nations, in the u.s. congress and raise these issues, it has had tremendous resonance among the communities. i think people will be looking because the pope said that it's not enough to feel -- you know, to have these positive feelings. he gave a call to action to congress. he said we need to do things and, for example, dorothy day, she was a woman of -- oftentimes radical action. so i think whether or not we are going to see a francis effect in terms of political movement or community involvement remains to be seen and sown the seeds definitely. >> it is interesting to go from united nations to harlem, the only real neighborhood, i mean, made all the stops but that's the only real neighborhood that he will have time to spend and hang out in. >> i think that that is the statement. when you see the only neighborhood he's going to is harlem, only outside institution of pennsylvania going to a jail,
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the four people he names in his speech before the congress, martin luther king, abe lincoln, when f you just look at the pattern, he is making a continuous statement calling for action and moving us along which gives room for many of us that are then activists and considered extremists and people have to say, well, wait a minute, maybe they're saying it more angry or more strident but if the pope has the same message maybe the message is not that extreme. the tone helps a lot. >> presenting himself as a pope of and to the have notes and that's something, that in itself almost radical. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> ej, so sorry we're out of time. aretha franklin took your time. consider -- consider yourself lucky, ej. thank you all. >> honored to be on the same show. >> always a pleasure to have
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your voice in this. >> preaching at howard this sunday and politics nation starts next sunday morning. >> october 4th. >> 8:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. >> thank you, sir. coming up, new reaction of president obama on house speaker john boehner's shocking resignation and behind the headlines. ♪
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in the meantime, john's not going to leave for another 30 days so hopefully he feels like getting as much stuff done as he possibly can and i'll certainly be locking forward to working with him on that. >> the president's remarks came during a joint news conference with the chinese president. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker joins me now with more on this visit. the headline before the resignation was a huge move regarding climate change and a commitment to build a more solid foundation. >> reporter: that's right, tamron. there's big differences between the united states and china. but they did announce some progress on some of these key issues today. climate change as you mentioned. china agreeing to a cap in trade type of program that will lower the carbon emissions by 2017 significantly and then here's the big headline, president obama announcing that both countries agreed to a cyber threat agreement, essentially both agreeing that they won't
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engage in cyber es ri knowledge of intellectual property. but the big question is, will china live up to the terms of the agreement? president obama said that heaven he wasn't sure. let's tell you what he has to say asked about this. what i said to president xi and the american people is question now is are words followed by actions? still, this is one step forward on a very pressing issue, as you know, we have been reporting on this major hacking of the office of personnel management which may have exposed the fingerprints of more than 5 million people. so this is a major concern here. it is an issue that relates to national security. now, the measured progress announced today is the product of six meetings that president obama has had with president xi. some of them less formal. all aimed at fostering better cooperation and understanding. despite all of that, tamron, there are significant differences, particularly over the south china sea.
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china continuing to flex the muscles in that area and also over the economy. the united states concern that china continues to manipulate its currency. president obama saying he pressed president xi on the issues and a formal state dinner tonight at the white house and another chance to talk to president xi about the issues that divide them. and the red line is making measured progress on the big issues. tamron? >> all right. thank you very much. also coming up, the remarkable success maybe being in the fight to end global poverty and disease. i'll talk with a hero on the front lines as we tee up for a huge festival that you will see this weekend only on msnbc. across america, people like basketball hall of famer
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city this weekend is the global citizen festival on central park's great lawn and msnbc partnered with the global poverty project to host that big event, a celebrate of the impact individuals can have at a grass roots level. vice president biden tweeted earlier that he and first lady michelle obama will join celebrities and activists at the fest have and what you can right here on msnbc and i will be hosting a nbc news special program right after the event on nbc and joining me dr. seth berkeley. thank you so much for joining us, doctor. >> thank you. >> you mentioned to me that you have participated and been a part of global citizens festival at least three times now. it's absolutely incredible to me to see tens of thousands of young people, 19, 20 years old and found a way to make a difference and issue of vaccines
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is important. >> it's a cost efficient intervention. just on the other side of town, a historic event occurred. i was in the u.n. general assembly whether the new sustainable development dwoels were adopted. the previous development goals were a place for people to come together and focus on problems and one is what's happened with global poverty. 1990, 12.9 million children per year dying under 5. now 5.9. that's a 55% reduction. still too many but a lot of that occurred with vaccinations interventions. >> is it an issue for next level, an issue of money, education? what seems to be the barrier faced right now? >> a little bit all of the above. when's exciting is science moved so far so we traditionally had six in the program and now w.h.o. reports 11.
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they're against the biggest killer of children. the finance to make sure the poorest people have them. my organization immunized half a billion additional children and prevented 7 million deaths and means getting it on the political agenda. >> why is it so difficult with great voices like yours, bill gates, a laundry list of powerful voices? why is it difficult to get the attention? >> parts are easy to get. the challenge are parts of every country, groups stigmatized. how do we reach that last mile? today more children in the world immunized than ever before. 86% globally. 14% are not resooufing the very basic vaccines and we have to go out and target and figure out new ways to reach the people and where innovation comes in. >> what do you see as the most innovative way to reach the 14%? >> i have a slide set and see a
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guy in india filling out a vaccine register and got six cell phones next to him and not using that. how do we take digital technology, how do we use the system that uses quick feedback to figure out who's being missed and get vaccines to them. >> doctor, a great pleasure to have you on discussing the big move that took place earlier today and the great energy we'll all experience tomorrow at the festival. reminder, the festival is tomorrow as i said, september 26th right here in new york. pearl jam, coldplay, beyonce, ed sh sheeran and many more and don't go to bid after the concert and hosting a special one-hour show on nbc right after the new season of "saturday night live." how do you get involved? go to citizen. share a photo or video that shows how you will become a global citizen. ♪
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only from citracal. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,blind. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit good afternoon. i'm kate snow. first, shocking the political world, a stunning changing of the guard on capitol hill as house speaker john boehner announcing his resignation from congress effective the end of the next month as pope francis continues his u.s. tour in new york city today with a speech at the u.n. general assembly and holding mass at madison square garden a short time from now. the most striking image of the day, pope francis at ground zero reflecting atop one of the memorial pools. we'll hear from some of the
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victim victims' family who is met the pope earlier today. amidst all of this, at the white house, president obama hosting china's president xi jinping and a state dinner tonight. first on a day all eyes focused on pope francis's visit to new york, shocking news out of the capitol. john boehner, third in line to the presidency, would resign effective october 30th. at a press conference, he xlanled it as a pretty simple decision. >> just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of pope francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world. and i hope that we will all heed his call to live by the golden rule. last night i started thinking about this and this morning i woke up and i said my


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